SciFi Weekend: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe Airs Today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lF1FYIk58L8#!

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe airs today. Doctor Who News has posted this  collection of newspaper articles on the show.  Steven Moffat was interviewed on BBC Breakfast last week (video above).

Moffat was also interviewed by The Scotsman, suggesting there might be more than one special for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and commenting further on the proposed move by David Yates:

As for the 50th anniversary in 2013, Moffat has already promised an appropriately special episode, although when pressed he teasingly replies, “Why talk in the singular? Again, genuinely, the plans are at an early stage, but we have some very clear ideas about some of the things we’re doing, and I think Doctor Who fans and kids will think it’s the best thing ever. We’ve got a load of very big plans – the mere fact that we’re talking about this two years before the event should tell you how seriously we’re taking it.”

Fans are clamouring for an anniversary special featuring current incumbent Matt Smith alongside many of the previous Doctors, I venture. “Apparently,” he shrugs with a laugh, with nothing more to say on the matter.

Extracting new information about the revived Doctor Who has never been easy. A magnet for rumour and misinformation, the series attracted confusion again recently when Harry Potter director David Yates claimed he was making a rebooted movie version with an entirely different cast and mythology. “It’s completely inaccurate!” says Moffat. “There’s nothing there. I mean it would be lovely, yes. If anything, the only good bit about this is that it might actually focus our minds on thinking that we actually should do a film. But to state the bleeding obvious, it’s not going to be a different version of Doctor Who with two different Doctors at the same time. Of course not, we’re not that silly. That would be no way to run a franchise, would it? I’d love it to happen, but that version you heard was just a guy getting cornered on the red carpet and not really being on-message.”

Karen Gillan was interviewed  by ABC Nightlife (Australia). Audio above.

BBC America is broadcasting the episode this evening, but if you want to see it as soon as possible, the show will be streamed internationally here.

Here’s a complete time line of almost fifty years of Doctor Who. Clink on the graphic or link for a larger version.

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SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, Christmas Special To A Heartbreaking Development, Season Finales For Dexter and Homeland

There is only one week to go. Here is an interview with producer Marcus Wilson on this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Bill Bailey on appearing in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special

This week Steven Moffat also revealed more about the special. The cosmic screwdriver is an awesome tool, but it doesn’t work on wood. So what if the Doctor runs into a monster made of wood, which was also influenced by Moffat’s childhood fears:

“It was an old, old nightmare. When I was a little boy, I used to have an obsession that if I fell asleep facing the wall, as opposed to facing the door of my room, something dreadful would happen to me. I had all sorts of safeguards in case I ever fell asleep facing the wrong way. But one time, I woke up… and I was facing the wall. I was horrified! I spun round, and I was so transported by fear that, for a moment, I saw a seated, wooden king in front of my bedroom door, saying, ‘Well, you got that wrong, didn’t you?’ And I freaked.

“Obviously, it was just my imagination; there wasn’t actually a wooden king. At least, I hope there wasn’t. But that is the Wooden King in this episode, seated and looking like wood, but with a mobile face… Have you seen it blink? It’s terrifying. It’s that wonderful, counter-intuitive thing of wood behaving like flesh, and being fluid. It feels so wrong, and therefore so Doctor Who.”

The big news beyond this Christmas is that, as has been clear from previous news, the Ponds will be leaving:

“The final days of the Ponds are coming,” Moffat said.

“I’m not telling you when or how, but that story is going to come to a heartbreaking end.”

He said the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was going to meet “a new friend”. It is believed that role has not yet been cast.

On the departure of Gillan and Darvill, Matt Smith said: “We had the most incredible journey. We took over the show and we’ve really had to hold hands and help each other through it.

“So it’s very disappointing, but one has to remember that this show is about change and regeneration, and that’s what galvanizes it and pushes it forwards.”

Moffat does not plan any two-part episodes next season, hoping to make every episode a standalone blockbuster:

“The big thing is, nothing in the next run is starting out as a two-parter,” he confirms in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. “At this stage, everything is a single episode, and the only reason anything will become a two-parter is if we think it needs to be; not so much that the story is too long for 45 minutes, because nothing is too long for 45 minutes, but if it feels as though there are two distinct stages to the story…

He goes on to explain some of the reasoning behind the decision: “I was looking at the facts and stats and it’s not true that the two-parters save us money. We’ve assumed it for years. They don’t save us money at all. Not a penny. So what’s the point in them? The viewing figures always go down. The AI [Audience Appreciation Index] goes down, even if the second episode is the better one. The press coverage goes down. The trailers are a bit boring. I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.”

Moffat also says that the movie discussed by David Yates which presents a Doctor Who separate form the television show will not occur.

David (Yates) was talking a little out of turn, there; a very, very brilliant director but no the film as described by him, of course we’re not going to do that—a film that contradicts the television series, it would be a heathen thing to do … I would be ‘beheaded’ to do such a thing!

It would be wonderful to do a Doctor Who film, but when and if we did—and hopefully we will be doing it—it will be very much an offshoot of the television series and we’ll be part of it, and it will star the television Doctor, of course—anything else would be heresy!

Neil Gaiman on his favorite moments from the past season of Doctor Who.

The other big special of the holiday season is the two hour Downton Abbey Christmas Special. Warning, there are MAJOR SPOILERS for those who have not seen the second season, which so far has aired in the U.K. but not the U.S. The preview gives the impression that the special deals with two major plot lines of the second season which were left unresolved at the end of the season.

Dexter and Homeland (my favorite new show of the season) conclude their seasons tonight. Going into the final two seasons, I wonder if Dexter will have any major developments tonight beyond killing the big-bad of the season. I’m curious as to how Homeland will conclude and still leave things open for a second season. Claire Danes does say in the interview above that there will be a second season. Presumably if Carrie saves the Vice President and perhaps exposes a mole in the CIA her career will not look as finished as it did last week (assuming she stays on her meds).

Colin Hanks was interviewed about his role as Travis Marshall on Dexter. Here are some portions of the interview:

What was your reaction to the story line when they explained it to you?
Well, when they told it to me, it was incredibly vague. They just said, “You’ll be one of the two bad guys; you’ll work together as a team.” And then they said — well, I can’t really say because we haven’t aired yet — but they told me a version of what is going to happen at the end, which was sort of like the caveat. Which ended up not happening, by the way.

The end changed from when you got the role?
Yeah, as with all things TV, it’s always fluid, it’s always morphing, it’s always changing, it’s always growing. And I think there was a lot of that throughout the course of the season. They didn’t tell me about the twist in — I think it was the “Get Gellar” episode — until right before they sent that episode out.

Oh, so you didn’t know from the start that Professor Geller was really dead?
I didn’t know. I didn’t know about the big reveal.

Then I guess you didn’t tweak how you were acting against him —
No. No, no, no. They didn’t tell me, so I just played him as if he were a real person. Which is great.

Do you think you might’ve played it differently had you known?
I’m sure I would have in some way, so it was a luxury to just not worry about that. There’s always this sort of thing like, Oh, I wish I know what’s gonna happen so I can do my actor stuff and prepare and properly tell the story. But on the first day of shooting that we did, I remembered Eddie [James Olmos] having a conversation with [director] John Dahl. And Eddie knew about the reveal; John did not. And John said, “Look, it’s the great thing about life, you never know what’s gonna happen, so that makes for more realistic storytelling.”

Maybe the religious angle is getting people especially fired up. He’s a religious zealot.
Yeah, but it comes from a place of not being right in the head to begin with. It’s not like the religion is there, and then he went crazy because of the religion; he was crazy before that and he was going through his personal issues before that, so as things sort of were progressing, and once we got to the stage where we were really sort of learning things about Travis, I became much more sympathetic to him. Then at the end he just goes all out evil and crazy.

Dexter’s son Harrison gets involved in the finale when Travis kidnaps him. Was it hard to play insane killer scenes with a toddler?
It was incredibly hard. Without giving too much away, it’s incredibly dramatic and there’s yelling and it’s a culmination of the entire season. I mean, it’s the climax of the season. And I’ve got a sword, I’m holding a kid, he doesn’t know what’s going on. I’m supposed to put him in this thing and he doesn’t wanna go. And you know, I have a kid now [in real life], so my heart is just breaking for him because he’s crying. Again, John Dahl directed, he directed the final episode, and I said to him, “Of course it’s the climax of the season and we’ve gotta deal with this screaming 3-year-old kid for two days.” Not easy, but we did it.

In other media news, congratulations to the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory on their 100th episode.

This day also brought the sad news of the death of  Czech playwright, dissident, and later political leader Vaclav Havelwho helped bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union. The week also saw the loss of Christopher Hitchens.

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SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, The War on Christmas, Saving Greendale (And Inspector Spacetime), Sherlock and The Hour Returning For Second Season But Future Of Terra Nova In Doubt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npe-7u1EFPw

Two clips from The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe (this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special) have been released (above).

For those who might have missed my posting of this earlier in the week, The BBC has released the above prequel video.

Recently I mentioned the search for lost episodes of Doctor Who and now two lost episodes of Doctor Who from 1965 and 1967 have been recovered. Video clips above.

Next time you hear conservatives talk about the War on Christmas, ask if it is possible if it was the trees which started the war.

Or perhaps we should not ignore the harm done to Christian children by Jews, atheists, and gays in the War on Christmas. See the public service announcement above.

Community is going on hiatus until spring but did end for the fall with more Inspector Spacetime.

With Inspector Spacetime gone, we will have to settle for Excellent!, a comedy spin off of Doctor Who staring the Cybermen. Title sequence above. Not satisfied? Then we must Save Greendale. Beyond Inspector Spacetime, more reasons to save Community are  listed here.

Spin, a short film by Jamin Winans which has won over 40 film festival awards worldwide, shows the complexities of trying to control time in the video above.

 

There are some hints as to what happens in the season finale of Terra Nova next week:

Someone’s going to die. That much has been leaked about the upcoming two-hour finale on Fox’s Terra Nova, and star Allison Miller promises that fans are not going to be at all happy if the Steven Spielberg dino drama doesn’t get a second season.

“There’s going to be so much left unanswered,” Miller told EW. Miller plays Skye, a traitor within the Terra Nova camp.

The finale, which airs on Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m., opens with the colonists anticipating the arrival of the 11th Pilgrimage. Producers have already spilled that not just one, but two people will die, including a “person who is without family,” there will be an explosion, and there is an unexpected trip back to 2149.

“It felt like we went back to the pilot as far as the scope and scale of everything,” said Miller. “It’s just so huge, it sort of has this post-apocalyptic feel to it that’s dark and interesting.” As far as who might be killed off in the finale, “I was so disappointed. I mean, it’s heartbreaking. It’s so, so sad.”

However, she does say we’ll get some answers. We’ll learn why Lucas wants the portal to go into the future, as well as the past, and how Lucas and Taylor ended up on different sides of things. “You’ll know exactly what has been driving them apart all these years,” said Miller. And we’ll find out about an organization with “something else in mind for Terra Nova.”

Since we’ve already heard about new evildoers named the Phoenix Group, we’re guessing that might be the organization she’s talking about.

According to executive producer Brannon Braga: “We have supercharged the premise of our show in a very chilling way. … Everything changes.”

“It would not be fair to anyone to not give us a second season,” said Miller.

I would like to see the show have more time to develop, but getting a second season has nothing to do about fairness. The first season could have been developed more, but the key factor  in delaying a decision is probably the high cost of the show.

Sherlock returns on BBC1 on January 1. Spoiler TV has interviews with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Benedict Cumberbatch on the second season. The first episode is A Scandal In Belgravia:

The contemporary re-imagining of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, caused a sensation in the summer of 2010, delivering an audience of more than nine million viewers who tuned in to watch Sherlock and John Watson navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers in three thrilling, action-packed adventures.

In episode one of this new series, compromising photographs and a case of blackmail threaten the very heart of the British establishment but, for Sherlock and John, the game is on in more ways than one as they find themselves battling international terrorism, rogue CIA agents and a secret conspiracy involving the British government. But this case will cast a darker shadow over their lives than they could ever imagine, as the great detective begins a long duel of wits with an antagonist as cold and ruthless and brilliant as himself: to Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler will always be THE woman.

The BBC has announced that The Hour will return for a second season:

Critically-acclaimed drama, The Hour will return to BBC AMERICA next year with a mini-series sequel, once again co-produced by the network.

Written and created by the award winning Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame, Sex Traffic) and produced by Kudos Film and TV, the new six-parter (6×60) sees the return of the highly competitive, sharp-witted and passionate news trio Bel (Romola Garai), Hector (Dominic West) and Freddie (Ben Whishaw) alongside beloved Lix (Anna Chancellor), scheming McCain (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and newly assertive Marnie Madden (Oona Chaplin), in this highly acclaimed 1950s newsroom drama.

The next installment rejoins The Hour team a year later in 1957 where we are introduced to new characters played by Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, The Nativity) Hannah Tointon (The Inbetweeners) and Tom Burke (State of Play).

Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America says: “The Hour successfully launched BBC AMERICA’s new Dramaville franchise in August by setting the standard for great British drama. Abi Morgan and the Kudos production team delivered an extraordinary television experience and when the opportunity arose for us to co-produce a sequel we jumped at it. I can’t wait to see the next chapter in the lives of these brilliant characters.”

Jane Featherstone, Creative Director and Executive Producer, Kudos Film and Television, says: “In series two of The Hour we are going to find out what happens next in the lives of our news team, as they engage with a new year full of old flames, new loves, thrilling stories and plenty of scandal. Taking us even deeper into our characters’ lives and engaging the viewers with its energy, wit and story, we’re chuffed to bits to be able to keep the world alive.”

The sequel will see the team still striving to broadcast the stories they believe in, as they grapple with the looming spectre of the Cold War and changing social mores. It will chart political intrigue and corruption against the highly charged backdrop of a country in the grip of unsettling and rapid change. With the space race and nuclear power, Britain seems on the threshold of a new era of modernization, economic optimism, scientific progress and cultural change in the face of new immigration from the Commonwealth. But under the buoyant veneer, our characters become deeply embroiled in cover-ups, sexual intrigues and the resurgence of Mosley’s fascism…

Bel Rowley is still single and determined not to get involved with another married man. Clarence is in prison and she must now report to Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi) the eccentric new Head of News. While juggling the sparky relationships around her, she finds out that Hector is being lured to ITV. She fights for her program and finds herself taking on her adversary, Bill Kendall (Tom Burke), a producer whose magnetic charm she can’t help but find irresistible.

Hector Madden has risen to the status of a national celebrity, all while maintaining his lifestyle as a happily married man and face of The Hour. He is unsettled by Marnie’s desire to establish her own career and finds himself drawn to the late night clubs of Soho where he befriends Kiki (Hannah Tointon), a club hostess. No longer happy at The Hour under Randall’s new regime, he is tempted by offers from ITV, but when a night at the club goes badly wrong, scandal threatens and Hector must try to stop a news story that could destroy his marriage and his career.

Freddie Lyons, who was fired after ‘The Lord Elms’ live interview, makes an unexpected return to The Hour. Having been away for several months travelling around the world, he returns as co-host of The Hour, to both Bel and Hector’s surprise. He has however not lost his passion to investigate and as he becomes embroiled with exposing a cover-up, it becomes clear that the ghosts of the past will not let Freddie go.

Lix is still heading up the foreign desk, fighting for airtime for international stories, but a new side to her is revealed when Randall arrives at The Hour. Meanwhile, McCain (Julian Rhind-Tutt) is now Head of Press for Macmillan, protecting the recently elected Prime Minister and the closed circle of his cabinet.

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Prequel Video To The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe

Prequel video above for The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe (this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special)

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SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who News Including The Christmas Special and Movie

Eight new promotional pictures have been released for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe can be seen here. The episode airs on December 25 both on the BBC and BBC America. The DVD and Blu-ray will be released on January 16 in the U.K. but I have not seen a release date in the United States.

The Doctor Whoville t-shirt, featuring eleven Doctors, seems appropriate to wear while watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special, but is no longer available.

Matt Smith discussed the special in the interview above. 

And here Matt Smith presents Doctor Who’s Guide to Cardiff

Mark  Gatiss discussed science fiction on the BBC.

Steven Moffat has commented further on the proposed movie version of Doctor Who:

“To clarify: any Doctor Who movie would be made by the BBC team, star the current TV Doctor and certainly NOT be a Hollywood reboot.”

Moffat contextualised Yates’ remark in another tweet, saying: “David Yates, great director, was speaking off the cuff, on a red carpet.”

In a statement issued to a national newspaper, Moffat said that Doctor Who is “a vitally important BBC brand with a huge international audience” and one which “not even Hollywood can start from scratch”.

The producer also revealed that as yet “there simply are no developed plans for a Doctor Who movie at the moment” but “if and when the movie happens it will need to star television’s Doctor Who – and there’s only ever one of those at a time.

David Yates, in the brief interview above, said that he can’t say much, “because its such a long way away,”, but that they are looking for a writer first.

Last week there were rumors on line that a Christmas episode of Doctor Who Confidential was filmed but will not be aired due to the cancellation of Confidential. The BBC says that only ten minutes were actually filmed, and it will wind up on line at some point.

The TARDIS provides a device to place Doctor Who stories in any place or time, but time travel is not an actual part of most episodes. IO9 has made a listing of classic episodes which did involve time travel.

This looks like a great way to store media, especially as it is bigger on the inside than on the outside.

 

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SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who Christmas Special And Other News; Terra Nova Secret Revealed; Once Upon A Time; Merlin

Several new pictures from the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, have been released, such as the one above. More can be seen here. The official synopsis has also been released, and the trailer was posted here.

It’s Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home, in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor.

He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish.

Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever.

The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true…

Madge Arwell is played by Claire Skinner, Lily Arwell by Holly Earl and Cyril Arwell by Maurice Cole.

Matt Smith told WalesOnline that he would like to see more action in Doctor Who:

Doctor Who star Matt Smith said he wants to see “more action” in the next series of the Timelord’s adventures.

The actor, who is reported to have recently split up with girlfriend Daisy Lowe, said the sci-fi show’s Christmas special had a “Narnia-esque shape and feel” to it.

He told the Radio Times: “Whereas last year felt more like a Christmas romp, there’s a slow-burning, ethereal magic to this. We’ve covered a whole forest in snow. The scale is vast and there’s just something wonderfully magical about it because it’s never that snowy in this country, except maybe in Scotland … and on the telly. It does it for you: all the snow and the lovely smell of the pine trees. I’m really, really looking forward to Christmas now.”

Smith also revealed he had been doing his stunts for the show – one of which involved him dodging a giant fireball.

 He said: “Believe me, the fireball does so much of the acting for you. It was only afterwards that I realised I could have been seriously charred.

“I’ve been really enjoying it. Hopefully we’ll see more action/an adventure-y Doctor next season.”

The Christmas special also includes appearances from familiar faces including comic Alexander Armstrong, Arabella Weir and Bill Bailey.

Bailey, who is a devoted fan of the long-running BBC show, said appearing on it was “the equivalent of a knighthood”.

Smith has held several other recent interviews in light of the upcoming special and the release of the DVD box set from last season. Above is a video of his interview last week on BBC Breakfast. Stories include the presence of three Doctors (including himself) at a party for Steven Moffat’s birthday. Smith has confirmed that he will be returning for the upcoming season, next year’s Christmas special, and the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.

Karen Gillan said that Amy and Rory will only have a cameo role in the Christmas special, which reconciles previous reports that she will not be in the show along with reports of filming a scene outside Amy and Rory’s home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKPulSERaso

Alex Kingston was on Craig Ferguson’s show earlier this month (video above).

This trailer for BBC1′s Christmas shows includes an appearance by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and a Cyberman.

Terra Nova revealed the shows’ big secret in last week’s episode, although there is the possibility that Taylor was lying. His claim is that his son and the Sixers are conspiring to make the portal two-way so that the resources from the past could be taken to 2149. The explanation given didn’t fully explain why only certain people were in on this. Possibly there is conflict in 2169 regarding who gets sent back. This make it especially important the the past shown in the show was previously revealed to be a different timeline.

Movie Overmind spoke to Jennifer Morrison and producer Steven Pearlman about Morrison’s key role as  Emma on Once Upon A Time:

We’ve only seen four episodes of Once Upon a Time, but it’s become clear what type of show it is, as well as the format. Each episode is almost a self-contained story in the fairytale world, giving us another piece of the main characters’ backstory as fairytale characters, while introducing a few new ones along the way (like Cinderella). In addition, the Storybrooke characters continue to develop and grow alongside their fairytale counterparts.

But two characters don’t have fairytale counterparts in Once Upon a Time: Emma and Henry. Emma is clearly one of the central characters of the show, and it’s her relationship with Henry – and the other town’s characters – that has prompted this independent woman to put down roots and become part of a family. During a trip to the Vancouver set of Once Upon a Time last month, we had the opportunity to speak to Jennifer Morrison about her character and how Emma will develop throughout the first season.

Morrison acknowledged that there’s really no way to do the “Emma episode” of Once Upon a Time, because she doesn’t have a fairytale counterpart. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect to gain more insight into her character. The writers will give the audience ”a slower, steadier revelation of who she is. She’s revealed a little bit at a time through her relationships as the story goes on. Her willingness to get involved with certain people and her way of connecting to those people in those moments ends up revealing parts of her past. Those story lines, in a sense, become her flashbacks by proxy.”

Once Upon a Time’s executive producer Steven Pearlman told us that Emma will spend the first half of the season “coming to grips with the fact that she has a kid and her relationship to Henry and what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a single parent and what it means to give up your kid for adoption.” While Emma has decided to indulge Henry’s belief that the Storybrooke characters have fairytale counterparts, she doesn’t really believe it. However, Pearlman says “…these things keep happening….suggestions that maybe [Henry’s stories] are true. She herself is kind of caught in this place of ‘am I a believer or am I not a believer?’”

The biggest problem I see in keeping this story going as a weekly series is dealing with the fact that Emma is the one who has the power to reverse the spell. They obviously cannot have Emma be successful at this or the series comes to an end. More on Once Upon A Time from Jiminy Cricket’s perspective here.

While Jennifer Morrison is probably best known for her role on House. she also played Winona Kirk in rebooted Star Trek movie.

Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, creators of BBC’s Merlin series, answer some questions here. Beware, the interview and the episode descriptions at the link have a lot of spoilers for those who have not started season for yet. Here’s a few questions without spoilers:

Q: Is there any more info on the Merlin movie?
A: it’s in early stages – we’re discussing talent right now, e.g writers, directors

Q: Will there be a sixth series of Merlin?
A: We’ve always planned five series, but it depends on how popular the show is . There’s every possibility it could continue…

Q: Will we see either Arthur or Gwen confront Morgana this series?
A: Yes, there’s a very exciting confrontation coming up between Gwen and Morgana!

Q: Will we get a glimpse of redemption for Morgana?
A: The end of this series is very surprising for Morgana! Stay tuned…

Q: Do you feel that Merlin has become a stronger show each series?
A: Yes – fantasy shows often grow with confidence. The closer we get to the legend, the richer and more interesting it gets… The ambition each year is to keep pushing the envelope. We’re always working to make the show better!

There were also questions regarding whether characters who have died this season might return. To avoid spoilers I have not posted the full questions, but the answers included comments such as “Who knows?? There’s no such thing as real death in Merlin.” In an answer about another character, they said “We loved working with  ***, we’ve got plenty of ideas as to how *** could return! But when, we’re not sure…” The identity of these characters is revealed at the link.

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SciFi Weekend: Trailer For The Doctor Who Christmas Special; Lost Episodes; Doctor Who And Other Movies; Downton Abbey; Arrested Development; 24; Community; Trek Nation; Catwoman at OWS

A trailer has been released for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special--The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe. The title gives away the story which this year’s special is inspired by.

The trailer was presented during the skit above at Children In Need.

Wired has a story on Richard Molesworth’s search for lost episodes of Doctor Who.

There have been rumors of making another Doctor Who movie for quite a while, and there was a report from Variety which has obtained considerable attention this week:

“Harry Potter” director David Yates is teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi TV series “Doctor Who” into a bigscreen franchise.

Yates, who directed the last four Potter films, told Daily Variety that he is about to start work on developing a “Doctor Who” movie with Jane Tranter, head of L.A.-based BBC Worldwide Prods.

“We’re looking at writers now. We’re going to spend two to three years to get it right,” he said. “It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena.”

Unlike some of the earlier rumors, this story involves a new take on the character:

Yates made clear that his movie adaptation would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach to the material.

“Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch,” he said.

Yates and Tranter are looking for writers on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too,” he explained.

The validity of this is unclear, including a denial from the BBC. The prospect of such a movie has some Doctor Who fans worried. Despite these concerns, I imagine that viewers could keep straight the fact that there are two different Doctor Who stories, keeping the television show and movie series separate. I don’t see much of a point in a single stand-alone Doctor Who movie which is not connected to the television series.  It would be a different matter if this results in both a successful television and movie series, but it will be harder to succeed as a movie. As was clear with Star Trek, a movie might have bigger production values, and bigger stories, but with a continuing television series it is often all the small stories presented over time which are more important. Without writers connect to the show, it may or may not manage to capture what makes Doctor Who great. StevenMoffat expressed his skepticism with this sarcastic tweet: “Announcing my personal moonshot, starting from scratch. No money, no plan, no help from NASA. But I know where the moon is – I’ve seen it.”

Moffatt has also commented on the move of Doctor Who to the fall:

“Very soon now, Doctor Who is going to enter production for the longest sustained period we’ve ever attempted, and the biggest and best and maddest time ever to be a fan of this wonderful old show is rumbling towards us. And yes, you got me. We needed a little more time to prepare for everything we’ve got planned. That, above all, is why we needed this tiny gap. Just be a tiny bit patient, and trust me, we’ll make it up to you.”

There are some other movies of interest which look like they are going to be made. This includes Arrested Development, but the bigger news is that prior to the movie there will be additional episodes of the show which will be available over Netflix in 2013. Exclusive streaming of new episodes of Arrested Development could bring back some of the subscribers who abandoned Netflix after their price hike for combined streaming and DVD rentals. It also looks like they really are going ahead with the movie version of 24.

Downton Abbey won’t be released at the movie theaters, but the Christmas special will be feature-length. The first photo from the special has been released (above). The special will bring the show into 1920, with a third season having been announced with eight additional episodes taking place over the next eighteen months. Personally I wish ITV and the BBC could get together for a combined special. If the Doctor is already going back to World War II for the Christmas special, why not go back another generation and have the TARDIS wind up at Downton? I think  Lady Mary would make an excellent companion if Amy Pond isn’t around. Downton Abbey already has ties to fantasy and to Doctor Who. Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess, has also played Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies. Hugh Bonneville has appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who, The Curse of the Black Spot and A Good Man Goes to War, as the pirate Captain Avery.

NBC is making changes to its line up in January. 30 Rock returns but Community goes on hiatus with return date not set. Why not just dump some junk such as Whitney and keep Community on the schedule? If there is no Community, that means no Inspector Spacetime.

Showtime has announced that Dexter has been renewed for two additional seasons:

“The series is bigger than it’s ever been in its sixth season, both in terms of audience and its impact on the cultural landscape,” said Showtime topper David Nevins. “Together with Michael, the creative team on the show has a very clear sense of where they intend to take the show over the next two seasons and, as a huge fan, I’m excited to watch the story of Dexter Morgan play out.”

I wonder if this means they are working towards a conclusion of the series over the next two seasons.

Trek Nation will premier on the Science Channel on November 30 (trailer above).

The documentary “Trek Nation” explores “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision and its impact on viewers’ lives through the eyes of his son Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr. When the legendary Gene Roddenberry passed away almost 20 years ago, his son was only 17 years old. Now director Scott Colthorp takes us along as he follows Rod on a very personal quest: through startling and revelatory conversations with actors, fans, NASA personnel, politicians and celebrities, Rod seeks to finally understand the man he barely knew: his father.

Catwoman turned out at an Occupy Wall Street Rally. The presence of wealthy actress Anne Hathaway wound up freaking out many right wing bloggers who have no understanding (and I doubt have the mental capacity to understand) what Occupy Wall Street is actually all about. (Hint: it is not about opposition to having wealth or making money. Many in the top one-percent realize the dangers of an economic system rigged to help only them which is acting to destroy the middle class in this country).

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