SciFi Weekend: Improving Heroes; Torchwood Not Sanitized; True Blood Season Two; Terminator Times Three; And Actresses Doing Their Job

With Pushing Daisies being canceled, Brian Fuller is returning to Heroes. He discussed his ideas on improving the show and gives some information on the arc for the second half of the season in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

AUSIELLO: Where did Heroes go wrong, in your opinion?
BRYAN FULLER:
It became too dense and fell into certain sci-fi trappings. For instance, in the “Villains” arc, when you talk about formulas and catalysts, it takes the face off the drama. And I think the goal for everybody is to put a face back on the drama. You have to save something with a face; otherwise you don’t understand what you’re caring about. I thought the “Villains” arc started out very interestingly, and then became sort of muddy and dense and I couldn’t get my hooks into the characters to understand their motivations. I also started to feel confused about what people’s abilities were. One of the great things about the first season is that the metaphor for their abilities was very clear. Those metaphors seem to have gotten complicated in the past two seasons. I share that concern with everybody on the writing staff. It’s not like I’m coming in and saying, “This is what you need to do to fix it!” Everybody knows what needs to be fixed and everybody is sort of rowing in that direction.

Your work starts with episode 19, yes?
Yes. I’m fortunate to be coming into a very exciting story line. [Former co-exec producers] Jeph [Loeb] and Jesse [Alexander], before they left the show, set so many great events in motion with the “Fugitives” arc [kicking off Feb. 2]. It really is a fresh start. All of the characters are back in their real lives. You see Peter as a paramedic. Claire is looking for colleges. We get away from the world of formulas and quasi-magic.

Are the “Fugitives” episodes leading up to 19 solid?
Yes. Episodes 14, 15 and 16 are amazing. The whole “Fugitives” arc starts out very strongly, and then it gets a little dense in the middle in terms of the mythology. So I came in right at the point where everybody was realizing, “Oh, we’re getting too dense here and we need to put faces on stories because there is no face to a formula; there is no face to saving the world.” So it’s turning this big ship back into a character stream, and everyone on the writing staff shares that desire. We need to get back into a character place, because that’s where this story started: Very clean, superhero metaphors to everyday life. That’s the path that we’re taking. But it is a big ship so it’s going to take a little while to turn it.

Any plans to trim the sprawling cast?
People will die. And some will return. Matt’s wife [Janice] comes back. We’ll find out what happens when you have a superbaby. We’re also going to tell fewer stories per episode. We’re going to limit it to three or four with one big one that you can wrap the stories around. We’re altering the structure of the show so that there’s a very clear A story that takes up a larger percentage of the show so that that story gets traction.

Are you looking at Season 4 as a complete reboot of the series?
It’s not necessarily a reboot as much as it is going back to the basic spirit of the show and pulling people back in. I don’t think the issues with the show have been about the serialization as much as about the density of the stories that have been serialized.

The second season of Torchwood seemed a little tamer than the first, and there were fears that having this season’s Torchwood miniseries on BBC 1 would result in it being toned down even more. SyFy Portal reassures us that this is not the case:

“We certainly haven’t neutered or sanitized it in any way,” Lyn told the official Torchwood magazine. “We want appeal to a bigger audience than ever, but it’s not been turned into a Children’s BBC show to achieve that. The key thing for Season 3 is that, no matter how dark it gets, we still want to keep the warmth ‘Doctor Who’ has in abundance.”

The third season, otherwise known as “Children of the Earth,” will run over five nights and collectively will tell an epic tale that will test the Torchwood team like never before.

“‘Torchwood: Children Of Earth’ is about how human beings behave when they’re faced with an unstoppable force, something so much bigger than they are,” Lyn explained. “Some of them turn out to be heroes, and some of them turn out to be shits. I think that describes at least one of the dominant themes of these episodes.

“Also, the love story between Captain Jack and Ianto continues to unfold, as does the story of married life for Gwen and Rhys, as Rhys’ character comes into play a lot more, and he becomes almost the fourth member of the team, largely by accident. It’s hard to have perspective on it when you’re right in the middle of filming, so I think I’ll just say it’s going to be brilliant.”

24 returns with a four hour season premier over two nights starting on January 11. Of course the best way to watch 24 is on DVD, catching several hours in a row in real time. Getting the first four hours quickly will give a bit of this experience. While the show now takes place in Washington, D.C. and CTU is gone, there will be some familiar faces, such as Chloe returning to help Jack hack into some computers.  Spoiler TV has pictures showing the return of Elisha Cuthbert, along with a brief teaser of the premier.

The Live Feed has picked up some information on the second season of True Blood:

Jason goes into the Fellowship of the Sun church in a big way and is surprised by what he finds there. There’s a new creature in town that is unlike any other. Nobody knows what this creature is, I’m not sure if it will be entirely explained in the show — it’s not a werewolf. There are new romances for Tara, Jason and Sara. Bill and Sookie have a lot of issues to sort out — including having made a new teenage vampire that’s living in their house. Bill and Sookie also go to Dallas to find one of their own who has gone missing.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles continues to take advantage of the time travel aspects of its premise. We are accustomed to shows such as Lost in which episodes show events taking place at two different points in time. This week’s episode of Sarah Connor, Alpine Fields, takes this further in having the episode involve three different times. In the present Derek assists with the birth of a child. Interspersed is one story from six months earlier showing Sarah save the family from a Terminator. A third story line shows why the birth is important. We find that the child grows up to have a rare immunity to a plague which Skynet attempts to use to kill the remaining humans, allowing a cure to be developed. In many ways the story of the saving of this child is a close parallel to the entire Jon Connor story.

I wonder if this is all a way for Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) to obtain a ton of publicity without having to do (or remove) a thing. Her interview with the Times of London received tons of links due to this exchange:

She still loves acting, naturally — she would even, steady chaps, go nude. “Yes,” she says. “For Bernardo Bertolucci. It . . . depends. I’m not getting my kit off any time soon, but it is part of my job.”

I imagine that appearing nude on the cover of the January GQ is also part of Jennifer Aniston’s job.

Now on to catching up to tonight’s shows on my DVR. It is the season finale of both Dexter and Californication. Fortunately only the star of one of these shows suffers from the psychological flaw of its main character in real life.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    stevejon6 says:

    nice to see that this topic is finally getting some airtime. Keeping hush-hush about it doesn’t make it go away… BTW, here’s some more info about straem heroes online for those interested.

  2. 2
    Jason%9Mcneal says:

    True blood will go down as one of HBOs best series by far. A lot of people wont agree with me but its true. It is catching on fast and I’m definitely a huge fan.

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