Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for October, 2015

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds

by on Oct.30, 2015, under Fun Stuff, Video/DVD

In honor of the original radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, here is the audio of my favorite rock opera, which is an impressive adaptation of the original story in music. And if you think the music is awesome, you need to see the concert…it is UNBELIEVABLE.

However, I do apologize in advance…some of these songs will stick in your head. But it’s a brave new world…


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The Walking Dead gets seventh season renewal

by on Oct.30, 2015, under Television

What took so long? They’re what, 3 episodes into the sixth season? 🙂

AMC, which typically doesn’t wait to renew shows, gave The Walking Dead a seventh season today, two days prior the Episode 4 of the sixth season where we were already handed a cliffhanger last Sunday. Episode 3 took in 18.2 million viewers.

The Talking Dead, the aftershow hosted by Chris Hardwick, also has been renewed.


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Maisie Williams will appear in another Doctor Who episode

by on Oct.27, 2015, under Television

[WARNING: Marked Spoiler below for the two recent Doctor Who episodes]

It’s really not surprising given the way they’ve set up her character, but Maisie Williams is not done yet with her appearances on Doctor Who.

The Game Of Thrones star just recently appeared in the double episodes “The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived” as the Viking girl Ashildr who the Doctor [SPOILER ALERT]makes immortal to save her life, and later encounters her in 17th Century England, and sees what she has become.[END SPOILERS]

Williams will return in the 10th episode, “Face The Raven”, according to writer Sarah Dollard speaking at a panel at MCM London Comic Con, where showrunner Steven Moffat also insisted that Williams is not becoming the new companion with the upcoming departure of Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). However, it seems apparent that she is set up as a recurring character, ala Captain Jack Harkness and River Song. In fact, in the Doctor even addressed the issue of Harkness, the other character that became immortal because of the Doctor, in “The Woman Who Lived”, informing Ashildr (now going by “Me”) that she may come across him in the future.

Fun fact – the Doctor even made a deeper reference to the Great Fire of London – which in the episode “The Visitation” during the Fifth Doctor’s reign was started by the Terileptils. “The Visitation” is currently available on Netflix.


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The Martian: The Best Worst Day At Work Movie

by on Oct.26, 2015, under Movies

I finally got to see The Martian this weekend thanks to several hours free in the middle of my non-stop schedule lately, with nothing to do while trapped in Boston.

I described Gravity as “the worst work day ever”. But it was relentless – a constant series of just bad things happening that just somehow impossibly not end up killing the protagonist. Great visuals, but TOO intense and non-stop.

The Martian is Gravity done a TON better. And more enjoyable.

In The Martian, as seen in the previews, a sudden massive storm forces the abort of the Ares III mission on the surface of Mars. While attempting to reach the ascent vehicle, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by a piece of debris, and his bio monitor indicates that his suit had been ruptured. The rest of the crew are unable to locate him before he would likely run out of air, and are forced to take off.

Miraculously, Watney survives and makes it back to the habitat, and realizes his situation. He’s trapped on another planet alone, communications are out, a rescue mission would take 4 years to reach him without nearly enough food and many things that if they broke would kill him.

The Martian dispenses with the intensity for realism. It isn’t a constant series of bad things happening, but there is the constant threat of it. But Watney is given the chance to think through his options, and not have to improvise every second. He works through the solutions and, for the benefit of the audience, talks through them via the video logs he makes in case anyone can retrieve them.

Matt Damon did a spectacular job as Watney. He managed to effectively bring the humor to a character in a dire situation. He appears defeated when things go south but never gives up. And everything he does is believable, and for the most part, accurate. As part of that, in some cases the technospeak might lose some portion of the audience – such as all the talk about intercept velocities. But it is something that they had to deal with, so the audience had to deal with it too.

Perhaps the weakest parts of the movie may have been with the supporting cast. Not that anything was horrible, but at times I just didn’t connect with the emotion or passion the characters should have been generating. I hate to say this, but I think Sean Bean’s portrayal of flight director Mitch Henderson, who I felt should have been making a more impassioned plea of NASA director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels), but more often looked like someone who just wanted to go to bed. And I LOVE Sean Bean. But keep a watch out for the meeting where they discuss “Project Elrond”…

Visually, the movie is spectacular…the flat Mars landscapes punctuated by tall, wind-carved mountains, looked incredibly realistic. I was VERY impressed. They did a spectacular job of not making it look like he was just filmed in a greenscreen room and everything was just composted in.

I believe The Martian is probably the best movie I’ve seen in years.


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Star Trek‘s Shatner launches comic imprint with LNL Partners

by on Oct.20, 2015, under Comics

Shatner SingularityLNL Partners, whose proprietary Cinematic Graphic Novels™ was introduced this past summer with William Shatner’s Man O’ War, has launched a special William Shatner imprint entitled Shatner Singularity. In addition to publishing works authored by William Shatner in LNL’s Cinematic Graphic Novel™ format, Shatner Singularity will also offer the latest graphic novel from comic book legend Stan Lee and his company POW! Entertainment.

The specific individual titles from William Shatner and Stan Lee will be revealed during a much-anticipated panel presentation featuring the two pop culture giants to be held at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo on Sunday, November 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Shatner Singularity imprint and its debut releases from William Shatner and Stan Lee at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The team at LNL Partners has enjoyed the privilege of working directly with these two legendary industry icons to deliver to fans worldwide Cinematic Graphic Novels, a new and innovative way to enjoy comic book entertainment. Publishing Stan Lee and his newest literary work under the imprint adds yet another level of tremendous excitement to the Shatner Singularity brand,” said Mariano Nicieza, LNL Partners Co-Owner.

“With its Cinematic Graphic Novels™ LNL Partners has created a unique new genre. After proving to be a powerful and compelling platform for Man O’ War, I am delighted to have the format serve to showcase other works under the Shatner Singularity imprint. It is a particular joy and honor for my imprint to host work from my friend Stan Lee. As Stan himself is fond of saying, ‘nuff said’!” said Shatner.

“I’m thrilled to be working with my friend William Shatner’s new imprint. I look forward to sharing details of my new project at Comikaze Expo!” said Lee.

Jointly developed by LNL and Panelfly, the Cinematic Graphic Novel format delivers a groundbreaking form of digital comics that combines moving panels, a new stylistic dimension in animation, in-story sound effects and a music soundtrack to usher in an enhanced reading experience.


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HotShot Trailer: Star Wars: The Force Awakens third trailer!

by on Oct.19, 2015, under Movies

Hot off the presses!


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Walt Disney World plans Opening Night event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios

by on Oct.19, 2015, under Fun Stuff, Movies

From our sister site, WDW Untangled

tfasoirwe872417-613x908On the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17th, Walt Disney World Resort will host a special ticketed event at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park for fans who want to be among the first viewers of the movie and celebrate with other fans.

Guests will have a confirmed seat at the AMC Disney Springs 24 theater for a showing between 7pm-8pm, and then celebrate over at Hollywood Studios at a private party afterwards until 2am. The party will include special access to the new Star Wars: Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction, a DJ dance party, and a preview of the all new fireworks display set to Star Wars music. Costumes are encouraged! But follow standard Disney guest costume guidelines – if you dress like a Disney character, for instance, you may not pose for pictures with other guests or sign autographs, etc.

Characters will also appear at Launch Bay – it is sounding like a private mini-Star Wars Weekends!

Tickets will go on sale immediately after the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens airs tonight during Monday Night Football. And in fact, tickets for showings at theaters around the country will go on sale at the same time!

Ticket prices will depend on which format you see the movie in: 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).

Note: Direct transportation between Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios will NOT be provided. Parking is free at Disney Springs, and parking at Hollywood Studios is included in the price of the ticket. Guests staying at a WDW Resort will be able to take transportation from Disney Springs to their resort, and then on to Hollywood Studios.

More FAQs can be found here.


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Defiance canceled after three seasons

by on Oct.16, 2015, under Television

Syfy’s drama Defiance has been canceled, not long after the network canceled Dominion.

The show was part of a major experiment by the network, teaming up with videogame maker Trion Worlds to make Defiance a “transmedia” show, existing both as a TV show and a massively-multiplayer game online, with events of one showing as having an effect on the other. Trion Worlds has stated the game will continue.

“I got to collaborate with a group of stunning artists operating at the top of their game, and together we built a world,” said Executive Producer Kevin Murphy. “Because of that, there is no room for anything other than joy in my heart.”

Syfy said in a statement, “Defiance was a truly groundbreaking series, delivering an immersive, cross-platform experience that transcended the television screen in a way that viewers had never seen before. We are incredibly proud of the work of the extraordinary cast, writers, artists and designers — and especially showrunner Kevin Murphy — who together brought the rich world of Defiance to life over its three season arc.”

Ratings fell each season, with shifts in what day it aired, with the finale netting 1.925 million viewers and a 0.51 18-49 rating in Live+3.

The show recently concluded it’s third season in August, and the season finale did have a bit of finality to it, so ending the series where it did is satisfying at least.


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Marvel and Fox join to develop a pair of X-Men based series

by on Oct.14, 2015, under Television

Marvel and Fox (who holds the movie and TV rights to Marvel’s X-Men franchise) are working together on a pair of TV projects based on X-Men characters for two of Fox’s networks.

Legion, based on the character of the same name, has a pilot order from FX. Fargo creator Noah Hawley will write and exec produce. Legion is David Haller, who is in fact the son of Professor Xavier, and has suffered from multiple personality disorder for all his life. But his splintered personalities eventually manifest different mutant abilities.

Hellfire (the working title) is still in development at Fox, and follows a Special Agent that discovers that a woman with uncanny powers is working with a secret society of rich people called the “Hellfire Club” in a plot to take over the world – the same group led by Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class. The show was created by Evan Katz (the 24 franchise), Manny Coto (the 24 franchise), Patrick McKay (Star Trek 3) and JD Payne (Star Trek 3).

The X-Men movie heads Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg will executive produce both series along with Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory from Marvel TV.

Interestingly, neither series will bear the X-Men label, but will be set within the same universe as the movie franchise.


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Could scientists have found a real Dyson Sphere?

by on Oct.14, 2015, under Science

I personally think there is a less alien explanation, but there is a report making the rounds today that scientists have detected a star, KIC 8462852, that experiences very unusual and erratic dips in brightness. The brightness change is around 22%, which is far more than typically observed from planetary transits, which is more like 1%, and are generally more consistent.

While there are probably a number of more rational explanations, astronomer Jason Wright, who specializes in signs of advanced civilizations, put forth the ideal that massive solar panels arranged in orbit, could be an explanation, although even he says we should “approach it skeptically.”

A Dyson Sphere, popularized and named after mathematician and theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, is one of a number of theoretical megastructures in which a partial or complete shell is constructed around a star, allowing for near-complete use of the energy output of the star.

Another similar structure, the Ringworld as conceived by science fiction author Larry Niven, is a ring structure around a star where the inner surface would have millions of times the area of Earth as livable space. But in order to provide something approximating a day/night cycle on such a structure, a second, inner structure exists – the “shadow squares”, enormous panels in orbit that block the sunlight from the star from a section of the Ringworld.

Sound familiar? Perhaps we should be searching for Protectors or Puppeteers in the area…


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