The Night of the Doctor Takes Fans Back in Time
The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who is almost upon us and, as the 23rd of November draws near, fans are chomping at the bit for any information regarding The Day of the Doctor, which sees David Tennant and Matt Smith teaming up to defend all of time and space from Zygons and Daleks alike.
Enter: The Night of the Doctor. Steven Moffat, lead writer for the series, penned a short segment that acts as a prelude for the upcoming special. The minisode features two very special guests, including the return of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, and the resurgence of John Hurt as The War Doctor. McGann’s appearance acts as a monumental bridge between the Big Finish stories and the current series, making it officially apart of canon. What does this have to do with the upcoming special, you may ask? Well, no one knows just yet.
What I can tell you, however, is that McGann’s performance is utterly stunning, and a harrowing return to the morals of a Doctor at the edge of war. After his failed attempt to rescue the reluctant pilot of a crashing ship, Eight comes face to face with the Sisterhood of Karn, and we see him willingly regenerate into his ninth incarnation for a human who resented his mere existence. This is a Doctor that I would love to see more of, but it seems that his appearance in this prelude marks the tragic end of his saga, much to our collective dismay.
For as little as we learned about the upcoming feature, this minisode gave us a telling glimpse into the dangerous waters that Ten and Eleven will explore in the anniversary special. We’ll just have to wait with as much patience as we can muster until the mystery reveals itself to us at the end of the month. And as for what roles our heroes will play in the unfolding fate of a universe on the brink of destruction? Only time will tell.
First Footage of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla Does Not Disappoint
I’ve harbored a fascination with monster movies since I was small. There’s something both terrifying and awe-inspiring about creatures with the power to decimate entire cities in the blink of an eye. Godzilla, of course, is the king of such beasts, and has been one of the most well-known monsters to ever grace the silver screen since his original appearance in 1954.
Today, we finally witness the first footage from the newest iteration in Godzilla’s reign of terror. Gareth Edwards, director of the amazing film Monsters, is finally giving us the Godzilla that fans have been pining for, and I can hardly wait.
The trailer, brief as it may be, shows a city leveled by the destruction of, what appears to be, a tremendous battle. We’re treated to a glimpse of a kaiju corpse, strewn across a deserted street. To make matters more horrifying, J. Robert Oppenheimer’s infamous speech about the Atomic Bomb is draped over the trailer like a dark shadow. The line pulled from Hindu scripture sends a chill racing up the spine of any who hear it and, when paired with the striking visual of Godzilla rising triumphantly from a haze of smoke, it’s effectively one of the most promising and terrifying things I have ever witnessed.
Maybe the fan in me is blowing this severely out of proportion, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t the Godzilla film that I’ve always hoped for. Sure, this is merely a trailer, but the sheer sincerity with which Edwards is approaching this film gives me a kaiju-sized amount of hope.
Don’t just take my word for it, friends. Feast your eyes on the first trailer here.
This Week in Science Fiction
It’s been a long week, folks, and the internet has been positively rife with exciting science fiction news; so rife, in fact, that I’ve hardly been able to keep up with it all. Luckily for you, however, I have managed to boil down the most exciting stories of the week into a nice, boring list. No need to thank me, friends. Here’s this week in science fiction:
- The first trailer for the upcoming remake of Robocop has hit the web to a sea of wavering skepticism. The cast looks incredibly promising, but something about the trailer seems a little too straight forward on the action for my tastes. The original Robocop felt much darker, and it provided a sense of social commentary that this film doesn’t seem to have. On the other hand, this is only the trailer, and I have been pleasantly surprised by remakes before. Who knows? This could be absolutely incredible, but only time will tell.
- The winners of the 2013 Hugo Awards have finally been listed, featuring a number of incredible short stories, novels, and comic books. Take a gander at the list of nominees and recipients, folks; you may just find your new favorite author on there.
- Gather ye dollars while ye may, Whovians. The BBC is releasing all of Doctor Who (series 1 - 7) on Blu-Ray in an amazing collectors edition, set to hit stores on November 5th. Not only does the box set include every episode and television special in 1080p, but it also includes special features, original art cards featuring 9, 10, and 11, an exclusive Doctor Who comic, and (get this) a universal remote in the shape of a Sonic Screwdriver. Look, I’m not one to beg, but can someone please drop three hundred and fifty bones on this for me? Please?
- Roland Emmerich, co-creator of the Stargate movie circa 1994, has fans of the franchise dizzy with excitement. (Do you guys even have a name? Gaters? Gateheads?) Emmerich is currently in talks with MGM to reboot his vision as a trilogy of films. Some fans wonder whether rehashing the franchise is even necessary at all, considering the vast array of television series that branched off from the original film. Gateheads will have to wait a little while longer before anything is confirmed, however, considering that Mr. Emmerich is currently shooting Independence Day 2, and we all know how important that is.
- If you’ve been following this blog for some time now, you may know just how much I adore the television series Futurama. I’ve toted it as the wittiest animated series of our generation, and I don’t think I’m too far off in that assessment, if you ask me. And, while I knew this day would eventually come, I wasn’t truly prepared for the series to end. Like all good things, however, it has. I hesitate to link you to any reviews of the finale, as they are all heavily laden with spoilers, but I can tell you this — for a show that’s been on the air for almost fourteen years, I’d say it had a pretty good run. Farewell, Futurama. I’ll never forget you.
- Dark Horse Comics are gearing up for something spectacular. This image, depicting the legendary Serenity-class ship Firefly from the television series bearing the same name, with the words “#wheresserenity" across the front, has graced their blog, effectively hinting at the possibility of an upcoming return to the Firefly universe in comic form. So far, Dark Horse is keeping a tight lid on any facts surrounding the arrival of a new series, but all signs point to “hell yes”. Keep an eye out for everyone’s favorite “big damn heroes” returning to a comic book store near you.
The Side of Star Wars You’ve Never Seen
Chances are that, if you’re browsing this blog (or if you’re a human being with a pair of functioning eyes), you’ve probably see Star Wars. The series is as much of a science fiction staple as it is a commercial success, and while many fans have come to love the franchise as it stands, there’s another facet of the tale that many do not know. Friends, say hello to: The Star Wars.
Dark Horse Comics are publishing a short, eight-issue series dedicated to the original script that George Lucas created over thirty-five years ago, written by J. W. Rinzler with art by Mike Mayhew. The fundamentals of the story are almost entirely different, and the comic features a variety of new faces and locations that fans of the series will almost certainly enjoy. Character relationships, such as our protagonist Luke traveling with a fellow Jedi named Annikin, and role reversals, like R2D2 being able to speak while C3PO cannot, are littered throughout the story, and these elements laid the groundwork for the series as a whole.
The Star Wars launched yesterday, on September 4th, and you can pick up your copy here.
A Third X-Files Film, Featuring Simon Pegg?
I’ll be completely honest with you guys: when I first heard this news, I legitimately thought they were remaking The X-Files with Simon Pegg as the lead, and I’ll tell you something — I don’t think I’d mind that one bit. Well, I digress.
What we’re really here to discuss is the fact that Chris Carter, creator of the aforementioned X-Files, mentioned to Empire that he has high hopes for a third movie in the franchise, which is fantastic news considering that the last film was released over five years ago. The only hold up, says Carter, rests with Twentieth Century Fox and “whether they have the will to do it.”
He continues: “I think all of us are interested in putting the band back together. I have an idea for a third movie in my head[…] we want to go back to the mythology.”
As if the idea of a third X-Files film isn’t amazing enough, Carter went on to mention that Simon Pegg nearly made an appearance in the second film, I Want To Believe, “but there was no part for him.” Gillian Anderson, otherwise known as the illustrious Dana Scully, met the Shaun of the Dead star on the set of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People. After finding out that Pegg was a self-proclaimed fan of the series, Anderson passed along the information to Carter, who went on to say: “I certainly would think about him if we were to go forward in any way.”
It seems the only question that remains is the title, of course. Personally, I’m rooting for either “The X-Files: Trust No One”, or “The X-Files: Government Denies Knowledge”, but hey, maybe that’s just me.
The 12th Doctor is In
It looks like the wait is over, friends. After today’s live broadcast, the BBC has finally confirmed that Peter Capaldi will play the Doctor’s twelfth regeneration, even though he is, regrettably, not a ginger.
Capaldi is no stranger to Doctor Who. Not only is he a self-proclaimed fan, having written letters about Doctor Who to the news broadcast Radio Times in his youth, but he has also made a previous appearance on the show as Caecilius in season four’s “The Fires of Pompeii”.
Jenna Louise-Coleman will stay on as the ever-engaging Clara, helping to gently ease fans into the newest season. I, for one, am highly intrigued to see what kind of direction the show will take once our newest Doctor encounters the barrage of obstacles that the universe has in store for him.
Now, I’ve already seen quite a few complaints cropping up about his age, and honestly, friends, that depresses me. While it’s true that Capaldi is the oldest actor to portray the Doctor since William Hartnell, I see no reason why he couldn’t take up the reigns and truly make the role his own, regardless of how old he is. Might I mentioned that far fewer complaints were cast when Matt Smith became the 11th incarnation at age 27, making him the youngest actor to ever accept the role? Regardless, I think it’s high time that fans took a step back from their misconceived perceptions and accepted the fact that we won’t know a thing about the 12th Doctor until we see him in action, whenever that may be.
Independent of all criticisms and praise, Capaldi is, more than anything, completely beside himself with joy. “Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege,” he said. “Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.”
Truly, I think my favorite part of this entire announcement is the way in which Capaldi first learned that he had received the role. He’d been shooting in Prague, filming the BBC’s Three Muskateers, and missed the original call informing him that he’d gotten the part. Finally, an assistant was able to deliver the good news to him, and the first thing she said was: “Hello, Doctor.”
First Poster for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla Revealed
Hitting the web just a few days shy of it’s intended SDCC reveal, the poster for Gareth Edwards’ highly anticipated Godzilla reboot has launched to a wave of mixed reviews. Many fans are clamoring in excitement, but the poster has also met with quite a few complaints.
Naysayers are shaking their heads at the very idea of a reboot to the previously established Godzilla franchise, which hasn’t seen much in the way of activity since the abysmal ‘98 rehash, but it seems that the rising tide of supporters heavily outweighs the dismissive comments fired at the promising blockbuster.
The director has promised to release a slew of new information regarding the film at this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con. Cross your fingers for a full-length trailer, friends, and stay tuned for more information as it’s released.
This Week in Science Fiction
Summer is upon us, friends — the air is dense, the sun is scorching, and the reasons to remain inside are stacking up higher each and every day. However, if you’re the type to enjoy ‘weather’ and ‘sunshine’, you might’ve been away from your computer just long enough to miss these bits of news that were floating around the web this past week.
- Warner Bros. has wisely sought the help of Bioshock writer Ken Levine to pen the remake of Logan’s Run. Insisting that he won’t be diverting his attention from his home at Irrational Games, the Logan’s Run remake is said to be a “passion project” for Levine, and I for one am absolutely thrilled to see such a talented writer revitalizing this compelling and thrilling dystopian tale.
- The newest season of everyone’s favorite sci-fi sitcom, Futurama, premiered last night on Comedy Central with an hour long episode and a new one set to air each Wednesday at 10pm EST. Strap in for some rollicking good times with your favorite interstellar delivery crew, folks. Who knows how much longer they’ll be around?
- News of the latest Star Wars films has been scarce, and fans are grasping at any news regarding the franchise that comes their way. Enter: the casting call. An agency in the UK has begun scouting for actors to star in the upcoming Episode VII. The character descriptions are as follows:
- A young man aged between 20 and 25, witty and smart, fit but not classically handsome.
- Man in late twenties, also fit, but this one is handsome and confident.
- Late teenage girl, independent, good sense of humour, also… physically fit.
- Second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and physically fit.
- Man in his forties, obviously physically fit, this one is a military type.
- A man of around thirty or so, this one is an intellectual type.
- Finally, a guy aged around seventy, strong opinions and tough.
George Lucas did make mention that we’d be seeing some of the old gang this go ‘round, but it seems anything other than that is pure speculation at this point, stay tuned for any further developments.
J.J. Abrams to Begin ‘Star Wars' Production in 2014
News of the upcoming Star Wars sequels has been scant, at best. J. J. Abrams and Disney have been keeping quite a lid on the whole ordeal, but the flare-favoring director recently dropped a few hints for his hungry fans.
"Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,” said Abrams, explaining that shooting would begin sometime at the beginning of 2014, with a full-fledged release following in 2015.
When asked if the newest films would follow any of the previously established canon found in the wide variety of novels dedicated to the series, the Star Wars director remained tight-lipped, offering: “No comment.”
So, it seems that we know about as much as we did before, but now there’s a timetable. If anything, we have an idea about the script, which must nearly be complete at this point if they’re set to start rolling the cameras.
Personally, it seems almost silly to ignore the bevy of literature attached to the series, some of which would make captivating and wonderful films. On the other hand, it might be nice to see something a little different happen for the series. Abrams said, “I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before”, which is probably an incredibly smart move on his part. The man does know a thing or two about making movies — maybe it’s time to simply wait patiently while the man works his magic.