Sci-Fi Storm

Television

Notes and News Roundup: Doctor Who; James Gunn and Suicide Squad 2

by on Oct.10, 2018, under Movies, Television

Just wanted to give a bit of an update…I know there hasn’t been a lot of news from me lately, and I apologize. Life has been extremely busy, and as part of that I’ve started a new project – not really related to anything here, it’s actually a technical project involving turning a Raspberry Pi computer into a weather information system and hopefully a home “integration” system. I haven’t even posted anything about that yet because I’ve been too busy…but it has lights, a touch screen, and it even talks.

In the meantime Sci-Fi Storm turned 18 years old, and I’m at least hoping to make it old enough to drink 🙂

I do have an interview coming I did with an old friend, which I hope to have out this weekend – but transcribing is a slow process for me, and that whole busy thing…and I’ll be heading to Super Megafest in Framingham, MA Sunday to meet up with my childhood, personified by Lost In Space stars Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright and Bill Mumy…I’ve met the former two before, but this will be the first time I’ve met the latter two.

In the meantime – hey, look, it’s the news!

Jodie Whittaker made her Doctor debut in Doctor Who on Sunday as did new showrunner Chris Chibnall, and by all measurements it was a rousing success. We found her portrayal wonderfully manic, and we accept her totally. I can see where her fast Yorkshire speech might be some trouble to understand for some viewers though. And we like the new ensemble of companions as well. Can’t wait to see where it goes…in the U.S., it scored 1.4 million viewers and a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo for BBC America, up 48% from the Series 12 premiere, Peter Capaldi’s last, 18 months previous. It also beats David Tennant’s and Matt Smith’s debuts.

And some interesting news – James Gunn, after being unceremoniously expelled from his Guardians of the Galaxy chair by Disney after revelations of some old controversial tweets, appears set to join the other comic universe – in this case the DC universe, and in particular write and perhaps direct Suicide Squad 2. Gavin O’Connor was set to direct but is now working with Ben Affleck on a non-DC film at Warner Bros. This would seem to mean any possible reconciliation between Gunn and Disnwy is over, although who will take over for Guardians is still up in the air.


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Details of live-action Star Wars series from Jon Favreau – The Mandalorian

by on Oct.03, 2018, under Television

We finally have some details – and a title – on the upcoming Star Wars live-action series from Jon Favreau, thanks to the director himself.

The Mandalorian will be the title, and as you might guess it follows a Mandalorian – but not one of the few we’ve met so far. “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic,” according to Favreau’s Instagram post.

Still no idea when the series may premiere, but it will be on Disney’s new streaming service, which won’t kick off for about another year.


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Netflix to revive The Chronicles of Narnia

by on Oct.03, 2018, under Movies, Television

In a surprise announcement today, Netflix will produce a new films and series based on The Chronicles of Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis, with Mark Gordon of Entertainment One (eOne), Douglas Gresham (Lewis’ stepson) and Vincent Sieber representing the C.S. Lewis Company as executive producers for series and producers for films.

“C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”

“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis. “Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”

“Narnia is one of those rare properties that spans multiple generations and geographies,” said Mark Gordon, eOne’s President and Chief Content Officer, Film & Television. “eOne and I are excited to be collaborating with The C.S. Lewis Company and Netflix who have the capacity to translate the Narnia universe into both stellar feature-length and episodic programming. We cannot wait to get started on the multiple productions we hope to undertake.”

Exactly how things will break down between series and films is not immediately known. How this affects the planned Silver Chair adaptation, which had Mark Gordon attached via his Mark Gordon Company and set up at Sony, is also unknown, but it would appear that any continuation from the previous films as produced by Walden Media is dead, and this would more than likely be a true reboot and logically restart with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.


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Babylon 5 returns to broadcast TV on Comet TV tonight!

by on Oct.01, 2018, under Television

Babylon 5 appears to be making a resurgence through available means lately, having appeared on Amazon Prime this past Spring, and now it returns to the airwaves tonight on Comet TV.

Comet TV can be often be found on a subchannel of one of your local broadcast stations. Check their website to see where it might be in your area. Don’t have a broadcaster or don’t have an antenna? You can still get Comet TV via Roku, Apple TV, YouTube TV or even streaming on the web site!

Alas, there still appears to be no movement within Warner Bros to do anything new with the show. But perhaps if it becomes popular via these various channels, they may see the light at the end of the jumpgate… <*>


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Star Trek: Short Treks “Runaway” trailer

by on Sep.27, 2018, under Television

Star Trek: Short Treks is a series of four stand-alone short episodes of Star Trek: Discovery that start next week on October 4th on CBS All Access as a lead-in to the return of the show early next year, and each will focus on a particular character. The first of these is “Runaway”, starring Mary Wiseman as Tilly.


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HotShot Trailer: Doctor Who Series 11 – Premieres October 7th

by on Sep.20, 2018, under Television

Hot off the presses! Premieres Sunday, October 7th…


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ABC gives big commitment to female superheroes show from Marvel and Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg

by on Sep.19, 2018, under Television

Despite Disney focusing a lot on its upcoming streaming service, they aren’t leaving their broadcast network out in the Marvel cold – Deadline reports ABC has given a production commitment for a series about female superheroes written by Allan Heinberg, the scribe behind Wonder Woman. No title or description has been given so far, but it is expected to focus on some lesser superheroes within the Marvel universe.

Heinberg has worked on various Shondaland series for ABC, starting with Grey’s Anatomy in 2006. And for Marvel Comics, he co-created and wrote Young Avengers and Avengers: The Children’s Crusade with co-creator/artist Jim Cheung. For DC Comics he re-launched Wonder Woman in 2006 and co-wrote JLA: Crisis Of Conscience.


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Disney and Marvel plan Avengers-centric limited series for streaming service

by on Sep.19, 2018, under Television

Variety is reporting that Disney may be stacking the deck for its upcoming streaming video service by starting early development on some limited series based around characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and Loki and the Scarlet Witch are likely the be first.

The plan is for a number of limited series – generally 6 to 8 episodes each, and are expected to feature the same actors as have appeared in the MCU as well. Marvel Studios will produce and MCU shepherd Kevin Feige is expected to be fully hands on for the development. This differs than the previous network and Netflix efforts, which have focused on other characters or secondary characters from the MCU.

They would join a Star Wars series from Jon Favreau and a High School Musical series, along with original movies and recent releases.


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Space: 1999 actress Zienia Merton, 1945-2018

by on Sep.14, 2018, under Obituaries, Television

We are sad to learn of the passing yesterday of actress Zienia Merton, most known for her role as Analyst Sandra Benes in Space: 1999, per her publicist and friend Barry Langford. Merton also appeared in an early episode of Doctor Who, “Marco Polo”, which is unfortunately one of the remaining “lost” episodes.

Anyone who follows me knows I was a big fan of Space: 1999, and there was something about Merton’s character that despite the relatively minor role was memorable, and was one of the few carried into the severely retooled second season of the show. And she even took part in the fan-produced “conclusion” of the series, “Message From Moonbase Alpha”, which featured her alone in a recorded message to Earth telling that the crew of Moonbase Alpha were finally forced to abandon the moonbase and make a new life on a planet.

And the irony of the date of Merton’s passing was not lost on me…September 13th, 2018 – 19 years after the moon was blasted out of orbit…


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His Dark Materials series gets double order from BBC; HBO boards

by on Sep.12, 2018, under Books, Television

The BBC has already given a second season order of 8 episodes for the big budget TV adaptation of His Dark Materials, based on the books by Philip Pullman, and which just started filming in Wales, according to Deadline. In addition, it was announced earlier today that HBO has join as co-producer and distributor.

The series follow the young orphan Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen, Logan), who exists in a parallel world to our own where each person’s inner self, called a daemon, has physical form outside their bodies in the form of a sentient animal. Their form can vary when the person is young but eventually take a single form as they grow older. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (who has not yet fixed form) discover Dust, a strange particle that was being researched by her uncle, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class), and may hold the key to travel around the multiverse. The series also stars Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

HBO acquired the worldwide rights to the series outside the United Kingdom.


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