Revolution concluded its first season with what was essentially a two-part finale. They reached the Tower and found multiple excuses for changes in alliances and lots of fights. There were far too many implausible aspects to the story to discuss, including a drainage system several levels underground which leads to the outside and a door which was built to stand up to nuclear attack but which was easily penetrated when in door fights were on the filming schedule.
Aaron, the Google Guy, turns out to have written the operating system for the Tower as a student and it was sold to the Department of Defense, making it easy to turn the world’s electricity back on near the end. Remarkably the lights in buildings around the world are still on and waiting, with all wiring still intact. The president of the Georgia Republic calls on her staff to get their tanks and helicopters ready now that they have power. Was she collecting them in the years with no power anticipating such a moment?
Nora was killed off to make room for a Rachel/Myles romance with a triangle too complicated a concept for this show. Sawyer might also reunite with Juliet. I’m not sure how Grace fits into this, being with those guarding the Tower after having been captured.
Randal apparently has been planning for this moment all along, even though he never gave any indication of wanting to get to the Tower until Monroe found out about it. As he was surprised that the security system didn’t allow him in, it isn’t clear why he didn’t just go there earlier on his own or with allies (considering how many back doors there appear to be). He then revealed a rather drastic plan of launching ICBM’s towards Philadelphia and Atlanta and then shooting himself. He says he is a patriot and you can’t have a house divided against itself. Apparently only these two areas are considered a threat to the old United States government which is in hiding at Gitmo and now planning to return.
Presumably having the guy who wrote the operating system will allow them to take control and prevent the ICBM’s from hitting their targets. Perhaps this will cause the electricity to go off again. Or maybe they will even allow for Philadelphia and/or Atlanta to get destroyed and center the story in other parts of the country. While it is a plus that the story keeps advancing, one problem with the show is that nothing really seems to matter. We have a setting with the United States destroyed. Add a city or two which are bombed, or have the electricity on or off. The show just is not well written enough to really make me care about these outcomes (but does have me curious enough to keep watching despite all the faults in the show).
Abrams spoke in only general terms about how he’ll approach the latest “Star Wars” and would not comment when Hudlin pressed him on whether the film will be derived from any of the “Star Wars” novels.
“It is so massive and so important to people,” he said. “I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honoring but not revering what came before.”
Star Wars fans might be wary after how Abrams handled Star Trek. Destroying Vulcan did not revere what came before, and I don’t think it was honoring it either. At least Abrams couldn’t possibly do as much harm to the franchise as Lucas did with the three prequel movies. Time will tell whether more Star Wars is a good thing, but sometimes it is best to stick with a classic as opposed to trying to turn one into a series of less successful movies. It is possible that Star Wars might wind up the best if left as a classic trilogy.
New promo for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. above. Samuel L. Jackson has expressed interest in guest staring. It would be a good way to enhance continuity between the show and the Marvel movies. More about the Whedon universe from an interview with Joss here. Cast interviews here.
Once Upon A Time’s audience is probably not primarily hard core genre fans, but with so many genre shows being canceled or ending their run it is now one of the most successful currently on network television. Here’s some news on how season three begins.
At times I think Hannibal is plotting to destroy Will, seeing him as a threat, but this week it looks like he wants Will for a friend. I also think that having Hannibal for a friend can turn out to be quite dangerous.
One of the many reasons to watch Hannibal is that Gillian Anderson appears on the show as Hannibal’s psychiatrist. It is a minor role which won’t completely satisfy Scully fans, but more of Gillian Anderson can be seen in The Fall. After hearing favorable things about this BBC 2 show I decided to watch this weekend and was pleasantly surprised to find that Netflix has the entire series even though the finale has not yet aired in the U.K. The series trailer is above.
The show involves a serial killer, whose identity is revealed from the start, with Gillian Anderson’s character brought in to handle the case. The concept certainly isn’t anything new, but it is handled very well. In a review after the third episode, The Telegraph calls this the sexiest show on TV:
It’s taken a while but, at last, British TV cop drama has caught up with The Killing. As DS Stella Gibson in The Fall (BBC Two), Gillian Anderson gives us our own incarnation of Denmark’s Sarah Lund: cold, distant, brilliant, flawed but, above all, crackling with sex.
In fact, The Fall is the sexiest show on TV at the moment, which isn’t what you’d expect from BBC Two on a Monday. It’s also the most contrary: we’ve known from the outset, two weeks ago, that Paul Spector (played by Jamie Dornan) is the killer. This is a whydunit, and a canhegetawaywithit, not a whodunit.
Unless British television is devoid of sexy situations I doubt this is really the sexiest show on television. It does go further than American network television can, and at least this characterization demonstrates that it isn’t just a dull police procedural. I am happy they already announced renewal for a second season as they leave a lot of things hanging in the finale (which airs tomorrow on BBC 2 and is already up on Netflix). The season ends with a change in the interplay between Gillian Anderson’s character and the serial killer, but things are far from resolved. After Doctor Who and Sherlock, this is now the British show I’m most anxiously waiting for the next season of. (Even more so than Utopia)
IGN has interviewed Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner about the upcoming Torchwood Series, The New World. The discussion also included questions about future cross over episodes of Torchwood and Doctor Who now that they no longer have the same show runner. Here is a portion of the interview:
IGN: We’ve heard this new CIA character, Rex, is somewhat the entry point of The New World. Will we get to Jack and Gwen pretty quickly?
Davies: Too soon to say, but I’m very aware of that. I will enjoy playing with that and I can see already that a slight myth is going to build up of sorts, saying that Rex is our only entry point. When we first see Gwen, you will see what it essentially was in the series [before]. There are no super powers, there’s no credits, no money, no special privileges. You’ll see an ordinary woman whose life is about to take an extraordinary turn. So there will be an awful lot of new viewers where if you’ve never seen Gwen Cooper in your life, you will see a woman with a husband, a baby, thrown into a threat and you’ll latch onto her immediately. Even the way that Captain Jack is introduced is written so that you’ll latch onto that as well.
IGN: What is the dynamic with Rex and the other new character, Ester? What kind of sensibilities do they bring to Torchwood?
Davies: I don’t want to give away too much. Rex certainly brings dynamism and energy and hostility towards Torchwood. He wants to know who the hell they are and why the hell they’re so important and they can get out of his way… at first. There’s a great, fun, sparky, sexy sort of antagonism to the whole thing. Ester is much calmer, but through the course of the story, she suffers some great, powerful, emotional stories as it goes on. In some ways, she’s a bit of an innocent abroad and soon learns not to be. And that plays off Gwen’s experience with these things. The fact that Gwen still is the most ordinary woman in the world, and Jack’s huge perspective of things, having lived for thousands of years… Just telling Rex that he can’t die is a hilarious scene. There’s a lot of fresh material there that we’ll mine, but again the new story will always move us forward.
IGN: Are you looking at this as Series 4 or Season 4 of Torchwood? Or is it a new project with characters we know?
Russell T. Davies: It’s funny, you can’t deny it’s Series 4. There’s a whole fan base and a whole legacy and a whole mythology that I would hate to contradict. Fortunately I have sort of done this before with Doctor Who, when I re-launched that in 2005. It was absolutely imperative to keep everyone who loved Doctor Who on board and to bring in a new audience – it was an even bigger task than this, to be honest. And frankly, I think that went very successfully. I’m an old hand at this. I do know how to do it.
I think these subtitles help, because we don’t actually refer to it as series 4. And we didn’t actually refer to Children of Earth as Series 3. We referred to it as Children of Earth. Now this is The New World, so that takes the curse off of it sounding old. Obviously, you know your stuff – you know your television and I imagine your readership knows their stuff, so we can freely talk about the past. If this was an interview with, say, a more general and generic site, I would avoid talking about the past. So you [move] in-between those points. Because there’s nothing worse than reading an interview and thinking, “Well, I won’t watch that, because it’s on Series 4.”
Gardner: Also, if you look at the history of Torchwood in the UK, it’s moved three channels in three years. It started on the digital channel BBC3 and moved to BBC2 and finally Children of Earth moved to BBC1 which is like the UK’s network channel. Each time, particularly with Children of Earth, Russell reinvented it for a new audience. We didn’t go into Children of Earth thinking that everyone had seen what had gone on before, but very much with that title, it would reward the audience that was there before. There would be references and nuances that they would pick up on that a new audience wouldn’t, but it was done very very much to welcome in people.
Davies: Frankly, it’s gotten bigger and better with every series, and if we ever get to a Series 10, mankind would have to live on the moon to make room for it. So it’s a good plan. [Laughs]
IGN: Now that Doctor Who has done its latest big reinvention with Matt Smith, do you think the two series have completely split off at this point, or do you think another crossover is possible?
Davies:Steven [Moffat] knows the plot of The New World. As a courtesy, I sent him a synopsis and said, “Is that going to clash with anything you’re doing?” We both have enough awareness of each other’s worlds to avoid that. And I still executive produce The Sarah Jane Adventures in Britain. I’m still working on that, and that works in synch with Doctor Who. So we are still very much aware of each plans, without spoiling each other’s news. We’re very careful to make sure that we behave within the Doctor Who world, while still being completely free to tell our own stories.
IGN: I think the curiosity fans have is how Jack would react to this Doctor, since he had a specific relationship with the previous one.
Davies: Well, Steven said he’d love to see Jack in Doctor Who. So if Steven says that, Steven will make it happen, I would think. That’s not inside information, but I bet one day it will happen. I’d love to see it. It would be marvelous.
New York Magazine had a recent interview with Steven Moffat on topics including sex in the Tardis following the selection of a bad girl like Amy Pond to be the current companion. Moffat also reports he will be revealing more about River Song’s identity. He is currently working on an episode in which The Doctor finds out who she is. I previously posted excerpts from the interview here.
Deadline has some casting news, including that Arlene Tur of Crash will join the cast as as a surgeon named Vera Juarez (picture above).
The title for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special has been announced: A Christmas Carol.
There are a couple of new interpretations of Superman. J. Michael Straczynski is giving up regular writing for the Superman and Wonder Woman comic books to concentrate on graphic novels following the success of his recent Superman graphic novel. I09 has a review of Straczynski’s version of Superman:
Every time the Superman franchise jumps to a new media, we inevitably get some iteration of his origin story (i.e. baby Kryptonian crash-lands on the Kent farm, is raised to be a homespun demigod). Given that it’s a modern update of the Superman story, Superman: Earth One doesn’t stray wildly from this formula. When artwork of the hoodie-clad Clark Kent hit the internet, there was chatter that the picture (top) portended a gritty or emo Superman. Luckily, the Earth One Clark Kent is a good guy, and the book makes a strong case that the Kents are the reason he doesn’t grow up to be like that creepy god-child from The Twilight Zone.
How does the origin story in Superman: Earth One diverge from traditional portrayals of the hero? First off, Clark’s powers manifest the minute he crawls out of his escape pod. The Kents also hide Clark to protect themselves. They discover his downed spaceship while camping and hightail it once black helicopters begin investigating the vessel. This book is the diametric opposite of Straczynski’s 2003 Marvel series Supreme Power, which starred an alien infant pressganged into superheroics by the US government. The Kents encourage their son to be an übermensch, but he’s raised without any knowledge of Kryptonian heritage — he knows he’s an alien, but being human is all he’s got.
Straczynski’s emphasis on Clark’s alienness is the book’s strongest point, and artist Shane Davis rightly gives the book a photorealistic look to drive home that this is more science fiction than superhero romp. There are no pastels, other heroes, undulating bosoms, or juiced deltoids. Clark is a lithe guy in a gray and brown world, and he only dons the S as an emergency. There’s a certain amount of disbelief that must be suspended here (a.k.a. Clark’s a humanoid), but this is a Superman story — he’s not going to look like a space walrus or lion…
Zack Snyder also plans for some changes in his upcoming Superman movie. Digital Spy reports:
Zack Snyder has promised that his Superman movie will be “different” from previous Man of Steel incarnations, yet stay true to tradition.
In an interview with Empire, the Watchmen director said that David Goyer’s script doesn’t alter the DC Comics “canon”.
“It’s a different story,” Snyder said. “I won’t say there’s a break from the canon or anything like that, but there is definitely an approach that makes you go, ‘Okay, that’s a way to get at it.’”
He continued: “David is very respectful of the canon and stuff like that. It has its roots in the canon and again, like I say, it has a point of view about who he is. I’m being cryptic, I know, but it’s the best I can do.”
Asked if his movie will track the Man of Steel’s early years, Snyder replied: “I think it’s early to say. I don’t know.”
The director also described rumors of the comic book hero facing General Zod as “just wrong”, adding that “the internet has no idea what’s going on”.
Wil Wheaton returned to The Big Bang Theory this week (clip above). Big Bang Theory also almost matched the recent oil fight between Britta and Annie on Community. While the guys were trying to get into a showing of Indiana Jones, the girls were having a slumber party as Kaley Cuoco, Melissa Raunch, and Mayim Bialik had a pillow fight, and Mayim Bialik decided to experiment with lesbian sex.
In its worst decision since running the awful remake of The Prisoner, AMC has decided not to renew Rubicon. I was looking forward to a second season to see the aftermath of the unraveling of the conspiracy. There were many loose ends, such as whether Spangler would commit suicide after receiving the clover, or whether he would survive to fight both those who were exposing him and his former associates.
Apparently Spangler is still alive and tweeting about API being shut down from the screen grab above. Several other characters from the show also are on Twitter.
Gregg Sutter has an interview with Carlton Cruse of Lost. Here’s a portion:
Gregg: For you personally, what was LOST about?
Carlton: On the surface, LOST was a show about a group of people who survive a plane crash and find themselves lost on a mysterious island. But much more importantly, it was a show about how these people were metaphorically lost in their lives and searching for redemption. Viewers talked a lot about the mythology but for us making the show, it was always first and foremost about the characters.
Gregg: Early on, did you feel like you were doing something special, something that had never been done before?
Carlton: Absolutely. Internally we all thought we were onto something cool. We were shattering a lot of the commonly held beliefs about what you could or couldn’t do on TV and that was an exciting feeling. Of course at that point, no one else believed the show would work as a series, so we talked a lot about how if the show did bomb after the 12 episode initial order, it would hopefully become a cool classic like Twin Peaks, which ran for 30 episodes — or The Prisoner, which ran for 17. We hoped, worse case scenario, that LOST would be the kind of show that gets passed around from geek to geek with people saying, “Hey, have you ever seen this show LOST?”
So with the idea that failure was okay, Damon and I asked ourselves one fundamental question to start: If someone handed us the DVD of the 12 episodes of LOST what would we want it to look like? We decided we’d make a show that the two of us thought would be cool.
Gregg: And you ended up breaking a lot of the traditional rules of narrative in TV.
Carlton: Yes. We did. We showed that it was possible on network TV to tell a highly complex, serialized narrative with intentional ambiguity — leaving the audiences room to debate and discuss the meaning and intentions of the narrative – and still find a large audience. This made it a game-changer, in my opinion.
The Hugo Awards were announced this weekend. There was a tie for best novel between The City & The City by China Miéville and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Moon won for Best Dramatic Presentation–Long Form. Moon won in a strong field which included Star Trek, Avatar, District 9, and Up. As has been occurring quite frequently in recent years, an episode of Doctor Who won the award for Best Dramatic Presentation–Short Form.
Doctor Who has previously won three Hugo awards, all by current show runner Steven Moffat before he took his current position. In 2006 Moffat won for The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. In 2007 he won with The Girl in the Fireplace and in 2008 for Blink. His two parter Silence in the Library Forest of the Dead received a Hugo nomination in 2008.
Last year Moffat didn’t write any episodes and instead of a regular season there were a handful of special episodes written by Russel T. Davies. Davies won withThe Waters of Mars, which beat two of his other special episodes, The Next Doctor andPlanet of the Dead. Epitaph 1 (Dollhouse) and No More Good Days (FlashForward) were also nominated in this category.
David Tennant, who played the Doctor in The Waters of Mars, will be appearing in a four-part drama entitled Single Father along with Suranne Jones. The show will air in October on BBC1.
Jane Espenson, who has worked on shows including Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and Dollhouse, will be writing three episodes of next season’s ten episode arc. She was interviewed about her work:
How did you end up getting the writing gig? And exactly how involved are you going to be?
I’m thrilled to say I was invited. My agent told me about it very casually; I was already busy at the time, and he thought I’d want to decline, but I jumped in fast to say I absolutely wanted to participate. I will be writing three episodes of the 10-episode arc.
What’s got you most excited about it?
Working with Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner and the others. Writing for a show I already adore, for characters and actors I already respect. Writing for a show with roots in another country—this is a new experience for me, and I’m loving it.
And is there something you’re just DYING to do or try on the show? Or something you can only do because it’s Torchwood?
I love blending tones—mixing the broadly comedic moment in with the darkly dramatic one can heighten both. Torchwood is a show that welcomes that kind of moment. I’m also really eager to play with all the culture-clash material that comes naturally out of the show’s pedigree. And I’m especially eager to write material that pushes the boundaries of what can ordinarily be done on television.
So how do you approach a show like Torchwood vs. your work on, say, Buffy or Caprica?
Because of the length of our season and the lead time before production begins, we’re actually approaching Torchwood in a very unusual way—all the episodes will be written before any of them begin shooting. This is allowing us to “break” all the episodes at once, with the entire writing staff working together in a very concentrated one-month work session. This is making for a very intense and collaborative process, all guided by Russell’s very precise vision. The final product is going to be tightly plotted and lovingly crafted.
Can you give us any juicy details? Or maybe just some slightly moist
ones? Or anything at all?
We’ve already changed the name of at least one character that was announced in the press. And there’s nothing to stop us from changing more—so if you hear anything, even if it was true at some point, it probably isn’t anymore. So the more you learn about Torchwood, the less you know.
There remains no word as to whether there will be a second episode of Caprica (beyond the second half of the first season which airs in starting in January). Contracts with the cast have been extended and there is speculation that they are waiting to see how DVD sales are since ratings were lower than anticipated.
There will be two Star Trek actors appearing on The Big Bang Theory next season. In addition to a return visit from Katee Sackhoff. George Takei will be playing himself:
In an interview, Prady explained that Wolowitz is thinking about getting back together with his ex-girlfriend Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), and it sounds as though Sackhoff and Takei will represent opposing points of view.
“George Takei plays himself, and he’s the other person guiding Wolowitz in his thoughts as he tries to figure out what to do about Bernadette,” Prady said.
Prady won’t disclose the venue for this conversation, but he ruled out a return to Wolowitz’s bathtub, where Sackhoff famously appeared last season. But Sackhoff and Takei do share some dialogue, Prady noted.
“I think they do discuss being typecast in science-fiction shows,” Prady said.
I can forgive Wil Wheaton for Wesley Crusher. After all, he was just a teenage actor reading his lines. If we weren’t told that he’s the evil Wil Wheaton from the Mirror Universe, it would be harder to forgive Wheaton for what he has done to Sheldon and, even worse, breaking up Leonard and Penny. Michael Ausiello has this news on a repeat appearance from the Evil Wil Wheaton.
It looks like Sheldon is climbing back in the ring with his longtime rival, Evil Wil Wheaton.
Big Bang Theory executive producer Bill Prady confirms to me exclusively that he wants to revive the ugly feud this season—possibly in time for November sweeps.
“We started talking about the idea of minor celebrities cutting in line,” Prady says, “and we thought it might be funny to have our [Big Bang] guys waiting in line for a one-time-only midnight screening of something like Raiders of the Lost Ark with restored footage, and Wil Wheaton and his three friends cut the line. When it comes time for our guys to get in, the line stops; Wil took the last four seats and Sheldon is just furious. Because it doesn’t make sense to him. Wil’s celebrity is not applicable here. This is not Star Trek. It’s just wrong.”
I won’t give away any details about this week’s episode of Doctor Who, The Beast Below since it has not aired yet on BBC America, but those who don’t want any information on upcoming stories might turn around (as The Doctor suggested while undressing last week). It is a solid episode, but felt more like a Davies episode with some Moffat touches as opposed to any of the greater Moffat scripts of the past. The relationship between The Doctor and companion Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan) is far more important than any specifics of the plot. The Doctor began the episode trying to teach Amy but, perhaps because The Doctor is still not fully himself after the regeneration, it is Amy who wound up noticing something which was missed by The Doctor. We are also given hints that we will be seeing more related to Amy’s back story.
Next week The Doctor helps Winston Churchill in a World War II England which is packed with Daleks, who appear to be on the Allied side. Here is another trailer released by the BBC which is different from the one which aired at the end of last night’s episode:
I’ll also note that search engine hits for old posts on Karen Gillan remain at record levels, especially those in which she is either scantily clad or in a bikini. The majority of hits are coming from the U.K. but there is also growing interest in her in the United States. It will be interesting to see if this increases dramatically after the BBC America premiere on April 17.For now I am forced to host the pictures of Karen Gillan on another site and increase caching, which often leads to funny things with the blog.
The Desmond episodes of Lost seem to be essential to follow the mythology of the series. Hot Flashes had Desmond moving between the two realities as opposed to through time as in previous Desmond episodes. This episode confirmed what I had wondered since the first episode of the season when Juliet told Sawyer that “it worked.” Near death experiences do allow characters to see the other universe.
Increasingly we are seeing that the characters in the alternative universe are lacking some of their problems, but a key difference is often that they are also lacking the person they love. (One case where the situation is different is with Sun and Jin,who are having an affair but are not married). Perhaps Lost is as much about love as it is about destiny and good versus evil.
Desmond is without Penny in the alternative universe, which seems to be totally wrong. He seeks out Penny after having flashes of his other life in both a near-death experience and when having an MRI. It has been clear that Eloise knows far more about the island than most of the other characters. This is true of the Eloise of the alternative universe who warns Desmond to “stop looking for it” when she sees that he is looking for Penny and other aspects of his other life.
The episode ends with a curious sequence. First Desmond expressed his willingness to help Charles Widmore back on the island, after experiencing life in the other universe. However this might be due to a change in Desmond as opposed to a meaningful decision based upon what he has learned. After he winds up with Sayid, Desmond is also willing to follow Sayid instead. Meanwhile in the alternative universe the big question is what Desmond wants to show the other passengers on Oceanic 815. Will they all learn that this is not the universe that they were meant to be in, and how will they respond to this information?
Sheldon Cooper gets a rematch with the Evil Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory. The good Wil Wheaton has provided this link to a preview of the episode via Twitter. Jim Parsons has also discussed the episode, The Wheaton Recurrence, which will air Monday night:
So how does Sheldon feel about that? “He’s very unhappy,” Jim Parsons said during a recent conversation on the set of the hit CBS comedy. On the other hand, Parson added, “I was happy to see Wil Wheaton because he’s very nice, and easy to work with. It’s funny, there’s absolutely no love lost between the two of them, at least on Sheldon’s end, and it’s really interesting to treat such a nice person that way – take after take of disdain or just staring. It’s one of those things where, a lot of the time you get here, maybe you don’t see each other [before filming], and we would go hours where that was the only communication we would have. I would leave the set that day and realize that I’d literally not said a nice word to him because I hadn’t seen him outside of the scene. So that was weird.”
Parsons was quite complimentary about Wheaton’s presence on the show (which this time occurs at a bowling alley), saying, “He’s such a wonderful foil. It was just perfect, because of course one of the main enemies in Sheldon Cooper’s life is such a nice person – with all the real evil in the world, he’s gone after Wil Wheaton. I think the other people on the list were largely make-believe if I remember correctly, like Darth Vader. The things Sheldon will concern himself with and then not concern himself with amaze me. Love isn’t worth the time of day, but a 20-year-old hate grudge against Wil Wheaton is worth exploring in a couple of different episodes.”
I discussed Wil Wheaton’s first appearance on The Big Bang Theoryhere, when the evil Wil Wheaton pulled a Johnny Fairplay move, and previously reported on the upcoming rematch here.
Lost continues to suggest that the characters are on the island for a reason and that this had been planned well before the crash. Hurley and Jack are sent by Jacob to a lighthouse which has mirrors which could view people off the island. The big question raised but not answered is who Jacob was expecting to come to the island. The other character of significance on the island this week was Claire, who was quite scary–even before we learned that her “friend” is the man in black. She has been terrorizing the latest band of others, believing they have Aaron. This provided a reminder of events off the island in this timeline which we are no longer seeing.
In the other timeline Jack now has a teenage son and we see a relationship analogous to the relationship between Jack and his own father. There was another suggestion that this is not simply a timeline which shows what would have happened if Jack and the others had never crashed on the island. Previously we saw that Jack had his appendix removed on the island. In this other reality Jack notices his appendectomy scar and is told by his mother that he had the operation as a child. He seems to recall this, but has doubts. There is no way that changing the timeline to prevent the crash would have also made Jack have an appendectomy at a younger age. Instead it appears that details in the other reality are somehow being filled in to explain changes which happened on the island, such as Jack’s appendectomy.
There are still lots of questions but Watch with Kristin reveals that we will learn what the island is midway through the season:
What Is the Island? That very huge question will be answered in less time than you think–somewhere around halfway through the season, according to sources. Awesome, right? And you know who’s going to help deliver the message? The fantastic, ever-youthful guyliner model Mr. Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and his longtime friend Jacob (Mark Pellegrino). It’s gonna be good.
So…What Is the Island? It’s described as a four-letter word. There’s your first clue! Shall we play Hangman? There are no A’s or E’s in the word…Wanna buy another vowel? OK, but you only get one.
Another thing I can tell you: The Island has to exist, according to my sources, and more important, someone has to protect it. It’s important to the world outside.
Caprica is growing on me further after this week’s episode. We know how it will end with the Cylons rebelling, and we got a strong indication of why when Daniel Graystone was describing how the Cylons would be created as essentially a slave race. This was the first episode to really do very much with Tamara who rapidly developed from a lost girl in the virtual reality to a very powerful character playing a game in New Cap City. This raises questions of whether there is a connection between her and the ultimate development of the Cylons. It is easier to see Cylons developing into a slave race capable of destroying their masters if Tamara as opposed to Zoe winds up providing much of their intellect.
Big Bang Theory returns Monday with Sheldon in jail and Stan Lee as guest star. The following week Sheldon (pictured above looking a little different) becomes obsessed with a ring found a a garage sale. They began work on the episode featuring the return of Wil Wheaton last week. In the episode to air on April 12 “Sheldon will have an opportunity to settle the score with Wil when the our genius gang competes against the gang from the comic book store during a bowling face off. Turns out that Sheldon bowled as a child and was on a championship team in the East Texas Youth Camp in the 7- to 13-year-old division.” So this explains why Big Bang Theory executive producer Bill Prady was asking questions about bowling on Twitter last week.
Meanwhile Wil Wheaton is both blogging and tweeting about the episode. This has included pictures such as the one above which shows the detail in the sets, such as with Sheldon and Leonard’s coffee table. The magazine seen is Mental Floss. There was a lot of fun stuff at their site and I wound up sending in a subscription order. Naturally when the order page had a spot for saying where I heard about the magazine I answered, “Sheldon and Leonard’s coffee table.” From the site it is clear they will understand.
A different type of magazine has also discussed Big Bang Theory. UCLA Today has an article on the science adviser for the show.
I’ve previously reported that the upcoming season of Doctor Who will begin airing on April 3 on the BBC. In the past there has been a delay of several months before the show would air in the United States, with large percentages of fans finding ways to get copies of the episodes rather than waiting. BBC America has now announced they will begin the series two weeks later on April 17. This is an improvement but I feel that in this day and age they are still making a mistake. Many fans of the show will not wait even two weeks to see new episodes and anything which can be digitalized can easily be transferred over the ocean.
Looking for your very own Dalek? A selection of items from Doctor Who will be auctioned off on February 24. Items will include two Daleks, several Cybermen, a sea devil, and a dinner suit worn by David Tennant.
Season five of Doctor Who will premiere on April 3 on the BBC. It is unclear whether it will premiere on BBC America for days or weeks after. If they are smart they will not have much of a delay or a tremendous percentage of fans will find ways to obtain downloads of the BBC episodes. Blogator Who has a trailer for the season.
Wil Wheaton announced via Twitter that he will reprise his role as Evil Wil on Big Bang Theory, with more information now posted on his blog:
Geeks everywhere will be happy hear that Star Trek star Wil Wheaton will be returning to hang out with TV’s hippest nerds on The Big Bang Theory.
“We were very excited when Wil Wheaton appeared as Sheldon’s nemesis, and right now we’re looking to see if he can come back to give Sheldon an opportunity to settle the score,” Executive Producer and Co Creator Bill Prady announced to TV Guide Magazine when the Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences hosted an Evening With the Big Bang Theory on February 18th. “Fingers crossed that we can do that, I think an arch enemy is someone who appears from time to time.”
Even though my personal motto is Don’t Be A Dick, I’ve wanted to play an arch enemy for pretty much my entire career, and I love that Bill described me that way, because I was kind of hoping I’d earn that position in the Big Bang canon.
I’ve known this was a possibility for just over a week, (coincidentally, I found out the day after I did my Big Bang Theory Q&A post) but didn’t get the official offer until this morning.
They will begin work on February 24 and will tape the episode on March 2. Wheaton won’t say what the episode is about but promises that it will be “a lot more awesome than just eating Chapstick.” Bazinga!
This week had new episodes of Lost and Caprica. Lost was much better than last week’s episode and either misled us or gave clues as to why everyone is on the island. On Caprica my impression of Amanda Graystone has improved considerably from earlier episodes. Fortunately for her, Joseph Adama also changed his mind about her. I also loved Zoe’s robot dance.
Seth McFarlane had a great impression of William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday Night as they compared events in the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon to the Senate filibuster. In other Star Trek news, Leonard Nimoy will reprise his role as William Bell in the season finale of Fringe.
Jennifer Lopez will appear on How I Met Your Mother on March 8. Above is a picture of her seducing Barney.
V premiered with terrific ratings and mixed reviews. Being a remake of an old series gives it an advantage in already having people interested in the show. This is also a disadvantage as many viewers already know the surprises which were developed in the original. The show would be more effective if the fact that the aliens are evil was gradually revealed but this could not be done when this is known from the original. Even without revealing this it should have raised suspicions when the alien leader repeatedly told humans that we are at peace–always. In repeating this she almost seemed to be attempting a Jedi mind trick to influence the listeners (as in “these are not the Droids you are looking for”).
By the end of the first episode we knew the Visitors were plotting the destruction of the human race, that they are really lizards who hid their appearance with genetically engineered human skin, and the broad outlines of the series. The original series used allusions to a Nazi take over and World War II. The new series has been updated to be based more on the war on terror.
The Visitors in the new series continue to be lizards disguised as humans. The two series differ as the Visitors had non-human sounding voices in the original but now look and sound completely human (unless one cuts through their skin to reveal the reptilian skin). This allowed advance sleeper cells to be set up on Earth prior to the public arrival.
One of the most monumental periods in the history of the planet is shown through the eyes of a small handful of people which the show is centered around. FBI agent Erica Evans, played by Elizabeth Mitchell of Lost, spent a large portion of the show tracking down a terrorist sleeper cell. Initially I was questioning why they devoted so much time to what appeared to be her usual FBI duties as opposed to the arrival of the aliens but ultimately the connection between the sleeper cell and the aliens became clear.
The aliens set up a group of Peace Ambassadors and utilized their ability to not only appear human but appear as extremely attractive humans to enhance recruitment. It did feel contrived to find that not only was Erica’s son recruited but that the attractive blond recruiter was especially interested in recruiting him. His significance to the show is that he is the son of the main character–not something which the aliens would mean anything to characters within the show.
The Bush administration had Fox to willingly provide favorable news. The Visitors were concerned about favorable news coverage and convinced a television journalist to avoid asking any questions which might place them in a bad light in return for the fame of being granted exclusive interviews. The episode also revealed that the Visitors who had been hiding on earth had infiltrated the government and were responsible for current turmoil, such as starting unnecessary wars. I’m surprised that they hadn’t also concentrated on infiltrating the news media to guarantee the presence of reporters who would always provide positive coverage.
The question is what they will do with the series now that the premise has been laid out. The initial mini-series was excellent but the subsequent television series couldn’t maintain the quality. There are already signs of possible trouble in sustaining this series such as reports of already changing the show runner. The show will need to establish itself quickly as ABC is airing only four episodes and then showing the remaining nine later in the season.
The pilot of the new series along with episodes of the original series are available for viewing on line here.
Previous episodes of FlashForward have teased viewers with the possibility of seeing events take place which differ from those in the flash forwards of the major characters. In the original novel it was shown that the future could be changed but we did not know for sure if the same rules applied on the television show.
This week’s episode, The Gift, finally made it clear that the future can be changed. A character jumped to his death in order to prevent a tragedy he discovered he will cause in his flash forward. (It is amazing that for so many characters the moment of their flash forward is at a major point in their life).
The discovery that the future can be changed has a profound effect on some of the characters who had been acting as if they were inevitably heading towards the situation in their flash forward. Rather than being shown an inevitable future, it is increasingly likely that knowledge of the future will change the behavior of some characters to attempt to give themselves a different future. Now Dimitri can work to prevent his murder, and perhaps it really is Dimitri in Zoey’s flash forward of a wedding on the beach. Last week it appeared that Mark and Olivia were acting to make their visions of the breakdown of their marriage come true. Now they have motivation to really work to save their marriage, knowing it is possible.
The most frustrating aspect of the episode to me was seeing Mark and Olivia at home with Charlie. All I could think of while seeing them all together is to wonder why Mark doesn’t simply ask her what she knows to make her say that “D. Gibbons is a bad man.”
Aaron’s daughter had a prominent role in this episode as we learned more about how she was apparently killed. Rather than finding her at the time of the flash forward, Aaron returned home to find his daughter alive at the end of the episode. This appears to be a second situation where things are playing out different than in the flash forward.
A trailer has been released for the next Doctor Who special, The Waters of Mars (video above). This will first air on the BBC on November 15 and December 19 on BBC America. Blogator Who has posted a synopsis of the episode:
Starring David Tennant as The Doctor and guest starring acclaimed British actress Lindsay Duncan – best known for her roles across stage and screen (Margaret, Lost in Austen) – The Waters Of Mars is set to be one of the most terrifying episodes of the series to date.
Lindsay Duncan stars as Adelaide – the Doctor’s cleverest and most strong-minded companion yet.
She and The Doctor face terror on the Red Planet as they battle against a mysterious alien living within the terrarium of life on Mars’ surface which infects its victims using a water compound it creates.
Neighbours, Flying Doctors and Casualty star Peter O’Brien also guest stars as Ed, Adelaide’s second-in-command at the base
According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Tennant might be seen more by US audiences after he concludes his role as The Doctor. Tennant has been cast in the title role of a pilot for NBC entitled Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.
Written by Andrew Leeds and David Lampson, “Rex” centers on Rex Alexander (Tennant), a top Chicago litigator who begins suffering panic attacks and takes up coaching clients to represent themselves in court.
David Semel, who directed the pilots for “Heroes” and “Life,” has come on board to helm the comedic legal drama from Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun.
A picture has been released of Katee Sackhoff’s upcoming appearance on the November 23 episode of The Big Bang Theory.
“The story is about how Wolowitz has this wonderful woman in his life” after a double-date with Leonard and Penny and one of her co-workers from the Cheesecake Factory, Lorre says. “But he can’t recognize what’s right in front of him because he’s mesmerized by fantasies about women from sci-fi. The scene is his mental image of Katee, but she’s telling him the truth, that he’s missing out on real life.”
For her part, Sackhoff enjoyed the rub-a-dub-dub so much that she says she hopes it leads to a recurring role as “Wolowitz’s Number Six” (a Battlestar reference), returning from time to time in his imagination to offer advice – for instance, disabusing him of the notion that he’s a ladies’ man.
Lorre says he could get on board with that idea. “That would be terrific – she could definitely be Number Six in Wolowitz’s head – his muse, the magnificent woman who tells him the truth. We should all have a conscience that looks like Katee Sackhoff.”
Sackhoff’s guest appearance follows previous guest spots by Summer Glau and more recently Wil Wheaton. Wheaton revealed on his blog that he his voice was used in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie.
Katee Sackhoff will have a role in the upcoming season of 24. Gregory Itzin will also be returning next season in his role of former President Charles Logan.
E! Online interviewed Damon Lindelof about the final season of Lost:
For those fans of Lost who are invested in the romance on the show, will there be anything for them this year, or is this primarily a mythology season?
That’s an excellent question. Our focus remains where it’s always been: on the characters. And there are significant and emotional bonds, from both the friendship and the romantic angle, that we would be remiss in not exploring; we probably won’t be exploring them in the way that you think. That’s my official answer.
All right, last night you tweeted about this event, and you said that you would address the numbers question.
Oh, well that was just to get people here. [Laughs.]
Are we going to get an answer on the numbers this season?
When someone asks what the numbers mean or are you going to answer the mystery of the numbers, it’s a very interesting phrasing of a question, because I would pose it back to them: Well, what does an answer to “what do the numbers mean” look like? The answer that I’m giving now, my political answer, is that we’ve made a lot of the numbers in this show, so the idea that in the final season of the show we are telling everybody that we’re in answer mode and you’re never going to see the numbers again, or you won’t understand a lot more about the numbers than you do now, would be a cop-out. You would legitimately tar and feather us. But the one question that I can’t answer is what someone’s own level of personal satisfaction is going to be when all is said and done. We’ve gotten a sense from some people that there’s no such thing as a definitive answer to a question, you know? You say that this is the definitive answer and sometimes fans do like, “No, it’s not, I still think that there’s more there.” So all we can do is basically tell the story that we want to tell and answer the questions that are relevant to that story and hope that the audience leaves with some degree of satisfaction. But Lost wouldn’t be Lost if there wasn’t an ongoing debate as to whether or not questions were answered satisfyingly or not.
Word has been spreading this week that Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) does appear during the final season but does die. Entertainment Weekly has quotes from the producers:
CUSE: “As the story is now nearing its conclusion, some characters just aren’t going to make it all the way to the end. Even beloved characters aren’t going to make it all the way to the end. And sometimes we have to do things that are really painful, like killing Juliet, because that’s what makes the story feel like the stakes are genuine, and people feel invested that characters who are beloved can actually perish on our show. It was an enormously powerful story that concluded the entire season of the show. So she was sacrificed in service of the story, and I think was hugely responsible for the season being viewed as successful because that was how it ended.… But she will always loom as one of our favorite characters, and even more importantly, favorite people that we’ve ever worked with on this show.”
LINDELOF: “What always gives us pause—especially in this instance—is we just love working with Elizabeth. And she always brings it, she always gives more than we expected, and transcends the material. She has always been so gracious and sweet and lovely…. That conversation [in which he and Cuse delivered the bad news] went the same way that the entire relationship did, which is Elizabeth was completely understanding, sweet, and wonderful. And she was bummed, as were we.”
MITCHELL: “I really only thought [the job] was going to be a year. I didn’t in any way think that that character would be liked because I didn’t think of her as a likable person. I was just in love with her, so that was what was fun. She didn’t have to be beautiful. She didn’t have to be sexy. She was someone who we really haven’t seen. It was new, it was virgin ground.… [But after season 3], I was told many, many times that they weren’t sure what to do and that they wanted to keep her a mystery. Which I thought was great, to keep her a mystery. I’m glad they didn’t go the other way, and make her completely nothing. In many ways a lot of it was just inevitable. [Season 4] wasn’t as exciting as season 3 was, but I was still pretty grateful to be there, to be honest with you. They’d done a lot for me, so I still felt pretty good about it and I still loved her. Even if I was just walking around in the background, I was still having my Juliet thoughts…. [In a phone call right before the end of season 5, Lindelof and Cuse] said they didn’t have any story left to tell, and they didn’t think there was anything left for her to do… They were very open and honest and kind about it. And they seemed to be sad about it.”
CUSE: “There are so many characters in the weave of the fabric of Lost that at various times certain people get to shine and other people are forced into the background. Juliet’s character had that kind of an arc on the show: She burned brightly, but then we moved on in the storytelling and other things became more important. And it’s always painful. It’s like having a garage full of the most beautiful cars in the world but you only can drive one to work every day. And it was frustrating for us, too, because we were pursuing other stories which rose to prominence and hers ended up taking a little bit of a backseat. But Damon and I came to a place where we came up with a fantastic ‘ending’ [for Juliet]. And ending is in quotations, of course, because just because a character’s died doesn’t mean that their story’s over on Lost.”
LINDELOF: “Juliet basically birthed season 6 by the actions that she takes in the final seconds of season 5. She is completely responsible for the endgame of the show. So the character is going to be seen in a slightly different light this year. We gave her that action for a reason, and that’s because she’s so important to the fabric of the story.”
Those who might want more of Hayden Panettiere beyond seeing her fight a deadly sorority and share a lesbian kiss with Madeline Zima on Heroes might check out her spread in Elle.
The identity of the character to be killed off this season of Heroes has been revealed by TV Guide. They report it will be Adrian Pasdar, who plays Nathan. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering that he was already killed at the end of the last season and the manner in which he returned does not appear permanent.