J.J. Abrams has been highly successful in keeping shows interesting by rebooting them over time so that each season isn’t a rehash of the exact same format as previous seasons, and viewers cannot assume that fundamental changes cannot occur. This worked with Lost and Alias in the past. It worked a little less well on Fringe, with the fourth season failing to maintain the quality of the second and third seasons (with the show still worth watching). If Alcatraz survived, it was clear from the finale that it would also have been a different show. I had concerns as to whether Once Upon A Time could be successful over multiple seasons if left with a situation where Emma must always fail to break the spell. As was rumored before airing, Once Upon A Time had a major reboot, with Emma breaking the spell, followed by Rumpelstiltskin bringing back magic. The highlight of the week was the appearance of Amy Acker on Person of Interest, also shaking up this show.
Amy Acker’s character, who turned out to be the hacker Root, surprised Finch and Reese, and from reviews it appears also fooled most viewers. While this was the second time that the person they were protecting turned out to be far different from what the person seemed, the set up was done so well that we were fooled again. The series began with a simple format of the machine giving Social Security numbers. A simpler show would have continued the format, failing to raise the underlying questions of what it would mean to have such a powerful computer. The episode ended with Finch in danger and a phone call to Reese which just might be the machine, making it likely that the machine will be more significant next season. I hope that Amy Acker’s character also becomes a recurring character next season. Seeing how this show has evolved, it would most likely be as a protagonist to Reese and Finch, but not being sure of Root’s agenda, she could also turn into an ally over time.
Awake is in the midst of a two-part series finale so I will wait until it is completed before saying much about the show, but what is the deal with Britten visiting Britten in the preview? I do hope they end this series with a satisfying explanation as to what has been happening with the two realities.
If seeing Amy Acker on Person of Interest was the network television highlight of the week, the low point was the firing of Dan Harmon as show runner of Community. Producing a season of Community without Dan Harmon as show runner is like doing West Wing without Aaron Sorkin or Gilmore Girls without Amy Sherman-Paladino. Neither show was as good as when their creators ran the show, but in this case the consequences will be far worse. Those who took over West Wing and Gilmore Girls still attempted to do a similar show without breaking from the past. In this case I fear that the goal is to make Community a more traditional sit-com about a group of people going to school together. The show has an excellent cast and might still be an above-average sit-com, but it will not be the same without Harmon’s variations from the normal sit-com formula.
As is usually done in such situations. Harmon was given a title, but it is doubtful he will have any further influence on the show. He explained how he learned about being fired after getting off a plane and turning on his phone, without any previous discussion with Sony.
Apparently great show runners are treated better Great Britain than here. Steven Moffat is to receive as special Bafta award for “outstanding creative writing contribution to television.” One of Moffat’s current shows, Sherlock, is now running in the United States while Doctor Who recently filmed the final scene with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Gillan is seen in the picture above taken at Cannes, and will soon start filming Not Another Happy Ending, a movie about an eccentric author with writer’s block. She did manage to steal something before leaving the TARDIS for the last time.
An episode of Doctor Who, The Doctor’s Wife, was awarded the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation at the Nebula Awards. That was quite a major accomplishment, beating Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Captain America, Source Code, and The Adjustment Bureau for the award. Among Others by, Jo Walton won the Award for Best Novel.
The season finale of Fringe, Brave New Worlds, could easily have been the series finale if the show was not renewed. While there will always be questions remaining on Fringe, the major story lines of the season were resolved. Knowing both of September’s warning and that Olivia was the source of power needed by William Bell, it came as no surprise that Olivia was shot. We also know that death is not necessarily permanent on Fringe, and her recovery due to high levels of cortexiphan around her brain was also predictable.
The season finale set up the situation for next season which we saw in Letters of Transit. We learned that Olivia was pregnant, William Bell was still around (explaining why he was in the Amber), and received the warning at the end of the episode that “They’re coming.”
Things will probably be more complex. Olivia seemed to hesitate before telling Peter that she was pregnant. At the time I was wondering if Olivia would say something suggesting she no longer had her old memories of Peter (or feelings for him). There is clearly something which Olivia held off on saying.
Was the timing of this warning just after William Bell’s failure to start a new universe for dramatic effect to set up the next season, or was there a connection between Bell’s actions and the plans of the Observers? Multiple explanations are possible. Perhaps the Observers had planned to live in Bell’s new universe and decided to conquer our world after this failed. Perhaps Bell knew of the plans and this was his attempt to save humanity the fate of living under oppressive rule by the Observers. Perhaps the Observers justified taking over the earth as a means of protecting them from mad scientists such as William Bell.
TV Guide has an interview with J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner on how the season finale leads into season 5:
“They are coming!” Can we assume that the “they” is the Observers, and you’re lining up with what we saw in 2036? J.H. Wyman: Yes.
Are you going to stay in the current timeline, or will we see some flashing forward and backward next season?
Wyman: Well, let’s say that basically 2036 is extremely important to Season 5.It’s crucial, but having said that, everything that you have seen in Fringe from Season 1 all the way to 4 is really, really, really, really important to what’s going on in Season 5, and 2036 is part of that. It’s a 13-episode sprint; there’s no filler episodes. It answers some very bold questions. It culminates with a very satisfying type of crescendo that really is so important for the fans, that’s the biggest thing. That’s the only thing that’s really important is to make sure that they feel absolutely satiated.
Because Olivia did technically die in the finale, does this mean that was the moment September had envisioned? And, will she always heal rapidly and now never die?
Wyman: At the end of every season, we close a chapter, and you’ve heard us say that before, but this chapter being closed is a gentle closing for a reason. We wanted to allow the characters to be in the emotions that they fought for and deserved and allow them to experience a little bit of peace and understand where they are. Jeff Pinkner: Part of the answer to your question is yes, Olivia healed because of all the cortexiphan. At the end of Season 4, as Walter said on the screen, because of the wildly activated cortexiphan in her body, this experiment to heal her brain tissue would work. Because that’s not constantly the case, because that’s just a fleeting condition, absolutely, she could be killed. Wyman: They don’t know if anything is over. So they’ve been given that warning. I think that it’s best to have the audience not know either and be with them in that trepidation of going forward, going, “Well, maybe.” That’s more like real life, isn’t it?
Especially because the “X Man” who was supposed to kill her — as we saw in last season’s trippy animation episode — wasn’t very obvious.
Wyman: Basically, when Walter was going through the Nanites.From that episode when she was in William’s head, she said, “I know that’s the man who’s going to kill me.” She had a feeling that when she was in William Bell’s head, that there was a man and it manifested itself as a character in William Bell’s head in the comic that they’re experiencing and it had that emblem on it.
Then, ultimately, in this episode, you saw in the in the Nanites they had the emblem on it. When Walter recognized that that was William Bell’s creation by that mark, because that was the mark that William used to mark things with. So really, in a sense, it was William Bell who killed Olivia. You could argue, saying when she came out of William Bell’s head, she said, “That’s the man who’s going to kill me,” it was actually William Bell.
Now that Olivia is pregnant, will she worry about putting herself in the line of fire, or will Peter be worrying about her?
Wyman: You’ll probably understand that a lot more when you see Season 5, without spoiling stuff. That’s not something that’s going to be examined in the way you just laid it out. But keep in mind that in Fringe, when we say, “There’s going to be a love triangle,” it’s a weird show, so you can have a love triangle with two people, like two Olivias in the love triangle. So we can do some pretty freaky things, but it’s not going to be big issue.
Can we look forward to seeing the two universes bridged back together again? I actually like the other side now!
Wyman: We really appreciate you saying that because I think, no secret, that it was a really tough endeavor for us to actually introduce that. We fell in love with them and we were hoping that the fans would and we’re so glad to hear when people say that they missed them. Pinker: We had a conversation with Fox earlier in the season while we were closing the door, one of our Fox executive partners said, “I was so sad. I had tears in my eyes when we closed the door, and we said, “Yeah, these were characters that you never wanted us to introduce in the first place because you were afraid that nobody would care about them.” She said, “I was so wrong.” Wyman: Everything is a possibility on Fringe.
Will Walter feel a sense of responsibility for William Bell trying to destroy the two universes? Is that something he will be dealing with next season?
Wyman: We’ve always said that science is science and knowledge is knowledge; it’s how you use it that’s the evil. So while I don’t think he feels responsible, there’s many lessons Walter is learning and has learned since the first time we met him. If anything, it’s going to actually make him very positive that he did the right thing all those years by cutting a portion out of his brain.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, and hubris out of control like that is surely the end. Every civilization that’s ever fallen basically is because of some sort of hubris. It’s the overreaching of man, which is a huge, huge, huge thing in science fiction. How much knowledge is too much knowledge? He just feels, at this point, that they’ve made it through and averted this incredible disaster.
Before Olivia revealed to Peter that she was pregnant, she seemed to hesitate. Is there something she saw or something she learned when she died that will play into next season?
Wyman: You’re very perceptive. Let’s just say you will understand the hesitation.
There’s an indication that the Fringe Division will grow next season. What can you tell us about that?
Pinker: You will see changes, but you will see things that are familiar, as well. I know that’s a terrible answer, but the truth is, I just can’t say in specificity what exactly is going to happen.
Now that you know this will be your final season, what are you guys doing differently in your approach?
Wyman: We’re so thankful. Four years of everybody working incredibly hard, people have put their heart and soul in this show, and by some amazing miracle, we get a chance to get more canvas to paint on, and it’s like the biggest thrill and honor, and we’re just going into it knowing that we’re very fortunate.
The main concern is in no way shape or form are our fans going to be let down. That makes us feel really good that they’re going to be able to see a conclusion that is emotional, that is epic, that is going to make sense, that they can emote with and go through our characters and watch them on their final journey and put this show away in a manner that is worthy to all the hours they’ve invested in our characters. The only thing it does is make the pencil be a little bit more sharp, that’s all.
Leonard Nimoy says he returned to Fringe largely due to enjoying the idea of playing a villain, and might return next season.
Two additional genre shows deal in different ways with alternate realities–Awake and Once Upon A Time. Last week’s episode of Awake, Say Hello To My Little Friend, had Britten unconscious in the Rex world. He spent most of the episode in the world where his wife remained alive, unable to return to the other world until he figured out that the little friend he was having visions of was actually another police office who was involved in the conspiracy to kill him. Realizing there was a conspiracy sets up the two-part series finale.
There were a number of points of significance in this episode. It now looks more certain that the conspiracy was part of both worlds, but there is still no explanation as to why we have only seen talk of finishing the job in the Hannah universe should he not move to Oregon. Visions were once again a key part of an episode and the visions of Detective Hawkins were not completely limited to information which was already in Britten’s head. In one scene, the vision of Hawkins told Britten that the real world version of himself was outside, giving Britten information he otherwise would not have had. Another aspect of the series which has never been explained is timing in the two worlds. After living through a Monday in one world and going to bed does Britten then live through Monday in the other? In this case, Britten spent a long time in the Hannah world and then returned to the Rex world right after he passed out, by now on a previous day.
Once Upon A Time moves between our world and a fairy-tale world, where the stories are sometimes different from those we have heard. Since the start of the show I’ve feared that the premise could not survive several years, as should Emma ever be successful the story would be over. Over time the format could get tedious if we always knew that Emma could not reverse the curse. However, the show comes from the creators of Lost, raising speculation that there could be real game changers to rejuvenate the show each season. This is suggested in the video interview with Raphael Sbarge above. The show’s co-creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz also suggested a Lost-style reset in this interview:
TVLINE | What other drama is going on in Storybrooke outside of the Henry thing? KITSIS | All of the stories in Storybrooke are going to be stemming from Henry falling. HOROWITZ | They all kind of converge around that pivot point. And the intensity does grow.
TVLINE | How is August doing? Is he flipping through termite control ads? HOROWITZ | We do check in on August and his condition, and that does play a part in the finale. Everybody’s agendas – Regina’s, Gold’s, August’s – all sort of intertwine around this crisis point.
TVLINE | What is Mr. Gold’s particular take on the Henry situation? KITSIS | We got his take in the last episode, where Regina says she came up with a sleeping curse, and he says, “All magic has a price.” So… magic has a price! It’s just a question of who pays it.
TVLINE | We’ve kind of come full circle on the Snow White story – she’s bitten the apple, and in the pilot Prince Charming rescued her. Or will the fairytale land be subject to a finale twist of its own? KITSIS | The finale will kind of tie up some loose ends to their story, and at the same time present a new avenue for Season 2. But…. Well…. HOROWITZ | “We don’t want to tell you,” is what it is. [Laughs]
TVLINE | I guess my bigger question here is: Should we prepare for some Lost-style “reset”? Will this be an instance of the playing field changing Sunday at 8:59 pm? HOROWITZ | How the audience perceives it, we can’t anticipate, but for us it does change the playing field. We like to think what we’re doing is evolving the show so that it remains true to what it’s been this year, but it takes a step forward into something new. KITSIS | I feel like the best way to experience the finale is to say, “What the hell are they going to do?” HOROWITZ | And one of our other goals with the finale – you’ll tell us whether we succeed or not – is that at the end of it you say, “What the hell are they going to do next?”
TVLINE | Will the finale introduce any new players to the canvas? KITSIS | It will introduce some new… story ideas. But as far as new characters, if you’re talking, like, Michelle Rodriguez showing up at the end of a Lost finale, no. That’s not to say there won’t be new characters next year; but this finale is about the characters we’ve introduced. HOROWITZ | And there may be some old characters seen in a new way.
TVLINE | What gamut of emotions will viewers be going through during, say, the final 60 seconds? KITSIS |All of them. HOROWITZ | Our hope is that in those final moments, there is a combination of satisfaction and also intense surprise. KITSIS | The emotion you’ll be feeling is, “Holy, holy, holy s—t.”
The Beatles have been mentioned on Mad Men in the past, but this week they managed to have a Beatles song played during the show. While Matthew Weiner has denied the exact figure, there has been speculation that it cost around $250,000 to get the rights to play Tomorrow Never Knows during the episode. Different articles on the subject quoted prices between $50,000 and $100,000 as typical for getting song rights for a television show. If Mad Men is going to provide a strong presentation of the 1960′s, it makes sense to pay what it takes to include the Beatles, considering how important they were to music of the era.
The big question after last week’s episode, beyond how they got the rights to a Beatles song, was why Rory Gilmore would hook up with Pete Campbell. Pete showed how creepy he could be when he returned to her house with her husband, but at least this was not as bad as when he tried with that high school student in a recent episode. You would think he would be satisfied with Alison Brie.
The Avengers showed considerable destruction in Manhattan (with much of it occurring just down the block from a hotel on 5th Avenue where I had stayed a few years ago). The Hollywood Reporter obtained the opinion Kinetic Analysis Corp., one of the leading disaster-cost prediction and assessment firms in the nation, as to the cost of the damage:
In an exclusive report for THR, KAC, led by Chuck Watson and Sara Jupin, employed computer models used for predicting the destruction of nuclear weapons and concluded that the physical damage of the invasion would be $60 billion-$70 billion, with economic and cleanup costs hitting $90 billion. Add on the loss of thousands of lives, and KAC puts the overall price tag at $160 billion.
For context, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks cost $83 billion, Hurricane Katrina cost $90 billion, and the tsunami in Japan last year washed away $122 billion.
Although many buildings in the fight’s East Midtown arena suffered extensive structural damage, most were limited to the more superficial destruction of windows, facade and some interiors. Those buildings that had their tops crushed, though, would be especially costly and time-consuming to fix, as would be Grand Central Station, through which a warship crashed.
“The extensive damage to Grand Central Terminal could prove highly disruptive, depending on the subsurface damage to the subway system,” KAC notes. “Although such damage is unlikely, as the 9/11 events showed, collapsing buildings can cause significant damage to subsurface infrastructure such as gas, communications and electrical systems. Detailed site surveys will be required to assess the state of the subterranean infrastructure.”
KAC also predicts that liability would be a major issue. Who, exactly, will have to pay for the damage? S.H.I.E.L.D., they note, is likely protected as a government agency, though probes eventually will look into its role in predicting, preventing and responding to the invasion — just as they looked into the Ghostbusters.
“Most insurance policies have special provisions for acts of war, civil unrest or terrorism,” KAC adds. “Given the involvement of individuals considered deities in some cultures (Thor, Loki), there is even the potential to classify the event as an ‘act of God,’ though that designation would be subject to strenuous theological and legal debate.”
Watson said he was surprised by a lower-than-expected total. “Compared to the aliens in Independence Day, for example, these guys were amateurs,” he told THR. “Of course, the Chitauri/Loki alliance were more interested in conquest and ruling, whereas the ID aliens were just looking for lunch or something.”
Craig Ferguson is returning to Scotland for a week of shows. From the promo it looks like he might have used a TARDIS to get there.
Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have left the TARDIS. Here is a video of them leaving the set of Doctor Who for the last time. Jenna-Louise Coleman will be taking over. Steven Moffat has commented on the next companion, and what type of person becomes a companion:
Moffat has said that while the new character will “shock”, there will be familiar elements. He said: “I’ll answer you in the show about how it’s going to be different. But because it is going to be different. It’s going to be a shock, I think. In terms of the companions all being ‘the same’ – that’s not as phony or artistically crap a thing to say as it sounds.
“What is the base group of people who would run away with the Doctor? They’re all going to be a bit mad. A bit dislocated. Not happy with where they are. Are they yearning for outer space? They’re going to be people who feel like they can take on the Doctor, who’s quite an intimidating sort of person. So, they’re going to be feisty – they’re going to be all those things. He sort of defines the people who are going to travel with him. The distinction comes very much from the various actors and actresses. So, you know, they’re the ones who create the differences between them. But you are always going to have the same sort of person, just because it’s the same man choosing them, and it”s the same person being chosen.”
Moffat also addressed the trend for the companions usually being young women. He said: “I think the function of a companion is pretty simple. I don’t think that’s very difficult. It’s just a question of who credibly is going to agree to go in the TARDIS? Who’s going to do it? Is it going to be a mother of 15 children? No. Is it going to be someone in their 60s? No. Is there going to be a particular age range? I mean… who’s going to have a crush on the Doctor? You know, come on! It’s more than a format. It’s evolved from good, dramatic reasons.”
This has not been a good time for renewal of genre shows on network television. Fringe is coming back for one final abbreviated season but shows including Alcatraz and Awake are not returning. Community also returns for a short season. While there is not official word as to whether this will be its final season, moving the show to Friday probably places it at greater risk.
With only two more episodes of Fringe this season, Worlds Apart made huge advances in this year’s arc. Fortunately the show has been renewed for a thirteen episode season next year, most likely so that there will be more than one-hundred episodes for syndication. Knowing that there are thirteen episodes to go will allow the writers to provide a meaningful ending for the show as opposed to a rushed conclusion added to the end of this season. Here is a promo for the final season:
In Worlds Apart we learned more about David Robert Jones’ plans to create a new world with the collapse of the two earths upon each other. The episode also brought back Nick Lane, who was in the Cortexiphan trials with Olivia. Knowledge of the back stories on Fringe was necessary to appreciate this episode. We’ve seen intermittent flash backs to the days when Walter and William Bell were doing experiments, which were apparently motivated to create soldiers to defend our earth in an anticipated war between the two earths. Shape shifters were developed on the other side with the same motivation. While I am not entirely satisfied with how it happened, this season showed that the use of the machine (also intended by Walternate to destroy our earth) led to a situation in which the alternate earth is healing and there is no longer conflict between the two sides. Jones, however, has now taken advantage of the weapons developed in this preparation for war for his own ends. Presumably Jones remains a threat which will be dealt with in the two-part season finale.
When the initial attempts to stop Jones failed, a decision was made to turn off the machine and sever the connection between the two earths. This raises questions as to whether turning off the machine will leave each side the same except without this means of crossing over, or if there will be other changes. Walter and Walternate questioned if this might make Peter disappear again. I doubt the would make major changes this late in the season, but another possibility might be that everything would return to how it was before the machine was turned on last season, with both earths on the brink of war.
The episode did wrap up a subplot from this season. Lincoln Lee was clearly infatuated with Olivia, and when she reunited with Peter, Lincoln got the opportunity to meet Altlivia. He decided to go to the alternate universe to be with Altlivia, a decision Peter clearly understood. I wonder if we will see the two of them again in the alternate universe. While the Fringe team lost their easy means of getting there, other means of crossing over were present in past episodes, so this might not be the last time we wee the alternate Fringe team. It is also possible to have scenes on the other side without anyone crossing over. I do hope that we do see more of the alternate earth.
Awake is at its weakest as a police procedural show. The two police cases this week on Game Day were not terribly compelling. The importance of the cases was that they showed Britten how there can be slight differences between the two realities leading to different results. In football, a field goal attempt may or may not be successful, leading to different winners (and different crimes). The ramifications of this became important in his personal life. He learned that Rex’s girlfriend Emma got pregnant before the accident killing his wife, and subsequently had a miscarriage. Back in the other world, Britten realized that although Rex was dead, Emma could still be pregnant with his child, and it was possible that there was no miscarriage. Finding that Emma was still pregnant with Rex’s child will certainly change things for the Brittens, most likely ending their plans to move to Oregon.
I hesitate to speculate too much on questions as to whether one or the other reality is actually real as I’m not convinced the writers have a real game plan for the show. Different arguments can be made based upon different episodes. This episode suggests that both realities are equally valid as once again information from one is carried over into the other. On the other hand, there have been episodes in which things occurring before the accident were different in each reality, suggesting that only one could be the real one which Britten had lived in. A Life on Mars type explanation in which noting is real might be the easiest way to settle such contradictions.
If Britten does not move to Oregon, the plans to call off the hit on him by the people responsible for the accident appears to be back on, providing further drama. However, why was this never an issue in the world where Rex remains alive and Britten never planned to move to Oregon? Perhaps the reality in which his life lived is the “real” world in which he was set up for the accident, but he also jumps to another pre-existing reality where some things were different, and perhaps the accident really was an accident.
This picture is not a fake. It appears to show the Doctor (Matt Smith) with the Beatles. Is Matt Smith actually a time traveler? Steven Moffat’s reaction to the picture on Twitter: “Bloody hell!!! Clearly we’re going to make that episode!! Wonder what it will be like.”
How’s this video for mixing up the robots from Doctor Who and Star Wars?
It has become a tradition for the nineteenth episode of Fringe to break from the usual narrative, but this one could be a real game changer. Letters of Transit takes place in a future in which the Observers have taken over, the Fringe division officially exists to police the natives, and some Fringe agents are secretly involved in a rebellion. The episode raises questions as to whether this is the direction Fringe is moving in or if this is just one of many possible futures.Have the Observers been actually working to set this up, or maybe was this a previously unintended response to their meddling. The ending raises a number of more specific questions. Where was Olivia? Presumably she had died previously per the previous warnings. Why was William Bell, who we have been led to believe was also dead in the changed timeline, also in the Amber and exactly why did Walter respond to him as he did? We previously learned of the negative consequences of Peter and Altlivia having a child. What about the daughter? Presumably Etta is resistant to mind reading by the Observers due to inherited abilities from her mother. It was a fantastic episode to watch, and could be enjoyed by those who are not following the series regularly, but it remains to be seen as to how it fits into the series.
Many more pictures from Doctor Who in New York are on line, along with spoilers as to what occurs. There have been rumors that Rory is sent back in time by the Weeping Angels and is not found until he is an old man, and we see him die. Does Amy go back to be with him? There have been reports of the Doctor yelling at someone not to do something while filming. The cast has returned to Cardiff where the location of the filming might be related to these rumors:
Doctor Who and Sherlock have inspired a lot of fan art. A couple examples are above and far more are posted here.
TV Guide interviewed Natalie Dormer about her role as Margaery on Game of Thrones:
You’re best known in the U.S. as Ann Boleyn on The Tudors. You’ve become quite the go-to girl for period drama on cable!
Natalie Dormer: [Laughs] My range does exchange beyond that. But I hear it’s a commonality to jump between HBO and Showtime and vice versa, so I take it as a compliment really.
How would you describe your character Margaery?
Dormer: She’s very genuine, she’s old beyond her age. Through her family, she’s always been educated and trained to be a political operator and play the cards for her family the best that she can for their ambition. There are comparisons you could make with my experience playing Ann Boleyn in that regard. The big difference between playing Margaery and the machinations and politics of court in playing Ann Boleyn is that Margaery a lot more of a genuine, sincere, straight-playing woman. As compared to Cersei, there’s quite a Machiavellian element to her. Margaery has a pure heart. She’s trying to do the best she can for her brother, for her house and for the good of the people, what she thinks is best for the realm.
The same is true for Loras, the Knight of Flowers, that sort of optimistic, liberal feel from the South. Michelle Fairley as Catelyn says “They’re the Knights of Summer, and winter is coming.” She feels sorry for them because they do come from a more positive, liberal attitude, environment and culture as they do in King’s Landing. I think it’ll be very interesting when the cultures collide.
In the last episode, you have a scene where you have to try to seduce your husband Renly…
Dormer: That was the first scene I shot. I was having a good laugh with the creators of the show, David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], that it was a nice initiation to Game of Thrones. It was a bit cruel that they had to schedule it that way, but they denied all knowledge of the scheduling. I hadn’t met Gethin Anthony before, and obviously his being a veteran from the last season, he was very generous, very welcoming. The family spirit on the show is quite amazing considering the sheer number of cast [members]… You’re a new character, and there are lots of new characters for the second season. There’s this ethos on the show that starts with David and Dan and it works its way down. I was made to feel very welcome immediately, which was much appreciated on quite a delicate scene to begin with.
What can you tell us about a scene you have with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) in the upcoming Sunday’s episode?
Dormer: I knew Aidan before joining Thrones and I think he’s an absolutely incredible actor. His creation of Littlefinger is exciting and impressive. It’s a testament to Aidan’s skill as an actor that he has managed to create this fascinating character that viewers just adore to watch how he operates. I was very excited to begin Margaery’s relationship with Littlefinger because even though she is a woman and even though she is so very young, because of the way she was brought up and the world she comes from, she’s an old spirit. Littlefinger would make a mistake in underestimating such a young, innocent woman in the game of thrones. So it was very interesting to raise my bar as an actress to play opposite an actor such as Aidan the way Margaery knows she’s going to have to raise her skills and her bar in being able to interact with Littlefinger. Maybe there’s a little bit of life imitating art there.
Were you familiar with the books and Margaery before auditioning for the part?
Dormer: I wasn’t familiar with the books… I think every actor on the show makes the decision whether to [read them] or not. Even though the first season was incredibly accurate to the book, there’s the suggestion that in the future, because of the enormity of the scope of the books and the characters we already have in place on the show, that it might not be easy to be 100 percent so faithful to the books in the future. Not necessarily in the character story lines but in what we’re able to see. I had the advantage of not really knowing who Margaery was previous to going in, so I did my interpretation on how the creators saw her…
Did the costumers want you to be cold as possible? That neckline plunged to your navel!
Dormer: Oh man, yes, absolutely. It was freezing. It’s a shame. I think it was on the back of your Hurricane Irene or something, but the tail end of it came across The Atlantic and it hit the north coast of Ireland so hard. It was scheduled to happen earlier in the month when it was slightly sunnier, but because of problems with the weather, we had pushed shooting that scene. So it was really probably about fall by the time we shot it. In an ideal world, we should have been where Emilia [Clarke, who plays Daenerys] was in Croatia. That tournament scene was just unfortunate. From my experience of shooting Tudors on the island of Ireland, you cannot predict the weather. I had a lot of costume girls running over to me with hot water bottles and blankets. They were very dutiful and took great care of me.
What would best represent you on your own personal sigil?
Dormer: It’s funny you should say that because I could answer that straightaway. It’s a twist of fate. When I was a little girl, my grandfather who I was very close to used to grow yellow roses. He had yellow roses growing all the way up his drive. I remember watching him [raise] them when I was a little girl. I always used to joke when I was playing Ann Boleyn — the Tudor roses are white and red because they’re the amalgamation of the two houses during the civil war in England — I used to say, “The roses are in my life because of The Tudors, but I love yellow roses.” And it was just a twist of fate that the Tyrell’s sigil is the yellow rose. I took it as a sign at the time that I was destined to play Margaery because I’ve always had a thing for yellow roses. Now I actually have one as a sigil. It was a twist of fate.
If you sat on the Iron Throne, what would be your first edict? Dormer: Worldwide emancipation for women, equality for the sexes in all areas.
On Community, Annie entered the Dreamatorium with Abed and became Temporary Constable Geneva to Inspector Spacetime. Video clip above.
Doctor Who has been filming in New York City this week, including the Doctor running through Central Park (video above).
Karen Gillan got on Twitter last week. When I found about it two hours after she began on Thursday she already had over 27,000 followers and now has over 70,000. According to tweets by Arthur Darvill, Karen failed to adjust her email settings, burning out her phone battery with notifications of all the new followers. Today Karen tweeted a picture with Brent Spinner and below is a picture of her tweeting with Arthur Darvill looking on.
This week Awake failed to move further away from the police procedural as they did with last week’s penguins and other scenes questioning reality, but Ricky’s Taco’s did have its moment. While not as well done as last week’s That’s Not My Penguin, the voice at Ricky’s Tacos was more difficult to explain as Britten hadn’t been drugged before hearing them. Was this just something thrown into the story, is Britten going crazy and hearing things, or are there outside forces at work and communicating with him? The conspiracy which set up the accident has been disliked by fans writing about the show. I don’t mind if they have a subplot involving this, but not if it is just a random scene thrown into an episode as we’ve seen so far. It is interesting that Captain Harper tried to call off the hit on Britten after he resigned with plans to move away to Oregon.
The final episode of Titanic airs tonight, with ABC catching up the United States audience last night. While she did appear in the first two episodes, the third concentrates far more on Jenna-Louise Coleman’s character.
On Fringe, Family Man showed that, like our Walter, alt-Broyles was willing to go to great lengths to try to save his son. Before the change in the time lines his character was killed, and in the new time line he winds up in prison. At least he didn’t go through with the plot by David Robert Jones which might have collapsed both universes. I can’t help but wonder what Jones thinks would happen to him if he succeeded. Next week appears to be another Observer episode, this time in the future.
A sequel (or perhaps prequel) to Sin City is finally going ahead with casting now underway. Above are pictures of Jessica Alba and Alexis Bledel from the original.
Here is a trailer of a Loopers, an upcoming science fiction movie with an interesting premise:
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented — but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a looper — a hired gun, like Joe — is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self for assassination.
It doesn’t have the potential for a time paradox like going back in time to kill your own self or grand parent–unless Joe’s future self responds to the situation by trying to kill the person trying to kill him (his past self). Could be good, unless it is simply a chase/action movie with a science fiction back story.
Natalie Dormer, who often appeared nude on The Tudors, joins the rampant nudity on Game of Thrones starting tonight. She has certainly demonstrated that she can handle such a role well. But why is there so much nudity on Game of Thrones? Check out this video for an explanation from Saturday Night Live. HBO announced last week that Game of Thrones has been renewed for a third season and I think it is safe to predict it will be around for several years considering the success of the show and the amount of material present in the book series.
Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, has requested to leave the show after the third season so she can return to movies and the stage. There had already been talk of a funeral for next season and assuming that was written before Smith’s request this might mean a second. Her death would be the most plausible way to write her out of the series.
People who interpret the Mayan calendar as indicating the end of the world in December 2012 are mistaken. It is now clear that the Mayans were just noting the transition from Karen Gillan to Jenna-Louise Coleman on Doctor Who. We have some more information about the process of casting Jenna. Material has been posted on line from part of the audition of Jenna-Louise Coleman for her role as the new companion. The material, taken from Doctor Who Magazine, appears to be Jenna acting out a scene with Matt Smith:
The Doctor and Jasmine are investigating a haunted house.
DOCTOR: So you saw it coming in here? What did it look like?
JASMINE: Grey. Sort of dusty. Like it was made of spider webs.
D: And it came through the wall.
J: Yeah, that wall there.
D: But you don’t think it was a ghost. Why not?
J: Because there’s no such thing as ghosts.
D: You know, a lot of people who saw what you saw wouldn’t still think that.
J: Obviously. Otherwise there wouldn’t be idiots who believe in ghosts.
D: What were you doing here?
J: I love this place. It’s… beautiful.
D: It’s falling apart.
J: It’s old. I love old things, they make me feel sad.
D: What’s good about sad?
J: It’s happy for deep people. You’d know.
D: I’m not sad.
J: Oh, you are though. Under all that talking and leaping about. Takes one to know one.
D: So you come here for… recreational sadness?
J: Yeah. In a way. Okay, why are you looking at me like that?
D: You remind me of an old friend of mine. Someone I lost a long time ago.
J: Down boy. I’m not her.
D: Oh, I know you’re not – I don’t believe in ghosts either.
J: Oh my God, what’s that?
D: Okay, just stay calm.
J: But that’s the thing I saw before.
D: Yep, and it’s coming towards us. I expect you noticed that. Say it with me – I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!
D: Louder! I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!! Will this work?
D: No idea, never met a ghost before.
Whatever this is, Moffat has said that Jasmine won’t be the character’s actual name on the show:
“Two things before you read it. Her name is NOT Jasmine. I don’t like the name Jasmine (sorry all Jasmines, I didn’t mean you) so I knew I’d never use it for real. And also, you might notice there’s a line snuck in from Blink. One of those self-consciously clever, writer-showing-off lines that anyone stuck working with me better get used to.
“So here’s a spoiler from a future that is never going to happen. This is the scene we saw Matt and Jenna perform in a dull little room in the basement of the BBC, which changed the future of Doctor Who. Now remember, this is nonsense, none of this is going to happen, no clues or hints. Think of it as series of hurdles we placed in front of an actress to check her jumping skills.”
After months of rumors (spread by Steven Moffat and Sophia Myles via Twitter), Sophia Myles now says she is not returning to Doctor Who, at least in the near future:
“Steven [Moffat] and I did talk about Doctor Who and I honestly feel – and I think he feels the same – that The Girl in the Fireplace was so special, I really doubt we could do something better together on that show. It was just so perfect and I would rather leave it at that, ” she explains in the latest Doctor Who Magazine.
“If I was to come back to Doctor Who, I don’t think it should be as [Madame de Pompadour]… but it would just ruin it to come back as anything else.”
However, Myles doesn’t completely rule out another role.
“Maybe when I’m old and don’t look anything like her. I’d like to come back in 20 or 30 years’ time as a baddy, and cause some trouble! But as for anything imminently? No. I think that would be inappropriate.
This might be a major spoiler (or perhaps major misdirection) from the first episode of the next season of Doctor Who: Reportedly a prop was seen of divorce papers for Amy and Rory. There are also reports of them getting along well in scenes from episode 3, so if true early-season conflict between the two might get resolved.
The big thing we learned about the alternate universe on Fringe is that they have different superheroes, and no Batman. It was obvious that Agent Lee was interested in Olivia in our universe. Now that she is reunited with Peter, is he heading into a relationship with Fauxlivia?
On Awake, Britten wound up working with Dr. Lee on a police case (although part of their contact was real, and part induced by a drug–or was Britten having hallucinations and losing his mind?). It might have been more interesting if they had Britten run into Dr. Lee in the time line where he sees the other psychiatrist and Dr. Lee doesn’t know that Britten knows him. Of course we’ve seen that sometimes things are quite closely the same in both time lines, and sometimes individual’s lives are quite different, so Dr. Lee may or may not be around as a police psychiatrist in the other time line. From the previews, it looks like next week gets back to the conspiracy around the auto accident which precipitated events.
Las Vegas considered building a full sized replica of the Enterprise in 1992. The story came out last week and can be seen here.
The Hugo Award nominees have been announced. Nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) include three episodes of Doctor Who and one episode of Community.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (512 ballots) “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales) “The Drink Tank‘s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation) “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales) “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales) “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)
Television shows typically are recognized by the Hugo Awards based upon individual episode. Game of Thrones misses out under that criteria. The entire first season was actually one long story, but it is hard to pick an individual episode. Instead the first season was nominated under Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form):
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) (592 ballots) Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel) Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.) Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount) Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)
It is difficult to compare an entire season of a television show to a single movie. Perhaps they should divide into three categories, one for individual episodes of television shows and other short form presentations, one for movies, and a new category for genre television shows.
Marvel Studios isn’t waiting to see how “The Avengers” does in theaters later this year. Following in the footsteps of “Thor,” the studio Friday announced it’s moving forward with a sequel to its 2011 hit “Captain America,” prepping it for a 2014 release.
Keeping the film canon with “The Avengers,” Chris Evans will take on the title role in the present, and not during World War II like the previous film. The events at the end of the first “Captain America” film, along with some storyline in the upcoming “Avengers” movie, bring super soldier Steve Rogers to the present.
The first Captain America film is of increased interest being the film debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman. A picture of her in the movie was previously posted here.
Although not airing in the United States until next weekend, I did get a hold the first two episodes of Titanic. Some of the information posted about the mini-series on line was incorrect. Some reports claimed that Jenna-Louise Coleman doesn’t appear until the third episode but actually she was present in the first two. Perhaps she has a larger role in the third. Some early reviews also described the mini-series as each episode involving different characters, leading up to the ship sinking at the end of each hour. It is correct that each episode leads up to the Titanic sinking, but there is tremendous overlap between the characters. The second episode introduced new characters and didn’t include all the characters from the first episode, but it did provide more information about some of the major characters from the first episode.
The mini-series, written by Julian Fellowes, does have much of the same style as Fellowes’ show Downton Abbey. One difference is that the some among the wealthy are far less sympathetic characters–and in some cases their servants are even nastier.
As for Downton Abbey, there are spoilers for the third season:
What can “Downton Abbey” fans expect when the PBS series starts its third season in January?
“Matthew and Mary do get married,” ”Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton said Wednesday at a Winter Park party. She previewed the British drama, which is in production, for supporters of WUCF TV, Central Florida’s new PBS station.
In the new “Downton” season, everyone is waiting for the arrival of the mother of Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), a character played by Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine. They’re waiting for MacLaine’s character because the British family, especially Violet (Oscar-winner Maggie Smith), needs money again, Eaton said.
“There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine — Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever,” Eaton said. “And Maggie barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes.”
Eaton supplied more teases: “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it. It’s the 1920s now.”
The obvious speculation is that the birth will be a child for Matthew and Mary, especially as it is confirmed that they will marry. There are other possibilities. Perhaps Bates makes it out of prison and starts a family with Anna. It is also possible that Lady Sybel might be having a child. Those interested in seeing Jessica Brown Findley in other roles might click here to see her in Albatros. (Beware, the scene is not safe for work, and the Crawley family would really be shocked to see her flashing in this scene).
The cast of Downton Abbey includes Hugh Bonneville, who has appeared on Doctor Who. Alex Kingston has a role on the second season of the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs (coincidentally also playing an archeologist). I was aware that Jean Marsh, who has been on the original and remake of Upstairs, Downstairs, has appeared in Doctor Who and was curious as to whether many other actors have appeared on both shows. I was surprised by the length of the list, which can be seen here.
The second season of Upstairs, Downstairs won’t air in the United States until 2013 and is well worth watching. The season takes place as conflict escalates between Germany and Great Britain just before World War II, giving it a much more modern feel compared to the original, or compared to Downton Abbey.
There was a lot of secrecy surrounding the choice of Jenna-Louise Coleman to become the next companion on Doctor Who. They also love anagrams, such as coming up with Torchwood, which is an anagram of Doctor Who. Jenna had to tell people she was auditioning for a show called Men on Waves, an anagram of Woman Seven (for seventh series):
“I wasn’t allowed to say it was Doctor Who at any point – not talking to my agent, not when I arrived at the audition, and I certainly couldn’t tell anyone at all what I was up to next,” the 25-year-old actress says, admitting that she was surprised at how good a fibber she became.
“When she was auditioning, Karen Gillan had been given a codename – Panic Moon, which is an anagram of Companion – so I worked out that Men on Waves is an anagram of Woman Seven, because this is the seventh series. Weirdly, seven is my lucky number and this is my seventh job.”
Jenna also told RadioTimes that she was named after Jenna Wade from Dallas.
Steven Moffat says another Doctor Who spin-off is unlikely at present. That isn’t very surprising as there aren’t any current situations which would make good spin-offs, and Moffat is already busy with two shows. Perhaps if both Amy and Rory survive their final encounter with the Weeping Angels, which doesn’t sound likely, he could write a sit-com similar to Coupling about them. No, not very likely to happen.
MCN: Is there anything more out of the Torchwood camp. I know you’re close with the people there…
CA: You know, Russell [Davies] is so busy. Obviously, we’re in touch with the BBC all the time. They are our partners on DaVinci’s Demons and the Harem project that you just mentioned. We told them, we stand by ready for any news, but I think it would be a while before Russell came back to Torchwood.
Nothing As It Seems returned to an old episode of Fringe in which things play out differently. Olivia is strangely unconcerned about losing her memories of the timeline she is actually living in, but the FBI wasn’t as complacent. In the end, they realized that an Olivia without much of her memory is still a more useful agent than most. Of course her memories of the other timeline could also provide valuable information if they continue to face the same menaces.
I have been disappointed in the current season because it seems to be ignoring the way in which the previous season played out, with the existence of both universes in jeopardy. The season concluded with Peter bringing the two universes together, presumably to work together, but this idea, along with Peter’s existence, was quickly forgotten. Next week returns to the alternative universe to investigate the shape shifters and show more of the hotter Altlivia. Perhaps at some point they will remember the major problem (or did changing the time lines make this less urgent?).
More importantly, Fringe‘s ratings rebounded on Friday. Most likely ratings were down the previous week due to a combination of having been on hiatus and coming back against the NCAA Tournament. Fox is also joining the twitter campaign to keep Fringe alive.
Netflix has decided against saving Terra Nova and the future of Fox’s other genre shows remains in doubt. Alcatraz completed its first, and possibly only, season. We learned some things such as that the Warden appears to be behind things (no surprise) and that the lead infusions are to track the prisoners who came from 1963. Rebecca appeared to die, but there is little doubt that she will come back to life should the series return. If the series does not return, I bet fans will be far more frustrated by the lack of more information about what is going on.
Disney often decorates their monorails for big events, and currently the monorail promotes the upcoming Avengers movie (video above). This is only being done on the Magic Kingdom monorails and not the monorail to Epcot. This might be because the Epcot Monorail takes a loop through the park. While Disney has purchased Marvel, currently Universal has the license to use Marvel characters within their theme parks.
The first ever official Doctor Who convention took place this weekend, and Steven Moffat discussed the event in the video above. More videos can be found here, here, and here.
The biggest news out of the convention is that the fifth episode next season, which has the final encounter with the Weeping Angels (and final appearance of Amy and Rory) will take place and be filmed in New York City. While in New York, the cast might feel at home in this TARDIS-themed bar which Karen Gillan mentioned in an interview.
Low-quality versions of trailer for the new season, taken while shown at the convention, have also been posted on many sites, as above. Hopefully we will have an official release early next week. Steven Moffat’s promotion of the season: “Amy and Rory leaving, tragedy, heartbreak and a Western, what more do you want out of Television. Come on Downton take that on!”
The biggest Doctor Who news of the week came on Wednesday before the convention with the naming of Jenna-Louise Coleman as the next assistant, beginning with the Christmas 2012 episode. The initial announcement, along with news on the upcoming season, were first posted here. In a follow-up post later in the day I had interviews with Jenna and Steven Moffat. A post on Thursday concentrated on her roles in Captain American and Titanic, along with advice from Matt Smith. On Friday we had the first official BBC picture of Jenna in front of the TARDIS, information on another series she is appearing in, Dancing on the Edge, and a report of links to an alleged sex tape with Jenna-Louise Coleman which actually lead to a malicious site. There’s also a brief video of what Matt Smith might say to people searching for sex tapes of Jenna.
Steven Moffat spoke toRadio Times about Doctor Who and Sherlock. He dismissed internet rumors that Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing the Master and reports that he has not started writing season three of Sherlock yet:
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has dismissed reports that Benedict Cumberbatch is to play the villainous Master on the sci-fi series.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the Royal Television Society awards, Moffat said: “People really do sit in rooms and make that stuff up. Look at the filming schedules for Doctor Who and Sherlock – those two shows tend to shoot at the same time. We’d have a problem and there’s only so much I can arrange.”
But he then added, as a quick afterthought: “But who knows what could happen in the future…”
Moffat also told RadioTimes.com about plans for the forthcoming series of Doctor Who. Asked whether there would be a large story arc running through the episodes, or if we could expect self-contained adventures, he said: “As ever, there’s a bit of both. But this time we’re moving closer to stand-alone stories. At this point, we’re not planning any two-parters. So, every week is going to be like a different mad movie.”
He added: “We went quite ‘arc’ last time and we’re going stand-alone this time around. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those things creeping in. You’ve got to find a way to make the last episode special, and by God that worked ratings-wise last year. We don’t want to abandon that idea.”
Asked for any teasers he could offer, the ever-evasive Moffat replied: “Watch out for the title of episode two. I think that’s a belter. It’s one of my favourite titles ever.”
As for his other hit BBC1 series, the detective drama Sherlock, Moffat had this to say about series three: “Mark [Gatiss] and I have planned it out. We haven’t started writing it yet because I’ve got God knows how many episodes of Doctor Who to get sorted first. But the way it works with Sherlock is that we starve you and then we give you a short burst and then we starve you again. It’s worked so far, we’re not going to change it.”
On the scheduling of future episodes, Moffat said: “I don’t actually know. Given that this is a show that I haven’t started writing yet, it’s a bit early to suggest scheduling. Once we hand them over, they’ll be on television quite quickly.”
Emma Stone talked about her initial reluctance to appear in Spider-Man:
“I heard about Spider-Man and I didn’t think it was something I would want to be a part of. I just thought that probably isn’t right for me. Then I [auditioned with Andrew Garfield] and realized that this was a really interesting, fantastic relationship between two people and that I was being really closed-minded,” she said.
The actress, who wore her naturally blonde hair for the part, went on to discuss how her character finally changed her mind about the film: “[I] started learning more about Gwen Stacy and her history and just fell in love with the character and with the fans, too. I started reading forums and getting involved more in the comic book universe and it just became something I really wanted to be a part of, just because of all those elements.”
You went from playing a literary character in The Help who was in a much beloved book with its own kind of following, to a comic book character who’s iconic and has this rabid following. Was there a big difference for you between those characters and how they’re treated by their fans?Well of course the characters themselves are incredible different and there seems to be a different fan base between Spider-Man fans and fans of The Help. There are conventions for Spider-Man fans and there aren’t for The Help fans, although I would love to see a convention of The Help fans. It could be like the big Lebowski Fest. But they’re two tonally different worlds to me even though they both had such a rabid following. There’s a difference just in terms of bringing the material to life. There are different incarnations of Gwen Stacy and of Peter Parker throughout comic book history, all these different storylines to pull from depending on what kind of script you’re going to patch together. With The Help, it was such a distinct story that kind of needed to be matched line for line in a way. It felt different just in terms of becoming part of it and the way the material was adapted. But I’m so excited to be part of a movie with a built-in fan base in that way. You go to Comic-Con and there’s so much passion in one room. Everybody’s so passionate about these characters and how they’ve affected their own loves. It’s a really cool thing as an actor to know that you’re part of something that’s so much bigger than you. You’re not creating it from the ground up, you’re trying to fill the shoes of someone that’s been around a lot longer than you. It’s really exciting. I love that aspect of it.>
Why do you think the producers and writers went with Gwen instead of Mary Jane?Well, Gwen’s story happened before Mary Jane’s, and I think that coming back to their roots, it was interesting to explore the woman who came before Mary Jane. I think she’s such a definitive part of Peter Parker’s relationship with Mary Jane ultimately, who is literally the polar opposite in personality of Gwen Stacy. I think just building that into Peter’s life and seeing that story from the very beginning was really interesting. And of course Gwen’s story is so beautiful and important to that story of Spider-Man that I think they wanted to come from that angle at this time.
There might be less to report about the upcoming Star Trek movie as J.J. Abrams has built a wall around the set for secrecy.
I remain shocked that JJ Abrams destroy Vulcan in his Star Trek movies. That would be like eliminating Gallifrey and most of the Time Lords on Doctor Who.Oh, never mind.
This week’s episode of Fringe, A Short Story About Love, cleared up Peter’s confusion about the meaning of a changed time-line. When Peter began searching for a way to get home, and rejected the Olivia in this time line even when she gained memories of “his” Olivia, I questioned this. Peter was treating the changed time line as if it was another form of alternative universe, but a changed time line would imply that it is the same universe in which things have changed. Olivia would be the same Olivia, but with different experiences due to the changes in the time line. Although I was thinking these things while watching, I also considered the possibility maybe Peter could be right as we really don’t have established rules for dealing with different time lines. Last night we found out that the interpretation I first had was actually correct, and Peter had been wrong. Peter also realized that reuniting with the Olivia in this time line was fine–not like sleeping with the hotter Olivia from the alternative universe (especially as we found out in the previous episode that having a baby with Altlivia led to bad consequences).
Awake didn’t address the show’s mythology this week, but once again showed a character whose life was different in each world even before the accident. Again this rules out the possibility of the universe splitting into two different paths at the time of the accident (unless we really get complex and have time move in both directions, which would be way too confusing).
Mad Men returns tonight. Here are some stories about the show:
Matthew Weiner spoke about Betty Draper’s reduced role and things which fans might hate in an interview with Huffington Post.
Stephanie Newman looked at what Mad Men might look like if it took place today. (Wouldn’t that defeat the whole idea of the show?)
Leonard Nimoy appears on The Big Bang Theory. Hopefully he does more than lend his voice to the toy version of himself (which might be the case considering how he only appeared in cartoon form in his last appearance on Fringe.) Following is an ad for the episode:
And, on the topic of toys based upon science fiction shows:
This week’s episode of Awake, Guilty, did little to progress the mythology of the show, but did address how Michael’s son and wife were coping with the loss of the other in each reality. There was no further mention of the ending from last week regarding the car crash. Things were very similar in both worlds–so much so that Michael could use sleeping pills to go to sleep and find out where a falsely convicted man had a hiding place in the dessert after his counterpart was killed in one realilty. Having things be so similar, including both having hide outs in the same location, was a different situation from last week when the same person was a fertility specialist in one reality and a homeless man in the other. The previews suggest that next week’s episode will again have a character who is different in each reality.
Awake actor Jason Issacs says over the next several episodes, the series will begin to examine some of the implications of Michael’s ability to fall asleep and change from one reality to the next.
That examination will begin with tonight’s episode when something happens to his teenage son in one universe and Michael takes extreme methods to try and go to the other to find clues that may help him get his son back.
Issacs says he came on the idea that Michael could take sleeping pills in order to fall asleep in one universe and wake up in the other.
“That was my idea – “Please let me take a fistful of pills” – and Howard Gordon went, “Great idea.” And there it was on the page next day,” Issacs says. There are not that many stories in the world, so it’s always about execution, and taste, and tone. And you very smartly put your finger on one of the hats that’s in the ring – how many interesting and different ways can we think of to make him pass out and go to sleep? There’s a bunch of people in that writers building that you’d like to be on a desert island with, because they continue to get more and more creative as the series goes on. They spread their wings until they’re just flying.”
Issacs says that idea will extend into next week’s episode and the question of Michael losing consciousness in one reality will shift him to the other.
“Any drop in consciousness. There’s an episode coming up where we play with every permutation of what you can do with this guy. You know that old showbiz maxim, “Nobody buys a ticket to watch the village of the happy people”? We send this guy to hell and back, and one way we play with him is to make him unconscious as often as possible, and we do it in every way you can dream of. Knocked out, getting medicated, being drugged against his will,” Issacs says.
HBO has released the synopses for the first five episodes of Game of Thrones:
Season 2, Episode 1: “The North Remembers” (April 1)
“As Robb Stark and his northern army continue the war against the Lannisters, Tyrion arrives in King’s Landing to counsel Joffrey and temper the young king’s excesses. On the island of Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon plots an invasion to claim his late brother’s throne, allying himself with the fiery Melisandre, a strange priestess of a stranger god. Across the sea, Daenerys, her three young dragons and khalasar trek through the Red Waste in search of allies, or water. In the North, Bran presides over a threadbare Winterfell, while beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch must shelter with a devious wildling.”
Season 2, Episode 2: “The Night Lands” (April 8)
“In the wake of a bloody purge in the capital, Tyrion chastens Cersei for alienating the king’s subjects. On the road north, Arya shares a secret with Gendry, a Night’s Watch recruit. With supplies dwindling, one of Dany’s scouts returns with news of their position. After nine years as a Stark ward, Theon Greyjoy reunites with his father Balon, who wants to restore the ancient Kingdom of the Iron Islands. Davos enlists Salladhor Saan, a pirate, to join forces with Stannis and Melisandre for a naval invasion of King’s Landing.”
Season 2, Episode 3: “What Is Dead May Never Die” (April 15)
“At the Red Keep, Tyrion plots three alliances through the promise of marriage. Catelyn arrives in the Stormlands to forge an alliance of her own. But King Renly, his new wife Margaery and her brother Loras Tyrell have other plans. At Winterfell, Luwin tries to decipher Bran’s dreams.”
Season 2, Episode 4: “Garden of Bones” (April 22)
“Joffrey punishes Sansa for Robb’s victories, while Tyrion and Bronn scramble to temper the king’s cruelty. Catelyn entreats Stannis and Renly to forego their ambitions and unite against the Lannisters. Dany and her exhausted khalasar arrive at the gates of Qarth, a prosperous city with strong walls and rulers who greet her outside them. Tyrion coerces a queen’s man into being his eyes and ears. Arya and Gendry are taken to Harrenhal, where their lives rest in the hands of “The Mountain,” Gregor Clegane. Davos must revert to his old ways and smuggle Melisandre into a secret cove.”
Season 2, Episode 5: “The Ghost of Harrenhal” (April 29)
“The end of the Baratheon rivalry drives Catelyn to flee and Littlefinger to act. At King’s Landing, Tyrion’s source alerts him to Joffrey’s flawed defense plan and a mysterious secret weapon. Theon sails to the Stony Shore to prove he’s worthy to be called Ironborn. In Harrenhal, Arya receives a promise from Jaqen H’ghar, one of three prisoners she saved from the Gold Cloaks. The Night’s Watch arrive at the Fist of the First Men, an ancient fortress where they hope to stem the advance of the wildling army.”
The Fringe Team’s favorite Walterisms, collected at WonderCon in the video above.
Once Upon A Time had a new twist to the Little Red Riding Hood story. The TV Addict interviewed Meghan Ory about the twist in her role:
So how long have you know about the juicy nugget that you’re the big, bad wolf? MEGHAN: I’ve know for a little while. A few episodes in, the boys called me up and said, “Guess what? You’re the wolf!”
When you auditioned to the show, they didn’t say, “Hey, by the way . . . “? MEGHAN: They did not tell me. They did not. I think it might have changed a few things about my audition perhaps. But it was very exciting when I found out.
What did you think when they first told you? Did you think, “Oh no!” or “Oh, cool!”? MEGHAN: I was intrigued. I thought it was a really cool twist and something that most people probably wouldn’t see coming and it was kind of something different for the show too. So I was pretty excited about it.
Did it start informing your performance once you found out? As far as changing the way you were portraying Ruby? MEGHAN: A little bit. But not too much. I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with her. And also since we hadn’t seen the wolf in Storybrooke, it was more a Red thing, and we hadn’t seen Red that much.
Have they clued you in on whether Ruby can transform in Storybrooke, or is that part of the curse? That isn’t something she has to worry about? MEGHAN: Well, I think that’s going to be a very interesting story to find out about.
Jennifer Morrison talks about what is coming up on the show here.
In a post at The Guardian which is primarily about Mark Gattis joining Being Human, there are some comments about the cliff hanger to Sherlock (major spoiler for those who have not seen the season two finale:
Earlier this year Steven Moffat suggested that feverish fan theories as to how Holmes had faked his own death had missed one vital clue. So does Gatiss think the truth could now be out there? “There’s some very clever theories, some of them elaborate, and I enjoy them all. But if I were to tell you if someone had worked it out then it wouldn’t be a secret.” Which, of course, isn’t an answer. So I try again. Has somebody somewhere now worked it out? “It may be, sort of, in some of the theories. There’s a lot of very clever people out there … ”
Gatiss points to certain theories beyond his wildest imagination, and admits to being happily shocked by the frenzy that surrounded Holmes’ jump. “I’ve never known something become such a public talking point.” And one that shows little sign of abating. “It’ll be worth the wait,” he promises.
On the planned US Sherlock Holmes update, starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, he pauses for a moment. “All I can say … is no comment.”
According to the BBC’s in-house magazine, Sherlock won’t begin filming until early 2013, meaning that we won’t see a resolution to the cliff hanger until at least spring. We might not have that answer, but if anyone is wondering about Benedict Cumberbatch’s favorite songs, they can check here.
I am sure happy that Community has returned. It is the only sit-com to deal with topics including seven alternative realities, a parody of My Dinner With Andre, and paintball fights–plus in contrast to HBO, no horses were killed during the production of this show. Community remains on the bubble, but the ratings of the show compared to other NBC comedies leaves reason to be optimistic. While it might have benefited by all the hype surrounding its return, as well as not being up against The Big Bang Theory this week, Community has done better than 30 Rock and the first episode back beat most NBC shows:
This season, except all 18 episodes of The Office, all six episodes of Smash (following The Voice), three episodes of Shitney (1.01, 1.02 and 1.03, all after The Office), three episodes of Up All Night (1.01 (after the America’s Got Talent finale), 1.02 (time-period première) and 1.04) and the season premiere of Law & Order : Special Victim Unit, not a single scripted NBC show has done better than last Thursday’s Community episode.
The demographics of the viewers were also quite favorable. Favorable reviews, such as this one from The New York Times, is certainly helpful.
Community has also been picked up for syndication by the Comedy Channel. Another few years worth of episodes should make syndication even more lucrative. Huffington Post has a handy chart of all the relationships on the show.
With Jeff’s ties to both Annie and Britta, will there be any kind of development in either (or both) of those relationships this season?
There’s no romantic development really; there will be little things here and there. But as Dan has always done, he mixes up the couples all the time. It’s like being in a really close group of friends in high school – they keep pairing up in different ways. But because the group has to fend for its life against all these outside pressures–like the air conditioning repair school, Chang’s ascent to power with an army of 13-year-old boys he gets from a Bar Mitzvah, and the group gets expelled–those things have to be resolved first.
How long is the group expelled for?
They’re expelled forever. They all go work at a Jamba Juice together.
This has often been called the darkest season of ‘Community’ – any hints or teasers as to how things get darker in the coming episodes?
A few characters die, in a hilarious way – that’s dark. Troy and Abed get into a pretty big fight. There’s a full-scale blanket fort war. It’s not like it’s become macabre or scary, but it definitely gets darker than usual. But I think that’s where Dan and the other writers operate best. One of the most praised episodes of last season was the Dungeon and Dragons episode (“Advanced Dungeon and Dragons”), which dealt with a guy who was going to commit suicide. So I think the writers are happy to dance around the lasers right now.
Among other genre shows, Once Upon A Time is believed to have an excellent chance for renewal and Person of Interest was officially renewed in the past week. Over at Fox, Terra Nova has officially been cancelled while Alcatraz and Fringe remain in danger.
The movie version of 24 has been delayed, but now there are reports that it will be turned into a trilogy.
The second episode of Awake, The Little Guy, gave more hints as to the direction the show might be moving in. Like last week’s episode, much of the show involved slightly different events in each reality. In one, Hannah (the wife who survived in one reality and died in the other) investigated mail to their dead son and found that Rex had been secretly building a motorcycle with a friend. In the other world, Rex and his friend were still working on the motorcycle without Michael realizing it until Hannah told him about it in the other reality. Hannah of one reality also helped Michael with the information needed to wash Rex’s clothes in the other.
This episode provided clear examples of Michael finding out something in one reality which was pertinent to the other. This could be the case if everything was imaginary in Mikael’s head or if we are dealing with two different realities which split apart at the time of the accident.
There were some key differences between the two worlds. One is in the reaction of the psychiatrist in each to how Michael used information from one to help in the other, including in solving crimes. Dr. Evans was impressed by the manner in which (to her perspective) Michael was using his subconscious to solve problems. In contrast, Dr. Lee saw this as negative, believing the subconscious thoughts were unreliable.
Information from one reality did help Michael solve the murder of fertility specialist Benjamin Mackenzie by a teen (a little guy) who found that Mackenzie impregnated his mother with his own sperm. (Isn’t this always the case when a fertility specialist is seen on a crime show?) . In the other reality (where Dr. Lee questioned the use of the supposedly subconscious information) Mackenzie’s murder was not solved. In this world, Mackenzie had been murdered a month before (by a little guy) but Mackenzie was a homeless drug addict instead of a doctor.
While there are similarities between the two worlds with Mackenzie being murdered in each, it is a major finding that Mackenzie had a different life in each universe which would have begun before the auto accident. This could occur if everything is taking place in Michael Britten’s mind. This could not arise out of a situation where things split into two parallel worlds at the time of the accident as if this was the explanation Mackenzie would be the same in each reality at the time of the accident. Another possibility is that the accident is causing Michael to move back and forth between two parallel universes which were already in existence but where not everything was the same. (Perhaps one even has the twin towers still intact as on Fringe.)
In another major development, Laura Innes, who plays Michael Britton’s superior in the police department, met with another man who was revealed to have been responsible for the car crash which was intended to result in the death of Britton’s entire family. The actual accident was set up by a little man. Beyond revealing that the accident was not really a accident, this answers another question about the show–whether it is possible to have scenes showing events that Britton is unaware of. (This was not the only example, but is by far the most significant to reveal that there is a world beyond Britton’s thoughts). This meeting appears to take place in the Red World where his wife is still alive and the murder of Mackenzie was not solved, but could it possibly be taking place in a different “real world” if the two worlds we see with Michael Britton are both taking place in his mind? The reasons for trying to kill Britton provides another mystery which, while not as interesting as the underlying question of how there are two different realities, is an ongoing mystery which a reasonable story could be written about.
The third episode of the upcoming season of Doctor Who is being filmed in Spain. It is reportedly a western episode in which a “half-human half-robot Terminator-style beast which patrols a Victorian-era western town”. Ben Browder of Farscape will be appearing and there are also unconfirmed rumors that Sophia Myles (also rumored to replace Karen Gillan) appears. (Myles previously appeared in The Girl In The Fireplace, an episode written by Steven Moffat.)
The episode was written by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse and directed by Saul Metzstein of Upstairs Downstairs. There is also another connection between Doctor Who and Upstairs Downstairs. Alex Kingston, in addition to being in the second season of Upstairs Downstairs, plays an archeologist. Seeing “River Song” in pre-World War II England is certainly not implausible.
Two new trailers have been released for The Game of Thrones (videos above).
A long time has passed since we last saw Mad Men. The cast helps us catch up in the above video.
Terra Nova has been officially cancelled by Fox but there are reports that Netflix might be interested in continuing the show. Until Netflix develops a following for original programming, I think it does make sense to try to take advantage of the existing audience of shows which had reasonable ratings but didn’t survive on network television, as it is doing with Arrested Development. While I (and many others) have become accustomed to watching original programing on HBO, Showtime, AMC, and now even Starz, I would be far less likely to click on an original show on Netflix unless I heard a lot of favorable buzz. I think that I, and many other potential viewers, would be far more likely to watch a show we were already in the habit of watching before picked up by Netflix.
If Netflix really is interested, they better act quickly while the cast is still available. Christine Adams has already received a role in a pilot for ABC entitled Americana.
I hope that the announcement of the cancellation of Terra Nova means that this increases the chances that there will be a spot on next year’s schedule for Fringe and Alcatraz. There are reports that Fox might give Fringe a shortened season next year to wrap up the series as a short season would extend the series to at least one-hundred episodes, which is preferred for syndication.
The above video envisions the Benedict Cumberbatch version of Sherlock to the theme of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Emily Blunt, who appeared last year in The Adjustment Bureau, passed up on some other genre roles in superhero movies. She was asked about this in an interview in New York Magazine:
At one point, you were up for parts in Iron Man 2 and Captain America, but you passed. Would you ever want to do a superhero movie?
Usually the female parts in a superhero film feel thankless: She’s the pill girlfriend while the guys are whizzing around saving the world. I didn’t do the other ones because the part wasn’t very good or the timing wasn’t right, but I’m open to any kind of genre if the part is great and fun and different and a challenge in some way. I would love to do a comic-book movie or a science-fiction film that would scare the bejesus out of me. Maybe I need to be James Bond! I just did Looper, because it’s so original and breathtakingly cool. The time-travel aspect is just a backdrop to visit this heightened world, where you’re atoning for something and attempting to be more than you’ve been.
Carlton Cuse, show runner from Lost, is joining The Bate’s Motel, a prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho being prepared by A&E.
Stephen Hawking will be appearing on the April 5 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Will Sheldon try to tell Hawking about the physics errors he has made? Community returns this week!!!