"Small. White. Crea-tures. They. May. Be. Hos-tile."
- a Dalek describing lab mice in “The Daleks’ Masterplan”
- a Dalek describing lab mice in “The Daleks’ Masterplan”
This weekend we did a two-day shoot for my new short film, The Audition. It was a fun, productive shoot, and I got to work some some old friends from my last production as well as some new people. Everyone did a great job in their roles, and the shoot went smoothly.
Now I’m shifting into post production mode, syncing up the audio and video and starting to cut the whole thing together. It’s probably going to be a few weeks before I have any significant updates, but in the meantime enjoy these production stills and behind the scenes photos from the shoot.
Am I crazy, or would Toby Jones actually be a pretty amazing choice for the Twelfth Doctor? He’s well known but not a “star” like some of the other names being thrown around, he’s totally different from any of the previous New Who Doctors, and he’s already sort of played the Doctor in “Amy’s Choice”.
That episode cast him as the ‘Dream Lord’, a malicious being who was later revealed to be a manifestation of the Doctor’s dark side. Isn’t it possible that the Doctor subconsciously knows what his next incarnation will look like, and projected that on to the Dream Lord? Or that when the Eleventh Doctor dies he unconsciously chooses this form for his next body (out of fear, self-loathing, etc.)? After all, we don’t know exactly how regeneration works — and it wouldn’t be the first time he ended up looking like someone who wanted to kill him (see: Colin Baker).
Okay, I’ve officially convinced myself: Toby Jones is now tied with Chiwetel Ejiofor for my top pick for the Twelfth Doctor.
I’m really not sure when it will be safe to talk about the fourth season of “Arrested Development” without spoiling it for people, what with all 15 episodes going live at the same time on Netflix, allowing everyone to consume them at their own pace. So I’ll put all spoilers under a handy “Read More” on this post. But before I do, a word for those of you who have only watched the first two or three episodes.
Don’t worry, it gets better.
I haven’t talked about my new film in a while, which is because until recently it didn’t look like it was going to happen. Despite having a script I’m really proud of and a cast I’m excited about working with, I wasn’t able to put together a crew to actually shoot the thing. I reached out to all of my connections from previous productions, but everyone was either busy or out of the state for the summer. We were rapidly approaching the only dates all cast and locations would be available (this weekend) and I still didn’t have enough people behind the camera.
Fortunately, one of the producers of “Cross Words” put me in touch with a local production group that wanted to collaborate, and they found several enthusiastic crew members for this weekend’s shoot. We’ll be filming all day Saturday and Sunday, and then I’ll be in post production for the next few weeks.
The film is called “The Audition”. It’s not a comedy, which is a change for me. The plot is hard to describe without giving away too much, but I settled on this synopsis for eventual posting on YouTube and Vimeo:
An actress turns to a struggling writer for help after an audition goes horribly wrong.
I should have some behind-the-scenes photos to post next week, so keep your eyes peeled (they’ll also be on my Facebook page).
Doesn’t the fact that Nina Toussaint-White played one of River’s regenerations invalidate the argument that the Doctor couldn’t be played by a black actor?
And the Doctor’s comments in “The Doctor’s Wife” about his Time Lord friend who switched genders (not to mention his seemingly genuine belief that he was “a girl” right after regenerating into Matt Smith) make it clear he could also be played by a woman.
Now an American Doctor, that I’d have a problem with…
It’s that time again, when every British actor (no matter how famous) gets tossed out there as a possibility for the new Doctor.
Side note: These media stories will invariably refer to the character as “the new Doctor Who” (or even “the new Dr. Who”) which used to bother me but now I find kind of fun.
So the search is on for a new Doctor (Who), and here are the actors I’d most like to see in the role:
(Thank you, person who Photoshopped this!)
While Ejiofor has long been my top choice for the Doctor, he’s probably too busy with his movie career to consider it. But he’s British, he’s done sci-fi (Serenity, Children of Men) and he’s great in everything. He’s handsome and charming, which would be a nice shift from Smith’s goofiness, and he could really sell the gravitas of the Last of the Time Lords. I could see Ejiofor being more of an action hero Doctor, much like Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor (who also replaced a goofball in a bow tie).
I think it was Tom Baker who first brought up the possibility of a female Doctor in the early eighties, and since then it’s come up every time an actor announces they’re leaving. Personally, I think it’s time for a woman to play the Doctor, and Tilda Swinton is one of the most interesting actresses out there. Again, she’s got a healthy movie career going, but wouldn’t the opportunity to play an English icon and the first female Doctor be worth a few years away from Hollywood? Swinton could definitely bring out the weirdness in the Doctor, and the dynamic between her and Clara would be fascinating. It’s been eight long years since a companion had to adjust to a new Doctor after getting to know the last one, and the added wrinkle of that Doctor being female would make things really interesting.
I loved Steven Moffat’s pre-Who series “Jekyll” which starred James Nesbitt, so when I learned Moffat would be casting the Eleventh Doctor I immediately thought of the Irish actor for the role. He didn’t get it that time, but now Moffat has a second chance to cast Nesbitt as the Doctor,
Another side note: Steven Moffat is one of the few executive producers to cast more than one Doctor — the last one to do so was John Nathan-Turner who cast Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy.
Nesbitt would be the oldest actor to take on the Doctor since Jon Pertwee, but after Matt Smith someone with a little maturity might not be a bad thing. I’d especially like to see Nesbitt play a pricklier Doctor the way Colin Baker did (without taking it quite as far).
There are lots of other names being thrown around, some I’m familiar with and some I’m not. As I wrote in an earlier post, as long as they don’t try to repeat Matt Smith’s Doctor I’m sure I’ll enjoy whoever takes on the role.
Almost two years ago I decided to rank the Eleven Doctors. In light of Matt Smith’s announcement that he will be leaving “Doctor Who”, I’ve decided to repost it.
The text has been modified but the rankings are unchanged, and I stand by them two years later.
It had to happen eventually. Matt Smith wasn’t going to always be the Doctor. And while the news that he’ll be departing “Doctor Who” after the 50th anniversary special is disappointing, change has always been the engine that drives the series.
The average for a Doctor is three years. That’s how long William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy played the role (Colin Baker and Christopher Eccleston left sooner, but Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker stayed longer). Smith will have been the Doctor for almost four years by the time he steps down (during which time he’s done three 13 episode seasons, four Christmas episodes, and the 50th anniversary special) which puts him close to David Tennant (who did three 13 episode seasons, four Christmas episodes, and four TV movies). That’s a good run for a Time Lord.
During his time the show has exploded in the States (Tennant may still be considered more popular, but his face never made it on the cover of American magazines because the show wasn’t being promoted the way it is now) and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Now Hollywood is calling, and “Doctor Who” doesn’t give its lead actor the kind of time off that people like Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston enjoy to do side projects (between filming and promoting the show on both sides of the pond, being the Doctor is pretty much a year-round gig). With the show in good shape (and in good hands) and his own star on the rise, who can blame Matt Smith for hanging up his fez and moving on? Of course I’d like him to say longer, match Jon Pertwee’s five seasons or challenge Tom Baker’s seven year record, but I never really thought he’d stay much past the fiftieth anniversary.
The question now is, what comes next? The speculation I’ve seen so far all centres around young, dark haired men who can play “quirky”. Which is to say, Matt Smith 2.0. But “Doctor Who” has never done the same thing twice in a row with its lead actor, and Steven Moffat knows better than to double down on the madman with a box. The Twelfth Doctor needs to be as different from the Eleventh as Matt Smith was from David Tennant.
When he took on the role, Smith’s position was very similar to that of Peter Davison. Both were very young (and thought to be too young to play such an ancient character) and both followed up an immensely popular Doctor. Now Smith’s successor will face the same challenge Colin Baker did, replacing a very likable and character. Will Moffat go the same direction John Nathan-Turner did, giving us a prickly, unlikable Doctor? Will he go the route of the Third Doctor, introducing more of an action hero Time Lord to contrast his sweet and goofy predecessor?
Either way, the dynamic with Clara will change. I’m glad she’s sticking around for the transition, because having a familiar face has always helped viewers accept the new Doctor. Before Matt Smith, nearly every new Doctor came to the screen with companions the audience already knew (the only exceptions were the Eighth and Ninth — the Third at least had the Brigadier and UNIT who were introduced during the Second Doctor era). Seeing Clara interact with a new Doctor who is very different from the one she met should be interesting and entertaining.
This is a really exciting time to be a “Doctor Who” fan. We have the fiftieth anniversary special coming, with its mystery surrounding John Hurt, and now we have a new Doctor to look forward to. It’s sad that Matt Smith is leaving, but just like with the Ponds before him I’m simultaneously sad about losing a character I love and excited about seeing what comes next.
happy river song day!
Five years today since River was introduced! She’s easily my favourite new character of the 2005 series.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Alex Kingston playing her, but apparently Kate Winslet was considering the role at one point. Pretty sure if she’d taken the part River would have been a one-off character instead of a crucial part of the Matt Smith/Steven Moffat era.
“The Fictional Man” has a very interesting premise: in a world where human cloning was discovered in the 1970s, but law prohibits its use on actual human beings, Hollywood employs the technology to bring fictional characters to life for television and films. Many of these ‘Fictionals’ live in Hollywood after their acting careers are over, and in some cases (such as public domain characters like Sherlock Holmes) multiple versions exist.
The protagonist Niles Golan (he’s far too unlikable to be called ‘hero’) is a novelist who dreams of having one of his creations ‘translated’ into a living, breathing, Fictional. When he’s offered a chance to write the screenplay for a big budget reboot of a sixties spy film, Niles jumps at the chance because the main character will be played by a new Fictional created from his words. Niles starts to research the origins of the story he’s supposed to adapt, and this quest drives the narrative.
The whole concept of Fictional characters living in the real world is interesting, and it allows for some nice skewering of Hollywood. Niles’ best friend Bob is a Fictional of a superhero clearly meant to be Batman, and his therapist is a Fictional who starred on a television series that sounds like a psychiatrist version of “House”. Since the book is set in a world parallel to our own, there are several references to familiar shows and films that starred Fictionals instead of real actors (there are several references to an ‘incident’ involving a Dexter Morgan Fictional gone wrong). It makes for fun reading, but at times the world is more interesting than the actual plot of the novel.
It doesn’t help that Niles Golan is a miserable human being. He’s selfish and arrogant, he cheated on his now-ex-wife multiple times, and he has a pompous inner monologue that narrates his actions throughout the story. But the book never pretends Niles is a good guy, and there are other characters (like Bob) to latch on to.
There are some really interesting ideas (the taboo nature of human/Ficitional relationships, an S&M-like subculture where people roleplay authors and characters) and a few subplots that don’t pan out (a serial killer case being investigated by two different versions of Sherlock Holmes), but overall “The Fictional Man” is enjoyable and inventive.
This weekend I finished re-watching David Milch’s brilliant “Deadwood”. And, with apologies to “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad”, I still think it’s the best thing that has ever been on television.
I actually remembered season three being a little disappointing, but watching it now it’s as good as the first two seasons. Yes, there are some things left unresolved, but it doesn’t end with a cliffhanger like “Twin Peaks”. The main plot of the season is about George Hearst’s time in the camp and how it affects the characters, and the season ends with Hearst leaving Deadwood (with lives destroyed in his wake) so it feels pretty complete. And while all the business with the acting troupe seems a bit unnecessary, Brian Cox is so great as Jack Langrishe its inclusion is totally justified.
I’m glad I went back and re-watched this excellent series. It’s sad that HBO and David Milch couldn’t come to terms on a fourth season or a movie to wrap things up (reports differ on why that never happened), but the show ends neatly enough that new viewers shouldn’t be afraid to start watching.
I’m a sucker for Bizarro! Thanks for sharing jinx-effect:
Superman Rogues Silhouettes (-Gambit1024 on Reddit, Steve Garcia on Tumblr)
Superman has a highly underrated rogues gallery in my opinion, hope to see more than Zod in the Man of Steel series. On that note, let’s hope Man of Steel is only the start to an excellent trilogy and kicks off a Justice League film! :D
For all of those who say “Superman doesn’t have any good villains” (and this doesn’t even have Mister Mxyzptlk).
Unfortunately, counting Man of Steel we have six Superman feature films and just two villains (Lex Luthor and General Zod). Unless you’re counting the Nuclear Man from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace…