Category Archives: Television

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.

Box Art

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].

eureka-tv

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+

Comic Con News: New KITT Car Makes it Debut

The New Knight Rider KITT Car
The New Knight Rider KITT Car

Several days ago NBC held a press conference to officially announce the return of Knight Rider to network TV. The new show, which will debut as a two-hour movie on February seventeenth stars  the handsome twenty-nine year old Justin Bruening as Mike Tracer. The movie will also star Deanne Russo, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Bruce Davidson with Will Arnett as the voice of KITT.  David Hasselhoff will also reprise his role as Michael Knight, the original ‘lone crusader’ in the 1980’s series Knight Rider.

Today at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con Convention, Eclipse Magazine was there as NBC unveiled the newest ‘KITT car, a sleek jet black Ford GT500KR. The rep for NBC confirmed to the crowd gathered to witness the unveiling that there will actually be three versions of KITT in the show: a 540-hp standard version of the character named KITT Hero, a super high-speed version that’s heavily modified for combat called KITT Attack car.

Fans who attended Comic Con on Friday got a chance to have their picture taken with the latest incarnation of the crime fighting car with the super intelligent AI brain and a personality all his own as part of NBC’s promotion of the new movie and series.

Comic Con News: Torchwood Returns for 3rd Season

John Barrowman at the 2008 San Diego Com Con
John Barrowman at the 2008 San Diego Com Con

BBC AMERICA has announced the acquisition of the highly anticipated season three of its hit sci-fi series, Torchwood. The highest rating show in the history of BBC AMERICA will return to the channel with five all-new episodes in 2009.

Led by the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), the Torchwood team are separate from the government, outside the police and beyond the United Nations.  Torchwood sets its own rules, delving into the unknown and fighting the impossible.

The award-winning show, which received huge critical acclaim for season one and two, will premiere on BBC AMERICA shortly after the UK premiere. 

 Richard De Croce, Senior Vice President, Programming, BBC Worldwide America said,  “Captain Jack is coming back to BBC America and we can’t wait! Torchwood really represents the essence of the channel – it’s sexy, action packed and a little bit subversive. Clearly our viewers love it as much as we do.”

Eclipse Magazine readers love Torchwood as well which is why we will be bringing them an exclusive interview with Captain Jack Harkness himself; British actor John Barrowman in the days ahead. The interview, which was arranged through Holtzheimer’s at the San Diego Comic Con will be coming online at Eclipse Magazine very shortly, so keep your internet connections tuned to us for this and another exciting exclusive Torchwood interviews.

TELEVISION: Eric Kripke Confirms Casting of Genevieve Cortese

 

Supernatural series creator Eric Kripke has released a statement that confirms the casting of actress Genevieve Cortese (pronounced Jenna-Veev Cor-tay-zay) in the recurring guest role of “Kristy’ in the upcoming fourth season of the hit Warner Bros/CW Network series that airs on the CW Network Thursday nights as 9PM EST.

In a press announcement released from his office in Los Angeles, Eric Kripke made the following statement about the casting and the character.

“Genevieve Cortese is playing a small town waitress named Kristy who gets romantically involved with Sam (Jared Padalecki) sometime after Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) death.”

 Cortese, a twenty-seven year old striking brunette and Sun Valley Idaho native is best known for her starring role as troubled teen Kris Furillo on the ABC Family Channel series Wildfire.

Supernatural, which stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester: Two brothers fighting supernatural creatures and dealing with life on the road in their ’67 Chevy Impala is set to premiere the fourth season opening episode ‘Lazarus  Rising’ on September 18th at 9PM EST on the CW Network

 

TELEVISION: CW Offers Gossip Girl ‘Sneak Peek’

Gossip Girl Sneak Peak at Season 2
Gossip Girl Sneak Peak at Season 2

The CW Network’s hit teen angst drama Gossip Girl ,which centers on the lives of privileged prep school teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is heating up for it’s second season premiere on Monday September 1st at 8PM EST.

While fans of the show are waiting for the premiere, the CW Network is giving them a sneak peek at what’s to come as Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) and Dan Humpries (Penn Badgley) all step into the heat of the season two premiere Summer Kind of Wonderful.

Gossip Girl – LifeguardGossip Girl – Mr. Chuck

Check out more on Gossip Girl at the official CW Gossip Girl site

TELEVISION: Mr. Monk Buys a House To Open Season Seven

When Monk returns this evening [USA, 9/8C], the emphasis is not on the mystery – which would normally not be worthy of Adrian Monk’s [Tony Shalhoub] attention – rather, the main subject is dealing with the loss of a friend. On the show, Monk’s therapist, Dr. Charles Kroger [Stanley Kamel] has passed away because of a heart attack.

When Monk buys a house to get away from a neighbor child who plays Chopin incessantly, a potential new therapist, Dr. Neven Bell [Hector Elizondo] suggests that it might be because he misses his late friend – who also loved Chopin – a suggestion that has Monk suggesting he needs a different therapist.

Monk's New House

While shopping for a shower head – with one hundred holes, no less – a handyman named Jake [Brad Garrett] suggests he could drill a couple extra holes in it for home. In no time, Jake is finding flaws in the house and Monk looks like he’s fallen into a money pit. Then something happens to tie in the “renovations” to the death of the house’s previous owner.

By playing against the model puzzle mystery of the usual Monk episode, Mr. Monk Buys a House proves to be one of the better season premieres for the long-running cult hit. More than usual, the ep deals with that side of Monk’s character we’ve usually only gotten to see in his relationship with Natalie [Traylor Howard] – that part of Monk that is capable of great friendship. Because of the sincerity of the ep – and the final scene, which ties into a dedication to Mr. Kamel – an ep that could have come off as soppy, is, instead, genuinely poignant [something you don’t get everyday in series TV].

Garrett and Elizondo are both very good, but the ep belongs to Tony Shalhoub, who makes the OCD Monk even more vulnerable than we’ve seen him in the past – and that’s a pretty difficult feat! Monk has been up and down in quality over the last few seasons, but as Mr. Monk Buys a House illustrates, when it’s on, it’s still capable of a quiet brilliance.

Final Grade: B+

TELEVISION: Psych Returns With Big Surprises For Shawn!

When the third season premiere of Psych [USA, Fridays, 10/9C] airs this evening, pseudo-psychic Shawn Spencer [James Roday] is going to be thrown for a loop in ways he never anticipated. First, off, his best and partner in the Psych detective agency, Gus [Dule´ Hill] is basically given the choice of staying with the agency and losing his highly remunerative day job, or keeping his day job and quitting Psych. Second, his mother, Madeline [Cybill Shepherd] is in town – and his father [Corbin Bernsen] knew she was coming. To further complicate matters, the CEO [Christopher McDonald] of the company where Gus works has a haunting problem – the kind of case that only Shawn and Gus can handle.

As in Psych’s lead-in, Monk, this evening’s case isn’t the primary focus of the ep – The Ghost in You. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice something unusual in the way that Shawn’s investigative scenes are shot that is integral to the case’s solution. But what really matters in the way that Shawn’s relationship with his father is challenged by the arrival of Madeline – but her impact isn’t just on the Spencer men.

Gus & Shawn

It seems that Madeline is a psychologist who used to work with the police department. She has returned to not only visit Henry and Shawn, but to see if Detective Carlton Lassiter [Tim Omundson] is fit for duty. The sparring between them is quite literally priceless.

While Psych initially seemed like a series based on a gimmick, it has become a dependable source of entertainment because its writers know just when to lay off the shtick and spring a dramatic moment on us. The Ghost in You is no exception. Between trying to figure out how to keep Gus involved in the agency, without getting him fired at this day job – and dealing with the emotional rollercoaster ride that his mother’s surprise [to him] visit produces – as well as the agency’s latest case, we get to see sides of Shawn that we don’t usually see [which ties in, thematically with the Monk premiere that precedes it].

The Ghost in You is a solid ep that allows Roday and Hill to do their Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor of detectives thing to full advantage, while giving the show’s guest and supporting cast an opportunity to add texture and colors to the proceedings. It may because of the unusual shift of focus, but this is one of the best eps of the series, to date.

Final Grade: A-