Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category
I recently stumbled across a show from a few years ago featuring not one but two of DW’s fabulous lady guest stars: Suranne Jones (Idris, “The Doctor’s Wife”) and Lesley Sharpe (Sky Silvestry, “Midnight”). The two co-star as police detectives in ITV’s Scott and Bailey: Jones as erratic but brilliant DC Rachel Bailey, nicknamed Sherlock, and Sharpe as her steady family-woman partner and best friend, DC Janet Scott. Just watching them together is treat enough, but the show as a whole fills a role rarely seen on television: police procedural drama led entirely by women, in front of and behind the camera.
The two main characters are women. Their boss is a woman. Most of the writers and directors are women. Minor characters – cops, victims, perpetrators – may be men or women. But the major male characters are love interests, exes, and comic relief. It’s a big switch for the genre, and a welcome one. The scripts are strong, the acting flawless. This isn’t a bone thrown to women: it’s the real thing, done really well. It’s a model for what half of all television should be.
Recommended for fans of police drama, as well as fans of these two spectacular actresses.
I was going to post a bunch of links related to the new trailer, but as it turns out, I only have to post one: Doctor Who’s Day Trailer Roundup
Missy’s reaction and of course The Fan Show were key for me. Michelle Gomez is a delight in everything she does, and Christel’s squee level nicely matches my own. But plenty of other stuff at the link looks fun too. And then there’s ANOTHER Fan Show waiting which I haven’t even seen yet: Fanimation
We are rapidly running out of weekends on which to screen “Survival” before the premiere. After such a long wait it’s hard to believe that it’s almost here. Knowing it’s Capaldi’s last makes it bittersweet, but my excitement remains undimmed – as does my intent to watch Rona Monroe’s classic before her triumphant return.
The latest piece of DW news is full of win.
The Return Of…
On the surface it’s all about the baddies. Capaldi has not been shy about his hopes for an encounter with the original Cybermen of Mondas. They of the spooky cloth faces introduced their race in the First Doctor’s final episode, and were never seen again. Until now…
But the buried lead is even more fun. A while ago I observed the empty space where a director’s name ought to go on the final two episodes of the season. Given how the last two seasons ended, I was hoping for another round of Rachel Talalay. And indeed, my hopes are answered.
Last but not least is the inclusion of one final name in the major cast: Michelle Gomez. Of course I’d already heard that she’d be back – but to have her for the final two-parter – very nearly the final of this Doctor’s career – is extra bonus fun.
More here, in the Who’s Day roundup.
Looks fun, huh?
Originally I thought this was going to be a next-gen Sarah Jane Adventures, full of movie-of-the-week growing-up troubles and soft lighting. Now it looks more like Torchwood Jr. On DW: The Fan Show this week, Christel talks with the young leads about the volume of sex and gore in their show. Weirdly, they make it sound kind of amazing.
However, it’s the last 10 seconds of the trailer that really make it. “Hellmouth?” “Once Upon a Time?” “The Vampire Diaries?” This is exactly how real kids would relate to these impossible events. (Do kids still watch Buffy?) And of course the Doctor’s reaction is equally spot on.
It doesn’t come out in the US until spring, but we’ll be watching.
Last week Star Trek turned 50. The fabled Enterprise joins the club.
Star Trek and Doctor Who have more in common than just their venerable age. Both have captured the imagination of generations. Both inspire fans to achieve new heights. Both have impacted their culture far beyond their original expectations.
Doctor Who, of course, was an accident. The BBC needed to fill a half hour on Saturday evenings. The network’s first female producer and one of its first directors of color, both of them young and untried, took on the challenge and created something that turned out to be magic.
Star Trek, on the other hand, was intentional. Gene Roddenberry had a vision for his creation. He wanted to demonstrate that humanity could achieve peace and equality. Still, it’s unlikely he anticipated the reaction he got.
The art that is Star Trek – a television show made by actors and costumers and set people and lighting people, and made possible by the intervention of a certain famous comedian – inspires science. Fans grow up to be engineers, explorers, astronauts. The magic that is Doctor Who – the mad man in a box – inspires art. Writers, painters, producers, musicians, all touched with that fantastical brush. Together, they make up the right and left sides of the human brain.
The Doctor and all the various Star Fleet captains are scientists. They use their science to seek out wonder and magic across the boundless universe. We live in a world of physical laws and engineering miracles – and we do it with the magic of imagination.
Welcome to 50 years, Star Trek. May we prosper many more together.
Uhura of the Enterprise poses with some of the astronauts of color she inspired (source)
And by “watch it” I mean this latest piece from the Doctor Who Fan Orchestra:
As he does each time, creator Stephen Willis outdoes himself with creative arranging and video effects. Participants get wild with costumes and settings. The music is gorgeous: composer, arranger, and performers are all to be commended.
It’s also a ridiculous amount of fun.
The tribute at the end of the piece is to an orchestra member who passed earlier this year. No group is immune to loss; a group this large, with this age range, even less so. We are grateful to Steve’s family for letting us know – he could have just vanished, as many do – and allowing us to acknowledge him. He played French horn and always wore a tux. His contributions will be missed.
Even insiders can’t say when the Orchestra will return, but if you follow Stephen’s youtube channel, you’ll be among the first to know.
Datum #1: Courtesy of tumblr (oh had I saved the original post) I find that Dean Devlin of Leverage and The Librarians is making a movie with David Tennant. (Devlin’s fanboy status is well known: I commented on The Librarians here, and here a fellow fan posts some samples from Leverage.) Squee ensues.
#2: Devlin likes filming in my city. Familiar landmarks turn up all over the place in his shows. Occasionally one may spot stars around town or be inconvenienced by location shooting.
#3: Devlin’s new movie – with David Tennant – will also be filmed in my city. David Tennant. My city.
Draw your own conclusions.