SciFi Friday: More Heroes Cast Additons, Doctor Who, and Jerry Was a Man

The cast of Heroes has been expanded for next season to include the population of the planet Earth. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but they sure are adding a lot of cast members. At one time Boston Legal appeared like a home for former Star Trek cast members in having both William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois (Odo) in the regular cast along with Armin Shimerman (Quark) appearing in an arc. Next season only Shatner will remain as a regular, but Heroes is moving well beyond Boston Legal’s record. Heroes started with George Takei (Sulu) last season and then actually made their own Star Trek star when Zachary Quinto (Sylar) was chosen to play Spock in next year’s Star Trek movie. Next season Heroes is also adding Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed from Enterprise).

I’ve already posted on the addition of Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars). Heroes will also be adding a second former star of Alias, David Anders (Sark), to join Steve Grunberg. Other additions include Stephen Tobolowsky of Deadwood and Jessica Collins of The Nine.

With all these additions to the cast of Heroes, The Boston Globe asks if the show is overreaching.

USA Today has interviewed Zachary Quinto regarding his upcoming role as Spock. Quinto appears to verify rumors that the movie will take place before the events of the original television show:

“I really identify with Spock’s struggle,” he says. “We’re going back to a time before anything (Nimoy did in the original series) was established. These characters are in a completely different stage of their lives.”

Heroes isn’t the only show to make news with new cast members this week. I’ve recently posted on the controversial addition of Janeane Garofalo to the cast of 24.

Doctor Who might be having an old cast member joining for an episode next season. While it is unconfirmed, Sylvester McCoy, who played the seventh Doctor, apparently let it slip that Peter Davision, the fifth Doctor, will be appearing in a multi-doctor episode. As time travel is an integral part of the show, it has long been a staple to have periodic episodes in which several different versions of The Doctor meet each other.

This week SciFi Channel shows Human Nature, the first part of one of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever produced. I’ll avoid any spoilers for those who have not seen both parts of this story this yet. (I have previously discussed both parts of this two-part episode here for those who have already seen them).

The third of four episodes of Masters of Science Fiction last week featured an adaptation of a short story by Robert A. Heinlein, Jerry Was A Man. The original story dealt an attempt by a genetically modified chimpanzee to achieve human rights. The story was altered to deal with a robotic being which also contains a small amount of human DNA. Instead of a serious story on human rights, the episode was played largely as a comedy decreasing its impact. Star Trek: The Next Generation handled this topic much better when Data went on trial to argue that he was not property which could be disassembled. With some believing we might have the potential to develop intelligent self-aware robots in the foreseeable future, the issue of robot rights has received serious attention.

With so much to watch, and much of it available on high definition television, those regular DVD’s just are not looking as great as they did when the format was new. I’ve held off on going to a high definition disc format to see how the war between HD DVD and Blue-ray would pan out. There were developments this week when Panasonic and Dream Works went with HD DVD and Fox went with Blue-ray. Unfortunately this only confuses the matter even more.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    lisa bowman says:

    How can i find out if doctor who will be on the sci fi lineup next season
    lisa bowman

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Sci Fi picking up next season but I would sure be surprised if they dropped it.

    Even if they don’t carry the 4th season, it was pretty easy to download every episode using Bit Torrent after they aired on the BBC. The more people upload the episode, the faster the download. I generally found that it took until late evening eastern time to get a decent download. I generally had the full episode which aired Saturday by Sunday morning, and ocassionally I even stayed up late and watched it before going to bed.

    If all else fails, it will be available on DVD–which is less desirable than watching earlier for free but it beats not being able to see it.

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