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First look at the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, on set for new episodes

Written by Sharon Eberson on .

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This image of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) came from BBC America with a warning: "Please note that this picture does not show the Doctor’s new costume."

It does show the first official image of the Twelfth Doctor beginning to film new episodes of the series. Capaldi came on the scene when Matt Smith exited via regeneration during the recent Christmas special, part of the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary season.

In the press release, Coleman is identified as being in the BBC miniseries "Death Comes to Pemberley": fun read for Jane Austen fans, the book is P.D. James' take on a "Pride and Prejudice" sequel. The miniseries also starred Matthew Rhys, ("The Americans") and Matthew Goode. No airdate for the U.S. yet, but I digress ...

The BBC America release on Capaldi's first day of filming included moment by moment details:

 

Arriving on set in Cardiff to begin filming, Peter Capaldi, said:

New job, first day, slightly nervous. Just like the Doctor, I'm emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.”

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, added:

“First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor. In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.”

 

The first episode of season eight is written by Steven Moffat with the second episode penned by Phil Ford. Filming is taking place in Cardiff until August 2014. 

 

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Pittsburgh's Steel City Con arriving at warp speed

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

For sci-fi geeks of all sorts, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Beginning Friday, fans of all things 'Con can enjoy three tech/Trek days of Steel City Con, which takes over the Monroeville Convention Center.

takeiHeadliner is actor George Takei, best known from the classic "Star Trek." Takei spent a bit of last year playing HoloGramps in "Supah Ninjas," the Nickelodeon series filmed at 31st Street Studios, but at Steel City Con, he'll no doubt be answering to "Sulu."

Takei will be signing autographs in a limited appearance each day and also participate in a Q&A session. Oh myyyyy.

A recent addition to the Con lineup is graphic novel artist Neal Adams, who has drawn some of the biggest titles in comics history, from Batman to X-Men and his own creation, "Blood." He'll also be appearing all three days at the event. Hours for Steel City Con are 1-9 p.m. Friday, 10-8 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. More information and schedules can be found at the Steel City Con web site.

Others set to appear include Seinfeld Soup Nazi, Larry Thomas, former pro wrestlers Charles Wright and Ted DiBiase, actor Michael Biehn ("Terminator," "Aliens" and "Tombstone") and young actress Kylie Szymanski, who played the Governor's dear departed zombie daughter on AMC's "Walking Dead."

The Steel City Con bills itself as one of the world's largest toy shows; expect vendors of all sorts and alien races. They'll even be some show cars, including the Time Machine Delorean from "Back to the Future."

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Jimmy Fallon preps for next gig as "Tonight Show" host

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

Jimmy Fallon isn't a rock star but sometimes, he plays one on TV.

A couple of years back, the current "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" star kicked off an Emmy Awards hosting spot with a rousing, all-star "Born to Run" opening number -- complete with The Boss's blue-jean/white tee-shirt, "Born In the USA" look. His many Late Night musical forays are just part of the goofiness; he's also been featured in an epic lip-sync competition against guest John Krasinski. Another legendary lip-sync battle involved Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Merchant.

House band, The Roots, are a big part of each show.

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"I grew up loving music and also loving comedy; I learned to play the guitar later on, like at 15," said Fallon, who was in Pittsburgh today promoting the February 17 start of his hosting "The Tonight Show" on NBC when Jay Leno steps down.

"But I was never in a band... it's almost like, if you like pizza, don't work in a pizzeria, because you probably won't like pizza in five year, won't stand the smell of pizza."

Instead, a young Fallon -- he's 39 now -- chose to bolster the music industry by never allowing his sister or friends to copy any of his purchased record albums. ("If you want it, go out and buy it. when I brought a mix tape to a party, I made sure I left with a mix tape," he said, laughing. "I'd play it, then take it home. I was a very, very weird kid.")

Growing up in Saugerties, New York, Fallon dreamed performing comedy on "Saturday Night Live" but figured he'd work at IBM, like his dad. Hosting "Tonight"? Who even considered that?

With mentor Lorne Michaels still serving as executive producer for Fallon, don't expect "The Tonight Show" to change drastically. "More people involved, more cooks in the kitchen, but it's fine," Fallon said. "Just more network people than I deal with at 12:30. At 12:30, nobody cares what we do."

On December 21, Fallon returns to host SNL, with Justin Timberlake as musical guest.

(For more on Fallon dropping by NBC affiliate WPXI Friday, read Saturday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

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"Scandal" tune hits right note for Pittsburgh's Margie Balter

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

They’re playing her song, and Pittsburgh native Margie Balter couldn’t be happier.

Balter, who grew up in Squirrel Hill, graduated from Winchester-Thurston and studied jazz at the University of Pittsburgh, said it is “crazily wonderful” that a number from her CD, “Music From My Heart” will be heard, possibly twice, on ABC’s hit, “Scandal” Thursday.


MargieBalter“I heard it might be in a restaurant scene,” said Balter, who is a fan of the show but will be, appropriately, walking a red carpet that night at the LA Music Award. “I’ll have to tape it,” she said.

She was at a music conference last Friday when she checked her cell messages and got the good news. Balter, who won previous awards for "Music From My Heart," also makes a living as piano teacher to the stars. Among her clients, who had to learn to quickly play various musical instruments, are Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson, Holly Hunter and Sandra Bullock.

The song, a piano solo called “Bluesie,” was previous chosen for the 2010 feature film, “Date Night,” with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Hollywood music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, who selects songs for everything from “Mad Men” and “Scandal” to “The Hunger Games” trilogy, obtained “Bluesie” via Balter’s licensing agent, Crucial Music.

The LA Music Awards will be her third red carpet event of the week. "I'm super-busy with a variety of things," said Balter, who is also a board advisor for the the non-profit Playing For Change. She's also working on a Christmas song.

Getting music placed is a tough business, she said.
“This is a success, but last week, I had, like, 50 ‘no’s,” Balter said. “It’s a hard thing. You have to be made of some sort of steel and I’m a Pittsburgh girl; I’m made of it.”

 

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A 'Hobbit' update: Fan event, Evangeline Lilly's inspiration, Ed Sheeran sees fire

Written by Sharon Eberson on .

The global fan event for "The Hobbit," hosted by Anderson Cooper (?), gave some insight into the newest character in the Peter Jackson Hobbit-verse: Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, a Silvan Elf of Mirkwood

Go over to the Entertainment Weekly site to learn more about what a huge fan she is of the Tolkien books and how much fun it is being the only girl on a set full of gentlemenly Hobbits and Dwarves and Elves. She also revealed that she looked to Tinkerbell for character inspiration. (In the interview, she's even wearing her hair like the bun headed Disney version of Tink.)

No one keeps his fans more in the loop that Jackson, who vlogs regularly during production. So if you like context to the magic you see onscreen -- with effects supervised by local Oscar winner Joe Letteri, I should add -- check on the notoriously barefoot director from time to time at The Hobbit Blog. You can also check out Ed Sheeran preparing the song "I See Fire" for the second movie installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy, "The Desolation of Smaug."

 

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