Archive for the ‘Flash posts’ Category

The new Doctor Who companion is…

March 22, 2012

The new Doctor Who companion is…

The concept of a “companion” for Doctor Who always seemed a bit…complicated to me.

Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to hang out with a member of a different, and hypothetically inferior species. I mean, I’ve hung out with dogs, cats, and a whole lot of other species. One of my proudest things is having hand-tamed a wild scrubjay…I could whistle, and have the bird fly over to my apartment from across the street and land on my finger.

The Doctor is a Time Lord from Gallifrey. While human in outward appearance, this is an alien, and an arguably superior one.

Why does the Doctor take a human (or more than one) traveling in the TARDIS?

Are they pets?

Does the Doctor treat them as equals? I respect animals…if I was the only human left, you can bet I’d be happy to have dogs as friends.

However, there is no doubt that the Doctor and at least some of the companions have had…what has at least been interpreted by the audience as a romantic relationship.

There have been many companions. Amongst the best known:

  • Sarah Jane Smith, who many Americans encountered first along with Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor (the Doctor changes bodies from time to time…and personalities, to some extent). Sarah Jane would later get a spin-off
  • Leela, who was a low-tech warrior
  • Rose Tyler, who was very memorable and came in with the successful revival of the series
  • Amy Pond…who with Rory Williams, are a married couple of companions…but the Doctor and Amy clearly have a deep emotional connection

Well, the next companion has just been announced:

Jenna-Louise Coleman

Coleman has done television work, and had a small part in the recent movie, Captain America: The First Avenger.

I have to say, I sort of wish they’d gone for something different…how about an 80 -year old? What about somebody from, say, a little-known culture (of course, I don’t know how they’ll play this character)? I just like my entertainments to surprise me, and I’ll have to see if they manage that here…I wish Coleman luck in the new role!

Hollywood Reporter article

BBC Article (includes video)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Whitney Houston reported dead

February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston reported dead

Whitney Houston will always be known for her music.

She appeared in the remake of The Preacher’s Wife in which an angel (Denzel Washington) comes to Earth to advise a preacher.

In a TV movie, she played the Fairy Godmother to Brandy’s Cinderella.

Good-bye, Whitney…your music will never die.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Leonard Stone reported dead

November 4, 2011

Leonard Stone reported dead

You’d probably recognize Leonard Stone. He had a sort of a hangdog look…seeming like he was perpetually put-upon.

You can see that in his role as Violet Beauregarde’s father in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Who wouldn’t be put upon with a kid like that? 😉

He was a popular TV guest star, but interestingly, despite his distinctive look and persona, he would often appear on the same show multiple times in different roles.  I think of him in association with Barney Miller, where just the fact that he would show up was a bit of an in-joke…he had five appearances as five different characters.

Geeks may also remember him for a role he did repeat…that of alien huckster, Farnum, on Lost in Space.

His long list of credits includes a lot of iconic Baby Boomer shows: The Rifleman; The Real McCoys; Perry Mason; Mannix; and many more. He continued working into the 2000s…you may know him from the 1990s as Judge Hanson on L.A. Law.

Always geek-friendly, he was on: The Six Million Dollar Man; Mission:Impossible; The Outer Limits (in The Architects of Fear); and on.

I would be remiss is I didn’t also mention his appearance in Soylent Green…it was a small part, but he’s memorable.

He was one of those rock solid character actors, and the industry will miss him.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Win a $1000 ThinkGeek Shopping Spree

November 3, 2011

Win a $1000 ThinkGeek Shopping Spree

ThinkGeek is one of my favorite websites. I’ve gotten some cool stuff there over the years, including the ThinkGeek Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt.

It was great to see that they are doing a drawing to win a $1000 shopping spree:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/contests/2011spree/?cpg=175NRP&link

You need to enter by November 25, 2011…let me know if you win. 🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Emmy noms: Game of Thrones gets love

July 14, 2011

Emmy noms: Game of Thrones gets love

The Prime Time Emmy Award nominations were just announced.

Official Site

HBO’s

Game of Thrones

was nominated for best drama, and

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, was nominated as best supporting actor in a drama series. This is Dinklage’s first Emmy nomination: he has previously been nominated for a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) award for The Station Agent.

That’s about it for shows that are actually science fiction/fantasy, but The Big Bang Theory (which is certainly geek-friendly) was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons are up against each other for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.  That might be a bit awkward, but three out of six of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series noms went to Modern Family.

Also of interest to geeks: Mythbusters was nominated for Outstanding Reality Program. No, no, that’s not Reality Competion…they aren’t up against Survivor and The Amazing Race. 😉 Their competition includes Hoarders, Deadliest Catch, and Kathy Griffin…wouldn’t it be fun to have that whole group at a wrap party? I mean, they have so much in common…

Some other interesting points:

  • Tim Olyphant (one of our Box Office MVPs this year) was nominated for Justified
  • Chris Colfer was nominated for Glee…and it looks like this may be his last chance for that show (reportedly, he, Lea Michelle, and Cory Monteith are off the show next year)
  • Dexter and Michael C. Hall were nominated
  • Louis C.K. was nominated…yes, for acting, Jon Stewart 😉
  • Matt LeBlanc was nominated for the American version of Episodes…what, you have something to say? 😉
  • Hugh Laurie was nominated for House (the series wasn’t)
  • Kyle Chandler is having a year, with the success of Super 8 and a nom
  • Martha Plimpton was nominated for Raising Hope (is it still okay to say “Goonies never say die!” No? Okay, then…I do like this series, regardless)
  • Jon Cryer was nominated for Two and a Half Men…for some reason, his co-star wasn’t… 😉
  • Alan Cumming was nominated for The Good Wife…nice to see a superhero (Nightcrawler in the X-Men) getting the respect
  • Betty White was nominated for Hot in Cleveland…that gives her about twenty Emmy noms
What do you think of the noms? Feel free to let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Did Netflix just kill DVDs?

July 13, 2011

Did Netflix just kill DVDs?

You are probably hearing about Netflix changing its price structure.

That’s being reported as a raise in the subscription prices, but it’s really going to be a reduction for many people.

Why?

Right now, you may have a $9.99 plan that lets you get unlimited streaming, and one DVD at a time.

They are splitting those out.

You can now get unlimited streaming for $7.99…and if you want to get DVDs as well, that’s another $7.99.

That means some people will drop the DVDs, saving $2 a month.

I do get DVDs from Netflix, but they aren’t a big part of my video consumption…I use the streaming from Netflix every day (with my Roku, so I can watch it on my TV…you can do that with other devices too, including videogame consoles like the Wii).

I think it’s not going to be a hard choice for a lot of people…they’ll just drop the DVDs. If they want a DVD every once in a while (even up to two a week) they’ll get them from a $1 a day rental machine in the grocery store.

People may stop buying dedicated DVD players as much as a consequence.

The move to streaming has been strong, but Netflix just put a turbo booster on it.

Netflix press release

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Sherwood Schwartz reported dead

July 12, 2011

Sherwood Schwartz reported dead

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…”

Sherwood Schwartz made America laugh.

He’s most associated with Gilligan’s Island and the Brady Bunch…seven characters may have been a lucky number for him (Alice counts on the Brady Bunch).

He also was a creator of Dusty’s Trail (which featured a Gilligan’s Island cameo reunion) and It’s About Time (with its memorable theme song…”It’s about time, it’s about space…”). Barbara Eden fans can also thank him for the Harper Valley TV series.

Earlier in his career, he’d written both for I Married Joan and The Red Skelton Show.

Silly is often harder than serious…we owe a lot of smiles to this writer…and that’s one of the most important things you can give someone.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Johnny Depp to play Carl Kolchak (The Night Stalker)?

July 12, 2011

Johnny Depp to play Carl Kolchak (The Night Stalker)?

The Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows, and now The Night Stalker…if his streak of starring in Baby Boomer TV series continues, we’re going to have to put on a pair of rabbit ear antennae just to understand Johnny Depp. 😉

This just announced purchase of the rights to

The Night Stalker

is an interesting one.

It was one of my favorite series. Carl Kolchak was a reporter who investigated (and ended up battling) supernatural and other strange creatures. Nobody, especially his boss, seemed to ever believe him.

Kolchak was played by Darren McGavin…not exactly a Johnny Depp type, but I’m sure that’s part of the attraction. Nobody would mistake Kolchak for a matinee idol, and you couldn’t say he was especially suited (ice-cream suited, for that matter) for the “job”. He wasn’t especially strong or fast, and his intelligence was of the bulldogged, don’t let it go type.

It’s also a bit ironic that Depp will play a vampire in Dark Shadows…and a vampire hunter in The Night Stalker.

You can see the original series on streaming Netflix, by the way.

Hm…what’s next for Depp? Maybe…The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?  He could play Napoleon Solo, and…Robert Pattinson as Ilya Kuryakin? Might be fun to have David McCallum play Mr. Waverly… 😉

Empire article

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Peter Falk reported dead

June 24, 2011

Peter Falk reported dead

“Just one more thing…”

Peter Falk‘s portrayal of Columbo was a unique television character. With his rumpled raincoat and unimposing presence, he was reminiscent of some literary crime fighters (G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown comes to mind), but TV detectives were supposed to be ruggedly handsome.

The series was also different. We typically saw the crime committed in the opening of the show…we already knew who did it. We watched to see how Columbo would figure it out…how he would catch the bad guy.

It wasn’t with bullets and it wasn’t with fists…it was with brains, and in a special way, with heart.

Columbo was by no means an ivory tower intellectual…he was very down-to-Earth. We didn’t see him pull together arcane facts, or calculate angles…he just stuck to it, and wasn’t distracted by anybody.

The writing was great…but it was Falk who brought Columbo to life.

That wasn’t his only role, of course.

He narrated the geek classic, The Princess Bride. He worked with angels in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.

He was perhaps oddly cast as a Castro-esque dictator in the original Twilight Zone series.

He worked for Frank Capra (and with Glenn Ford and Bette Davis) in Pocketful of Miracles.

He was also a Sam Spade type detective in the all-star comedy, Murder by Death.

Good-bye, Peter Falk…we’ll never again see you bring up “one more thing”, but your characters and performances will live on.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Pottermore: Harry Potter “online experience unlike any other”

June 23, 2011

Pottermore: Harry Potter “online experience unlike any other”

In this

http://www.youtube.com/JKRowlingAnnounces

Jo Rowling announced

http://www.pottermore.com

this morning (my time, Pacific).

What is it?

Well, it’s going to be Harry Potter e-books, for one thing…those will be out in October for “all major electronic reading devices” exclusively through Pottermore.

It’s going to be audiobooks.

Yes, it will be new information from Rowling, but

“It’s the same story with a few crucial additions: the most important one is you…”

Does this mean an online role-playing game? Certainly a possibility, based on what is being said. They make a big point about making it safe for all ages, so that may limit autonomy…no swearing, I would guess. 🙂

The full launch is in October, but on July 31st, you can see if you can get in early.

I think this could be huge…and it sounds inventive. I’m thinking there are a few surprises in the world of Harry Potter yet.

There is additional information in this

Reuters article

and I’ll cover the e-book part in my

I Love My Kindle blog

UPDATE: More information from the Wall Street Journal. It will be a million early entrants on July 31. You will be able to join a Hogwarts house and play games for points.

WSJ blog entry

Update:

HuffPo article

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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