Tagged: Alex Kingston

Mindy Newell: Mindy’s Mishes And Moshes

This week is a mish-mash featuring my reactions and thoughts to some of my fellow ComicMix columnists and two reader’s thoughts on my column from last week.

In response to my column last week, which I wrote while watching the New York Giants/Green Bay Packers wild card playoff game, Mark Belktron wrote:

Johnny O (the O is for Ostrander) talked about the King, a.k.a. Jack Kirby, yesterday, and his first encounter with the “mild-mannered” genius of the four-color page. Hey, John, did you read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon? If not, you really must! In fact, as I once mentioned long ago and far away (but not in another galaxy – at least, I think not), anyone who claims to be a comics fan must – im-not-so-ho, of course – read this, uh, amazing semi-fictionalized and semi-biographical novel of the birth of the comics industry in Depression-era America.

On Friday (January 14), Marc Alan Fishman did a “Tim Gun” critique of the DC film version of Justice League PR picture, which accompanied an article about the film in USA Today. I don’t read that paper, so Marc’s column was the first time I saw this pix. I think Marc has it correct, for the most part.

Batfleck does look fitting (as in, it fits the character), although I have always wondered, going all the way back to Michael Keaton’s turn as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s original Batman (1989), just how weighty and cumbersome the… costume? uniform?… let’s go with “outfit”… and how the athletic and martial-arts empowered Gotham Knight is able to move so swiftly and ably wearing that thing – hmm…have any of the cinema Batmen been able to even turn their head to talk to someone or espy something without having to turn the whole body? (Yes, unwieldy sentence, but so is the suit. Isn’t it?)

Also love, love, love Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (as I’ve mentioned numerous times before), but, unlike Marc, I don’t care that the colors of her armament are subdued. Of all the characters’, um, outfits, hers is the most realistic and closest, im-not-so-ho, to what Amazon warriors would wear to battle over 2000 years ago. The others don’t bother me one way or another. Cyborg is just another variation on a, well, cyborg. The Flash and Aquaman are pretty much what I would expect from a Zack Snyder film – and I don’t think that the orange-and-green “look” of the comic would ever translate well to the big screen, and barely to the small screen, for that matter. Anyway, it makes sense that the colors of the deep, dark sea, down so far that sunlight is an unknown (think views of the wreck of the Titanic, lit by mini-submarine) would be reflected in what the “King of the Sea” wears.

My only question about Flash continues to be – why hire a new actor (Ezra Miller) to play Barry Allen when Grant Gustin is just so damn excellent in the role? Yeah, yeah, I know…the televerse and the cineverse are alternate realities, or something. But here, once again, Marvel does it better, blending their ‘verses into one smooth reality.

“That game not only got away from the Giants, but the backlash in the media against OBJ [that’s Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for you non-football people] the next day is killing me as a fan. Have you watched OA yet?”

Sorry, Mark, but im-not-so-ho, a player with the vaunted ability of OBJ should have caught both of Eli’s passes early in the first quarter…especially that wide-open beauty in the end zone. I don’t really care what the players do off the field – well, barring domestic violence and any other behavior which can lead to some serious injury to themselves and/or others (New York defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blowing his hand up real good with a firecracker, for instance) – if they show up on the field. My brother thinks OBJ is overrated, and I do tend to agree with him, if only because the wide receiver is too damn inconsistent to be placed with the other great wide receivers of the game. The players of the NFL apparently get it – OBJ was named to the All-Pro second team this year.

Regarding that same column, in which I wondered if the new 24 will be “worth it,” ReneCat said:

“Mindy, you hit the nail on the head! 24 without Jack (especially) and Chloe is just 24 Lite.

Perhaps I’m just a big, bitter grump, ReneCat. (Reference Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One, Episode Eight: “Miri.”) I just watched the last three episodes of last season’s Homeland before watching the sixth season of the show on Showtime last night; Miranda Otto was so remarkable as Russian double-agent Allison Carr, and she (Miranda, not Allison) – who ended up “dead real good,” riddled with bullets in the trunk of the car that was getting her out of Germany – is playing Rebecca Ingram, the former head of the CTU who is apparently now regretting leaving the intelligence agency. It is, according to the Fox Network, one of the leading parts. So I will definitely being turning in to watch, at the very least, the premiere of 24: Legacy.

Mike Gold’s column on River Song, the remarkably capable, strong and intelligent archaeologist/con artist/warrior-protector with a great sense of humor and about 92% of all the sexuality ever expressed in the 54-year history of the program, she has been, is, and/or will be married to the Doctor” was right on the mark, for my money. Very coincidentally, I just ordered The Diary of River Song before reading Mike’s column, although since I hadn’t read Mike’s column I got the more expensive set on Amazon instead of at Big Finish. I would have cancelled the Amazon order and gone over to Big Finish, but my package has already shipped, to be delivered tomorrow. Oh, well. As Mike said:

I hope to see River return sometime this season as it is Steven Moffat’s last as writer/showrunner. I hope to see River Song return anywhere at any time, if that latter phrase has any real meaning in a world where time travel exists.

“But, hey, I’ll settle for Alex Kingston returning damn well anywhere.”

Me, too, Mike!

Well, that’s about it for this week, folks. My column, as usual, is running late – unusually so this week, as between my full-time job and my parents’ ill health I haven’t had the time or the “mood” to write. Apologies to my fellow columnists whom I haven’t mentioned, except to say that, in regards to graphic novels and comic shops, Martha Thomases and Ed Catto, I am guilty of buying the collected issues in one volume. And also, Arthur Tebbel, the only movies that I saw on your list of the Worst Movies of 2016 were Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Independence Day: Resurgence, and that I couldn’t even get past the first half-hour of the later (which I tried to watch on Netflix) and that the former was a travesty of great proportion, except for, once again, Gal Gadot’s Diana, Princess of Themyscira.

Addendum: By the time of next week’s column, we will have had one full weekend of President Donald J. Trump. Will we all still be here? Will there even be a column? Will America be…Amerika?

Mike Gold: Up The River Without a TARDIS

If you were to ask me if I had a favorite character among all the heroic fantasy teevee shows and movies over the past five years, and damnit I wish you would, I would immediately respond “River Song.”

For those who came in late, here’s the mandatory Journalism 101 background:

River Song is an ongoing but breathtakingly occasional character in Doctor Who. A remarkably capable, strong and intelligent archaeologist/con artist/warrior-protector with a great sense of humor and about 92% of all the sexuality ever expressed in the 54-year history of the program, she has been, is, and/or will be married to the Doctor – it’s time travel, Mr. Gittes – and that poses all sorts of thrilling opportunities. It also begs the issue of “until regeneration do us part.” She’s kind of a partial Time Lord, having absorbed some of the Doctor’s DNA while being conceived in the TARDIS. Yes, she’s the daughter of two of the Doctor’s former companions.


Yup. I really love time travel.

Ms. Song is played by Alex Kingston, and in addition to some crackerjack writing from Steven Moffat, Ms. Kingston is the reason why this complicated yet highly entertaining character works. She’s known in the States for her work on such teevee shows as Arrow (where she plays Dinah Lance I), Gilmore Girls, Macbeth (playing Lady Macbeth; duh), Upstairs Downstairs (the 2012 series), Law and Order SUV, and ER. My favorite of her work that I have seen came in the teevee movie The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, where she played the title character and shared the boards with such folks as Diana Rigg and Daniel Craig.

In other words, Alex Kingston’s career orbits the nexus of fan reality.

You might ask why I’m bringing River Song to your attention at this time, if I already hadn’t just done that. The people at Big Finish, arguably the world’s largest publisher of original full-cast audio stories, released their second box set of River Song adventures. The Diary of River Song Series 2 co-stars Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, both playing her husband The Doctor, and together the four adventures runs about four hours and change, not counting the bonus “behind the scenes” disc full of audio extras.

The downloadable version can be secured from Big Finish for a mere twenty bucks American, Amazon is charging a bit more for the physical five CD box set.

This isn’t a review because I have yet to hear the material. If it sucks, I’ll apologetically apologize anon… once the surprise wears off. I’m a big fan of Big Finish’s work, although I’ve only heard a fraction of their couple-thousand hours of original Doctor Who material starring all of the living Doctors from Tom Baker to John Hurt aside from Matt Smith (as of this writing). More to the point, I listened to The Diary of River Song Series 1 starring Alex Kingston and Paul McGann (the eighth doctor, if you were to count them in order of first appearance) during one of my infamous cross-country drives and it was absolutely great.

River Song last appeared in the 2015 Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song.” It was her first meeting with her husband Peter Capaldi, and because of where it is set in time she does not recognize The Doctor. In fact, she’s married to someone else, for a while. It’s a great jumping on episode for those who haven’t seen River Song, Peter Capaldi’s doctor, and/or Doctor Who. It’s well-written, clever as hell, sensual to excess and more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And we all know everything is better with a monkey.

Even better: this episode gave us the introduction of Nardole, played by British comedian Matt Lucas. He returned for this year’s Christmas special as the Doctor’s, umm, valet (the Doctor is companionless for the nonce) and Nardole will return for about a half-dozen episodes in the upcoming season. Americans might recognize him for his role in Community where, coincidentally, he played a fan of the ersatz teevee show Inspector Spacetime.

I hope to see River return sometime this season as it is Steven Moffat’s last as writer/showrunner. I hope to see River Song return anywhere at any time, if that latter phrase has any real meaning in a world where time travel exists.

But, hey, I’ll settle for Alex Kingston returning damn well anywhere.

Alex Kingston Returns to Doctor Who

The BBC is giving us all a grand Christmas present – Alex Kingston will return to Doctor Who for the Christmas special as The Doctor’s Paramour and assassin, River Song.

Day one of filming the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas special starts this week and is written by lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, produced by Nikki Wilson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

Award-winning Alex Kingston comments on her reappearance:

“To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humor and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read-through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September?, why not!”

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer adds:

“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who – and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song. The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time …”

gZ7G8River Song’s timeline with The Doctor has always been a topic of great discussion among fans.  From her point of view, her first appearance in Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead was the last time she saw The Doctor, having died and all.  Up until the recent episode The Name of the Doctor, all of River’s appearances have been from earlier in her life / timeline – only in the latest one have we seen her from after the events of that first (well, I say “first”…) meeting.  So there’s no knowing from whence we’ll be seeing her appear this time.

As fans of their relationship know, there’s one very important moment we’ve yet to see – The Doctor has not yet presented her with the souped-up version of the sonic Screwdriver she used with such style in the Library. And considering Christmas is traditionally when presents are exchanged, who’s to say this isn’t when it’ll happen?

Curse you, Moffat, we haven’t even gotten to the premiere of the new season (September 19, as if you didn’t know) and you’ve already got us looking ahead to Christmas.