Tag Archives: BBC

The Return of Doctor Mysterio! It’s a Doctor Who Christmas Special.

[Promo Image from Wikipedia]

[Some Spoilers. Read at your own risk.]

Well hellllllllooooooooo, shippers! It has been a loooooooooooooong time! I’m serious. Like almost two years, maybe three! Has is really been that long? Wow! I’m sorry that I’ve been gone so long. You may not have noticed but if you did, I missed you too.

Okay, enough with the sentimental stuff.

Doctor Who has returned after a bit of a wait with another fantastic Christmas Special, something that has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition within the fandom. And possibly with some outside of the fandom. Hang the mistletoe, hang your stocking, leave out cookies and milk for Santa, and after unwrapping your presents and gorging yourself on your (hopefully) well-prepared holiday feast, you flip on the “telly” and feast your eyes on some new Doctor Who. And this year’s special is just as much of a classic as all the others before it, only this time it has a classic comic book superhero twist.

The story starts with one of our main characters, Grant, dreaming of when he was a young lad and first met The Doctor (Peter Capaldi). At first, Grant sort of confuses him with Santa Claus and even brings him milk and cookies. He soon learns that he’s not jolly old St. Nick; he’s The Doctor. Which Doctor? The Main one, the First one, all the others are just bandwagon jumpers. He’s also dubbed “Doctor Mysterio” by Grant. The Doctor explains to Grant that he is setting up an energy device that should help fix one of his recent goof-ups and it runs on the power from a special deep space gemstone, which he hands to the boy to hold. However, Grant has a cold and The Doctor handed him a glass of water before he gave him the gem, so he of course thought that it was medicine. That, ladies and gents is where our superhero story begins.

Check it out, guys! It’s Goku! [Dragonball Wiki]

You see, the gems grants wishes essentially and Grant is a young boy who loves superheroes, so obviously he gets super powers. First flight, then x-ray vision, and I’m sure speed and strength came along sometime throughout his adolescent years. Through flashbacks, we see he had a bit of a tough time through his adolescent years. Cut to modern day and our boy Grant (played by Dragonball Evolution‘s Justin Chatwin) lives a typically mundane life with a normal job (he’s a nanny) in New York City (typical superhero locale). The twist is he works as the nanny for Lucy (played by Charity Wakefield), the girl that he’s been in love with for 24 years who happens to be a hard-nosed reporter from The Daily Chronicle (a la Lois Lane). And just like Lois Lane, she can’t see through Grant’s glasses to realize that he is “The Ghost”, his superhero alter-ego. The same superhero that I’m sure she has been investigating since either he came on the scene or she started reporting. Typical comic book reporting – the truth to your greatest mystery is right in front of you and you can’t see it.

This story also has your standard aliens destroying major cities and trying to conquer the Earth storyline that you get with most superhero and Doctor Who storylines. It has nods to the original creators of Superman, Siegel and Shuster. At one point, The Ghost does the classic “Superman costume change spin” before leaping into action. The Doctor even has his own “secret identity.” There are some clever little classic comic book nods throughout the episode. I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you by taking out all the fun of hunting for them. Hopefully you’re better at investigating than Lucy.

Glad to have you aboard, Nardole. [Wikipedia]

Something I noticed about this episode was that for a Christmas Special, it wasn’t very Christmas-y. There were small elements here and there, mostly in the first scene when The Doctor meets Grant on Christmas but other than that, the most Christmas-esque thing is the return of Nardole (played by Matt Lucas). He was River Song’s companion in the last Christmas Special, “The Husbands of River Song“, who had his head removed by River’s husband at the time, King Hydroflax. Side note: the brain-swapping aliens in this Christmas Special last appeared as servants of King Hydroflax in the last Christmas Special. One of their agents, Scratch, even stated that they represented “the Shoal of the Winter Harmony.” Hence the company name, “Harmony Shoal”. Anyway, The Doctor reattached Nardole’s head to his original body and brought him on as his companion, and by the looks of the trailer for Series 10, he might be around for a while. Which is a good thing because even though he may seem like a goofy lump of comic relief, he’s actually sharp enough to keep The Doctor in check.

The episode is definitely a must-watch, whether you’re a Doctor Who fan or a superhero fan or both. Five out of five stars. It also gives you a bit of a glimpse into how well The Doctor is doing after River’s death. It’s a nice little spin on the classic Superman story from back in the day, coming-of-age with super powers and whatnot. It also works to hold you over until the new season begins in April. At least I hope it will. It’s not much of a Christmas story but beggars can’t be choosers, and we all know we have been begging for new Who. Maybe that’s what makes it a Christmas story – we haven’t had any new Doctor Who in a year and won’t have anymore for four more months, so this is Moffat’s gift to us for waiting so patiently, albeit without any choice but to wait.

Thanks, Steven.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Thank You Letter to Peter Capaldi

Dear Mr. Capaldi,

Thank you for being amazing. Truly amazing.

Doctor-who-Peter-Capaldi-2124919

Twelve. (image property of BBC)

Thank you for being the Doctor that I have wanted for a long time. Not that I had anything against previous Doctors. Nine (Christopher Eccleston) was outstanding, he was the Doctor that hooked me and brought me in. Ten (David Tennant) was phenomenal! He was the Doctor that stole the show, he grabbed me by the hand and took me on some incredible adventures. Ten has always been MY Doctor. Eleven (Matt Smith) was excellent too, it just took me a while to get used to him. I mean, I didn’t really get into him until much later on during his time as the Doctor. After watching his episodes again, I developed a better understanding of and enjoyment for him. He’s actually quite good.

But you, Mr. Capaldi, are something else. Something other-worldly, something astronomically wonderful. You are quickly becoming my favorite Doctor and that’s not an easy thing to do. Tennant’s Doctor is near and dear to my heart, so for you to nearly take his place so quickly is extraordinary.

Thank you for not being the goofy, love-sick-puppy Doctor that we’ve all come to know. Thank you for being the cynical, curmudgeonly Doctor we’ve needed most. A Doctor who isn’t trying to play house or be someone’s boyfriend–but a grumpy old Doctor, still with a heart of gold, yet not an overly-emotional softy. Your Doctor is more guarded, more closed off, but still a good person, whether he thinks so or not.

And now he’s a Doctor with a mission…to find Gallifrey, which I truly hope he does. I really, really, really hope he does. I feel that if your Doctor finds Gallifrey, it will be a life-altering experience. I mean, when Ten, Eleven, and the War Doctor saved Gallifrey from the destructive Time War, if was a huge burden taken off the Doctor’s mind. But now that his home is safe in an alternate universe, he has to worry if he’ll ever find it again and be reunited with his people. And I see that worry and fear in your Doctor, but not in a bad way. I see that it’s what is driving him; it’s what moves him. Though he does continue on his side projects to help people, finding home is main mission.

Finally, thank you for making every episode better and better. Even though we’re only five episodes in, you haven’t had a bad one yet. I feel the rest of the season will be the increasingly more stellar than it already has been. And hopefully you stay for a while. There was a rumor in the beginning that you were only staying on for one series and I hope that rumor is a lie. After seeing how much the fans love you and what you do, I want you to be convinced that leaving would be a horrible thing to do. Please, please, please stay.

In summary,

1. You’re the best.

2. Please stay.

3. Everyone would miss you.

4. I could watch Listen a million times and never get tired of it.

The best episode so far. So freakin' good! (Image property of BBC)

The best episode so far. So freakin’ good! (Image property of BBC)

5. After you finish your run as Doctor, reunite Dreamboys with Craig Ferguson. That would be awesome.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you’ll do.

 

Your fan for life,

Rob

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Doctor’s New Threads, When Loki Was Almost Thor, and Uwe Boll is STILL Getting Work

 

 

1. BBC finally revealed Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor costume….And it’s pretty freakin’ snazzy! It’s a modern take on a retro style that gives Capaldi’s Doctor just an extra touch of class.  A dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, a white shirt with absolutely no tie, dark blue trousers, and black Dr Martens shoes. The look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden. Still no image of his Sonic screwdriver has been revealed, nor any image of him using one. Hopefully he’s not going “sans Screwdriver” for his run as the Doctor.

Lookin' sharp, Doc. (image property of BBC)

Lookin’ sharp, Doc. (image property of BBC)

2. Have you seen the gifs of Tom Hiddleston as Thor? Apparently, before he became the Loki that we all know and love, he auditioned for the role of the god of thunder himself, Thor. Although, he looks more like Bodhi from Point Break. The test footage will be one of the extras on the DVD and Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World when it releases on Feb. 25th. Also, there’s some footage dressed as Captain America. It’s like he wants to play all of the Avengers or something.

Thor, God of Thunder. And gnarly waves. (image property of Marvel)

Thor, God of Thunder. And gnarly waves. (image property of Marvel)

3. Remember the ghastly film adaptations of the video games BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, Postal, Alone in the Dark, and House of the Dead that Uwe Boll made? And remember the petition that was started to convince him to stop making films like the aforementioned ones? Well the petition didn’t work (there weren’t enough signatures and the douchebag wouldn’t have honored it anyway) and Boll is still making crappy adaptations.

During one of my internet searches for movies soon to be released, I discovered that a third Dungeon Siege film is set to release next month (In the Name of the King 3) and Boll was at the helm for it. Dammit. Why is this guy still getting work?! Who is funding this schmuck?! Has no one seen any of his previous work?! I just don’t get it. I’ve only seen one film that this guy has done that I actually like (Rampage) and the rest is garbage. Everything he does goes straight to DVD now, so that has to be how he’s squeaking by unnoticed. Thankfully, no major studio has thought, “Ya know, this guy has got some talent. We should hire him.” There would be riots. Large scale riots with fire and explosions and such, followed by the jackass that hired him being forced to commit seppuku.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for Rampage. It’s also getting a sequel but I’m a little unsure about watching it. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, if ya know what I mean.

[Header image property of BBC]

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sherlock Holmes and the case of Oversaturation

image courtesy of Wikimedia

image courtesy of Wikimedia

Is anyone out there not getting enough Sherlock Holmes? With the pending third film in the Robert Downey Jr. franchise, a BBC series(Sherlock) that just began its long-awaited 3rd season and an American adaptation (Elementary) in its second, the market is pretty well saturated with stories of the detective. According to IMDB 252 movies and television series have been based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories and books since the character first appeared 125 years ago.

A federal judge has ruled that the Deerstalker (Holmes’ signature headwear), 221 b Baker street, Watson and Moriarity  along with all elements of stories written before 1923 are now in the public domain. This means that the first 50 tales involving the character and any character development or events within can be used without paying the writer’s estate. Chief Judge Rubén Castillo of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, stated that elements introduced in Holmes stories published after 1923 — such as the fact that Watson played rugby for Blackheath, or had a second wife — remain under copyright in the United States. (All of the Holmes stories are already in the public domain in Britain.)

This means some pretty great things for Holmes as a literary character. The new volume of short stories from various writers that touched off the original suit will go into publication in March and we can expect plenty of affordable reprintings of the classic stories.

As for television and film I have to ask: What hasn’t already been done?

Comedy ? Done

Younger Sherlock? Done

Older Sherlock? Done

Female Watson? Done

Sherlock as a doctor, a lawyer? an action hero? Done! Done! Done!

I adore Sherlock and find the RJD films to be fun. I loved House (a slightly different take) and thought Michael Cain, Roger Moore, and Jeremy Irons were all excellent as Holmes in their respective films. While I haven’t seen Elementary, I am sure it is a fine take on a tried and true property.

Anyone who remembers The Raven knows that an attempt to give Sherlock the Castle or Murder She Wrote treatment (think about it they’re the same show) will fall flatter than the notes Holmes squeaks out on his violin.

I fear however the public domain ruling will give rise to even more adaptations and interpretations of an already overused character. Below are 3 Sherlock Holmes concepts you will see in the next year:

1. Watson is the killer

2. Sherlock as a woman

3. Sherlock Holmes played by The Rock, Zach Efron or Channing Tatum

Seeing the master sleuth done to death is more than I can bear. It is nothing new, but at least it used to have a price tag.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Doctor, The Muppets, and The Sequel That Should Not Be

None of the topics in the title are connected, just three things I wanted to talk about.

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the "War Doctor."

The Eighth Doctor preparing to drink the elixir that will turn him into the “War Doctor.” [image source: Wikipedia]

First off, The Doctor. More to the point, the Eighth Doctor. Watching The Night of the Doctor has left me wanting more from the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and apparently I’m not the only one. An online petition has been created to try and convince the BBC to create an online series for Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, a series he so rightfully deserves. It’s pretty close to its 15,000 supporter goal with less than 750 supporters to go. If you haven’t stopped by and signed it yet, do so now. I’m not really sure if this petition will make a difference in convincing the BBC and Steven Moffat to create the series, but it’s worth a shot. You know, never hurts to try and all that jazz.

For those of you that don’t know, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor never got his own televised series because the 1996 revival from BBC and 20th Century Fox failed to meet expectations and the full revival never took off. However, McGann did make a name for himself as the Eighth Doctor by continuing his adventures through some wonderfully entertaining audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. If you haven’t heard them yet, I suggest giving them a listen. Recently, he made his return to the screen in The Night of the Doctor, where we find out just how the Eighth Doctor becomes John Hurt’s mysterious “War Doctor.” It was a welcome return and we should all be very lucky to see more of McGann’s Doctor.

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted

Ricky Gervais is just one of the many celebrities appearing in Muppets Most Wanted. [image source: Disney]

Second, The Muppets are back! After the success of The Muppets in 2011 (which I loved), it was inevitable that we would be granted a sequel that would be no less entertaining than the first. That’s where Muppets Most Wanted comes in. The new film finds Kermit in some trouble in Europe when he’s mistaken for a master criminal who has switch places him. Surprisingly, no one in the Muppet gang notices the difference. Now it’s up to Kermit to escape prison, find his evil doppelganger, and bring him to justice, not to mention convince the others that he’s the real Kermit. And in true Muppet style, it will be a musical comedy and there will be loads of celebrity appearances (including Disney’s unfortunate addition of some of their Disney Channel “talent”). This should be hilarious!

Here’s the official UK trailer for Muppets Most Wanted:

 

Lastly, and I shudder at the thought of this actually happening, some independent film producers are trying to make a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life. Yes, you heard me right.

I'm sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

I’m sure if this sequel was ever made, George Bailey would jump off a bridge. [image source: Paramount]

The rights to the Christmas classic–released over 60 years ago–are owned by Paramount Studios, and they are refusing grant any rights to let the sequel be made. They are doing everything they can to protect the integrity of the original. Thank you, Paramount. And Jimmy Stewart thanks you. Your actions in this matter give me hope that not every studio is a  full-on, money-grubbing whore. It’s a Christmas freakin’ miracle! There is no need for a sequel to this film. There never was and there never will be, especially this long after the film’s original release. To make one would be trampling on the beauty and heartfelt magic of the original.

You can read more about it here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Night of the Doctor

Before the Day of the Doctor comes…the night!

Check out this brand new mini-episode, “The Night of the Doctor,” released today by BBC! Featuring the eighth Doctor (Paul McGann), we get a sneak peek at how John Hurt’s Doctor comes into being.

“Physician, heal thyself,” Eight mutters before drinking a brew to force a very specific regeneration, one that will change him from a Doctor to a Warrior.

Good to see you again, Eight.

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor,” airs Nov. 23.

McGann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

My Antic-Who-pation Continues to Grow

The title is a bit of a stretch but it works.

As the release of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special steadily approaches, with the Christmas Special not far behind it, I find myself becoming increasingly anxious as the days go by. I’m wondering how they’ll bring Rose and Ten back, what the deal with John Hurt’s Doctor is (Is he Nine or not?), and what Peter Capaldi’s Doctor will be like. And the last thing makes me wonder about how I’m going to handle Eleven’s regeneration. I’m not as attached to him as I was with Nine and Ten, but I still think it’s gonna be rough for me. This is all so much to process.

I’m most excited about the return of Rose (Billie Piper) and Ten (David Tennant): my favorite Doctor and companion back in action once again. However, I am worried as to how they will return. Are they going to be Rose and clone Ten that were supposedly trapped in another dimension or are they going to be Rose and the real Ten and somehow Clara and Eleven will cross timelines with them? I trust Moffat not to fail on something as monumental as the 50th Anniversary Specia,l but it doesn’t mean I’m not worried.

 

Is this the real Ninth doctor?

Is this the real Ninth doctor?

The enigma of John Hurt’s Doctor has been bouncing around in my head since he first turned around and “Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor” appeared on the screen. Is he Nine? Does this mean Nine is now Ten, Ten is now Eleven, Eleven is now Twelve, and Peter Capaldi is actually the Thirteenth Doctor? Does this mean the Doctor actually has one less regeneration than we thought he did? Is he going to be an angry, merciless, destructive Doctor or a remorseful Doctor wracked with guilt from what happened during the events of the Last Great Time War? There are too many questions, but I do expect an amazing performance from John Hurt.

Almost as much as Rose and Ten’s return, I’m excited for Peter Capaldi becoming the new Doctor. I’m constantly wondering what type of Doctor he’ll be. A goofy Doctor, an angry Doctor, a cynical Doctor, a completely serious Doctor, or a little bit of everything like we’ve come to expect? How will he dress? Classy like the First or Eleventh, modern like the Ninth or Tenth, or silly like the Fifth or Sixth? Will he change his Sonic screwdriver, and how will the Tardis look when he takes over? I’m hoping that his Sonic has an orange light, the Tardis stays the same, and he has a beard. Capaldi looks pretty awesome with a beard. Also, I want River to stick around and Captain Jack to make a comeback. That’s not asking for too much, is it?

 

11 to 12Finally, I have no idea how I’m going to react to Eleven’s regeneration. Matt Smith has grown on me over the past few years. It took a while to get used to him after becoming so attached to Tennant and Eccleston, but once I did, I’ve found him to be quite an amazing Doctor. He really knows how to make you laugh and pull at your heartstrings. I’m thinking it’s going to pretty emotional when he says his goodbyes this Christmas and a lot of people are going to be very teary-eyed. For me, Capaldi taking over will soften the blow to my tear ducts a little more then when Smith took over for Tennant. Though I will have to wait until next year to truly see how great of a Doctor he will be.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And the New Doctor is… (Drumroll Please)

Peter Capaldi!

That’s right, shipmates. The new Doctor is none other than Peter Capaldi. He’ll be replacing Matt Smith when his version of the Doctor regenerates during this year’s Christmas special.

We won’t really get to see Mr. Capaldi’s Doctor in action until next season, which will start later next year, be we here at The Cool Ship welcome him with open arms and minds and look forward to his time in the TARDIS.

Tagged , , , ,

Geek Week Round-up

Usually I fill this space with a complaint or observation about something that I have been watching or reading over the past week.  Well two things have gotten in the way of that: First, what I am watching this week is just not that geeky, and what I am reading I have not digested quite yet.

So how about a round up of things that interested me from various media this week?

I thought you might like that.

 

SingerDays of Future Past is going to be without a doubt the most epic film in the X-men cannon. Blending the casts of the original X-men trilogy and  X-men: First Class should prove big box office bank in 2014. In X-men 3 we got a quick glance at a Sentinel in the Danger room, but this week, director Bryan singer gave us the full monty. Still no word as to whether or not Singer will sew up the plot holes between the films as I mentioned in a previous post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

avatar-1-121109Oscar winner James Cameron announced today that not one, not two, but three sequels to his 2009 smash-hit Avatar are now in the works According to 20th Century Fox, Avatar 2, 3 and 4 will be shot simultaneously, with production kicking off next year, and will be released in December of 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. This should give the writers plenty of time to watch Ferngully again and Ferngully 2.

 

 

 

 

rts programme awards 2 190308The wait is almost over as the BBC announced today that it will announce the next Doctor on Sunday 8/4/13. I somehow doubt it will be anyone I suggested. Read more about the pending announcement in this Modest Wit post. Peter Capaldi seems to be the main contender– probably for many great reasons. I am sure it has nothing to do with his cast credit from World War Z.

World War Z

Peter Capaldi…………………………..W.H.O. Doctor

I rest my case.

 

Netflix now offers individual profiles and instant queues for everyone in your household. Which means Netflix can now screw up “because you liked ” for your whole family.  I will no longer have to see a recommendation of The Backyardigans next to a recommendation for Silent Hill Revelation–neither of which I want to see but the mixture is just weird.

 

QueenThe BBC also released today the script written just in case WW3 ever broke out. Meant to be delivered by Queen Elizabeth and dating back to 1983 the speech encourages those survivors of a  direct assault on The British Empire to “move on and rebuild”. A speech written for the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also released. Full text available here

 

 

 

 

Finally a new Thor poster debuted this week. Still my least favorite Avenger, but it is still better than most things coming out this fall.

Thor

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who’s Who?

Over the weekend, rumors started to fly that Rory Kinnear could be the new Doctor. Kinnear is (maybe) supposedly taking up the mantel that will be discarded when current Doctor Who Matt Smith leaves the show around Christmastime.

kinnear1

Nice skull, Rory. Image courtesy of The Guardian.

I’ve read that he’s more of a stage actor, but he’s vaguely familiar to me.

When it comes to  a new Doctor, I want the actor to be someone I don’t know. I guess Kinnear fits that bill. While I’ve seen him in the newer Bond films, it wasn’t a role that really resonated with me, and frankly, he just looks like some random British dude to me.

Is that a good thing? I guess.

Knowing that he comes from a theater background gives me some hope. I love theater, and anyone who poses with a skull (Yorick, I presume.) and some flowers is obviously a bada$$. I mean, look at the picture! His face is half in shadow! You know he means business.

When it gets right down to it, I guess I don’t really care who the new Doctor is. (Shocking!) As long as the show continues to feel the same; to stay with the message that good will eventually triumph over evil; to have ridiculous sets and terrifically outlandish aliens; I’m good.

Although, a woman playing the Doctor would have been pretty sweet. Maybe next regeneration? Get on that, BBC.

What do you think about this unconfirmed news? Will Kinnear be a good Doctor? Were you pulling for someone else?

 

[[Featured image courtesy of Daily Record and Sunday Mail and is found at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/tv-radio/actor-rory-kinnear-favourite-replace-1928557.]]

Tagged , , , , , ,

Who Hype

Bet you didn't know Strax had a vlog. Image is a screen grab from the video below.

Bet you didn’t know Strax had a vlog. Image is a screen grab from the video below.

I love me some Doctor Who, and, of course I’m looking forward to the big 50th anniversary special! So, all in all, hype is just fine with me, and I was eager to gobble up Strax Field Report: The Doctor’s Greatest Secret.

I have a feeling that BBC and their American counterparts will be doling out bits of video throughout the summer and early fall until the big show on Nov. 23.

How do I feel about being led about by the nose by fancy, accent-laden aliens?

THANK YOU, BRITISH OVERLORDS!

Oh, Strax! You and your cute potato head!

However, this does beg the question: Has Strax been making field reports this whole time? I wanna see them! Also, let’s pause for a collective sigh of contented happiness at the awesomeness that is John Hurt’s inclusion in the 50th anniversary special.

**Happy sigh!**

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Getting Ready for the Big 50

Series 7 of Doctor Who wrapped up for us Americanos on Saturday. I’m not going to do a recap (because you should bloody well watch it yourself), but I do want to mention that it ended on somewhat of a cliff-hanger, introducing a “new” character.

(Like the quotes? Oh, yeah…you know what I mean.)

There are a lot of rumors floating around as to what role this character is actually playing and how he fits into the current Doctor mythos. I have a favorite theory that involves carnage and wiped memories, but I suppose only time and the BBC (or BBC America, I suppose for us Yanks) will tell.

Suffice it to say, the season finale was a lead up to the Doctor Who 5oth anniversary special that will air on Nov. 23. It’s a long time to wait, but we Whovians are accustomed to twiddling our thumbs and playing a rousing game of tiddly winks while our British overlords take their sweet time eking out the brilliant blue TARDIS-flavored cream into our weak American tea.

Doctors

Eleven and Ten…OR ARE THEY? (Watch the Series 7 finale!) Image taken from a screen grab of the video below.

**sigh**

I will say that they’ve done a good job recently of putting out videos, teasing the return of David Tennant’s tenth (OR IS HE?) Doctor and his beloved Rose (Who for some reason could never seem to find the time to visit a decent colorist. Space and time? Sure! Matching your roots to your bleached-out mess of a hair style? No time! No time? You’re in a time machine! Argh! I’m in a minority of those who weren’t overly impressed with darling Rose…in case you couldn’t tell.). Tennant is my favorite Doctor thus far, and I’m excited to see how the special plays out.

They’d just better not make me super sad again when he goes away. For real.

Confession: I didn’t start watching Doctor Who until Christopher Eccleston took over as the ninth Doctor (OR IS HE?), and I wasn’t all that taken with his performance. I later learned that there were problems in paradise; Eccleston didn’t have the greatest experience in the role. It’s a pity, but I must say that it came through in his portrayal of the Doctor, a flippant, somewhat disinterested time traveler who never quite convinced me that he gave a rat’s a$$ about much of anything.

Eccleston just didn’t ring true for me.

It wasn’t until Tennant took over that I really got into Who. Tennant brought vitality to the show; he seemed to actually enjoy himself. Was his Doctor written that way? Perhaps. Was Eccleston’s purposely written to be more detached? Perhaps. We could argue about that for quite a while, but the fact remains that I found Tennant’s Doctor more enjoyable!

Oh, and Donna Noble beats Rose Tyler any day. Fact.

Even though I’m not a huge Eccleston fan, I was still disappointed to hear that he wouldn’t be in the 5oth anniversary special. And what of the other surviving Doctors? Nope. It’ll just be Tennant and reigning Doctor, Matt Smith (and the “new” character, of course. But, I’m not talking about that, remember? Seriously! Go watch the Series 7 finale!).

While I understand that the older actors don’t fit into the picture of how we last saw their Doctors, I think something should have been done to include them. Perhaps they could have played other characters, had cameos a la Stan Lee. It was a missed opportunity for sure.

But, I still must say that I am definitely looking forward to the anniversary special! Every time a new Doctor Who video pops up on Facebook or YouTube, I greedily devour it, of course.

Here’s a fairly recent one:

What say you, Whovians? Are you looking forward to the 50th anniversary special?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

My Doctor Who Dilemma

I’m at a bit of a crossroad. I love Doctor Who, but I’m seriously considering not watching until he regenerates. I know, I know, it seems extreme.

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

Ten and Eleven in the 50th. Yeah, this is happening. (Image source: scifipulse.net)

I don’t hate Matt Smith. He’s taken a while to grow on me; I have come to enjoy him as The Doctor, not as much as David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, but I do like him. He is a great Doctor with an incredible ability to evoke every feeling possible from you when watching him (The Doctor’s Wife and Vincent and the Doctor). Lately, the only feeling that he’s bringing about is boredom. I am ready for him to move on and a new Doctor to take shape (cough, cough… Tilda Swinton).

I can’t blame him for my current feeling towards the series. Some of the blame lies on Steven Moffat and the other writers for “fumbling the ball,” lately. I’m quite partial to the Russell T. Davies/early Moffat days (not just because Tennant was The Doctor for the majority of them), and I’m really missing that era. I feel the writing was a little more creative and enthralling, then. I’m not saying Moffat has become a horrible writer or anything; he has written some of the best episodes of Who, ever (Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead). I just think he hasn’t been putting a lot of effort into writing DW. At times, it feels like he’s throwing darts at a dartboard of ideas and going with whatever he hits.

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Warning: You may have seen this episode before. (Image source: BBC)

Take for example, The Bells of Saint John, the most recent episode. One might figure that for a mid-season premiere and after a seemingly long break, this episode would be more of a nail-biter, but it ended up being a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. This episode felt more like what the series premiere of a US version of Doctor Who would be rather than the actual British series. [If a US version ever happened, I would rain hellfire down on whatever studio was producing it. You can be damn sure of that. And I wouldn’t be the only one.]

A non-threatening object is killing people (sort of) when they’re not expecting it, because they don’t expect it to be dangerous. Sound familiar?

No one expects a statue to zap them back into the past to die a slow, normal death but if you take your eyes off of them… Bam! Blink, and you’re dead.

No one expects to be downloaded into a database of souls just by clicking on a mysterious wifi source but once you do… Bam! Click, and you’re dead.

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

Completely unnecessary. (Image source: amazonaws.com)

See the similarities? Like I said, a lackluster regurgitation of Blink. And I think the writers knew the episode was gonna be like this, and that it wasn’t going to as good as Blink, so they threw in a scene of The Doctor riding a motorcycle up the side of a building. What?! Like I said, feels more like a US version premiere. They also had him use the TARDIS to pop inside a plane that’s about to crash in order to stop it from crashing–that’s something I could see The Doctor doing, not hot-wheelin’ up a building. It’s just too “action star” for The Doctor. All flash and no substance.

I think the relationship between The Doctor and his new companion, Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman), works really well. They do have an amazing chemistry, kinda like a mix of Doctor/Donna banter and sass with a bit of Doctor/Rose flirtation. I’m hoping this will develop more as the series goes along, and she’s not killed off again.

My main concern is about the writing. Will it get better as the season continues? Will the stories envelop me more like they did in seasons 1-4? Will they make me want Matt Smith to stay for another season? As of now, I’m ready for him to leave after the 50th anniversary special. I mean, he could regenerate in the next episode, and I wouldn’t mind.

And while we’re on the subject… Given that I’m iffy now about the current state of the writing for the series, I’m a tad bit fearful for the anniversary special. I really hope that Moffat doesn’t screw it up and does something like remake The Three Doctors. I’m ecstatic that David Tennant and Billie Piper are returning, though I don’t know in what capacity. My fingers are still crossed for Christopher Eccleston and John Barrowman returning as well, but only time will tell. I don’t think I will, but there’s always a chance that if Moffat screws this up, I might stop watching. I think a successful anniversary special is what I need to restore my faith in Moffat and maybe even help me to like the idea of Matt Smith staying on for another season.

But for the time being, my dilemma is should I keep watching and hope that I’m not disappointed or take a break until the anniversary special and save myself the anguish? What to do, what to do?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shuffle up and Deal: House of Cards

 

 

image property of netflix

image property of netflix

 

When Netflix announced it was nearly doubling its rates by separating its by mail DVD service from the instant streaming,  they claimed the additional revenue would be used for two purposes. The first purpose was to purchase better content (I’m still waiting on that one to come to fruition). The second was to venture into creating original material. Lilyhammer, the first such attempt, was mostly a flop. It was a story about a mobster in witness protection played by Steven Van Zandt. Van Zandt played basically the same character he played on the Sopranos and the six episodes set Netflix, and probably original streaming content, back about two years.

Netflix has become something of a misleading name for the company as almost 60% of its available content and the vast majority of its new content comes from broadcast television. Currently, the provider is producing a return of the ground-breaking situation comedy Arrested Development. Much to the delight of its die-hard fan base, new episodes of the show FOX seemed determined to cancel  will begin airing this spring (though, I guess “airing” is an outdated phrase now). Netflix will make a full season of content available on the first day.

It has done the same with the new drama House of Cards.

image property of Netflix

House of Cards, based on the BBC series of same name, is a political thriller that opens with a new president taking office. It’s obviously fiction, because the new prez is moderate.

The president-elect is expected to nominate Majority Whip Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, for secretary of state… but, he doesn’t. Considering himself  “in the know,” Underwood is shocked to learn he won’t be nominated to the post.

Underwood sets out to destroy the secretary of state nominee by drudging up a less than flattering story written for his college newspaper. The senator then uses a young contact from the press named Zoe Barnes (played by the lackluster Kate Mara) to push the story beyond a single news cycle.  In doing so, Underwood ensures the nominee will be forced to decline the post. This allows Underwood to place someone loyal to him within striking distance of the president.

Underwood is a borderline sociopath who has his hands in everything in Washington. People are simply assets to him in his gradually unfurling quest for the White House.

While glad-handing and schmoozing with everyone he encounters, Spacey’s Underwood tells us his true feelings and ambitions by way of asides with the audience. Underwood uses Barnes, the reporter mentioned above, to exploit the 24-hour news cycle and Twitter-verse to serve his purpose. He makes use of the congressional gridlock and partisanship to shame dissenters.

 

image property of Netflix

image property of Netflix

The dynamic between Underwood and his wife, Claire (played by Robin Wright), is by far the most interesting part of the series. They have an open marriage — provided they are honest with one another. Though, it’s interesting to note that this is one of the few areas that they are actually honest about. She uses his connections on the Hill (do real people ever call it that?) to further the efforts of her nonprofit. When their ambitions are at odds, the sparks really begin to fly.

House of Cards is a murky depiction of our current situation in Washington. Everyone is dirty or waiting for the opportunity to be dirty. The scenery is dark and dreary. In the fictional DC, it is always raining or about to. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the show is aptly titled and far more functional than Netflix’s recommendations algorithm.

Seriously, how do they get that? Just because I enjoyed Ken Burns’ Baseball, they think that I would enjoy Jackass 3? Is there a place where I can input my IQ in order to stop them from suggesting professional wrestling titles? Sorry, I just got a little off topic…

House of Cards is a solid B+. Watch it if you love politics or Kevin Spacey.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s a Doctor Who Christmas Special!

Possible spoilers! You’ve been warned.

The Doctor and Clara. (image source: BBC)

The Doctor and Clara. (image source: BBC)

Whovians rejoiced on the night (and afternoon, in some parts of the world) of Christmas Day when the BBC debuted the newest Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen.

Since the mid-season finale aired months ago and we were left with the saddening (yet welcome) departure of the Ponds, we have eagerly awaited The Doctor’s triumphant return and the conclusion of the seventh season. Personally, I’ve been waiting for Matt Smith to wow me like he did in his first Christmas special, The Christmas Carol, because I’ve become rather bored with him. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready for his regeneration to happen. Sadly, I don’t think that’ll come about until after the 50th Anniversary.

Until then, I’ll just have to hope that he continues giving performances like he did in The Snowmen.  I was entertained, much more than I was during last year’s special. Actually, the entire episode was very entertaining. It was full of thrills, chills, mystery, laughs, and a not-so-well-executed Sherlock Holmes impersonation. It did have its hokey moments but not enough to ruin it.

Set in Victorian England, viewers are introduced to a young, friendless boy who begins a sinister relationship with a snowman, brilliantly voiced by Sir Ian McKellen. The snowman turns out to be a parasitic entity seeking to take over the human race and turn them into ice people. Flash forward to 1892, and the friendless boy has become an evil older man; Doctor Simeon (played by Hudson Hawk baddie, Richard E. Grant), is preparing his army of snowmen for the takeover of mankind on Christmas Day.

The Doctor looking spiffy in Victorian threads. (image source: BBC)

The Doctor looking spiffy in Victorian threads. (image source: BBC)

But where is the Doctor while all of this is going on? Sulking in the TARDIS, sitting high up in the clouds, not to be bothered by anything going on down below. He’s become a broken, melancholy shell of a Time Lord since losing the Ponds, and he doesn’t want anything to do with the world. No more saving people or worlds, no more investigating, no more adventures, just sulking and reading.

Enter Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), the soon-to-be new companion, who stumbles upon the snowmen and reinvigorates the Doctor’s sense of adventure. She’s sassy, spunky, clever, witty, and keeps the Doctor on his toes, just what he needs in a companion. She resembles Souffle Girl from Asylum of the Daleks and at the end of the episode, you’ll find out why.

When she discovers the snowmen, as well as a menacing old woman in a frozen pond, are linked to thoughts, including those of the children she governs for, she seeks out the Doctor’s help in stopping them. With the assistance of Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey), she brings the Doctor out of his slump and gets him back in the game. Of course he manages to save the day, he is the Doctor after all, but he loses Clara in the process. Well technically, she defeats the snowmen by crying, which is the hokey part, but whatever. She dies in the end…again. But the Doctor figures out she’s actually Souffle Girl (sorta), and he’s off again to find her in another time period. And that’s the lead-in to the second half of season seven.

The best parts of this episode:

  1. The schtick between Strax and The Doctor is priceless. Strax is pretty damn funny.
  2. The chemistry between Clara and The Doctor is ten times better than it ever was with the Ponds.
  3. The Doctor should wear Victorian clothes more often. He looks much better in them than he does in his regular attire.
  4. The Doctor pretended to be Sherlock Holmes and failing miserably.
  5. The “bow ties are cool” reference was especially hilarious.
  6. Spiral staircase into the clouds, leading to the TARDIS.
  7. The new look of the TARDIS interior is stellar!
  8. Ian McKellen’s voice. Wicked.

The worst parts of this episode.

  1. Old ice woman in the pond was lame.
  2. Expecting more action from the snowmen, didn’t get much.
  3. Clara/Oswin died, again. At least they didn’t say she was a clone or something stupid like that.
  4. The Doctor Simeon ice zombie puppet routine was laughable.
  5.  It ended.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Week in Geek: Oct. 26, 2012

Colleen is in the midst of wedding-ing, honeymooning, and moving, so she’ll be gone for awhile. Being the ever gracious editor-in-chief that I am, I’ve agreed to step up to the plate and attempt to bring all the geeky cool to you this week. Let’s set sail!

This has nothing to do with any of the links. It’s just awesome.

In the spirit of Halloween, Neatorama showed us some of the best geeky parent-and-child costumes. Axe Cop and Uni-baby complete the list for me.

The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide in about 4 billion years. Hopefully, the improbability drive will be finished by then.

Gamesradar theorized who several video game characters would support in the election. No word on if Samus Aran is a Ron Paul-bot.

The Smithsonian’s Blog talked about Sex in Space. I doubt they asked James Spader’s character from Supernova for clarification. That scene is gross.

Chris Lee and pals are building a full size Millennium Falcon. Did they have to discuss it with the committee?

The Ladies of Mischief are awesome. ‘Nuff said.

John discusses what it would take for the United Federation of Planets to exist. Hint: It probably wouldn’t work.

We now have a tractor beam. Thanks, science!

The iPad Mini was announced this week. Guess what? It’s not worth it. We miss Steve Jobs.

Iron Man 3‘s trailer is out! You can watch Tony Stark get beat around and be all snarky. Also, Guy Pearce and Bloodrayne‘s Ben Kingsley add class to the proceedings.

The BBC examines the psychology of Tetris. You now have  the theme song stuck in your head.

Colleen talked to the Ladies of Mischief and learned about their awesome new book, Needles and Artifice.

That’s all for this week! Got something geeky that we missed? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Pond District

Image courtesy of BBC

It’s a collection of Ponds. Get it? Narf.

This week, BBC released a series of mini season prequels called Pond Life in anticipation of TOMORROW’s (Sept. 1, 2012) return of Doctor Who. I’ve gathered them for you below because I’m a nice person. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to watch all of them again. Squee!

They’re light-hearted for the most part. However, there’s a touch of dark in the last one that seems to allude to some marital strife between Mr. and Mrs. Pond. (Again, poor Rory WILLIAMS.) And then, there’s the super big hint on one of the posters on which it appears Amy is holding a wedding ring.

So, yeah. Bumpy roads ahead in Companion-ville.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Pond Life Debuts Monday!

Whovians everywhere have even more reason to rejoice! Not only is the beloved Doctor coming back into our lives on Sept. 1, but a new web series, Pond Life, will begin airing on MONDAY (August 27)!

Image courtesy of BBC

Pond Life has five parts and will feature Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and the Doctor (Matt Smith).

Pond Life provides us with a lovely opportunity to catch-up with Amy and Rory since we saw them at the end of the last series,” said Chris Chibnal, the series’ writer, on BBC’s Doctor Who blog. “It opens with the Ponds at home and gives us an insight in to just what happens when the Doctor drops in and out of their lives.  Travelling with the Doctor is one of the greatest things you can do, but it’s fun to spend a few moments looking at the chaos he can also bring.”

Slight aside: It’s still weird to me that these two are generally referred to as the “Ponds.” Poor Rory Williams; doomed to death so often without even the dignity of his own name!

Here’s an introduction to Pond Life from Gillan and Darvill:

Pond Life debuts at noon on Monday on the BBC’s Doctor Who blog.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,