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TV shows, TV technology and the ways the medium is changing…

Written By: Gary on July 4, 2009 33 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.)

tw-asylum.png

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 June 14, 2009 No Comment

So I’ve seen a lot of people confused about the new Star Trek universe. It’s pretty simple, it gets explained to you in the new movie several times.

Warning if you haven’t seen the movie, there are big spoilers below:

st-timeline.jpgIt’s explained with Spock with Kirk and again with Spock and Uhura. When Nero and (old) Spock came back in time, they changed the future. Kirk’s father dies and Vulcan is destroyed, this changes the Star Trek universe (at least the parts we care about). None of the stories that take place on Vulcan will happen again in this universe.

The Star Trek on-ine game (which I’ve never seen) wanted to explain where it fits into everything so they created an image of the new timeline. But they help explain the new timelines here. They actually call the “originl” ST universe Star Trek Prime (and the on-line game takes place after Romulus is destroyed in the universe’s future) and it consists of everything Star Trek before 2008 (original series, movies, next generation, deep space-9, enterprise, voyager). The game chose to take place in the prime established universe, otherwise it doesn’t have much ‘history’ to work with…

So we’ve got a whole new universe. Kirk never found Khan, Spock never died (we’ve got two Spock’s now!) but similar too Pike was the Captain of the Enterprise still ended up in a wheelchair. Everything from 2233 on changes a little and from 2258 on, there is no Vulcan. FYI, the math on that seems off, it makes Kirk 25 when Vulcan is destroyed, I would have guessed he was younger than that.

Bottom line – I thought it was a nice timeline chart…

Written By: Gary on June 12, 2009 No Comment

It’s finally the end of Analog TV at the end of today. If you haven’t seen the PSAs announcing this, then you probably haven’t really been watching the TV so you won’t care. This is after they moved the date from January because they didn’t think people were ready..

One tip – I heard that some stations that are broadcasting in digital may change the frequency that they are broadcasting at, so you may need to have your box/TV re-scan for digital stations.

I’m in the Detroit area, I wonder how many fans might lose their signal for the Detroit Red Wings game tonight (last game of the Stanley Cup). And and I guess the same goes for Pittsburgh Penguins fans too.

dtv-coupon.pngIf you have satellite or a cable box, you don’t have a problem, the box will convert to your TV.

If you have cable, you don’t care, they’re still giving analog signals for another year or two (or three).

If you have a digital TV with a tuner you don’t care.

If you have an antenna hooked up to your TV (on the roof or rabbit ears), you care. You need that antenna hooked up to a digital convertor box (generally very cheap only $0-$20 with a coupon)

I don’t think stations have to stop broadcasting in analog, they just have to be broadcasting in digital. I’m wondering if anyone will hang on for a bit.

Written By: Gary on May 29, 2009 No Comment

They released a free Hulu Desktop Client. I’ve never been a Hulu fan, never wanted to twait for the streaming, but I checked it out. I’m a fan now! Watch videos, previews, clips, subscribe to shows (sort of like a season pass) and make bookmarks for later. Pretty cool.

hulu-desktop.pngGotta say, if they integrated this with Boxee (or XBMC) it’s a sure win. And since both are open-source (I think) it might be a good choice. Make Hulu the default menu choice and main menu default when you start it up but still have the other features would make a great option.

Did I mention that it works with your Apple Remote too?

PS – You can add me as a Hulu (or Boxee) friend by using my e-mail address or my name.

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Written By: Gary on May 22, 2009 No Comment

Why doesn’t anyone have a bike rack to park your bike at any more? It’s a pain in the ass when I need to park it somewhere. I’m being healthy and ecological and have to climb in the bushes to find a place to lock it up. The only thing around with one is the library. Although I guess since I’m writing this from McDonald’s, healthy isn’t the first thought in my head…

glee-tv.pngI’ve got these stupid songs from Glee (that link goes to a free HD download of the pilot), running through my head. The two songs in particular are You’re the one that I want from Grease and Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. Kind of a cute show, most of the adult characters are pretty lame though (the women especially). I just noticed they’ve got the cast doing Don’t Stop Believin’ at iTunes.

I think I need to go see Night at the Museum II and/or Terminator Salvation some time this weekend.

It’s another awesomely sunny day out too!

Written By: Gary on March 16, 2009 4 Comments

pennyblossoms.pngUnlike when they mentioned WalletNook.com, tonight on The Big Bang Theory they did create a site for PennyBlossoms.com.

“Every Penny Blossom is unique and special – just like you”

But they don’t actually have a product to purchase. They really need to work on this a little more, they could be promoting something else or selling something…

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete First Season Warner Home VideoMaybe the season two DVDs should come with a few free “Penny Blossom” flowers in the box!

 

 

 

 

 

Written By: Gary on February 28, 2009 No Comment

Louis CK does a routine on Conan on why we live in the best times ever! And why we are all spoiled brats. I have no idea who this philosopher comedian is, I don’t think I’ve seen him before.

You only have to was the first 60 seconds (the good stuff starts at 30). I say that because you’ll be hooked by then and watch the rest (because it just gets better!).

The direct link.

Found at EverydayGoddess.

Written By: Gary on January 26, 2009 2 Comments

dtv-coupon.pngSo they are considering delaying the digital TV transition to June 12th, 2009 (the Senate already passed it). What a pain in the butt, I was so happy this was going to get wrapped up in less than a month!

Senate Commerce Chairman John Rockefeller said delaying the TV switch is the right thing to do because the United States is not yet ready to make the transition.

“The Senate acted responsibly to give the Obama administration time to attempt to bring order to a mismanaged process,” the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement.

If people at this point aren’t ready, they aren’t going to be ready in another five months. If you’re not ready get your $40 coupon here; there are delays at this point but they’ve been mailing these out for the last year.

What do you think? Are we ready?

BTW, this is going to cost the PBS stations $22 million.

UPDATE: The house voted it down (yeah!)

Written By: Gary on January 7, 2009 One Comment

So I really liked the idea of the TV show The Mentalist. A guy who used to do a mind reading act and talk to the dead (and all that malarky) decides to consult full-time with the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation). He’s a smart-ass with a great sense of humor. Looked to be be a show I’d really like.

The Mentalist CBSBut here’s the catch: in the first episode you learn that he’s really into this because his family was murdered by a killer named Red John, who did it just to taunt him (that’s the short version). So I really thought that part was going to ruin the series, I figured they’d waste ten minutes an episode on the Red John story-line and it’d just be annoying. Surprisingly, I’ve barely noticed it. There has been a few references and a few parts of the story-line tied to it (like his old psychiatrist was in an episode), but it really hasn’t consumed the season. I think there might have been some episodes where they didn’t mention it. I just watched a very Red John motivated episode and I’d say they did it right and I enjoyed it (although the hacking into the secure data-base was a little over the edge, IMHO). My thoughts of this ruining the story-line were unfounded and I’m happy it hasn’t bothered me like I thought it would.

If you’re not watching this show yet you might want to check it out.

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 29, 2008 No Comment

You can watch the full pilot episode of the new Showtime series The United States of Tara for free with promo code tara (pretty tricky, eh?). Toni Collette plays the multiple personality mother and John Corbett (Chris in the Morning from Northern Exposure) plays the (very accepting) dad. The semi-wild daughter is played by Brie Larson and I’m confident before the end of the series she’ll show some similar traits to her mother and Keir Gilchrist plays the smart/good son.

As you can see by the images below, Toni Collette plays a wide range of characters.

Toni Collette

I enjoyed the episode, but it starts a little slow as they have to introduce everyone and all their issues. It definitely picked up towards the end and I was laughing out loud at the few scenes at the end. If iTunes picks it up, I’ll certainly try it for another episode or two.

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 December 1, 2008 One Comment

I found this over at MacRumors. It’s the Simpsons at the “mApple” Store. The more you know about Apple the more inside jokes you might catch (including a poke at a 20 year old commercial).

Direct link to the mApple Simpsons video.

Written By: Gary on February 15, 2008 2 Comments

For much not being on television I’ve been highly entertained by the tube this week…

  • Deal or No Deal – I haven’t been watching the show lately but they’ve added a new twist so I’ve been catching it this week. Every time someone does not win a million dollars they’re removing one of the other “cases” and adding a million dollar case. Stupid people who think they can beat the odds have thrown away many many hundreds of thousands dollars who don’t think $250,000 is enough money and draw another case. So sad. The banker is also making low offers to get them to continue to play, he lo balled an offer and was actually boo-ed by the audience (he offered $98,000 when it should have been closer to $200,000). The latest woman got so excited and emotional when she found out 1/2 the cases (13 of 26) had $1,000,000 in it there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. TiVo makes it possible for me to zip through the slow parts or I’d never make it…
  • Torchwood – I was wrong when I thought an episode was on the other night. There were two! After “Adam” I saw “Reboot” which was the first of three episodes with Martha Jones! I had forgotten she was going to be on it. She was a little cocky but it was a good episode and all the other characters were a little jealous that she had an unknown connection with Jack. “Adam”, of course, was brilliant, much too confusing to explain but another great episode by Catherine Tregenna.
  • Stargate Atlantis – Teal’c meets Ronin. And as when all heroes meet the first time, they clash before saving the world. A very fun episode!!!

    Fortunately, I’ve barely caught any news coverage, it’s just embarrassing the way that the networks turn tragedy into entertainment. Or maybe it’s that fact that people watch it like it’s entertainment that makes me feel that way.

    My heart and prayers go out to anyone with any connections to the tragedy at Northern Illinois University.

  • Written By: Gary on October 1, 2007 2 Comments

    So I have some conflicts on Monday nights.

  • Chuck
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Heroes
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Journeyman
  • Two and a Half Men

    I’m sure some of it will start to get old but right now it’s kind of entertaining.

    That’s four-and-a-half hours of TV in three hours, but if I FF through the commercials, I can probably do it in 3.

    I really like Chuck but I think it’ll start to get old. And I’m certain Journeyman will get older sooner. The other 1/2 hour shows will be handy for something to watch while I’m eating breakfast or maybe at lunch via the laptop….

  • Written By: Gary on March 12, 2007 No Comment

    Bsg LogoSo you can be in your own mini episode of Battlestar Galactica! Here’s a few sample videos (both with a Cylon fetish). But if you go here you can get footage, music and sound effects to create your own video. Kinda neat, especially since you can probably use any editing software to put it all together.

    Written By: Gary on February 21, 2007 One Comment

    So some different things got me thinking about Roswell: Quite often Grey’s Anatomy does since Katherine Heigl was one of the stars. So that started me thinking about the TV series Roswell and I started surfing around stumbled along THE video clip (to set this clip up, you need to know that Max and Liz didn’t know each other well but secretly had crushes, two men get in an argument in the Crashdown Cafe, a gun goes off, Liz falls to the ground and Max runs to her side) where it all started . It was a great series but it only made it three seasons, which is actually pretty good for sci-fi.
    Roswell60Th
    And then I remembered that the Roswell UFO Festival is this summer (as always) but this year is 60 years since the aliens crashed there. The biggest coverup since well, since anything else. This is the reason as to why they always dismiss UFO sightings as ‘weather balloons’ because that’s what they accused the Air Force guy of doing, of confusing a weather balloon with a spaceship…

    I’m really thinking of going to the festival this summer, has ever anyone gone? Any tips? Anything from someone whose been there but not during a festival? Maybe a not-to-miss place (museum or restaurant)? Or an alien-theme hotel or maybe just a good but cheap hotel?

    Written By: Gary on January 21, 2007 No Comment

    Save the Cheerleader, save the world!Woo Hoo! Heroes is going to get a second season!

    They do try to do too many of the Six Degrees/Lost-type crossovers but otherwise as a weekly superhero/scifi show on mainstream TV it’s pretty close to the best show along those lines I’ve seen in a long time…Here’s an exclusive preview from the January 3rd episode of the Tonight show…

    Written By: Gary on September 2, 2006 No Comment

    So Friday night is a big night for me in terms of television shows. I don’t necessarily watch them then (occasionally I have a social life) but Friday is when they get recorded. This time of year it’s Psych, Monk, Kyle XY in HD (if I missed it earlier in the week), StarGate SG-1 and StarGate Atlantis (at other times of the year this includes Numb3rs and Battlestar Galactica).

    Here’s the problem: Not a single one was on last night! And I don’t think Psych is back until January 2007…

    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2005 2 Comments

    Does anyone ever know what happened with the Fearless Televison series? I was watching TV last night and caught part of She’s All That with Rachel Leigh Cook and it reminded me of the TV series that was supposed to be semi-adopted from the books.

    UPDATE: I did find the pilot on-line (if it’s busy, try again). Did they every air this?!?


    And since we’re talking (okay, since I’m talking) about Rachel Leigh Cook does anyone know if she’s the same RLC who narrates The Devil Wears Prada Audio Book?!?

    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2005 2 Comments

    Only one more day until The 4400 return (again) to USA. I liked this series (although there were certainly portions that I didn’t like) but it had a X-files meets Taken kinda flavor. In case you never saw it, there was a UFO siting, a flash of light and all of a sudden 4400 alien abductees from the last 100 years were returned, same age, no memory of where there were and some have some new abilities (okay, so I left a few details out). It’s the whole secret behind the little girl and why were they all returned that interests me. They clearly left the series open for a sequel but most times they generally never get back around to doing it…

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