SciFi Weekend: Spoilers on Star Trek Into Darkness; Doctor Who News; Carrie Fisher and Star Wars VII; Joss Whedon on Superheroes; Ashley Judd Running For Senate

A new trailer has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness (video above). TrekMovie.com revealed several spoilers coming from an extended screening in Brazil:

From the extended beginning of the film…

  • Opening sequence (previewed at IMAX theaters in December) has been reordered to have Nibiru Volcano sequence now opens the film followed by title card and then the scenes in London and at the hospital

  • Nibiru mission ends with Kirk rescuing Spock by violating the prime directive by revealing the Enterprise to Nibiru natives so he can beam Spock out of the Volcano

  • Kirk has a scene in bed (back in San Francisco) in bed with two “cat women”

  • Kirk makes mention of hoping to get assigned to a “five year mission” (implying that the famed five year mission hasn’t started yet for the time he has been captain)

  • Kirk is demoted for violating prime directive on Nibiru, loses command of Enterprise with Pike to take over command Kirk as first officer

  • Pike wanted to send Kirk back to Academy but was convinced (possibly ordered?) to make Kirk first officer of Enterprise by Admiral Marcus (played by Peter Weller)

  • Spock assigned to another ship

  • The “father” character uses his Starfleet ring as a bomb (dropping it into water for a reaction) and destroys a facility (in London)

  • London attack leads to big meeting of Starfleet captains which itself is attacked by John Harrison, resulting in Pike being injured…Harrison transport away

Later scenes in the film….

  • Enterprise severely damaged falling to Earth with Spock in command ordering evacuation

  • Kirk and Scott seen in Engineering trying to stabilize ship

  • Later Spock scene beaming down to San Francisco and starting long chase with Harrions

  • Eventually Spock meets up with Harrison and engages in a fight

Doctor and Clara

The BBC has announced a three day convention at ExCeL London for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Filming on the 50th Anniversary episode  begins on March 18. Presumably more information on the show, such as who is actually appearing, will be more likely to leak out when they are filming the episode. Peter Davison does not believe that the earlier Doctors played by older actors will appear:

Speaking at February’s MystiCon panel, he said: “I honestly don’t know very much. I know that Steven Moffat will have something planned. I don’t think it will involve the older Doctors, certainly in their present form, because of course we’re meant to look exactly as we did when we left the TARDIS and none of us really do. Some of us are not here any more and others of us have weathered less well than others. I don’t know where I’d put myself in that category. I’m not going to make that decision.

“I think we’ll be featured somewhere but I should think it’s probably footage lifted from older Doctor stories. I don’t know. We are doing some Big Finish audios. I know that there are events planned by the BBC. I’ve got a meeting with the head of BBC Wales when I get back to go through various things the BBC have got planned. I don’t think she’s going to offer me a part in it… I might be wrong.”

He adds: “I decided that if we weren’t going to be involved that I would get together with Colin [Baker] and Sylvester [McCoy] and make our own little special… If we can possible manage it, we’re going to get into the 50th anniversary special whether we’re invited or not!”

The Daily Beast has five facts about Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Matt Smith told The Mirror that his favorite moment on Doctor Who was kissing Jenna-Louise Coleman:

Clara and the Timelord snogged in the Christmas Day special and Matt said: “My favourite moment? I like our kiss, that was quite fun, even though it was hell to do. We actually did a couple of different versions there might be some outtakes.”

He also loves New York:

If I could film we’d film every episode of Doctor Who in New York. I have an affinity with the city. It has some wonderful locations and it is devastatingly vast and huge. Central Park looks amazing on camera.

Doctor and Clara notebook

Matt might love New York, but he cannot go back in time to whenAmy and Rory are living. We have a definitive answer as to why the Doctor will never again meet up with Amy and Rory from this interview with Steven Moffat from BlogtorWho:

Last year friend of the blog Dan Martin took time to chat with Steven Moffat about the Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 finale, The Angels Take Manhattan  – and more specifically, “The Washington Theory”. Dan asked the current showrunner why could Amy and Rory not just travel to Washington (or Boston, or anywhere for that matter) and meet The Doctor there? Had Moffat left a useful plot thread dangling to bring the beloved companions back in a couple of years? Not so, according to Moffat…

“New York would still burn. The point being, he can’t interfere. Here’s the ‘fan answer’ – this is not what you’d ever put out on BBC One, because most people watch the show and just think, ‘well there’s a gravestone so obviously he can’t visit them again’. But the ‘fan answer’ is, in normal circumstances he might have gone back and said, ‘look we’ll just put a headstone up and we’ll just write the book’. But there is so much scar tissue, and the number of paradoxes that have already been inflicted on that nexus of timelines, that it will rip apart if you try to do one more thing. He has to leave it alone. Normally he could perform some surgery, this time too much surgery has already been performed. But imagine saying that on BBC One!”
More on the  Ponds later in the interview:
And what about return to the show for The Ponds? Moffat said, “You could never eliminate the possibility of dream sequences and flashbacks, but will the Doctor see them again? No. When I was first talking to Karen and Arthur about it, we said ‘let’s make it the proper ending’. Bringing back things just gives you sequel-itis. Just end it and get out. Heaven knows if they’ll appear in some form of flashback – I have no plans to do that I have to say – but the story of Amy and The Doctor is definitively over.”
That’s the definitive answer. Not the Doctor Who equivalent of Star Trek technobabble about that nexus of timelines that might rip apart. Doctor Who has been utterly inconsistent when dealing with the laws of time travel. The real answer is that Moffat doesn’t want them to return. His point about “sequel-itis” is more grounded in reality than the “nexus of timelines.”
None of this stops a future showrunner from having the Doctor and Amy meet again. There’s also another way to conceivably involve Amy and Rory in a Doctor Who story should Moffat or a future showrunner decide to boost ratings with such an episode. The Doctor could go back in time to Washington or anywhere else during the time in which Amy and Rory are living out their lives in the past. A story could be written in which both the Doctor and the Ponds get caught up with the same menace but are working independently and never actually meet. If this is done after the Doctor regenerates it would be possible for Amy to get a glance of the Doctor without meeting him. If she actually had much contact with him she would probably recognize him as Sarah Jane Smith recognized the Doctor.

214804-mark-hamill-carrie-fisher-luke-leia-skywalker-star-wars-episode-vii

Last week Carrie Fisher said she would be in Star Wars VII:

Disney is going to continue the Star Wars saga, producing movies set to hit theaters starting in 2015. Can you confirm whether you’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia?

Yes.

What do you think Princess Leia is like today?

Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs].   I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.

And still wearing the bagel buns?

The bagel buns and the bikini, because probably she has sundowners syndrome. At sundown, she thinks that she’s 20-something. And she puts it on and gets institutionalized.

She subsequently said she was joking (in a statement which many have speculated Disney insisted she release). While she was undoubtedly joking about being in an old folks’ home, it does appear likely that she will appear. George Lucas told Business Week that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have all been contacted:

Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”

Hulk Iron Man

Joss Whedon discussed topics including the difficulty in making movies about the Hulk and most of the DC Comics superheroes with Deadline Hollywood:

DEADLINE: What about speculation over potential Hulk spin-off stories? 
WHEDON: The Hulk is the most difficult Marvel property because it’s always about balance. Is he a monster? Is he a hero? Are you going to root for a protagonist who spends all his time trying to stop the reason you came to the movie from happening? It’s always a dance. I don’t think the first two movies nailed it, but I don’t envy them the task. It was easier to have him in a group than to build everything around him. I don’t think there would be any problem getting a movie together that had enough Banner, even if there was also Hulk. But if he was only Hulk for the entire movie I think Mark [Ruffalo] at some point would go, why am I here? I would be less inclined to pursue a storyline where the Hulk is only ever the Hulk. Mark [Ruffalo] and I loved the Hulk and went over and over the concept of rage and how it should manifest, and that part of it was fascinating to both of us. But when it comes time for the Hulk he has to put on the silliest damn pajamas you ever saw, a tiara made of balls, and a bunch of dots on his face and growl around like an idiot. The real heart of the experience ultimately becomes playing Banner. And people fell in love with Banner because I think Mark has you from the first time he shows up.

DEADLINE: How much do you keep an eye on Warner Bros with their DC properties?
WHEDON: I don’t keep that close an eye on it. But I loved Batman Begins so much and thought Christopher Nolan nailed Batman in a way that nobody ever had. It couldn’t be more different from The Avengers, and the Marvel and DC universes are different animals. If they actually crack the code which has not been done in terms of creating a shared sensibilities where all the movies are interesting and come together, I’m going to be thrilled. I have no fear that we’re going to be stepping on each others’ turf.

DEADLINE: You’ve had a history with DC. Do you think anyone will ever pull off Wonder Woman?
WHEDON: It’s not easy. It’s not a simple trick. The Marvel properties with the exception of Batman who has often been described as the Marvel character in the DC universe are much easier to translate to a modern audience. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern are so far above us and their powers are amorphous and that makes it 10 times harder. Even when you’re doing a fight, it’s harder to write a fight for Thor than it is for Captain America because he’s that much stronger. I loved what I was doing on Wonder Woman. Clearly I was an excited party of one. I wrote the movie, I felt good about the characters, the structure needed work, I did another outline, they read it and were done. There wasn’t even a phone call.

The difficulties which Whedon raised in superhero stories are complicated even more when the viewer is aware that the hero has a bunch of other superheroes as friends to call on. Marvel President Kevin Feige does address the question as to why Tony Stark doesn’t call in the other Avengers for help in Iron Man 3:

It’s a good question, and it’s sort of half and half. I am betting that like the comics you don’t have to keep – if you are reading a standalone “Iron Man” comic, they don’t spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they’re on their own and there are times when they are together. I’m betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that. There is also just the very nature of Tony wants to, once he barely survives that house attack you saw today, and even you saw it in the message he left for Pepper, he’s basically saying “I’m going off the grid to try to figure something out.”

Christopher Nolan says he does not want to return to Batman, but is involved with other superheroes, producing Man of Steel and possibly Justice League. His next movie about black holes, Interstellar, will be released on November 14, 2014.

Deadline Hollywood reports that a series by Ron Moore has been picked up by SyFy:

Syfy has finalized a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Helix, a dark thriller from Ronald D. Moore, marking Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer’s return to the network. Steven Maeda (Lost, CSI: Miami) has come on board as showrunner of the project, written by Cameron Porsandeh. Helix, from Sony Pictures TV, where Moore and his Tall Ship Prods are under an overall deal, is about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak Hot In Cleveland) and Maeda executive produce, with Porsandeh serving as co-executive producer. “With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern. Helix is expected to begin production early in 2013 to debut later this year. In addition to hit Battlestar Galactica, Moore also co-created and executive produced Syfy’s prequel series Caprica.

SyFy is moving the final five episodes of Merlin to May. And people wonder why fans often download genre shows as opposed to waiting five months or more to view them.

Ashley Judd has reportedly told advisers that she does plan to run for the Senate against Mitch McConnell. The actress, best known to Star Trek fans as Robin Lefler, has been attacked by the right wing for everything from her residency to nude scenes she as done. Attack of the Show chose Ashley Judd as the fourth Hottest Women of Star Trek (video above). She also has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been a Democratic activist.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, one of the stars of Utopia, believes that continuing the story into a second season may or may not work:

Do you think there is scope for a second series of Utopia?
“I think there is scope for a second series, but I also think that it is self-contained. It really does depend. Sometimes you think things could have carried on or things aren’t resolved, and people can get annoyed by that.

“But some pieces of work don’t have a resolution and they leave you to figure it out, and that’s great. Utopia could carry on, but resolution isn’t always good.”

Io9 lists twenty things which Back To The Future got wrong about the future.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: A Timelord Wedding; Torchwood: Miracle Day; Dollhouse Stars on Torchwood & Community; Caprica; Mad Men to Return; January Jones as Emma Frost

David Tennant and Georgia Moffet are engaged with plans to get married next New Year’s Day. This sounds like a Timelord Wedding. Not only did Tennant play the tenth doctor, but Moffet has two ties to Doctor Who. She played The Doctor’s Daughter in a 2008 episode and Moffet is also the real life daughter of Peter Davison, who played the fifth Doctor from 1981 to 1984. (For those missing the old episodes, the BBC has announced the opening of a Classic Doctor Who channel on YouTube.)

David Tennant is also going to be working with another character from his days at Doctor Who. Tennant and Catherine Tate will be appearing together in a production of  Shakespeare’s Much A Do About Nothing.

The upcoming season of Torchwood has a tentative starting date of July 1 and a new title: Miracle Day.

As Davies explained, “The premise is a miracle that happens to the world. That one day, on Earth, no one dies. Not a single person on Earth dies. The next day, no one dies. The next day, no one dies. And on and on and on. Now, the sick stay sick, the old keep getting older, the dying keep dying, but no one quite dies.”

And at first, this seems a wonderful thing, “But globally, it’s an instant overnight population boom. The Earth relies on people dying.”

Davies understandably didn’t want to offer too many details on how and why “Torchwood” hero Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, who couldn’t appear at the press tour session because he was acting in a play in England) comes back to our planet after running away at the end of the “Torchwood: Children of Earth” miniseries. But he did say that the notion of a world where no one can die would prove very intriguing to a man who suffers from immortality.

There is more information on the show and cast here. Dichen Lachman, who played Sierra on Dollhouse, who will play an FBI agent. Another cast member from Dollhouse will have a role on Community:

Enver Gjokaj, who played Victor during Dollhouse‘s brief life, will guest star on Community in episode 17, “Custody Law and Foreign Entanglements,” as Lukka, a love interest for Gillian Jacobs‘ Britta.

The character of Lukka is an “attractive, accent-y, oily Eastern European” fella who uses his finer points to seduce our girl Britta, but Lukka obviously is not exactly as delightful as he appears to be on first meeting.

The episode will most likely air sometime in March.

Miss the final episodes of Caprica last week? SyFy is streaming them online for free. As I’ve mentioned before, the concluding episodes were excellent, while the series as a whole was of mixed quality. Den of Geek! interviewed Eric Stoltz about some of the problems with the series.

Do you think that the show fell on the wrong side of a double-edged sword, following Battlestar?

I don’t think it was what the majority of Battlestar fans wanted, for the most part. It probably would’ve served us all better to have not even been connected to it.

It’s rare to find characters so instantly complex as we got in Caprica. How do you balance the many levels of Daniel Graystone? How do you set about giving the audience a way into a character like that?

That’s a very thick question, one which really requires a three page answer, which I won’t bore you with. The levels of the character were largely in the scripts, and usually left to the directors’ control: a little bit more malice here, a little more loving there.

That being said, there were certain relationships, like Greystone and his wife, that seemed to take on a life of their own, even beyond Paula Malcomson and myself. And that was wonderful to be a part of.

It was always a fascinating show to watch, and clearly the narrative had many, many threads to it. In hindsight, though, do you think the show was slightly off balance? Or wouldn’t you change a thing about it?

It’s rare for a show to find itself in the first season. There are exceptions, of course, but a lot of shows take two or three years to find the right ingredients. I’m sure we were off balance at times, and I’m sure I would change a few things if I had that power, but I’ve moved on.

It comes as little surprise, but it has been officially announced that Mad Men will return for a fifth season. No date for the season has been announced yet. January Jones will also be appearing in X Men: First Class, which will be a prequel story which, like Mad Men, takes place in the 1960’s. Jones will play the scantily mutant telepath Emma Frost. It would take an actress with the looks of January Jones to pull off the role.

”The costumes are insane,” Jones said.

“It’s a lot of very body-conscious stuff. If you look at the comic book, she’s barely dressed. She’s got quite the bod, which is very intimidating.”

I do think January Jones can handle the costumes.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Returning Shows; Diana on V; Torchwood; 24 Script Rejected

SyFy will be starting Season 3 of Merlin which already was broadcast on the BBC. The series started out seeming far different from the traditional King Arthur legends, but the second half of season two showed development of key characters (Arthur, Gwen, Morgana, and Mordrid) which led them in the direction of the previous stories.  A fourth season has also been announced.

SyFy is also  broadcasting the final five episodes of Caprica on Tuesday night. These episodes, which have already been broadcast in Canada and which are available on DVD, were surprisingly good. I’d suggest recording them and watching without commercials, making the total viewing time more suitable for one or two sittings. The episodes were good enough to keep interest for watching in one sitting. If only the series had  been this good earlier.

Here’s the return date of some selected shows which are returning this week:

Mon., Jan. 3
How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 8 p.m.
Rules of Engagement (CBS), 8:30 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 4
Caprica
(SyFy), 6 p.m.
Parenthood (NBC), 10 p.m.
V (ABC), 9 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 5
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV 101), 9 p.m.
Modern Family (ABC), 9 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 6
The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 8 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 7
Merlin
(Syfy), 10 p.m.

Jane Badler returns to V, but on this version Diana is not necessarily a villain. She was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly:

What was your initial reaction when the producers approached you about reprising the role?
Can I just tell you, when I heard that V was coming back, I could feel this huge swell just from my Facebook page that there was a lot of interest in it and my old character. I thought, that’s it, I’m coming back to the show! So I called my old agent, who told me I was ridiculous, that they weren’t going to be interested. And so that was that. Then I called the producer and met with him. Since then, the show got a new producer, so I did the same thing and met with him. But when this role came up, they weren’t thinking of me. Can you believe it? They called the character Diana as an homage to the original one, but it wasn’t the Diana. Crazy! Later, I got an email from my agent saying some person from Los Angeles wanted me to audition for the role of Diana and I went, what? That’s a hoax! How would anyone want me to audition? So I had to audition. And from what I hear, there were a lot of very well-known actresses who wanted the role, like big names, which is very flattering. But my audition was the best. So that’s how I got the role! It wasn’t, like, handed to me. Isn’t that kooky? So here I am with what I thought was going to be four episodes, and it turned into the whole season, which has been absolutely amazing. I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been crazy to be back involved in it again.

How is your character re-introduced as Anna’s mom?
I think it’s a really powerful thing. It’s a whole Greek tragedy, mother-daughter. I was the queen before her. She imprisoned me. She put me in a dungeon, and everyone thinks that I am dead. And so she has become the new queen. Very early on, she comes to visit to me, so that’s when it is revealed that I am alive. It’s a whole power play – my different ways of ruling versus her ways of ruling. They make me out to be the more benevolent of the two. And perhaps I am, but I’m also the queen. That carries arrogance with it. It’s not just all nice. It also is revealed why I can’t leave the dungeon, which is all kind of exciting, too. There are lots of special effects.

Where is the dungeon?
I’m in the bowels of the ship. But in the hole where I live, they have recreated it like our planet. It’s like this extra -terrestrial terrain. It’s really cool.

Do you undermine Anna?
Yes. It does take a while but once people come to visit me by mistake, once people enter my lair…I can’t say what happens, but it’s huge last episode and hopefully viewers will flock to see the show because it will be amazing.

Torchwood won’t be returning until summer but a new synopsis of Torchwood: The New World has been released:

The new ten-part series of the Doctor Who spinoff will also see the return of regular Torchwood characters Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles).
Gwen will be shown living peacefully in Wales with husband Rhys (Kai Owen) and new baby Anwen when she encounters a “new, epic danger” that will “push [her] to the limit”.
Having left Earth at the conclusion of previous miniseries Children of Earth, Harkness will be drawn back to the Torchwood institute by “his unstated love for Gwen”.

24 might not be returning soon as the first movie script was rejected:

Fans of Jack Bauer who were hoping to get a big screen fix of their favorite anti-hero may be in for a long wait: EW has learned exclusively that 20th Century Fox has nixed a script from Billy Ray (State of Play) that would have continued the storyline of the rogue CTU agent from the long-running drama 24.

“As far as I know, it is in suspended animation,”  Howard Gordon, the longtime executive producer of 24 who is also expected to produce the big screen version, told EW exclusively. ”There is talk about re-approaching it. I understand (director/producer) Tony Scott is meeting with Kiefer to talk about ideas. People are still talking about it.”

Maybe they should have gone with the death scene for Jack Bauer which had been written for the finale.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol and Previews of Next Season; Sherlock; Torchwood; Caprica’s Final Episodes

Since 2005 the Doctor Who Christmas Special has become the major television event on the BBC and this year it is  being shown around most of the English-speaking world the same day. Of course for some of us it just wouldn’t be Christmas without downloading a copy instead of waiting until 9:00 p.m. when BBC America will be broadcasting the episode. While I will not give away the ending to the main story, there are lots of spoilers as to the other fun stuff in this episode.

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol is Steven Moffat’s first shot at the Christmas special. Moffat wrote an episode based upon the classic by Charles Dickens and interweaving all that “timey-wimey” stuff which Moffat does  best. The episodes starts with the space liner which Amy and Rory are taking their honeymoon on being in danger of crashing. The two went from the honeymoon suite to the bridge. We can see that they were role playing with Rory back in his Roman suit from The Pandorica Opens and Amy back in her kiss-o-gram police woman outfit with the very short skirt.

Amy contacted the Doctor to help, but the Doctor found that the only one who could save them just didn’t care to, considering that the ship wasn’t going to crash on his house. The Doctor  became The Ghost of Christmas Past to change the man’s life so that he would be willing to help. There is not very much of Amy and Rory in the remainder of the episode, but Amy did briefly become The Ghost of Christmas Present.

Michael Gambon made a great Scrooge and Katherine Jenkins was excellent in her acting debut, with her singing becoming an important part of the story. We also go to see sharks, the Doctor in a fez hat and a scarf. There were many trips through time, including one to a party at Frank Sinatra’s house which led to the Doctor getting married to Marilyn Monroe. (The doctor does insist it was not a real wedding chapel). The best line of the episode was, “Marilyn, get your coat.”

There were also some other memorable lines, including “Father Christmas. Santa Claus. Or as I call him, Jeff” and, “Do you know, in 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”

At the conclusion of the episode the above promo for Series 6 was shown. It includes a naked River Song and two more great lines. The Doctor is wearing a stetson saying,”I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool!” The clip concludes with, “There’s one thing I can tell you. Monsters are real.”

Although I still didn’t have the patience to wait until tonight, it was a good idea to broadcast the special on Christmas in the United States as opposed to a delay as in the past. There are also plans to do the same with the entire next season. Episodes will be broadcast the same day in the United States as on the BBC. Some of the interviews I posted earlier in the week leading up to the Christmas special, such as this one with Matt Smith, have very vague hints as to what is to come.

Steven Moffat was interviewed by The New York Times. He discussed Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol but was also asked a few questions about Sherlock:

Are you being asked all the time when the Doctor and your Sherlock Holmes will meet up?

I think everyone who’s passing me in the streets is suggesting that at the moment. I think there are problems of doing that, because then you would say that Sherlock Holmes lives in the same world as the Doctor, and there are Daleks and all sorts of things. If a Sherlock Holmes story depends on time travel being impossible, it’s quite hard if he’s a personal friend of the Doctor’s, isn’t it?

I agree. Besides, the personalities of the two are too similar and there’s little sense in having both in the same story. I’d much rather have the Doctor and Amy meet the characters in Moffat’s previous show, Coupling.

The Scottish Sun interviewed John Borrowman regarding upcoming seasons of Torchwood. The big news is that the current plan is to make the joint show between the BBC and Starz for seven years. That’s still probably not long enough to see Captain Jack’s transformation to The Face Of Boe. From the interview:

“But I have turned down a load of other shows to make Torchwood. We’ll be filming it in LA as it’s now a collaboration between the BBC and the Starz Network in America.

“They’re planning to make it for the next seven years. So I’ll be spending six months a year in Hollywood and six back in the UK.”

John will be 50 by then – doesn’t he worry his leading man looks will start to fade? He shrugs: “Captain Jack turns into the hideous creature The Face Of Boe in the fullness of time so he won’t always be good- looking anyway.

“But I’ll keep playing Jack as long as I can.

“One thing you’ll never find me doing is going for plastic surgery.”

I caught the final five episodes of Caprica which have not yet aired on SyFy this weekend and for the first time am sad that the show was not renewed. I think the show would have done much better if it was presented more in the mode of many BBC and premium cable shows with thirteen episodes, and with all in one stretch. Dividing the season resulted in multiple threads leading to a mid-season cliff hanger. By the time the show returned it was difficult to recall the details of each storyline or to really care that much. A shorter season might have avoided some of the superfluous story lines. The final episodes still contain separate story lines but they all seemed far more coherent with the episodes working as a five episode mini-series. The stories are wrapped up to different degrees in the finale. The episode concluded with a series of scenes from what presumably would have been future episodes if the series survived. They provide a satisfactory bridge between the season of Caprica and what we know of Caprica from Battlestar Galactica.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol Promo; Deleted Scenes From The Doctor Who DVD; The Unaired Episodes of Caprica

Above is a promo for the Doctor Who Christmas Special, A Christmas Carol. Unlike previous years, the episode will air in the United States and some other countries on Christmas Day. In previous years there would be a delay, leading to many fans downloading pirated copies instead of waiting.

The DVD of Series 5 is out with some deleted scenes. Meanwhile In The Tardis:

The above scene, taking place between The Eleventh Hour and The Beast Below, shows Amy’s first reaction to the Tardis and the Doctor’s explanation of why the Tardis appears like a police box from the outside. It also shows why Amy is floating in space at the beginning of The Beast Below.

The second scene above takes place after Amy kissed the Doctor at the end of Flesh and Stone and before The Vampires of Venice. Amy figured out that she was not the first to join the Doctor and asked how many before her were female and whether they were hot.

Those who are eager to see the five concluding episodes of Caprica don’t have to wait long, and they have a few choices as to how to see the episodes.  While the episodes were held back on SyFy, they continue to air in Canada on the Space Channel and some  US fans have been downloading them. Unfortunately, while Caprica aired in high definition on SyFy, it is only airing in standard definition in Canada. Those wanting DVD quality can purchase the DVD set in December while those holding out for full high definition only have to wait until early January. SyFy will be airing all five remaining episodes on January 5 starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern time.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Torchwood, Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Caprica

Digital Spy has some more news on the next season of Torchwood which will air next summer:

Torchwood creator Russell T Davies has revealed more details about the upcoming fourth series, subtitled The New World.

The writer told Collider that previous mini-series Children of Earth was being used as “the template of the new Torchwood.”

Children of Earth left things almost format-less,” he said. “They had no base, no authority and no mission… except to survive. They’re very much underground [now] and trying to survive. They’ve taken extreme actions. They have friends, they have enemies and they have betrayals.”

He continued: “We’ve got one script and very concrete storylines, so we know there are new regulars, new occasional guest stars and relatives of those characters.”

Davies also confirmed that The New World would take place two years after the events of the previous series.

Torchwood will have been off-air for two years, so I think it will feel like two years have passed,” he explained. “The script isn’t that specific about it, but I think that two-year gap feels right.”

He added that plans to shoot on location in Los Angeles were “yet to be confirmed”.

“Any place can double up as a number of places,” he suggested. “There will be scenes set in Washington, certainly, but we won’t go to Washington to shoot.”

Recently there have been reports that The Doctor’s back story has been revised to allow for infinite regenerations rather than the previous limit of twelve. The episode of Sarah Jane Adventures which started these stories aired recently and a clip is above. The limit is actually set at 507, which is probably as good as infinite in terms of keeping the series going.

It is notable that this number was given quickly and we cannot be certain if The Doctor was being serious. The story was also written by Russell T. Davies rather than current Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat. I still wouldn’t be surprised if Moffat decides to take advantage of the limitation to thirteen lives to provide for an arc in which The Doctor must find a way to exceed this limitation.

Karen Gilland and Steven Moffat have been nominated for another honor:

Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat have both been nominated in Screen Category in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland awards. The awards scheme honours Scots who aim to exceed all expectations in their chosen fields across Scotland’s rich cultural spectrum.

Sherlock, the adaption of Sherlock Holmes by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, concludes its US airing on PBS tonight. Sherlock finally meets his nemesis in a cliff hanger which leaves us anxious for the second season to start.

Most responding to the news of Caprica being canceled were not terribly disappointed, but those who are are disappointed are launching a campaign to Save Caprica. Those who cannot wait until the remaining episodes air in 2011 might be happy to hear that the DVD of the second half of the season will still be released in December as originally planned, including the unaired episodes.

Please Share

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.

Please Share

Caprica Canceled

As I suspected would occur in the last installment of SciFi Weekend, Caprica has been canceled. Remaining episodes are going to be held until the first quarter of 2011, by which time most people will have totally forgotten about the show. SyFy is looking at another Battlestar Galactia spinoff which will take place during the first Cylon War. Trekweb has more information on the proposed show.

Alessandra Torresani has her farewell on Twitter:

Word is out: Caprica has officially been cancelled! I love my lil cylons so much and will continue to kick ass for you guys! Thanks for the love and support! -Love Mama Cylon

No  comment yet from show runner Jane Espenson (who once tweeted as CapricaOne).

A couple of other genre shows are doing better. The BBC has announced a 4th season of Merlin and ABC recently picked up No Ordinary Family for an entire season.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Bad Signs for Caprica and V; Doctor Who Christmas Special Fast-Tracked; Sherlock Premiers; Penny (Big Bang) Meets Dexter’s Frank Lundy; Torchwood Casting Rumors

Razor, a made for television movie prequel to Battlestar Galactica, included a Bill Odama who is older than the child in Caprica but younger than the one in the main series. SyFy had planned on developing an on-line series entitled Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome about Odama during the first Cylon War. They have now decided to order it to be made as an actual spin-off television show to air in 2011 or 2012.

While a decision on renewing Caprica isn’t due until early November, I take this as a bad sign, suspecting they are ordering this show as a replacement. This is all pure speculation, but I would think that the obvious time to  run a show on the first Cylon War would be after Caprica concludes, unless SyFy really thinks that two simultaneous Battlestar Galactica spin-offs would be successful.

I think they made a serious mistake with Caprica setting up so many cliff-hangers and then returning months later. The show returned with far too many plot lines, making it very difficult for any new viewers to get interested in the show. It isn’t even all that easy for returning viewers to remember all the details that went on before in each plot line. Fortunately some were wrapped up last week as Daniel Graystone regained control of his company and the number of characters to keep track of were reduced by some recent deaths.

Things don’t look any better for V than for Caprica to survive. The show was postponed until winter, and now has bee cut from thirteen to ten episodes. The show is still in production and can adjust the storyline based upon the reduced episodes. Hopefully they are writing a good conclusion for the series.

The BBC has decided to “fast track” the Doctor Who Christmas episode so that it will be seen in other markets within days after broadcasting on the BBC. The hope is that this will reduce the number of people who download the show, as commonly happens when there is a delay. I think that the only way to really prevent international fans from downloading episodes is to broadcast shows with large international followings such as Doctor Who the same day. The difference in time zones makes it especially easy for BBC shows to be available on line by prime time in the United States. As long as time permits me to watch, I intend to watch the episode on December 25.

Sherlock

Speaking of downloaded BBC shows, Sherlock began to air tonight in the United States. I will not review a show this soon after airing to avoid spoilers, but for those interested there is a review available here.The final season of Friday Night Lights also premiers this week on Dish Network, with NBC to air it next year.

Ausiello reports that Penny’s dad on Big Bang Theory will be played by Keith Carradine–Frank Lundy from Dexter. Ausiello also has some speculation on who will have roles in Torchwood. One possibility is that Enver Gjokaj from Dollhouse will get the role of FBI agent Rex Matheson.

Please Share

SciFi Weekend: Cliff Hangers, Old and New

Locutus of Borg Jon Luc Picarddde

iO9 has compiled a list of the top science fiction cliff hangers on television. I don’t think there will be much controversy over choosing Best of Both Worlds Part 1 (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the best of all time. Discussion of how the  Borg could be defeated, how Jon Luc Picard would be saved after being turned into a Borg, and whether Ryker would really fire on Picard dominated the CompuServe forums over the summer in those days before the internet replaced it. The hype from this episode also was responsible for turning what had been a so-so remake into a major science fiction series.

A recent episode of Doctor Who, The Pandorica Opens made the list. While some object to the manner in which the Doctor got out of the Pandorica, what bigger cliff hanger can you have than the end of the universe?

There were other memorable cliff hangers listed. This included Zha’dum (Babylon 5) when Sheridan obeyed Kosh’s voice telling him to jump, Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2 (Battlestar Galactica) which jumped the series ahead a year when unprepared humans living on New Caprica were conquered by Cylons, and The Incident (Lost) in which Julia detonated the bomb in hopes of changing history.

There are some cliff hangers from last season I’m looking forward to seeing the conclusion of. The mid-season cliff hanger episode of Caprica contained several cliff-hangers. Last season’s cliff hanger from Fringe made the list. And, while not science fiction, I’m sure curious to find out how Jeff responds to both Britta and Professor Slater declaring his love for him followed by the ending with Jeff kissing Annie on Community. Personally I’d like to see him date Annie while Britta goes crazy with jealousy. Besides, I’d much rather see Alison Brie with Jeff on Community than as Pete Campbell’s wife Trudy on Mad Men.

Dexter also ended with a significant cliff hanger last season. Blogcritics reviews the first few episodes of the upcoming season, including this bit of news:

According to executive producer, Sara Colleton, this will be the year to “take a break from having a one season-long adversary. So as Dexter’s grief goes through different stages, different characters will play their part and yet eventually, these characters interlock to form a a worthy adversary for Dexter.”

In the final scene of the third episode, there is a stunning moment: a twist so totally unexpected, you’ll curse the fact you’ll have to wait a week to see what happens next.

Disney Fantasmic Mickey Mouse

We’ve seen many characters reimagined, including Superman, Batman, and Iron-Man. Next we will get Epic Mickey, coming in a game  for the Nintendo Wii:

Disney has hinted that Epic Mickey is kind of a reboot for the beloved character – one that takes him from cute and cuddly cartoon icon to brave and embattled warrior. The questions now are manifold: Will Disney turn off potential gamers who prefer the Mickey of old? Will the game be dark and intriguing enough to appeal to “core” gaming audiences? And, perhaps most importantly, given flagging interest in the mouse, does Disney have a choice?

That’s nothing all that radical–just go to Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On a related note, there are rumors that Jon Hamm will star in the next reboot of Superman.

Cliff hangers sometimes lead to the death of characters. In case that happens Eternal Image sells urns fit for a true Star Trek fan. It comes in two models– one says “To Boldly Go” and the other that says “The Voyage Continues.”

Please Share