DOCTOR WHO: Inside “A Christmas Carol”

BBC America has released a terrific little clip reel teasing this year’s DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol,” complete with behind-the-scenes interview snippets from Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (The Doctor, Amy and Rory). Check it out (Warning: mild spoilers):

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THE GOOD WIFE 2.9: Nine Hours

Two things stood out about this week’s episode of THE GOOD WIFE: the palpable tension as the clock counted down to an execution, and the way Alicia’s son, Zach, couldn’t take his eyes off Kalinda. (Hey, give the kid a break – who can take their eyes off her?)

We’ve all seen lawyer shows tackle the death penalty, and watched as myriad legal teams raced to save a wrongly condemned man. Frankly, the plot has been done to death! But I think what set this particular story apart was the sense of jeopardy. When it comes to lawyer shows, one can usually bank on the featured legal eagles saving the day. Occasionally, one sees a story in which the condemned man is actually guilty. But THE GOOD WIFE did two things right: It the lawyers did not pretend to know if Carter Wright (Chad L. Coleman) was innocent, and I really felt like there was a possibility that Carter would be executed in the end, no matter his guilt or innocence.
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BURN NOTICE 4.16: Dead or Alive

Usually the episodes of a series just before the season’s end look cheap because the producers have either run out of money, or are saving up for a blowout finale. But that was certainly not the case with BURN NOTICE, which turned in a visually striking (and, yes, explosive) installment setting up the season-capper.

Director Peter Markle made this one sparkle (sorry). My favorite moment came when Michael (Jeffrey Donovan), posing as yet another lowlife, wanted to have a conversation with crooked cop Pete that would make an impression. So Michael arranged to ignite a ring of fire – made of homemade napalm. The scene was shot at twilight, and the cold lighting contrasted perfectly with the bright heat of the flames.

And that wasn’t the end of the fireworks: Michael barely escaped with his life from a pretty spectacular boat explosion. And can I ask how Sam (Bruce Campbell) managed to miss a fleeing car with a sniper rifle? Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) got in a good line about decking a perp with her handbag, but otherwise I thought was she was underused.
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