science meets entertainment

This article caught my eye in USA Today this morning – partly because my educational background is in science, and partly because in the print version of the article, there are side-by-side photographs of Spock from Star Trek and Temperance Brennan from Bones.  Um, okay, interesting juxtaposition.

The article is about the increasing emphasis on accurate portrayals of science and scientists in the media – it mentions Doctor Manhattan’s quantum physics in Watchmen, the antimatter bomb in Angels and Demons, etc.  It’s an interesting read, but in annoyed me a bit because it seems to be dissing Spock, my favorite-ever fictional character.  Someone is quoted as saying, “The scientists you see today are not Mr. Spock, they’re human, and that’s a real change.  Even if they’re depicted as über-geeks, they are still interesting people you’d probably like.”  Excuse me?  Are you implying that Spock is not an interesting person I’d probably like?  What universe’s version of Star Trek have you been watching?

what makes star trek, star trek?

According to this article from, the writers of the new Star Trek movie have promised that we will see all of the following in the film at some point.

  • McCoy saying “Damnit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a [whatever]!”
  • Scotty having an “I’m giving it all I’ve got, Cap’n!” moment
  • Kirk cheating on the Kobayashi Maru test
  • A bitch fight (okay, the phrase they used was “insult fight”) between Spock and McCoy

This list pretty much proves to me that these guys do “get” Star Trek.  I’m so excited to see this movie.  Quinto’s Spock and Urban’s McCoy in a TOS-style battle of the wits!  That’s going to be a joy to watch.

intrigued by doctor who promo pics

I know next to nothing about the actual plot of the upcoming Doctor Who Easter special, Planet of the Dead*, but these photos are enough to make me look forward to it.  There’s a bus!  And what looks like Tatooine!  And aliens with insect heads!  And the Doctor is wearing sunglasses!  Count me in.

*What, are we just recycling bits from previous Tenth Doctor episode titles now?  Is the next special going to be “Forest of the Ood”?

dollhouse 1×06: man on the street

I’m sorry, but I absolutely must resort to profanity to express how I felt about this episode.  Here goes.

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movie preview

There are several movies coming later this year that I’m reeeeeeaaallly looking forward to… and some that, to my own surprise, I’m kinda not.

  • Star Trek, May 8: I have been following the development of this baby ever since its existence was first announced a couple years ago.  I’ve been there as the casting of each major character was announced, as the first teaser images and grainy photos from the set emerged, as the fandom nearly wanked itself to death over and over.  I mourned with everyone else when its release date was moved from Christmas back to May.  And now, in less than two months, it’s finally going to be here.  Be still my heart.
  • Sherlock Holmes, December 25: after the pure enjoyment that was Iron Man, I think I’d be willing to sit through almost anything starring Robert Downey Jr., but it was actually the casting of Jude Law as Dr. Watson that really got my psyched for this movie.  Too often Watson is portrayed in adaptations as a bumbling old fool.  But actually, the Watson of the original stories is ex-military, a bit of a ladies’ man, and (though he of course lacks Holmes’s scientific training and brilliant analytical mind) no idiot.  And to those complaining about the idea of an “action movie” version of Holmes, please remember that in the original stories, Holmes could box and fence.  I’m so excited for this film.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, July 17: this is actually the one that falls under the “meh” category.  I’ve been to midnight showings of the last two Harry Potter movies, but at this point, I’m so over the film franchise.  I will always love the book series (my friends and I still regularly reference it in everyday conversation) but now that it’s over I’m realizing that for me, the movies were only ever a way to tide myself over until the next book release.  And while Dan Rad is amazing and it’ll be fun to see what else he does with his career, he’s getting a bit old to play Harry.  Sorry, Warner Brothers.

life imitates fiction

Last week’s episode of Dollhouse had some folks complaining that Echo’s eyeball camera technology was so unbelievable it took away from their enjoyment of the episode.  Guess what, guys?  It actually exists.  I’m not suggesting the camera in this guy’s prosthetic eye works as flawlessly as Echo’s fictional version did, but it’s sure similar.

some newsy tidbits

Rather than posting about each of these items separately, I decided to do a somewhat random news roundup.  So here I present Things Recently of Interest to Rebecca.

  • Neil Gaiman is going to be on the Colbert Report tonight.  This news was greeted by roomie and myself with lots of excited screaming.  One of my favorite people being interviewed by ANOTHER of my favorite people?  Awesome!
  • Wil Wheaton apparently had an audition for a TV pilot recently.  I know that having an audition for a pilot is a far far cry from actually being on a TV show – first he would have to get the part, and then the pilot would have to be picked up by a network – but isn’t it a fun thought?  I love Wil Wheaton and it would be great to see him cast as a regular in a TV series where he’s not, you know, Wesley Crusher.
  • The Sci Fi channel is changing its name to Syfy.  Apparently this is so they can “broad[en] perceptions and embrac[e] a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction.”  Umm… okay, whatever.

catching up

Yep, I’m back, and my break was fabulous, thanks for asking.  And as an added bonus, I now have an entire week’s worth of new TV episodes to watch in one marathon sitting!  It’s like having a great meal at a nice restaurant, and coming home to find that your roommates had a party while you were gone and left you an enormous slice of chocolate cake to eat for dessert at your leisure.  Join me while I have my cake and eat it too.  (This post is just the dramas, but I might do a separate one for Flight of the Conchords, 30 Rock, and The Office.  Castle will get a post all its own.)

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submerged dalek discovered in britain

Volunteers clearing rubbish out of a pond in England uncovered an actual Dalek!  Okay, the article says it was probably left behind by a Doctor Who production crew back in the Colin Baker days.  But I’d rather see this as evidence that Daleks, and therefore the Doctor himself, actually exist.  Clearly this is an artifact from a past attempted Dalek invasion of the UK.

jack harkness, you dog

Apparently, in the Torchwood miniseries to be aired later this year, Captain Jack’s daughter will make an appearance.  Oh Jack.  I’m not surprised to learn you’ve got a kid – I’m sure, in your centuries of promiscuity, you’ve fathered dozens of children of various genders and species – but I’m a little surprised we’re actually going to meet this chick.  Torchwood is such a soap opera.