Have no fear, AOL TV is here. We'll be spotlighting five episodes from some of the best scripted comedies and dramas on TV that you need to see before jumping into the new season this fall.
Up now? 'Doctor Who.'
Starring Matt Smith, 'Doctor Who' follows the adventures of the ancient, mysterious alien Time Lord known as "The Doctor." A British cultural institution, it originally aired on the BBC from 1963 to 1989, and was then resurrected as a TV series in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the title role.
According to Blastr.com, the 'Doctor Who' and 'Elizabeth' star could be in the running to play the late King Robert's younger brother, the oft-mentioned but as yet unseen Lord Stannis Baratheon.
The brooding Stannis is, according to Lord Eddard Stark, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms.
Production on the second season of 'GoT' is slated to get underway in Northern Ireland at the end of July and producers are continuing to cast roles. Last week 'The Tudors' star Natalie Dormer was confirmed as Margaery Tyrell.
According to Deadline, Fox is trying to cut the license fee with Universal Media Studios, attempting to bring each episode around the $5 million mark to produce.
However, UMS reportedly cannot produce 'House' in its current incarnation on just $5 million. The network and studio are not budging. 'House' brings in more than $1 billion in syndication, Fox license fees and international rights.
Cast members Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard and Omar Epps are in talks to return for the eighth and possible final season. The trio make around $175,000 per episode and could see that and their episode order reduced. Hugh Laurie's $400,000 per episode salary will not be touched.
In other TV news ...
• 'The Wire' star Seth Gilliam will stop by 'The Good Wife.' Gilliam will appear in the season 2 finale as a man on trial for murdering a judge. [TVLine]
• Mark Burnett will produce the Emmy Award ceremony on Fox. Burnett, who is an Emmy winner himself, has produced the MTV Movie Awards and People's Choice Awards. The ceremony will air on Sept. 18. [LA Times]
• Former 'Doctor Who' star Christopher Eccleston will not return for a 50th anniversary special. Graham Norton asked Eccleston if he'd take part in any special, to which he responded "No. Never bathe in the same river twice." [Blastr]
Now, Variety is reporting that the British actor, fresh off his turn as arms dealer Destro in 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,' will play John Lennon in 'Naked Lennon,' a biography film commissioned by BBC Four.
'Naked Lennon' will focus on Lennon's life from 1967-1971, the period during which Lennon first met Yoko Ono and The Beatles were going through a rather turbulent disintegration. Variety is also reporting that Naoko Mori ('Torchwood') will play Yoko Ono, while Rory Kinnear ('Quantum of Solace') has been tapped to play Beatles manager Brian Epstein; Irish actor Andrew Scott ('Saving Private Ryan') will play Paul McCartney.
There is a lot of crossover between Doctor Who fans and Beatles fans, so there is sure to be some interest in the series. The roles I know Eccleston best for are those of the Doctor and Destro from G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra, so the question is if he can pull off a Liverpudlian accent. Since in the aforementioned roles he's done a Northern British accent (I believe his natural one) and a Scottish accent, he's likely capable of it.
So what do you think? Is Eccleston a good choice for the role of John Lennon?
With 2009 offering only a few Who specials and turning the series into a sporadic event until it returns full-time in 2010, the BBC has time to revamp the show's image and identity online.
The effectiveness of their efforts so far are debatable as they seem to be looking backward more than forward to the new Matt Smith/11th Doctor era.
For example, the re-engineered Doctor Who website added a blog by Davies in which he discusses the new David Tennant-voiced, 10th Doctor CGI cartoon, Dreamland.
While I would absolutely love it if this could actually happen, I have to question the veracity of this claim. At least the Telegraph isn't the Sun or I'd dismiss it outright. Tom Baker has historically had a problem with attending reunions (he wasn't in "The Five Doctors", but he did participate in a 1993 special "Dimensions In Time").
Here we are again! That time of year where we argue with our families, eat too much turkey, and limber up for the 3 am mall openings on Black Friday. I'm talking, of course, about Thanksgiving. Or, as we call it these days, pre-Christmas. However, before this holiday of pumpkin pies and parades became the warm-up for the Christmas season, it was a time for friends and family to get together and give thanks for the blessings of their life. So, in honor of that tradition, I present the five things I'm thankful for . . . in television, that is.
The return of Jim to the Scranton branch on The Office: I'll admit that I was beginning to lose my love for the NBC comedy at the beginning of the season. With Jim over in Stamford the show just didn't have the same feel to it. Add to that my growing interest in Ugly Betty on ABC, which aired at the same time. However, after Jim's return to Scranton last week I will be setting the DVR for The Office once again. It will be interesting to see how the Jim-Karen-Pam relationship pans out in the next few episodes.
Of course, he could also be floating his exit in the press as a bargaining tool. Maybe he wants more money, a personal chef, or just all the Toblerone he can possibly eat. Whatever the case, I'd like to see him stick around. I'm really enjoying his work as The Doctor in series two, currently airing in the U.S. on SciFi. But given the recent history of the show, anything can happen.
Doctor Who first appeared on the BBC in 1963. "The Time Lord" has been played by ten actors in all. David Tennant now has the role, and season two episodes of the new Doctor Who will appear in the U.S. on the SciFi Channel beginning tonight, with "New Earth." Billy Piper is still along as plucky Rose.
Who's your favorite Doctor?
(S01E15) The Doctor (to Rose): You were fantastic! And you know what? So was I.
Okay, much to talk about this episode. So, no dilly-dallying around, boys and girls. Let's get right to it!
We begin where we left off last episode: Rose (Billie Piper) is a prisoner of the Daleks, who are on a direct course to Earth for a little invading. Luckily, our heroes The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, in his last episode) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, also in his last episode) come to her rescue and appear right in the middle of the Daleks' command bridge. It's here that The Doctor learns about the resurgence of the Dalek population. To summarize . . . after the Time War ended the Emperor Dalek escaped and began to repopulate from dead humans. Ripping away all vestiges of humanity the Emperor created a new army of Daleks. After doing this about half-a-million times he began to think of himself as a god, and he wants to continue that streak of good luck by assimilating the rest of the human population.
Of course, The Doctor isn't having any of that.
(S01E12) Now THAT'S how you play Big Brother. If the evicted were vaporized instead of allowed to come back during 'All-Star' challenges I would certainly tune in on a weekly basis. Alas, the current producers of the show, both in America and the UK, probably have no intentions of implementing any type of vaporizing beam on the housemates. Well, one can dream, can't they?
We're back on Satellite 5, except 100 years later than the last time we were there during The Long Game. It's not the hub of the galaxy's news anymore; now it's the Game Station and its contestants don't play the games voluntarily. This is where our story begins as The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Rose (Billie Piper) and Captain Jack (John Barrowman) get split up into three different game shows. Rose gets stuck on an episode of The Weakest Link where the loser gets disintigrated; Jack lands on an episode of What Not to Wear featuring two androids (who look a bit like large Lego people with breasts) who want to put a duck head on the good Captain and attach his legs onto his chest ; and The Doctor makes it into the Big Brother house (one of sixty on the Game Station) where those evicted get turned into a fine powder.
So, needless to say, our heroes want out.
Margaret : This is persecution. What can't you leave me alone? What did I ever do to you?
The Doctor: You tried to kill me and destroy the entire planet.
Margaret: Apart from that.
After two weeks of fairly dark and creepy episodes we lighten it up this week as The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Rose (Billie Piper) and Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) return to present day England. In addition, we saw the return of Rose's former beau Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) and, surprisingly, Margaret Blaine (Annette Badland). For those who are scratching their heads at that one, Badland appeared as the female Slitheen alien in the episodes Aliens of London and World War Three earlier in the season.
Where the last two episodes where just full of multiple plotlines, this episode settled down on just one: Margaret Blaine's attempts to build a nuclear power plant in the South Wales town of Cardiff, which would be used to pull in spatial energy that will allow her to get off of Earth. However, this wasn't the main crux of the episode. The actual focus was on the relationships of some of the characters. Particularly, the relationship between Rose and Mickey and the one between The Doctor and the alien Slitheen, who had previously attempted to kill him.
(S01E10) Former gas-masked zombie: My leg's grown back! When I come to the hospital, I had one leg!
Doctor (not The Doctor): Well, there is a war on, is it possible you miscounted?
The Doctor can babysit at my house anytime. I mean, any man who can get a crazed group of gas-masked zombies to stop attacking just by saying 'Go to your room' can get my kids to behave as well.
This episode was another fine performance all around for stars Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) as well as writer Steven Moffat and Director James Hawes. Moffat and Hawes kept the tension that they developed last episode ("The Empty Child") while bringing in a bit more levity and even a happy ending for all concerned.
To recap: when we left our intrepid duo last episode they, as well as Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, who looks and sounds a little bit like Tom Cruise), were about to become alien zombies. As mentioned above, The Doctor gave them all a stern talking to, which caused all of the zombies to go back to their rooms. From that point on it was a non-stop train ride.
Our fellow blogger and The Prisoner fan Michael Sciannamea will be happy to hear this!
The British satellite channel Sky One is giving a green light for a remake of the cult-classic The Prisoner, which aired on ITV from 1967 until early 1968. The new series would run for six episodes to be aired next year, which would be the 40th anniversary of the series.
There are unconfirmed reports that Number 6, the main character that was played by Patrick McGoohan, will be played by Christopher Eccleston. Eccleston is currently portraying The Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who episodes being broadcast in America on the Sci-Fi Channel. Eccleston lasted only one season on the show and was replaced by David Tennant in the series currently running on the BBC.
The remake of The Prisoner will stick to the original concept of the series: a government agent is drugged and sent to a prison called The Village after he resigns from service. While in prison people are referred to by their numbers rather than their names. This version of the series will probably have a modern shine to it. Perhaps it will take place in one of those secret CIA prisons we aren't supposed to know about.
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