SciFi Weekend: J.J. Abrams Gets Star Trek; Nimoy Returning to Fringe; Is Flash Forward Science Fiction; Dollhouse News; Megan Fox on the Cover of Rolling Stone and Olivia Wilde in GQ

6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a5c88bde970c-800wi

J. J. Abrams has done a fantastic job of reviving Star Trek and bringing in a new audience. There has been concern that Abrams might go for the big special effects but fail to revive what made Star Trek special. From what he told Hero Complex, it sounds hopeful that Abrams does understand what Roddenberry intended in using science fiction to make statements which could not be made on television during the 1960’s:

“The ambition for a sequel to ‘Star Trek’ is to make a movie that’s worthy of the audience and not just another movie, you know, just a second movie that feels tacked on. The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters — their meeting each and galvanizing that family — that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. it needs to do what [the late ‘Trek’ creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn’t mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths — truths connected to what we live — that elevates any story — that’s true with any story.”

Robert Orci added:

“We’ve literally had two meetings now. We haven’t decided anything but we’re starting to circle around some ideas. We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.’ We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.

The show obviously cannot be political message alone. Star Trek worked best when it combined allegory with a good story and concentration on the characters. Abrams has showed he already understands the importance of story and characters. Hopefully he won’t feel compelled to further divulge from Star Trek cannon to the degree he did in destroying Vulcan.

7054.keck_lg_nimoy

Leonard Nimoy has said he does not expect to return to Star Trek. It would be a mistake to continue to show two Spocks. Having him on might have helped with the transition from the Roddenberry Trek universe to the Abrams universe, but now that Star Trek has been rebooted we should have one Spock to go along with Kirk and the rest if the crew.  William Keck reports he will be returning to Fringe:

An eerie procedure will allow Olivia to flashback to her season-finale alternate-reality encounter with Leonard’s William Bell to obtain a “further understanding of what Bell and Walter Bishop hoped to accomplish when they experimented on her as a child,” says executive producer Jeff Pinkner. During the same episode, viewers will also meet another woman (played by Theresa Russell) who was also experimented on by Bishop.

For more on Fringe, Blend Television has an interview with Joshua Jackson. He discussed Peter’s role in the series:

The Peter storyline, what I love so much about that, beyond the “ain’t-it-cool factor,” is now the audience knows something about Peter that he doesn’t know about himself, something crucial about him that he doesn’t know about himself. We come to find out that this is a large part of the guilt that Walter carries around, is that he baby-snatched Peter as a young boy. Inevitably, that information had to come out, so while I don’t know the particulars much further than the episode that I’m shooting right now, I do think eventually that has to come to a head, and it will lead to a conflict between the two guys.

The entire first season for Peter and Walter was about this father and son reconnecting through the craziness of their circumstances and actually becoming something of a family, a very dysfunctional family. And season two has carried that forth. In the beginning, Peter is really invested now in being part of this team and actually belonging to this Fringe family, but eventually he’s going to find out that this horrible [thing] happened to him as a child, and that’s going to blow up his relationship with Walter and probably with Olivia, I would imagine. To me, that’s the great thing hanging over Peter the entire season, and it gives me something to move toward as they go forward.

Reportedly future episodes of Fringe will be split with about half involving mythology shows and half devoted to stand alone mysteries similar to The X-Files.

FlashForward_Joseph_Fiennes_carwreck-thumb-550x367-24128

David Goyer, co-creator of Flash Forward, has provided more information on the show to SciFi Wire. Among the points:

It’s not a science fiction show.

Really?

“I mean, there’s one [sci-fi gimmick], the flash-forwards,” Goyer says. “The audiences won’t know for a couple of years what the ultimate cause of them were, so I don’t think it really matters.”

Beyond that, says co-star Davenport, who plays physicist Lloyd Simcoe (the only character carried over from Sawyer’s book): “The high-conceptness of this is kind of gotten out of the way very quickly. The event occurs, and then we’re kind of left with the repercussions of it. The phrase that David used was an intimate epic, and I thought that was very elegantly put. And it is that because one of the things that we find we can’t when we get new episodes is the parameters of the stories is sort of unlimited. You basically have 6 billion people with knowledge about their futures. You can do anything you like with that.”

(Between us, it really is a science fiction show in the same way Lost is, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.)

The first eighteen minutes of the pilot have also been released and are posted on many web sites such as here.  Personally I’ll wait to watch the entire episode in HD on a big screen as opposed to watching just the beginning on a computer.

dh_window_FINAL3V3_Rjw

Io9 has news on the upcoming season of Dollhouse. The first episode will help new viewers catch up. Summer Glau and Ray Wise will have roles during the second season:

In today’s conference call with reporters, Whedon explained exactly what Wise (the devil from the show Reaper) and Glau would be doing when they appear in the season’s sixth episode. Wise is the head of another Dollhouse — sort of a counterpart to Adelle DeWitt, with whom he’ll be butting heads. And Glau is the other Dollhouse’s programmer — so she’s the counterpart to Topher. And Glau’s part is “eccentric” and totally different from anything you’ve seen before. The writers worked extra hard to make her character “pop” because they knew what Glau was capable of, said Whedon. And yes, this new Dollhouse will be much cooler than “our” Dollhouse, thanks to Wise and Glau.

Ausiello adds:

“At the end [of the premiere], there is a very important conversation between Echo and Paul where she lets me know that she’s functioning with all these personalities in her mind at once and that she knows what is going on. It changes the playing field if the main doll has awareness of her situation. I like that it isn’t all damsel in distress, and Paul is starting to realize that.”

BattlestarGalactica_ThePlan

Broadcast of  the Battlestar Galactica television movie, The Planhas been postponed until 2010 but they still plan to release the DVD on October 27.  I would recommend watching on DVD instead of television even if not for the wait. The DVD of Caprica contained scenes which cannot be shown on television and reportedly the same is true of The Plan.

terminator

Cinematical warns that the rise of the machines might be closer than you think:

It’s a plotline straight out of the Terminator films: a highly evolved computer program controlling U.S. government weaponry goes rogue, defies its human masters, and sets out to exterminate all of humanity. Think it’s just fiction? While humankind has yet to suffer a Judgment Day-style nuclear holocaust, the U.S. Air Force battled its own sentient SkyNet adversary this week when an MQ-9 Reaper combat drone broke free from human control during a mission over Afghanistan. The unmanned aerial vehicle, charmingly classified as a “hunter-killer,” had to be shot down by a manned aircraft before it continued on its merry way – headed, according to an Air Force press release, “on a course that would depart Afghanistan airspace.”

Now, I’m no weaponry expert, but I’m certain of one thing: that’s not supposed to happen. Like, ever. Sure, technology goes awry from time to time, but only in the movies, right? Maybe not. Below, we pick five fictional pieces of movie science with actual real-world counterparts, and the terrifying implications that they bring for the future of humanity.

IO9 reviews seven science fiction bars they’d like to visit.  The Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars in the above video is probably the most famous. Club Hel from The Matrix came in first. The most notable bar missing from the list was Quark’s from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

megan-fox-rolling-stone

Megan Fox, who will be hosting the first episode of Saturday Night Live this season, made the cover of Rolling Stone. I especially hope that the presence of Fox on the cover gets more attention for the cover story on The Lie Machine: The Plot To Kill Health Care Reform.

olivia-wilde-nude-bikini-01

Olivia Wilde of House, who received considerable attention for her topless pictures in Maxim, now has some nude and bikini pictures coming up in the October issue of GQ. Sorry, you’ll have to settle for a sample bikini picture here.

SciFi Weekend: Star Trek Timelines; Olivia Munn in Playboy; Topless Thirteen; and Kristin Bell

stotimeline

J.J. Abrams made things simpler for himself in developing an alternative timeline, but this makes the overall Star Trek universe more complicated. Above is a view of the timeline, with the Abrams timeline included (click on image to enlarge). Star Trek Online discussed the significance of the two time lines:

In the movie, two characters travel back in time from the year 2387. When Nero arrives in the year 2233, he disrupts the time continuum, creating an alternate reality from the point of his arrival. Star Trek (the new movie) takes place in this alternate reality. This is explained in the film in a conversation between Uhura and Spock on the bridge of the Enterprise.

Star Trek Online is set in the “prime” Star Trek reality. This is the timeline of the five television series and the first 10 movies. It is the world in which the Gorn attacked Cestus III, Kirk fought Khan in the Mutara Nebula, Picard explored the galaxy, the Federation fought the Dominion War, Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant and Captain Archer and the crew of the NX-01 showed us how it all began.

Events in the movie that happened in the prime timeline (the destruction of Romulus, and the disappearance of Spock and Nero) have affected STO. You can learn more about the aftermath of these events in the Path to 2409 and in STO itself.

So how can the movie and STO be in different realities? When working on Star Trek, screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman referenced the theory of quantum mechanics, which allows for the simultaneous existence of parallel timelines and universes. Parallel universes are self-contained, separate realities that exist as a consequence of different choices and outcomes. This concept was explored in the TNG episode “Parallels,” in which there were thousands of alternate timelines (and thousands of Enterprises!). It also is seen in the Mirror Universe, which is a darker take on the world of the Federation.

There are many, many stories to tell in the prime universe. The fallout of the destruction of Romulus and the upheaval that causes in the Alpha and Beta quadrants creates storytelling opportunities that we at Cryptic didn’t even imagine when we first began working on STO. We’re excited by the possibilities, and fans should be as well. The best is yet to come.

Star Trek has been inconsistent in its handling of changes in the timeline. In many episodes involving alternative timelines, when something changed the timeline the timeline we know was obliterated and the episode centered around restoring the original timeline. Other episodes, as in those of the Mirror Universe, showed the alternative timelines as existing in parallel to the one we know. The new timeline created in the last movie is clearly intended to represent an example of a timeline in parallel to the one of the television series and previous movies.

If we are to have a totally different timeline, there is another way that I would like this to have been done. Previous Star Trek shows existed in a timeline different from our own as the history presented in Star Trek is inconsistent with late 20th century history. If we must have a new timeline created for a  new movie series, I would have had the difference from the original timeline occur in the 20th century to create a timeline which includes both our history and a Star Trek universe.

IwM8PIQ02on0tqepeNKyyuL1o1_r4_500

If we are looking at science fiction timelines, Dan Meth has made the above timeline of multiple science fiction movies. In discussing this project he wrote, “This is by far the geekiest thing I’ve ever done.”

JUL Cover Olivia FA.indd

Olivia Munn of G4’s Attack of the Show has a role in Iron Man 2. She will also appear in Date Night with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. In addition to additional movie roles Munn has made the cover of Playboy (picture above).

olivia-wilde-topless-maxim-03

While Olivia Munn wears a bikini in some of the pictures and doesn’t reveal much in Playboy, another Olivia revealed more. Olivia Wilde, who plays Thirteen on House, posed topless in Maxim.

kristen-bell-bikini-1-spl108012_006

The beginning of summer also seems like a good time for a picture of Kristin Bell (Veronica Mars and Heroes) in a bikini. There’s no good reason for including this picture, but is it really necessary to have a reason to post a picture of Kristin Bell?