Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Doctor Who Series 9 Retrospective

Capaldi Doctor Who Series 9Doctor Who undergoes its periodic changes from time to time, and our last big change was the arrival of Capaldi’s version of the Doctor last year in series 8. Series 8 was very much a mixed bag, and unfortunately it often seemed like the bad outweighed the good. And in a lot of ways, Doctor Who Series 9 has been much the same, but a clearer vision emerged as it went on. This season has been made up almost exclusively of 2-parters with running subplots, continuing the trend established last year. And there were also huge revelations and things we the fans have been waiting for appearing at last–but was it all done in a satisfying way?

Read more

What Could Have Been: The Doctor Who TV Movie

McGann Doctor Who TV MovieAs we’ve done once before, instead of a season for a show that was canceled, this month we’re going to look at the plans for a series that never actually materialized at all. In this case, we’re looking at the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. The series was a co-production that aired on Fox, and was passed on for really stupid reasons that we’ll not get into here. But, given that it was essentially a pilot movie that was intended to lead into a full continuation of the classic BBC Doctor Who, there were quite a lot of plans as to where the show would’ve gone and what it might have included. How does it stack up to the eventual modern Doctor Who? Let’s find out.

Read more

4 Celebrity Fan Cameos–Friday Four

GuinanWhen you’re a celebrity, it’s a little bit easier to pull some strings and get a bit part on a TV show that you love than it would be for the average fan. Whoopie Goldberg famously got the role for Guinan after hearing about TNG from LeVar Burton and calling up Gene Roddenberry directly. And most celebrities don’t get quite so large a role as she did–sometimes you can’t even recognize them there at all! This is a little different from the Noteworthy Cameos from a few months back, as those were all people who were relevant or had a good reason for being on the shows, where as these were more for fun, either on the part of the actor or the producers. So with that in mind, here are 4 celebrities who showed up on sci-fi shows in some particularly unusual situations.

Read more

What Could Have Been: 4 Spinoffs That Never Were–Friday Four

Gary SevenA few weeks ago, we discussed some of the lesser known spinoffs of more popular parent shows. This week, we’ll continue the descent into obscurity with 4 spinoffs that never even made it that far, having died before they even managed to… uh, spin(?) at all, by picking up in the vein of “What Could Have Been.” As they all come from major franchises, it’s interesting to imagine what the consequences of their success might have been. Let’s explore, shall we?

 

Read more

This Week in Sci-Fi — January 24-31, 2015: Super Bowl trailer time!

"What's Coming?" "The news roundup. Duh."

“What’s coming?”
“The news roundup. Duh.”

Lots of news this week, which we can mostly thank the Super Bowl for. Tons of summer movies will release their first trailers and begin their marketing pushes during one of the few remaining events to draw massive audiences on mainstream TV. Is that a good reason to finally care about this sporting event? We’re also starting to hear about upcoming sci-fi projects and networks are beginning to send out feelers for fall shows. What more can you really ask for in your sci-fi news?

Read more

Doctor Who Series 8 Retrospective

Cyberman destroying the planeIt’s been an interesting run of Doctor Who this year, to put it delicately. This was the first time we’ve not had a ridiculously long break right in the middle of the season, for example. We’ve also tacked away from the overly convoluted arc-based storytelling of series 6 and the stand-alone blockbuster style of series 7, settling for a more moderate approach with some serialization and some stand-alone, with two-parters and longer episodes where needed. That’s on top of a new Doctor, a retooled companion and a radical shift in tone. So how did all this add up?

Spoilers throughout the season ahead.

Read more

Why “It’s Just Science Fiction” is No Excuse for Bad Science

Shuttle on the MoonIf you’re not a fan of Doctor Who, you probably wouldn’t know it, but the recent episode “Kill the Moon” has been divisive, to say the least. Most of the disagreement hinges on one thing: the believability of the plot. Scientific accuracy in science fiction is often a sticking point for fans. Some enjoy very “hard” sci-fi, kept extremely realistic by using only technology that is plausible today. These kinds of shows are rare, since that means no faster-than-light travel, no artificial gravity (which is very hard to film), no humanoid aliens, etc. The alternative is “soft” sci-fi, which bends the rules of reality for the sake of storytelling. On TV, this is often not just story-influenced, but influenced by the budget, as well. Star Trek didn’t use human-like aliens because they wanted to; they didn’t have a choice, as puppetry or stop-motion would be too expensive, and CGI wasn’t an option in the 60’s (and barely an option for TNG in the 80’s). Even today, CGI often breaks the budget, so having CGI aliens in every episode isn’t possible. So why are some deviations from real science okay, and some not?

While I don’t want to focus too much on “Kill the Moon,” some discussion of it is necessary, so spoilers for that episode ahead, if you care. Read more

CANCELED: Unfinished Series in the Era of Netflix

BoBW TBCThere’s been a bit of a theme as of late, with most of my recent posts dealing with cancellation and renewal and cliffhanger endings. So today we’re going to keep that rolling by taking a look at how the Netflix binge-watching trend has affected the development of TV versus the way things used to be in the past.

Read more

4 Awful TV Dystopias You Wouldn’t Want to Live In – Friday Four

AvengersWatching TV can be a very enjoyable experience, but have you ever considered what it would be like to live a life like your favorite character’s? While we tend to look up to our heroes and hope to emulate them, if most people really thought about it very few would want to be them. The kind of world that TV protagonists live in is often an awful one full of crime, corruption, enormous alien threats and facing death on a daily basis. Take Agent Coulson, for example–he got stabbed by a Norse god and forcibly brought back to life, forever changing who he is. The organization he dedicated his life to is in shambles, and now all the responsibility for trying to rebuild it is on him, including the lives of both the people under his command and of the innocents caught up in the crossfire. But it wouldn’t just suck to be Coulson, or part of SHIELD; imagine being an ordinary Joe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, left powerless while gods and supersoldiers do battle for the fate of the planet. It’s downright horrifying, when you think about it.

And while there are some exceptions (I think we all want to live in the Star Trek Federation. Replicators and holodecks, anyone?) TV is littered with these kinds of unpleasant worlds. So here are 4 of the worst universes to live in that have ever been shot on camera.

Read more

4 Strange Sci-fi Crossovers – Friday Four

Doctor Who Dimensions 2Crossovers are a funny thing; as I alluded to earlier in the week, most early crossovers were between popular shows on the same network that weren’t necessarily meant to be in continuity with each other when they were created. That’s how we end up with things like Adam West’s Batman and the original Green Hornet in the same universe. This tends to have some strange consequences, where previous in-jokes (like Batman watching Green Hornet on TV) no longer make sense or cause outright contradictions when trying to combine the two continuities. And while a main character crossing over is by far the easiest, most obvious, and hardest to deny of all the crossover types, there are many, many other ways for two shows to imply that they coexist in the same universe–some of which don’t even necessarily require permission from one of the shows! And that’s how we end up with these, some of the weirdest crossovers seen on TV.

Read more

Return top