The Little Grey Cells Team up with the Big Blue Box in Doctor Who’s Tenth Season

The BBC recently confirmed that renowned actor David Suchet, whom most people might know as Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, will be appearing in Doctor Who‘s tenth season in 2017. Little is known about his character other than he is referred to as the Landlord (a Time Lord title, perhaps?), but considering how awesome Suchet was as Poirot, this mysterious character is sure to be a welcome addition to the Whoniverse.

Season 10 may be shaping up to be well worth the wait. I hate that we have to wait so long, but it looks as though we may be well rewarded.

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Some Thoughts on “Star Trek Beyond” *Spoilers Ahead*

The latest installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise debuted just in time for the 50th anniversary year of exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new forms of life and new civilizations, and boldly going where no man has gone before. It was a thrill to experience on the big screen, but if you want to know more, you run the risk of spoilers.

To prove how serious I am, I got River Song to come and tell you all about the spoilers.

If River hasn’t convinced you to go away, nothing will, so I may as well commence.

It’s Year Three of the famous five-year mission, and Captain James Tiberius Kirk is wondering why he’s still here. He complains that his life is beginning to feel episodic (the franchise has become sentient! They’re going to figure out to break out of the Matrix!) and hopes that a temporary layover at the starbase Yorktowne will help break up the monotony. What he hasn’t told his crew is that he’s applied for a vice-admiral position and plans to leave Spock in command of the Enterprise. Naturally enough, all of this changes when they rescue a survivor of an alien exploratory mission who needs help rescuing the rest of her crew. The planet they’re stranded on lies in the middle of a dense nebula, and guess which ship has the best navigational equipment in the fleet?

So off they go to assist the aliens only to find that it was an ambush to lead them directly into the hands of the mad warlord Krall. The Enterprise is destroyed (The Search for Spock wants its plot device back), and the majority of the crew are Krall’s prisoners. It’s up to Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chekov, Scotty, and their new friend Jaylah to set them free and stop Krall from destroying the entire Federation. But Spock is badly wounded, and their only vessel is the broken-down USS Franklin, an NX starship that went missing over a hundred years ago (and can hit a whopping warp 4 without exploding).

There are so many points I want to cover that I hardly know where to start. I think I’ll just start with Jaylah. I loved her character, and I loved how well she meshed with the rest of the crew. I know they won’t be recasting Chekov for the next movie, but I hope they’re able to bring Jaylah back; I would love to see her continue to grow as a character and have a chance to explore deep space.

I enjoyed the twist about Krall being Balthazar Edison, the Franklin‘s original captain. Most people hated Enterprise, but I loved it, and I’m always glad when they’re able to reference that show in some way. Granted, I haven’t watched enough to remember if the Franklin was ever mentioned, but the mere fact that we had Kirk and Co. on an NX-era bridge pleased me greatly. Also, I thought it was a good idea to follow the idea of the original 2009 film and create an original villain; Benedict Cumberbatch aside, one of the big flaws of Into Darkness was that they tried to recast one of the most iconic villains and remake one of the best storylines Star Trek ever had. But Idris Elba didn’t have to worry about being compared to any other actor in the role, which gave him a certain amount of flexibility.

The regular actors have really grown into their roles; Karl Urban and Simon Pegg have especially reached new heights in their respective roles of Dr. McCoy and Commander Scott. I think Karl Urban in particular is having a bit too much fun as McCoy, but it makes for a good performance.

Mini-rant time: I was so hoping we finally saw the end of the pointless Spock/Uhura romance, but they seem determined to keep dragging it out. Why? Why!? I beg you; end it in the next film already! Apart from being annoying, I feel it interferes with Zachary Quinto’s portrayal of Spock. His logic feels less…sharp, somehow, since he’s in a relationship, but he’s still a master of zingers.

Speaking of Spock, they handled Leonard Nimoy’s death in a very respectful way. It was still sad, but at the same time you felt that your grief was shared by every single person watching the movie, so that made it a little easier. They couldn’t do much about Anton Yelchin’s death because he died after filming was complete, but the simple “For Anton” at the end of the movie was a welcome touch. Any future movies will feel empty without him.

The first two movies were fun romps, but Beyond feels as if it the reboot has finally grown up. It had the most Trek-like feel of all of the modern movies, for which I credit Simon Pegg’s influence. Mr. Pegg, if by some chance you should stumble upon this humble little corner of the internet, you did good.

Final verdict: it was brilliant and a perfect way to celebrate the 50th anniversary. If you haven’t seen it yet, go do so.

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Impressions on the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremonies

I got inspired to do this post when I was reading through the older entries on my blog and saw one of my early posts was on the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies. Since those early days were fraught with tenseness over what topics I could write about, I decided to pay homage to that long-ago beginning by writing about the most recent summer Olympics.

Let me just get out of the way that I thought there were too many commercials. I understand they have to run them; it just felt as if every time they got to something interesting, the announcers would say, “We’ll be right back after these messages.”

When they weren’t doing commercials, the ceremonies were quite impressive. It wasn’t as lavish as what we saw in Beijing or London, but there was a distinctive passion about it, nonetheless. The performers were putting their hearts and souls into that show, and it showed. I’m not too familiar with Brazilian culture, but the impression I got last night was that they are a people with a passion for life.

The parade of nations is always cool, and I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for the countries that only send a few athletes–they may not have many to send, but the ones that do go are bursting with pride to be representing their countries on a global platform. And, of course, I always feel patriotic when I see Team USA go marching out into the stadium, expertly led this year by Michael Phelps. Go, Team USA! Also, I thought the idea of the Athletes’ Forest was a pretty neat one.

I can’t wait to see how all of the different teams fare in the competitions this year!

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Capaldi’s Not Turning in the TARDIS Keys Just Yet

Ever since Steven Moffat announced that he was resigning as showrunner after Doctor Who‘s tenth season, rumors were rampant that Peter Capaldi, the irrepressible Twelfth Doctor, would be leaving as well. After all, David Tennant and Russell T. Davies left at the same time; why wouldn’t Moffat and Capaldi do the same?

Well, Den of Geek recently published an interview with Moffat where he says there are currently no plans for Capaldi to regenerate at the end of season 10. As the Moff himself says, “Peter is loving the role, and long may he do so.”

Of course, this is Moffat we’re talking about; he could be lying through his teeth. But this is one time where I’m inclined to believe him.

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Sherlock is Finally Returning, and It’s Not a Game Anymore

At Comic-Con last week, this shiny new trailer for the fourth season of Sherlock was released into the wild.

They also released the traditional three clues to give the fans a hint about which stories they will be adapting for the new season. The three clues they released were, “Thatcher. Smith. Sherrinford.” We already know that Smith is Culverton Smith, the villain of “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”, and we already know this because Moffat and Gatiss have told us that (unless they were lying…again). Sherrinford is believed to be a reference to the third Holmes brother, who isn’t actually a character in any of Doyle’s original stories but instead appeared in the non-canonical Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. (I don’t know how Sherlock and Mycroft could have an older brother when Sherlock stated in the original stories that Mycroft was his only sibling, but details, details). No one’s quite sure who or what Thatcher is supposed to be (a reference to Margaret Thatcher? Someone who thatches roofs?), but it’s bound to be just as intriguing as the rest of the clues.

Between a fresh season of Doctor Who and shiny new episodes of Sherlock, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

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Happy Birthday, My Turn to Talk!

It’s that time of year again–time to celebrate the fact that my blog has survived yet another year without my running out of things to write about! And plenty of stuff happened this last year–there was the stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame; there were the online versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu I posted for Halloween; there was Clara’s heartbreaking farewell and the Doctor’s heartwarming reunion with River; there was an analysis on the roles of fear and free will inĀ Return of the Jedi and the long-awaited review of The Force Awakens. And let’s not forget the Sherlock New Year’s special, the news of Moffat’s departure from Doctor Who, and the teaser trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast!

But, as always, it is you, noble readers, who make this blog a worthwhile effort. Knowing that there is a strong, loyal gathering of you who continue to read my blog even when I’m not sure if anyone else is interested in what I have to say is a powerful motivator, and I am beyond grateful for all of you. Thank you for sticking it out this far.

And now for the obligatory posting of “One Day More”:

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A Relaxing Song

I know I’m not the type to randomly post relaxing music, but this is a particular favorite of mine. Also, with all the violence that’s been running rampant in the world lately, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post something that might bring a little bit of peace to someone who desperately needs it.

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