Doctor Who – preview for the new series released

Dear ladies and gents,

teaser trailer for the new Doctor Who has been released. You know I never was into Doctor Who much. But a few weeks ago there were reruns on the telly (seasons with David Tennant natch) and I found myself mildly curious and sort of unable to look away? I know – I never thought that would happen.

Anyhow because I know we have a good few Doctor Who fans who pop for a visit down below you can find the new preview for the next series (courtesy of BBC).

Some Doctor Who related news – 6 episodes this year (that includes the ever popular Doctor Who Christmas special) and 8 (yes 8!) episodes to come next year. Also Jenna-Louise Coleman has been cast as the new companion. And in case you want to receive all the Doctor Who related news maybe you should follow the official Twitter feed?

Enjoy ladies and gents!

Source: Doctor Who Official Website

6 Scandinavian crime shows worth watching

Dear ladies and gents,

you know I love me some blood and gore. And while the British have been churning out good crime shows for years, with the likes of Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Henning Mankell etc growing in popularity it’s the Scandinavians where it’s at these days. And the thing is they don’t need doodahs and wizzbangs to make it interesting is all I’m saying.

A co-worker of mine (hiya Kell!) and me bonded over our mutual fascination with blood and gore and it seems we are not the only ones – Marian Keyes, one of my favorite authors (oh please don’t pretend like you don’t enjoy chick lit from time to time. Also Keyes’ books are kinda sorta more hmmm heavy than what you would expect from chick lit vulgaris) is also a bit addicted, check out her latest newsletter, her description on what she is going to do when she runs out Wallander episodes is hilarious.

Anyhow here are a few Scandinavian crime series worth checking out.

UPDATE: Just put together a post with links where some of these shows can be found online/viewed.

 

Wallander

 

 

Wallander the series was adapted from Kurt Wallander books written by Henning Mankell. Only one episode was lifted directly from the novel, others were developed for television with Mankell’s input. The series stars Krister Henriksson as titular character, police inspector working in town of Ystad. After a few episodes Ystad starts to seem like Midsomer of the Sweden due to the fact people keep dropping like flies. The series was so popular that BBC remade it for British audience with Kenneth Branagh taking the role of Wallander.

 

The Killing (also known as Forbrydelsen)

 

You all might or might not know I had mixed feeling about AMC’s the Killing. Mainly I thought it was rather good until they decided to end it with a mother of all cliffhangers, which you know – WTF?! (Btw anyone who is still interested to learn who the killer is will might want to tune in on April 1st when the Killing returns. Although I’m not holding my breath will learn anything if last season is anything to go by).

Anyhow don’t know if you know but the Killing is based on Danish TV series Forbrydelsen about Detective Sarah Lunde (played by Sofie Gråbøl) who wears a lot of cozy sweaters and investigates murder cases. Each episode corresponds to one day of investigation. There have been two series while the third series is currently in production.

 

Borgen

 

Borgen is another Danish TV series, about Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) who unexpectedly becomes the first Danish female prime minister. The series follows her rise to power with plenty of intrigue, scandal and interesting story lines to keep you occupied. So far two series have aired, while the third one is in the production. Meanwhile NBC is producing an US version (insert collective groan here).

 

Those Who Kill (also known as Den som dræber)

 

Another Danish series this time about unit within Copenhagen Police Department that investigates serial killers. There are 10 episodes in total or rather the series aired as 10 episodes in Denmark while in other countries the series aired as 5 full feature film length episodes. Even though Denmark’s TV2 decided to not renew the series A&E Network in the US is developing the US version.

 

The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey (also known as Ørnen: En krimi-odyssé)

 

The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey is about Halgrim Ørn Hallgrimsson (played by Jens Albinus) who is half Icelandic, half Danish lead investigator in International Crime Unit. he Unit investigates international crimes (obviously) in both Denmark and neighboring countries. The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey aired three seasons (24 episodes in total) and got canceled in 2006.

 

Rejseholdet (also known as Unit 1)

 

The premise of Rejseholdet kinda reminds of Criminal Minds – it is about Danish mobile task force (that goes under the name Unit 1) whose members travel across Denmark and help local police force solve high profile criminal cases that the locals might be out of their depth to solve. There were 4 series (32 episodes in total) as Rejseholdet got canceled in 2004.

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Image: Paul Grover/Telegraph.com

Dear ladies and gents,

I love me some London, I do. I mean how could you not? But without fail after a day or two I feel like I’m rushing around like a headless chicken trying to take in as much as I can. Hopefully on my next visit I will get myself sorted so I have a good few days to wander around and try to avoid the headless chicken syndrome. And could there be a better reason than a visit to Harry Potter Studio Tour?

Make no mistake much like that other London institution/tourist trap Madame Tussauds Harry Potter Studio Tour will leave your wallet much lighter – Ł28 for an adult and Ł21 for a child ticket, while a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids or alternatively 1 adult and 3 kids) will cost you Ł83 (tickets have to be purchased prior to the visit as no tickets are sold at the Studio tour).

And I agree prices are steep. However it is worth pointing out I’ve been to Madame Tussauds exactly once years ago. So if you look at it as once-in-a-lifetime visit I think the cost is bearable.

Harry Potter Studio tour is located just outside of Watford (about 20 minutes by train from London’s Euston station) but since it can take you a good half hour to get from part of London to another it’s not that big of a deal really.

Now for the tour itself – according to the early reviews there is the look-but-do-not-touch policy. Which you know understandable. But still. Would you just love to sit down at the Weasley’s kitchen? Or have a nosey at Dumbledore’s table? Gryffindor dormitory? But… but… even though you won’t be able to have a proper nosey there is still plenty to see – you can take a peek at Number 4 Privet Drive, walk down the Diagon Alley, inspect the Great Hall and see all the masks, costumes and models that were used to bring Harry Potter to life. And if you loved the movies as much as I did, do not even bother pretending it’s beneath you to have a nosey. Also is it wrong that I would love to get a wand from the gift shop?!

Anyhow down below you can check two of the videos released by Harry Potter Studio Tour to give you a better idea what’s in store if you do decide to visit.

And do tell us if you plan to visit, I’d love to hear what were your impressions.

John Carter – a review

Edgar Rice Burroughs is today best known as the creator of Tarzan. However, his first story – published in 1911 – was “Princess of Mars”: a mix of science fiction and fantasy following John Carter, 19th century military veteran who finds himself one day on planet Mars. Except this Mars is not the dead world we know but one inspired by theories of astronomer Percival Lowell who believed that ancient Martian civilization built network of irrigation canals so huge they could be seen through our telescopes. Once there, Carter battles vicious monsters and saves alien maidens in a series of stories that can be best described as Conan in space.

Throughout the last hundred years, adventures of John Carter inspired scores of imitators including “Flash Gordon”, “Dune” and “Avatar”. But it’s only now that we get to see Burroughs’ story on the big screen. I had my reservations about the film after hearing stories about producers changing its title several times because they were afraid it might drive its audience away.  Finally, they’ve decided to call it John Carter” which is just about the most unappealing and bland title for space opera I ever had.

As it turns out, I actually liked “John Carter”. Sure it’s shallow, overlong (Over two hours!) and in 3D, but these days all blockbusters are. What makes this film better from most of its competitors is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and allows its characters to occasionally act as real humans instead of heroic movie characters. It’s not the big CGI scenes that sell the movie – Although they do help! – as much as the little character moments like Carter (Taylor Kitsch) learning to walk on a planet whose gravity is lower then ours. Carter makes for a likable hero while the film version of alien princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) makes for a compelling heroine of her own.

“John Carter” is somewhat disappointing considering the people working on it: its director is Andrew Stanton (writer of “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E”) while one of its writers was celebrated author Michael Chabon. Movie’s cast is filled with ridiculously talented actors such as Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Ciaŕan Hinds (“Rome”) and Dominic West (“The Wire”). With that much talent abroad, this movie could have been a lot better.

As it is, “John Carter” is an entertaining SF adventure set in an exotic world with some funny and likable characters – both human and CGI – but needlessly hampered by its length and overly complex story.