Grab your fezzes and Jammie Dodgers; The Doctor is back for more mind-boggling, timey-wimey fun!
It's been four months since we last saw Amy, Rory, and our beloved Doctor zipping through time and space and bending our little nerd brains with perplexing plots and paradoxes. And judging by the first half of the Season 6 premiere, 'Doctor Who' is making up for lost time by cranking the drama (and the complexity level) up to eleven.
It was a challenge, but not a chore, trying to keep up with all the tricky time–travel tidbits built into this incredibly compelling season opener. The tone of the episode grew gloomier and the characters grew more desperate as the minutes ticked on. But, luckily, 'The Impossible Astronaut' delivered a lively and joyous opening sequence before leading us down a very dark and strange path.
A lot of shocking and memorable stuff happened before the hour was over, but the opening sequence was one of my favorite parts of the premiere. It was funny and fast-paced, and the expert cinematography established an epic and cinematic tone, look and feel that, as far as I could tell, is new to 'Who.'
According to TV By the Numbers, the April premiere of 'Doctor Who' series 5 set ratings records for the network with 1.2 million viewers. That's a lot of people, but dwarfed in comparison to the 5.3 million who watched the 'Jersey Shore' season 2 debut in July.
Dead Set - Sunday October 3, 10PM ET, Space
This BAFTA-nominated British zombie series makes its North American debut tonight -- and with five episodes, that means it'll finish up on Halloween. The Brits really are the best at keeping zombie stories fresh -- no pun intended. This one takes place on the fictional set of a new cycle of 'Big Brother UK,' where cocooned in the safety of the house, the contestants are blissfully unaware of the horrific events unfolding outside. As eviction night looms, Britain is in the grip of an apocalyptic crisis where fast-moving hordes of the undead decimate the studio compound and the rest of the country. Awesome.
This episode highlighted one of Moffat's greatest strengths as a writer: the ability to weave an interconnected story using plot points that viewers would dismiss as unimportant. As with RTD before him, the penultimate episode of the season brings together all the hints we've seen before and the last episode will be their resolution.
It wasn't a bad episode, perse. Some of the writing was quite good and Tony Curran was excellent as the impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. However, the episode seemed to concentrate more on being a Van Gogh love-fest rather than an episode of 'Doctor Who.'
According to The Sun, the Muscles from Brussels is poised to borrow a page from the Ozzy Osbourne comeback playbook and begin filming a reality show to air on British TV.
The 49-year old Belgian, who's best known to American audiences for his star-turns in action flicks like 'Bloodsport' and 'Universal Soldier,' is also a karate champion/kickboxer and it's his quest for a comeback title that will be at the heart of the series.
For a network that's struggling for ratings, like the CW has all year long, this is a wise idea. And if they're smart enough to pick the right Brit shows, they could turn a tidy profit -- which is the point for the bean counters after all. From our point of view, there are at least six excellent British imports CW could re-air without altering a thing. Here are our choices:
Anna Pickard of The Guardian set out to find out if some very American scenarios we see on TV all the time actually are true. Do police officers eat donuts all the time? Do women eat ice cream right out of the container when they break up with someone? Do people actually walk down the street carrying groceries in a paper bag?
Now we can add game show host to the list of accomplishments. The British competition show The Cube is coming to CBS and Neil Patrick Harris will be the host. You may recall that Fox attempted to get The Cube to America. After spending a few months developing it, the network dropped it in December.
'Torchwood,' for those not familiar with the original BBC cult favorite, follows the adventures of a group of secret government agents who handle and cover up alien encounters here on Earth, 'Men In Black' style. It's also very British in its origins (the show is a spin-off from the beloved 'Doctor Who' franchise), environment (the cast rarely ventures outside of their Welsh headquarters) and sensibilities (every character is bi-sexual, for starters).
That's still no excuse for stealing material, if that is in fact the case with this British ad. UK comic Micky Flanagan claims an ad agency stole a joke from his act for a phone service commercial and is a stone's throw away from filing a lawsuit. Punchline Magazine posted videos of the joke and the ad. Is this just a coincidence or is the ad pulling a Carlos Mencia?
First, listen to Flanagan's joke...
And now, watch the ad, which is after the jump.
Species 456 finally touched down on Earth to scare the crap out of civil servant John Frobisher -- and this reviewer -- in the third suspenseful hour of Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Day two was an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish, but day three (scripted by Russell T Davies and James Moran) was the most intense episode of the miniseries so far. For the second time this week,Torchwood had me on the edge of my seat with some truly chilling moments. But before things got too creepy, there was some fun to be had with the team getting back together, finding a new Hub, and lifting a few credit cards and laptops from unsuspecting Londoners.
This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:
If you love British comedy, people who make jabs at America or men dressed in drag for that matter (we won't judge), then Little Britain USA (premiering Sunday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 PM EST on HBO) should be right up your alley.
David Walliams and Matt Lucas, who created and starred in the hit BBC series Little Britain, are bringing their irreverent humor and a bunch of their best characters -- like Phyllis, who believes her dog talks to her; Carol Beer, the meanest hospital receptionist you'll ever meet; and Bubbles Devere, a wildly inappropriate and totally uninhibited British socialite -- to America.
We talked to David and Matt about their dream of dressing George Clooney up as a lady, why following in Sacha Baron Cohen and Ricky Gervias' footsteps is just fine with them and how Brits and Americans really differ. (Hint: Men don't shave their bikini lines over there.)
There have been production changes, the first pilot was trashed, they've inserted new characters, they've remade the mythology of the show (with the approval of the British creators), and now more news. The character of Annie Norris on Life on Mars will be played by Gretchen Mol. Yes, the beautiful, sexy and very blond Gretchen Mol. (Okay, she can dye her hair.)
I have the ultimate respect for Ms. Mol. She was excellent in 3:10 to Yuma (a really amazing Western that should have gotten some Oscar consideration). I just think she's the wrong choice for the role of Annie.
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