Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for September, 2016

Rhode Island Comic Con strikes hard with Gal Gadot, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Kate Beckinsale

by on Sep.30, 2016, under Conventions

We will be attending Rhode Island Comic Con this November for the third year in a row (the kids are already working on their costumes), and we always look forward to it. Sometimes I get to see friends and people I’ve met before, like Eddie McClintock and Saul Rubinek from Warehouse 13 or the various people from Ghost Hunters, and sometimes its meeting idols from my childhood, like last year meeting Henry Winkler and Kent McCord, or just generally cool people like Alex Kingston and Karen Gillan, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew and Colin Baker.

This year, we were already excited that Stan Lee – yes, STAN FREAKIN’ LEE – is making his last appearance in New England there. And since we already had a picture with ER‘s Dr. Corday (Kingston) we couldn’t wait to get a picture with Dr. Carter, Noah Wyle, this year. And the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion of Alfonso Ribiero, Tatyana Ali and Karyn Parsons. Plus newcomers Billie Piper and Anthony Mackie, and far far more…I mean, as a wrestling fan, who doesn’t want to see Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat side by side?!?

But recently the stakes were raised as RICC scored some really hot people at the moment (not that STAN FREAKIN’ LEE isn’t still tops on my list), but when you add the new Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, the mysterious yet mean bat-wielding Negan from The Walking Dead Jeffrey Dean Morgan, or queen of the Underworld Kate Beckinsale, you are really raising the bar – and draining my wallet!

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and model who won the title of Miss Israel in 2004. She made her film debut in the fourth film of the Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast & Furious as Gisele. Her role was expanded in the sequels Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 in which she performed her own stunts. Most recently, Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film is part of the DC Extended Universe in which Gal will also play the role in the solo film Wonder Woman and the ensemble film Justice League, both due out in 2017.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, also known for his role as Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy, John Winchester on Supernatural, and the Comedian in the 1990 film Watchmen, is the newest antagonist on AMC’s The Walking Dead. As he starts the new season as Negan, he will be appearing at the fifth annual Rhode Island Comic Con. Joining Morgan from The Walking Dead are Alexandra Breckenridge, Michael Cudlitz, Jeremy Palko, Josh McDermitt, and Christian Serratos.

Known for her leading role as Selene in the Underworld franchise, Beckinsale has also appeared in Van Helsing, Total Recall, Click, Pearl Harbor, and the voice of Queen Ayrenn in the game Elder Scrolls. Joining Beckinsale from the Underworld movie franchise is Kevin Grevioux, who is known for his role as the Lycan Raze.

Come join me at Rhode Island Comic Con on Veterans Day Weekend at the Providence Civic Center/Dunkin’ Donuts Center and say hi!

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Tidbits: Lost In Space finds Molly Parker; Channel Zero tunes in Jeff Ward; The Tick lives but Timeless gets sued

by on Sep.28, 2016, under Television

Just a few TV tidbits to mention today…first a couple casting items…

We have a Maureen Robinson! The Netflix remake of Lost In Space has cast Molly Parker, who played Abby McDeere in House of Cards and will be in the upcoming David E. Kelley Amazon series Goliath, as the mother and scientist who joins her husband John (Toby Stephens) in taking their family into space to colonize another planet. Also cast at this point are Taylor Russell (Judy Robinson) and Max Jenkins (Will Robinson).

Syfy’s second installment of Channel Zero, called The No-End House, has Jeff Ward (Manson’s Lost Girls, Holly’s Holiday) taking on the male lead opposite previously announced Amy Forsyth, on the creepypasta story-based anthology. Channel Zero: The No-End House will air in 2017 and the first installment, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, starts on October 11th.

Another Netflix pilot, a reboot of The Tick, has been picked up for series to release in 2017. Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy) will play the title character, his sidekick Arthur will be played by Griffin Newman (Vinyl), while Valorie Curry (The Following) will play his sister, Dot.

Lastly, NBCUniversal, Sony and the creators of NBC’s Timeless, which kicks off next Monday, have been hit with a lawsuit claiming that the show was stolen from the Spanish language series El Ministerio del Tiempo (“The Department of Time”) from Onza Entertainment. Follow the link for more details over the claims.

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Supergirl Season 2 premiere sneak peek

by on Sep.26, 2016, under Television

Supergirl gets a little helping hand from her more-famous cousin (played by Tyler Hoechlin) in the Season 2 premiere of Supergirl, now on the CW…the premiere airs October 10th.

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Toby Stephens, Max Jenkins join Netflix Lost In Space

by on Sep.20, 2016, under Television

The Lost In Space remake at Netflix has its father/son combo…Toby Stephens, who plays pirate captain Flint in Starz’ Black Sails which will be concluding with its upcoming fourth season, will play astrophysicist and commander John Robinson, the role famously played by Guy Williams.

Max Jenkins, who played the young Will on Sense8, will take on the role of Professor Robinson’s youngest child Will, originally played by Bill Mumy. They both join previously announced Taylor Russell (Falling Skies) who will play oldest child Judy.

No word yet on the details of the characters and how closely they will follow the originals.

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HotShot Trailer: Passengers

by on Sep.20, 2016, under Movies

Somehow I’ve missed that this finally went into production – Passengers has been around a while with various studios and actors tied to it – but now it’s got Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, and it’s coming out on December 21st!

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Syfy orders up three pilots: The Machine, The Haunted, and Happy!

by on Sep.18, 2016, under Television

Syfy, still in a pilot-ordering mood after a string of straight-to-series orders, has ordered up three new pilots.

The Machine, based on the 2013 UK cult film, explores humanity through artificial intelligence when a sentient AI is created, but the military wants to use it for war. Caradog James, who directed the film, is an executive producer with Red & Black Films and John Giwa-Amu, the film’s producer.

The Haunted is a horror/drama written and co-executive produced by Noga Landau (The Magicians) and executive produced by James Frey and Todd Cohen of Full Fathom Five, who produced American Gothic. The show follows four siblings who must face the “ghosts” of their past when they reunite after the death of their parents.

Happy! is based on the graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. From Wikipedia: The story centered around a beat down New York Detective turned hitman, Nick Sax, who awakes from a heart attack to a conversation with a perpetually upbeat “Unipixisus”, who calls himself “Happy The Horse” and takes the shape of a little blue flying donkey with a Unicorn horn. The creature is a little girl’s imaginary friend and she is in danger. Only Nick Sax can save her as only Nick can see or hear Happy. Morrison and Brian Taylor will write and executive produce, with Taylor directing the pilot. Neal Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Toby Jaffe will also executive produce.

These three join previous pilot orders Prototype, which is not moving forward at Syfy, and Krypton, which is currently casting.

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Star Trek: Discovery pushed back to May 2017

by on Sep.14, 2016, under Television

The nostalgia isn’t even cold on all the Star Trek 50th Anniversary celebrations, but CBS chilled things a bit, announcing today that the upcoming new series Star Trek: Discovery would not debut until May, 2017, pushed back from the original January target.

There is no indication that there are any issues with the production, but it rather came from a request by the creative team to allow more time for the pre-production, filming, and post-production phases of each episode because “Star Trek deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of,” according to a release from producers Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman.

It seems more like they just realized they needed more time given the scope and needs of the show.

The plan is still for the debut episode to appear on the CBS broadcast network, with the rest of the series available on the CBS All Access subscription streaming service.

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What 50 years of Star Trek has meant to me

by on Sep.08, 2016, under Television

You always remember your first.

I’m not talking your first kiss, or first ice cream sundae, or your first rock concert. In this case, I’m talking about your first science fiction show.

I’m not yet 50 years old, but getting close to it. So I don’t remember when Star Trek first aired. But back in those days where we had just a few channels to choose from and not a lot of competition for your eyes, shows had a second chance at life during the daytime and weekends in syndication. Star Trek was one of those shows that found a second life there, and that’s where Star Trek found me.

I got my love of science fiction from my dad. I’m not sure what it was about the shows, but if Star Trek was on he found it and we’d watch it together. Other shows as well – I still remember watching a mostly forgotten show called The Starlost on a little black-and-white TV in the kitchen with him. I also got my love from old school Disney programs as well from watching Mickey Mouse Club reruns. We watched Lost In Space, Space: 1999 and Battlestar Galactica together. But Star Trek was the first.

Star Trek influenced me in so many ways. Before I was even in school, I could tell you the entire plot of any episode from the opening act. I recorded episodes on audio tape using an old Radio Shack cassette recorder on Memorex tapes. (The episode “Wolf In The Fold” gets really creepy with just the audio.) I even acted out my own episode recorded on audio tape – it was very short and very lame, and fortunately lost to the annals of time…but it did involve a third adventure into the Great Barrier…I’m afraid my skills as a science fiction writer haven’t really progressed much either.

There were two things that always drew me to science fiction – space and technology. Space, because it brought all sorts of cool spaceships but also a vast universe of settings and stories, and the “advanced” technology that was shown. Sure, I know know they were just plastic buttons with lights on a black backing, but they looked cool and I wanted to know what each of those buttons did! The communicators that became our cell phones, the computer tapes that were later mimicked by floppy discs, and now we’re even getting to tricorder technology. Although in many ways our technology has advanced further than what was shown back then, it was what they showed that inspired people to develop that which we have today. Star Trek likely accelerated our own technology from the dreams of the past.

I was convinced I would be an astronaut when I was eight just so I could be in a spaceship like the Enterprise. That didn’t happen, although my interest in the space program didn’t wane. I still have science and space program books from then, showing actual current theorized future space travel systems. My technology interests translated into other areas of science, ultimately into computers, where I eventually got two degrees in Computer Science. But I always kept one eye on the stars.

For a long while though, what was on TV remained on TV and didn’t really cross into real life. Conventions were a bit difficult for me to attend early on, but by the time I got to high school I was able to attend my first real convention in Boston. It only had a couple guests and was a fairly formal affair (it was a commercial convention and not of the much better fan-run variety), but it is where I met the late Jimmy Doohan in person, and not by spending hours in line for an expensive signature or photo op – by him coming down before the convention actually opened and shaking hands with everyone in line! Forever a fan of his with that. He was so gracious and friendly. He was the first TV celebrity I ever remember meeting.

While in college, Star Trek returned to TV in the form of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was living with a friends family, where he and I convinced the family to get cable TV wired to our room just so we could watch it. Star Trek influenced computer programmers a lot. There were always references to it somewhere. The granddaddy of internet forums, UseNet, had several discussion groups dedicated to Star Trek. Early computer games either paid homage or overtly referenced it (such as the famous “trek” game where you explored sectors and fought Klingons.) When the Internet started to grow in the early to mid-90s (yet before AOL was truly online), an early multi-player graphical game called Netrek ate up bandwidth at many universities. I was working at a university at a time running the computer systems and network, and hosted a pretty popular netrek server and was even involved in the International Netrek League for several years.

All through these years, the love of science fiction that started with Star Trek has never wavered. Now I’ve been doing science fiction news, mainly on the TV and movie side of things, for 16 years next month. I’ve made friends in the industry that work both in front of and behind the camera. Now I have two daughters who are eager to see the new movies as soon as they come out, sharing the same love of SF that I did then, watched “The Cage” with me tonight, and I have high hopes that they will continue to do love science fiction as I have done.

I may not have reached the actual stars myself yet, but I still do keep an eye on them.

For the 50 years you’ve been around and the nearly 50 that you’ve influenced my life, a most heartfelt thank you to all of the casts, crews, and fans that helped created and keep going this long trek to the stars.

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Syfy kicks off Star Trek‘s 50th with a bit of whale fun

by on Sep.07, 2016, under Television

Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary is officially tomorrow, having debuted on September 8th, 1966. And Syfy will be in on the fun with a movie marathon starting in the morning…but to get you warmed up, here are a couple humorous videos from the whales in Star Trek: The Voyage Home

Tomorrow, fans and viewers can send photos into the Twitter handle @Syfy with their best Vulcan Salute – Live Long and Prosper. Using the hashtag #SyfyLLAP , they have a chance for their photo and user generated content to be featured on-air during the marathon. Additionally, all day Thursday fans can interact and guess answers to on-air Star Trek trivia by using the hashtag #StarTrekTrivia

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