Archive

Posts Tagged ‘TV’

NBC to Conan O’Brien — The Choice Is Yours

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

Filed under: ,

NBC has given Conan O’Brien the option to either do his show from midnight to 1 or leave the network, sources tell TMZ.As TMZ first reported, after the Olympics, Jay Leno will get his 11:30 PM time period back. We’re told network execs have told …

Permalink

Categories: Gossip Tags: ,

Neo-Nazi Boots TV Shrink in the Head

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

Filed under:

A guy with a swastika carved into his forehead jumps on a table and kicks a former talk show host in the head — and shockingly, it wasn’t Jerry Springer. The guy on the receiving end of the kick was former TV host and real-life shrink Dr. Keith …

Permalink

Categories: Gossip Tags: , ,

State of Daily Kos

January 8th, 2010 admin No comments

Remember me? I used to run this joint. You may have noticed that I was relatively scarce in 2009. Part of that is that administrative duties are taking up an increasingly bigger chunk of my time. We’ve got some big changes planned for the site this year, and getting all the ducks in a row takes time and energy.

We are now about to start alpha testing on DK4, the next-generation platform for this site that will radically change the way we interact with each other. It’ll either propel the site to that metaphorical next level, or it will mark the site’s jumping of the shark/nuking of the fridge. Either way, I can’t wait to find out. Beta testing will commence hopefully in a month or two, after the first batch of bugs are stomped out. I’m hoping for a Q1 relaunch, but we’re not going to switch over to the new platform until it’s solid.

Also, economy-willing, we plan a major expansion of operations. I’m not going to announce anything until we’re closer to making those plans a reality. I’ve learned my lesson from DK4!

I’ve also been working on my third book, which I hope to wrap up by mid-February, for September publication. That obviously takes time, but it should be worth it. It’s my first polemic, and it should be a barn burner. Can’t wait to unveil it. I’ve also had to dedicate more time to making appearances outside Daily Kos. While I’ve long been asked to do more TV, I finally started doing more of it this past fall, and that should accelerate in 2010. Not that I particularly enjoy it — I’d rather write. I’ve never felt very comfortable in front of a camera. But we can only grow the movement by pushing the message outside of our little home here, and into new audiences on TV and other publications.

What else? Oh, we just ordered a block of 200 polls for 2010. In other words, we’re going to poll the shit out of these mid-term elections. That’s the weekly poll, plus an average of three more per week. Daily Kos ran more media-sponsored polls in 2008 than any other media organization in the country (about 100). We ran even MORE polls in 2009, an off-year. And we’re upping the ante in 2010. We’re going to be drowning in numbers, and it’s going to be glorious!

Finally, I’ve got some good news — we’re announcing three new Featured Writers at Daily Kos: Dante Atkins (formerly known as Hekebolos), Angry Mouse, and exmearden.

Our writing crew here at Daily Kos is getting quite big, as is the spotlight. This site is now among the highest profile soapboxes in progressive media, and it can be daunting to step into the withering fire that we get as a matter of course. I’ve gradually acclimated to the pressure–remember,  zero people read the site when I started writing it. When people like SusanG came aboard, the numbers were tens of thousands of readers. Now, we average between 1-3 million unique visitors every month, and are a top target of our friends on both the Right and the Left. This is certainly a different gig than even just a few years ago, and we long-timers need to be cognizant of that, especially since we remain committed to continuously adding new voices to the site’s front page.

Therefore, featured writers will get eased gently into this pressure cooker, writing on weekends when everyone is in a kinder, gentler mood and the stakes don’t seem as high, and it’ll be a nice way for both sides to gauge whether there’s a good ultimate fit. I’m thrilled with our three new featured writers, and expect big things from them. Give the new writers a welcome.


Categories: Politics Tags: , ,

CES: Katzenberg Optimistic For Prospects Of 3D TV

January 8th, 2010 admin No comments

As the entertainment industry works increasingly hand in hand with technology companies in creating future media, its presence at CES this year is everywhere. In the following clip, Jeffrey Katzenber, CEO of Dreamworks Animation, talks at length of the tremendous potential for the future of 3D television, emerging first in video games and sports. He estimates that 10% of the TVs shipped this year will be 3D capable.

He goes on to note that despite the economy, box office sales are booming in markets such as China and Russia. This, in conjunction with the rise of 3D and animation factor in to his bullish outlook for the future of the entertainment industry.


Categories: World Tags: , , , ,

NBC Shakeup — Jay Leno Comes Out on Top

January 8th, 2010 admin No comments

Filed under: ,

Jay Leno is going back to his 11:30 PM time slot, and it’s looking like Conan O’Brien is the odd man out … sources tell TMZ.We’ve learned Jay’s 10:00 PM show will go on hiatus February 1. After the Olympics, Jay will take back his 11:30 PM time …

Permalink

Categories: Gossip Tags: ,

Exclusive: Infinitec demonstrates IUM ad hoc streaming device, makes it look like a flash drive

January 8th, 2010 admin No comments

Chances are you’ve never heard of Infinitec, a small startup looking to make big waves out of Dubai, but multimedia junkies will probably want to keep a close eye on ‘em for the next little while. The outfit dropped by today at CES to give us a sneak peek at its forthcoming Infinite USB memory device (IUM). In short, this device contains a small computer and 802.11n WiFi module within, and it’s designed to create point-to-point contact between networked media (or a networked PC with media onboard) and pretty much anything else. You insert the device into a host PC, pair it up once and create a maximum size (1GB for cheap-o players that can’t support larger flash drives, 1TB+ for sharing your entire NAS — for instance), and then connect it to whatever you wish in order to give said device access to those files that you just selected. Basically, it tricks the recipient into thinking a flash drive has been inserted, when in reality it’s just giving that device wireless access to media stored elsewhere.

The device serves a few purposes: you can use it to give all sorts of files to other machines in your home, or you could plug it into your HDTV or Blu-ray deck in order to stream PC-bound content right to your den. The goal here was to make other devices assume that this was just one giant flash drive, with gigabytes upon gigabytes of media right on the drive. So far as the receiving PC or set-top box knows, the IUM is just a stock flash drive with a capacity of your choosing. Just drop files over like you would from a standard USB key, and it shoots across the network to its final destination. Currently, it’s not suggested that you use this to send files over the internet — the lag in tunneling just makes for a poor user experience. The demo we witnessed (watching a Simpsons episode that was hosted on a nearby netbook) was remarkably smooth, with the user being able to skip ahead by minutes at a time with no visible lag. There’s even the hope that the internals could one day be integrated into laptops in order to remove the need for an external dongle, but for now, you can expect a summertime release in the US and a sub-$150 price tag. So, you fixing to get your stream on, or what?

Exclusive: Infinitec demonstrates IUM ad hoc streaming device, makes it look like a flash drive originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 07 Jan 2010 20:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceInfinitec  | Email this | Comments

Categories: Electronics, Technology Tags: , , , , ,

Toshiba Satelitte E205 is first laptop with Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology

January 8th, 2010 admin No comments

Toshiba seems to be the first out the door with Intel’s just announced Wireless Display technology. Actually the $999 Satellite E205 seems like one big group hug between Intel, Toshiba and Best Buy. Exclusive to Best Buy and actually designed by those Best Buy customers (okay, they just gave Toshiba feedback), the 14-incher is powered by an Intel Core i5-430M processor and has a 320GB hard drive. But its most impressive spec is its Intel Wireless Display technology (or WiDi) which lets you wirelessly connect your laptop to your HDTV to stream video and audio with an HDMI adapter. Check back soon for a hands-on, but full specs after the break.

Continue reading Toshiba Satelitte E205 is first laptop with Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology

Toshiba Satelitte E205 is first laptop with Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 07 Jan 2010 20:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments

Categories: Electronics, Technology Tags: , , , ,

AR-Sen: Time for Lincoln to retire

January 7th, 2010 admin No comments

Democrats dodged a bullet with Sen. Chris Dodd’s retirement, solidifying their hold on a seat that was sketchy at best. Connecticut is off the board.

That leaves two incumbent Senators whose polling suggests a 2010 loss. The first is Nevada’s Harry Reid, who is currently lagging behind two no-name Republicans — Sue Lowden (42-50 per Pollster.com composite), and Danny Tarkanian (43.1-48.1). Democrats would be far better off in Nevada with a Reid retirement, but the party (and Reid himself) continue to operate under the assumption that his dominant cash advantage and the machine nature of the state (the unions are strong) will be enough to pull off a victory. This isn’t the kind of election where money can dictate results, but the machine may be enough. Maybe. In any case, the Senate majority leader isn’t going anywhere, for better or for worse.

The other embattled incumbent is Arkansas Blanche Lincoln. Set aside her woeful handling of the health care debate for the moment, and let’s just focus on her poll numbers:

Rasmussen, 1/5/10

Blanche Lincoln (D) 39
Gilbert Baker (R) 51 (the likely nominee)

Research 2000 for Daily Kos, 11/30-12/2/09:

Blanche Lincoln (D) 42
Gilbert Baker (R) 41

Zogby for the League of American Voters, 11/16-17:

Blanche Lincoln (D) 41
Gilbert Baker (R) 39

Zogby is probably the worst pollster in the biz, and the League of American Voters is a front group for big insurance and big tobacco (if there was ever an unholy alliance). Still, their numbers are little different than ours. Rasmussen is the GOP’s favorite pollster, and his spin is utter horseshit. His numbers may be overly optimistic for Baker, but Lincoln is still at that same place, stuck around 40 percent. The DSCC released a poll for this race back in October showing Lincoln leading Gilbert 50-37. There’s been nothing since, and you can bet they’re polling it repeatedly. Their silence since October is quite telling. If the numbers were still that good, they’d be releasing them.

So you have Lincoln under 50 percent, which is relevant because incumbents under the 50 percent mark in reputable polling only have a 50 percent chance of being defeated in their reelection bids.

In the 2008 cycle, the following Senate races featured incumbents with at least one reputable independent poll showing them under 50 percent against their challenger: Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas.

Of those 11, the challengers won five: Alaska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Oregon. That’s a 45 percent success rate.  

All other incumbents running for reelection, those who didn’t suffer poll results under 50 percent, won handily. That’s a zero percent success rate for their challengers.

In the 2006 cycle, the following Senate races featured incumbents with at least one reputable independent poll showing them under 50 percent against their challenger: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

Of those 12, the challengers won six: Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. That’s a 50-percent success rate.

So over the last two election cycles, no Senate incumbent polling exclusively over 50 percent has lost his or her race. And of those polling at least once under 50 percent in a reputable independent poll, 47.5 percent of their challengers have been able to knock them off.

The closer those incumbents were to 50 percent, the more likely they were to survive. Lincoln, stuck at around 40 percent, is in dire straits. No incumbent dipping into the 30s survived in ‘06 or ‘08. Quite simply, she is unelectable.

Democrats have a thick bench in Arkansas, and could make a serious bid to hold the seat. But Lincoln won’t pull it off. She’s toast.

If Lincoln cares about her state and her party, she’ll do the honorable thing like Chris Dodd and retire. Otherwise, let’s hope Lt. Gov. Bill Halter forcefully retires her in a primary.


Categories: Politics Tags: , , , ,

William Bradley: Doctor Who: The Long Goodbye

January 7th, 2010 admin No comments

“He will knock four times.”

And so, the finale for the great tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, came round at last. It was the end of a long goodbye, which itself was part of a long goodbye.

For those who have not seen it, there are spoilers ahead.

After something of an uncertain start in “The End of Time, Part 1,” the finale in “The End of Time, Part 2,” over New Year’s weekend, was much more assured.

Before dealing with the Doctor’s death — yes, he regenerates, but he regards it as the death of a self, namely his, referring to his regenerated self as “a new man” — let’s deal first with the storyline.

“He will knock four times.”

The Narrator, played by former James Bond Timothy Dalton, it swiftly turned out, was far more, the head of the Time Lords. Time-locked by their fellow Time Lord, the Doctor, for their atrocities at the end of their epic war with the Daleks, they sought a way out, finding it by causing the sound of drums to be permanently implanted in the mind of the young child who would become the Master. That enabled them to track him through time and space, finding him on Earth, manipulating him to use his powers and the technology he’d seized from the foolish billionaire who’d had him resuscitated in a harebrained scheme for immortality.

In the meantime, the Master has captured the Doctor and Wilf (81-year old Bernard Cribbins plays the sky-gazing grandfather of former companion Donna Noble; his character shares a bond with the Doctor), only to have them escape in comic fashion to the Vinvocci ship there in orbit above Earth to salvage the tech stolen by the billionaire. The Master, who has turned everyone else on Earth (besides Donna, who is immune since she’s part-Time Lord from the relaunched Season 4 finale, and Wilf, who was inside a special chamber) into a replica of himself — even Barack Obama! — turns all the resources of Earth to searching for the Doctor but cannot find him, as he’s shut down all systems on the ship.

The Doctor and Wilf — who has again been visited by the vision of the Woman in White, urging him to take up arms — have another heartfelt conversation. Wilf, like the Doctor, certain that the Master will be the cause of the Doctor’s prophesied death, urges him to take the old revolver he kept from his 1940s service with the British paratroopers. But the Doctor, who hates guns, will have none of it. Even if it means his death. Besides, he has nearly gotten through to the Master at the beginning of the episode, when he said it would be his honor to travel the universe at his side. Isn’t it enough to see the universe rather than try to own it, he’d argued. And the Master had seemed very intrigued, till the drumming in his head took over again.

The tenth Doctor begins his finale with a lighthearted attitude.

Then the Master broadcasts that the Time Lords are returning, which prompts the Doctor to return to Earth in a fun action sequence. The Doctor, who now takes Wilf’s old revolver from the paras, pilots the alien ship while Wilf and one of the Vinvocci — in a big nod to Star Wars — man the guns to shoot down the torrent of missiles that the Master unleashes against them. As the ship roars over the English mansion in which the Master is about to greet the return of the Time Lords, the Doctor leaps out, revolver in hand, and crashes through the skylight. Yet he’s too physically stunned to fire, and the Time Lords are arriving. Wilf, meanwhile, prevails upon the Vinvocci to land the ship so he can help the Doctor, only to flee at the Doctor’s suggestion, though into an isolation chamber to the Doctor’s dismay.

Along with the arrival of the Time Lords through an event horizon reaching into the mansion there is, overhead, the arrival of the massive Time Lord planet Gallifrey itself, which will clearly rip the Earth apart. Not that the Time Lords care, as their plan is to ascend beyond the physical plane of existence, and to hell with the billions of people on Earth, not to mention the trillions elsewhere who will perish as the space-time continuum is destroyed.

At first, the Doctor is bound to shoot Dalton’s Time Lord President, who chides him as a murderer at last. Then he thinks to shoot the Master, for the link is in his head. As the Master sadly realizes. Then he spies the Woman in White, immediately recognizing her (for I think she’s his mother) and she looks toward the contraption that facilitated the Time Lords’ arrival. Which he then destroys with a shot.

The Master rules the Earth in “The Last of the Time Lords.”

Dalton’s President makes ready to kill the Doctor as he and his cohort begin to recede back into the Time Lock, but the Master, angry at having been manipulated through his life, and more than a little sympathetic to the Doctor, attacks him with energy bolts. The President falls, the Time Lords and Gallifrey fall back into the Time Lock, and the Master disappears.

The epic crisis has been weathered and overcome, and the show is only two-thirds through. Roll credits? Sadly, no.

Relieved to see that he has survived, contrary to his understanding of the prophecy seemingly linked to the four-fold drumbeat in the Master’s head, feeling increasingly confident, the Doctor looks around as the musical score swells and then plunges as he hears a quiet knocking sound. Four knocks. And again, four knocks.

It’s Wilf, knocking on the glass of the isolation chamber. He’d like the Doctor to let him out. But to do that, the Doctor must enter the chamber himself and let Wilf out, and in so doing take a massive dose of radiation.

Fond as he is of Wilf, the Doctor rages at first against this monstrous irony, and at Wilf, at first seeming to agree with Wilf that he should leave him to his fate inside that chamber he never should have entered in the first place. But he can’t, in the end, leave Wilf to die, so he enters it, freeing Wilf, taking what both believe will be a a highly lethal dose of radiation.

The original 1963 theme for Doctor Who.

When he emerges, the Doctor seems fine. But then his wounds of battle fade and, despite Wilf’s enthusiasm, it’s clear to the Doctor that the regeneration is beginning. He takes Wilf home in the Tardis and, telling him he will see him one more time, sets off on what he calls his “reward.”

And what is his reward? His reward is a reward for Doctor Who fans as well as the Doctor, for he is off on a sentimental journey, seeing important people in his life one last time before his regeneration into the eleventh incarnation.

He sees former companion Martha Jones and Mickey, who began as Rose Tyler’s feckless boyfriend and became much more. And Captain Jack Harkness, the intergalactic con man-turned-immortal, chief of the new Torchwood. (Torchwood, of course, being the arguably more adult spin-off of Doctor Who, name of the Torchwood Institute established by Queen Victoria to combat extraterrestrial menaces, and, originally in the real world, an anagram used to hide production of Doctor Who.) And Wilfred and his daughter, with Donna in the near distance. And the great granddaughter of Joan Redfern. And, finally, inevitably, Rose.

Martha, looking smashing if hard-edged in black leather, and Mickey are on the run, hunting and being hunted by a rogue Sontaran. They are also, surprise, married. And, unknown to them, about to be shot by that self-same Sontaran. Till the Doctor knocks him cold. Martha and Mickey see the Doctor, staring at them, perhaps disapproving. Then he goes.

In another nod to Star Wars, the Doctor finds longtime associate Captain Jack in a Whovian version of the Star Wars bar scene. Jack is drowning his sorrows, still recovering from the shattering events of Torchwood’s excellent “Children of Earth” miniseries. He gets a note from the Doctor, standing at the other end of the bar. The note contains the name of the man next to Jack, the young ensign from Who’s “Voyage of the Damned” Christmas special two years ago. Jack, ostensibly omnisexual but really a gay character, salutes the Doctor and chats the young fellow up.

The Doctor next arrives outside a large church. It’s Donna’s wedding day. He still can’t see her, as it might bring her memories flooding back and burn up her mind, but he can and does see Wilf and and his daughter, Donna’s mother. Wilf is, naturally, delighted. Even more so when the Doctor presents a lottery ticket for Donna’s wedding present, purchased with a loan from Donna’s late father.

Next the Doctor is in a book store where an author is signing copies of her book. Someone we haven’t met but who looks familiar named Verity Newman is signing copies of her book, A Journal of Impossible Things, based on a journal owned by her great grandmother, Joan Redfern. Joan was the nurse in 1913 England that the Doctor, living as a human to try to avoid a confrontation which can’t be avoided, fell in love with. (Verity Newman is named after Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman, the first producers of Doctor Who, back in 1963.) The journal of his dreams belonged to the man Joan knew as John Smith, and Verity has written a book based on it. The Doctor wants to know if Joan was happy in the end. She was.

The Doctor and Rose say goodbye at Bad Wolf Bay in the Season 2 finale.

Finally, the Doctor goes to London in January 2005. It’s right after the New Year and he’s watching, only watching, someone he’s not yet met at that point. It’s Rose, his former companion and lost love. He’s failing now, and standing in the shadows as she passes by, coughs and staggers a bit, drawing her attention. He tells her she’s going to have a great year ahead, for it’s the year she meets him, albeit in his earlier ninth Doctor incarnation, none of which he says. She’s fresh, bright, and charming, and clearly ready for the adventures she’s about to encounter. She disappears into her building with a final smile.

Is it all quite sentimental? Yes, highly so. And wonderful nonetheless.

And now it’s time. An Ood appears in the street before the Doctor, telling him that his people will sing him to his sleep. The Doctor enters the Tardis, which sails into space above the Earth. He cries out that he doesn’t want to go. He’s not going quietly, there’s no peaceful acceptance of the inevitable, or British stoicism. He’s angry, frightened even. There’s much more he wants to do. And the regeneration comes on.

It’s violent this time, perhaps because of the radiation he’s carried within. Actually, it’s like the quickening in Highlander, a light show with crackling energy pouring out of him, causing explosions. David Tennant’s face disappears in the flow of energy and becomes that of Matt Smith.

The eleventh Doctor has arrived. He’s younger, confused and excited all at once as he grasps what has happened to him and is happening now. The violence of his regeneration has shattered the Tardis’s systems. The little blue police box, that old-style phone booth that is so much bigger on the inside is hurtling downward toward the Earth, crashing.

The new Doctor is thrilled. He shouts out: “Geronimo!” Clearly the Doctor has a new catchphrase to replace the tenth Doctor’s “Allons-y.”

And the episode is done.

“Allons-y,” incidentally, is French for “Let’s go.” “Geronimo!” is something frequently shouted as one takes a great leap. It comes from the American paratrooper tradition, inspired seven decades ago by a Western film about the great Indian chief.

What to make of the farewell of the tenth Doctor, played with such verve and grace by David Tennant, probably the most popular of all the Doctors?

Well, it wasn’t brief. But for all its drawn out nature, it was in many ways so much the better. Tennant is so good in the part that it’s sad to see him go.

In a real sense, the tenth Doctor’s finale has been going on for more than a year, even longer than the ending(s) of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

After taking over from the very fine Christopher Eccleston, who relaunched the series as the Doctor with writer/producer Russell T. Davies at the helm, Tennant had three full seasons (the Brits call them series), and another year of specials. The latter because he took to playing Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company, a filmed version of which also aired on the BBC during the holidays.

He could have had his finale with the end of his third season, in a three-episode arc with a conclusion aptly titled “Journey’s End.” All his companions joined together, in a frankly overly complex plot, to help him fight a threat to “reality itself.” And the Doctor was shot and nearly died/regenerated. Yet he continued on, this time alone — with latest companion Donna returned home with memory wiped to avoid her own demise — through five more special episodes.

In 2008’s Christmas special, “The Next Doctor,” he went to Victorian London at Christmas time, only to be caught up in a wild adventure involving another fellow who believes himself to be the Doctor. (And who was naturally teased as Tennant’s replacement.) An air of melancholy sets in amidst the picture perfect Christmas setting as we learn why this man has come to believe he is the Doctor. And again as the Doctor refuses, at first, to share a Christmas dinner, preferring his growing loneliness.

For Easter 2009, the Doctor, again traveling alone in the Tardis, had a rather madcap adventure involving a red London double-decker bus, a desert planet, and an aristocratic young cat burglar. A perfect companion for the Doctor, actually, in the form of Michelle Ryan (who clicked in a way she did not as American TV’s Bionic Woman). Yet, despite their chemistry and good teamwork, the Doctor turns down her request to “Show me the stars.” He’s lost too much with previous companions, and doesn’t want to risk having his heart broken again. And as this rather picaresque adventure ends, with Lady Christina driving off into the sky, an air of foreboding as a woman tells the Doctor, like the Ood two years earlier, that his “song is ending.” And then: “It is returning. It is returning through the dark. And then, Doctor … Oh, but then … He will knock four times.”

David Tennant is Catherine Tate’s English teacher, two years ago for Comic Relief.

November’s special, “The Waters of Mars,” found the increasingly melancholy Doctor on Mars on a very special day in history, that of the mysterious destruction of humanity’s first Mars base. He sees the onrushing doom, keeps saying he has to leave what is “a fixed point in time,” which he dare not change. But in the end, he snaps and goes back and saves people who were supposed to have died, a pair of “little people,” as now arrogantly he calls them, and one decidedly not, one of the most famous women in history, the Mars base commander, whose death inspires her granddaughter to pilot the first interstellar mission.

There is a cost, a terrible one, and a terrible lesson, and by the end the Ood are there on a snowy London street, with the Doctor saying he’s gone too far, wondering if it’s his time to die.

Then of course we’re to “The End of Time,” and the great misdirection move that is the return of John Simm as the Master. As a political writer, I loved Simm as the manic politician who tricks the voters into making him prime minister of Britain. His performance then was operatic, as it is here. If he hadn’t been made insane as a gambit by the leader of the Time Lords, he could have been a great ally of the Doctor’s, rather than his nemesis. Which is only part of the pathos of this ending.

“The End of Time, Part Two,” which got predictably high yet non-record ratings in Britain, set a record for BBC America getting a total of 1.47 million viewers over the three weekend airings on the channel. This is the largest audience ever for a show on BBC America, beating “The Waters of Mars,” which was shown just before Christmas.

So we know there is a large and, at least in America and probably elsewhere, growing audience for Doctor Who with David Tennant. But for the eleventh Doctor, played by relative unknown Matt Smith? We don’t know.

Here is the new Doctor.

His beginning seemed fine, if necessarily brief. He’s in his late twenties, to Tennant’s late thirties, and we know that his first companion is played by a 21-year old redhead who looks like a teen.

Of course, the Doctor can be any age, so long as he has the spirit and intellect of the thing.

New showrunner Steven Moffat has written some of new Who’s best episodes, winning three Hugo Awards in a row for such classics as “The Girl In the Fireplace” and “Blink.” His temperament is rather darker than that of Russell T. Davies, who re-launched Doctor Who with a certain splashy ebullience that sought to overcome lapses in logic with dash and energy. And usually worked well at that.

“Don’t blink!”

Davies will run the new season of Torchwood, after his own highly successful walk in the dark with the last year’s brilliant “Children of Earth” miniseries.

And Moffat is likely to embrace the verve as well as the vicious in his version of the show. The eleventh Doctor’s energetic new catchphrase “Geronimo!,” along with glimpses of him in preview footage as something of an action hero indicate that the show won’t be all intellect. And composer Murray Gold is staying on. He’s contributed much of new Who’s sense of splash-and-dash, as well the hearts-on-sleeves quality of much of show with the tenth Doctor.

The science part of the science fiction was never the strength of the Davies-helmed new Who. Tennant’s tenth Doctor sometimes waved off an expected wave of Star Trek-style technospeak either with a bit of inspired babbling or with a humorously dismissive “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey” non-explanation.

David Tennant’s farewell to Doctor Who.

Davies’ Doctor Who excelled not so much as accurate scifi as emotional storytelling within a science fiction frame.

With Tennant as his Doctor, he had someone with crackling energy, a lover of life who pursued his immense curiosity with the enthusiasm of a child. And an actor who also explored what it might be like to be a 900-year old being who travels constantly across time and space, exploring, winning and losing, his two hearts bursting and breaking along the way.

Someone who, himself homeless with the loss of Gallifrey, adopted Earth as his home away from home, revering humanity with all its pinnacles and pitfalls.

This is why this Doctor clings to this life, though he knows he will regenerate. This is why, to borrow from Dylan Thomas, he does not go gentle into that good night, and, instead, burns and raves at close of day as he rages against the dying of the light.

This Doctor’s journey has ended, and those of us who have watched it unfold, imperfect as it has been at times, are the better for it.

You can check things during the day on my site, New West Notes … www.newwestnotes.com.


Categories: World Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Robbie Vorhaus: Tiger Woods, Oprah and a Remarkable Return. Maybe

January 7th, 2010 admin No comments

On pure instinct, and with no inside information, I’m betting Tiger Woods is healing, both emotionally and physically, and will be back soon.

It’s fun watching all the pundits continue talking about Tiger Woods. His foibles are a boon for the TV talking heads, and since there’s nobody to put them in check, it’s easy to ramble on about what Tiger should be doing, how he’s only going to get one chance to make his come back, and how he has to make the BIG apology.

That’s baloney.

Tiger Woods doesn’t have to do squat. He’s got enough money to do whatever he wants for the rest of life, and believe me, regardless of where he goes, or what the media analysts say, he will never be at a loss for female companionship. Some women may find his actions despicable, but if Tiger Woods wants some female friends with benefits, he will never walk alone.

Still, to his core, Tiger Woods isn’t a playboy or loner. Tiger is just flawed and tarnished, and his comeback will be both remarkable and jubilant.

Tiger was smart to get quiet and go away. He probably had a face full of bruises and maybe some missing teeth from the end of a three-wood, and someone in his camp was thinking quick for not letting him appear in front of the press, as those photographs would never go away. In fact, had Tiger Woods appeared in public with any noticeable injury, this fiasco would have escalated further, with discussions of spousal abuse, and debates on whether Elin should be charged with a crime. Not good.

From afar, these are my Tiger Wood predications:

Tiger Woods’s marriage will survive. Bruised, damaged, and fragile, Tiger is a family man and for myriad reasons, he and Elin will stay together.

Tiger Woods will admit that he’s a sex addict. Like many high-profile addicts, Tiger will use this opportunity to remove the stigma of his deep weakness and profound emotional emptiness. He will explain why he fell from grace, what he’s learned from personal introspection, and speak from his heart about the healing, redemptive powers of love. He will not discuss religion or spirituality.

To mark his grand return, Tiger Woods will appear on 60 Minutes, Oprah and ESPN, and then disappear again. His message will be filled with humility and love for his wife, family and fans. 60 Minutes will air exclusive video shot with Tiger and his family, on Oprah he will appear with Elin and possibly the children, and on ESPN he will appear alone.

For the next year, Tiger Woods will be tightly surrounded by an entourage of body guards, a few mid-level folks from his management firm, IMG, a publicist/spokesperson, and a lawyer. He will give no additional public statements regarding this crisis, and will ignore any free swinging, gorilla tactic, paparazzi requests.

Once Tiger Woods appears on TV, he will return to golf. He will be magnificent, smile often, win a lot, and within one year, he will have more sponsorship endorsements than before.

In short, Tiger Woods will be back, liberated, healed, happily married, and more popular than ever.

Then again, I may be wrong.

Tiger may never come back. Or to freak us all out, the next time we see Tiger Woods he’ll be sporting a new “Bad to the Bone,” tattoo, riding a Harley motorcycle, flaunting his Vanity Fair article, and appearing with his new ravenously beautiful African-American girlfriend.

Still, lucky for the media, what ever Tiger Woods does is fine, because at the end of the day, everyone’s got an opinion. Just ask.

More on Tiger Woods


Categories: World Tags: ,