Tag Archives: TV series

Damn It…I love Doctor Who

10 Jun

In April, I attended the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and noticed that dozens of people were dressed as different versions of The Doctor.  They were in line for the bathroom, eating pizza, and asking amusing questions at panels.  They went to great lengths to emulate The Doctor – this included hilarious accents, strange questions, and weird body language.

I’ve never sat down and watched a full episode of Doctor Who because I’ve always found the fans a little too, I don’t know, fanatical.  Come on, I love X-Men, but I stopped dressing up for Comic Expos years ago…Halloween is a different story.

Seeing so many people in costume made me wonder though, what’s so appealing about the show?  I decided to creep around on Wikipedia and get a better idea about the show’s storyline.  The short description is…

Doctor Who is a British science fiction programme produced by the BBC.  The program depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling humanoid alien known as The Doctor.  He explores the universe in his “TARDIS” a time-traveling space ship.  Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired.  Along with a succession of companions the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilizations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

Doctor Who is also the longest running science fiction show in the world.  Originally it aired from 1963 – 1989 and the series was restarted again in 2005.  Despite loving some time period movies, I know I can’t sit through a 1960s TV show.  They’ll be references I don’t understand and my time will be spent researching what the hell everyone is talking about.

I decided to start with the 2005 series starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.  From what I’ve read Eccleston’s portrayal is less eccentric than his predecessors to better fit with a new generation.

After two episodes, I’m hooked.  It’s hard to do good sci-fi on a budget, but the show manages.  The characters are well developed and the dialogue is surprisingly funny.  I’m resisting that urge to spend the day inside watching as many episodes as possible.  I promised myself I wouldn’t get hooked on any new shows and now I’ve chosen a show that has 7 seasons to catch up on plus an additional 26 seasons if I want to watch the original series.

Pray for me…I’m scared what will happen.

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Dark Shadows: Review

14 May

In 1774, the master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green).  Secretly a witch, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the changed world of 1972.  Over the last two centuries, the Collins family has suffered from the curse cast by Angelique and the now risen Barnabas makes it his mission to make his family prosperous once more.

Dark Shadows was originally an American series that ran from 1966-1971 and then there was a revival series in 1991.  Both series are unintentionally hilarious and highly enjoyable.  According the Burton, he was a huge fan of the 1960s series and wanted to focus on the funny and quirky aspects of Barnabas Collins and his family.

I was skeptical about Dark Shadows because I despised Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton’s films are becoming hit or miss for me.  Well let me tell you, Dark Shadows is horrible.  I can’t even sum up all the terrible things about the movie…so here’s just a few.  The characters are sedate and lack any real depth.  Accomplished actors like Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Botham Carter are completely wasted.  One of the only well-developed characters is Barnabas Collins.

The worst mistake a director can make is when the audience can’t sympathize with the protagonist and I think Barnabas Collins is an hypocritical douche.  For example, Barnabas is a vampire and he kills at will, but the minute somebody else does something questionable, Barnabas kills them.  He also “falls in love” with the Collins family’s governess Victoria, who happens to be the reincarnation of his wife from two centuries before,  but it’s hard to believe that Barnabas really loves Victoria considering he bangs both Angelique and Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Botham Carter). Obviously, he didn’t learn to keep it in his pants.

The only saving grace of Dark Shadows is Eva Green as Angelique.  Angelique’s desire to possess and punish Barnabas drives the entire plot and her hatred of the Collins family is understandable even though it’s excessive.  Green’s scenes are the only bearable ones and I kept hoping that she would destroy the Collins family in the end.

Let me sum it up by saying Tim Burton has lost his mojo.  Sure, his films are still quirky and gothic, but it’s all too familiar and it feels lazy.  Do not waste your money on Dark Shadows. 

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