When we reported back in May 2011 that the superb British series Being Human was returning for a fourth season featuring new characters and an epic new story line, we failed to appreciate that the new characters wouldn’t be supplementing the established cast so much as replacing them. Between Series Three and Four, three of the four central characters have left the show.
The science fiction TV comedy Red Dwarf starring the irrepressible Dave Lister (Craig Charles), Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), and the Cat (Danny John-Jules), is back for Season 10 with 6 new episodes in 2012.
While we wait for the new Doctor Who movie to arrive, it's time to experience Matt Smith’s Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series in high definition blu-ray. Matt Smith has grown into the role of the long lived, eccentric Time Lord this season, surpassing (dare I say it) David Tennant's Doctor that came before. With his companions Rory, Amy and frequently River Song, he has pulled back from being the over the top super hero action figure that David Tennant and Russell T. Davies seemed to revel in, bringing back some of the quirkiness, mystery and humility of old.
I love an urban fantasy, especially one set in that multifaceted gem of a city that is London. This was the city of my childhood so perhaps my perception is skewed, but to my mind no other city is quite so magical and yet mundane, benign and yet sinister, slipping from one state to another in the blink of an eye. This is a place of contrast and contradiction, a place in constant phase transition, both solid and in flux, where fashion and novelty come but never go, simply layered over what came before, becoming part of the background.
After watching the pilot to Fox’s ambitious TV time travelling dinosaur fest called Terra Nova, I am praying that when I watch the next episode the entire cast gets eaten by dinosaurs (in fact, that hope is the only reason I’ll be able to sit through another one). The entire cast’s gruesome deaths at the hands of a frenzied T-Rex or a velociraptor having a bad day can’t come soon enough. Should a prehistoric volcano erupt at the same time and spew molten lava over the human compound and all its occupants while they’re being eaten alive by the dinosaurs, all the better. I look forward to watching limbs fly and heads being squished by massive dinosaur feet as the prehistoric giants and burning lava take their revenge on the weak script, nauseating characters and offensive SF tokenism. If I’ve given you the impression that I didn’t enjoy the opening episodes, you may be onto something.
Kiefer Sutherland, best known for the hit TV show 24 - along with excellent feature film roles like Flatliners and Dark City - returns to science fiction territory once more with a new psychic powers TV show called Touch. From the creator/writer of Heroes, Tim Kring, Touch is about an autistic boy who can predict the future. His father, Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) acts on clues he deciphers from his sons behaviour to save lives and alter events for the good of all. Since Bohm’s son has never spoken, this is no easy task. Bohm is mentored by Professor Arthur Dewitt (Danny Glover) who believes there is more to Jake than meets the eye.
How does this sound as a TV show premise? Police detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) regains consciousness following a car accident involving his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) and his son Rex (Dylan Minnette). After the accident, Michael keeps shifting between two alternative realities, one reality where his son is dead and his wife has survived, the other reality where his wife is dead and his son has survived. After a time he starts noticing strange links between the two realities. He wears a different colored rubber band to determine the reality he is in as he tries to work out how to keep both his son and wife alive.
Good news everyone, the animated comedy science fiction TV show Futurama has been renewed for a seventh season. After being revived in 2008 after a five year absence, the sixth season of Futurama has been such a hit that Comedy Central has already signed on the dotted line for more. Futurama stars Philip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy from New York. On New Year's Eve 1999, he accidentally becomes cryogenically frozen and isn't thawed out until 2999.
Personally I can’t get enough of Ricky Gervais, from The Office, Extras, An Idiot Abroad, his podcasts with Karl Pillkington and Steven Merchant, or just reading his blog, the man is a comic genius (Karl Pilkington and Stephen Merchant are sensational too!). So when I came across an article in The Hollywood Reporter that revealed he was heading into comic/fantasy territory once more I immediately paid attention. The British comedy writer and performer is developing a TV show called Afterlife with Dexter producer Clyde Phillips. Afterlife is about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven. As an outspoken atheist, I imagine Gervais will have a lot of fun playing with this idea.
I’ve now watched more than half of the new US Torchwood: Miracle Day, a joint Starz and BBC production, and it’s clear that Torchwood’s fourth season is now officially dead on arrival in the US - which is ironic given that the season’s premise concerns a day when everyone worldwide stops dying. The elements that made the show original and fresh in the UK have largely vanished. Let’s start with the characters. It’s great to see Jack and Gwen return to their pivotal roles, and they perform admirably as usual (although we see a lot less of them), but the rest of the new US cast are seriously bad. You have to wonder what producer/ head writer Russell T. Davis and Starz were thinking.