It’s been a big week for fans of cult TV and movies — you know, that small but loyal crowd who obsess over every facet of their favorite series or film in order to better understand and … oh, it’s nerds, OK! I’m talking about NERDS! Not that I’m insulting them, mind you: I consider myself a major “Simpsons” geek, one who has watched certain episodes more times than is healthy. So, who am I to judge?!
And this week has been particularly dorky. From the recent recasting of one of the most popular characters in TV history to the awards-shown recognition of an up-and-coming cult TV actress, here’s the Top 5 Biggest Nerdy TV/Movie News of the Week:
1. Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor! The show that’s held perhaps the longest-running nerd obsession has been the British sci-fi series “Doctor Who,” about a time-traveling alien that’s been able to survive so long (the show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) thanks to the novel idea of having the main character regenerate himself into another body whenever he’s close to death (aka, when the actor currently playing him wants to move on to other stuff). After the current Doctor, Matt Smith, announced that he was leaving earlier this summer, speculation has run wild over who would take his place — seriously, there were bookies taking bets over this stuff. A live special was aired Sunday to reveal the new actor (or actress! never give up hope!) who would be the Twelfth Doctor, and it was none other than acclaimed Scottish actor Peter Capaldi (who is pictured above, looking like he’s gearing up for the new Colonel Sanders biopic “Not Without My Deep Fryer”)! Best known in the States for his roles in the the classic comedy “Local Hero” and the very funny, very profane series “The Thick of It” — and its film spin-off, the equally brilliant “In the Loop” — the Scottish actor was a surprising choice for the role, considering his age (at 55, he’ll be the oldest actor to play the Doctor since the very first one, William Hartnell) and his already-established career (the previous Doctor, Smith, was relatively unknown when he was cast in 2009). Still, a delightful choice, and one expects great things from Capaldi.
2. The trailer for the new season of “Sherlock!” Going hand in hand with the “Doctor” news is the short preview for the third season of “Sherlock” (both shows share the same showrunner, Steven Moffat), a modern-day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories that have inspired hordes of devotees due to just two words: Benedict. Cumberbatch. Seriously, people LOVE them some Benedict Cumberbatch, the show’s star. If you want to take an uncomfortable journey through random strangers’ secret desires, search for “Benedict Cumberbatch” on Tumblr and prepare to be amused and confused by what you see. The short trailer just gives brief glimpses of the main characters, including Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who plays Watson, but it’s enough to get the Cumbergroupies all worked up. Such as this one comment on YouTube: “screaming screaming KSUXXBSLISHSBZKZISHWN what is air?”
3. David Tennant is back on TV ! Speaking of Doctor Who-related shenanigans, the Tenth (and arguably most popular) Doctor, David Tennant, had a hit earlier this year in the U.K. with “Broadchurch,” a fantastic eight-episode mystery series about the murder of a young boy in a small coastal town. The drama starts airing tonight (which would be Wednesday) on BBC America, and it also stars the superb actress Olivia Colman (seen above with Tennant), who ALSO had a guest spot on an episode of “Doctor Who” a few years ago — see, it’s all connected through “Doctor Who”! (No, it is not.)
4. Tatiana Maslany wins! In the spring, BBC America debuted “Orphan Black,” an original sci-fi series about a cloned woman, gaining a small, fervent following, mainly thanks to the fantastic lead performance of Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany, who plays seven different cloned characters. Critics and fans pushed for Maslany to get an Emmy nomination, but as usually happens with low-rated cult dramas, she was overlooked. But this past weekend, the Television Critics Association Awards (yes, those are a thing) listened up and awarded her their award for Best Achievement in Drama for 2013. At last! Nerd culture is finally getting respect from an obscure awards ceremony!
5. “Pacific Rim” may get a sequel! Guillermo del Toro’s big-budget monsters-vs.-robots film “Pacific Rim” opened in the U.S. last month and, despite making nerds everywhere cry tears of geeky joy, didn’t exactly set the box office on fire (in the U.S., it has so far made less than $100 million over a $190 million budget). But thanks to a huge opening in China (the sixth largest debut of all time there) and strong grosses overseas, a sequel is more than likely on the way! Really, there is no better way to cap off an especially geeky week than with news of possibly more giant fighting robots.
(Images courtesy of the Associated Press.)