SONS OF ANARCHY will be wrapping this season on a particularly bloody note, which has been the tone for the last few months. We talked with series creator Kurt Sutter about his plans to keep the tension and betrayal coming. Plus everyone is waiting for the 2nd part of the direct-to-DVD DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Bruce Timm & Andrea Romano join us to talk about what we will and won’t be seeing in the next part set to hit stores in 2013.
The November TV Ratings Sweeps are over and for the first time in a while, NBC climbed to the top. Critics are saying that the win was due to several of the network’s new shows, including the comedy GO ON. We talk to the creators and cast about just how a show about death became so funny, plus Chevy Chase finally bolts from COMMUNITY and David Tennant back on DOCTOR WHO??
The countdown to the Doctor Who Christmas special has begun. As has become traditional, the BBC has produced a special Doctor Who short to air during the annual Children in Need appeal. A prequel to the upcoming Christmas special, the short will feature the first footage of current Doctor Matt Smith and his new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, in the same room.
Jenna-Louise appeared in the first episode of the season, Asylum of the Daleks, in a surprise appearance as the mysterious and tragic Oswin Oswald. Fannish speculation has run rampant ever since as to any connection between Ms. Oswald and the Doctor’s new companion, about whom little is know save her rumored name, Clara.
Founded by British radio and chat show icon Terry Wogan, Children in Need helps disadvantaged children in Great Britain in many ways. Doctor Who and the charity have had a long history. The 30th anniversary adventure Dimensions in Time was broadcast during the telethon back in 1993. In the modern era of the series, David Tennant’s first scene as the Doctor was shown during the event, previous to his first episode, the first of the new Christmas specials. Time Crash, the crossover between Tennant and Peter Davison ran two years later.
Like most charities, this annual event is its biggest fundraising opportunity. If every American Doctor Who fan who watches this prequel donates as little as a pound on the appeal’s website, it’d add a staggering amount to the total, and the work the cause can do.
If you get off on anticipation and you also happen to be a Doctor Who fan, these are amazing times. We-all have so much to get excited about. To wit:
1) The beginning of the next half-season, which will start in England any day now. The BBC likes to wait until the last minute to make their announcements; the show debuts in the United States, Canada and much of the rest of the world shortly thereafter. As of this writing, the season premiere is not on this Saturday’s schedule, so the August 25th rumor is likely untrue… unless the Pirates of the Caribbean movie presently in the Doctor Who slot is bunkum.
2) The exiting of the two current companions at the end of the half-season, which may or may not involve killing one or both off.
3) The Doctor Who Christmas Special, which is likely to be aired on or about December 25th and will feature the introduction of the Doctor’s new companion. The show will also feature the “return” of Richard E. Grant – he voiced the Doctor in the animated “Scream of the Shalka” and joined Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley in Steven Moffat’s debut Who, the satirical “Curseof Fatal Death.”
4) The 50th anniversary of the show’s debut, which happened mere moments after the BBC announced the death of President John F. Kennedy. Talk about your dramatic lead-ins.
As hyped-up as we may be about the first three items on the above list, I’m far more amused by all the folderol around the 50th Anniversary. Writer/producer/showrunner Steven Moffat has been having enormous fun jerking the fans and media around, teasing the hell out of the event and roughly expanding our enthusiasm to apocalyptic proportions. Previous Doctors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennent have all publically committed to return “if asked,” and Christopher Eccleston has actually stopped saying he wouldn’t return under any circumstances, although his work on the next Thor movie might interfere with scheduling. Similarly, John Barrowman’s work on Arrow might mitigate his availability. Colin Baker noted he might have grown, ahem, a bit too big for the part. To me, that sounds like something Moffat can have fun with.
If Moffat is to be believed, there likely will be several or many 50th Anniversary events next year. My question is “will there actually be a regular 50th Anniversary season?” There will be a dramatic made-for-teevee-movie about the creation of the original television show, being produced by Moffat and written by his Sherlock partner Mark Gatiss. There’s quite a feminist hook in this tale, as the show’s original producer, the person who actually got the show on television, was Verity Lambert, one of the very, very few women in such a position at the BBC back in 1963.
Of course, we’ll see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW – we already see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW, including reprints of Dave Gibbons’ beautiful work on the feature – and there will be tons and tons of merchandising and convention thrills. I suspect Community and The Inspector will have something to say about it all as well.
So the rumors will continue to grow in mass, time and space, and the resultant brouhaha will keep the rabble at fever-pitch. Perhaps there will be TARDIS-themed Depends being marketed to those who can’t hold it in.
That’s right, guys. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil waiting on shadowy rooftops.
I discovered the Time Lord back in the late 1970s (I think), when WNET, the New York PBS station, started running the Tom Baker episodes. Baker’s Doctor, with his floppy-brimmed hat, outback duster, and loonnnng, multi-colored, scarf – did Granny Who knit it for him? – was the itinerant cosmic hobo. Only instead of hopping the rails, he “tripped the light fantastic” across the universe in the TARDIS. Companions Sara Jane Smith (the late Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) were – seen with the advantage of hindsight –sort of “Mulder/Scully” prototypes, with Sara Jane as the believing Mulder and Harry as the skeptic. I can’t say that the British military operations called UNIT – Unified Intelligence Taskforce – was the FBI, although Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart did sort of act like the Assistant Director Walter Skinner, walking the high-wire tightrope between helping the Doctor and answering to his superiors.
Like every other Whovian, I mourned – and was really pissed off – when the BBC stopped producing the series.
And like every other Whovian with Cablevision, I watched the relaunch of Doctor Who on Sci-Fi, with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billy Piper – the call girl of The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl on Showtime – as his companion, Rose Tyler. I really got into Eccleston as the Doctor, and was incredibly disappointed when he chose to leave the role after only one season…until David Tennant took over the controls of the TARDIS and the wielding of the sonic screwdriver. Like Rose, I fell in love with Tennant’s Doctor.
And I was deeply upset when, after five years, Tennant left. The love story between the Doctor and Rose added new and deep emotional resonance to the series and I didn’t want their tale to end. So I was stubbornly anti-Matt Smith as the as romanticism and emotional I was not prepared to like Matt Smith as the Doctor’s eleventh reincarnation. I thought his introduction was stupid and boring, not funny, going though young Amy Pond’s refrigerator and kitchen pantry, tasting everything, spitting out everything.
Bow ties are cool. So are fezzes.
The absolute brilliance – imho – of Smith’s first season as the Time Lord, and the introduction of Amy Pond as, first, a young girl, and then as a grown woman (Karen Gillan), with the addition of Amy’s fiancée-now-husband Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) won me over by the second episode.
Last night I watched The Science Of Doctor Who, which, like its predecessors The Science Of Star Wars and The Science Of Star Trek, explored how the show has influenced the scientists of today in making the science fiction of the Doctor science reality. Today I trolled BBC America’s Doctor Whoweb pages, watching sneak previews and reading about catching up on all things Whovian. Including the news that Gillan and Darvill will be exiting the show, and that it may have something to do with the Weeping Angels – to my mind the scariest and creepiest aliens to ever appear on Doctor Who. Yes, much more than the Daleks or the Cybermen.
But I do have one question.
Can someone please, please tell me when Season 7 starts?
This week marked fifteen years since the death of my sometime writing partner and lovely wife, Kimberly Ann Yale. Since here we talk about pop culture in so many different forms, I thought I would pose myself a question – WWKL? What Would Kim Like? What has come out since her death that she would really have gotten into?
Let’s start right here – on the Internet. First of all, she would have loved ComicMix and probably would have had her own column here. Kim was a terrific essayist – much better at it than me, I think. She was thoughtful, she picked words with care and grammar and punctuation really mattered to her. Me? If it gets past spellchek, I’m good.
In fact, I think Kim would have been all over the Internet. She would have had a blog or two or three, she would have been answering other peoples’ blogs, she would have been Queen of Facebook. Facebook was invented for someone like Kim. She would have had a bazillion friends on FB. I would have had to pry the computer from her.
Kim was also big into monsters and horror, vampires being her especial faves. I think she would have favored True Blood over the others because of the sex and the melodrama and the Southern-fried aspects of it all. (Kim’s mom was Southern and Kim fancied herself as a Southern belle. Kind of hard to do when you’re born up North but her mind worked it around.) The Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp? Eeeeeeeeee! She would be camped out for it right now.
I think both The Walking Dead comic and TV series would have sucked her in but she would have been tickled by Shaun Of The Dead. Kim had a terrific sense of humor and the world’s most infectious laugh. Trust me – if you were a stand-up comic or doing a comedy in the theater, you wanted Kim in the audience.
I wonder what she would have made of Cowboys And Aliens? She was the one who got me started watching westerns and they were among her favorite genre films and, of course, adding sci/fi to it would have really intrigued her but I’m not sure what she would have made of the execution. I only give it two stars and I think she would have agreed (Kim also worked as a movie critic back in Chicago for a small suburban newspaper, so she could really knew how to dissect a movie.)
On the cowboys and spaceships mode, I think she would have been into both Firefly and the movie tie-up, Serenity. And Nathan Fillion would have led her to the Castle TV series (she also loved fun mysteries and strong female characters).
Then there’s Doctor Who. Kim and I met at a Doctor Who con (actually, a combined Doctor Who / Chicago Comic Con) and she would have rejoiced at the Doctor’s return. I think she would have liked David Tennant’s Doctor the best; she would have described him as a “creamie” – as in cream your jeans. However, she would have liked all three incarnations that have come out since the series’ return and, as a writer, would really enjoyed Stephen Moffat’s writing and now running of the franchise. She would have also liked his take on Sherlock Holmes and on Jekyll and Hyde. I stopped watching the latter during its first season; not because it wasn’t good but because it really creeped me out too much.
On movies, she would have been amazed and ecstatic with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and would, as Mary and I are doing, been waiting impatiently for The Hobbit movies coming out. Viggo Mortensen would also have been counted as a creamie.
She would have been fascinated by how CGI made superhero movies possible and what happened as a result. Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, especially The Dark Knight, would have sucked her in and, come Hallowe’en, she would have dressed up as Ledger’s Joker, no question in my mind about it. I think, however, she would have been even more taken with Inception – Kim had an active dreamscape and tried to spend as much time in it as possible so the movie’s setting would have fascinated her.
She would have liked Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (less so the sequel) not only because he was so good (and he was) but because she was also a sucker for redemption stories and Downey’s reclamation of his career would have stirred her. She would also have really liked Chris Hemsworth as Thor (creamie) and the whole Captain America film and she would really be anticipating The Avengers, not the least because Joss Whedon is helming it.
I could go on much longer but I think I’ve tried everyone’s patience enough. I may be just projecting onto Kim what some of my own likes and dislikes are but it refreshes her memory in my own mind and heart, keeping the flame alive. She was full of life and she would have brought that with her into the future. Like all those we treasure, she lives on in me and in all those she loved and loved her.
Memory doesn’t die with the body, and neither does love.
Doctor Who returned to TV last night and my household is thrilled. Big fans of the Doctor here; I once wrote and tried to produce a Doctor Who stage play with the idea that this was the only way I would ever get to play the Doctor. The play never got to production and, despite being the writer and the producer, I couldn’t get cast as the Doctor which tells you, right there, one of the big reasons I gave up acting.
There’s a lot to be done in this new series of episodes, including explaining how the Doctor, who was shot dead in the first episode of this season’s series of episodes, escapes (the Doctor who was killed was from 200 years down the time stream; did I mention that Doctor Who is about time travel?). If the show does not explain that by this end of this season, I will personally hunt down the show’s brilliant writer and show-runner, Stephen Moffat, and throw him into a Pandorica until he tells. (If you haven’t seen the show, don’t bother trying to understand the reference. In show in-joke.)
However, that’s not the point of this rant. When last seen, the current Doctor (Matt Smith) went to war to recover his companion, Amy Pond, and her newborn child who would grow up to become River Song who would become the Doctor’s wife at some point later in the time stream. The adult River is along for the adventure, by the way. Sound confusing, perhaps, I know; it’s a timey-wimey-wivey thing. It works. Trust me.
However, towards the end of the episode, River gives the Doctor crap about how his life is going, how he is becoming too much the warrior, and some such bilge. Excuse me? The Doctor goes up against nasty horrible bad guys that are trying to take over the Earth and/or destroy/enslave humanity and/or destroy the universe or time itself and the Doctor time and again defeats them armed with nothing but his wits and a sonic screwdriver.
This has happened before. The previous incarnation of the Doctor – David Tennant (The Doctor regenerates from time to time when they need to change the lead actor and it’s a wonderful idea that keeps the series fresh) – got taken to task by one of the worst of his enemies, a fiend called Davros who invented the Daleks who go around killing anything that isn’t a Dalek. Said fiend accuses the Doctor of manipulating his companions so that they do the dirty work so the Doctor doesn’t have to. And the Doctor appears to take him seriously! Where does the creator of the Daleks have any moral ground against the hero who has saved the universe time and again from the product of Davros’ invention?
Is the Doctor supposed to feel bad about being the hero? Am I supposed to think the Doctor is not the hero me thinks him is? The Doctor is the good guy here, folks; I don’t want him all angsty and doubting his own motives. I mean, c’mon – the next thing you know, he’ll be doubting that bow ties are cool!
I know bow ties are cool. The Doctor told me so. And I trust the Doctor.
About the only reason we’re interested in the remake of Fright Night is because it features the current incarnation of Pavel Chekov and the previous version of The Doctor. The film, opening August 19, the same day as Spy Kids 4, will hopefully be entertaining. We have a newly released clip for you to check out:
The DreamWorks release stars Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette and was directed by Craig Gillespie from a script by Marti Noxon (another reason we’re interested).
Senior Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all—he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right—and everyone, including Charlie’s mom (Toni Collette), doesn’t notice. After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charlie comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charlie has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic.
And you thought the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble would never get together again…
David Tennant and Catherine Tate are set to star in a new West End production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, beginning performances at Wyndham’s Theatre May 16, prior to an official opening June 1, for a run lasting through September 3.
Tennant, who will play Benedick, was last seen on the London stage in the title role of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, opposite Sir Patrick Stewart. (Man, it’s still weird typing “Sir” in front of his name.)
Tennant is best known for his time on “Doctor Who”, but his extensive prior stage credits include seasons with the RSC, for whom he has appeared in As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Love’s Labour’s Lost in addition to Hamlet.
Catherine Tate, who will be playing Beatrice, can currently be seen in Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre. Her own TV sketch show “The Catherine Tate Show” has had three successful seasons on the BBC, and she has previously appeared opposite Tennant as the Doctor’s companion Donna Noble in the fourth series of “Doctor Who”.
For geeks like us here at ComicMix, a real-life mash-up can be too good to be true. So, the notion of Captain Jean-Luc Picard sharing the same stage as The Doctor is just too good to be true, even if it means watching yet another production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
What many forget, though, is that Stewart is a classically trained actor so this is like mother’s milk to Sir Patrick. Tennant is also an accomplished performer and Shakespeare veteran who most certainly has greater range than what we’ve been familiar with these last five years (I strongly recommend you all go find [[[Einstein and Edington]]] to see what I mean).
When the two genre icons appeared on stage in London, it stirred up quite a buzz. Better yet, it was recorded and broadcast just last week on PBS’ [[[Great Performances]]].
Recognizing the new era we consume entertainment in, PBS immediately made the full show available on their website and this week, BBC Entertainment released the event on standard DVD and Blu-Ray.
I’ll confess: I am not a fan of the Bard’s tragedies, having more to do with the format and its requirements that everyone dies unhappily at the end, requiring things to happen that make little sense. Anyway, this rendition by the Royal Shakespeare Company cleverly transports the setting from 17th Century Denmark to the 21st Century with Tennant as Hamlet and Stewart as Claudius.
As directed for the screen, the three hour production is visually arresting with lots of interesting angles as selected by director Gregory Doran.
Tennant has been singled out for his interpretation of the great Danish prince, with some critics hailing this as the performance of a generation. I’ll leave that to the experts, but it was certainly engaging, making me forget all about the Time Lord, despite his loopy ploy. In jeans and mostly bare feet, he looks more slacker than royalty.
Stewart more than holds his own as the newly appointed King, who quickly marries Queen Gertrude (Penny Downie) while Hamlet is away from court. His sterling work was recognized with the Olivier Award, the British equivalent of the Tony Award.
Interestingly, Stewart played Claudius before, three decades earlier in a different television production, but is continually drawn to the character. “Claudius is a great role because it is a depiction of a gifted, intelligent, bold man destined to be a great ruler who missed out and, as a result of missing out, chose a wicked option to achieve the life he wanted,” Stewart told the press. Strutting around the nourish sets in expensive dark suits, he is every bit the master of his domain.
There are some nice extras including a 40-minute featurette on adapting the stage show for the screen. You can also gain additional insights from the audio commentary anchored by Doran along with Director of Photography Chris Seagar and producer Sebastian Grant.
If it takes a starship captain and a Time Lord to get you to watch this, so be it, but you won’t be disappointed.