The SciFi Diner Podcast
Welcome to the Diner.
If you have listened to the show for sometime, we would love to have you leave feedback on iTunes. We know not all of you use iTunes, but for those that do, it helps us become more visible. If you don’t use iTunes, your feedback is still valuable. Visit our webpage at http://scifidinerpodcast.com and leave a comment on the show notes or email us at email@example.com We want to know what you are thinking about what we are saying and what shows you are watching!
What is on your SciFi Christmas list? E-mail us an let us know!
On the menu tonight:
- Interview with Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff, creators of Riese: Kingdom Falling
- A final chance to win $100 Thinkgeek Gift Certificate by answering our Caprica Trivia question.
- Our Listener Question
- Walking Dead Gets More Life
- Battlestar Galactica Prequel gets lit!
- Curse like they do in Firefly
- Firefly: Downtime now available
- The Next Torchwood Series WILL disturb you.
- J.J. Abrams gets Canceled
- X-files 3: The Truth is Out There.
- Ford Interested in Indy 5, but are we?
- Scarlett Johansson becomes a Sexy Alien
- In the TWIST, Miles brings his review of “Captains of the Final Frontier”
- SciFi Five in Five: I bring you the top Five Reasons Spider Man is an Awesome Superhero.
This Week’s Trivia: In Caprica, Daniel Greystone the term Cylon is a acronym for what?
Prize: $100 gift card to Thinkgeek.
You will have until November 16th to answer this question. Send your answer with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 18885084343, or DM us on Twitter at @scifidiner.
The Main Course:
Recently, the steampunk digital series Riese: Kingdom Falling, winner of Streamy Awards for Best Cinematography and nominee for Best Sound Design and Art Direction, and is now being made available on SyFy.com. The series was created by Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff, who are with us tonight.
AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ given life for another season
NEW YORK (AP) — AMC network is rewarding its new zombie drama The Walking Dead with life for a second season after just two episodes have aired.
The series premiered Halloween night as an instant hit, drawing 5.3 million viewers. The second episode, which aired Sunday, was seen by 4.7 million viewers.
Set in the Atlanta area, The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as a small-town police officer leading a group of survivors after a zombie apocalypse. It is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman.
The Walking Dead takes its place as AMC’s fourth original drama series, joining veteran dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The fate of Rubicon, which recently concluded its first season, remains unclear.
Dayton Ward: AMC greenlights second season of “The Walking Dead.” Fox cancels it, anyway, just out of habit.
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War Prequel Greenlit
Young Adama spinoff series is moving forward.
by Eric Goldman
Syfy will explore more of the life of William Adama, as they’ve greenlit Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, a TV Movie pilot for a potential ongoing series. A few months back, news broke that Syfy was developing a webseries focused on Adama, during the events of the first human/cylon war, but AOL TV’s Maureen Ryan (the first to hear about the webseries) now reveals the network has decided the project should be made for TV.
Michael Taylor, a veteran of both Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, wrote the script to Blood & Chrome, which Ryan says will take place in the tenth year of the Cylon War, as recent Academy graduate Adama and a fellow rookie pilot take a female character on an important mission that could turn the tide of the war.
Syfy’s Mark Stern tells Ryan, “When we read Michael’s script, it was so clearly a full-blown pilot for a series. The scope is fantastic and bigger, I think, than anticipated, so we said, ‘Let’s do it as a 2-hour backdoor pilot.’ … We’re trying to get up and running as soon as possible.”
“By your command…”Blood & Chrome won’t air until at least the fourth quarter of 2011, though a 2012 debut is more likely, especially if the project goes from TV-Movie to full fledged series.
Yes, the Battlestar Galactica itself will be seen in Blood & Chrome. While the Galactica sets were torn down when BSG ended, they were all digitally scanned beforehand, so they could be used to create virtual sets down the line, for potential projects like this one.
Stern describes Blood & Chrome to Ryan as, “very much an action-adventure, war series. This is definitely dealing with people who are fighting the fight. … As you hope Battlestar would do, it kind of comments on that process a little bit… but not in a preachy way, not in an issues-oriented way, not in a hitting-you-over-the-head way. Really, the fabric and the canvas of the series are people in the fight and what they grapple with when it comes to each other and what they grapple with when it comes to the enemy they’re fighting.”
While BSG veterans Taylor, David Eick, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle are all involved in Blood & Chrome, Battlestar’s main creative force, Ron Moore, has no official role. The situation is a bit difficult, in that Moore now has a new deal with Sony (the BSG franchise remains with Universal), but Stern tells Ryan that he hopes Moore could be involved in Blood and Chrome, should it become an ongoing series.
Nico Cortez as William “Husker” Adama in
Battlestar Galactica: RazorEdward James Olmos of course played the older Adama on Battlestar, while Sina Najafi plays the child “Willie” Adama on Caprica. However, we did get flashbacks to a Cylon war era Adama in Battlestar Galactica: Razor, where he was played by Nico Cortez. Speaking as to whether Cortez might reprise the role, Stern tells Ryan, “I’m assuming there will be a full casting process for this pilot, but with Nico at the top of the list.”
Firefly’s 15 Best Chinese Curses (and How to Say Them)
By James Daniels
In just 14 episodes, Joss Whedon’s sci-fi masterpiece Firefly managed to build one of the most devoted fanbases in all of nerd-dom. Properties like Star Trek or Doctor Who may have it beat in sheer numbers, but the Browncoats make up for this with their loyalty and tenacity. What is the secret of the show’s appeal? Fans can and will explain the show’s engrossing plotlines, fascinating characters, brilliant performances, realistic effects, and a unique visual aesthetic — but if we had to choose one reason, it’d be the dialogue.
Whedon created a vision of a human future where mankind speaks English primarily, with Mandarin Chinese added, as one might say, for “flavor” (i.e., profanity). Not only did the use of Mandarin help inform Firefly’s future setting, it also often allowed the characters to express themselves in terms too absurd, obscene, or outrageous to be spoken in English. Here then is a collection of 15 of Firefly’s most, well — absurd, obscene, and outrageous lines ever delivered in Mandarin Chinese. Much thanks to the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary for the translations.
15) Stupid Inbred Stack of Meat
笨天生的一堆肉。・ BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO
On a visit to one of Mal’s old Army buddies, Monty, on an uninhabited moon, Mal and crew encounter “Saffron”, the beautiful con-artist who once tricked Mal into marriage, and nearly stole his ship (played by the absolutely magnificent Christina Hendricks); this time, she’s taken the name “Bridget” and married Monty. A short tussle ensues between her and Mal (lucky bastard) which Monty breaks up as Mal explains the details of their shared history. When Saffron, who had been denying everything, lets it slip that she knows Mal’s name, Monty abandons her on the barren lunar surface. She screams this bit of Mandarin to the heavens as his ship departs. This phrase is also noteworthy for its use on the back cover of Serenity: The Official Visual Companion, where Chinese characters inform prospective buyers: “If you don’t buy this book, your friends will think you’re a stupid inbred stack of meat.”
14) Cow Sucking
吸牛 ・ Shee-niou
While helping Simon and River first infiltrate, then escape from, a hospital on the affluent Alliance core world of Ariel, Jayne relieves a security officer of his sidearm: a non-lethal sonic rifle. He proceeds to attempt to use said weapon to blow open a locked door, to absolutely no discernible effect — thus prompting this response: “吸牛 high-tech Alliance crap!”
13) A Baboon’s Asshole
狒狒的屁眼 ・ FAY-FAY duh PEE-yen
During the big, climactic shootout with Niska’s men in “War Stories,” Kaylee was the only witness to River’s terrifying proficiency with firearms (and her eerily nonchalant manner after killing three men in as many shots). Kaylee never said anything, but after River is discovered confusedly brandishing a loaded pistol, she fesses up and tells the crew what she saw that day. Jayne is understandably reluctant to accept Kaylee’s version of these events, and expresses his incredulity by referencing primate orifices. Cow sucking and baboon assholes: We love Jayne.
12) Extraordinarily Impatient Buddha
真沒耐性的佛祖 ・ Jen mei NAI-shing duh FWO-tzoo
Inara enlists the aid of the Serenity crew when a wealthy, evil douchenozzle (one of the numerous wealthy, evil douchenozzles who populate the Firefly universe) threatens a brothel run by her old friend Nandi (the lovely Melinda Clarke). Anyhoo, Nandi and Mal start getting cozy during their preparations for the coming battle, and after examining her impressive guns (insert pun here) they engage in a little pre-firefight bedsport. Nandi uses this phrase immediately prior to giving Mal a yard of tongue. From what we have come to understand, the phrase is supposed to express Nandi’s frustration with Mal’s gentlemanly attitude. Apparently, the Captain had the Madam quite hot and bothered — and she grew all the more bothered the longer he took to make his move. We don’t quite get how describing an Asian religious icon’s lack of patience is supposed to make for good pillow talk, but spoken in a husky whisper by the likes of Melinda Clarke, we figure a page from the phone book would probably sound erotic.
11) Dog Fucking
狗操的 ・ Go tsao de
More words of wisdom from the inimitable Jayne. When Mal and Zoe get delayed during a train job, Wash refuses to proceed to the scheduled rendezvous point where they would meet up with Adelai Niska, the arch-criminal who hired them (yeah, another wealthy, evil douchenozzle — but this one’s Czech). Jayne takes exception to this change of plans, and demands to know why they’re not on their way to the “狗操的 rendezvous point” as he so eloquently puts it. Jayne Cobb: Mercenary Poet, this fall on AMC (you had your chance, Fox)!
10) Panda Piss
熊貓尿 ・ Shiong mao niao
The Canton settlement on Higgins’ Moon is populated by “Mudders” — indentured peasants who harvest mud from the bogs for processing into ceramics. Their drink of choice is a concoction called “Mudder’s Milk”, a fermented beverage similar to beer with enough protein, vitamins, and carbs to keep the workers nourished, and enough alcohol to incapacitate them at night. When our intrepid crew pays a visit to Canton on a job, Jayne is recognized by the townsfolk — who due to a complex set of circumstances erroneously believe him to be a hero (they built a statue in his honor and everything). It’s at the local tavern where Jayne is outed by the Mudders, and once they ascertain his identity, the bartender yanks the bottle of “Milk” out of Jayne’s hand, refusing to let the Hero of Canton drink that “熊貓尿” and pours him a glass of the best whiskey in the house (given the overall condition of the establishment, we assume that “best” is extremely relative).
9) Frog-Humping Son of a Bitch
青蛙操的流氓 ・ Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng
Simon plans a heist on a core world hospital as payment for the crew getting him and River access to equipment that may help Simon determine what the Alliance did to her. To pull it off, Mal, Jayne, and Zoe have to pose as EMTs. To make the ruse believable, Simon gives them a crash course in medical lingo. Mal finds this task rather challenging and uses this colorful phrase to express his frustration.
8) Stupid Son of a Drooling Whore and a Monkey
流口水的婊子和猴子的笨兒子 ・ Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze
River’s having a bad day and she’s understandably reluctant to allow Simon to take her to the Infirmary, given her past experience with medical facilities. After her refusal, Simon attempts to calm her with a sedative from his kit, which she relieves him of and tosses across the room, nearly hitting a rather perturbed Mal. For no particular reason, she babbles out these lines.
7) Have a Shit-Throwing Contest with a Monkey
跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se
Another gem from the episode “Heart of Gold.” When Nandi calls on Inara to ask for aid in repelling Rance Burgess, the aforementioned wealthy, evil douchenozzle, we learn that she and Inara trained together at the same Companion House, but Nandi was expelled and Inara was ordered to shun her. Nandi reminds Inara of this fact — in response, Inara offers this constructive suggestion of what the House could do instead of telling her whom she can or cannot associate with.
6) Filthy Fornicators of Livestock
喝畜生雜交的髒貨 ・ Huh choo-shung tza-jiao duh tzang-huo
As a clergyman, Shepherd Book is usually denied the use of the kind of innovative vulgarity the rest of the crew enjoys. Sometimes, however, a particular sight inspires even a man of the cloth to throw down with the best obscenity slingers. Book offers this exclamation in response to crime boss Adelai Niska’s reprehensible act of sending the Serenity’s crew their kidnapped Captain’s severed ear. Fun fact: the Firefly-Serenity Pinyinary offers translations of not only the entire phrase, but of the component words. We mention this in case anyone might be wondering if this translation is simply a more polite way of saying “Dirty Cow Fuckers”. It isn’t. Foreign languages are fun, huh?
5) Motherless Goats of All Motherless Goats
羔羊中的孤羊 ・ Gao yang jong duh goo yang
Another slice of pure Mandarin what-the-fuckery, this time from Wash, who has the honor of delivering some of the most outrageous Chinese dialogue this side of a Beijing mental hospital. Wash mutters this under his breath when he learns that Magistrate Higgins has put a landlock on the ship — his consternation doesn’t last long, for only a moment after noticing the lock, it was removed. Only Inara knows why (she was hired to deflower the Magistrate’s son, and accomplished making a man of him a bit too well for the senior Higgins’ liking).
4) Holy Mother of God and All Her Wacky Nephews
我的媽和她的瘋狂的外甥都 ・ Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung
This may be the most awesome phrase we’ve ever heard in any language; only its lack of vulgarity kept it from breaking the Top Three. Once again, it issues forth from the mouth of Wash. In “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” we first encounter the deliciously devious ginger con-babe, Saffron. After leading Mal to the “Special Hell”, she proceeds to the cockpit where she puts the moves on poor Wash. Only his devotion to Zoe keeps him from succumbing to Saffron’s charms — devotion that earns him a roundhouse kick to the head. This marvelous line is his singular response to Saffron’s advances.
3) Shove All the Planets in the Universe Up my Ass
太空所有的星球塞盡我的屁股 ・ Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo
More magic from the loquacious Wash, who is growing jealous of the bond between Mal and his wife, Zoe — forged during their years in the war and the jobs they’ve pulled together. It’s right after the Ariel heist, and the crew is enjoying the fruits of a profitable take. Wash thinks he had a better idea on how they could have unloaded their goods, and when he asks Zoe what she thought of his notion, she parrots Mal’s rejection. Wash’s frustration culminates in this off-color outburst.
2) The Explosive Diarrhea of an Elephant
大象爆炸式的拉肚子 ・ Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze
Our penultimate entry is delivered by Mal, and once again, it draws its inspiration from the influence of Saffron. When Mal makes it clear that he’s not interested in the accidental bond of wedlock he wound up in, Jayne, paragon of chivalry that he is, offers a perfectly reasonable deal. Jayne presents his most prized possession–a Callahan full-bore auto lock rifle with a customized trigger and double cartridge thorough-gage. He proposes an even swap, which by Jayne’s reasoning is more than fair. This statement is Mal’s assessment of Jayne’s proposal, and really, who hasn’t referenced explosive pachyderm feces when expressing complete incredulity? Happens to us all the time.
1) Holy Testicle Tuesday
神聖的睾丸 ・ Shun-SHENG duh gao-WAHN
This is one of the shortest phrases on the list, but makes up for word count with sheer outrageousness. Remember, these phrases are originally composed in English (though the idea that they pick random Mandarin phrases with no notion of what they mean is quite amusing, and not difficult to believe). Therefore, Ben Edlund and Jose Molina, the writers of this episode, had to go to the show’s translator, Jenny Lynn, and ask her how to say: “Holy Testicle Tuesday!” in Mandarin Chinese. Damn, we’d kill for a job like that!
As for context — once again, Saffron brings out the most bizarre vulgarities imaginable in the Serenity crew: Mal and Saffron break into the palatial estate of Durran Haymer, an Alliance officer with an incredible collection of priceless antiques from “Earth That Was”. These three words (or four in Pinyin) are how Mal chooses to express the impressiveness of Haymer’s knick-knacks.
By John Geddes, USA TODAY
Although that audience wasn’t large enough to persuade Fox to save the show, the write-in campaigns by this devoted fan base resulted in the release of that single season on DVD and production of the 2005 Universal Pictures feature film Serenity. Serenity was the name of the Firefly-class spaceship featured on the TV show and in the film.
Serenity now lives on in comic book form. For the most recent tales of the beloved spaceship and crew, Joss has passed the creative torch to author (and brother) Zack Whedon.
In the latest installment of the USA TODAY-exclusive DH:HD program, Zack Whedon presents Serenity: Downtime. He describes the tale as a “slice-of-life, day-on-the-ship story.” Writing a complete story in just eight pages was a daunting task for the veteran comic book and TV show scribe.
“It’s very difficult. You have to be careful and really disciplined about how much time you spend with each of these characters,” he says. The writer felt added pressure, knowing the level of knowledge and devotion that fans have for each character and story detail.
Whedon says he is amazed at the patience and persistence of Firefly and Serenity followers. “I don’t know what the ingredients are to create fans like that, but it’s wonderful. It’s fun to write for those fans, but also intimidating.
“There’s so much that (the fans) wish they had had a chance to see but weren’t able to because the show was taken away from them so early. That said, they know everything about the show and the movie.”
Whedon has tried to create an atmosphere resembling a scene from Firefly. “I wanted to reward those fans by showing these characters like it was a part of the show,” he says.
Downtime follows crewmembers snowed in on a planet filled with, as Whedon puts it, “a bunch of people you don’t want to run into.” Though the whole crew is included, the focus is on the mysterious (and fan-favorite) character known as River.
Torchwood: The New World won’t be back until next summer (which can’t get here soon enough), but while we wait for its return, Russell T Davies got our attention by letting us know how the new series will disturb us.
In an interview with Collider, Davies and Julie Gardner opened up a bit about the upcoming series of Torchwood, which will see the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), the last two surviving members of the Torchwood team. The new series will also see the introduction of four new characters.
We already know that the fourth series will mainly take place in the U.S., but Davies confirmed that its time frame will be set roughly two years after the events of Torchwood: Children of Earth (basically real time) and will also take us to the U.S. capital: “There will be scenes set in Washington, certainly,” Davies said, “but we won’t go to Washington to shoot. No one does that anymore. But we have a very experienced production and design team, so we’ll be able to do that. It’s exciting.”
We know what a master Davies can be at pulling at our heartstrings—if the deaths of Ianto Jones and Captain Jack’s grandson didn’t affect you at all last time, you’re made of ice—and Davies warns we should expect more of the same in The New World, saying about the upcoming series four that:
It’s just heartfelt, really. What I mean by that is that the central issue goes to the heart of every one of us and every family. The questions it asks will cut right beneath your everyday life of work, sleep, food and family, and goes right to the heart of who we are and why we’re here. I think we’ll challenge you and disturb you. It’s the intensity of that ambition that’s the most fascinating thing. That sounds really vague, but the moment you know the initial core concept, everything I’m saying will make sense and start to click into place in your brain. You’ll say, “Oh, right, I see where this is heading.” The questions never really stop. That’s the fun of it. A whole 10 hours is a long time for a story to roll, but there’s that much power behind it. It’s self-generating, really. It’s very exciting. It’s a proper, intelligent examination of some very big issues.
If the addition of a pedophile named Oswald Jones as a main character on the series is not disturbing, we don’t know what is. But besides that, are we to expect more deaths and more heartbreak? Our guess is yes, as Torchwood never shied away from killing its main characters (there was, after all, Owen and Tosh before Ianto and Cap’ Jack’s grandkid were killed. And for the nitpickers, we haven’t forgotten Suzie—they did kill her twice, after all, though she was a villain).
We’re not sure how much more of this we can possibly take, but if the end result can be as great as Children of Earth was, we’re definitely on board. Will you be?
NBC has canceled J.J. Abrams’ spy-fi series Undercovers, and while production on the show’s 13-episode order will likely be completed, you may not get a chance to see how the show’s mythology ends, said co-creator and executive producer Josh Reims.
With seven episodes of Undercovers having aired, plans are to air the next three episodes and then leave the final three in the can with the possibility they may run at some unknown point in the future, according to The Hollywood Reporter.com. That likely means either never or buried on a Saturday night months from now.
That’s bad news for fans, especially since Reims told me in an exclusive interview a couple weeks ago that the mythology was being beefed up and would really kick in at the end of the 13-episode order.
“The main direction that we’re headed in the overall scheme of things is we have some mythology that’s starting to play out in the show now which will get larger and larger as we go along,” said Reims. “And we find out in episode 12 or 13, I can’t remember which, the real reason that Steven and Samantha were actually brought back to the CIA. And it’s not just to save Leo, who was their friend. There’s much more involved in that.”
Since it was announced last week that episode 13 would be called “The Reason,” I’m guessing that was to be the the big episode.
NBC plans to keep the show, which stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Steven and Samantha Bloom, on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., with the final episode in the fall run airing on Dec. 1.
Undercovers has been falling in the ratings since the series premiered this fall, and last night’s series low drew only 5.8 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating in 18-49 adults.
Despite the falling ratings, Reims was hopeful during our conversation in mid-October. “I keep saying to the writers … we just have to do what we can do, which is try and make a good show. And then, if people watch, they watch.” Unfortunately, they didn’t.
In an interview with the French website TVMag, David Duchovny revealed that a script for a third X-Files movie is being penned, and that it will return to the series’ conspiracy roots.
Duchovny’s been talking up a third X-Files movie for a while now, and after the self-contained story of X-Files: I Want to Believe, it looks like the third film will get back to basics. And when I say “basics,” I mean labyrinthine conspiracy cloak-and-dagger mumbo jumbo. Here’s what Duchovny had to say (translation via X-Files News):
It is being written. One awaits just the green light from Fox, a little disappointed from the relatively poor reception of the second film. The error comes, in my opinion, that the authors strayed too far from the roots of the series. Moreover, the film was released in the summer. The third will be much closer to what the public expects, with government conspiracies, etc.
So there you have it. Details are otherwise scant, and given that “the public” is a pretty nebulous term, I’m just going to assume the movie’s about what I would like to see from an X-Files movie — that is, 90 minutes of Flukeman.
Thrilled to hear that? So were we. But it turns out a little something got lost in the translation. Because according to Collider:
David Duchovny’s publicist has contacted us. She says while Duchovny did an interview with TVMag, what he said was lost in translation. Basically, there is no movement on X-Files 3 right now.
So though the Truth may be out there, it turns out it needs a better French-to-English dictionary …
Ford Interested in “Indy 5″ (From Slice of SciFi)
Sounds like all the parties involved are getting on the same page about a fifth Indiana JonesIndiana Jones movie.
Now you can add Indy himself to the list of those who would return.
Harrison FordHarrison Ford said that if the project was there, he’d be interested in donning the famous fedora again.
“Oh sure, I’d love to do it,” he tells Access HollywoodAccess Hollywood.
Ford admitted that he and producers George Lucas and Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg would need to sit down to discuss where they could take the franchise next before making a sequel.
He explained: “If there’s something that the three of us can agree on then I’d love to do it.”
Scarlett Johansson To Get Under the Skin as a Sexy Alien
Director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) along with Walter Campbell has written a script based on the Michael Faber sci-fi novel, Under the Skin. Glazer will direct the film, which will star Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2, The Avengers) as a woman who is from another world.
Here’s the description:
“Johansson plays an alien on earth, disguised as the perfect aesthetic form of a mesmerizing woman. She scours remote highways and desolate scenery looking to use her greatest weapon to snare human prey — her voracious sexuality. She is deadly efficient, but over time becomes drawn to and changed by the complexity of life on earth. With this new found humanity and weakening alien resolve, she finds herself on a collision course with her own kind. Taking her point of view throughout, the film presents a unique look at our world through alien eyes.”
Under the Skin is slated to hit theaters in 2012.
Haven’t we seen this before?
TWIST (This Week In Star Trek)
Try to track this down if you can. It’s well worth the watch.
During the past 44 years, especially after the proliferation of cable channels, there have been many television documentaries (and just as many texts) devoted to the subject of the making of Star Trek. And after seeing them all, after a while, the behind the scenes stories and trivia can often become repetitive. How many times are we going to be told the story of how fans saved Star Trek during its second and third seasons? You may be expecting more of the same with Bio’s new The Captains of the Final Frontier, but it turns out it to be a surprisingly refreshing take on the history of Star Trek, told through examinations of each of the captains, with many new nuggets of trivia and interesting stories.
The Captains of the Final Frontier is a well organized and imaginative look at Star Trek’s greatest characters. The two-hour documentary (including commercial breaks) has an interesting style and organizational structure. It begins with a quick history of the franchise for the uninitiated, but it doesn’t get bogged down and quickly moves on to its look at each of the Star Trek captains, starting with Kirk, then sequentially through Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer, and Kirk again (from the 2009 Star Trek movie). While a bit more time is devoted to Kirk and Picard, each captain is given a fair share of the time and discussion.
The entire show is narrated and includes clips and stills (including behind-the-scenes), but the bulk of the doc consists of commentary from a pantheon of Star Trek experts. The list is impressive, and includes actors like Kate Mulgrew, Bruce Greenwood, Tim Russ, Anthony Montgomery, Nana Visitor, Dominic Keating, Denise Crosby, and Vaughn Armstrong. Also included is a number or Star Trek writers and producers, including Rene Echevarria, Rick Berman, Nicholas Meyer, Ira Steven Behr, Manny Coto, Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens along with Trek novelists, non-fiction writers and other experts such as Mike & Denise Okuda , David R. George III, Kirsten Beyer, Keith R.A. DeCandido, David Mack, Marco Palimieri, Geoffrey Thorne, Larry Nemecek and Rod Roddenberry.
I’ve seen about half of it so far. I’m enjoying it a lot.
SciFi Five in Five:
The top Five reasons to like Spiderman:
1. Spiderman juggle everyday problems – Erik Fisher
2. With Great Power, comes great responsibility – Erik Fisher
3. Spiderbites – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
4. You get to climb walls!
5. You get to kiss Kirsten Dunst, errr Mary Jane Watson.