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Science Fiction Thursday: 'Doctor Who', 'Star Talk', 'Star Trek XIII'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 23, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 23, 2015 |

Ah Thursday, the day when genre roars and we are filled with joy. How much joy?

Well first off, we’ve got a British politician campaigning on the platform of cancelling Doctor Who. I’m sure that Nigel Farage has other planks in his platform, but this is the one getting all the news. Basically, Brits pay about 150 pounds per year right now to support the BBC. Farage wants to cancel everything except news, which would drop the price to 50 pounds per year. Pounds of what? Sterling, I assume, and not the Archer variety. That’s a wonderful description though of just how central the British were to world finance when they ruled half the world. “Oi, Charles, what should we name our currency?” It takes a special kind of economically focused culture to decide use the name of their money for the name of their unit of weight.

Anyway, I wouldn’t worry just yet. Despite recent gains in local elections, Farage’s UK Independence Party only controls 2 seats in the House of Commons out of 650. So unless there is the deadlock of all deadlocks and one side needs a two damn seat kingmaker after the election, dude shouldn’t have much leverage.

There’s also the problem that the show nosedived so spectacularly after Davies and Tennant, that I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they took a decade off and then handed it to some new up and comer.

(source: Blastr)

Next up, we finally have late night television that I can give a damn about. And I don’t mean to leave Colbert and Stewart out of that, it’s just that I never mentally classified them in the late night pile anyway.

We’ve got StarTalk, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It only airs Mondays, but it’s late at 11pm, so that kind of counts as a once a week late night show. It airs on National Geographic though, which means I will never ever see an episode of it since they only let you watch on their site if you’ve got log in credentials from your cable provider, which apparently Netflix doesn’t count as.

First episode was this last Monday and featured George Takei among others, and this coming Monday will feature Christopher Nolan and others talking about the science of Interstellar, otherwise known affectionately as “my goddamned favorite”.

(source:National Geographic)

Finally, a bit of Star Trek news. Star Trek XIII has a tentative title: Star Trek Beyond. Beyond what? I don’t know, maybe they got through the darkness.

Idris Elba is going to a bad guy they are assuring us is a new creation, and there is supposed to be some sort of tribute to Leonard Nimoy in it. Simon Pegg (who it is news to me, is writing the script for the film), says this:

“It would be crazy not to pay a tribute to Leonard in some way. His part in Star Trek and his effect on the world through Star Trek has been enormous… It’s also the 50th anniversary of the show as well, so I would hope there will be some kind of acknowledgement. What form that takes? Wait and see but he is literally a legend and his passing is very sad.”

Nice. Pegg goes on to say that the series is going back to the Original Series roots, with the ship out on its own far from the Federation and left to their own devices on a new five year mission. That sounds perfect to me.

(source: Blastr)

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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