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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE Episode 006: "The Caretaker" is Up!


"Now, I imagine you have many questions.  Fire away, I won't answer any of them."

Despite some rather annoying audio quality issues, Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.

This time out, we give our thoughts on "The Caretaker," the sixth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like Clara juggling her life in time and space with the Doctor and her teaching at Coal Hill School on Earth with her boyfriend Danny Pink, the first meeting between the Doctor and Danny, why Alex Kingston needs to return as River Song, why people travel with the Doctor when it's so obviously dangerous, what happened to the house that was next to the barn in "The Day of the Doctor," our popular Reverse the Polarity segment and more!

And for those who still aren't aware of this yet, we're available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. If you're looking for direct MP3 downloads, you can find them RIGHT HERE as well.  Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Have fun watching "Kill the Moon" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!

Netflix Announces CROUCHING TIGER Sequel as First Original Movie


Hollywood, like most things, you are nothing.

Netflix announced that it has signed a deal with The Weinstein Company to release Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the sequel to the 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon directed by Ang LeeThe film will premiere exclusively on Netflix and in selected global IMAX theaters on August 28, 2015 and could be a significant game-changer for movie theater distribution.

Based on the Crane Iron Pentalogy by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is set in the Qing Dynasty during the 43rd year (1779) of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor and features Chow Yun-fat as an accomplished Wudang swordsman Li Mu Bai whose master was murdered by Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei), a woman who sought to learn Wudang skills.  Mu Bai's friend Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) is a female warrior and the two have developed feelings for each other, but have never acknowledged or acted on them.  Intending to give up his warrior life, Mu Bai asks Shu Lien to transport his sword, also referred to as the Green Destiny, to the city of Beijing, as a gift for their friend Sir Te (Sihung Lung).  At Sir Te's estate, Shu Lien meets Jen (Zhang Ziyi), the daughter of a visiting Manchu aristocrat who is destined for an arranged marriage but is far more than she seems.

The film won Best Foreign Language Film at the 73rd Academy Awards, the 58th Golden Globe Awards and the 54th British Academy Film Awards.  In addition, the film won Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will be directed by Yuen Wo-Ping and feature the return of Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, Donnie Yen as Meng Sizhao/Silent Wolf and Harry Shum, Jr. as Tiefang. 

Oh, look.  There's an official press release...

NETFLIX ANNOUNCES FIRST ORIGINAL MOVIE

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: THE GREEN LEGEND TO PREMIERE SIMULTANEOUSLY ON NETFLIX AND IN SELECT GLOBAL IMAX® THEATERS

Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen star under the direction of Yuen Wo-Ping in the Sequel to the Academy Award®-winning 2000 film

Beverly Hills, Ca. and New York, September 29, 2014–Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, the stunning next chapter in the saga started by the critically and popularly acclaimed Ang Lee martial arts epic, will premiere exclusively on Netflix and in selected global IMAX® theaters on August 28, 2015.

Produced by The Weinstein Company, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story — one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.

Directed by the renowned martial arts choreographer (The Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill 1&2) and director (Tai Chi Master) Yuen Wo-Ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Lady) reprising her role as Yu Shu-Lien and Donnie Yen (Ip Man 1&2, Monkey King 3D) as Silent Wolf.

The film is to be the first of several major films backed by Netflix to premiere on the same day on the world’s leading Internet TV network and in select IMAX theaters globally, giving consumers and exhibitors around the world unparalleled flexibility in how, when and where they
enjoy a major motion picture.

“Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”

“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”

“IMAX has a terrific opportunity, via this partnership with Netflix, to release Crouching Tiger – a high-quality, action-packed film that is right in our wheelhouse — at the end of the summer blockbuster season,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We are particularly hopeful it will play in our highly successful China market. In territories where we simultaneously release with Netflix, we are excited to offer consumers the option of deciding how, when and where they want to view the film, and exhibitors the opportunity to participate in this alternative form of content in a new and innovative way.”

Based on the acclaimed novel, Iron Knight, Silver Vase, by Wang Dulu (book 5 in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy) and written by John Fusco (Marco Polo) the new film is produced by Harvey Weinstein (Academy Award winner – The King’s Speech, The Artist) and Peter Berg (Emmy Award winner – Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and Sarah Aubrey (Friday Night Lights; Lone Survivor, Hancock) and executive produced by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, The Imitation Game), Ralph Winter (X-Men franchise), Anthony Wong, and Bey Logan (The Medallion).

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend also stars Harry Shum Jr (Glee, Revenge of the Green Dragons), Jason Scott Lee (Seventh Son, Hawaii Five-O), Roger Yuan (Bulletproof Monk), Eugenia Yuan (Revenge of the Green Dragons) and newcomer Natasha Liu Bordizzo.

Principal photography is now underway in New Zealand. The film’s director of photography is Tom Sigel (Drive, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and design is led by the Academy Award®-winning Lord of the Rings team of costume designer Ngila Dickson, production designer Grant Major and visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson.

Friday, September 26, 2014

HANNIBAL's Bryan Fuller Wants David Tennant to Guest Star


The Doctor meeting Dr. Lecter...How charming.

The Metro has revealed that Bryan Fuller, the creator and showrunner of the NBC series Hannibal, wants former Doctor Who star David Tennant to appear on the series and has been trying to get him for a while now.

"I’m a huge fan of David Tennant, and we’ve been trying to get him on the show for quite some time," said Fuller.  "He’s such a spectacular actor.  He brings such an effervescence to every performance.  I would love to have David on the show.  Or just write for David!  I would kill and eat somebody to work with David!  He’s my favorite Doctor."

The Scottish actor and former Tenth Doctor auditioned for the lead role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter on the drama series, although the role eventually went to Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.  Tennant is currently starring on the Fox series Gracepoint, an American remake of his UK drama series Broadchurch, with the role of Detective Emmett Carver instead of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy.


In addition, Fuller gave Fannibals some more details about what they can expect in Season 3.  "The interesting thing about Season 3 is that we are heading away from the crime procedural aspect of the story-telling," he said, "and it is very much a soap opera for the first half."

"There are some creative deaths," he continued, "but it’s much more about our regular characters as opposed to a killer of the week coming in and creating these fantastic death tableau.  We’re really focusing on the relationships between these characters and the fallout from Season 2 for the survivors who made it through the 'Red Dinner.'"

"There’s a slight evolution of the series in that way," added Fuller.  "The first half of the season I’m really excited about because it’s more like an intense psychological thriller.  I’m excited about the rematch between Hannibal and Jack Crawford."

We'll also get a look at Hannibal's past, giving us a better idea of what motivates the character.  "We are absolutely delving into his history," said Fuller.  "Not as many flashbacks as much as it is finding present day survivors from that era of his life and understanding, with greater detail, about Hannibal and his modes of human interaction."

"I would be very nervous about casting child actors to portray such iconic characters because it’s always a gamble," he added.  "For me, I kind of don’t want to imagine anybody else in this incarnation than Mads Mikkelsen."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 005 - "Time Heist" is Up!


"Shut up.  Just shut up.  Shut up, shut up, shuttity up up up."

Yes, we're back on a less timey-wimey track as Jesse Jackson and I return with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.

This time out, we give our thoughts on "Time Heist," the fifth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like Clara and Danny's interrupted second date, the return of the memory worms (Now, what are those things again?  I forget...), cool slo-mo walks, the Doctor's thoughts on his past and present fashion, Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer, eating Chinese food in the TARDIS, listener comments, our popular Reverse the Polarity segment and more!

And for those who aren't aware yet, we are available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Oh, and be sure to watch "The Caretaker" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next review!

DAMN Good Television -- GOTHAM: "Pilot"


At long last, the world of Batman finally returns to live-action television for the first time in about...oh, only fifty years.  Since the campy 1960s TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, Batman fans have had plenty of feature films and animated series to enjoy between weekly trips to the comic store, but certainly not a weekly Batman drama series.  Well, that's all changed with the arrival of the new Fox crime drama Gotham, but with the twist that Batman isn't actually Batman.  Not yet, anyway.

When this series was announced last September, fans were understandably skeptical.  A Batman show without Batman?  Not entirely unheard of though, considering Smallville was essentially a Superman show without Superman and that lasted ten seasons.  But instead of making just another cop drama with Gotham City as the setting and Jim Gordon as the lead, Gotham creator and executive producer Bruno Heller decided to make the series more interesting by using it to tell origins of some of Batman's biggest enemies as well as what happened with young Bruce Wayne in the days after his parents were murdered in Crime Alley.  That missing piece of Batman's life story is ripe with story potential, so we'll have to see if Heller and his staff of writers make the most of it.

This first episode, written by Heller and directed by co-executive producer Danny Cannon, opens with a young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) prowling the gothic rooftops of Gotham City at night.  She slides down a storefront awning, showing us that she's been at this for a little while, and proceeds to skillfully nick a half pint of milk and a man's wallet before being chased down an alley all too familiar to Batman fans.

From the shadows, Selina watches as her future love/enemy Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) walks down Crime Alley with his millionaire parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, straight into a masked robber.  Once again, pieces of a pearl necklace fall to the pavement, two shots are fired, and the 12-year-old Bruce is suddenly an orphan shrieking in rage and horror.

Mazouz does an effective job selling such an important scene, which leads to the introduction of lead characters Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) as they arrive to the crime scene.  We immediately see the contrast between the two, as Bullock hopes to dump the important case on the GCPD's major crimes unit, while Gordon quickly reaches out to the grieving Bruce and vows to bring his parents' killer to justice.  It's an important moment that establishes the strong bond between Bruce and Gordon that will eventually carry into Bruce's adulthood as Batman.

The Crime Alley setting also introduces Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, who comes to take Bruce home and serve as the boy's legal guardian.  Pertwee's Alfred is much closer in tone to Michael Caine's than Michael Gough's, a seemingly regular English bloke that uses words like "mate" instead of a droll, posh-sounding traditional butler.  Alfred doesn't get to do too much in this pilot episode, but his concern for Bruce's well-being is heartfelt and genuine, quickly proving himself as the mentor we know and love.

As the episode progresses, we're introduced to a number of other characters including the somewhat bland Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen from major crimes, the future Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) as a member of the GCPD, Gordon's fiancée Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) who is surprisingly bisexual, the young Poison Ivy (Clare Foley) who currently has the name of Ivy Pepper, and mob boss Carmine Falcone (John Doman) who is in danger of losing control of his criminal empire.

The major threat to Falcone is Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), a major player in Gotham's underworld with influence over Bullock and a fondness for music from The Dead Weather.  Smith tries hard to be intimidating as Fish, but is easily overshadowed by her underling Oswald Cobblepot, played rather brilliantly by Robin Lord Taylor.  The young Penguin is conniving and a bit psychotic, snitching to Montoya and Allen in the hopes of throwing Fish under the bus, until the move goes horribly wrong and leads to his exile.  The metaphor of a Penguin and a Fish seems to hint at Fish's quick exit, but for now, it's going to be interesting to see what Oswald does next.

All in all, Gotham seems like a very promising series, with the pilot setting the tone of a proper crime drama...as much as this series can being on Fox at 8 p.m. EST instead of on the more adult channel FX at 10 p.m.  Yes, there are some things that feel a bit Smallville (Bruce's gray sweaters with black pants that foreshadow his Batman costume, for example), but Gotham has far more going for it than Bruce pining for Selina from inside his father's study. 

The corruption running rampant through the GCPD along with an inevitable mob war should keep Gordon busy and constantly in danger, and the slow rise of Batman's worst enemies will definitely keep the series from becoming yet another cop show.  Gotham needs to keep stepping on the gas though, because The Flash and Constantine are coming up next.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SUPERGIRL Gets Series Commitment from CBS


You just know Marvel has to be feeling some pressure on the TV front right about now.

Less than a month after the project was announced in development, TV Line reports that the Supergirl television series has received a series commitment from CBS.  According to the article, Supergirl will focus on DC Comics character Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman, "who escaped the planet Krypton amid its destruction.  Having hid all this time on Earth the powers she shares with 'her famous cousin' (as the official logline cheekily puts it), 24-year-old Kara decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and 'be the hero she was meant to be.'"

Arrow and The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler, who worked on Berlanti's ABC series No Ordinary Family, will executive produce the series along with Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.  The series will indeed be called Supergirl, despite previous reports that the name might not have been available due to legal reasons.

Supergirl is the latest of an ever-growing number of DC Comics properties airing on television or being developed, including Arrow, The Flash and iZombie on The CW, Gotham on Fox, Constantine on NBC, Preacher on AMC, Titans on TNT, Ronin on Syfy and Scalped on WGN America.  More notably, it's also the first television series about a female superhero since Birds of Prey aired on The WB for 13 episodes in 2002.

Created in 1959 by Otto Binder, Al Plastino and Curt Swan, Supergirl first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #252 as Kara Zor-El, the daughter of Jor-El's brother Zor-El and cousin to Superman. She was the last survivor of Argo City, which had survived the destruction of the planet Krypton until meteorites of Green Kryptonite penetrated Argo City's protective barrier. Sent to Earth by Zor-El to be raised by her cousin, Kara acquired powers similar to Superman and adopted the secret identity of Linda Lee, a young girl at Midvale Orphanage.

In the current New 52 continuity, Kara's ship lands as part of a meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas, but burrows through the Earth and emerges in Siberia. Kara has no memory of the destruction of Krypton and believes herself to be dreaming. The military tracks her arrival, and a group of American soldiers in mechanized suits immediately attack her. Her powers start emerging as the fight goes on and terrify the surprised Kara. Superman arrives after she defeats the soldiers and tries to convince Kara that he is her cousin, but Kara, still believing that only three days have passed since she last saw baby Kal, accuses him of being an imposter and attacks him. Eventually, Kara accepts that Krypton has been destroyed and that Superman is indeed her grown-up cousin.

This will be the second time Supergirl has been depicted in live-action television, after Laura Vandervoort on the WB/CW series SmallvillePreviously, Helen Slater portrayed the character in the 1984 film Supergirl that was a spinoff from the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve.  The character has also appeared a number of times in animation, including Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited (voiced by Nicholle Tom), and the Super Best Friends Forever DC Nation animated shorts (voiced by Nicole Sullivan).

Presumably, Supergirl will air on CBS sometime in Fall 2015.

DOCTOR WHO 2014 Christmas Special Casts Nick Frost & Patrick Troughton's Son


To quote Ed from Shaun of the Dead, "Yeah, boyyyyyeee..."

Three guest stars have been confirmed for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special starring Peter Capaldi and (maybe) Jenna Coleman, which include actors Nick Frost, Nathan McMullen and Michael Troughton.  The official Doctor Who Twitter account posted the following picture of set chairs (Ooo, chairs!) that revealed the news...
Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says: "Frost at Christmas -- It just makes sense!  I worked with Nick on the Tintin movie many years ago and it's a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS."

Fan-favorite Nick Frost is best known for co-starring with Simon Pegg in the television series Spaced and Edgar Wright's "Cornetto trilogy" of films that included Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End.  Pegg previously appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Long Game" from the Christoper Eccleston era.

"I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the Doctor Who Christmas Special," said Frost.  "I'm such a fan of the show.  The read-through was very difficult for me -- I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream 'No spoilers!'  Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fanboy squeals!"

Michael Troughton is the son of the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, and brother to David Troughton, who appeared in the 1972 episode "The Curse of Peladon" from the Jon Pertwee era and the 2008 episode "Midnight" from the David Tennant era.

Nathan McMullen is probably familiar to genre fans as Finn from the science fiction dramedy MisfitsOther guest stars include Natalie Gumede from Coronation Street and Faye Marsay from The White Queen.

The 2014 Christmas Special will be written by series showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Paul Wilmshurst, who directed the Series Eight episodes "Kill the Moon" and "Mummy on the Orient Express." 
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Four Years of DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT!


I can't believe it either, but DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT turns four years old today.

As some of you already know, I began this blog in 2010 to keep myself writing and to share things that I hoped all of you would find at least somewhat interesting.  Sadly, I haven't been able to land another writing gig that actually pays yet, but I've been keeping busy helping with DC Comics' various digital comics sales and co-hosting a little project I've been rambling about recently called Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.

And now, after 730 posts, over 480,000 pageviews averaging more than 15,000 views per month, and a lot of visitors (34,500 and counting) apparently thinking Criminal Minds' Dr. Spencer Reid dressing up as the Fourth Doctor is the Best Thing Ever, I'm about to head into Year Five. Ohio Comic Con 2014 is coming up at the end of next month, there are four new DC Comics and two new Marvel television shows making their debut over the coming year, and yes, I might have a few thoughts and news items about that weird Doctor Who show all the cool kids are watching these days.

So once again, my deepest thanks to everyone who's supported The Little Blog That Could over the past year and shared links on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit or elsewhere. As you can tell by the lack of annoying ads, I'm certainly not doing this for the money and it means a lot that DAMN Good Coffee's audience continues to grow.   Keep sharing those links and I'll keep writing my usual geeky nonsense, okay?

We now return to to our regularly scheduled DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT, already in progress...

ARROW Casts Nick Tarabay as Captain Boomerang


Wait...Shouldn't that headline read "THE FLASH Casts..."?

Entertainment Weekly revealed yesterday that the CW series Arrow has cast Nick Tarabay in the role of George "Digger" Harkness, better known to DC Comics fans as the supervillain Captain Boomerang.

According to the article, Harkness will be "a former A.R.G.U.S operative, highly skilled in martial arts and espionage, with a deadly thirst for vengeance against his former employers."  The character first appears in the seventh episode of Season 3, then continues into the eighth episode, which is Arrow's crossover episode with spinoff series The Flash.

Tarabay is a Lebanese actor best known as Ashur on the TV series Spartacus, and has also had roles as a Klingon in the film Star Trek Into Darkness, and on the television series The Sopranos, CSI: Miami, Crash, Burn Notice, and Believe.

Considering the characters' prior history with the Suicide Squad, it seems more than likely that Harkness will be added to the team's roster on Arrow.  And as one of the Flash's gallery of Rogues, there's a good chance we'll see him turn up now and again on The Flash.

Created in 1960 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Captain Boomerang first appeared in The Flash (vol.1) #117 as a mascot for a toy company that was ridiculed by audiences, so he decided to use his advanced skills of making and throwing boomerangs for crime.  He became as recurring enemy for The Flash and a prominent member of the Rogues, a supervillain group consisting of The Flash's enemies. 

As time passed, Captain Boomerang became a member of the Suicide Squad in exchange for being pardoned for his crimes, but his grating personality often caused conflict within the team.  Eventually, he was killed by Jack Drake, father of Tim Drake, the third Robin, after being set up by Jean Loring.  However, he was brought back to life during the events of the event miniseries Blackest Night.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as The New 52, Boomerang joined the Suicide Squad, telling the team that he was the new field commander under the orders of Amanda Waller.  Later on, it was revealed that he was working for Basilisk, a metahuman terrorist cell.

This will be Captain Boomerang's first depiction in live-action, although the character has appeared in a number of animated projects including Justice League Unlimited (voiced by Donal Gibson), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Futurama's John DiMaggio), Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (voiced by James Patrick Stuart), and Batman: Assault on Arkham (voiced by Greg Ellis).

Arrow returns for Season 3 on Wednesday, October 8th at 8:00 p.m. EST.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DAREDEVIL Casts Scott Glenn as Matt's Mentor Stick


The Man Without Fear now has a mentor.

Marvel officially announced that the upcoming Netflix series Daredevil has cast Scott Glenn as Stick, the man who trains Matt Murdock.  Glenn joins Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson), with Rosario Dawson and Vincent D'Onofrio (Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin).

The 73-year-old actor has had several notable film roles, including Alan Shepard in The Right Stuff, Emmett in Silverado, Commander Bart Mancuso in The Hunt for Red October, FBI Director Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, and Ezra Kramer in The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Legacy.

"Stick is one of the most important figures in Matt Murdock's life and Scott Glenn embodies all the qualities of someone so integral to this hero's journey," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Head of Television.  "There are few actors who could bring such the authenticity, gravitas and charisma to such a key role in Matt's journey to become the superhero we call Daredevil."


Created in 1981 by writer/artist Frank Miller, Stick first appeared in Daredevil (vol.1) #176 as a mysterious, blind sensei who found a young Matt Murdock shortly after the accident that blinded him but heightened his other remaining senses.  Stick taught Matt how to control his augmented senses, master his special "radar sense," and trained his in various forms of hand-to-hand combat.

Later on, Stick accepted Matt's college girlfriend Elektra Natchios as a pupil, improving her already formidable combat skills.  He later expelled her, however, because Elektra was unable to rid herself of destructive emotions consuming her since her father was murdered by terrorists.  Stick eventually died during an attack by the ninja clan The Hand aiding Daredevil and Black Widow.

This will be the second live-action depiction of Stick, after Terence Stamp portrayed the character in the Daredevil spinoff film Elektra.

The 13-episode series is expected to debut on Netflix sometime around May 2015.
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Amanda Pays Reprising Tina McGee on THE FLASH


So...Any chance of Joyce Hyser reprising Megan Lockhart?

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that actress Amanda Pays from the original series The Flash is going to reprise her role as Dr. Christina "Tina" McGee on the new 2014 series.  According to the article, this version of Tina will be "an employee of a rival company to S.T.A.R. Labs."

Now 55, Pays is an English actress who is also best known as Theora Jones on the ABC series Max Headroom and has appeared on episodes of The X-Files, 7th Heaven, Nip/Tuck and Psych.

As fans of the original CBS series from 1990-91 know, Tina McGee was an expert geneticist at S.T.A.R. Labs who assisted John Wesley Shipp's character Barry Allen/The Flash with his super-speed abilities and served as Barry's central love interest.  On the new 2014 series, Shipp plays Henry Allen, father to the new Barry Allen, Grant Gustin.

Created in 1987 by Mike Baron and Jackson Guice, Tina McGee first appeared in The Flash (vol.2) #3 as a nutritionist and researcher for S.T.A.R. Labs that originally received a Harvard grant to study the metabolism of Wally West, the third Flash.  Tina became romantically involved with Wally, cheating on her husband Jerry McGee, who experimented upon himself and became the psychotic Speed Demon.  After breaking off her relationship with Wally, Tina and Jerry repaired their broken marriage and assisted The Flash several times.

The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m. EST on The CW.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 004 - "Listen" is Up!


"Is she doing the all eyes thing?  It’s because her face is so wide.  She needs three mirrors."

While we're waiting to find out what happened to Episode 003.5 that was recorded prior to this one, Jesse Jackson and I back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.

This time out, we give our thoughts on "Listen," the fourth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like Clara and Danny's first terrible date, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara picking on one another, a new glimpse at the Doctor's mysterious past, Clara's importance in the Doctor's timeline, the progressiveness of British television, listener email, our popular Reverse the Polarity segment, going down memory lane with our history in the APA TitanTalk, and more!

And for those who aren't aware yet, we are available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Oh, and be sure to watch "Time Heist" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next review!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

TITANS TV Series Nearing Pilot Order at TNT


Titans together!

The Hollywood Reporter stunned fans of DC Comics' beloved superteam the Teen Titans by revealing that TNT is nearing a pilot order for a television series called Titans.  The drama comes from Warner Horizon Television and DC Comics, with writers Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend, Fringe) and Marc Haimes.  Goldsman will executive produce, while Haimes will be a co-executive producer.

According to the article, Titans "revolves around a group of young superheroes-to-be who are recruited from every corner of the DC universe.  The action-themed drama centers on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new superheroes including Starfire, Raven and more."

Titans is the second new DC Comics property reported to be in the works for television, after a Supergirl series that is reportedly being shopped around to various networks.  If the pilot goes to series at TNT, Titans will join other DC Comics shows including Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and Constantine, with iZombie and Preacher coming soon.

The announcement that Nightwing, Starfire and Raven will be team members on Titans seems to hint that the classic '80s comic book series The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez will be the basis for the drama.  The series was very successful for DC at the time, rivaling Marvel Comics' The Uncanny X-Men in terms of sheer popularity.

First appearing in DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980, the New Teen Titans were a new team of Teen Titans featuring original members Robin (who later becomes Nightwing), Wonder Girl (who later becomes Troia) and Kid Flash, along with former Doom Patrol member Beast Boy as Changeling and new characters Cyborg, Raven and Starfire.  Brought together by Raven to fight her demonic father Trigon, the seven teenaged heroes continued as a team to fight such notable villains as Deathstroke the Terminator, the Fearsome Five, Brother Blood, Blackfire, the H.I.V.E., the Brotherhood of Evil and more.

This will be the Teen Titans' first depiction in live-action, after various animated adaptations that included The Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1967-68), Teen Titans (2003-06), Young Justice (2010-13) and Teen Titans Go! (2013-present).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 003 - "Robot of Sherwood" is Up!


"I am the Doctor...and this is my spoon!"

With many thanks to our editor Rob Southgate stitching our faulty recording back together in a reasonably synced production, we're back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.  And even better, Jesse and I are finally in stereo!  Hooray!

This time we discuss "Robot of Sherwood," the third episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, the classic Errol Flynn film The Adventures of Robin Hood, our fondness for the Sonic Screwdriver toys, the Doctor's fondness for letting himself get captured, the TARDIS Bookshelf of Holding, our popular Reverse the Polarity segment, and more!

And for those who aren't aware yet, we are available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Oh, and be sure to watch the next episode "Listen" on BBC America this Saturday, then come on back for our takes on the episode and keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next review!

Monday, September 8, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 002.5 - "DragonConfire" is Up!


"Welcome to the most dangerous place in the universe."

After a slight delay due to our editor Rob Southgate being without power this past weekend along with 100,000 in the Chicago area, we're back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.

At long last, Jesse Jackson gives his thoughts on "Into the Dalek," the second episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, and shares his experiences at Dragon Con 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  In addition, we digress into things like the TV series Arrow and The Flash, Dragon Con's screening of "Into the Dalek," the greatness of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, listener email, our ranking on iTunes' TV & Film podcast chart, and more!

And for those who aren't aware yet, we are available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us.  Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Oh, and check back later this week for Episode 003 with our take on "Robot of Sherwood," then be sure to watch "Listen" on BBC America this Saturday, and then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next review!

DAMN Good Comics -- THE FLASH SEASON ZERO #1



Are you pumped for the Flash's long-awaited return to the small screen?  If not, you will be.

After two digital comics series based on the CW series Arrow, it doesn't take a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist to figure out that a new digital comic based on the spinoff series The Flash was a no-brainer.  However, since the TV series premieres just under a month from now, what better way for DC Comics to build anticipation than by releasing a "Season Zero" that takes place just after the events in the pilot episode?

With a story idea by The Flash's executive producer and writer Andrew Kreisberg, writers Brooke Eikmeier and Katherine Walczak start things off with our hero Barry Allen quickly reliving his secret origin that flashes (get it?) before his eyes as a large stone column outside the Central City National Bank begins crumbling on top of him.  It's a simple but effective narrative device to bring new Flash readers up to speed (sorry, I'll quit with the puns), especially if they haven't yet seen the pilot episode that leaked out over the Interwebz a while back.

In addition to the necessary background and supporting character introductions, "Freak Show Part 1: The Strongman Cometh" sets up the Flash's encounter with an extraordinarily strong circus strongman robbing the bank.  And yes, you just know he got his super-strength from that wacky S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator accident.  After a futile attempt on the Flash's part to subdue the strongman that results in a couple of broken ribs and a busted ankle, we learn that the strongman belongs to a small, mysterious circus located just outside Central City that might be familiar to anyone who read issues #7 and 8 of the beloved Jack Knight Starman series from 1994-2001.

As for the art, Phil Hester isn't the first artist you'd think of for the Flash, but he does a pretty nice job here.  His somewhat angular, cartoonish style gives The Flash: Season Zero a mostly animated appearance instead of lifelike depictions, but you can't deny the boldness and energy in his work.  Every page is interesting to look at, especially in the digital format where the colors really make his artwork pop.

All in all, a promising start to the series that should continue to entertain Flash fans on a bi-weekly basis every other Monday, alternating with Arrow Season 2.5.  If you're a Flash completist, someone who is curious about the upcoming TV show, or simply enjoy lighthearted superhero tales, be sure to check DC's digital comics store for more adventures with everyone's favorite Fastest Man Alive!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

CONSTANTINE Casts Emmett Scanlan as The Spectre


Here comes the Spirit of Vengeance.

IGN reported yesterday that the upcoming NBC series Constantine has cast Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan, better known to DC Comics fans as The Spectre.  The character will be a recurring guest star.

According to the article, Corrigan will be "a homicide detective in New Orleans who is plunged into Constantine's world of occult horrors.  Furthermore, Corrigan is someone who is obsessed with justice, and who doesn't let police procedure or red tape stop him from putting away the bad guys, even if the bad guys turn out to be inhuman."

Scanlan is an Irish actor perhaps best known to American audiences as Simon on the BBC America zombie series In the Flesh and as Brendan Brady on the British soap opera Hollyoaks.  He also appeared recently in this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy as the Head Riot Guard.

Created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and artist Bernard Baily, The Spectre first appeared in 1940's More Fun Comics #52 as Jim Corrigan, a hard-boiled cop who was on his way to his engagement party until was he murdered by being stuffed into a barrel filled with cement and then drowned.  His spirit was refused entry into the afterlife however, instead being sent back to Earth by a supernatural entity referred to only as "The Voice" to eradicate evil.  Assuming the identity of The Spectre, Corrigan begins seeking vengeance against his murderers in grim, supernatural ways.  Breaking off his engagement with his fiancée Clarice, Corrigan continues his crusade, becoming the Spectre whenever he's needed.

In the current New 52 continuity, Corrigan is a Gotham City Police Detective whose fiancee is kidnapped.  Guided by the Phantom Stranger on the instructions of The Voice, the Stranger leads Corrigan to the abandoned warehouse where she is being kept, but this turns out to be a trap.  Jim Corrigan and his girlfriend are murdered by the kidnappers and he is then transformed into The Spectre, who accuses the Phantom Stranger of betraying him.  As the Spectre is about to attack the Phantom Stranger, The Voice intervenes and sends the Spectre off to inflict his wrath on those who are more deserving.

This will be the first time The Spectre has appeared in live-action, although he previously appeared in the animated short DC Showcase: The Spectre (voiced by Gary Cole) and on the series Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Mark Hamill).

Constantine premieres on NBC on October 24, 2014 at 10 p.m. EST.

Friday, September 5, 2014

SUPERGIRL TV Series in Development, Will Not Be for The CW


And now it's the Girl of Steel's turn.

Deadline has confirmed rumors that DC Entertainment is developing a television based on the DC Comics character SupergirlArrow and The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti has teamed with Ali Adler, who worked on Berlanti's ABC series No Ordinary Family, for the Warner Bros. project.

According to the article, the series "will be a new interpretation of the Supergirl character and her story."  Adler will provide the pilot script and will executive produce with Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.  DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns, who produces The Flash with Berlanti, is also expected to be involved in the project but at the moment, it's unknown to what extent. 

The Supergirl series doesn’t have a name yet, but the article claims that "producers are considering several options that need to be cleared, including Super and Girl."  The project is expected to be pitched to the major networks in a couple of weeks the way Warner Bros. Television and DC did with the Batman prequel Gotham.  And according to E! Online, that won't be at The CW, which was already pitched first.

Created in 1959 by Otto Binder, Al Plastino and Curt Swan, Supergirl first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #252 as Kara Zor-El, the daughter of Jor-El's brother Zor-El and cousin to Superman.  She was the last survivor of Argo City, which had survived the destruction of the planet Krypton until meteorites of Green Kryptonite penetrated Argo City's protective barrier.  Sent to Earth by Zor-El to be raised by her cousin, Kara acquired powers similar to Superman and adopted the secret identity of Linda Lee, a young girl at Midvale Orphanage. 

In the current New 52 continuity, Kara's ship lands as part of a meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas, but burrows through the Earth and emerges in Siberia.  Kara has no memory of the destruction of Krypton and believes herself to be dreaming.  The military tracks her arrival, and a group of American soldiers in mechanized suits immediately attack her.  Her powers start emerging as the fight goes on and terrify the surprised Kara.  Superman arrives after she defeats the soldiers and tries to convince Kara that he is her cousin, but Kara, still believing that only three days have passed since she last saw baby Kal, accuses him of being an imposter and attacks him.  Eventually, Kara accepts that Krypton has been destroyed and that Superman is indeed her grown-up cousin. 

If the series gets picked up, it will be the seventh DC Comics/VERTIGO television series on air, after Arrow and The Flash on The CW, Gotham on Fox, Constantine on NBC, and the upcoming series iZombie for The CW and Preacher for AMC.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ARROW Casts Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul


Well, so much for Liam Neeson...

The Hollywood Reporter has details on Matt Nable being cast in the role of big bad Ra's al Ghul for the third season of the CW series ArrowThe DC Comics supervillain will make his first appearance in "The Magician," the fourth episode of the season, which will also be Arrow's fiftieth episode.  Star Stephen Amell announced the news on his official Twitter account, posting the following...
The 42-year-old Australian actor appeared as Boss Johns in the 2013 film Riddick and in the films Around the Block, The Turning and K-11.

As the leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's is described in the article as "proud and unforgiving.  A ruthless strategist, a master of martial arts and a shaper of history, Ra's carries the wisdom of the ages and protects some of its greatest secrets."

"We have a really clever way of doing Ra's this year that is true to the comic-book origins but different from the way Ra's was portrayed in the [Christopher] Nolan movies," said executive producer Marc Guggenheim at this year's San Diego Comic Con when Ra's al Ghul was first revealed as an Arrow villain.  "You don't want to compete with Batman Begins, even though we've always said Batman Begins was a big influence on us.  We really wanted our Ra's to be very different — at least our own Arrow-ified version."

Liam Neeson, who played Ra's in Batman Begins, told MTV that he'd resume the role on TV "in a heartbeat, if it came my way."  But since that's not happening, he advised his successor to "believe in [the character's] philosophy.  Ra’s al Ghul absolutely believed what he was doing was ultimately saving civilization."

As for his daughter Nyssa al Ghul, introduced last season and played by Katrina Law, Nyssa "will absolutely play into the season and we have a really cool arc planned," hinted Guggenheim.  "The first time we see Ra's [in the third season] is a scene between him and Nyssa."

Created by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams in 1971's Batman (vol.1) #232, Ra's al Ghul first appeared as an international criminal mastermind whose ultimate goal is a world in perfect balance.  He believes that the best way to achieve this balance is to eliminate most of humanity, usually assaulting the world's human populace with a biological weapon, such as a genetically-engineered virus.  His lifespan has been extended several centuries by the Lazarus Pits, reservoirs of rejuvenating chemicals that restore the dead and dying to life.

Ra's considers Batman his worthiest opponent, addressing him as "Detective" out of respect for his intellectual brilliance, and has frequently sought to make the Dark Knight his successor.  He is also one of the few criminals in Batman's
rogues gallery to have deduced his secret identity as Bruce Wayne, and keeps silent on the matter due to the same sense of respect for Batman and his daughter, Talia, with whom the two share a son, Damian Wayne.

Arrow returns to The CW for Season 3 on Wednesday, October 8th at 8 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THE FLASH Casts Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave


The heat is on!

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the upcoming CW series The Flash has cast Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory, better known to Flash fans as the supervillain Heat Wave.  This will be the second of the original Rogues gang of Flash villains to appear on the series, after Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold.

According to the article, Rory will first appear in the series' tenth episode and will be "a pyromaniac who finds an outlet for his obsession with fire when he teams up with Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and becomes the villain known as Heat Wave."  Miller makes his debut as Snart in Episode Four, but Purcell's Rory will also be heard from in that same episode.

The 44-year-old Australian actor is best known for playing Lincoln Burrows on the Fox series Prison Break, with Miller as his on-screen brother Michael Scofield.  Purcell has also appeared in the movies Mission: Impossible 2, Equilibrium, Blade: Trinity, and the upcoming Fast and Furious 7.  In addition to Prison Break, Purcell has appeared on the television series John Doe, House, North Shore and Castle.

Created in 1963 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in The Flash (vol.1) #140, Heat Wave first appeared as Mick Rory, a pyromaniac who had an intense fear of cold after being locked in a freezer during a school field trip to a slaughterhouse.  After seeing various Rogues taking on the Flash in Central City, Rory made a protective costume and a gun-sized flamethrower, taking on the identity of Heat Wave.  After becoming a member of the Rogues, Heat Wave developed a rivalry with Captain Cold and attempted to abandon his life as a criminal a number of times to no avail.

In the current New 52 continuity, Heat Wave now has the ability to shoot fire from his chest and continues to have problems with Captain Cold, blaming him for a parting of ways with the Rogues.

Purcell will be the first actor to portray the character in live-action, but he was previously voiced for animation by Lex Lang on Justice League Unlimited and by Steven Blum on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

The Flash debuts on The CW on Tuesday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m. EST.