There are now so many television channels – and so much programming – that Sturgeon’s Law [‘90% of everything is crap’] may apply, but it’s no longer relevant! Now, with hundreds of channels to choose from, it’s virtually impossible to not find at least thirty or forty really good programs. I know because I watch about that many on a semi-regular to regular basis – and there are many more that I check in on from time to time.
Tonight, SMALLVILLE will reach a television milestone and continue on a course to science fiction history! The very special episode #200, which finished filming in September, will air this evening at 8pm on The CW. The cast and crew were celebrating this momentous milestone with a party at the end of September in Vancouver, at about the same time when the tenth season was premiering on our screens. In terms of number of episodes, every set of ‘100’ represents approximately five years of imagination, dedication, and hard work. And all the people involved with the series for the past nine years have definitely earned the right to celebrate.
This tenth season will also be the final one, despite the series continuing to show ongoing viewer support and creative growth. From an artistic standpoint, having a specific end-date in sight will allow the creative team the opportunity to bring the storylines to a natural close as Clark Kent continues on his path to becoming The Man of Steel. Ever since the first season in 2001, the producers have declared ‘no tights, no flights!’ referring to their desire to explore the early years of Clark Kent before he becomes the iconic hero known as Superman. Despite several story directions, which found small loopholes around this decree, even earning the eye-rolling frustration of fans waiting for Clark to don the red and blue suit – or at least to jump a tall building in a single bound – the creative team stayed true to its word. Until now. This will be the season that Clark Kent makes the full transformation into Superman and the series is ready to pull out all the stops!
SMALLVILLE is also now set to make sci-fi history. Up until this year, STARGATE SG1 has been the longest consecutively running live-action Sci-Fi series in North America, having aired 213 episodes. This accomplishment has earned it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, and makes it second only to the British DOCTOR WHO in the worldwide standings. At the point that SMALLVILLE will almost be reaching the end of this tenth and final season, it will air episode #214 and thereby earn its place as the new record-holder. And that is quite an accomplishment for a science fiction show that has fought against great odds to reach this point.
Episode #200 is titled ‘Homecoming’ and it will contain something for everyone, whether you have watched it faithfully for nine years or tuned out after three. For viewers who may have lost track of the series, returning to watch this episode will be like a homecoming of their own. Highlights and pictures, after the jump.
Timothy Dalton – the Bond who was cool enough to play Rassilon on Doctor Who – makes his first American TV appearance in over thirty years on… Chuck! Dalton has just signed to play a mysterious stranger who has a history with Chuck’s heretofore unseen mom [the previously cast Linda Hamilton]!
The press release follows the jump.
Airlock Alpha [formerly Syfy Portal], home of the longest running genre awards for movies, television and online productions, has announced the winners of its eleventh annual Portal Awards, as voted on by the website’s readers. Doctor Who was the big winner, acquiring six Portals, including David Tennant for Best Actor, Television and Best Television Series. Avatar took home two Portals as the only multiple winner on the movie side of things. Star Trek: The Next Generation was voted the Rod Serling Award [Hall of Fame television series] and Russell T. Davies won the Gene L. Coon Award [Lifetime Achievement] for his successful reboot of Doctor Who.
A complete list of winners follows the jump.
When we last saw The Doctor, he was having a spot of bother – what with his rocky regeneration and the TARDIS aflame around him. When Doctor Who [BBC America, Saturday, 9/8C] returns, the TARDIS is spinning out of control over London – The Doctor dangling from the doors like a misplaced participle. So, yeah. Danger from the get-go.
A little girl kneels beside her bed, praying for someone to help her by fixing a crack in her wall. She can hear voices from the other side of the crack and they scare her. The TARDIS crashes to earth – with a barely safe Doctor – in the backyard of an old house. On its side, doors facing up. It’s the house where the little girl lives and it’s just her luck that a Doctor who’s not yet fully formed has appeared – but he seems up to the job… barely.
The new Doctor Who – Matt Smith (The Doctor) and his lovely companion Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) will be unveiling their new Who tonight at the Paley Center in New York at 6:30 pm. The launch kicks off on April 12, with a Paley Center for Media and BAFTA East Coast member screening and discussion moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s senior writer Clark Collis. On April 14, fans can join Matt, Karen and Steven at the Village East Cinema for the official premiere screening followed immediately by a Q&A moderated by USA Today’s pop culture columnist Whitney Matheson, author of the Pop Candy blog. So that’s two chances to catch the Who crew while they make a rare appearance here in the states. BBC America is talking about setting up a conference call later this week, so I’ll bring you that if it happens. At first I hated this cast, but after watching all the trailers and seeing the first episode, I’m fully down with this.
While Doctor Who might not be a big enough hit in North America to warrant appearances on The Tonight Show, or The Late Show [maybe Craig Ferguson should send him an invitation…], the new Doctor, Matt Smith is doing one of the U.K.’s premiere chat shows, this week’s edition of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross [BBC America, 10/9C].
Smith will talk about his [very secretive] road to Doctor Who; provide revelations about The Doctor’s space-time-hopping vehicle, the TARDIS, and express his desire to stay with the role/show.
Ross’ other guests will be actor Emma Thompson [An Education] and British electro-pop duo Goldfrapp.
Series/Season Five of Doctor Who premieres on BBC America on Saturday, April 17th.
Photo courtesy of BBC America
The name Neil Gaiman is synonymous with great storytelling – from his iconic Sandman comics to children’s tales with an edge [Coraline] and expansive fantasy worlds like those of American Gods and Anansi Boys. Now SFX Weekly is reporting that he has confirmed that an episode of Doctor Who will be only his third television credit [he wrote Day of the Dead for Babylon 5 and co-wrote the BBC mini-series, Neverwhere].
Gaiman’s Doctor Who ep will appear in Matt Smith’s second season as The Doctor. On the subject of his Whovian script, Gaiman said, “As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching — from behind the sofa — when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called “The House of Nothing”. But it definitely isn’t called that any more.
Countdown. You’ve got about 14 months.”
Welcome to the Tellybox – the blog where I will chat about the very best of British telly, as well as the not-so-good and sometimes the downright nasty. So, you can expect lots of meanderings about the fabulous Doctor Who, the intermittently fabulous Torchwood, the yeah-okay-anachronistic-but-has-that-hottie-Richard-Armitage-in-it Robin Hood, and the one I’m still not sure about, Primeval. Maybe because the title is spelt wrong.