Make Canoe my Homepage

From Doctors and Miracles to Blinders and Blades; TV must-sees for the coming week

- November 16th, 2013

who capture

Bill Harris TV must-sees for the week of Nov. 17

1 The Day of the Doctor
Debut: A worldwide, commercial-free simulcast marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith teams up with 10th Doctor David Tennant. I hope there isn’t too much math.
When: Saturday on Space

2 Almost Human
Debut: From J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman, this series is set in 2048, when human police officers are partnered with highly evolved androids. Can you tell the difference? Karl Urban and Michael Ealy star.
When: Sunday on Fox, Global

3 Battle of the Blades
Fourth-season finale: The three remaining pairs with title hopes are Violetta Afanasieva and Jason Strudwick; Marie-France Dubreuil and Mathieu Dandenault; and Amanda Evora and Scott Thornton. Ron MacLean hosts.
When: Sunday on CBC

4 Nikita
Final-season debut: Nikita (Maggie Q) still is on the run after being framed for the assassination of the president of the United States. Maybe she describes herself as a “patsy,” just like Lee Harvey Oswald.
When: Friday on CW

5 Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles
Debut: Taped in front of a tiny live audience – 39 people, to be exact, at a club in Los Angeles – the never-shy Silverman takes aim at subjects such as pornography, sexuality and U.S. President Barack Obama.
When: Saturday on HBO Canada

6 Peaky Blinders
Canadian debut: A six-part British drama set in 1919 Birmingham as returning soldiers, criminal gangs and revolutionaries angle for supremacy. Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Helen McCrory star.
When: Thursday on Super Channel

7 New Girl
Jess (Zooey Deschanel) does her best to occupy Schmidt (Max Greenfield) while Cece (Hannah Simone) goes on a date with Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.). Sound madcap enough for you?
When: Tuesday on Fox, City

8 Battleground
Canadian debut: Originating with U.S. online provider Hulu, this is a dramedy about a group of volunteers who set aside their personal lives to get involved in a long-shot political campaign. Jay Hayden and Teri Reeves star.
When: Monday on Super Channel

9 How I Met Your Mother
John Lithgow returns in a guest-starring role as the father of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). Meanwhile, best man Ted (Josh Radnor) believes he has been framed when a wedding-related duty is botched.
When: Monday on CBS, City

10 Styled to Rock
Debut: Executive produced by Rihanna, this new reality series is a search for the next trend-setting fashion designer. Celebrity guests include Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kylie Minogue.
When: Sunday on E!

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

Ex-Doctors on Doctor Who: All living together in a place the size of a phone booth?

- July 26th, 2013

sns-rt-us-drwho-mattsmith-20130725-001

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – You have to wonder what happens to all those retired Doctors on Doctor Who.

They’re all timeless beings, right? So are they all living in the same house together in some dimension of space and time?

Well, whatever they’re doing, Matt Smith has decided to join them. Following the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, which will air on Space this November, and “regenerating” in the Christmas special, Smith – the 11th Doctor – is leaving the franchise.

Of course, it’s one thing to say you’re going, and quite another to come to grips with what it’s going to feel like when you’re actually gone.

“I have pondered it on several occasions, and I ponder it and think, ‘I’ve made a huge mistake. What am I doing? Don’t leave,’ ” the 30-year-old Smith said at the Television Critics Association tour. “I mean, (Doctor Who) has transformed my career. It sort of is my career to a certain extent.

“One hopes that it sort of sets you up to get other work. But, you know, it’s just actors, we go, we audition. I’m the same as anyone else, you know what I mean?

“Just because I’ve done Doctor Who doesn’t give me any divine right to walk into other jobs. I don’t think. I hope it does, but … ”

The producers of Doctor Who have been cagey about who the next Doctor will be. They say the process is ongoing and claim they primarily are concentrating on giving Smith a proper sendoff first.

Besides Smith and Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, the 50th anniversary special also will features the likes of David Tennant (the 10th Doctor), Billie Piper, Joanna Page and John Hurt. Despite the enormity of the anniversary coinciding with his departure, Smith is trying to remain focused on the task at hand.

“To be honest with you, it’s kind of business as usual, really,” Smith said. “I mean, we just make the show, and that’s our kind of business end. We’re locked away in Cardiff. We do our thing. And then we jump into the hype and all the fandom when we come to Comic Con and things like that. So we just crack on with it.

“But it is going to be emotional because, for me, it has been four years. And it’s quite a transformative experience as an actor. It really dominates your life in and out of work. And you become very attached to people.

“I feel very proud to be part of such a wonderful legacy of actors. And I think, hopefully, we have the 50th coming up, and we (want to) honour the history and heritage of those who have gone before us. But I think the thing about Doctor Who is that it always looks forward. That’s the key. The show will get bigger and better and carry on without me. And people will forget.”

At that point, Smith pretended to cry.

There, there, Matt. All those other ex-Doctors can comfort you. After all, you’ll be moving in with them soon enough.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

Stop-motion animated Doctor Who puppet saves Christmas

- December 24th, 2012

If you’re beside yourself waiting for tomorrow’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, this fan-made Christmas minisode should satisfy your blue-box cravings for now.

“How The Doctor Puppet Saved Christmas” is written, directed,and animated by New York City artist Alisa Stern, who runs a painfully adorable Tumblr documenting the adventures of her beloved creation, Doctor Puppet.

Via Tor.com

 

 

Doctor Who sent to an asylum; it was only a matter of time, right?

- August 31st, 2012

Matt Smith as Doctor Who

“How much trouble are we in?”

That question is asked of the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, in the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who.

“Out of 10?” the Doctor muses. “11.”

Any time you can combine Doctor Who with an indirect Spinal Tap reference, it’s a good day.

Doctor Who returns Saturday on Space, lifting off the seventh season of the current version of the decades-old British science-fiction series. The new episode is called Asylum of the Daleks, and it’s equal parts intriguing and entrancing, charming and alarming.

Kidnapped by his oldest enemies the Daleks – who look like R2-D2 from Star Wars but are dramatically more shrill – the Doctor (pictured above) is forced into a mission from which he is not expected to return. He must travel to the place where even Daleks are too afraid to go, namely the Dalek Asylum, a planetary prison where in past years the Daleks sent the most terrifying and insane of their kind.

So it’s EXACTLY like present-day Australia.

Accompanied by fellow kidnap victims Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), the Doctor must do what the Daleks have tasked him to do, while at the same time engineering an improbable escape for himself and his friends.

This Doctor Who-done-it definitely goes to 11. Hey, maybe the Dalek Asylum is some sort of Sex Farm.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv