Never been to a comic book or pop culture convention before? Always wanted to go to San Diego Comic-Con but you don’t have the vacation time available or the funds? Planet Comicon is next weekend in Kansas City and although it isn’t as big as SDCC, it is a great way to get a complete three-day convention experience centrally located in the Midwest, ideal for a last-minute road trip for the family or a car full of friends. It’s less than 8 hours by car from Dallas, less than 7 hours from Minneapolis, a little more than 7 hours from Indianapolis, and a little more than 8 hours from Denver. And you don’t need to buy advance tickets–you can purchase them at the door.
So why make the trip? How about meeting Jason Isaacs, the latest captain of a Star Trek television series and star of the Harry Potter movies (and great TV roles)? Want to compare notes on Doctor Who companions with Catherine Tate (in her first U.S. convention appearance) and Billie Piper? Want to talk Arrow and Torchwood with John Barrowman, or have another chance to meet Arrow star Stephen Amell? Are you a Hellboy and Star Trek fan and haven’t yet met Ron Perlman? It’s the Star Wars 40th anniversary–how about meeting the newest actor to portray Darth Vader, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Spencer Wilding?
Are you a Browncoat? Firefly’s Summer Glau is scheduled to attend, and Supernatural’s Jim Beaver. Do you want to talk 20 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Emma Caulfield? Are you a fan of Lost Girl and need to get your fae fix with Anna Silk, Rachel Skarsten, Zoie Palmer, and Emmanuelle Vaugier?
Want to buy comics, books, or sketches from some of the best creators from across the country, like one of the all-time greats, Howard Chaykin, or Timothy Zahn, creator of the new novel Thrawn? Click here to see everyone you can meet at Artist Alley. Do you collect busts of superheroes and are missing some key characters? Check out thousands of square feet of dealers selling everything from action figures to T-shirts to limited edition prints and toy lightsabers. Whatever you collect, crazy or not, if it’s related to TV, movies or comics you’ll likely find something there. And that’s just part of your day. There will also be panels, and cosplay is always a highlight of the show.
The one-two punch of the third season of the 12th Doctor on BBC’s Doctor Who plus the new spin-off Class is the two-hour TV block sci-fi fans won’t want to miss this season. Last week witnessed the first episode of Peter Capaldi’s final season on Doctor Who, with Pearl Mackie as the new companion, a vibrant and refreshing character named Bill Potts. It also saw the premiere of Class, full of intrigue, exceptional actors, and great characterization for an introductory episode. Aliens and time travel fans should take note, as a fun ride is ahead this season.
It’s the 36th season for Doctor Who and tenth season since the 2005 reboot. Whovians who have fallen in love with Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman and their predecessors will find how easily Mackie slips into her role. After the sweetness and syrupy music over the past few seasons that supported Clara Oswald, the series was due for some fun and a break from the weight of emotion that Oswald’s plight brought to the Doctor. And Mackie’s Bill looks great, with a cool jean jacket full of flair and a wild shirts that fit in with the past styles of Doctor Who garb. And that hair! Bill provides a full character study in her first episode, “Pilot,” where an alien race of space oil beings seek out a star pilot in a woman who is the eye of Bill’s affection. The result is another creepy and brilliant Doctor Who villain that will hopefully surface again. Matt Lucas–who is hard to forget as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland–returns as Nardole, a part that is also quickly folding nicely into the show.
In the United States we had been offered up only the briefest teaser preview for the new Doctor Who spinoff TV series Class. With two stars of the Jeremy Piven star vehicle Mr. Selfridge in lead roles–the brilliant actress Katherine Kelly and the up-and-coming actor Greg Austin–the series was primed to be good, and episode one, “For Tonight We Might Die,” did not disappoint. As we had speculated earlier this year, the series seemed to be revealing what Doctor Who would look like with a woman playing the lead role. Katherine Kelly went head-to-head with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and proved she has the right stuff for the part. She’s perfect as a headstrong leader, and the younger leader played by Austin fills the niche that the companion would serve in the Who-niverse.
It’s not every year you get to watch the first episode of the 36th season of a television series. Airing off and on since November 1963, Doctor Who returns next month with the opener to its 10th renumbered season since the 2005 reboot, but several elements of the show will see their end. This will be the final season for Scottish actor Peter Capaldi leading the show as the 12th Doctor. And lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat and executive producer Brian Minchin will see their final season with the series. Moffat is famous for taking the series to its current international success.
Pearl Mackie takes over for Jenna Coleman as the new companion, a character named Bill Potts. Mackie is a newcomer to the BBC with only a supporting role film credit and a guest role on an episode of a British TV show. Matt Lucas returns as Nardole, and it appears he may be a recurring second companion something like Arthur Darvill’s Rory in the 2010-2012 episodes.
Rona Munro, who wrote the final story of the original Doctor Who series, is returning to write an episode of the show this season. Several other regular series writers will return, including Toby Whithouse and Mark Gatiss. This season will see an appearance by Poirot’s David Suchet and the return of Michelle Gomez as Misty–the latest incarnation of The Master. The TARDIS, Cybermen, Daleks, Weeping Angels, Mars, new spacesuits, old orange spacesuits, new aliens, new robots, new cyborgs, places from the past, new planets… they’re all here. Check out this preview for Season 10:
What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor? What if a legendary figure out of space and time found you a place to hide?
In the United States we have been offered up only the briefest teaser preview for the new Doctor Who spinoff TV series Class. With two stars of the Jeremy Piven star vehicle Mr. Selfridge in lead roles–the brilliant actress Katherine Kelly and the up-and-coming actor Greg Austin–the series was built for success. We are hard pressed to come up with an actress who might make a better first female Doctor than Kelly. Maybe Sherlock’s Lara Pulver? So getting Kelly into this universe is great for Whovians everywhere.
Class is the second spinoff series of Doctor Who, following the successful Torchwood, which sparked new phases of the careers of John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Burn Gorman. Class is steeped in good British and Doctor Who tradition: For 54 years viewers have heard of the school at Coal Hill. So who are the students attending classes there these days? Class is going to show us just that, including one student who is an alien. Class is a teen-centric series, not aimed at the typical young end of the Doctor Who audience. So this series is for a wider audience and is to explore broader themes. The several BBC trailers that so far have only aired in the UK are exciting and fun, dotted with fun characters, and even a fan favorite villain from Doctor Who.
Class, written by A Monsters Calls’ Patrick Ness and executive producer Steven Moffatt, follows Katherine Kelly’s Miss Quill and four students, played by Austin and newcomers Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah, and Fady Elsayed. Even Peter Capaldi’s Doctor makes an appearance at the beginning of the first season. Moffat called the series dark and sexy and has labeled it a British Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ness agreed, saying, “Adults watch Buffy because it’s a great show, but the POV and the agency are all teenage, and that’s what we want to do with Class.
Unfortunately, Class may not make it to the States before being cancelled back home.
Actress Jenna Coleman’s Clara, the cheery and sweet companion on BBC’s Doctor Who, moves on this year as a new companion joins the series in her place. But Coleman is already off to new things, and first up is portraying young Queen Victoria in a new BBC series beginning tonight on PBS’s Masterpiece. Victoria is a large-scale costume drama focusing on 18-year-old Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent and from her rise in power through her marriage to Prince Albert. It includes an extensive romance thread–the unrequited love between Victoria and Lord Melbourne, played by Rufus Sewell.
Coleman’s Queen Victoria is both strong and passionate, and Melbourne as played by Sewell–known for countless roles in productions including Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Zen, Eleventh Hour, The Legend of Zorro, Pillars of the Earth, A Knight’s Tale, Dark City, and most recently, Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle–exhibits those good qualities and the more frustrating bits found in Jane Austen’s Lord Darcy from Pride & Prejudice.
The costumes, props of royalty, location filming, and production sets are not surprisingly lavish. Victoria has the hallmarks of another successful BBC/PBS series, taking on the popular Downton Abbey timeslot. Episode One tonight is 120 minutes, and the first season of the series continues for seven episodes this year.
Here are previews for BBC’s new series Victoria:
It has been nearly a year since we first reported here at borg.com on images from Toy Fair 2016 of Funko’s prototype Playmobil figures, a result of a new partnership of the toy companies that allows Funko to produce licensed Playmobil figures never before released. The figures will not be the traditional size that is playable with the thousands of Playmobil playsets released over the past four decades, but a larger, double-sized six-inch tall figure.
Although initial projections indicated these figures would be released last summer, finally online toy dealer Entertainment Earth is now taking pre-orders for the first series of these figures, which include characters from Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You can also order a figure of Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, available exclusively through Entertainment Earth.
All have great sculpts and sport appropriate hats, scarves, sonic screwdrivers, proton packs, gauntlets, and other accessories. Click on any of the images (above and after the cut) to learn more and pre-order your favorites from Entertainment Earth:
It has been a Christmas tradition in the UK on and off again for more than fifty years. The Doctor Who Christmas Special returns for another episode this Christmas Day, available in the states on BBC America. This year Fathom Events has teamed up with BBC to bring the show to movie theaters, for two days only. So you can watch it in television in traditional style and/or see it a few days later on the big screen. One of several Doctor Who screenings held by Fathom Events over the past three years, it’s as close as Doctor Who fans can get to experiencing a full-fledged Doctor Who movie.
Superheroes is the theme of this year’s entry, as revealed in the trailer below. “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” features the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi, but without his normal companion Jenna-Louise Coleman. The good Doctor teams up instead with a journalist played by Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, Sense & Sensibility, Jane Eyre), and the duo teams up with a new superhero to defend Earth from another alien threat. The show co-stars Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black, War of the Worlds), Matt Lucas (Alice in Wonderland, Doctor Who, Galavant, Community), Adetomiwa Edun (The Hour, Bates Motel, Law & Order UK), and Aleksandar Jovanovic.
The theater screenings will take place at 7 p.m. local time December 27 and 29, 2016. Check out the Fathom Events website here for theater locations and to purchase tickets.
Here is a preview of “The Return of Doctor Mysterio:”
In the 1960s it was not unheard of that television stations like the BBC in the United Kingdom did not retain footage of television series. Film reels were thrown out instead of storing shows for archival purposes as we do today. The greatest volume from one series is probably from Doctor Who, where nearly 100 episodes were lost. But thanks to fans recording the audio of the shows at home, plus film stills and the odd found footage, the stories themselves remain. In the case of one legendary tale, The Power of the Daleks, the BBC decided to animate the tale and distribute it for a new generation of Doctor Who fans. Premiering in full this Saturday, November 19, and beginning November 20, on BBC America, viewers can stream the entire six-part series, and tomorrow night you have one chance to view the new animated version in theaters.
Thought to have been lost forever, The Power of the Daleks is the missing third serial of the fourth season of Doctor Who. No complete film recordings or master negatives of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived an archive purge in 1974. This brand new animation is recreated from original audio, photographs, and surviving film clips. The Power of the Daleks has never been shown in North America in any form.
An original clip of the lost Doctor Who serial “Power of the Daleks.”
Fans of any iteration of Doctor Who will want to see this series for two key reasons. First, it is the first rejuvenation of a Doctor, here showing Patrick Troughton transform into the Second Doctor. Second, fans first realized the true darkness behind the Daleks, who would remain the greatest foes of the Doctor and his companions to this day. Also featured are companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze).
Check out this quick preview:
If you have someone who is awesome enough to make Adam Baldwin’s famous, cunning, Jayne Cobb knitted hat from Firefly (as we did back in 2013 here at borg.com) then you may have a chance to go back to that special person another time to get your Doctor Who fix and add some convention-appropriate garb to your stash for future events. With the Jayne hat, it’s double the fun to have your mother (or other relative or friend) hand-knit the hat, since it was Jayne’s mother who created the hat for him as part of the TV episode.
This time, it’s the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, and his famous knitted scarf, worn by every fourth fan at every respectable Comic Con you’ve ever attended. And Petronella Osgood in “The Day of the Doctor.”
Baker, who appeared on BBC’s 50+ year, sci-fi classic Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981 as the Fourth Doctor, is currently crossing franchise streams, voicing the large, wise creature called the Bendu on the DisneyXD animated series Star Wars Rebels.
Wil Wheaton at a Con in his own copy of the Fourth Doctor’s scarf.
But Baker has become synonymous with that scarf. Unlike the pattern that has become the accepted duplicate of Jayne’s hat throughout the land of knitters (the original wasn’t production-made so no original instructions exist although an accepted version is easily available on the Web), the BBC actually handed out the pattern instructions to knit your own Tom Baker scarf back in the 1980s. Thanks to an article from Tor and two bloggers posting their memories over the past several years, below you can download the instructions that the BBC gave out to what must have been a routine inquiry from fans over the years.
Time travel. It’s a fun sub-genre of science fiction when it’s done right. NBC and the CW have dueling sci-fi series entering the Primetime line-up beginning this month. On Mondays, NBC airs Timeless, a story about a historian, a computer expert and a soldier acting as timecops as they try to correct changes in history via a time machine in pursuit of another–stolen–time machine. On Wednesdays the CW airs Frequency, based on the 2000 sci-fi sleeper and cult movie starring Dennis Quaid. Both are from the creative minds of Supernatural showrunners, and both series began this week with powerful openers. We think both are worth adding to your weekly watch list. The challenge will be maintaining their respective concepts for a full season.
Timeless hails from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. Abigail Spencer leads the cast as a historian much like you’d find in a Connie Willis novel, pulled into a secret time travel project. Someone (Goran Visnjic) kidnapped a scientist played by genre favorite Matt Frewer, and Homeland Security, including a smartly cast agent played by Sakina Jaffrey (Sleepy Hollow, Mr. Robot), enlists Spencer’s character, an insider IT guy (Malcolm Barrett) and soldier/protector (Matt Lanter) to find them–in the past. Compared to Star Trek and Doctor Who this show is Time Travel Lite–no complex knowledge or thought required. The time travel prime directive seems to be that the timecops cannot travel into a time in which they previously existed. So no do-overs.
You can’t beat a nicely done re-creation of the Hindenburg disaster. Even better, a re-imagining revealing the disaster never occurred. Timeless didn’t waste any time, starting off with a single episode story focused on a historic event and it appears that will be the draw of each episode. We saw elements of TimeCop, Timeline, Continuum, Quantum Leap, Doctor Who, Terminator, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in the first episode alone. It works and it’s fun. There’s something adventuresome about Timeless in a Young Indiana Jones vein. Timeless did miss one opportunity here: Why not begin with the Hindenburg crashing on a false historic date and then land on the real date of the disaster for the ending? That would have been a heck of a trick, but it shows much more can be threaded into this series. We know from Star Trek and Doctor Who that time travel is twisty and full of possibilities. Timeless needs to embrace what its savvy audience already knows–and keep the focus on the fun.