Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for November 22nd, 2016

Ron Thornton, pioneer of CGI for television, passed away at 59

by on Nov.22, 2016, under Television

Emmy award winning visual effects artist Ron Thornton, best known for his work on Babylon 5 passed away yesterday at home after a short illness at the age of 59, as confirmed by his colleague Emile Smith on Twitter.

Thornton co-founded Foundation Imaging and pioneered the CGI and visual effects methods started on Babylon 5 using Newtek’s Video Toaster hardware and Lightwave 3D modeling software that allowed such effects to be both realistic and within a television show budget. He won an Emmy in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects for the work on the pilot movie, Babylon 5: The Gathering, and had three more nominations. Prior to Babylon 5, he had worked on Spaceballs, Critters, and Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.

After a falling out with the Babylon 5 producers in the third season, he worked on Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise and co-created the series Hypernauts.


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Netflix Lost In Space remake finds Dr. Smith in Parker Posey

by on Nov.22, 2016, under Television

The Netflix remake of Lost In Space continues to move forward, although having to wait until 2018 is going to be tough. But this twist in casting is going to make us anxious to see it that much more.

Parker Posey (Party Girl, Superman Returns) has signed on to join the series as none other than Dr. Smith! This gender flip will be interesting to see. The original Dr. Smith was played by Jonathan Harris, and was initially a bad guy who tried to sabotage the mission of the Jupiter 2 but gets caught on board at launch. Early through the first season, he stayed as a conniving saboteur, but eventually softened and became a more comedic leading role thanks to Harris’ acting skills, which changed the whole nature of the show. In the 1998 big screen remake, the character was played by Gary Oldman, as a totally evil character but with touches of the mannerism of Harris’s character as a homage.

A previous attempt by ABC to reboot the show opted to omit the middle child of Penny and instead added an older brother, but it never made it past the pilot stage.

Previously announced cast are Toby Stephens (John Robinson), Taylor Russell (Judy Robinson), Max Jenkins (Will Robinson), and Molly Parker (Maureen Robinson). The characters of Major West and Penny Robinson presumably are yet to be cast. Producers have said that this version will take cues from the original, but beyond that we have little information.


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