I can’t help feeling like this elegiac two-parter should have been recast as the STARGATE UNIVERSE series finale. While not ideal, this story would have been a satisfactory makeshift end to the series. There was a certain amount of closure and hope in tale of an entire civilization founded by the Destiny crew – at least one version of Destiny fulfilled a certain type of destiny.
In part one, Destiny dropped out of FTL and right into a pack of drones. After narrowly escaping, Destiny visits a planet that was populated by the descendants of the “other” Destiny – the one that resulted from the time-twisting events chronicled in “Twin Destinies.” The alternate versions of the Destiny crew became the Ancestors, the founders of a new society, when they settled on a planet they dubbed Novus Mundus (New World) more than 2,000 years ago. When Destiny was inside the star in “Twin Destinies,” it tried to dial Earth, but the ship was thrown back in time by a solar flare, and the wormhole connected with a local stargate and deposited the entire crew on an uninhabited planet. Well, not everyone: Rush (Robert Carlyle) had stayed aboard Destiny, and while the refugees hoped he would return for them, he never did. About 20 centuries later, a black hole entered the Novus system and tidal forces stirred up deadly seismic activity. Expeditions ‘gated out, looking for a new place to settle, and a small group ended up the planet on which the “current” Destiny crew found them. The stargate stopped working years ago, so the settlers wanted Destiny to return them to Novus. Also? The drones found the planet and set about destroying it, necessitating an evacuation.
This week’s episode was about reclaiming one’s mojo: The girls of the Rock got their Sasha back; Sasha got his groove back; Damon found his songwriting chops again; and Kaylie made strides toward reclaiming her life.
Payson (Ayla Kell), Lauren (Cassie Scerbo) and Emily (Chelsea Hobbs) were on their way to a tune-up meet in Budapest, Hungary, when Pay convinced the other girls to make a side trip to Bucharest, Romania, where she learned that Sasha (Neil Jackson) is hiding out. The trio ditched chaperones Darby (Meagan Holder) and Summer (Candice Cameron Bure) and tracked down Sasha, who was pulling pints and serving borscht in a tiny pub. Each of the girls pleaded with him to return to being their coach, because they all realized that they have no chance of winning Worlds, let alone Olympic gold, without him. But he turned them down, feeling guilty over being blind to the turmoil in their personal lives. Even Summer showed up, and pointed out that just because he ran away, doesn’t mean it was the right decision. After some personal soul-searching, Sasha showed up in Budapest at 3 a.m. to take the reins once again – provided the girls could prove they are worth coaching again. Meanwhile, back in Boulder, Kaylie (Josie Loren) came to terms with her eating disorder by realizing she honestly cannot blame it just on making weight for gymnastics. And she had to deal with Damon (Johnny Pacar), who was dealing with Emily’s latest break-up with him. Ems was upset that Damon sang with Kaylie, so he responded by writing Kaylie a song to sing! Passive-aggressive much?
The beginning of the new season felt like the end of one — and not just because the Doctor was killed less than 10 minutes out of the gate! The episode had so many reveals (and a guest appearance by River Song) and such a grand scale that it felt like the sort of thing that is normally reserved for a season-capper; the kind of show that leaves a lingering impression to lure viewers back next season. But in “The Impossible Astronaut,” all that effort was directed at making people tune in for the rest of the season.
But did we see what we thought we saw? (Or is that, “are seeing”?) As fans learned last season, executive producer Steven Moffat is not the least bit afraid to revisit an entire season, shake it around, and cast it in a different light. In this case, it looks like he’s going to circle back at some point, rather than have the Doctor directly backtrack through the stories, as in Series 5’s “The Big Bang.” I suspect the identity of the person in the spacesuit will be a long time coming — though I don’t think I can bear to wait until No. 13. (My initial guess? It’s Amy. Having the Doctor say, “My life in your hands, Amelia Pond,” is just too larded with portent. Moffat doesn’t waste words.)
It’s the eve of the premiere of Series 6 of the revived DOCTOR WHO (Season 32 as far as I’m concerned) and I could not be more excited! The 11th Doctor! Amy! River Song! The Silence! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve… To while away the time until “The Impossible Astronaut” airs, I thought I’d share a few wacky ideas from my wish list of Stuff I’d Like to See on the show this season. I have no inside information; just some crazy dreams…
Series 6 once again stars Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory Pond (It’s true, he really did take her name when they married!) And this is what I would like to see happen:
-Matt Smith really cuts loose! In his first series as the Doctor, Matt successfully took over the role and made me (almost) forget about David Tennant. Now, in his second season, I am looking for Matt to make the character his own. He’s got the look; he’s got the persona nailed; all he needs to do is run with it! Each Doctor evolves over time, and I cannot wait to see what fresh spins Matt puts on the iconic Time Lord.
There’s a new hero in Metropolis, one who fancies himself a golden god: He’s Booster Gold, “the greatest hero you’ve never heard of – until now.” And he is intent on replacing the Blur as the protector of Metropolis and the greatest hero of all time. Unfortunately, he is shameless self-promoting glory hound who engages in superheroics for the paycheck, not because he believes in what he’s doing. And then there was the introduction of a new hero-in-the-making, the Blue Beetle.
Booster (Eric Martsolf) traveled back in time from the 25th century, and uses his knowledge of history to be in the right place at the right time to make himself appear to be a hero – and then cash in. Booster always sticks around for the photo op after his big save, and cultivates corporate sponsorships. (He even wears logo patches on his uniform!) But the bigger drawback is the fact that Booster is pretty much a jerk. More than confidant, Booster is smug and condescending to Clark (Tom Welling), viewing the Kansas farmboy as…well, a naïve fool for wanting to do the right thing for its own sake, rather than for the glory. Booster’s quest for fame was complicated when one of his stunts resulted in the release of alien technology – a scarab that transforms into high-tech battle armor – and the living tech bonded with teenager Jaime Reyes (Jaren Brandt Bartlett), turning him into an out-of-control menace who tries to kill Booster.
Elisabeth Sladen, who has played the most popular, most enduring companion in the history of DOCTOR WHO, the irrepressible Sarah Jane Smith, on and off since 1973, has died at age 63, following a battle with cancer.
There’s a saying in DOCTOR WHO fandom that the first Doctor you ever saw was “your Doctor.” Well, by that measure, Sladen’s plucky Sarah Jane was “my companion.” She and the well-meaning but bumbling Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) were the companions for “Genesis of the Daleks,” the very first DOCTOR WHO story I remember seeing, way back in the primitive days of late 1970s syndication. Back then, WWOR Channel 9 out of New York City purchased a bloc of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor stories, and introduced them to a benighted America that had previously never known the Time Lord. I vividly recall her in that yellow rain slicker and blue knit cap, clambering over the rocks.
I joined a couple of colleagues from Soap Opera Weekly to check out the first show of Port Chuck’s 2011 tour, at Studio Square NYC in Long Island City, N.Y., on April 15.
For those of you who don’t know, the band Port Chuck is made up of actors from GENERAL HOSPITAL, including Brandon Barash (Johnny), Steve Burton (Jason), Scott Reeves (Steve) and Bradford Anderson (Spinelli). All the guys sing, and they have backing musicians to fill out the band. Scott plays guitar – and Steve can clang a pretty mean cowbell when he wants to! (Yes, we shouted, “More cowbell!”) Check out my photo gallery after the cut.
The big idea in this episode of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT was to have the girls pair off and learn to perform each other’s routines. I’m not exactly sure what that was supposed to accomplish (beyond the obvious “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” metaphor), but Payson was assigned to mimic Lauren’s beam routine, which is all about playing to the crowd with sex appeal – something power performer Payson does not do naturally, so the lesson was probably something about reaching beyond your comfort zone. (Blame Darby’s space-cadet approach to coaching for the muddled message. Surprise!)
Of course Payson (Ayla Kell) tackled the assignment head on, almost instantly learning the mechanics of Lauren’s (Cassie Scerbo) routine, but she could mimic none of the sensuality that made Lauren’s beam program so appealing. And Scerbo made the hip-swinging, moneymaker-shaking performance look so effortless; Lauren is a young woman used to utilizing her sex appeal to full advantage. Full marks, on the other hand, to Kell for making Payson’s experiments with rolling her shoulders and wiggling her hips look desperately stiff and not the least bit sexy. Kell’s face was a study in concentration and frustration; Payson had never come up against a problem she couldn’t power her way through. She appealed to Austin (Zane Holtz) to teach her how to be sexy, but she simply could not grasp the way he explained it. She was looking for some kind of formula she could execute; while he was trying to convince her that sexy is a state of mind. Payson made him promise not to laugh, but she extracted no such vow from the audience! Still, as amusing as it was, I was embarrassed for her.
Varro and Greer
STARGATE UNIVERSE went old school with an action-packed monster mash of a sort that probably delighted sourpuss fans of the previous STARGATE franchises with the kind of space adventure that a lot of folks claim they wish SGU did more often, rather than tell more realistic stories about deeply flawed people. But this episode still packed that trademark SGU darkness, so a bunch of people died, and those who survived knew they were in a fight (yet again).
The main story involved a visit to a planet where Sgt. Greer (Jamil Walker Smith) and Scott (Brian J. Smith) got the idea to hunt some local animals for meat. Which was quite a coincidence, because one of the planet’s native predators got the idea to hunt some humans for meat. The unseen creature attacked with savage ferocity, and dragged T.J. (Alaina Huffman) and Cpl. Reynolds (Greyston Holt) back to its cave to eat later. Reynolds suffered a broken leg, so of course Johansen stayed to protect him. This episode was originally planned to include more of T.J.’s back-story, but all the flashbacks were eliminated for time because the episode ran long, so T.J.’s characterization suffered this week. She came across as short-tempered and a little bitchy without much explanation. She is usually much more compassionate, so I wonder what was in the flashback story… Still, she was as resourceful and adaptable as ever, managing to repair Reynolds’ broken walkie and summon help.
Well, this is exciting: Some new images from Series 6 of DOCTOR WHO, including one spoilerish image that confirms the appearance of…well, let’s just say “a returning enemy.” If you want to see who it is, I will show the pic after the cut.
For now, here’s a gallery with a couple of my favorite teaser images. This can be considered spoilers by sensitive types, but nothing major here, just the Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) up to their usual hijinks…