Sci-Fi Storm

Tag: syfy

Krypton takes us to the dark past of Superman’s world, literally

by on Mar.21, 2018, under Television

SYFY’s jump into the DC universe takes a jump back in time to explore not really the origin story of its most famous superhero, but of his ancestors instead. An ambitious move, to eschew the draw of having a well known character to revolve around, instead developing a backstory for the world he ultimately came from.

We know the planet Krypton explodes, and we know Jor-El sends his only son Kal-El to Earth just before that, where he grows up to become Superman. But this isn’t about that exactly – we’ve seen that in a few different versions of the Superman mythos.

Instead, we are set a couple generations before those events, focusing instead on Kal-El’s grandfather, Seg (Cameron Cuffe), in his younger days. Seg’s own grandfather, Val-El, is declared a heretic and banished to the Phantom Zone, leaving the House of El disgraced and nameless. Seg becomes one of the Rankless – the lowest class of Kryptonians. He gets the chance to rejoin the ranks, but learns about his grandfather and what may happen after an Earth man from the future named Adam Strange (another DC comics character, played by Shaun Sipos), warns that someone is coming to change the course of history to prevent Superman from being born.

The show is set in the domed city of Kandor, the capital city of Krypton and one of nine city-states that exist in the remaining inhabitable areas of the planet after a previous catastrophe. In recent years, the democratic government has been overthrown by a theocratic form that revolves around the worship of the sun god Rao, who is embodied by the Voice of Rao, a mysterious figure who wears a six-faced golden mask. All other religions have been banned. Several guilds exist to maintain the functioning government and the members live the “high life”, literally, while the Rankless occupy the streets.

I think the tensions and power struggles between these factions may provide the compelling story here, while the backdrop of the “Back to the Future”-eqsue (come on, he brings Superman’s cape to Seg, which is slowly dissolving due to the potential changes in the timeline!) time travel story is a bit secondary.

Although I saw some elements which had not yet had completed VFX so it may change for broadcast, I found the apparent practical set design to be dark and in some cases cramped. The darkness is something I find in common with a number of SYFY shows – I don’t know if it is a cost-savings thing or what is going on – in establishing VFX shots Krypton appears to be sunny at times, but rarely does this appear on screen with the characters. For the “cramped” feel, I can best point to scenes in which a major religious event appears to be taking place, but it’s in a small cavern area with 20-30 people present.

One other aspect that I noted a bit was language. The show is filmed in Ireland, and the cast is primarily British – in fact, I couldn’t pick out an accent that wasn’t British or Irish except for Adam Strange, as Sipos is Canadian. This doesn’t normally raise any flags for me – I watch a lot of British TV – but in most cases the accents are very neutral to be consistently understandable to an international audience. The difference here is I’m picking up on regional variances a lot – I picked out the Northern Irish tones of Seg’s mother instantly, for instance. This actually might be an improvement – it shows some variation the culture perhaps.

Now aliens speaking English is not unusual in science fiction – it’s a huge convenience both for the production and the audience. The Kryptonians speak in modern English, including the current trend on cable television towards swearing. The only reason I mention this is that despite the language, they have troubles understanding a colloquial phrase by Strange, which smacked me with “We speak the same, but different” stick…

But anyways, overall I think there is a storyline I’m going to enjoy following, with well-done acting all around. I wish there was a higher budget that could show through in the sets especially. I have high hopes for the show regardless, and hope that it avoids the pitfall of beelining to the “obvious” storyline of saving Superman and concentrates on the “A” story of the politics and intrigue of a planet we are given the opportunity to learn much more about.

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The magic is coming back…SYFY renews The Magicians for fourth season

by on Feb.28, 2018, under Television

Brakebills students rejoice! SYFY has renewed The Magicians, currently in its third season, for a fourth season of 13 episodes! The series is one of the network’s top shows over the past several seasons.

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Syfy renews Happy!

by on Jan.29, 2018, under Television

SYFY announced today a second season pickup of the network’s original series Happy!, starring Christopher Meloni and featuring the voice of Patton Oswalt. From Universal Cable Productions, this twisted graphic novel adaptation has been hailed as “one of the craziest, most utterly off-the-wall TV series ever produced” by The New York Times Syndicate and launched as the network’s best series premiere since January 2016 across all key demos. The shocking Season 1 finale is set to air this Wednesday, January 31 at 10/9c on SYFY.

Happy! struck a chord with our SYFY audience and disrupted the TV landscape with its unique storytelling and outrageous performances led by Christopher Meloni,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “If people thought this season was crazy – I can’t wait for fans to see what Grant Morrison, Brian Taylor and the entire cast and crew have in store for Sax and Happy!”

Based on the New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name, Happy! follows Nick Sax (Meloni) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named Happy (Oswalt). In the must-see finale, Sax and Happy are locked in a climatic confrontation to rescue Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo) from Very Bad Santa’s (Joseph Reitman) lair, as Merry (Lili Mirojnick) sets out to save Amanda (Medina Senghore) from a far more powerful foe. The series also stars Ritchie Coster (Blue) and Patrick Fischler (Smoothie).

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Tidbits: Daredevil and Krypton cast; Ready Player One date; The Greatest American Hero pilot; Nightflyers boost

by on Jan.26, 2018, under Movies, Television

I am once again trying to play catch up, so here is a rundown of the last several days worth of news…

On the casting side, Syfy’s Superman prequel Krypton has signed Hannah Waddingham (How to Lose Friends & Alienate People) as Jax-Ur, once one of Kypton’s eminent scientists turned leader of the terrorist group Black Zero. An interesting choice, as the character has traditionally been portrayed as a male.

On the opposite side of the comic world, Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil added Joanne Whalley (Willow), in an unspecified role. However, the finale of The Defenders made mention of a “Maggie” who is believed to be Sister Maggie, a character in the comic series who is in fact Matt Murdock’s mother who left her family to become a nun, and return to nurse her son back to health.

The much anticipated Ready Player One will open a day earlier than originally scheduled. Instead of opening on Good Friday, March 30th, of the Easter weekend it will now open on the Thursday, March 29th. Thursday openings for big movies is becoming more common…based on the 2011 SF novel, the story is set in a near-future dystopian society, in which teenager Wade Watts enters a virtual reality game to look for the game’s “easter egg” which could net him wealth – but there are those willing to kill to stop him.

ABC has ordered a pilot for the remake of The Greatest American Hero with a put commitment (ABC will at a minimum air the pilot as a special/TV movie, or pay a penalty). This version centers around a tequila and karaoke-loving 30-year-old Indian-American woman who becomes entrusted with a suit that gives her the power to protect the planet – but it doesn’t work out so well. Cast has yet to be named. This is the first collaboration between 20th Century Fox Studios and ABC, who are set to become siblings. Fox and ABC studios are co-producing with Fresh Off the Boat‘s Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan’s Fierce Baby.

Lastly, the Irish Film Board just gave a huge boost to the production of George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers, which will be filming at Troy Studios in Limerick, Ireland. The board granted €850,000 (about $1.1 million) to the production, which is the largest such award in the current funding cycle. Syfy ordered the 10-episode series earlier this month from Universal Cable Productions, with Netflix on board for international distribution.

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New trailer for SYFY’s Krypton

by on Jan.09, 2018, under Television

Just released today at the Television Critics Association…

What if Superman never existed? Set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, KRYPTON follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, as a young man who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. With Krypton’s leadership in disarray and the House of El ostracized, Seg finds himself in a difficult position. He must redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while being challenged by familiar DC characters Brainiac (Blake Ritson) and Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos).

Krypton is from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Trilogy) through his Phantom Four banner, alongside Cameron Welsh, who serves as showrunner. In addition to Cuffe, Sipos and Ritson, the show also stars Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch), Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons), Ann Ogbomo (World War Z), Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness), Wallis Day (Will), Aaron Pierre (Tennison) and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones). Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

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SYFY orders up George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers

by on Jan.04, 2018, under Television

SYFY today announced a series pickup for Nightflyers, based on author George R.R. Martin’s novella and the 1987 film of the same name. Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder) wrote the adaptation for television and will executive produce alongside Daniel Cerone (“The Blacklist”) who will also serve as showrunner. Martin will also executive produce, along with Gene Klein (Suits), David Bartis (Suits) and Doug Liman (Live. Die. Repeat) of Hypnotic; Alison Rosenzweig (Jacob’s Ladder, Windtalkers) and Michael Gaeta (Jacob’s Ladder) of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films; Lloyd Ivan Miller and Alice P. Neuhauser of Lloyd Ivan Miller Productions. Robert Jaffe (Nightflyers, – 1987) will produce. Andrew McCarthy (Orange is the New Black) will be a producer-director on the project. Mike Cahill (I Origin) will direct the pilot.

The series will be produced by Universal Cable Productions. Netflix will co-produce and have first-run rights to the series outside of the U.S.

Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) is set to star as Dr. Agatha Matheson, alongside Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) as Karl D’Branin, David Ajala (Fast & Furious 6) as Roy Eris, Sam Strike (EastEnders) as Thale, Maya Eshet (Teen Wolf) as Lommie, Angus Sampson (Fargo) as Rowan, Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship) as Melantha Jhirl and Brían F. O’Byrne (Million Dollar Baby) as Auggie.

Nightflyers follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain — in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other — and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.

The series, produced in Ireland, is moving forward with the support of the Government of Ireland, through the Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board.

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Van Helsing renewed for third season on Syfy

by on Dec.20, 2017, under General News

Syfy has given an early third season pickup to its vampire world series Van Helsing, ahead of the second season finale which airs January 4th.

The series stars Kelly Overton (True Blood) as Vanessa Helsing, a distant relative of famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, who comes “back to life” after a three year coma to find out that vampires have taken over during the Rising, while she is protected by a marine and the doctor who saved her so that she might lead a resistance against the vampires.

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HAPPY! debuts tonight on SYFY!

by on Dec.06, 2017, under Television

In less than an hour, the premiere of HAPPY! airs on SYFY on the east coast!

HAPPY! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named “Happy” (Patton Oswalt).

Check out the latest promo video!

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Syfy picks up George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers straight to series

by on Nov.28, 2017, under Television

George R.R. Martin’s SF-horror novella Nightflyers has been picked up for a 10-episode series by Syfy, according to the writer himself.

Syfy ordered up a pilot earlier this year, but apparently made the decision to go straight to series after seeing the script by Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder). Netflix will handle international viewers, and possibly also as a second-run domestic source.

Also according to Martin, the show is in pre-production/casting stages, but there is apparently already a cast selection made that “has pleased me more than I can possibly say,”, according to the Game Of Thrones scribe. But we will have to wait a little longer to find out who that is…

The supernatural thriller is set in the future on the eve of Earth’s destruction, a crew of explorers journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship’s artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space.

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SYFY’s The Magicians gets premiere date, trailer

by on Nov.20, 2017, under Television

Find out if the magic is coming back when the students of Brakebills return for Season 3 of The Magicians on January 10th, 2018 at 9/8c on SYFY!

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