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Monday, April 29, 2013

Your Late Evening Linc: JJ Abrams Talks Episode VII, Empire Strikes Back Photos, Doctor Who Teasers, and DBZ Abridged

Oh, what a fine evening it is! Let's not waste another moment of it and get right to your evening Lincs:

1. J.J. Abrams Talks Star Wars (And That Other Franchise)

Pictured: NOT Miss April
Because this time I really am reading it for the articles! Episode VII director J.J. Abrams sat down with Playboy Magazine for a fully in-depth interview in which he discusses all of his upcoming projects. He talks about what it takes to make Star Trek exciting to fans and casual viewers alike, the responsibility of taking the helm of two mega-franchises with rabidly loyal fans (Hi, how are ya?), and his approach to directing Episode VII and making the two franchises distinct. He even dishes on his incredible and controversial (amongst fans, that is) TV shows Lost, Fringe, Felicity and Revolution. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Here's a snippet of what he had to say with regard to juggling the two universes:
ABRAMS: As with anything, because these are very different worlds, they shouldn’t feel the same aesthetically. They can’t. You’re right. But again, I don’t apply aesthetics first and fit a movie into that aesthetic. If I had come into Star Trek with those eyes, I would probably have been paralyzed. The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With Star Trek it was harder because I wasn’t a Star Trek fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to. But I came to understand the world of Star Trek, and I appreciated what fans felt and believed about this universe and this franchise.
Later in the interview, the "King of the Reboot" hints that something original is coming down the pike. You can read the full article here.

2. Never Before Seen Behind the Scenes Photos from The Empire Strikes Back

Imugr user "joinyoubythesun" has uploaded an astounding 66 behind the scenes images from the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. Not sure exactly where he got them from, but I am definitely not complaining! There are a whole host of pictures that I've never seen before; some posed, some candid, and all amazing. There are also plenty of pictures of the late greats of the film, including director Irvin Kershner, Yoda creator and make-up master Stuart Freeborn, swordsman Bob Anderson, and Old Ben himself, Sir Alec Guiness. All in all, it really does bring a smile to my face to see the cast and crew really enjoying themselves as they create what is arguably one of the best movies of all time. You can check them all out here, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites:

Star Wars
They're smiling because their faces are frozen like that.

Star Wars
Quit you're whining kid, it's only your melted hand.

Star Wars
Going over the script with Kirsh (and producer Gary Kurtz)

Star Wars
"And then...Chewie just let one arm I mean..."

Star Wars
The Maker, The Vader, and the Director

Star Wars
"And THIS is what I think of your acting!"

Star Wars
"I'll see you in hell!.. Ha ha, I'm just kidding. You're going there, I'll be up in Heaven."

Star Wars
"Drive the Rebel Ice Cream Truck, they said. It'll be fun they said!"

Star Wars
Miss you, Kirsh. 

Star Wars
"He's just crazy enough to do it!"

3. Doctor Whoness

Well, after Saturday's exciting episode, the folks at the BBC are serving up all sorts of bits and bobs to keep us going until next week. For starters, they are releasing a collectible box set entitled "Regeneration".

Included: The rare episode where the Doctor regenerates into Michael Jackson
With over 1,000 minutes of footage and bonus material over 6 DVDs, the album is "adorned with superb photography from across the era and features detailed and informative accounts of every regeneration." Each DVD contains the episodes that contain the Doctors' regeneration, including the masterfully reconstructed fourth and final episode of the "Tenth Planet" arc which gives us our very first "renewal". The box set is out June 10, 2013.

And check out what's coming up next week in "The Crimson Horror". The Paternoster Gang are back as Jenny, Vastra, and Strax help the Doctor and Clara unravel the dangerous mystery surrounding Sweetville. Perhaps their travels back to the era in which the Doctor met Clara for the second time will lead to some more clues as to the true nature of the newest  and most mysterious companion.

Speaking of Clara-related mysteries, we got the smallest, and yet most tantalizing of clues from none other than Jenna-Louise Coleman herself! On the topic of the Series 7 finale episode, "The Name of the Doctor", Jenna-Louise praises the epic plot, the cool new villains The Whispermen, and drops this bombshell:
“All I can say is that Clara hasn’t just met the Doctor three times before…”
I'm sorry....WHAT?! Apparently, Moffat has been planting clues for years, and has stated that we have yet to even get on the scent of the truth behind Clara Oswin Oswald. And we've only got two episodes left before the finale, which will lead directly into the 50th anniversary. According to the synopsis for "The Name of the Doctor":
"Clara is summoned to an impossible conference call, alerting her that the deadly Whisper Men are closing in on Vastra, Jenny and Strax. Someone is kidnapping the Doctor’s friends, leading him toward the one place in all of time and space that he should never go. It’s a deadly trap that threatens to unravel his past, present and future…"
Because, remember, it's all still waiting for him. Trenzalore, the fall of the Eleventh....and the revelation of his biggest secret.

4. Dragonball Z Abridged Episode 34

"The following is a non-profit fan based parody..." If you're a DragonBall Z fan and have not yet experienced the hilarity and sheer awesomeness that is DragonBall Z Abridged, then stop literally everything you're doing (I see you feeding that baby) and get crackin'. The brilliant minds and incredible voice talents at Team Four Star have been able to get at the very core of what the show was about, while managing to create stories all their own. From an imbecilic Goku, to a senile Guru, to a sadistic Mr. Popo, you'll find yourself with all new favorite characters as you laugh your way through each episode. The one that got me hooked was Episode 29, and I suggest if you're going to start anywhere, you start there. Here is the latest episode, number 34, which takes place after a cooler than cool Trunks has finally dispatched a Cyber-Frieza and his Daddykins.

That's it for tonight, kids. Check back tomorrow for more from the Missing Linc!

- Joe

Once Upon A Time Recap: The Evil Queen

The Evil Queen

"Are people born Wicked?" said some witch in another show, "Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?" That was the theme of tonight's episode: The Evil Queen. (Uh, uh, uh! Not so fast dearies. If ye wish not to be spoiled, go no further!)

Let's begin in The Land That Was. Regina is on the hunt for Snow White, and nothing is going to stop her. She massacres an entire village because they will not give up the princess' location. When a disguised Regina returns to the site with Snow, it is deeply unsettling, and a very dark moment for this show, to see the bodies strewn on the ground, lifeless and with Wanted posters arrowed to their backs

What Regina can't wrap her mind around is how the people can be so loyal to Snow White when she is their Queen. She enlists the help of Rumplestiltskin (always a wise choice) so that she can disguise herself and go among the people. Perhaps then she will learn more about her arch-enemy's whereabouts. She is warned, though, that she will not be able to use magic or transform back without his help (which, of course, he doe not provide). When she enters a village that has strewn up an effigy of the Queen, she tries to stop them, only to be mistaken for the culprit by her own guards. She is saved, to the delight of the irony gods, by the woman she has been hunting. Snow dispatches the guards, rescues Regina, and takes her to hide in the woods where she nurses her back to health.

Once Upon A Time
"Oh dear God just kill me now."
Snow tells the injured girl about the time she almost fell off a horse, and a woman saved her. As they walk through the forest, Snow White tells the "peasant girl" that she believes there is still good in Regina. Regina takes this to heart, and wonders aloud if "The Queen" were to repent and ask forgiveness, if Snow would grant it, or kill her. Snow shows the truest kindness and compassion and says that she would. That is, until they find the bodies. In a very un-Luke Skywalker-like speech, Snow realizes and declares that there's no possible hope for Regina's redemption. She is evil through and through. The cloaked Regina accidentally reveals her true self by asking about the horse incident, although in Snow's telling she never said it was Regina. Snow readies her arrow, and a powerless Regina flees. Ever the fairest, Snow lets her go.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina is planning to activate the failsafe for the Curse, one that would destroy Storybrooke and everyone in it. Using the last remaining magic bean (oh, yeah, she burned the rest of the crop), she will escape with her son back to the Land That Was and make him love her once more. Oddly, she tells Henry about her foolproof plot, only to erase his memory moments later.

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
"I can soooo relate."
Meanwhile, Emma bumps into Tamara at Granny's and notices something strange when she helps to pick up Tamara's spilled items. She has a list (a big list, with big print...not so stealthy, eh?) of all the names of Storybrooke's residents and their true identities. Emma begins to think that Tamara is the "She" that August was trying to warn them about before he re-youthified.

Once Upon A Time
"Hi, I'll have a cup of coffee, milk, two sugars...oh, and the heads of everyone in town."
 And so, Emma and Henry renew their covert partnership, renamed Operation Praying Mantis (...oy), in order to find out exactly what she's up to. A botched reconnaissance mission at Neal's apartment leads them to a dead end. But Emma's lie detection powers are not mistaken. Tamara and Greg are up to something, and they need a helping hand in their scheme. Well...helping hook, that is.

Once Upon A Time
Get it?
Regina, trying to enact her own plot, also teams up with Hook, who seems to earnestly want to renew the partnership he had with Cora. Regina leads hook to the Library and down the elevator where she recovers the failsafe. But, she needs a distraction, because a certain dragon-moprhing witch is not as dead as we thought she was.

I actually loved this idea. It shows a particularly cruel side to Regina that she would keep her most hated frenemy preserved so that she could guard Regina's most sacred treasures. First as a dragon, then as a skeleton-ghost thing. This version of Maleficent was particularly shiver-inducing. But, Hook does manage to escape, with the help of his newfound friends, Tamara and Greg. It appears that they have a bit more experience dealing with magic than we originally thought. Using the power of science, they effectively stunted Regina's powers and put one check on their list of names. They are truly coming into their own as the new villains of Season 2. I predict that they will learn about Regina's failsafe and endeavor to use it to bring about the end of magic....and the destruction of Storybooke.

Once Upon A Time
That would certainly be quite a hook...ah ha..get it? A..hook....Okay I'll stop.

Overall, I think this idea of a misunderstood Regina has been played out. It worked well in the first third of the season, when she was trying to do right by Henry, and a new twist was thrown in when Cora arrived in Storybrooke, but now it's a bit tired. She needs to commit to either being good (although not necessarily accepted by the townspeople), or truly embrace the dark side. Frankly, I would like to see an anti-hero in Regina, especially up against an all-powerful Rumplestiltskin. She doesn't need to be a good guy, but she should stop playing the victim. That said, I really enjoyed seeing Regina and Rumple play off each other in this episode. Each time we see them together she is either the eager student, the defiant former pupil, or the ardent rival. But, as always, the imp seems to always have the upper hand. I also really enjoyed seeing Tamara and Greg's characters develop into a much more sinister duo than we previously thought. I am extremely eager to see how their roles play out as we enter the home stretch to the finale.

Til' next time, dearies!

- Joe

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

Doctor Who

Generations of Whovians have wondered what lay in the deepest corners of the box that's "bigger on the inside". In the classic series we've seen companions' rooms and other sections, but never have we had a topsy turvy adventure leading straight to the heart of the TARDIS itself. "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" certainly delivered on its promise, and gave us a few extra bits along the way.

When the TARDIS is caught in the magno-grab of a salvage vessel, things start to go very very wrong. The Doctor and Clara are separated, a tear in time appears on board, and there are burning zombie monsters running amok. The Doctor asks for the help of the Van Baalen brothers in rescuing Clara, offering them the salvage of a lifetime.

Doctor Who
Tons of wires and a wooden box! Congratulations!
Let's put the adventure of the episode aside for a moment and talk about what we saw (and heard) inside the  Big Blue Box. Now, for a whole list of references you can check out BBC One's blog, The Fourth Dimension. As Clara ambles around (and in some cases races through) the corridors, we get a glimpse of a few different rooms, like the observatory with a gigantic telescope (which you might remember from the Series 2 episode Tooth and Claw). We get to see a room with a kind of living metal tree with glowing orbs that can grow any type of device or machine that the Doctor requires. And, finally, at long last, we get to see the swimming pool.

Doctor Who
In a surprise twist and crossover, Moriarty unveils his plan to destroy Clara.
Clara also comes across the enormous TARDIS library, stacked high with all kinds of books and documents. In it she also finds items from the past such as the Doctor's cot (or crib, for us Americans), the wooden TARDIS made by a young Amelia Pond, and the Seventh Doctor's first umbrella. And, when hiding from the Time Zombie, she stumbles into the Encyclopedia Gallifreya. I thought it was really interesting that the Time Lords kept an oral record of their history in bottles, as that is the oldest form of passing down stories, culture, and history. Among the mumbles and whispers we could hear something about "The Medusa Cascade". But what she comes across before that sent my fan-sense a-tingling.

Doctor Who
As Clara flips through the pages of the history of the Time War, she spots something that intrigues her above all else. Although she is interrupted by the Time Zombie, she is able to see something that makes her say "So that's Who."

Yes. Clara Oswald has learned the Doctor's name.

Getting back to the story, Bram Van Baalen is tasked with junking the entire TARDIS console for scrap. When he lifts open a piece of the control panel, we (and maybe he?) hear a multitude of voices from the past. Our friends at the TARDIS Data Core wiki has provided a full list:

  • The voice of Susan Foreman says, "I made up the name 'TARDIS' from the initials: Time and Relative Dimension In Space." (TV: An Unearthly Child)
  • The Third Doctor saying, "The TARDIS is dimensionally transcendental" and his companion, Jo, asking "What does that mean?" (TV: Colony in Space)
  • The Eleventh Doctor saying, "You sexy thing!" then Idris (the TARDIS in human form) replying, "See, you do call me that! Is it my name?" followed by the Doctor's exclamation of "You bet it's your name!" (TV: The Doctor's Wife)
  • The Fourth Doctor saying, "That's trans-dimensional engineering. A key Time Lord discovery." (TV: The Robots of Death)
  • The Ninth Doctor saying, "The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door, and believe me they've tried." (TV: Rose)
  • Martha Jones saying, "It's just a box with that room crammed in!". (TV: Smith and Jones)
  • Amy Pond saying, "We're in space!". (TV: The Beast Below)
  • Ian Chesterton asking, "It can move anywhere in time and space?" (TV: An Unearthly Child)
  • The Fifth Doctor asking, "You've changed the desktop theme, haven't you?" (TV: Time Crash)
Bram was later admitted to the psychiatric ward of the TARDIS
Now, I thought it was a little weird that he could just lift up the console like that. In Boomtown, Blon Slitheen  does so and is turned back into an egg. In The Parting of Ways, when Rose looks into the heart of the TARDIS that way, she becomes the Bad Wolf, and that leads to the Ninth Doctor's regeneration. Perhaps, because the ship was shut down, Bram could look into it (and climb down) unscathed. That is, until he met a Time Zombie down there.
Doctor Who
"I just wanted to see if you had any Jergen's!"

 Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tricky, and Gregor are trying to navigate the labyrinth the TARDIS has created because Gregor has stolen one of the orbs. It leads them back to the console room, which the Doctor describes as en echo (much like the pocket universe in Hide, last week). Clara, too, is stuck in an echo console room, but she has company. Using Gregor's sensor, the Doctor finds Clara and pulls her into their echo console room before the Time Zombie can touch her. Wibbly-wobbly, indeed.

As the team heads towards the center (or centre, for our British readers) of the TARDIS, they see images of the past and the Doctor reveals that there is a leak in time somewhere on board. As they continue on their way Clara hears a rumbling overhead. Then, in one of the more thrilling parts of the episode, beams start bursting through the walls and they run for their lives. When they find the two salvagers, Tricky is has been impaled through the shoulder by a beam. He tells Gregor to cut the arm off, as he is an android and can get a new one. But it's revealed that Gregor and Bram played a joke on their younger brother, and after an accident gave him cybernetic eyes and a new voice box and told him he was an android. Now that is going to make for one awkward Thanksgiving.

After Tricky is freed, the team needs to cross a very dangerous room. They need to pass by the Eye of Harmony. As I mentioned in my review for Hide (in which they used a subset of the Eye to enhance Emma's powers), the Eye of Harmony was integral to the plot of the 1996 movie and had been mentioned once before in the classic series. Here, we see it in its full awesomeness. A sun turning into a blackhole, trapped in its state of decay so as to power the TARDIS. Time Lord technology at its finest.

Doctor Who
Don't worry, it'll only turn you into a Time Zombie.
But the Time Zombies catch up with them and trap them between doorways. The Doctor reveals that what they're running themselves. The future has leaked into the TARDIS as well as the past, and it seems that the Doctor has failed to save Clara again. The remaining Van Baalen brothers try to fight off the monsters, but are turned into their zombie selves once again. Clara and the Doctor run, and find themselves...outside. But no, they are actually still in the TARDIS, very close to the engine room. This reminded me a lot of the wave-powered engine room of the ship in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship...just with less pterodactyls.

Doctor Who
Muuuuch better.
It's here that the Doctor finally confronts Clara. Is she a trick? A trap? How is it that he has been met her at different points in time, where she has died, and yet here she is once again right in front of him? But the Doctor, sensing how afraid and confused she is, realizes that although their meetings are strange, she is no one and nothing but Clara. Together, they make a leap of faith and jump into the heart of the TARDIS.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Also aboard the TARDIS? An old Templar knight.
Which, of course, is unlike anything we've ever seen (although it did remind me of the Zero Room in the Fifth Doctor's first episode, Castrovalva). The TARDIS, in what looks to be a room totally out of time and space, has contained the explosion temporarily. The Doctor becomes distraught because he cannot figure out a way to save the old girl, who had always been there for him. But when he holds Clara's hand he notices something, that it had been burned....and that burn had written itself into her flesh: Big Friendly Button.

Doctor Who
"Good thing...because I was SOL there for a second..."

In the biggest (and probably most literal) Deus Ex Machina ever, the Doctor reaches through the rift in time and tosses the device used by the Van Baalen brothers over to his past self. Clara picks it up and is burned, and when the Doctor retrieves it he laughs and pushes the button (if only Staples had a product placement deal). Time resets itself, the Van Baalen brothers are reunited, Clara and the Doctor continue on their journey, and the TARDIS races through time and space once more.

Overall I thought this was an absolutely exciting episode. We saw more of the TARDIS than ever before, had a race through tight corridors and expansive rooms, were given some wonderful recalls to the past, and given hints that will lead us directly to the 50th anniversary special. There were a few misses I thought: I would like to have seen another old console room instead of another echo room, and I thought the Van Baalen brothers were a pretty week ensemble. But the Time Zombies were very creepy and unsettling, especially when we learned who they were. And I can forgive the "deus ex" bit, because it was necessary for the Doctor and Clara to be saved, and it also leads us into the 50th. I wonder, though, now that that Doctor knows that Clara isn't some kind of trick, how he will go about finding out exactly why they keep meeting at different points in time.

Doctor Who
No reason to put this here, I just thought it looked pretty.
Secrets keep us safe, but they also keep us in suspense!

Until next time (....and space),

- Joe

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Your Morning Linc: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS Clip, River and Jack Want a Spinnoff, Steampunk AT-AT, and the Cost of Being Iron Man

Well, despite its valiant efforts, the mockingbird that just would not stop singing outside my window last night has not deterred me from getting a good night's sleep, and waking up ready to share some of the Internet's geeky goodness!

1. Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS Clip

Next week's episode has been long anticipated by Whovians for generations (re-generations?). When Clara goes missing inside the Blue Box, it's up to the Doctor and a questionable salvage team to find her. Word is that we are going to see the heart of the TARDIS itself, many nods to the past, a library containing a book on the Time War....and yes.....the swimming pool.

Here's a clip, which does nothing to make me stop wanting Saturday to come as quickly as possible:


2. John Barrowman and Alex Kingston Want a Jack/River Show

What do you get when you cross a time-traveling bi-curious madman with a time-traveling, overtly sexual madwoman? You get a show that I'm pretty sure could only be called "Sexing Through Time". Doctor Who alumni John Barrowman and Alex Kingston, who work together on the CW's Arrow, seem to have really hit it off an want to make a spinoff show starring Captain Jack Harkness and Professor River Song.

Doctor Who
Also in the works: Innuendo, the Musical.
As Barrowman, who is still hurting over his 50th snub and is pessimistic about Torchwod's return, explained to TVAddict:
“Then as we talked more, we realized that we’re both born on the same day.  We’re both March 11th babies and we have so much in common.  We like a lot of the same things and our attitude towards stuff is very, very similar.
“It struck a chord with us because that’s why River and Jack are very similar characters, in their attitude and their fun and their aggression, we are the same in real life – which is really ironic.  So we struck it off."
 Frankly, I think they should make a 60's-style sitcom and call it "Hello Sweetie!"

3. Crushing Rebellion With Industrial Revolution: Steampunk AT-AT

Because intercontinental railroads are for wimps, a pretty insane and really cool-looking steampunk AT-AT has popped up on Flickr.

Star Wars

Star Wars

Dubbed Captain Bayley's Mechano-Perambulator, its creator, named Mark, apparently made this as an engagement gift for his fiance. If this is the kind of gift she'd appreciate, I'd say that girl's definitely a keeper. And you know this bad boy can go toe-to-toe with a Mechanical Spider any day.

Wild Wild West
Let's see Will Smith hook this with a harpoon and tow cable.
Check out many many more photos here.

4. The Cost of Being Iron Man

Think you need to be a billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist to wear the suit? Well, you're absolutely right. MoneySupermarket has detailed the real world cost of being Iron Man (big ol' infographic below):

I'll be setting up my Kickstarter campaign soon...

And that's it for now folks. Hope you all continue to have a fantastic morning!

- Joe

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Your Morning Linc: Star Wars Insider Prizes, Thor 2 Trailer, Futurama Canceled, Family Matters Movie

Happy Tuesday Morning, everyone! Let's dive right into your Morning Linc:

1. Thank You, Star Wars Insider!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was surprised to learn that I had won some cool prizes from the folks at Titan Magazines for answering an online survey about the Star Wars Insider. I've always loved the Insider, especially before each prequel as more information would come out. They've always had excellent interviews, great short stories, and every so often a nugget of fan knowledge previously unknown to me (perish the thought!). Well, my package arrived yesterday afternoon, and look at the bounty I snagged!

Star Wars
Ooh, I wonder what this could be?
Star Wars
Hello, gorgeous!
Star Wars
Thanks, Katie!
Star Wars
Not just novels!
Star Wars
Gives "blowing up the Death Star" a whole new meaning
Star Wars
Thank you, Star Wars Insider!
You can bet that this reader will stay with the Insider for many years to come!

2. Kicking Some Asgard: First Thor 2 Trailer!

I will summarily break this video and demand another!

Thor 2: The Dark World is our November 8, 2013.

3. Bad News Everyone! Futurama Has Been Canceled! ...No...For Real This Time

I Don't Want To Live On This Planet Anymore

On this morning's blog: DOOOOOOM! Yes, folks, it seems like this is truly the end for the Planet Express crew. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will cease transmission after almost 13 years and seven seasons (which, of course, only makes sense if you're a fan of the show or quantum physics). The article says that it wasn't really a big surprise to executive producer David X. Cohen:
"The news did not come as a shock to executive producer David X. Cohen and creator Matt Groening, who had thought their space explorations were ending three previous times (after the Fox run, after the four movies, and after Comedy Central’s first 26-episode order). “I felt like we were already in the bonus round on these last couple of seasons, so I can’t say I was devastated by the news,” Cohen tells EW. “It was what I had expected two years earlier. At this point I keep a suitcase by my office door so I can be cancelled at a moment’s notice.”
Comedy Central's EVP of Programming, David Bernath said that it was a "blessing" that the show came back, went, came back, and lasted as long as it did. He's absolutely right. Oh least we still have Zoidberg. YOU ALL STILL HAVE ZOIDBERG!

4. Oh, Carl! Reginald Vel Johnson Wants You To Kickstart a Family Matters Movie

Because the internet is awesome sometimes, Reginald Vel Johnson takes to Funny or Die to propose a Family Matters Movie that combines all the family-friendly, heart-warming entertainment of our childhood with the kickass, take-no-names action of Taken. Unfortunately, embedding is disabled but you can click the link in the previous sentence to check out his pitch.

In the meantime, here's my favorite clip from the show:

Of all the impossible things, I hope this happens most. God speed, Carl Winslow!

Well, I hope that's enough to put a pep in your step today! Keep on coming back for more Missing Linc!

- Joe

Monday, April 22, 2013

Once Upon A Time Recap: Lacey

Once Upon a Time

Well hello again, dearies! I feel like it's been forever since our last OUAT recap. It's almost like stepping over the Storybrooke line, the mind resets and you kind of forget what's been happening. So here's where we stood coming in: Greg/Owen and Tamara have been revealed as cohorts in a plot to find his dad and, perhaps, reveal Storybrooke to the world. Pinocchio, for his bravery, has been turned into a little boy, but not before warning Emma and Co that danger is lurking right around the corner.

Now, back to last night. The show opens with another weird dream sequence. It's Henry's birthday and Grandpa Gold allows him to pick anything he wants in the shop. Henry chooses a wand (a weird choice for the kid who rags on magic all the time), and Gold uses it to turn him to porcelain and smashes him to bits (thus fulfilling a whole lot of fan fantasies).

Once Upon A Time
I would have been happy if he just pushed his head into the cake...
Clearly he is still worried about the prophecy that Henry will be his undoing. But, back in the Land That Was, Rumplestilskin is preoccupied by someone else. You know me, I'm a big RumpBelle fan, so it was great to see more of their story unfold. We all know the Dark One is pretty bad, but something about him gleefully preparing to skin Robin Hood alive was a bit unnerving.

Once Upon A Time
Who's merry now?
Belle, of course, appeals the the good in him and Rumple decides not to kill the would-be-thief. As it turns out, he only wanted the wand in order to heal a pregnant and dying Maid Marion. You could really feel that his heart was changing, especially when he gave her the pillow (to "muffle her crying") and showed her the library ("just another room to dust"). The scene where he takes the Sheriff of Nottingham's tongue for calling Belle a wench? steps, I guess.

Back in Storybrooke, Regina is furious that no one told her about Neal being Henry's father. She decides to take it out on Mr. Gold by giving Belle her Cursed memories, giving her a new life as "Lacey". Lacey is, as much as you can be on this show, a party girl who doesn't really care about Mr. Gold or this "Belle" he keeps insisting she is. She prefers to hang out at the hitherto unknown "The Rabbit Hole".

Because nothing says "bad girl" like exposed shoulders and shooting pool.
Who knew Storybooke had a nightlife? And that there was an alternative to going to Granny's?! In any case, Belle was just starting to accept that Rumple cared for her and that he was a part of her life before she lost her memory, so the turn from princess to bad girl hit Gold pretty hard. That is...until he had another run-in with the Storybrooke version of the Sheriff, and hit him even harder. It turns out Lacey likes the bad boys, and this might just be Rumple's way to have his cake and eat it too. To keep his true love while fully embracing his dark side.

Once Upon A Time
Embracing her dark side costs $40 an hour.
Meanwhile, Regina is suspicious about where Charming, Anton (hey, Hurley's back!), and the Dwarves are going every day. So, as they pull into the Rabbit Hole for a few brewskies (because now that we know it exists, of course everyone goes there!), she uses a really cool new power to trace the tire tracks back to the bean farm right at the edge of town. Will she burn the crop to keep her enemies trapped in Storybrooke? Or will she use the beans to transport herself out and start a new life?

Oh, and looky looky, Greg and Tamara have a Hooky!

Til' next time (hopefully not 6 weeks) dearies!
- Joe

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Hide


You know when writer Neil Cross steps up to pen a Doctor Who episode, you're going to get something different. Whether it was the instant classic "The Doctor's Wife" or the still hotly debated "Rings of Akhaten", Cross always puts his unique touch on familiar tropes. Hide not only is no exception, but it is a perfect example.

The Doctor and Clara arrive at Caliburn House, a giant mansion beset by a wailing spirit known throughout history as "The Witch of the Well". Set in the 1970's, this episode used every ghost story antic without seeming cliche. Stormy night? Check. Candelabras? Check. Hard science mixed with psychic abilities? Checkaroo. Splitting up in order to catch something that you're clearly outmatched by? Oh, so much Check! Yes, this episode touched on everything from The Ring to Scooby-Doo and mixed it all together to create a really dynamic, suspenseful, and kind of creepy episode.

You can't die after seeing The Ring if you can't see without your glasses!

But, of course, this is Doctor Who we're talking about, so we know we're not in for a mere ghost story (the Ninth Doctor episode "The Unquiet Dead" comes to mind). As the story progresses we find that our ghost is actually a pioneering time traveler stuck between our universe and a pocket universe (perhaps a nod Neil Cross' "The Doctor's Wife"). In an interesting turn of events, the Doctor discovers that every time they see the ghost they are seeing one brief moment in her timeline, stretched out over hundreds of years. Usually, it's the Doctor who seems to pop in and out of people's lives, but this time it was the other way around. When the Doctor goes through the history of the world, taking pictures in order to piece together Hila's flashes through time, it has a startling effect on Clara. To him, she surmises, they must all seem like ghosts, since the Doctor can witness the birth and death of a world in minutes and not even blink. The Doctor assures her she is "the only mystery worth solving". This very much echoes Rose's sentiments in "The End of the World" (again with the parallels!), but I don't think the Doctor was as successful in comforting her this time.

Doctor Who
What? It's just the end of everything and everyone you ever knew! Get over it.
I also like how the contentious relationship with Clara and the TARDIS, first hinted at in "The Rings of Akhaten", was further explored. Clara lets the Doctor in on her suspicion that the old girl doesn't like her, and the Doctor likens the TARDIS to a cat that has to get used to someone. And when the Clara runs to rescue the Doctor from the pocket universe, she has to first get past the TARDIS audio/visual matrix, which sarcastically takes the form of Clara ("the person you most esteem"). Eventually the blue box relents, lets Clara in, and the two rescue their man. I have a nagging belief that their story isn't over, and will come to a head next week.

When the Doctor does find himself in the pocket universe, it is just plain creepy. It's misty, disintegrating, and completely void of life....well, except for one thing. The monster that inhabits this world doesn't look or move like anything we've ever seen. It actually reminded me a lot of old claymation monsters with its jerky movements and that definitely was unsettling. Even though we eventually learn that it (credited totally un-cringe-inducingly as "Crooked Man"), like Hila and the Doctor, was stuck there and just trying to reach its one true love back at Caliburn House, seeing it's face made me jump, and most definitely scared the bejeezus out of younger viewers.

Doctor Who Hide
But yes, folks, it turned out that this was a love story, after all. No villains to defeat, no apocalypse to stop, just the simple saving of a girl and the reuniting of lost (if incredibly ugly) loves. I think that's something that a lot of people lose in the new Who, that these stories don't always have to be dark and serious. The show, at its core, is about the power of love and good versus all the badness in the universe. In a way, we were actually treated to three different types of episodes in one: A ghost story, a classic timey wimey story, and a love story. Each one flowing effortlessly into the next.

And this episode, Whovians, more than any so far, should have your inner geek tingling. For one, the Doctor uses the space suit he used during his Tenth incarnation in the two-parter "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" and "The Waters of Mars". Also, in order to boost Emma's psychic powers and her connection to the pocket universe, not only does the Doctor fetch a Metebelis crystal from the TARDIS (a reference to the last adventures of the Third Doctor), he does so utilizing a subset of the Eye of Harmony (last seen as the focal point for the 1996 movie starring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann)! There was also an interesting bit where the Doctor directs Clara to hang up her umbrella, only to remember that he's since removed the coat rack he had in his previous TARDIS (and that of earlier incarnations). And, of course, when things start going wrong (as they inevitably do), we heard the familiar ring of the Cloister Bell.

Doctor Who
Also that one episode where the Doctor runs a lot...
A unique twist on a familiar story type, tons of references, a nice and different ending, and a deepening of the mystery and character of Clara, "Hide" definitely delivered! And it was great to see the TARDIS fully in action once again! The episode also touched on unrequited love, fulfilled for Emma and Alec, and the monsters, but perhaps not for Clara? Will she be Eleven's Rose, or will she find her feelings rebuffed like Martha? And what about the Doctor's search to find the answer as to exactly who Clara is...and why she is? Emma's empathic powers were no help, and in fact were used to warn Clara not to trust him. No matter how that story plays out, "Hide" will definitely go on the list of top Eleventh Doctor episodes for many fans (yours truly included.)

Doctor Who
Women? Amiright? 'eh? 'EH? Ahhh you know.
 What did you all think? And where do you think this is all leading? Sound off in the comments below and I'll see you next week for the eagerly awaited "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"!


- Joe