Coverage of the uneventful Rapture dominated social media yesterday. Here is a recap of my posts, primarily from Facebook and Twitter. Coverage did begin on the blog with this post. Further coverage was on Facebook and Twitter, beginning with a comment on a true event occurring Friday evening, and some opinions on the whole subject:
I was listening to the BBC News and suddenly the signal was lost. If it was already 6:00 pm in London I might be a little nervous.
The worst thing about the world coming to an end tomorrow at 6:00 pm is that the Rapture will be occurring just before Doctor Who airs.
Rushing to get through more episodes of Downton Abbey before the Rapture at 6. It really sucks when the world is going to end and you don’t get to see the full season.
As it became 6 p.m. around the world, coverage intensified:
It is 6 pm at Aukland. Any sign of the Rapture?
All my Australian Facebook friends are still here. They must be godless heathens.
Just got response to question from Verizon. If the world does end today I am still responsible for the remaining months on my phone contract.
6 pm in London & my Facebook friends are still there; must be sinners like my Australian friends. Also means Doctor Who will still be on.
Next year we will find out if the ancient Mayan calendar is more credible than the fundamentalist view of the Christian Bible.
What was Steven Moffatt thinking, airing the first of a two-part Doctor Who story on the day the world was scheduled to come to an end?
It is almost 6:00 local time. Personally I find the threat of assimilation by the Borg, destruction of the earth by a Vogon construction fleet building an intergalactic highway, or Skynet becoming self-aware and wiping out humanity to all be more plausible scenarios than Biblical prophesy.
6 pm and the Apocalypse is rather uneventful. Regrettably the religious fundamentalists remain here to continue messing up the earth.
Meanwhile, while we had a lot of fun with this yesterday, Harold Camping, who predicted the date of the Rapture, has not had anything to say. I do not fear for his future. After he was wrong in 1994 he just picked a new date. He can do that again, and those who believed him before will probably believe him again.
Just last month we managed to avoid Judgment Day as predicted for April 21, 2011 in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now we are informed that the Rapture will be occurring at 6:00 pm in our local time zone. This means that the first signs of Judgment Day, an earthquake to throw the dead out of their graves, will be starting around the international date line late this evening or early tomorrow depending upon your time zone.
In case of the Rapture, expect delays in blog posts. We will resume normal posting as soon as possible, depending upon the state of the earth. I anticipate that with all the religious fundamentalists gone to heaven I will also have less material for the blog. We might then also predict a wave election in 2012 to sweep out the Republicans who have been pandering to the religious right, assuming the earth survives long enough to hold new elections. Of course there’s also that Anti-Christ stuff to consider.
While waiting the Rapture, you can find a weather report to assist with deciding what to wear on Judgment Day here. There are many events scheduled, such as a plan to freak out fundamentalists by leaving shoes lying around (with dry ice to give the illusion of a body having been taken).
Reportedly Harold Camping, who made the prediction of the end of the world occurring tomorrow (as well as a previous prediction in 1994), does have a pamphlet ready for distribution in case he is wrong. We will therefore update plans for Judgment Day if such updated information is made available. We also have the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar to look forward to next year.
Fans have been anxious to see a continuation of the storyline started in the first two episodes of Doctor Who this season. Many were disappointed by The Curse of The Black Spot which repeated the ambiguity over Amy being pregnant and showed the woman with the eye patch, but did not really advance the storyline. There was far greater anticipation for this week’s episode, The Doctor’s Wife, written by Neil Gaiman. Instead of advancing this season’s arc, the story went back to the origins of the entire series.
The Doctor’s Wife is his constant companion and perhaps true love- the TARDIS. The actual story was merely a device to have the TARDIS appear in the form of a woman. Karen Gillan had one of the best lines of the episode, asking the Doctor, “Did you wish really hard?” At the conclusion of the episode it was clear that the Doctor wanted her back.
Idris, also known as Sexy, revealed more about the origins of the Doctor, who “borrowed” a TARDIS which he found unlocked. From Idris’ account, it was she who picked the Doctor because she wanted to see the universe. While it might be the case that the TARDIS doesn’t always go where the Doctor wants, Idris pointed out that she always takes the Doctor where he needs to go. Most importantly, Idris finally got the opportunity to say “hello” to the Doctor.
As the story was primarily a mechanism to have the Doctor and Idris interact, it was necessary to work in an excuse to have Amy and Rory elsewhere. They spend most of the episode running through the corridors of the TARDIS, including yet another sequence in which Rory appeared to die and return. It was also amusing to see Idris be unaware of which companion was which, ultimately identifying the pretty one, which she believed to be Rory. It is a shame that the budget only allowed them to run through corridors as opposed to actual rooms during the bulk of the episode. Gaiman had wanted to have a view of the swimming pool but they didn’t have the budget for this. At least the old TARDIS set from the David Tennant era still exists, allowing them to say that the TARDIS has archives of all these old control rooms.
While this was primarily a stand-alone episode, there was on line which appears to pertain to the current story line. Idris told the Doctor, “The only water in the forest is the river.” Would this mean River Song, and does the forest refer to the forest in The Forest of The Dead? That was part of the two part story in which the Doctor first met River, and the last time River saw the Doctor due to their crossed time lines.
Also this week we received news on which shows were renewed or canceled. Cancellations include The Event, V, and No Ordinary Family. All of these were expected. Cancellations of non-genre shows include Brother’s and Sisters, which ended the season with an episode which worked well as a series finale. Two of the female stars of Friday Night Lights, Minka Kelly and Adrianne Palicki appeared in pilots (Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman). The first was picked up but the second was not. Parenthood, which Minka Kelly had a recurring role in, was also renewed.
There is speculation that Netflix might pick up The Event out of a desire to have their own shows with a following. In principle this does make sense as there are so many ways to watch movies. If not for their original shows, I probably would have dropped HBO, Showtime, and Starz by now. While it makes sense in principle, I’m not sure that The Event is the best choice for Netflix to go with. If it returns on Netflix I will probably watch it, but if I didn’t already have a Netflix account I doubt having The Event would be enough to sell me.
In addition to the announcements this week, The Cape, Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Files and FlashForward also failed to survive. While genre shows have generally done poorly on television the last couple of years, there have been multiple blockbuster genre movies, such as Thor this week. I wonder why genre titles are doing so much better at the movies than on television. Some of these genre shows suffered from mediocre writing, but an excellent show such as Fringe is also failing to do all that well in the ratings. Perhaps it is partially the higher budgets for movies. Maybe there is a larger audience for intermittent blockbuster events as opposed to following a show weekly. Regardless of the reason, I still find the support for genre movies as reason to hope that a well-done genre television show can still be successful on network television.
The big even tonight is the season finale of Dexter. Last week’s episode answered the question I posed as to Liddy’s fate and it comes as little surprise that Lumen is again threatened by Jordan Chase. Quinn’s fate might be settled by the drop of Liddy’s blood which wound up on his shoe. A couple of videos from tonight’s episode are above. The scene with Jordan showing his intentions towards Lumen is as expected, but Dexter does receive a surprise in the second clip.
It was inevitable that, following what was probably the best episode of Fringe ever aired, that the mid-season finale following it would be a disappointment. The big disappointment turned out to be with Olivia, leaving me half wishing we could have kept the much hotter Fauxlivia instead. The main story was about a man who reanimated a dead woman he loved and then looked into her eyes to find that she was not really the woman he had loved. Olivia couldn’t understand why Peter similarly could not realize that Fauxlivia was not her.
An alternative version from the other universe, who had studied Olivia and was intentionally trying to pass herself off as Olivia, is hardly the same as a reanimated dead woman. Yes, there were tons of clues she was not really Olivia. Still, to defend Peter for a moment, Olivia had come on to him in her request he return to our universe. It is possible to see how he would explain changes in Olivia as changes in behavior in a woman he was not romantically involved with as opposed to a coworker.
Walter had it right last week: “He fell right into her vagenda.” However, Astrid was also right in pointing out that Peter’s actions were motivated by his love for the real Olivia.
Fringe will return on Friday nights, making fans of genre shows nervous. The Friday night spot on Fox has been where many genre shows have died on Fox, including Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Firefly.
Above is a video inside look at Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol from the BBC. Check recent installments of SciFi Weekend for more on this year’s Christmas special.
This regeneration of The Doctor is accompanied by more changes than are usually seen with a regeneration on Doctor Who. Besides a new Doctor there will be a new companion, a new show runner, and a new interior for the Tardis. The regeneration scene showed the interior being damaged leading to the changes Steven Moffatt desires for the set. The Mirror reports that the Tardis is being upgraded to withstand viewing in high definition. “It will be the most hitech, intricate Tardis ever.” TV Overmind has more:
“It must be three times the size of Tennant’s, on multiple levels with staircases in between. Less grubby than its predecessor, with a transparent plastic floor on the main level, its walls are resplendent with polished copper and its central column features a blown glass decoration that could be straight from Tales of the Unexpected.
There are old car seats and downstairs – downstairs! – a swing. With a nod to Paul McGann’s Tardis, the central column features an old TV screen on an extendable trellis. It also has a 1980s-style computer keyboard, and a His-Master’s-Voice style trumpet speaker.”
When Avatar came and became a box office hit I figured a sequel was inevitable. After all, kicking the evil humans out doesn’t mean that they won’t return with a greater force to exploit Pandora’s resources. I doubt anyone will be surprised to read that producer Jon Landau and director James Cameron are considering a sequel among other projects. Naturally any sequel will also be in 3D. Landau said, “I don’t think we will ever make another 2D film. Why would we make a movie in black and white if we have color. I think ultimately all movies are going to be in 3-D.” I also fear I might be upgrading televisions sooner than I had anticipated when I went to high definition.
Bill Prady was not successful at getting Leonard Nimoy to make a guest appearance during the second season of The Big Bang Theory but he is going to try again:
Sheldon’s dream of meeting Leonard Nimoy may soon become a reality on The Big Bang Theory. Executive producer Bill Prady says the hit sitcom will likely approach the Star Trek legend early next season about making a cameo.
“We’ll probably make a general inquiry,” says Prady. “And if there’s enough interest, we’ll develop a story. The fans have said that’s the dream get, and we agree.”
Nimoy declined an invitation to appear on Big Bang back in season 2, although the 78-year-old has since returned to television with a recurring gig on Fringe. “There’s always an issue with actors playing themselves,” Prady theorizes, “which most actors would rather not do.”
Speaking of Fringe, TV Overmind has some information regarding the show’s first episode back on April 1 which shows Peter’s back story.
Summer Glau will play a crime fighting blogger next season:
Glau, who has probably starred in more cult sci-fi series than any other actress, with stints on Fox’s “Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse,” has joined NBC’s superhero-themed drama pilot “The Cape” in a leading role.
In the pilot, directed by Simon West, a former cop (David Lyons) is set up as a criminal and becomes a masked hero, the Cape, to clear his name.
Glau will play Orwell, a cute and intrepid investigative blogger who fearlessly goes after corrupt cops and costumed bad guys.
This week’s episode of Lost was centered on Benjamin Linus. In the alternate reality off the island Ben returned home from the island at a younger age instead of spending his life there (which is a good thing considering that the island wound up under water). Ben was still working on evil plots but didn’t have the killer instinct he developed on the island. It was concern for Alex which led to him backing down, with no explanation as to who Alex’s father is. Next week’s episode will center around Sawyer.
A lot happened on Caprica but none of it had the impact of the final moment when Daniel walked up to the Cylon and said one word: “Zoe.” Only two more episodes are left until a break with the remaining eleven episodes of the season to air in October.
The second season of True Blood is approaching its finale. Help is needed to defeat Maryann and they turn to the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Reportedly this means more hot vampire sex–in this case between Queen Sophie and Sookie’s cousin, Hadley Hale (Lindsey Haun). Ausiello has additional spoilers about the season finale.
True Blood has been a success due to excellent writing, interesting characters, a compelling plot, and a lot of nude scenes with Anna Paquin. She discussed this in an interview with Nylon:
Anna Paquin, on her Nude Scenes:
“I don’t think a naked body is particularly shocking or interesting… It’s not the culture I was raised in. I was not brought up in the United States. I don’t share the [attitude] that you can have graphic violence, but – God forbid – you see someone’s nipples.”
On Going Blonde for Sookie:
“I don’t look like a Barbie doll, and probably never will. People are incredibly literal in how they view you. You have dark hair and pale skin? You must be brooding. The second you dye your hair blonde and get a spray tan, people treat you as if you’re a bit stupider and happier. Suddenly, it’s like you’re hot and sexy.”
On TV Acting:
“It never occurred to me that one form of acting was better than another. I think if you approach your career like that you’re limiting yourself to a very boring path. For me, it’s about the material.”
Epilogue: Stephen Moyer, on Vampire Sex:
“The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that? It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”
Liz Lemon doesn’t do any nude scenes on 30 Rock, but she has frequently brought science fiction into the show. Io9 has put together a clip with the scifi scenes from the show. The post also includes scifi clips from other television shows including Veronica Mars, The Big Bang Theory, The Office and How I Met Your Mother.
BoingBoing interviewed David Tennant and Russel T. Davies following the filming of their last episode of Doctor Who together–video above.
Stills are being released from the second season of Dollhouse, with an example above. As expected, now that Summer Glau is available, she will have a recurring role in the show, along with a couple of actors from Battlestar Galactica. From the press release:
Summer Glau (“Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) reunites with Joss Whedon when the actress joins the cast of DOLLHOUSE this fall in a recurring role as BENNETT, a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with ECHO (Eliza Dushku). The second season of DOLLHOUSE premieres Friday, Sept. 25 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Additional guest stars appearing throughout the upcoming second season include Alexis Denisof (“Angel”), Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”), Michael Hogan (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Keith Carradine (“Dexter”). DANIEL PERRIN (Denisof) is a U.S. senator leading a witch hunt to track down the underground organization. Mysterious, charismatic businessman MARTIN KLAR (Bamber) is Echo’s new husband. BRADLEY KARRENS (Hogan) comes to the Dollhouse hoping to stop a psychotic family member’s killing spree, while MATTHEW HARDING (Carradine), a nemesis of Dollhouse leader ADELLE DEWITT (Olivia Williams), stirs up trouble. Additionally, DR. CLAIRE SAUNDERS/WHISKEY (Amy Acker) and MADELINE/NOVEMBER (Miracle Laurie) return this season in multiple-episode arcs.
The identity of the next companion when Doctor Who resumes under Matt Smith has been announced. Karen Gillan, who previously appeared in the fourth season episode The Fires of Pompeii as one of the Soothsayers, has been given the role. It isn’t unusual for actors to make guest appearances on the show and wind up with other roles in the future. This could be a more difficult transition as this will be the first time since the show returned that both The Doctor and his main companion have changed at the same time. When Christopher Eccleston left, Billy Piper remained as his The Doctor’s companion, and when Piper left the show still had David Tennant returning.
American audiences will soon be able to see this year’s Doctor Who specials (assuming they have not already downloaded them). BBC America has outbid the SciFi channel for the rights to the show, including this year’s specials. They will begin airing them on June 27 with the Christmas special, The Next Doctor. The Easter special, Planet of the Dead, will air in July. The specials planned to air on the BBC later this year will air on BBC America in late 2009 and early in 2010. BBC America is also showing a couple of other genre shows this summer, Being Human and Survivors.
We are also going to have more of David Tennant than first expected when he decided to leave Doctor Who. He will have a major role in two episodes of the third season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Tennant will also be supplying the voice of The Doctor in Dreamland, a seven part animated series. Each episode will run for six minutes, and others supplying voices include Georgia Moffett playing a character named Cassie Rice. A Doctor Who movie is also being considered but it is not known if Tennant will be in it.
A new trailer is out for the upcoming Torchwood miniseries, Children of Earth (above).
Star Trek is now the top grossing movie of 2009 and has entered the list of top 100 films of all time. There are interviews with the cast virtually everywhere. Here is Zoe Saldana on playing a Star Trek sex symbol as Uhura, and possibly becoming involved with Captain Kirk in the future:
You’re in Star Trek. So you’re a geek, right? I am actually! I’m very proud to say I am a geek. But I’m kind of a cool geek. I grew up in a very sci-fi home so I’ve seen a lot of sci-fi movies, from Dune to Alien, 2001, ET, Batteries Not Included… All these films I go crazy for. But never Star Trek.
Was that why you weren’t sure whether to accept the role of Uhura? Even though I’ve wanted to work with JJ Abrams, I was worried that it could have backfired on my career. But when JJ told me the kind of Star Trek he wanted to make, I wanted to be a Star Trek fan now. He writes amazing roles for women.
He wasn’t afraid to put you in a very short skirt either…
Oh, no, no, no… He was not afraid at all! That was a combination of JJ and the costume designer wanting to keep the trendy ’60s style of the original show.
How does it feel to be a sex symbol for Trekkies? Oh God, I don’t know! Now I’m a sex symbol for geeks? What have I done…
Any freaky moments with Trek fans? Not yet, no… I’m very happy to say not yet. But I did have a driver that I had to spend the day with. And he opened his trunk of his black sedan and it was filled with Star Trek memorabilia.
That does sound a bit weird… I don’t go that crazy when I think about those sort of things happening at the time. But I’m thinking ‘Okay, is this normal for a man to drive around in a sedan with Star Trek memorabilia in his trunk?’ No. Freaky!
Who do you prefer, Kirk or Spock? Oh God… It depends! I suppose it would have to be Spock for now.
So pointy ears are a bonus? Hmm, I don’t know… Maybe in the sequel, I wouldn’t mind giving it a go with Kirk. He’s has those dreamy blue eyes. He brings a very interesting, rebellious manliness to the part.
Is that the kind of guy you go for? I tend to be very picky, so I look for the perfect man! So it Spock and Kirk can mix, they’d become my perfect man. That’s the kind of guy I’d go for. I don’t only go for muscles, I don’t only go for brains. You just need to have a little bit of a bad boy and a geek and then you’ve got the perfect guy.
Bruce Greenwood, who played Captain Christopher Pike, discussed his thoughts on future Star Trek movies:
I have to ask an obvious question. What do you know about plans for any sequels to the latest “Star Trek” movie?
They’re bouncing around story ideas right now. I think, from what I gather, the intention is start shooting next summer.
What would you like to see happen in any of the sequels?
I think these guys are clever enough to do at least two more and have the final one do a really hard dovetail into the beginning of [the storylines] for the original ["Star Trek"] series. My expectations are very high for them. The only thing I’d like to see, from a personal standpoint, is the mentor relationship between Kirk and Pike to continue.
I like the idea of the movies dovetailing into the beginning of the original Star Trek series but there is a problem. Abrams changed the time line in ways which prevent this from being entirely possible. I generally loved the movie and don’t want to sound like the hard core Trekkies who object to the film but I do think that the major changes made by Abrams were both unnecessary and counterproductive in the long run.
For those who aren’t up on the specifics of the original series, the show was written to begin with the Enterprise already having a history. The Enterprise was first seen at some point during a five year mission. At the start of the series Captain Kirk has already been captain for an unspecified period of time. The Enterprise had two previous captains, Robert April and Christopher Pike. The original series was canceled before the conclusion of the original five year mission, and the movies take place at a later point in time.
Abrams could have limited conflicting with Star Trek canon by placing his movies before the episodes of the original series. As the actors aged he could have also done stories later in the five year mission. It is now impossible to have the Abrams movies dovetail completely into the original series as the changes in the time line now make many of the stories impossible. We cannot have any of the episodes involving Vulcan such as Amok Time. Nor could we have the episode featuring Spock’s mother, Journey to Babal. The two part episode, The Menagerie, would also not be possible as it dealt with flashbacks to the time when Christopher Pike was captain (actually using footage from the original pilot, The Cage, which NBC rejected as too cerebral). Balance of Terror would no longer be the same as a major aspect of the show involved Star Fleet not knowing that Romulans appeared similar to Vulcans.
Summer Glau, shown above in a picture from Vanity Fair, is now available following the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As Glau previously appeared in Joss Whedon’s series Firefly there has been speculation that she will wind up with a role on Whedon’s current series, Dollhouse. Ausiello writes:
The noise you’re about to hear is the sound of the Whedonverse exploding. Joss confirms to me exclusively that, well, he’s one step ahead of you. “If anybody thinks [bringing Summer onto Dollhouse] hasn’t occurred to me already then they have not met me,” he says. “I mentioned it to her before [SCC] was canceled. I was like, ‘You know, we should get you in the ‘house.’ But first we have to come up with something that works.” And casting her as a doll would not work, insists Whedon. “Summer would be perfect to play an active, but she’s done that [type of role] a lot,” he says. “I’d rather see her play someone who talks too much. The most fun I have is when I get somebody who’s good and comfortable at doing something, and then I make them do something else. Summer said to me, ‘I would like to play a normal girl before I die of extreme old age.
There have been at least four more finales of genre shows since my last finale installment of SciFi Weekend. The season finale of Lost (The Incident) aired on Wednesday and is probably the best season finale yet for the show. There were essentially two story lines. The story on the island in the present, along with the flashbacks, centered around Jacob and what appeared to be Locke’s journey to kill Jacob. We found that Jacob has been intervening in the lives of those who wound up on the island for years. We also found that at some time in the distant past Jacob was clashing with someone who was looking for a loophole which would allow him to kill Jacob. The loophole turned out to be impersonating Locke, who we ultimately found really was dead, and then trick Ben into doing the actual killing. There are still many questions, such as whether Jacob is really dead and the implications if this is the case. As it was the smoke monster which previously convinced Ben to do whatever Locke ordered, I also wonder if the smoke monster is another manifestation of or something under the control of Jacob’s adversary.
Back in 1997 the bomb did ultimately go off, presumably explaining why in the present Richard told Sun that he saw everyone die. What is the result of the explosion? Does the explosion prevent the development of the hatch or is this what caused the problem in the first place? With one season to go we can safely assume that everyone did not die in the explosion. Perhaps the explosion worked as Jack intended and their flight never crashed. It is conceivable that the season will began with the appearance that they never crashed, and that something will bring the characters back together and back to the island. Maybe the explosion just managed to send everyone back to the present. If the explosion can change history, any chance that it might also save the planet Vulcan from destruction by J.J. Abrams?
Dollhouse ended the season with Omega, a great episode which worked both as a season finale and, if necessary and as expected, a series finale. It provided more on Caroline/Echo’s back story and completed some of the story lines from the season. It was a much better finale than on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which ended with a cliffhanger and left many of the threads from the season wide upon. Unfortunately Dollhouse also ended the season with terrible ratings, leaving most predicting it would not return.
Fortunately Dollhouse is not going to be placed in the attic. There was one additional episode filmed but not aired, which will be included on the DVD set to be released on July 28 and which will air in Great Britain. The episode takes the series in a new direction and Joss Whedon used it to demonstrate that he can continue the show’s quality on a smaller budget. Personally I have thought this show was a better fit for HBO or Showtime where he would have had a freer hand and could have better displayed Eliza Dushku’s assets. A show which involves sex is at a tremendous disadvantage creatively on network television when up against shows such as The Tudors. Even Weeds turned to topless scenes this year to increase interest in the show.
Fringe is also returning and both Fox shows will make a little more money for the network by eliminating their policy of limited commercial breaks. I initially was uncertain about Fringe as it has developed its mythology rather slowly. The finale confirmed that the show will be moving forward next season. I imagine it does make sense, even if sometimes frustrating to viewers, to gradually lay out the mythology to avoid the problems of shows such as X-Files which ultimately ran out of places to go.
More Than One ended with Olivia meeting William Bell (played by Leonard Nimoy) and realizing she is in a parallel universe after looking out the window. At least since the original Planet of the Apes, well known scenes from New York have been used for dramatic effect. Olivia sees the Twin Towers, ending the season as Life on Mars began. One of the clues that Sam had gone back to the 1970′s was seeing the Twin Towers before they were destroyed.
The Heroes finale, An Invisible Thread, ended an arc which was better than the one from the first half of the season but was still far from the quality of the first season. It felt like they had decided to end the arc and just threw in a conclusion as opposed to giving the feel of a continued story. The episode ended with Nathan dying but Matt using his mind powers to make Sylar, who was morphed into Nathan’s shape, believe he was Nathan. This does give Zachary Quinto time off if needed for more movies but there are reports he will be returning to the fourth season. Fans could have predicted that something would go wrong with Matt’s mind trick, but to be sure that fans figured it out they showed this in an unnecessary scene tacked onto the episode.
Tomorrow night we have the two hour finale of 24. This possible means Jack will save Kim, finish off the conspiracy within the government, and find a cure for the biological weapon so he can live on to torture next season.
There were several surprises this week. Some of the surprises were actually anticipated but this isn’t necessarily bad as it could indicate that the writers did a good job of setting up the surprises as opposed to bringing in things out of left field. Spoilers released earlier in the season also made some more predictable.
Briar Rose, this week’s episode of Dollhouse, began with one surprise as Ballard dumped Mellie. At first I was surprised he would to this but the moment we saw Mellie back with her handler the reason became clear. I had no doubt that Ballard was following and that this would be how he found the location of the Dollhouse.
While Ballard was hunting for the Dollhouse, the obligatory Echo story showed yet another use for the Dollhouse’s technology as this was used to help an abused child. It was not clear how this organization, which generally sells their services to millionaires, wound up helping this child (or how they could find the Dollhouse when the FBI could not).
The real surprise of the episode was that Kepler turned out to be Alpha, but I actually expected that even before they made in inside of the Dollhouse. This guess was helped both by knowing that the season would end with a confrontation with Alpha and as Joss Whedon had already hinted that we would first see Alpha in a different identity.
The show started out with problems, probably because of the interference from Fox, but is ending the season strong from a creative if not ratings standpoint. Briar Rose set up a the finale, which will hopefully be a season as opposed to a series finale, with Alpha taking Echo. It turns out that both Ballard and Alpha are obsessed with Echo/Caroline. Of course after her nude picture in Allure (above) , I imagine there might be lots of guys who are obsessed with Eliza Dushku.
Lost had its 100th episode, centering around Daniel Faraday. The Variable probably foreshadows the final episodes of the season as they move on from living with the Dharma people. The show could turn out to be a real game changer if it does turn out that people are variables which can change events, contrary to what we were previously told. The ultimate surprise could turn out to be that everything changes.
The surprise in this episode which came as no surprise was seeing Daniel Faraday get shot by his mother, Eloise Hawking, after going back in time before he was born. (It would have been far more interesting if instead he shot his mother before he was born, but presumably time could not be altered in that manner). We had already known that a major character would die before the end of the season and, being gone for a while, Faraday certainly seemed expendable. Seeing him enter the hostile’s camp after outright telling Jack and Kate that any one of them could be killed made his death so obvious that I told my wife that he was about to get killed with total certainty.
There are suggestions that there could be variables which change time, but it does not appear that changing Daniel’s fate is included. Eloise Hawking seems to know more about time travel and the island than anyone else. If she had sent Daniel back to the island, knowing that her younger self would kill him, she must be very certain that time could not be changed. Perhaps she had everyone else go back in the hopes someone else would be killed or events could have been chaged in a different way, but if she really thought she could change events the most sensible course would have been to keep Daniel from returning (unless there are other reasons this was not possible). It is conceivable that, like Ben, Daniel will survive the shooting but I will be very surprised if this is the case. What remains to be seen is whether Jack or anyone else does can change the sequence of events which have taken place on the island, leading to the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.
While somewhat contrived, they made use of a story featuring Daniel and Eloise to show that Desmond is all right in the future as Eloise met with Penelope Widmore at the hospital. We also found, in a relatively minor surprise, that Charles Widmore was Daniel’s father.
The biggest surprise of the week for me came when I obtained copies of the US version of Coupling. The show was based upon a BBC show which I previously discussed here. The US version was intended to replace Friends but was actually a combination of Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City. The BBC version, besides being one of the greatest comedies ever made, is notable for being written by Steven Moffat, who will be taking over as show runner for Doctor Who when it returns on a regular basis in 2010.
The show was a flop in the United States but now that I’ve seen the BBC version I wanted to give the US version another chance. Seeing what the series turned into in the BBC version, I was curious to see the entire US run, especially as only four out of eleven episodes were aired here.
One problem the show had in the United States was the protests about the amount of sex discussed in the show. It was also probably hurt by the shorter length of the US version due to commercials. Typical episodes of Coupling were like many episodes of Seinfeld in which different stories often came together at the end. Taking an excellent script by Moffat and cutting out several minutes would be likely to ruin it.
I’ve wondered if the problem could have been the quality of the actors. Here is where I had the surprise. Playing the beggining of an episode I found that in the US version Sally Harper was played by Sonya Walger. Walger also plays Penelope Widmore on Lost, was in the HBO series Tell Me You Love Me, and played Michelle Dixon on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The presence of Sonya Walger alone does not redeem the US version of Coupling, but after seeing her in Lost on Wednesday I was surprised to see her face when I started to watch Coupling. Although it has an ensemble cast, Sally was far less significant to the stories as compared to characters such as Steve and Susan. The actor playing Steve also looked familiar, and I later tracked him down to be Jay Harrington, who currently is doing an excellent job as star of Better Off Ted (shown here with Portia de Rossi of Allie McBeal and Arrested Development). Presumably he has improved his comedy skills since staring on Coupling.
The season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (previously reviewed here) was disappointing as it could turn to be the series finale but it raised more questions than it answered. There are rumors that Fox has already decided to cancel/terminate the show, while other speculate that they might continue it if the upcoming Terminator movie does well and increases interest in the series. Brian Austin Green (Derek Reese) says the episode was not intended to be a series finale and speculates that the show might continue into a third season:
CBR: To begin, the second season finale of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” aired the other night and had a mind-blowing ending that made the episode feel more like a series finale. Was that intentional?
Brian Austin Green: No. The third season is going to be incredible, if it happens. There were no intentions of this being a series finale. It was absolutely a season finale. There’s a plan where this can go and it’s so good. You know, I went on some of the Terminator sites just to see what fans were saying Friday night and there is a lot of confusion over it.
You have this episode where John Connor travels to a future where John Connor never existed. I don’t know if people completely get it because we work on a string theory, which we’ve dealt with during the season. We dealt with that with Jessie, in the future that she came from there was Charles Fisher, who tortured everyone. In the future I came from, he never existed. I don’t remember him. We were still together within these parallel futures but they were still different and they still had their own paths. This is the same concept. For John Connor to travel to a future where he never existed, where Kyle Reese never left, where Derek and Kyle are still fighting side by side, where Allison (the human Cameron was based on) is still very much present, what becomes of John? What better situation for somebody to grow up in and become the future leader than that? Than to be fighting in what he’s been trying to prevent? Not just being the top dog, being listened to for everything, but having to actually listen and follow.
You know, people have been complaining about John Connor since the beginning of the series. Complaining about Thomas Dekker, that he’s too wimpy. They say, “How’s he going to be the leader of the Resistance?” But the idea of this show is that we’re giving people what you don’t get an opportunity to see in the films. Because films are only two hours long, you don’t get the creation, you only get the birth of something. On our show, you get to start with this kid who is fifteen years-old turning sixteen and becoming somebody. If he was just that from the beginning where does the show go? Where do we go if it’s just the “Bad-ass John Connor Show?” Then what do you do?
If we just run around and shoot, then there’s no growth. It’s one of the things that [Executive Producer] Josh Friedman works really hard at, creating a series that can grow, that has room to move and breath, and the show has that. You know, you get to the end of the season and so many of the episodes in the middle, that people didn’t like, start making sense. He’s a storyteller and he tells in a very biblical form. He’s very good at laying out a season and making the entire season the story, not just episode to episode. There was a lot of payoff but then again, for season three, a lot of now new unanswered questions.
Since you mentioned the confusion about the ending, do you think Weaver is really trying to help John, and did Sarah make it to the future at the very end of the episode?
No, she stayed back. She stayed in the present time. She stepped out of the time-bubble and John and Weaver went forward by themselves.
It’s not completely clear yet but what we’re sort of getting, as far as Weaver goes, is that Weaver could end up being somebody who was sent back by John Connor in the future and John Henry was created as an alternate to Skynet. Something [to use] within this present where Skynet is sending Terminators back to kill him. Something that on a tech level could really help him evolve and learn in a different way than Skynet did. It could be [something John set into place], we’ll find out if we come back and hopefully we’ll find out.
What’s the word on season three? Have you heard anything yet?
No. Nobody’s heard anything. I’ve heard a lot of speculation, you know, people saying that it won’t be back but we thought that after our first season. We thought that again after the thirteenth episode of this season going into the back nine. We’ve kind of been the show that’s fought its way through and I don’t think we’re done. I don’t necessarily think that FOX is done with it. They really enjoy the show. It’s just that a show like this has a very specific audience. It’s a really intelligent show and for the people that don’t watch it every week, there’s no possible way they could follow it. Josh doesn’t want to dumb the show down for the people that don’t follow it, just so they can tune in whenever they want and sort of pick up wherever we are in the story. So it’s a tough line, you know, it’s a very unique series that way. I mean, it’s incredibly serialized and incredibly intelligent.
It’s been rumored that Catherine Tate will return as Donna Noble before the conclusion of the David Tennant episodes of Doctor Who. Tate has been spotted on the set during filming. Such reports might be misleading as the final episode reportedly will include dream sequences with people who have been involved with The Doctor. There is more of a chance that Donna might actually play a part in one of the two remaining episodes in order to allow her to restore her memories of her time with The Doctor. There also might be yet another spin off of Doctor Who, this time based upon UNIT technology expert Malcolm Tayor who appeared in this year’s Easter special.