SciFi Weekend: Caprica Canceled, New BSG Spin-Off Planned; Spock Cited in Texas Court; Time Traveler Filmed?; Zombies and Mean Girls

As I reported earlier this week, and predicted last week, Caprica has officially been canceled. The show already had one hiatus this year, which probably did not help matters as I bet many viewers are having difficulty keeping track of the large number of plot lines. There will be a second hiatus with the remaining episodes not airing until 2011. As the show is undoubtedly costlier to produce than many of the other shows on SyFy, I can understand why the network decided ratings were too low to justify renewal. However, now that the shows have been made, I would think that it at least holds its own against many of the other shows being aired. If ratings are really that terrible that they don’t want to show the remaining episodes during prime time this fall, they could always air them at odd hours for fans to record.

SyFy is looking at replacing the show with another Battlestar Galactica spin-off based upon William Odama’s role in the first Cylon War. Presumably shows about Cylons involving  actual war do better in the ratings. A two hour pilot movie is planned with production expected to start next year. The Los Angeles Times Reports:

Syfy announced Friday that it’s gearing up to bring fans an all-new chapter in the BSG saga with “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.”

The two-hour spinoff pilot, from executive producer David Eick, will follow a twentysomething William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon War. He soon finds himself leading a top secret mission that could change the course of the war.

“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question: What does it mean to be human?, ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” Eick said in a statement.

“Blood & Chrome” was originally ordered last summer by the network as a Web series, with former “Battlestar Galactica” co-executive producer Michael Taylor tapped to write the nine mini episodes.

In a statement, Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for SyFy and co-head of content for Universal Cable Productions, had this to say:  “The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory. We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”

The  Los Angles Times also interviewed executive producer David Eick about the planned show:

GB: What can you tell us about where this falls in the mythology?

DE: The show takes place when William Adama, the character played by Edward James Olmos in “BSG,” is in his 20s, fresh out of cadet school, on the precipice of experiencing his first taste of combat.  The era — in our mythology – is the threatening, treacherous period known as the First Cylon War, which fans of “Battlestar Galactica” may remember took place over 40 years before the events of “BSG.”

GB: In some ways, all the previously shown history might be seen as confining — we know who lives and dies at this point — so how do you sidestep those challenges?

DE: I’m not sure it’s true that our past history is confining — just because we might meet someone in “Blood & Chrome” whom we don’t recognize as a younger version of someone from the realm of “Battlestar Galactica” doesn’t mean that character necessarily died.  Alternatively, we may meet the ancestors of characters we’ve come to know in “BSG,” which can be Easter eggs for the “BSG” faithful without being a distraction to new viewers of “Blood & Chrome” who may not be familiar with “BSG.”

GB: Anything you can tell us about the title or its origins?

DE: Michael Taylor, one of my partners on the cracking of this story and the writer of the teleplay, gets full credit for the title.  We’d been calling it “the ‘Young Adama’ project,” and then one day the script shows up with that wild and provocative title.

GB: Is there a new character being introduced that you might give us a hint or two about?

DE: “Blood & Chrome” is loaded with new characters, but I’d say the most compelling and unusual is the woman with whom Adama connects most deeply in the pilot — Beka Kelly, an enigmatic, seemingly impenetrable software genius who gives Adama a run for his money in more ways than one.  She’s definitely in the tradition of “BSG’s” and “Caprica’s” uniquely strong, remarkable female characters and will be a huge casting opportunity for someone out there, whom we look forward to discovering…

While Caprica has been canceled, some other genre shows received better news in the past week. ABC picked up No Ordinary Family for the entire season and BBC has renewed Merlin for a fourth season.

In other interesting, even if perhaps not very significant, genre news reported here earlier in the week, the Texas Supreme Court has cited Spock while interpreting the Texas Constitution. The ruling (more details in previous post) quoted Spock ‘s credo “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” spoken as he was dying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If conservatives get upset when an American court cites a foreign court, how will they react to a court citing a Vulcan? Will conservatives begin attacking the principles of The United Federation of Planets as they now attack international law?

The discovery of someone who appears to be using a cell phone in an old Charlie Chaplin film, The Circus, resulted in a lot of buzz about the possibility of a time traveler being caught on film. It was way too much fun to speculate about time travelers to worry about details such as how one would use a cell phone in an era lacking cellular service. The explanation that this was actually an old hearing aide is far less interesting.

Maybe the time traveler in the video above had found a way to communicate through time, like Olivia Wilde in the video above which presents an urgent plea from 2057 to vote. You don’t really want a future in which President Sarah Palin declares super-war on Norway do you?

The Big Bang Theory - The Apology Insufficiency

There continues to be a great hour of genre comedy from 8:00 to 8:30 on Thursday nights. I doubt anyone has questioned including The Big Bang Theory as a genre show considering its frequent references to science fiction and comics, along with its major presence at ComicCon. Last week’s episode had Leonard hook up with Raj’s sister and next week’s episode features a guest appearance by Eliza Dushku (of Dollhouse) as an FBI agent who interviews other cast members for Wolowitz’s security clearance.

I also loosely classify Community as a genre comedy due to its many references to movies and pop culture. This was most obvious in last week’s episode featuring zombies. There’s an even worse threat than zombies on next week’s episode–mean girls led by Hilary Duff.  A video preview is above.

Best Sign At Rally To Restore Sanity

Here is the best sign I saw at the Rally to Restore Sanity: My Comedy Channel–Fox News. My News Channel–Comedy Central. It is estimated that 215,000 attended the rally. It is obviously two small a sample to mean anything, but in watching the coverage on C-Span briefly after the event, there were a couple of calls from people who identified themselves as former Republicans who say they now plan to vote Democratic.

Misleading Names: My Current Facebook Status

Names can be misleading. The Tea Party doesn’t promote the views of the American Revolution any more than residents of the Virgin Islands necessarily promote virginity.

Posted in Republicans. Tags: , . 3 Comments »

Quote of the Day

‎”Christine O’Donnell says in the version of the Constitution she read, Elmo doesn’t mention separation of church & state.” –Andy Borowitz via Twitter

Friday Night Lights Has Returned

I just watched the fifth season premiere episode of Friday Night Lights and then went back to watch the first episode of season one. That very well might have been the best pilot episode of any television show ever. Offhand Lost is the only one I can think of which even comes close.

Spock Cited By Texas Supreme Court

Conservatives, who are prone to irrational hysteria over a wide number of things, have increasingly been seeing the concept of international law as a threat. How are they going to respond if American courts start deferring to the United Federation of Planets? The Texas Supreme Court has cited Mr. Spock in interpreting the Texas Constitution. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America reports on Spock being cited in when writing their opinion in Robinson v. Crown Cork and Seal:

Appropriately weighty principles guide our course. First, we recognize that police power draws from the credo that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Second, while this maxim rings utilitarian and Dickensian (not to mention Vulcan21), it is cabined by something contrarian and Texan: distrust of intrusive government and a belief that police power is justified only by urgency, not expediency.

Footnote 21 reads:

See STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (Paramount Pictures 1982). The film references several works of classic literature, none more prominently than A Tale of Two Cities. Spock gives Admiral Kirk an antique copy as a birthday present, and the film itself is bookended with the book’s opening and closing passages. Most memorable, of course, is Spock’s famous line from his moment of sacrifice: “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” to which Kirk replies, “the needs of the few.”

United Federation of Planets

Current Facebook Status

Attention all you deluded Teabaggers: If you really support the Constitution as intended by its writers, individual liberty, and a free market system in which people are fairly rewarded for their work, you should be voting Democratic, not Republican next week.

Caprica Canceled

As I suspected would occur in the last installment of SciFi Weekend, Caprica has been canceled. Remaining episodes are going to be held until the first quarter of 2011, by which time most people will have totally forgotten about the show. SyFy is looking at another Battlestar Galactia spinoff which will take place during the first Cylon War. Trekweb has more information on the proposed show.

Alessandra Torresani has her farewell on Twitter:

Word is out: Caprica has officially been cancelled! I love my lil cylons so much and will continue to kick ass for you guys! Thanks for the love and support! -Love Mama Cylon

No  comment yet from show runner Jane Espenson (who once tweeted as CapricaOne).

A couple of other genre shows are doing better. The BBC has announced a 4th season of Merlin and ABC recently picked up No Ordinary Family for an entire season.

Olivia Wilde’s Message To Vote From 2057

Olivia Wilde stars in this video with a warning from 2057 of the consequences of not voting. Imagine a future President Palin declaring Superwar against Norway, and it gets worse from there.

Coburn: GOP Should Repeatedly Offer Bills To Repeal Health Care Reform

This might be a preview of GOP plans after the election, especially if they gain control of Congress:

Senate Republicans should repeatedly offer bills to repeal health reform even if it’s in vain, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Tuesday.

Coburn acknowledged efforts to repeal the legislation, or even defund it, were unlikely to be successful as long as President Obama is in the White House, but said making repeated efforts to dismantle the legislation is the best political strategy for the GOP.

“I think the best strategy is to call for a repeal bill and pass that bill,” Coburn told a group of conservative bloggers. “And if you can’t pass it the first time, then offer it again the next month, and offer it again the next month.”

To a certain degree it makes sense to push legislation which might not pass to clearly demonstrate what a political party desires to accomplish. When they repeatedly push the same exact legislation this becomes a waste of time. If the Republicans were serious about policy they would offer bills to improve upon the bill which already passed. Of course if they had any real interest in doing this there are many compromises they could have easily obtained during the fight to pass the measure.

Republicans might have a stronger argument for doing dwelling on repeal if it was politically popular but polls have consistently showed that the public wants to retain most of what is in the bill once they realize what is actually in the law. In addition, while the final bill isn’t all that popular, as many people are upset because health care reform didn’t go far enough as those who believe it went too far.

Colburn’s suggestion does not provide much confidence in the results of a Republican controlled Congress, especially following  Mitch McConnell’s admission that the top goal of Republicans is to improve their chances for taking the White House in 2012, as opposed to doing something constructive such as trying to improve the economy.