The Teaser Trailer for Series 11 of “Doctor Who” Leaves Something to be Desired

Doctor Who_ Series 11 Teaser (BQ)It’s been just about a year since it was first announced that Jodie Whittaker would be the Thirteenth Doctor and about six months since we first saw her in the role, so it’s about time BBC released a trailer for the new series. Well, during the halftime of their World Cup coverage, they did just that. A new, specially shot trailer has debuted for the new series of Doctor Who. It’s… not the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen, unfortunately. Series 11 of Doctor Who will be the first series to star Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and the first to be written by new showrunner Chris Chibnall. It will be comprised of 10 episodes and is expected to air later this year. This first trailer shows us very little of the series, instead offering specially shot footage exclusive to this trailer and featuring no clips from any actual episodes.

The trailer is mostly comprised of shots of the new companions (played by, in the order of their appearance in the trailer, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh) sitting in various locations, eating and watching/listening to coverage of the World Cup. They each experience some kind of time distortion, presumably caused by the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), and look dramatically at the camera before the trailer cuts to the next person. After each of them experience their time distortion, a title card appears that reads “The Universe is Calling” and then we get a short glimpse of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor before it cuts to the title screen and the trailer is over. None of the characters speak at all; all the dialogue comes from the World Cup coverage and none of the characters actually interact with each other.

entertainment weekly imageIt’s not that it’s a bad trailer; it’s just terribly unexciting. I understand we’re probably still another few months away from the airdate and they don’t wanna show us too much, but they could have showed us something that actually gave us a sense of how the series might go. This trailer isn’t the first time they’ve aired a specially shot trailer for Doctor Who, featuring little-to-no footage from the series it was advertising. They did it often during the RTD era, the first Matt Smith series had one, as well as the last Peter Capaldi series. Those, at least, featured the Doctor actually speaking and interacting with their companions. They often featured hints at what monsters might appear in that series. Most of all, they actually gave viewers a sense of the tone and direction the series would go, as well as offering a first look at the dynamic between the Doctor and their companion(s). They were a really good tease in that respect. This trailer offered none of that and, for me, was far less exciting than the images from the actual series that were released by Entertainment Weekly earlier this week. Those images were a perfect tease and showed us the Doctor with her companions and I would’ve liked something that did that as this teaser.

I don’t wanna sound like a total negative Nancy. It is a really well put together teaser. The visuals are beautiful and all our main actors look great. I am still very excited for the series, but this trailer didn’t really add to that excitement (aside from making me want to see actual footage from the series more than I already did). I just wish it had actually shown us something or featured the characters actually talking or something. I mean, all the dialogue was World Cup coverage, after all. That’s disappointing. I wish it was more about the actual series instead of just a general “hey Doctor Who still exists” kind of thing. I am curious as to whether this trailer will have the desired impact on its target audience. It’s clearly aimed at a more general audience than Doctor Who fans. Between the actual content of the trailer and when it was aired, I’d suspect its target audience is casual viewers and people who have never watched the show. I worry, though, that this trailer offers nothing to entice them to actually try watching the show. I showed it to my sister, someone who doesn’t have any strong opinion on the show either way, and asked her if that trailer made her want to watch the new series. She said it didn’t; she thought the visuals were nice but that it offered very little in the way of actual information that would make her want to watch the show. I suspect that might be the case for a number of people who haven’t really watched the show. It’s a nice tease, but it doesn’t really offer much to convince someone to watch the show, and shouldn’t that have been the point of this trailer? Shouldn’t it have shown new viewers what they might expect from this new series of Doctor Who? Maybe I’m expecting too much from a teaser trailer, but it seems that it didn’t have enough to land for hardcore Doctor Who fans or more casual ones. It didn’t offer much information nor did it really give a sense of the tone or direction of the series. I’m really hoping that they debut something more satisfying at their Comic Con panel on Thursday. This isn’t an awful start, but it’s not really the bang one would’ve preferred, either. It’s more of a whisper than a bang. Which kinda sucks. I’m still excited for the new series, but this trailer just didn’t do it for me. I do like it more the more I watch it, but it’s still pretty disappointing.

 

Titan’s Doctor Who: “The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor #1” More Mediocre Than Exciting

Doctor Who - The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor 001 - Tenth Doctor Special-000aTitan Comics, publisher of the Doctor Who comics, have started their special miniseries leading to the launch of the ongoing 13th Doctor title: The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more mediocre than exciting really, and a lot of that comes down to the way they’ve marketed the miniseries. Issue 1 of Doctor Who: The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor is written by James Peaty and illustrated by Iolanda Zanfardino (with colors by Dijjo Lima) and features a short story involving the Tenth Doctor, Cindy, and Gabby, as well as featuring a small backup story from the creative team behind the 13th Doctor title (Jody Houser and Rachael Stott (and colors by Enrica Eren Angiolini))

The first of three stand-alone stories featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor – each issue contains a serialised short from the creative team behind the new Thirteenth Doctor ongoing series.

The Tenth Doctor has his work cut out when he encounters a lost spaceship… whose crew are being absorbed by mysterious ghostly creatures! Everything is not as it seems, however, especially when disturbing facts about the crew come to light!

Note: there may be spoilers for this comic below so read at your own risk.  (more…)

The “Doctor Who: Target Collection” Bursts Back on the Scene With the Amazing “Day of the Doctor” and “Twice Upon a Time” Novelizations

target novels day of the doctor and twice upon a timeBack in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, nearly every serial from the classic run of Doctor Who was novelized in one way or another through a range of books published by Target Books. That practice was discontinued when the show returned in 2005, mainly due to how readily available various home video formats were. It’s a shame because many of those classic novelizations ended up being better than the televised versions (mainly because a novel doesn’t have the budget constraints of a science fiction show made on a shoestring budget in the mid-1970s). Then, just a few months ago, BBC Books decided to revive the range for a brief five-book run. Like the old range, they brought back the writers of some of the episodes while mixing it adaptations from other writers. The books adapted for this new range were Rose by Russell T. Davies (the writer of the episode), The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T. Colgan (based on a script by Russell T. Davies), The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat (the writer of the episode), and Twice Upon a Time by Paul Cornell (based on a script by Steven Moffat). This review, however, will be focusing on the latter two books: The Day of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time.

Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor (by Steven Moffat): When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it. The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe… a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone. On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth… to save the universe… and to save his soul.

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (by Paul Cornell): Still reeling from his encounter with the Cybermen, the First Doctor stumbles through the bitter Antarctic wind, resisting the approaching regeneration with all his strength. But as he fights his way through the snowdrifts, he comes across the familiar shape of a blue police box, and a mysterious figure who introduces himself as the Doctor… Thrown together at their most vulnerable moments, the two Doctors must discover why the snowflakes are suspended in the sky, why a First World War Captain has been lifted from his time stream moments before his death, and who is the mysterious Glass Woman who knows their true name. The Doctor is reunited with Bill, but is she all she seems? And can he hold out against the coming regeneration?

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REVIEW: “Circus of Alice” by Madison Chase

Circus of AliceSometimes when you’re young, you really dig some odd stuff. I went through phases in late middle school/early high school (that I arguably never grew out of) where I was into some objectively odd art. My favorite move for ages was Repo! The Genetic Opera – a rock opera, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (of Saw II fame) and written by Terrance Zdunich, sort of in the vein of Rocky Horror, where a Repo Man (played by Anthony Head, from Buffy) literally repossessed people’s organs if they couldn’t pay for them. I was a big fan of an indie film called Ink, a weird film where a monster (named Ink) stole a girl’s soul in order to join the ranks of the Incubi – monsters that created nightmares. It was a weird movie, but I loved it. I also got pretty into artists like Emilie Autumn, Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls/Evelyn Evelyn, and a few other eclectic groups. A few years later, I’d end up falling in love with Bousman and Zdunich’s next collaboration, The Devil’s Carnival, a short film about a carnival, run by the devil, that forces sinners to relive their sins over and over again in a carnival setting. It featured a soundtrack (written by Zdunich and Saar Hendelman) that was very inspired by circus and carnival music. A few years earlier, I’d really vibed with another circus-themed album: Circus of Alice by Madison Chase. Billed as a concept album in the genre of chamber pop/creepy pop, Circus of Alice was the first (and currently only) album from Madison Chase, an artist currently based out of LA., and told the story of a young girl named Alice and her experiences in a creepy circus.

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Jackie Tyler Shines in “The Siege of Big Ben” – A Doctor Who Short Trip from Big Finish Productions

DWST0806_thesiegeofbigben_1417I rarely listen to the Big Finish Productions audios that only feature one voice actor because I tend to prefer the full cast format to the singular narrator format, but The Siege of Big Ben was well worth listening to. Written by Joseph Lidster, Doctor Who: The Siege of Big Ben is the latest installment of Big Finish Production’s monthly Short Trips series, a series of audios featuring a short story related to one of the Doctors Big Finish has the rights to and read by one of the original cast members from the TV series. This story featured Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler in a story featuring the Meta-Crisis Doctor in the parallel Earth seen at the end of Journey’s End. “Jackie Tyler has everything she’s ever wanted: a loving husband and, two children. But a terrible, far-reaching plan is underway, and only Jackie and a single friend stand in the way of it. But the Doctor isn’t the man he was…”  (more…)

“Incredibles 2” is a GREAT Superhero Movie; Mediocre “Incredibles” Movie

mv5bmteznzy0otg0ntdeqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mdu3otg3mjuz-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_It only took fourteen years, but Disney and Pixar have finally released the sequel to 2004’s The Incredibles! Was it worth the wait? Yes and no. Written and directed by Brad Bird, Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where the first movie ends, with the Parrs suiting up to defeat the latest supervillain to threaten their city: The Underminer.

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2”–but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again–which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

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In Defense of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

cursed child defenseThe Tony Awards aired this past weekend,  and the internet is abuzz about the winner of the Best New Play award: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There’s been a bit of controversy as a result of its win, particularly from the Harry Potter fandom, so, I figured now is as good a time as any to mount a defense for the play. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play borne out of a collaboration between Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne, and director John Tiffany. It’s advertised as the official eighth chapter in the Harry Potter series and tells the story of Harry’s middle child, Albus Severus, and his experiences as he attends Hogwarts and fights to escape the shadows of his father’s past glories. The script for the show was initially published in July of 2016, and to say there was some controversy directly afterward would be an understatement. While the majority of critics in London adored the show and praised it for its script, acting, design elements, etc, fans were noticeably more divided, if not downright negative towards it. It’s been criticized as “bad fanfiction with a silly story”, “totally out of character”, “inconsistent with the books and the universe that Rowling wrote”, amongst others. I disagree with most of those points, and I’m gonna explain why. It’s worth noting that there will be total spoilers for the play throughout this. You’ve been warned.  (more…)

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” Would Be a Lot Better Without Han Solo

mv5bmdu1mgjjztktzmezoc00mmi3ltk2mjctythln2yyzddjodnhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynzuwndyxmzy-_v1_sy1000_sx700_al_Solo: A Star Wars Story is not a particularly good movie. On the bright side, however, it’s not a total trainwreck either. It’s just…fine. It would be a much better movie if it didn’t have to focus on Han Solo at all. Directed by Ron Howard and written by Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan, Solo: A Star Wars Story is the latest stand-alone anthology film in the Star Wars franchise. Starring Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Solo is a prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy that reveals the backstory of Han Solo.

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ an adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

(Mild spoilers ahead…) (more…)

HBO’s “Fahrenheit 451” is All Smoke, No Flame

mv5bzmm1zgjkzdgtnzblns00yjkyltk3ngetztixmgvkmtk2yjg1xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtmxodk2otu-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_Where there’s smoke, there is often flame. Unfortunately, HBO’s new adaptation of the classic novel, Fahrenheit 451, is all smoke and no flame. Adapted by Amir Nader and Ramin Bahrani, from the original novel by Ray Bradbury, and directed by Ramin Bahrani, Fahrenheit 451 is this weird mixture of being a modern adaptation and an original story featuring a few of the characters from the book.

Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon star in Fahrenheit 451. Directed by Ramin Bahrani and written by Bahrani and Amir Naderi, the film is a modern adaption of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel. It depicts a future where the media is an opiate, history is rewritten and “firemen” burn books. Jordan plays Montag, a young fireman who struggles with his role as law enforcer as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty, played by Shannon. Sofia Boutella also stars as Clarisse, an informant caught between the competing interests of Montag and Beatty. Other cast members include YouTube star Lilly Singh, who plays a tabloid reporter named Raven, tasked with spreading propaganda and broadcasting the firemens’ book-burning raids.

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“The Happytime Murders” Trailer is a Hot Mess

Alongside the release of Deadpool 2, STX Entertainment has released the first trailer for their upcoming adult-oriented puppet-noir film from the Jim Henson Company, The Happytime Murders. Written by Todd Berger and directed by Brian Henson, The Happytime Murders has been advertised as a Muppets version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and had languished in development hell for years before finally being picked up by STX Entertainment. The good news is that there’s finally a trailer and hard proof that this film actually exists. The bad news is that the trailer is a hot mess. Like, it’s a really bad trailer, both in terms of pure entertainment/quality and also being an accurate representation of the film. According to Wikipedia, the plot of the film is as follows:

173811_800x1045In a world where puppets co-exist with humans as second class citizens, Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta), puppet private eye and disgraced ex-cop, is hot on the trail of the serial killer who murdered his brother and is now targeting the cast members of the 1980s television series The Happytime Gang. As the killings continue, Jenny (Elizabeth Banks), Phil’s former flame, is next on the list. It’s up to Phil and Detective Edwards (Melissa McCarthy), his ex-partner, to find the culprit, but as bad blood and old resentments resurface, the clues start pointing to the only viable suspect: Phil himself. Now he’s on the run with only his wits and hard-headed determination as he and his partner attempt to solve the Happytime Murders.

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