Robert Downey Jr: superhero

Iron ManAnd lo, the rehabilitation of Robert Downey Jr did continue. It’s just been announced that everyone’s favourite former junkie and top-grade actor is to be Tony Stark in the new Iron Man movie, which is being directed by Jon Favreau. The project’s already had Tom Cruise’s name hanging from it, an idea that didn’t exactly endear itself to Iron Man fans, but Downey’s a pretty good choice, I reckon.

For those of you not in the know, Iron Man features a billionaire industrialist who fashions himself an iron weapons suit as a means to keep himself alive from a terminal heart condition and to escape a prison camp (I’m précising here: there was a weird amount of Vietnam-era propaganda in the origins story). In common with all comics these days, there are attempts to inject some depth into the character. So there’s a fair amount of angst by Stark over his weapons-manufacturing past and he later descends into alcoholism.

Who reckons Downey can do that?


Guinness book of sci-fi conflict sorted

Remember all that fuss about which was the longest running sci-fi show: Stargate or Doctor Who? The Guinness Book of Records reckoned Stargate for some reason, but everyone else was scratching their head and pointing to Doctor Who.

Well, next year’s Guinness Book is going to set the record straight and go with Doctor Who instead. Hoorah!

UPDATE: Except it hasn’t. Stargate‘s still in there. Anyone worked out why?


Horrible Who rumours of our time: number 73

DT with fuzzLast year, DT and BP were so busy, there was an almost an entire episode of Doctor Who they didn’t have time to appear in. So RTD improvised and wrote a story that hardly featured either the Doctor or Rose: Love and Monsters.

The question is, what’s happening this year? The same?

So how are they going to write out DT and FA this time?

Let’s put together today’s news that Mark Gatiss is going to appear as a scientist in one episode, with a rumour put around that in one of the stories, a scientist is going to invent a cure for ageing.

Surely we arrive at the following inevitable conclusion:

There’s going to be an episode where DT and FA are replaced by children.

Just a rumour my friends. Just a rumour. But it’s true. Except it isn’t. Or is it?

The British are coming! The British are coming!

Just sat through the second episodes of Kidnapped and Jericho: third-episode verdicts next week of course, but they’re both looking okay at the moment.

However, while watching Jericho, I recognised the plain clothes policeman who helps out in Jericho: it’s Lennie James. He’s English – I remember him in Civvies but he’s been in other things since.

This got me thinking, because Brit actor Linus Roache is in Kidnapped, as are Carmen Ejogo and Delroy Lindo (what do you mean he’s American? I beg to differ my friends, he was born and raised in SE London, supports Arsenal and still thinks of himself as British according to his IMDB profile).

And there’s more:

  • Lost has three Brits at least (Naveen Andrews, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dominic Monaghan) and probably has a few more secret ones up its sleeves, assuming Desmond and his girlfriend are in next season (I know if they are or not, but I’m not telling. You can go and spoil yourselves if you want).
  • CSI: NY has Claire Forlani and used to have Sonya Walger
  • CSI has Louise Lombard
  • Smith has Jonny Lee Miller
  • House has Hugh Laurie
  • Brotherhood has Jason Isaacs
  • The Wire has Dominic West and used to have Idris Elba
  • Justice has both Rebecca Mader and Eamonn Walker.

Some of them even get to keep their own accents.

What’s with the sudden British invasion of US TV? Is it simply because our TV is so pants at the moment, the actors have headed towards the US to find some decent scripts (and pay)? Or is there some decision being made somewhere that British actors are useful accessories for US TV shows?

I was going to do a table here to prove my point, but it got boring and fiddly so I won’t.

Incidentally, I suspect that they’re off to the US, simply because the opportunities are greater. If you have a quick glance at how many US shows have Australian actors (Brothers and Sisters, Nip/Tuck, Smith, House, Brotherhood, Lost to name but a few) and then have a look at Australian TV, you’ll see a similar situation. Alternatively, maybe the producers of certain shows just happen to like foreign actors, given the overlap in my two lists.

Answers on a postcard to…