Category Archives: Media

More on the Prisoner Remake

I’ve mentioned the remake of The Prisoner, starring Jim Caviezel and Ian Mckellen, coming this fall.
It turns out that the Supervisor and the other staff of the village have been very busy as the date of the miniseries approaches.
There are plenty of downloads here at the AMC Prisoner site, including a minicomic and PDF advertising posters for the show.

The Prisoner–Number Two The Prisoner–Number Six
The Prisoner--Number Two The Prisoner--Number Six

And best, of all, here is a link to a video preview that debuted at Comiccon.
Excited yet?

Bea Arthur, RIP

As you have no doubt seen elsewhere, Bea Arthur has passed awy, another of the Golden Girls to do so.
She had a talent for comedy, its true. Her skills helped make the ensemble of the Golden Girls funny for all viewers. I liked the show even though I had very little connection to any of the characters.
From a SF point of view, she is well known for her (singing!) role in the infamous Star Wars Christmas Special, and I think she did some Futurama work, too. But I note that the TV landscape is very different than in the days when The Golden Girls ran for seven years. Given the current TV landscape, a show like the Golden Girls, focused on a group of over-40 women, would be a very very odd duck. And probably wouldn’t last seven years.
Rest in Peace, Bea. I dread Saint Peter trying to give *you* any guff.

13 episodes, rather than Billions and Billions

In case you hadn’t heard, the entire run of Cosmos is available to watch (with commercials) for free, on demand on hulu.com
If you haven’t seen this series before, what are you waiting for? This is THE series that got me interested in things science. The pacing may be different than modern TV, and science has marched on in many of the fields that Sagan touches on, and he touches on a lot in this series. (Think its just astronomy? Think again!).
Go forth and enjoy.

Kings

Kings, an NBC seriesbased on the Book of Kings from the Bible, debuted on Sunday night.
It’s an alternate history/world, that much is clear immediately. Kings is set in the fictional country of Gilboa, and its capital of Shiloh. Gilboa is a country that was unified in bloodshed, and quickly established, still beset by the bordering country of Gath. Technology, skylines and the like look modern.
Gilboa is a monarchy headed by King Silas (Ian McShane, the best actor of the bunch, hands down). Chris Egan from Eragon is David Shepherd (get it), who manages to save the King’s son by facing down Goliath…a tank, that is. This propels him into the inner doings of the Palace and the Royal Family. The loving, devoted wife. The activist Princess daughter. The conflicted son saved by David.
Lots of stock (TOO much such) characters fill out the cast, ranging from a Reverend who seems to be able to give and take the Mandate of Heaven, to friendly helpful guards, to pugnacious warmaker generals.
The show is really a soap opera in an alternate universe rather than science fictiony, although there is something in the final moments of the premiere episode which makes me wonder if this is going to be strictly human drama.
As far as the acting, I think McShane did a great job at the King. Egan, though, as David, did as well as he did with Eragon. That is to say, not very. If the center, him, doesn’t hold, this show will be toast.
And that would be a shame. For its flaws and weaknesses, the show IS trying to do something different, Thank $Deity. It’s not another reality show, another sitcom, another paint by the numbers CSI/Law and Order clone. I will watch the next few episodes, and hope that David grows up in a hurry.
Given the cutthroat politics of the Court glimpsed in the pilot, if he doesn’t grow up quick, he’ll be shark bait.

The idiocy of the Syfy Channel

Via Jeff Vandermeer and the Tor.com blog
In some universe, the name “Syfy” is less geeky than the name “Sci Fi.” Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, is betting it’s this one.
To that end, the 16-year-old network–owned by NBC Universal–plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
[…]
“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

http://scifiwire.com/2009/03/sci-fi-channel-to-become.php
So, the executives of the Sci Fi Channel are stupid *and* sexist? I happen to not only know a wide swath of female science fiction fans (and proud of that fact), but I have friendly relationships with a number of female SF *writers*.
A channel which openly mocks and denigrates its fan base is a channel that I am not so inclined to watch. Why should I, really, when they clearly think so little of me?
And while I am on this rant, let’s look at the top box office drawing movies of all time and see the power of “geeks and dysfunctional antisocial types” that the Sci Fi Syfy channel thinks I am.
Worldwide Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,129,219,252
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $1,060,332,628
4. The Dark Knight (2008) $997,316,061
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $968,657,891
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) $958,404,152
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $937,000,866
8. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) $922,379,000
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $921,600,000
10. Jurassic Park (1993) $919,700,000
And really, I am being somewhat generous in NOT labelling Jurassic Park or the Pirates movies as geek movies, despite the SF elements of the former and the fantasy aspects of the latter. So, really, the only movie on that list which has no real F/SF elements at all is Titanic.
Dear Syfy channel: You might get better ratings if you had more things like BSG and Tin Man, and less of “Mansquito”. Your ratings have nothing to do with being branded as a channel for dysfunctional geeks.

Morena Baccarin and the new V

Via Sf Signal, a link to Sci Fi Wire reveals:

In other major pilot castings news, Morena Baccarin will play a lead in the ABC drama V, while Eliza Coupe has been tapped for a lead in ABC’s comedy No Heroics.
V is a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an invasion of aliens known as Visitors and the resistance against them. Baccarin will play Anna, the leader of the Visitors who is remarkably knowledgeable about human culture and media manipulation.

Morena Baccarin as one of the Visitors? This takes the phrase “take me to your Leader” a whole new dimension!
I wasn’t that enthused about the idea of remaking V but this *certainly* perks up my interest.