A first-timer watches Doctor Who: "The Unicorn and the Wasp"

by Eleni 30. 十月 2014 12:23

Doctor Who loves Agatha Christie. Just a few weeks ago, we saw the premiere of “Mummy on the Orient Express,” an interstellar reinterpretation of Christie's novel Murder on the Orient Express. But that wasn't the first Agatha-themed episode: back in season four, David Tennant went full Poirot to solve a whodunit in a big old mansion. This was classic Christie—except with an elephant-sized wasp.

Quick recap: sometime in the 1920s, Donna and the Doctor land the TARDIS outside the home of Lady Eddison, where a high-class party is just kicking off. Using his psychic paper, the Doctor gains access to the festivities, where he meets a host of partygoers—each with something to hide. There's Reverend Golightly, the mild-mannered man of God; Roger, Lady Eddison's secretly gay son; Robina Redmond, the flapper It Girl; Colonel Hugh Curbishly, Lady Eddison's smutty-magazine-reading husband; and the Lady herself, who sneaks nips of liquor when she says she's drinking tea. Oh, and Agatha Christie, whose husband just left her in the lurch. So when one of the party guests is found dead—followed by the deaths of two others—the Doctor and Ms. Christie must solve the crime.

This episode plays off a fun real-life mystery. In December 1926, Christie's husband told her he was leaving her for another woman—after which she disappeared from her home. Her car was discovered by a lake soon after, but she was not found for 10 days. Christie never explained what happened, and doctors diagnosed her with amnesia. Now Doctor Who tries to fill in the blanks: by suggesting she lost her memory in a telepathic melee with an amulet and a human-turned-wasp. Seems plausible!

There's no denying that this is a corny episode—but that's probably kind of the point. Christie's novels are not about realistic crime-solving or subtle character development. It's all a game of Clue: fun and fairly easy. While these types of episodes, which reinterpret well-known cultural/historical moments or people (think season eight's Robin Hood episode, or season three's "The Shakespeare Code"), don't spur any major plot developments, they do play an important role in the series overall. Watching Doctor Who isn't just about envisioning outer space or the future, or about heavy musings on humanity's place in the universe—it's also about reimagining the past. These playful episodes are more than relief from the drama. They also satisfy Doctor Who fans' desire for more fantastical versions of history.

As a side note, I'd like Donna to have some sort of romance. She obviously wants some sort of romance, but the show has bogged her down as a bit hopeless in love. Just because she and the Doctor aren't going to be smooching it up—unless she needs to extract wasp venom from his lungs, which she did—doesn't mean she can't smooch someone else. I really appreciate the comedy and strong-willed personality Donna brings to the show. But just because she's a goof, doesn't mean she's not a romantic prospect.

And speaking of romantic prospects, it seems River Song enters the picture next episode. Very curious to learn what that's all about.


Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood talk 2001: A Space Odyssey

by Neil 29. 十月 2014 14:47

If you’re a fan of Space, then you’re also a fan of space, which clearly means you’re big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Between October 31 and January 25, Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition will be running at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox. In addition to amaaazing archival material from all of Kubrick’s films, there will also be film screenings and high-profile guests. For instance, 2001 stars Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood will be in attendance for that film’s screening. If for some reason you can’t make it, we’ve got the next best thing: an exclusive interview with both actors. Read on!

Space: Has anyone ever not started an interview with, “Hello, Dave”?

Keir Dullea: That’s one of the first questions. That or what was it like to work with Stanley.

Sorry for this then, but what was it like working with Stanley? There are so many different opinions.

Gary Lockwood: I really enjoyed working for Stanley. He’s the smartest director I’d ever seen, heard, or watched. It’s very hard to determine why one filmmaker is more capable than others, but his high degree of intellect and massive curiosity set him apart. When my agent told me Stanley was interested, my reaction was, “Wow, Stanley Kubrick. How much do I pay him?”

KD: My experience was wonderful, and he was so supportive. You were aware that you were in the presence of a genius. Just before doing 2001, I was in Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing, which was a horrendous experience. Going from Preminger to Kubrick was like going from hell to heaven. I had been a fan of his ever since I left drama school one afternoon to go see a war picture with Kirk Douglas, which of course was Paths of Glory. My jaw was on my lap within the first 60 seconds.

How would you say 2001 changed the science fiction genre?

KD: Up until 2001, just about every sci-fi film would be rated as a grade-B film. 2001 absolutely paved the way for Star Wars and other big budget science fiction films. That’s number one. Number two is that I do a lot of autograph sessions at various conventions, and some of them have real astronauts. I’ve met a number of astronauts who’ve told me 2001 was their reason for becoming one.

GL: 2001 was a societal game changer, but a lot of critics didn’t like it at first. I also did the pilot for Star Trek, which is on the other side of the spectrum. I’ve met Star Trek fans who didn’t care for 2001, and vice versa. Then there are people in college, med students, who dropped out and went into computers because of these.<p>

Were you surprised by the finished product?

KD: No actor knows exactly how it will come across when it’s done, because it’s made in pieces. In this case, that held true more than anything I ever worked on, because of his visual genius. For the “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinity” sequence, I was on a platform with huge lights pointed at me. Those effects hadn’t been done yet, and what I later saw was remarkable.

GL: There were certainly some things I didn’t know or see during production. I was mesmerized by the disconnection scene at the end of the film when I first saw it.

Were you aware on set that this would be such an important movie?

GL: Not only did I know that, but I was also taken to task for it by the press in Denver Colorado.

KD: I knew it would get a lot of attention. I can’t say I knew it would be this important. If you interviewed actors in Citizen Kane when it came out, would they know it would be studied in cinema classes? When 2001 was released, it had very mixed reviews. It took a lot of years for it to become so iconic.

Was it challenging giving a performance that relied so much on physicality alone?

GL: Not at all. That’s why I got the job. He thought I could do a lot with less, based on my style of acting.

KD: Stanley came up with fictional bios for our characters, like how we were chosen to be astronauts and what specific science degrees we had. We also had psychology profiles that explained why these major events seemed to affect us slightly less than the average man. Up until things go wrong, everything you see is another routine day. We’re just these awoken mimes. These guys have also probably talked forever, and don’t have much else to say. The real star of the film is Douglas Rain, who voices HAL. Interestingly, Rain backs away from discussing his role. He’s won a Tony. His point of view, so I’m told, is that he has this huge acting career, but HAL is all people want to talk about.

Is there a particular moment in the film that still blows your mind?

KD: What really blew my mind—and still does—is the “Dawn of Man” sequence, which was filmed after I was finished. Before I saw it had no idea what it would look like. My two favourite moments are when, after discovering the Monolith, the lead ape (who was played by a mime, and coached the other apes) discovers the first weapon, and his head tilts, and suddenly his motions become deliberate. My second favourite moment is the greatest jump cut of all time: when we cut from the ape’s bone weapon to a space vehicle. In the book, that wasn’t just a space vehicle, it was a nuclear weapon, which is an even stronger parallel.

GL: There’s a scene that’s always been imprinted into my pituitary. Dr. Heywood has gone to the moon, and is traversing across the planet. That whole sequence, with close ups and great distance shots, nothing could set the stage for the rest of the film better.

If you could have kept one prop from the film, what would it have been?

KD: Nobody’s ever asked me that! The monolith is kinda big for my living room. I’m going to go with my space helmet.

GL: You can lower the monolith in like that movie Alec Guinness made. In retrospect, I’d take the iPad.

Has your connection with the film changed over the years?

KD: I don’t think it’s changed a lot. When I attend screenings I don’t always sit through it. But when I do, it reawakens the wonderful memories I had making the film. My wife recently noticed that in the scene with Floyd and Russian scientists, there’s a cut, and hanging sweater that was in an earlier shot suddenly isn’t there. Of course, Stanley caught that. If you listen very carefully, you’ll hear a PA announcing that a blue sweater has been found. I just admire Stanley’s genius every time I watch it.

GL: As you get older your perspectives change, but I don’t think a human being changes a hell of a lot. Still, the movie is a bit of Rorschach. Take any one section of it, blow it up and look at it. You’ll find it’s pretty interesting to look at. That’s the cornerstone to Kubrick’s genius.


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Face Off Season Finale: "One Knight Only"

by Eleni 29. 十月 2014 13:30

"An amazing artist won Face Off season seven. Just because it's not me, doesn't mean that the right person didn't win." That's one of the runners up—we can't say who—in the final moments of last night's Face Off finale. And it's this spirit of humility that makes Face Off so special: even though it was the final showdown, the competing contestants supported each other until the end.


Immediately after George's elimination at the end of last week's giant monster challenge, McKenzie informed the final three—Dina, Cig and Drew—of their task. For this season's finale, the artists had to create two fantasy knights, one embodying death and the other embodying life. And they won't just march the stage: each knight had to compete in a ferocious, Medieval Times-style sword fight.

To guide their designs, the contestants selected a specific coat of arms from which to draw inspiration. Cig was just excited that he got to pull a sword out of a stone. "I've always wanted to do this," he said.

Two knights are obviously too much for one artist to make on their own—so they had some help from past -ers. George, Sasha and Stella were back to lend a hand/airbrush, as were three past Face Off champs: Rayce, the winner of season two; Nicole, the winner of season three; and Rashaad, the winner of season six. Here's how the teams broke down:

Working with: Sasha and Rashaad
What's on his coat of arms: gargoyles, a crescent moon and some stars
Concept: making a skeletor death knight with a realistic silicon-faced life knight

Working with: Stella and Nicole
What's on her coat of arms: an octopus wearing a crown
Concept: a very complicated story involving mermaids, squid mind control, and an octopus king

Working with: George and Rayce
Coat of arms: a stag's head
Concept: the leaders of two warring sects of elves


There weren't too many screw-ups! On day two, Dina thought she wouldn't get her molds cleaned in time, but Drew and his team stepped in to help at the last minute. Then during last looks, Drew accidentally painted his knight's armour the wrong colour, but it was just a few quick Kleenex swipes to get it fixed. Otherwise, things ran more or less smoothly. Kind of helps to have two extra people working on your project!


The judges weren't sure about Cig's life knight—for the finale, they wanted something a little higher concept than a human silicon face. Still, the application and design were excellent.

His dark knight, however, got lots of praise. Lois loved the paintwork and forms, while Neville noted that the proportions were so well done that he maintained a heroic look. Glenn also thought Cig's death knight stood out during the fight in the arena.

"Your concept is so good and so courageous, that I really want to applaud you," Neville said when Dina stepped forward for judging. The panel agreed that her life knight's intricate starfish was an astounding amount of work on a single piece.

And the cowl on her dark knight was equally ambitious. "These are the types of designs that get you jobs," Glenn said.

As for Drew, the judges felt that he best satisfied the challenge's fantasy theme. Neville was especially impressed with the subtle stag features on his light knight.

And with the quirky character design on the dark night. "They feel like they're in the same world yet they're divided enough in their aesthetic to feel independent," Neville said.


Click here to watch the finale and find out!


Doctor Who Quiz Time: "In the Forest of the Night"

by Space.ca 28. 十月 2014 15:08

On this week's Doctor Who: London gets a leafy injection, Clara and Danny go on an adventure with their students, and the Doctor tries his best to be good with kids. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of the latest episode!





Take a look at the bloody first poster for Bitten Season 2

by Space.ca 28. 十月 2014 12:00

Why is Elena covered in blood? That's our biggest question after checking out the first poster (remember folks, a clip was already revealed) for the second season of Bitten. The photo—which is just a small tease from a bigger poster campaign—shows Elena with bloody hands and an I-want-to-kill-me-some-mutts look in her revenge-hungry eyes. While we don't yet know much about Bitten season two, we do know that Elena's conflicted days are over: she's now embracing her werewolf side, no apologies. Which presumably means she's ready to bite, claw and kill to protect the Pack.

The second season of Bitten premieres Winter 2015. Check back here for more updates in the coming months leading up to the premiere!

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Our fave Face Off looks from this season

by Eleni 28. 十月 2014 10:00

It all ends tonight. After weeks of fairies, mutants and monsters, Cig, Dina and Drew will attempt to out-sculpt each other to the tune of $100,000. The seventh season of Face Off has been a fun one: not only did we see some very cool designs, we also saw George prance around in short-shorts. So before next week's finale, we decided to revisit some of best looks from the past season.

In episode two, Cig and George established themselves as not-to-be-messed with contenders by making this not-to-be-messed with fatso gangster. The judges especially appreciated that their character's girth was proportionally realistic.

During the next episode, the artists had to make Incan-inspired aliens. Or was it the other way around? In any case, Stella's extraterrestrial interpretation of Lord Shiva's mate bagged her an early win.

Skipping ahead a couple episodes to the endangered animal hybrid challenge, here's Damien's furry/feathery coatimundi-tawny owl fusion.

And in the next episode, Stella and Dina collaborated on this adorable/terrifying Oz-born flying monkey who fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

For the horror movie challenge, George scored himself his first solo win with this shot-in-the-head ex girlfriend. Or sorry, "Axe Girlfriend"—as his fake horror movie was called.

Episode nine was around the time Dina started proving herself almost-unbeatable. Here's her incredibly intricate sexy snake.

The clown challenge was a personal favourite. And Cig's dripping skeletor was absolutely atrocious—in a great way.

While Sasha's Annabelle-esque clown-doll went for subtler—but beautifully executed—creeps.

This pic of Drew's teenaged emo fawn makes us laugh. Could he be less impressed to be half-man, half-goat?

In episode 12, Dina made an Aphrodite. It was gorgeous.

Cig was nervous about doing a "pretty" challenge, but ended up designing the prettiest makeup in the bunch for episode 13's fairy challenge. After five top looks, he finally earned his first solo win with this ice sprite.

And for the big, giant monster challenge, Dina's big, giant preying mantis clobbered everyone else's big, giant monsters.

Tune in tonight at 9e 6p to see the season finale of Face Off. And click here to watch season seven eps!

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5 sweet things to watch on Space this week

by Space.ca 27. 十月 2014 15:37

1. Season Premiere: Grimm (Monday 10e 7p)

It's a Grimm Monday—which is a good thing! For those not yet enchanted by this fantasy cop series: the show follows Nick Burkhardt, a homicide detective who descends from a long line of "Grimms," crime hunters who specialize in the supernatural. Of course, to fight the supernatural, you've got to be a little supernatural yourself. Which means season four will get off to a nerve-wracking start when Nick seems to have lost touch with his inner Grimm. Bad news for a town infested with straight-from-a-fairy-tale bad-doers.

2. Season Finale: Face Off (Tuesday 10e 7p)

This is it. The final showdown. The last hurrah. The end of the line. Or more specifically: the season finale of Face Off season seven. It all comes down to Cig, Dina and Drew. Dina is the frontrunner, having won five individual challenges this season. Which doesn't mean Cig is any less talented: since episode one, he has consistently crafter large-scale, totally original designs. And Drew is known for taking risks—which could reap huge rewards (precisely $100,000 worth) in the finale. The short version: it's anyone's game.

3. Falling Skies (Friday 9e 6p)

"The most shocking revelation is still to come." That's the promo for this week's episode of Falling Skies, which will apparently feature both shocks and revelations. But more specifically, Tom is heading back to Charleston, and things seem suspiciously calm—because, of course, they are suspiciously calm. Also, Tom is also having a lot of bad dreams, which may or may not be overlapping with real life.

4. Z Nation (Friday 10e 7p)

There's already been a z-nado. And now there a zunami. It's almost like the zombies are trying to fuse themselves into natural disasters that can easily be renamed with zombie-related puns. What's next, a zud slide? A zolcano? A zearth quake? Truth is, you can stick a Z on anything dangerous and make it zombie.

5. Doctor Who (Saturday 9e 6p)

Have you watched the trailer for this week's Doctor Who? It features Clara acting very un-Clara. Or rather, denying that Clara is even a person. "I'm not Clara Oswald," she says, "Clara Oswald has never existed." She also holds up the key to the TARDIS and tells the Doctor that he will never step inside his vessel again. Could it be that Clara has been bad all along? That might just break our hearts.

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InnerSpace Halloween Week starts tonight

by Neil 27. 十月 2014 15:22

As if you needed a reminder, InnerSpace will once again be celebrating the spookiest season of the year with a full week of Halloween-friendly programming. On tonight’s episode at 6e 3p, acclaimed Canadian pop multi-instrumentalist/Juno Award-winner Lights joins Teddy in the InnerSpace space as co-host.

Then, all week long, Ajay, Morgan, and Teddy have lined up five days of bloody good treats, including visiting a haunted lighthouse (Monday); meeting a collector of creepy dolls (Tuesday); walking the streets with a hoard of zombies (Wednesday); and howling at the moon after a werewolf transformation (Friday).

Also joining InnerSpace Halloween Week are stars Chris Hadfield and George A. Romero, revealing what they love about Halloween.

And Halloween wouldn’t be complete without some scary stories, and the InnerSpace hosts are serving up their fair share of horror tales through spooky video shorts. Teddy’s worst nightmare comes true when he is transformed into another InnerSpace host; Morgan is haunted by Ajay; and Ajay’s second-hand cell phone causes some supernatural changes to his interior décor.

Can’t wait for tonight? Watch InnerSpace online here!

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Doctor Who: "In the Forest of the Night"

by Eleni 27. 十月 2014 11:55

Some of this season's most memorable threats share a curious feature: they are not actually threats at all. In "Listen," the Doctor imagined an enemy so good at hiding that no one had ever seen it—but the enemy turned out to be a figment of his over-active imagination. Then in "Kill the Moon," the Doctor and Clara split hairs over how to manage a giant creature that was about to hatch from the moon's crust. Would it kill everyone on earth? What would happen to the planet with no moon to guide its tides? No matter—the creature flew away harmlessly, hatching a new moon/egg in its place. And now, we meet another threatless threat: trees.

After taking a group of "gifted and talented" kids on an overnight field trip at a museum—fun!—Clara and Danny reemerge into central London to find something has changed. Since the previous evening, the city has become overgrown with a lush and quickly expanding forest. And London isn't the only site of this sudden forestation—the whole world has turned leafy and green. The Doctor can't immediately figure out the issue, though the trees seem aggressive. And they also seem somehow connected to Maebh, one of Clara's students whose sister disappeared a year before. She's got a notebook filled with cute drawings that seem to depict a not-so-cute future for the world. A giant solar flare, similar to the one that destroyed the Bank of Karabraxos, is headed for earth.

The Doctor thinks the world is doomed—and even goes so far as to bid a final farewell to Clara—but then it hits him. The trees aren't bad. They're there to act as an organic shield, protecting the earth from the flare. Once this is realized, the kids head home to their parents and Clara heads up into space, to watch the flare from the TARDIS like it were a movie.

This Doctor is a prickly type, and a lot of humour was gained from watching him interact with Clara and Danny's class. The kids were entertained by the museum, but the TARDIS is something else: obviously they can't help poking and touching everything. The Doctor can barely handle a hug, so having ten rowdy kids prodding at his time machine is not his favourite way to spend an afternoon. We frequently see the Doctor find great sympathy and connection with slimy, nasty-looking aliens. But ask him to interact with a normal human 10-year-old, and he basically rolls his eyes.

Danny, on the other hand, is excellent with kids. He and Clara have very different initial reactions to the London-wide forest: she is excited, and wants to find the Doctor so she can figure out what caused the overnight overgrowth, while he just wants to keep the kids safe. Although the Doctor and his companion are constantly helping creatures throughout the universe, there's also an inherent selfishness to travelling in the TARDIS. Most companions do it because they want something more from their daily grind—to the chagrin of their loved ones, who are often (understandably) very worried about them. They may be saving lives through the galaxies, but the Doctor and his companions do it out of hedonism as much as altruism. And this may break Clara and Danny. Having been in a war, he wants simple, meaningful connections with another person. While she wants big, splashy shows—for the sake of enjoying herself.

Which brings us to shocking teaser for next episode, in which Clara seems to have turned evil—if she ever was herself to begin with. "I’m not Clara Oswald," she says, "Clara Oswald has never existed." What the eff does that mean?! Has she been connected to the mysterious Missy all along? The season eight finale starts next week, and it seems we might find out why the Impossible Girl deserves that nickname.

Watch the whole ep here!

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6 questions with Christiane Kubrick

by Neil 27. 十月 2014 10:00

Even if you’ve seen all his films and read his countless biographies, Stanley Kubrick has always been an enigma. So it’s extremely exciting to talk to the person who probably knew him best, his wife Christiane Kubrick. The two met in 1957 on the set of Paths of Glory and stayed married until his death in 1999. Since then, Christiane has generously shared key material from Stanley’s archives. To mark the occasion of TIFF’s Stanley Kubrick Exhibit (running Oct. 31 to Jan. 25), we had the great pleasure of talking Christiane about her paintings, Kubrick conspiracy theories, Stanley’s unproduced scripts, and, naturally, the exhibit.

Space: Several of your paintings were featured in Stanley’s films, some of which will also be on display at the exhibit.

Christiane Kubrick: He loved my work. He was a fan! He also didn’t need to worry about copyright clearance.

Much of this exhibit is comprised of the hundreds of boxes of things Stanley left in storage. How closely did you examine these materials, and did you learn anything new about him?

Very closely—and I am so glad “his boxes” come now into their own as part of the exhibition. This exhibition is my love-letter to him and I am so grateful to Warner Bros. and the other studios for their support, and to the Frankfurt Filminstitut. Tim Heptner and Hans-Peter Reichmann are doing “a true Stanley” by putting so much care in every detail.

Are there any artifacts in the exhibit that you think might surprise people, or that you’re excited for the world to finally see?

Yes, many, often as drawings or concepts—this is particularly interesting for future filmmakers.

Last year’s documentary, Room 237, offered some really out-there Shining theories. What do you think of critics, scholars, and fans looking for all these hidden meanings in Stanley’s films?

Most of them are fans. And had the Room 237 film been made during Stanley’s life, this would have been daring and challenging—unfortunately, its timing after Stanley’s death is so cheap.

A number of unproduced Kubrick scripts have circulated over the years. Are there any projects that are likely to get made in the near future? I remember reading about a potential Napoleon HBO miniseries.

Yes, Aryan Papers, for example, based on Louis Begley’s wonderful novel Wartime Lies—and Stanley’s friend Steven Spielberg is supporting a TV series based on Stanley’s Napoleon. If this happens, it would make me very happy. We also supported Philip Hobbs to try to produce some of the earlier scripts Stanley had in his archive.

Do you have a personal favourite film or film moment from Stanley’s oeuvre?

I loved all his films with a personal affection for Paths of Glory.

Watch Christiane’s essential performance in 1957's Paths of Glory:

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