It’s an action-packed week as the San Diego Comic-Con has just kicked off with plenty of breaking news stories that pile on to several major announcements from earlier in the week. I’ve tried to capture as much as possible in today’s post and I will do a special edition of this column early next week to cover the SDCC news from the rest of the weekend.
1. Jodie Whittaker Will Be The First Woman Doctor
The BBC announced Peter Capaldi’s replacement on Doctor Who last weekend, and speculation that a woman would be taking over the role has proven true. Jodie Whittaker will step in as the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor starting with the show’s eleventh season. Whittaker previously starred with tenth Doctor David Tennant in the crime drama Broadchurch, and the showrunner from that series, Chris Chibnall, will also be coming onboard Doctor Who starting with the thirteenth season. Fan reaction to the first woman doctor has been somewhat mixed, but the BBC issued the following statement justifying the move:
The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.
As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.
We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story.
Peter Capaldi still has one more episode left as the Doctor in the show’s upcoming Christmas special. It has not been announced yet if Whittaker will make her first appearance in that episode or at the start of the eleventh season.
2. The #Stargate Franchise Will Continue With ‘Origins’
During MGM’s panel at Comic-Con, they announced plans for a new Stargate series that will launching on a subscription service dedicated to that franchise. The ten-episode series will follow a young Catherine Langford, a character first introduced in the 1994 movie who then recurred throughout Stargate: SG-1‘s run. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the show:
‘Stargate Origins’ will explore a brand new chapter in Catherine Langford’s early history surrounding the extraordinary portal. Young Catherine embarks on an unexpected adventure to unlock the mystery of what lies beyond the Stargate in order to save Earth from unimaginable darkness.
As for the Stargate Command SVOD subscription service, Deadline Hollywood provides the following information:
Stargate Command will provide access to Stargate assets and content from the franchise’s nearly 25-year history, and include a behind-the-scenes look at ‘Stargate Origins’.
It is unclear at this point if that service will have all the episodes of the three television shows (and possible the animated Stargate as well) and also if Stargate: Origins will just be a limited web-series with ten to fifteen minute episodes. Stay tuned for more information on this project.
3. Game Of Thrones Showrunners Headed For A Civil War
Game of Thrones will be wrapping up with its eighth season next year (or maybe 2019), but showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss already have their next gig locked down. They are developing the alternate-history series Confederate, and Variety gives the following description of the project:
‘Confederate’ chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.
Work on Confederate will not begin until the final season of Game of Thrones has wrapped up, so this one will not make it to the schedule until 2019 at the earliest.
4. RIP Martin Landau
Longtime genre veteran Martin Landau passed away last week due to “unexpected complications” at the age of 89. The actor got his big acting break in a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. He would go on to guest-starring roles in shows like The Twilight Zone before grabbing a co-starring role in the spy fi series Mission: Impossible starting in 1966. He and his wife Barbara Bain appeared in the first three seasons of that show. Sci fi fans, though, best remember him as Commander John Koenig from the 1975 Gerry Anderson series Space: 1999 (Barbara Bain co-starred with him in that show as well). Interestingly, Landau could have had another iconic sci fi role as he was approached to play Spock for the original Star Trek. He turned that down, leading to Leonard Nimoy becoming forever identified as the character (Jack Lord was also offered the role of Captain Kirk before William Shatner). Landau is also well-remembered by genre fans for playing Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood biopic in 1994.
5. First Trailer For Netflix Film ‘Bright’ Starring Will Smith
The trailer for the upcoming Netflix urban fantasy movie Bright, starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace, was unveiled at Comic-Con (with an initial sneak peak on the Conan O’Brien Show on Wednesday). The movie (which Netflix gave a hefty $90 million budget) is directed by Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer and written by Chronicle‘s Max Landis. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description:
The story follows a human cop (Smith) forced to work with an Orc (Edgerton). Battling both their own personal differences and an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a deadly, thought-to-be-forgotten relic that in the wrong hands could destroy everything.
It will debut on the streaming service on December 22nd and likely be released in theaters internationally after that. There is no word on whether this could continue as an ongoing series, though Will Smith would likely not be involved with that.
6. MTV Is Not Done With #TeenWolfYet
MTV’s fan-favorite series Teen Wolf wraps up with the final ten episodes of its sixth season which begin airing on Sunday July 30th at 8 PM EST. But once the series is concluded, the network has plans to return to the same world with new characters and possibly some returning cast members in an anthology-type series. There is not much additional information about the new project at this point, but Teen Wolf fans will be happy to know that the show could continue in some format. Also, showrunner Jeff Davis has plans to continue the “current narrative” in podcast form, though the specifics on that have not been revealed either.
7. Next Week Brings Premieres for ‘Midnight, Texas’, ‘Somewhere Between’ and More
More Summer premieres are on the way as four shows will have their bows this coming week, three of which will be on Monday. NBC’s supernatural soap opera Midnight, Texas, from True Blood author Charlaine Harris, debuts at 10 PM EST on Monday. ABC’s time travel series Somewhere Between also debuts on Monday at 10 PM EST, then moves to its regular Tuesday 10 PM EST timeslot the next night. Also, TBS alien-abduction sitcom People of Earth returns for its second season on Monday at 10:30 PM EST. On Sunday, MTV’s Teen Wolf returns at 8 PM EST to air its last ten episodes. Also, Conan O’Brien has two more shows from Comic-Con that will air on Saturday and Sunday. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy shows here.
8. Van Helsing Season 2 Trailer Debuts At Comic-Con
Syfy’s vampire-pocalypse series Van Helsing debuted its Season 2 trailer on Thursday at Comic-Con. That show along with Z Nation will be returning in Fall, likely with a September start date. You can see the preliminary schedule of Fall sci fi and fantasy shows here.
9. Comic-Con News Bytes: Expanded ‘Inhumans’ For TV Debut And More
The debut episode of ABC’s The Inhumans will have more footage than the IMAX version that will run in theaters over the Labor Day weekend.
CW’s The Originals will come to an end with its fifth season. More on that in next week’s Sci-Fi TV Status Report on Tuesday.
The seventh season of American Horror Story, subtitled Cult, will debut on September 5th.
Legion Season 2 has been expanded to ten episodes and has added Saïd Taghmaoui to the cast.
The seventh season of ABC’s Once Upon A Time will debut on Friday October 6th at 8 PM EST.
Look for a special edition of This Week In Sci-Fi TV early next week with news coming out over the weekend from Comic-Con.