Monday, 28 June 2010

Doctor Who "The Big Bang"

Right. That was a busy episode.

I had assumed that the Doctor might be absent for a chunk of the running time seeing as he had been shut in the ultimate prison. Oh no. As it turns out all you need is some lovely circular time travel logic.

Future Doctor travels back in time (using River Song's vortex manipulator) and gives Plastic Rory his sonic screwdriver that will release the present Doctor. Then Amy is placed in the Pandorica as it's such a good prison not even death is an escape. It will keep her not-quite-dead until a sample of her living DNA can be found. Plastic Rory offers to stand guard over the box to keep Amy safe.

So now it's 1996 again. Seven year old Amelia is praying to Santa if he could send someone to fix the crack in her wall. There is a noise outside and she goes to the window and sees... Well nothing as it happens. In the sky there is the moon but no stars. We discover that this universe has the Earth in it and nothing else. The rest of the universe doesn't exist.

Amelia finds a museum leaflet telling her to visit the Pandorica exhibition. She does so and we also see a stone Dalek display in the museum. She presses her hand on the box and it opens having got the DNA it needs to revive adult Amy.

The Doctor appears and uses the vortex manipulator to go back and give Rory the sonic screwdriver and Amelia the museum leaflet. Sorted.

Except the light from the Pandorica revives one of the stone Daleks and it attacks. Plastic Rory appears in a museum security guard uniform. He has continued watching over Amy. The stone Dalek shoots a version of the doctor from 12 minutes in the future.

Yes, as Amy says, it's complicated.

On the roof of the museum they see what looks like the sun, except it is the Tardis exploding, the only thing keeping the earth from been wiped from existence like the rest of the universe. The doctor rescues River Song who has been caught in a time loop.

The Doctor does indeed get shot by the dalek. In a neat little scene River faces off against the Dalek and it asks for "Mercy!" Not likely.

The Doctor is placed in the Pandorica. He realises the light from it will interact with the Tardis explosion and create Bing Bang 2 that will restore the universe. The only problem is that he will be on the wrong side of the explosion and will disappear because everyone will forget he has existed.

He launches the Pandorica towards the exploding Tardis and sure enough the universe is put right. The Doctor finds himself rewinding back through time. When he gets to 1996 he finds Amelia sleeping in the garden where she was waiting for him to return. He tells her to remember him.

It is 2010 and Amy is getting married. She is surprised to find her parents alive but is not sure whey she is surprised. At the wedding reception she is handed River Song's blue Tardis "spoiler" book and find s herself crying because she is sad but can't remember why. Then she remembers the Doctor and stands up and shouts that her imaginary friend was real. Cue much embarrassment from the guests. Until the Tardis appears in their midst.

Later the Doctor wonders what caused the Tardis to malfunction in the first place but the phone rings with the promise of a new adventure in store. The episode ends with the Doctor, Amy and Rory setting off once more.

This summary really can't adequately describe what a clever scripe Steven Moffat has come up with. The mad thing is that it all makes sense as well as tying up the preceding 12 episodes together.

Good stuff.

Now, where can I get an Amy Pond action figure?

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Emily Blunt in Culture

Last Sunday Emily Blunt appered on the cover of the Sunday Times Culture magazine. I've done a quick scan of the cover but the large page size makes the article inside too awkward to scan.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Ruth Wilson on ITV's This Morning

It looks like Ruth was on This Morning yesterday to talk about Through a Glass Darkly:

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Lucy Liemann in BBC's Rev

Just noticed this a moment ago. Lucy Liemann of Reggie Perrin and Moving Wallpaper fame will be in the BBC's new sitcom Rev on 28 June 2010. It seems to be a sitcom about an urban vicarage and Tom Hollander is in it.

Doctor Who "The Pandorica Opens"


Well. How about that? This is the episode where it all starts happening and there are quite a few surprises along the way.

The start of the episode jumps around through time and manages to reference quite a few of the previous 11 episodes. It's 1890 and Van Gogh lies dying after completing his last painting. Now it's 1941 and Churchill tries to phone the Doctor to warn him of what the paining contains. Now it's 5145 and River Song takes the call. She leaves a message for the Doctor written on the oldest cliff in the universe with time coordinates of where to meet her. Now it's 102 AD and the Doctor and Amy arrive in Roman Britain. (Note, this River has yet to encounter the Weeping Angels from the episode earlier in this series!)

River shows the Doctor the painting of the Tardis exploding. They trace a signal to Stonehenge. Under Stonehenge they discover the Pandorica, a big box that was built as a prison for the most feared being in the universe. It's sending out signals announcing it's opening and the Doctor realises that every alien race will come for it. River confirms that Daleks, Cypermen and just about everyone else have arrived above Earth.

One of the Roman soldiers turns out to be Rory who is as a loss how to explain how he's been resurrected. Amy doesn't remember him but finds herself crying because she is happy.

River goes to fetch the Tardis but it takes off and arrives at Amy's house on 26/06/2010. Inside she finds Amy's childhood books on Roman Britain and Pandora's Box. She warns the Doctor that Amy's memories have been used to create a trap.

The Romans turn out to be the plastic Auton guys and capture the Doctor. Soon Daleks, Cyberman, Sontarians and lots of other Doctor Who aliens appear. They have formed an Alliance to defeat the Doctor because they know the Tardis will explode and destroy the universe.

The Pandorica opens. It is empty. They drag the Doctor towards his prison. He shouts that the Tardis will explode anyway and he is the only person who can stop it. They shut him inside anyway.

Auton Rory shoots Amy who appears to die.

The Tardis explodes with River inside it.

Around Earth all the galaxies disappear from existence.

Bloody Hell!

So what do we know about the concluding part? the Radio Times interview with Karen Gillan implied she was filming the new series this summer so I assume she survives. Also a promotional image for the next episode shows the Doctor with 7-year-old Amy so perhaps somehow he goes back to stop things from happening.

Very good episode. In particular I felt the music was of movie-quality and made good use of the "Matt Smith theme" that was introduced in this series.

I look forward to the conclusion.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Karen Gillan in Radio Times

Sometimes the the people who put together the Radio Times make it very easy for me to decide to buy it. Take the new issue out today. Karen Gillan? On the cover? Four-page article inside? Sold!

They have an added bonus of some more Karen on their website:

Monday, 14 June 2010

Ruth Wilson article round-up

Here's a couple of new Ruth Wilson articles. First from the Guardian website...

Ruth Wilson is about to star in a new stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly. She plays Karin – a schizophrenic on holiday with brother, father and husband. She also played psychopathic astrophysicist Alice in BBC1's Luther.

Is madness hard to act?

I think everyone is a bit mad. Actually, I am not sure that there is such a thing as madness. But I'd like the audience to question whether Karin is mad and ask whether her "madness" might also be her place of solace or freedom. I did a documentary drama once [The Doctor Who Hears Voices] about a girl who was bipolar. In preparation, I stayed with a psychologist and met lots of his clients and learned about their different voices and how they interpreted them. I realised that what is internal seems, to them, external. It was fascinating. I saw that there is a desperation and paranoia about the pressure of keeping this hidden from the world – and this exacerbates the condition. They are constantly distracted.

You are a chameleon as an actress, with a face that keeps changing – from earthy Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire to blonde Queenie in Small Island to plain Jane Eyre, the role for which you were nominated for a Bafta. No danger of being typecast then?

Appearance matters, but you do not have to look perfect. It is better if you don't. You have to be who you are. I have just dyed my hair from red to blackish brown and look completely different now – it feels great. People cannot put a label on me – which is good.

What part would you choose to play if you could be anyone?

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

What do you do to keep sane when not working?

I run. I swim. I go to films. My holidays are usually organised at the last minute. I've just been to Costa Rica and learned to surf. It was brilliant. I also like to spend time with my family. I've got lots of nephews and nieces.

I know you are close to your brother, Matt. Wasn't he fighting in Afghanistan?

He went there two years ago. As a family, it was really tough. My brother saw a friend of his die there. He was in the Territorial Army but had to join the regular army – the paratroopers. The equipment was useless. They had one helicopter. It was a nightmare. I have a big issue with the government about this. We should not be fighting wars we have not got the resources to fight. My brother returned deeply disheartened. Whenever I think of my brother, it stops me being self-indulgent about my career – at least I am not going to get shot.


And second here's an article with slightly different subject matter from the Telegraph:

Hailed as Britain's brightest new star in Hollywood, Alice Eve has, though, won
only disdain from one of her British peers.

Ruth Wilson, who appeared to great acclaim in a BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, has criticised the 28-year-old daughter of the actors Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan for exposing herself in Sex and the City 2, in which she plays a bra-less nanny.

“I wouldn’t want to be like her,” Wilson said at the Evian-sponsored Bafta television awards in London. “She has been all quiet here and then she suddenly pops up in Sex and the City and gets her t––– out.

“In her scenes, she runs towards the girls and her t––– are flopping about everywhere, and there’s another where her T-shirt gets wet and it goes see-through, showing everything.

“I would never do any nudity in a film. Why would I need to? It’s gratuitous and unnecessary. You don’t need to get naked to be recognised."

The Olivier award-winning actress, 28, plans to pursue a film career after completing her run in Through a Glass Darkly at the Almeida theatre in the capital.

She adds of Sex and the City 2: “It is a grotesque movie made by men for women; I don’t get why girls like it. Those four characters are rancid. You won’t find me doing a movie like that. I would rather go for more intelligent parts.”


Here's a gratuitous photo of Alice Eve.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Wolfman DVD review

I took a chance on buying The Wolfman DVD last night. When the movie came out in cinemas earlier in the year reviews seemed to be a bit mixed and along the lines of "it's all a bit silly". But like I said, I took a chance on the DVD. Probably because Emily Blunt is in it.

The plot in brief: It's 1891 and Benicio Del Toro is American actor Lawrence Talbot who is performing Hamlet in England. He hears that his brother is missing and then has been found dead so he returns to his family home at Blackmoor which is suitably windswept and Gothic. There he is reunited with his father Sir John Talbot played by Anthony Hopkins and his brother's fiancee Gwen played by Emily Blunt.

The local villagers think that his brother was killed by a bear kept at a nearby Gypsy encampment so Lawrence to investigate and... wait a minute, is that a full moon?

You can probably work out the rest but I have to say I enjoyed it. The movie looks great and I thought was well paced, plus Danny Elfman turns out his usual soundtrack. There's some good set pieces including an amusing/horrific scene in an asylum where a misguided psychiatrist is going to convince his patent that he won't turn into a werewolf when he sees the full moon. And I do like anything set in the late-Victorian period.

Plus there's a great cast. Apart from the previously mentioned cast members Art Malik turns out playing Singh, Hopkin's Indian manservant. Hugo Weaving turns up as inspector Abberline, fresh from the Ripper case and sporting his V for Vendetta accent. And did I see Max von Sydow in a tiny part on the train? I thought it was him but didn't see his name in the credits.

And just allow me to mention Emily Blunt again. Emily is great. She's probably too good for this movie but she still puts everything into it and acts her heart out in the final scene.

Note there are hardly any extras on the normal DVD, just some deleted scenes. All the making-of stuff is on the blu-ray. So be it.

Doctor Who "The Lodger"

A harmless enough episode I suppose. Somethings wrong with the Tardis and it won't land properly. The Doctor is stuck on earth and has to work out what's keeping it (and Amy) from landing. He moves into a ground floor flat as a lodger because there is something very odd going on upstairs. People are being lured in off the street to "help" the occupant upstairs. And then they disappear.

So there's lots of comedy about the Doctor trying to fit in, play football, interrupt romantic moments, etc. All well and good but frankly I'm glad it didn't overstay it's welcome.

Eventually we get to what's going on upstairs. Quite a nice idea actually. There is no upstairs, it's another Tardis like ship camouflaged like an upstairs flat. It's stuck on Earth and is looking for a new pilot to continue its journey.

So danger averted the other time ship implodes and the top floor disappears from existence. No mention of who's ship it was which is either deliberate or an oversight.

Minor plot niggle, why didn't the Doctor just go and investigate upstairs as soon as he arrived?

And yes, I know I skipped writing anything about last week's episode. Frankly it was fairly weak and I couldn't work up any enthusiasm about it.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Rebecca Hall in Guardian Weekend magazine

There's a Rebecca Hall article in the Guardian Weekend magazine today. I've done a quick scan of the cover and you can find it here:

You can find the "words" at

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Luther episode 6

The final episode of Luther aired this week and while it was an enjoyable conclusion to the series it's plot perhaps does not stand up to much scrutiny.

A few cards had been thrown up into the air at the end of episode 5, not least Luther going on the run after finding his wife's body, knowing he's the main suspect. He finds refuge in Alice Morgan's flat, saying he needs somewhere to think. She sees though this immediately and get him to admit he wants her help to get Ian Reed.

Thankfully Ruth's screen presence has been bumped up significantly in the last episode and Alice Morgan clearly is relishing the whole Bonnie and Clyde double-act with Luther.

As mentioned, there are a number of plot holes. Here's just a couple.

Why did Luther go to meet Reed when he knew there would be armed police and snipers ready to shoot him? If he wanted to get Reed's diamonds why not arrange the meet, and instead of turning up just phone or text to say "We've got the diamonds"? And how could he know his partner would be in a position to stop the sniper?

And how did Luther convince Mark to help him so quickly, especially when Alice has been holding a knife to his throat? There's a lot more plot holes where they came from.

By the episode's end Luther, Alice and Mark are standing over Reed's body with the sound of sirens approaching. One can't help wonder what will happen next. I do hope we find out.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Luther Episode 5

Right, that's long enough for you to have seen the episode. If not beware of spoilers, although I won't spoil the big finale. At least not totally...

What a cracking episode.

It starts off as a typical episode of Luther. (Well, typical for Luther but very few other BBC dramas.) Some bad guys kidnap a man and his wife demanding diamonds that they know the man has. The make their point by cutting out the wife's tongue (mercifully off camera). The husband can't tell them where the diamonds are as his wife swallowed them to smuggle them out of the country and he's pretty convinced that the bad guys will cut her open to get them.

How's that for a set-up.

So the husband is released to get the diamonds and goes to the police station looking for Luther's partner Ian Reed. He gets Luther instead and they start looking for the bad guys.


Except Ian Reed it turns out is a dirty cop who is involved with some criminals who in turn are involved with this episode's bad guys. He's off trying to undo the damage, rescue the wife and not get caught.

And everything that can go wrong does, the body count rises and Luther finds out that Reed is involved. Reed goes to visit Zoe and asks her to phone Luther.

And then...

And then it all makes sense. All the scenes from the previous episodes where Luther smashes stuff and shouts and throws stuff around. The scene in the first episode where he goes to the ex-wife's house to punch Paul McGann and she calls the police. All of a sudden it all makes sense as Luther says "what have you done?" And you think to yourself "that's a bloody good cliffhanger and I did not see that coming."

I should note that Ruth Wilson is only in one scene of this episode but the preview of the next episode bodes well:

Luther: "Alice, I need you to help me."
Alice: "Where do we start?"

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Ruth Wilson interview in the Telegraph

Today's Telegraph newspaper has an interview with Ruth Wilson focusing mostly on the ongoing Luther on BBC1 and the upcoming Through a Glass Darkly.

Is it possible for an actor to be too good? There was a moment when it looked that way in Luther, the current BBC One cop drama (which ends next week). Idris Elba, playing a detective with anger issues, attempted in episode one to tease a confession from Ruth Wilson’s deliciously insane physicist. Though prime suspect in the murder of her parents, you wouldn’t have guessed it from the storm of tears she prettily conjured up in the interview room. Wilson, the scene told you, is a very good actress playing a very good actress - maybe too good for such a shameless slice of high-concept hokum.

“I’ve had more positive comments about that show that I’ve had about anything I’ve done,” she says - this a slightly bruised riposte to its negative reception. ”I love the fact that it’s bold and completely unrealistic. I just loved the tongue-in-cheek element about the dialogue and thought you could have a lot of fun playing with it. It was completely different to everything I’d read before.”
And I had to include this bit aboug her hair colour:

The features in question have been framed by striking bottle-red hair ever since Wilson went out to Namibia to film The Prisoner, in which she played a doctor. “I thought, she’s a bit of an odd character, a little bit on the edge, let’s
make her red. I loved it and I’ve kept it ever since.”
You can read the whole article at

And I'll wait a day or two before posting my thoughts on Luther 5, just so I don't spoil anyone. :)