Tag Archives: BBC

Doctor Who Returns With A New Face

When Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005 at the hands of Russell T. Davies, it was returning after nearly a decade away from the public eye. Russell T. Davies viewed the relaunch as more of a picking up where the story left off as opposed to being a complete restart as the current trend for bringing new life to past entertainment properties.

To aid new viewers in getting up to speed with the lore of Doctor Who, a new companion, Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, so the getting to know the world of Doctor Who is told through the eyes of a character that’s meant to be the audience, someone from our time and experience being drawn into this fantastic world for an incredible journey. Old enemies of the Doctor, familiar to long time fans are new to Rose and new audience members and they become educated quickly. The end of the first season taught the audience about one of the Doctor’s greatest tricks to ensure it’s long term endurance, the ability of the Doctor to regenerate.

As Christopher Eccleston left the series and David Tennant took over the role, for the character of the Doctor, what this allows is the Doctor to take on a new face and personality every time the Doctor regenerates. This easy way to change actors also allows each new actor to bring their own touch to an established character. David Tennant’s first season as the tenth Doctor was aided by Billie Piper’s second season as Rose Tyler, as those of us new to Doctor Who had Rose’s getting used to the new Doctor to help aid us through the process as well. Eventually the storyline had Rose depart being the Doctor’s companion and we had a few others take on being the Doctor’s companion during David Tennant’s run.

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Roku’s Netflix Player Is Now A True Multi-Media Entertainment Hub

Roku PlayerWhen Roku first introduced the Roku Netflix Player in mid 2008, the only service it accessed was Netflix. For a Netflix subscriber, it was a relatively no-brainer addition to their homes because it was a one time $99.99 purchase for the box and it would allow them to stream Netflix’s Instant access library of movies and tv shows directly to their televisions for no additional cost to their Netflix subscriptions. The box is prepared for any kind of connection to the television with outputs including HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video, and even audio outputs in both analog and optical. And it can be connected to the Internet with either an Ethernet cable or it’s built-in wireless connection.

The first available movies and television shows on the Roku Netflix Player were all older titles. Eventually Netflix partnered with Starz to bring more recently released titles to their instant viewing offerings. Roku, the manufacturer of the box, promised the box would be able to access additional sources of content in the future. In early 2009, Roku added access to Amazon’s Video On Demand service which allows the owners of the box the ability to purchase or rent movies or television shows on a per-title basis. This allowed people with the box the opportunity to enjoy the most currently released content right on the box as soon as the day of release for most titles. And both Netflix and Amazon were offering the opportunity to watch content on the box in High Definition. The HD streaming is only available if you’re connecting the box to your television or entertainment system through an HDMI connection.

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Amazing Deal On Doctor Who TODAY ONLY At Amazon

Doctor WhoIf you’re a fan of the rebooted Doctor Who that’s had Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant in the title role, then Amazon has a great deal for you, but you have to act now, because the deal is for today only!! If you’re like me and previously though the DVD sets from the BBC are considerably overpriced, then today is your day!

Amazon has the box sets for each of the four seasons of the show on sale today for $32.49 a piece. That’s 59% off the list price of $79.99 and 50% off of Amazon’s regular price of $64.99. I’ve been hesitant to buy the sets myself because quite frankly I felt they were a complete rip off at their regular price. The show has been remarkably good and I definitely wanted the sets but I’m sorry $65 to $80 a set was way too much money in my opinion for a show that only does 13 episodes a season. Maybe if they were 26 episode seasons like most American shows, it would be a reasonable price, but for 13 episodes, forget it. So for literally half price today only at Amazon, the sets are actually affordable.

The show is brilliant and well written and getting all four sets is truly the best option if you’ve never seen it. The way the show ends in the fourth season ties back to the entire series in such a well thought out way that you get the feeling the ending was always in mind when they established the series. Few shows pay off and spread out the storyline over so many seasons that you’re going to be amazed and wish American shows would do this. Lost may eventually pay off in this way, but we won’t know for sure until the final season completes it.

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Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl

Kylie Minogue Hollywood BowlOn October 4th, Kylie Minogue plays the Hollywood Bowl. In her only Southern California appearance, I decided I am going to take opportunity to see the global megastar live in concert. This may be my only chance to see Kylie Minogue in concert on “my turf” so to speak.

While Kylie plays Europe and Australia every time she releases an album, the United States rarely gets more than a television appearance. Granted she doesn’t have the same popularity here in the United States as she does abroad. But I think it’s awesome that she’s coming to the United States and Canada (does it really count as including Canada when its just a single show in Toronto?). I have several of her concert DVDs from past tours and they’re always enjoyable to watch. Welcome to California to perform Kylie.

I wonder if she’ll incorporate an ABBA song or two as she was recently at the BBC2 concerts in London paying tribute to the music of ABBA.

If you’d like to join me, tickets are still available from TicketMaster. Click here to visit TicketMaster and let me know if you’re coming. I’m not getting fancy seats. I managed to get $30 tickets in section N1 which is pretty close to center albeit pretty far from the stage. I just bought my tickets this morning too. The show is not yet sold out.

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What Happens When You Take A 13-Year Old’s iPod Away And Give Him A Walkman?

13 Year Old With Old WalkmanTo celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sony’s introduction of the Walkman which forever changed how personal music was defined, the BBC thought it would be an interesting experiment to have a 13 year old child trade in their iPod for one week for a classic Sony Walkman without any instructions other than to say the Walkman was the iPod of it’s day.

It was interesting to read the child’s insight into the whole thing, my personal favorite comment was it took three days before he realized there was a second side to the cassette. He also missed the shuffle feature of his iPod but decided he could simulate it by randomly holding down the rewind and stopping at random spots. It was also a great laugh to read how big and clunky he thought the device was because it’s huge compared to the iPod, but back in the day it was cutting edge small technology.

I still remember my first Walkman, I don’t remember the brand of it but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Sony one. I used to listen to it all the time, even took it to bed so I could listen to my music to fall asleep, a habit I still have. I have a hard time falling asleep without music playing. Yes, the buttons were big and clunky, and for that matter so were the players. I always wanted one of the Walkmans with a built in speaker but never did ever get one of those. Cassettes weren’t a perfect medium, but they are what got me through the 1980’s. I didn’t get my first CD player until 1989.

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Join Me June 4th To See Dame Edna Everage

Dame EdnaAustralia’s Barry Humphries is bringing his legendary character, Dame Edna Everage, to San Diego the first week of June. The character with distinctive glasses and mauve hair is a self-proclaimed global megastar, and downright a comedy legend. According to legend, Dame Edna originates as once having been a simple housewife from Moonie Ponds, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

The character of Dame Edna has taken on a remarkable life of its own doing everything from stand-up comedy shows (such as the one coming to San Diego) to hosting variety specials (such as “The Dame Edna Experience” for the BBC and more recently “The Dame Edna Treatment” for ITV) as well as hosting a peculiar game show called “Dame Edna’s Neighborhood Watch” where really the game show is a set-up for one unsuspecting woman who’s about to see her home ransacked by a tv camera crew and Dame Edna’s bridesmaid, Madge Allsop (played by the late Emily Perry).

I saw Dame Edna’s appearance in Los Angeles during her “Back With A Vengeance Tour” and I was excited to see San Diego included on this tour entitled “The First Last Tour.” I’m attending on the night of Thursday, June 4th, and would to invite others in San Diego to join me for the show. Tickets are available from TicketMaster by clicking here and leave a comment below to let me know you’re coming.

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Elaine Paige Interviews ABBA’s Benny & Björn on BBC Radio 2

Elaine Paige BBC Radio 2Elaine Paige, often dubbed, “The First Lady Of British Theatre,” for her impressive stage career as one of Britain’s musical theatre stars. Some of the highlights of her career include being the first woman to star as Eva Peron in “Evita” and was the first to ever belt out the song “Memory” from London’s stages in “Cats.”

In addition to her stage career, she hosts a BBC Radio 2 program highlighting music from theatrical shows. On the April 5, 2009 broadcast to mark the 10th anniversary of “Mamma Mia!” on London’s West End, Elaine interviewed Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus ABBA to talk about “Mamma Mia!” as well as 25th Anniversary of “Chess” (Benny and Björn’s musical from the 1984 that they co-wrote with Tim Rice and coincidentally also starred Elaine Paige). Elaine joined Benny and Björn at Benny’s Mono Music Studio in Stockholm for the interview portion of the program.

In addition to spending time discussing both “Mamma Mia!” and “Chess” with the boys from ABBA, Elaine also got them to discuss their other musical “Kristina Från Duvemåla.” which up until now has only been in Swedish. One of the highlights from the discussion was the first presentation of “Du Måste Finnas” in English as performed by Helen Sjöholm, who played Kristina in the original Swedish cast. In English, the song is entitled, “You Have To Be There” and the lyrics were said to be a draft version and are not yet set in stone as the final version of it. If everything goes according to plan, New York audiences will be treated to a concert version of the new English translation of the show on September 23 and 24th at Carnegie Hall.

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“Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mamma Mia! Parody With Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Joanna LumleyMy friend Merrick Wolfe, who served as the Company Manager for the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay for the first year of the production, always thought that the roles of Rosie and Tanya for a film version of the movie should be played by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders of the British comedy team, French & Saunders. Merrick thought this long before a filmed version of Mamma Mia! was ever set to become a reality.

Well Mamma Mia! The Movie swept the world last year with Julie Walters and Christine Baranski in the roles, but now Merrick has sort of gotten his wish in that, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have chosen to do a send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie for the BBC’s annual Red Nose Day fundraiser celebration. They also drafted Jennifer Saunder’s partner in crime from her hit BBC series “Absolutely Fabulous”, Joanna Lumley, and have created a brilliant send up of Mamma Mia! The Movie. Dawn French plays Julie Walters in her role as Rosie, as Merrick had wished so long ago. However his desire to see Jennifer Saunders as Tanya, didn’t quite pan out exactly. Here Jennifer sends up Meryl Streep in the role of Donna, and Joanna Lumley comes in to play Christine Baranski as Tanya. Continue reading “Absolutely Fabulous” Send Up of Mamma Mia! The Movie

Deep Discount Has Big DVD/Blu-Ray Sale

DeepDiscount.com is having a big sale on DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs. Between now and November 23, 2008, there is a chance to save an additional 25% off their already low sale prices. And all orders are eligible for free shipping within the United States (reasonable shipping costs for outside the US).

With most of the latest Blu-Ray titles selling between $20-$30 on DeepDiscount.com, the additional discount brings the cost down to at or slightly below $20 a disc. This can be quite a savings if you’ve had your eye on a few items such as the lastest James Bond discs, or even Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” title. There can be quite significant savings on big box sets such as the new 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Planet Of The Apes and the Matrix collection.

Don’t feel left out if you’re not yet into Blu-Ray discs, the savings apply to standard DVDs too. There’s a vast collection of movies already released and now is a good time to get extra savings on them. Most of the Star Trek films are available for under $10 a movie before the discount gets applied. TV season sets are also eligible, and now’s a good chance to get a discount on those highly overpriced BBC sets like the latest incarnations of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Chronicles. Even the Planet Earth series is discounted. Or favorite American TV shows like Star Trek, Desperate Housewives, or Quantum Leap.

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