Premiering yesterday in England during a charity special, the BBC released a preview of the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special showcasing Simon Pegg comedy film partner Nick Frost as Santa Claus. We saw a brief shot of Frost in the season finale last Saturday. Who would have thought that goofy cop in Hot Fuzz and Pegg’s roommate turned zombie in Shaun of the Dead would make such a fine jolly old elf?
You might also be familiar with Frost from the third film in the famed Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End, which we reviewed here at borg.com earlier this year. Frost went a little more serious as a salsa king in Cuban Fire, released in April.
Frost originally become known from his role on Spaced, the British sci-fi TV series with Pegg and Jessica Hynes, and appeared with Pegg yet again in the Comic-Con alien flick Paul. You can find him in cameos in Grindhouse, Attack the Block, and Snow White and the Huntsman.
After the break, check out two trailers for the annual Brit tradition, the Doctor Who Christmas Special:
That is, if you’re in Scotland.
Census records estimate that more than twice as many people of Scottish ancestry live in the United States than in Scotland. Is it the destiny of Scotland to declare its independence from Great Britain? If not now, then when? At the beginning of the day everyone has been waiting for, polls show the likely outcome as a dead heat. We’ll soon learn the answer we’ve all been asking: Will they or won’t they?
Of course there are all sorts of implications to a yes vote, not the least of which is what kind of economic impact it will have on England, on the United States, and the world. If Scotland wants to make a statement to the world this could very well be Scotland’s day. So if you’re one of those Scots that are 16 years old or older and done voting or you’re in the States and can’t vote today, then what better than a brief celebration of all things Scottish? As Mike Myers’ character Stuart Rankin, proprietor of the store “All Things Scottish,” said on Saturday Night Live, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap.”
Scotland is well known for its inventors and their inventions. You wouldn’t be reading this website or surfing the Internet at all without the communications technologies that sprouted from Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. John Logie Baird would invent the first television. Scots invented the refrigerator and the flush toilet, the kaleidoscope and the lawnmower. And–shazam–James Goodfellow invented ATMs so we can get money to buy stuff on nearly any street corner.
Our future is defined in part by the adventures of a Scot in space–James Doohan’s Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from Star Trek, an engineering miracle worker who exemplifies Scottish ingenuity. And of course, there’s James Bond, the character, whose parents were Scottish, and Sir Sean Connery, the Scottish actor, the most famous Bond, and a supporter of today’s “yes” vote.
Review by C.J. Bunce
With the historic reboot of Doctor Who in 2006 and all of Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat’s world building since then with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and their five companion voyagers– what if the creators have been holding back? What if we haven’t seen nothin’ yet, if all these great science fiction episodes were all leading up to the real payoff with the 12th Doctor? I got that feeling last night with only the second Doctor Who episode of the season. This new Doctor is here to stay, and the writers are driving full steam ahead, plunging Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor straight into the darkness without giving us a chance to breathe.
We’ve heard it before: Resistance is futile. But this time the phrase is not about Star Trek and the futility isn’t about we humans, as the new Doctor stumbles into his latest encounter with one of his most hated borg nemeses: The Daleks. With “Into the Dalek” Steven Moffat has created what I am sure we’ll look back on as an episode up there with the David Tennant episodes “Waters of Mars” and “Silence in the Library” or Matt Smith’s “Cold War.”In only his second outing as the Doctor, Peter Capaldi is already comfortable in the role he was destined to play since his days sending fan letters to the BBC as a young boy. With last week’s season opener “Deep Breath,” we were introduced to Capaldi’s Doctor in a typical Doctor Who post-regeneration episode–part with the Doctor learning to “love the skin he’s in” while also getting a taste of how his companion is going to adapt, wrapped in a Tanagra/El-Adrel IV story.
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
What’s better than when all the new TV series line up just right? This coming Fall the networks have at least one great genre series every day of the week returning, including several new supernatural crime dramas: the CW’s Flash, ABC’s Forever, BBC America’s Intruders, Fox’s Gotham, and NBC’s Constantine. Well, the networks have at least one genre show per day except Thursdays, so it’s not exactly “just right.” But we could use a day off from TV anyway. And isn’t that what DVRs are for? Strangely enough, nearly all of these series have a supernatural crime element of some sort, with plenty of superheroes and time travel, too. Interesting.
Below we have the best of the Fall line-up with trailers for all but NBC’s Grimm.
Haven, Season 5 and its 26 brand new episodes begin Sunday, September 11, 2014, on the Syfy Channel. Here is a preview of the new season:
Sleepy Hollow, Season Two, begins Monday, September 22, 2014, on Fox, following the new Gotham series. Here’s a trailer for the new season of Sleepy Hollow:
BBC America has been advertising the new series Intruders for months now but this extended trailer should be all you need to know this is a series pilot not to be missed. So stick around after Doctor Who’s big premiere episode with the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi Saturday night. It looks like Kate Hudson’s Skeleton Key and Daniel Radcliffe’s The Woman in Black meets Marchlands and Lightfields.
As thrillers go they got this preview right, with pretty heavy doses of creepy–just right for a late night show with the lights off. How can they go wrong, with stars like John Simm–star of Life on Mars, one of the five best television series of all time–and Mira Sorvino, Oscar winner and versatile actress most recently dazzling us as a cop on Psych? Add in James Frain and Robert Forster–Frain a more recent character actor showing up everywhere, and Forster a genre TV staple–and this show just begs to be seen.
Check out this extended preview for Intruders:
As we saw with last year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC knows how to whet fans’ appetites with a week-long lead-in of episodes and documentaries leading up to benchmarks in the Doctor Who universe. The next benchmark is of course Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the 12th Doctor airing next Saturday night, 51 years after kids in England were first entranced by a mysterious time traveler in a ship that is bigger on the inside and looks like a phone booth. Viewers who aren’t giving up on Doctor Who after losing Matt Smith, and are just excited to see what Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss & Co. have in store next, will see another week full of past Doctor Who episodes as well as plenty more leading up to next weekend.
The collective anticipation of a worldwide core of fans translates nicely to the title of the next episode, “Deep Breath.” How will Capaldi’s Doctor take to captaining the TARDIS and leading his feisty young companion Clara (Jenna Coleman)–the ultimate companion who is the only companion to accompany every prior Doctor–through their next adventure together? Plenty of new cyborgs are waiting, as revealed in the below trailer, shown after the break.
“Deep Breath” will premiere August 23, 2014, 7 p.m. Central on BBC America. Last night BBC America premiered two new shows, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion and The Real History of Science Fiction: Time, each to be re-broadcast throughout the week. A third special, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord premieres tomorrow, Monday, August 18, at 9 p.m. Central.
A scary and dark Doctor?
It’s not just Star Trek delving “into darkness”, as revealed in this first real look at Peter Capaldi’s 12th iteration of the Doctor in Season Eight of Doctor Who, coming to BBC in the UK and BBC America in the States next month. Premiering during the World Cup in the UK, British soccer fans were rewarded with an expected surprise, and U.S. fans are only now getting in on the release since it hasn’t been shown on BBC America yet.
New TARDIS, new sonic screwdriver, new Daleks, a new medieval Cyberman, new cyborgs, new garb, new Doctor, a new T-Rex. Only Clara remains the same. And our favorite guest “intraterrestrial,” the Silurian Madame Vastra is back!
Despite his rather serious demeanor in the preview, this line of dialogue shows there is some of that kindness of Matt Smith’s Doctor sure to come through: “I’m the Doctor. I’ve lived for over two thousand years. I’ve made many mistakes. It’s about time I did something about that.”
Then there is this rather scary looking Capaldi in night shirt on horseback.
Check out this first full preview of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor in Doctor Who:
From the previews of the 2014 theatrical release of Guardians of the Galaxy, we get the feel we’re dealing with the motley crew of a Firefly class-inspired vessel, Marvel universe style. Along with that we see plenty of “bounty hunters” or assassin types previewed. Fans of the Eleventh Doctor on the Doctor Who TV series are particularly eager to watch the actress who played the beloved Amelia Pond—Karen Gillan—as the very futuristic looking alien assassin Nebula. Gillan even shaved her head for the role.
We don’t know how great Nebula’s role will be in the film, but she gets center spotlight in the first of two “prelude” comic book issues from Marvel Comics.
Like Darth Vader, Mara Jade, and Anakin Skywalker were subjects of the Emperor, we meet up first with Nebula as she is being guided by the villainous Thanos. And similar to the plot the previews have promised us for the new Tom Cruise summer release Edge of Tomorrow, this warrior fights and loses and is somehow recycled to live and fight on another day. Like Vader and Skywalker, Nebula, too, is part cybernetic.
If you had any doubts about this year’s Planet Comicon being the biggest and best comic book and pop culture convention in the history of the region, you might not have been paying attention. With William Shatner, nearly the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lee Majors, Firefly’s Jewel Staite, John Ratzenberger from Cheers and The Empire Strikes Back, Zoie Palmer from Lost Girl, and Walking Dead’s Chad Coleman, plus an onslaught of comic book creators including Neal Adams and James Robinson, you’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you. But if you need more coaxing to make the drive or flight into Kansas City March 14-16, 2014, here it is. Sylvester McCoy, the lovable Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Doctor Who’s Seventh Doctor has joined the slate of headliners for this year’s show.
McCoy is currently in theaters in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as the wizard of the woodland creatures–one of the best realized characters of Peter Jackson’s monumental fantasy trilogy. He was last seen in the 50th anniversary special The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, along with David Tennant, Peter Davison, Paul McGann, and Colin Baker. If you missed this one, watch it online here. McCoy if a very funny guy.
Before that you might have seen the Scottish actor in Doctor Who: The Movie, where he made his last appearance as The Doctor, before getting killed in San Francisco and regenerating into Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, or the mini-series Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, or one of his many audiobooks for Big Finish Productions.
So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now and get your Doctor Who and Middle-Earth fix at Planet Comicon 2014. Get all the details at the con’s website here.
Happy New Year!!!
So what do we do now? How about a look at the start dates for our favorite TV shows? Many are already in progress, like Almost Human, Arrow, Dracula, Grimm, Major Crimes, The Michael J. Fox Show, New Girl, and Sleepy Hollow. Some don’t have new season premiere dates yet, like Bates Motel, Continuum, Doctor Who, Heroes of Cosplay, Mr. Selfridge, and Warehouse 13.
The most anticipated series is very likely the three-episode third season of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, finally coming back to PBS this month.
The biggest question is whether Haven will get renewed for a fifth season on Syfy. The end of Season 4 was really getting better and Syfy just can’t leave us with that cliffhanger finale.
Update yours DVRs! Here’s what we’re going to be watching in 2014 at borg.com:
Almost Human – Season 1 continues January 6 on Fox
Arrow – Season 2 continues January 15 on CW
Bates Motel – Season 2 begins in March to A&E