SciFi Friday: Deaths, Spoilers, And It’s Very Stressful Being an Other

There’s some major spoilers here in case anyone is behind with their television watching, especially with regards to Jericho. The show is increasingly becoming a conflict between the people of Jericho and the Cheyenne government. We find that Jennings & Rall (think Halliburton) was involved in the nuclear attacks, setting themselves up for future success. The first battle of the rebellion against Cheyenne took place with Bonnie getting killed, but not before she did shot several of Goetz’s people. The final three episodes should be interesting.

Another female lead might also have been killed on another show. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles wrapped up the season with a cliff hanger in which Cameron is in an exploding car. I can’t get too worried about her fate. If she isn’t successful in rebuilding herself after the explosion, another cyborg of the same model could be sent back in time to replace her. I’d be far more worried about the fate of Kyle Reese, now that we’ve seen him as a child if Skynet should ever find out who John’s father is.

Lost returns to flash backs as opposed to the recent flash forwards. The episode is officially about Juliet, but in many ways provides more information about Ben. Just when we thought he was as creepy a guy as possible, he out does himself in taking Juliet to see Goodwin’s impaled body. The best line of the night had to be when Juliet explained why she was seeing a therapist by explaining, “It’s very stressful being an Other, Jack.”

We also learn why some of the people from the freighter have gas masks, and fortunately it turns out that Ben was misleading everyone else about their plans.  Next week we will learn who Ben’s spy on the freighter is, and it is made clear that we know who it is. The most likely candidate is Michael, but I wouldn’t rule out Walt considering how time is different on the island compared to the outside world.

Recently the actors had the opportunity to ask the producers some questions and some minor spoilers were revealed.  The season will end by revealing the deal the Oceanic Six makes to get off the island, and we will also discover the identity of the person in the coffin at the end of last season.

There are a number of rumors floating around regarding Doctor Who and Torchwood. Rumor has it that if David Tennant leaves after next season, The Doctor will regenerate into Robert Carlyle of The Fully Monty. 

I really hope this rumor regarding Torchwood is not true. They’ve been trying to make the show more “family friendly” with the move to BBC-2 this season. The rumor is that they are going to make it even more family friendly for season three and write out regular cast members including John Barrowman, Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori. Eve Myles would return as Gwen and Freyma Angeman would return to Torchwood as Martha Jones.

There’s also a minor spoiler about Heroes. Eriko Tamura, who played  Hiro’s 16th-century love interest, is going to be brought to the present for next season. The plans were delayed by the strike.

24 was also delayed by the strike, with the entire season postponed until next year. Due to the long gap there are now plans for a two hour television movie to air next fall to bridge the two year gap between seasons six and seven.

There is another movie being rumored. The owner of the strip club which was used to film the scenes at Bada Bing on The Sopranos  says he is holding off renovations on the club after getting a tip that there might be a Sopranos movie. HBO denies this, and we don’t even know if Tony remained alive after the finale.

And, finally, Ausiello has a guess as to who ultimately becomes the mother on How I Met Your Mother. He reports that Alicia Silverstone has been cast in a multi-episode arc, playing a doctor who dates Ted. The show has not officially been renewed for next season, and the produces have promised that we will see Ted’s eventual wife before the series ends. He speculates that Silverstone will be identified as his future wife, keeping the promise to show her before the series ends should it not be renewed. Knowing Ted, I wouldn’t be surprised if he dates Silverstone, breaks up, and then meets his eventual wife at the time of the break up. 

SciFi Friday Part II: The Week in Review

Lost has benefited greatly from centering the final seasons around telling a story with a definite end point. They have also avoided using the exact same format week after week. This week’s episode got away from telling about one of the Oceanic Six in the flash forwards and instead dealt with Desmond, who is unstuck in time. There was even a brief homage to Billy Pilgrim from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, who was also unstuck in time.

We find that Desmond’s situation isn’t unique. Every episode lately tries to end with a surprise which is consistent with the events of the episode. This week’s ending suggests that Daniel Faraday’s problem is similar to Desmond’s as we see an entry in his notebook saying, “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.”

The episode also verifies the earlier hints that something strange is going on with time. The helicopter with Desmond and Sayid left the island at dusk and landed mid day, with those on the island finding a delay which did not surprise Faraday.

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Jericho is becoming increasingly political, with some aspects of the United States resembling Iraq, and other aspects containing allusions to the Bush administration. We’ve already seen that the Cheyenne government is pushing a new flag, a new Constitution, and even a new right wing history. This week’s episode has many comparisons to Halliburton and Blackwater with Jennings & Rall being involved in everything, including government functions. Meanwhile Ravenwood is being used as a private army. Does it mean anything that the new government and Dick Cheney both come from Wyoming?

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles remains mixed in quality but is doing an interesting job of applying aspects from the original movie series to current plot lines. A new twist is being added as it is unclear if the cyborg Cameron (Summer Glau, above) can be trusted. The final two episodes of the season are being aired as a two-hour episode on Monday.

Torchwood as aired on BBC America remains behind the BBC showings, but delaying SciFi Friday at least allows me to comment on the more recent episodes while avoiding spoilers for episodes which have not aired yet. Last week’s episode, Adam, involved an alien who lives off of false memories planted in others. He gives the members of the Torchwood team false memories of him having been one of them for years, but in the process disrupts their memories and changes them. Gwen loses all memory of her fiancè Rhys and thinks he is a stalker when she finds him in her apartment. Owen undergoes the biggest change, becoming a real geek. The most dramatic actions come when Adam gives Ianto false memories of being a serial killer after Ianto notes that there is no mention of Adam in his diary.

The episode might be most notable for providing information on Jack’s childhood, but those memories, as well as all other memories involving Adam, must be removed in order for Adam to be eliminated. At the end nobody has memories of Adam but there are clues that he had been there. I did find it a little unrealistic that they would not want to investigate the last couple of days which were missing from their memories.

This week’s episode, Reset, works in three different groups which are involved in studying aliens. Besides Torchwood, there’s UNIT which lends a medical specialist, and there’s a medical center which uses aliens in an unsafe manner to attempt to cure human diseases. The UNIT medical specialist happens to be Martha Jones, who finished medical school very quickly after returning from her adventures with The Doctor. The episode ends with Owen being shot, which will lead into the events of the subsequent two episodes which have already aired in the U.K.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd0PCfN8mEo]

Looking at television beyond science fiction, Saturday Night Live has managed to be in the news several times after returning last week. Last week’s episode began with a skit based upon the Texas debate, which Hillary Clinton mentioned during the Ohio debate (video above). There was some controversy over having a non-black cast member play Obama’s role. The episode also included a defense of Clinton by Tina Fey who argued that it is bitches who get things done. Mike Huckabee also had an appearance.

This week they began with another debate in which Clinton argues that she can get the most done by being so obnoxious that people will just give up on opposing her. This is followed by an appearance by the real Hillary Clinton (video here). Rudy Giuliani also had an appearance in which he compared his campaign to a Saturday Night Live skit which starts out strong but goes nowhere. The musical guest was Wilco, a big supporter of Obama.

There’s good news for fans of Scrubs. While NBC has never shown the show much respect, ABC is now negotiating to pick up eighteen episodes to allow the series to be completed as planned.

A high definition trailer for the Sex and the City movie is available on line here. We find that Carrie and Big do get engaged, but things might not go well at the alter. Charlotte is pregnant, as was seen in earlier pictures, and Steve admits to Miranda that he cheated on her once.

The Other Boleyn Girl opened to mixed reviews. Any movie with both Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson can’t be all bad. There’s one minor coincidence I noted in the cast when comparing this with Showtimes’s version of the story, The Tudors. Scarlett Johansson appeared in the Woody Allen movie Match Point with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays Henry in The Tudors.

Season two of The Tudors begins on March 30. During season one, Mary, followed by Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), worked to seduce Henry. Anne always found ways to ensure that Henry would not be satisfied until they married, as can be seen at the end of season one. Video is available here (definitely not safe for work).

One of the things I watched during the strike was the DVD set of Arrested Development. It is certainly understandable that there were a lot of protests when the show was canceled. Plans have now been announced to make a movie version of the show.

SciFi Friday: Kate’s Trial, Jericho’s New History, and 24: The Unaired 1994 Pilot

This week’s episode of Lost answers two questions raised by last season’s finale. We learn both why Kate is free after she gets off the island and who she was in a hurry to return to. I find it questionable that there would have been nothing they could have convicted Kate of without her mother’s testimony, but there have been far more unbelievable occurrences on the show. This week’s end of episode shocker was predictable. After seeing Kate with Aaron on the island I did assume that Aaron would turn out to be the one she referred to as her son throughout the flash forward. We also hear more of the fake story given by the Oceanic Six, without any clue as to why they are telling this. I also wonder why they are saying that eight survived the crash but two died later as opposed to saying all but six died in the crash if they do not want to admit that others survived on the island.

Seeing Aaron being raised as Kate’s son makes it safe to assume Clair did not make it off the island. The vision Desmond described to Charlie included Claire and Aaron getting on the helicopter to be rescued, suggesting that Claire might have died afterwards. Then there’s the question of what happened to Desmond and Sayeed on the way to the freighter. I suspect that the distortions in time are involved.

Jericho‘s political storyline is getting more ominous. The Cheyenne government not only has a new flag but is rewriting history in a manner which many conservatives might agree with. It looks like the plot was to knock out all the cities leaving America dominated by red state mentality. There are rumors that Jericho will not make it beyond this season unless ratings pick up tremendously. If that should happen, at least one of two possible endings for the season does tie up the series.

Besides Jericho, it looks like another science fiction series won’t survive. Bionic Woman is being canceled, but that’s no great loss. If you run out of new shows to watch, an increasing number of old shows are being made available on line. Here’s a list of what’s available from NBC. CBS has decided to do the same, and is including the original series of Star Trek.

I heard a while back that a remake of Death Race 2000 was in the works. It turns out that it isn’t really a remake but more of a homage to the original. Like the original there is a race, but otherwise the story line, as described here, is quite different.

At the moment I’m waiting for this week’s episode of Torchwood to download. The BBC aired two episodes last week, so we’re getting ahead of the episodes on BBC America. I won’t give any spoilers but can safely mention that Martha Jones appears as promised, and that there is quite a cliff hanger coming up.

Finally, for those who miss 24, here’s the unaired pilot form 1994. Technology just was not the same back then.
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SciFi Friday: Sayid the Assassin; Sonya Walger Gets Around; And Post Strike Television Plans


Lost had yet another excellent episode this week, both on and off the island. Since they went to flash forwards, the portions off the island have often been the more interesting parts of the episodes. This is a Sayid centered show. We both see him become the first to leave the island and in the flash forwards we see his new life. Sayid becomes an assassin, but he appears to be doing this to protect his friends. We never find out who he is protecting them from, or what secret is placing them in such danger, but the show does end with a surprise which perhaps we should have expected. Back on the island Sayid told Locke, “the day he trusts Ben is the day he’s sold his soul.” That should have been our clue that he would wind up working for Ben.

Ben is also off the island, but presumably he isn’t one of the Oceanic 6. From what we find in the secret room in his house, it also doesn’t look like it is unusual for him to leave the island. However if he could leave the island to use those passports and the money, why didn’t he do so when he needed cancer surgery?

Besides the big mysteries on Lost, there are also the smaller ones. For example, home come both Naomi and Elsa, the girl Sayid is involved with in this episode, have the same bracelet. We can be sure that is no coincidence. We get a clue that there is something strange going on with time when Daniel Faraday performs his experiments. Daniel warns Frank that he must be sure of following the exact same route back to the freighter. My bet is that if he strays off course he’ll wind up in a different time.

Now that the strike is over, five additional episodes are being produced to complete the season. This will mean a one month hiatus.

I just found out this week that Lost and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles have something, or someone, in common. Sonya Walger, who plays Penelope Widmore on Lost also plays Michelle Dixon on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Television viewers have also seen more of her, literally much more, on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me. Rather than that wimp of a husband on Tell Me You Love Me, I can see Carolyn being more fulfilled as part of the secrets she is clearly involved in as Penelope.

Meanwhile, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is getting more complicated with more characters getting involved. This includes finding that Kyle Reese of the original movie, and John’s father, had a brother. I suspect the Derek Reese story line will continue for a while, which seems to have more potential than dragging out the Jordan suicide storyline. At least it did set up Cameron’s line: “I’m done with grief counseling. I’m feeling much better.” I will also never trust a computerized chess game again, now that we know that it just might turn into Skynet and try to wipe out humanity if it loses.


Jericho is back and moving in a new direction. Instead of being on their own, or under attack by a neighboring town, they are now being integrated into a new government which is taking control of most of the area west of the Mississippi. We can be certain that the Cheyenne government is up to no good, and this should leave a lot for Robert Hawkins to do.

There’s a lot of other television news with the strike over. Here’s a good summary of what is going on with most shows. CBS has also started to announce their plans for next season. How I Met Your Mother , The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Terms of Engagement are all still up in the air. HIMYM is one of the best comedies on, and to end it now would be like ending Friends before Ross and Rachel got back together.

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I’ve seen some speculation that ultimately HIMYM will be renewed, but that they are waiting to see how Christine and Engagement do the rest of this season to decide which of the two to fit into the schedule. If it comes down to the two, I’d vote for Christine, but Terms of Engagement also shows potential and I’d hate to see it dropped considering how few good sitcoms are now on television. My suspicion is that the show with Bianca Kajlich (above) will win out.

Being in need of material during the strike, CBS is going to show a cleaned up version of Dexter. From the reviews I’ve seen, they do a decent job with the cuts to clean it up for network television, but the Showtime version is still better.

For those, like me, who were going to make their Christmas Day plans around the opening of Star Trek XI, you no longer need to have to figure out how to convince your wife to go along with this. The opening of the movie has been pushed back to May 8, 2009. This will both allow them to take advantage of the summer movie market, and allow them to make a few rewrites now that the writers are back.

SciFi Friday: Lost; Star Trek Spoilers; Doctor Who Returns; and an R-Rated Kristen Bell Trailer

Last night’s episode of Lost once again revealed more information on the story and left us with more questions. We learn about four people from the freighter in flash backs, including a ghost buster, but it is not clear how they fit into everything. As we were already left to suspect, it looks like someone might have gone to a lot of trouble to make it look like Oceanic 815 is at the bottom of the ocean with everyone aboard dead. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to find out either that getting Ben was the primary objective of the mission, or that Ben had his own spy aboard the freighter. Matthew Abaddon turned out to have sent them, but didn’t seem to believe there were survivors from Oceanic 815 as he becomes when he confronts Hurley at the asylum.

At times Lost has been frustrating as characters have seemed to avoid asking questions when they have a chance to find out more, primarily to keep us viewers in the dark. They actually asked Ben about a long standing mystery, but Ben denied knowing anything about the monster. One thing we do know about Lost is that characters wind up interrelating with each other in unexpected ways. This makes me wonder about the woman whose face was not shown in Daniel Faraday’s flashback. I bet she is someone we know, and the same might be true of Ben’s spy aboard the freighter. Next week we find out the identity of another one of the Oceanic Six, which presumably means we will see a flash forward involving another survivor.

Jericho returns on February 12. Variety has a review.

The SciFi Channel has announced that they have acquired the fourth season of Doctor Who and the first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. They will both be airing in April, which hopefully means there will be minimal delay in the airing of Doctor Who following the initial broadcast on the BBC. More good news from the Sci Fi Channel–today is finally the last episode of Flash Gordon. The BBC has also renewed Sarah Jane for a second season.

USA Today has information on sixteen upcoming science fiction and other genre movies. There is a possible spoiler with regards to Star Trek XI. J.J. Abrams says the movie “won’t suffer from the problem that prequels suffer from: that you know all the characters will live.” Screen Rant has more potential spoilers which possibly explain why things might not turn out as we expect:

The story does not just involve time travel. It actually explores alternate timelines, and jumps between them quite a bit.

While from what we’ve seen so far it seems like they’re being very faithful to the original Enterprise design, in an alternate timeline there will be a significantly different version of the NCC-1701. From what I’ve been told it will be a very kick-ass version – essentially an all-out warship.

Some of the film will also take place in the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation, although I won’t say at what point in the film.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp5nPSgafZg]

I’ve previously posted a trailer for the upcoming movie with Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. An R-rated version of the trailer is available above, with a higher quality version available here.

SciFi Friday: Torchwood; Sarah Connors; Jericho; and Building the Enterprise

Despite the strike, two new genre shows premiered this week, with one coming from the UK and not being affected by the strike. Torchwood began its second season on the BBC. The show also premiers in the US on BBC America on January 26, and I’ll avoid spoilers for those planning to watch but who haven’t seen it in the UK or downloaded it elsewhere. The second season starts soon after the first season ended, with Jack returning in the nick of time after being off with The Doctor. Another time agent, who will be a recurring character, comes to Cardiff which reveals a little more of Jack’s past (future?).

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles premiered with two episodes. The show starts shortly after Terminator II and, as we were warned, takes of on a different time line from Terminator III and the planed movie sequels. Desiring to have the series take place in the present, they had a creative means of moving from the end of Terminator II to present using time travel. I do hope that they don’t fall back too often on getting out of trouble by using methods sent back from the future. I’ll have to see more episodes to determine how worthwhile the show is. Hopefully the show won’t continually come down to repeated chase scenes along with Cameron fighting another cyborg, but they have provided the groundwork for additional plot ideas. Besides, with the strike on there’s not very much competition so I’ll continue watching for now. I am curious as to who is stronger, Cameron or Jamie Sommers, as well as whose show can last longer.

Jericho returns next month with plans to tell a complete story. All of a sudden, a seven episode season isn’t looking that unusual considering how many shows have been cut short. SciFi Wire obtained some information from executive producer Carol Barbee:

“We get into Jericho and reconstruction has begun,” Barbee said. “The Cheyenne government is in town. They’re rebuilding. People are getting jobs, people are getting cell phones, life is coming back to Jericho. But it’s changed, because now there’s this government, Cheyenne, and they have contractors who are working for them named Jennings & Rall, and … this company … [has] set up a storefront on Main Street. And they’re going to be a big presence in our lives for the next season.”

Barbee said that the new season will take the show into new territory thematically. “The headline is [that] the first season was about surviving the nuclear attack and saving the town,” she said. “The second season is about saving the country and our way of life, our system of government. And then the natural progression is to have that be save the world for the third season.”

Two different endings for the second season have been filmed, with one written to lead into the third season if the show is renewed.

The initial reviews of Cloverfield have not been very good but the movie does include the first trailer for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek movie. Here is a picture of the USS Enterprise under construction:
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SciFi Friday: Televison During the Strike; Lost Secrets; The Golden Compass and Religion

With the writers strike going into six weeks the number of new shows is dwindling. AP presents an update as to which shows still have new episodes and which are on indefinite hiatus. Fortunately there are also some shows planned to start in the winter which already have some episodes completed, including Jericho and Lost. Jericho will resume on February 12 with a run of seven new episodes on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. What seemed like such a short season has now become almost a norm for this year. One new show, The Sarah Conner Chronicles, even has thirteen episodes ready to air starting with a two night premier on January 13-14.


SciFi Wire received some answers from the producers of Lost, but they won’t come as much of a surprise, or really clear up any mysteries. They reveal that “the show is about redemption. All the characters on this island are confronting the failures of their past and revisiting issues that go to the core of their emotional makeup.” Other comments regarding the meaning of the show include the producers saying, “We are interested in exploring how good and evil can be embodied in the same characters and the struggles we all have to overcome the dark parts of our souls.” The person in the coffin at the end of season three is someone we’ve seen before, but there are no further clues. Walt will return but it doesn’t sound like it will be soon. The Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle will continue. There will continue to be flashbacks and looks into the future. Jacob will be more important to the show in the future, with the producers realizing that the unveiling of Jacob in the third season did not provide any answers.

Heroes concluded with an episode which was intended to be the end of one arc for the season but which served as a good season finale. They put an end to the threat of the virus which in one alternate future wiped out most of humanity, and Hiro gave the immortal Adam the punishment he deserved in being buried alive–forever (or until they decide to bring him back in a future season). Sylar is now rejuvenated and ready to use his powers for evil, after taking a break to play Spock. At least the strike means Zachary Quinto has some time to film Star Trek without limiting his time for Heroes. The idea of going public may be at an end. HRG is back at The Company, but are they really wise to leave him on the loose? It looks like the end for both Nikki and Nathan, but who knows for sure.

Star Trek XI stars filming Leonard Nimoy’s scenes next week. The X-Files movie begins production next month and is signing stars including Amanda Peet (above), formerly of Studio 60.

The controversy created by the Harry Potter books and movies might be greatly exceeded with the opening of The Golden Compass. The books, especially the second and third, really do have an anti-religious bias and those who objected to Harry Potter will find much more to become upset about. That doesn’t mean they necessarily have to hide from the books or movie. After all, my family watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and we weren’t tempted to give up our liberal, secular ways (or devil worship if you ask Bill O’Reilly). For those fearful of ideas they don’t agree with, I hear that the movie version of The Golden Compass does play down the views of religion presented in the novels. The Guardian reviewed the movie last spring after it premiered at Cannes:

The Golden Compass, the Hollywood adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, launched in Cannes yesterday with a sneak preview of the film, which will hit UK cinemas at Christmas.

Chris Weitz, its screenwriter and director, used the event to address speculation about whether the books’ firmly anti-religious message would be retained.

Referring to the Magisterium – the all-powerful religious body that wields total political power in the world of Lyra, the heroine – he said: “In the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic church gone wildly astray from its roots. If that’s what you want in the film, you’ll be disappointed. We have expanded the range of meanings that the Magisterium represents.”

He added that there would be no specific marketing to neutralise any potential religious backlash in the US. “We’re going to let the film talk for itself,” he said.

Speaking from his home in Oxford, Pullman told the Guardian: “The Magisterium as I conceived it always did stand for a range of things, including organised religion and secular authority.

“The outline of the story is faithful to what I wrote, given my knowledge of what they’ve done – and given they have compressed a story that takes 11 hours to read out into two hours or so.”

Weitz said: “Philip Pullman is against any kind of organised dogma, whether it is church hierarchy or, say, a Soviet hierarchy. We often deal quite obliquely with it in the film … but we have done service to Pullman’s books. Those people who read them for their philosophical content will not be disappointed.”

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

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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. LA.com 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.
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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: News and Rumors on Star Trek, Jericho, Bionic Woman, Battlestar Galactica and 24

Screen Rant has some rumors on the plot of the upcoming Star Trek movie (skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to see any potential spoilers):

The new Star Trek film will focus much more on Spock than on the crew of the Enterprise. Also, the adventure takes place on a USS Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike(!), with Pike and crew being helped out by Kirk but not until much later in the film. It’s unknown what ship Kirk would be serving on, but he is not yet a captain at that time. There are battles with the Klingons, and we will get to see the maiden voyage of the original Enterprise: NCC-1701. Finally, none of the film takes place at all at Starfleet Academy.

Slice of SciFi has some stills from the upcoming season of Jericho. There have been rumors that CBS might move up Jericho to this fall to replace struggling shows. These rumors increased when CBS canceled Viva Laughlin but instead CBS will be showing reruns of CSI until November, followed by The Amazing Race. There’s also been rumors that Universal might move Battlestar Galactica to NBC, either starting with previous episodes seen on SciFI Channel or with the fourth season due to the possible shortage of scripts should the writers strike as feared. More recently Ron Moore was quoted by The Los Angeles Times as saying the fourth season will begin in April–which I fear might make them more likely to split the season as earlier rumored.


An April start also means that Battlestar Galactica won’t pick up for eight months after last season’s cliff hanger, but the extended episode, Razor, will be broadcast in November. It will also be shown on the big screen:

SCI FI Channel and Microsoft have joined forces for a groundbreaking partnership to bring Battlestar Galactica to the big screen. Special advanced preview screenings of the all-new two-hour extended episode Battlestar Galactica: Razor will be held in select movie theaters on Monday, November 12 – nearly two weeks in advance of the episode’s television debut on SCI FI. The event is being managed by National CineMedia LLC.

Written by Michael Taylor and directed by Emmy nominee Felix Alcala, Razor tells the story of Lee Adama’s (Jamie Bamber) first mission as commander of the Battlestar Pegasus and will reveal the story of how Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) served her ship during the original Cylon attack on the Colonies.

Screenings will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle. Admission is FREE, courtesy of Xbox360, Zune, and the new RPG space adventure game “Mass Effect.” A complete list of theaters and ticketing information are available at www.BattlestarEvent.com. Seating is extremely limited.

Razor will air on SCI FI on November 24 @ 9pm and will be followed by the release of an extended/unrated DVD edition on December 4.

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Flash Gordon started out a disaster, and I didn’t watch beyond the first episode. The shows producers are promising to do better and discussed planned changes in the show. Meanwhile NBC is attempting to improve The Bionic Woman. The have hired Jason Cahill, formerly a writer for The Sopranos, as the program’s new show runner.

The trailer for the seventh season of 24 is posted along with some news on the upcoming season:

Set in Washington, DC, “Day 7” opens with CTU dismantled and JACK BAUER (Kiefer Sutherland) on trial. Bauer’s day takes an unexpected turn when former colleague TONY ALMEIDA (Carlos Bernard) returns. Meanwhile, President ALLISON TAYLOR (Cherry Jones) leads the country alongside White House Chief of Staff ETHAN KANIN (Bob Gunton) and First Gentleman HENRY TAYLOR (Colm Feore).

A national security crisis prompts an investigation by a team of FBI agents including Agent JANIS GOLD (Janeane Garofalo), Agent RENEE WALKER (Annie Wersching), Agent LARRY MOSS (Jeffrey Nordling), Agent SEAN HILLINGER (Rhys Coiro) and security specialist MICHAEL LATHAM (John Billingsley). Although CTU is no longer, CHLOE O’BRIAN (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and BILL BUCHANAN (James Morrison) are back for another momentous day of shocking events.

It looks like Jack is under investigation for his use of torture, and that Tony may be the bad guy. Of course things might not turn out as they first appear.

SciFi Friday: Torchwood Premiers, Blink and You’re Dead, Battlestar Galactica, and Jehrico News

Torchwood, a spin off of Doctor Who (which is also an anagram of Doctor Who) premiered last Saturday, breaking all records for a premier on BBC America. The show second episode is tomorrow night, but I might hold off until a week from Monday to watch in high definition. Torchwood begins with the first episode on HDNet on Monday.

Torchwood is being compared to both X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Of course it is actually X-Files in reverse. X-Files started out ambiguous as to the existence of aliens. Torchwood takes place in the world of Doctor Who which has already been attacked by aliens such as the Cybermen, although some believe the attack actually represented mass hallucinations caused by terrorists. While Agent Mulder tried to spread the word about the aliens, on Torchwood Captain Jack Harkness tries to keep their efforts quiet, demonstrating the problems in the first episode of trying to use alien technology which they don’t really understand.

Last week Girl in the Fireplace, an episode of Doctor Who written by Steven Moffat won a Hugo Award. This week SciFi Channel airs another story written by Moffat which will also be a strong contender for a Hugo next year. If you haven’t seen it, don’t turn your back, don’t turn away…and don’t blink. Definately don’t miss this episode. Blink, like the excellent two episodes before it, was based upon a written Doctor Who story which is available on line here. Do not read my previous review of the episode until after you have seen it as this is one episode which is enjoyed best without any advance information.

If watching Doctor Who on Friday and Torchwood on Saturday are not enough, you can always go to a Doctor Who service on Sunday:

A CARDIFF priest loves Dr Who so much he is preaching to his congregation through the Time Lord.

St Paul’s Church, in Grangetown, Cardiff, was used as a location for an episode of the first series of Doctor Who starring the ninth Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston.

And parish priest, Father Ben Andrews, 32, says he loves the cult TV show so much he thought a themed evening would go down well with the youngsters.

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I recently reported rumors that the final season of Battlestar Galactica would be split up. SyFy Portal reports:

There could be 10 months separating the first half and the second half of the final season of “Battlestar Galactica,” or there could be just a month. Either way, fans of the SciFi Channel series are in for a ride straight to the end.”We were told that SciFi was thinking about splitting the final season, but we do not know how long the gap in that split will be,” producer David Weddle told SyFy Portal’s Michael Hinman. “As far as I know, SciFi has not decided yet. The SciFi Channel executives are the only ones who will be able to answer that question, once they’ve arrived at a decision.”

SciFi Wire has news on the upcoming season of Jehrico. The writers had planned out a 22 episode arc, but instead they are forced to condense this into seven episodes. They are treating the seven episodes like an extended movie which follows up on the events of last season’s finale, leaving room for yet another season if the show is more successful when it returns. There are some minor spoilers on the season:

Among the new buildings on the freshly rebuilt main street in the Van Nuys suburb of Los Angeles was a cement facade that housed the headquarters of Jennings and Rall, a multinational organization that sets up shop in the town in season two.

There was also evidence of a continued military presence following its arrival in the season finale to suppress the hostilities between Jericho and the neighboring town of New Bern.

John Steinberg, co-creator and producer of the show, said in interviews that the seven episodes of the season will focus primarily on the introduction of these new outside elements to the town of Jericho and how its citizens respond to them.

“The first season was about that sort of invisible force, the government, the law, the financial system, all those things, disappearing, and living in a vacuum,” Steinberg said in an interview on the set. “And season two is about what happens when something comes back to replace that vacuum, and it’s not what you remembered being there when you left. And so that’s kind of the big arc of it, and how we respond to that and resist it or learn to deal with it.”