SciFi Weekend: Caprica Canceled, New BSG Spin-Off Planned; Spock Cited in Texas Court; Time Traveler Filmed?; Zombies and Mean Girls

As I reported earlier this week, and predicted last week, Caprica has officially been canceled. The show already had one hiatus this year, which probably did not help matters as I bet many viewers are having difficulty keeping track of the large number of plot lines. There will be a second hiatus with the remaining episodes not airing until 2011. As the show is undoubtedly costlier to produce than many of the other shows on SyFy, I can understand why the network decided ratings were too low to justify renewal. However, now that the shows have been made, I would think that it at least holds its own against many of the other shows being aired. If ratings are really that terrible that they don’t want to show the remaining episodes during prime time this fall, they could always air them at odd hours for fans to record.

SyFy is looking at replacing the show with another Battlestar Galactica spin-off based upon William Odama’s role in the first Cylon War. Presumably shows about Cylons involving  actual war do better in the ratings. A two hour pilot movie is planned with production expected to start next year. The Los Angeles Times Reports:

Syfy announced Friday that it’s gearing up to bring fans an all-new chapter in the BSG saga with “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.”

The two-hour spinoff pilot, from executive producer David Eick, will follow a twentysomething William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon War. He soon finds himself leading a top secret mission that could change the course of the war.

“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question: What does it mean to be human?, ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” Eick said in a statement.

“Blood & Chrome” was originally ordered last summer by the network as a Web series, with former “Battlestar Galactica” co-executive producer Michael Taylor tapped to write the nine mini episodes.

In a statement, Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for SyFy and co-head of content for Universal Cable Productions, had this to say:  “The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory. We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”

The  Los Angles Times also interviewed executive producer David Eick about the planned show:

GB: What can you tell us about where this falls in the mythology?

DE: The show takes place when William Adama, the character played by Edward James Olmos in “BSG,” is in his 20s, fresh out of cadet school, on the precipice of experiencing his first taste of combat.  The era — in our mythology – is the threatening, treacherous period known as the First Cylon War, which fans of “Battlestar Galactica” may remember took place over 40 years before the events of “BSG.”

GB: In some ways, all the previously shown history might be seen as confining — we know who lives and dies at this point — so how do you sidestep those challenges?

DE: I’m not sure it’s true that our past history is confining — just because we might meet someone in “Blood & Chrome” whom we don’t recognize as a younger version of someone from the realm of “Battlestar Galactica” doesn’t mean that character necessarily died.  Alternatively, we may meet the ancestors of characters we’ve come to know in “BSG,” which can be Easter eggs for the “BSG” faithful without being a distraction to new viewers of “Blood & Chrome” who may not be familiar with “BSG.”

GB: Anything you can tell us about the title or its origins?

DE: Michael Taylor, one of my partners on the cracking of this story and the writer of the teleplay, gets full credit for the title.  We’d been calling it “the ‘Young Adama’ project,” and then one day the script shows up with that wild and provocative title.

GB: Is there a new character being introduced that you might give us a hint or two about?

DE: “Blood & Chrome” is loaded with new characters, but I’d say the most compelling and unusual is the woman with whom Adama connects most deeply in the pilot — Beka Kelly, an enigmatic, seemingly impenetrable software genius who gives Adama a run for his money in more ways than one.  She’s definitely in the tradition of “BSG’s” and “Caprica’s” uniquely strong, remarkable female characters and will be a huge casting opportunity for someone out there, whom we look forward to discovering…

While Caprica has been canceled, some other genre shows received better news in the past week. ABC picked up No Ordinary Family for the entire season and BBC has renewed Merlin for a fourth season.

In other interesting, even if perhaps not very significant, genre news reported here earlier in the week, the Texas Supreme Court has cited Spock while interpreting the Texas Constitution. The ruling (more details in previous post) quoted Spock ‘s credo “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” spoken as he was dying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If conservatives get upset when an American court cites a foreign court, how will they react to a court citing a Vulcan? Will conservatives begin attacking the principles of The United Federation of Planets as they now attack international law?

The discovery of someone who appears to be using a cell phone in an old Charlie Chaplin film, The Circus, resulted in a lot of buzz about the possibility of a time traveler being caught on film. It was way too much fun to speculate about time travelers to worry about details such as how one would use a cell phone in an era lacking cellular service. The explanation that this was actually an old hearing aide is far less interesting.

Maybe the time traveler in the video above had found a way to communicate through time, like Olivia Wilde in the video above which presents an urgent plea from 2057 to vote. You don’t really want a future in which President Sarah Palin declares super-war on Norway do you?

The Big Bang Theory - The Apology Insufficiency

There continues to be a great hour of genre comedy from 8:00 to 8:30 on Thursday nights. I doubt anyone has questioned including The Big Bang Theory as a genre show considering its frequent references to science fiction and comics, along with its major presence at ComicCon. Last week’s episode had Leonard hook up with Raj’s sister and next week’s episode features a guest appearance by Eliza Dushku (of Dollhouse) as an FBI agent who interviews other cast members for Wolowitz’s security clearance.

I also loosely classify Community as a genre comedy due to its many references to movies and pop culture. This was most obvious in last week’s episode featuring zombies. There’s an even worse threat than zombies on next week’s episode–mean girls led by Hilary Duff.  A video preview is above.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Mauigirl says:

    I’m bummed about Caprica – we just were watching the latest episode “On Demand” on Comcast when I saw your post.  Glad to hear there will be another Battlestar Galactica spinoff in the future though.  LOVE it that the Texas court cited Spock!  Everything we need to know we learned from Star Trek it seems.

  2. 2
    DLoad says:

    1-I still don’t think networks understand the new economics of television. Otherwise, they would not have cancelled Caprica so quickly.
    2-People who bought a season of Caprica on iTunes will be pissed.
    3-The storyline was wandering, but at least we got to see a cylon do what it does best.

  3. 3
    John Lester says:

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  4. 4
    zefred says:

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  5. 5
    49892 says:

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  6. 6
    mbfromhb says:

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  7. 7
    Yuyo says:

    I am so happy Caprica was canceled.
    So much lesbianism and sadness.

  8. 8
    ronald higgins says:

    dunno how i feel about another Battlestar Galactica spin off,BSG was awesome,these spinoffs R tainting its memory http://tinyurl.com/3xotm8l

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