DOCTOR WHO regenerates undying controversy

I simply cannot wait to see the new THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES story “The Death of the Doctor.” Not just because it will feature Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) meeting 11th Doctor Matt Smith and former companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning), but because the story will address the issue of how many regenerations the Doctor is allowed.

First of all, it is important to note that the Doctor does not claim he is immortal. Since I am in the USA, I have not yet seen the episode in question, but according to this report, Clyde asks the Doctor how many times he can regenerate, and the Doctor says there is no limit. That’s it. No limit to regenerations. This official lifting of the 12-regeneration limit does not make him immortal. It merely reverts the series to its original position on regeneration, which is that Time Lords can be effectively immortal – if they are lucky. There is no indication that permanent death has been taken off the table: If both of the Doctor’s hearts are destroyed, he cannot regenerate. If he is drowned, he cannot regenerate (that one comes from “Turn Left,” penned by Russell T Davies, who wrote the new SJA episode in question). So, everyone who thinks it’s important for the Doctor to put his life on the line, relax.

In the words of former story editor Douglas Adams, Don’t panic.
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THE AMAZING RACE 17.4: “We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads”

THE AMAZING RACE ventured above the Arctic Circle this week, and the pace never cooled off. But the remarkable part was the level of cooperation in the normally cutthroat competition.

I have seen teams refuse to cooperate or even outright lie in seasons past in order to secure an advantage, but that’s not what happened this week. In fact, I do not recall another install of AR in which the teams seemed to watch out for each other so much.
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DOCTOR WHO LIVE! Well, in the U.K., at least

Doctor Who Live, an elaborate stage production, has opened in Great Britain, and I cannot think of a better to pass the time until the Christmas Special than to spend it with the Doctor and a few of his best enemies, live onstage.

The good lifeforms at SFX.com have a behind-the-scenes video (go here to see it) that features clips from the show along with interviews with Smith and the creators. It looks like more fun than a barrel of Adipose!

Subtitled The Monsters Are Coming!, the premise of the production is that a showman called Vorgenson presents a tribute to the Doctor through his traveling menagerie, which features the redesigned Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon, Ood, Scarecrows, Silurians, Venetian vampires, Clockwork Robots, Smilers and even Weeping Angels. The show is billed as a thematic sequel to the Third Doctor story “Carnival of Monsters.” Since the Doctor has to get involved, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that something goes wrong.

Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor himself, is rumored to appear live in some performances. I don’t know if this has happened/will happen, but the 11th Doctor does appear in specially created video footage exclusively for the show (as you can see in the clip). Alas, no Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)? No Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill)? Perhaps they are too busy enjoying their honeymoon to bother with a zoo break-out.

I really wish this touring show would come to the USA, but I have to admit that DOCTOR WHO is probably not a high-profile enough property to sell enough tickets to justify the expense of an overseas sojourn. But can still hope that it will be successful enough in the U.K. to allow producers to bring a limited run to New York. It may not be “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy,” but I know I would buy tickets.

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CAPRICA 1.11: Retribution

Forced to explain why she botched her attempt to bomb the Trojan Spaceport in this episode, Lacy (Magda Apanowicz) stammered, “It got complicated.” I get the feeling that CAPRICA itself is getting complicated – to the point where it is taking on a life of its own; one that its creators are having trouble reining in. Which is pretty ironic for a series about runaway technology.

On the surface, this week’s installment was about Sister Clarice Willow (Polly Walker) settling accounts with Barnabas (James Marsters), who dared to challenge her control of Soldiers of The One field operations. But beneath the surface, it was a story swallowing its own tail. The political intrigue within the STO seems to be just story filler and a way to inject action into an overall story that is about ideas. The problem is, it is difficult to make ideas look interesting onscreen. It’s tough to dramatize, say, consternation. So why not bring in a bunch of good-looking young people and let them blow them stuff up?
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STARGATE UNIVERSE 2.03: Awakening

So what (or who), exactly, was “awakening” in this week’s episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE? The new aliens? The seedship? Rush? Young? Telford? How about “all of the above.”

Picking up from last week’s cliff-hanger, we discovered that the mystery “object” was another ship – one that looked almost exactly like Destiny. The ship was clearly of Ancient design; it was one of the many craft sent out ahead of Destiny to seed worlds with stargates. Brody (Peter Kelamis) theorized that it had suffered some kind of breakdown, enabling Destiny to catch up. The sister ships docked, and Brody, Volker (Patrick Gilmore), Scott (Brian J. Smith) and Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) entered the other ship with a kino to explore. Meanwhile, the ships automatically began transferring data.
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GLEE 2.4: Duets

GLEE, I have to say it: I enjoyed your “Duets” episode at least twice as much as last week’s “Grilled Cheesus” show about faith, or even the previous week’s Britney Spears spectacular. The premise was simple: Everyone pairs off to perform duets. What was complicated was who paired with whom, and why. The prize was a dinner for two at Breadstix, and from the way the kids went crazy, one might assume Wolfgang Puck – or at least Gordon Ramsey – had take over the kitchen.

“Great duets are like a marriage,” Will (Matthew Morrison) suggested, and in this case, it made for some strange bedfellows. I mean, Artie (Kevin McHale) and…Brittany (Heather Morris)? Santana (Naya Rivera) and…Mercedes (Amber Riley)? Quinn (Dianna Agron) and…Sam (Chord Overstreet)? And what happened to Mark Salling that necessitated sending Puck to juvie? Perhaps it was just a stunt to get Sam into the glee club?
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STARGATE UNIVERSE 2.02: Aftermath

The second episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE’s second season was a marked improvement over the season premiere – even though the opening installment was quite good on its own terms. SGU is building on strength.

Two startling developments dominated this episode: Dr. Rush found Destiny’s bridge (but refrained from sharing that news with anyone else), and Col. Young smothered a fatally injured Hunter Riley to death.
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