Rehabilitating Radagast’s Image — Literally

The good folks over at the USA Today newspaper have helped soothe my troubled brow by giving us a much better photograph of a character I’m looking forward to seeing in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this winter: Radagast the Brown, a wizard played by Sylvester McCoy, who served quite honorably as the Seventh Doctor on DOCTOR WHO.

The first picture we saw was a shockingly shoddy, poorly manipulated image that made me question director Peter Jackson’s commitment to the artistic integrity of the Hobbit movies (currently holding at three installments, but who knows what will happen?). Well, my fears have been (somewhat) allayed now. Radagast looks like he belongs in Middle-Earth now.

As a bonus, the accompanying story also includes some character description from Hobbit co-screenwriter Philippa Boyens:

“The wizard Radagast the Brown is only mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit book once, but Boyens had enough to go on to boost his role in the new movie series, and she feels he’s going to become a well-loved character. ‘He’s not at all like Gandalf,’ Boyens says. ‘There’s a power and danger and sharpness and wits and cunning even about Gandalf that you sense immediately, whereas Radagast is much quieter and gentler. You could mistakenly think he’s not even a wizard or that he might not have any powers of his own, and then you discover that he does.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens Dec. 14.

Plot Hints for “The Angels Take Manhattan”

At last, the BBC have released a synopsis for the fifth episode of DOCTOR WHO, “The Angels Take Manhattan” — the one we’ve all been dreading, one in which the magnificent Ponds (the incomparable Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) leave us, courtesy of the Weeping Angels.

The way I read it, the tease seems to reinforce fandom rumors about general plot — specifically what occurs, and to whom it happens. And who swoops in to lend a hand.

Here is the BBC synopsis:

The Doctor’s heart-breaking farewell to Amy and Rory — a race against time through the streets of Manhattan, as New York’s statues come to life around them… With Rory’s life in danger, the Doctor and Amy must locate him before it’s too late! Luckily, an old friend helps them and guides the way.

The danger here is that it becomes just another “Rory dies” episode, and everyone expects him to show up again at some point. Well, Arthur Darvill isn’t supposed to appear in any more episodes, so if this story ends with him deceased, we fans have to conclude that he stays this time. Same goes for Amy — although I would never put it past Steven Moffat to come up with some timey-wimey way for the Ponds to appear in future episodes (of this season only), employing footage already shot.