Thursday’s “Knots Landing on Dallas, Doctor Who writers, and LA Noir goes to series” news

Doctor Who

Film

Trailers

  • Trailer for Mama, with Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
  • Trailer for Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise

French TV

  • Accused to be remade [subscription required]

UK TV

US TV

  • Tuesday ratings: Ben and Kate down 20%, Emily Owens starts low, Hart Of Dixie up

US TV casting

New US TV shows

  • ABC buys dramas Warriors and Grievances
  • …to adapt the Netherlands’ Sea of Fire
  • TNT picks up Frank Darabont’s LA Noir for six episodes
  • …to adapt Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein
  • NBC buys two dramas
  • Hallmark orders series of Andie MacDowell’s Cedar Cove
  • Amazon developing Support and The Face and the Heel

New US TV show casting

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US TV

Mini-review: Saving Hope (CTV/NBC) 1×1

Saving Hope

In Canada: Thursdays, 9pm ET/PT , CTV
In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

I can’t quite muster the enthusiasm to write a full review of this, since it’s quite a bad, quite a boring show. Essentially, you have Erica Durance (Lois Lane in Smallville) and Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1) as irritating, arrogant doctors who work together and are about to get married. Unfortunately, there’s a car crash, Shanks is nearly killed and he ends up in a coma.

You might think that was the end of that, but he then spends not just the rest of the episode but quite probably the rest of the series in an out-of-body experience, moving around, talking to ghosts and anyone else in a coma presumably, mulling over whether he was too much of a dick when he was alive.

Meanwhile, in the background to all of that, you have an incredibly tedious standard medical procedural where every patient has an Issue that needs to be dealt with.

Weirdly, we’ve already seen this done before very recently with A Gifted Man and it wasn’t that good then. What makes this worse is that rather than the lead interacting with the invisible lover as per A Gifted Man, Shanks and Durance don’t actually get to interact at all now Shanks is disembodied. To some this may seem romantic; to others, it means the show is even less interesting than it otherwise would have been. Even the addition of a supposedly hunky, sensitive Australian ex-lover for Durance to triangle with doesn’t lift the script anywhere above forgettable.

Durance is fine, showing slightly more range than she was allowed in Smallville, but only a little. Shanks is very one-note, which is disappointing, given we know from Stargate that he’s pretty versatile. The rest of the cast might as well be made from polystyrene for all they matter, but at least you can like them, unless Shanks’ and Durance’s characters.

Although the central concept is at least interesting, it’s tedious, derivative, shows no sign of getting much better, so don’t bother with it.

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Thursday’s “Ben Browder on Doctor Who, no more Primeval and Aidan Quinn is Elementary’s Gregson” news

Doctor Who

Film

UK TV

Canadian TV

  • The Vampire DiariesSara Canning and Eureka‘s Niall Matter starring in Primeval: New World

US TV

  • Tuesday’s ratings: Breaking In slightly up from where it was, Cougar Town gains a few viewers, The River flat
  • The Forgotten‘s Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan to star in Mistresses
  • Showtime adapting You Kill Me
  • Happy DaysMarion Ross to guest on Up All Night [minor spoilers]
  • Silk StalkingsEob Estes to guest on Necessary Roughness

US TV pilots

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Third-episode verdict: Falling Skies

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, TNT
In Canada: Wednesdays, 10pm, Superchannel. Starts July 6
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, FX. Starts July 5

Well, we’re three episodes into Falling Skies and… it’s as dull as it always. It’s like Stargate Universe and Battlestar Galactica never happened. I’m getting a déjà vu to early Stargate SG-1 in fact, in which our plucky band of four heroes faced off against entire armies that seemed unaware of even basic military tactics and never did anything too mean, so got hopelessly slaughtered.

Here we have the intrepid Noah Wylie constantly going to find his kidnapped son whom those nasty aliens who’ve taken over the world have abducted. Off he goes against their heavily armed robots with a couple of his mates and despite his weapons never being any good, he constantly manages to kill them all. How sweet.

Meanwhile, back at base camp, a notorious criminal and rapist is being allowed to cook food for everyone, including one of his victims, because he knows about paprika and has read a book so has therefore redeemed himself. And everyone’s wondering what the hell the aliens are actually up to. Prepare to wait at least 10 episodes to find out, because there are no signs of any actual information emerging any time soon and the mystery itself is so uninteresting, so untantalising, that there’s no reason you’d want to hang around to find the answer anyway.

So don’t bother watching this last hurrah for the noble white male middle class action hero, where women are there to get captured and be doctors, but not do anything too exciting or heroic. There’s not much point unless you miss The Tripods.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: With ratings dropping by a third from the initial episode, I’m thinking it’ll last a season at most.

Continue reading “Third-episode verdict: Falling Skies”

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Review: Falling Skies 1×1-1×2

falling skies, steven spielberg, tnt, noah wyle, tnt, skitters, moon bloodgood, scifi shows, sci-fi shows, sci fi shows, aliens

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, TNT
In Canada: Wednesdays, 10pm, Superchannel. Starts July 6
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, FX. Starts July 5

There’s something about knowing that Steven Spielberg is the exec producer of a TV show that means you know pretty much exactly what you’re going to get. It started with Earth 2, in which a lot of very dull people, all by themselves, have to survive against the odds and face slightly scary aliens while looking after their wee little moppets, who are just ever so endearing. That was pretty much the template.

Now we have Falling Skies, in which 90% of the world’s population is killed by aliens, leaving a group of very dull people, including Noah Wylie in The Librarian mode, stuck in Boston, having to survive against the odds and face slightly scary aliens while looking after their wee little moppets, who are just so endearing.

Are there any differences, you might ask? Well, with the likes of Greg Beeman and Mark Verheiden on board, you’d suspect a hint of Heroes to the whole thing and you’d be right – out of a cast of about one hundred men, there are roughly three women, two of them blonde.

Here’s a trailer for Falling Skies, aka War of the Worlds meets Earth 2.

Continue reading “Review: Falling Skies 1×1-1×2”