DOCTOR WHO 7.9: “Hide”

DWhide1Somewhere, Philip Hinchcliffe and the late Robert Holmes are smiling.

Former DOCTOR WHO producer Hinchcliffe and story editor Holmes (famous for their scary Fourth Doctor horror collaborations, like “The Horror of Fang Rock”) surely would have been proud to have produced “Hide,” the truly terrifying ghost story current producer Steven Moffat seems to have been looking for since he took over. Thank Neil Cross – creator of hardboiled cop show LUTHER and scripter of the unjustly pooh-poohed “The Rings of Akhaten” – and director Jamie Payne for this moody instant masterpiece.
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DOCTOR WHO 7.8: “Cold War”

DWcoldwar3DOCTOR WHO viewers have already experienced “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” so why not an “Ice Warrior on a Submarine”? Following a pair of run-ins with both the Second and Third versions of the Doctor, the Martians have not been seen on TV screens in 39 years.

The Ice Warriors are a reptilian race who were forced to become cybernetic to survive when Mars began to get cold. The giant green armor helps the Ice Warriors to live and fight, and while the carapaces may not be sleek and sexy or as menacing as a Cyberman, the Ice Warriors are definitely cool.
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DOCTOR WHO 7.7: “The Rings of Akhaten”

DWakhaten2I’ve been telling people for a while that the 11th Doctor can be positively mad sometimes, and here we get an episode in which the Doctor is literally barking!

We also get important information about the origin of Clara Oswald: She is… well, nothing special. Which is interesting, because the Clara we know is far from ordinary. It’s not every day we meet a barmaid/governess/soufflé chef/Dalek who has died onscreen twice, right?

Curious, the Doctor (Matt Smith) follows Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in the past and discovers that her parents met cute (her father, blinded by a falling leaf, stumbled into traffic and her mother saved him) and her mother died young, when Clara was a teen. Clara keeps the leaf in her book, 101 Places to See, which belonged to her mother.
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Horror Flick Willow Creek Has a Scary-Good Poster

willowcrkpstyIf you’re not familiar with the work of artist Alex Pardee, you should get acquainted. The guy is a genius when it comes to twisted visuals. His work can be a bit shocking and even funny, but it’s always inspired and out of the ordinary. (He worked on designs for Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch.)

Here, we see Alex’s genius in the poster for Bobcat Goldthwait‘s Bigfoot movie, Willow Creek. Yes, that sentence is a lot to take in, so I’ll understand if you need to go back and reread it — but add this thought: Bobcat wrote and directed the flick. And early word from people who have seen it is… positive!

The premise of the movie finds young couple Jim and Kelly venturing into the woods of the Pacific Northwest, seeking to retrace the footsteps of Roger Patterson who, in 1967, shot the most famous alleged film footage of Bigfoot. In the small town of Willow Creek, which is a mecca for Bigfoot believers, the couple gets all sorts of different and often conflicting descriptions of the beast. Despite dire warnings, Jim and Kelly set off into the woods to videotape the creature  — and the results are revealed in found-footage format.

The flick premieres April 29 at Independent Film Festival Boston.

‘Slutty’ DOCTOR WHO Season Finale Title!

doctorsnameIt may be, in Steven Moffat’s own parlance, the sluttiest episode title in the 50-year history of the show: “The Name of the Doctor.”

Remember that Moffat demanded that series seven consist of 13 epic, widescreen episodes with “slutty” titles that suck audiences in. Well, it appears he saved the best for last! The Doctor’s true name has been a mystery since the very very beginning of the series, when Ian called him “Dr. Foreman” and the Time Lord replied testily, “Who? Doctor Who?”

The novel Lungbarrow suggests the Doctor’s name is d^3∑x^2.

And then there’s his calling card…doctorcallingcard

The real mystery here is, Will we get the Doctor’s true name? Rule No. 1: The Doctor lies. Rule 1a: Moffat lies. So what’s a fan to do?

We have to trust the Grand Moff, who has not let us down yet this season. Maybe not every episode has been absolutely as epic as possible (I’m looking at you, “A Town Called Mercy”), but this season has been pretty damn wonderful.

And it ain’t over yet. Not by a longshot.

‘Movie’ Posters for More DOCTOR WHO Stories

The BBC have released the movie poster-style images for the remaining widescreen episodes of series seven — save for the still-secret finale.

There looks to still a lot of adventure and fun in store as the Doctor (Matt Smith) tries to solve the puzzle of Jenna-Louise Coleman‘s Clara, the “girl twice dead” who is traveling with him now.

My favorite by far is the teaser for “Journey to the Center of the TARDIS.” But there’s a lot to be said for the shiny Cyberman in Neil Gaiman‘s “Nightmare in Silver.”

What do you think?

Catching Fire Trailer Leaves Me Cold

It’s sad but true: This first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire left me rather cold. What is this, Hunger Games for Dummies?

See?It just felt way too on-the-nose, with President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Plutarch Heavensebee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) literally chortling and practically rubbing their hands together and twirling their mustaches like cartoon villains. Or Dr. Evil and his cohorts doing the Evil Laugh Bit. I don’t remember a scene like this in the book; it wasn’t particularly well-written, but I don’t think it was that bad.

And the trailer is just plain dull. It doesn’t make me want to see the movie at all. The sequences have absolutely no energy or sense of drama. Combine that with the muted color palette of the district and Snow’s offices, and it isn’t interesting to look at. Worst of all, the other victors are nowhere to be seen — let alone the Quarter Quell, which is what fans really want to see, because the 75th Hunger Games is the bold new element of the sequel, not boring political plotting.

I expected a lot more out of director Francis Lawrence, and now I’m worried about this project.