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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Your Evening Linc: Return of Return of the Jedi, OUAT in Wonderland News, Fresh Prince Back In Style, and More!

It's a beautiful evening here in New York. The air is calm, the sky is clear, and the cicadas are buzzing louder than a TIE's ion engines. Don't know what a cicada is? Well, once, every 17 years, the denizens of the East Coast are visited by a plague of giant, blind insects who burrow up from the depths of the Earth to mate, drop from trees, bump into bystanders, and then die after laying their eggs back in the ground. Then their offspring wait for their turn to terrorize the populace. Luckily, we have the internet to keep us inside and safe!

1. "Return of Return of the Jedi" Celebrates 30 Years of Ewoks, Emperors, and Endor

Episode VI

30 years ago this month audiences witnessed what was then the final tale in the Star Wars saga. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, my absolute favorite of the series, brings Luke Skywalker face to face with his destiny, hoping to redeem his father and thwart the utter evil of the Emperor. Our heroes battled Jabba the Hutt's minions and destroyed the second Death Star, finally restoring peace and freedom to the galaxy. This movie represented the ultimate battle between good and evil and perfectly ended the trilogy that had inspired a generation. And...of gave us the gold bikini.

Leia Gold Bikini
God bless you, George Lucas.                   
Now, filmmakers Kyle Newman (Fanboys) and my friend, J.C. Reifenberg (Hughes the Force), along with David Collins and Jeff Yorkes,  have brought together the geek elite (such as  Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, Jaime King, Topher Grace, Fall Out Boy, Eli Roth, and Jason Mewes) to share their stories and memories of Return of the Jedi in....The Return of Return of the Jedi: 30 Years and Counting.

Sadly, I can't embed it here, but you can check it out here!

2. Once Upon A Time IN Wonderland

Once Upon A Time
That title is going to make a lot more sense once I tell you that the new series from the creators of Once Upon A Time will, ever so slightly, cross over with its predecessor. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland follows Alice as she leaves the real world behind to find her lost love in the crazy world of Wonderland. And, according to Entertainment Weekly, it will all start in Storybrooke!
  "Get this: The first episode of Wonderland currently starts in Storybrooke. We’re sworn to secrecy on details beyond that. But let’s just say that while the two shows will maintain clear and separate identities (it’s important to ABC and the showrunners that Wonderland can stand-alone with its own easily accessible story) this won’t be the last time the world Once Upon mingles over to Thursdays at 8 p.m."
I think this is a really smart approach: give just enough of a link to OUAT to make the show feel as if it's in the same universe, but then let it stand on its own and follow its own path. We'll be travelling down the rabbit hole this fall on ABC.

3. Now This Is A Story All About How...

Brits and Anglophiles alike will know "chat show" host Graham Norton for his quirky and entertaining show, suitably titled "The Graham Norton Show" where I'm not even quite sure he knows what will happen. Sitting alongside Bradley Cooper and Heather Graham (hello!) Will Smith and his son Jaden were discussing their upcoming movie After Earth. Graham asks the father-son duo if they ever recorded an album together...and then that's when it all went down!

Not only did Will provide a sick beat for Jaden's rap (a different kind of sick), but then the Fresh Prince brought back his partner in crime, DJ Jazzy Jeff. After treating the crowd to a rendition of the Bel-Air theme, the music changed to something more classic, more dignified, more suited for a member of the Banks family! As Alfono Ribeiro danced to his own quasi-theme song "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones, the beat changed again and the three men, along with Graham, did the "Jump On It" routine, with Bradley and Heather clapping along in the background. It was actually really touching to watch the old friends hug and high-five, as if no time had passed at all.

DJ Jazzy Jeff
DJ Jazzy Jeff, however, left by traditional means.

4. Coming Soon....The World's End

Previously I posted the teaser trailer to Simon Pegg's latest homage film The World's End. A bunch of old friends reunite for the ultimate pub crawl, but making it to The World's End soon become the least of their worries. Check out the full trailer below.

The World's End hits theaters August 23.    

Well, I think that should keep the cicadas at bay! Keep on reading for more geekery here at The Missing Linc!

Til' next time.

- Joe

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Look At The Size Of That Thing!: Full Scale LEGO X-Wing In Times Square to Promote The Yoda Chronicles

There are certain benefits to living in New York City: World-class entertainment, fine dining, and the constant interaction with people of all different shapes and sizes. And then, once every so often, something really cool happens....

The Yoda Chronicles
Fresh from the trench run
In order to promote the upcoming The Yoda Chronicles this week, the good people over at the Cartoon Network commissioned a full-scale, LEGO X-wing and landed it right in the middle of Times Square.

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

Made up of 5,335,200 bricks, this snubfighter has engines that glow and roar, making it seem as if it can take on the Empire all by itself.  11-feet tall and 43 feet long, with a 44-foot wingspan, the X-wing was the principle fighters used by the Rebellion in their long struggle to defeat the Empire and restore peace and justice to the galaxy. Built over 4 months at the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic, this gigantic beauty of a model would make Wedge Antilles and the pilots of Rogue Squadron proud.

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

The Yoda Chronicles

Oh, and you can sit in the cockpit.

The Yoda Chronicles
I can't shake 'em!
Linc 5, standing by!
There were also some wonderful LEGO sculptures stationed around the island between 7th Ave and Broadway, including Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and even Porkins!

The Yoda Chronicles
The dynamic duo

The Yoda Chronicls
Ooh, shiny this is!

And Skippy, the Jedi Droid!

The Yoda Chronicles
The baddest bricks in the galaxy

The Yoda Chronicles
Well, at least they made him thin.

The Yoda Chronicles
The farmboy and his droid
With classic music sounding over the speakers (including the main theme, the Throne Room theme, the Cantina song, and the Clone Wars intro theme) and sneak-peak trailers playing over the monitors, there was a lot to see and do on one tiny slab of concrete at the crossroads of the world. There were also stations to build your own mini-model X-wing, or just free-form it and show the world your own creations.

The Yoda Chronicles
You will never find a more awesome tent of fun and creativity

No amount of rain could dampen the spirits a full-size LEGO X-wing can bring about. Kids of all ages (including your humble blogger) were delighted to be able to see and touch a model of creativity, engineering, and nostalgia. Check out the featured article by Gizmodo for some more great pictures and videos. The Yoda Chronicles premieres May 29th at 8:00 PM EST on Cartoon Network.

Here's hoping we don't see a giant LEGO Death Star orbiting overhead anytime soon!

- Joe

Monday, May 20, 2013

Your Evening Linc: Star Wars: Rebels, Smith and Tennant Talk 50th, and Batman: Arkham Origins

Boy, what a weekend! I'm still reeling from the Doctor Who finale, and Game of Thrones is heating up! But let's take a look at what the internet has provided us in the past couple days:

1. Star Wars: Rebels Takes Us Into Unexplored Territory

The Dark Times are upon us, but luckily there is still hope. In a video posted by, Pablo Hidalgo interviews the Man with the Hat, Dave Filoni, on the successor to The Clone Wars. Entitled Star Wars: Rebels, the new animated series will be set between Episodes III and IV and is inspired by the concept art of the late, brilliant Ralph McQuarrie. The Empire has tightened its grip on the galaxy and the Jedi are all but extinct, but a small band of rebels dare to oppose the New Order.

No word yet on  a cast list or plot details, but we do know that some heavy hitters will be joining Filoni's team:
"Leading the development of the series is a creative team of exceptional talent. Screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) is an executive producer on Star Wars Rebels and will write the premiere episode. He is joined by Dave Filoni as executive producer, who served as supervising director of the Emmy nominated Star Wars: The Clone Wars since 2008. Executive producer Greg Weisman brings with him a wealth of animation experience with credits such as Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man and Gargoyles."
Clone Wars CG Supervisor and visual effects wizard Joel Aron is also on board. Star Wars: Rebels will air sometime in the Fall of 2014 on Disney XD. And ya know what, I'm excited. For almost two decades we've lived in the world of the prequel era. It's nice to travel back (by travelling forward) to the classic era, even though the series will take place well before that first set of Rebels launched their attack on the Empire's most fearsome superweapon. And seeing Davey Strands in front of a sketch of a TIE Fighter, one of my favorite ships, makes me want to alter time and speed up the production process. I think my excitement can be summed up thusly:

2. Matt Smith and David Tennant are Totally in a Doc-mance

As a thank you for not spoiling Saturday's unbelievable Doctor Who finale, Steven Moffat released a behind the scenes video from the 50th Anniversary Special featuring David Tennant and Matt Smith in their Doctorly garb. It's great to see that the two actors get along so well, and it seems that their characters will be quite chummy come November 23.

The Moff also issued this personal letter of thanks to the 210 fans who kept the leaked Blu-Rays of Series 7B, to the websites that closed their comments sections, and to the multitude of Whovians who chose to go along for the ride rather than be spoiled.

Oh, and where was Moffat and Matt Smith while I was freaking out over the finale? Oh, just about half an hour away at the Way Station, a Doctor Who themed bar in Brooklyn! The hell?! Why did no one tell me about this??

3. Batman: Arkham Origins May Make You Think You're Actually Batman

Capping off this video-heavy post (and cementing my HTML embedding skills in my muscle memory forever) is this incredible trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins. I'll just leave you to flip out on your own:

And that's all for tonight, folks. Til' next time!

- Joe

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doctor Who Review: The Name of the Doctor

Doctor Who Who saw THAT coming?? I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time. Absolutely riveting, first class storytelling, questions answered (and some remaining unanswered), and a build up to the 50th that I could not have foreseen. There were tons of raw emotion, but also a lot of laughs. It was one of the most epic hours ever in television history.

I'm going to warn you now...if you have not seen this episode go watch it and come back, because I'm about to Spoil like week-old milk in the Sahara. 

Whovians didn't have to wait long in this episode for things to geekgasm over. In some repair room an alert goes off. One of the engineers wonders...just who would steal a malfunctioning TARDIS? And then, we see an old man and a young girl about to enter a tube when they are stopped by....Clara. Then, as Clara plunges through a swirling mist we hear her voice over how she is the Impossible Girl, and has always been there for the Doctor. And then....and then!...we see Clara interacting with the First Doctor, screaming after the Third, and the Fifth, and the Fourth, searching for the Sixth in the TARDIS, and watching as the Eighth and the Second run past. So much happened so quickly that it was almost impossible to take it all in! But we knew one thing was for sure: Clara was born to save the Doctor!

The Name of the Doctor
"If only I could find the little bugger..."
With just moments to catch our breath, the opening sequence rolled and the familiar song played. When the TARDIS doors opened we found ourselves in Victorian London, 1893, and in a prison we hear the rhyming mumbles of a crazy man with a heavy accent. Madame Vastra approaches his cell. He has information, something worth sparing his life over after he'd killed 14 women (possibly Jack the Ripper?). The Doctor has a secret, one he will take to the grave....and it is discovered.

Vastra immediately summons Jenny, Strax, and Clara to a metaphyical dream conference call. Strax, having just engaged in a brawl with a Scotsman (vacation for a Sontaran), and Clara just arriving home to find a letter from the past. One more attendee arrives just a tad late, Professor River Song. You know, it wasn't that long ago we saw Melody Pond in "The Angels Take Manhattan", but it was good to see a familiar face. It gave Series 7 a sense of continuity. And so, they discussed what Demarko had said, and they knew that they had to protect the Doctor. But then, Jenny feels something brush past her in reality. She realizes, to her horror, that she's left the door unlocked. She apologizes to Vastra....and dies. Strax is also taken, and River slaps Vastra in order to wake her up. But too late: The Whispermen have come.

Doctor Who
Let me pause to say how much I really enjoyed the Whispermen. An extension of the Great Intelligence, they had style, the creep factor, and that inevitable sense that they would get you in the end. Their soft recitations of impending doom were particularly chilling. And boy, did they have style!

When Clara awakens she finds that the Doctor is already in her house, having been tricked by Angie and Artie into playing Blind Man's Bluff so they could sneak out to the cinema. Clara tells the Doctor about Demarko's news, and he is overcome with emotion. He has to embark on the one mission he should never take on, and go to the one place that he must never go: Trenzalore.

Doctor Who
"I wanted a timeshare in Boca...but noooo"
But, ever the adventurer, the Doctor sets off for the TARDIS to save his friends. While he's using Clara's memories to input the coordinates, the Doctor reveals that there is one, very big reason that he should not go to Trenzalore. Time travelers are forbidden to do one thing, and that's go to the place where they die. When Demarko spoke about "it" being discovered he didn't mean the Doctor's secret....he meant the Doctor's grave. But the Doctor resolved himself to rescuing Jenny, Vastra, and Strax. It was a real poignant moment, the Doctor recalling how the Paternoster Gang had been there for him in his darkest hour, after he lost Amy and Rory. Never questioning, never judging, just...being there. He owed it to them to save them, and Clara was right along for the journey.

But the TARDIS knows better, and the old girl refuses to land on Trenzalore and shuts down. But the Doctor has the upper hand and uses the sonic screwdriver to shut off the anti-grav, sending the blue box plummeting to the surface below. The Doctor and Clara exit the TARDIS and into a giant, dark, and ominous graveyard. When the Doctor described it as a military graveyard, I thought about Gettysburg and how a great battle must have been waged there. The stones get bigger, the Doctor says, according to how high the rank of the solider was. What they see next is a monument so large it barely seems possible. Standing taller than a mountain....was the TARDIS.

The Name of the Doctor
Cue theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey
As the Doctor explains, when a TARDIS dies the thing that keeps it "bigger on the inside" starts to leak out, and the ship becomes massive on the outside. A fitting tomb for the greatest warrior in the cosmos. As they walk they discover River Song's grave, and the projection of River appears to Clara, saying that the Doctor cannot see or hear her. Suddenly, the Whispermen appear, and River, through Clara, tells the Doctor that her grave isn't a grave at all (it would be impossible, since she was uploaded to CAL in The Library), but a secret entrance to the Doctor's tomb. The duo rush into the catacombs, a macabre echo of their race through the bowels of the TARDIS just a few episodes prior.

Meanwhile, Jenny, Vastra, and Strax wake up and are confronted by Dr. Simeon. Vastra correctly surmises that he is but a shell, and that that they are standing before the Great Intelligence. Simeon then demonstrates his terrifying ability to take human form using the blank bodies of the Whispermen. He then declares that Trenzalore will be the place where the Doctor is destroyed, in order to prevent him from causing bloodshed throughout the universe. The Doctor may be a hero to some, but to others he is known by names such as "Storm", "Beast", and "Valeyard". Fans will pick up the reference to the title "The Oncoming Storm" that the Daleks imposed on the Ninth Doctor, and that the Valeyard (from the classic series) is supposedly an evil future version of the Doctor, occurring after his 12th regeneration). What struck me, though, was "the Beast", the name of the Devil-like evil entity that the Tenth Doctor encountered. I suppose, to some, the embodiment of all evil could be the Doctor. Curious...

The Name of the Doctor
"Finally, I'm the best-looking person in a group!"
As the Doctor and Clara search through the catacombs of the TARDIS tomb (TombDIS?), Clara begins to falter as she remembers everything about her time with the Doctor, including his questioning of her before they entered the heart of the TARDIS in "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS". She remembers now that he said that they had met before, and that she had died twice. But there's no time to explain, as the Doctor must now face Dr. Simeon. The Great Intelligence needs access to the tomb, and the key is the answer to the Question...the name of the Doctor. Of course, the Doctor won't give it to him, so Simeon sicks the Whispermen on the rest of the gang. While the blank-faced monsters move in to murder his friends, the Doctor pleads for mercy as Simeon, echoing Dorium at the end of Season 6, asks three times:

Doctor Who? 

Doctor Who?


The Doctor shouts something, and the doors open. Did it really, finally happen? Did the Doctor reveal his name?

It takes a long moment to realize that, in a bout of sheer genius on Steven Moffat's part, that the doors have opened all by themselves. The Question was answered, but not by the Doctor. It was answered by the one person that nobody could see or hear, not even us. It was answered by the Doctor's wife, River Song.

Simeon invites the Doctor to fully open the doors, and the group step into the Doctor's tomb....which is appropriately the TARDIS console room. The main console is no longer at the center, replaced with a beam of light that seems to be wrapped in glowing barbed wire. The Doctor explains that his extensive time travel has left not a body, but scars in time. Dr. Simeon at last reveals his plan: to step into the Doctor's time stream, destroying him at all points in time, and erasing him from the universe. Unable to stop him, the gang watches as the Great Intelligence sacrifices his mind and body to eliminate all the incarnations of the Doctor. We see the same montage of the Doctors as in the beginning, but with Dr. Simeon watching instead of Clara. As the Eleventh Doctor writhes in pain on the floor, it seems like this is truly the end for the Time Lord.

The Name of the Doctor
"Well then, off to erase you from time and space. Pip, pip, and all that."

Vastra, Jenny, and Strax run outside and watch as the countless worlds and systems that the Doctor has saved blink out of existence. Jenny, too, disappears, and Strax turns on Vastra; none of them having ever been saved by the Doctor. Vastra not only watches her love die, but is forced to kill her friend. 

But Clara, thinking on her rediscovered memories, knows what she has to do, what she was born to do. Despite River's protests, she heads to the beam of light. River says that she won't be "her" anymore, she will be scattered into a million pieces across time and space. But Clara intones her mother's saying, that what makes a souffle is not the souffle, but the recipe. As she approaches the beam, she turns to the Doctor and says, for the last, and yet the first time: "Run You Clever Boy, and Remember Me". Indeed, she becomes the Souffle Girl and steps into the Doctor's time stream, saving him time and time again. As she falls through the vortex, Clara recalls that she has called out to the Doctor, but he never answered back. Except twice, once in Victorian London, and once on Gallifrey. I was beyond riveted as I watched Clara stopping the First Doctor and Susan from making a terrible mistake...choosing to run off in the wrong TARDIS. And then my jaw dropped as a silver cylinder hurtled out of the port on Gallifrey....the TARDIS before it changed into a police box.

As the Doctor regains his strength, he resolves to go after Clara. River tries to stop him, but he amazingly catches her arm. As it turns out, he had always been able to see and hear her, but could not bear to acknowledge her because it hurt too much. They kiss, which, according to the Doctor, must have looked very strange to the Paternoster Gang. River reveals that she and Clara share a link, or else she would have faded right then and there. know....spoilers. The Doctor finally says goodbye to her and she fades (with a fan-pleasing "Goodbye, Sweetie), and the Doctor does what a time traveler must never ever do.

When Clara awakes she is in a roiling, misty, confusing place. Frightened, she calls out to the Doctor and hears his voice in reply. Meanwhile, different incarnations of the Doctor are running past. The First, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth, the Ninth; all racing past as they try to escape the consequences of the Doctor invading his own time stream. The current Doctor sends Clara a way out: the most important leaf in the world, the one that smacked her dad in the face so that he could be saved by her mother. The leaf that represented all the countless possibilities of life. Then, the Doctor appears, begging Clara just for once to let him rescue her as thanks for the infinite times she had rescued him and his incarnations. 

The Name of the Doctor
He also takes the time to yell at Anakin that "He was the Chosen One!"
But one man stands, his back to them, amid the chaos. Clara is confused, she has seen all of his faces, and the man she is clinging to is the Eleventh Doctor. But the Doctor knows the truth. That names matter, that they are a promise to the universe. And the man before them broke that promise. Still without facing them, the man explains that what he did, he did "without choice" and "in the name of peace and sanity". Yes, the Doctor replies, but not "in the name of the Doctor."

The man turns, a grizzled older man with the weight of terrible actions bearing on him. The music swells as, in a very "Kill Bill" fashion titles appear beside him. 

"Introducing John the Doctor."

Doctor Who
Code Name: Gallifreyan Time Snake
The Doctor's greatest secret is revealed, and things will never be the same.

Even now, over two hours later, I am still rocked by this ending. The whole episode was a masterpiece and a great nod to the generations of fans who have loved Doctor Who. The implications of this episode, leading into the 50th anniversary special, are incalculable. According to rumors (pretty damn good ones now), John Hurt's Doctor is the one that ended the Time War, destroying both the Time Lords and the Daleks. Hopefully we get to see that play out, especially if we can see Eight regenerate to Hurt, and Hurt to Nine.

But then, Christopher Eccleston is no longer the Ninth Doctor, is he? Nor David Tennant the Tenth, nor Matt Smith the Eleventh. It's fitting that Dr. Simeon mentioned the Valeyard. As I said, the future Doctor comes after his twelfth regeneration. Now that the numbers align, will we see the evil Doctor emerge?

And, of course, what is the link between Clara and River? Clara told the Doctor that she had seen all his faces, just as River did in the Series 5 episode "Time of the Angels". I'm not saying River is Clara, it was proved tonight that they are not the same person, but perhaps that link between them remained. Maybe that's how she knows the Doctor's real name. 

I could not have been more pleased as a fan. Steven Moffat deserves an incredible amount of credit for weaving such a magnificent tale. The Doctor's name remains hidden, as it should, but we learned so very much in just one episode. And now, we must be patient.....only 188 days to go until the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

Until then, sweeties,

- Joe

Who's That Girl? The Mystery of Clara Oswin Oswald

Doctor Who

And so it's come to this. Trenzalore, the Fall of the Eleventh, and the Question. Tonight the Doctor's biggest secret will be revealed, but that won't be all! We will finally learn the truth behind Season 7's most intriguing (and gorgeous) mystery. Just exactly who is Clara Oswin Oswald? In both "Hide" and "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS" we are told that Clara is just an ordinary girl. But we all know that she's not. She's "The Impossible Girl."

A while back I created a list of all the crazy rumors and theories running around the Internet (yes, believe it or not such things exist!) and this is the result:

Doctor Who
Tremble at my mighty geekery!
And so, let's throw the Clara Theorizer on maximum and see what we come up with:

1. Discounted Theories

Let's just get these out of the way, shall we? I don't believe that Clara is River Song, a Time Lord, Susan Foreman, a future version of the Doctor, the Doctor's "daughter" Jenny, or CAL (despite the return of River Song), or a manifestation of the TARDIS (like Idris in "The Doctor's Wife"). There's just not been enough to support any of those claims.

2. Connections Throughout the Series

Throughout Series 7 there have been certain things about and around Clara that have been present in almost every episode. Let's take a look at some now:

A. Memories

Memories have played a pivotal role in Doctor Who, but there has been a particular emphasis put on them during this current Doctor's run. And in terms of Clara, there is one phrase that particularly comes to mind:

It's even on Victorian Clara's gravestone! You'll notice, that although she's only said it 3 times, she accidentally enters "4" into the code. One of the trailers to tonight's episode has her saying the are we about to see yet another Clara go by the wayside?

Memories have been shown to hold a certain type of power throughout the Eleventh Doctor's tenure. In "The Pandorica Opens", the Doctor tells a Roman Rory (back from a little condition known as "being deleted from time") that "if you remember something, it's never truly gone." And in the next episode (the series 5 finale), "The Big Bang", the Doctor pilots the Pandorica into the heart of the exploding TARDIS, thereby resetting time, but erasing himself from history. However, at her wedding to Rory, Amy knows something (or someone) is missing. And then she remembers "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."

And, of course, the main villains of Season 6 were "The Silence", a religious order dedicated to stopping the Doctor from reaching Trenzalore, answering the Question, and fulfilling the prophecy that "Silence Will Fall". They are represented mostly by aliens who, when you look away from them, you forget who they are.

Because who wouldn't want to forget that face?
I'll explore their connection to Clara and tonight's finale a little later. In the recent Christmas special "The Snowmen", Clara and the Doctor face off against the Great Intelligence and "snow that can remember" and in "The Rings of Akhaten", it is memories that the parasite planet feeds off of, and what kills it is Clara's leaf, which represents all the possibilities of what could have been for her parents. And, ever since the end of Series 6, the Doctor has sought to erase himself from the memory of the universe (because he's gotten "too big"). In "Asylum", Oswin erases the Daleks' memories of their oldest enemy, in "Nightmare in Silver", the Cyber-Planner can't find any trace of the Doctor in the records of the Cyberiad.

So, considering how powerful memories are, and that might be multiplied for a Time Lord, could it be that all the Doctor has to do is remember Clara and she will reappear back into his life? This, of course, syncs up nicely with the next inter-series connection:

B. Nanogenes

Doctor Who
Ooh, Tingly.
Nanogenes have appeared multiple times in Doctor Who. During the Ninth Doctor episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances", nanogenes heal Rose Tyler aboard Captain Jack's ship, and repair injured humans in the image of a lost little boy wearing a gas mask. But, they also are present in the Series 7 opener, "Aslyum of the Daleks" (in which, you might remember, we first meet Oswin Oswald). When Rory, Amy, and the Doctor are sent down to the Daleks' prison planet, they have to wear special bands so that the nanogenes won't turn them into Dalek clones. But, in order to save Amy, the Doctor gives up his band. Could it be that the nanogenes stayed with the Doctor (and/or Clara) and allowed her to be reconstructed throughout time so long as he remembered her?

C. Clouds
Doctor Who
Her bag is also bigger on the inside. Time Lady?
It may be just a way to string together the Clara's, but did anyone notice that in "Asylum" we had the nanocloud, in "The Snowmen" Clara found that the TARDIS was parked on a cloud, and in "The Bells of St. John" Clara was uploaded "to the cloud"?

E. Connections to Rose

Perhaps one of the most pervasive connections to the Clara's throughout Series 7 has been the appearance of roses....and the reference to one of the Doctor's most beloved companions. When Oswin assists the Doctor in defeating the Daleks, she has a rose in her hair. In "The Snowmen", Clara works at a pub called the "Rose and Crown", and in "The Bells of St. John", the Doctor puts a rose on Clara's bedside table as she rests and recovers.

Doctor Who

But it goes much, much deeper than that. In "The Bells of St. John", Clara says that she was given the number to the TARDIS by the "girl in the shop". Now, this could be a one-off line, but not likely. When we first meet Rose Tyler, she is simply a girl working in a shop in London when the Autons attack her and she first meets the Ninth Doctor. As she says goodbye to the Tenth Doctor in "The End of the World", she tells him that in the parallel world she's found work in a shop. So, could Rose be that girl in that shop?

Speaking of parallel worlds, don't think that it's gone unnoticed that, at the end of "The Rings of Akhaten", when Clara exits the TARDIS she notes that her home looks different. Much like Mickey Smith noted when he and Rose accompanied Ten to a parallel Earth:
"Everything's the same, but a little bit different"
Doctor Who
Something that never changes: How much I hate Mickey Smith
Another interesting connection may have gone unnoticed by fans. At the end of "Asylum of the Daleks" we learn that Oswin Oswald has been turned into a Dalek. What many might forget is that when Nine and Rose faced off against the Dalek Emperor, he revealed that he was able to rebuild the Dalek race by capturing and converting the discarded dregs of humanity. Could that be a connection that Rose has picked up on?

And then there's the beautifully placed reference in "The Cold War". As Clara and Professor Grisenko search for Grand Marshall Skaldak, the Soviet doctor mentions that he likes to sing a song to calm his nerves. His favorite tune at the moment is Duran Duran's smash hit "Hungry Like The Wolf". Rose Tyler became The Bad Wolf to save the Ninth Doctor, did she do so again to save the Eleventh? After all, as the lyric goes

"I'm lost and I'm found...and I'm Hungry like the Wolf!"

3. So then, Who (or What) is She?

At the end of the day I keep coming back to two theories that make the most sense. So, here they are:

A. A Trap Set By The Great Intelligence

That Clara really is great, isn't she? She's brave, smart, witty, beautiful, loyal, and doesn't shy away from a fight. She's the perfect companion....maybe too perfect? The Great Intelligence has been a villain in both "The Snowmen" and "The Bells of St. John" (as well as a serial during the Second Doctor's run). We know from the trailers that we'll see Richard E. Grant reprise his role as Dr. Simeon/The GI. Could he be the leader of the Silence? The cause of the TARDIS exploding in Season 5? And could he, just maybe, be responsible for bringing Clara Oswin Oswald into the Doctor's life again and again? If so, to what nefarious end is he using her to defeat the Doctor?

B. The Bad Wolf

Doctor Who

For all the reasons listed above, it could very well be that Clara wasn't born out of the evil designs of the Great Intelligence, but out of the compassion of Rose Tyler. In "The Parting of Ways", when Rose looks into the heart of the TARDIS, she becomes the omnipotent being known as The Bad Wolf. Scattering messages throughout time, she "created herself" so that when the Doctor needed her the most, she was able to save him. Perhaps, as we head into the 50th anniversary and the return of Rose Tyler (maybe in the parallel world), we will see how the Bad Wolf plays into all of this.

The good news is, we won't have to wait long to find out!

See you after the finale!

- Joe

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Your Linc At Lunch: The Office Series Finale, Attack of the Clones Anniversary, Dave Filoni Researching For New Show, EA's Domain Name Grab, and Simon Pegg's New Movie

Hold the hummus and put down the pita! It's time for another round of Linc at Lunch:

1. Scranton Bids Farewell To You: The Office Series Finale

Tonight we bid an emotional and fond farewell to the employees of Dunder Mifflin. After nine seasons, The Office is ending its run tonight at 8:00 PM. As I've said before, I am a proud graduate of the University of Scranton, and I love that city. There is a charm to it (coupled with an ever-present feeling of shadiness) that you have to experience for yourself. When the cast came for the first Office Convention my senior year, you would have thought the Beatles had landed. I was sad to miss the Office Wrap Party, but luckily my friend Tony (better known as Captain Catholic) was able to capture the whole Q&A session at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankee Stadium (including the surprise appearance by Steve Carrell!)

He also was able to get into the Backyard Ale House where the cast hopped behind the bar and served drinks:

You can check out more coverage by clicking here. UPDATE: Buzzfeed has its "59 Reasons Why We'll Miss The Office". Hit the link to check them out and see if you agree.

And, finally, (if you're in the mood for a good cry), here is a farewell from some of the writers and cast:

UPDATE: Part 2 hereThere are times where I feel like I'm losing a connection to a place I called home for four years, and to friends I saw on a weekly basis. But The Office will live on, both in syndication and in our hearts. Because remember: Ain't no party like a Scranton party, 'cuz a Scranton party don't stop!

2. Happy Birthday Attack of the Clones!

First, let's remember that on this day, 11 years ago, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones premiered in theaters. I was lucky enough to go to an advanced screening where I shook hands with James Earl Jones, won a Destroyer Droid Alarm Clock, met Miss Universe 2002, and got to declare my teenage love directly to Natalie Portman (her security guards denied me a picture with her, though.) I remember feeling the darkening tone of the film, the excitement of the chases through Coruscant and through the asteroids above Geonosis, the heartbreak of Shmi's death, the awe of seeing the clones and Jedi fighting the droid army, and the absolute utter euphoria of the entire theater when Yoda ignited his lightsaber for the first time. I also remember listening to and being swept up by John William's magnificent theme "Across the Stars". Happy Birthday, Episode II! MTFBWY!

3. EA Buys Star Wars Domains, But No Titles Til' 2014

EA Star Wars

Although EA Games says it will not release any Star Wars titles until 2014, they sure are buying up a lot of domain names for them! Names like "Gungan Frontier", "Wolf Pack", and "Order 67" definitely pique my interest. Hopefully we'll see some exciting games in the near future. See the full list here. The Wolf Pack one is particularly interesting because it references the squad, created by Dave Filoni, that served under Plo Koon. And speaking of Davey Strands....

4. Dave Filoni Is "Doing Research" For His Next Project

The Clone Wars
You keep working hard there, Dave.
As if we all didn't already want his job, Dave Filoni posted a short video via Twitter about his diligent research for the new and as-yet unnamed Star Wars animated series. What would he need a TIE Fighter for? I guess we'll have to wait and see!

5. Simon Pegg's "The World's End" Is The Ultimate Bar Crawl

The man behind Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, no to mention this generation's "Scotty" is at it again. Here is the synopsis and trailer for "The World's End"
"20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries."

The film also stars Pegg's every-faithful companion, Nick Frost, Sherlock's Martin Freeman (aka Bilbo Baggins), Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan (they're....British). I don't know about you, but I could certainly go for a pint!

That's all for now, fans and fanettes! Til' next time.

- Joe

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Nightmare in Silver

Doctor Who

Just when I thought we'd seen the best episode of the season with "The Crimson 'Orror", writer Neil Gaiman gives us an utterly exciting, fanboy pleasing, past-referencing episode with "Nightmare in Silver". The Cyberman are back in a big way. Leaner, faster, and upgraded like never before!

The episode begins with the Doctor, Clara, and the kids Artie and Angie (who really could not have played the "know it all teenager" any more terribly) popping out of the TARDIS on the surface of the moon....well, not the moon exactly, more like a cheap intergalactic amusement park version.

Doctor Who
"We're whalers on the moon...."
They are briefly greeted by Webley, a denizen of the planet who has been waiting for a ride off, before they are interrupted by a platoon of Imperial soldiers. Using the psychic paper, the Doctor convinces them that he is an Imperial consul sent by the missing Emperor and dismisses the group. Webley then takes him into his exhibit, which is a veritable Madame Toussant's of the universe. If you look closely, you can see some aliens from "The Rings of Akhaten", a dummy from "God Complex", and a special appearance by the Blowfish from the Doctor Who spinoff "Torchwood". But what is most surprising is the revelation of a chess-playing Cyberman!

Doctor Who
"I also play Jenga..."
They soon discover that the Cyberman is actually being controlled from below the board by none other than everyone's favorite Ewok, Warwick Davis, playing Porridge. It's pretty cool seeing a Star Wars alumn in the Whoniverse, especially since this is also the 30th anniversary year of Return of the Jedi. After some anti-grav fun, the kids settle down for bed as the Doctor and Clara go to speak with the platoon and search for little silver bugs. Meanwhile, back at Webley's, Artie is taken by a Cyberman and the curator himself is "upgraded". Soon after, a new Cyberman rushes in with blinding speed and abducts Angie. The Doctor instructs Clara to stay behind and make sure that the platoon doesn't blow the planet up as he goes off to rescue the kids.

But when the Doctor finds them, he is infected by cybermites thrown at him by an upgraded Webley. Having a thousand years to evolve and change, the Cybermen were able to adapt to any living body, even that of a Time Lord. The Doctor would be the next Cyber Planner and would lead the new Cyberiad to victory over humanity. But, it's not so easy to upgrade a Time Lord and the Doctor struggled in his own mind against "Mr. Clever". They were at a stalemate, each controlling 49.881% of the brain. The Doctor could regenerate, but then "who knows what we'll get", so they decide to bet the remaining .238% on a game of chess. The Doctor outwits the Cyber Planner for a time by utilizing an old weakness, and slaps the golden ticket to the park to the Cyber side of his face. The move buys him enough time to get to Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle and get tied up, and the two once again battle it out on the chess board. Clara tries to speak with the Doctor, but is tricked by Mr. Clever, who almost convinces her that the Doctor loves her. A quick smack to the face ended that ruse, but the Cyber Planner was still able to destroy the remote trigger to the Desolator. Meanwhile, outside, the small "punishment platoon" waged a fierce battle against the new Cyberiad...and it wasn't going well.

"All your base are belong to us!"
Luckily for Clara and the platoon, the Cyber-Planner was so immersed in his game with the Doctor that he used the power of his brethren to boost his processing, temporarily shutting them down. But the Doctor had the upper hand. After playing a move that allows the children to be freed, he gives the Cyber-Planner a moment to claim victory. And when Cyber-Webley goes after the kids, Porridge ends him with a pulse to the leg. And then it was mate in three moves:
  1. Move One: Turn on sonic screwdriver. 
  2. Move Two: Activate pulse. 
  3. Move Three: Apply pulse.
Struggling momentarily with the Cyber Planner, the Doctor is able to slap himself in the Cyber-Face with the pulse, frying the circuitry and allowing him to reclaim complete control of his mind. But the Cybermen reactivate and march in for the kill. With no way to detonate the Desolator, all is surely lost. But, in the most annoying way possible, Angie correctly surmises that Porridge is the missing Emperor, and indeed Emperor Ludens Nimrod Kendrick Cord Longstaff XLI, Defender of Humanity and Imperator of Known Space activates the bomb with his voice.
"Yub Yub, Commander."
The gang is beamed aboard his ship, where they watch as Hedgewick's World of Wonders is destroyed. Content that he had done his duty and redeemed himself, Porridge asks Clara to marry him and stave off the loneliness of intergalactic rule. Clara politely declines (much to Angie's frustration) and the group departs for home.

"Nightmare in Silver" was full of rich characters who played their parts with great depth and conviction (save, of course, for the kids...) Jenna-Louise Coleman really shined in this episode. She was able to hold her own and take full charge of the command the Doctor left her, made quick, tactical decisions, and showed her complete faith in the Doctor (even if she didn't know what he was doing). She was more like her Victorian self than in any previous episode. And the interplay between her and the Doctor (and Mr. Clever) was just superb.Warwick Davis exuded tons of gravitas and made you really feel for the Emperor, who felt lonely at the top and who, much like the Doctor, was still struggling with his actions that may have ended the war against the Cyberiad, but destroyed countless trillions of lives in the process. Even Jason Watkins played a great part in Webley, who went from slightly downtrodden to obedient and proud Cyber-Webley before his demise. 

But this episode belongs to Matt Smith, who was absolutely brilliant as he battled for control of his mind. I believed that "Mr. Clever" was a separate being, and watching the Doctor and the Cyber Planner engage in the oldest game in the universe, with the highest stakes, was exciting. Inside the Doctor's head was fascinating, seeing his past forms (those "ten complete rejects") was thrilling, and hearing Matt Smith say both "Fantastic!" and (epsecially) "Allons-y!" made me shriek with fanboy glee. Even though Mr. Clever was supposed to be a different being entirely, I thought that he really brought out the worst parts of the Doctor (much like the Valeyard or the Dream Lord). It was interesting to watch a Cyber-being exhibit such emotion, even though he clearly detested the concept of having them. He was sharp, cunning, and took fiendish delight in his "assured" victory. And I was enthralled watching him jockey for position with the Doctor.

Doctor Who
"'ello handsome!"
And, of course, I have to talk about the re-designed Cybermen. I loved how they were leaner, faster, more versatile, and not so easily defeated. The small difference in placement of the eyes and mouth (which curved up slightly) made them a bit more unnerving this time around. Just like the soldier, I jumped a little when the Cyberman's head spun around. I actually enjoyed the almost constant upgrading because it made them seem invincible. Indeed, it took a planet-imploding bomb to finish them off (save for that one head floating in space...) Their design and mannerisms very much harkened back to the classic era but were something completely new. When they awoke from their "tomb", it brought me back to one of my favorite classic Who stories, "The Tomb of the Cybermen" with Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. For as campy as the old series can be, it is definitely an episode you can't miss. It's also fitting, since Matt Smith marks "Tomb" as his favorite Doctor Who serial and modeled much of his mannerisms and character after Troughton (including the bow tie).

Seen here, the Cyber High School Marching Band

And so, after saying goodbye to Artie, Angie, and Clara, the Doctor was left alone in the TARDIS to once again ponder the mystery of Clara. And he (and we) won't have to wait long to find out. The series 7 finale of Doctor Who airs May 18....and that's when we find out about the Impossible Girl and the Question. Trenzalore is waiting.

Til' next time,

- Joe