Category Archives: Television

Supernatural: Bone Key – Exclusive Book Preview

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Author Keith R.A. DeCandido manages to keep himself well-occupied. The self-described mad fedora’d writer lists musician, baseball fan, and all-around long-haired hippie weirdo freak in addition to ‘Author’ and ‘Editor’ in his usual biography. And his Live Journal, appropriately titled “Krad’s Inaccurate Guide to Life,” basically makes his life an open book and offers a highly voyeuristic peek into his daily activities and thoughts. In addition to the often personal postings that include karate lessons and efforts at his mental well-being, there are also fun excursions with polls, discussions, and even questions taken from “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” which tends to prove to the reader that most of the time they are not. And when Keith is working on a novel, readers can track his progress by how many words he completes on a daily basis. Voyeurism has never been so much fun – unless, of course, you’re peeking in on a nudist colony! Continue reading Supernatural: Bone Key – Exclusive Book Preview

TELEVISION NEWS: Netflix Goes Live

I’m not sure where to classify this little tidbit that the folks at Netflix sent over. Last weekend they held a weird Live event in Los Angeles where they invited a bunch of bands and TV Stars to come and do something. What, I couldn’t really tell from the original invite they sent me a few weeks ago. But since I’m, unfortunately, no longer in LA I couldn’t attend.  The night began with an hour rock-and-roll set by Band From TV followed by a screening of a series of classic television programs to honor the success of TV on DVD.  The Netflix-hosted outdoor event was open seating and free to the public, and a total of 1800 fans came out to support the cause.  Band From TV’s members include Guitarist James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”), drummer Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”),  rock violinist Jesse Spencer (“House M.D.”), vocalist Bob Guiney (“The Bachelor” and TLC’s “Date My House”), Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”), Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) and Zach Levi (“Chuck”) AND surprise guest Keyboardist and Vocalist Hugh Laurie (“House”). Check out this clip of Heroe’s Hayden Panettiere. Can I just call her Hayden? Is she big enough a star to go the one name route? I ask because, you know it’s hard to spell Panettiere.

The Tellybox: The Doctor and the Captain play Shakespeare… but what’s on the box?

                                              David Tennant - Hamlet

 

So, after that tumultuous Doctor Who finale (have you got your breath back yet?), Donna is back home, Captain Jack has rejoined the Torchwood crew (who are presumably spending the summer rebuilding the Hub – again!), Rose has returned to Bad Wolf Bay with Dark-Doctor – and The Doctor himself has headed to Stratford upon Avon to star in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet.   And with Captain Jean-Luc Picard playing his villainous uncle and his dead dad, tickets are changing hands for suitably ridiculous sums.

Continue reading The Tellybox: The Doctor and the Captain play Shakespeare… but what’s on the box?

TELEVISION: It’s Official – There Will Be a New Battlestar Galactica TV Movie!

A new Battlestar Galactica TV movie is expected to go into production, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of summer… The movie, which is being written by fan favorite, Jane Espenson, will be directed by Admiral Adama, himself, Edward James Olmos.

Edward James Olmos

Currently the cast includes Michael Trucco [Sam Anders], Aaron Douglas [Chief Galen Tyrol] and Dean Stockwell [Brother Cavil]. According to the Sci Fi channel press release, more casting news will follow “in the coming weeks.”

The movie opens before the events of the miniseries, with the story focusing on familiar characters including Cylon Model Number One, known as Cavil (Stockwell), Resistance Leader Sam T. Anders (Trucco) and Chief Galen Tyrol (Douglas).  It seems that the Cylons’ plan failed to account for one thing: survivors.  In the chaotic aftermath of the destruction, two powerful Cylon agents struggle with plots and priorities on the human ships that got away, while trying to deal with the resistance fighters who were left behind.

The as-yet-untitled movie will be released after the conclusion of the regular series, following the Razor model – first being broadcast by the Sci Fi Channel with a DVD release to follow shortly thereafter.

The Tellybox: Bonekickers – It’s archaeology, Jim, but not as we know it

 

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"Archaeology has never been so dramatic" goes the BBC blurb for this six-part series from the creators of Life on Mars.  Based in Bath, the Bonekickers team, led by feisty, no-nonsense, two-dimensional Professor Gillian Magwilde (Julie Graham, above), delves into historical mysteries linked to present-day events.   On paper, it must have sounded brilliant.   On screen, it’s at best pretty ho-hum and at worst almost unwatchably dire.   

Continue reading The Tellybox: Bonekickers – It’s archaeology, Jim, but not as we know it

COMIC CON-To Hell(and Back) With Dean Winchester: Jensen Ackles Talks About Supernatural Season 4

Jensen Ackles a the 2008 Comic Con
Jensen Ackles a the 2008 Comic Con

One of the nicest things about getting to interview Jensen Ackles who plays Dean Winchester on the hit Warner Bros/CW Network series Supernatural is how he always takes a moment to acknowledge everyone with a friendly laidback ‘hi how’re you doing’ before he jumps into answering all the burning questions that we reporters have about the fate and future of his character, Dean Winchester. And ‘burning’ is an apt description of what happened to Dean Winchester at the end of Supernatural season 3.

In the culmination of events that started back in the finale of season 2, All Hell Breaks Loose, Ackles found his character of Dean Winchester in the season 3 finale, No Rest for the Wicked, having to make good on his deal to trade his soul into hell at the end of one year’s time for the life of his brother Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki). There was no way out of it Dean went to hell.

Continue reading COMIC CON-To Hell(and Back) With Dean Winchester: Jensen Ackles Talks About Supernatural Season 4

DVD REVIEW: Stargate: Continuum: Playing with Time

Stargate: Continuum is the first DTDVD stand-alone adventure of the SG-1 team and it’s a bit of a time traveling doozy! It begins with SG-1 and General Jack O‘Neill [Richard Dean Anderson] attending the extraction ceremony for the last Goa’uld still existing in a Goa’uld System Lord. The Goa’uld is Ba’al [Cliff Simon], or rather, the last clone of Ba’al, who warns them that they’ve made a terrible mistake. As the ceremony proceeds, Vala [Claudia Black] and Teal’c [Christopher Judge] vanish. When members of the Tok’ra begin to disappear, too, the remaining SG-1 members and O’Neill realise that Ba’al has gone into the past to prevent the Stargate from being used – leaving Earth open to complete domination by the Goa’uld.

One of the best things about Stargate time travel tales is that they are usually a lot of fun. Continuum takes that to a whole new level, with appearances by nearly every major character in SG-1 lore – even though many are surprising cameos [check out the appearance of the System Lords, for example]. Also, Continuum is a stand-alone movie, so it’s not wrapping up a cliffhanger – or leaving fans hanging on yet another one.

SG_CONTINUUM Box Art

In the alternate timeline that’s created by Ba’al’s maneuver, we get to meet alternate versions of O’Neill, General Hammond [Don S. Davis], Major-General Landry [Beau Bridges] and even President Henry Hayes [William Devane] – and we learn that, in this timeline, Col. Samantha Carter [Amanda Tapping] was an astronaut who died saving her shuttle crew and Daniel Jackson [Michael Shanks] is a discredited crackpot. Not only that, but Lt.-Col. Cameron Mitchell [Ben Browder] is in a position to create a Grandfather Paradox [look it up] if he screws up.

Stargate: Continuum works on a couple of levels: it’s a solid SG-1 adventure replete with action, humor and wit, and it’s also a breathtaking visual achievement, with some brilliantly shot sequences in the Arctic – and the first ever time that a nuclear submarine has been used in a movie [the captain being played by the sub’s real commander]. The writing is a bit above the average for the series and the cast get to play some interesting variations on their characters – especially, Shanks, whose Daniel Jackson suffers more than usual [even for him]. The direction is, as with the series, pretty snappy. Even the expository scenes are rife with wit and fun. As for the effects, they’re terrific – though they can barely hold their own against the majesty of the Arctic.

Features include: Audio Commentary by Executive Producer/Writer Brad Wright and Director Martin Wood; The Making of Stargate: Continuum Featurette; Stargate Goes to the Arctic Featurette, and The Layman’s Guide to Time Travel.

Grade: Stargate: Continuum – B+

Grade: Features: A

Final Grade: A-

Comic Con Exclusive: Eureka Law Man-An Interview with Colin Ferguson

Colin Ferguson as Sheriff Jack Carter on Eureka

On July 18th of 2006, The Sci Fi Channel aired the pilot episode of a quirky little show called Eureka which garnered some of the highest progam ratings The Scifi Channel received for that season and the series became an instant hit for them. Tonight, The Scifi Channel will air the 3rd season premiere of Eureka with an episode titled Bad to the Drone and will introduce Frances Fisher as the new and ruthless head of Global Dynamics.

Eureka takes place in a top secret high tech community that is supposedly located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Being the kind of community it is, Eureka is mainly inhabited by highly brilliant scientific minds from all branches of the sciences who have come together to work for a company called Global Dynamics to create new technological and scientific advancements, some of which sometimes go wildly out of control.

Continue reading Comic Con Exclusive: Eureka Law Man-An Interview with Colin Ferguson

DVD REVIEW: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Fourth Season: Wraith, Replicators and Pregnancy!

One thing you can say about the Stargate franchise – it may rarely reach brilliance, but it’s equally rarely less than fun. Season four of SG Atlantis found Torri Higginson’s Dr. Elizabeth Weir leaving her command for a pretty good reason – to keep the Replicators from destroying Atlantis. In her stead, the Atlantis Expedition welcomed [all except for maybe David Hewlett’s Rodney McKay] Col. Samantha Carter [Amanda Tapping] as their new commander.

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Along with other familiar villainous faces [like the Genii], season four also brought the former Wraith Michael [Connor Trinneer] back and tied his arc into the story of Teyla’s [Rachel Luttrell] pregnancy [Luttrell’s real pregnancy sparked the writers’ ideas]. We got to see Rodney attempt to propose marriage; the deserted Atlantis of twenty-eight thousand years in the future, and a fable about a little girl who was about to become queen. The season’s creative high point may have been Tabula Rasa [with everyone’s memories gone, including his, Rodney has to save the city], but I particularly enjoyed Midway wherein Col. Carter asks Teal’c [Christopher Judge] to help Ronan [Jason Momoa] prepare for his IOA interview – and things go, of course, hilariously wrong.

Overall, Atlantis’ fourth season rarely disappoints. The writers have a firm handle on the characters and seem able to produce interesting new riffs on the many aspects of the series. The cast is a well-oiled unit, figuratively speaking, and each has shown the capacity for bringing new shadings to their characters as the writers delve more deeply into them.

Features include: Audio Commentaries on nineteen of the twenty episodes [excepting only the one I wanted most, Midway]; four Mission Directive Featurettes [Doppelganger, This Mortal Coil, Quarantine and Outcast]; A New Leader: Amanda Tapping Joins Stargate Atlantis Featurette; The Doctor is In: The Return of Paul McGillion Featurette; The Making of Trio Featurette; A Look Back at Season Four Featurette; Bloopers; Deleted Scenes, and the usual collection of Photo & Design Galleries.

Grade: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Season Four – B

Grade: Features: A+

Final Grade: A-

The Tellybox: John Barrowman explores "The Making of Me"

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The BBC’s primetime peek at what makes three celebrities who they are ("The Making of Me", BBC1, Thursday at 9.00pm)includes asking what makes sprinters run fast and where virtuoso violinists get their musicality.   The first programme saw John Barrowman, Doctor Who and Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness, subject himself to a battery of tests – DNA, blood tests, FMRI, watching porn while wired to a sexual lie-detector – and challenge his parents to prove his gayness wasn’t their fault.  Well, it could have been.  After all, his dad (a twinkly Scotsman who should host his own chat show) did dress the 8-year-old John in a bikini to enter him into a fancy-dress competition while they were crossing the Atlantic on the QEII.  

Continue reading The Tellybox: John Barrowman explores "The Making of Me"

TELEVISION: Eureka Kicks Off Season Three With A Bang!

When Eureka [Tuesdays, Sci Fi, 9/8C] returns for its third season, tomorrow night, it will feature a number of big bangs – and not just from the scientific menace. Bad to the Drone will feature [among other things]: Allison’s [Sally Richardson-Whitfield] answer to ex-husband Nathan Stark’s [Ed Quinn] proposal; an efficiency expert, Eva Thorne aka The Fixer [Frances Fisher], whose mandate is to stop the town’s financial woes by helping/forcing Global Dynamics to find ways to turn their top-secret projects into merchandise; and a terrific riff on the Robert Sheckley short story classic, Watchbird – and all of these threads combine to create more problems for Sheriff Jack Carter [Colin Ferguson].

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Other plot points include Zoe’s [Jordan Hinson] part-time job and Henry’s [Joe Morton] incarceration for treason – not to mention Deputy Jo Lupo’s [Erica Cerra] difficulty in finding a suitable romantic counterpart. Then there’s the problem posed by the town’s most popular eatery [plus, we learn how it’s possible for Cafe´ Diem to serve whatever the customer wants – no matter how bizarre or obscure…].

For a breezy, light summer series, Eureka continues to be as Calvin used to say, “Just packed!” Somehow, though, director Bryan Spicer manages to shoehorn in all of writer Jaime Paglia’s script without making the ep seem either too busy or too forced. Something else that comes through – and very plainly – is the enthusiasm the cast has for the show. Their performances [especially Colin Ferguson’s as the sheriff and a very concerned father] are as good here as they’ve ever been.

Upcoming eps see The Fixer’s particular expertise rendered useless when the inhabitants of a Global Dynamics biosphere begin evolving in reverse; Zoe beginning her accelerated physics program; the annual dog show growing more competitive than usual, and there appears to be an earthquake. Seems like just another season in Eureka.

Final Grade: B+