SciFi Weekend: The TARDIS on Google Maps; Arrow Introducing More DC Characters; Iron Man 3; Under The Dome; True Blood; Homeland; Orange Is The New Black; Orphan Black; Thor; Elementary; The Newsroom; Interstellar; Star Trek Predicting The Future Since 1966

TARDIS in on Google Maps

If you check out street view on Google Maps at Earlham Green, Greater London Nr5 8DQ, United Kingdom you will see a blue police call box on the left side of the street. Place the mouse near it and then click on the double lines which will appear. This will allow you to enter the TARDIS. You will find that it is smaller on the outside than on the inside. Once inside you will be able to move around the control room. Unfortunately you cannot go further inside the TARDIS but I assume Google Maps will be working on extending their coverage of interior spaces.

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Arrow show runner Mark Guggenheim discussed introducing The Flash on Arrow:

“I feel like I’m just following Bilson and DeMeo. Whatever they do, I seem to follow in their footsteps,” Guggenheim laughed. The writer told CBR that from comics to TV, the goal of the “Arrow” production team is to expand out the DC Universe while keeping the tone and feel of their show its own unique story platform.

“Honestly, I’m just excited to help be a part of expanding the DC Universe,” he said. “I think one of the big thing that appeals to me about comics in general is the idea of the shared universe. It’s a lot of fun to be able to do that in television, and growing up one of the things I enjoyed was the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’ and the way those two shows would interact with each other. We’re at least a season away from ‘Arrow’ interacting with ‘The Flash,” but the potential for that is really exciting for me.”

Kreisberg, who serves as Guggenheim’s show running partner on “Arrow,” will develop Barry Allen’s character in writing each of those three episodes this season on “Arrow,” and Guggenheim said that is all part of a masterplan that stretches back before their recent run of announcements. “Andrew is taking the lead on ‘The Flash.’ This has been in the works for a while and had been in the works since before Comic-Con. But we made the decision, as these things are announced in a rollout, to take a strategy where we’d announce Black Canary, Bronze Tiger and Brother Blood at Comic-Con. We felt like, ‘That’s a lot for Comic-Con. Let’s save something back for when T.C.A. comes around.’ I want to disabuse anyone of the notion that we decided to do Flash after Comic-Con. We’re just capable of keeping secrets every now and again.”

And overall, the writer wanted to stress that an additional superhero – and one with some more super powers – won’t change the core of what “Arrow” is. In fact, Guggenheim leaned on a comparison with DC’s main competitor to explain how each series will develop over time. “I think a lot of people are justified in asking ‘What does this mean for Arrow in terms of its tone?’ And my answer is that the trick that we have – and this is a challenge we’ve discusses a lot and have an awareness of how to face it head on – is the fact that ‘Arrow’ is like ‘Iron Man’ where ‘The Flash’ will be ‘The Hulk.’ And just as ‘The Hulk’ coming out did not change the tone of the Iron Man movies, ‘The Flash’ will not change the tone of ‘Arrow.’ We’re very cognizant of what ‘Arrow’ is all about, and I think the Marvel movies demonstrate that each piece of a universe can have its own feel. ‘Thor’ is consistent with the tone of Thor while ‘Captain America’ is consistent with the tone of Captain America’s character. ‘Arrow’s’ tone will remain consistent much in the same way, and we are looking forward to expanding our canvass a bit. And judging from the announcement, I think the fans are looking forward to it as well.”

While Barry Allen will be on Arrow for a few episodes, he will not have his superpowers, at least not at the start.  Despite not having true superpowers, Arrow does feel like a superhero show, including having the common problem of the hero being just too powerful. I just watched the first season of the show over the past week and found it to be entertaining as long as you ignore the multiple implausible aspects. On Arrow, a person with bow and arrows can easily defeat multiple people with guns. This includes not only Oliver Queen, but two other characters who use the same weapon. Oliver Queen does have fighting skills beyond this weapon. He also has an amazing ability to disappear. Typically when he is surrounded inside a closed area and anyone else would be captured, he gets away with no difficulty or even on-screen explanation. Arrow is not up to the quality of the most impressive new genre shows of the season on regular cable and broadcast television ( such as The Americans, Orphan Black, and Hannibal) but still worth watching.

There were aspects of the writing style of Arrow which makes me confident they will do a good job of gradually introducing characters. Rather than quickly giving an origin and then moving on to the main story, Arrow had flashbacks over the entire season to the island where Oliver Queen was stranded for five years and learned his skills. Rather than immediately introduce the sidekick and those who knew his secret identity, characters were gradually brought into Oliver Queen’s inner circle.

There are also a couple of reasons for Doctor Who fans to watch. John Barrowman is a recurring character all season and Alex Kingston was on a few episodes. I was hoping for the two to interact but that did not occur. Incidentally, most Barrowman fans probably know that Torchwood is an anagram with the same letters as Doctor Who. By coincidence, the name of the television show he appeared in last season is also in Barrowman’s name.

More on crossover characters from other DC comics here.

The Mandarin appears in this deleted scene from Iron Man 3.

I’m glad to see Under the Dome turn more to the mystery of the dome, not that I’m all that confident of a satisfactory resolution. Apparently when they say “the monarch will be crowned” they are speaking of an actual monarch within the small dome. I have read that one of the major differences between recent episodes and the book has been that Big Jim and Junior work together in the book. Last week’s episode may signal a reconciliation between the two.

Last week’s episode of True Blood contained the battle which we might have expected for the season finale. There are still questions. Will Sookie keep her promise to become Warlow’s vampire bride? (I bet she does not). Is the war between humans and vampires now over, or just beginning? Will those vampires who indirectly fed on ferry blood continue to be able to be out in daylight? Is Bill now returning to his normal self? Considering how poor recent seasons of the show had become, it is a good sign that, despite some ongoing problems, the show is now able to maintain interest in such questions.

Homeland writers revealed information on their plans during season two. I’ve been questioning since the end of season one how long they could plausibly continue to have Brody around. The writers may have been thinking the same thing:

Though the show’s creators already copped to plotting an untimely end for Lewis’ character way back in season one, that is until more merciful voices at Showtime prevailed, Gordon admitted that, going into season two, the writers intended to send Brody to the chopping block yet again, and were once more persuaded otherwise by the network.  “We had sketched out this plan in the early parts of season two which called for Brody’s demise, which may have been premature, and they asked us to reconsider,” which Gordon credits as “the happy accident of having very good partners.”

If it seemed like a sudden reversal for Carrie to have decided not to leave the country with Brody, it was also a reversal of the writers’ plans:

According to Steihm, who has since left Homeland to run FX drama The Bridge, the writers all wanted Carrie (Claire Danes) to go with Brody across the border in the season two finale instead of returning to the CIA.  In fact, in the first draft, she did. After much debate, they ultimately decided it was more in character for Carrie to stay and carry out her mission with the Agency after helping Brody escape safely to an underground network.

Besides being a great show, Orange Is The New Black has supported science over religious fundamentalism, such as in the scene above with partial transcript below:

Piper: I can’t pretend to believe in something I don’t, and I don’t [believe in this]… I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens, although I do admit he could be kind of an asshole. I cannot get behind some Supreme Being who weighs in on the Tony awards while a million people get whacked by machetes. I don’t believe a billion Indians are going to hell. I don’t think that we get cancer to learn life lessons. And I don’t believe people die young because God needs another angel. I think it’s just bullshit. And on some level, I think we all know that.

There are a number of reports, along with a denial, that Laura Prepon will be leaving Orange is The New Black to work on a new show. If true, this would leave a major hole in the show. The reports claiming this do say that Prepon will still be present at the start of the season to tie up Alex’s storyline and she will be written out in a way which would allow her to return.

Orphan Is The New Black

Two  of the top television shows premiering in 2013, Orphan Black and Orange Is The New Black, have been combined in this mash-up giving us Orphan Is The New Black.

Natalie Portman expects there to be a Thor 3.

Fake Sherlock will be going to England in their opening episode. Maybe they will meet the “real” Holmes and Watson of Sherlock. (Ok, probably not). More news on the second season of Elementary here.

We expect The Newsroom to mix in major news stories with each episode. Last week they included plot elements reminiscent of other real events from The Today Show botching the editing on George Zimmerman’s 911 tape to the real life release of nude photos from Oliva Munn’s phone. The manner in which World Net Daily reported a rumor without any fact checking also is based on reality, along with being an excellent commentary on the unreliability of WND and the entire right wing noise machine.

Filming has begun on Christopher Nolan’s latest science fiction project, Interstellar.

William Shatner joins those arguing that Star Trek belongs on television in this interview:

Karl Urban, from the new Star Trek films said that “Star Trek, as envisioned, was about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film”. Is that something that you would like to see? A greater focus on discovery in these films.

Shatner: I’m not goona second guess JJ Abrams, he’s a great director and he’s so talented. But I’ll tell you that I am going to the Lowell Observatory in a couple of weeks to deliver a speech that I wrote about Star Trek and its capacity to stir the imaginations of young people.

The idea is, that so many people’s lives have been touched by the imagination of Star Trek and children’s imaginations are so vital to the rest of their lives that… this is an aspect of Star Trek that I’m focused on.

Now let me ask you, trying to bring in new viewers, new younger viewers to expose that world to young kids and teenagers alike and really spur that imagination — is a TV show a more viable vehicle for that? Is it sad that we don’t have something like that right now, a Star Trek TV show that could really seize on the exploration part of the thing that the original series and Next Generation, that those things did?

Shatner: You know, I think you’re right. Because, JJ Abrams has found the key to getting a large audience into the movie theater, and that’s the ride. So you get a lot of the CGI effects, which is the epic movie making aspect of today, whereas in Cecile B. Demille’s time, you had to use real people. Now you don’t need to use real people and you can have infinity for God’s sake.

That’s in order to get you into the theater, because the majesty of the movie is shown by the large screen. But when you get into the small screen, you need stories… entertaining, interesting, vital stories that have a philosophy and also have an excitement about them, so that the viewer stays with it, but recieves the philosophy as a byproduct. Those were the best of Star Trek, those kinds of stories. And that kind of thing, there is always room for that. That kind of imaginative approach that stirs young people into wanting to be connected with science.

Star Trek Science

Via Techeblog

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Quote of the Day

“I’m upset that friend of the show Mike Huckabee criticized Natalie Portman for having a child out of wedlock. Listen, I’m no fan of unwed mothers either, but this is Natalie Portman we’re talking about. That unborn child is Luke Skywalker.” –Stephen Colbert

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Quote of the Day

“Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Hucka-BS is attacking actress Natalie Portman for getting pregnant without being married. It could get a little awkward if he runs into Sarah and Bristol Palin at Fox News.” –Jay Leno

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Live Blogging The Oscars

I’m primarily using Facebook (and am trying to remember to keep these posts open for everyone to read–I know I missed several). Some comments are also on Twitter–see the box on the left. I’ll also try to periodically update here, but there is far more on Facebook when the comments are included.

 

I’m really shocked that Buzz Lightyear didn’t show up to the Oscars to pick up the award.

Everybody get ready. If Social Network wins as best movie, everyone on Facebook is expected to go up on the stage.

What happens if Inception wins as best movie, and then everyone wakes up and finds the entire Academy Awards show is a dream?

The Social Network guys are asking “Is this really happening?” They must have confused their movie with Inception.

Inception beat King’s Speech and other movies for Sound Mixing. I agree that the sound in Inception was better than listening to stuttering.

I see Anne Hathaway got out of her tux. When is she going to put on her new Catwoman outfit?

Republicans disagree with Obama’s view on “As Time Goes By.” Their favorite song is “If You Could Turn Back Time”

At least one good thing about the Academy Awards compared to the Golden Globes. There’s no way Glee will win as best comedy tonight.

Yes it is wrong that not a single financial executive has gone to jail. It is also wrong that nobody who was involved with the two sequels to The Matrix has ever gone to jail.

Michael Moore on Twitter: Thank u Charles Ferguson 4 pointing out not a single Wall St crook has gone 2 jail! And to the audience for applauding!

Inception is winning so many awards that I now suspect that someone planted an idea in the minds of the voters.

A win for Social Network (film editing). Everyone on Facebook, start walking up to the stage.

Makes sense that best song came from Toy Story and not the guy cutting off his arm in 127 Hours.

It’s getting late. I might just look up the rest of the Oscar winners on Wikileaks.

As I feared, now that we are getting to bigger awards like Director, Inception’s run is ending and King’s Speech won. When they planted ideas in the minds of voters, those behind Inception should have taken it to another couple of levels.

Idea for shortening the Oscars: Only allow winners to make acceptance speeches which they can fit on their hands. (I can’t believe I’m taking an idea from Sarah Palin).

Natalie Portman’s dress is fine, but I wish she accepted the award wearing this:
http://liberalvaluesblog.com/2006/10/09/is-audrey-hepburn-campaigning-for-john-kerry/

Is Michelle Bachman going to put out a rebuttal to the Oscars later tonight?

Colin Firth wins as best actor. I wonder if he is still interested in playing a villain on Doctor Who. (He really did say he wants to do this–I hope Steven Moffat was listening).

On Facebook: Oh well, The Social Network didn’t win. We can all go home–no awards for us.

Biggest disappointment of the evening: Didn’t get to see Anne Hathaway in a Catwoman outfit. With all the clothing changes she had did during the night, she could have thrown it in.

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SciFi Weekend: Fringe Returns; Anne Hathaway To Play Catwoman; Summer Glau on The Cape; Camelot; Blood and Chrome

Even before Fringe returned on Friday, John Noble suggested the possibility of either his character or Peter ultimately getting killed. The episode, Firefly, was on this topic. The episode featured the butterfly effect, in this case involving a firefly which led to another man’s son getting killed as a result of Walter saving Peter. The Observers had Walter puzzled with him coming to the false conclusion that they were using very convoluted means to save his life. In reality it was a test for Walter, to see if he could make a decision which would put Peter’s life in danger should Peter’s death be necessary to set things right between the two universes.

We also saw that, while the two remain separate, the relationship between Peter and Olivia remains important. Jasika Nicole revealed before the episode aired that the romance is not over.

Fringe producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman gave some hints about the show in this interview. Here’s just a few questions from the full interview:

Obviously, we’ve all gotten really attached to the cast of characters “over there,” including Lincoln, Charlie and the autistic version of Astrid. Now that none of our three main characters is there, are we going to see less of that world? Or will we still find ways to look in on them?

We will absolutely still be visiting the alternate world — we love those characters too. One of our goals from the first half of this season was to “earn” the ability to tell stories set exclusively Over There, even after Olivia returned home… And after all, Bolivia’s story (and Walternate’s) is now inextricably tied to the story going on Over Here.

Are we going to start seeing signs that “our” universe is unstable in the same way that “over there” is unstable?

Absolutely. Back in 1985 Nina warned Walter that his crossing over to the other universe to save Peter would damage both universes. We have seen the accelerated damage that has been going on Over There (Vortexes, Mutant Insects, etc) and now we will start to see that the physical constraints of our side may be beginning to fray as well.

During the episodes set “over there,” we got a lot of hints that Walternate might be more responsible for the devastation to his universe than he’s letting on. It seems like right now, “our” Walter is living with almost unimaginable guilt for having wrecked an entire universe. Without giving any huge spoilers, do you think it’s possible to spread the blame for the destruction “over there” without letting Walter off the hook, and thus taking away the guilt that makes him so compelling?

Nope. It’s pretty much all Walter’s fault! Apparently playing God has it’s consequences. Walternate has been doing his best to contain the damage to his world – and has had to make some hard choices, namely when/if to amber innocent civilians in order to “plug the dike”. But it would be unfair to say he is responsible for exacerbating the damage.

I’ve read elsewhere that Olivia’s evil stepdad will be showing up. Is this for just one episode, or is he going to have an ongoing arc?

We will meet him in an episode later this season – he will largely be used to highlight an emotional trajectory for Olivia. But, in the vein of spoilers, the story is set 25 yrs ago.

And finally, I have to ask — how set in stone is the endgame for this series? If it winds up ending early, are we going to get the ending you’d originally planned? Is there a chance the show could end on a cliffhanger?

We know where the show ends. And we know several of the season-long chapters that will occur along the way. Much of our storytelling has been seeded from very early on. The only real question is how many of these chapters we will be able to explore.

J.J. Abrams believes Fringe deserves a fourth season, but should not dumb down to attract more viewers:

“[Fringe is about] a woman who was experimented on when she was a kid, about a man who might not have come from here [and] about a father who is holding incredible secrets, including those that mean war,” he explained. “To not embrace that means that we will fail on other people’s terms.”

He continued: “If we’re going to fail, let’s go down doing the most bad ass, weirdest, interesting, sophisticated version of a series that we could possibly do.”

Anne Hathaway Catwoman

Anne Hathaway has beaten out other actresses including Keira Knightly,  Natalie Portman, and Jessica Biel to play Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises. The movie begins shooting in May and is expected to be released in July, 2012. Hathaway will also have a guest appearance on Glee.

One of the problems I see with The Cape is that having Vince not reveal that he is alive to his wife seems to be a contrived and unrealistic situation. Summer Glau believes the situation might get even more complicated:

Summer Glau has hinted that her character Orwell could have a romance on The Cape.

Speaking to Zap2It, Glau explained that Orwell and Vince (David Lyons) “need each other”.

“They don’t like to say it,” she said. “I can’t speak for David and his portrayal of Vince, but my portrayal of Orwell is that she finally feels like she’s not alone.

“She’s been doing this for so many years by herself, and to finally meet someone who’s standing up for what she believes in changes her life.”

Glau acknowledged that Orwell could develop romantic feelings for Vince in the future, saying: “From my perspective, it would be impossible for Orwell to be in this situation with him every day and not have dangerous feelings and thoughts. His motive is to get home to his family and be with his wife and son, but for her I think it’s a little bit more complicated.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rg4Tnnjot4&feature=player_embedded

Merlin has been off to a great start for the third season on SyFy (and previously broadcast on the BBC). The show is increasingly moving its characters towards the situations in the King Arthur legends. For those who want to more quickly move beyond their younger versions, Starz has Camelot premiering in April. A Trailer for the series is above.

Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome

IO9 has some ideas on what to expect from the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Blood and Chrome.

Although the script for a 24 movie was rejected by Fox, Keifer Sutherland predicts that a movie version might begin filming before the end of this year.

Red Dwarf is returning for a six part series with plans to start filming later this year.

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Right Wing News Should Boost Traffic With Nude Obama and Palin Pics

naked-obama-unicorn

It is always amusing to see what types of search words bring in people from search engines. Obviously there are always lots of mundane searches such as Obama’s position on Medicare Advantage plans, but it is the non-political searches which are most amusing to read. Via Memeorandum I see that Right Wing News should do very well in the search engines after some of their recent posts.

The internet is often described as the world’s greatest repository of porn, and even tamer material dealing with women, sex, or nudity brings in plenty of attention. Paris Hilton is always popular and there is a huge surge in searches for pictures of Tim Tebow’s girlfriend whenever he is playing in big games. (Come to think of it, huge and big often play a part in that search). Britney Spears’ appearance on Will and Grace led to searches for poodle balling which still continue. There was a brief burst in searches for this nude picture of Jenna Elfman last week.Years after their appearance on Survivor, Heidi and Jenna remain popular searches.

The searches terms become even more amusing when they are not for items actually on the blog. Google and the other search engines often provide hits based upon words in close proximity. Due to having Buck Naked Politics in the blog roll and/or sometimes even using the word naked in a post, there are frequent hits for a wide variety of people naked. There are a tremendous number of hits for Emma Watson Naked. The actual post mentions Emma Watson but has a picture of Scarlett Johansson.

While for some reason I seem to get more hits for Emma Watson Naked than anyone else (with a bit of interest after she discussed posing nude) anybody can be part of such a search. During the primary campaign there was a tremendous number of searches leading here for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton naked. There were no nude pictures of either, but plenty of posts on both. In Hillary Clinton’s case this did include the famous cleavage controversy. This picture of Natalie Portman next to Hillary Clinton also received some attention.

While those looking for nude pictures of politicians generally do not find what they are looking for in a Google search, they now have an opportunity thanks to Right Wing News. They are now providing drawings of a naked Obama on a unicorn along with Sarah Palin, as well as a nude drawing of Michelle. There’s also more at Boing Boing.

Knowing the interest of internet users in naked people, I’m sure that Right Wing News and all others discussing these pictures will see an increase in traffic. Now I’ll sit back and see how popular this post becomes.

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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.

jericho203.jpg

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.

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.

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Clinton Finds Solution To Cleavage Controversy

Remember the Hillary Clinton cleavage controversy from last summer? Clinton has successfully found a way to take all attention away from her cleavage, as long as Natalie Portman sticks with her and remains firm in her support.

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SciFi Friday: Trailers for Razor and The Other Boelyn Girl

With little news over the holiday I’ll present a couple of trailers. Battlestar Galactica: Razor airs on the SciFi channel Saturday night with an extended DVD to be released on December 4. The trailer for the DVD version is above.

It will hard to beat Natalie Dormer’s portrayal of Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series, The Tudors but if anyone can do it it is Natalie Portman (pictured below on the day she appeared on Good Morning America wearing a John Kerry shirt). Portman plays Anne while Scarlett Johansson plays her sister Mary in The Other Boleyn Girl (trailer above). The movie is scheduled to be released February 29, 2008.

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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.

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