SciFi Weekend: Hot Vampire Sex; SciFi on 30 Rock and Other Shows; Dr. Who Interview; Summer Glau on Dollhouse

The second season of True Blood is approaching its finale. Help is needed to defeat Maryann and they turn to the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Reportedly this means more hot vampire sex–in this case between Queen Sophie and Sookie’s cousin, Hadley Hale (Lindsey Haun). Ausiello has additional spoilers about the season finale.


True Blood has been a success due to excellent writing, interesting characters, a compelling plot, and a lot of nude scenes with Anna Paquin. She discussed this in an interview with Nylon:

Anna Paquin, on her Nude Scenes:
“I don’t think a naked body is particularly shocking or interesting… It’s not the culture I was raised in.  I was not brought up in the United States.  I don’t share the [attitude] that you can have graphic violence, but – God forbid – you see someone’s nipples.”

On Going Blonde for Sookie:
“I don’t look like a Barbie doll, and probably never will.  People are incredibly literal in how they view you.  You have dark hair and pale skin?  You must be brooding.  The second you dye your hair blonde and get a spray tan, people treat you as if you’re a bit stupider and happier.  Suddenly, it’s like you’re hot and sexy.”

On TV Acting:
“It never occurred to me that one form of acting was better than another.  I think if you approach your career like that you’re limiting yourself to a very boring path.  For me, it’s about the material.”

Epilogue:  Stephen Moyer, on Vampire Sex:
“The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that?  It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”


Liz Lemon doesn’t do any nude scenes on 30 Rock, but she has frequently brought science fiction into the show. Io9 has put together a clip with the scifi scenes from the show. The post also includes scifi clips from other television shows including Veronica Mars, The Big Bang Theory, The Office and How I Met Your Mother.

IO9 Has also put out their list of The Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows of All Time. The original Star Trek tops the list. Doctor Who is runner up.

BoingBoing interviewed David Tennant and Russel T. Davies following the filming of their last episode of Doctor Who together–video above.

Stills are being released from the second season of Dollhouse, with an example above. As expected, now that Summer Glau is available, she will have a recurring role in the show, along with a couple of actors from Battlestar Galactica. From the press release:

Summer Glau (“Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) reunites with Joss Whedon when the actress joins the cast of DOLLHOUSE this fall in a recurring role as BENNETT, a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with ECHO (Eliza Dushku). The second season of DOLLHOUSE premieres Friday, Sept. 25 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Additional guest stars appearing throughout the upcoming second season include Alexis Denisof (“Angel”), Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”), Michael Hogan (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Keith Carradine (“Dexter”). DANIEL PERRIN (Denisof) is a U.S. senator leading a witch hunt to track down the underground organization. Mysterious, charismatic businessman MARTIN KLAR (Bamber) is Echo’s new husband. BRADLEY KARRENS (Hogan) comes to the Dollhouse hoping to stop a psychotic family member’s killing spree, while MATTHEW HARDING (Carradine), a nemesis of Dollhouse leader ADELLE DEWITT (Olivia Williams), stirs up trouble. Additionally, DR. CLAIRE SAUNDERS/WHISKEY (Amy Acker) and MADELINE/NOVEMBER (Miracle Laurie) return this season in multiple-episode arcs.

SciFi Weekend: The Doctor’s Next Companion; Star Trek Sex Symbol; Summer Glau and Dollhouse

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The identity of the next companion when Doctor Who resumes under Matt Smith has been announced. Karen Gillan, who previously appeared in the fourth season episode The Fires of Pompeii as one of the Soothsayers, has been given the role. It isn’t unusual for actors to make guest appearances on the show and wind up with other roles in the future. This could be a more difficult transition as this will be the first time since the show returned that both The Doctor and his main companion have changed at the same time. When Christopher Eccleston left, Billy Piper remained as his The Doctor’s companion, and when Piper left the show still had David Tennant returning.

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American audiences will soon be able to see this year’s Doctor Who specials (assuming they have not already downloaded them). BBC America has outbid the SciFi channel for the rights to the show, including this year’s specials.  They will begin airing them on June 27 with the Christmas special, The Next Doctor. The Easter special, Planet of the Dead, will air in July. The specials planned to air on the BBC later this year will air on BBC America in late 2009 and early in 2010. BBC America is also showing a couple of other genre shows this summer, Being Human and Survivors.

We are also going to have more of David Tennant than first expected when he decided to leave Doctor Who. He will have a major role in two episodes of the third season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Tennant will also be supplying the voice of The Doctor in Dreamland, a seven part animated series. Each episode will run for six minutes, and others supplying voices include Georgia Moffett playing a character named Cassie Rice. A Doctor Who movie is also being considered but it is not known if Tennant will be in it.

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A new trailer is out for the upcoming Torchwood miniseries, Children of Earth (above).

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Star Trek is now the top grossing movie of 2009 and has entered the list of top 100 films of all time.  There are interviews with the cast virtually everywhere. Here is Zoe Saldana on playing a Star Trek sex symbol as Uhura, and possibly becoming involved with Captain Kirk in the future:

You’re in Star Trek. So you’re a geek, right?
I am actually! I’m very proud to say I am a geek. But I’m kind of a cool geek. I grew up in a very sci-fi home so I’ve seen a lot of sci-fi movies, from Dune to Alien, 2001, ET, Batteries Not Included… All these films I go crazy for. But never Star Trek.

Was that why you weren’t sure whether to accept the role of Uhura?
Even though I’ve wanted to work with JJ Abrams, I was worried that it could have backfired on my career. But when JJ told me the kind of Star Trek he wanted to make, I wanted to be a Star Trek fan now. He writes amazing roles for women.

He wasn’t afraid to put you in a very short skirt either…
Oh, no, no, no… He was not afraid at all! That was a combination of JJ and the costume designer wanting to keep the trendy ’60s style of the original show.

How does it feel to be a sex symbol for Trekkies?
Oh God, I don’t know! Now I’m a sex symbol for geeks? What have I done…

Any freaky moments with Trek fans?
Not yet, no… I’m very happy to say not yet. But I did have a driver that I had to spend the day with. And he opened his trunk of his black sedan and it was filled with Star Trek memorabilia.

That does sound a bit weird…
I don’t go that crazy when I think about those sort of things happening at the time. But I’m thinking ‘Okay, is this normal for a man to drive around in a sedan with Star Trek memorabilia in his trunk?’ No. Freaky!

Who do you prefer, Kirk or Spock?
Oh God… It depends! I suppose it would have to be Spock for now.

So pointy ears are a bonus?
Hmm, I don’t know… Maybe in the sequel, I wouldn’t mind giving it a go with Kirk. He’s has those dreamy blue eyes. He brings a very interesting, rebellious manliness to the part.

Is that the kind of guy you go for?
I tend to be very picky, so I look for the perfect man! So it Spock and Kirk can mix, they’d become my perfect man. That’s the kind of guy I’d go for. I don’t only go for muscles, I don’t only go for brains. You just need to have a little bit of a bad boy and a geek and then you’ve got the perfect guy.

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Bruce Greenwood, who played Captain Christopher Pike, discussed his thoughts on future Star Trek movies:

I have to ask an obvious question. What do you know about plans for any sequels to the latest “Star Trek” movie?

They’re bouncing around story ideas right now. I think, from what I gather, the intention is start shooting next summer.

What would you like to see happen in any of the sequels?

I think these guys are clever enough to do at least two more and have the final one do a really hard dovetail into the beginning of [the storylines] for the original [“Star Trek”] series. My expectations are very high for them. The only thing I’d like to see, from a personal standpoint, is the mentor relationship between Kirk and Pike to continue.

I like the idea of the movies dovetailing into the beginning of the original Star Trek series but there is a problem. Abrams changed the time line in ways which prevent this from being entirely possible. I generally loved the movie and don’t want to sound like the hard core Trekkies who object to the film but I do think that the major changes made by Abrams were both unnecessary and counterproductive in the long run.

For those who aren’t up on the specifics of the original series, the show was written to begin with the Enterprise already having a history. The Enterprise was first seen at some point during a five year mission. At the start of the series Captain Kirk has already been captain for an unspecified period of time. The Enterprise had two previous captains, Robert April and Christopher Pike. The original series was canceled before the conclusion of the original five year mission, and the movies take place at a later point in time.

Abrams could have limited conflicting with Star Trek canon by placing his movies before the episodes of the original series. As the actors aged he could have also done stories later in the five year mission. It is now impossible to have the Abrams movies dovetail completely into the original series as the changes in the time line now make many of the stories impossible. We cannot have any of the episodes involving Vulcan such as Amok Time. Nor could we have the episode featuring Spock’s mother, Journey to  Babal. The two part episode, The Menagerie, would also not be possible as it dealt with flashbacks to the time when Christopher Pike was captain (actually using footage from the original pilot, The Cage, which NBC rejected as too cerebral). Balance of Terror would no longer be the same as a major aspect of the show involved Star Fleet not knowing that Romulans appeared similar to Vulcans.

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Summer Glau, shown above in a picture from Vanity Fair, is now available following the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As Glau previously appeared in Joss Whedon’s series Firefly there has been speculation that she will wind up with a role on Whedon’s current series, Dollhouse. Ausiello writes:

The noise you’re about to hear is the sound of the Whedonverse exploding. Joss confirms to me exclusively that, well, he’s one step ahead of you. “If anybody thinks [bringing Summer onto Dollhouse] hasn’t occurred to me already then they have not met me,” he says. “I mentioned it to her before [SCC] was canceled. I was like, ‘You know, we should get you in the ‘house.’ But first we have to come up with something that works.” And casting her as a doll would not work, insists Whedon. “Summer would be perfect to play an active, but she’s done that [type of role] a lot,” he says. “I’d rather see her play someone who talks too much. The most fun I have is when I get somebody who’s good and comfortable at doing something, and then I make them do something else. Summer said to me, ‘I would like to play a normal girl before I die of extreme old age.

SciFi Weekend Part I: Born to Run (Sarah Connor Chronicles Finale)

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This week marked the season finale, and possibly series finale, of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I had expected the episode, Born to Run, to provide a potential ending for the series. Instead, while it did answer some questions, it raised far more and ended with quite a cliff hanger. (Major spoilers here).

There had already been some hints, but it was now confirmed that Weaver is fighting against Skynet as opposed to tying to build it as it first appeared. When Sarah Connor was being interrogated in jail (by Joshua Malina of the The West Wing) we also found that Miles Dyson’s son was missing, which leaves another plot line for next season should the show be renewed.

The bulk of the significant occurrences happened in the last ten minutes or so. Prior to that we had one gigantic tease for those wondering if John Connor was going to ultimately have intimate relations with Cameron (Summer Glau). Cameron removed her shirt and bra, had John lie down on top of her, and had him reach into her body under her breast plate.

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This could be a moment Summer Glau fans on Big Bang Theory will never forget and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there isn’t a reference to this scene on the show. (Of couse Sheldon wouldn’t get it and would talk about radiation and cyborg construction.) To the disappointment of most male fans, nothing of consequence did come of this, and later Cameron was in the full Terminator role to bust Sarah Connor out of jail. In the final minutes of the episode they went to Weaver’s office where she stated her goal of stopping Skynet. To make this more convincing she wound up saving the others from an attack.

While John and Sarah were in Weaver’s office, Cameron was going after John Henry in the basement. Instead of trying to destroy him as expected, Cameron gave John Henry her chip and he traveled through time. Weaver and John followed and wound up in an alternative future post-Judgment Day. As we found out previously from Kyle Reese, there is more than one potential future.

In this future John was not around to lead the resistance, presumably because of  jumping into the future before Judgement Day occured. John met both Kyle and Derek Reese but they had never heard of John Connor. Also present was a girl who I assume was Allison, the girl Cameron was modeled upon. Presumably somewhere around there is John Henry’s body with Cameron’s chip along with  Weaver, who has used her shape shifting abilities to go into hiding.

This would be a horrible way for the series to end. A thread throughout the series and the Terminator movies was to save John Connor to lead the resistance. Now we have a future where Skynet has its wish and there is no John Connor. If there is a third season this alternative future does open what can become an interesting storyline, presumably with John and Cameron ultimately returning to the present. It will also be interesting to see if anything happens between John and the human version of Cameron in the future.

SciFi Weekend: Cancelled and Returning Shows; Seinfeld Reunion; Paparazzi and Emma Watson

It is that time of year when we start receiving news on which shows will or will not be returning. It is now official that Life on Mars has been canceled and production will stop after the seventeenth episode, leaving four left. As I didn’t expect the show to return in light of its poor ratings I actually saw the early announcement as good news. Knowing that the show will not be renewed allows them to properly wrap up the series.

The American version Life on Mars will actually run one more episode than the British version. A show of this nature actually works better as a limited run series with a definite beginning and end. Such series are rare on American television, probably guaranteeing failure for this show. If the show had continued for five years it would have either dealt with general police shows or the hints about the time travel aspect would have become increasingly contradictory and incomprehensible, reminiscent of the latter mythology episodes of The X-Files. Hopefully they can now write an ending which does justice to this idea.

Heroes will return for another season but will be reduced to eighteen to twenty episodes. They are also considering a definite end date and conclusion for the series like Lost and Battlestar Galactica.  Upcoming episodes will include Angela Petrelli’s  back story.

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It is questionable if Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will return. The season finale was written to answer a number of questions and serve as a series  finale if it isn’t renewed. This week’s episode returned to the main characters along with wrapping up the Riley stories after recent episodes  seemed to be drifting. It also looks like they are returning to the storyline from the beginning of the series in which Cameron might be damaged. Summer Glau discussed the upcoming episodes:

For her part, Summer Glau, who plays the cyborg Cameron, added that the show will provide some kind of closure for her character as well.

“At the beginning of the second season the thing in Cameron’s life was that she was damaged,” Glau said, referring to the chip in Cameron’s head. “She had been damaged, and then that threw her off her game. And I think if my character was experiencing anything, it might have been insecurity about whether or not she was capable of doing her best at protecting John [Thomas Dekker] anymore. And I think she was really struggling with the insecurity of having a new girl in John’s life, Riley [Leven Rambin]. … And I think that that’s all going to come to a head toward the end of the back nine [episodes], and then in the finale something, there’s just a huge, huge change/resolution/change.”

Summer Glau will also be appearing as herself on Big Bang Theory tomorrow.

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We already knew that Doctor Who is returning next year with a new show runner and a new Doctor played by Matt Smith. The Tardis is also to be redesigned when Stephen Moffat takes over the show. This will allow Moffat to establish his view of Doctor Who. Reportedly the design will be more high tech and desgned to look better in high defnition.

Lost moved in a new direction yet again with last week’s episode. Sawyer has become head of security for Dharma after the time jumping left him in the past, and he is living with Juliet. The episode ends with the return of Kate and others to the island, which is bound to create new complications.  Now that the story has moved back to Dharma we will learn more about Ben’s early days on a four episode arc involving young Ben.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm will be returning to HBO and will include a multi-episode arc with the cast of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards, playing themselves.  The show stars Larry David, creator of Seinfeld, who plays himself, with frequent references to his past work on Seinfeld.

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Yesterday I noted the remarkable amount of interest on line in nude pictures of Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). The Week reports that interest in salacious pictures has become a serious problem for Watson since turning eighteen:

Emma Watson sometimes wishes she were still 17, says Louise Gannon in the London Daily Mail. The British actress has been playing Hermione in the wildly successful Harry Potter films since the age of 9. Despite all the fame and riches, she managed to stay grounded, studying hard and keeping her private life private. But when she turned 18 last April, the paparazzi in Britain were legally allowed to photograph her at will, and they pounced. “It was pretty tough turning 18,” she said. “I realized that overnight I’d become fair game.” Suddenly her every move was being chronicled by
photographers hoping to catch her in a compromising position. “I had a party in town and the pavements were just knee-deep with photographers trying to get a picture of me looking drunk, which wasn’t going to happen. I don’t actually like being drunk, particularly in public.” She has been taken aback by the level of intrusion, starting the very day she came of age. “The sickest part was when one photographer lay down on the floor to get a shot up my skirt. I woke up the next day and felt completely violated by it all. That’s not something I want in my life. I just kept thinking that if it had happened a day earlier, people would have sued their asses off.”

I don’t know what the law is in the U.K. but I would think there should be some limitations on a photographer’s ability to lie on the ground to invade her privacy in that manner.  Why bother with going to all that effort to harass Emma Watson? There are other young actresses like Lindsay Lohan who are willing to show off everything. (And yes, I’m aware that there are up-skirt pictures of Emma Watson available on line but I purposely excluded them in choosing the picture for this post. It is one thing to post pictures of people like Lohan who are seeking such publicity, but a different matter to post such pictures of others.)

SciFi Weekend: Dolls, Olivia’s Ability, The Boss’s Daughter, Summer Glau’s Big Bang, And A Red-Headed Lesbian

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After quite a bit of hype, Josh Wheden’s new show, Dollhouse, premiered on Friday. It takes quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to accept the premise of the show. As with many science fiction shows, you first must accept that a private organization can do something which is beyond our science. In this case we have an organization which can wipe people’s minds clear and replace their memories with the memories of others. In this way they create a new personality to satisfy the requirements of whatever rich person is employing them for the episode.

In the first episode a girl (Caroline, played by Eliza Dushku) agrees to work for this organization in exchange for getting out of unspecified legal problems. She is told that after five years she will be free. Will her memories be returned? How can she even know this deal will be kept? What of the new identity created over the five years in between jobs? After having her memories wiped, she first becomes a biker chick to give someone the perfect date, and then becomes an expert in hostage negotiation.

Even accepting that the science of the show is plausible, there are other problems with the premise. It would probably be easier (and safer legally) to hire a biker chick and a real expert in hostage negotiations for the clients as opposed to running this operation. Even if the company finds benefits in operating in this manner, why would someone whose daughter was kidnapped hire a person who only has created memories of being a hostage negotiator as opposed to someone with actual experience? We have a steady supply of rich people who are aware of this service, but the FBI agent investigating it is having difficulty even proving it exists.

One of the many strengths of the show is that it looks like it has an excellent chance for success despite all of these holes in the premise. If they can keep the viewers entertained they will be willing to accept the premise of the show and continue watching. There are avenues left open for future episodes. In the first episode, the actual memories of one of the girls used to create the hostage negotiator became important to the story and presumably other memories will have an impact in future episodes. Over time Echo, as the brain wiped Caroline is now called, is likely to develop more of her own personality and this could also  surface during missions. Perhaps some of Caroline’s original memories will even return. Echo has a handler played by Harry Lennix) who seems quite protective of her, which I can see creating conflict with others involved in this organization.

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While there are still many mysteries to be revealed in the final episode, we learned a lot about the history of the final five in this week’s episode of Battlestar Galactica. The information was given both by Anders who, in a situation which appeared overly contrived, has his memories of life on Earth return as a consequence of the bullet in his brain. At the same time Cavill, who now appears responsible for much which has happened, reminisces about the past with a captive Ellen after she is resurrected.

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We also learn a little more on Lost along with seeing the death of one character. The intended big shock of the episode was that Daniel Faraday’s mother is Eloise Hawking. While Ben appeared surprise, fans have been predicting this turn of events. We also learn from Christian that when Locke was told, “you have to move the island” this literally meant Locke and not Ben. The most amusing line of the episode was when everyone looked towards Miles, as the only other Asian present, to translate for Jin. Miles was unable to translate, pointing out that, “Um, he’s Korean. I’m from Encino.”

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Fringe provided some more hints about where the series is going. It appears that traveling through different dimensions, and the problems this creates, is of major significance. We also find that Olivia was injected with an experimental drug as a child and has some psychic abilities. It was clever to see the light box first used as a test and then again as the means to stop the explosion. I’ve been ambivalent about this series from the start. Now that they got me a bit more interested the show is going on hiatus yet again.

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Life on Mars dealt more with the potential complications of Sam sleeping with the boss’s daughter than the reasons for him being back in the 1970’s. One idea was thrown out, without any evidence that it applied to Sam, by a guy who running the X-Files at the FBI before Agent Mulder. Reference awas made to aliens who abduct people and return them to Earth in different time periods. It turned out that aliens were not involved in the apparent abduction of Rocket Girl in this episode, and I suspect they were not involved in Sam’s case either.

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles returned from hiatus this week, and Summer Glau fans will soon have an additional chance to see her. Entertainment Weekly reports that Glau will be appearing on one of the top comedy shows now on television, Big Bang Theory:

The Sarah Connor Chronicles siren will play herself in the March 9 episode, the set-up of which already has me ROFWLing: A train trip to San  Francisco takes a major detour when Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz, and Raj discover that their favorite sci-fi actress in all the land is on board. But the fanboy frenzy quickly gives way to a heated mass debate (tee-hee) when they realize one of them will have to approach her — but who?

Sarah Gilbert will also be returning in her role as Leslie Winkle when Big Bang Theory returns with new issues on March 2.

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With Bruce Wayne apparently dead there is conflict as to who will replace Batman. The Independent reports that upcoming episodes of Detective Comics will feature Kathy Kane. The character was originally developed in the 1950’s as a potential love interest to counter rumors that Bruce Wayne was gay. The character changed over time, and is now described as “a lesbian socialite by night and a crime-fighter by later in the night.”

Although Kane has enjoyed only fleeting appearances in Batman comics since being “outed”, writer Greg Rucka – who is in charge of this summer’s run of Detective Comics – said Bruce Wayne’s apparent death had provided the perfect opportunity to make her the subject of his prestigious series.

“We have been waiting to unlock her. It’s long overdue,” he said in an interview with the Comic Book Resources website. “Yes, she’s a lesbian. She’s also a redhead. It is an element of her character. It is not her character. If people are going to have problems with it, that’s their issue. That’s certainly not mine.”

Besides Kathy Kane, we learn that with Bruce Wayne apparently dead, “future editions will revolve around a selection of potential heirs, including Batwoman, Catwoman and Bruce Wayne’s purported son, Damien, fighting to succeed him.” I would not be at all surprised to see it all end with the return of Bruce Wayne.

SciFi Weekend: A Coup Ended; The Aries Project; A Pregnant Young French Girl; And Summer Glau Left Reeling

The rebellion arc on Battlestar Galactica concluded in Blood On The Scales and primarily seems to have been a diversion to stretch out the final episodes. It did provide closure for the story lines of two characters, Gaeta and Tom Zarek.  Seeing how blood thirsty Zarek was also answered any remaining doubts about whether Zarek should be considered a villain. There are a couple loose ends which may or may not be dealt with in the future. Zarek had the entire Quorum killed, leaving little of a civilian government. This could be resolved with either an end to this body or more likely having another group elected. The more serious question is how the men who carried out Gaeta and Zarek’s orders will be treated. While Gaeta and Zarek were executed, there are still the revolutionaries who killed members of the Quorum, attempted to execute Adama, and otherwise participated in the attempted coup.

While this coup storyline was a distraction from the real mysteries of the final season, the previews did reveal something major. Ellen will be returning from the dead. Her character in flashback seemed to know more than the others about their rebirth, and having Ellen return once again might reveal even more.

Maureen Ryan interviewed Michael Angeli, writer of the episode. Here is a portion of the interview:

Why did Gaeta insist on a “trial” of Adama? Was it because he wanted to hang on to the idea that this coup was a legitimate transfer of power? Was it because he needed to hear Adama to say that Adama was wrong? What was that about?

For whatever else he was (or might’ve been) Gaeta was an idealist and despite his near occasions of peevishness, he was a romantic. He believed in the idea of government, laws, leadership, service, etc. and if you look at his behavior away back on New Caprica, there was a certain nobleness to his intentions. He wanted to do things right, he was an advocate of justice, fairness.

So, it’s not surprising that even with a coup snowballing, he’d want some form of a trial.  But more importantly, Gaeta was conflicted.  He loved Adama and just couldn’t get around to killing him. Gaeta was the romantic; Zarek was the realist. For Gaeta, the “trial,” was a stall. And having Adama admit that he was wrong was really about Gaeta convincing his own intellect that Adama should die – because he, himself admits he’s wrong.

Why did Zarek let Gaeta have that “trial”? Was it the cost of Gaeta’s participation, which Zarek still needed?

Zarek knew Gaeta had the greater support of the mutineers. They were behind Gaeta, not so much Tom Zarek.  What Zarek underestimated was Gaeta’s lack of resolve.  Remember, it was Gaeta who freed Zarek and actually seduced Zarek with the offer of power in the previous episode. When Gaeta impulsively demanded a trial, Zarek knew he had to humor him for the moment.

Zarek had experience in these sorts of things.  He understood that time was of the essence. Coups succeed or fall apart in the first few hours (something Laura also understood, by the way, re: her rallying cry on the base ship), and going toe-to-toe with Gaeta at this early stage could queer the whole deal.

I’m a little unclear on what the Quorum knew and when they knew it. Had they heard Laura’s broadcast from Baltar’s headquarters? Did they know that Gaeta and Zarek had seized control — or were attempting to seize control — of the fleet? Did they know that Adama and Tigh and others were in the custody of the rebels? Did they assemble to hear out Zarek because they thought the coup was non-violent?

Yes, The Quorum was able to hear enough of Laura’s partial transmission as she was escaping and they also heard some of Gaeta’s orders.  Originally, there was a brief scene on Colonial One where Zarek and the Quorom are monitoring the transmissions but there was so much to cover in the episode that it just had to go.

Zarek brought the Quorum with him to Galactica where they would be “safe” and he could keep an eye on them, keep them close. He gives them one last chance to support his presidency by making this “from-the-heart” plea to them; he thinks he can flatter them with praise and, as we know, it doesn’t quite work,does it?

Even if the Quorum had gone along with Zarek, would he have killed them anyway?

Don’t know.  We could ask him, but he’s dead.

Why did the Quorum resist Zarek’s coup, given that their relations with Laura Roslin and William Adama had not been very smooth?

The Zarek/Quorum scene had to be edited for time. What got cut was Zarek informing the Quorom that President Roslin has defected, he’s assumed the presidency and appointed Gaeta to replace Admiral Adama, who is to be tried for treason.  The quorum vocally objects to Zarek making all of these decisions without including them.  But even with this material excised, I think the scene works well.  It’s a little more of a shock when they rebuff Zarek, gives them some cojones before they’re wiped out.

With Battlestar Galactica ending in the near future, there is an attempt to increase interest in its prequel show, Caprica. The pilot will be released on DVD on April 21, over a year before the show will begin on television.

Last week I complained that Life on Mars ran an episode out of order, running a more routine police story as opposed to one dealing with the mystery of why Sam is in the 1970’s. I felt that fans of Lost, which airs prior to Life on Mars, would be more interested in this type of story. Perhaps they have now made the show too much like Lost as they are varying even further from the original BBC series. Suddenly we have the Aries Project, which sounds a little too much like the Dharma Initiative. Having people in the 1970’s who seem to know why Sam has come back to the 70’s (assuming this really is taking place in the 1970’s) could lead the show in a totally different direction.

There’s also the question of whose voice is on the phone. All clues seemed to point to Skelton, but they might also be misleading us and perhaps future developments will suggest something different.

Meanwhile on Lost, the major development was to find that Jin is alive. Presumably the healing powers of the island saved him, perhaps as there is more for him to do. He has also been jumping around through time, even if unconscious. Jin awoke to meet a young and pregnant Rousseau. Perhaps we will see what really happened to drive Rousseau crazy and why she killed the others with her. Meanwhile, in the present, all of the Oceanic Six are again together. Perhaps the news that Jin is alive will get Sun to drop her plans to kill Ben and join them in attempting to return to the island.

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will be returning on Friday nights. SciFi Wire reports on a conference call with Josh Friedman, creator and show runner of the show:

It looks like we’ve seen Kyle Reese in the teasers for the rest of the season. How will he reappear?

Friedman: Let’s all just wait and see what that one looks like. This is a whole larger thing. I wish no one could see anything. I wish everyone would just show up. I wish that 10 million people showed up every week and watched the show regardless of what was advertised during the week. That’s just not reality. The reality also is our show is a bit ratings-challenged, or has been, and people want to do things to cut through the noise. I appreciate that, but what that usually translates to for marketing people is spoilers. It’s hard to just tease things and not show anything. That’s a long way of saying it’s good that people know that Kyle Reese is in the episode, but I wish people were surprised that Kyle Reese is in the episode.

Will the season finale be closed-ended just in case you don’t get a pickup, or are you operating on the assumption there will be a third season?

Friedman: Well, I’m always optimistic. I wrote the finale the way that I was planning on writing the finale for a long time. I think there were things that we’ve been building to all season, and you owe the audience that’s been watching the show kind of a logical conclusion to the things that you’ve been building towards. Everyone says, “Well, fans get really upset if a show gets canceled and things are left hanging.” But fans get upset if a show gets canceled. I think fans also get upset when you write a crappy finale. So I think that you have to try to write the best finale you can, providing closure to the stories that you’re telling, but if I tried to kind of sum up every single thing in 43 minutes, it would be a disaster. I think you’d end up with like a clip show. Hopefully it’s going to be something that feels satisfying for people who’ve watched all year and also certainly lets you know where we would be going in a third season.

Summer Glau (Cameron) also held a conference call where she said the script for the show’s season finale “has left her reeling.”

“I just got a hold of our season-finale script, and I am shocked,” she said. “I am not going to give it away, but I’m excited and I’m a little bit sad, but more excited and just really proud of what [series creator] Josh [Friedman] has done.”

SciFi Weekend: What Summer Glau Does After Dark; Dexter Captured; Caprica Ordered; and Dutch’s Killer to be Revealed

When Terminator: The Sarah Connor Adventures began I was fearful that the stories would primarily involve chase scenes and fights as Sarah tried to keep Jon safe. The show has moved well beyond such stories, and has increasingly been playing around with the ramifications of time travel. This week’s episode answers the question of what Cameron (Summer Glau) does at night since, as a cyborg, she does not sleep.

Cameron spends her nights doing research, and stumbled upon a picture which showed that a terminator wound up in the wrong year when going back in time. Cameron ultimately pieces together what was changed by his actions and what he has planned for the future. It might not be entirely realistic that she could figure out as much as she did and I might be disappointed if this story was central to the series. For one episode I was willing to accept what Cameron accomplished and found it enjoyable.

The episode was a nice change of pace from the usual episodes but one problem with weekly television shows is that they feel obligated to bring in most of the major cast members. The episode would have been stronger if it dealt entirely with Cameron. Besides, so far I’m not impressed with the Riley and Jon story line. If Riley really is a resistance fighter from the future who has reason to keep Jon save, many of her actions to date are questionable.

It is unusual for me to be watching Dexter one week at a time. I watched the first two seasons in a very short time. For the second season, we watched a few episodes during the week and then one Saturday evening my wife and I sat down for a marathon session, winding up staying up all night to watch the entire season. Watching that way you don’t have periods of a week to contemplate what will happen next.

Last week’s episode ended with the Skinner capturing Dexter, with unexpected involvement by Miguel. Now I’ve had the week to try to guess how Dexter gets out of it. He might escape on his own, either by overpowering the Skinner or perhaps by using his knowledge of Frebo’s fate to influence him. Dexter might also be rescued by others. Debra has been after the Skinner and might track him down in time to save Dexter. Another long shot is that Miguel, in another attempt to manipulate Dexter rather than kill him off, could save Dexter. Plus, what happens now that Maria has reason to suspect that Miguel was involved in Ellen Wolf’s murder?

Dexter wasn’t the only one that was captured at the end of a genre show this week. On Fringe Oliva has also been kidnapped. The problem is that, while I still have some curiosity as to where J.J. Abrams is going with the show, I don’t really care all that much about what happens to her. As I believe I’ve said before, they are going to have to start revealing more of interest about what is going on in order to keep the interest of viewers for much longer.

The SciFi Channel has ordered twenty episodes of the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica:

The drama, which kicks off with a two-hour pilot movie, stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker.

Set 50 years before the events in Battlestar Galactica, Caprica follows two rival families–the Graystones and the Adamas–as they grow, compete and thrive in the vibrant world of the 12 Colonies, a society recognizably close to our own.

Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe to toe in a series that blends action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics.

Back in September I mentioned plans for a television series based upon the novel Flash Forward by Robert A. Sawyer. John Cho, who plays Sulu in the upcoming Star Trek movie, is in negotiations to co-star.

A couple of weeks ago I reported that Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies were all to be canceled. There’s somewhat good news for fans of the first two. Ausiello reports that there will be satisfying series endings for DSM and Eli Stone:

Unlike Daisies, DSM and Eli had the time and money to produce what an ABC insider describes as “satisfying series endings.” DSM will finally answer the question, “Who whacked Dutch?” (brace yourself for a killer twist), while Eli wraps with what my source describes as a “powerful scene between Eli and his father.”

Last month I reported rumors that John Hamm of Madmen might be appearing in 30 Rock as Liz Lemon’s love interest. It looks like this rumor is true, with Hamm already having filmed a couple of episodes.

Sylar might have killed off Elle on Heroes this week, but there is hope of seeing Kristin Bell back in her better role. There’s still rumors of a Veronica Mars movie down the road, but at the moment Rob Thomas is busy with other projects. He told Ausiello:

“I haven’t gotten far on my VM movie outline,” he tells me. “I thought I had the idea broken, but I’ve hit a wall in the final act that I haven’t quite figured out. And with Cupid and Party Down occupying 80 hours a week, and a new baby boy occupying the remaining hours, I haven’t nailed it down. I’m hopeful that I can find the time to figure it out over the Christmas holidays.

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who Movie, Return of Sarah Connor, Premiers of Fringe and True Blood

Considering how rare it has been for me to get this out on Fridays since the political campaign has heated up, I’ve retitled this SciFi Weekend in place of SciFi Friday. Still I’ll begin with a story on a show from SciFi Channel’s SciFi Friday line up–Doctor Who.

So far David Tennant is only committed to return as The Doctor for some specials scheduled for next season, being too busy appearing in Hamlet to do a full season. Tennant has desired to continue to perform on the stage and to do movies, leading to fears he will not return for another full season. The BBC is now trying to entice him to return for a full fifth season of Doctor Who in 2010 by also adding a Doctor Who movie to the deal. Russell T. Davies said he would like Catherine Zeta Jones to play The Doctor’s companion in the movie.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles returned for a second season last week creating questions as to whether Cameron can be trusted. Changes in Cameron will only be one aspect of the upcoming season. SciFi Wire has an interview with Josh Friedman, the creator and executive producer of the show, which reveals we will see more of the post-apocalyptic future and time travel will be used in again on the show. He discussed how using time travel helps the show:

One, is people can sit around and talk about it. Two, you can see future war stuff, and three, you can bring people back. … Last season, for a lot of people, I think, it really took off when Brian [as Derek Reese] came back. I think that’s, one, due to the fact that Brian was fantastic when he came back. … Two, the character that he’s playing, in terms of being a Reese and that kind of thing. But I also think that what he represents is he’s an embodiment of Judgment Day, of the war. And I think he comes back kind of traumatized in a way that really brings the future to the present in a really visceral way, makes people care about the stakes.

I think you see it on somebody. He’s a war veteran; you see it. So I think that it’s an important part of the show to bring people back sometimes, whether it’s another person or a Terminator. … You have to get used to the fact. It’s not a revolving door, but it definitely … opens more often than people are used to in the movies. But the movie only got to send two people back, and they were rolling around for two hours. I think our per-minute sending people back is actually much lower than the movies.

Two new genre shows premiered last week. In Fringe J.J. Abrams gives us a combination of Lost, The X-Files, and Alias. I wasn’t very impressed by the pilot but I’ve learned to give shows like this a little longer. For whatever it is worth, I stopped watching Alias soon after it started and ignored X-Files. Later I had go back and catch up on them after I found that as they developed there was far more to each than was apparent at the start. (Actually the conclusion of X-Files showed I might have been right about it at the start.) Fringe provides suggestions of lots of unusual things going on and, as with Lost, the success of the show will depend upon how well they create mysteries to keep viewers hooked while providing enough information to keep them satisfied. TV Guide provides some answers to questions viewers might have about the show while Popular Mechanics looks at the science.

Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under , has returned to HBO with True Blood and I quickly became more hooked on this one than Fringe. The premise, based upon the novels by Charlaine Harris, is that the Japenese have developed a synthetic blood which satisfies all the nutritional needs of vampires, allowing them to live out in the open. We see a vampire rights advocate being interviewed by Bill Maher and in the second episode there was a magazine cover announcing that Angelina is adopting a vampire baby.

The actual storyline centers around a waitress, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) who becomes involved with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Sookie can read minds, which is one reason she is attracted to Bill. Being that she can read minds, she has trouble dating because she quickly realized what every guy around her is thinking (just as you are thinking as you view the picture of her above). She is unable to read Bill’s mind, which is far more peacful than overhearing the thoughts of everyone around her.