Peter Capaldi Is Doctor Who’s Twelfth Doctor, So Who The Hell Is Peter Capaldi?

Doc12Earlier this afternoon, the BBC officially announced that actor Peter Capaldi will be taking on the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who, playing the twelfth incarnation of the iconic character and taking over the role from the departing Matt Smith. Capaldi had been the early favorite among British bookmakers, and many Who fans are thrilled to see him taking on the role. But there were also quite a few folks commenting here and on Facebook with the question: “Who the hell is Peter Capaldi?”

It’s a totally understandable reaction. Capaldi is a very talented actor, but he isn’t that well known unless you’re a regular consumer of British television. But fear not: GFR has got your back. We’ve put together a quick guided tour of some of the actor’s best roles. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Peter Capaldi.

The Thick of It / In the Loop
One of the Capaldi roles you’ll see mentioned the most is the character of Malcolm Tucker in the 2005 British political comedy series The Thick of It. Capaldi won a BAFTA for his performance as the British Prime Minister’s enforcer/spin doctor, a foul-mouthed thorn in the side of Hugh Abbot (Chris Langham), who heads of the fictional “Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship.” Capaldi reprised the role in the American adaptation In the Loop, where he was joined by actors such as Tom Hollander and James Gandolfini. As Tucker, Capaldi is a never-ending font of hilariously creative profanity, wielding his caustic dialogue with the same poetic aplomb as Ian McShane’s Al Swearengen in Deadwood. Needless to say, the clip below is not remotely safe for work…


Karl Urban Wants Nothing To Do With Star Wars And An Original Story For Star Trek 3

Karl UrbanKarl Urban has ventured in to deep space, where no man has gone before, but he is rather adamant that he has no interest in visiting a galaxy far, far away. In a recent interview, Urban explicitly states that he does not want to be in J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, or any future chapters in the franchise.

Urban has a close relationship with Abrams, having appeared in both of the director’s Star Trek films, but when IGN asked if he was he had tried to leverage that friendship into a part in Episode VII, he delivered an emphatic, “No, absolutely not.”

That’s a rather vehement answer, one without a lot of room for interpretation. Such a response could lead one to believe that the South African born actor has something against the franchise of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Darth Vader. That, however, is far from the case. Asked if he is a fan, Urban replies:

Oh my God, yes…I grew up watching it. That was the Holy Grail for me. I was a fan of Star Trek growing up. Star Wars was it. Star Wars was like…I remember waiting for two/three years for that next installment, for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I’ve seen every single Star Wars film, even the animated, The Clone Wars, and all that sort of stuff. I just love that universe.


Watch Wicket And Princess Leia Reunite 29 Years Later

Having watched Return of the Jedi like a thousand times, have you ever wondered what that initial meeting between Warwick Davis’ Ewok warrior Wicket and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia would look like if it went down today? No? Neither have we. But that isn’t going to stop rabid fans from staging a pseudo reenactment of that legendary encounter.

This video, which comes to us from the recent Star Wars Celebration Europe in Germany, is a bit surreal to watch. I’m not sure the context, or how much of a plan there was going in—the whole thing feels kind of like an angry audience forced the two actors into doing the deed. But there was at least enough preparation to get minimal props, like that teddy bear hat, makeshift spear, and something for the Princess to bribe her furry new friend with. You also may ask why Fischer is wearing a Batman hat, especially at a Star Wars convention, but then you remember she’s wearing a helmet in the initial scene, and it startles the Ewok when she takes it off.


Doctor Who Unveils The Twelfth Doctor: GFR Live-Blog

WhoThe time has come, Whovians! As I write this we’re about 20 minutes away from the premiere of Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor. As we reported earlier this week, this special will introduce us to the actor next taking the mantle of the iconic Time Lord, and will feature interviews with executive producer Steven Moffat, Eleventh Doctor actor Matt Smith, and whoever the new guy is. Place your last-minute bets, people!

12:54 CST – I tune in early, BBC America is showing “The End of Time.” Apparently I’ll be kicking this thing off while sobbing uncontrollably.

12:59 – “Geronimo!”

1:02 – Here we go!

1:03 – A quick history lesson plays up the legacy. Doctors and companions, Daleks and Cybermen. The introducer greets the “citizens of the universe!” It’s hell getting a work visa in the universe.


New Space Pirate Captain Harlock Trailer Emphasizes Story Over Kickass Action

Director Shinji Aramaki’s (Appleseed) upcoming remake of Space Pirate Captain Harlock may be entirely computer generated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stunning to look at, or any less epic than it’s Hollywood counterparts. Most of what we’ve seen so far has centered on the intense, deep space action, but this new, three-minute long trailer takes a different approach, focusing on character and story, and introducing us to as yet unseen elements of the narrative.

Don’t worry, there is still plenty of kickass action for you to sink your teeth into, but this video wants you know that there are other pieces to the movie, as well. You start out watching the quieter, more dramatic side of the story. We’ve met Captain Harlock (Shun Oguri) already, but this time out we’re introduced to a man named Yama (Haruma Miura). This is by far the biggest reveal of the trailer, as Yama is apparently a young man tasked with the gargantuan job of assassinating the titular captain. From what we see here, he’s definitely conflicted about performing his duties.


Modular Robots Fly, Assemble Midair, and Swarm

Distributed Flight ArrayYou know how everything from gnats to dogs to people becomes more disgusting and/or terrifying in a swarm? Let’s hope that doesn’t hold true for robots. Although not gross en masse, the future will certainly show us just how scary a swarm of flying robots can be. And it may not be as far off as you think.

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed Distributed Flight Array, a modular, multi-rotor, robotic vehicle that can drive and fly, as well as adjust its behavior for increased reliability and performance. Amazingly, the hexagonal robot does this by autonomously assembling itself, putting together the right amount of individual bots and rotors to fly effectively. Much like a kid’s interlocking toy, the individual robots join together into an autonomous whole that is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a little like Voltron, at least a first step in that direction.