SciFi Weekend: Torchwood, Fringe, Catwoman, Cowboys and Aliens, Banned SF, Friday Night Lights, Big Bang Theory, Community

This week’s episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, The Categories of Life,  has a new twist on death panels, taken from Nazi Germany. The episode speeds up the pacing of the series, but I want to reserve judgment how this plays into the full series until it has completed. I did have a couple of nitpicks about this week’s villain, Colin Maloney. He turned to quickly from one-dimensional buffoon to one-dimension villain, and it is not believable that he would be so shocked by a female physician. (The UK trailer for the episode is above).

Peter Olivia Walter Fringe

John Noble has some teasers on the upcoming season of Fringe and what happened to Peter Bishop:

“Because we finished off with the season so powerfully what you’ll see now is thread in through a mini arc of four episodes,” explained John Noble during a one-on-one with the the TV Addict in Los Angeles. “We thread in the feeling, the presence of and finally the manifestation of Peter.”

And while it probably won’t come as much of a surprise that Peter does in fact return, (Joked Noble, “Josh [Jackson] is our leading man of course he does [return!]“) what sure as heck will is that Peter’s reappearance may not mark the return of the Peter fans (Not to mention the two Olivias!) have come to know and love over the course of the past three seasons.

“What we do is find a way to bring Peter back in…. but not in the way he was before,” revealed Noble. “It’s grand for Josh because it gives him a chance to finally do another version of himself, which he hasn’t had before. So it’s a great pay off for Josh and it means that we get to rebuild somehow in a different way.”

But just how different will be Peter Bishop 2.0 (Peternate?) be? Noble, not surprisingly, was playing coy. To the point that the only thing he would tease is that the start of FRINGE’s fourth season will be eerily familiar to fans of the show who has stuck with it since day one.

“That wonderful humanizing element that we’ve had in FRINGE of Walter and Peter getting to know and love each other again and build up their relationship… we start the season without that,” said Noble. “”[When the season starts] Walter is still in the lab but he’s quite insane, agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive and under the guardianship of Olivia and Astrid. He’s just locked in and won’t go out of the lab, so that’s an interesting restart from my point of view.”

The first pictures have been released of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Olivia Wilde discussed her dirty scenes in Cowboys and Aliens.

The Republic, Missouri school board has banned Slaughterhouse Five because “they teach principles contrary to the Bible.”

As for the modern classic Slaughterhouse Five, the book is no stranger to censorship. One of the first literary acknowledgments that homosexual men, or “fairies” in the novel, were victims in the Holocaust, school classrooms and libraries frequently ban the book for its use of profanity and depictions of sex. The Supreme Court actually considered the First Amendment implications of the removal of this book, among others, from libraries in the 1982 case Island Tree School District v. Pico. The Court’s plurality concluded that “local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’” Minor’s reason for removing the novel? “The language is just really, really intense…I don’t think it has any place in high school…I’m not saying it’s a bad book.”

It looks like there really is a chance of a Friday Night Lights movie, taking place after the conclusion of the final season of the television show. I’m still waiting for the Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls movies which were discussed after those shows ended.

The two Thursday night genre comedies were both represented at the San Diego Comic Con two weeks ago. Above is an interview with the cast of The Big Bang Theory.During the shows panel,  Bill Prady  said that they will resolve the situation between Raj and Penny and explained that the show is not really a show about nerds:

“We’re not doing a show about nerd culture. We’re doing a show about people we liked,” he said.

“About extraordinary people,” fellow co-creator Chuck Lorre said.

More exchanges, including a terrific question about Sheldon:

Of course, a fan asked when Sheldon will lose his virginity, but asked in a great way: “When is Sheldon going to go through Pon farr?” (For the non-Trek oriented, this is when a Vulcan basically goes into heat.)

“Sheldon seems singularly devoted to science — only time will tell,” Prady says.

On the difference between Sheldon and Amy’s characters, Prady says: “Amy’s game. She wants to have the experiences she hasn’t had — and some of them burn between her loins.”

Parsons says his character’s famous Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock scene took the most takes of any scene he’s ever shot. “It nearly broke me as a man.”

There was also a lot of news about Community. Next season the cast will be taking Biology together. The stories will become more serialized. There will be more themed episodes, including one containing three different time lines. The vice-dean of Greendale’s air conditioning repair annex, played by John Goodman, will become an important and powerful character. Señor Chang will also return to a position of authority.

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SciFi Weekend: Fringe; Trinity & Barney; Toy Story Returns; Tyra Collette is Wonder Woman, Alessandra Torresani As Princess Leia Slave Girl

This week’s Fringe was not one of the greatest episodes in the show’s history but it did move the story forwards slightly. We saw  signs that the problems faced by the alternate universe are beginning on this side and the relationship between Peter and Olivia move forwards. The episode also served to demonstrate that the conflict between the two universes is not one of good versus evil but each side taking the steps felt necessary to protect itself.

The story probably did work best with Mr. and Mrs. Merchant letting go, realizing they were seeing alternate versions of their spouses and not their actual dead spouses, so that the rift would close. It might have been more interesting, however, if they could have had one cross over to the other side. While neither would really be united with their dead spouse, having the version from the alternate universe would have been the next best thing. Could they have continued their former relationships in this manner, somewhat analogous to Peter unknowingly having a relationship with Fauxlivia instead of Olivia?

Apparently Peter was always intended to become involved with our Olivia, with next week’s episode showing them together as children.

Spoiler TV has more from a conference call with Fringe executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman:

When it comes to Olivia and Peter:
Things “will get worse and better,” said Pinkner. “Since Olivia returned and their relationship sort of shattered, they’ve been trying to pick up the pieces. They’ve been getting closer and they will continue to, but the problems that they’re dealing with are going to continue to complicate … We’re throwing a whole bunch of things at them.” That includes last week’s revelation that Faulivia (aka Bolivia or the alternate Olivia) is pregnant with Peter’s child.

“We’re always trying to get deeper, more complex emotions because we find that’s a really rich area for us to investigate in,” said Wyman. “There are so many facets to a real relationship, and these are incredible circumstances that they’re going through. But we try and make it as deep as we can. So you’ll see a whole bunch of shifting still to come in the entire rest of the season.”

As far as Peter’s shape-shifter killing ways:
Peter’s been killing shape-shifters and keeping it a secret from Olivia and the Fringe team. But “there’s a reason,” said Wyman.

And “Peter will come clean soon enough,” added Pinkner.

Peter has been more concerned about what the shape-shifters are up to “than anybody else on our show. There’s a drawing of him standing inside that machine. So he’s got questions, and by nature he’s a character who for years has only relied on himself,” he said.

“This season was always going to be a season about self-actualization for a lot of the characters. So this is the beginning of those steps,” said Wyman.

There’s still two of almost everything:
“We get to do two shows about one show. So that turned into a great thing,” said Wyman. And that allowed them to explore things like the murder of alternate Broyles “and having our Broyle actually stand next to his own dead body.”

“I think we knew how much there was to discover with Walternate and Bolivia and how much those two characters would provide a counterpoint and shed light on their alter egos that we’ve known for going on three seasons now.” said Pinkner. “I think one of the things that’s been really fun for us [was] the dynamic between Lincoln and Charlie and Bolivia and the energy of the stories on the other side. It feels like a different version of our show that just has a different inherent rhythm and different inherent chemistries in those characters, and that’s been really joyful for us.”

And speaking of the joy of the Other Side:
“What we discovered was that the energy of Lincoln and Charlie and Bolivia made up for the lack of Walter,” said Pinkner. “Obviously Walternate’s John Noble was in the episodes, but energetically and rhythmically it made up for missing Walter, so rather than recognizing or discovering that, it became a creative challenge. The discovery for us that was really wonderful was that it was a joy to go to the other side, and it was really a joy to explore another version of our show with cases that affected everything happening on our side with characters that we, as writers, had come to love.”

While Pinkner admits that fans started out “inclined to hate Bolivia, slowly over time they’ve started to … whether or not people want Peter to be with Olivia or Bolivia is a separate issue. But at least as far as we can tell, people are finding the relationship between the characters on the other side and the stories we’re telling on the other side charming and also really intriguing. It’s just deepening everything that’s happening over here. So rather than a challenge, we actually found it to be a really great creative outlet.”

Extinct sheep, myth-a-lones and the dangerously out of control Over There:
“The other side gives us an opportunity to do some pretty wild things, as you can imagine, because things are dangerously out of control there,” said Wyman. “So we’re fascinated enough with the notion that things we take for granted, like sheep for example, don’t exist over there because they were killed out by this beetle.”

Pinkner and Wyman continue to embrace what they call myth-a-lones, “where you’re watching the freak of the week type of concept, but it’s connected to our mythology. You’re going to see a lot of things … taking things and tropes that we know in our world and sort of turning them on their head,” said Wyman.

When it comes to Sam Weiss:
The mysterious bowling dude who has helped both Nina Sharp and Olivia, could be a good guy or a bad one. According to Wyman, “You know, don’t trust that Weiss.”

“If anybody unfurled the anagram that was on the chalkboard in Walter’s lab on the other side, it said, ‘Don’t trust Sam Weiss,'” said Pinkner.

“Sam is a character that I feel safe in saying that he still has many, many, many, many layers to reveal, and his motivations will become clearer and you’ll get a better understanding. I’m saying that we’re not going to keep pushing it down the line and not answering it, because that frustrates everyone. You’re going to find out about him. Hopefully it will be something that you don’t see coming,” said Wyman.

If you’ve been paying attention, things will fit together:
“If you go back into season one and you see the bus … There was a pattern episode that the bus had amber on it. I don’t know if you remember that, but the truth is the people here didn’t really know what amber was. They really didn’t understand what it was, but we knew,” said Wyman.

“So it’s like you can really set things up and they can pay off in really great ways. I think there’s a lot of that stuff coming up that will demonstrate the forethought, and the keen viewer will be able to say, ‘Oh, my gosh. Oh, I remember that.’ Now that’s taken on a whole different meaning. The only way that we can do that is if we know where we’re going.”

“The truth is we’ve been setting up season four in brush strokes very early on in season two, and we’ve been setting up what we imagine, with luck and grace and hoping we stay on the air this far, we’ve been sort of setting up season five since season one. It’s just a matter of whether we have the good fortune of getting to tell these stories,” said Pinkner.

“We need more time, and we’re trying to tell thematic stories,” said Wyman. “The multiple levels that we like takes time. I’m sure that we fall short of our goals all the time, but there’s enough fear every week, and like okay, what story are we going to tell this week … We have kind of a blue print.”

Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) has also discussed the show recently, including his thoughts on the First People.

While the major quest on  How I Met  Your Mother is Ted’s prolonged personal journey before meeting his eventual wife, there is also Barney’s quest to find his father. Imagine the shock when it turns out to be the Trinity killer. Well, not really, but Barney’s father, Jerome Whitaker, will be played by John Lithgow in two episodes. This is Lithgow’s first television role since playing Trinity on DexterHIMYM co-creator Carter Bays joked that there are some similarities between Jerome and Trinity:

“[Jerome] is [also] a family man who lives in the suburbs [but] he’s not going to be naked in the bathtub strangling someone,” he quipped.

Toy Story Barbie Ken

Toy Story 3 wasn’t the end of the toys. Pixar is going to release at least two shorts with the Toy Story characters, with the storyline of only one of them having been released:

The short that will be shown in front of ‘Cars 2′ will focus on the characters of Barbie and Ken after their exploits in ‘Toy Story 3′. After being left behind for their Hawaii vacation, Buzz Lightyear and Woody attempt to recreate a Hawaii paradise to please the disappointed Barbie and Ken.

In a follow-up of last week’s story, it now looks hopeful that a Robocop statue will be built in Detroit with private donations.

Taylor Kitsch Adrianne Palicki Wonder Woman Friday Night Lights

Adrianne Palicki, Tyra Collette on Friday Night Lights has been signed to play Wonder Woman in a remake which NBC finally picked up after all the networks had rejected it. I’m sure Tim Riggins and Landry Clarke agree in considering her a Wonder Woman. There are also rumors that Oliva Wilde will play Laura Croft in a movie remake.

I’ve had a number of posts with pictures of actresses in the old Princess Leia Slave Girl costume. The video above, Nerding Out – Tonight I’m Frakking You, features Alessandra Torresani of Caprica in the outfit along with multiple other science fiction references.

Previous pictures here (Kelly Brook) and  here (Kristen Bell & Olivia Munn), with a picture of the original is here. Interviews with the stars of Tonight I’m Frakking You in the video below:

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SciFi Weekend: The Romantic Triangle of Fringe; Cobie Smulders of SHIELD; Nolan and Sorkin Win Awards; V To End on Cliffhanger; And Daleks

On Fringe, Olivia expressed the belief that she had difficulty competing with Fauxlivia due to being less fun after having been experimented upon as a child. While Fauxlivia definitely is the hotter of Anna Torv’s characters, Olivia needs to understand that the real problem is that she has been pushing Peter away. I had even been rooting at times for Peter to get back with Fauxlivia, until we learned in this week’s episode that possibly only one universe will survive and it will be the one with the version of Oliva which Peter chooses. Actually I suspect the show will end up with both universes surviving, but it now does sound far too risky to root for Fauxlivia, regardless of how much hotter she is than Olivia.

A major component of the episode involved an excuse to bring in someone who could read minds so that they could read Peter’s thoughts. This led to the scene in the picture above where Olivia read that Peter still had feelings for Fauxlivia. The mind reader might have been more helpful if he also pointed out that Peter clearly also has feelings for Olivia.

Strange that Fringe, which is probably the top American science fiction show now on the air, has essentially turned into a gigantic love triangle.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon,  Samuel L. Jackson revealed that there would be a female side kick for Nick Fury in the upcoming Joss Whedon Avengers movie. The latest rumor is that Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother is the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill.

Olivia Wilde is rumored to be in consideration to play Lois Lane in the Superman reboot.

Christopher Nolan and Aaron Sorkin won major awards last night at the Writers Guild Awards. Christopher Nolan won for best original screenplay with Inception and Aaron Sorkin won for best adapted screenplay with The Social Network.

Sorkin is currently working on a pilot for HBO which goes behind the scenes of a cable news show. Sorkin has shown interest in this type of show in Sports Night and Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Going to a cable news show would allow him to include the type of politically-oriented stories he wrote for The West Wing which didn’t work as well when mixed into Studio 60.

Although it is far from certain that V will return next season, the season will reportedly end on a cliffhanger. This could turn out to be like the original series, which ended on a cliffhanger. By that time the series had gotten so bad that nobody really cared. The Cape also appears in trouble of not coming back, being reduced to only ten episodes. The return of The Event is being postponed until after The Cape concludes its brief run.

Community had another great genre-oriented episode involving a game of Dungeons and Dragons. The episode even included a shot with a picture of a Dalek on the table.

Ironically, this occurred the same week on which Jim Parsons, whose show The Big Bang Theory is on opposite Community, admitted in an interview with Craig Ferguson that he doesn’t watch Doctor Who (video above).

Last week I had a video of kids and Daleks. It appears that Steven Moffat is looking into this trend.

Here’s a must buy item. The Doctor Who Site reports that this Tardis mug is available for pre-order. For unexplained reasons it is available in the United States and Australia but not the U.K.

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Really??

Olivia Wilde said in an interview that she tried not to be sexy in Tron: Legacy. Olivia Wilde not being sexy in a skintight costume is like Sarah Palin not being stupid or Dick Cheney not being evil.

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SciFi Weekend: Caprica Canceled, New BSG Spin-Off Planned; Spock Cited in Texas Court; Time Traveler Filmed?; Zombies and Mean Girls

As I reported earlier this week, and predicted last week, Caprica has officially been canceled. The show already had one hiatus this year, which probably did not help matters as I bet many viewers are having difficulty keeping track of the large number of plot lines. There will be a second hiatus with the remaining episodes not airing until 2011. As the show is undoubtedly costlier to produce than many of the other shows on SyFy, I can understand why the network decided ratings were too low to justify renewal. However, now that the shows have been made, I would think that it at least holds its own against many of the other shows being aired. If ratings are really that terrible that they don’t want to show the remaining episodes during prime time this fall, they could always air them at odd hours for fans to record.

SyFy is looking at replacing the show with another Battlestar Galactica spin-off based upon William Odama’s role in the first Cylon War. Presumably shows about Cylons involving  actual war do better in the ratings. A two hour pilot movie is planned with production expected to start next year. The Los Angeles Times Reports:

Syfy announced Friday that it’s gearing up to bring fans an all-new chapter in the BSG saga with “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.”

The two-hour spinoff pilot, from executive producer David Eick, will follow a twentysomething William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon War. He soon finds himself leading a top secret mission that could change the course of the war.

“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question: What does it mean to be human?, ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” Eick said in a statement.

“Blood & Chrome” was originally ordered last summer by the network as a Web series, with former “Battlestar Galactica” co-executive producer Michael Taylor tapped to write the nine mini episodes.

In a statement, Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for SyFy and co-head of content for Universal Cable Productions, had this to say:  “The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory. We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”

The  Los Angles Times also interviewed executive producer David Eick about the planned show:

GB: What can you tell us about where this falls in the mythology?

DE: The show takes place when William Adama, the character played by Edward James Olmos in “BSG,” is in his 20s, fresh out of cadet school, on the precipice of experiencing his first taste of combat.  The era — in our mythology – is the threatening, treacherous period known as the First Cylon War, which fans of “Battlestar Galactica” may remember took place over 40 years before the events of “BSG.”

GB: In some ways, all the previously shown history might be seen as confining — we know who lives and dies at this point — so how do you sidestep those challenges?

DE: I’m not sure it’s true that our past history is confining — just because we might meet someone in “Blood & Chrome” whom we don’t recognize as a younger version of someone from the realm of “Battlestar Galactica” doesn’t mean that character necessarily died.  Alternatively, we may meet the ancestors of characters we’ve come to know in “BSG,” which can be Easter eggs for the “BSG” faithful without being a distraction to new viewers of “Blood & Chrome” who may not be familiar with “BSG.”

GB: Anything you can tell us about the title or its origins?

DE: Michael Taylor, one of my partners on the cracking of this story and the writer of the teleplay, gets full credit for the title.  We’d been calling it “the ‘Young Adama’ project,” and then one day the script shows up with that wild and provocative title.

GB: Is there a new character being introduced that you might give us a hint or two about?

DE: “Blood & Chrome” is loaded with new characters, but I’d say the most compelling and unusual is the woman with whom Adama connects most deeply in the pilot — Beka Kelly, an enigmatic, seemingly impenetrable software genius who gives Adama a run for his money in more ways than one.  She’s definitely in the tradition of “BSG’s” and “Caprica’s” uniquely strong, remarkable female characters and will be a huge casting opportunity for someone out there, whom we look forward to discovering…

While Caprica has been canceled, some other genre shows received better news in the past week. ABC picked up No Ordinary Family for the entire season and BBC has renewed Merlin for a fourth season.

In other interesting, even if perhaps not very significant, genre news reported here earlier in the week, the Texas Supreme Court has cited Spock while interpreting the Texas Constitution. The ruling (more details in previous post) quoted Spock ‘s credo “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” spoken as he was dying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If conservatives get upset when an American court cites a foreign court, how will they react to a court citing a Vulcan? Will conservatives begin attacking the principles of The United Federation of Planets as they now attack international law?

The discovery of someone who appears to be using a cell phone in an old Charlie Chaplin film, The Circus, resulted in a lot of buzz about the possibility of a time traveler being caught on film. It was way too much fun to speculate about time travelers to worry about details such as how one would use a cell phone in an era lacking cellular service. The explanation that this was actually an old hearing aide is far less interesting.

Maybe the time traveler in the video above had found a way to communicate through time, like Olivia Wilde in the video above which presents an urgent plea from 2057 to vote. You don’t really want a future in which President Sarah Palin declares super-war on Norway do you?

The Big Bang Theory - The Apology Insufficiency

There continues to be a great hour of genre comedy from 8:00 to 8:30 on Thursday nights. I doubt anyone has questioned including The Big Bang Theory as a genre show considering its frequent references to science fiction and comics, along with its major presence at ComicCon. Last week’s episode had Leonard hook up with Raj’s sister and next week’s episode features a guest appearance by Eliza Dushku (of Dollhouse) as an FBI agent who interviews other cast members for Wolowitz’s security clearance.

I also loosely classify Community as a genre comedy due to its many references to movies and pop culture. This was most obvious in last week’s episode featuring zombies. There’s an even worse threat than zombies on next week’s episode–mean girls led by Hilary Duff.  A video preview is above.

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Olivia Wilde’s Message To Vote From 2057

Olivia Wilde stars in this video with a warning from 2057 of the consequences of not voting. Imagine a future President Palin declaring Superwar against Norway, and it gets worse from there.

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SciFi Weekend: Torchwood, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Likely To Receive R Rating, Olivia Wilde in Cowboys and Aliens, Fringe, V, Lost Epilogue, Big Bang Theory

We have much more information on the upcoming season of Torchwood which airs next summer:

“Torchwood” picks up a while after the events of “Children of Earth,” but still deals with Capt. Jack Harkness’ (John Barrowman) state of mind after those devastating events that left him dispirted. Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) will also be back. A new character, CIA agent Rex Matheson — who’s yet to be cast — will serve to introduce new audiences to the world of “Torchwood.”

“Rex has no idea what Torchwood is and has to investigate,” explains Davies. “Torchwood has been destroyed. It’s ike a legend now, it’s almost ceased to exist a long time ago and is spoken only of in whispers. We also have a watch analyst at the CIA called Esther. The two of them become embroiled in the Torchwood legend and investigate what Torchwood is or was and they find themselves on the run and meeting Captain Jack and Gwen, having to decide whether they’re friends, whether they’re enemies. It’s a decision that takes a long time to be decided. That’s part of the 10 episodes is the two teams coming together, a lot of sparks, a lot of excitement.”

Among other things we learn:

  • Rhys Williams (Kai Owen) will be back with their baby.
  • Sorry Capt. John Hart fans, but James Marsters is not going to be in this 10-episode season, but he’s still in good with Davies for possible future participation.
  • The new series continuous and very arced.
  • Scheduling of the new “Torchwood” will be “very close” on both sides of the pond.
  • Since the show is on a premium cable network, “Torchwood” can have nudity in sex scenes, but Davies is only sold on that if the story demands it. “There’s nothing worse than a great big global international thriller that stops for a sex scene. Get on with it please.”

I was also happy to read that the American movie version of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo will probably receive an R-rating like the original version. It think this would be necessary to be true to the book. Now if they can only get the mess over Stieg Larsson’s fourth book settled.

Adam Beach created a lot of buzz  from mentioning Olivia Wilde’s upcoming nude scene in Cowboys and Aliens during an interview in the Toronto Sun:

“We just finished shooting Olivia Wilde naked in front of a bonfire in front of 500 Apache warriors,” Beach says. “That was beautiful. You won’t get to see what I saw, but you’ll get a glimpse.”

Asked about the nude scene, Wilde laughs. “Did Adam Beach talk to you? Adam Beach is the best. Last night, we did a scene where I’m naked in front of a group of couple hundred Apache. Pretty amazing, pretty interesting.”

Not that she’s only wild west cheesecake in the film, due out next July. “I do kick-ass in this. I love doing action movies … This movie is so much fun for me.”

The above picture is of Oliva Wilde from Elle.

The alternative universe will be a bigger part of Fringe next season, with much of the action taking place over there. Jasika Nicole says that Astrid will have a larger role. Her job did seem more significant over there, and back here she becomes closer to Walter since he lost both Peter and the Olivia from our world.

Anna Torv claims that the alternate Olivia is much like the Olivia from our universe. Actually the alternate Olivia was much hotter, but beyond that I’ve been wondering if there is some meaning to this. Is she hinting that the alternative Olivia is really one of the good guys, and in the end will help set everything straight? Or maybe I’m putting too much meaning into a comment made in an interview. It’s like how I assumed that Juliet saying “it worked” in the final season premiere of Lost was important and it turned out she was probably only talking about getting the candy bar out of the vending machine in the sideways universe.

Jane Badler, the original Diana from V, returns to the series in a recurring role as Anna’s mother. There’s also major spoilers regarding the meaning of the red sky and other upcoming events:

How does the season begin?

Season 2 begins with the panic that results from the red sky, the vistors cut off their communications with the humans completely and most visitors on earth return to the mother ship. Anna refuses to answer to anyone and earth panics and takes pre-emptive measures to prepare for war. The panic intensifies when red rain begins to fall.

What is the real purpose of the red sky?

The red sky is later revealed to be a “gift for humanity” spreading life on earth making deserts green. The true purpose behind the red sky is to improve human fertility and prepare them for mass breeding with the visitors.

What is Marcus’s agenda?

At the end of the first season it appeared Marcus had his own agenda with reviving Joshua and contacting Hobbs however in season 2 it appears all this was done with Anna’s knowledge as Anna is aware of Joshua’s revival however, Joshua is back missing memories and human emotions and is no longer a member of the fifth column, nor does he remember working with them. Marcus takes orders from Anna and then blackmails Hobbs into carrying them out.

What happens to Ryan in season 2?

In season 2 Ryan’s main goal is to be with his daughter. Anna seperates him from his daughter and simply sends him back to earth planning to use the hybrid child to force Ryan into spying on the fifth column .

Does Anna experience any more human emotion?

Throughout the second season Anna struggles to control and hide her human emotions.

Why is Anna so interested in Tyler?

Tyler’s humanity comes into question as Erica connects complications with her pregnancy with Tyler to materials in the red sky.

The New Man In Charge, the twelve minute epilogue to Lost which is appearing on the DVD and Blu-Ray sets, leaked out last week. I have linked to clips and, in the update, a site which Disney didn’t manage to force to take down the full clip. The post also contains a summary of the key points. The clip explains several points including where the food drops came from, what the Hurleybird was, why there were polar bears on the island, why there were problems with pregnancies on the island, more about the relationship between Dharma and “the hostiles,” and Walt’s fate.

The stars of The Big Bang Theory are trying to renegotiate their contracts to increase their salaries from 60,000 per episode to $250,000. Compared to Friends these seems quite cheap. Reportedly Jim Parsons was trying to get even more than his co-stars. That’s just like Sheldon to think he is worth more than his co-workers.

It doesn’t look like these negotiations are interfering with filming. Bill Prady tweeted a few days ago that production has officially started on season four.

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Green Hollywood

olivia-wilde-ema-01

The Environmental Media Association had their 20th anniversary awards on Sunday night:

Founded by Norman and Lyn Lear and Alan and Cindy Horn, the Environmental Media Association encourages Hollywood to spread the word about going green.

Twenty years later, the group counts the Endangered Species Coalition, the Alaska Rainforest Campaign, the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Fund among its partners. It has been honored by the White House and praised by Al Gore — years before “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The group has met with hundreds of Hollywood writers, directors and producers, helping them incorporate green themes into their films and TV shows and encouraging them to make those productions more environmentally friendly…

The group celebrated its 20th anniversary with an awards ceremony honoring individuals and organizations that help increase public awareness of environmental issues.

Honorees included entrepreneur Richard Branson, who pledged to invest all proceeds from his Virgin Airlines toward developing clean fuels and renewable energy; the National Geographic Society, which supports environmental education through various programs and grants; Centropolis Entertainment, the production company led by director Roland Emmerich and producer Michael Wimer that released the first carbon-neutral film in Hollywood history, “The Day After Tomorrow”; and singer Jason Mraz, who has committed to green touring and using sustainable textiles.

Or if you look at the media reports of the event, an extremely high percentage of the reports featured pictures of Olivia Wilde, such as the one above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CALIFORNICATION

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

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Protect Insurance Company Profits

Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde,Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant,  Masi Oka, Jordana Spiro, Linda Cardellini, and Donald Faison explain that insurance company executives are the real victims of health care reform.

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