With only two more episodes of Fringe this season, Worlds Apart made huge advances in this year’s arc. Fortunately the show has been renewed for a thirteen episode season next year, most likely so that there will be more than one-hundred episodes for syndication. Knowing that there are thirteen episodes to go will allow the writers to provide a meaningful ending for the show as opposed to a rushed conclusion added to the end of this season. Here is a promo for the final season:
In Worlds Apart we learned more about David Robert Jones’ plans to create a new world with the collapse of the two earths upon each other. The episode also brought back Nick Lane, who was in the Cortexiphan trials with Olivia. Knowledge of the back stories on Fringe was necessary to appreciate this episode. We’ve seen intermittent flash backs to the days when Walter and William Bell were doing experiments, which were apparently motivated to create soldiers to defend our earth in an anticipated war between the two earths. Shape shifters were developed on the other side with the same motivation. While I am not entirely satisfied with how it happened, this season showed that the use of the machine (also intended by Walternate to destroy our earth) led to a situation in which the alternate earth is healing and there is no longer conflict between the two sides. Jones, however, has now taken advantage of the weapons developed in this preparation for war for his own ends. Presumably Jones remains a threat which will be dealt with in the two-part season finale.
When the initial attempts to stop Jones failed, a decision was made to turn off the machine and sever the connection between the two earths. This raises questions as to whether turning off the machine will leave each side the same except without this means of crossing over, or if there will be other changes. Walter and Walternate questioned if this might make Peter disappear again. I doubt the would make major changes this late in the season, but another possibility might be that everything would return to how it was before the machine was turned on last season, with both earths on the brink of war.
The episode did wrap up a subplot from this season. Lincoln Lee was clearly infatuated with Olivia, and when she reunited with Peter, Lincoln got the opportunity to meet Altlivia. He decided to go to the alternate universe to be with Altlivia, a decision Peter clearly understood. I wonder if we will see the two of them again in the alternate universe. While the Fringe team lost their easy means of getting there, other means of crossing over were present in past episodes, so this might not be the last time we wee the alternate Fringe team. It is also possible to have scenes on the other side without anyone crossing over. I do hope that we do see more of the alternate earth.
Awake is at its weakest as a police procedural show. The two police cases this week on Game Day were not terribly compelling. The importance of the cases was that they showed Britten how there can be slight differences between the two realities leading to different results. In football, a field goal attempt may or may not be successful, leading to different winners (and different crimes). The ramifications of this became important in his personal life. He learned that Rex’s girlfriend Emma got pregnant before the accident killing his wife, and subsequently had a miscarriage. Back in the other world, Britten realized that although Rex was dead, Emma could still be pregnant with his child, and it was possible that there was no miscarriage. Finding that Emma was still pregnant with Rex’s child will certainly change things for the Brittens, most likely ending their plans to move to Oregon.
I hesitate to speculate too much on questions as to whether one or the other reality is actually real as I’m not convinced the writers have a real game plan for the show. Different arguments can be made based upon different episodes. This episode suggests that both realities are equally valid as once again information from one is carried over into the other. On the other hand, there have been episodes in which things occurring before the accident were different in each reality, suggesting that only one could be the real one which Britten had lived in. A Life on Mars type explanation in which noting is real might be the easiest way to settle such contradictions.
If Britten does not move to Oregon, the plans to call off the hit on him by the people responsible for the accident appears to be back on, providing further drama. However, why was this never an issue in the world where Rex remains alive and Britten never planned to move to Oregon? Perhaps the reality in which his life lived is the “real” world in which he was set up for the accident, but he also jumps to another pre-existing reality where some things were different, and perhaps the accident really was an accident.
This picture is not a fake. It appears to show the Doctor (Matt Smith) with the Beatles. Is Matt Smith actually a time traveler? Steven Moffat’s reaction to the picture on Twitter: “Bloody hell!!! Clearly we’re going to make that episode!! Wonder what it will be like.”
How’s this video for mixing up the robots from Doctor Who and Star Wars?
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).
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much disagreement about an episode of Doctor Who as in the reviews to The Rebel Flesh. The underlying idea is that artificial doppelgangers are used to do the dangerous work under the control of their human counterparts. A solar storm turned them into self-aware autonomous beings. The Doctor tried to have them all get along, but of course something went wrong and the first part of this two-part story ended with the two groups at war. This was all predictable very early in the story, as was the eventual cliff hanger. As was foreshadowed throughout the episode, the first part ended by revealing a doppelganger of the Doctor. Of course the episode showed that Amy Pond is/is not pregnant and had a scene showing the lady with the eye patch. In contrast to many other recent episodes, Rory did not die.
I really don’t think it is possible to review the episode alone. If the second part turns out to be a great conclusion, many will believe it worked out well to use the first part for setting all of this up, leaving a full episode to work out the consequences. A doppelganger version of the Doctor certainly does open the door for a more interesting second half. However, if the second half goes nowhere, this week’s episode will be seem pretty pointless.
American audiences who wait for the BBC America showing will have to wait two weeks to find out how this turns out. BBC America has decided against showing the next episode on Memorial Day weekend when fewer people will be viewing. This certainly defeats the plan to air the same day internationally to reduce piracy. Many fans will download the conclusion next week to satisfy their curiosity about the ending and avoid spoilers. Maybe this episode wasn’t so compelling that American viewers could not wait, but with Moffat promising a huge cliff-hanger to conclude the spring episodes it is hard to see hard core fans being willing to remain a week behind.
Neil Gaiman had a live question and answer session about The Doctor’s Wife with full transcript available here. While it is really not up to Gaiman to resolve this issue, he was asked about his view of the limitation to thirteen regenerations:
Question: If there are dozens of new control rooms that the doctor hadn’t even seen, does this mean that the plan is to just keep going with the regenerations and ignore the rule of 13 bodies? @Acey90
Gaiman: It’s interesting, that rule. It was obviously bendable to begin with (the Time Lords gave the Master a whole new round of regenerations). So I’ve always thought that it was more a law like a speed limit is a law than like Gravity is a law.
And if there are no longer any police to make you observe the speed limit, you can drive as fast as you like. Although it’s a lot more dangerous.
And that’s my opinion. As to what Mr Moffat thinks, he may either have a plan, or he may figure it’s not his problem, but is one for eight or ten years down the line.
Doctor Who’s top eleven catch phrases for the eleventh Doctor are presented in the video above.
[The Torchwood video previously posted has been taken off of You Tube. The trailer can still be seen at the Starz site.]
Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers on July 8. Trailers started to get released last week, and I’m sure more promotional material will become available. Episode names have been released (subject to change). Star Trek fans are also expressing interest in the series as it includes former Star Trek actors John De Lancie and Nana Visitor. There are also reports that Eliza Dushku will be staring in a web series entitled Torchwood: Web of Lies to coincide with Miracle Day.
Many additional trailers for upcoming series were made publicly available, and others with private links were distributed to bloggers. I’m sure I’ll be talking about upcoming shows more over the next few months. Above is the trailer for the J.J. Abrams show, Alcatraz. Abrams discussed the show further here. It looks like Alcatraz is to the conventional prison shows as Lost was to island shows such as Gilligan’s Island.
Star Tours has reopened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Above are some highlights of the grand reopening.
“I’m upset that friend of the show Mike Huckabee criticized Natalie Portman for having a child out of wedlock. Listen, I’m no fan of unwed mothers either, but this is Natalie Portman we’re talking about. That unborn child is Luke Skywalker.” –Stephen Colbert
The season finale of Dexter was largely predictable, but predicable in a good way. Actions and decisions made were as anticipated as they were set up in previous episodes. We knew it would end with Jordan Chase getting killed. We also knew that Lumen would leave and, while it was always a consideration, I think most fans predicted she would not get killed. Killing Lumen after Rita’s death last year would have been too depressing. There have also been hints in post-season interviews that Lumen might return.
It was also predicable that Deb would wind up at the camp, although she sure did figure out the location quickly. It would have been more plausible if Dexter had left around a paper trail regarding Jordan Chase’s ownership of the camp. The only real question here was whether Deb would arrive to save them from Jordan or, as it turned out, to find Jordan’s dead body. Once the scene was set up with Dexter and Lumen behind the plastic I had no doubt about the ending. It was obvious that this would be the way that Deb could set them free without seeing their faces. The writers had been preparing Deb all season to make the decision for her to sympathize with the unknown (to her) vigilantes. While I wasn’t very fond of the Carlos Fuentes arc earlier in the season, it did lead to Deb believing that there were people who deserved to die and change her view of killing.
Dexter’s decision to save Quinn was also not surprising. He might have let Quinn take the blame for Liddy’s death but even if Dexter saw some benefit in this he would be taking a risk that he would be a suspect once it came out that Quinn had hired Liddy to spy on Dexter. The most important factor might have been Dexter saving Quinn for the sake of his sister. At the moment Quinn is grateful to Dexter, but there is no guarantee he won’t go back to suspecting Dexter sometime in the future, especially should he break up with Deb.
There are still a number of loose ends in the conclusion. Why is Deb given credit for breaking the case when, as far as everyone knows, Jordan Chase is still alive. (I assume she didn’t tell anyone that she saw his dead body when she made the call or there would have been lots of questions when his body wasn’t there). Nobody appears to be questioning why one bullet was shot from her gun. Quinn isn’t necessarily off the hook for Liddy’s death considering all the other evidence implicating him. These include all the phone calls and the faked signature for the surveillance equipment. The hunt for Kyle Butler was also never resolved, and could still create problems for Dexter in the future.
The season ended leaving the writers a free hand as to where to go next season. They could deal with some of these loose ends from the past or move on. The problems between Dexter and Rita’s children were also resolved, with Astor and Cody planning to spend the summer with him. This leaves the writers free to set the next season with the kids living with Dexter or still living with their grandparents.
While Deb did not find out Dexter’s secret this year, they are likely setting this up for a future season. Deb did find out at the end of the first novel, which was very similar to the first season in most respects. This would be a plausible way to shake up the series and maintain continued interest. This is also suggested in an interview with executive producer Sarah Colleton:
A huge moment for Deb: She chooses not to pull back the curtain to discover the identity of Victim 13 and her partner, allowing Lumen and Dexter to go free. Why did you decide to go that way with the story?
Deb has had a really interesting growth over the past five years. If you remember her from year 1, her energy was all over the place and she was coltish and insecure—this delightful unfocused character who slowly over the years has learned to focus all of that energy and she has become a formidable detective. But part of becoming a detective and pursuing the dark side is an awareness that anyone who takes a walk on the wild side never comes back all the way. What may have started out as a rigid sense of what’s right and wrong—what’s good and evil—starts to turn into a bit of gray. And when Deb finally brings down Carlos Fuentes earlier in the season, she’s surprised that she feels nothing—and is intrigued by that sensation. And one of the most subtle conversations between Dexter and his sister takes place over a beer in Dexter’s apartment when she’s going on about how she didn’t feel anything, and Dexter gives her this look and goes, “Dad once told me there are people who deserve to die.” And she looks at him and goes, ‘Do you think there are people that deserve to die?” It’s this moment where Dexter has floated out this little trial balloon. So you see Deb starting to make that turn. And based on her experience with Rudy and in episode 10 when she sees all of those [Barrel Girl] tapes—it’s traumatizing yet strengthening for her—she comes up with the vigilante theory. When she finally gets to the camp and realizes that she has stumbled upon “13” and her helpmate, it’s not until the very end of her speech where she makes that change. And Jennifer Carpenter did a brilliant piece of acting because the character doesn’t know until that very moment that she’s going to do something. It’s a huge, defining moment for Deb. That’s a new Deb who says, “The place is going to be crawling with police in an hour,” and sails up the stairs and goes to Quinn and says, “I don’t care what happened—I love you.” It’s wonderful—and it also opens the door because eventually, some season is going to have to deal with Deb finding out about Dexter.
This would result in a tremendous change in the relationship between Deb and Dexter. In real life there has also been a big change as it was announced last week that Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall are getting divorced. Apparently it doesn’t work to marry your TV sister. Perhaps Michael C. Hall should warn his former co-star from Six Feet Under as Peter Krause is now dating his TV sister from Parenthood, Lauren Graham.
Moving Fringe to Fridays, where Fox genre shows often go to die, has raised a number comparisons to Firefly–especially as the first episode back in January is named Firefly. The above video takes the opening to Firefly and replaces it with the characters from Fringe.
Even Fox has responded to the concerned raised by moving the show to Fridays in the above promo.
As far back as 1989 we had the fan fiction The Doctor and the Enterprise placing The Doctor in the Star Trek universe. In more recent years video mash ups have become more popular. Above we have a combination of the Doctor Who and Star Wars universes. This gives us eleven Doctors, Amy Pond, Rory, and River Song, including Amy Pond fighting Darth Vader with a lightsaber.
There have been numerous interviews and promotional videos released in preparation for Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol on December 25. This includes an interview with Karen Gillan in ShortList which geeks might find encouraging. Den of Geek has a spoiler-free review based on an early screening of the Christmas special. Life of Wylie has highlights from a Q&A session with Steven Moffat and the stars.
If you prefer an alternative to Doctor Who for your holiday entertainment, The Wall Street Journal has a review of A Klingon Christmas Carol.
Across the country this week, productions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” are warming hearts. In this city, one version poses this question: What if Charles Dickens were a Trekkie?
The answer runs an hour and 20 minutes and includes three fight scenes, 17 actors with latex ridges glued to their foreheads and a performance delivered entirely in Klingon—a language made up for a Star Trek movie.
“It’s like an opera,” says Christopher O. Kidder, the director and co-writer. “You know what’s happening because you already know the story.”
For those not fluent in Klingon, English translations are projected above the stage.
The arc of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” follows the familiar Dickens script: An old miser is visited on a hallowed night by three ghosts who shepherd him through a voyage of self-discovery. The narrative has been rejiggered to match the Klingon world view.
For starters, since there is neither a messiah nor a celebration of his birth on the Klingon planet of Kronos, the action is pegged to the Klingon Feast of the Long Night. Carols and trees are replaced with drinking, fighting and mating rituals. And because Klingons are more concerned with bravery than kindness, the main character’s quest is for courage.
Carrie-Anne Moss, who stared in the fantastic movie The Matrix, and the dreadful movies The Matrix II and The Matrix III, has been signed to star in a Lifetime pilot as a celebrity psychologist.
Thursdays from 8:00 to 8:30 is the best hour of genre comedy television. Big Bang Theory has had lots of major guest stars. Now Community is getting LeVar Burton, who will play himself.
We learned over the weekend from an interview with Elizabeth Cheney that Dick Cheney remains hospitalized. He was hospitalized in July to undergo surgery which gave him a heart but no heart beat. In addition we’ve learned that Cheney no longer has a reflection in a mirror.
Cheney has been in intensive care but now has a protective suit which should enable him to eventually survive outside of the hospital:
This week BBC America broadcast The Lodger, the last episode of Doctor Who before the two-part season finale. Spoilers are included for this episode only as I impatiently wait for BBC America to get caught up so I can write about the season finale and fez hats.
This was unfortunately an Amy Pond-lite episode, but still an entertaining one. The Doctor was stranded on earth and had to figure out what was messing with time to save Amy from being lost in the Tardis forever. Fitting in was not easy for the Doctor, but he did turn out to be a fantastic soccer player (with the episode airing just before World Cup coverage on the BBC).
The episode was largely a stand alone episode but it did include references to other evens of the season. The house where the Doctor rented a room had a card for the Vincent van Gogh exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay on the refrigerator. Many reviewers have noted that a crack on the wall was shown at the end. While it was shown most prominently at the end of the episode, I also noted that it was shown briefly earlier. The most significant event was that Amy, while searching for a pen, found the engagement ring from Rory. Clearly this story line did not conclude with Rory being pulled into the crack and disappearing from time.
Matt Smith had one of the rare nude scenes in Doctor Who history, appearing dressed in only a towel, creating some controversy Ironically Smith has previously appeared on television undressed in such a manner, and it happened to be in a scene with a former companion of an earlier Doctor. Smith played one of Billy Piper’s clients in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, also dressed only in a towel.
It has been confirmed by Gavin Barker Associates that John Barrowman will only be filming Torchwood in the US from January to June. That’s roughly about 16 weeks worth of filming, before coming back to the UK.
Assuming Eve Myles was correct in her statement earlier this week about a 7 and a half month shoot, it could mean that the other 3 and a half months shooting will be taking place in the UK, especially as John Barrowman has previously stated he will be appearing in all episodes of the new series.
Alan Ball already is responsible for two of the greatest television shows of all time, Six Feet Under and True Blood. Both deal with death, and if HBO wants another series on this topic Ball is obviously the person to turn to. Deadline Hollywood reports that HBO has ordered another pilot from Alan Ball:
HBO has greenlighted a pilot for All Signs of Death, a dark comedic drama based on Charlie Huston’s 2009 crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. Ball is executive producing and directing the pilot, which was written by Huston. The project, which is now casting for an August production start date in Los Angeles, centers on an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale and the loose ends of his own past. “It’s not so much about the crime, it’s about the personal story of the central character and his journey back to being fully connected with his life after some very traumatic things,” Ball said.
As a director, Ball will experiment with smaller, portable cameras for a cinema verite style. “The show is about contemporary Los Angeles, but not the glamorous LA, it’s about the dirty underbelly of LA,” Ball said. “We’re going to try to go against the grain, away from the overlit, stylized noir for a more frantic, contemporary, naturalistic style.” Ball is executive producing All Signs of Death through his company, Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, under his overall deal at HBO. Huston is co-executive producing, with Your Face executives Christina Jokanovich and Peter Macdissi also producing.
Many actresses have dressed in versions of the Princess Leia slave outfit from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, including Kristin Bell and Olivia Munn. Pictures of these two can be seen here, and a picture of the original is here. Kelly Brook has created several Princess Leia poses for Total Film, including the Leia slave girl pictured above.
BBC America concluded the two part Doctor Who story The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone. This post will include major spoilers for the episodes which have now aired in the United States with some limited information on future episodes.
Steven Moffat used major components of two of his top stories from past years along with the crack in time from this season. The story began with River Song using an ingenious method to summon The Doctor to rescue her. The two episodes teased us with both the possibilities that River will wind up marrying The Doctor and/or that she winds up being imprisoned for killing him. At least this is the speculation after we found that she was in prison for killing “the best man she ever knew.” As the time lines of the two are crossing in different orders The Doctor does not know what to expect from her.
The episode also had the return of the Weeping Angels from Blink but they were quite different from the Angels in that story. The crack in time is shown to be able to rewrite time, most likely explaining why Amy did not recall the Daleks in Victory of the Daleks. The Angels suggest that The Doctor should know more about the crack in time, and it appears we might learn more when River Song next meets The Doctor when the Pandorica opens–which Prisoner Zero also mentioned earlier this season. This is presumably related to June 26–the wedding date on the alarm clock in Amy’s room and the date the episode is scheduled to air in the U.K.
It appears that the episode will be a major event with the climax of the crack in time story arc from this season. It is also possible that The Doctor goes back in time to the events of Flesh and Stone. At one point in the episode The Doctor is dressed and acts a little differently, raising suspicion it is a future version of him. Playing with time travel in such a manner would be the type of thing Steven Moffat is likely to come up with. There’s also been rumors that the episode will include the return of the younger version of Amelia Pond.
The episode ends with Amy having The Doctor return to earth where she makes a pass at him. This leads into the following two episodes which have aired on the BBC which both lead to Amy choosing between Rory and The Doctor.
There was a lot of news this week regarding the upcoming television season. V and Chuck were both renewed. FlashForward, as expected, was canceled. The show began strong and has been excellent in its closing episodes but did go through a weak mid-season stage when it turned into an overly complex FBI investigation instead of concentrating on the characters involved. Reportedly the final episode was edited so it won’t end with a cliff hanger but the story is not likely to be satisfactorily wrapped up. Originally the producers suggested that it would take two seasons to complete the story behind why the flash forward occurred.
Heroes was also canceled, also coming as no surprise. The show started out strong first season but in subsequent seasons fell in both quality and ratings. There continues to be talk of a two hour show to conclude the series, which I think is a good idea. The last season ended with Claire revealing the existence of the heroes. Concluding this would provide a different story from past seasons (and hopefully one different from the X Men). I also suspect that many viewers who have abandoned the show after the first season would watch a two or four hour event to definitively conclude the story.
Added to Dollhouse , 24, and Lost this means a large number of genre shows are not returning. However there are many new ones planned. IO9 presents a run down of seven new genre shows including The Cape staring Summer Glau.
During my reviews of Fringe last year I had mixed feelings about the show. I am certainly happy I stuck with it. An excellent season is ending extremely strong with a two part episode in the alternative universe. This will also probably be the last we see of Leonard Nimoy who says he is retiring and will not return to Fringe or the Star Trek movies. Of course we’ve seen many actors say this but get lured back. Nimoy has also said that when J.J. Abrams calls he does answer the phone.
We know that disastrous things may happen as a result of contact between the two universes but I cannot help but be intrigued by the alternative universe. So far we learned earlier in the season that they had digital cell phones years before us. This week we found that the alternative Olivia is hotter than ours, Peter’s parents appear more sane, and that The West Wing remains on television. On the other hand, the Fringe unit seems paramilitary and I fear we will find other unpleasant things about that universe.
Also this week we learned much more about Jacob and his brother on Lost but the island still feels like a big mystery regardless of how many answers we receive.
TrekMovie.com has pictures of this years Star Trek themed ornaments from Hallmark, including the above which is the first based upon the 2009 movie. Other ornaments include a scene of Kirk and Spock fighting from Amok Time.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland will be having their last trips to the planet Endor as the Star Wars rides are reimagined. The new Star Tours will be a 3-D ride with a high-speed pod race on Tatooine. It is expected to re-open at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in May 2011.
The sad news of the week is that legendary comic and pulp fiction artist Frank Frazetta died at age 82.
Doctor Who begins on BBC America on April 17. A trailer for the upcoming season is above.
Above is a BBC interview with the new Doctor, Matt Smith.
Blogator Who has a BBC Breakfast interview with new show runner Steven Moffatt. Karen Gillan, who will play the Doctor’s new companion, told The Observer (via IO9) that her character Amy likes to wear short skirts:
Amy’s a sassy lady, funny and passionate, and her relationship with the doctor has a really interesting dynamic… She has a love for him, a really deep love for him. But not romantic. It’s been an education in itself to work with Matt, who’s so endlessly inventive, bringing something new to it every day rather than falling into the easy default scared-face. That’s one of the challenges; you’re faced with life-threatening situations every episode, but you can’t just widen your eyes all the time. Yes, this doctor is preeeetty good. As, I’ve said, is Amy, and she gets to wear all these small skirts, which I will admit was very cold, but also very cool. They originally wanted to put me in trousers, but I did say I’d like to wear a skirt because – you’ll understand when you watch it. Actually I think I love Amy. I’m in love with her. I want to be her.
Caprica had another excellent episode this week involving searches for the cyberspace survivors of the dead daughters from each of the key families of the series. The show worked well with the contrast between the more cerebral cat and mouse game played by Graystone with the more adventurous journey by Adama in New Cap City. With this Battlestar Galactica prequel being a success we might see more. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Syfy also is looking to continue its popular “Battlestar” franchise.
When asked about the chances of its modestly performing spinoff “Caprica” getting a renewal, Stern was bullish. He pointed to the show recently hitting a series high in the adult demographic using Live+7 ratings, drawing 1.6 million viewers and 913,000 adults 18-49.
“We have a lot of hope for that show,” Stern said. “The (DVR data) has been very promising and growing week after week. The ratings don’t reflect the potential audience.”
The network also is looking to order another “Battlestar”-related project. Details were slim, but Stern said the title would mark a return to the franchise’s space-opera roots.
“We’re looking for other ways to spin off ‘Battlestar’ beyond ‘Caprica,’” he said. “That world is so rich. We’re sitting down with (executive producer) Ron Moore and his team. It would not necessarily be a traditional series.”
There is speculation that such a show would concentrate on the first Cylon War. While the stories are all fantasy, Script PhD has an interview with Professor Malcolm MacIver of Northwestern who has consulted on Tron and Caprica discussing the science behind the show.
In other genre shows this week, Lost looked at Sawyer’s past in the alternate reality. When the bomb went off the initial thought was that if this worked everyone would be in the position they would be in if the plane never crashed. Instead it turns out that Jacob and perhaps others from the island were influencing them for years. With the island not around, there lives have been different in the other reality for many years. It is not clear if this is sufficient to explain it or if there is something else about this reality we do not yet know, but Sawyer’s life is considerably different. Rather than turning to a life of crime he would be being a police officer. The connections between different characters continues as Miles was his partner and he even hooked up with Charlotte.
Flash Forward returned with a two hour episode which gave some explanations but had very low ratings, making renewal appear unlikely.
And at today’s Showest presentation, WB head honcho Alan Horn confirmed the news. I forget exactly what he said on stage, but it’s essentially what I heard: DC Superheroes are coming and they’d replace Harry Potter.
The thing you need to realize is under Alan Horn, Warner Bros. instituted a tent pole release strategy which calls for a few event films to be made every year. For the last decade, Harry Potter has been used to fill the release calendar and now that the franchise is ending after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the studio needs need blood to take it’s place and a new way of earning the huge money that only tent pole releases can generate.
Enter DC Superheroes.
While nothing is officially on the calendar yet, I’ve heard in 2012 we’re getting not only a new Batman movie…but The Flash! I’ve heard the studio is currently talking to directors and they’ll announce who it is when they’ve found the right choice.
Again, The Flash isn’t confirmed, but I’m telling you, it’s the next new superhero movie at Warner Bros. and we’re going to hear about it soon.
As a comic book movie junkie, I am beyond excited WB is finally getting into the game with their unbelievable library of characters.
This will provide for a number of movie ideas, but I wonder how many will have the wide spread appeal of the Harry Potter movies.
And, finally, Geeks of Doom reports that Star Trek meets Zombies:
Quirk Books is adding a new zombie tale to their collection with Night of the Living Trekkies, a novel by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall which sees Trekkies at a convention meet the undead!
The publisher, which is known for its literary monster mash-ups like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, hails the book as the “strange lovechild of Galaxy Quest and Dawn of the Dead.”
When hordes of the undead come to feast upon the attendees at a Star Trek convention, a group of Trekkies fight for their lives using everything they’ve learned from old Star Trek episodes.
More detail is also provided:
This sci-fi/zombie/comedy/adventure follows a group of rag-tag Trekkies getting together for the fifth annual GulfCon (billed as the “largest Starfleet Convention in the western Gulf Coast region”).
Our heroes are dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers-but soon find themselves defending their hotel and convention center against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Suddenly, all of their useless knowledge about particle physics and old Star Trek episodes has genuine real-world applications! And while hotel employees and regular civilians are dying left and right, our Trekkies summon strength and courage by emulating their favorite starship-voyaging characters.
Packed with hundreds of gags referencing Star Trek, Star Wars, comic books, and fan conventions, Night of the Living Trekkies reads like the strange lovechild of Galaxy Quest and Dawn of the Dead. Journey to the final frontier of zombie science-fiction satire!
The End of Time Part II will be a classic for the major events of the episode, even if not for the quality of the story. This post contains major spoilers.
Russell T. Davies tend to go over the top with season finales, and it was clear he would do this from Part I which ended with his version of the Master race. Last year had planets moving in space without regard for the scientific impossibilities. This year he only had one planet move but it was not just any planet but Gallifrey appearing next to earth.
The episode managed to remain entertaining despite frequently not making very much sense. The escape with The Doctor tied in a chair was a perfect chase scene for the episode. The return of the Time Lords made little sense, and it was disappointing that they reversed The Master’s act to turn everyone on earth into a copy of himself in a moment. It again made little sense that the Lord President didn’t kill The Doctor while wearing Glove of Rassilon as The Doctor was spinning back and forth between him and The Master.
The episode did explain the tragedy often felt by The Doctor as it revealed why he had to try to destroy or seal in time both the Time Lords and the Daleks. The Time Lords had become as evil as the Daleks.
The show included several scenes reminiscent of Star Wars, following the Imperial Senate scene in Part I. The second episode felt like it was beginning on Death Star, including a killing in which Darth Vader could have filled the role of the Lord President. Later Wilfred Mott was involved in a space battle which also appeared to be out of Star Wars, and there is a brief scene with Captain Jack in a Cantina. The scene in which The Doctor was exposed to the radiation was also reminiscent of Spock’s death in The Wrath of Kahn.
In addition to all these homages to other shows in the Peter Tennant/Russel T. Davies finale, a sit-com airing the same day included a quick homage to Doctor Who. The fate of obsolete robots at Veridian Dynamics was seen on Better Off Ted, including a Dalek in the background.
The show teased viewers with The Doctor’s death before he actually did take the lethal dose of radiation to save Wilfred Mott. This then dragged out to the longest death and regeneration scene ever. The Doctor had time to visit many of his former companions and help them live happily every after. Donna had the largest role in the episode but it was mostly pointless. After all the warning that having her memory return would fry her brain we found that there was a safety device which not only prevented any harm to Donna but saved her from a hungry version of The Master.
Finally The Doctor, after declaring he did not want to do go, did regenerate. The episode ends with destruction to the Tardis which will give Steven Moffat an excuse to redecorate. Moffat has also discussed how he will return to many aspects of the original series including, as I suspected in my review of Part I, the return of Gallifrey. From Airlock Alpha:
Steven Moffat is looking to restore the BBC icon to its classic roots that some are describing as an effort to integrate fans of the original “Doctor Who” series. However, others say it’s more about what Moffat likes.
“Every showrunner has brought their own personal touch to ‘Doctor Who,’ and [Moffat] is someone who just can’t get away from the episodes we all grew up with,” a source, who wished not to be named, told Airlock Alpha. “There is just something to the original show that made it magical, and finding a way to bring that back is something Moffat has been working hard to achieve.”
And Moffat has already done some things that have fans wondering. Changing the look of the Tardis to a more classic appearance, adjusting the “Doctor Who” logo to appear as if it was simply touched up from the 1980s, and even reports that new opening credits have been commissioned that will feature the likeness of the new Doctor, played by Matt Smith, an obvious homage to past opening credits that did the same for many of the actors who played The Doctor over the decades.
But that’s not where it’s stopping.
“The re-introduction of Gallifrey was not just a late-[season] twist,” the source said. “The idea is to create a transition from the RTD version of ‘Doctor Who’ to the Moffat version. And Moffat wants to go back to as close to the original program as possible.”
It’s not that Moffat had any issues with the way Davies brought the show back, or what it become, the source said. Moffat himself wrote some of modern “Doctor Who’s” better episodes including “Blink” and “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “The Doctor Dances.”
However, now that Davies has successfully brought the show back with full network backing, there is an open door to restore “Doctor Who” to much of its original self.
I wonder if one unexplained item, the woman giving Willfred Mott advice, was intentionally left open for Moffat to return to. It appears that it might be The Doctor’s mother but her role is not clear.
This BBC promo for the fifth season shows that Moffat will be returning characters from both shows he has written and classic Who with scenes showing both the weeping angels from Blink and Daleks:
While it is sad to see David Tennant go, I am looking forward to this spring to see what Steven Moffat and Matt Smith do with Doctor Who.