Steven Moffat give some hints (or perhaps misleads) about Jenna-Louise Coleman’s role as the new companion on Doctor Who during a recent radio interview:
The new companion will, again, be a human from contemporary earth. This is necessary for audience identification and a ‘jumping on’ point for new viewers
How the companion gets where she is and what that means for the character is what will make her utterly different and fascinating
The new companion will not have any links to any previous characters
Her ‘journey’ will be shocking and intriguing. The Doctor has never met anyone quite like her before
Her very presence in the TARDIS will change the Doctor and there’s something different about her that will have a knock-on effect for the Doctor/companion dynamic
Or how about Jon Luc Picard as a companion? Above is from the comic miniseries Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who: Assimilation².
The two greatest science-fiction properties of all time cross over for the first time in history, in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION²! Captain Jean-Luc Picard faces one of the most difficult decisions of his life, but the fate of the galaxy may depend on it! Can the Doctor convince him to make the correct choice?
Another example of cover art from the miniseries can be seen here.
There was controversy this week when it was revealed on the DVD extras that one of the heads used on Game of Thrones during the first season was that of George Bush. It sounds like it was just a matter of using materials which were handy and nobody would have noticed if this was not mentioned during the commentary. From the DVD commentary:
“The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around.”
The full scene is above.
This was an interesting bit of trivia about the show which apparently nobody noticed when it aired, but once revealed HBO really had no choice but to have this edited out. In a nation split near 50:50 it is understandable that a media company would not want to alienate a large percentage of the country in such a manner. The season finale was taken down and DVD sales stopped to allow for digital removal of Bush’s head–which would create a problem for those desiring to watch the first season. I just checked HBO GO and found that the episode is back up. The scene with Bush’s head is unchanged except that there is now hair digitally inserted over much of the face making it unrecognizable.
One of the biggest puzzles about the first season of Once Upon A Time is why they didn’t use Meghan Ory more often. The producers apparently agreed and are making her a regular for the second season, along with adding new characters.
The two top writers of rapid-paced dialogue are back on the air this summer–Aaron Sorkin with The Newsroom and Amy Sherman-Paladino with Bunheads. Sorkin discussed his work in an interview here–but I would give higher grades to Sorkin’s previous shows than he gives himself. Another interview with Sorkin touches on science fiction as well as politics:
In one episode of Newsroom, we hear Will say, “I’m a registered Republican—I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.” So—
Your question is “Are hurricanes caused by high barometric pressure or low barometric pressure?” The answer is both. Hurricanes are caused when a high-pressure system surrounds a low-pressure system. That wasn’t your question, though. Your question is, why is Will a Republican?
No. My question is, if he really is a Republican with moderate-to-liberal beliefs, when did you become interested in science fiction?
You’ve answered the question I thought you were asking, which is, why is he a Republican? There are several reasons, but the biggest is: I haven’t seen this guy on TV.
Or anywhere, lately.
For the last year or so, but really since Obama got elected, I’ve found the most interesting op-ed political writing to be from Republicans who are looking at the extreme right and saying, “Those guys aren’t with us. I don’t know what happened here, but they’ve kind of co-opted our brand name. But these aren’t Republican values.” Guys like David Frum, Mark McKinnon, Andrew Sullivan. Even George Will. I hadn’t seen that guy on television. There’s CNN, which tries very, very hard either to not be anything or to be both things. And then, of course, there’s Fox and there’s MSNBC, on either side.
Amy Sherman-Paladino’s new show Bunheads premiered last week, with many similarities to Gilmore Girls. Inevitably interviews about the new show led to questions about Gilmore Girls, including the mysterious four words which she had intended to conclude the series with:
You always said you knew the four words that were going to end the last Gilmore Girls episode, and you obviously never got to have them said. Any chance you’d share them now? To me, because I didn’t have control of that last year and [whispers]I still haven’t seen the last year … Here’s the deal. All the people who ran the last year, David Rosenthal, I hired him, he’s good people, he’s a good writer, I really like him. I don’t think he thought Dan and I were going to leave. We didn’t think we were going to leave. Everyone was caught unaware. It was literally a situation of bad negotiating. Our interests were in staying and keeping the show going. Once the CW bought it, we called Warner Bros. and said the CW is going to need this show to launch new product for the next couple of years. You don’t want the show to go down this year. We instigated that. When the negotiations got so crazy we thought, Maybe we’re high? Maybe they don’t want it for the next couple of years. But by not having control of that, it shifts the focus of what my last words would have been. I was also holding on to it for a long time because I was thinking if we did do a movie, I would be able to use it there. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen so, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll eventually say the four words. I feel like now I’ll let people down because it’s been so built up. “Really? That’s what we waited all these twelve years for? Well, thanks so much.”
Maybe the four final words were, “Rory, you were adopted.” Doubtful, but amusing speculation.
Alexis Bledel’s appearance on Mad Men this season also came up:
I’m sure you know a very grown-up Alexis Bledel was on Mad Men a few weeks ago. We have a place in Brooklyn and she lives right around the corner from us. I have to say she is taking a very thoughtful, interesting approach to her career post-Gilmore. She’s being very particular. I think it’s very smart. She’s not rushing. I applaud it. She did have her shirt open, however, and her boobs hanging out. I was behind. I’m behind on everything that’s not Game of Thrones. And then I read some headline that said, “Most Boring Mad Men Ever Except for Rory Gilmore Getting Naked!” I thought, Holy shit, is she naked? She wasn’t. She had a fur and some underwear. When you’re young and your boobs look like that? Why not?
Speaking of Mad Men, I noticed that critics were generally dissatisfied with the season finale last week. I disagree. Certainly there was more drama in the previous episode in which Lane committed suicide, but the finale did an excellent job of tying up some loose ends and presumably setting the stage for next season. They might have saved the suicide for the finale, but handling it this way allowed viewers to see the aftermath of the act.
The finale included Pete Campbell getting punched, not once but twice, making this twice as good as the previous episode in which this occurred. Pete seemed to becoming too successful at SCDP, but we learned of his dissatisfaction with his life during his visit to the hospital. Perhaps he was demonstrating even more self-understanding when he told the conductor, “I’m president of the Howdy Doody Circus Army.” There was an Eternal Sunshine Of Spotless Mind conclusion to the Rory Gilmore storyline. We saw that SCDP has become a successful firm, suggesting an end to the new company struggling to survive story lines which can become tedious. Most importantly, we may have seen the beginning of the end of Don and Megan. The episode contained clues, such as Don telling Peggy, “That’s what happens when you help someone. They succeed and move on.” Don warned Megan against taking help from him, telling her she would be better off being “someone’s discovery than someone’s wife.” Don might now believe that Megan will move on as Peggy did. Now that Don has helped Megan get the role in the ad, she has become too much like Betty when they met, and might ultimately suffer the same fate. The episode ended with what might be the old Don Draper going into the bar to order a highball. We don’t know how he answered the question, “are you alone” but things will never be the same between Don and Megan.
The Avengers ended with the heroes going out to a shawarma restaurant after saving New York. When watching this scene (at the end of the credits) did you wonder where Loki was? The answer is above.
You just won the best supporting actor Bafta for playing Moriarty in Shrlxok. Did you find the Baftas fun or terrifying?
Terrifying. I’m shy. I remember at my 21st birthday party, I had to make a speech and was so nervous I sounded like I was giving a eulogy at a funeral. So I did genuinely hope that I didn’t have to get up. But of course there’s a little part of you that wants to win.
We’re you surprised at the colossal success of Sherlock?
I kind of knew- I think we all knew- it was going to be really special. I feel very proud that it’s a Sherlock of our age. I really appreciated being allowed to play Moriarty a little left of centre.
How much freedom did you have?
I experimented daily and there were incredibly supportive of that. That’s what you Rally want as an actor: someone saying, ‘Go for it!’ not ‘What are you doing?’
What makes you angry?
Bland television. I don’t like drama that’s just a version of something we’ve already seen. If you’ve been given money and an opportunity to be in front of an audience, why not say something new and original?
The same site has an interview with Louise Brealey, who plays Molly on Sherlock.
TrekMovie.com interviewed Damon Lindelof on the upcoming Star Trek sequel along with the future of the series:
TrekMovie.com: You talked about the characters, their relationships and conflict. The last film was all about this family coming together, especially with Kirk and Spock starting out hating each other and growing to, if not like each other, respect each other. This new film is four years later in real time, but not sure in movie time. Are we jumping in to a new spot on their character arcs? Or are we picking up where we left off?
Damon Lindelof: That is a very clever way of asking how much time has elapsed between the movies and that is not something we are commenting on at this point. What we can say is that the big difference with the fundamental crew dynamics as they existed in the first movie and as they roll into this one is the promise at the end of the first movie with James T. Kirk in his yellow shirt is now sitting in the captain’s chair. We have not seen Kirk as the captain of the Enterprise yet. We will see him be the captain in this movie and that changes the dynamic.
TrekMovie.com: Two years ago, before you even started scripting, [producer] Bryan Burk told me you guys were going for something larger in scope. Is it right to say this is a bigger movie?
Damon Lindelof: Sometimes I feel that bigger is not necessarily better. You are just saying “Oh my god this movie is just epic in scale and epic in scope and epic, epic, epic.” But at the end of the day I feel that Trek is at its best when it is intimate and human and relatable. And when I say human, that can include aliens too. But all the things that we view as emotional touchstones: love, loss, and courage and all those themes that are the core of Trek. You sometimes when you want to make a movie too big for its own good, it loses some of those essential values. So we didn’t want that to happen. That being said, JJ’s decision to shoot a lot of the movie in IMAX, definitely makes the film seem a lot bigger and definitely the sequences he directed in IMAX I feel have tremendous scale and energy, without sacrificing any of things that I talked about on an emotional level…
TrekMovie.com: When we talked about Prometheus (see my Movies.com interview with Damon) you mentioned that moving forward you want to challenge yourself with doing original stories and away from more sequels, prequels and comic book adaptations. Does that preclude your working on a third Star Trek movie?
Damon Lindelof: It would be very hard to not be involved in Trek moving forward. We certainly don’t feel that a third movie is a foregone conclusion. Hopefully the second movie turns out well and we are really happy about everything so far. So three movies, again not to do everything that Christopher Nolan does, but if you do it right it’s a good model. But that idea, whether you want to call it a trilogy or not, although I reserve the right to when we are talking four years from now to say “this is the third movie in our trilogy,” but it does feel that three movies is the right responsibility for us to have the baton for before we then pass it off to the people who are take Trek to wherever they want to take it. So if this movie turns out well, would I be writing on the third movie? Who knows? But, we did talk a lot in the writing of this movie and during production about what the next movie might be and started getting excited about some of the ideas, so it would be hard to say no to that. This is a once in a lifetime experience…
Now there is even talk of a Spider-Man and Avengers crossover.
It hasn’t been a good year for genre shows on network television, with only six of twelve returning according to the count here. Once Upon A Time was the most successful. Several of the shows which are not returning were flawed but did show promise such as Awake, Terra Nova, and Alcatraz.
Genre has done better on cable than on network television. True Blood returns tonight and reportedly this season will be more satirical. The target will be Vampire fundamentalists who take their bible too seriously, but presumably this is also pointed at their human counterparts.
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.
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 2012 Saturn Award nominees are out. I wonder if this has ever happened before–two movies up for best movie in the Fantasy category were also nominees for an Academy Award. My choice as top genre movie of the year, Midnight in Paris, is one of them. Hugo is also nominated. While I’m not going to bother second guessing categorization, I don’t really see Hugo as qualifying as a fantasy movie, but as it is in contention I wouldn’t be surprised if it beats Midnight in Paris. I also wonder how well the last Harry Potter movie will do, but personally I was very disappointed in it. Going beyond the Fantasy category, another Oscar nominee is also in contention for a Saturn award–War Horse.
My choice for best hard science fiction movie of the year, Source Code, didn’t make it into the nominations for Best Science Fiction Film. I had predicted the ending early, but did enjoy watching it play out. The Adjustment Bureau was also enjoyable, but The Twilight Zone handled the same idea much better in the past. I find it interesting that X-Men and Captain America were nominated under Science Fiction while Thor was considered Fantasy. Again, I’m not going to dwell over categorization and am more interested in seeing the top genre movies recognized, regardless of category. I should also point out that my choices for top movies are limited by the fact that I’ve seen most but not all of the nominated movies.
Here are the nominations in various categories for best film:
Best Science Fiction Film:
The Adjustment Bureau
Captain America: The First Avenger
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: First Class
Best Fantasy Film:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Midnight in Paris
Best Horror/Thriller Film:
The Devil’s Double
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Best Action/Adventure Film:
The Lincoln Lawyer
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Moving on to television, I’d choose Doctor Who as best over all if that was a choice, but it is limited a nomination as a youth-oriented show. I’d pick Fringe as Best Network Television Series, and is there any doubt that Game of Thrones will win for Best Presentation on Television (10 Episodes or Less)? I will abstain from making a pick as Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series as there are a couple of shows listed which I’ve heard very good things about but have not seen yet.
Best Network Television Series:
A Gifted Man
Once Upon a Time
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series:
American Horror Story
Best Presentation on Television (10 Episodes or Less):
Game of Thrones
Torchwood: Miracle Day
The Walking Dead
Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television:
The Nine Lives of Chloe King
The Vampire Diaries
There are multiple other categories in play including best actor and actress, but I won’t bother with those tonight in protest over the absence of Karen Gillan among the nominees. The full list can be found here.
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.
Several new pictures from the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, have been released, such as the one above. More can be seen here. The official synopsis has also been released, and the trailer was posted here.
It’s Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home, in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor.
He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish.
Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever.
The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true…
Madge Arwell is played by Claire Skinner, Lily Arwell by Holly Earl and Cyril Arwell by Maurice Cole.
Matt Smith told WalesOnline that he would like to see more action in Doctor Who:
Doctor Who star Matt Smith said he wants to see “more action” in the next series of the Timelord’s adventures.
The actor, who is reported to have recently split up with girlfriend Daisy Lowe, said the sci-fi show’s Christmas special had a “Narnia-esque shape and feel” to it.
He told the Radio Times: “Whereas last year felt more like a Christmas romp, there’s a slow-burning, ethereal magic to this. We’ve covered a whole forest in snow. The scale is vast and there’s just something wonderfully magical about it because it’s never that snowy in this country, except maybe in Scotland … and on the telly. It does it for you: all the snow and the lovely smell of the pine trees. I’m really, really looking forward to Christmas now.”
Smith also revealed he had been doing his stunts for the show – one of which involved him dodging a giant fireball.
He said: “Believe me, the fireball does so much of the acting for you. It was only afterwards that I realised I could have been seriously charred.
“I’ve been really enjoying it. Hopefully we’ll see more action/an adventure-y Doctor next season.”
The Christmas special also includes appearances from familiar faces including comic Alexander Armstrong, Arabella Weir and Bill Bailey.
Bailey, who is a devoted fan of the long-running BBC show, said appearing on it was “the equivalent of a knighthood”.
Smith has held several other recent interviews in light of the upcoming special and the release of the DVD box set from last season. Above is a video of his interview last week on BBC Breakfast. Stories include the presence of three Doctors (including himself) at a party for Steven Moffat’s birthday. Smith has confirmed that he will be returning for the upcoming season, next year’s Christmas special, and the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.
Karen Gillan said that Amy and Rory will only have a cameo role in the Christmas special, which reconciles previous reports that she will not be in the show along with reports of filming a scene outside Amy and Rory’s home.
Alex Kingston was on Craig Ferguson’s show earlier this month (video above).
This trailer for BBC1′s Christmas shows includes an appearance by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and a Cyberman.
Terra Nova revealed the shows’ big secret in last week’s episode, although there is the possibility that Taylor was lying. His claim is that his son and the Sixers are conspiring to make the portal two-way so that the resources from the past could be taken to 2149. The explanation given didn’t fully explain why only certain people were in on this. Possibly there is conflict in 2169 regarding who gets sent back. This make it especially important the the past shown in the show was previously revealed to be a different timeline.
Movie Overmind spoke to Jennifer Morrison and producer Steven Pearlman about Morrison’s key role as Emma on Once Upon A Time:
We’ve only seen four episodes of Once Upon a Time, but it’s become clear what type of show it is, as well as the format. Each episode is almost a self-contained story in the fairytale world, giving us another piece of the main characters’ backstory as fairytale characters, while introducing a few new ones along the way (like Cinderella). In addition, the Storybrooke characters continue to develop and grow alongside their fairytale counterparts.
But two characters don’t have fairytale counterparts in Once Upon a Time: Emma and Henry. Emma is clearly one of the central characters of the show, and it’s her relationship with Henry – and the other town’s characters – that has prompted this independent woman to put down roots and become part of a family. During a trip to the Vancouver set of Once Upon a Time last month, we had the opportunity to speak to Jennifer Morrison about her character and how Emma will develop throughout the first season.
Morrison acknowledged that there’s really no way to do the “Emma episode” of Once Upon a Time, because she doesn’t have a fairytale counterpart. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect to gain more insight into her character. The writers will give the audience ”a slower, steadier revelation of who she is. She’s revealed a little bit at a time through her relationships as the story goes on. Her willingness to get involved with certain people and her way of connecting to those people in those moments ends up revealing parts of her past. Those story lines, in a sense, become her flashbacks by proxy.”
Once Upon a Time’s executive producer Steven Pearlman told us that Emma will spend the first half of the season “coming to grips with the fact that she has a kid and her relationship to Henry and what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a single parent and what it means to give up your kid for adoption.” While Emma has decided to indulge Henry’s belief that the Storybrooke characters have fairytale counterparts, she doesn’t really believe it. However, Pearlman says “…these things keep happening….suggestions that maybe [Henry’s stories] are true. She herself is kind of caught in this place of ‘am I a believer or am I not a believer?’”
The biggest problem I see in keeping this story going as a weekly series is dealing with the fact that Emma is the one who has the power to reverse the spell. They obviously cannot have Emma be successful at this or the series comes to an end. More on Once Upon A Time from Jiminy Cricket’s perspective here.
While Jennifer Morrison is probably best known for her role on House. she also played Winona Kirk in rebooted Star Trek movie.
Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, creators of BBC’s Merlin series, answer some questions here. Beware, the interview and the episode descriptions at the link have a lot of spoilers for those who have not started season for yet. Here’s a few questions without spoilers:
Q: Is there any more info on the Merlin movie?
A: it’s in early stages – we’re discussing talent right now, e.g writers, directors
Q: Will there be a sixth series of Merlin?
A: We’ve always planned five series, but it depends on how popular the show is . There’s every possibility it could continue…
Q: Will we see either Arthur or Gwen confront Morgana this series?
A: Yes, there’s a very exciting confrontation coming up between Gwen and Morgana!
Q: Will we get a glimpse of redemption for Morgana?
A: The end of this series is very surprising for Morgana! Stay tuned…
Q: Do you feel that Merlin has become a stronger show each series?
A: Yes – fantasy shows often grow with confidence. The closer we get to the legend, the richer and more interesting it gets… The ambition each year is to keep pushing the envelope. We’re always working to make the show better!
There were also questions regarding whether characters who have died this season might return. To avoid spoilers I have not posted the full questions, but the answers included comments such as “Who knows?? There’s no such thing as real death in Merlin.” In an answer about another character, they said “We loved working with ***, we’ve got plenty of ideas as to how *** could return! But when, we’re not sure…” The identity of these characters is revealed at the link.
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.