Friday, March 14, 2008

Who News

Several people have asked me if I know when Doctor Who is going to be back on in the US, and I now finally have an answer for them. Looks like the show will be returning to Sci Fi on April 18th, starting with 2007's Christmas special. Exactly when it'll be starting up again in the UK, I'm not sure, except that it's supposed to be Real Soon Now. (The BBC really just doesn't believe in advance planning when it comes to TV scheduling, as far as I can tell.)

Even better, Sci Fi is also picking up the spinoff show The Sarah Jane Adventures, which is supposed to be starting April 11th at 7:30 Eastern Time. SJA is a kids' show, but it's a smart, well-written, well-acted one that captures the sensibility of classic Who at its best. Plus Elisabeth Sladen has only gotten better with age. I definitely recommend checking it out, with or without kids. (I'd say that it was much better than Torchwood, except for the fact that Torchwood, the most recent UK episode aside, has taken a massive leap in quality this year. I will say that if I were being menaced by aliens, I'd rather have Sarah Jane's kids coming to rescue me than the Torchwood gang.)

I'm going to be travelling over those premiere dates, and probably mostly or wholly off-line, but maybe I'll put up a discussion post for the Americans before I go, since they were so successful last season.

11 comments:

  1. I'd rather have Sarah Jane's kids coming to rescue me than the Torchwood gang.

    And it wouldn't bother you at all if John Barrowman tagged along with Sarah Jane's kids. ;)

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  2. Well, no, although I'm having great difficulty imagiing them working together. :)

    By the way, I've heard that when Sladen was first called in about doing the spinoff, she thought they were talking about putting her on Torchwood and got all excited at the thought of being able to wear leather and have alien sex scenes. Which would actually have been kind of cool. I bet she'd have improved the general competence levels considerably. :)

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  3. Will the fourth season proper be airing on the Sci-Fi Channel starting in April, or just the Christmas special? Because obviously that's appeared already in the UK (and online for some of us), but it seems strange for the episodes to run here before, or even concurrently with, the episodes there. So are we looking at something more like, the special airs April 18 in the US and then many months pass until the actual season starts?

    Season three has already aired on Sci-Fi, right?

    Torchwood has improved by leaps and...well, maybe not leaps and bounds this year, but it's been so much better it's a little weird. I think a big part of that has been due to some terrific guest stars -- but also because I think they've finally realized that Flirty Scamp Jack is a lot more fun than Sad Mopey Jack. It's not been a perfect season, but it's almost a completely different show than the first one. And that's nothing but good.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more of SJA as well. (I've only seen the first two episodes thus far.) It is much closer in spirit to Doctor Who than Torchwood. Which isn't to say that Torchwood failed in its first season because it wasn't Doctor Who, but that sense of wonder and joy that's such a vital part of Who's alchemy was sorely missing from Torchwood 1.0.

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  4. By the way, I've heard that when Sladen was first called in about doing the spinoff, she thought they were talking about putting her on Torchwood and got all excited at the thought of being able to wear leather and have alien sex scenes.

    That would have improved the show immeasurably.

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  5. I'm not 100% positive, but the impression I've gotten is that Sci Fi will just be going right on and showing the rest of season 4 from there. (The one they showed last year was season 3, yes.) Which will mean that we won't be more than, probably, a few weeks behind the UK. Which is very cool.

    It's amazing the number of fronts on which Torchwood has improved this year. Great guest actors, definitely, and I throughly agree about the changes in Jack, which are exactly what I was hoping to see. But the stories themselves are also getting better, there's a nice thread of humor that they're finally finding, and all of the characters are going in better directions. And, without getting too spoilery, I will say that there is a wonderful, gutsy plot twist mid-season that has made me do a complete 180 when it comes to a particular character, from active dislike to absolute fascination. Major, major points from me on that one.

    (The most recent episode really did feel like a crappy season one effort that mysteriously wandered into the best section of season 2, but the fact that it stood out to me as a clunker is a good indication of how much improved the series has gotten.)

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  6. All I can say is "Yaaa-Whooo!"

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  7. I'm glad you're enthused. :)

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  8. I throughly agree about the changes in Jack, which are exactly what I was hoping to see.

    Hmm, and here I thought that all you wanted to see were those parts blurred out on Doctor Who. ;)

    a complete 180 when it comes to a particular character, from active dislike to absolute fascination.

    I notice that you don't go so far as to say you like that character now.

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  9. We haven't seen those parts on Torchwood yet, either. Which is sad. :)

    I notice that you don't go so far as to say you like that character now.

    Well, "like" as in "someone I'd want to hang out with," no. "Like" as in "enjoy the characterization of"... yes. Surprisingly.

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  10. Now if the CBC would get off their asses and let us know...we haven't got it or Torchwood declared yet.
    Very annoying, what with CBC actually funding part of it...

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  11. That is annoying. Here's hoping they come through with it for you.

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