Sci-Fi Storm

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What did the 33-star U.S. Flag in Ascension mean?

by on Sep.02, 2020, under Television

Hey all…still alive and kicking around here…obviously I haven’t posted anything in a while as many other things have taken on priority lately, but we are edging closer to our 20th anniversary! So I figured I post something original, about something I never clearly understood.

In the 2014 mini-series Ascension, originally on Syfy but now available on Peacock, we are introduced to the residents and crew of the multi-generational Orion-Class starship U.S.S. Ascension, halfway through a 100-year journey to colonize another planet.

In the show we are shown a U.S. flag, but it isn’t the normal flag. This one had the normal 13 red and white stripes, but in the blue field there were only 33 stars, arranged in a slightly odd way. They were mostly in the same pattern of rows (alternating 6 and 5 stars per row), but some stars were missing, but there was a slight irregularity in the positions of the stars as well. Here is a screen capture of the appearance of the flag in a black-and-white video shown on the ship – the extra dots in the field were from the starfield in the background of the shot:

Syfy Ascension Flag

What did it mean? The U.S.S. Ascension was launched in 1963, so there would have been 50 states at the time. Did some states secede? Fail? Merge? Destroyed in a war? And they updated the flag in transmissions to the ship? My usually expert Google-fu failed me in finding an answer with just some speculation on Reddit. But I wanted an answer, and I knew where to get it – from the source.

I tweeted the creators of the slow, Adrian Alex Cruz and Philip Levens, and got a reply from Cruz almost immediately. “The design is meant to embody both the star constellation that is their destination and the original 33 families selected for the journey. #stuffwenevergottoexplore…It’s a Colonial Flag, essentially.”

So there you have it…thanks to Adrian Alex Cruz for putting my mind at ease. Time to find a new mystery to solve…

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The Orville moves to Hulu for Season 3

by on Jul.20, 2019, under Television

The Orville star and creator Seth MacFarlane dropped a bomb at San Diego Comic Con – the show will move off of Fox onto the Hulu streaming network for season 3.

In a statement MacFarlane said, “The Orville has been a labor of love for me, and there are two companies which have supported that vision in a big way: 20th Century Fox Television, where I’ve had a deal since the start of my career, and Fox Broadcasting Company, now Fox Entertainment, which has been my broadcast home for over 20 years. My friends at the network understood what I was trying to do with this series, and they’ve done a spectacular job of marketing, launching and programming it for these past two seasons. But as the show has evolved and become more ambitious production-wise, I determined that I would not be able to deliver episodes until 2020, which would be challenging for the network. So we began to discuss how best to support the third season in a way that worked for the show. It’s exactly this kind of willingness to accommodate a show’s creative needs that’s made me want to stick around for so long. I am hugely indebted to Charlie Collier and Fox Entertainment for their generosity and look forward to developing future projects there. And to my new friends at Hulu, I look forward to our new partnership exploring the galaxy together.”

So it appears that was just a move due to the production schedule not fitting with a broadcast schedule well, so the streaming service became a better option.

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Wynonna Earp Season 4 finally gets green light

by on Jul.02, 2019, under Television

Yes, my dear Earpers…it’s finally happening! Season 4 has finally gotten the green light! The show was originally renewed by SYFY and Space for the US and Canada market, but production was delayed due to apparent financial issues at IDW Entertainment without an international distributor – but now they have one.

IDW Entertainment, SEVEN24 Films, Space and SYFY announced today that Wynonna Earp, the award-winning series based on the IDW comic created by Beau Smith, has been greenlit to start production for its fourth season. With production slated to begin later this year, Season 4 is expected to debut in Summer 2020 on SYFY in the US and Space in Canada. Additionally, IDW Entertainment announced that Cineflix Studios  has come aboard to co-produce with Cineflix Rights handling international sales for all four seasons of the series.

Winner of the 2018 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show, Wynonna Earp follows the life of the great, great granddaughter (Melanie Scrofano, Bad Blood) of famous lawman Wyatt Earp. The action-packed supernatural sci-fi series stars Scrofano, Tim Rozon (Schitt’s Creek), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Katherine Barrell (Working Moms). 

“We are absolutely thrilled that we get to make more Wynonna Earp, and are grateful to our networks and partners for working hard to ensure we can,” said Emily Andras, Showrunner and Executive Producer. “This is an enormous testament to our passionate and fierce fans, the Earpers, who remind us every day how to fight like hell for the things you love with wit, ferocity and kindness.”

Known for having one of the most active social media communities – from arranging fan conventions around the world to raising money for LGBTQ charities – Wynonna Earp has been praised for its “fierce and committed performances”*, and has received and been nominated for numerous awards including Canadian Screen Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, Directors Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Canada and Alberta Film & Television Awards.

SEVEN24’s Jordy Randall and Tom Cox, in addition to Cineflix’s Peter Emerson and Brett Burlock, serve as Executive Producers along with Todd Berger and Rick Jacobs.

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Actor Paul Darrow, Blake’s 7, 1941-2019

by on Jun.03, 2019, under Obituaries, Television

Just got work that actor Paul Darrow, best known for the role of Kerr Avon in BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7, passed away after a short illness.

The actor made many appearances on British TV over 5 decades, including most recently a recurring role on Law & Order: UK, as well as many stage appearances, but the role he is most associated with is the computer expert and thief who became the reluctant rebel in Roj Blake’s resistance against the oppressive Federation. He was always looking to score some quick money, but would always do the right thing in the end.

Darrow was always a big proponent of the show and worked hard to try and bring the show back, going as far as to purchasing the rights to the show back in 2003 from the estate of creator Terry Nation. While any sort of reboot remains in the depths of Development Hell, the loss of such a champion of the show is certainly a blow, but perhaps might finally provide the impetus to get a new version off the ground.

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Respect is Coming to Game of Thrones – from an unlikely red friend

by on Apr.18, 2019, under Fun Stuff, Television

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Supernatural to end after 15th season

by on Mar.24, 2019, under Television

The Earth just shifted slightly on its axis…the CW’s longest running series ever (it started before the WB and UPN merger), Supernatural, will end after the upcoming 15th and final season. Stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins announced the end on Instagram and Twitter:

The show is currently in the top 20 scripted primetime series on U.S. TV, and with its 15th season I believe will tie for 9th on the list, assuming Grey’s Anatomy gets renewed for a 16th season.

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Arrow gets shortened 8th and final season

by on Mar.06, 2019, under Television

One of the CW’s Arrowverse shows will come to an end…and it’s the first and flagship show, Arrow. The show will have an 8th and final season of 10 episodes. Star Stephen Amell broke the news today on Twitter

Arrow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Beth Schwartz released a joint statement: “This was a difficult decision to come to, but like every hard decision we’ve made for the past seven years, it was with the best interests of Arrow in mind. We’re heartened by the fact that Arrow has birthed an entire universe of shows that will continue on for many years to come. We’re excited about crafting a conclusion that honors the show, its characters and its legacy and are grateful to all the writers, producers, actors, and — more importantly — the incredible crew that has sustained us and the show for over seven years.”

Arrow spawned a franchise for DC Comics on the CW, with three more successful shows – The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, and a fifth series, Batwoman, is set to join next season.

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Star Trek: Discovery renewed for third season

by on Feb.27, 2019, under Television

The mission will continue for the CBS All Access flagship show as CBS has renewed Star Trek: Discovery for a third season. In addition, The Originals producer Michelle Paradise will join Alex Kurzman as co-showrunner after having joined the show as co-executive producer this season.

With Discovery and the upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series starring Patrick Stewart, CBS All Access appears all-in for Star Trek, so it will be interesting to see what they do next. It appears that they are poised to bring back Star Trek in multiple channels, much the way Disney has been working on Star Wars, with live action and animated shows all in development.

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WB and Syfy team up for horror revival of Banana Splits?!?

by on Feb.19, 2019, under Television

No, no, no. Just no. I feel like it’s April Fools Day, or my childhood is being punked. According to Deadline, Blue Ribbon Content (the digital studio of Warner Bros Television Group) is producing a “revival” movie of the late 60’s Sid and Marty Krofft/Hanna-Barbera live-action/animated kids variety show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, or at least more specifically focusing on the anthropomorphic animal hosts and musicians of the show, Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky, collectively known as “The Banana Splits”. The movie will get a direct-to-video release via Warner Bros Home Entertainment, followed by showings on Syfy.

But what disturbs me is that this isn’t a kids program – it’s a horror story.

Here is the synopsis: “In the upcoming horror thriller, a boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth, and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?”

I can’t understand why this would be called a revival. This isn’t a new series at all, but rather someone’s nightmare flashback turned into a script. Now as much of a fan I am of the old Krofft shows and would love to see them somehow represented again, I also admit I don’t think there is any way any of these shows would fly in today’s TV landscape. Translating these shows into other genres has been tried and failed miserably – remember Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost? But I absolutely CANNOT get on board with this. I can’t image the damage this will do to me. How can we stop it?

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