Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for July, 2011

Retro Review: Space: 1999

by on Jul.30, 2011, under Video/DVD

This review is a long time coming…I’ve had the [asin=201]Space: 1999 Complete Series Megaset[/asin] for months now, ever since it became cheaper just to buy that than buy the remaining individual “sets” they used to sell it as (4 sets per season for 8 total sets) that I was slowly accumulating – and now the first season is also available on [asin=1078]Blu-ray[/asin] (Season 2 isn’t formally listed yet, but I’m hearing October.) But I wanted to re-watch the whole series – I grew up watching it, and was always fascinated by the design of the moonbase, the Eagles, etc. Sure, maybe it wasn’t sound science – but how many SF series actually have that? It treated the idea of being in space and on the moon as an important setting – and not ignored like on so many other things.

Space: 1999 was produced as two seasons of 24 episodes each by British studio ITV. It stars the then-married couple of Martin Landau (as Commander John Koenig, and who later went on to win an Oscar as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood) and Barbara Bain (Dr. Helena Russell), who both previously appeared in Mission: Impossible. But the two seasons are part of a schismatic production. I’ll discuss the changes a bit later.
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Long odds for Torchwood renewal?

by on Jul.29, 2011, under Television

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht, before appearing before reporters at a TV critics tour, told Entertainment Weekly that “Torchwood is not one of the show we went into thinking about a yearly return.” Does that mean they aren’t happy with it? That’s not clear…and he appears to put it squarely on producer/creator Russell T. Davies shoulders. ““It’s about Russell T Davies … he has a lot of things on his plate. If Torchwood is at the top of his list, that will effect [sic] the future of Torchwood.”

But keep in mind – this is a British show that now has an American studio behind it. The BBC is still involved, and British TV productions don’t follow as rigid a production cycle. Starz could easily keep that concept, and produce Torchwood when desired.

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Why the Doctor won’t appear on Torchwood

by on Jul.29, 2011, under Television

TVLine has an interesting interview with Steven Moffat, producer/writer/showrunner for Doctor Who, about the Doctor and it’s sibling series, Torchwood. It seems Captain Jack doesn’t really swing both ways – show audience wise at least.

John Barrowman’s Captain Jack character is welcome back on Doctor Who – if they story is right. “When we’ve got a good story, we’ll do it,” Moffat says. “You can’t just bring somebody back and say, ‘That’s a story.’ That’s just somebody walking through a door…. I won’t be thinking, ‘How do you bring Captain Jack back?’ I’ll be thinking, ‘You know what this needs? We need to bring Jack back for it.’”

Jack would have been back for the episode “A Good Man Goes To War”, which he certainly seemed appropriate for, but he was tied up on Torchwood: Miracle Day.

But why won’t the Doctor return the favor and appear on Torchwood? Quite simply the audience for Torchwood is different. “The Doctor could never go to Torchwood,” Moffat attests. “[Torchwood EP] Russell [Davies] and I both agree on that. Doctor Who has a tremendous relationship with children in Britain. They’d want to watch Torchwood then, and it’s not really a children’s show.”

I can certainly agree with that…

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The Guild is back for Season 5!

by on Jul.28, 2011, under Online Video

I haven’t covered The Guild before – mainly because it’s not really science fiction. But it does relate to similar genres like fantasy role playing – and of course it features Felicia Day (always a good thing), who also the creator and writer. I also only began watching it recently myself, but I’m hooked. And it’s laugh-out-loud funny! It’s a good thing I’m often alone on my side of the office building on Fridays…

It revolves around Cyb Sherman (Day), who plays as the priestess Codex in the guild. In real life she’s pretty shy, and is trying to cut down on her game time. Also in the guild is Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh), who has an obsession for Codex; Vork (Jeff Lewis), who attempts to live a lifestyle that involves spending absolutely as little as possible, including stealing his neighbor’s wifi to play, and has a very Spock-like quality; Bladezz (Vincent Caso), a rude teenager who basically plays whenever he’s not it school; Clara (Robin Thorsen), a stay-at-home mother who’d would rather play online or party than be with her family; and Tinkerballa (Amy Okuda), a pre-med student with a gaming addiction who tries to hide her real life from the guild.

The first episode of Season 5 went online on Xbox Live and Zune Tuesday, and is now available on MSN starting today – so if you’ve been watching, it’s time to start watching again! And if you are new, it’s time to get caught up!!!

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How we almost got another Babylon 5

by on Jul.28, 2011, under Television

Found this buried in a discussion on Facebook from JMS himself:

Re: B5…the studio offered a full season of a new and rebooted B5 as part of a new distribution venue they were creating (us and several other shows from the same studio were part of the same deal). We’d have a full season, a big budget, and total creative control. The negotiations (not between us but between the participants of the venue) dragged on for over a year, we were told repeatedly this is going to happen, but finally, the participants couldn’t make the math work. So we and the other three shows that they were hoping to put out there got set aside.

At this point, I’ve told the studio that if this isn’t going to move ahead, there’s something else they need to consider and there’s a very informal negotiation going on now in that regard. We’ll see where it goes from there.

But again, B5 was never created to be a Deep Space Franchise, we wanted to do our 5 years and get out clean. That was my intent going into this, and if that’s where this ends up, I’m happy to stick with that. There are other film and TV projects I’m doing, including a deal we just concluded to write a pilot for Will Smith’s company on a show that’s been pretty much pre-sold for a full season overseas (two bidders want it badly for Europe, and now they’re just looking for a US partner).

So it sounds like we were VERY close to a “new and rebooted B5” (not sure what that meant exactly) via a new distribution venue (also not sure…web-based? iTunes?), but it isn’t happening – but something else could still happen.

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More Syfy Comic-Con sizzle reels: Alphas, Being Human and Sanctuary

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Television

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Warehouse 13 preview: “Queen for a Day”; Jeri Ryan guest stars

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Television

Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Body of Proof) will guest star as a would-be bride on Syfy’s hit series Warehouse 13 Monday, August 1, at 9PM (ET/PT).

In Monday’s episode “Queen for a Day,” Ryan portrays Amanda, whose planned fairy tale wedding is derailed when exposure to an artifact threatens her life and the lives of everyone around her.

And according to a tweet from star Eddie McClintock, “If any of U watched the preview 4 next weeks #WAREHOUSE13, U now know Pete was married 2 @JeriLRyan! #STUDCREDTHROUGHTHEROOF” So apparently Amanda is Pete’s ex-wife!

The preview below is for the other story in the episode: New agent Steve Jinks and Claudia are caught in a civil war as Claudia comes to his rescue with a mini-tesla. Jinks thinks the quick move to save him reminds him of his big sister growing up. Claudia wants details to his past but finds out his sister is actually dead.
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Eureka Comic-Con sizzle reel

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Television

Here is that Eureka Comic-Con sizzle reel I had meant to post previously…see an extended preview for the current season, including MORE Felicia “I can manage 8 inches no problem…” Day (watch the video) and Wil Wheaton, plus Dave Foley and the great Stan Lee!
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Darabont out as Walking Dead showrunner; Mazzara takes over

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Television

Frank Darabont’s time in charge of Walking Dead is over – he’s stepping down as showrunner at least, and #2 Glen Mazzara is taking over the day-to-day tasks as showrunner. It’s very strange to see this, as he had just appeared this past weekend at the show’s Comic-Con panel and everything appeared normal. The reasons for his departure are still unclear, as is what if any relationship he will still have with the show.

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Final nail in the helmet? UK Supreme Court rules against Lucasfilm for Stormtroopers

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Television

It’s been going on for five years and two continents, and we last reported on it two years ago, but the long-running legal battle between Lucasfilm and prop designer Andrew Ainsworth appears to have reached an end. The U.K. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Ainsworth, saying that the Stormtrooper design was not protected as art and therefore the rights on it expired.

Ainsworth began selling replicas after he sold a helmet and other pieces he still had at auction for £60,000 in 2002. In 2004, Lucasfilm sued him for $20 million – and won in the U.S., but couldn’t collect since Ainsworth was in the U.K., so the lawsuit began over there. Although there was no formal contract signed between Lucasfilm and Ainsworth, it was ruled that there was an implied contract – but the court had to decide if the design was a “work of art” or simply industrial props – with the judgement being the latter.

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