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TV Update 01

Scientist. Time Traveller. Author.

One of the above is an alien, one owns a cow, and one has a name that was deliberately chosen to sound like "a profanity".

A few thoughts on TV I’ve watched lately:

Only a few days after saying I don’t enjoy Fringe all that much it went and had what may be its best episode ever, “Peter”. While it was firmly entrenched in the series’ mythology and answered one of the show’s big mysteries it was mostly just a touching story about loss, helped greatly by focusing on John Noble’s character Walter Bishop, by far and away the best thing about the series. There have been a few episodes of Fringe this season that I’ve really enjoyed, which makes up for the others which aren’t bad but also aren’t particularly memorable (not least because almost every mystery seems to be figured out either by Walter remembering that he actually worked on a similar project or it involving elements from Olivia’s past, then having the monster/scientist/thing killed or destroyed at the end). It does the good bits just enough to keep me watching.

After the US broadcast the twentieth episode of its second season, a TV channel in the UK finally started showing Castle, Nathan Fillion’s murder mystery show. At it’s core it’s yet another show where a maverick non-cop is brought into a team of police and uses his unique insight to help solve cases, and Castle’s scenario – a best-selling mystery author uses his popularity and contacts to insert himself into a homicide team – is definitely on the more ludicrous end of the spectrum. What matters though is that Nathan Fillion is excellent in the role (as he generally is), the writing giving him lots of great dialogue and moments and keeping the whole thing fun. Two episodes in I’m really enjoying it.

Doctor Who returned for a new season, and this time it will be an actual season of weekly episodes rather than last year’s series of one-off episodes scattered throughout the year. It’s a time of big changes as David Tennant has left his role as the titular Doctor and been replaced with Matt Smith (something which happens every few years and is built into the series canon as a ‘regeneration’, extending the character’s life by altering form), which gives the series a new spin on the main character. The lead writer of the series, Russell T.  Davies, who lead its resurrection and has been heavily involved in the overall arc of every season, has also stepped aside and been replaced with Stephen Moffat, who has been responsible for some of the best episodes of the series. While it’s always a little strange when the Doctor becomes somebody new it didn’t take long for Matt Smith to settle into the role and the first few episodes have been a lot of fun, even if the latest one, “Victory of the Daleks”, was considerably weaker than the two that preceded it. I’ve really been enjoying the new series so far and by and large I think the changes have helped revitalise the series right when it needed it.

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  1. November 17, 2010 at 15:19

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