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 Doctor Who now filming and the second season of Sherlock premiering in the United States tonight, there has been a lot of news about both shows. For those who have not seen it, Steven Moffat’s version of Sherlock is fantastic, regardless of whether you are a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. It is definitely worth watching for the next three weeks on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. I think that the second season was even better than the first. While all three episodes were excellent, like the first season the first and third episodes are the most significant.
Steven Moffat was interviewed in the United States by Fresh Air prior to the start of the second season of Sherlock on PBS. The interview was primarily directed towards American audiences who are not familiar with Sherlock and Doctor Who. Several of the questions involved casting, and one item of interest was that Matt Smith had interviews for the role of Watson before being chosen to play the Doctor. Moffat also had this to say about casting Matt Smith:
Everything else about a show, other than casting — however great or admirable or excellent it is — can only sort of really be admired. People don’t really have a relationship with great writing or great production or great art direction or great direction. They just sort of admire it. What people fall in love with, oddly enough, is other people. The difference between a beautifully made failure and a beautifully made hit is who you’ve got playing the leads. It really, seriously is. Is a nation going to fall in love with those people and want to see them week after week? And making that decision is tough. But it’s easier if you’ve got a great casting director. … In the case of Matt Smith as The Doctor, I’d be very, very adamant that we have an older Doctor — that he’d be in his 40s. I wasn’t going to have any young Doctors on my watch. And on the very, very first day — the very, very first day — he was the third one through the door. His audition was so perfect, any fool would have cast him. It was dead easy. And I remember asking, ‘What age is he?’ And he was 26 and instantly the perfect Doctor because he does do that thing of combining the old man and a young man. He looks like a young man assembled by old men from memory.”
On the importance of Watson:
“If you look at any good version of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson is every bit as important as Sherlock Holmes, and some would argue more so, because he’s our conduit to Sherlock Holmes. He’s the person to whom, in a way, the story happens. We are more emotionally resonant with Dr. Watson than with Sherlock Holmes because Sherlock Holmes is a hard man to empathize with.”
In contrast, the show is largely from Sherlock’s perspective:
“We always wanted it to be stylish. We didn’t want it to be like other television. We wanted it to have a film sense. Everybody says that about their TV show. Everyone says that. But then my wife got a hold of [director] Paul McGuigan, and he’s the one who brought the tremendous beauty to it. One of the things he said was, ‘You want to think Sherlock Holmes is behind the camera, too.’ You want to see the world as Sherlock Holmes sees it. And that informs his work on an awful lot of the show, to give you the Sherlock’s eye view of the world all the time.”
Moffat had this to say about his childhood:
“I’m a geek. I’m a writer. I spent all of my time in my childhood obsessing about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. I was alone, I was an outsider — what do you expect? I was that bullied kid at the back of the class weeping for loneliness. I don’t think, generally speaking, people become writers because they were the really good, really cool, attractive kid in class. I’ll be honest. This is our revenge for people who were much better looking and more popular than us. I was a bit like that, I suppose.”
Even though Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are becoming big stars, Moffat is confident that they will return for future series of Sherlock. The three episode a year formula gives them plenty of time for other projects and, just to be safe, Moffat has their families locked up in his basement. Cumberbatch, now filming on Star Trek, does not share Moffat’s objection to Elementary:
“As we already know with the Downey Jr movie franchise that there’s room enough for two [Sherlock Holmes projects], so why not three?” the actor said at a Q&A session in New York to promote Sherlock series two airing on PBS.
Cumberbatch added that he considers Trainspotting star Miller – with whom he starred in the play Frankenstein at the National Theatre – a “friend”.
“[Elementary will] be different and I don’t think it’ll take away the love for ours, and there’s no reason to be churlish or bitter about them or what they’re trying to do,” he said.
It appears that River (aka Melody Pond) will pose as a gangster named Melody Malone. More pictures (and spoilers) from the upcoming season can be seen here.Doctor Who TV also gathered items of interest from an interview with Steven Moffat in Doctor Who Magazine:
Rory and Amy are no longer regular travelers with the Doctor: “If he thinks he needs them, he just pops in on them,” but, “Each time they’ll get a little older.”
Moffat on killing off companions: “Even if I don’t think I’ll do it…maybe I will do it!”
Moffat ponders, “If we did a UNIT story, would Martha be there?”
The Special Weapons Dalek will definitely appear in the opener
Moffat reiterates that the New Paradigm Daleks are an “officer class”
Can the question “Doctor Who?” be answered? “Wait and see”
We will find out exactly what Trenzalore is all about
“The Fall of the Eleventh” will also be resolved (perhaps not in Series 7 though)
Moffat is very keen that the order of the episodes can be swapped around this time
There will still be a story arc, but it will be “the opposite” of Series 6
Jenna-Louise’s companion will be different to the others and is “going to be a shock”
Filming will continue throughout the rest of 2012 and further into 2013 and beyond
Bond director Sam Mendes compared the James Bond franchise to Doctor Whoin this interview:
The first time I saw the movie, I was like, “You’ve got to be joking! You can’t do that to the poor man!” But it was too…they were playing almost embarrassment, almost apologized for having a new Bond and I thought that was wrong, and I thought what they got right was Casino Royale. There was a kind of “We don’t need Q, we don’t need Moneypenny. We’ve got this character. We’re going right back to basics. He’s real, he’s in a real situation. Let’s start all over again.” I thought that was very refreshing.
That’s why I mentioned the word in the press conference, “regeneration” rather than “evolving,” because I feel it is like, you know, we have Doctor Who…there’s a geek answer…we have Doctor Who and I was brought up on the idea of Doctor Who, who at the end of his final episode, he dissolves and a new actor pops up and he regenerates and it’s a whole other character: sometimes it’s an old man, sometimes it’s a young man, but he just changes. I’ve always loved that idea.
Julian Murphy says that Season 5 of Merlin will be darker. Time will have passed showing the established court of Arthur, and there will be an older Mordred.
Combine Marvel characters and Joss Whedon and we had a formula where The Avengers really did live up to all the hype. An interview with Joss Whedon is above. The movie sets up conditions for further movies centered around Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Mark Ruffalo did a much better job of playing Bruce Banner than Edward Norton did , and now there are reports that further Hulk movies might be made, possibly along with a movie centered around Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. As has been the case with the previous Marvel movies, it is important to stay in the theater during the credits for an extra scene. In this case there are two extra scenes. One during the credits is probably significant in terms of a future threat for Thor and/or The Avengers. The second, at the very end of the credits, is not important but was still fun to watch.
As many watch movies long after the initial release date I tend to avoid saying much about the plot of movies in posts here. Those wanting to avoid even a minor spoiler might want to skip the end of this paragraph. In movies of this type it is necessary to accept a lot which is unrealistic, but I was bothered a little with the inconsistency in the portrayal of the Hulk. The first time Banner became the Hulk he was more destructive and showed less understanding of his situation as compared to his final appearance in the second Hulk movie. Then, when he became the Hulk for a second time, he acted with complete understanding of working as part of the Avengers team.
As usual with Awake, the personal events involving Britten in this week’s episode, Slack Water, were more interesting than the criminal cases. Once again the possible clues as to whether the two different worlds for Britten are both real are also contradictory. In some episodes there is real information obtained in one world which is helpful to solve a crime in the other. Other episodes were more like this week, were the house which is the scene of the crime in one reality was the name of a video game played by a murder victim in another, leading to Britten finding out information which helped solve the crime. Having the house be real in one reality but a video game in the other suggests that only one, or perhaps neither, reality experienced by Britten is real and his mind (or some other source) is supplying this information.
The more important story line came out of the revelation last week that Rex’s girl friend Emma was pregnant, with Emma having a miscarriage in the world where Rex survived the auto crash and continuing to carry Rex’s child in the world where Rex was killed. It was rather obvious that Emma did not agree with the decision of her parents to have a closed adoption, even if only Hannah recognized this during most of the episode. A theme of the show has been for Michael Britten to replace his loses in both realities. Where Hannah died, he keeps the older partner and has a female psychiatrist. In the reality where Rex was killed, Michael has a young male psychiatrist and is given a new, younger male partner. (I did find it strange that the older former partner was not seen at Michael’s going away party in the other reality where Michael was given new partner.) Now things have worked out in the reality where Rex died that Michael not only has the prospect of adopting Rex’s child, but events have also worked out that they have a new teen-aged child in the home.
One implication of this is that Britten is no longer planning to move to Oregon and the person responsible for the earlier attempt on his life is now likely to act again. The back story was further developed as we learned that this involves a heroin shipment, and we learned that the police Captain had been a narcotics cop in the past, providing some explanation as to how she might have become involved.
The previews for next week’s episode suggest that we might learn more about Britten’s situation. For at least part of the episode he ceases to go into the Rex universe. Could this mean that over there he is dead (unlikely), unconsciousness, or perhaps because he has to solve the mystery of his attempted murder in the other universe in order to protect himself in the other before returning. A voice over in the preview has Britten saying, “There was no accident. They were trying to kill me.” Unfortunately Britten is off screen, so we cannot tell if he is wearing the typical white shirt of the Hannah universe or blue shirt of the Rex universe and we cannot be certain if the murder attempt, so far only mentioned in the Rex universe, is now becoming a factor in the Hannah universe.
While there has been suspicion that Leonard Nimoy was going to return to play William Bell on Fringe, they still managed to keep Nimoy’s actual appearance on this week’s episode of Fringe a secret. As an example of the misdirection used, in an interview shortly before the last episode aired, Jeff Pinkner had this to say about the possibility of Nimoy returning: “We basically erected a sign outside of Leonard’s house which said, “Please come back to Fringe,” and we are hoping that by season five he says yes.” In the interview Pinkner also said we will again see the world of 2036 but avoided answering a question as to whether we will see the alternative universe again.
I09 looked at the gratuitous sex and violence on Game of Thrones.
There has been talk this week that Netflix might revive Jericho. It makes sense for Netflix to revive shows which have a strong following (such as with Arrested Development) even if off the air for several years considering they are shows which significant numbers of Netflix subscribers are currently watching. As more companies start to compete with Netflix for streaming older shows, providing new episodes will give subscribers reason to stick with Netflix.
Speaking of streaming providers, there was a major update to the Android versions of HBO Go and Max Go this week so that they finally work with Ice Cream Sandwich.
If Netflix might bring back Jericho, there has been speculation as to other old shows which might return. Damon Lindelof leaves open the idea of more Lost, but is not interested in personally being involved:
Lindelof has no interest in revisiting “Lost” anytime soon.
“It’s been two years (since the series wrapped) and we told the story we wanted to tell,” Lindelof said. But he admits ABC might look for ways to bring back “Lost” in some form. “I do feel like the world has not seen the end of ‘Lost,’ but I’m not going to have any involvement,” he said.
Lindelof isn’t bitter about the idea, however.
“It would be hypocritical for me to say I’m going to do ‘Star Trek’ but I don’t want anyone to touch ‘Lost,’ ” he said.
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!!!
The last two episodes of Fringe have included major advances to the plot in the alternative time line as Olivia began having memories from the Olivia of the original time line, we encountered the Nina from the universe, and Peter entered the mind of an Observer. The big revelation was that problems were caused by Peter having a child with Altlivia instead of Olivia. Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter last week, and Collider has a more recent interview:
Was the Observer intel something you’ve been wanting to reveal for awhile now?
WYMAN: Well, we always said that you’d find out about the Observers this season, and that we’re going to investigate them a lot more. So, we’re excited about it all because the Observers are a highlight. For us to constantly break what you think you know, and re-set and have viewers go, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming,” that’s why we get up in the morning. It’s to take people on the ride. We’re excited about what’s coming up, too.
This season, there have been some really great singular cases and stand-alone episodes, but “The End of All Things” was mythology heavy and really speaks to the larger arc this season. How will that effect what viewers see in the final stretch this season?
PINKNER: Well, it’s definitely a game-changer, in that our characters learn a lot more, and the audience is going to learn a lot more, about the uber-plot of our season bad guy, David Robert Jones (Jared Harris). For Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Walter (John Noble), it’s going to start to unfold in ways that, hopefully, will be both really satisfying and challenging to our characters. It’s the 14th episode out of 22, and it’s very much a hinge episode that’s going to launch us into the back half portion of the season.
Do you already know what the final episode for this season will be?
PINKNER: No, we have not written the finale, but we do know what it is. We’ve known the shape of our season before we even started this year.
WYMAN: Fortunately, at the end of every season, we close the chapter and start anew. That’s the language of the series now, so it can organically come to a conclusion that we love.
How soon is it going to become evident what David Robert Jones’ (Jared Harris) uber-plan is, specifically, and how Olivia fits into it?
WYMAN: We can’t say anything, but just remember that, on Fringe, nothing is as it seems. There’s always a little more to the story behind the story. He’s definitely a large part, going forward. A lot of things will come full circle.
PINKNER: We’re well aware of how intelligent our audience is. We’re well aware that Fringe is a show that you really need to lean forward into and pay attention to and think about. It’s not designed to be a show that you can watch while you’re folding laundry. So, we’re well aware of the questions that our audience is inevitably going to ask. We’re well aware of how carefully they watch the show and hold us to continuity. We’re certainly aware of the debates that are going to occur. Our audience holds us to an incredibly high standard of continuity and emotional authenticity. We don’t toy with that, but oftentimes we write stories, in order to spark debate. We’re very determined to always give the answer. We don’t want to leave a lot of things open to debate, at the end of the day.
Episodes of Alcatraz have a formula in which a different prisoner from Alcatraz shows up in the present and must be apprehended every week. Some of the prison staff has also been seen in the present, but very little has been revealed as to what is really going on. Whether the show is successful as a genre show as opposed to a crime show with a twist will depend upon how the mythology of the show is developed. With cancellation of the series a strong possibility after this season, I have feared that we might be kept hanging without real answers. In an interview with TV Guide, executive producers Jennifer Johnson and Dan Pyne indicate that we will receive answers by the end of this season:
Is there a particular reason why Alcatraz prison became the focus point of the disappearance?
Johnson: Yeah. There are theories that our characters have. We’ll talk about what those theories are by the end of the season, but they may not be the real ones. We’ll understand what Hauser thinks about it and what his think-tank thinks about it, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We may meet a character by the end of the season who does know that specific answer, who probably has a lot more answers than any of the characters we’ve met so far.
Will we learn who the powers that be are and what their motives are this season? Or is that a series arc?
Pyne: Well, it’s a little of both. I think by the end of [Episode] 13 we’ll have an understanding of who that might be.
Johnson: That’s the character that we were referring to. He might be part of the powers that be. Pyne: But definitely by the end of the season there will be more of a sense of the game that’s afoot. We won’t be coy about it and keep holding back. There will be a better sense of what’s going on. We may not understand what the endgame is, but at least the players will become a little bit clearer.
Johnson: It’s complicated because they don’t all have the same goals, which we’re going to hit upon before the end of the season. There’s almost a secret war happening between the ’63s, too. That all interplays with what their relationships were in the past when they were imprisoned or working on Alcatraz.
Is there a reason why some of the ’63s have gone against mission?
Pyne: Yes. Johnson: We won’t say definitively, but we’ll give people the tools to have pretty informed theories about it.
What’s with the fascination with the number three — three keys, three bank robberies and three days of sniper shootings are just some of the few?
Pyne: There may be more than one number clue.
Johnson: Forty-seven is an important number, too. But we like three for its stability and the idea that it’s a triangle. We talk about triangles a lot and relationships that have three angles in them.
Lucy had mentioned in the past that she was going to fix the prisoners with memory-altering experiments. Did she end up being a puzzle piece in the overall mystery of how the ’63s disappeared?
Pyne: She definitely is a puzzle piece, yes. We may not stick with this forever, but right now, everything that’s happened in the past has happened chronologically in 1960. So, there’s still three years left before the jump. Clearly, allegiances change. Stuff happens in those three years between the time when Lucy comes to prison to start her experiments and 1963 when she obviously disappeared along with everybody else. Certainly, she has some answers to what might have gone on, but she also may not even understand. She didn’t understand at the time what was going on. It may be just now looking back at it that she can start to unravel what she saw.
Johnson: Yeah, helping the team unravel by knowing the psychology of the inmates. But the Warden (Jonny Coyne) is very Machiavellian. He does not want the left hand to know what the right hand is doing. So, he may utilize different players for their different challenges. But part of his M.O. is not to let any one person know too much of what is going on.
Diego mentioned in the pilot that the Warden had died many years ago. Did he really or is he part of the missing ’63s?
Pyne: It’s possible.
Will we discover how Lucy came to work with Hauser in the future and see more of their relationship in the past?
Johnson: Yes. Definitely, 100 percent.
Pyne: Their love story is one of the great triangles of Alcatraz.
Johnson: It’s kind of the love triangle between Hauser, Lucy, and the jump itself.
Will we find out what Dr. Beauregard (Leon Rippy) was doing behind closed doors at Alcatraz?
Pyne: You may find out soon, in the next couple episodes. Then once you find out, you may be totally wrong, but you will see some of what he’s up to. He’s a little bit jealous of Lucy’s elevation to the prize poodle on Alcatraz, so he gets up to some hijinks that he maybe shouldn’t.
What can you tell us about the downstairs door that needs to be opened with three keys?
Johnson: That we’re going to open it before the end of the season. We’ll understand by the end of the season what’s behind that door, at least one layer of it. It was very important to the Warden. There may only be one person that he shares that secret with.
We learned Diego was kidnapped at age 11. Will that come back into play?
Johnson: That’s his deep, deep back story and a lot of what motivated his fascination with Alcatraz and with comic books. We won’t necessarily go there before the end of the season, but that is part of who he is as a character and why he became part of this team.
Once Rebecca does finally come face-to-face with Tommy, will she be able to let bygones be bygones and realize that he is still her family?
Johnson: We know the answer to that, but I don’t think we can tell you.
What can you tell us about what is in store for her?
Pyne: She begins to get a little bit more focused on solving the mystery of what happened to her partner and delving into that day and why he was there. It slowly leads her to some revelations about her partner about the larger mystery of Alcatraz and also about Tommy Madsen.
Johnson: And what everybody is doing here present day. They discover that there are different factions of ’63s here in present day San Francisco and beyond.
Sarah Jones, who plays Detective Rebecca Madsen, also indicated that there will be pay off for the fans in the last two episodes in an interview with Collider.
Last week the political blogosphere debated whether the Death Star was worth building. Kevin Drum looked at the economics and found that it was a surprisingly cost-effective weapon. A post at Enik Rising argued that it was a bad investment, even if affordable. I bet that such debates prior to the building of the Death Star didn’t take Luke Skywalker into consideration.
Community returns on March 15. There will also be a web series of Inspector Spacetime, a British time travel show which began in 1992 according to Community. Geeks of Doom has more information:
Inspector Spacetime, the Doctor Who-spoofing character whose cheeky sci-fi exploits are vastly enjoyed by Community characters Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover), will soon be seen in his very own web series, but don’t expect to see any cameos from certain Greendale Community College students. Travis Richey, the Inspector himself, is producing the six-episode series independently.
You can expect to see the Inspector and his trusty sidekick Constable Reginald battle their arch-nemesis Boyish the Extraordinary and take on the Blorgons of Second New Old Earth 7 with the aid of the Inspector’s “optic pocketknife.”
Richey wrote to io9 to further clarify his intentions for the web series:
“Dan Harmon, Community, NBC and Sony have nothing to do with this web series. I pitched it to them after my first episode of Community, but never heard back from them one way or another. So I’m going to do it myself, with the help of fans. I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in a matter of hours for an equipment budget, and the complete story can be read there.”
The Game of Thrones returns on April 1 (preview above).
The BBC made a pilot for a series loosely based upon Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently novels in 2010. A three episode series begins on BBC 4 on March 5.
Lost alumna Emilie de Ravin is set to co-star in another ABC drama series project, pilot Americana, a soap about a famous fashion industry clan. It centers on iconic fashion designer Robert Soulter (Anthony LaPaglia), the patriarch of a sprawling family who just welcomed a new member, a young designer whose shocking arrival turns the family and the legendary label inside out. De Ravin, repped by Gersh and manager Darren Goldberg, will play Robert’s chic and outgoing daughter Francesca who is the head of events at Americana but Robert doesn’t consider her a candidate for the heir to his empire, which may have treacherous consequences. Michael Seitzman wrote the script, with Phillip Noyce, who helmed the pilot for ABC’s Revenge last year, directing.
Camilla Luddington, who played Kate Middleton in the Lifetime movie William & Kate, has more recently had a role in Californication. In last week’s episode she was repeatedly seen naked in scenes ranging from swimming in the nude to getting caught by Charlie Runkle while getting out of the shower. In is safe to assume this is the closest we will ever get to seeing any version of Kate Middleton nude on television. Pictures are under the fold if you are seeing this on the main web page (double click on the pictures for larger versions).
Among the unusual items in my library is a fan published book from 1982, The Doctor and the Enterprise, featuring a cross over between the Doctor as played by Tom Baker and Star Trek: The Original Show. Since then there have been other fan crossovers between Doctor Who and Star Trek, but the first officially sanctioned cross over will be coming out the May, in comic form. This will feature the current Doctor, along with Amy and Rory, on the Enterprise of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
If you are not interested in this cross over, how about Doctor Who and Peanuts? Teefury had a one day limited edition shit yesterday featuring the eleven Doctors as Peanuts characters.
Matt Smith said in a recent interview that he is willing to do nude scenes. We can be certain that will not occur on Doctor Who. Knowing what is in the mind of many readers, I’m not aware if Karen Gillan has ever answered the same question, but Billie Piper has done lots of nude scenes since leaving the show.
Once Upon A Time has a guest appearance from Emilie de Ravin of Lost. She plays Belle of the Beauty and the Beast, with a video preview above . The Hollywood Reporter interviewed deRavin about her role:
“There are obviously a lot of similarities,” de Ravin tells The Hollywood Reporter about the show’s take on the well-known character. “Obviously, she’s quite a bit more, shall we say ballsy, than I suppose in the past versions, but she’s really brave and really forthright with her opinions and all she wants to do.”
In the world of the ABC series, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) steps into the role of the “beast” when he helps Belle’s father in a raging war with ogres. But, there’s always the payback. In this case, it’s Belle or her father’s life.
“She would do anything basically for her father, but also her friends and family in general, and that’s what she does,” the Australian actress says. “She has this chance where she’s always wanted to be brave and make a change and do something different and not just sit around in the confinement of her castle and her simple life.”
Of course, Rumpelstiltskin may prove a harder challenge than what we’ve seen on Disney movies.
“There’s a point where Belle is a very giving, caring, passionate, nonjudgmental person,” de Ravin, 30, tells THR. “But, there’s also a breaking point, and sometimes enough is enough. And as much beauty as she can see in anyone, you know in Rumpelstiltskin slash the beast, if it can’t be believed by the other person or accepted, then you know, you can’t force somebody to feel something.”
“There’s possibly the opportunity for him to lose power and to gain love, and so does the old question of what will you choose?” she continues. “Love over power or power over love? And that’s a big struggle for him because it’s been so long of him being such a powerful, cruel person, that you know it’s almost, it’s completely hard to fathom that A, somebody would be able to care for him and B, that would be better than power.”
Emilie de Ravin will be returning later this season to continue this storyline.
Fringe is getting more interesting as the season progresses. Olivia’s memories from the original time line are now bleeding over into the show’s current time line. This week’s episode, Welcome to Westfield began with the above dream sequence. It was one of the better episodes of the season, with Olivia, Walter, and Peter once again acting as a team in an episode in which both universes were mixed together. Olivia also displayed memories of cases which occurred in our time line. The episode concluded with Olivia kissing Peter and making dinner for him as she would normally do in the original time line. I will be very disappointed in Peter if he doesn’t make Olivia’s dream at the beginning of the episode come true.
An updated version of Space 1999 is being planned. Space 1999 was a flawed science fiction show of the 1970′s making me wonder why someone would want to do a remake, until I thought that the same could have been said about Battlestar Galactica before its excellent remake. The new series, Space 2099, re-imagines the original series and takes place a hundred years later.
The Independent interviewed several stars of Torchwood: Miracle Day at the London MCM Expo. The interview included Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Alexa Havins (Esther Drummond) and Arlene Tur (Dr. Vera Juarez). Here are some highlights:
Eve, do you miss doing the single episode stories?
EM: No, I don’t. We were fortunate from the second series to get, I think, 6,7,8 which was Burn Gorman’s story which was him being dead and broken and trying to live a real life. I found it fascinating that we were able to stretch a story over three episodes instead of it being a beginning, middle and end in 40 minutes. As an actor it gives you more and you can just invest more in it more and enjoy it more. I feel it’s more of an adult theme and that’s more where we want to be with ‘Torchwood’. Russell wanted ‘Miracle Day’ to be made from day one but never had the facilities and the amenities to make it.
KO: He always had that story in mind.
Which episodes stood out for you?
AT: I loved the first one, I watched it four times and my heart was always racing – and I knew what was going to happen.
KO: I thoroughly enjoyed this series more than most of the others ones in the past, really. I like the one where it went back in time.
AH: I did too.
KO: I really did like that episode an awful lot. And I thought 10, the climax was amazing. But episode 7, where Jack went back and met Angelo, I thought they really nailed it.
AH: They did a really great job with the period and everything.
Considering how ‘Torchwood’ kills off characters, have you ever felt safe?
KO: Me? Rhys is the most killable character of the whole lot! They don’t kill me because it works so well. Rhys is a very killable character. I’m constantly on edge going: ‘this is the end’.
EM: He was supposed to die in episode 6 of the first series and I knew that and I had a word with him and I said ‘you’re going to die, we’ve got to do something really special here and make this relationship work and make Gwen and Rhys real. Not for me. We need to make them real, we need to make them laugh and we need people to enjoy seeing them together and just enjoy their relationship and watch it.’
KO: And no one’s safe and I feel myself very, very blessed.
EM: I’m waiting for the chop.
AH: You know that when coming on, you know. But we’re in good company.
EM: That’s what happens in ‘Torchwood’, it’s a deadly organisation.
KO: I think the audience got the shock of its life when both Arlene and Alexa died. They just did phenomenal work on the whole series. My mates were stunned at what happened. The way Dr. Juarez went was just oh my god!
AT: That was just so fun to shoot though!
In 2013 ‘Doctor Who’ will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, will ‘Torchwood’ be playing a part in it?
EM: I wouldn’t have thought so. We have lots of adult themes running in ‘Torchwood’ and I think it would be inappropriate for us to have anything to do with ‘Doctor Who’ because it’s predominantly a family programme. I think that where ‘Torchwood’ is, it deals with darker subjects and I think inter-mixing them, if they want to do that, then fine but I can tell you that I’m not involved in it – they won’t give me guns or a bazooka.
What’s next for ‘Torchwood’?
KO: Who knows? It would be different. It might come back as a special.
EM: I think the next step would be a movie. We change every year. We have to change every year to keep it fresh and different and keep people interested because by the third, fourth, fifth series of ‘Lost’, ‘Sopranos’ however good they are, they’re extraordinary, but you know what you’re going to get. With ‘Torchwood’ we can live up to the name that you never know what you’re going to get.
KO: They can do whatever they want with the show.
As Captain Jack has already appeared on several episodes of Doctor Who I see no reason to have him, and possible Gwen, appear on the anniversary show. They could appear without bringing in the darker, or sexier, aspects of Torchwood which are inappropriate for Doctor Who. John Barrowman has already indicated his willingness to return to Doctor Who in the future.
BBC Worldwide has announced the first official Doctor Who convention since the return of the series in 2005:
BBC Worldwide have announced the first official Doctor Who convention to be staged since the series return in 2005. Billed as the “Ultimate Doctor Who Fan Event”, it will feature guests Matt Smith and Steven Moffat, plus many others from the cast and crew including Danny Hargreaves (special effects supervisor), Michael Pickwoad (production designer), Marcus Wilson (producer) and the team behind Millennium FX.
The convention will held twice, taking place at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff; 1500 tickets are to be made available for each of the days on the 24th and 25th March 2011:
The unique interactive programme will include theatre sessions and Q&As with cast and crew; behind the scenes sessions show-casing the script to screen process; discussions with episode directors and writers and demonstrations from Special FX and prosthetics experts that will illustrate the challenges and scale of their work on the world’s longest running sci-fi show. Autograph and photo opportunities will also be available with attending cast members and there will be official Doctor Who merchandise and collectables on sale.
Matt Smith commented on the announcement:
It’s brilliant that the first official convention is being held in Cardiff, the home of Doctor Who. I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans there, and remember – bow ties are cool!
Steven Moffat said:
A whole weekend dedicated to all things Doctor Who, brilliant! We’re going to be celebrating the whole team behind the show, people who bring to life the Doctor’s craziest adventures and letting fans into some of our trade secrets. If you want to get under the skin of Doctor Who this is an unmissable event!”
Terra Nova remains somewhere between serious science fiction and a family drama held in an exotic location. The special effects have been excellent. Here’s a brief video highlighting some of the effects from the first season:
Robert Hewitt Wolfe is developing a new show for SyFy. The premise: “After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order.” It sounds a lot like Andromeda, which Wolfe had worked on. Hopefully in terms of quality the show is closer to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which Wolfe had also worked on.
Emilie de Ravin, who played Claire on Lost, will become Belle on Once Upon A Time. Reportedly she has some connection to Rumplestiltskin, who does seem to be at the center of things in both worlds. I wonder if both worlds will also have a version of the Beast.
The Fringe Division remains puzzled about Peter Bishop, but at least he has been moved from a cell to Walter’s house which had been sitting empty as the Walter in this timeline is afraid to leave his lab. There is still a guard stationed outside the door. Olivia has caught on that there was something going on between Peter and the Olivia of his timeline. So far Olivia’s desire is for Peter to be able to get back to her. Perhaps that will change over time as some of the interviews I’ve seen suggest that the show will continue in the current timeline for a long time. Above is an interview with Anna Torv.
Matt Smith returned to Craig Ferguson’s show last week, wearing a hat but not a Fez or Stetson.Matt also made a contribution to Swedish lesbians. Craig Ferguson prepared this musical introduction to an earlier interview with Matt Smith but it could not air as CBS failed to get clearance in time from the BBC:
Planet Gallifrey has quotes some information from Steven Moffat on next season of Doctor Who:
On the Doctor’s fame: “We’re going to explore that properly next series. The Doctor’s project is to sort of erase himself from history because there’s only so many times you can stand and boast at Stonehenge”
On the heavier story arc: “I don’t think Doctor Who will ever be as arc-driven again”
Due to the increased interest from the title ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’, Moffat has told the writers to really “slut it up” and “write it like a movie poster. Let’s do big, huge, mad ideas”
On Amy, Rory and River: “I do have an end game for all of them”
On River: “You realise you’ve learned nothing. She may or may not be married to the Doctor, depending on whether that was actually a marriage ceremony, or whether it counts if he’s inside a giant robot replica of himself”
On his future as showrunner: “Even though I’m more tired than I’ve ever been, I don’t feel any impulse to leave”
Moffat also says the cancellation of Doctor Who Confidential was a bad decision.
The boxed set of series six will contain six mini-episodes. They are described here.
Once Upon A Time premieres tonight but the pilot episode has been leaked on line (probably intentionally by ABC to create more buzz for the show). The above video shows the first nine minutes and I found the entire pilot to be enjoyable. The show, by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz of Lost, does have some features in common with Lost, as well as many differences. Like Lost, the show alternates between two different scenes. While Lost had flashbacks, flashforwards, and sideways flashes in the final season, Once Upon A Time alternates between our world and a fairytale world. The Evil Queen casts a spell on the inhabitants of the fairytale world, taking away their happy endings and forcing them to live in our world in a town name Storybrooke without memories of their identities. The only person who can save them is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who is lured to Storybrooke. More on the idea behind the show:
Their unique tale explores what happens when the modern world and the world of fairy tales collide. In Once Upon a Time, a 28-year-old bail bonds collector named Emma Swan finds herself returning young runaway Henry, a 10-year-old boy she gave up for adoption, to the town of Storybrooke. Henry believes that Emma and everyone in the town comes from an alternate world, a fairytale land that, thanks to a curse by the Evil Queen, is now trapped forever in time. The characters have been brought into our world with no knowledge of who they really are. The series, which premieres Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m., stars Jennifer Morrison as Emma, Jared Gilmore as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen and Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin.
“What really [Lost's showrunners] Damon [Lindelof] and Carlton [Cuse] taught us was it’s character first, mythology second. And we took that really to heart, and it’s that lesson that led us to this, how to tell this story,” said Kitsis. “Because we’ve had this idea for eight years, and it wasn’t until we were on Lost that we really figured out how to tell it, because we didn’t want to do a pilot where every episode was about the first five minutes of the pilot. … For us, it had to be about the characters and emotion. If Lost was about redemption, Once Upon A Time is about hope.”
“The stories are amazingly difficult,” said Horowitz. “We try to set an incredibly high bar for ourselves, and we always want to try to top ourselves and to push the limits of what’s possible on a network television schedule and budget, and for us it’s really about ‘How do we keep telling the stories that excite us and that we really love, and how do we keep finding new things about these characters to explore and reveal to the audience?’”
Once Upon a Time will feature both the modern world of Storybrooke and the lavish fairytale land in every episode.
“Every week is going to kind of be exactly like the pilot,” said Kitsis. “We are going to go back and forth between the two worlds, and we’re going to focus on a character and … highlight what that character had going on in fairytale land, and in Storybrooke you’re going to see the void that the cursed replaced it with.”
Maureen Ryan has more on the show, including ways it is and is not like Lost:
The Ways in Which ‘Once Upon a Time’ Is Like ‘Lost’
1. There are parallel and connected realities, as noted above. Horowitz: “The typical episode will be a version of a story in Storybrooke, Maine involving the characters you have met in the pilot and focusing probably on one of them, and taking us into the fairytale land where we see a version of [that character's] story, and there is hopefully some thematic connection with what is going on” in both places.
2. What the show is really about is not very high-concept. Kitsis: “That was what was so funny about ‘Lost’ — everyone was like ‘[It's] high concept!’ Not really. A plane crashed and now they’re stuck.” Similarly, ‘Once’ can be stripped down to very basic themes of loss, acceptance, community and connection. Horowitz: “Ultimately, it’s about these people in this town — what are their conflicts going to be, how are they going to find love or not find love, how are they going to find happiness or not find happiness.” Kitsis: ‘Lost’ “was not ‘Let’s come in and start pitching craziness!’ It was character. Hurley was a guy who was frightened of change in any form, so every episode, we were like, ‘Well, what is he frightened of in this one?’… It’s character first, mythology second.”
3. There’s a mythology, but each episode will work on its own. Horowitz: “There will be an ongoing story, but …each episode is a self-contained. …But if you’re watching the show, you’ll also be enjoying Emma’s ongoing struggle against Regina over [Regina's son] Henry and there will be those [continuing] elements.”4. Storybrooke isn’t an island, but it might feel like one at times. Kitsis: Fairy tales “were moral tales to teach children, and in a lot of ways, ‘Lost’ was about redemption. For us, ‘Once’ is about hope and that’s what we’re interested in [exploring] … It’s about an enclosed group of people trying to get over things.”
5. It’s ultimately optimistic about the possibility of change and redemption. Kitsis: “What I love the most about fairy tales … is, it’s why you buy a lottery ticket. It’s that your life can change. One day you’re Cinderella and you’re sweeping up for your evil stepmom and then the next day you get everything, and that’s what I love about these stories. When Charlie gets the chocolate factory… what I love about writing is it’s wish fulfillment. We try to write in a real way, but like at the end of the day, I want the chocolate factory and I want the golden ticket and we wanted to write a show about hope, especially in a time where I feel like it’s needed.”
6. It won’t be perfect. Embracing mistakes as learning experiences was one of their chief lessons on ‘Lost.’ Horowitz: “Anything that someone else may look at and say ‘Oh, that didn’t work’ or ‘It was a problem’ or whatever, to us simply was part of the journey. It was part of how we got to the endpoint that was the show. So there is nothing from the show I would say ‘Oh, I didn’t want [that],’ because it all organically [allowed] us to get the whole thing to be what it was.”
7. One of the show’s wizards is named Lindelof. Kitsis and Horowitz said that Lindelof was a huge help when they were working on ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Kitsis: “His name is not on this pilot, but he is in the DNA of it in the sense that like he has really helped us realize our vision of our show.”
The Ways in Which ‘Once Upon a Time’ Is Not Like ‘Lost’
1. Horowitz: “We’re not bringing Nikki and Paulo onto the show.” Kitsis: “Yeah, not yet.” Horowitz: “Season 3, episode 5.”
2. There are no polar bears, hatches, Others or downed airplanes. Kitsis: “For us, you can’t repeat ‘Lost’ because ‘Lost’ was its own unique thing, so why would anyone try?” Having said that, eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot little shoutouts to ‘Lost’ in some of the details of the Storybrooke world.
3. Their storytelling surrogate is a 10-year-old Storybrooke boy named Henry (Jared Gilmore) who’s really nothing like Hurley (or Walt). Kitsis: “Henry is us at 10, who’s into things that no one else is. … All the things that later in life, people celebrate about you are the exact same things that made you eat lunch alone when you were young, and that’s what we write about because that is where we came from.”
Another new series, Grimm, also deals with fairytales but sounds much less interesting to me. The premise is that the protagonist is a Grimm, whose family has the ability to see and track down fairytale monsters. It sounds like just another police procedural drama with a twist, and we already got one of those this season with Person of Interest.
Terra Nova shows potential, but to remain interesting will have to do more with the conflict with the Sixers and revelations as to the real motives for setting up the colony in the prehistoric past. It appears that this is the direction the show will be moving in based upon this interview from Entertainment Weekly with Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations on the ratings uptick. I hear the show is going to get more serialized from here on? RENÉ ECHEVARRIA: It does. We’re going to roll out the whole Sixer mythology this season. You’re going to see who sent them here and why, and it all comes to a head in the season finale. BRANNON BRAGA: Whether it’s the strange markings on the rocks, or even the new thing we introduced Monday night with the container, all these things will culminate and be explored by the end of the 13. And it’s been fun doing that. As the episodes go on, the momentum will build with the ongoing storylines.
It was almost like you had these serialized elements in the pilot, then Fox said “make it more stand-alone.” BB: Are you sleeping with a network executive? Do you have spies?
That’s sort of what happened on Fringe. RE: It’s true in the first couple episodes, you do want to cast a wide net. And we are picking up those threads now. The story with Josh picks up a lot of heat about what he’s willing to do to get his girl here, and he gets way in over his head. It was an unexpected discovery as the season went along that this was a way to play scenes with the Sixers, but not with the adults. And it gives Josh and odd romantic triangle with Skye — how does she compete with an idealized person?
BB: The question was asked in [Monday's] episode — which we thought was a good template for what the show really is going to be like moving forward, with a mixture of stand-alone elements and ongoing storyline — there was a question asked: “What is Terra Nova really all about?” That’s a question we’ll begin to answer. Things are not what they appear to be. Clearly Taylor has secrets. Jim is keeping things about his Sixer visit from Taylor. And there’s something big going on that Jim finds himself in the middle of.
Will we see more of 2149? RE: We don’t see a lot of 2149. We come to see the conspiracy with the Sixers is being orchestrated in 2149, and as we get toward the season finale we will go to 2149 and see that more explicitly. But most of our storytelling takes place in Terra Nova.
BB: When we do go there, it’s very cool.
The ‘Help’ actress believes many movies that were made in the 1970s would not be commissioned these days as studio bosses are too afraid of “offending” anyone.
She said: “It concerns me that movies seem to be getting more and more conservative and watered down.
“I see movies made in the 70s such as ‘Network’ that I really don’t think would get made today. A movie that calls the audience to task for sitting glued to their screens, believing everything they’re told by the media? That would be considered too challenging today. Nobody wants to risk offending the viewers.
“Movies need broad appeal to succeed and bosses don’ want to alienate anyone.”
Emma, 22, believes many actors censor themselves to an extent where it has a severe impact on their performances.
She added: “I even hate it when people censor themselves. You can always tell when an actor has grown a ‘rhino skin’ to protect themselves. It comes across on screen and they aren’t believable.
“They’re dead in the eyes because they’ve been told a million times that they’re the greatest actor that ever lived. If you don’t realise what’s happening and get your feet back on the ground, it can be the worst thing that ever happens to you.”