The BBC has announced that Matt Smith, the actor who has played the Doctor in Doctor Who for the last four years, is leaving the show. Speculation will no doubt begin regarding his replacement. Given that the BBC first cast Christopher Eccleston for Doctor Who's revival (in his 40s in 2005), followed by David Tennant (in his 30s), and then Matt Smith (in his 20s), no doubt we'll be seeing a teenage high school student saving the universe this time next year (Justin Bieber perhaps?) At this rate, a small baby will be flying the Tardis within ten years' time. The entire Tardis will have to be rebuilt and scripts altered as the BBC tries to target the children's market. Baby Daleks and tiny Cybermen will battle the Doctor in an electronic pram. The Doctor's sonic screwdriver will be replaced by a sonic dummy.
I came across the sad news today that Michael O'Hare, the actor who played Jeffrey Sinclair in Babylon 5, has died at the age of 60. O'Hare also appeared in Law and Order and Tales of the Darkside, but no doubt will be best remembered for his role as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in Babylon 5's first season. He also appeared briefly in seasons two and three.
Have you been missing Doctor Who since the end of Season 7 Part 1? I know I have. Fear not, Matt Smith as the eccentric Time Lord "The Doctor" is returning for the remainder of the seventh season (Part 2) soon. A new Doctor Who trailer from the BBC reveals a great deal, including a new Dalek episode, a new companion and a Wild West visitation.
Doctor Who is back in September this year with head writer Steven Moffat guiding the show once more. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Amy and Rory Pond) will leave and be replaced in the Christmas Special by newcomer Jenna-Louise Coleman.
If you’re a fan like I am, you’ll be happy to hear that the paranormal alternate reality science fiction TV series Fringe, created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, has been granted a fifth and final season by Fox (there was a possibility that Fringe would end with the current season).
If you're a producer or anyone with clout in Hollywood could you please call Joss Whedon about Firefly immediately. He's waiting for your call and eager to continue his classic science fiction / western hybrid that has been sadly absent for almost a decade now. Whedon has revealed that he's more than happy to return with more episodes or another feature film (following on from Serenity) but no one in Hollywood is picking up the phone. While promoting The Avengers (which he's directing), Whedon said that Firefly still holds a big place in his heart and if someone gave him the chance, he would make more in a heartbeat, Indiewire reports.
The premise of the 1970's British science fiction television series Space: 1999 was fantastic (even if scientifically dubious): the moon flies out of Earth's orbit and the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha drift through the universe, cut off from the rest of humanity, encountering plenty of alien life and high drama as they go. Earth's nuclear waste was stored on the moon for years and when it explodes their journey begins.
Star Wars producer Rick McCallum spoke to IGN recently about the long in development live action (real actors!) Star Wars TV series, revealing a new title, plot details and production problems.
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.
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.
Doctor Who: Series 6 Part 1, the first half of Doctor Who’s sixth season with the excellent Matt Smith, was released on Blu-ray and DVD 19 July. The two disc box set contains the first 7 episodes, including the sensational opening episode, The Impossible Astronaut, Day of the Moon, The Curse of the Black Spot, The Doctor's Wife, The Rebel Flesh, The Almost People and the half season cliff hanger, A Good Man Goes to War. Amy Pond and Rory, now husband and wife, and the prison inmate River Song from the Doctor's past (or is it future?), are all back for another round. Warner Bros. kindly provided us with a copy to review.
A trailer for the next season of Torchwood, Torchwood: Miracle Day, has hit the web and you can watch it below. The ten part series will be broadcast Friday, 8 July in the US. It's still debateable whether the move to the US, and the US focus of the upcoming series, will be good or bad for Torchwood, but I guess we don't have to wait much longer to find out.
New Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat wasted no time launching season six in new and unexpected directions. If the first episode The Impossible Astronaut is anything to go by, it's going to be a wild ride. Matt Smith returns in his second season as the Doctor (looking older than ever) along with Amy Pond and Rory, now husband and wife, the prison inmate River Song from the Doctor's future, US President Richard Nixon, and a chilling new memory-eating, suit-wearing villain known as The Silence.
Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat has written a mini Doctor Who episode for the UK's bi-annual Charity event, Comic Relief. Split into two parts, Time and Space, the short episodes have some great banter between the Doctor, Rory and Amy (particularly about her skirt length!) and make me even more interested in the upcoming Season 6. There's also a great bit where the TARDIS materialises inside itself. While you wait for The Doctor's Season 6, make sure you check it out below.