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Doctor Who, Stars Wars And Trek, And The X-Files Raid The Comics Shelves: This Week In Science Fiction

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DoctorIt’s a bit of a slow week for science fiction when it comes to movie theaters and TV airwaves. But there’s one medium that is positively chockablock with sci-fi goodness this week, and that’s the world of comic books. Are you a fan of Doctor Who still talking about the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor? Check out the final issue of IDW’s year-long Who series. Each issue has focused on a different Doctor, and it all wraps up with a story involving Matt Smith’s Eleven, and the ongoing story threads that have stretched throughout the series.

On the Star Trek front, the latest issue of the official ongoing Trek series (also from IDW Publishing) continues to explore the rebooted universe created by J.J. Abrams’ 2009 movie and continued in this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Supervised by Trek producer/screenwriter Roberto Orci, the latest issue follows up on this year’s tie-in video game, which first introduced the new timeline’s take on the reptilian Gorn. They don’t look like dudes in rubber suits no more.

Over in the world of that other space franchise, Star Wars #8 spins another story set in the period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes back. Luke and Wedge infiltrate the Empire in a thoroughly unexpected way: by letting themselves get caught. Also, Han and Chewie face off against Boba Fett, without a convenient Sarlacc in sight.

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Weekend Roundup: Korean RoboCop, Bad Star Wars Karaoke, And More

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RoboCopThe blessing and the curse of writing for Giant Freakin’ Robot is that there is pretty much always an abundance of cool things to write about. Even with our staff chugging away daily to bring you assorted bits and bobs of bodaciousness, there’s no way we can keep up with all of it. And frankly, there are some stories that don’t merit a full write-up; cool little things that are more or less self-explanatory.

And so we arrive at GFR’s Weekend Roundup, a new feature where we shovel up a week’s worth of stories we didn’t get around to, load them into the patented GFR t-shirt plasma cannon, and launch a ball of superheated awesome right straight at your eyeholes. Check it out:

  • We don’t understand most of this compilation of weird Korean advertisements, but we have determined that apparently Korean RoboCop is coming to steal all your fried chicken. (That sounds like it should be racist, but I’m not sure how.) Skip to the 1:40 mark or so to see Robo’s home invasion.
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Neil Gaiman Hints Doctor Who Almost Gave Us A Black Doctor, But What About A Lady Time Lord?

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DoctorsWith the announcement that Peter Capaldi will be playing the Twelfth incarnation of Doctor Who’s iconic protagonist this past Sunday, we wrapped up one of those endlessly entertaining geek traditions: answering the question, “Doctor Who?” In the days leading up to the BBC’s official presentation, Capaldi was the odds-on favorite with British bookmakers, but there was also lots of speculation that this time Doctor Who might buck tradition and cast a more diverse time lord: somebody other than a white dude. There’s certainly no reason, whether in canon or in general, why the Doctor couldn’t regenerate as a non-caucasian, or a female, the show so far hasn’t crossed that line. But rumor has it that the role of the Doctor was actually offered to a black actor at one point, but he turned it down. As for a female Doctor? It wasn’t in the cards, at least not this time.

The word of a potential black Doctor comes via author Neil Gaiman, who is no stranger to the series, having penned two episodes of Doctor Who in recent years (“The Doctor’s Wife,” for which he won a Hugo, and last season’s “Nightmare in Silver). When asked if he ever thought there would be a non-white Doctor, Gaiman replied:

Of course. (I thought I’d said that I was disappointed that it didn’t happen this time, and that there are some amazing actors out there. I was rather disappointed that Paterson Joseph didn’t get it last time, although I’ve loved Matt’s Eleven.) And yes, I have no doubt there will be. (I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.) Just as there will be a female Doctor.

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Elysium Meets WALL-E And In The Loop’s Malcolm Tucker Becomes The Doctor In These Mash-Ups

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Nothing like a good mash-up trailer, am I right? Especially when the two films have something in common. The above clip, titled Behind the WALL-Esium, comes to us courtesy of Funny or Die, and it does a damned fine job of smooshing together dialogue and visuals from Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi bonanza Elysium and Pixar’s WALL-E, by way of Steven Soderbergh, which means there are also a few moments from the director’s HBO film Behind the Candelabra. Except for that last one, a Liberace biopic in which Matt Damon plays the pianist’s lover, Scott Thorson, both of the other films share a plotline involving an Earth gone wrong and a space-bound haven where the lucky members of the human race get to live. This probably wouldn’t have worked as well with Cars.

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

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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…

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Doctor Who Unveils The Twelfth Doctor: GFR Live-Blog

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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.