SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 89
Our Interview with Bob Greenberger
Star Trek Author and Editor for DC and Marvel Comics.
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Welcome to the Diner.
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On the menu tonight:
- Interview with Bob Greenberger, Star Trek author and Wonder Woman and Batman Aficionado
- Our Winning Trivia
- Our Next Trivia
- Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
- Being Human
- Season 3 of Dollhouse
- Game of Thrones
- Gandalf, Gollum, and Frodo are back.
- Top Movies Fans are looking forward to.
- Voyager 1 Enters Interstellar Space
- A lightsaber Battle you won’t want to miss
- This Week In Star Trek
- SciFi Five In Five: Bob Greenberger
Trivia Question/Challenge: Locate the lyrics written by Gene Roddenberry to the Star Trek Original Series theme song and then send us a mp3 or a flip video (or call into 18885084343) of you singing the song.
Thanks to our contestants who had the guts to try this trivia: Ryan, Osriman, Rado, and Herne. Herne get and honorable mention for his Cat rendition on Twitter (No audio)
New Trivia Question: Which villains were original in the 1966 Batman TV series?
Choices: To hear the choices, you’ll have to listen to the first 15 minutes of the podcast.
The Prize: An autographed copy of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia
You will have until January 25th 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. Make sure you include your e-mail with all entries! Only one entry per person. The SciFi Diner is not responsible for any injuries occurring if you secretly decide to dress in a black cape and go out at night. No Code word.
The Main Course:
Robert Greenberger (born July 24, 1958) is a writer and editor.
Greenberger was born in Brooklyn in New York City, the son of Edwin L. Greenberger and Joan Greenberger. A lifelong fan of comic books, comic strips, science fiction and Star Trek, he drifted towards writing and editing, encouraged by his father and inspired by Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent.
While at SUNY-Binghamton, Greenberger wrote and edited for the college newspaper, Pipe Dream, moving from general assignment writer to Arts Editor, Managing Editor and ultimately Editor-in-Chief. He served an internship at Gannett’s Binghamton Sun-Bulletin as a feature writer and reviewer.
Upon graduation, he worked for Starlog Press as Managing Editor of Fangoria. He was also an Associate Editor for Starlog and while there, created Comics Scene, the first nationally distributed magazine to focus on comic books, comic strips and animation. The magazine lasted 11 issues before its first cancellation at which time Greenberger went to work on their sports magazines.
In 1984, he joined DC Comics as an Assistant Editor, working with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman on DC’s Golden Anniversary projects Who’s Who and Crisis on Infinite Earths. He went on to act as assistant editor to numerous titles for each editor until he was promoted to editor. During his tenure, his titles included Star Trek, Suicide Squad, Warlord, Doom Patrol, Lois Lane, Action Comics Weekly, Time Masters, Secret Origins, The Hacker Files and others.
By 1990, he had given up editing to become the company’s Editorial Coordinator, helping grow the Editorial Administration department. When he left the company, he was Manager-Editorial Operations.
In March 2000, he left DC to become a Producer for Gist Communications, television news and listings web site. After ten months there, he learned some new skills and got out before the dotcom bubble burst.
In January 2001, he joined Marvel Comics as Director-Publishing Operations. During his year with the company, he oversaw editorial schedules, Production, Manufacturing, the Print Library, and other departments.
In January 2002, he left Marvel and rejoined DC in May 2002 as a Senior Editor-Collected Editions. He helped grow that department, introducing new formats and improving the editions’ editorial content. He also managed DC’s ElfQuest publishing program.
He left DC in January 2006, becoming a freelance writer and editor. His clients included Weekly World News, Platinum Studios, scifi.com, DC and Marvel. By June, he was offered the post of Managing Editor at Weekly World News where he helped transition the newspaper from being produced jointly in Florida and New York to just NYC.
When the paper folded in August 2007, he resumed his freelance career which continues to this date. Along the way, he helped revitalize Famous Monsters of Filmland and served as News Editor at ComicMix from August through December 2008.
First concept art from Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
We’ve got an EXCLUSIVE look at the first four concept images from Syfy’s upcoming two-hour pilot movie for Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. The movie focuses on the adventures of a young William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon war.
According to an earlier press release, here’s what we have to look forward to:
“Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet … the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.”
Remember—these are concept images, so the scenes they represent may or may not make it into the final cut of the movie, but they definitely show some interesting directions being considered for what executive producer David Eick calls an “authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of Battlestar Galactica’s early seasons.”
We’re definitely hoping the Cylon snake (we’re told it’s called a “Cython”) makes the cut.
Meet the bloody, hairy, ghostly roommates of Syfy’s Being Human
We showed you what the press kit for Syfy’s new series Being Human was like—now take a look at Being Human itself, in a new trailer than explains how a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf ended up as roommates.
Meet vampire “Aidan” (Sam Witwer), werewolf “Josh” (Sam Huntington) and ghost “Sally” (Meaghan Rath), three paranormal, 20-something roommates living in Boston and struggling with living double lives as they try to be human.
Being Human debuts on Syfy Monday, Jan. 17, at 9/8C.
We interviewed Sam Witwer in episode 52.
REVEALED: How season 3 of Dollhouse would have been like Buffy
Dollhouse lasted only two seasons, but what would have happened in the subterranean wish-fulfillment complex had Fox given it one more year’s worth of airtime? Producer and writer Tim Minear tells all.
Minear, who also wrote and produced episodes of other Joss Whedon shows, Angel and Firefly, told Assignment X that the problem with a character who can’t remember her actions becomes “a little boring for the audience.” The writers then inverted the character’s flaw.
So when we started allowing her to remember things, and then started taking the concept and making it into what her superpower was, it started turning into something else. I think what you would have seen in Season Three is [a series] a lot more embracing of its mythology and turned into more of a superhero show. It would have been a little bit more like Buffy in some ways.
Although Echo would have had no vampires to fight, she could have actively drawn upon the powerful abilities she learned at high speed. And after 38 personalities, she had many heroic talents to choose from: negotiations, hand-to-hand combat and survival skills, to name a few. It would have been wonderful to have seen them put to good use.
Another Mutant Enemy show about a girl who kicks ass? It sounded too good to be true, and sadly it was.
GAME OF THRONES: Mark Your Calendars For Premiere Date In April – from SciFi Mafia
HBO has finally announced the premiere date for the much anticipated television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series, Game of Thrones. Mark your calendars for April 17, 2011! The ten-part series is based on Martin’s book series “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Martin himself never thought it was possible to adapt his book to a television series. He had previously written for television on series such as Beauty and the Beast and The Twilight Zone in the 1980’s and was frustrated by the constant demise of his grand ideas being shot down due to budgetary restrictions and decided to “write a book that’s just for me:”
“I said, I’m going to write a book that’s just for me. I’m going to do something that’s as epic and huge as my imagination can contain. I’m going to have hundreds of characters, and gigantic battles, and amazing vistas of castles – because I don’t have to worry about a budget and a production schedule and how we’re going to do this. This is prose. All I need is words and my and the reader’s imaginations joining together to do this.”
“So it’s ironic that here we are and we’re producing it. Thankfully [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] have to deal with all the problems and I don’t. They have to take this thing that was never intended to be a television show or film and adapt it for television.”
“So far they’re doing a hell of a job at it… But if the show is successful – knock wood – there’ll be a second season and a third season, and it just gets bigger and harder.”
Martin is an executive producer for the show and wrote the eighth episode of its freshman season.
Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen confirmed for The Hobbit: Who’s next?
The casting news keeps coming for The Hobbit! Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen have officially signed on to reprise the roles of Gollum and Gandalf—and even more familiar faces may be returning as well.
According to Deadline, a deal has been closed for Serkis to once again don the motion-capture suit and perform the role of Gollum for director Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. Serkis’ portrayal of the doomed creature in The Lord of the Rings was a breakthrough both for him and for the art of motion capture, bringing Gollum to life almost entirely through CG.
Meanwhile, EW.com has confirmed that Ian McKellen has also officially signed his contract to portray Gandalf the Grey, one of the few characters who plays a major role in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s spectacular revelation that Elijah Wood was also coming back as Frodo Baggins for scenes that will frame the story and provide a link to the earlier Rings movies.
But more names from the Lord of the Rings trilogy may be returning as well. Deadline says that Christopher Lee is in talks to reprise the role of the wizard Saruman, and that Ian Holm may cameo as the older version of Bilbo Baggins, which he played in the Rings movies (the younger Bilbo will be played by Martin Freeman in The Hobbit). Both Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel and Hugo Weaving’s Elrond are expected to show up in the films as well, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas may also make an appearance.
As noted before, Jackson and his co-writers (Fran Walsh, Phillippa Boyens and one-time director Guillermo del Toro) may have stretched their adaptation of The Hobbit to fit some of these characters into that novel’s storyline. But we would be lying if we didn’t admit that the thought of seeing these actors playing their beloved roles again almost overrides any concerns about liberties taken with the text.
Are you looking forward to seeing so many Rings alumni in The Hobbit?
ULTRAMARINES: A WARHAMMER 40,000 MOVIE
Starring: Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington, Donald Sumpter, Johnny Harris
Director: Martyn Pick
U.S. Release Date: December 13th, 2010
For the first time ever, and to hundreds of thousands of fans’ anticipation, a feature film based on Games Workshop’s phenomenally popular Warhammer 40,000 science fantasy universe has been bought to screen by new production company Codex Pictures, starring Terence Stamp (Superman 2, Valkyrie), John Hurt (Alien, Hellboy) and Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers).
Based on internationally successful tabletop miniature wargame Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop (~$200 million revenue 2010), the screenplay for Ultramarines has been written by one of their best-selling Games Workshop Black Library authors Dan Abnett, who also writes for 2000AD, Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
Employing a rich, atmosphere-laden CGI animation style, Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie is available now as a two-disc special edition collector’s set in a striking original SteelBook case, including bonus features and a specially commissioned graphic ‘prequel’ novel. This give fans a unique opportunity to own the film as a collectable DVD ahead of its limited theatrical run in selected US and UK cinemas and a retail distribution later next year.
Ultramarines has been produced by UK independent production company Codex Pictures in association with Good Story Productions. The team behind Ultramarines were producers of the original trilogy of highly successful and multi award-winning Bionicle DVDs, made for the LEGO Company.
Ultramarines is set 40,000 years in the grim, dark future when the Imperium of Man covers a million worlds and faces threats from aliens, traitors, and demons.
The suspenseful story follows a raw squad of Ultramarines, (a special unit of genetically enhanced, armored Space Marines) investigating an urgent request for assistance from the remote shrine-world of Mithron. Mithron is defended by a full company of Imperial Fists, a fellow chapter of Space Marines who, for countless generations, have stood guard over the planet and its Imperial Shrine. What dreadful fate could have overcome them that they had to activate the distress beacon?
On arriving, the squad discovers that a terrible battle has taken place and some great evil has been unleashed. As unseen dangers close in around them, the newly promoted battle-brothers have to mount a tense and deadly insertion to find any surviving Imperial Fists and the reason behind the emergency signal . . .
SyFy ran a poll on their site:
Which 2011 sci-fi movie are you looking forward to most?
Green Lantern (6/17) 1262 votes
Thor (5/6) 1160 votes
Captain America: The First Avenger (7/22) 1119 votes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (7/15) 999 votes
Sucker Punch (3/25) 539 votes
Cowboys & Aliens (7/29) 520 votes
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, now in its 33rd year on the job, has reached the very edge of our solar system and is nearing the cusp of interstellar space. How does NASA know? The wind has died down. Voyager 1 has reached a point in the heliosheath that envelopes our solar system in which the speed of the solar wind that has been at Voyager’s back for three decades has dropped to zero.
That point is some 10.8 billion miles from the sun, beyond the outer planets and somewhat near the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. That boundary is defined by the heliosphere, which reaches outward from the sun as far as the charged particles given off by our anchoring star can reach.
Those charged particles hurtle outward at supersonic speeds until they cross what is known as the termination shock. From there, they begin to slow and heat up significantly in a buffer region known as the heliosheath. Eventually, when traveling outward, they reach a point where the net outward speed of the solar wind drops to zero, and like the eye of a storm the chaos of the cosmos is calm for a bit (the wind is more likely turned sideways due to pressure from the interstellar wind that exists in the regions between stars).
That’s where Voyager 1 is now. In fact, it’s been there for a while. NASA handlers knew Voyager 1 crossed the termination shock back in late 2004 when the solar wind at its back began to slow. In June of this year Voyager recorded a net outward wind speed of zero, but the researchers wanted to conduct a few more measurements to make sure Voyager wasn’t simply in an eddy of some kind. Since June, the net outward solar wind speed has remained at zero.
That places Voyager 1 fairly deep in the heliosphere and about four years from emerging from the other side into interstellar space, where it will remain the furthest-reaching mission ever launched from Earth. That’s pretty impressive when you think about it: a piece of equipment conceived in the Apollo era when the moon seemed a distant target – Voyager 1 launched in 1977 mind you – is now poised to become the first man-made object to leave the solar system for the larger galaxy beyond.
The most unexpectedly awesome lightsaber battle you’ll see today
When we think lightsaber battles, the first thing that comes to mind is NOT Glee. But Harry Shum Jr., who stars in that hit series as Mike Chang, just released a three-minute short film (titled, what else, 3 Minutes) that has us changing our minds. (And don’t worry—there’s no singing in the awesome mini-movie that follows.)
Shum calls this his “indie action/thriller short film,” and promises more to come. Watch it below and let us (and him) know if you think his lightsaber adventures should continue.
How much of an inkling did you have that Major Kira could be an unusual and special character?
Visitor: I absolutely had that sense right from the get-go, but I had no sense that she was a lead character. None. I thought that Kira was a one-off. I thought she was a guest star role. I don’t know why I wasn’t clear about that. Frankly, at the time, I was auditioning for three shows a day some days. So it was that time in TV when a lot of pilots were being made, and I was at a prime age and place in my life to be up for a lot of them. I absolutely knew, though, that the role was extraordinary and I wanted it. I actually didn’t know it was a woman. I wasn’t sure that it was a woman because it didn’t sound like a woman. It was like, “Wait a minute. Is this really the role I’m supposed to be reading?” It just resonated with me so deeply. It was like putting on an outfit and thinking, “Yeah, this is mine. I’ve worn it before. It fits me perfectly.” I think the warrior archetype has always been a part of me.
Star Trek: The Experience’s unofficial historian and friend of Subspace Communique, Vernon Wilmer is fighting to have the ST:TE sign saved. As you may know, The Experience left the Las Vegas Hilton back in 2008 (we cried) and has yet to reborn in any other location. The Hilton also has yet to fill the giant hole left by The Experience, but still brandishes the iconic delta shield and ST:TE logo on the hotel’s facade. That’s where Vernon comes in, he’s trying to get the ST:TE sign saved and preserved as a bit of Vegas history. A completely worthy and noble cause as far as were concerned. Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS featured Vernon & another friend of Subspace Comms, ST:TE’s April Hebert on the evening news, covering the plight of ST:TE sign.
“My concern is that it’s the last vestige of Star Trek, The Experience, of a beloved local landmark, and I think the sign should be preserved somehow,” said Vernon. “I’ve tried suggesting to a number of organizations, ‘See if you can grab that sign, preserve it,’ and either the response is we’re disinterested or our hands are tied,” he said.
With the hope of ST:TE re-materializing somewhere else slowly fading, we can only wish that at least the sign can be saved and preserved. Check out the KLAS coverage featuring Vernon and April.
Scifi Five In Five
The top best comic adaptions in modern media:
- Christopher Reeves Superman
- Chris Nolan’s Batman
- Sam Remy’s Spiderman
- The Watchmen and various Novel adaptations of Superheros