July 25, 2009

Science Fiction Takes Over BBC America

BBC America, you have my attention. You had me every night this week, and it looks like you'll have me for a few hours this weekend as well. With great science fiction shows like Torchwood, Primeval and Doctor Who, "Resistance is useless!".

The new season of Torchwood turned out to be a five part miniseries called "Children Of Earth". It started off Monday night, after a catch up special to get newcomers up to speed on what Torchwood is all about. The show is a spin off from Doctor Who, about a group of people dedicated to protecting Earth from aliens. They also try to learn how to use alien technology.

Each 75 minute installment of the miniseries covers one day of Earth's struggle against the alien lifeform known as the 456. The 456 have a frightening way of showing off their apparently immense power and capabilities. Every now and then, when it suits their purposes, they somehow make every child on the planet simultaneously stop cold like a statue. Then, they speak through the children in unison. The governments of the world, Torchwood members like leader Captain Jack Harkness (The man who can't die is played by John Barrowman - Doctor Who, Torchwood ) and former police woman Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles - Doctor Who, Torchwood, Merlin ) and their families have to make some tough decisions during this ordeal. The entire "Children Of Earth" miniseries will be reshown in a marathon tomorrow.

Meanwhile, this season's final episode (#10) of Primeval airs tonight. Primeval (Ben Miller, Hannah Spearitt, Andrew-Lee Potts) is a show that involves another special group of people who protect Earth, not from aliens, but from dinosaurs and other creatures from our own planet. They have been hired to study anomalies for the ARC (Anomaly Research Center). In this show, anomalies are time travel portals - gateways between the present, the past and the future of planet Earth. The entire season gets played back in a marathon starting at 11:00 AM EDT today and ending with the final episode later tonight.

This year's season of Doctor Who, as with Torchwood, is not a normal one either. It's actually a series of "specials" instead of the 60 minute episodes normally produced for this century's version of the show. The original series, which started in 1963, had each of it's 45 minute to 4 hour stories broken up into multiple weekly aired shows. Tomorrow night's 75 minute Doctor Who special is called "Planet Of The Dead". The 10th (TV) Doctor, played by David Tennant (Casanova, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire), is "forced" (Really ?) to team up with "a mysterious, aristocratic thief" named Lady Christina. Lady Christina is played by the lovely Michelle Ryan (EastEnders, Jekyll, Bionic Woman). Trapped without his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space = Time and space traveling machine) on a desert alien planet with a double-decker bus. The Doctor finds the mysterious planet hides terrifying secrets in the sand.

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