David Tennant and Georgia Moffet are engaged with plans to get married next New Year’s Day. This sounds like a Timelord Wedding. Not only did Tennant play the tenth doctor, but Moffet has two ties to Doctor Who. She played The Doctor’s Daughter in a 2008 episode and Moffet is also the real life daughter of Peter Davison, who played the fifth Doctor from 1981 to 1984. (For those missing the old episodes, the BBC has announced the opening of a Classic Doctor Who channel on YouTube.)
David Tennant is also going to be working with another character from his days at Doctor Who. Tennant and Catherine Tate will be appearing together in a production of Shakespeare’s Much A Do About Nothing.
As Davies explained, “The premise is a miracle that happens to the world. That one day, on Earth, no one dies. Not a single person on Earth dies. The next day, no one dies. The next day, no one dies. And on and on and on. Now, the sick stay sick, the old keep getting older, the dying keep dying, but no one quite dies.”
And at first, this seems a wonderful thing, “But globally, it’s an instant overnight population boom. The Earth relies on people dying.”
Davies understandably didn’t want to offer too many details on how and why “Torchwood” hero Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, who couldn’t appear at the press tour session because he was acting in a play in England) comes back to our planet after running away at the end of the “Torchwood: Children of Earth” miniseries. But he did say that the notion of a world where no one can die would prove very intriguing to a man who suffers from immortality.
Enver Gjokaj, who played Victor during Dollhouse‘s brief life, will guest star on Community in episode 17, “Custody Law and Foreign Entanglements,” as Lukka, a love interest for Gillian Jacobs‘ Britta.
The character of Lukka is an “attractive, accent-y, oily Eastern European” fella who uses his finer points to seduce our girl Britta, but Lukka obviously is not exactly as delightful as he appears to be on first meeting.
The episode will most likely air sometime in March.
Miss the final episodes of Caprica last week? SyFy is streaming them online for free. As I’ve mentioned before, the concluding episodes were excellent, while the series as a whole was of mixed quality. Den of Geek! interviewed Eric Stoltz about some of the problems with the series.
Do you think that the show fell on the wrong side of a double-edged sword, following Battlestar?
I don’t think it was what the majority of Battlestar fans wanted, for the most part. It probably would’ve served us all better to have not even been connected to it.
It’s rare to find characters so instantly complex as we got in Caprica. How do you balance the many levels of Daniel Graystone? How do you set about giving the audience a way into a character like that?
That’s a very thick question, one which really requires a three page answer, which I won’t bore you with. The levels of the character were largely in the scripts, and usually left to the directors’ control: a little bit more malice here, a little more loving there.
That being said, there were certain relationships, like Greystone and his wife, that seemed to take on a life of their own, even beyond Paula Malcomson and myself. And that was wonderful to be a part of.
It was always a fascinating show to watch, and clearly the narrative had many, many threads to it. In hindsight, though, do you think the show was slightly off balance? Or wouldn’t you change a thing about it?
It’s rare for a show to find itself in the first season. There are exceptions, of course, but a lot of shows take two or three years to find the right ingredients. I’m sure we were off balance at times, and I’m sure I would change a few things if I had that power, but I’ve moved on.
It comes as little surprise, but it has been officially announced that Mad Menwill return for a fifth season. No date for the season has been announced yet. January Jones will also be appearing in X Men: First Class, which will be a prequel story which, like Mad Men, takes place in the 1960′s. Jones will play the scantily mutant telepath Emma Frost. It would take an actress with the looks of January Jones to pull off the role.
”The costumes are insane,” Jones said.
“It’s a lot of very body-conscious stuff. If you look at the comic book, she’s barely dressed. She’s got quite the bod, which is very intimidating.”
The season finale of True Blood has aired, resolving the major storyline but leaving many open for next year. (I’ll leave out the specifics for those who might not have viewed the episode yet.) The finale ended by setting up season three, the search for Bill. Before the finale aired, TV Squad interviewed Alan Ball. Here are some of the questions:
I asked my TV Squad readers what they wanted me to ask you, and one of their main questions involves the books. Some feel the show doesn’t follow the books closely enough. Your thoughts on that?
I think a book and a television show are two different mediums. If I were to follow the books, it would be all about Sookie, because Sookie narrates the story, and the other characters would rarely even show up. Jason would come into the bar and hug her in an attempt to make people think he loves his sister so he can pick somebody up. Tara wouldn’t even have existed until this season, and she’d be white. Lafayette would be dead.
So all I can say to those people is, it’s based on the books, but it’s not a literal adaptation of the books. I’m doing what I think is the best way to turn that story into a television show. Also, if I just stuck to the books, there would be no surprises. You could go pick up the books anywhere and know exactly what was coming. So personally, I don’t see any benefit of making a carbon copy of the books for TV.
Will Eric be a bigger part of the show in season three? Will he and Sookie get together?
I can’t tell you if they’re going to get together, because that’s going to ruin the anticipation. But, if you’ve been following season two, he’s definitely been doing things to make her more vulnerable and more susceptible to him. And he does want her, he’s just not sure why. I think it’s deeper than just, “I want her because Bill Compton has her.” Although that’s part of it, because Eric is a total alpha-dog.
Yeah, that opening scene in “Frenzy” [of Eric and Sookie in bed together] was cool, but it kind of made me feel bad for Bill. I’m as big a fan of Eric as the next girl, but between him and Bill, it would be a tough choice!
They’re both vampires, and they’re both deadly, so there’s that. It’s the classic good boy/bad boy. The good boy, he’s great, but the bad boy … you can’t stop thinking about him.
I’m always prepared to be shocked and awed every episode, and I am. Can you tell us anything about season three?
Well, the book is out there, so I’m not giving anything away when I say that we’ll meet the Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington. And we’ll encounter werewolves for the first time in the flesh; we’ve heard about them, but we’ll meet them. I’m very excited about the character of Debbie Pelt. She’s bad news.
Since I haven’t read the books, who is that?
Debbie Pelt is the ex-girlfriend of a guy who’s helping Sookie try to find Bill, and she is just hard ass, white trash bitch on wheels. She’s so much fun. But there are other great characters, too. Everybody is struggling with identity in season three – What am I? Who am I? What is my life? Is it what I want it to be? How do I make it what I want it to be? What are my real values? And some people are like, “Am I human? I always thought I was, but maybe I was wrong.” In one particular case, its like, “Yes, honey, you were wrong.”
Is that Sookie? Is she part faerie? Can you tell me that?
I can tell you that Sookie is not 100 percent human. She is now aware of that.
After the white-light thing with Maryann.
Yes. She doesn’t know what she is, but she knows that it’s not totally human.
Do you believe in the supernatural?
I certainly believe that what we perceive as humans is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t necessarily believe in vampires or werewolves or that kind of thing, but I believe there is definitely a realm we don’t necessarily have access to. I don’t know what it is, and I hesitate to articulate it further than that, because I have no idea what it is, but I know it’s there.
TV Guide interviewed Michele Forbes who gave some clues abut the finale before it aired:
So, we learned from Vampire Queen Sophie-Anne that Maryann is actually a maenad. What the heck is that?
A maenad is also known as the raving one or the wild one. They’re mythic creatures in Greek mythology who followed Dionysius and Bacchus and revel in chaos and destruction. They drink wine, have sex and have no boundaries. That excess is their quest for purity. As they sing their praises to their god, they hope that he comes.
And how can she be destroyed?
Once she believes the god is finally coming, that will be her vulnerability. Or shall I say her Achilles’ Heel.
The whole town of Bon Temps is gunning for Maryann. Should we be worried for her?
Sure. The whole town does want her gone. She has the whole town in her clutches except for a few stray ones like Sam and Sookie. Her final goal is to grab everyone so that she can achieve her goal. But she should have cause for caution.
Wil Wheton announced on Twitter that he will be guest staring in an episode of The Big Bang Theory: “An announcement of extraordinary magnitude: I will be on an episode of #thebigbangtheory this season. That’s all I’m allowed to say. GLEE!” Wheton played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation (but don’t hold that against him–he didn’t write the role) and is author of Just A Geek, making him a natural for the show.
USA Today took a look at Flash Forward, the upcoming show based upon Robert Sawyer’s novel:
The premise centers on a two-minute, 17-second blackout that strikes the world’s population, followed by crashes, deaths and other disasters that result from the global unconsciousness. During the blackout, almost everyone has a vision — a flash-forward — six months ahead, to April 29, 2010. 10 p.m. PT, to be exact. Some are welcome, and some, including the wife’s vision of the lover, are not.
The task is to find out what happened and if the flash-forward prophecies will, or must, come to pass.
“We are the only species that thinks about the future,” says executive producer David Goyer, whose writing credits include Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. “It’s the blessing and curse of being human.”
Joseph Fiennes, who plays FBI agent Mark Benford, centers a team assigned to solve the blackout that includes partner Demetri Noh (John Cho); colleague Janis Hawk (Christine Woods); and their boss, Stanford Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance). They and the other characters, including Benford’s surgeon wife, Olivia (Sonya Walger), share their visions, but viewers see only bits and pieces at first, leaving twists and turns to be explored.
And “some people lie about their flash-forwards, so it’s a little misdirection happening,” Vance says. “It leaves the writers enormous latitude to tell stories.”
Of fall’s new shows, FlashForward most closely fits the definition of the serialized epic, a sweeping tale mixing action, suspense, mystery, romance and melodrama. “It’s a buffet,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone) says. “To reach the widest audience possible, you need to have that spice. You have to have that wide variety.”
The best current example of the big, bold serialized mystery: ABC hit Lost. Fox’s 24 incorporates many of those elements, though each season is self-contained. Fox’s paranormal Fringe tries to temper its serialized elements, mixing long-term story with shorter, weekly ones. And ABC launches a remake of alien-invasion serial V in November.
Patrick Stewart says he might play Professor Xavier again but not Jon Luc Picard:
In a talk show interview setting, Stewart fielded questions about his career and memories of his tenure as captain of the Enterprise. He was barely aware of “Trek” when he got the role and was “guaranteed” by friends and others that the show wouldn’t work.
He discussed how horribly uncomfortable the show’s uniforms were originally, leading his doctor to contact the production office demanding that they be changed.
When asked about fellow convention guests Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, Stewart talked about how much he respected Nimoy. As for Shatner, he paused and said, “He’s a piece of work, isn’t he?”
He was also particularly pleased to be able to recall the plots of some favorite episodes mentioned from the titles.
When the discussion turned to “X-Men,” Stewart, who had a cameo as a younger Professor Charles Xavier in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” said that from what he had heard, audiences have probably not seen the last of the professor. He mentioned he recently co-starred in a production of “Waiting for Godot” with Ian McKellen and the two agreed that they would like continue exploring the relationship between Xavier and McKellen’s “X-Men” character Magneto.
As for that other franchise, Stewart thought that this summer’s reboot of “Star Trek” was “terrific,” but didn’t see a future for Jean-Luc Picard in the franchise, leaving open only the possibility that he would agree to do a cameo in a sequel. Stewart mentioned a proposed final “Next Generation” film, but after the disappointing box office for “Star Trek: Nemesis,” it never materialized.
“I feel that I have left behind a legacy as Picard,” he said. “In my head and heart, I’ve moved on.”
Megan Fox of Transformers will be guest host of the season opener of Saturday Night Live on September 26.
A sneak peak has been released of the second season of Dollhouse:
The New York Times reports on a gene mutation which has given two humans an extraordinary power–the ability to survive with less sleep. Ying-Hui Fu, co-author of the study, is looking for benefits which might arise from this mutation:
Dr. Fu said her “fantasy” was that the finding might eventually lead to a safe treatment for people who wanted or needed more awake hours and were looking for a way to get by on less sleep without harming their health.
There is no word as to whether the two mutants who were discovered will receive training from Professor Xaviar to use their powers for the benefit of humanity. If nothing else, they might make great medical residents if they can really survive without much sleep.
So far there has not been panic seen in the general public over the news of mutants living among us but some executives at Starbucks are nervous over the prospect of humanity being genetically engineered to require less sleep.
Several blogs, including Apple of Doubt, ChickenGirl, The Athiest Blogger, and The Radula have posted this test. The claim is that if you have seen over 85 of these 219 movies you have no life. They invite others to post the list on their blogs and mark which they have seen.
As with most stupid internet tests, I’ll go along but also find this to be flawed. I barely make it as having a life, but that wouldn’t change if I had seen a handful more. Plus I’ve seen plenty of movies which aren’t on the list.
Some of the oldest movies were seen when I was out on dates, with real live girls. Isn’t that having a life? Most were seen with my wife, although some might argue that the fact that we’ve watched so many movies together means that both of us have no life. At least we have no life together.
Many on the list, such as those staring Hillary Duff or Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, were seen because of having a daughter. That is definitely having a life. Of course several of the more sci-fi type movies were also watched alone when my wife and daughter weren’t around. This, along with blogging, could be used to argue that one has no life.
For the hell of it, here’s the list of movies if others are interested in calculating their score and finding out if they have a life (or come close to not having one like me). When they get to Flubber they stipulate the original. I actually saw both. (The original was actually named The Absent Minded Professor). In other cases where it isn’t stipulated I actually saw the original and sometimes have not seen the more recent remake, which might not be what who ever made this list had in mind, but I still marked the movie as seen.
Here’s the list:
(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
(x) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
(x) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving -MAS
(x) Flubber (Orignial)
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
(x)I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
( ) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremacy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George
(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bron Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
( ) Children of the Corn
(x) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
(x) Calendar Girls
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x)The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x)Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(x)Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
(x) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Kippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x)Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x)Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x)Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x)Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x)Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(x)The Matri Reloaded
(x)The Matri Revolutions
( ) Animatri
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x)Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
( ) Battle Royale
( ) Battle Royale 2
( ) Cube
( ) Enlightenment Guaranteed
( ) Four Rooms
( ) Pi
( ) Requiem for a Dream
(x) Pulp Fiction
( ) Reservoir Dogs
() Run Lola Run
( ) Russian Ark
( ) Snatch
( ) Spider
( ) The Sixth Sense
( ) The Village
( ) Waking Life
( ) Zatoichi
( ) Ikiru
(x)The Seven Samurai
( ) Brick
( ) Akira
Developing an American version of a British television show does not always work, such as with Coupling. The American version of Life on Mars has been far more successful. The co-creator of the BBC version told The Hollywood Reporter he approves of the American version, even if it goes in a different direction than the original:
The co-creator of the BBC’s “Life on Mars” gives high marks to the new version across the pond as being in the same gritty spirit as the British version.
“I think it’s marvelous,” said co-creator Ashley Pharoah, who was in Manhattan on Monday to pick up the show’s second International Emmy for best drama. “We’re really very proud of it.”
Pharoah said he understands that the U.S. version was likely to take a different direction than the British version. After all, “Life on Mars” went a planned 16 episodes where the ABC version could have a first season of 22 episodes and maybe more if it’s picked up.
“They’re changing the mythology, which I think is all right,” Pharoah said. “It has to be different. Otherwise everyone just goes on YouTube and sees how it ends.”
And about that ending, a decidedly downbeat conclusion required, in part, because actor John Simm, didn’t want to do more that 16 episodes. Pharoah said he has been talking to the writers of the ABC show but doesn’t know how it’ll end.
“Even we worried about that,” said Pharoah. “Some people back home didn’t like the ending, but that was the end we had in mind from the beginning.”
Writer-producer Cameron Roach also doesn’t mind the changes.
“I think it’s good that it ends in a different way,” Roach said. “It keeps the American audiences guessing.”
There is considerable speculation as to who will be revealed as the final Cylon when Battlestar Galactica returns. SyFy Portal gives a rundown of the speculation with the top five candidates. The top five candidates are rumored to be, in alphabetical order, Lee Adama, Felix Gaeta, Laura Roslin, Elen Tigh, and Cally Tyrol.
Fans of the original Doctor Who series will be interested in the archival material the BBC has posted on line here. For more modern information, The Daily Telegraph has an interview with David Tennant. The BBC has also released a synopsis of the upcoming Christmas special:
It’s Christmas Eve in 1851 and Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian London, in this special Christmas edition of Russell T Davies’s Bafta Award-winning time-travelling drama. When the Doctor arrives and starts to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths, he’s surprised to meet another Doctor, and soon the two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan. But are two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing?
A twelve foot float honoring Star Trek was included in the 72nd Annual Sun Bowl Parade in El Paso, Texas this Thanksgiving Day. We can expect to see a lot more of Star Trek leading up to the upcoming movie, include a series of four comics leading into the movie.
Stan Lee, creator of comics including Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk and The X-Men, was one of nine recipients of the 2008 National Medal of the Arts at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
Among the various shows on in the past week, there was the season finale of True Blood, Dexter learned that Miguel has not been honest with him, leading me to be even more suspicious that Dexter will wind up killing him as I discussed last week, and How I Met Your Mother presented a new technique to get a woman into bed–The Naked Man. Ted and Barney tried out various poses in the video above. At least if Ted was going to try this he only did so after he was certain he had no interest in ever seeing the woman again as in most cases this would be the most likely result.
While I doubt it would be very successful, except in cases where sex was already a sure thing, the idea was off the wall enough to make for an entertaining episode. Another highlight was Lily compiling a list of 50 Reasons to have SEX. TV Squad got a copy of the original list as written on a napkin at MacLaren’s Irish Pub. Click on the image below for a larger version.
Ain’t It Cool News has a couple of reports on a new trailer for the upcoming Star Trek movie to be released next Friday. From one of the descriptions:
We start out with a muscle car tearing ass down a dirt road. Eventually it careens off a cliff, but not before the driver jets himself out – he’s a young boy, couldn’t be older than 11. Suddenly what I can only describe as a space-cop asks him, “what is your name sir?” The young boy replies, “James Tiberius Kirk.”
Then Chris Pine takes over as we see him being angsty, driving down the road on a motorcycle. We hear some voice over from someone else that confirms his angst saying things like, “You’ve never really been happy have you?” and etc. Then we see him drive up what looks like a smelting factory – probably more of that ship construction we got in the earlier trailer.
Then we really kick into trailer mode as we get quick images of Spock as a kid. Spock all grown up. Leonard Nimoy. A vulcan council. Space cadets. And the crew alone with some quick, flashy space fighting.
There is a financial cost to new and better technology. After first buying all the previous Star Trek movies on videocassettes and then on DVD’s it might be hard to resist getting them in Blue-ray. Reportedly they might come out on Blue-ray in 2009. At least the Blue-ray HD-DVD war is long over so there is no doubt as to which format to buy.
A new Lost trailer was also broadcast during the election night coverage on ABC. IO9 has the video.
Beyoncé is ready for an Amazon-sized challenge — the pop superstar wants to be the first actress to wear Wonder Woman’s famed red, white and blue bathing suit on the silver screen.
“I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman? It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?”
Beyoncé says that she has met with representatives of DC Comics and Warner Bros. to express her interest in a major role in one of the many comic-book adaptations now in the pipeline following the massive success of “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man” and the “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” franchises. Beyoncé’s acting to career to date has included a comedic role in “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and two notable music world roles, the first as a quasi-Diana Ross character in “Dreamgirls” and as the defiant and heroin-addicted Etta James in the upcoming “Cadillac Records.”
I’ve previously noted that the ABC version of Life on Mars might not be using the same explanation as on the BBC series as to why Sam Tyler is in the 1970′s. The initial episode seemed to have people from the present talking around him, suggesting that possibly he is in a coma dreaming of life in the 1970′s. We’ve seen robots with no clear explanation. From time to time the 1970′s and the present have blurred, such as with newspapers fluctuating between pictures of Richard Nixon and George Bush. This week’s episode, Things to Do in New York When You Think You’re Dead, suggests that Sam could be dead or in purgatory. While this has been entertaining so far I fear that they might be putting in different possible explanations without a clear idea as to where the show is going.
In the episode, Sam meets both his future mentor and Whoopie Goldberg. It is a shame that Whoopie wasn’t playing Guinan from Star Trek: The Next Generation. She showed in Yesterday’s Enterprise an ability to sense problems involving time and might be able to figure out what is going on with Sam.
This week included an election of great historical significance. Some with an interest in both politics and techniques of science fiction have already been looking at the “future history” of the Obama administration. Nerve takes a “look back” at the Obama administration:
Obama’s election marked the moment in American history when a human being could be judged not for the color of his or her skin, but for the content of his or her character. Not coincidentally, it also marked the moment when the United States turned definitively from a fortress of self-interest to a peaceful emissary of freedom and human rights. These are the principles that the pax Americana has been built on, and an inheritance that we hope to keep as a legacy for our children.
Future Blogger looks back on How the Nanobama Administration Accelerated Technology, but I believe he will reverse George Bush’s ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research soon after taking office as opposed to 2010 as in this post. The post looks back on the tremendous changes to come as a result, including nanotechnology, concluding:
Now, in 2013, as the Nanobama Administration embarks on its second term, it is clear that the benefits of nanotech have already greatly changed the lives of every human, and for the better. Still, the ethical and existential implications continue to boggle the mind.
In particular, the primary neo-luddite argument against the pursuit of nanotechnological development is the fear that intelligent machines will one day spell the doom of mankind. There could come a point, critics continue to warn, where tech ceases to be an extension of humanity, or worse, turns against it’s maker, a possibility made more dangerous by the likelihood that, by the time it happened, humans will have become complacent and helpless.
Still, it looks as thought the Nanobama forces will continue to embrace acceleration, sticking to the critical path laid out by Bucky Fuller. The argument is that the knowledge base of any intelligent species must expand proportionately to the growth of its population, to survive past a critical survival threshold (a potential confrontation with rogue AI?). It’s evolve or die, though that same evolution is likely to bring about the forces that could bring us to the brink.
While many are optimistic about a better world with Obama replacing the Republicans, Focus on the Family released a Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America prior to the election with scare stories of “Terrorist strikes on four U.S. cities. Russia rolling into Eastern Europe. Israel hit by a nuclear bomb. Gay marriage in every state. The end of the Boy Scouts.”
Pushing Daisies is rumored to be at risk of cancellation. I think the idea would have worked far better as a movie than a weekly television series. I tried it both last season and then again at the start of this season. While somewhat entertaining I just couldn’t get into it enough to watch week after week. Rumor also has it that if the show is canceled Bryan Fuller will return to work on Heroes.
It was bound to be considered after the success of the first movie, and there are far more product placements to sell. Kim Cattrall has said in an interview that a sequel to the Sex And The City movie is planned. While possible, it doesn’t look like the other stars are on board yet. If they are to continue playing these roles it is a shame that they couldn’t have done an additional television season for HBO. The movie lacked much of what I found entertaining in the television show, but then I wasn’t the intended audience for the movie.
It’s been a fairly slow week due to new episodes of many shows being postponed to avoid airing over Memorial Day weekend. I thought that at least the BBC would be showing Doctor Who but when I tried to download it I found that the scheduled episode, Silence in the Library, has also been postponed a week due to the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. This is a two-parter by Stephen Moffat, who has been responsible for some of the best episodes since the show returned.
The mild disappointment in having to wait a week for the Moffat two-parter was greatly alleviated by the news that Stephen Moffat will be taking over for Russell T. Davies as show runner for the series when Davies steps down for the 2010 season. Among the episodes written by Moffett are the Hugo-award winners The Girl in the Fireplace, The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances, and Nebula award winner (as well as nominee for this year’s Hugo award) Blink.
A plot summary has been released for Terminator:Salvation, the first movie in the next Terminator trilogy due for release May 22 2009:
The trilogy will be set after Judgment Day in the year 2018 and Christian Bale (who has signed for all three will take on the role of John Connor and will lead the human race to salvation. However, the future isn’t quite the one his mother trained him to save.
According to a Warner Brothers press release, the future is altered somewhat by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose final memory is of being on death row. Connor must keep an eye on the newcomer to establish if he has been sent from the future of the past.
At the same time, SkyNet prepares for a final assault that will end the war which forces Connor and Marcus to set off on a mission into the very heart of Skynet … and while there they will learn the terrible truth of SkyNet’s plan.
Those who left the last X-Men movie without watching the credits will have missed a late scene which provides hope that Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) remains alive. In a recent interview Stewart suggests that he will be returning to play Professor Xavier in X-Men 4.
Despite delaying the season finale of Lost until next week, ABC did have one weekly show which did involve jumping in time. The final moments of Desperate Housewivesjumped ahead five years. This allows the show to get away from all the details of the last few years and have some changes in the characters. The biggest surprise was that Susan is living with a man other than Mike. Series creator Marc Cherry plans to leave after seven years and is even considering having the final season take place prior to the first aired season, before Mary Alice’s suicide.
How I Met Your Mother sort of jumps around in time between the present and the future. At the time this season’s finale was written it was not known if the show would be renewed and therefore the season finale ends with a scene which could have worked as the end of the series. Ted proposed to Stella (Sarah Chalke). Now that the show has been renewed the writers are free to either have Stella become Ted’s future wife or go in a different direction. With Scrubs coming to an end after a brief reprieve on ABC next year, Chalke will be free to become a more regular member of the cast. This could also mean that Stella’s receptionist, played by Britney Spears, might even return for a third appearance on the show. The finale also had Ted and Barney become bros again and there was the surprise revelation that Barney is interested in Robin.
Big Bang Theory has been the ultimate genre show of the past season. It is the only show where there are regular references to Romulans and many superheroes, and there was even an entire episode based around the time machine from War of the Worlds. The finale had Sheldon actually get a date with Penny, involving what might be the only prime time sitcom discussion ever of Schrödinger’s cat. While I doubt this romance will succeed, if it does it will be an even bigger victory for nerds since Jeremy (Joshua Malena) dated Natalie (Sabrina Lloyd) on Sports Night.
Heroes must have lots of fans. After I recently had a brief story on it in a previous edition of Sci Fi Friday, “Save the Cheerleader Save the World” has become one of the biggest search engine hits for this site. I’ve more commonly had posts about classic SF shows such as Star Trek, but for this week I found something to combine the two. Comic Book Resources has an interview with Heroes writeer Brian Fuller who previously worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Fuller is excited about J.J. Abrams taking over Star Trek, but I wonder if he and the interviewer are the he only ones who prefers the Janeway/Seven relationship to Kirk/Spock. Here’s some portions of the interview:
Robert Taylor: Bryan, why did you want to become a writer?
Bryan Fuller: I went to film school for production, and there came a time when we all had to pitch a 20-minute short film, so that was the first time I actually sat down and wrote something with dialogue and I thought it was a lot of fun. I didn’t really take any classes on writing, I just enjoyed trying to mimic how people talk and what you would do if you were in a given situation. I never imagined I would be a writer.
Then one day I was watching “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and I thought I could do it. Something clicked, and I wrote a spec script and submitted it and wrote another one. I got invited in to pitch. I really didn’t want to be a television writer as much as I wanted to be a “Star Trek” writer. I had every action figure, so it was all about “Star Trek” for me.
I got very frustrated after years of working on the show and doing the same types of stories so I wrote, on spec, the “Dead Like Me” pilot.
RT: What do you think about the decline of the franchise and what about its place right now?
BF: I think the status right now is very encouraging, and I’m referring to the J.J. Abrams-helmed reinvention of the franchise, which it’s desperate for.
Basically what happened to the franchise was that it was in the hands of people who had done their thing with it and were continuing to do their thing with it and weren’t looking to expand. One of the promises of “Enterprise” was that it was going to be a whole new deal with different adventures and different characters. And then I saw the pilot and thought that they just changed the paradigm slightly enough that you could argue that it was different, but not under heavy scrutiny. The reason “Star Trek” was withering on the vine for so long was because it wasn’t getting enough nourishment, and J.J. Abrams is going to give it that burst of energy that it needs and it deserves.
The “Star Trek” universe is such a fertile place to tell stories. There were lots of new and innovative things going on during “Deep Space Nine” and that’s why it’s my favorite of the new series. It was much more character-based.
For me it goes original series, then “Deep Space Nine,” then “Next Generation,” and then “Voyager.” There are elements of “Voyager” that I loved, though. I think it hit its creative stride with Seven of Nine and the relationship with Janeway. I found it much more interesting than any other captain/crew relationship, including Kirk and Spock. Kirk and Spock have a great dynamic and I want to see them have adventures, but if you want to see me captivated and want me to continue watching as you pull back the layers of the onion then I think that Seven of Nine and Janeway’s relationship was much more complicated.
RT: I actually agree with that. More than Picard and Data even. I think, in some ways, it kept the series going much longer than it needed to, though.
BF: I completely agree. I loved Kirk and Spock. I love Picard and Data, even though they were just a variation on Kirk and Spock. And there was no iconic relationships on “Deep Space Nine” because all the characters were so strong, no two people really stood out.
If I was going to hang out with a captain from “Star Trek,” I would hang out with Janeway. She was the most fun. I loved the complexity of her character. I love that she went out there on her own and wasn’t always making the right decisions. Sometimes she was reacting emotionally and sometimes she was reacting strategically. She was much more flawed, and the show got criticism for that.
Oh, I’m sorry, I’m blah blah blahing about “Star Trek.” I could go on about it all day. (more…)
“Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” is the unlikely tag line to this season’s newest television SF hit. This week I finally got around to watching two of the shows I’ve been recording until I could determine whether they are worth watching, Heroes and Brothers and Sisters. Heroes is reminiscent of X-Men except the mutants with super powers are living among us rather than separately in a school. It even has an intentional comic book feel which makes for an entertaining hour. It will never have the serious social commentary of Star Trek or Babylon 5, but that is not its goal.
Heroes starts out with the individual stories of people who find they have super powers, as well as the son of a genetics professor who discovered their existence. Ultimately they get together, and the paths of some of them cross in Las Vegas. It is probably inevitable that the politician and the stripper were among the first to meet. Also in Las Vegas we see the almost-perfect way to cheat and win. Once united, the heroes must prevent a nuclear explosion in Manhattan, but it appears that first they must save the cheerleader.
For those who have missed Heroes, NBC is running a three episode marathon on Sunday night.
The other recorded show I started catching up on, Brothers and Sisters, doesn’t fit into SciFi Friday, but any show staring Rachel Griffiths (Brenda on Six Feet Under) along with Callista Flockhart (Allie McBeal), Sally Fields (Gidget and The Flying Nun before many far more substantial roles), Ron Rifkin (the perfect villain on Alias), and Patricia Wettig (Thirtysomething) is worth mentioning. Ken Olin (Thirtysomething and Alias) is also executive producer.
Despite my irresistable urge to give Rachel Griffiths top billing above, the actual star is Callista Flockhart who plays a right wing television pundit, but do not fear being forced to listen to right wing drivel. Her professional life is only a small part of the show, and she is outnumbered by liberal members of her family. Reviews of the first episode were mediocre as it attempted to introduce several family members, but the show has improved tremendously from there. Perhaps the deciding factor, beyond the cast, which led to me watching rather than deleting these recordings was a review which said this was a show which could have been done for HBO. So far I’d rank it below Studio 60 and The Nine, but it is still among the top new shows of the season.
Newsweek reports on a new battle on Battlestar Galactica. Ron Moore and NBC Universal are fighting over the residuals for the web episodes.
Last week’s SF television highlight was on Doctor Who as Sarah Jane Smith got a chance to see The Doctor once again, and to properly say goodbye to him. Seeing her brief relationship with Rose will also remain a classic moment in Doctor Who history. K-9 Mark III, always the good dog, sacrificed himself but was rebuilt to be ready for the proposed new BBC television show featuring Sarah Jane. Next week, The Cybermen!
Doctor Who has also entered the Guinness Book of World Records. With over 700 episodes since it started in 1963 it is the longest running SF show. There have already been ten versions of the timelord, and The Sun reports we may be getting another. David Tennant is considering leaving after the third season of the remake, despite an offer of one million pounds from the BBC to remain.