Karen Gillan appeared on the Graham Norton show last week. She discussed leaving Doctor Who in the clip above. The full show can be seen here.
Star Trek 2 is going into production this week after conversion to 3-D. J. J. Abrams discussed the movie in an interview posted here. There have been many news reports regarding casting lately, including Peter Weller of Robocop, Noel Clark, who played Mickey Smith, Rose Tyler’s boyfriend on Doctor Who, and Benedict Cumberbatch who stars in the BBC version of Sherlock written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. MTV interviewed Cumberbatch about this role, but unfortunately he was rather vague:
“There’s a lawyer standing here saying that I can’t say anything,” he joked. “I’m hugely, hugely excited and I’m very, very flattered. I’m very, very excited, but obviously I’m not here to talk about that. I will, in the future, I’m sure. I’m just getting my head around the fact that it’s happened. If you’ll forgive me, I’ll pass on that. But my headline is that I’m over the moon.”
Cumberbatch will take on an unknown villainous role in the sequel, for which director J.J. Abrams reportedly pursued Benicio Del Toro and later Édgar Ramirez. Although Abrams has refused to comment on exactly what villain will be in “Trek 2,” plenty of speculators remain convinced that the British actor will portray the genetically engineered superhuman Khan, originally played and made famous by Ricardo Montalbán in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
While that speculation is common, other reports suggest that the Khan story will not be repeated in the second Star Trek movie by Abrams so we will have to wait and see.
Sherlock won’t air in the United States until May but the first two episodes have been broadcast on the BBC. So far I’ve seen the first, which is a lot of fun but in many ways more Steven Moffat than Arthur Conan Doyle. I don’t want to present any significant spoilers, but the picture above gives an example of what viewers have to look forward to in the first episode, A Scandal in Belgravia. For those who did see the episode and want Irene Adler’s ring tone, it is available here:
George Takei will be on Celebrity Apprentice this season. I still won’t watch Donald Trump’s show.
Kristen Bell returns to television tonight on Showtime’s House of Lies. From the promotional pictures, it appears that the movie has a low budget for clothing. Talk of a Veronica Marsmovie also continues.
Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 2, Rendition, continued where the first episode ended. Major spoilers for UK readers who won’t receive the episode on the BBC until Thursday. (I wonder how many really wait as opposed to downloading. Despite talk of different scenes in each version, the first episode was the same on both Starz and the BBC. The only difference is that the BBC had a longer trailer for upcoming episodes.)
While the first episode had bigger movie-type action scenes, possibly using up more than its share of the show’s budget, this episode had more of the feeling of a television show such as 24 (although not limited to twenty-four hours). The episode established that the same group which was after Torchwood, and presumably behind the “miracle,” has infiltrated the CIA. They handled the attempted poisoning of Jack by Dichen Lachman from Dollhouse very well, requiring some ingenuity to come up with an antidote. This helped make up for some of the other junk science introduced in the episode. I’ll let them get away with this because, face it, the show would not be possible if they stuck to established science.
The episode also introduced Jilly Kitzenger, played by Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under. So far it looks like Oswald Danes is doing fine on his own without her help. I did not find it realistic that one appearance on television would have been so effective in changing public opinion of him.
Best scene of the episode was seeing Gwen Cooper explain that, “I’m Welch.” (Included in the extended trailer above). Rex Matheson also did well, after warned about the conspiracy by Esther Drummond, using some bullshit to distract the rogue CIA agents in order to set Jack and Gwen free. The episode made it clear how the four will turn into the new Torchwood (at least for this season) while being on the run.
The first episode raised the question of how they investigate intangible such as nobody dying, which is like investigating nothing. I would assume that the conspiracy involving the CIA would provide something to begin investigating. In order to investigate “nothing,” they might check out a character who previously appeared in a show about “nothing.” The conspiracy at the CIA is led by Wayne Night, who played Newman on Seinfeld
Following is the synopsis released for Episode 3:
Torchwood goes on the run – and finds a new enemy. But as they launch a raid on PhiCorp headquarters, Jack must confront the mysterious Oswald Danes.
Episode three includes guest stars Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park, Seinfeld), Dillon Casey (The Vampire Diaries) and Richard Gilliland (Desperate Housewives).
Will Ricky Gervais be the next Doctor, or just steal a Tardis. Check out this report.
A new trailer for Season Six of Dexter. The next season is going to skip ahead so that Dexter can be past the death of Rita and Lumen moving away, allowing him to get back to being Dexter.
Friday Night Lights concluded its series, but now there is talk (and tweets) of filming a movie. Sometimes that works (Firefly/Serenity) and other times such movies have failed to materialize (Arrested Development and Veronica Mars). The idea is to continue from where the series left off. This would work well with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, and it would be easy to work in some other characters, but unless the movie shows the Taylors moving back to Dillon, it would be hard for it to be a direct continuation of the series.
Last season Thursday night featured two genre comedies up against each other. Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs of Community got kinky for Esquire in the video above. What will Kaley Cuoco and Melissa Raunch of Big Bang Theory do to match this? For more on the sex life of Alison Brie (of both Community and Mad Men) check out this essay she wrote.
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.
“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—!’”
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.
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.
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 Prisoner. Parenthood, 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?
Ausiello reports that “Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson’s trailers have not been emptied out” and predicts that they will reappear on House.
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.
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.
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:
In what was generally a very disappointing week of premiers for new shows, there was one excellent pilot. FlashForward was by far the best pilot I saw. While the concept is taken from Robert Sawyer’s novel, the actual storyline is entirely new. One significant difference from the concept of the novel is that rather than having everyone on earth flash forward to years in the future, the flash forward in this show takes place to April 29, 2010 at 10pm Pacific Time. This leads to a different type of story, presumably dealing far more with the daily lives of the individuals involved.
Among the characters whose lives might be changed by seeing six months into the future, Sonya Walger plays Olivia, a doctor and a wife who seems far more likable than the bitchy wife she played on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me. In Walger’s flash forward she sees that she is intimately involved with a man who is not her current husband. At the end of the first episode is is obvious she will meet the man very soon as she is the father of a child she was treating (and who knew her name, presumably from the child’s own flash forward).
The presence of Sonya Walger, who also plays Penelope Widmore on Lost, isn’t the only comparison between FlashForward and Lost. The chaos in the scene after everyone lost consciousness is reminiscent of the chaos after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 in the pilot of Lost. While the above screen capture isn’t clear enough to see the details, one scene showed a billboard for Oceanic Airlines in the background which noted their safety record. Is this show taking place in an alternative timeline where the bomb at the end of last year’s final episode of Lost was successful in changing history and the crash did not occur? It created a big enough mystery at the end to see the one person awake in the video from a stadium in Detroit when everyone else was blacked out. Was this person from the Dharma Initiative?
A big question for shows of this nature is whether the producers know where it is going. Too many shows, such as The X-Files, started out by creating a mystery but lacking a clear direction the mythology of the show became confusing and the conclusion was not satisfying. It appears that the producers of FlashForward do have ideas as to an explanation for the events, and hope the show lasts at least three years as it would take two years to do the conclusion as they intend. Marc Guggenheim, one of the producers, said in an interview with SFX magazine (via Io9):
We know what the ultimate season is and the penultimate season is. For in between, we know the various seasons but we are treating it like an accordion. In success, [the show] can go seven years. In less success, it would need to go three years to work. The end game of the show, to be properly done, really requires two full seasons focusing on the end game.
The pilot also included a commercial for the other eagerly awaited science fiction show of the year–the remake of V. A promo for the show appears above. There have been rumors of production problems with the show for a while, and now Variety reports that they are going to divide the series. The show will go on hiatus after the first four episodes, saving the final nine for later, probably resuming in mid-March. There are claims that this is to avoid competition from American Idol and the Olympics but it would seem like a show has a better chance to succeed without such a hiatus.
Dexter resumes tonight but, as with previous seasons, the first episode of the season has been available on line. I assume they intentionally leak out the first episode every year to create buzz for the show, but I wonder why they don’t simply air the show on demand as opposed to encouraging such down loading. I won’t say anything to spoil tonight’s episode, but it does deal with the complications for Dexter from having a wife and baby. The episodes also ends with a mini-cliff hanger which gets to the question as to whether it is safe for Dexter to pursue his activities.
Dexter’s adversary for the season is The Trinity Killer, played by John Lithgow. The New York Times interviewed both John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall:
Q. John, what was your reaction when you were approached to portray a madman who kills in multiples of three?
MR. LITHGOW I felt like, “Oh, yeah. I know how to play this.” The fascination — which is the fascination of the whole series — is: How can a person outwardly so ordinary, almost bland, have such a baroque and bizarre secret life? I’m usually hired for my blandness. [He laughs.] I love the idea of shocking people. I thought it was high time I did that again.
Q. Here’s your essay question: Compare and contrast your individual serial killer characters.
MR. HALL Well, they’re obviously both saddled with a compulsion. They’re different seeds from very different trees. For Dexter’s part, I think it’s an awareness that Trinity does what he does, and it makes him compelling the way no one has ever been to him — other than perhaps his brother.
With Couple’s Retreat coming out on October 9, the internet is being flooded with pictures of Kristen Bell and Kristin Davis in bikinis and lingerie. While not a bad way to end the summer, this is a waste of Kristen Bell’s talent as seen in Veronica Mars.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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?
Michelle Ryan, who briefly stared in the remake ofThe Bionic Woman, will play The Doctor’s companion in the next Doctor Who special which will air around Easter.
Ryan will play the mysterious Lady Christina de Souza in the special episode, entitled Planet of the Dead.
“I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who and very excited to be joining David Tennant and the Doctor Who team,” she said.
There has also been speculation that Ryan will be brought back to be a regular on the series as Catherine Tate was after first playing Donna Noble in a Christmas special fifteen months earlier.
This week’s episode A Disquiet Follows My Soul shows one way they are going to drag out the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica before settling the issues which arose last week. Tom Zarek is starting a mutiny and Gaeta is backing him. Another development was to reveal that Tyrol was not the father of Cally’s baby. Most likely this was done after deciding to make Tyrol one of the final five Cylons as this meant that Cally’s baby appeared to be another half human/half cylon child.
Tom Zarek is placed by Richard Hatch who also played Captain Apollo in the original series. While Hatch plays a sometimes nutty character on the new show, his costar on the original has some strange ideas in real life. Dirk Benedict, who played Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica series, is a right winger who writes in Big Hollywood how the remake isn’t as good as the original due to its liberal viewpoint. (Hat tip to Cliqueclack.) Like many conservatives he prefers that everything be black or white and doesn’t approve of the greater complexity of the current series. Here is his take:
A show in which the aliens (Cylons) are justified in their desire to destroy human civilization, one would assume. Indeed, let us not say who the good guys are and who the bad are. That is being “judgmental,” taking sides, and that kind of (simplistic) thinking went out with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Kathryn Hepburn and John Wayne and, well, the original “Battlestar Galactica.”
IO9 has found some information from Life On A Baseship, the “bible” of the Cylons written for the show before season three. We will learn even more about the creation of the Cylons in Caprica. Sci Fi Wire has interviewed Ron Moore about the upcoming series:
For you, is Caprica an opportunity to stay in the Battlestar Galactica universe while at the same time pushing a creative restart button?
Moore: Yeah, well, … I don’t know if it’s reset, but it’s certainly a way of capturing the energy of the first season, of “Well, what is the show? Let’s figure out how we tell stories here. Who are these characters? What’s it about? How are we going to tease the audience? Where are we going to take the show?” So there’s this sense of exploration, there’s this sense of uncharted territory. And that’s exciting, and that’s scary. It’s scary to have to get one of these things off the ground and hope that it’s all going to work out and that people will like it, especially when you know that everyone is going to compare it to Battlestar. But that’s kind of the reason why we’re in the business, is to take on those challenges.
Knowing that you had Caprica on the horizon, did you hold back at all on wrapping up the Cylon mythology in Battlestar Galactica in order to give fans an incentive to tune in to the new show? Or does Battlestar Galactica settle it for everyone?
Moore: Galactica is going to pretty much settle it. Caprica will be about how the people on the colonies developed the Cylons. And that has its own story to tell about how that came about. But in terms of the larger mysteries and mythologies and hows and the whys and how everything lays out on Galactica, we set out to answer as many of the questions that we could by the end of the show, and that’s what we did. We didn’t hold anything in reserve and say, “Oh, well, we’ll deal with this over in Caprica.”
iF Magazine is making it sound like a Veronica Mars movie really might be made. Rob Thomas has some additional free time since his current series, Cupid, is being cut from thirteen episodes to eight.
“That means I have time to write the VERONICA MARS movie,” he says. “But my writing the movie is half the battle. Someone else has to pay for it. Joel Silver does have a certain pile of money. He called on me saying ‘Can we do this now?’ Kristen wants to do it. Joel wants to do it and I want to do it. For me, that’s the next project.”
Although he wouldn’t reveal exactly what the story would be, he did tell iF, “it’s 70 percent broken in my head.”
“I’ve been struggling with this one plot point and I’m hopeful to figure that out,” he adds. “I watched the final episode of the series a few weeks ago and there were a lot of gaps and the plotting for the original came to me. I mean for the movie, I’m feeling like I’m on the right track now. But I don’t want to give that away yet.
In terms of cast, Thomas says he’s talked with Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell.
“Obviously,” he says with a smile.
And while there were always talks of the character of Veronica Mars ending up at the F.B.I., he says that’s not where the movie will be heading.
“The one thing that I will say is where it will pick up,” says Thomas. “I know we did that F.B.I. ‘what if’ thing, but we would not go to that place. I think it would open just days before the Hearst College Graduation. So Veronica would be sort of at the end of her college career.
Part I reviewed the return of Battlestar Galactica and Part II featured information on Lost. I will conclude this expanded version of SciFi Weekend with briefer comments on additional shows, as usual moving beyond science fiction.
There is some information available on the next Doctor Who special, which will air around Easter.Tardis and Torchwood Treasures previously posted this information:
The name of the next special is Planet of the Dead and the episode itself has been written by both Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts. It is expected to air around Easter and filming for the episode will begin on the nineteenth of January next year. The episode will feature two characters called Malcolm and Christina and U.N.I.T will also be making an appearance. Rumours also suggest that parts of the episode will be filmed abroad in Tunisia.
Additional information was provided by Russell T. Davies, who also says it is time to introduce new monsters after the last two episodes involved Daleks and Cybermen:
“After the events of Journey’s End and The Next Doctor, I think it’s time to get away from the past and have an adventure with lots of new elements. And lots of fun too! The next Special should be a nice antidote to Christmas, with a bit of sunshine if we’re lucky. And with not one but two alien races that you’ve never seen before.”
American viewers of Doctor Who either must wait months after episodes are broadcast on the BBC or illegally download the episodes. The third season of Torchwood will consist of only five episodes to be broadcast this summer on consecutive nights, but they have finally figured out the only way to reduce illegal downloads. BBC America will broadcast the episodes a few hours after they are broadcast in the U.K.
24 returned but despite the decision to shut down CTU and move the show to Washington, the show rapidly returned to a similar format with Jack teaming up with Tony, Bill Buchanan, and Chole. The twist is that they are working on their own due to conspiracies in the goverment which have infiltrated the White House and the FBI. There is more question this season as to whether Jack’s use of torture is right or wrong.
Sometimes viewers take the show too seriously, forgetting that it is only a television show. Media Matters notes that some conservatives even have tried to use a fictional show to justify their support for torture. On the other hand, I sometimes receive comments that I should not cover 24 due to its portrayal of torture. While liberals who argue this do have a point, they also must remember this is fiction, and that hopefully most people can still consider the real issues surrounding torture. Not even all conservatives blindly believe everything they see on the show. Conservative blogger Rick Moran has discussed the question of whether this television show increases the use of torture, and of whether torture works:
Jack Bauer may be the first fictional character ever to be accused of inspiring real life war crimes. This charge was not made by some obscure left wing blogger but by U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, along with several senior FBI and CIA agents who have conducted thousands of interrogations in their careers. Their verdict was simple and straightforward; the torture scenes in the show were affecting the way that cadets at West Point as well as troops in the field were approaching the interrogation of prisoners.
Finnegan said that he’d like to see a show “where torture backfired.” All the experts agreed that torture, even when used in the show’s “ticking bomb” context, would never work. They pointed out that the fanatics, knowing that the bomb would go off soon, would simply hold out, secure in the knowledge that their suffering couldn’t last much longer.
They also pointed out that terrorist prisoners actually looked forward to torture as the first step towards martyrdom. An interrogation professional would never use it and would, instead, take the opposite tack of trying to build a relationship with the prisoner, drawing him out gradually by gaining his trust. Besides, the “ticking bomb” scenario itself was totally unrealistic and would never happen in the real world.
It is a dubious proposition that a fictional TV character would cause our soldiers to forget their training and their upbringing just to imitate Jack Bauer. The evidence is purely anecdotal, presented by people with an obvious agenda. But that doesn’t mitigate the fact that they felt compelled to speak out against Bauer’s almost casual approach to violating the law and their concern that people get the wrong idea about the best way to interrogate prisoners.
As the show questions the fantasy of torture being effective, it also might even question the ultimate fantasy of the show–that Jack Bauer is invincible. Kristin reveals that there might only be one additional season of the show, there might be a movie after the eighth season, and that they might even blow up the whole world, and Jack Bauer with it.
24 might not be the only show which concludes with movies. A movie version of Jericho is in the works, and if it is a success perhaps the show will be brought back once again. Jericho was canceled after the first season but returned for a second season after protests from fans. Moonlighting might be returning as a television movie for its 20th anniversary. Bryan Fuller is also hoping to have a movie of Pushing Daisies to wrap up the show. Meanwhile, fans of Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, and Eli Stone will have to wait until summer to see the final episodes of these canceled series.
Heroes returns with a new chapter, and after problems with the last chapter Tim Kring is hoping viewers will return. The next chapter. Fugitives, was written so as not to require knowledge of previous stories. Fringe is also returning, and Sci FI Wire has some spoilers on the conclusion of the season.
Previously Mad Men had been renewed but series creat0r Matthew Weiner had been holding out on returning. After months of negotiations a deal was reached in which Weiner will return for two seasons for a seven figure deal.
We’re one step closer to getting another weekly TV date with Gilmore Girls‘ Lauren Graham. (Pause for cheers. And… we’re back.) Though we were under the impression NBC was developing a comedy for the actress, Variety reports that ABC has greenlit production on an untitled half-hour pilot in which Graham will play “a self-help guru who teaches women how to live a stress-free life — but struggles to follow her own advice when her boyfriend dumps her.” The show, which features Will & Grace‘s Alex Herschlag and Arrested Development‘s Mitchell Hurwitz among its exec producers, sounds promising, right? I know we can’t let our Gilmore love lead us blindly into TiVo season passes (see: Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ill-fated The Return of Jezebel James), but this set-up could give us Lauren the way we like her: smart, supportive, sarcastic, self-deprecating, slightly neurotic, seriously funny, and above all, at the center of the story. In movies, she’s been “the wife.” On stage, she’ll be “the girlfriend.” (She’s expected to make her Broadway debut as Miss Adelaide in a spring revival of Guys and Dolls.) But on TV, she’ll always be “the star.” Make her self-help guru a fast-talking pop-culture connoisseur, and it’s my favorite show.
Hilary Duff also returns to television in Barely Legal. It sounds like the concept is something along the lines of Lizzy McGuire goes to law school so she can sue Doogey Houser.
Several characters from Veronica Mars are being reunited in Rob Thomas’ new series Party Down, and Kristen Bell might even make an appearance.
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.
Heroes returned with a twist on the first season. A major even of the first season was a future Hiro coming from the future with warning, “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” This time a future Peter Petrelli comes from the future to intervene to attempt to prevent a terrible future but in doing so witnesses The Butterfly Effect. While Peter has prevented one bad future, his intervention caused other things to change, perhaps triggering a new future in which the earth is destroyed. Needless to say, we can be certain that the heroes will find a way to stop this from occurring.
The episode was also notable for reuniting Francis Capra III and Kristin Bell from Veronica Mars. With her father dead and the company now run by Mama Petrelli (who sure got around), Bell’s character Elle was fired and her future role in the show is in question. Unfortunately the role has been a waste of Kristin Bell’s talents.
Richard T. Jones, who plays FBI agent James Ellison on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, told SciFi Wire that Ellison will take the job as private security for Zeira Corp, which is working towards development of Skynet. He provides additional spoilers in the interview.
Q. Tell me this. Do we ever get to see the Cylon homeworld?
AARON DOUGLAS: You did at the end of the middle of season four.
Q. (pause) Wow! Really? You’re saying Earth is the Cylon homeworld?
AD: Earth, in the scriptures, is the Cylon homeworld. Yeah, they say they found evidence, they found other people, and they’re all Cylon. Or they found bones and stuff, scattered all around, and they’re Cylon.
AD: Did you not listen to that – did you not watch that?
Q. That was not made clear! Yeah, I missed that! Yeah! I saw everybody standing around …
AD: Watch the last 10 minutes. They say, when they’re digging in the, all that kind of stuff.
Q. The last thing they showed was everybody looking pissed because everything looks destroyed. I didn’t get that they were pissed because everything was Cylon. Everything was destroyed because there was like a Cylon civil war that caused them to go forth and …
AD: Tune in and watch.
The Tony Blog at Time Out New York gave some alternative Emmy Awards last weekend. They gave the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series to David Tennant of Doctor Who. After seeing Mad Med win the real Emmy for Best Drama Series I checked out the first episode of the series last night. I saw a familiar face, but it did take me a while to figure out that Peggy Olson (above) is played by Elizabeth Moss, who previously played Zoe Bartlett on The West Wing.
IO9 provides a guide to science fiction novels which contain right-wing dystopias. Books include several novels by Robert A. Heinlein and Jennifer Government by Max Berry. Getting back to filmed science fiction they note the similarities between the political situation in the second Star Wars trilogy and our current political situation. I’ve previously had more on this topic here.
The best known comedy acts involving Sarah Palin are those with Tiny Fey impersonating her–video here and here. Katherine Tate, who played Donna Noble last season on Doctor Who, is also a well known British comedian who has a running skit about the “I can do that girl.” The skits are reminding many of Sarah Palin as they feature a girl who claims “I can do that” for many tasks which she is totally unqualified for. A video of one of the skits is above.