And the 12th Doctor is… Peter Capaldi!

By Courtney Rowan

Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

The BBC announced yesterday who Matt Smith would pass the sonic screwdriver to and it is with much delight that I introduce to you, Peter Capaldi.

Capaldi has amazing acting experience, including an Academy Award for his work on the short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.  Seriously, check out his IMDB wrap sheet. Two shows you might recognize, Doctor Who and Torchwood!  Capaldi starred in the episode of Who, The Fires of Pompeii, in which also starred one Karen Gillan.

Digital Spy has gathered a list of 10 interesting things you might want to check out about our new TARDIS pilot. Things like:

  • He’s Scottish! (Just like Tennant)
  • Capaldi, aged 55, is the same age as William Hartnell was when he took on the role of The Doctor in 1963.
  • He appeared in the Brad Pitt film World War Z earlier this year as a W.H.O. Doctor

Read the full list over at Digital Spy.

And I need to address the reactions from the younger Whovian female fanbase.. Look, I can fangirl with the best of them; but for Who, the real fans know that we don’t fangirl over the actor. We fangirl over The Doctor. And Capaldi will be no exception. Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Let him get into the TARDIS and let him become the Timelord you will no doubt grow to love.

I’m ready for the new adventures.

Watch Peter Capaldi be introduced to the world…

Source: Digital Spy

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New Doctor Who Star To Be Announced Sunday

By Courtney Rowan
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

The new star of Doctor Who will be revealed in a special live program on Sunday, the BBC has announced.

The half-hour show, presented by Zoe Ball, will feature an interview with the new lead, as well as 11th Doctor Matt Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat.

“The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the Tardis,” Moffat said. “For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, is on BBC One at 7pm on 4 August, which means it will be announced at 2pm on BBC America here in the states.

Read the rest of the story here.

Matt Smith’s final episode will be this year’s Christmas special.

First, we’ll have the 50th Anniversary Special which will be simulcast across the world on November 23rd. In an effort to avoid spoilers and plot leaks, BBC Worldwide is orchestrating a worldwide simulcast in 200 countries, with an expected 100 million viewers.

Set your DVRs now!

Here is the full Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special panel from SDCC 2013:

Source: BBC News

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Why You Should be Watching Syfy’s Defiance

By Courtney Rowan
Defiance

Those of you who read this blog know I’m no stranger to Syfy Channel and their many shenanigans. I have a very public love/hate relationship with the network. I love when they employ high level science fiction shows with brilliant, tried and tested writers, producers and directors and I hate when they cancel said shows. (I’m looking at you, Caprica, Eureka and SGU). I also hate wrestling.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with it!)

Based on this relationship, any show they start I approach carefully and that’s how I started with Defiance.  I had a love/hate relationship with this show… at first.  It has since won me over with all its kitsch, clichés and sci-fi rip-offs.

Yes, some episodes were at times barely watchable at first pass (The Serpent’s Egg) and I almost bailed on the show completely, but I had faith in the potential of this series. I fell in love with the characters which drove me back to watch it again On Demand.  I started with the episodes I loved (If I Ever Leave This World Alive) and then watched the whole series all over again. I should also mention that I haven’t played the MMO, but I certainly understand the innovation of bringing the two worlds together as a package. I’m also thankful that you don’t need to play it to enjoy the show or vice-versa. Keeping that in mind, here are five reasons you should be watching Defiance:

  1. Everything I hated at first, I now love. My first reaction to this show was that it was just a wannabe Firefly, Farscape and BSG rolled into one. It had no novel ideas (except the whole game tie-in) and my expectations were set really high. Syfy did a boatload of advertising for this show and it had great names tied to it (Rockne S O’Bannon, Kevin Murphy). I was underwhelmed. There were lines I actually cringed at in the writing. I believe in The Serpent’s Egg Mayor Rosewater (Julie Benz) actually said, “Take her away.” I mean, really? But then I think I started to ‘get it’… That was this show’s charm – they could write lines like that.  Maybe the mayor had waited her whole life to say that classic line. I can see the writers giggling and thinking, I know that’s the ultimate cliché, but damn it just fits so well! On the other hand, the effects are just okay (c’mon, Syfy, you know it!) given the budget this thing claimed, everything looks like the game. But again, I’m pretty sure now, that’s on purpose – tying both worlds together. If it wasn’t on purpose, then it works somehow.The Cast of Defiance
  2. The characters. Despite the show having 7 races of Votans plus humans, we really only focus on a few main folks (who are played by an amazing cast). There’s Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), the Human-Irath duo that we meet first and who really carry the show’s perspective. There’s the newly appointed Mayor Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) and her brothel running sister Kenya (Mia Kirshner), the Castithan Tarrs – Datak (Tony Curran), Stahma (Jaime Murray) and Alak (Jesse Rath) and the mining family – McCawleys – Rafe (Graham Greene) his two sons and daughter.  And you can’t leave out town doctor, Doc Yewell (Trenna Keating). This is the one thing this show does well. You fall for these characters. You hate these characters. You are invested in their stories and outcomes. Datak and Stahma Tarr are by far the standout players. Even the Romeo & Juliet story of Christie McCawley and Alak Tarr, which was ANNOYING for the first few episodes, all made sense because of how it wrapped around Datak & Stahma’s plans for power and more importantly, respect. All the characters have nuance and are not one noted, you have to stick with the show to see this, but it is well worth the reveals.Defiance's Tarr Family
  3. The world of DefianceThe writers took their time explaining little things about this new Earth, apart from an opening narrative from Irisa in the pilot, we haven’t learned much about why Earth is the way it is. I admit, I did some research to figure out all the races, what The Pale Wars were, etc.. but I think it was smart not to focus heavily on these aspects.  The show, although definitely only works in this new environment, really wants you to focus on the characters.  Slowly revealed each episode were hints of what was going on outside of this little town and its inhabitants. Like, there is such a thing as the Earth Republic (E-Reps) and they are pretty much considered an malevolent faction.  But the world does look amazing.  The terraforming concept is applied really well, with cool looking rock-plants and bright huge flowers, not to mention wolf-spiders that are clearly things of nightmares. So even though this is not the focus, without it, you have really no good setting for these people. The town itself looks gritty and third world-ish, yet you have future tech here and there to remind you it’s in the midst of being rebuilt in the future. The language creator has to be recognized as well.   Linguist David J. Peterson (Game of Thrones) has developed two full languages for the different alien races, Castithans and the Irathients, and they are beautiful and sound very natural within this world. The landscape of Defiance
  4. The Score. Bear McCreary. That really is all I need to say about this. He is a musical genius. (Check out his work on BSG if you don’t believe me, not to mention – Eureka, Caprica, The Walking Dead, etc…) Bear has managed to create a sound that really echoes the sci-fi elements and emotion for this world. And he’s not only created orchestral pieces, there are many songs he’s written with his brother, Brendan and their band, Young and Beautiful In A Hurry, that reflect the Votan races and their alien-ness. You can stream the score for both the show and the video game on Spotify.
  5. The Sci-fi Elements. The sci-fi elements on this show are honest to goodness things you would expect from a show on Syfy channel. There are cold fire guns, light-knives (like pocket knife lightsabers?), the terraforming aspects, ark reactors, the Aliens, razor rain and even electric blue drinks. Let me touch on razor rain for a minute, this is basically a storm where shrapnel from Arkfall rains down on earth and it is nasty. One of the best sci-fi concepts they used. As I said earlier, there are good special effects, they definitely pull from the game, but I’m pretty sure this is done on purpose. They are not great, although there are a couple shots that look pretty damn good, but overall, meh. It’s okay though, it all works together. The Alien makeup is done really well and every race is believable.

Look, if you gave up on this show after a few episodes, I don’t blame you. I almost did myself. But I HIGHLY recommend you go back and re-watch and stick it through. When all was said and done, the writers presented a lot of strong story arcs which they completed and at the same time opened up a lot of good questions that will keep you on the edge of your seat until Season 2 hist next summer. Step back, accept the clichés and kitsch, and just enjoy.

Defiance was recently at Comic-Con this month, here is the Comic-Con reel they presented and the full panel:

Defiance airs Monday nights on Syfy Channel and will return for Season 2 in June 2014.

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J.J. Abrams to direct the next ‘Star Wars’ film

By Courtney Rowan

JJ Abrams to direct next 'Star Wars' film

Reuters (Fabrizio Bensch) / Lucasfilm

The interwebs were set on fire yesterday when news broke that none other than sci-fi directing genius, J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Star Trek) was announced as being the next appointed director for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII‘.

Handle this news, my feeble mind cannot.

When I first read this yesterday, naturally I was in a state of disbelief. I mean, the same man helming the two biggest sci-fi franchises in the history of sci-fi? I’m still a little flabbergasted and suspicious as no one has officially confirmed this information.  Now that the age old question of Star Wars vs. Star Trek is in the hands of one of the greatest directors ever, YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.

The Wrap broke this news yesterday stating that,

an individual with knowledge of the production told TheWrap.

Deadline is also reporting that according to a source for them,

“It’s done deal with J.J.”

I’m honestly not sure whether to be excited or scared. Admittedly, I am a huge J.J. Abrams fan and I believe if anyone has the chops, its him. But, handling these two franchises causes concern.  Although, lens flares on light sabers HAVE to look cool.

Hopefully, we’ll get some absolute confirmation on this soon so fanboys and fangirls across the world can take a deep breath and relax. Despite all the flames, The Wrap did state,

Reached by TheWrap, Lynne Hale, spokeswoman for Lucasfilm, declined to comment immediately. Neither CAA, which represents Abrams, nor Bad Robot immediately responded to requests for comment.

So, no solid confirmation yet. In the meantime, ponder this -

Source: The Wrap, Deadline

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What’s next for ‘Doctor Who’ after series 7 and new rumors for the 50th Anniversary Special

By Courtney Rowan

Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2

So, yesterday we learned that Doctor Who will return on March 30, 2013 as part of BBC America’s Supernatural Saturday block. We’ll get 8 new episodes penned by the very best in show writing and in Who legacy. But what happens next? What will the 50th Anniversary hold?

Geeks of Doom has some interesting information regarding the latter half of 2013 and of course, the Anniversary special slated to air in Autumn of this year. At the 2013 London Toy Fair a banner was spotted outlining some of the highlights for the rest of 2013, including:

  • 50th Anniversary Special – 60 minute episode in Autumn of 2013
  • An Adventure in Space and Time – 90 minute drama based on the real-life events encompassing the creation of Doctor Who back in 1963 in Autumn 2013
  • Doctor Who Revisited – Eleven 25 minute episodes looking at Classic Doctor Who, and revisiting each Doctor era

2013 truly is the year of WHO. One other observation, however -

What also captivates me about the banner though is that there is NO mention of a Christmas Special for 2013. This has to be erroneous – it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a Doctor Who episode! I mean, Santa I can do without…

Agreed! Christmas just ins’t so without The Doctor.  Hmmmm… they wouldn’t do that, would they?

Head over to Geeks of Doom to read the full details and watch the trailer for the Doctor Who Revisited Specials below:
 


 

50th Anniversary Rumors

I can’t let these slide, and I’m hoping someone will at some time confirm this, but the latest is that all 11 Doctors will be featured in the Anniversary special thanks to some ‘studio trickery’.  Digital Spy posted an article Tuesday that claimed,

An article from the Birmingham Mail claims that current Who star Matt Smith will be joined by his seven surviving predecessors. Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant are all said to be appearing in the November one-off.

In addition, the report claims that the Steven Moffat-penned episode will use “studio trickery” to include appearances from the first three Doctors – played by the late William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee.

The BBC is yet to confirm any official plans for the Doctor Who special, which will mark 50 years since the sci-fi drama’s first transmission on November 23, 1963.

I have a feeling we’ll be getting more and more rumors and no facts until we get really close to the air date. Still, it’s fun to imagine all 11 Doctors solving a crisis. I think the term would be, NERDGASM.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as more and more info is released.  

What are your thoughts for the Anniversary?  Can you live without The Doctor on Christmas?

Source: Geeks Of Doom, Digital Spy, Fanpop

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‘Doctor Who’ Series 7 Part 2 – Returns to BBC AMERICA March 30

By Courtney Rowan

Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 returns March 30th

Who is Clara Oswin Oswald?

Well, March doesn’t seem so far away now does it?

BBC America announced today that Part 2 of Doctor Who Season 7 will premiere on Saturday, March 30 in BBC AMERICA’s Supernatural Saturday block, it has been announced, alongside the network’s new original sci-fi series Orphan Black and the comedy-variety chatfest The Nerdist.  And really, who doesn’t just adore  Chris Hardwick? Fingers crossed for more Wil Wheaton!

The upcoming eight Doctor Who episodes will include installments from lead writer Steven Moffat, Neil Cross (creator of Luther), Stephen Thompson, Mark Gatiss, and Neil Gaiman. ALL amazing writers and most of whose work we’ve seen before on Who.

Here’s the latest teaser for Series 7, Part 2:

And just for fun, I absolutely love this picture from filming. She’s going to be a fun one, yeah? MARCH 30th – WOO HOO!
The Doctor and Clara

Source: BBC America

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Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 – New Trailer

By Courtney Rowan

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and his new companion, Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna Louise-Coleman) are set to return in April.  On Friday, QMX Online, the company behind a number of Who-themed products, posted a sizzle reel that focuses on the new episodes. Let’s see what we can decipher from the new trailer:

“The woman twice dead…”

We took a look at some facts and theories a few weeks ago about Clara, be sure to check them out and let us know what you think.

April seems so far away. Still.  *le sigh*

Win a Signed ‘Snowmen’ Poster!

While you ponder the impossibilty of Ms. Oswald, head over to BBC America for a chance to win a signed Doctor Who Christmas special ‘The Snowmen’ poster, signed by stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, executive producer Caroline Skinner, and lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat.

snowmen_poster

Source: ComingSoon.net, BBC America

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