One of my friends pointed this out and now I just can’t stop seeing it:
The above painting, the Sunset at Montmajour, is now confirmed to be an authentic Van Gogh painting by the experts at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.
Pay attention to that upper left corner. Here’s a closeup:
look familiar? 🙂 Okay, obviously the significance of the upper left corner is open to debate, but for any Whovian it will immediately recall:
I also would like to point out that Montmajour appears to have been painted during the “sunflowers” period of Van Gogh’s career, which is right around when he was visited by The Doctor and Amy. Just saying.
The Van Gogh episode is right up there with Blink as my favorite Who episodes of all time. As an aside, the actor who played Van Gogh, Tony Curran, is now playing the awesome character of Datak Tarr on Syfy’s new TV-show/MMORPG Defiance. Well worth your time for his performance alone.
Earlier I had advocated Jason Isaacs for the role of the 12th Doctor, but the news that veteran actor Peter Capaldi will take up the role has me satisfied. The reason is because given all the turmoil of the Doctor’s 10th and 11th incarnations, an older age is more appropriate for the part. As I argued earlier,
It would also be nice to have a change of pace with an older Doctor for a change, one more weathered and reflecting the age and experiences, especially the multiple universe-saving, true-love losing (twice), companions-lost adventures of the past two youthful incarnations. As the Doctor once said, when he was very young, he acted very old, probably a reference to his first incarnation (William Hartnell as a grouchy grandpa). Isaacs would be a more honest reflection of the Doctor’s maturity, especially since more seems to have happened to him during his past two forms as during all the previous nine. And there’s also the appearance of his mysterious John Hurt incarnation, who may be 8.5. There’s plenty of reason for the Doctor to stop playacting at being a young man and let his wisdom and experience show.
Even at their most serious, Tennant and Smith could never stop looking at least somewhat like the young goofballs they are. Physical age lends gravitas that acting skill can’t match, only simulate.
Capaldi doesn’t have the same rugged physicality that Isaacs would have brought to the role, but he definitely will bring a different personality to the table, one more sarcastic and raw, if his other acting roles are any preview. I’m looking forward to the Capaldi era. The Smith era was deficient in plot and made up for it almost entirely on Smith’s manic shoulders. Hopefully the 12th regeneration will have both acting and plot. Given the change in age, I think that Moffat himself will be pushed out of his comfort zone and be forced to give his larger story arcs some more actual heft now. Otherwise, Capaldi will be just wasted in this role.
Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who after the 50th anniversary special this November, and the speculation about who will replace him as the Twelfth Doctor is starting to build, so let me throw my own pick into the ring: Jason Isaacs.
Isaacs is probably best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, but that wasn’t as much a showcase of his talent as his sadly short-lived series, Awake. That show only lasted one season but it had a very Whovian vibe to it – alternate realities, bending of space and time, and multiple incarnations, all helmed by Isaacs who managed to go from mellow to manic as the plot demanded. The parallels to Doctor Who are obvious!
It would also be nice to have a change of pace with an older Doctor for a change, one more weathered and reflecting the age and experiences, especially the multiple universe-saving, true-love losing (twice), companions-lost adventures of the past two youthful incarnations. As the Doctor once said, when he was very young, he acted very old, probably a reference to his first incarnation (William Hartnell as a grouchy grandpa). Isaacs would be a more honest reflection of the Doctor’s maturity, especially since more seems to have happened to him during his past two forms as during all the previous nine. And there’s also the appearance of his mysterious John Hurt incarnation, who may be 8.5. There’s plenty of reason for the Doctor to stop playacting at being a young man and let his wisdom and experience show – and with Isaacs we lose none of the physicality that the role requires in the modern day.
MENDEZ: Thatâ€™s why I mentioned the word in the press conference, â€œregenerationâ€ rather than â€œevolving,â€ because I feel it is like, you know, we have Doctor Whoâ€¦thereâ€™s a geek answerâ€¦we have Doctor Who and I was brought up on the idea of Doctor Who, who at the end of his final episode, he dissolves and a new actor pops up and he regenerates and itâ€™s a whole other character: sometimes itâ€™s an old man, sometimes itâ€™s a young man, but he just changes. Iâ€™ve always loved that idea.
The interesting thing here is that unlike other characters, both Bond and The Doctor are actually different in each regeneration. I mean, we’ve had multiple franchises for Batman, Spiderman, and Superman, but none of them really offer a really different take on their titular characters. Bond actually changes quite a bit between incarnations, with Moore being more reserved, Connery being more charming, and Craig being more conflicted. Of course not as much as The Doctor, but the idea is interesting.
In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. — The Hitchhiker’ Guide to the Galaxy
This is pretty depressing news – Stargate: Universe seems to have been canceled. They are midway through their second season run and the final ten episodes will air in the spring, they will also modify the plot to wrap up the storyline early (since it was originally scripted for a five year run).
That shows like ST:Voyager get dragged out for years but the great shows like Firefly and SGU get dropped before they’ve had a chance to build a wider following is massively frustrating to me. It’s amazing to me that Galactica was permitted to survive long enough to finish. Sadly, most science fiction (and SGU was no exception) have tried to imitate Galactica’s formula of oversexed characters to try and draw in the mainstream male demographics. I expect the lesson of SGU’s demise, as far as TV producers go, is that there was too much plot and not enough skin. SGU was one of the few shows out there that could credibly be called a successor to Galactica; even Caprica Galactica’s own designated heir already got the axe. The future of American science fiction is dim.
We still have the British franchises, namely Doctor Who, and if the stars align more of Sherlock. And Warehouse 13 seems to have survived the chopping block, though for how long?
Meanwhile, the SyFy rebranding is revealed to have indeed been appropriate. SyFy doesn’t have the patience that Sci-Fi channel did for good science fiction. They just want shows that look like science fiction. It’s just “siffy” now. I’m disgusted, and if I had the option to choose cable channels a-la-carte I’d drop Siffy entirely.
Incidentally, this is an example of why cable should indeed be a-la-carte. Niche channels will regress towards the mean of television norms instead of staying faithful to their niche as long as they are subsidized by general cable premiums. If these niche channels must justify their existence, however, to the niche audience, they will take more risks – and the niche audience will be more willing to pay. Right now I pay about $40 for hundreds of channels; I’d happily pay $50 for just a handful, and Siffy could get a much larger share of my money.
I hope at some point that we can skip able distribution entirely and see a future where TV shows are marketed directly to Netflix and Hulu plus.
At any rate, the long drought of American science fiction has begun.