Category Archives: Features

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‘Day of The Doctor’ & Fans

I liked the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode The Day of The Doctor. However, this one seemed to be more about celebrating the last 7 years than embracing the whole franchise over its fifty year life span. Which it should in some ways, as the new Doctor Who (like the later iterations of Star Trek -TNG, DS9, and especially VOY and ENT and the reboot movie franchise) is not really for the hardcore fans of shows (people like me who’ve been praising it for 33 years) but the new generation that embraced it since its return in 2005. They’ve helped propel the franchise beyond its cultish life it had between its start in 1963 to its end in 1989 and the wilderness years before its return. These new fans deserve the credit as much as us older ones. But the real truth has always been that like the new Trek series, this new version of Doctor Who is for the generation growing up now. So the longtime fans have a choice –seen as bitter to some- to either embrace the newer show and accept that it’s true nature and dayof thedoctorenjoy, or we can ignore it and watch Duck Dynasty. I hate that show, so bring on Doctor Who.

While Tom Baker’s scene towards the end can be taken in either the one thrown bone to longtime fans and Baker’s make up for snubbing the franchise 30 years ago when he did not appear in The Five Doctors or something more clever, whatever it was, one could not feel happiness at his return –no matter what theory you want to cook up to explain who he really is playing (my impression is this is Moffat’s chance to foreshadow what will most likely happen in the Christmas special, thank you to Night of The Doctor and the Sisterhood of Karn for showing us this).

In the end, The Day of the Doctor was entertaining, funny, exciting and a well done. I can either be upset that it did not embrace the last 43 years before its return, or I can just enjoy what has been the best year of a 50 year-old franchise that continues to grow. I may not be pleased with everything it does, but that’s life. Long live Doctor Who.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m3kfy

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‘Untitled Web Series’ Actor Travis Richey Takes on The Next Doctor

Travis Richey, The Inspector from Untitled Web Series, takes another page from Doctor Who by appearing in this parody short that combine’s the classic TV series with The Hunger Games. Richey takes on the newest Doctor -set to debut in next months Christmas Special- the twelfth (?) Doctor to be played by Peter Capaldi.

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Paul McGann As The Doctor in ‘The Night Of The Doctor’

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With just nine days to the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who episode The Day of The Doctor, the BBC has released the mini-episode The Night of The Doctor, which features the return of Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor.

It appears the battle between the Time Lords and Daleks is threatening to destroy the galaxy, but the Doctor appears not to be involved. He answers a mayday call only to discover the girl, Cass, he intends to rescue, does not want Time Lord help and is willing to die before she will. Her ship crashes on a planet, killing her and the Doctor.

But the Doctor has arrived on Karn, home to the Sisterhood and The Sacred Flame, which produces The Elixir of Life. The sisterhood is remnants of people from the old days of Gallifrey, long before the rise of Rassilon and have dealt with the Time Lords for eons (the fourth Doctor spent some time here during the TV adventure The Brain of Morbuis). The Sisterhood resurrects the Doctor, only to give him a grim choice: either remain dead or regenerate and fight in the Time War. The Doctor knows, of course, there is only one choice…

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Disney’s ABC Television Studio, Marvel Studios & Netflix Team Up

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What was first hinted at a few weeks ago now comes to fruition as Marvel Television, Disney’s ABC Television Studios and the online streaming provider Netflix will team up and launch 4 brand new serialized TV shows that culminate in an epic miniseries event. The four Marvel properties will be Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Those four series of at least 13 episodes each will then lead into The Defenders, reimaging a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters who maintain order around New York’s Hell’s Kitchen.

 

The advantages of Netflix as a distribution hub will mean each series can expand its premise beyond broadcast TV scope and their limitations –such as what’s happening to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC which has failed to light up many folks interest. Which means the shows can –depending on showrunners –actually follow close to their comic book storylines without too much worry of demographics, censors and dictated set pieces that follow a same business model that TV has been churning out for 60 years.
This may give Daredevil a chance at redemption following 2003’s Ben Affleck led film, which suffered due the fact that 20th Century Fox wanted a family friendlier version of the character. Since then, there had been hope to reboot the franchise, but all things considered, TV may be the more viable option for it. And being on Netflix can make it better, where it can return to some of its darker roots.
Disney’s Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Miniseries Event Based on Renowned Marvel Characters
 Landmark Deal Brings Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, led by “Daredevil,”
to the World’s Leading Internet TV Network in 2015

Burbank, Calif. –  Nov 7, 2013—The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a miniseries programming event.
luke-cage-netflixLed by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

 

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

 

“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”

 

“Marvel’s movies, such as Iron Man and Marvel’sThe Avengers, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With House of Cards and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

 

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios,

 

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Star Wars: Episode VII bows December 2015

Just last month, when Lucasfilm’s Kathleestarwarsn Kennedy announced that Oscar winning writer Michael Arndt was off Star Wars: Episode VII script after nearly a year of writing it and that director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan -who penned both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi -were now scripting the movie, some began to worry that the film would need to be delayed from 2015 planned release. As a matter of fact, it’s been rumored for a while that Abrams was hoping to delay the film until 2016 due to the scripting issues, while Disney was still wanting –probably- a summer 2015 release date (the six previous films all launched in May).

Now, with Abrams –doing press for Bad Robot’s new FOX series Almost Human- he’s hinted that Arndt’s departure did have to do with when Disney wants to release the film. “It became clear that given the timeframe, and given the process, and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be.”

So it seemed that Abrams was vetoed on delaying the film until 2016. But with the hiring of Kasdan –who is known as a great and more importantly, a fast writer- this may have elevated Abrams worries a bit. And Disney may have compromised as well, as they’ve announced a a December 18, 2015 release date for the first film in the new trilogy.

“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

It’s not a bad move, per se. While the holiday season is generally known for more serious films -setting them up for award season -franchise hits like The Lord of the Rings and now it’s prequel series, The Hobbit do fare well against those more adult films. Plus, it’s Star Wars. And while some might bemoan the traditional May release of the previous six, we are in a new generation, a new era and maybe having Episode VII out for Christmas in two years is what it needs to rejuvenate a brand still tarnished by the prequel trilogy.

Meanwhile, pre-production on the film continues in London. While casting remains a mystery (beyond the obvious fact that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer and Mark Hamill will be back) the film is set to begin lensing in early spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.