QUICK NOTE: I’m going to be talking about DOCTOR WHO again this week, and I’m going to be talking about episodes that haven’t aired in the US yet. If you don’t want to be spoiled just skip ahead to where you see the word MONDAY, ok?
In keeping my heart as pure as possible and my conscience as clean as I can I have to admit that when I first sat down this week to write what I affectionately refer to as the “upper portion” of this week’s column I was going to attempt a weak handed turn at talking about TRUE BLOOD. I know that many others in the same category of writing are doing just that and if I had an ounce of sense in my head I’d still muddle through the half-hearted and hack-like exercise in writing but truth be told I just don’t want to. TRUE BLOOD was good in its first season, it was great in its second season and it’s either going to be amazing in its third season or it is going to flounder. There are others much better at writing about television that can tell you all about it so let’s all just know that I had no interest in really saying anything about it other than what you find in this paragraph.
This week the direction my passion is leading my words is to talk mainly about the upcoming season finale for the 11th DOCTOR’s first series of DOCTOR WHO. Just like any good TIME LORD (or fan of a TIME LORD) I experience a bit of time shifting in my weekly watching of the show. If I were a person that lived in the UK I’d be two week’s away from this fifth series’ 13th episode. To say, at this point, that I’m very excited about this is a gross understatement. In the next two weeks we are going to find out what the PANDORICA is, we’re going to find out how that bit of shrapnel turned up in the crack in COLD BLOOD and we may find out if the DOCTOR had his coat back in FLESH AND STONE because of a production error or something greater (more on that last bit later).
I’m not the type of person to stick their head in the sand and say that there haven’t been some hiccups in this fifth series of DOCTOR WHO but thankfully there have been more good moments than bad. THE VICTORY OF THE DALEKS and THE VAMPIRES OF VENICE are probably the only two episodes out of the 11 that have aired so far that I have had much fault with at all. Their stories didn’t hold me, there was something that just didn’t feel right while watching them and for one reason or another I was just put off by them. That still leaves nine episodes so far that have aired that I’ve enjoyed and watched repeatedly after their original air dates. That’s a pretty decent track record. This coming week on BBC AMERICA they will be airing “VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR” which, though polarizing for fans of the show, I thoroughly loved. It accomplished a loving tribute to VINCENT VAN GOGH both in context and cinematography. What some found cheesy I found refreshing and touching and even at the risk of you hating it I would say that I recommend it.
Throughout this season there have been seeds planted and growing towards this finale. PRISONER ZERO told us, “The Pandorica will open. Silence will fall” in THE ELEVENTH HOUR and since then the same crack that allowed for his escape has been following the DOCTOR (or has it actually been following the TARDIS?). In FLESH AND STONE we learned that it undoes the time of any that it consumes, erasing them from existence. We’ve gotten hints that its effect has reached across the galaxy and we’ve even seen first hand what happens to someone when they are taken by the crack in COLD BLOOD when the very existence of RORY was undone. We also know that RIVER SONG will be present when the PANDORICA opens because she told us so in FLESH AND STONE. The last real nugget we received was from COLD BLOOD when we found out that a piece of shrapnel from the explosion that causes the crack was a piece of the TARDIS.
With all of these clues laid out for us the real question that I have that I’m sure we will have answered in two weeks is just how important is AMY POND to the resolution of this PANDORICA/SILENCE FALLING situation? She, as a seven year old, was the person that introduced us to this time consuming crack. Ever since she came aboard the TARDIS we’ve been seeing the crack following either her, the DOCTOR or the TARDIS itself. The date the DOCTOR was able to ascertain the explosion that caused the crack to happen was the day of AMY’s wedding. AMY doesn’t remember the DALEK invasion in THE STOLEN EARTH. Every way you look at it things all seem to point back, one way or another, to AMY. Then there’s the matter of the DOCTOR’s coat.
Back in the episode FLESH AND STONE there was a strange thing that happened that I knew was strange but I didn’t know why. I can’t pretend to be smart enough to have put my finger on it myself but thankfully the fine fellows of the DOCTOR WHO-centric podcast RADIO FREE SKARO made me realize why it was strange without going in to great detail. The strange thing that I’m talking about is the moment that the DOCTOR has to leave AMY behind in the atmosphere-generating woods. In this scene we see the DOCTOR in shirt and bow-tie but without his coat because it was left in the grasping hands of a WEEPING ANGEL. Immediately after he leaves her he’s back again, but this time he’s behaving different. He seems less angry and more nurturing towards AMY. He delivers a cryptic message to her about her having to start trusting him and then they have the following exchange:
AMY: “Doctor, the crack in my wall. How can it be here?”
DOCTOR: “I don’t know yet but I’m working it out…Remember what I told you when you were seven?”
AMY: “What did you tell me?”
DOCTOR: “No. That’s not the point. You have to remember.”
And then the DOCTOR is gone again. The next time we see him he’s again without his coat. I have to admit that the Uber-geek within me really wants this moment to not be an accident or a continuity error on the part of the production staff. I’m really hoping that somehow this moment was planned, it was shot specifically this way and it will some how be called back to in the next two episodes. This call back, of course, will force a call back to something said in the very first episode by the DOCTOR when AMY was seven. This something is so important that the DOCTOR actually goes back into his own timeline to deliver this message to AMY, an idea they reminded us was possible in the episode THE LODGER when AMY is taken back in time by the DOCTOR to leave a note for him after he was stranded. The prospect of all of this is so very exciting but truth be told sometimes a coat is just a coat, a mistake is just a mistake, and it all may be much ado about nothing.
Of course part of me feels quite foolish talking about the season finale when here in the US it won’t actually air until JULY 24th thanks to BBC AMERICA not wanting to waste any new programming for the 4th of July weekend. This means that those of us in North America won’t be seeing THE LODGER, THE PANDORICA OPENS or THE BIG BANG until the latter part of JULY. Thank goodness for time shifting.
Well now that I’ve droned on long and hard about DOCTOR WHO let’s finally turn our attention to the regular programming you can actually watch now. I tell you now that this week was really hard to find things in so take my advice now and take up a hobby or something. It’s getting bleak.
BBC AMERICA - 8:00 AM: How about a mini TORCHWOOD marathon? The last six episodes of the first season are shown back to back. If you called in sick to work today these should entertain you enough to ignore your cocktail flu.
FOX - 9:00 PM: Last week’s episode of THE GOOD GUYS was almost as good for me as the series pilot. I encourage you to watch if for no other reason for those creepy moments where COLIN HANKS channels the same mannerisms his dad displayed on television 30 years ago.
NBC - 10:00 PM: PERSONS UNKNOWN was just creepy enough to make me tune back in this week. If they an keep the addictive creep-factor up I’ll come back again. According to the ratings though the title might need to be changed to SHOW UNKNOWN.
ABC - 10:00 PM: There is no greater sport than having the vapid and pretty be exposed for just that on TRUE BEAUTY. They may be looking for the person that is beautiful both inside and out but let’s face facts folks, with this group they’re just trying to find the the lesser of all these evils.
TNT - 7:00 PM: I really think that the show BONES came into it’s own in the second season around the same time the four episodes being mini-marathon’d tonight originally aired. If you are a fan of the show it’s a great way to relive the season.
NBC - 8:00 PM: OK, first LOSING IT WITH JILLIAN was on at 10 and they told us it would be on at 8. Then they changed their minds and aired it at 10. Now they’ve moved it back to 8. They realize we won’t lose any weight trying to follow the show on their schedule, right?
FOOD NETWORK - 9:00 PM: Apparently the stakes are higher when the cake gets smaller because the cake challenges are now being outdone by CUPCAKE WARS. Is this like the late night wars but sweeter?
BRAVO - 9 PM: KATHY GRIFFIN: MY LIFE ON THE D-LIST returns with acting lessons from LIZA MINNELLI. Ratings in WeHo are going to go through the roof!
BBC AMERICA - 8:00 AM: It’s another RTD mini-marathon with the first part of the third series of DOCTOR WHO. Is this programming appealing to the unemployed or what?
TV LAND - 10:00 PM: Just when you thought the sitcom stylings of THREE’S COMPANY were long since forgotten along comes HOT IN CLEVELAND. VALERIE BERTINELLI, JANE LEEVES and WENDIE MALICK have an emergency lay over in CLEVELAND and find out that the men there are cougar lovers. BETTY WHITE tries to save the show but this thing almost comes off like it’s trying to parody itself.
SYFY - 7:00 PM: The TV movie didn’t quite capture the magic of the original story but I still enjoyed STEPHEN KING’S THE LANGOLIERS.
FOX - 8:00 PM: I know that if you already bought the first part of the first season of GLEE on DVD already you’ve worn it out watching the ACAFELLAS perform but those of us that haven’t can tune in tonight to enjoy it all over again.
TBS - 8:00 PM: There was very solid evidence that they never should have made THE LOVE GURU. That evidence? Folks, I give you AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER.
AMC - 8:00 PM: There are movies from my youth that I shouldnt’ have seen and didn’t appreciate until I was older. CADDYSHACK is one of those movies.
SYFY - 8:00 AM: Looks like the fomer SCIFI network is taking programming tips from BBC AMERICA. They’re showing 7 hours straight of fourth series episodes of DOCTOR WHO.
FOX - 8:00 PM: Remember that show PAST LIFE that nobody watched? Tonight’s the last episode ever. I’m sure nobody is glad to know.
ABC - 8:00 PM: If you have a tween in your house I’m sorry that you’ll have to endure MILEY CYRUS IN LONDON: LIVE AT THE O2 tonight.
BBC AMERICA - 8:00 PM: If you missed THE HUNGRY EARTH you can watch it tonight before the second half of the story (which I spoiled elements of above) titled COLD BLOOD immediately after at nine.
TBS - 8:00 PM: It is with much shame in my heart that I admit that I wouldn’t mind at all watching BLADES OF GLORY and ROAD TRIP back to back.
DISNEY - 9:00 PM: If you haven’t seen THE INCREDIBLES than I’m going to have to remind you that it is one of the best super hero movies to have been made in the past decade. If you have the DISNEY channel and haven’t watched it yet than do so now. You’ve been put on notice.
SYFY - 7:00 PM: SYFY tries to update the classic hero THE PHANTOM. I give them props for trying but his revamped costume looks like an attack dog trainer’s protective gear with a bad eye visor thrown on to it.
TLC - 8:00 PM: The fact that TLC is rolling out NATALEE HALLOWAY: LOST IN PARADISE UPDATED right now kind of makes my skin crawl.
ABC - 9:00 PM: VIRGINIA MADSEN stars as the mom of a small-town crime family that’s forced to go straight when dad gets locked up in SCOUNDRELS. Um… OK there’s not much else on so I’ll try it.
TNT - 9 :00 PM: LEVERAGE is back for a third season with NATE behind bars. Yeah, that can’t last long or this is going to be the shortest season ever.
HBO - 9:00 PM: OK, I’ll also mention TRUE BLOOD here in the column as well because it’s on. At press time I still haven’t even watched the season premiere so I can’t say a damned thing about this episode except to say that there’s vampires in the show. Big revelation, I know.
ABC - 10:00 PM: I’ve seen lots of commercials for THE GATES but I have no idea what the heck it’s about. I think it’s a community filled with monsters that are trying to go straight which makes it a much stranger version of SCOUNDRELS.
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