We are very saddened to learn of the passing of actor W. Morgan Sheppard, father of fellow actor Mark Sheppard, yesterday per an instagram post by his son.
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We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.
Sheppard appeared in many genre shows…I first saw him that I recall in Shogun, but what I most remembered him from originally was in the role of Blank Reg, the mohawked pirate radio operator in Max Headroom. He also played the memorable and eponymous “Soul Hunter” on Babylon 5, and even played the older version of his son’s character of Cantor Everett Delaware III in the Doctor Who episode “The Impossible Astronaut”. More recently he appeared in an episode of The Librarians. His jovial face and white beard also earned him the the title role in Farewell Mr. Kringle, and he voiced “The Big Guy” in the Prep & Landing specials.
Color me unsurprised, but The CW has ordered up a pilot for a Batwoman series starring Ruby Rose (Orange Is the New Black) after the character appeared in the most recent Arrowverse crossover event. David Nutter, who directed the pilot episode of sibling show The Flash, will direct with a script from Caroline Dries (Smallville, The Vampire Diaries).
This would make the first openly gay lead series character in a live-action superhero series. Batwoman/Kate Kane (Rose) appeared in the three part “Elseworlds” crossover event spread across Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, helping Gotham as a highly-trained street fighter but must face her own demons before she’s willing to take on the mantle of hero.
Dries, Nutter, Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and former DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns will executive produce.
New releases in Blu-ray/DVD for the new year: Killjoys, Doctor Who, some of our favorite things this year
Happy Holidays everyone! I planned an article about “our favorite things” this year, but by the time I got to it it was too late to buy anything for the holidays 🙁 But in case you are looking for some belated gifts, here are some of our favorites, and also a few that will be out in the New Year!
[Disclaimer: we are an Amazon Associate site – it’s one of the few income sources we have to keep this site going…so if you could be so kind to follow some of these links and make purchases – ANY purchases, that would help TREMENDOUSLY…hosting costs, etc. have gone up while revenues are, well, nearly non-existent these days…]
First up is the upcoming release for Killjoys season 3 on January 22nd – one of our favorite shows of the recent crop on Syfy (along with The Magicians and The Expanse , both of which had their 3rd seasons released this past summer)!
And for both old and young Doctor Who fans, there are both classic and new releases! For 5th Doctor fans like me, Peter Davison’s first series was released on Blu-ray this month, and will be followed by Tom Baker’s final season on March 29th – say goodbye to Romana and K9, while companions Adric, Nyssa and Tegan join for the regeneration and lead in to an all new set of adventures…confession…while Jon Pertwee was the first Doctor I saw, and Tom Baker was the one I saw the most, watching the show was sporadic for me because of random scheduling and it wasn’t until the regeneration to Davison that I was able to watch regularly and was forever hooked – so Davison became MY Doctor…
As for some of our favorite things this year, if you are still looking for ideas for that SF fan, gamer, etc…
On the video game front, especially for Marvel fans, the Playstation 4 Spider-Man game is currently our favorite in-house – we love the open-world games like Skyrim and the Fallout series, and this gives us a new world to explore with great graphics and gameplay. And if you like the game check out the Art of the Game book!
Speaking of Fallout, Fallout 76 is out for PS4, XBox One and PC, and finally adds a multi-player element to the game. We’re still evaluating this one, as we really loved the single-player experience in the previous installments without the necessity of coordinating a play night or playing with random people…
Another game we’re liking is Detroit: Become Human, which is sort of a choose-your-own adventure with spectacular visuals – see the world – and humans – through and android’s eyes as you play through three different characters seeing the world change around them. Unfortunately, like Spider-Man it is a Sony exclusive.
Do you have a young Marvel Cinematic Universe fan looking forward to Captain Marvel and the many other female superheroes finally getting their due? Check out the book Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save the World co-authored by our friend Sam Maggs!
Lastly, if you are a electronics tinkerer and know about Raspberry Pis, stay tuned as I’ll be putting something together about a little project I’ve been working on…a touchscreen weather station…
Executive Producer David Michael Latt, co-founder of The Asylum, took to Twitter to announce the bad news – Z Nation was not renewed for another season by Syfy and thus would be ending.
In the video, Latt thanks the fans and everyone involved in the show. Plus there was a new announcement – Black Summer would premiere next year as an origin story of sorts, and would appear exclusively on Netflix.
Let us say thank YOU to the cast and crew of Z Nation for five great seasons! It’s been a wonderfully enjoyable ride…mercy.
The upcoming sequel series to Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy epic The Dark Crystal is looking great and keeping to the style of the original…but have you seen the list of everyone who will be voicing the characters? Check this out:
Taron Egerton (the Kingsman movies, Eddie The Eagle), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) will voice the three lead characters of Rian, Deet and Brea, three Gelflings who uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, when an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit and an epic battle for the planet begins.
Also voicing Gelflings:
Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)
Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech)
Harris Dickinson (forthcoming Maleficent 2)
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones)
Eddie Izzard (Ocean’s Thirteen)
Theo James (The Divergent Series)
Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Cloverfield Paradox)
Mark Strong (Kingsman)
Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider)
The Skeksis & Mystics are voiced by:
Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song)
Mark Hamill (Knightfall, Star Wars)
Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones)
Jason Isaacs (The OA)
Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele)
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (True Detective)
Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
Aughra will be voiced by Donna Kimball (The Happytime Murders)
I can’t wait…
Lucasfilm announced today that Pedro Pascal (Narcos, Game Of Thrones, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) will join an all star cast and crew and take the title role of The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series set to debut on the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. The show will follow a lone Mandalorian (Pascal) gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
Pascal joins a cast that includes Gina Carano (Deadpool), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Emily Swallow (Supernatural), Carl Weathers (Predator), Omid Abtahi (American Gods), Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), and Nick Nolte (Affliction).
Dave Filoni (Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels) will direct the first episode. Other directors to follow include Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).
The teaser trailer for the upcoming Netflix series The Umbrella Academy…based on the comic series from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, it follows a dysfunctional family of superheroes comes together to solve the mystery of their father’s death, the threat of the apocalypse and more. The series will be released February 15th.
Everyone can put down their sonics…despite rumors that 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker might take a quick exit ala Christopher Eccleston after only one series as the Time Lord, she put those rumors to rest in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“I really can’t wait to step back in and get to work again,” Whittaker told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s such an incredible role. It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and I’m not quite ready to hand it over yet.”
So now we can all continue enjoying this fresh take, and don’t forget – she’ll be returning on New Years Day!
The 2019 Golden Globe Award nominations are out, and so it’s time to round up all the genre nominations…
On the movie side of the house, Black Panther scored a Best
Motion Picture – Drama nom, along with a Best Original Score for Ludwig
Goransson and Best Original Song for “All the Stars”. Mary Poppins Returns scored in
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, along with Best Actress for Emily Blunt, Best Actor for Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Best Original Score for Marc Shaiman.
The animated features Incredibles 2, Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks The Internet, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse all received Best Motion Picture – Animated noms.
On the TV end, The Good Place was nominated for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy along with Kristen Bell for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy, while Elisabeth Moss got one for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale and Thandie Newton scored a nom for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Westworld.
Syfy is getting into late-night original animation programming with Alien News Desk, a series that will cover up-to-the-minute news and commentary about the universe’s most baffling species – the inscrutable Humans of Planet Earth.
The 12-episode series will feature the voices of Will Forte and Saturday Night Live‘s Heidi Gardner, and is executive produced by the Saturday Night Live team of Lorne Michaels, Erik Kenward and Dennis McNicholas, Joel Kuwahara and Scott Greenberg from Bento Box Entertainment, and Andrew Singer from Broadway Video. Scott Gairdner (Moonbeam City) and Broadway Video’s Katy Jenson will co-executive produce. McNicholas will act as showrunner.
“The expansion into original animation and late night marks the next step in the evolution of SYFY, and builds on the successes we’ve had bringing new, younger viewers to the network,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Tackling news, politics and entertainment from the perspective of alien newscasters completely puzzled by our human ways, Alien News Desk is a fun, irreverent way to put a uniquely ‘SYFY’ spin on the late night current affairs genre.”
This reminds me of then-Sci-Fi Channel’s first ever original scripted program, FTL Newsfeed, a 30-60 second “micro short” series of news segments broadcast from 150 years in the future, and ran for four years and over a thousand episodes from 1992-1996, with the launch of the channel. To my knowledge, however, it has never been rebroadcast or released in any medium since then.