News and Quick Comments

“Doctor Who” streams into the future

For people who want ther shows to be offbeat, off-kilter and other-worldly, here are two pieces of good (sort of) news:
— “Doctor Who” will be around for a long time … albeit a bit harder to find. When it finally returns (in November of 2023), it will be on the Disney+ streaming service.
— And “Miracle Workers” has another season set. That starts at10 p.m. Jan. 23 on TBS, with Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan in, the network says, “a dystopian future full of radioactive mutants, killer robots and a tyrannical homeowner’s association.”
“Who” has been around since 1963 (with long pauses) and has had 13 people starring as The Doctor. The current one, Jodie Whittaker, was the first female Doctor; David Tennant, who was the 10th Doctor, will do some specials, before Ncuti Gatwa becomes the show’s first Black star. Read more…

100th “Resident” (Oct. 25) is a winner

It took 100 episodes to get there, but “The Resident” is where it should be. So, at last, is Dr. Bell.
In short, the episode (shown here) that airs tonight (8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, on Fox) is surprisingly good. It’s:
— The third-best “Resident” episode yet. The only ones better were a clever Halloween-out-of-town hour, a few years back, and a post-pandemic season-opener.
— And the second-best broadcast-TV hour I’ve seen this fall, topped only by the second episode of ABC’s “Alaska Daily. Read more…

PBS views the growing evidence of war crimes

Alongside the agony of war in Ukraine (shown here), there’s another process: documenting war crimes.
The result, said Tom Jennings – director of a “Frontline” report at 10 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 25) on PBS – will be a tribunal that “will essentially be a new Nuremberg: Nuremberg 2.0.”
That, however, would be a long time from now. Raney Aronson-Rath, the “Frontline” producer, points to the successful conviction of Ratko Mladic, a Bosnian general. That “took over five years – just the trial …. Collecting of evidence before that was multiple years.” Read more…

Marathon will offer decades of Lansbury

Long before Angela Lansbury solved murders on TV, she had a vibrant movie career.
That started 40 years before “Murder, She Wrote,” when the teen-aged Lansbury drew an Academy Award nomination for “Gasligh.” (show here, behind Oscar-winner Ingrid Bergman. She would get another nomination the next year (for “The Picture of Dorian Gray”) and another 17 years later, for her chilling maternity in “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Now all three films are part of a 24-hour tribute to Lansbury that Turner Classic Movies has set for Nov. 21. She died Tuesday, five days shy of her 97th birthday; see separate commetary here. Read more…

Angela and Elizabeth: two grand, 96-year journeys

Two grand Englishwomen had almost parallel lives.
Angela Lansbury and Queen Elizabeth both died at 96. Lansbury was born a half-year earlier and died a month later – Tuesday (Oct. 11), five days shy of her 97th birthday.
They did meet, at Windsor Castle. That was in 2014 (shown here), when Lansbury – then doing a play in London – officially became a Dame.
Both women had a refreshing mixture of intelligence and diligence. And neither mastered the notion of retiring: Elizabeth held her job for 70 years; Lansbury was a working actress for 77. Read more…

From teen Clark to Grandpa Sam

Tom Welling, once a teen-aged Clark Kent, is about to play a great-grandfather. Well, sort of.
Welling (shown here) will join “The Winchesters” (8 p.m. Tuesdays on CW) later this year. He’ll play Samuel Campbell, the gruff and distant father of Mary Campbell.
Since the show is a prequel, fans know the rest: Mary married John Winchester and begat Sam and Dean Winchester, the demon-hunting heroes in 15 seasons of “Supernatural.” That means Welling’s character is the future grandfather of Sam and Dean and great-grandfather of Dean II and Emma. Read more…

Hill was the voice of Bosch, Reacher, Wallander, more

Dick Hill was many things – a great stage actor, a powerful singer and, I’m told, a splendid painter. He also did the New York Times crossword puzzle each day, in ink.
But Hill — who died Oct. 4 at 75 — may be best-known for something else — as a great narrator.
That’s his voice – a rich baritone – transforming into Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch aad Kurt Wallander and more. He narrated audio books by Dave Barry, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Ed McBain, Pat Conroy, Nora Roberts, Anne McCaffrey (shown here), Arthur C. Clarke, Clive Barker and more, including memoirs and such by Bobby Knight, Bill Walsh and Tim Conway.
He also did Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Pynchon (all 53 hours of “Against the Day”) and Nathaniel Hawthorne, plus Plato, Kafka, and Dostoevsky. In all, he did more than 1,000 books, winning three Audie awards, a Golden Voice and more. And this was just an accidental sideline. Read more…

Fox fuss: A reality guy takes over

It’s not quite a sign of the apocalypse, but it might be close:
A reality-TV guy has been put in charge of the Fox network.
Rob Wade – who supervised Fox’s reality shows and specials – takes over as the CEO, it was announced today (Oct. 6). He replaces Charlie Collier, who moved on to run Roku, after a run in which a few scripted shows — “The Simpsons” (shown here) and “9-1-1” — prospered and most wobbled. Read more…

Loretta and “Kevin” and a changing world

Two unrelated events recently washed past me, somehow tying together.
One was the death of Loretta Lynn (shown here), who died today (Oct. 4) at 90, peacefully in her bed. She wrote and sang great country stories … and lived a greater one. Try to catch the wonderful movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and/or PBS’ “American Masters” portrait of Lynn. Both tell how she became a wife at 13, a mother at 14, a grandmother at 31 — while emerging as a Nashville star.
(Only recently. that legend was modified. The real numbers, apparently, were 16, 17 and 34; three years were subtracted, adding to the mystique.)
And the other, oddly, was “Kevin Can F Himself.” I was watching a screener of the season-finale, which airs at 9 p.m. Monday (Oct. 10) on AMC. Read more…