Wednesday’s wicked witch news

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Question of the week: are online ‘zombie’ spin-offs a good idea?

Waterloo ROad

No, not literally zombies (although if you want…), so bear with me. This week, the BBC announced that Waterloo Road was going to get an online spin-off series. So far, so not very radical at all. But intriguingly, this series is going to feature popular characters who have already been written out of the series – the dead will walk again, hence ‘zombies’.

Now, Waterloo Road, since it’s set in a school, has a certain natural attrition rate, so it’s arguable that sometimes characters could possibly leave before their stories are over – after all, most people’s stories only start once they leave school.

But do you think this is a good idea for other shows? Doctor Who has already brought back former companion Sarah Jane Smith in her own TV series, so perhaps there’s room for other companions and characters to be revived this way. But does the likely reduced budget, run-time, writing staff et al mean such a project risks ruining these characters, cheapening them – and even potentially causing the main series to avoid giving characters more final endings so they can move to these spin-offs?

This week’s question of the week is therefore:

Are online ‘zombie’ spin-offs a good idea? And if they are, what series would you like to see having them?

As always, leave a comment with your answer or a link to your answer on your own blog

Liz Shaw's Best Bits

Liz Shaw’s Best Bits: What happened next? No, not that next, this next

When I did “Liz Shaw’s Best Bits“, an in-depth look at the highlights of best Doctor Who companion ever Liz Shaw’s reign on the show (and beyond), I thought I was done. Five parts, four on her season seven stories, one on what happened after that, and that was Liz done, I thought. A shame, but that’s all there was.

But you can’t keep a good companion down, particularly when fanboy Russell T Davies is in town and he’s pissed off with all those New Adventures writers who gave companions unhappy endings. As you may recall from part five of Liz Shaw’s Best Bits, David McIntee Jim Mortimore was the man who decided to kill off Liz Shaw in the novel, Eternity Weeps, having her die in 2003 from a virus she contracted on the moon.

However, Russell T Davies, who recently returned Liz Shaw’s successor, Jo Grant, to the world of Doctor Who in the The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Death of the Doctor, also took time out in the story to let us know what happened to Liz Shaw:

Yes, boys and girls, Liz Shaw is alive and well and helping to save the world from aliens from up on UNIT’s base on the moon. It can’t be mere coincide that Rusty chose to tell us she was up there: that was a man saying “No! Enough is enough!” to Eternity Weeps. So Liz probably took a Lemsip and got over McIntee’s Mortimore’s virus, before going back to work the next day.

That’s Liz for you.

UPDATE: Thanks to @thejimsmith for pointing out I can’t even read book covers right and it was actually Jim Mortimore who wrote Eternity Weeps. Will I never be free of this name-mixing affliction?

News

Wednesday’s “one BBC fits all” news

Tron Legacy poster

Doctor Who

Film

British TV

US TV

Friday’s “ABC smash puny ratings” news

Doctor Who

  • Strictly‘s Laila Rouass to play UNIT soldier in The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • More crossovers with SJA unlikely

Film

British TV

US TV

  • ABC remaking The Incredible Hulk
  • Tea Leoni to star in and produce Spring/Fall fashion comedy pilot for HBO
  • ABC orders more scripts for No Ordinary Family, Off The Map, Brothers and Sisters
  • The CW orders more Life Unexpected
  • Law and Order: LA drops 21% in the ratings
  • Helen Hunt to direct an episode of The Paul Reiser Show
  • SyFy picks up Sinbad and the Minotaur
  • Wayne Knight to guest on The Whole Truth