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The BBC in the UK has a lot of television shows I like, mostly science fiction-ish. And mostly Doctor Who related, but not always.

Written By: Gary on July 8, 2011 7 Comments

Can’t wait until tonight! Been waiting a year for more Torchwood after their (way too) short 5 episode mini-series last summer. Originally a more mature Doctor Who spinoff (scramble the letters for the anagram). It was previously on BBC but it looks like Starz is running with Torchwood now.

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Gwen Cooper, guns and a happy baby.
What more can you ask from the 21st Century*?

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Capt. Jack Harkness, always the flirt. Even after falling off a building.

Gwen is pretty much a street cop gone super-duper secret-agent. The baby is new, I assume hers and Rhys (her husband) but she might just be rescuing it. Capt. Jack, well let’s just say he’s pretty hard to kill, and decided that Earth is his favorite planet to live on. And the flirt part, he’ll flirt with anything, any gender, any species; not sure how much they’ll follow through with this, since it appears they’re moving to America, I’m treating it as a reboot.


Available in HD.

I actually saw this trailer in the theater the other day. Not in a sci-fi show, but before the new Woody Allen movie…

* “The 21st Century is when everything changes…” although I’m not sure if they’re still following that theme.

Written By: Gary on February 22, 2010 No Comment

I was just wondering when the new Doctor Who 2010 series was going to start this year and this trailer comes along for me today. It’ll start on Easter (April 4) in the UK and on April 17th on BBC America; I’m assuming it’ll trail a few weeks behind for the rest of the season.

Here’s the direct link.

This isn’t really a normal trailer/preview as it’s a little surreal in the way it goes in the middle, it almost reminds me of a candy or gum commercial. But it makes the series looks fun.

Written By: Gary on January 22, 2010 No Comment

While I’ll sorely miss David Tennant, it’s time for the newest Doctor to take over the show. Matt Smith will star as The Doctor on Doctor Who this spring (April or May?) and I’m ready to see where they take the show.

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While at first glance it appears that it’ll be a younger doctor than usual that’s not all that’s changing. Russell T. Davis stepped down as Producer/Writer and it’s now Steven Moffat at the helm in charge of everything and and (I’m assuming) writing episodes. It’s enough if a change where I guess they decoded to change the Dr. Who logo this season. Here’s a mini-preview of the 2010 season:

View the above preview on YouTube.

I’m not too keen on his new trademark call of “Geronimo!” but maybe it’ll grow on me; but since it actually means “One who yawns” and nothing particularly British, I’m thinking it won’t.

An assumption being made is that this is more of a reboot of the character since the actors and person in charge is changing. So that means (to me) there won’t be much (any?) crossover between the 2005-2009 Doctor and the new one. If so that means no Rose, Donna, Martha, Mickey, etc. Although since Steven Moffat wrote “Blink”, I wouldn’t mind seeing Sally Sparrow again. The real question (to me) is what about Capt. Jack Harkness from Torchwood, Steven Moffat originally wrote the episodes that introduced him. And Torchwood is still running…

Any thoughts? Or rumors?

Written By: Gary on December 18, 2009 No Comment

Only seven more days until the Christmas Doctor Who special The End of Time. This is the first of a two-part episode which would be the last episodes starring David Tennant. I’m assuming since that part two will be on New Year’s day (they keep saying he’ll be The Doctor until 2010). You can watch the first 3 minutes of the The End of Time here.

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While it’s the “Christmas Special” it’s not as special as usual since we didn’t get a 13 episode season this year with a special to hold us off until the next year, we only got a few specials for the whole year. But it is special as it marks the end of David Tennant’s reign as The Doctor. It’s assumed he’ll be dying and regenerate as the new doctor. I’ll miss his character, but maybe in a few years I’ll mix the stories up and not remember who was The Doctor in some of the earlier episodes…

I also assume they’ll be a plethora of guest stars on the episode. To get everyone to fit in as a guest star I’m assuming it’ll take place a few years ago but I’m still not sure how that’d get Rose, Martha, Donna and The Master to fit in; although I’d guess the Master could have shown up here before Rose disappeared into the other parallel Earth, but from the preview it makes me think The Master regenerated after season three (Martha) so I’m just guessing.

More wallpapers and images can be found here, remember the BBC won’t show video or audio outside the UK.

I’m not sure when BBC America will be showing these two episodes. Traditionally the BBC has aired them weeks first, but I’m not sure why it matters these days.

Next season, starting sometime next year, will start a new doctor and a new companion. Next year will be also be directed (and written) by Steven Moffat, I’m kind of excited about that. I’ve been a fan of Steven Moffat who has done a few doctor who episodes. He also wrote the Jekyll miniseries on the BBC a year or two ago which was pretty interesting. He also wrote the Coupling series (which got old after the first few seasons). I can’t wait to see what different direction he takes the new younger doctor and his new companion in.

Written By: Gary on November 15, 2009 One Comment

I can’t really say much about the episode without giving too much away. So while I’ll try to be discreet, you might want to stop reading. If you’ve seen the preview, I’ll be giving away a little more than that and also my opinions on the episode…

One of the things I noticed in the previews was that Adelaide (the Mars commander) didn’t seem like much of a companion at all. But since I saw she was being referred to as a companion (here and there on the ‘net) I thought I might change my mind when I saw the episode, but that didn’t happen at all. I really felt like it was much more of a loaner episode for The Doctor. He works so much better with a sidekick companion, he doesn’t need to talk to himself as much…

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead BBC WarnerIn a few ways it was a very non-typical episode, but with only two more David Tennant episodes some changes were to be expected. At least I’m assuming the two part Christmas special includes David Tennant in both episodes; I’d like to point out I quite often see 2010 listed as the end of his tenure in the role, so it makes me wonder if he’s appearing in the first episode of 2010? or is part two of the Christmas episode, The End of Time, going to be on New Year’s Day? or is the 2010 date a mistake? *

Pretty creepy episode. I thought they were originally going to air it on/near Halloween, it would have worked!


Direct link to Doctor Who preview.

Overall, I really enjoyed the episode, the first third was very typical and enjoyable. But by the second half I felt like I (and The Doctor) was just being pulled along through the episode, part of the whole “this is a point fixed in time” problem (assuming you’ve seen the preview) you kind of have to just wait it through. The end was the part I didn’t like, it felt rushed and incomplete. I think they were trying to do some character changes and it made him seem more like an ass mean than crazed. Maybe they’ll follow through in another month and make it more clear why, but…

* He is doing the voice of The Doctor in a Doctor Who cartoon series, Dreamland, maybe that’s running until 2010?

Written By: Gary on November 14, 2009 No Comment

The Doctor is on the BBC in just a few hours, I’d say it’s on today, but it’s still yesterday in Michigan, but it’s already tomorrow in the UK.

It’s one of the last few Russell T. Davies episodes and it’s written with/by Phil Ford who’s done a few (eight!) Sarah Jane Adventures, a Torchwood book (Skypoint) and “Something Borrowed” (the Torchwood wedding episode).

Viewers in the US will have to wait a bit longer (December 9th) until it’s on BBCamerica.

Written By: Gary on July 21, 2009 No Comment

Torchwood: Children of Earth started in the US on BBC America last night and runs for the next four nights, kind of a mini-series of a season. Torchwood: Children of Earth [Blu-ray] BBC WarnerYou can already get Torchwood: Children of Earth at iTunes for $2.99 per episode in HD (or $1.99 for standard). Not bad if you don’t have BBC America in your cable package. Generally, iTunes has been that fast for US shows, but I don’t think they’ve been that fast with the BBC shows (or maybe it just seems longer since the BBC airs them so much earlier in the UK). I’m not sure what they’ll charge for the whole season once it’s available later this week (Torchwood seasons Season’s One and Two episodes are only $1.99 for HD and $0.99 for standard definition and you don’t even have to buy the whole season).

Amazon has it on pre-order Blu-ray or DVD which ships next week.

Written By: Gary on July 6, 2009 No Comment

Torchwood: Children of Earth BBC WarnerDon’t forget Torchwood is on the the next five days starting today on BBC one. That’s it, the whole season three is only these next five days (more info on Torchwood here).

The mini-series only starts today in the UK, Austrailia and maybe a few others. Each episode is 75 minutes, be sure to pad your VCR DVR in case it runs late. I think most of the rest of the world has to wait until July 20th, 2009 (that’s when it starts on BBC America).

Watch the Torchwood (HQ) trailer here.

And if you didn’t listen to the three radio plays last week, you have a few more hours to download those free Torchwood plays. I think this download is good for anywhere in the world.

P.S. You can order Torchwood: Children of Earth now (available in HD too.

Written By: Gary on July 4, 2009 32 Comments

Doctor Who - The Complete Second Series Sci-Fi Channel, TheSo this isn’t a chronology timeline, but more of a viewing guide on when to watch the TV episodes as they tie together with Torchwood. This is the order I believed they originally aired the episodes and watching them in that order works well.

  • Doctor Who S1 Rose
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special 2005 Rose
  • Doctor Who S2 Rose
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006 Donna
  • Torchwood S1
  • Doctor Who S3 Martha
  • “Time Crash” – a mini-episode (only a few minutes) from a children’s fund raiser (BBC’s Children In Need) starring David Tennant and Peter Davidson The Doctor
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special 2007 Astrid
  • Torchwood S2
  • Doctor Who S4 Donna
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special 2008 The Doctor
  • Doctor Who Easter Special 2009 Christina
  • Torchwood Radio Plays (July 2009)
  • Torchwood Season 3 (Children of Earth)
  • Doctor Who November Special 2009: Waters of Mars Adelaide
  • Doctor Who December 2-part Special 2009: The End of Time Wilf

If you read on, I’ll be giving you some spoilers, but I can’t really talk about continuity without talking about it. If you watch them in the above order you don’t need to read on.

I only mentioned the radio plays since they were just released and definitely take place after season two. I’ve listened to the first two and so far it doesn’t seem significant that they need to take place before they should be listened to before the Children of Earth mini-series (no plot ramifications, but they chronologically take place before the 3rd series).

The Sarah Jane Adventures can be watched any time but after her guest appearance in season 2 of Doctor Who would be best (especially if you don’t know who she is) and as long as you’ve started them before the before the end of season four of Doctor Who.

Torchwood - The Complete First Season BBC WarnerTorchwood Season 1 could be watched any time after the first Doctor Who Christmas episode (but before the end of Season 3 of DW). I don’t think the other Doctor Who specials (or 2009 DW specials) make any difference to watching Torchwood, at least they haven’t yet; but you do want to watch them in order just for continuity of Doctor Who. There are lots of Torchwood references in DW season 2 that might be better if you see them all before watching Torchwood, but I don’t think these tie directly to Torchwood Cardiff (many were just more hints to get you into the new series). Later on, other guest appearances make more sense if you catch them in order, but you’ll probably figure them out, Martha makes appearances on TW and Jack is on DW three different seasons (1, 3, 4) for multiple episodes all at the end of the season. I’m sure someone will disagree with me on some of the significance of some of the references, but I’ll defer back to the original broadcast order listed above.

Torchwood: Children of Earth BBC WarnerI think I originally watched parts of Doctor Who season two and caught up on DW season one and saw many episodes out of order and the different actors were distracting, but then I got it all when I finally caught the end of season one and the first Christmas special. This causes me to mix up Christopher Echelson and David Tennant when I think back about past episodes. Also, I think I was watching Torchwood before I watched most of season two of Doctor Who so some of the references came after the fact.

By the time I watched Torchwood, I knew it was the same actor for Jack, but didn’t remember they were using the same character for him. I didn’t even realize it was SciFi at first, the Torchwood pilot seemed more mystical (think of they way the glove worked) until they explained it. Then I realized it was the same guy.

Update: These aren’t all relevant for Torchwood, but it rounds out the David Tennant part of the series (although for that I should add the cartoons and Srah Jane’s Wedding).

Written By: Gary on July 1, 2009 No Comment

So I’ve mentioned Torchwood a few times in the past. But it’s the start of Torchwood month, so it’s time to talk about it some more.

For the next few days Wednesday-Friday they are doing audio plays on BBC radio 4, you can listen to these live at 2:15 London time or you can download the Torchwood Radio plays until July 2, 2009 for FREE (I assume you can pay for them afterwards). This is three (3) different episodes about 45 minutes each. You have to wait until they broadcast them for them to be on-line. (Note: at some point on Thursday the MP3 of the Wednesday episode, Asylum, became unavailable in the US, so don’t wait. I can still listen to the stream of Asylum in the US here.)

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Torchwood: Children of Earth BBC WarnerAfter this week season three starts, or as the brits say “series” three, on Monday July 6th in the UK on BBC One (and a few other places) and Monday July 20th in the US on BBC America (and other places). I might be mistaken but I think July 20 is the launch of BBC America in HD! Here’s the weird thing, it’s on for five nights in a row and then the season is over. It’s a mini-series called “Torchwood: Children of Earth”, supposed to be 75 minute cliff-hanger episodes every night. And then we wait a year for season four.

P.S. You can order Torchwood: Children of Earth now (available in HD too).

Watch the Torchwood HQ trailer here.

For those of you not in the know, Torchwood is sort of an offshoot of Doctor Who, a bit less of a family show tha DW, but it’s not really tied to Doctor Who. It’s got more kissing, violence, running and kissing that your average Sci-Fi TV show. The main character, Captain Jack Harkness was originally on Doctor Who (3 or 4 episodes of the 2005 season) before season one of Torchwood and still does a few guest appearances on DW, but the Doctor has yet to be on Torchwood. So while Jack appears on Dr. Who, The Doctor only gets the occasional reference on Torchwood, regardless of Gwen mentioning him below…

Watch the Creepy Torchwood HQ trailer here.

FYI, if you scramble the letters of Torchwood, you get Doctor Who. It was originally what they called Doctor Who when they were doing the new series in 2005, so no one would know what they were talking about. This was so no one would sneak onto sets, steal early footage or scripts, etc.

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2009 No Comment

So Matt Smith is the new Doctor Who but we won’t see him until 2010. At 26 he’s the youngest Doctor Who although I’m guessing he’ll be a year older in 2010, but he is a time-lord so you never know…

The funny thing is that The Doctor generally uses “John Smith” when he needs a “real” name for something in his travels so the matching name is fun (funny?).

Doctor Who Tardis USB 4 Port Powered Hub Station Character ToysI don’t really know who he is which means I’ll have no preconceptions about him. I’ve seen him with Billie Piper (Rose from Doctor Who) in a Secret Diary of a Call Girl episode but I don’t really remember him.

I originally read about it at Neil Gaiman’s blog and I completely agree with him in that he looks at home in front of the TARDIS and I’m sure he’ll look even more so as time goes one (especially since I’m sure they took many photos to get one that looked “right”).

This is the Daily Mail article with the Matt Smith photo in front of the Tardis. He’s an article from The Guardian and the BBC article with a short video with Matt Smith.

David Tennant’s last show is supposed to be in 2010 (after a weird four episode mini-season) so maybe they’ll make an interesting transition episode?

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2008 One Comment

doctorwhochristmas2008b-51i9enadytl-sl500-aa240.jpgUntil the Doctor Who christmas special!!! And I bet you thought I was going to say “Christmas”?

The Christmas Special is traditionally a pretty great episode and takes place on Christmas (or the eve of). I didn’t think I was going to like it because I’m not a big CyberMen fan but they showed a preview of the first 4 minutes and it looked pretty good.

But, we aren’t getting a regular season of Dr. Who next year, we’re just getting a series of specials throughout the year (3 or 4, I think).

This isn’t the best quality of the preview, but the one I saw earlier may have been pulled from YouTube (even though I thought it was BBC sponsored).

On a related side note, The Sarah Jane Adventures will get a third season and will be overseen by Russell T Davies.

Written By: Gary on October 6, 2008 No Comment

So I’ve been looking for some high quality footage of the Spaghetti Harvest footage for years, this still isn’t that great but it’s completely watchable (previously all I could find was some really crummy footage on the BBC site).

I saw it as a child, a local theater generally ran mini-documentaries (skiing, skateboarding, car building, etc.) instead of cartoons before a movie, and I’ve always remembered it. I knew it was a joke but it was totally deadpan; I’m sure to this day some people think that spaghetti grows on trees. Most people don’t even believe me when I say that there is a such a mini-documentary.

It wasn’t until years later I learned it was part of a (normally serious) BBC show they showed on April 1st, 1957 (which upset some people). It’s believed to be one of the first times television was used for a April Fools Joke. A lot detailed history, including the text of the narration, from the Hoaxapedia Article Swiss “Spaghetti Harvest”.

Direct link to the Spaghetti Harvest YouTube video (in case my imbedded footage doesn’t work). I finally found this since I saw someone stumble onto my site looking for info on it and decided to Google it again. But I’m still looking for a higher quality copy if anyone finds one on-line or knows where I can purchase it.

Written By: Gary on July 5, 2008 3 Comments

Woo Hoo! More guest stars!!! And now on to the good stuff…

WARNING!!! BIG SPOILERS BELOW!
So it turns out I was right on target with one of my guesses and what I hoped would happen did, they just showed David Tennant’s hand-in-a-bottle way too many times this season for me to think it was a coincidence. They used that hand (hi hand) to keep David Tennant as this version of the Doctor after he regenerated. And used it for a few other things…

And amazingly my guess about Donna becoming the Doctor came out to be mostly-true. It was a wild guess and since I hadn’t seen anyone else talking about it, but it sure felt that way to me. I wanted to get it in writing so I could get credit for it later!

Now while the above two Doctor items were mutually exclusive, it wasn’t likely I’d be right on both but I think I should get at least one-and-a-half points out of two; she was “a” Doctor just not “The” Doctor. But with a title like “Journey’s End”, I wasn’t too hopeful about Donna but it did turn out to be a strange ending for her.

(I have to put these things down somewhere ever since I’ve never truly gotten over that I had completely worked out how X-Men’s Jean Grey was going to come back to life and I never wrote in about it…)

No preview for the Christmas special, I’m under the impression they are filming it already. So that’s a little surprising we didn’t get a peek like the last few years. Not even a reference to it. The Christmas special preview was after the credits, more Cybermen, didn’t notice for sure if there was a companion.

I’m not a big Dalek fan, when there’s a bunch of villains (1,000s) they generally get rid of them with some non-reproduable miracle cure, so I didn’t like that part of the story-line. That part was a little bit slow for me, but they had a lot to wrap up too.

All in all, it was a bit of The Doctor dumping everyone off somewhere and him being alone (again). It’s not like he didn’t have some choices of a new (return) companion.

But, still, I can’t wait until the Christmas special! Unless we get a Torchwood (mini)series before then. Although, I’m thinking Torchwood is getting Martha and Mickey and that’ll make a completely different kind of team…

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2008 One Comment

Amazing episode! Should have been a movie!

Can’t say much about it without giving much away. But lots of names in the main opening credits…

BIG Cliffhangers!Sadly, the one thing that I didn’t want to happen appears to be happening (and I think it’s happening they way I particularly didn’t want it to). But it’s Russell T. Davies, so you never know what’s going to happen until it’s over…

The Doctor’s hand (Christmas 2005) got some excessive screen time this episode and this season, so there is still hope it might be able to fix the one item I’m not happy about…

Written By: Gary on June 24, 2008 4 Comments

I think Catherine Tate is going to be the new Doctor Who. I’ll tell you why, but first I’m going to tell you there will be some episode 11 spoilers in this post so read on if you’re willing….

I also have no idea how he could possibly regenerate / transmogrify into her. That’s unless she’s always been A / The Doctor and has forgotten; that would explain some of the specialness of her.This is all based on the possibility (rumor) that there might be a new doctor next season; if that isn’t true than the rest of this isn’t even worth reading…

The one thing I don’t like about this show is it changes too often, they can’t sit still for a fraction of an episode so them turning Donna into the Doctor isn’t outside the realm of possibility. I don’t think The Doctor has ever been a woman outside of a special or one-shot movie so this would shake things up.

Different things just from this latest episode:

  • Donna is “special”, she’s had something (energy) about her since she was born.
  • To Donna, “Who are you? What will you be?”
  • Doctor says “Sometimes I think there’s way too much coincidence around you Donna”
  • Doctor says “It’s like there’s something binding us together”
  • She’s the “most important Woman in the whole of creation”, not person, but woman. (Is the Doctor the most important man?)

    That doesn’t even factor in odd things said to/about Donna in earlier episodes, like the prophet from Pompeii and others I’m sure I can’t think of. And I’m trying to somehow factor in The Doctor’s Daughter into this theory too.

    The biggest piece that doesn’t fit is the woman from “The Library” who knew the Doctor but he hadn’t met her yet. That would mean he doesn’t regenerate and is contradictory, but then I never expected them to show them actually meet in an episode. This really fits more of a Donna is like the Doctor and sacrifices herself to save the multi-verse from the darkness; but I don’t like that plan any more than I’d like a new Doctor…

    And it doesn’t answer the question “where are the bees?!?”

  • Written By: Gary on June 22, 2008 3 Comments

    To make up for not seeing Donna last episode, I think we see The Doctor even less this time around. And while most episodes just take place in a different time/place, this is more of a a time-travel type episode (my favorite);it’s another excellent episode by Russell T. Davies.

    I won’t tell you much about the episode except that we still don’t know what’s up with the bumble bees (I’m starting to wonder if we will this season) but we do finally get to really see Rose. That’s not really much of a spoiler since Billie Piper’s actually in the main opening credits!I watched the amazing preview for next week: Imagine a guest star that could possibly be on the show and they’re probably on next week (or the week after), I’m so excited!

    It seems like there is so much to happen still? Are they going to have a cliff hanger? (No, that’ll goof up the Christmas episode). Continue it in another series? And who’s going to travel with The Doctor next series (season).

    Written By: Gary on June 14, 2008 No Comment

    So it’s Episode 10 (Season/Series 4) of Doctor Who, it’s pretty much a Doctor Who only episode, Donna Noble hangs back at the spa so we see her about a total of 60 seconds. The episode “Midnight” is written by Russell T. Davies, the man who revived the Doctor Who series four years ago and is still executive producer for Doctor Who and does the same for spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures (occasional writes episodes for both).

    The conversation is cRaZy and and has a bunch of people talking and no one listening and when they are, they aren’t paying attention. It made me think of a David Mamet story multiple times, the conversations seemed so much like that of Oleana and other things he’s written, if you don’t know what I mean I’m not sure how to explain it. It was an interesting episode, if you watch the show you’ll see what I mean, if you know agree with me please let me know. Actually, it was a great episode, but it certainly wasn’t a “regular” episode.

    Oh, and Rose shows up on the monitors again. No big surprise there…

    I’ve got some spoilers (labeled with “SPOILERS”) but I’m going to talk about the next 3 episodes: previews, rumors and conjecture (some might consider the next few paragraphs spoilers too, so stop at any time). Generally Doctor Who seasons have 13 episodes and several times that last story has spanned the last three episodes (even if you didn’t realize there was more to come after episode 11) and generally the final episodes aren’t too much of a cliff-hanger since the Christmas Special (actually broadcast on Christmas between seasons of the show) has generally been meant to sort of stand on it’s own.Obviously at some time in the next few episodes Rose Tyler will return, we’ve seen her trying to contact The Doctor since the beginning of the season. Since I’ve heard that next episode is the opposite of this episode (not much of the Doctor) maybe it’ll be sooner than later. I’ve heard nothing about who’s going to be his companion next season (is Bilie Piper too busy with Secret Diary of a Call Girl?). But many months ago (I try not to listen much) I’ve heard that Rose, Donna, Martha, Capt. Jack Harkness and Sarah Jane Smith (maybe K-9 and Mickey too) will reunite to save The Doctor but that could just be a big rumor; I’ve seen nothing in the previews (they tend to give things away at the end of the Christmas previews) nor heard anything lately. But I’m pretty sure that John Barrowman (Capt. Jack) mentions that he’s in season 4 in his book Anything Goes so I’m assuming at least his part is true.

    Also, we’ve never gotten much from the multiple times that they’ve mentioned the bees have disappeared from Earth (early 20th century), I’ve no clue what they are going to do with that.

    SPOILERS – In this episode, Midnight, it really illustrates a really disappointing thing about the human race is we’re so stupid. No one wants to say “I don’t know” and no one wants to be the person that disagrees with the whole group, especially when it’s easier to agree with the whole group (especially if someone shouting you down). As the viewer you’ll see it, depending on how clever you are depends on how soon, but you’ll see it. The sad thing is because of peer pressure they almost sacrifice the wrong person and instead even more die.

    Eh, I probably had more semi-spoilers in the speculation paragraphs than I actually did in the one with this episode spoilers.

    Written By: Gary on May 4, 2008 One Comment

    So I’ve really been liking the BBC’s SciFi shows the last few years and this weekend was a Doctor Who related weekend. I’ve never liked Doctor Who until the last few years (I’ll lean more towards I disliked it).

    Here’s my Doctor Who related activities this weekend:

  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Glittering Storm audio book – Read by Elisabeth Sladen, who plays Sarah Jane Smith on the new series, as his companion in the 1970′s Doctor Who and did a cameo a few seasons ago (which then spun off the new children’s series). The book was good, started a little slow, I felt like she didn’t like the way her character was written but the book was unabridged so she couldn’t change it, but it got much much better as the book went on. Sometimes I got the boys confused but you could always tell the who the kids were. Good story too.
  • Doctor Who S4E5 The Poison Sky (part 2 to The Sontaran Stratagem) – I was excited that it was on this weekend, but I forgot that it was part two of a two-parter! And it’s got Martha Jones in it. Great second part, can’t say much without giving anything away, but another very (very) short appearance of Rose. I think we’ll see a bit of her (and hear about the Bees until those episodes come up). I was surprised at the mention of Torchwood, but I think Capt. Jack’s due for another appearance too (and maybe Sarah Jane).
  • Torchwood: Hidden – Read by Naoko Mori, who plays Toshiko. This is a good story, but it’s really hard to tell the character’s apart. It probably reads okay, but when there’s more than a few of them, it’s hard to tell who’s who. I’m not done with this one, but it’s good so far.

  • Doctor Who Confidential – It’s not strange to have a “making of” for movies of TV series, but Dr. Who has one every week and this week it was another 45 minutes of show (right after the series on a different channel). It’s just really bizarre to see another show just about the previous show just on, I don’t normally watch it but it was pretty good. Torchwood has a “confidential” too, but I’m not sure they’re as long. Just think of it as the DVD Extras, but right after the show.

    So it was a good weekend of entertainment. And I got lot’s of non-Doctor Who stuff done too…As other shows go, the BBC has had Jekyll as a short series, is testing out Being Human and I hoe they keep trying out more!

  • Written By: Gary on February 22, 2008 2 Comments

    So I saw a pilot (or maybe it was a preview) of a new BBC show called Being Human. It’s written by Toby Whithouse who’s written episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood and I’ve been liking those writers (like Stephen Moffet with Jekyll) so I tuned in. It was a fun show, a Vampire and a Werewolf who try to be more human despite their afflictions. And it’s really treated that way, more as an affliction or disease and they just want to be “normal”.

    From the beginning of the episode, I’m not really sure how well they know each other but they decide to rent a flat together. When they ask why it hasn’t rented already (it’s a good location and good price) they’re told that other short-stayed tenants thought there was something creepy about it. Later on they find out it’s a ghost (and she’s way cuter than Casper) and she’s thrilled that someone can see and hear her.

    It’s a slow moving show, but they definitely have some interesting thoughts on life, the after life and on being human with a bit of humor tossed in. I’ll be watching this show for a few more episodes, I liked it…

    Here’s a short ad / preview of Being Human.

    Written By: Gary on February 6, 2008 No Comment

    So this week’s episode of Torchwood is called “Meat”. It’s written by Catherine Tregenna, I bring that up right away because it’s a great episode. Low action but lots of story. Rhys is at the scene of an accident and who shows up? Gwen, with the Mystery Machine and the rest of the gang. So this becomes a big part the story-line (this all happens in the first few seconds and in last week’s preview, don’t worry I won’t give anything else away) and I really enjoyed the episode. Lots of great scenes of Cardiff too!

    The first thing I did after watching it was to look up Catherine Tregenna and what did I find? A few other great episodes: “Captain Jack Harkness” (when Tosh and Jack get trapped in the 1940′s) and “Out of Time” when a plane from the 1950′s comes through the rift. As a bonus, she writes “Adam”, next week’s episode! It looks like she’s written two other upcoming Torchwood episodes: Day In The Death Of (episode 8) and “From Out of the Rain” (episode 10) but I only saw that info mentioned at one place on-line (geos) and it didn’t mention the “Adam” episode (so maybe an episode title changed?). All the other shows she’s written for are other BBC(?) shows that I’ve never seen (I’ve only heard of East Enders). She’s written some plays and been an actress too.Then after “Adam”, Martha Jones joins up for the next three episodes! I believe she’s doing some work for UNIT, but I had assumed she was back finishing up becoming a Doctor…

    Written By: Gary on January 23, 2008 One Comment

    So the second season of Torchwood has started up. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s a semi-secret organization with the job of finding (and removing) aliens and acquiring their technology to better protect Earth.

    “Torchwood: outside the government, beyond the police. Tracking down alien life on Earth, arming the human race against the future. The twenty-first century is when everything changes. And you gotta be ready. ”

    It’s actually a spin-off of the new Doctor Who series (2005), but it generally doesn’t have much to do with the Doctor, although the title does, here’s your anagram trivia for the day: Torchwood is actually Doctor Who rearranged.

    Back to Torchwood, the first season was not your normal Sci-Fi show, lots of sexual innuendo, lots of sex implied. I think all of the main characters hooked up with one of the other team members, an alien, someone of the same sex (or all three) at some point in season one (the show was created by Russell T. Davies who created Queer As Folk). Wait, I did say it was SciFi didn’t I? There are generally aliens, generally doing bad “take over the world” kinds of things and they usually stop them generally (but not always) saving lives in the process. When I first watched the show I didn’t realize it was a Doctor Who spin-off, I actually thought it was some kind of supernatural British cop show, but this was better…This season season I’ve read they’ve pushed it even more and I must say from the first two episodes it seems like it so far. Episode one of the second season there was more kissing than I’ve ever seen on a SciFi show in my life (maybe all sci-fi shows combined). Episode two is definitely a little edgier and a bit more intense (and violent) than last season, I really had no idea where this episode was going the first fifteen minutes of the show (had I paid attention to the episode title). I can’t wait to see where the rest of the season goes…

    It’s on BBC America on Saturdays at 9 PM and on BBC Two on Wednesdays at 9 PM (GMT).

    Written By: Gary on December 25, 2007 One Comment

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday today! I’d like a little more snow outside but other than that, it’s perfect. Lots of fun gifts and I think Mom liked everything I got her. More on some of the gifts later…

    On a side note: One of my favorite things about Christmas (the last few years) is the Doctor Who Christmas Special! This year’s episode it titled “Voyage Of The Damned” (Starring Kylie Minogue) and takes place on the Titanic. So I’m hoping I can “tune in” to that tonight!

    If you’re a Dr. Who fan you might be interested in this odd little Dr. Who 7 minute special, it takes place in the middle of the last 30 seconds of the season finale. Right after Martha walks out the door of the Tardis and right before the Titanic crashes in through the Tardis. A little mishap lets the Doctor meet one of his former selves (the 5th Doctor played by Peter Davison). It was part of a BBC “Children in Need” Special. If you don’t watch Dr. Who this clip will not be entertaining at all.

    Written By: Gary on October 25, 2007 No Comment

    I especially liked this week’s episode of Bionic Woman and I think it’s due to the fact that they totally ignored the “evil Bionic Woman” story-line.

    Although, like many of the guys on the show, I was enjoying the English accent too…

    Update: I think of the strangest things in the shower, (I need to keep a pad of paper in there because I’m sure a lot of good ideas go down the drain), but something about about Michelle Ryan’s English accent popped into my head: She’s from the BBC’s “Jekyll” (and Hyde), she played his/their assistant/handler, and it turns out that she’s from England. That certainly explains the great accent…

    Written By: Gary on October 6, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’m looking for a practical and cheap and semi-direct way to get from London, England to Cardiff, Wales. I figure my choices are train, bus or rent a car (I have no problem driving on the left). When I go to London in the spring I was thinking of spending a day or two over that way. Also, I’m looking for a place to stay in Cardiff near public transportation, decent but not too expensive (of course) a hotel or bed and breakfast would work. Of course I’ll want to visit this general area so I’ll need some walking tour information too (or book recommendation).

    Cardiff Words LightI keep seeing it on TV and movies and other places so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been in that direction, I think the farthest west I’ve been is Stonehenge/Sailisbury.

    Also, any bloggers who lurk around here and want to meet up drop me a note. I’m also looking for restaurant and other tourist recommendations. And if anyone knows about any Torchwood filming dates in the spring (I’m thinking they’re editing around now, so probably not) I’d be interested in that too, especially if you have any contacts related to seeing some of it.

    Written By: Gary on June 24, 2007 No Comment

    So it’s the weekend so it’s time for me to talk about Doctor Who again. It was part two of the three part season finale. It’s a little long to stretch a story but they’ve been keeping up with the action (in Dr. Who action means lots of running).

    But one of the parts I really liked was when they were doing flashbacks to the Time Lord’s home world some of the imagery clearly showed

  • A stone-like circle that was clear supposed to look The Guardian of Forever which was was the time portal from Star Trek’s classic “The City on the Edge of Forever”

  • A being that looked like The Watchers the omni-potent beings from from Marvel comics.
  • A few more images that I didn’t recognize but probably have some sci-fi/time travel significance.

    I enjoy it when shows throw things like that in to make the fans pay attention and have to go back and rewind the show. Did anyone recognize any of the other images?

  • Written By: Gary on June 9, 2007 One Comment

    As you all know I love time-travel, and while never being a Doctor Who fan this new (started in 2005) series is just brilliant! In case you didn’t know, the new Doctor Who is produced (and sometimes written) by Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk and Torchwood) so it’s not your grandpa’s sci-fi show (and neither is Torchwood which runs later at night). Steven Moffat wrote this week’s episode as well as several other episodes, some older shows (but I’m not sure if they were specials or radio shows), many episodes of Coupling (US and UK) and more.

    This week’s episode is just full of non-stop action and non-stop paradoxes and is just excellent! It’s kinda scary too(!), I think that’s what makes it seem so non-stop. This episode barely shows the main characters and instead focuses on a woman from London outside the normal time-line of The Doctor and Martha. As she’s piecing things together it’s very entertaining since you know it’s going to all going to tie up neatly by the end. But one of the best parts is when he’s explaining the non-linerarity of time and says “it’s like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff” and it makes complete sense to the viewer; it’s then you know the writers are doing something right..

    The other good line is when Sally’s talking about talking pictures of old things (which makes her sad) and her friend asks her “What’s good about sad?” and Sally responds with “It’s happy for deep people”…

    And the extra bonus is that starting next week (for 3 episodes) we have the return of Captain Jack Harkness!

    Written By: Gary on April 4, 2007 No Comment

    I wasn’t ever a Doctor Who fan (not even a bit), a friend mentioned it to me more than a few times but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But then they started running a new series a few years ago and it seemed okay, but then I started watching it from the beginning of the 2005 season and it was really good. I really enjoy the humor, just a little British with a lot of wit; some of with wit is just barely acknowledged and then they move along (so sometimes you miss it).

    This is a perfect episode to start watching the series, it’s the first episode of season three (2007), it’s called ‘Smith and Jones’. She’s Dr. Martha Jones and he checked into the hospital under the name ‘Smith’. The Doctor is a bit out of sorts having lost his last traveling companion (Rose) but the show always has sidekick so we get to be introduced to the new companion. She’s a medical doctor in training who doesn’t get too freaked out about with the strange things that happen and she’ll probably be a great asset to the show. So it kind of re-introduces you to the main characters.

    Since the series was restarted they’ve changed both the doctor and his companion/assistant; it’s the start of year two for the doctor and the first episode with the new assistant. The 2005 Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, has been playing the invisible man on Heroes season one. I haven’t seen Rose on anything else yet. Some people will refer to this (2007) as the third season but some die hards will refer to it as the 29th season. I think the BCC is who restarted the numbering but I’m not sure why (but it’s probably due to a 15 year gap in the series).The Doctor is a quirky guy, smart (but seems flaky), a bit egotistical but he usually knows what he’s doing; he’s played by David Tennant and is the tenth Doctor in the series. He’s also the last of The Time Lords, his time ship which used to camouflage itself to fit in the environment got stuck looking like a 1960′s police call-box and liked it so he’s never fixed that (besides humans never noticed out o place things like that). The assistant is usually pretty helpful, not apt to panic and in some episodes is the one that saves the day. The thing to keep in mind is there isn’t always a lot of continuity between the episodes and some of the “science stuff” isn’t explained completely and won’t be; it’s a show for fun not to be over analyzed like the physics of Star Trek (or insert your geeky series here). And FYI his “sonic screwdriver” is the Dr. Who trademark tool to fix things, open doors and other oddities; it’s really the only thing he carries around everywhere.

    I don’t think anyone in the US has picked up season 3 yet so if you don’t get the BBC I think the only direction to send you is to a torrent site. (I’ve checked iTunes, Amazon unBoxed, SciFi channel, PBS and it just doesn’t seem like any stations are carrying season three yet.)

    Written By: Gary on March 24, 2006 3 Comments

    SpaghettiSo it’s almost April Fools day and once again I’m looking for a copy of The Spaghetti Harvest.

    …a segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed to an unusually mild winter. The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show’s highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched a rural Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets.

    I’ve been trying to find this for ages and someone must have a copy somewhere that I can get.

    The BBC played this on April 1, 1957 on a serious show (which upset some people). I saw it as a child, a local theater ran it instead of cartoons before a movie, and I’ve always remembered it. Most people don’t even believe me when I say that there is a such a documentary so I’d love to get a copy. FYI, there is an small (awful) copy of it at the above linked sites.

    Written By: Gary on August 5, 2005 5 Comments

    SpaghettiSo when I was a kid the local movie theater, in lieu of cartoons, would show short documentary type shows. These 3-7 minute shorts might be on skatboarding, mountian climbing or any old thing (some were new, some were old). The one I’ll always remember is about the annual Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, they show how they harvest the spaghetti trees and lay it out to dry. You can watch a low quality version (in RealPlayer) and you’ll get the idea of it.

    Update: I noticed the direct link (click the image) was broken. So I’m moving this back up towards the top so you can take a gander if you missed it the first time.


    I knew it was a joke but it was totally deadpan. It wasn’t until years later I learned it was part of a (normally serious) BBC show they showed on April 1st, 1957. Here’s some more info and background. Why am I bringing this up today? Because the link hasn’t worked for ages and it’s working today so I thought I’d add a smile to your day. It’s believed to be one of the first times television was used for a April Fools Joke. Here’s a little more info from the Museum of Hoaxes.

    August 1st or April 1st, any day is good for a joke.

    Does anyone have access or know where I can get (purchase) a higher quality version of this?!?

    Written By: Gary on July 18, 2004 No Comment

    This show is hysterical! Steve, Jane, Susan, Sally, Patrick and Jeffery have some interesting interactions and friendships/relationships. coupling It’s from the BBC and they tried to make a US version but it flopped, which is funny since some of the shows seemed identical except for the accents (although that is one of the great parts).

    Some people think it’s a copy of Friends but that’s never crossed my mind. It’s more of a Sex and the City with both sides of the conversation. Although when Jeff talks to women it’s reminiscent of the pain of watching Ross talk to women. I think they’ve written him out for the most recent season which hasn’t hit the syndicated airwaves here yet. Too bad, he’s one of my favorite characters.

    Jeff is this goofy guy who says goofy things.

    Do you know what would be the best way to wipe out all of human kind if you were a space alien with a special kind of mind ray…? Make all women telepathic. Because if they suddenly found out about the kind of stuff that goes on in our heads they would kill us all on the spot.

    FYI – Jeff does have a slightly stranger mind than most of us (but that doesn’t mean what he said isn’t true).

    More quotes are on-line at the IMDB and the BBC site and the BBC America site.


    I guess the best part of the Jeff-isms is that he always thinks what he thinks is normal.

    Jeff: We were just spending a quiet evening in front of the television. In the course of events I swallowed some of her jewelry.
    Steve: You what?
    Jeff: There was a swallowage incident. I swallowed an item.
    Steve: Right?
    Jeff: Now normally when I swallow some of Julia’s jewelry
    Steve: No no, Jeff please. Normally… has never been used in the sentence before
    Jeff: Well, you know what it’s like when you’ve got your own actual real life girlfriend. It’s like you got a woman with a nudity switch. Sometimes when she’s laying there and she’s just so so totally naked, I can’t control myself. I just sort of hoover.
    Steve: Ok.
    Jeff: Obviously now and then in the course of any nudity hoovering you’re gonna ingest an item. Now normally, I remain calm, let nature take it’s course, and in due time slip the relevant item back into her jewelry box.
    Steve: I see.

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