SciFi Weekend: Secrets of Fringe and Alcatraz; The Economics of Building The Death Star; Community, Inspector Spacetime and The Game of Thrones Returning; Nude Shots of Kate Middleton on Californication?

The last two episodes of Fringe have included major advances to the plot in the alternative time line as Olivia began having memories from the Olivia of the original time line, we encountered the Nina from the universe, and Peter entered the mind of an Observer. The big revelation was that problems were caused by Peter having a child with Altlivia instead of Olivia. Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter last week, and Collider has a more recent interview:

Was the Observer intel something you’ve been wanting to reveal for awhile now?

WYMAN: Well, we always said that you’d find out about the Observers this season, and that we’re going to investigate them a lot more. So, we’re excited about it all because the Observers are a highlight. For us to constantly break what you think you know, and re-set and have viewers go, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming,” that’s why we get up in the morning. It’s to take people on the ride. We’re excited about what’s coming up, too.

This season, there have been some really great singular cases and stand-alone episodes, but “The End of All Things” was mythology heavy and really speaks to the larger arc this season. How will that effect what viewers see in the final stretch this season?

PINKNER: Well, it’s definitely a game-changer, in that our characters learn a lot more, and the audience is going to learn a lot more, about the uber-plot of our season bad guy, David Robert Jones (Jared Harris). For Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Walter (John Noble), it’s going to start to unfold in ways that, hopefully, will be both really satisfying and challenging to our characters. It’s the 14th episode out of 22, and it’s very much a hinge episode that’s going to launch us into the back half portion of the season.

Do you already know what the final episode for this season will be?

PINKNER: No, we have not written the finale, but we do know what it is. We’ve known the shape of our season before we even started this year.

WYMAN: Fortunately, at the end of every season, we close the chapter and start anew. That’s the language of the series now, so it can organically come to a conclusion that we love.

How soon is it going to become evident what David Robert Jones’ (Jared Harris) uber-plan is, specifically, and how Olivia fits into it?

WYMAN: We can’t say anything, but just remember that, on Fringe, nothing is as it seems. There’s always a little more to the story behind the story. He’s definitely a large part, going forward. A lot of things will come full circle.


PINKNER: We’re well aware of how intelligent our audience is. We’re well aware that Fringe is a show that you really need to lean forward into and pay attention to and think about. It’s not designed to be a show that you can watch while you’re folding laundry. So, we’re well aware of the questions that our audience is inevitably going to ask. We’re well aware of how carefully they watch the show and hold us to continuity. We’re certainly aware of the debates that are going to occur. Our audience holds us to an incredibly high standard of continuity and emotional authenticity. We don’t toy with that, but oftentimes we write stories, in order to spark debate. We’re very determined to always give the answer. We don’t want to leave a lot of things open to debate, at the end of the day.

Episodes of Alcatraz have a formula in which a different prisoner from Alcatraz shows up in the present and must be apprehended every week. Some of the prison staff has also been seen in the present, but very little has been revealed as to what is really going on. Whether the show is successful as a genre show as opposed to a crime show with a twist will depend upon how the mythology of the show is developed. With cancellation of the series a strong possibility after this season, I have feared that we might be kept hanging without real answers. In an interview with TV Guide, executive producers Jennifer Johnson and Dan Pyne indicate that we will receive answers by the end of this season:

Is there a particular reason why Alcatraz prison became the focus point of the disappearance?
Yeah. There are theories that our characters have. We’ll talk about what those theories are by the end of the season, but they may not be the real ones. We’ll understand what Hauser thinks about it and what his think-tank thinks about it, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We may meet a character by the end of the season who does know that specific answer, who probably has a lot more answers than any of the characters we’ve met so far.

Dissecting Alcatraz‘s Mysteries: How many ’63s are working with Hauser?

Will we learn who the powers that be are and what their motives are this season? Or is that a series arc?
Well, it’s a little of both. I think by the end of [Episode] 13 we’ll have an understanding of who that might be.
That’s the character that we were referring to. He might be part of the powers that be.
Pyne: But definitely by the end of the season there will be more of a sense of the game that’s afoot. We won’t be coy about it and keep holding back. There will be a better sense of what’s going on. We may not understand what the endgame is, but at least the players will become a little bit clearer.
It’s complicated because they don’t all have the same goals, which we’re going to hit upon before the end of the season. There’s almost a secret war happening between the ’63s, too. That all interplays with what their relationships were in the past when they were imprisoned or working on Alcatraz.

Is there a reason why some of the ’63s have gone against mission?
Johnson: We won’t say definitively, but we’ll give people the tools to have pretty informed theories about it.

What’s with the fascination with the number three — three keys, three bank robberies and three days of sniper shootings are just some of the few?
There may be more than one number clue.
Forty-seven is an important number, too. But we like three for its stability and the idea that it’s a triangle. We talk about triangles a lot and relationships that have three angles in them.

Dissecting Alcatraz‘s Mysteries: Who is Lucy, really?

Lucy had mentioned in the past that she was going to fix the prisoners with memory-altering experiments. Did she end up being a puzzle piece in the overall mystery of how the ’63s disappeared?
She definitely is a puzzle piece, yes. We may not stick with this forever, but right now, everything that’s happened in the past has happened chronologically in 1960. So, there’s still three years left before the jump. Clearly, allegiances change. Stuff happens in those three years between the time when Lucy comes to prison to start her experiments and 1963 when she obviously disappeared along with everybody else. Certainly, she has some answers to what might have gone on, but she also may not even understand. She didn’t understand at the time what was going on. It may be just now looking back at it that she can start to unravel what she saw.
Yeah, helping the team unravel by knowing the psychology of the inmates. But the Warden (Jonny Coyne) is very Machiavellian. He does not want the left hand to know what the right hand is doing. So, he may utilize different players for their different challenges. But part of his M.O. is not to let any one person know too much of what is going on.

Diego mentioned in the pilot that the Warden had died many years ago. Did he really or is he part of the missing ’63s?
It’s possible.

Will we discover how Lucy came to work with Hauser in the future and see more of their relationship in the past?
Yes. Definitely, 100 percent.
Their love story is one of the great triangles of Alcatraz.
It’s kind of the love triangle between Hauser, Lucy, and the jump itself.

Dissecting Alcatraz‘s Mysteries: Why is Tommy Madsen so important?

Will we find out what Dr. Beauregard (Leon Rippy) was doing behind closed doors at Alcatraz?
You may find out soon, in the next couple episodes. Then once you find out, you may be totally wrong, but you will see some of what he’s up to. He’s a little bit jealous of Lucy’s elevation to the prize poodle on Alcatraz, so he gets up to some hijinks that he maybe shouldn’t.

What can you tell us about the downstairs door that needs to be opened with three keys?
That we’re going to open it before the end of the season. We’ll understand by the end of the season what’s behind that door, at least one layer of it. It was very important to the Warden. There may only be one person that he shares that secret with.

We learned Diego was kidnapped at age 11. Will that come back into play?
That’s his deep, deep back story and a lot of what motivated his fascination with Alcatraz and with comic books. We won’t necessarily go there before the end of the season, but that is part of who he is as a character and why he became part of this team.

Dissecting Alcatraz‘s Mysteries: Hauser and Lucy’s past revealed

Once Rebecca does finally come face-to-face with Tommy, will she be able to let bygones be bygones and realize that he is still her family?
We know the answer to that, but I don’t think we can tell you.

What can you tell us about what is in store for her?
She begins to get a little bit more focused on solving the mystery of what happened to her partner and delving into that day and why he was there. It slowly leads her to some revelations about her partner about the larger mystery of Alcatraz and also about Tommy Madsen.
And what everybody is doing here present day. They discover that there are different factions of ’63s here in present day San Francisco and beyond.

Sarah Jones, who plays Detective Rebecca Madsen, also indicated that there will be pay off for the fans in the last two episodes in an interview with Collider.

Last week the political blogosphere debated whether the Death Star was worth building. Kevin Drum looked at the economics and found that it was a surprisingly cost-effective weapon. A post at Enik Rising argued that it was a bad investment, even if affordable. I bet that such debates prior to the building of the Death Star didn’t take Luke Skywalker into consideration.

Community returns on March 15. There will also be a web series of Inspector Spacetime, a British time travel show which began in 1992 according to Community. Geeks of Doom has more information:

Inspector Spacetime, the Doctor Who-spoofing character whose cheeky sci-fi exploits are vastly enjoyed by Community characters Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover), will soon be seen in his very own web series, but don’t expect to see any cameos from certain Greendale Community College students. Travis Richey, the Inspector himself, is producing the six-episode series independently.

You can expect to see the Inspector and his trusty sidekick Constable Reginald battle their arch-nemesis Boyish the Extraordinary and take on the Blorgons of Second New Old Earth 7 with the aid of the Inspector’s “optic pocketknife.”

Richey wrote to io9 to further clarify his intentions for the web series:

“Dan Harmon, Community, NBC and Sony have nothing to do with this web series. I pitched it to them after my first episode of Community, but never heard back from them one way or another. So I’m going to do it myself, with the help of fans. I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in a matter of hours for an equipment budget, and the complete story can be read there.”

The Game of Thrones returns on April 1 (preview above).

The BBC made a pilot for a series loosely based upon Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently novels in 2010. A three episode series begins on BBC 4 on March 5.

Emilie de Ravin of Lost, who also appears in Once Upon A Time as Belle this season, c0-stars in a pilot for ABC:

Lost alumna Emilie de Ravin is set to co-star in another ABC drama series project,  pilot Americana, a soap about a famous fashion industry clan. It centers on iconic fashion designer Robert Soulter (Anthony LaPaglia), the patriarch of a sprawling family who just welcomed a new member, a young designer whose shocking arrival turns the family and the legendary label inside out. De Ravin, repped by Gersh and manager Darren Goldberg, will play Robert’s chic and outgoing daughter Francesca who is the head of events at Americana but Robert doesn’t consider her a candidate for the heir to his empire, which may have treacherous consequences. Michael Seitzman wrote the script, with Phillip Noyce, who helmed the pilot for ABC’s Revenge last year, directing.

Camilla Luddington, who played Kate Middleton in the Lifetime movie William & Kate, has more recently had a role in Californication. In last week’s episode she was repeatedly seen naked in scenes ranging from swimming in the nude to getting caught by Charlie Runkle while getting out of the shower. In is safe to assume this is the closest we will ever get to seeing any version of Kate Middleton nude on television. Pictures are under the fold if you are seeing this on the main web page (double click on the pictures for larger versions).


SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who; Karen Gillan Takes Manhattan; Billy Piper Beat Her There; Californication; Big Love; Merlin and Camelot; Mad Men; The Borgias

BBC America has released its trailer for the upcoming season of Doctor Who (video above) which starts out with a two part episode in the United States. The BBC America trailer does contain different scenes compared to the BBC One trailer previously posted. The season will have a hiatus over the summer, but we will still be able to see Karen Gillan. During the summer she will be staring in We’ll Take Manhattan:

The BBC has announced the commission of single drama, We’ll Take Manhattan, which explores the explosive love affair between photographer David Bailey and sixties supermodel Jean Shrimpton.

Focusing on a wild and unpredictable 1962 Vogue photo shoot in New York, the drama brings to life the story of two young people falling in love, misbehaving, and inadvertently defining the style of the Sixties along the way.

Karen Gillan will play Jean Shrimpton, in her first lead role since starring alongside Matt Smith as Amy Pond in Doctor Who. The drama is produced by Kudos Film and Television for BBC Four.

Karen said: “Jean Shrimpton is an icon of the Sixties and I am so excited to be playing somebody who had such a lasting impact on the fashion world. I can’t wait to take on the challenge of bringing Jean and Bailey’s fascinating love story to life. Sixties here I come!

Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four, says: “The story of David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton is classic territory for BBC Four – a moment in time, a fusion of talents, that had a huge impact on cultural life. It is a drama that is all about being alive and taking a chance, being young and kicking down the statues, and yet it is also a beautiful love story. And if you want to know why our world looks like it does, then this is the drama that tells you.”

Set predominantly in 1962, but also exploring the story of how Bailey and Shrimpton first met, this one-off drama reveals how a young, visionary photographer refused to conform. He insisted on using the unconventional model Jean Shrimpton on an important photo shoot for British Vogue and, over the course of a freezing week in Manhattan, threw out the rule book and made startling, original photographs.

We’ll Take Manhattan is the story of that wild week, of Bailey and Jean’s love affair, and of how two young people accidentally changed the world forever.

About the drama, Claire Parker of Kudos Film and Television, says: “In Jean, Bailey found someone that he and his camera fell in love with. We’ll Take Manhattan captures the essence of their dynamic affair and how they unwittingly changed the face of a decade. This is a really exciting opportunity to tell an intimate love story that plays out against the backdrop of Britain on the cusp of huge social and cultural change. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to make another film for BBC Four and are thrilled to have Karen Gillan on board as Jean.”

Billy Piper

An actress who previously stared as a companion on Doctor Who has  beaten The Doctor to America and has beaten Karen Gillan to Manhattan. Billie Piper’s character on Secret Diary of a Call  Girl had an episode taking place in New York City concerning making a movie of the book written the previous season. The fourth season recently completed its run in Great Britain and resumes on Showtime on April 7.  The relationship between Belle and Ben was a major component of the season. Other major characters in the fourth season include Lily James as Stephanie’s teen-age daughter, Paul Nicholls as a vice cop who becomes interested in Belle, and Genna Chan as a dominatrix.

Also on Showtime, Californication and Big Love recently concluded, with statutory rape becoming a major issue on both last season. Californication might resume three years in the future, after Hank has written a successful book about his life in California,  while Big Love has concluded the series. I was disappointed with the ending of Big Love. I didn’t object to Bill’s fate, but didn’t like that his murder occurred leaving major story lines unresolved. The charges of statutory rape dominated the season. The pressure’s on Bill’s business even were escalated during the final episode, but suddenly these problems were made irrelevant with Bill’s death as opposed to resolving them.

Also on cable television, the contract battles between Matthew Weiner and AMC were resolved, somewhere between the positions of both. Mad Men has been renewed for two more seasons, with Weiner also getting an option to do a seventh. This would provide time for Weiner to plot out where he wants to take the show long term. Mad Men will return in early 2012.

Starz began Camelot, its racier version of the King Arthur legend, while SyFy is in the midst of the two-part season finale of Merlin. The end of the season of Merlin has brought the story far closer to the more traditional legends and the two-part season finale was among the best episodes of the series. The stories are quite different, with Arthur actually living with his father in Camelot on Merlin, but  Merlin has now reached a situation comparable to where the Starz version of  Camelot is starting with the conflict between Arthur and his half-sister.

Showtime is starting The Borgias tonigiht. As has occured with other series on Showtime, the first episode “leaked” out early and I watched last night. The series shows promise as a new version of The Tudors, this time taking place in the Vatican.

Changes For Three TV Dads: Dexter Morgan, Don Draper, & Ted Mosby

There’s major changes this season for three TV dads: Dexter Morgan, Donald Draper, and Ted Mosby. Some hints as to how Rita’s murder has affected Dexter can be seen in the trailer above which was first released at San Diego Comic Con. Warning, the trailer and this post contain spoilers.

The upcoming season takes place immediately after the events of the last season. Rita’s murder is bound to affect how Dexter takes action against other murderers and there are reports that Julie Benz  will be appearing next season. I don’t know if this will be in flash backs, scenes of a dead Rita talking with Dexter as Dexter speaks with his dead father, or if she will be used in some other way.

Dexter Rita's Funeral

There are reports that there will not be a new romantic interest for Dexter so soon after Rita’s death. There will also not be a single major villain for Dexter to cope with and instead there will be a number of story lines. Nobody could compete with John Lithgow’s portrayal of Trinity, and it might be best to not even try to compete with that this soon.

As can be seen in the trailer, Quinn is suspicious of Dexter, and he gets Deb to look at him differently. In the books Deb found out about Dexter’s secret hobby. Dexter seems to confess to Rita’s murder in the trailer, but from the rest of the information available this is clearly misleading. Rumor also has it that the police have another suspect in mind–Kyle Butler!

Don Draper Mad Men

The new season of Mad Men has already begun (full episode on line here), and the story has jumped ahead one year after Don has both lost Betty and is involved in starting up a new advertising company. Personally Don is doing far worse than I’d have predicted. Instead of having lots of girl friends a year later, he is resorting to  hiring a prostitute. Perhaps Don is capable of easily getting involved in purely sexual affairs while married, but is having difficulty getting involved in a true relationship now that he is single. It probably has not helped Don’s ego that he lost Betty after she found out about his unimpressive background.

In some ways the prostitute seemed more normal than Don as she spoke of having to leave early to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Even stranger, Don was paying her to hit him. Maybe he’d be happier with Madeline Zima’s character on Californication who is into such things.

Instead of renting a fancy bachelor pad in midtown, Don has moved to an apartment Greenwich Village which does not appear to be of the quality that would be expected from a successful advertising executive. Perhaps it is where Don thinks that Dick Whitman belongs. Professionally Don seemed down at the start but has made a come back by the end of the episode, as seen with the differences between his two interviews.

Beyond the changes to Don, the episode had Peggy and Joey repeatedly referring to John and Marsha. I previously discussed the meaning of these scenes here.

Rachel Bilson with Ted Mosley on How I Met Your Mother

Ted Mosley will be moving towards the eventual conclusion of series on How I Met Your Mother. Rachel Bilson, who we know is the room mate of the eventual mother of Ted’s children, will be returning but I suspect we will not actually see the room mate until a later date. We should be moving towards finding out her eventual identity, and reportedly next season puts an end to the game of having every female Ted meets be a suspect for his eventual wife.

Things might also not be entirely over for Ted and Robin. I even wonder at times if they are playing an elaborate game with the viewers. The first episode was written to give the impression that Robin was Ted’s eventual wife, but the episode concluded with Ted telling his children that it was the story of how he met “Aunt Robin.” Since then to recurring question is whether every girl he meets is the actual one with Robin supposedly not being fated to be Ted’s wife.

How I Met Your Mother

Ted did date Robin for a while and the two eventually broke up. I’ve wondered, however, if Robin doesn’t eventually become Ted’s wife in that future we’ve seen very limited scenes of. There are several ways, such as death or divorce, in which Ted could have been married to someone else, have the children, and still wind up married to Robin at the time Ted is talking to  his kids. An even more bizarre situation would be if Robin is the mother but some reason is developed to have them claim that someone else is the mother.

A recurring story line will involve having Ted working on a project involving the Goliath National Bank building. A new character will be opposing the development. Is there any doubt that if a new female character is brought in to be Ted’s new nemesis he will also try to date her?

In other developments during the season, Barney meets his father–and it is not Bob Barker. Marshall and Lily proceed with plans to have a child, but there will be complications along the way.

SciFi Weekend: Game Changes For Dollhouse, Dexter, Californication, and Doctor Who

There have been several episodes of genre shows which have been real game changers–in some cases providing season finales and in other cases setting up for finales for a show or a character. Beware, this edition of SciFi Weekend is packed with major spoilers if you still plan to watch any of these.

Dollhouse has been a far stronger show since it has been working towards a  conclusion–but I sure wish the show had been given more time. Stop-Loss, the first of Friday’s tw0 episodes, provide more background on Victor’s past. At first it seemed to answer the question of whether people are free after their five year contract ends but it turned out that Victor was not really free of Rossum. Although free of the Dollhouse, he wound up turned into a member of an almost B0rg-like army with joined minds

We also we saw more of Echo’s growing strength as she has learned to maintain her memories after having them wiped. The episode ended with Adelle sending her to The Attic–setting up the second episode. We moved from a Borg-like army in the first episode to minds joined in a computer from around the world reminiscent of The Matrix. At first I questioned the value of this episode with so few left, but the pay-off ultimately turned out to be far greater than expected. In the end we learned that Echo was sent to the Attic not because Adelle feared her but because Adelle knew that Echo was the one person who could make it back out of the Attic, where she believed Rossum’s biggest secrets were hidden.

Rossum turned out to be even more evil than we ever suspected. Not only have they been seeking to expand their wealth and power, they have been doing so despite finding that the apocalypse seen in Epitaph One was probably inevitable once they began using mind-wiping technology. At the end of the episode, rather than seeing Adelle as giving in to Rossum’s evil, we now have a united group determined to fight Rossum. Knowing what will occur from Epitaph One it appears they are doomed to failure, unless we were misled by the episode. Joss Whedon has hinted that the memories revived in the episode might not be accurate. It is far from clear where those memories do fit into the time line of the regular episodes, with some events presumably already having occurred.

Until the final few minutes of the season finale, Dexter appeared to be ending the season with Dexter prepared to give up killing, realizing this was the only way to preserve his married life. It was too late, with an ending I have been expecting for several weeks. Several episodes suggested that married life would not work for Dexter, and we had  hints of such a shocking ending from stars of the show.

Rita’s death raises may questions for the next season as there are risks that the death could raise suspicions about Dexter, especially if his connection to Trinity should be revealed. Batista had walked by Dexter and Arthur when Arthur came to track down Dexter at the police station. By itself this would not be much of a problem as Dexter could develop a story which suggests that Arthur had been stalking Dexter and Rita to prepare for the kill with Dexter having no idea that he was the Trinity killer. However, if Batista should recall the meeting and the other connections between the two come out, this would be far harder to explain.

The biggest risk to Dexter comes from Arthur’s family. One scenario is that they see news coverage of Dexter as the husband of the latest killer and mention that they (along with Arthur) knew Dexter under another name. There are easy solutions to this also, ranging from them never seeing a picture of Dexter to having Dexter convince them that he was helping them both get rid of Arthur and recovering his money. Under these circumstances they might agree to keep quiet.

The other question of the season was how much Debra would figure out, especially considering that in the books she did find out that Dexter was a killer. The season ended with her finding out the truth about Dexter’s parents, and perhaps she’ll learn even more about her half-brother.

I assume we had the scene where the FBI took over the case so that there would be a reason why Debra (and now Dexter) would not be devoting their time to searching for Arthur. Dexter can’t very well tell anyone that there is no reason to search for Arthur because he killed him. Dexter will have to act as if he believes that the killer of his wife is still at large (assuming he doesn’t alter the circumstances of Rita’s death to remove the connection to the Trinity killer).

It has been revealed in interviews posted after the episode aired that Dexter will be a single father. We don’t know if that means to just his own son or also to Cody and Astor. The show could give clear answers to the questions above, or brush them aside by jumping ahead in time. We don’t know for sure how Dexter will react to finding Rita’s body, but there is no doubt that this will make him even more motivated to kill serial killers (if not others).

Showtime had a second series last Sunday with a season ending cliff hanger which will increase interest in the upcoming season. Agent Mulder has been spending the last few years as a sex-addict on Californication. Most of this season was weak, but what really matters is the long term arc with his family, and Mia. Madeline Zima, who was unseen most of the season as she had role on Heroes, returned for the finale. Just as it appeared that Hank was finally going to have a chance to live happily ever after with Karen, everything fell apart.

To a certain degree I feel sorry for Hank. Karen knows that when the two were apart he would sleep around almost indiscriminately. She knows that he spent the time before she returned with all three main female characters of the season. At the time Hank slept with Mia after meeting her in a book store, Hank really did not know that Mia was both jail bait and the daughter of Karen’s previous fiance. Knowing what she already knows about Hank, it really isn’t fair to get so mad at him for what happened with Mia.  Of course Hank might not be in this situation at all if he had not slugged Mia’s boyfriend, precipitating his call to the police.

Hank is at his lowest point as the episode ended, but it is actually easy to see him recovering. I doubt he will remain in jail for either the fight or having once slept with Mia, and he now has a chance to be recognized as the true author of the book which Mia stole. It will be harder to patch things up with Karen, but it wasn’t realistic to think the two would remain together without further problems.

I initially did not want to say very much about The Waters of Mars when it first aired until its airing in the United States on BBC America. The key aspect of the show which I previously avoided discussing was how The Doctor, contrary to how he has acted in the past, decided to change history. This has been handled inconsistently in the past, but the show has established that there are some things which cannot be changed, even if the rational for this is questionable.

The Doctor knew when he arrived on the Mars base that everyone would die and this fell in the class of events which should not be changed. He realized that with the rest of the Time Lords dead, he no longer had anyone to answer to. He decided to save the lives of a few people and he proclaimed himself the “Time Lord Victorious.” An Ood appeared, he heard the sound of the Cloister Bell, and he realized that he had gone too far. It was now approaching time to for The Doctor to die (and to regenerate). This sets up the final two-part episode with David Tennant as the tenth doctor, The End of Time. In this preview, we also see that John Sims returns as The Master:

FlashForward ended the fall run with several twists.  In order to make it easier for new people to pick up the series, they are releasing the episodes aired so far on DVD on February 23, 2010. This will give people time to watch the full series in time for its resumption in March.

Avatar was the latest genre release to create controversy with several blogs discussing its alleged racism and  I09‘s plea to for white people to stop making movies like Avatar. Lawyers, Guns, and Money also argues that the movie is racist.

SciFi Weekend: Dexter Finale Tonight

This has probably been the best season of Dexter yet thanks to John Lithgow’s portrayal of the Arthur Mitchell and the many twists this season. Twists include finding that, just as the Foundation and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogies wound up having more than three books, the cycle of the Trinity killer contains four rather than three killings. Last week’s key twists including the suicide of Christine after confessing to shooting Lundy and Debra, and the ending in which Mitchell discovers  Dexter’s identity.

Even bigger twists are likely to be present tonight. Julie Benz (Rita) has hinted at a shocking ending. Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C. Hall’s wife in real life and sister Debra on the show, has also said that Dexter will never be the same and warns that “maybe all of our trailers won’t be there next year.” She also hinted at changes in an interview with E!

Give it to us straight. How good is the season finale?
I have to give a lot of our fans credit. The stuff that they come up with and the guesses that they make on how it’s going to end are really impressive, but you just can’t top our writers. All the time you put in [episodes] one through 11 watching the show, you’ll be glad that you did in 12. Everybody matters in the end. Everybody matters. We all had to be there to shoot the finale.

How does it set up season five?
At the end of every season, collectively, the writers, the producers, the actors, we all sort of cry, “What are we gonna do next year?” And this season it ended and everybody said, “Well, what can’t we do next year?” I know the mold is sort of breaking and that’s an exciting thing. I think people are kind of getting comfortable sitting in their living rooms with a serial killer, and my hope is to make him more dangerous.

Will Deb find out about Dexter’s mom? It seems like she’s getting close.
They’ve been sort of unraveling that cord for four years now, so I can’t say that anything is finished. That’s sort of the brilliance of the finale and the twisted psyche of our writers. It’s sort of epic and vast, and it all counts. I feel like a lot of viewers are waiting for the big payoff, the big reveal when Deb finds out, but I think it will be more exciting and feel more dangerous if the blanket’s not just ripped off the secret, if it’s slowly discovered. So I guess we’ll all get there someday.

Do you think Deb will ever discover Dexter’s big secret, that he’s a serial killer?
Personally, being a player in this game, I want to see it happen, partly, just because I’m curious. I think I know Deb as well as anyone, and I think they [the writers] would claim to know her just as well, and I’m interested to see if we’re all on the same page about what it would look like. We all throw around ideas just for fun when we’re waiting on-set, or even after when we’re on hiatus and all hanging out as friends we all say, “Well, what if this happened?” and “What if that happened?” And I have real responses to what people say. I get angry about it; I get hurt about it. I get protective of it. So I’m ready to go in any direction that they tell me to move, but I don’t think you can tease an audience the way we have about her getting close to it without giving them the payoff, whatever it is.

Whatever is going to happen tonight, Showtime has taken extreme precautions to avoid it leaking out:

Word is, there will be a turn so unexpected on Sunday that it will change the whole series.

Not surprising, considering this is “Dexter” we’re talking about and the season has been loaded with twists.

A finale that doesn’t trump what’s already gone down would probably be considered a disappointment by fans.

But if the intense measures that Showtime has taken to protect the secrecy of what’s in store are any indication, there’s not much for viewers to worry about.

We’re told non-disclosure agreements were signed by everyone on staff and at the network, decoy scripts were drafted and disseminated, each and every screener was watermarked and sets were closed to anyone that didn’t absolutely have to be around during shooting.

It is quite possible that whatever happens is totally different from the ideas I’ve speculated on during the season. The writers really do seem to be well ahead of the fans. Considering the degree to which Rita has hindered Dexter this season, I wonder if she winds up getting killed by Trinity, or winds up leaving Dexter. Perhaps she’ll discover his secret. The character who is even more likely to figure it out is Debra, perhaps as a consequence of both going after the same killer. In the clip above she has learned a little more about Dexter’s past. In the first novel, which was similar to the first season of Dexter, Debra did wind up learning Dexter’s secret.

The success of this season is largely due to John Lithgow’s portray of Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity killer. There is really no point in even bothering to nominate anyone else this season for best supporting actor in a drama. In the above video, Harry Smith interviewed John Lithgow about playing the role. The video includes a short clip from the finale which gives a clue as to what happens during the confrontation between Dexter and Arthur at the conclusion of last week’s episode.

If Arthur wasn’t creepy enough when seen caring out the murders, he was shown to be even sicker in the scenes with his family. This clip from the finale shows yet another incident between Arthur and his family:Update: I’d been expecting this for several weeks (as I predicted here) and the episode certainly foreshadowed such a development (unless you really believed Dexter was just going to settle down). Showtime certainly had a great night with cliff hangers, both on Dexter and Californication. Both endings should increase interest in next season.

SciFi Weekend: Abrams On The Next Star Trek Movie; Wil Wheton on Big Bang Theory; Shocking Finale for Dexter; Lauren Graham; Olivia Wilde; Kristen Bell; and the PB & J Wedding


J.J. Abrams has talked more about the sequel to his Star Trek movie in an interview with Cinematical:

Since you were able to wipe the slate clean with your prequel, do you plan to come up with something completely original, or is there a possibility you will reference some of the existing creatures or races in the next installment?

Abrams: The fun of this movie series is that we will have the opportunity, given its alternate timeline, to cross paths with any of the experiences, places and characters that existed in the original series. We have to be really careful, obviously, doing that. I don’t want to do something that is so inside that only die-hard fans will appreciate.

Will the first film’s alternate timeline affect what you can leave in and what can’t be a part of subsequent films?

Abrams: The trick in doing any movie, but especially something like this that involves some weird alternate reality-time travel thing is that you don’t want to not explain it, but you don’t want to explain everything. I think you have as much fun with the missing pieces as you do with the pieces you get. So, for me, not knowing every detail, allows me to get inside of the story and start to fill in the blanks. When everything is spoon-fed, typically I feel like you’re being pandered to, or it’s too expositional. It’s always a balance.

You managed to contemporize what was an aging franchise, with your work on Star Trek, and you talked about including more current events in the sequel. Do you think that Star Trek is evergreen, or is it something that needs to be continuously updated for each generation?

Abrams: It’s hard to give a blanket answer to that question. I do think that, whether it’s Star Trek or anything, whatever is being investigated, created or produced now, in movies or TV, needs to consider the context in which it is being distributed. It’s not a vacuum. There are certain universal themes of love, conflict, loyalty or family that are everlasting and that need to be presented in a way that makes it feel relevant, even if it’s a period piece. You need to consider what context that film, that story and those characters are being seen in. But, having said that, with Star Trek, it’s not like we’re looking to make the second movie some kind of heavy political allegory. I think that it’s important that there is a metaphor to what we know and that there is relevance, and I think allegory is the thing that made shows like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek resonate and still be vital today.

But, because the first movie was so much about introducing these people, and it was very much a premise movie about how to bring these people together, it made it difficult to also have the film go as deep as it could, about certain conflict, certain relationships and the heart of who some of these characters are. I think it was successful in what it needed to do, to introduce these people, but I feel like, now that we’ve done that, it is the job of the next film to go a little bit deeper. It shouldn’t be any less fun or take itself too seriously, but consider who these people are now and grow with them, and just examine them a little more closer, now that we’ve gotten through the pleasantries and introductions.


Wil Wheton will be guest staring on the October 19 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon holds the role of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation against Wheton. TV Fanatic reports:

“As much as Sheldon loves Star Trek, Wil Wheaton is the only person associated with the franchise whom Sheldon has sworn eternal enmity toward,” the actor said when asked about by TV Guide Magazine about his role.

So, why does Sheldon have such animosity for Wheaton? The character apparently did not enjoy an autograph experience with Wil many years ago.

“The Wil I play in the Big Bang universe is not such a nice person,” Wheaton said. “But in real life, I go out of my way to be kind and patient. My motto is: ‘Don’t be a d—!’”


The BBC has released the new logo for the upcoming season of Doctor Who, including the use of DW in the shape of a Tardis.

Julie Benz Dexter

Julie Benz, in an interview with CinemaBlend, has revealed that a real shock is planned for the season finale of Dexter:

Your character has really developed into a pivotal part of the show. What can we expect from Rita this season?
Wow, this season. Obviously at the beginning of the season we see Rita has it all. I mean, she has everything she’s ever wanted. She has the perfect husband, the great kids, the new baby, the dream house in the suburbs but you know, just like anything, nothing great lasts forever. We have an amazingly shocking ending this season. I mean, it’s so shocking that – it’s just shocking is all I can say. It shocked the whole cast.

So you’ve already filmed the last episode?
We are in the middle of filming it right now.

Any chance Dexter will let her in on his secret?
Oh! I don’t know about that. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but you know, you definitely see worlds collide; everybody’s world collides in this season.


So far I haven’t been very excited about the new television season. At present the only new shows I’m watching are Flash Forward, Modern Family, and Glee.  There are some new shows to come including remakes of V and The PrisonerParenthood, based upon the Ron Howard movie, has been delayed due to Maura Tierney developing medical problems. She is to be replaced by Lauren Graham, who will play the part of a single mother. She is well prepared for this role after staring in Gilmore Girls. Any chance they can get Alexis Bledel to quest star on an episode and reunite the pair?


Ausiello reports that “Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson’s trailers have not been emptied out” and predicts that they will reappear on House.


Kristen Bell has been busy since leaving Veronica Mars and Heroes. Couples Retreat has just been released and she has now been signed to star along with Christina Aguilera in Burlesque:

The story follows a young small-town girl (Aguilera) as she ventures into the city in the hopes of becoming a star. Soon she discovers an L.A. burlesque bar, where the men are fast and the women faster. She quickly uses her amazing voice and burlesque dancing to become the joint’s new star.

Bell plays the club’s big-shot dancer who doesn’t take a liking to the new girl’s sudden success. Also starring are Cher, as the nightclub’s experienced owner, and Stanley Tucci as the man who helps Aguilera find her moves.


Heroes is still struggling to recover, this week resorting to a lesbian kiss between Hayden Panettiere and Madeline Zima. While this has created some buzz for the show, it is doubtful that it will do anything to help the show get back on track. Zima is better known recently for her role along with David Duchovny in Californication.


The big television event of the season so far has been the wedding of Pam and Jim on The Office. While hour long episodes of The Office have often not worked very well, feeling like two stories merged together, this episode worked very well. The episode included take offs of a couple of popular You Tube videos. I’ve previously posted the video of the JK Wedding Entrance Dance which inspired the entrance at the wedding ceremony. The episode also showed Dwight wearing a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt:

SciFi Weekend: Improving Heroes; Torchwood Not Sanitized; True Blood Season Two; Terminator Times Three; And Actresses Doing Their Job

With Pushing Daisies being canceled, Brian Fuller is returning to Heroes. He discussed his ideas on improving the show and gives some information on the arc for the second half of the season in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

AUSIELLO: Where did Heroes go wrong, in your opinion?
It became too dense and fell into certain sci-fi trappings. For instance, in the “Villains” arc, when you talk about formulas and catalysts, it takes the face off the drama. And I think the goal for everybody is to put a face back on the drama. You have to save something with a face; otherwise you don’t understand what you’re caring about. I thought the “Villains” arc started out very interestingly, and then became sort of muddy and dense and I couldn’t get my hooks into the characters to understand their motivations. I also started to feel confused about what people’s abilities were. One of the great things about the first season is that the metaphor for their abilities was very clear. Those metaphors seem to have gotten complicated in the past two seasons. I share that concern with everybody on the writing staff. It’s not like I’m coming in and saying, “This is what you need to do to fix it!” Everybody knows what needs to be fixed and everybody is sort of rowing in that direction.

Your work starts with episode 19, yes?
Yes. I’m fortunate to be coming into a very exciting story line. [Former co-exec producers] Jeph [Loeb] and Jesse [Alexander], before they left the show, set so many great events in motion with the “Fugitives” arc [kicking off Feb. 2]. It really is a fresh start. All of the characters are back in their real lives. You see Peter as a paramedic. Claire is looking for colleges. We get away from the world of formulas and quasi-magic.

Are the “Fugitives” episodes leading up to 19 solid?
Yes. Episodes 14, 15 and 16 are amazing. The whole “Fugitives” arc starts out very strongly, and then it gets a little dense in the middle in terms of the mythology. So I came in right at the point where everybody was realizing, “Oh, we’re getting too dense here and we need to put faces on stories because there is no face to a formula; there is no face to saving the world.” So it’s turning this big ship back into a character stream, and everyone on the writing staff shares that desire. We need to get back into a character place, because that’s where this story started: Very clean, superhero metaphors to everyday life. That’s the path that we’re taking. But it is a big ship so it’s going to take a little while to turn it.

Any plans to trim the sprawling cast?
People will die. And some will return. Matt’s wife [Janice] comes back. We’ll find out what happens when you have a superbaby. We’re also going to tell fewer stories per episode. We’re going to limit it to three or four with one big one that you can wrap the stories around. We’re altering the structure of the show so that there’s a very clear A story that takes up a larger percentage of the show so that that story gets traction.

Are you looking at Season 4 as a complete reboot of the series?
It’s not necessarily a reboot as much as it is going back to the basic spirit of the show and pulling people back in. I don’t think the issues with the show have been about the serialization as much as about the density of the stories that have been serialized.

The second season of Torchwood seemed a little tamer than the first, and there were fears that having this season’s Torchwood miniseries on BBC 1 would result in it being toned down even more. SyFy Portal reassures us that this is not the case:

“We certainly haven’t neutered or sanitized it in any way,” Lyn told the official Torchwood magazine. “We want appeal to a bigger audience than ever, but it’s not been turned into a Children’s BBC show to achieve that. The key thing for Season 3 is that, no matter how dark it gets, we still want to keep the warmth ‘Doctor Who’ has in abundance.”

The third season, otherwise known as “Children of the Earth,” will run over five nights and collectively will tell an epic tale that will test the Torchwood team like never before.

“‘Torchwood: Children Of Earth’ is about how human beings behave when they’re faced with an unstoppable force, something so much bigger than they are,” Lyn explained. “Some of them turn out to be heroes, and some of them turn out to be shits. I think that describes at least one of the dominant themes of these episodes.

“Also, the love story between Captain Jack and Ianto continues to unfold, as does the story of married life for Gwen and Rhys, as Rhys’ character comes into play a lot more, and he becomes almost the fourth member of the team, largely by accident. It’s hard to have perspective on it when you’re right in the middle of filming, so I think I’ll just say it’s going to be brilliant.”

24 returns with a four hour season premier over two nights starting on January 11. Of course the best way to watch 24 is on DVD, catching several hours in a row in real time. Getting the first four hours quickly will give a bit of this experience. While the show now takes place in Washington, D.C. and CTU is gone, there will be some familiar faces, such as Chloe returning to help Jack hack into some computers.  Spoiler TV has pictures showing the return of Elisha Cuthbert, along with a brief teaser of the premier.

The Live Feed has picked up some information on the second season of True Blood:

Jason goes into the Fellowship of the Sun church in a big way and is surprised by what he finds there. There’s a new creature in town that is unlike any other. Nobody knows what this creature is, I’m not sure if it will be entirely explained in the show — it’s not a werewolf. There are new romances for Tara, Jason and Sara. Bill and Sookie have a lot of issues to sort out — including having made a new teenage vampire that’s living in their house. Bill and Sookie also go to Dallas to find one of their own who has gone missing.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles continues to take advantage of the time travel aspects of its premise. We are accustomed to shows such as Lost in which episodes show events taking place at two different points in time. This week’s episode of Sarah Connor, Alpine Fields, takes this further in having the episode involve three different times. In the present Derek assists with the birth of a child. Interspersed is one story from six months earlier showing Sarah save the family from a Terminator. A third story line shows why the birth is important. We find that the child grows up to have a rare immunity to a plague which Skynet attempts to use to kill the remaining humans, allowing a cure to be developed. In many ways the story of the saving of this child is a close parallel to the entire Jon Connor story.

I wonder if this is all a way for Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) to obtain a ton of publicity without having to do (or remove) a thing. Her interview with the Times of London received tons of links due to this exchange:

She still loves acting, naturally — she would even, steady chaps, go nude. “Yes,” she says. “For Bernardo Bertolucci. It . . . depends. I’m not getting my kit off any time soon, but it is part of my job.”

I imagine that appearing nude on the cover of the January GQ is also part of Jennifer Aniston’s job.

Now on to catching up to tonight’s shows on my DVR. It is the season finale of both Dexter and Californication. Fortunately only the star of one of these shows suffers from the psychological flaw of its main character in real life.

Not Enough Nudity On The Internet

Mark Cuban complains that there is not enough nudity on the internet. As strange as this sounds, he does have a point when you consider the types of material with nudity:

It occurred to me that its possible to find porn. Its possible to find PG 13 type videos,but its really difficult to find R rated videos. Sure there are Playboy or Mr SKin type sites that will titillate us, and there are the sites where college kids go wild, but thats not what Im referring to. Where are the internet videos that cover grown up subject matters, where nudity “that contributes to the subject matter” isn’t considered gratuitous or pornographic ?

You cant post that kind of material on Youtube , Myspace, Yahoo or AOL Video. So where will user generated content geared towards a more “mature” audience go ? Dailymotion ? Or does internet hosted video never get past PG – 13 ? Has internet hosted video evolved into the most censored medium of our generation ? If you really want to go beyond PG 13, do you have to host it yourself on your own website ?

Does this mean he’s going to start putting more mature shows with nudity on HD Net? Cable, of course, does have the internet beat in this regard. For example, all those non-gratuitous and non-pornographic steamy sex scenes with Natalie Dormer as Ann Boleyn (pictured above) on The Tudors certainly contributed to the subject matter and our understanding of English history. (An example is here, along with some pictures from Californication, which I will allow viewers to decide whether they are gratitutious and/or pornographic).

SciFi Friday: Jaime Sommers Heats Up; Save the Cheerleader, Save the Dolphins; and a Runaway Bride

The writers are going on strike Monday, but with this season being so mediocre they risk not having anyone care. It doesn’t help that Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Jericho, 24, and Doctor Who all remain on hiatus until winter or spring. The new series have generally been disappointing. I’ve stuck with Bionic Woman primarily due to its ties to Battlestar Galatica in the hopes it will improve. The mixture of home life with Jaime’s life as an agent, along with the conflicting spy agencies, does give it some of the feel of the early years of Alias. spoke with Michelle Ryan (above) who says things will be heating up:

Things are going to be heating up for “The Bionic Woman” — and as that “Woman,” Michelle Ryan, tells us, “It’s definitely time.” As the 23-year-old British actress says of her heroic character, “Everything she does is for others. The time has come for her to think of herself and have some fun.”

That fun is being shared by actor Jordan Bridges (Beau‘s son) in the role of Tom, who was introduced to “Bionic” viewers last week. Tips Michelle, “He’s going to be doing three episodes — at least.” She adds that the pairing “has a nice chemistry. I think it will be a good addition to the show.”

That show has only a few more episodes to shoot before its seasonal hiatus, but Michelle gives the strong impression that the program will be given plenty of time to improve its ratings. “NBC,” shares Ryan, “will be giving the series a big second launch in January.”

With so many other shows on hiatus, Heroes was left as the major genre show of the fall season. There have been many complaints the the show is dragging this season, but it would be difficult to repeat its novelty in the second season. With so many characters we often see brief, and rather trivial, stories about one character after another. I’m still hoping there will be a payoff as all the various stories weave together, and adding Kristen Bell (above) cannot be a bad thing. They are signs of major problems which can include all the characters including the return of Sylar, the infection, the new and improved Company, and the killing of the older generation. Last week Peter Petrelli one again saw a future New York which has been destroyed. While this worked the first season, it doesn’t have the same impact the second time around–especially without the compelling tag line, “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.”

Heroes might also be affected by the strike. The planned six episode spin-off, Heroes Origins, has been put on hold, possibly due to either the strike or to this season’s decline in ratings. There is also talk that an alternative ending has been written for the December 3 episode so that it could be used as a season finale due to the strike.
If Heroes is not filming, Hayden Panettiere has some other activities to keep her busy around the water (besides sitting at the beach as above). Panettiere has recently been protesting the hunting of dolphins:

“Now more than ever the world has to come together to make changes. Just because certain cultures have had long-standing traditions does not mean that in today’s world they are acceptable any longer. The world and the environment are evolving and that means we must change our ways as human beings as well.”

On her reasons for supporting the cause she said, “The dolphins and whales in our ocean are a part of a larger eco-system that prevents the killing off of other marine life. By destroying these animals and not allowing our future generations to enjoy their beauty, we are causing our own selves damage. I always felt the need to speak on behalf of these helpless creatures who can not defend themselves.”

The Heroes star adds, “Because I am in the public eye I feel the need to be a voice of worthy and important causes whose efforts impact the lives of every person on Earth. These animals are being brutally and unnecessarily slaughtered – and who are we to say to they have less of a right to exist than we do.”

The first season of Californication ended with the best finale of the season so far. Of course this wasn’t very hard as it is the only season finale I’ve seen so far, but this could set the standard for the rest of the shows It was also the best wedding scene since Elaine’s wedding at the conclusion of The Graduate. Californication has been renewed for a second season, and in the meantime David Duchovny will be busy as the second X-Files movie will begin filming, with release scheduled for July 25, 2008.

The scandal created when nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens appeared nude all over the internet hasn’t harmed Vanessa’s career. Vanessa has been signed for High School Musical 3 and will even be receiving a raise. Shooting starts in January.

SciFi Friday: Madeleine L’Engle Dies; Doctor Who and Star Trek Join for Production of Hamlet, Battlestar Galactica Rumors, Awards, and High School Musical Scandal

Madeleine L’Engle has died at age 88. L’Engle is best known for writing A Wrinkle in Time, which won the John Newbery Award as the best children’s book of 1963 and has sold over six million copies. L’Engle also received a National Humanities Medal in 2004 from President Bush.

The BBC has announced plans for upcoming episodes of Doctor Who. As previously announced, the fourth season will air on the BBC next spring, with a Christmas episode planned for December. The fifth season has been postponed until 2010 in order to allow David Tennant to star in Hamlet in 2009 before returning to Doctor Who in 2010. In a unique Star Trek cross over with Doctor Who, Patrick Stewart will be playing Hamlet’s uncle Claudius in this Stratford-Upon-Avon production which wil run from July to November next year.

In order to help us get through 2009, there will be three special episodes broadcast instead of the usual single Christmas special. The BBC has also verified that Kylie Minogue will be appearing in this year’s Christmas episode and that Catherine Tate, who was in last year’s Christmas episode will appear in all thirteen episodes of season four. Freema Agyeman will return in the middle of next season.

This week those viewing Doctor Who on the SciFi Channel will see the conclusion of the two part episode, Human Nature and Family of Blood. These are two of the best episodes ever to appear, and I previously discussed them here. The episodes are based upon a novel which is available for download here.

The Doctor Who spin off Torchwood premiers on BBC America tomorrow night. The show will also start later this fall on HDNet (in high definition, obvioiusly). It’s a tough decision whether to watch now or hold out for HD. SciFi Storm has additional news on another spin off, The Sarah Jane Adventures. So far there are no plans to show it here in the United States and even access to the official web site is blocked to those outside of the U.K. One episode will include the return of the Slitheen, a family of Raxacoricofallapatorians who first appeared in the Doctor Who episodes Aliens of London and World War Three.

It’s bad enough that we must wait until next winter to see what happens after this spring’s cliff hanger on Battlestar Galactica. Now there are unconfirmed rumors that SciFi Channel might show half of the fourth season in 2008 and the second half in 2009 to get an extra season out of the show. Slice of SciFi has more reliable news on the made for television movie planned for later this year, which will also be released on DVD. Form the synopsis:

Battlestar Galactica: Razor takes you on an edge-of-your-seat adventure with an epic untold story of Lieutenant Kendra Shaw and the other Battlestar, Pegasus. Battlestar Galactica: Razor tells the story of Lee Adama’s (Jamie Bamber) first mission as commander of the Battlestar Pegasus and reveals the story of how Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) served her ship during the original Cylon attack on the Colonies. With clues to the fate of the entire Battlestar Galactica universe, this explosive adventure on DVD is a must own for fans before the final season of Battlestar Galactica airs on Sci Fi Channel.

The Hugo Awards have been announced, with Doctor Who among the winners:

2007 Hugo Award Trophy

  • Best Novel: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge [Tor, 2006]
  • Best Novella: “A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed [Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2006]
  • Best Novelette: “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald [Asimov’s July 2006]
  • Best Short Story: “Impossible Dreams” by Tim Pratt [Asimov’s July 2006]
  • Best Related Non-Fiction Book: James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B Sheldon by Julie Phillips [St. Martin’s Press, 2006]
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro. Directed by Guillermo del Toro [Picturehouse]
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who – “Girl in the Fireplace” (2006) Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by Euros Lyn [BBC Wales/BBC1]

Doctor Who has a good shot at winning again next year. Besides the episodes mentioned above, the subsequent episode, Blink, is even better. (I have also reviewed the episode here but advise those who will be watching on the SciFi Channel to avoid these spoilers until after viewing the episode).
The Promethius Awards were also released from the Libertarian Futurist Society:

Best Novel: Glasshouse by Charles Stross

Hall of Fame Award: (tie) “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis and “True Names” by Vernor Vinge

Special Award: V for VendettaJohn Joseph Adams

There’s news on a number of upcoming movies. Keanu Reeves will star in a remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. A script has reportedly been completed for a second X-Files movie, with no details released. Considering his role in Californication on Showtime, I wonder if David Duchovny is demanding that Gillian Anderson appear nude. There are also rumors of a new movie based on Dune. Morgan Freeman is working on a movie version of Rendezvous with Rama.

The big movie question is how the nude pictures of Vanessa Hudgens, which spread rapidly around the internet today, will affect further High School Musical movies. There were rumors Hudgens would be replaced, but it appears that Disney will be sticking with her. You would think that by now everyone would realize that privately taken photographs can still wind up making it on line. (Those wishing to see much more of Vanessa can see the photos spread on line today here.)