Steven Moffat: John Hurt — FTW!

What he did he did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity. But what did he do? He upstaged his co-stars!

We’ve heard that Matt Smith and David Tennant got on like a house afire while making the DOCTOR WHO anniversary story “The Day of the Doctor,” but how did newbie John Hurt fit in?

According to executive producer and writer Steven Moffat, as quoted by Radio Times, the Hurt Doctor stole the show:

“It was great fun. You’d have David and Matt, they’d be leaping around the set and doing every form of physical comedy with each other – and, you know, slightly competing about who could be slightly more insane than the other – and then John Hurt would come along and do this [tiny movement] with his eyes and you go ‘That’s it – he’s got the scene now, hasn’t he?’

John was delightful – delightfully grumpy in every single way. During our last meal [while filming] he got grumpy about the fact that he liked the wine! He’s not actually grumpy, he’s actually a really, really lovely man.”

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AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN 3.3: “The Replacements”

AHSC1It must be difficult for Jessica Lange to choose two shows for her Emmy reel each year because she has so many terrific performances from AMERICAN HORROR STORY to consider, but I think her work this year just got 50 percent easier: This episode absolutely has to be submitted, because we got to see sweet-and-sour Fiona at her finest.

Who are the eponymous Replacements? Take your pick: Madison is Fiona’s replacement; Queenie is Delphine’s replacement; the patchwork Kyle is his own replacement; Alicia thinks Kyle is a replacement for her husband; and Cordelia is unable to create her own replacement.
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AGENTS OF SHIELD 1.5: “Girl in the Flower Dress”

BRETT DALTON, MING-NA WENOne of the things I find most interesting about MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is the way episodes hinge on decisions that Agent Coulson has to make, as opposed to a shoot-out or some other action set piece. Whether it’s choosing to let Skye tag along with his team from the pilot or a life-or-death decision about the person his team was chasing. And he makes these choices on the spot, and rather coldly and without sentiment. I like that he takes his job seriously and is willing to make the tough calls.

Those of you keeping score at home know Coulson sometimes gives the prey the benefit of the doubt — Skye and Akela   — but sometimes doesn’t — just ask Dr. Franklin. I find that the most interesting aspect of this show, which isn’t always all that interesting. After all the action and chases and hand-to-hand combat, Coulson usually has a split-second to weigh the life of a bad or dangerous person against the lives of his team (or the safety of the world), and he doesn’t let sentimentality get in the way. (Or would Akela disagree, even though she benefitted from it?)
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‘Final’ Trailer for ‘Catching Fire’ Looks Pretty Hot

If you’re like me and you hate the Boston Red Sox with the fiery passion of 10,000 suns (or maybe you just don’t like baseball), then you also weren’t watching the World Series last night when Lionsgate unveiled what it’s calling the “final trailer” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

It’s the best trailer so far because it actually contains some footage from the arena for the very first time. It would be a shame to miss it, so here it is:

Sadly, the new fan favorite (and mine) from the novel, Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), is hardly in it — she can be glimpsed at the 0:57 mark, over Peeta’s left shoulder as he’s talking to Katniss.

The other novel fan fave, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), and Mags (Lynn Cohen) are just barely recognizable at the 0:46 mark, running through the jungle.

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders

Saturday Night Live has been so hit-and-miss for the last few decades years that it’s easy to forget to watch, but I remembered that Edward Norton was hosting this weekend, so I made sure to watch. (I’ve found something to like in each episode this season, including the overpraised Tina Fey and overly despised Miley Cyrus and Bruce Willis installments.)

The best thing about this week’s episode was also by far the best thing about this entire season so far: the dead-on pastiche of director Wes Anderson’s  highly mannered filmmaking style, called The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders. Watch:

Everything about this was perfect, from Norton’s wonderful Owen Wilson impression to Kate McKinnon’s Tilda Swinton to the sets and Alec Baldwin as the turtleneck-wearing Narrator. If you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson film before, well, you’ve just seen one. It’s a shame this isn’t a real movie…

Will SLEEPY HOLLOW Rue the Day?

SHnobleWhen SLEEPY HOLLOW returns to Fox Nov. 4 after World Series coverage, FRINGE veteran John Noble will make his first guest appearance,  and then on Nov. 25, the cast will grow again, when Jill Marie Jones and Amandla Stenberg begin recurring as Lt. Frank Irving’s wife and daughter.

Jones will play Cynthia, the ex-wife of Irving, who is portrayed by Orlando Jones. Stenberg will play their teen daughter, Macey. You will probably remember Stenberg as the adorable Rue in last year’s The Hunger Games movie — but no word on whether her character on SH will also be adorable. Early indications are that she feels “disconnected” from her father since he started working in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Noble — beloved by fans as FRINGE’s loopy Walter Bishop — will recur on SH as Henry Parrish, a man with supernatural powers who may hold the key to severing Ichabod’s blood connection to the Headless Horseman.