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TV shows (or maybe TVs) that I like or did not like.

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 October 7, 2008 No Comment

These words, “To Be Continued”, make my top list phrases that I don’t enjoy. It’s usually a good episode of the show that ends with these words, why make a cliff-hanger of a bad episode(?). This week I was watching “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, it’s a children’s show offshoot of the new Doctor Who series; not exactly the same but enough to give me a Doctor Who fix in the off season. I haven’t mentioned much about the show but I like the Sarah Jane character (played by Elisabeth Sladen), she’s made a few cameo’s on the new Doctor Who series (that started 4 years ago) and while she was a regular on the series in the 1970’s (although I never watched it then). Actually, “regular” isn’t the proper word, I think she’s the longest running character on the series traveled with two different doctors, met more doctors and companions than probably anyone else; she’s had her own audio drama series now this TV series and recently appeared again on the Doctor Who series (saving the world and more, of course).

“The Sarah Jane Adventures” is the story of Sara Jane Smith, years ago she used to travel through time and space with The Doctor, but now on Earth still protecting the earth from Aliens. But she has an entourage of children, the girl across the street (who discovered her secret), the boy she adopted (super smart grown child rescued from aliens) and Clive their best friend (but mostly a side-kick). And they all work together to save the world (or sometimes just London itself).

Most of the stories for this series are two-part episodes, but when they started this season last week they ran the first two as one hour long episode, so I forgot. Was sorely disappointed while eating dinner that when the tensions started to run high on the show and as I started to recall this fact, the phrase “To Be Continued” popped up on my screen ending my show…Side-bar – This half-hour to be continued complaint is in contrast to other new hour long shows I’ve watched, such as the new The Ex List and Valentine, that about 5 minutes into the show you realize it needs to only be a 1/2 hour episode instead of a full hour…

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2008 One Comment

I hadn’t really thought much about it but I see they’ve been releasing TV shows on DVD Blu-Ray, that’ll be nice when the prices go down. I think “they” need to announce when they plan to discontinue regular DVDs. I think they sooner they do this it’ll drive down the cost of Blu-Ray discs and Blu-Ray players and we can all be happier. With the TV format change next year, it seems like this couldn’t be done in the next few years, as long as someone would make an announcement. There has got to be some people holding back because of  this!

Speaking of Blu-Ray, Iron Man might be the one to get me to finally take the leap. The effects were so excellent, it’d be a great first one to watch on (my theoretical) new player.

I have purchased a few Blu-Ray DVDs when they’ve been way on sale but still no player for me…

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Written By: Gary on August 23, 2008 One Comment

Wow! What a great episode! I watched it for something entertaining and energetic and that wasn’t what I got at all, it was a really really emotional episode. Rodney, the main (very arrogant) genius scientist, had a debilitating disease that that was affecting his mind and they showed the progress of the disease through a series of recordings of what was happening. It was so sad and emotional (not at all what I had planned for) but I thought the acting and the story was great. There were some hysterical parts also so it was just all sad parts.

It really showed a different side of everyone as they knew their friend was deteriorating and dying. It also let Jewel Staite, who plays the Doctor, have a bigger part in the show. Definitely not a shoot-em-up episode…

The other twist in the plot was with the emotionless Ronin who knew of a shrine that would allow someone to regain their facilities for a day before they died. He’s just such a tough guy and to see him talk about how it was when he was a kid and took his grandfather there was a completely different side of him.

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 2 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 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 February 12, 2008 No Comment

    So I just downloaded the AppleTV update called Take 2 (or is it Take2?). I wasn’t thrilled with the changes that I saw in the preview because I thought the interface was pretty great. But I’ll agree that some changes for the new interface was necessary.

    Since you now can shop the whole iTunes store via the AppleTV something to surf around a larger library was necessary. They new sections fill up the cover art at a more than acceptable speed (my cable modem is 6000 down and 384 up) and it flowed pretty nicely. But a lot of the old interface is still around for the sub menus and it they really clash with each other. But I like the shopping on-line option, I’ll try it later just so I can see how well it works. I would have purchased last night’s Kyle XY episode but it wasn’t ready for download yet for some reason…

    The amount of movies and music and TV is just a little overwhelming. There’s just so many options and you can scroll in so many directions! And all the album art just looks fantastic in large high quality images!!! They need a all you can watch or listen to with the music videos, pay a flat rate and go cRaZy for a few hours.

    The podcasts are interesting, You can browse very nicely and you can view/stream but if the site is slow, you’re gonna wait a while for that hi-def video. You can select download and it’ll be there later for you. It’s strange that you can favorite a podcast, not to be confused with subscribing, but you can’t actually subscribe; this would be inconvenient if you don’t actually have a computer.

    The new Flickr photo viewing works great, but I wish there was a way to view the descriptions or titles of the photos. And I wish there was a way to look at thumbnails; for example a person has 500 photos in a folder and there isn’t a way to jump around it just goes to slideshow mode. This never bothered me with my photos, but when looking at someone else’s it jumped right out at me….

    Overall, it’s a great update in that it adds some great functionality. The new interface will grow on me (it’s not like I wouldn’t recommend it to someone). I just feel it’s missing some normal Apple consistency in the Human Interface Guidelines area…

    I’m still missing a way to build a video playlist (or a video shuffle). I’ve got hours of video podcasts and I don’t have a way to string them together as my own private TV channel. I hadn’t heard about it or this release but it just seems like a natural outgrowth of the music playlist and/or shuffle.

    The update took a while and had to reboot more than a few times installing all the features but seems like it worked just fine. I expect they’ll be a update soon to fix a few minor things, like the TV Genre of “Cops and Robberts”.

    Written By: Gary on February 9, 2008 One Comment

    HowimetAt Amazon Unbox they have 4 FREE missing episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’! At least I don’t think I’ve seen them before. You can download these to your Windows based computer or TiVo for free! The 4 missing episodes cover Marshal and Lily’s honeymoon…

    You can get the Infamous “Robin Sparkles” video too!

    UPDATE (Sunday evening): So I finally watched these “episodes”. They weren’t real episodes, they were just a few minutes long and they were “videos” of they’re honeymoon. They’re pretty bad too, but then again aren’t home movies supposed to be? I’m not sure what kind of promotion they shot these for, but they end with a still frame with an advertisement for the show. It was the fact that these appeared to be “lost” episodes that made me ask if the show was canceled, since these aren’t much more than some kind of odd promo/commercial I retract the original question.

    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 27, 2008 No Comment

    RCA gives away one song a day. Sometimes it’s new, old, from a soundtrack, rock, alternative, or instrumental. It’s different every day.

    Here’s the thing: At some point in the future when some (hypothetical) legal authority searches my hard drive or MP3 player, how do I prove these songs are mine? In the past, with sampler CDs you had the CD to show ownership. With iTunes, they send you a receipt that shows you own the song even when it’s a free download. But with legitimately free MP3s on-line, how can you show that ownership someday if you need to…?

    Written By: Gary on January 26, 2008 One Comment

    My Apple TV has been one of my favorite technology purchases and I never expected that I’d like it that much. Actually, I’d been interested in it but it took a visit to Best Buy, after happy hour, for me to finally commit to the 40 GB version. I took it back a few days later but only because I knew I needed the 160 GB version, bigger is better after all…

    Apple TV is pretty much an ‘iPod for your television’ and iPods are pretty much the standard to beat for portable media players (at least the standard for handheld audio players) so these should be selling much better. I’ve always been impressed with my Apple TV and had been surprised they hadn’t really caught on more than they have. The Apple TV interface is excellent, it’s as good as the TiVo (except it doesn’t record), you can buy videos (and music) on your computer to load it up, but that is a little inconvenient for some people. You can convert videos for it, but that’s not for the average user. I knew it was close to what people want but it wasn’t exactly there yet.

    A few weeks ago at MacWorld they announced movie rentals for the Apple TV. $2.99 for old movies, $3.99 for new ones and $1 more for HD quality. Plus, you can buy music (and music videos) on-line and view/subscribe to podcasts (for free). They changed the interface, I personally think it’s a little more complicated, but since you need to be able to browse an infinite number of music and movies I can understand it (and maybe I’ll like it too). This new interface is free to original Apple TV owners and should show up in a few weeks (I keep checking).

    I heard all this when they announced it and I’ve been mulling it around in my head, but I finally just watched that part of the keynote from MacWorld (on my Apple TV, of course) and now I really think this is getting even closer to being the media box for your TV.

  • If I can start watching a movie in about 30 seconds, why am I going to rent something from the store? (there is a 30 day wait after a DVD release)
  • Why am I going to subscribe to Netflix? (all the movie extras and plus for TV shows you I get multiple episodes on one DVD)
  • If I can purchase a song the instant I need it, why am I going to run out and buy the album? (at least I think I can purchase a song, I saw Steve purchase a music video).One of the biggest shortcomings of this (and all digital video rental systems out there) is that you only have 24 hours from start to finish. It’s just not long enough, if I start it at 8 tonight, I need the ability to finish it tomorrow at 8 or 9 in the evening. Because of that, I think 30 hours is the minimum I need to seriously consider this as a way to watch movies (at least for me). As you increase the time to 36, 48 or even 72 hours it makes this a much better option, especially for the impulse buy. I know “they” don’t want bunches of other people to borrow it and view it so they longer the time, the higher the chance of this. Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more, that’s slightly complicated but it makes it a little more fair and might make the movie companies a little happier, IMHO…

    But TiVo has had these features for a while now: music and photo streaming from your computer for years now, podcasts (very limited menu selection) for a few years too and recently they’ve added movie / TV rentals from Amazon Unbox (but you wait hours for it to download). I wonder if there are more TiVos than Apple TVs out there??

    I’m confused about a few things:

  • Can you buy a movie from the Apple TV interface?
  • Can you push HD movie rentals down to your computer or iPod? (I don’t think they said that specifically for HD).

    Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:

  • How long until I can access media from my Time Capsule?
  • How long until I can rent TV shows?
  • How long until I subscribe to TV shows at a reasonable rate?
  • How long until I can dump my cable package?
  • How long until the cable internet and DSL providers complain about the bandwidth that is being used up? FYI, where the Apple TV requirements list a “broadband connection” it also says “(fees may apply)”.
  • Is the hardware in the new Apple TV exactly the same? I know the software is going to be the same, but I don’t think they said it was exactly the same either.
  • How long until the 30 day wait before renting (after new releases) is removed and I can rent as soon as it’s out? (they don’t have a delay before music purchases).

    Complaints about the Apple TV:

  • I need a video playlist option. I want to have a way to link these video podcasts and music videos into my own personal non-stop “channel”.
  • I need a way to find this tiny remote when I misplace it. It’s so small and light.
  • It needs a regular video-out and S-video out for people who don’t yet have TVs with component video or HDMI.
  • They still don’t have a use for the included USB port.
  • I think I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive!

    Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.

  • 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 January 4, 2008 No Comment

    So last summer a copy of the “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” was floating around the ‘net and I had a chance to see it. It was awesome, and ever since then, in my head, I’ve pictured Linda Hamilton playing the Sarah Conner part. But as they’ve been advertising it, I’ve realized it’s not Linda. I’ve recently had a chance to re-watch it, and I know when I first saw it I knew it wasn’t Linda, but since then I started thinking it was her…

    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles  - The Complete First Season Warner Home VideoIf you haven’t seem it it’s great. I’m interested to see how they are going to turn the 47 minute pre-pilot into a two night premier. A few minor edits can really ruin a great show (I still can’t believe how they ruined the pilot to “The Big Bang Theory” with just a few edits, but I digress…).

    Thomas Dekker does an excellent job as John Conner, you’ve seen him as Zach the flying kid on Heroes.

    WARNING – Minor Spoiler below…And the beautiful, wonderful, kick-ass Summer Glau just gives me chills when she says the famous line “Come with me if you want to live!”. It makes me want to go back and watch Firefly and Serenity (as River Tam); you’ve also seen her on The 4400 as Tess (and on The Unit as Crystal Burns, but I must have stopped watching it before that).

    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.

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