Thursday, August 21, 2014

Captain's Log: Braga, Geekie and the New Doctor Who

Welcome to the Captain's Log at Soul of Star Trek, where your vision will never be blocked by a popup ad that you can never shake, so for better or for worse, you can actually read what's on this site.  Is that science fiction or what?

Readers of this past post at this site will not be surprised that at a convention appearance, former Star Trek producer/writer and producer of the Cosmos series Brannon Braga reportedly said of his work on Cosmos: "I did bring a lot of my Star Trek sensibilities to the show. The ‘Ship of the Imagination’ might as well be the Starship Enterprise."  (I suggested it looked like the Enterprise D before they put the stuff in, except for the captain's chair.) Check out the Trek Movie story that reports on some of what he said about the Star Treks he worked on. (That's Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos--can't you just hear him? "Engage!")

Speaking of the Trek Movie site, I was genuinely surprised to see (in several comments sections) that such a negative tone towards Star Trek Into Darkness has developed.  I've made my own caveats and qualms known here, but the trekgeist seems to have turned against it definitively.  I don't know what that means for the next JJverse movie, unofficially as yet to be directed by a writer on the past two who is a writer on this one, Roberto Orci.  Word there is that the script is complete, and 2016 is still the release year.

Congratulations to Star Trek Continues for winning as Best Web Series at the 2014 Geekie Awards.  Also to Geek of the Year LeVar Burton.  His successful Kickstarter campaign for Reading Rainbow apparently was the clincher.

 Doctor Who did not fare as well at the Hugo Awards.  Despite having four entries among the nominees for short form TV, it lost to an ep of that other Brit global hit, Game of Thrones.  I really, really dislike that series.

However the world is being prepared for the new season of Doctor Who, a series now of global reach.  The actors playing the new Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and the current companion (Jenna Coleman) participated in a tour that touched down on five continents.  Cities included Mexico City, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul, South Korea.  Each stop included screening of the premiere episode, "Deep Breath."

The episode will be aired in the UK, US, Canada, South America and Germany (though in undubbed English) on August 23, as well as in at least four other countries the next day or the next week.  Thanks to the successful theatrical screenings of the 50th anniversary show, "Day of the Doctor," this episode (70 minutes plus) will also be shown in theatres in a number of countries.

The BBC publicity machine hit a snag however when scripts of the first five episodes were leaked on the Internet.  But from my point of view, this was not all bad since one of the online "reviewers" of the scripts suggested that the new Doctor, while definitely darker than the previous, will have humorous moments, and that the scripts include humor as well as drama.  That would be in keeping with past Doctors but the official publicity shows Capaldi glowering all the time.  I began to wonder if the series is taking itself too seriously.

But then I've only recently been catching up with the last Matt Smith episodes on dvd, lacking a couple of the Christmas specials and the final regeneration story.  I loved "The Day of the Doctor" 50th anniversary story. John Hurt and especially Billie Piper were superb.  David Tennant and Matt Smith work very well together, as do their Doctors.  Though I've come to appreciate Matt Smith's Doctor more, I still feel partial to the Tennant/ Russell T Davies years.  Davies' East Enders Meet the Time Machine approach grounded the stories better for me. Tennant did comedy and drama, the big gestures and subtle moments, all so well.  Matt Smith had unique strengths as the Doctor but he didn't quite have all those colors, and neither did the stories.  Capaldi has done drama and comedy well in the past.   So we'll see.  Although you'll probably see first.


Michael said...

I think the "backlash" against Star Trek Into Darkness has been quite overblown. Mostly, I see the vocal minority that didn't like it still doesn't like it, but I haven't really seen the opinions of people who liked it when it came out change all that much, whether it's online or off.

flamur muja said...

i'm thrilled at the idea of another ST movie. Would love to see it now! Love Dr. Who too.