May 20th, 2011 by Scott
SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 99
An Interview with Bonita Friedericy from Chuck and Star Trek
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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The song at the end of this week’s episode is the theme song from Chuck by Cake, originally titled “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.”
On the menu tonight:
* Bonita Friedericy Interview
* Our 100th episode Contest
* Alcatraz Trailer
* The Walking Dead Rumors You Shouldn’t believe
* Jewel Staite Talks about the Stargate Franchise
* Pilots shows you will never see
* Smallville Plot Points that didn’t turn out -(spoilers ahead)
* 1st Conan trailer Rocks – Jason Momah – Stargate & Game of Thrones
* Twist: The Next Generation in HD, Crystal Allen on Life After Trek, A new Star Trek Animated Series Planned?
* SciFi Five in five: Top Five Mantras in SciFi
We are giving away three things: Top prize: $100 Think Geek Gift Certificate, Second Prize: Bonita Friedericy and John Billingsly Signed Print, and Third Prize: Mercury Men Posters
What you have to do: Send your favorite SciFi Diner Moment, audio or e-mail, and well select the top three winners. If you already submitted, Kahless I’m talking to you, you are already in the drawing. We will be announcing winners on our 100th episode. That gives you about three weeks to respond. You can call in your audio to 18885084343 or e-mail it as an mp3 to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Interview from Farpoint:
Bonita Friedericy is an actress who is best known for her work on the television shows Star Trek: Enterprise, The Nine, The West Wing, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Chuck.
Thanks to Brady.
Actor Jeffery Pierce, who plays Jack Sylvane in Alcatraz, also played Charlie Jade and platt the T-888 in The Sarah Connor Chronicles who killed Bryan Austen Green’s character. – I am so watching this.
Robert Kirkman says don’t believe those Walking Dead rumors
Remember all those rumors that The Walking Dead was going to use all freelance writers for its second season instead of a full-time writing staff? A source who would know says not to believe them.
In an interview with Heat Vision, Walking Dead comic-book creator Robert Kirkman said that reports of showrunner Frank Darabont using all freelancers to write the show and not having any full-time writers on the payroll are wrong. “We have a full writing staff,” explained Kirkman. “There are three full-time staff writers and a freelancer: Evan Reilly [Rescue Me], Scott Gimple [FlashForward] and Angela Kang [Terriers] and one freelancer.”
He added, “Darabont and [new executive producer] Glen Mazzara and myself are all working on the show. All that reporting about the writers being fired and going freelance, that was all something that never really happened.” Darabont did apparently let a few people go after the hugely successful first season ended, but he elected to hire a new staff instead of going all-freelance.
As for what else to expect from the second season, which Kirkman says will start shooting in a “few weeks,” he revealed … well, not much, actually. Kirkman would neither confirm nor deny whether we’ll see Michael Rooker’s Merle again, nor would he say when we’ll learn what Jenner (Noah Emmerich) whispered to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in the season finale—although he said we will find out what it was.
Kirkman also said that having Stephen King and his son Joe Hill collaborate on a script for the show has “been discussed a little bit” and that everyone’s “excited” about it, but would not definitively say whether it’s happening.
There’s more in the interview from Kirkman on other comic-book adaptations coming to TV, so it’s worth a read. But in the meantime, are you expecting big things from season two of The Walking Dead? What would you like to see happen in the next 13 episodes when they begin airing this fall?
Jewel Staite: How I feel about Stargate’s end—and more!
What are your feelings about the Stargate franchise coming to an end?
Honestly, I can’t really believe it’s actually over. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a lot of cast and crews over the years, but I can truly say I’ll always look back on my time on SG:A with a special kind of fondness. That show was a total dream job for me—shooting in my hometown, sleeping in my own bed every night, working with a fabulous and hilarious cast and crew who made me laugh on an hourly basis, being handcuffed and kidnapped in the woods … Well, maybe not so much on that last part. Truthfully, I was accepted with open arms into that family, and I will always be so incredibly grateful and proud to be a part of it. And I hope the fans are proud, too, of all of those seasons of television they helped get produced. Without them, it wouldn’t have gone on as long as it did, and I really hope they know that. It’s their show more than it was ever ours, and I’m just so thankful I got to be along for the ride.
30 sci-fi, fantasy and horror series you WON’T be seeing this fall
We’ve been hearing a lot the last couple of days about the pilots the networks have picked up, but except for a few high-profile possibilities like Wonder Woman, not so much about those they didn’t. But there were plenty more series passed over than that!
According to New York magazine, the networks were pitched thousands of series for the latest season, and of those, bought scripts for 429 of them. Of those, we’ve culled the 30 that seem as if they would have contained sci-fi, fantasy and horror elements.
Human Alien being occupies a person’s body.
Ghostworld Couple can see future and supernatural worlds.
Inhuman Great criminals have been psychologically cloned; investigators must find them.
Untitled Larry Kaplow Project Time travel.
Untitled Matthew Federman & Stephen Scaia Project Time travel.
Untitled Kam Miller Project Based on Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly mysteries, in which Harper speaks to the dead.
Untitled Susannah Grant Project Surgeon takes instruction from his dead ex-wife; Jonathan Demme directs.
Untitled Kevin Cecil & Andy Riley Project Fifties family travels to present day.
Fail Siblings are beaten down by life as their father narrates from beyond the grave.
Magical Law Legal-supernatural procedural.
Untitled Rick Eid Project Ambitious D.A. is aided by a ghost.
Black Chapter CIA unit uses paranormal means.
Untitled David Hubbard Project Prosecutor finds herself caught between two realities.
Smokers Alien exterminators in space.
Untitled Mo Mandel Project Meteor is headed for Earth.
Emerald City Group of New York twentysomethings, each a character from The Wizard of Oz.
Wonder Woman David E. Kelley’s reboot.
SFX Special-effects house works with the CIA to solve crimes.
Untitled Bryan Fuller Project Modern-day version of The Munsters.
Untitled Michael Green Project Cops use artificial intelligence.
Mission to Mars NASA-like agency plans the trip.
Untitled Mark Frost Project Cop with artificial intelligence.
Ritual Crime Unit Paranormal-crime investigators.
S.A.N.D. Men Inception-like show about dreams.
Vines Horror show set at a winery.
Nine Lives Supernatural thriller about people who’ve had near-death experiences.
The Dark Tower Based on Stephen King’s novels. King executive-produces.
Echoes Young woman, when touching an object, experiences the thoughts of people who have touched it before.
Ghost Angeles Young L.A. woman realizes that she can talk to the dead.
Zombies vs. Vampires Humans, zombies, and vampires all co-exist.
So … do any of these sound like something you would have watched? Did the networks make a mistake?
9 Smallville plot points that didn’t turn out exactly as planned
Tonight, we bid farewell to one of the most character-driven shows in sci-fi history. The story of the coming of age of a young Superman is almost complete—and we have to say it has wrapped up pretty darned well.
Pieces have been fitting together so smoothly, it’s difficult to believe these story arcs weren’t planned from the beginning. But the following things show that Smallville was always a work in progress, and could’ve ended up going in far different—and stranger—directions.
Smallville was originally about Batman
Producers initially pitched the Superman series about a coming-of-age Bruce Wayne. Nobody wanted to air a show about some kid’s parents getting whacked. So producers retooled it into the Clark Kent teenage drama we know and love today.
An even better reason why the Batman series was shelved was the movies. Warner Bros. was quite concerned that a Batman teenager show would step on the toes of their upcoming Batman Begins movie franchise reboot. Frankly, that’s a pretty good point: how much Batman does the WB want going at any one time? Also, we think that Clark Kent struggling to understand and harness his superpowers adds a layer of depth we can’t get with Bruce Wayne.
Margot Kidder was originally the main villain of Season 4
The plan was elegant. The Lois Lane actress from the original series, who still looks pretty hot, would come on Smallville as a villain. Not just any “freak-of-the-week” villain, but a huge baddie that would take an entire season to bring down. We’re sure it would have been great, if only we lived in a world where everything didn’t always get derailed by awfulness.
So what happened? Tragedy. Christopher Reeve, another cherished actor who made guest appearances on Smallville, passed away. Rather than crown the legacy by having Margot Kidder make every attempt to hurt the new Superman, producers agreed that her role should be softened. So Kidder’s character got steered away from her rise to villainy. Instead of Kidder, producers introduced a surprising rivalry between Clark Kent and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
The show was originally going to be filmed entirely in Australia
We just don’t see it. The lush Vancouver-filmed greenery makes the town of Smallville so eye-popping. It’s hard to believe that producers could have wanted a place known for its dry stretches. But, according to Smallville: The Official Companion Season 1, Australia was the original choice for filming.
We have to be missing something, because we’re just not sure how that would’ve worked. Lost made up for the difficulty of filming in Hawaii by using the landscape to convey a strange land. But it’s not like Australia affords many of those lush, multi-tiered landscapes. We think maybe New Zealand, the location for Lord of the Rings, might have been a better choice. However, Vancouver works great. Smallville is beautiful (even if its distance from Metropolis changes in every episode).
Martha Kent was originally Cynthia Ettinger
When we say “originally,” we don’t mean, “she was the producers’ first choice.” We mean the pilot was originally filmed with Ettinger as Kal-El’s foster adoptive mom. However, Ettinger and everyone else apparently agreed that it just wasn’t working. So Annette O’Toole was brought in as the new Martha Kent. All of the scenes that had featured Ettinger were refilmed with O’Toole. Hey, it’s hard to figure out which actress will be most believable picking up an alien baby.
The Watchmen set became available
One good surprise happened to the series last season, when sets from the movie Watchmen became available to Smallville. The ninth season episode, “Pandora,” focused heavily on Lois Lane’s visions of an apocalyptic future. The true magnitude of impending doom wasn’t fully presented until viewers glimpsed a magnificently devastated, bombed-out town under a red sun.
These revelations presented a big point in the season-long story arc. Clark changes his mind from fighting Zod, the villain who is to bring about this destructive future. Kent realizes the scope of Zod’s power, and decides to make friends with him instead.
The whole apocalyptic future setting was insanely cool, and let us know exactly what Zod was planning to do. Zod was always meant to be the main villain, but without the Watchmen set frightening us into submission, he wouldn’t have seemed half as scary.
Producers abandoned the “Freak of the Week” formula
The initial format of Smallville, with exceptions, was to introduce a baddie each episode who would be defeated by the end. Producers called this “Freak of the Week,” and the show’s initial success meant the formula could’ve lasted the entire run. It wasn’t until fans cried out for more information on the human sides of Clark and Lana that producers abandoned the format. This geared Smallville directly towards the character-driven plotlines that it’s known for today.
Having a bad guy to fight every week is cool, but it hearkens to the old days of children’s TV shows and comic books. A sophisticated, multi-episode plot was exactly what older Superman fans were hungry for. It’s impossible to know for sure how long the monster-of-the-week show would’ve lasted, but it’s more fun to watch Clark fight the monsters of adolescence.
Batman and Wonder Woman
Smallville loves to excite fans by weaving in origin stories of other comic book characters. There have been dozens of superheroes and villains worked into the script: Green Arrow, Darkseid, the show even loves to throw out nods to Spider-Man whenever it can. But two characters who are rarely mentioned are Batman and Wonder Woman. The upcoming WW feature film created a bunch of red tape for using the lasso-wielding vixen. The aforementioned Batman film series reboot meant that the Dark Knight was hands off, as well.
So, we’ll never see Clark Kent accidentally bump into Bruce Wayne. But that didn’t stop writers from working in a slew of nods to these superhero legends. Gotham and its sister city Blüdhaven are mentioned as real towns on Smallville. In addition to multiple references to the Wonder Woman universe, Lynda Carter had an exciting role on Smallville. As Moira Sullivan, Carter played a woman who could mind-control those infected by meteors. That’s why you should always wear a mask outside: so meteors can’t fly into your mouth and infect you.
Green Arrow was almost Aquaman
Alan Ritchson made a popular appearance in the season 5 episode, “Aqua.” The producers were so enchanted, they decided to make an Aquaman pilot. (But cast Justin Hartley as Aquaman, instead, go figure!) Okay, hold the bus here. Shows about young Batman and young Superman sound fantastic. But there’s a point where you go from “creative backstories” to “Muppet Babies,” and we think that point is Aquaman.
Networks agreed with us, as no one wanted to pick up the Aquaman show. Seriously, one has to wonder about how exasperated network execs were. Smallville producers pitch a Batman show, you reject it, so they come back with another show about … Aquaman!
When no one wanted Aquaman on their hook, Hartley was written back into Smallville. Not as Aquaman, though (it makes you wonder when producers won’t even put the character on their own show). Hartley was revealed to be the Green Arrow: vigilante and most accurate marksman of all superheroes named “Green.”
Lois Lane was originally a bit character
With Lana, Lex and Clark driving the show, producers didn’t feel a need to bring Lois Lane into the picture. As the story goes, they only planned to write Lois into a few episodes, as a huge nod towards Superman’s future. The chemistry between actress Erica Durance and Clark Kent-portrayer Tom Welling prompted the show’s makers to offer her a longer contract. Because of this, we’ve gotten a huge look at the early romantic tension between these two, and it’s been breathtaking.
When we think about what Smallville could have been, it’s kind of absurd. An Australian-set show about Batman, with Wonder Woman running around doing her best to ditch Aquaman. That’s not a formula that would lead to what has become the longest-running North America science fiction show in history. No, the show wanted to showcase the younger, more human side of Clark Kent, and it did so with all the beauty of a priceless painting. Tonight the series will take a bow, and it deserves it: for it seems all the right choices were made.
1st Conan the Barbarian theatrical trailer crushes our enemies
The first Conan the Barbarian teaser trailer we saw a couple of months ago was nothing more than a whole lot of smoke. Which was OK for what was supposed to be just a tease, we guess, but … it left us wanting more.
Well, more is finally here, thanks the the film’s first theatrical trailer, which replaces that smoke with plenty of swords and lots of sorcery. Check it out below and wonder: What would Robert E. Howard think?
Conan the Barbarian, which stars Jason Momoa as you-know-who, Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Rose McGowan (Grindhouse), Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Rachel Nichols (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), hits theaters Aug. 19, 2011.
by Anthony Pascale
The remastering of Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD is something that has been talked about ever since CBS gave the original Star Trek series the HD treatment in 2006. Now a new rumor has surfaced that CBS is moving forward on the project. Details below.
Rumor: TNG in HD project moving forward?
The latest news of Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD comes from our friend Bill Hunt at Digital Bits, who has a “Rumor Mill” post which cites sources “hinting that TNG Remastered IS moving forward.” According to the report this remastered TNG would first show on Netflix in the fall (in addition to their TNG SD offering) and possibly on EPIX as well. TrekMovie recently reported that Netflix had confirmed that all seven seasons of TNG will begin streaming in July in standard definition, with only the Star Trek original series and Enterprise available in HD.
Digital Bits report also states:
We believe a high-definition film scan of The Next Generation is very likely in the cards for the entire series run, along with the requisite digitally-upgraded effects. Of course, in addition to syndication and streaming, the end result of all this might be a Next Generation: Remastered Blu-ray release down the line.
TrekMovie has not yet been able to confirm this report, however we have previously reported that CBS has been considering a remastered TNG project for years. We first reported on this from Comic Con 2007 when CBS revealed they had done tests on an “upresed” version of TNG. And last Summer CBS’s VP of Consumer Products John Van Citters told TrekMovie confirmed that there were still conversations going on at CBS about TNG-R, but he noted that, at the time, there was no specific plan or budget for the project. It is worth noting that it took CBS two years to remaster all three seasons of original Star Trek, so if a project has started using similar techniques, it is hard to imagine it could deliver all seven seasons of TNG in HD by the fall
of this year.
Last summer Van Citter stated that there were significant technical issues that made remastering TNG in HD more problematic than remastering the original Star Trek series. One of the main issues is that the special effects for TNG were done in video, and redoing all the effects would be much more expensive than with the TOS Remastered project. Mike Okuda, who was one of the producers for 2006-2008 project to remastered the original Star Trek series, once told TrekMovie a particularly problematic issue is with the USS Enterprise D bridge screen. Unlike the original series, characters often stood or walked in front of the screen and so to swap out new digital effects, they would have to manually rotoscope out all the moving actors. However, last summer CBS’ Van Citers also noted that he was “optimistic” CBS would eventually figure out how to deliver Star Trek: The Next Generation in HD.
Shot from pilot “Encounter at Farpoint” shows how live action and effects shots are more often intertwined in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – making it harder to remaster in HD
If the DigitalBits rumor is true, then it could be that CBS has resolved the technical (and financial) issues for TNG-R. TrekMovie asked CBS to respond to this report, but we were told they have no comment on rumors. We are also awaiting a response from Netflix, but a source at EPIX cast doubt on their being involved as they currently don’t have a deal with CBS and only show movies (not TV shows).
TrekMovie will keep an eye on this potentially very exciting project.
Life After Trek Podcast Episode 9 Featuring Crystal Allen
We’re pleased to announce the ninth episode of our “Life After Trek” podcast, featuring Crystal Allen. Many of you will remember Crystal from her role as D’Nesh in the Enterprise episode “Bound”. D’Nesh was one of the Orion Slave Girls used to gain control of the Enterprise and subdue Captain Archer and his crew. Crystal was also involved in the Tim Russ helmed fan film “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men” were she played Conqueror Navigator Yara.
We originally met Crystal at last year’s Starbase Indy convention, but unfortunately ran into technical difficulties and were unable to record the interview live. Crystal was a great sport and called in to provide you guys & gals with insight into her time spent in the Trek universe. If you haven’t checked out “Of Gods and Men”, be sure to do so. You can find more info here on the official website.
We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we did recording it. Be sure to stop by the official Crystal Allen website here to see what projects she has in store.
New Star Trek: Animated Series Being Planned?
Star Trek: The Animated Series was a strange experiment in bringing more adult-themed adventure programming in the animated world, back when it happened in the early 70s. You might assume it was the result of someone who didn’t understand Star Trek thinking that it was kids stuff, but somehow the animated series avoided being a totally dumbed down version of the show. It was an interesting, side trip into the Trek universe at a time when there was no actual live action Star Trek out there for fans to consume. A time a lot like now.
Paramount’s Star Trek team is taking its sweet time about getting another movie done, and there hasn’t been Star Trek on television since Enterprise was cancelled exactly six years ago. I’d call that a drought. The answer to that drought could be the same as it was back in the seventies: Paramount has been talking about making a new Star Trek animated series.
Responding to a tweet from TrekMovie, Star Trek writer Bob Orci revealed on his twitter feed tonight that he’s been talking about putting together an animated Trek. Just exactly who he’s been talking to about this remains a little unclear, based on the context of the conversation it’s either something he’s been mulling over with his Star Trek co-writer Alex Kurtzman, or it’s something he and Alex have actually been talking about with Trek rights-holders Paramount and CBS. Either way, I like the thought process.
Bottom line, even if they actually do get around to making another movie, Star Trek really needs to get back on television. Live action hasn’t really worked, but animation could. Here’s the best thing about doing animation: They could actually set the thing in the original series, in the same way the 1973 animated series was. Maybe even draw the characters to look like the original actors who portrayed them. Give me William Shatner’s young Kirk. Spock should always be played by Leonard Nimoy. Resurrect DeForest Kelly and James Doohan to play Dr. McCoy and Scotty in animated form.
Let those characters live on forever, and I’m a happy Trek fan, as long as they gear it towards adults and use this as a way to do smart science fiction. The possibilities are endless. This needs to happen.
If you’ve never seen the original Trek: Animated Series CBS actually makes most of the 22 episodes available online for free. The animation is actually fairly impressive for the 70s and the quality’s been cleaned up for the series’ recent DVD release. Check them out here.
SciFi Five in Five – Scott’s five most inspirational quotes
1. Litany Against Fear is an incantation used by the Bene Gesserit
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.
3.Gandalf to Frodo in the Mines of Moria
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
4. From Contact – the movie – don’t remember if this is in the book
Palmer Joss – What I’m asking is… are we happier, as a human race? Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web, and at the same time we feel emptier, lonelier, and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history…
5. Cpt. Kirk “Risk! Risk is our business! That’s what the starship is all about! That’s why we’re aboard her!” – Return to Tomorrow
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