The Return of the Doctors
BBC has just released an exclusive interview with Matt Smith and David Tennant on the set of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special. The occasion? A reward for fans who received their Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the shows latest season before the final episode had a chance to air, and not spoiling the finale for the rest of us.
The shows official Twitter explained to fans that if they were able to keep details of the final episode under wraps, a “special video featuring Matt & David” would be unleashed. True to their word — gasp — the video was released to a sea of fainting Whovian’s, and while the actors reveal some incredibly scant details about the upcoming special, I think the clip’s true merit lies in watching Tennant don his signature pinstripe suit and tie once again, but hey, that might just be me.
Nebula Award Winners Announced
It’s time to get a jump start on your summer reading, folks. The most recent batch of Nebula winners was announced this weekend at the SFWA’s 48th Annual Nebula Awards in San Jose, CA., with titles such as 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson and Beasts of the Southern Wild coming out on top. You can head over here for a complete list of recipients, but you might as well open up your Amazon wishlist while you’re at it — you’re going to want to get your hands on these puppies.
Justice is Served: Detroit Sees Robocop Statue Come To Life
After years of crowd-funding and rallying support (from everyone but their own mayor), the city of Detroit is preparing to welcome it’s newest citizen: a bronzed statue of Paul Verhoeven’s version of the ever-impressive Robocop.
The statue, petitioned by some of Michigan’s nerdiest and most admirable citizens, was created as a labor of love after the idea of a permanent monument to the mechanized policeman was shot down by mayor Dave Bing. Given the state of Detroit’s reputation regarding violence and crime, many thought the statue to be in poor taste, and with their debt sinking deeper into the red as days go by, no one can be sure whether such an expensive and elaborate project will reflect well on the Motor City.
Though there’s no word yet on where in city the statue will reside, here’s to hoping that the glistening testament to justice will serve Detroit well, and also that a placard is erected below it which reads: “Excuse me, I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.”
The First Trailer for Ender’s Game Has Landed
Look, I’m not going to lie to you folks — up until recently, I’ve been incredibly skeptical about this adaptation of Ender’s Game. Despite being written by one of the most bigoted science fiction authors in recent memory, it happens to be one of my favorite books and, incidentally, one of the greatest novels of all time. We’ve all been burned by Hollywood before, so I feel confident that my trepidation towards the film is not entirely unjust. But I have to tell you guys — I took one look at this trailer, and you know what? I’m actually excited.
The award-winning cast should have been enough for me. Of course Harrison Ford is going to ace his performance, and there’s no questioning the utter brilliance that is Ben Kingsley, but it’s really Asa Butterfield’s portrayal of the titular Ender Wiggin that piqued my curiosity. It’s hardly possible to cast a six-year-old in such a tense and demanding role, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the Hugo star is well and truly capable of.
As a director, Gavin Hood has a lot to prove. My initial reaction to his attachment to the film was lukewarm at best, and the thought of him turning one of my most beloved novels into an over-produced blockbuster is not an unfounded fear. However, seeing the Battle School in action and watching a fleet of formic baddies swarm over our heroes has genuinely impressed me — plus, it’s a little hard not to fall head over heels for the Bugger’s ship design. Hell, just look at that thing!
There isn’t much else I can say without spoiling it, so why not take a gander at the first trailer for Ender’s Game and judge it for yourself. The film is set to hit theaters sometime this November, and though the odds of a successful translation of the original text are looking up, always remember, friends: the enemies gate is down.
Ten and Eleven Photographed on Set, Plus: Nine Returns?
Can you feel that, folks? That stirring in the cosmos? That would be the earth-shattering awesome currently radiating from the set of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special. This image of actors David Tennant, who recently celebrated his 42nd birthday, and Matt Smith getting cozy with the TARDIS hit the web this week, and I don’t think there’s been a greater cause for celebration amongst Whovians since the anniversary special was first announced. Though the photograph itself gives little information about the upcoming episode, we do get a glimpse at one of the potential villains, seen in the rightmost corner of the image. No news yet on what the Classic Who monster has in store for our hero(es?), but I’m sure it won’t be long before we find out more.
Now, some of you may have felt the same heartache I did upon learning that the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, would not be returning to the cast for the anniversary event, but fear not, friends. Everyone’s favorite leather-clad Time Lord is making a return to the series during next week’s episode, entitled “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”. The cameo itself is little more than a voice over, much to my chagrin. Keep your ears tuned for this line from Nine’s first episode: “The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn’t get through these doors, and believe me they’ve tried.”
Release Dates for New Star Wars Films Announced
There isn’t much that we know in regards to the upcoming Star Wars sequels, and something tells me it’ll be a little while longer before we even get a glimpse of what the newest names behind the series have in store. We’ve got J. J. Abrams slated to direct and Michael Arndt on the script, but aside from the confirmation of a few old friends, there isn’t all that much to go on. Disney intends to reward us for our patience, however; during this years Cinemacon, the company announced that fans should expect Episode VII as early as the summer of 2015.
With subsequent releases of Episodes VIII and IX set to follow in 2017 and 2019, Disney promises to fill the time in between with standalone films which would potentially focus on fan favorites such as Yoda, Boba Fett, and Han Solo. Of course, the subjects of the one-offs are purely speculation at this point, but I wouldn’t mind a little more back story with my Episode sandwich.
This begs the question of whether or not Disney can keep up enough momentum to make each film as memorable as (almost) every other iteration in the series. I’m sure there isn’t a fan amongst you that can complain about a steady diet of well-polished sci-fi, but if Disney’s untimely assassination of LucasArts is any indication, you can bet I’ll be waiting around for the upcoming flicks with my fingers crossed, hoping I won’t have to tell the next generation of movie-goers about that time I spent $90 to watch a series of six disappointing misadventures starring characters I once loved and cherished. All I’m saying is: Disney, don’t let me down.
David Tennant and Billie Piper Return for 50th Anniversary Special
BBC News has confirmed that Doctor Who’s most beloved iteration and his trusty companion, Rose, will be returning for the shows fiftieth anniversary episode, set to air on November 23rd. Acclaimed actor John Hurt is said to be making a guest appearance in the episode, as well.
The episode is being penned by showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran. Tennant and Piper are set to star alongside the current Doctor, Matt Smith, and his latest companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman, with shooting rumored to start around April 1st.
There’s still much to learn about how Rose and Ten’s story will weave into the fold of the current season, or even how the anniversary episode will fall in line with the rest of the show. Even still, I’m aching to know just what kind of adventures The Doctor will get into next, and if Tennant’s involvement is any indication, then all I have to say is: allons-y!
This Month in Science Fiction
January has been rife with some of the best science fiction news we’ve had in quite a while. From the latest rumblings circulating J. J. Abrams’ take on the Star Wars universe to the rumors surrounding the upcoming 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, here’s a look at some of the most notable news stories that recently hit the web.
- Pacific Rim’s newest trailer is a mech-tastic, dystopian roller coaster, and if you aren’t practically squirming in your seat at the thought of seeing this film, I don’t want to know you.
- I’m sure we’re all fully aware by now that Mr. J. J. Abrams has taken up the mantle of director for Episode VII, the first of three upcoming live-action Star Wars films. Additionally, the 3D conversion for the prequel trilogy has been postponed in order to direct more focus towards episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Even with the rumor mill already in high gear, including the notion of cameos by Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Abrams thinks it’ll be at least another three years before we see Disney’s newest property on the big screen.
- Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is finally finding it’s way into your living rooms after a long battle with Syfy over its impending release. February 10th sees the highly anticipated prequel series premiering as a full-length, two hour film, later to be released on Blu-Ray with a visual effects documentary and thirteen deleted scenes. Frak yeah.
- Lit-nerds, start your engines: the shortlist for the British Science Fiction awards is finally up!
- For those of you not big on the whole ‘reading’ thing, check out the demo for EA’s latest edition to the Dead Space series with the recently released demo for the third installment, available on both PSN and the Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Any news regarding Frank Darabont’s participation in upcoming Godzilla flick has me chomping at the bit. io9 recently sat down with the famed screenwriter/director, who discussed his desire to recreate the infamous kaiju in the most gritty and terrifying way he possibly could. 2014 truly cannot come soon enough.
- Last, though certainly not least, comes the news that all eleven iterations of the Doctor will make a cameo in the show’s 50th anniversary special, which is set to debut later this year on the BBC. Even though at least three of the Doctor’s have passed away, the show’s writer, Steven Moffat, assures us that a great deal of smoke and mirrors will be used to give the appearance of their inclusion in this upcoming adventure. Oh, Mr. Moffat, what are you trying to do to us now?
Art by Stefan Hürlemann.