Saturday, 11 April 2009


Doctor Who [new]
4x15 Planet of the Dead [Easter special]
See here for my thoughts on this story.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

3x02 Episode 2
Oh dear, what a load of tosh.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Red Dwarf
9x02 Back to Earth Part 2
The real point of this new series kicks in here, I feel; Part 1 was all preamble to this. Funnier and cleverer -- too clever for some, it seems, based on comments to be found online.

Robin Hood
3x03 Lost in Translation
As action-packed as the rest of this new series, but suffered from coming right after a brilliant new episode of Doctor Who. Scheduling fail there.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Alien Resurrection (1997)
[#16 in 100 Films in a Year 2009]
Found this surprisingly enjoyable -- underrated, I think.


Dollhouse Robbery? The Truth Behind the "Missing" Episode by Matt Mitovich
(from TV Guide)
I'm not even watching Dollhouse (awaiting a UK broadcast like a good boy), but this has been an interesting story that -- unsurprisingly -- has a far less sinister truth behind it than most were assuming.
Random Wikipedia trivia: "Episodes of Dollhouse are about six minutes longer than standard one-hour dramas on US network television, as the show airs with half as many commercial advertising slots."

New Red Dwarf pulls in over 2 million by Neil Wilkes
(from Digital Spy)
"The return of Red Dwarf for its first new episode in ten years was a huge hit for Dave... The first episode of a three-part reunion special, Red Dwarf: Back To Earth, pulled in 2.06m (10%) [and] a further 341k (1.9%) watched at 10pm." Apparently Dave's usual ratings are around the 250k mark, so this is clearly a great success. The total will go up later too, as this doesn't include those who recorded it to watch later.
"The success of Red Dwarf helped Dave to a primetime share of 3.2%, making it the most popular multichannel station of the night by a margin of almost one share point." It also beat BBC Two and Five in the ratings, and came relatively close to BBC One and Channel 4 too.
Let's hope this success continues tonight and tomorrow -- it's ratings and DVD sales that will dictate if we get more.

TV REVIEW Doctor Who "Planet Of The Dead" by Dave Golder
(from SFX)
I thought it was slightly better than this review does, though lots of comments are fair enough.

Your Questions for Jordan Fields of Shout! Factory
(from Satellite News)
About the current DVD releases of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which are put out by Shout! Factory. Very interesting if you're into the show or intrigued by how much work goes into small-label DVD releases (a helluva lot).

And see a pair of TV-related interviews here.

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead

Doctor Who's never-ending fourth series continues throughout this year -- they're consistently dubbed The 2009 Specials, and I'm sure will be on DVD, but as Series 5 begins in early 2010 and these are referred to by the production as 4.14 to 4.18, I suppose they do remain part of Series 4 -- and this Easter special is supposedly the last chance for a romp before the run up to Tennant's departure at Christmas/New Year. It's also the first Who shot in HD -- oo-ooh.

Anyway, what of the episode itself? Very entertaining, with a good mix of styles and a suitably epic feel. The concept of creating something with enough meat to tide you over 'til there's more at Christmas was a good one as this hour pulls it off as well as it was likely to. Trapping a bunch of Ordinary People in a vehicle seems to be a favourite trope of Davies', but that's because it works; it's just a shame there wasn't an extra ten or fifteen minutes to flesh them all out more.

The final moments, hinting at the darkness to come, were very well handled, whetting the appetite but not overdoing it and ruining this episode. And the trailer for the next special looks fantastic -- The Waters of Mars has to be the best title since The Empty Child! I'm counting down to November already.

Russell T Davies and Doug Naylor interviews

With Britain's two biggest sci-fi series both having new episodes tonight after a long break (though Red Dwarf's is considerably longer!), here are interviews with the men in charge...

Doug Naylor on the red carpet
(from Dave)
A video interview with the co-creator, writer and current director of Red Dwarf, Doug Naylor, discussing (amongst other things) the miniscule budget the new specials were produced on and what the future potential for RD is. Considering the excellent ratings achieved by part one, if it can maintain that momentum I think we may well see more.

Russell T Davies Doctor Who interview: full transcript by Robert Colvile
(from Robert Colvile's blog at
A nice long interview with Davies, discussing a little of what's to come in his remaining three episodes (spoiler warning on that, then), how the transition to Steven Moffat has been (and will be) handled, and various reflective thoughts on his era of Who.