SciFi Weekend Part II: Planet of the Dead


This year we are limited to a series of Doctor Who specials instead of the weekly episodes. For Easter, Planet of the Dead, seemed like filler while waiting for the final two episodes for both Russell T. Davies and David Tennant. This post does contain some spoilers but I’ll avoid giving away the entire plot for the benefit of those who have not seen it yet.

The show opened with Lady Christina de Souza, played by Michelle Ryan, stealing an antique goblet. During her escape she wound up on a double decker bus with The Doctor. The bus went through a worm hole and wound up in an alien desert filmed in Dubai. I actually enjoyed the portions at the start of the show and at the end after they managed to return to London better than the  portion on the alien planet. Like with the Christmas special, the relationship with the episode’s companion was far more interesting than the menace faced.

The Doctor continued to show his pain from losing Rose and Donna, turning down Lady Christina’s request to join him out of fear of being hurt once again from a companion leaving him. There werewarnings to The Doctor that his “song is ending.” There was also a  possible reference to The Master returning “from the darkness.” Whatever is to come will “knock four times.”


Before the episode aired, Russell T. Davies gave an interview which include his thoughts for the future of the show:

Finally, moving back to Doctor Who, have you had to co-ordinate much with Steven Moffat when he takes over?

We talk a lot, but it’s a very clean break. He needed to know where he was picking it up from.

Anything you’d hope for?

If I was working on series five of Doctor Who, I would bring back Michelle Ryan at the drop of a hat. I think she’s absolutely glorious. But I doubt that he will – he doesn’t need to pick up old characters of mine, although he might bring back some old monsters. He’s just brilliant at creating stuff, and needs to make it absolutely his.

Is there anything you can tell us about your last episode yet?

People already know that Bernard Cribbins is back. He’s in it as a proper companion, for the full two episodes. And to have the Doctor with Wilfred at his side is one of my best decisions, ever. I’m so pleased with it – it’s just lovely.

And there’s those paparazzi shots of what looks like John Simm – is it him?

Maybe. It’s not quite as easy to guess what’s happening as you think – there’s nightmare sequences, and layers of fantasy, because the Doctor’s coming to the end of his time. It’s quite interesting to watch things being filmed, and think: ‘Oh, I can see what that would look like…’

You’ve had him save the Earth, the universe, the multiverse… how do you provide a fitting send-off for David’s Doctor?

Don’t worry. I have.

I knew I’d write David’s last episode one day, so I’ve had this tucked away. You do think: ‘How can the stakes get bigger?’ And they do. They really do. I don’t mean just in terms of spectacle, but in terms of how personal it gets for him. It’s such an honour to write for that man, and I really mean that. He’s the loveliest man. SUCH a good actor. When it comes to the last episode, there is no way I would let him down.

Finally – really finally this time – are the Daleks the best villains in the world?

Yes. Better than anything, ever. Better than Darth Vader. Better than Satan. Better than words. I love them. My greatest joy is them working again, after all these years. Everyone said we should redesign them – everyone. Literally everyone said: ‘Here’s a modern version of a Dalek.’ And it’s the one thing I dug my heels in about, purely on instinct.

It looks like a good decision now, but felt like madness at the time. I said you can beef it up, you can make it look better, but you’re not changing the design – not just the design, but the proportions, the distance between the slats, the relationship between the eye and the sucker. I literally stood there like a wall, holding back the flood. And I was right. Thank God! There was a little voice saying ‘You’re an idiot’, so the fact I listened to the voice saying ‘You’re right’ was a miracle. And when you see the kids clutching the toys, and wearing the T-shirts – they love them.

There is no doubt that Stephen Moffat will make the show his. His episodes have always stood out from the rest. Doctor Who also has a long tradition and I don’t see any problem with Moffat taking advantage of that, including bringing back some of Davies’ characters if they go along with Moffat’s overall plans.

If Bernard Cribbins is coming back, what of Donna? Cribbins did play her grandfather. It is rather sad that Donna not only had to leave The Doctor but lost all memory of her time with him. There have been rumors that there will be a resoluton to this before the end of the David Tennant era.

SciFi Weekend: Battlestar Galactica at UN Before Finale; Dolls and Victor’s Man Reaction; Doctor Who and Torchwood News


We are down to only two  hours of Battlestar Galactica (not counting at least one planned television movie) with the second part of the finale to air Friday. Ron Moore has discussed the finale:

THR: Legacy question: Is there anything about sci-fi shows that you think “Galactica” has changed?

Moore: One of the goals going into it (was) we wanted to make a sci-fi show that was relevant and spoke to our times and dealt with real issues that approached the drama in a naturalistic way and made it “real.” If we’re able to define a legacy of asking other shows to do the same in the genre and keep sci fi going in a way that tackles meaningful ideas and challenge audience expectations, I think that would be a great thing.

If Moore’s goal was to tackle meaningful ideas, it looks like some people at the U.N. believe he has succeeded. A panel discussion on the show is planned at the United Nations:

On March 17, there will be a “Battlestar” retrospective at the U.N. in New York and a panel discussion of how the show examined issues such as “human rights, children and armed conflict, terrorism, human rights and reconciliation and dialogue among civilizations and faith,” according to Sci Fi.

The “Battlestar” contingent on the panel will consist of executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, as well as stars Mary McDonnell (who plays president Laura Roslin on the show) and Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama).

UN representatives on the panel are Radhika Coomaraswamy, special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Craig Mokhiber, deputy director of the New York office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Robert Orr, assistant secretary-general for policy planning, executive office of the Secretary-General.

The panel will be moderated by “Battlestar” fan Whoopi Goldberg.

The invitation-only panel will take place at 7 p.m. March 17 in the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council Chamber, three days before the Sci Fi show’s series finale.

The Sci-Fi Channel will be recording the session and a transcript will be released.


Friday will be a big day for science fiction. Besides the Battlestar Galactica series finale, Dollhouse will be having an episode which promises to advance the mythology of the show. This week’s episode provided more suggestions that the “dolls” are not wiped clean as much as was initially suggested. The main story involved Echo infiltrating a cult which was almost forced to commit mass suicide. She was working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms but I”m not sure how we have one government agent trying to prove whether the Dollhouse even exists while another wound up hiring their services.

In terms of advancing the mythology, the most significant event was when it was discovered that Victor was having erections when showering with Sierra. For the benefit of non-viewers who might wonder why this is remarkable, the “dolls” are supposed to be in a child-like state between being programmed for missions. They supposedly lack sexuality and all take coed showers together. Victor apparently is not as childlike as they believed, and we have received suggestions that the same might be true of Echo.


There have been rumors for the several days that when Matt Smith takes over as The Doctor, his companion on Doctor Who will be played by Hannah Murray. Murray was previously on the BBC show Skins.

There’s still a few episodes to go with David Tennant. Current  plans are for only two episodes in 2009 beginning with the Easter special, Planet of the Dead with Michelle Ryan. Lindsay Duncan will play The Doctor’s companion in the Christmas special which will have the return of the Ood. The planned third special for this year has been pushed back into 2010 but might air as early as New Year’s Day. It will be the final appearance for David Tenant and will take place on Mars. Peter O’Brien  reportedly will be playing the villain.


While there are only three more televised episodes planned with The Doctor, the format leaves open many more stories as there could be hundreds of years between each special. I’m sure there will be many more Doctor Who novels and a comic book series is planned. Maybe they will fill in the gaps in the River Song storyline after Song (played by Alex Kingston) revealed that The Doctor will become involved with her in his future (and her past).


Wired has spoken with director Euros Lynn about the upcoming Torchwood miniseries:

“When we catch up to our characters, they’ve mourned the loss of Owen (played by Burn Gorman) and Tosh (Naoko Mori) and are trying to move on,” Lyn explained. Owen and Tosh sacrificed themselves to save their friends in the second season’s finale.

“For the first time, we’ll see Torchwood facing a threat from home while they’re also investigating an alien invasion. When they try to discover why all the children in the world have suddenly stopped at the same time, Torchwood also has to deal with human beings who are trying to hide a past mistake.”

Here is a trailer for the series:


SciFi Weekend: A Bionic Companion for The Doctor; Mutiny and Cylons; Veronica Mars Movie; and Death of a Robot


Michelle Ryan, who briefly stared in the remake of The Bionic Woman, will play The Doctor’s companion in the next Doctor Who special which will air around Easter.

Ryan will play the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza in the special episode, entitled Planet of the Dead.

“I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who and very excited to be joining David Tennant and the Doctor Who team,” she said.

There has also been speculation that Ryan will be brought back to be a regular on the series as Catherine Tate was after first playing Donna Noble in a Christmas special fifteen months earlier.


This week’s episode  A Disquiet Follows My Soul shows one way they are going to drag out the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica before settling the issues which arose last week. Tom Zarek is starting a mutiny and Gaeta is backing him. Another development was to reveal that Tyrol was not the father of Cally’s baby. Most likely this was done after deciding to make Tyrol one of the final five Cylons as this meant that Cally’s baby appeared to be another half human/half cylon child.


Tom Zarek is placed by Richard Hatch who also played Captain Apollo in the original series. While Hatch plays a sometimes nutty character on the new show, his costar on the original has some strange ideas in real life. Dirk Benedict, who played Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica series, is a right winger who writes in Big Hollywood how the remake isn’t as good as the original due to its liberal viewpoint. (Hat tip to Cliqueclack.) Like many conservatives he prefers that everything be black or white and doesn’t approve of the greater complexity of the current series. Here is his take:

A show in which the aliens (Cylons) are justified in their desire to destroy human civilization, one would assume. Indeed, let us not say who the good guys are and who the bad are. That is being “judgmental,” taking sides, and that kind of (simplistic) thinking went out with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Kathryn Hepburn and John Wayne and, well, the original “Battlestar Galactica.”

Big Hollywood is a group blog recently established to try to win the culture war for conservatives.


IO9 has found some information from Life On A Baseship, the “bible” of the Cylons written for the show before season three. We will learn even more about the creation of the Cylons in Caprica. Sci Fi Wire has interviewed Ron Moore about the upcoming series:

For you, is Caprica an opportunity to stay in the Battlestar Galactica universe while at the same time pushing a creative restart button?

Moore: Yeah, well, … I don’t know if it’s reset, but it’s certainly a way of capturing the energy of the first season, of “Well, what is the show? Let’s figure out how we tell stories here. Who are these characters? What’s it about? How are we going to tease the audience? Where are we going to take the show?” So there’s this sense of exploration, there’s this sense of uncharted territory. And that’s exciting, and that’s scary. It’s scary to have to get one of these things off the ground and hope that it’s all going to work out and that people will like it, especially when you know that everyone is going to compare it to Battlestar. But that’s kind of the reason why we’re in the business, is to take on those challenges.

Knowing that you had Caprica on the horizon, did you hold back at all on wrapping up the Cylon mythology in Battlestar Galactica in order to give fans an incentive to tune in to the new show? Or does Battlestar Galactica settle it for everyone?

Moore: Galactica is going to pretty much settle it. Caprica will be about how the people on the colonies developed the Cylons. And that has its own story to tell about how that came about. But in terms of the larger mysteries and mythologies and hows and the whys and how everything lays out on Galactica, we set out to answer as many of the questions that we could by the end of the show, and that’s what we did. We didn’t hold anything in reserve and say, “Oh, well, we’ll deal with this over in Caprica.”


iF  Magazine is making it sound like a Veronica Mars movie really might be made. Rob Thomas has some additional free time since his current series, Cupid, is being cut from thirteen episodes to eight.

“That means I have time to write the VERONICA MARS movie,” he says. “But my writing the movie is half the battle. Someone else has to pay for it. Joel Silver does have a certain pile of money. He called on me saying ‘Can we do this now?’ Kristen wants to do it. Joel wants to do it and I want to do it. For me, that’s the next project.”

Although he wouldn’t reveal exactly what the story would be, he did tell iF, “it’s 70 percent broken in my head.”

“I’ve been struggling with this one plot point and I’m hopeful to figure that out,” he adds. “I watched the final episode of the series a few weeks ago and there were a lot of gaps and the plotting for the original came to me. I mean for the movie, I’m feeling like I’m on the right track now. But I don’t want to give that away yet.

In terms of cast, Thomas says he’s talked with Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell.

“Obviously,” he says with a smile.

And while there were always talks of the character of Veronica Mars ending up at the F.B.I., he says that’s not where the movie will be heading.

“The one thing that I will say is where it will pick up,” says Thomas. “I know we did that F.B.I. ‘what if’ thing, but we would not go to that place. I think it would open just days before the Hearst College Graduation. So Veronica would be sort of at the end of her college career.


Drew Berrymore is hoping for another Charlie’s Angels movie.


Bob May, best known for playing the robot on Lost in Space, died last Sunday of congestive heart failure at age 69.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SciFi Friday: Emmy Awards, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Spoilers for 24 and Sex in the City, and Does Vanessa Go Wild?

There were several Emmy nominations for genre shows, but the only winner last Sunday night was Terry O’Quinn who won as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in Lost. While some were disappointed, the nominations themselves are also a form of recognition. I think they got it right in including Ron Moore in a group of top writers including David Chase, but it was no surprise that Chase came in first. Similarly Heroes is a good show and did well to get a nomination, but it didn’t stand a chance to win as best drama against Sopranos. While Battlestar Galactica got shut out on the main Emmy night, they did pick up a “Creative Emmy” for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. The award came for showing Galactica falling through the planet’s atmosphere in Exodus, Part 2.

TV Week reports that SciFi Channel is continuing to consider dividing up the final season of Battlestar Galactica for financial reasons:

As is often the case with the lavishly produced series, the issue is “the money people,” as one executive put it. Since “Battlestar” eats a considerable portion of the Sci Fi programming budget, the network might be forced to spread the resulting product across two seasons.

Showrunner Ron Moore shrugged off the issue. “It doesn’t affect my job either way, since we’re shooting it straight through,” he says. “It might be better to get it all done [in the same year] for the fans so they don’t have to wait.”

Waiting might be difficult:

With “Battlestar” fans already waiting about a year for the return of the series — not counting the two-hour “Razor” stand-alone movie coming this fall — returning with only 10 episodes could spark a revolt.

Moore’s storyline also could make fans demand rapid closure, one person close to the project says, since “when people see the ending of the 10th episode, they’re gonna freak out.”

The final decision might not come until January. A key factor is what new shows are in the pipeline that could be paired with “Galactica” – and how much those shows will cost.

Among the shows being considered is Caprica, the prequel to BSG. They are also considering filming the two hour pilot to sell on DVD regardless of whether they produce the entire series, especially if this fall’s BSG movie does well.

SciFi Pulse has an interview with Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. He is concerned about the movie being a prequel:

I am concerned about them doing a prequel because it’s always tricky to do a prequel. There were a lot of issues with Enterprise because Enterprise was going against pre – established things and it’s always tough when you go against pre – established things. So I’m happy he’s doing it. I’d prefer them, when I say them I mean Paramount and everyone to wait a few years. I’m hesitant on the prequel. You see I have not read a script. Paramount does not have to give me a script; no one has to give me a script to read to get my approval. I would like to read it but I think they know that I speak my mind for the most part. So if I thought it were a bad script I would probably say something along the lines of, ‘Huh you know it’s a good Star Trek’ as apposed to ‘Yeah everyone has to go see it. Everyone has to go see it.’ And the fans have given my family a lot of clout and I think that to some degree has given me a lot of clout. So I think that a lot of people respect what I say to a degree and if I didn’t have anything good to say about it I think they’d be scared.

I was opposed to doing an entire prequel series as with Enterprise, but for the movie I don’t think they have much choice. As there isn’t a recent successful television show to base the next movie on, the best chance for a mass market success comes from returning to the most well known characters including Kirk and Spock. If the movie does well, I hope it leads to a new Star Trek television series, preferably taking place on a Starship and occurring after the events of Voyager and Deep Space Nine. A television show can build a new following, but a movie does not have that luxury.

A web site for the Doctor Who spin off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, is now on line and they are no longer blocking those of us outside of the UK from seeing it. There’s no word as to whether it will air on American television. Currently the SciFi Channel carries Doctor Who, BBC America caries Torchwood (as well as previous seasons of Doctor Who) and HDNet carries Torchwood nine days after the episode is seen on BBC America. Therefore, unless I get to the point where I cannot wait to see what happens next, posts on Torchwood will be postponed until after it is shown in HD. Of course if it turns out to get so good that it becomes difficult to wait, I’ll just download the first season as I did to avoid waiting to see Doctor Who this season. The consensus appears to be that the show gets much better over time.

Tonight SciFI Channel broadcasts Utopia, which leads into the final two episodes of the season on Doctor Who. I previously reviewed Utopia here. Many items from earlier in the season play a part in the season finale, including even more than I first suspected from Utopia. The episode is also notable for the return of Captain Jack for the final three episode arc, taking place after the first season of Torchwood.

Geeks of Doom has a preview of the new version of The Bionic Woman:

Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan) is having a tough time of things, but she’s making it work for her. She has to deal with her bratty little sister (Lucy Hale), a crappy job, and not much of a future, but she has a nice guy in Dr. Will Anthros (Chris Bowers), a noted professor who works in prosthetics and reconstructive surgery. Things take a turn for the worse when Jaime and Will are in a terrible accident. Will is fine, but Jaime has massive injuries, and ends up losing her legs, right arm, right ear, and right eye. That’s when the boyfriend goes to work, and gives her new body parts. Of course as happened to Steve Summers in the Venture Brothers, the government expects her to pay for her new limbs. Do you know how long it takes to pay back 50 million dollars on a government salary? But seriously, she escapes from the hospital only to run into another bionic woman (Katee Sackhoff) and becomes embroiled in a variety of mysteries. Who is her new boss (Miguel Ferrer)? What is the other bionic woman’s agenda? What do some of these other scenes mean?

What the creators have done well here is create a good mystery series. There are conspiracies within conspiracies, and a lot of things to keep the viewer coming back for more. There’s so much going on that I discovered new connections on a second viewing. The angle with Jaime working for the organization that gave her the powers sets up a decent enough storytelling engine, as long as the creators can come up with valid threats for her to fight on a weekly basis. Fights with other enhanced people could wear thin quickly though, so they’ll need to come up with various enemies that are legitimate challenges for her. But it’s the underlying mystery that really drives the drama forward. Much like BSG, the big questions make me want to watch the second episode, and if done well, will keep me on for the third and the fourth and the whole season. I’m forced to keep coming back to BSG, but the creators have borrowed so heavily from it that it’s hard not to make the comparison (especially since creator David Eick is also a producer on BSG).

Google searches for Vanessa Hudgens are greatly surpassing Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in hits to the site following the item two weeks ago on the nude pictures of the star of the High School Musical being released on line. Disney is still sticking with her. After all, compared to former Mouseketeer Britney Spears, Vanessa still looks respectable. There are rumors floating around that Hudgens is considering posing nude in a men’s magazine and that she has been offered $500,000 to appear in a Girls Gone Wild video. I suspect there is a limit to what Disney will forgive. Besides, how much will people really pay to see what has been available on line to see for free?

Fox has issued a press release with a minor spoiler about the upcoming season of 24:

Bauer’s day gets off to a shocking start when former colleague Tony Almeida (played by Carlos Bernard), last seen in Day 5, returns after being left for dead by a terrorist conspirator in CTU’s infirmary.

The Sex and The City movie started filming this week, taking place four years after the events of the television show. Thanks to a cell phone camera we have a spoiler from the filming. The picture shows a very pregnant Charlotte talking to Big:


SciFi Friday: Plans for the Future

Normally at this time of year we hear about the fate of shows being renewed or cancelled for the current season, but this year we are getting more significant news on the fates of two shows that are returning. End dates for both Lost and Battlestar Galactica have been announced. Lost will return for three sixteen episode seasons, while Battlestar Galactica will end after next season.

I am very happy to see these dates set in advance. Shows with ongoing mysteries have historically run into problems when the end date was not clear. X-Files dragged out the alien mythology plot beyond the point where it made much sense. Babylon 5 wrapped up the war a year before the end, and then didn’t have a good idea as to what to do with the final season. By knowing exactly how many episodes they have left, the writers of Lost and BSG can pace out how their continuing stories play out. BSG had the problem that they were searching for Earth, but everyone knew they could not find it while the series was running. Now that the season ends next year, they can actually reach Earth if that is what the writers desire, but viewers cannot be certain as to what will happen.

The decision to only air sixteen episodes of Lost per year has met with some controversy. I have conflicting interests on this one. As a Disney stockholder, I support the idea of the network receiving income from the show for an additional year. As a fan I have mixed emotions. If having less episodes can result in greater quality, then I am for it. While there are many other factors which result in the greater quality of shows on HBO and the BBC over the major American networks, not being stuck in the twenty-two or so episodes per year format may one of their advantages. While some Lost fans are complaining on line of having to stick it out for three years to get a normal two years worth of shows, Soprano fans sure won’t feel very sorry for them.

This week’s episode of Lost answered some questions and left many others open. Big questions are why Ben wound up the leader of the island’s “original inhabitants,” their connection to the outside world, and whether having the opening scene occur near Portland is coincidence. Is there more going on between DHARMA and the phoney location of where Juliette was first recruited to work? Speaking of Juliette, it looks like I was wrong in mistrusting her, but was right in predicting things would not turn out well for Locke by hanging around The Others. I doubt that Locke is really dead as the conflict between his and Jack’s philosophies seems to be too central to the show. Locke must return to face Jack. I wouldn’t be surprised if they really do kill Charlie off. His major role now seems to be his role in Desmond’s predictions of his death. This cannot continue forever. Either they have to find something else for Charlie to do, or actually kill him.

Kattee Sackhoff has other work lined up besides Battlestar Galactica. She will costar with Michelle Ryan in the reimagined remake of The Bionic Woman. Sackhoff says she will have a different type of role than Starbuck:

“My biggest fear was that Sarah Corvus was going to turn out like Starbuck. But she didn’t. She turned out a little like Number Six [laughs]. She’s the femme fatale. She’s dangerous. She’s sexy. She knows it, and she uses it. She walks with a purpose, and Starbuck really doesn’t. It’s … two different sides of the coin, but both misunderstood.”

While unofficial, the word is that Jericho will be back. They gave a strong indication of how the cliff hander will be resolved as the military is preparing to break up the war with New Bern, thanks to Heather, who is very much still alive. This leaves questions as to the fate of Hawkins, and the status of those behind this military force.

The surprise of the episode was the death of Johnston Green. I don’t think anyone saw this coming, considering how important Green was to the town, and the show. Perhaps the thought was that a strong central character such as Green was necessary to get the show established, but now we know enough about the other characters for them to continue to drive the story.

Another puzzle was the revised American flag. Maybe it was done more for the effect on viewers (as well as Heather) than for any logical reason. Any force trying to establish itself as the legitimate government of the United States would want to stick with the conventional flag. The new flag, complete with vertical stripes and only about half the stars, points out to viewers that this isn’t the United States government we know, but that isn’t something they would want surviving Americans to realize. Perhaps there is another force which is still using the conventional flag which will make an appearance at a later date.

Doctor Who will not be on the BBC this weekend, with the scheduled episode postponed until next week. It will hardly seem like Saturday night if I’m not hunting down a torrent with sufficient seeds to get the week’s episode by morning.
Superman Returns led the Saturn Awards, with both Battlestar Galactica and Heroes being able to win as best television series due to the nature of the categories. Some of the major winners include:

Best Science Fiction Film: Children of Men

Best Fantasy Film: Superman Returns

Best Horror Film: The Descent

Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film: Casino Royale

Best Animated Film: Cars

Best International Film: Pan’s Labyrinth

Best Actor: Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)

Best Actress: Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta)

Best Network Television Series: Heroes

Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series: Battlestar Galactica

Gilmore Girls: Unto the Breach
The major televison event beyond SF was Rory Gilmore’s graduation from Yale, and the end of her relationship with Logan. Beyond that, Rory’s plans remain unclear. TV Guide has one of the best reports on the ending of Gilmore Girls with an interview with Lauren Graham.

With most shows ending for the season, there are a few to look forward to. Big Love returns on June 11, perhaps with increased interest in Mormonism in light of Mitt Romney’s candidacy. HBO On Demand will also have three prequel episodes starting on May 28 showing events prior to season one.