Category Archives: sci-fi

Is It Me…

…or does Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor–

–look more than a little bit like Crispin Glover’s George McFly from Back to the Future?

I just hope, at some point in the fifth season, some vile alien menace grabs new Companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)*–

–forcing the Doctor to declare: “Hey you…get your damn hands off her!”

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*: Yes, I know I didn’t need to include a picture of Amy…but, it’s my blog, so I get to do whatever I want.

Four on the Floor #19: Sassy, Intelligent Heroines

The Situation: We all have our types, right?  Some guys go for the femme fatale or the Sex and the City-esque fashionista.  Some gals like bad boy bikers or tennis-playing preppies.  Me?  Well, I admit to enjoying the ass-kicking ladies.  But, when it all comes down to it, I’m a sucker for a sassy, intelligent gal.  (I’m actually a bit surprised it’s taken me this long to do this list…)

The Criteria: The ladies on this list may not be physically imposing–no Xenas, Buffys, or Wonder Women here–but they are far from helpless.  Like Robin Hood or Bugs Bunny, these gals use their intelligence and spunk to outwit their foes and save the day (which, of course, does not mean they don’t possess some additional powers or abilities).

1. Katherine “Kitty” Pryde

For me, Kitty is the Alpha and the Omega of sassy, intelligent female characters.  When she phased her way into our hearts, Kitty was the youngest member of the X-Men, but that never stopped her from pulling her weight.  A buddy of mine (who happens to be more of a femme fatale/’50s pin-up kinda guy) said he could never get behind Kitty because he felt she was created to be the kind of girl comic fans would dig–the smart, cute, spunky girl next door.  Um…duh.

2. Hermione Granger

Everyone was all about “The Boy Who Lived”, but poor little Potter wouldn’t have made it to the end of the first book without Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.  Bookish, principled, and focused, Hermione had no problem bending (or, occasionally breaking) the rules to do the right thing.

3. Clarissa “Clary” Fray

Clary is just like every other shy, artistic fifteen year old in New York City.  What Clary doesn’t know is that she’s also a demon-killing Shadowhunter.  But, what she lacks in strength and training, Clary more than makes up for in wit, guile, and spunk.  It doesn’t hurt that she also happens to be a redhead.

4. The Joss Whedon Triumvirate (a.k.a. Willow Rosenberg, Winifred “Fred” Burkle, and Kaylee Frye)

Joss Whedon works in archetypes.  And, since he’s gone on record as being a huge fan of Kitty Pryde (hey, the man has taste), it should come as no surprise that the sassy, intelligent girl next door shows up in one form or another in each of his three series.  Whether it’s computer geek-turned-Wicca Willow Rosenberg, theoretical physicist Fred Burkle, or uber-mechanic Kaylee Frye, Whedon knows sassy and intelligent.

Who is He? He is Who.

I’m sure everyone knows by now, but they’ve found the Eleventh Doctor.  Twenty-six year old Matt Smith will be replacing David Tennant on the venerable BBC series.

I’ll admit that my first reaction after getting a look at this kid was “Whoa, who thought it was a good idea to cast Bright Eyes as Doctor Who?”

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Then I realized that a reaction like that is probably why people use words like “cranky” and “contrary” when I’m around.

But, then I watched this little video posted over at Karen’s blog, and I started to feel a little better.  At least the kid realizes what a huge role this is.

The Doctor is Out

By now, everyone on the internets has probably already heard that David Tennant is hanging up his pinstripe suit and handing the keys to the TARDIS to an 11th Doctor.  Everyone has already started picking who they think should step into the role of the BBC’s venerable Time Lord (you can read some picks here and here).  Since everyone else is doing it, I figured I might as well come up with a few possible choices.

Anthony Stewart Head

No stranger to the Who-niverse, Head could bring a nice new spin to the 11th Doctor.  First of all, he’d be a more mature Doctor.  Plus, as he showed us on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Head’s got a certain something that says “I’m prim and proper on the outside, but I’ll kick your fucking teeth in if you push me.”

Mackenzie Crook

I love Crook, and would watch him in anything.  (Look at him…doesn’t he just scream “British”?)  My only concern is that he might be a little too similar in general appearance to the departing Tennant–by that, I mean lanky and somewhat gawky.  Although, I would love to see what kind of Doctor Gareth would be.

Simon Pegg

Think about it.  A wee, tiny little Doctor whose first instinct is to get really pissed off at people.  And, let’s be honest, don’t we all want to save Pegg from Hollywood.

Dylan Moran

If you know who he is, you know why he’d be awesome.

James Nesbitt

Nesbitt showed he’s capable of playing both a repressed wet blanket and a charismatic sociopath in the BBC’s Jekyll.  He also has a delightfully expressive face–including a shit-eating grin that stretches for miles–that could bring just a little bit of manic menace to the 11th Doctor.

Martin Freeman

Crook’s Office co-star could bring a quiet mumbly charm to the Doctor, quite a change from the more manic performance of Tennant.  Besides, Freeman’s role as Arthur Dent in the feature film version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy should provide enough sci-fi cred for his resume.

Hot Dog! We Have A Wiener

And, the winner of the First Annual LET’S CAST… Contest is–

Mando, who submitted the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and congrats to Mando!  You’ll see my picks for Jaina, Jacen, Mara, Ben, and “all the rest” posted here as soon as possible.

Four on the Floor #16: Badass Bounty Hunters

The Situation: Let’s face it, some guys are just too tough, crafty, or out-and-out evil for regular law enforcement agencies to take down. That’s why we need bounty hunters. Bounty hunters have been a part of American pop culture since the days of the Old West (if not longer), and they seem quite capable of morphing into pretty much any genre you can think of–westerns, sci-fi, fantasy, mysteries, you name it.

The Criteria: Since bounty hunters are so prevalent in popular culture, there are countless examples that you can choose from. But, since I had to limit myself to four, I decided to pick guys (Domino Harvey came close to making the cut…would that I could pick five) who were obviously doing what they do for a tangible reason–whether it’s money, revenge, freedom, or a combination of one or more–as opposed to characters who claim to be bounty hunters, but end up regulating out of concerns more noble than money or vengeance.

1. Brisco County, Jr.

A Harvard-educated lawyer, Brisco never wanted to follow in his father’s bounty hunting footsteps. That is, until County Sr. is brutally gunned-down by John Bly and his gang. With sidekick Socrates Poole, rival-turned-associate Lord Bowler, and Comet the Wonder Horse, Brisco County, Jr. straps on his dad’s six-shooter and searches the Old West for the men responsible for his father’s death. Oh, there’s a weird golden orb from the future involved, too.

2. Ezekiel Stone

Zeke Stone was a cop. When his wife was raped and the man responsible goes free, Stone murders him in cold blood. Then, wouldn’t ya know, Zeke gets killed and gets sent straight to hell. Fifteen years later, there’s a prison break in the underworld and the Devil makes Stone a deal: return to Earth, track down and return the 113 escaped souls, and earn a second chance at life. Bounty hunting + damned souls = awesome.

3. The Man With No Name

C’mon, it’s Clint. The Man With No Name more or less re-invented the western, as well as cementing the idea of the laconic anti-hero in American culture.

4. Boba Fett

Fett’s like Eastwood’s Man With No Name in a helmet and jet-pack. Forget everything that’s been done to and with this guy since 1983, when he first showed up in Empire Strikes Back, you knew he was a badass. He didn’t speak more than a dozen words in Empire or Return of the Jedi, and he still managed to become one of the most (if not the most) popular characters in the trilogy.

Hasta La Vista, Stan

Stan Winston, the Oscar-winning special effects and make-up artist, has passed away at the age of 62.

Winston is probably best known for his work on the Terminator movies, Predator 1 and 2, and Aliens.  But, his company–Stan Winston Studio–also provided effects for Edward Scissorhands, Jurassic Park, and The Monster Squad.  He recently worked on the armor for Iron Man.

Stan will be missed by lovers of aliens, killer robots, dinosaurs, and werewolves everywhere.