Category Archives: Television

“Twice Upon a Time” is Peter Capaldi’s Excellent Send Off

Since the modern series of Doctor Who started in 2005, there has been a Christmas Special every year. The first special, “The Christmas Invasion” was the introduction of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.  This year’s “Twice Upon a Time” is Peter Capaldi’s last story as the Twelfth Doctor, as well as the final episode for show-runner Steven Moffat. When Doctor Who returns sometime next fall, Chris Chibnall will helm the show and Jodie Whittaker will be the Thirteenth Doctor.

In a time travel twist, the Twelfth Doctor who is refusing to regenerate after the events of series 10’s finale, finds he is not alone in the South Pole. The First Doctor, portrayed by David Bradley and also refusing to regenerate, stumbles upon the Twelfth Doctor. The First Doctor doesn’t believe he’s with the Twelfth incarnation. Mysteriously time stops. Even the snowflakes are frozen. Interrupting the Doctor fest is a World War I captain who has been pulled from his timeline and dumped in the south pole. A glass figure soon approaches, disturbing the captain. The First Doctor invites him into the TARDIS and is surprised to find the Twelfth Doctor’s console room.  Suddenly the TARDIS is rocked. There is a much larger ship above that has seized the capsule and begins lifting it into a grand chamber.

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Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and David Bradley as the First Doctor

 

Continue reading “Twice Upon a Time” is Peter Capaldi’s Excellent Send Off

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Star Trek: Discovery – Midseason Reaction

Trekkies rejoice: there’s new Star Trek for the first time in twelve years! Star Trek: Discovery is the seventh iteration of the Star Trek franchise. The show is set in the prime universe, ten years before The Original Series. However, it’s not airing on TV! Instead, Discovery is streaming behind a paywall at CBS All Access. Viewers have an option to pay seven dollars a month for limited commercials or ten dollars a month for commercial-free.

In a new development to the Star Trek canon, the female protagonist Michael Burnham was raised by Sarek and Amanda Grayson as their ward. This makes her Spock’s foster sister. Amanda raised the children together for the most part though Spock was four years younger. Both Sarek and Amanda appear in Star Trek: Discovery but Spock does not. (He does feature in the first tie-in novel, Desperate Measures by David Mack!)

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Characters from Left to Right: Captain Georgiou, Michael Burnham, Saru, Captian Lorca, Paul Stamets, Sarek, Cadet Tilly, Ash Tyler

Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – Midseason Reaction

Doctor Who’s Breaking the TARDIS Mold: Series 11 Companions Cast

On Sunday the BBC announced via its Social Media channels that the Thirteenth Doctor has her companions for Series 11. For the first time since the series revival, three companions were announced simultaneously.

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Yasmin (Mandip Gill), Graham (Bradley Walsh), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and Ryan (Tosin Cole).

There are still very few details known about Series 11, other than a new show-runner, Chris Chibnall and the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, who will make her first appearance in this year’s Christmas Special.

Mandip Gill graduated from university in 2009 with an acting degree. She’s a year or two younger than Jenna Coleman. She is best known for a three-year stint on the soap Hollyoaks, which she left in 2015. Interestingly, she’s guest starred on three separate medical dramas before being cast on Doctor Who. 

Bradley Walsh is a former footballer turned actor who had roles in soap Coronation Street and Law & Order: UK. He has also presented for ITV game shows. He is currently 57, which makes him one of the older actors cast for companion roles.

Tosin Cole also starred on Hollyoaks, from 2010 to 2012, meaning his time on the show overlapped with Mandip Gill’s. Before that he was on an internet spin-off of the soap EastEnders. He also had a small role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as an X-Wing pilot.

In the BBC announcement the network also revealed that Doctor Who Series 11 will be a 10-week run of 50-minute episodes premiering in the Fall of 2018. Whether that means the end of August or 10 weeks before Christmas is unknown, but at least we have a general idea of an air date. With such a diverse TARDIS it’s hard not to get excited for Series 11!

The Future is Female, and so is The Doctor

I’ve been out of the DW loop for a while now. Things get in the way of watching episodes–lack of cable television, not enough time, and to be honest, not enough investment in the show anymore. A lot of my friends seem to be in the same boat: big fans at one point, but no longer as literate in Who Lore as they once were. Maybe some of it lies with Moffat. Maybe it’s just a show wearing out, like an old coat. It’s just not as warm as it once was.

To be honest, I’ve been so out of the loop that I had only the vaguest idea that Capaldi was moving on. My brother, another Whovian, mentioned it during the last week, and I didn’t hold my breath. They’d talked about casting a woman last time, and while I didn’t watch enough of Capaldi’s run to determine fair judgment of the series during his tenure, the whole thing kind of had me exhausted.

Maybe, I thought, they’ll go with picking a woman this time. However, my hopes weren’t high. I still had my TARDIS string lights, but they were mostly decoration, and Who, like so many of my formerly rabid interests (including writing for the Geekette) had been sacrificed during college to the time management gods in a bid for more time. Did I even want to watch Doctor Who anymore?

My brother texted me at around noon from the beach: “Did they announce the new doctor yet?” He probably didn’t have great wifi, which is why he was asking me. It’s one of our few shared interests, or it used to be. So I did a quick Google search of  “doctor who”, knowing if there was any news, it would pop up at the top of the page. I didn’t know any of the hyped candidates, and didn’t have any expectations. Just doing a favor.

BBC News: “Jodie Whittaker: Doctor Who’s 13th Time Lord to be a woman.”

And all I could think was “Finally.”

 

 

Top 5 Superheroines That Need More Screentime

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The Amazons of Wonder Woman

Judging by the internet, I’m not alone in saying that Wonder Woman has restored my faith in DC. As a fan of their animated features, especially the earlier version of the film made in 2009, I was pleasantly surprised by Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Princess of the Amazons.

But with the film doing as well as it is, I couldn’t help but mull over how many other superheroines deserve more screentime. Too often are such characters left less fleshed out, pushed to the side, or tokenized in lieu of their male counterparts. While full-length movies and spinoffs aren’t for everyone, the following five characters definitely deserve more love. I did my best to pick a variety of girls and women who are beloved in their own right – if only a bit underused.

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American Gods 1×02, “The Secret of Spoons” and 1×03, ”Head Full of Snow”

It’s a double-post for American Gods! Episode 2’s Coming to America story introduced Anansi in a manner that doesn’t just strike a chord for black America, it’s the start of a symphony. It was raw, powerful, and true. The rest of the episode moved rather slowly, while Episode 3 had a bit more plot advancement and brought us deeper into the backstage world of the Gods.

Continue reading American Gods 1×02, “The Secret of Spoons” and 1×03, ”Head Full of Snow”

American Gods 1×01: The Bone Orchard

Oh…my….Gods.

With its official premiere on Starz last night, it’s time to review the first episode of this much-anticipated series. For fans of the book and new worshippers at the boob tube, “The Bone Orchard” does NOT disappoint. I’ll be analyzing as someone who knew the book first, so some compare/contrast is inevitable. But I welcome comments from those who are experiencing this world through the show first.

Episode spoilers are a given. Best not to read if you haven’t watched!

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American Gods: The Women Will Rise

April 30th is almost here – the premiere of American Gods on Starz. I’ve been following the progress of the American Gods TV series since the first announcements about it. When I learned Bryan Fuller was attached to the project, I was excited, but cautiously concerned. Fuller’s NBC series Hannibal felt the ire of fans for poor treatment of its female characters. I feared that complex ladies like Laura Moon, Sam Crow, and Bilquis would be slotted into shallow stereotypes.

Instead, it looks like American Gods has taken the exact opposite road!

“Oh my god, guys, there’s this show that we’re doing and the women are allowed to be actual human beings, can you believe it?” – Emily Browning

 

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Gender Neutral MTV Awards

1980: I WANT MY MTV !                      2017: I WANT MY MTV…GENDER-NEUTRAL!

Wow, turns out somebody was actually listening! In an interview with CNN, MTV’s president Chris McCarthy announced some changes to their annual Movie & TV Awards. Some new categories include “Best American Story” and “Best Fight Against the System”, but best of all, the show is doing away with gender-based categories, like “Best Actress”.

“[Today’s audience doesn’t] see those lines in the way that generations in the past have,” McCarthy said. “So we wanted to take those down. They felt really antiquated.”

And he’s right. Just recently, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon wrote to the Television Academy about such category names. Dillon articulately pointed out that if such categories mean ‘best performance by someone who identifies as this gender or that one’, then where is the room for nonbinary performers? How is someone like Dillon supposed to submit their work for Emmy consideration?

The Television Academy responded with surprising open-mindedness, saying “anyone can submit under either category for any reason.” Dillon opted for Best Actor, as the term historically refers to a performer regardless of gender. The MTV Awards is following suit:  they will use ‘actor’ to refer to all candidates in a category.

MTV Awards joins The Grammys and Britain’s National Television Awards by opting for non-gendered categories. But will this be the start of a larger conversation for Hollywood?

Catch MTV’s Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, May 7th.