Last season, Sanctuary [Syfy, Fridays, 10/9C] made the movie from webisodes to full blown television series – impressing a lot of people along the way. Its first season ended with a cliffhanger that was a real mindblower: the discovery that Helen Magnus’ daughter, Ashley, had been turned into a superweapon under the control [and through the scientific tinkering] of The Cabal. Worse, they’d taken five absolutely normal human beings and turned them into similar weapons.
Season Two begins pretty much where Season One left off – and the gloves are off!
A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take part in a conference call Q&A session with Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne of Sanctuary [Syfy, Friday, 10/9C], the first regular series to shot predominantly in CG. The first season ended in a particularly lovely cliffhanger and I was among those who was allowed to screen the second season premiere – a two-part exercise in bold adventure and sacrifice – which made the Q&A session even more fun than usual [plus, Rapping and Dunne are genial and witty in and of themselves…].
Also taking part in the session were: Jamie Ruby [Media Blvd], Julia Diddy [Pop Culture Zoo], Michael Simpson [Cinema Spy], Troy Rogers [deadbolt.com], and Beth Ann Henderson [NiceGirlsTV.com].
Stargate Universe [Syfy, Fridays, 9/8C] premieres this evening with the first two hours of a three-hour introduction to the Stargate universe’s darkest and potentially most mature series, thus far. In a strange fusion of Lost in Space [the movie, not the campy TV series], classic Stargate and the tone of a Battlestar Galactica [again, not the campy one], SGU takes a bunch of people – soldiers, scientists and civilians, as the press materials say so alliteratively – and deposit them on an Ancient ship that is possibly hundreds of thousands of years old – and big enough that the Prometheus would like a shuttle beside it.
Air [Parts 1 & 2] opens with a tracking shot exploring a dark, dingy corridor and finishing up in a Gate Room where the Stargate opens and people begin hurtling through. They’re quite a mix and some of them, including an apparently high-ranking military man, take damage – some from landing hard; some from having other people and equipment land on them. To mix expletives, what the frak?
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take part in a conference call Q&A session for Stargate Universe [Syfy, Friday, 9/8C]. The Q&A was supposed to be with David Blue and Brian J. Smith, but Smith was unable to make it, so the quick-thinking folks at Syfy rang up Elyse Levesque who jumped in completely unprepared. Judging from the laughs and general good feelings evinced by David and Elyse, Stargate Universe maintains the Stargate reputation for happy sets.
The Q&A was moderated by Syfy’s Marian Arias and the following bloggers/journalists also took past: Jamie Ruby [Media Blvd.], Curt Wagner [Red Eye], Troy Rogers [thedeadbolt.com], Michael Simpson [Cinema Spy], Stacy Whitley [Pop Culture Madness], and Julia Diddy [fancast.com].
David Anders [Alias, Heroes] and Kandyse McClure [Battlestar Galactica] star as a couple nearing the end of their marriage in Syfy’s remake of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn [Saturday, 9/8C]. When Burt hits a young boy on a back toad in the middle of Nebraska, he and Vicki are shocked to discover that his throat had been cut. Burt decides they should take the boy’s body to the nearest town and turn him over to the police. Vicki, displayed extremely good judgement, thinks this is a bad idea. When they reach the nearest town, Gatlin, they find a virtual ghost town. Except for a small band of religious fanatic children, there’s no one else around for miles.
Over the course of its first season, Warehouse 13 [Tuesday, Syfy, 9/8C] has become Syfy’s most watched series ever and it’s easy to see why. The oil and water personalities of Agents Pete Lattimer [Eddie McClintock] and Myka Bering [Joanne Kelly] and Warehouse 13 Supervisor/Curator/Cataloguer Artie Nielsen [Saul Rubinek] and kid computer wizard Claudia Donovan [Allison Scagliotti] produces a high ratio of clever banter per episode and allow for a sufficiently diverse group of personality types that pretty every viewer can identify with [or wish they were] one of the four. Add intriguing magical and/pr scientific artifacts that do weird and crazy stuff – and which must, therefore, be removed from easy access and/or nullified, and you have a premise that can go almost anywhere.
To that already intriguing mix, add a carefully built backstory that includes aura-reading Leena [Genelle Williams], the mysterious and dangerous Mrs. Frederic [CCH Pounder], and the ruthless former Warehouse agent, James MacPherson [Roger Rees] and you have the potential for an explosive first-season finale.
Sanctuary is a science fiction show that postulates that the creatures of legend, myth and nightmare really exist – that “here be monsters” is not hyperbole. It’s an ambitious series, technically, being shot with the RED camera [the current top of the line digital camera] against a great deal of green screen – in the manner of Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City – though not in black & white.
The series follows Dr. Helen Magnus [Amanda Tapping], her daughter, Ashley [Emilie Ullerup]and forensic psychologist Will Zimmerman [Robin Dunne] as they seek out and help – or imprison [depending on their nature] – abnormals. Abnormals are evolutionary splits from humanity and come in a wide range of types, from mermaids and vampires, to shapeshifters and Bigfoot [Dr. Magnus’ butler, and also played by Heyerdahl…].
Destination: Truth [Syfy, Wednesday, 10 p.m.] returns for its third season and host Josh Gates, host/explorer/photographer and all round genial nice guy agreed to talk about the show’s premiere – and much, much more – with a number of journalists/bloggers from a unique cross-section of web sites ranging from travel writers to sci-fi bloggers. It turns out that, like his series, Gates is unique – and extremely personable.
Participants included: Ken Gold [Media Blvd], Steve Eramo [Sci Fi TV Talk], Monica Gorsky [Flash News], Jenna Bush [SciFi Wire], Trisha Miller [Travel Writers Exchange], Josh Bozeman [thebluesite.com], Kristen Allen [Singularity – Josh Gates fan site], Aaron Sagers [Tribune], and me.
While reality TV generally gets a thumbs down from me, Destination: Truth [Syfy, Wednesday, 10 p.m.] is not your average reality. Sure, they investigate legendary and mythological creatures, but they do so by actually traveling to the homes of these creatures – and the travel part of the series can a lot of fun and just as often, genuinely breathtaking. Take this week’s season three premiere, Haunted Forest/Alux [uh-loosh´] as an example.
James Marsters has signed on with Syfy’s Caprica, the prequel series to Battlestar Galactica. In the series, which details the development of events leading to the Cylons’ attempted genocide of the human race, Marsters will portray Barnabas Greeley. Greeley is described as being driven by moralistic, and yet carnal desires – and is an unpredictable villain, torn by his conflicting desires.
While Marsters is best known as Spike from his sever-year run with the character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel, he has also recurred as Smallville [where his appearances as Brainiac caused a rating spike of 50%], Without A Trace, and Torchwood [where he played a former lover and colleague of the immortal Captain Jack Harkness]. He also played Piccolo in the recent Dragon Ball Evolution film.
Caprica was created by Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore and Remi Aubuchon and is executive produced by Moore, Eick and Jane Espenson.
Here’s something cool – the folks at Syfy (I still can’t get the name Siffee out of my head) have created a really spiffy (get it, pun intended :)) little app for your Comic Con enjoyment. You can use it to follow all the cool Syfy panels (and before they email me, yes, I know it’s pronounced Sci-Fi) and other comic con events. Even though their rebranding is stupid, this is awesome marketing and a cool ap. Great job Syfy. The Full press release is below. Go to the App story and get it.