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Giant Freakin’ Fall Preview: Sci-Fi Movies And TV Through The End Of 2013

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RiddickThe summer moviegoing season is finally winding to a close, with some unexpected victors (http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/topic/world-war-z), some awesome surprises (Europa Report), and some big fat duds (R.I.P.D: Budget estimated at $130 million, worldwide gross of $59 million). Now it’s time to look forward to fall. For the movies, that mainly means Oscar bait and interesting smaller films; on the TV front it means new shows. Some will succeed, some will fail…and we hope at least one of them will actually be good. Here’s what to look forward to in the final months of 2013!

SEPTEMBER

Riddick (September 6)
After Chronicles of Riddick bombed at the box office in 2004 — it took in $92 million worldwide, against a $105 million budget — it looked like the adventures of the anti-heroic Richard B. Riddick were done on the big screen. Instead, director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel have resurrected the franchise pretty much through sheer force of will (and the leveraging of Diesel’s house). Riddick looks to be a return to the formula that worked so well the first time: Riddick being a badass and killing things in the dark. Twohy and Diesel obviously still have big plans for the character, so here’s hoping if we get a fourth one, it finds a way to mix the best elements of Chronicles and Pitch Black.

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John Hurt’s Doctor Who Role Could Be Bigger Than We Thought

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Doctor Who nabbed a major get for the upcoming 50th anniversary episode, casting the ridiculously talented John Hurt for a spoiler-rific role that we won’t mention up here, just in case anybody reading is still catching up on season eight. But even though the cat is out of the bag regarding the nature of his role, a recent tweet suggests his involvement in the show might be a bit bigger than we thought. If you want to know more, scroll on down.

To avoid spoilers, stay north of the Sad Doctor!

SadDoct

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Neil Gaiman Up For A Third Doctor Who Episode, And Steven Moffat Agrees To Give Peter Jackson A Dalek

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GaimanJacksonNeil Gaiman kicked many a Whovian’s salivary glands into overdrive when he first announced he was writing a Doctor Who episode back in 2010. Gaiman and Who is the sort of peanut-butter-and-chocolate combination that makes you wonder why it took them that long to make it happen. And things certainly turned out well for all involved: Gaiman’s first Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” was quite lovely and earned the writer a Hugo Award. This past season he contributed a second, Cyberman-heavy episode, “Nightmare in Silver.” It wasn’t as good as his first, in my opinion, but it was still good fun and served as an excuse to cast Warwick Davis in the show. Now Gaiman has confirmed that he would love to pen another episode for the show…at some point.

That’s certainly not an official confirmation, but it sounds like the primary obstacle standing between Gaiman and another Who episode is — appropriately enough — time. He tells Doctor Who Online:

I definitely, definitely — I don’t want to be coy, you know with ‘Nightmare in Silver’ it was like I was being coy, but I figured they would like to have me, I would like to do more. The only problem that I’m having right now is the time that I probably would have spent writing a Doctor Who script this year suddenly got eaten by going on tour for this book. So, what I’m hoping, is that I can persuade Steven Moffat, instead of getting the BBC to pay me in cash, cos, you know, I’m now like this best-selling author — I’ve got enough money! Money is just fine! So I’m wondering if maybe I can get them to start paying me in time.

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Matt Smith’s Doctor Could Have Wound Up Dressed Like This

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SmithHeaderThey say clothes make the man, and when you’re lifespan is measured in centuries rather than decades, it stands to reason that this proves all the more true for Time Lords. Each of the incarnations of the Doctor has been iconically associated with one particular “look,” even if it varies somewhat during their tenure. There’s Tom Baker’s impractically long, multicolored scarf. There’s David Tennant’s snappy suit and Converse trainers. There’s Peter Davison’s “decorative vegetable.” When it came to the Eleventh Doctor, as portrayed by Matt Smith, his costume deftly referenced the way the actor would perform the character: an eccentric old man trapped in the gangly body of a youth. But if things had gone differently, we might never have learned that “bowties are cool.” Instead we could have been stuck with a getup that would look more at place inside the pages of Tiger Beat (is there still Tiger Beat?) than inside the TARDIS.

These photos recently popped up on the burnthelightsout tumblr, showing Smith trying on various potential Doctor outfits, most of which are just…unfortunate. I realize the show is “hip” these days, or at least as close to hip as it’s ever likely to get, but most of these outfits seem to be trying waaaaaaayyy too hard. Don’t get me wrong, they may very well have received raves if Matt Smith sported them on a red carpet, but they don’t exactly scream “Doctor.” In fact, if these clothes have anything at all to say to the Doctor, it’s, “Basically…run.”

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Continuum Wraps Up Season Two And The Eighth Doctor Is Celebrated: This Week In Science Fiction

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ContinuumYou wouldn’t expect it as August closes out, but there’s actually a lot going on across the science fiction landscape this week. Syfy’s Continuum, which has gotten surprisingly good, wraps up its second season this Friday, but fear not! Continuum has already been renewed for a third season by its Canadian home network, Showcase, so expect it to make its way down to the States sometime next year. GFR boss Josh Tyler has been raving about the show as of late, so we’re tentatively marking a vaguely summer-ish bit of our calendar in excitement.

Saturday night Doctor Who fans can tune in to yet another Doctors Revisited special on BBC America, this time looking at the Doctor who never really got his due…at least not on TV. The latest special will reminisce about the Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann in a single Fox TV movie that attempted to get American audiences hooked on the British classic, but which seemed to have arrived too early by, oh, ten years or so. Still, given the early buzz about what we’ll learn in the upcoming Who 50th anniversary special, now may be the perfect time to brush up on Eighth Doctor history…

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Did Steven Moffat Really Just Confirm The Doctor Can Only Regenerate Twelve Times?

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DoctorsIt’s a bit of Doctor Who canon that long-time fans have been pointing out more and more lately, as we head toward the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. The whole reason we’ve had more than one Doctor in the first place is because of the Time Lord’s handy ability to regenerate into a new body whenever he’s mortally wounded. Sure, sometimes he doesn’t want to go (*sob*), but it means he can keep on exploring time and space indefinitely. Except not really. The show established long ago — specifically in the Tom Baker serial The Deadly Assassin — that a Time Lord can only regenerate a total of twelve times. Who executive producer Steven Moffat seems to have just confirmed that tenet of Who mythology…so what does that mean for the show.

Moffat’s surprising confirmation came during a live chat show called Ad Lib Live, unfolding during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, an enormous annual art festival held in, you guessed it, Edinburgh, Scotland. During the conversation, host Frank Skinner asked Moffat, “Do you acknowledge the convention that The Doctor can only regenerate twelve times?” Moffat replied, “Yes.” Here’s a twitpic straight from Ad Lib’s account: