SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 177
Our Interview with Rob Paulsen
(Voicing TNMT, Animaniacs, Transformers,
Jimmy Neutron, Pinky and the Brain)
The SciFi Diner Podcast
A 2012 Parsec Finalist
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Welcome to the Diner.
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Upcoming Shows: Man of Steel Review show July 9th, Jurassic Park show – August 6th
Interview: Rob Paulsen (Voicing TNMT, Animaniacs, Transformers, Jimmy Neutron, Pinky and the Brain)
New Trivia: Win a signed Rob Paulson print
TV News: Why Under The Dome producer warns that ‘the bad guys are us’ It’s official; Ronald D. Moore’s time-traveling Outlander gets a series order
Movie News: Turns out there’s gonna be 2 Independence Day sequels (but no Will Smith) Warner Bros.’ ‘Man of Steel’ Nabs $170 Million in Promotional Dollars; Movie Trailer: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Special Interest: Remembering Richard Matheson.
TWIST: Real-Life ‘Star Trek’ Tricorder Project Raises $1 Million
SciFi 5 in 5 : 5 Great Animated Comic Book Superhero Adaptations on Netflix you ought to check out.
Trivia Question: Who does Star Trek TNG, DS9, Enterprise, Lost and Defiance have in common?
The Prize: A signed Rob Paulsen print
You will have until the end of July to send us your answers. Please include the code word mentioned in the first 15 minutes of the show. 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 go all shiny and dress in a browncoat and walk into your local bar.
Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend, dies at 86
We lost a legend today. Writer Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend and a ton of other great works, passed away at the age of 86. From movies to books to television — he’s done it all. And done it well.
Matheson’s daughter Ali Marie announced his passing in a private Facebook post :
My beloved father passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and things he loved…he was funny, brilliant, loving, generous, kind, creative, and the most wonderful father ever…I miss you and love you forever Pop and I know you are now happy and healthy in a beautiful place full of love and joy you always knew was there…
On the literary front, Matheson is best known for writing the aforementioned I Am Legend, Stir of Echoes, The Shrinking Man, What Dreams May Come and Hell House — but he’s been writing since the early ’50s and never stopped. His last novel, Generations, was published in 2012.
His short stories have also inspired a few feature films, including his 1970 story “Button, Button” (reimagined as a Twilight Zone ep, as well as 2009’s The Box) and “Real Steel” from 1956, which turned into Hugh Jackman’s metal-kicking boxing flick of the same name in 2011.
Matheson has been a force in sci-fi for decades, and in addition to his myriad novels and movie credits, also cut his teeth writing some of the most iconic Twilight Zone episodes produced, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” “Steel” and “Little Girl Lost.” Even cooler? He also wrote theStar Trek: Original Series episode “The Enemy Within,” which featured good vs. evil versions of Capt. Kirk.
Matheson has been making great sci-fi for longer than most fans have been alive, and even if you’ve never gotten into any of his works, he’s almost certainly had an effect on someone you do like. Stephen King cites him as “ the author who influenced [him] most as a writer,” and some of his work on The Twilight Zone is groundbreaking stuff that paved the way for all the smart, serious sci-fi we enjoy today.
Why Under The Dome producer warns that ‘the bad guys are us’
CBS heads off into Stephen King territory tonight with the new series, Under the Dome, but don’t expect your standard horror show, said creator and executive producer Brian K. Vaughan in an exclusive interview with Blastr.
“The thing that I love best about the show is, unlike a lot of genre shows, our enemy in the show is not zombies or space aliens or a smoke monster like on Lost. This is, at its heart, a character-driven drama, and the bad guys are us, the things that we do to one another. I think it’s always going to be very focused on our characters and the people of Chester’s Mill. How do they deal with the fact that we have limited resources under this dome?” said Vaughan.
Under The Dome is based on the King novel of the same name, and explores what happens when the town of Chester’s Mill is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by a massive transparent dome. The series stars Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris, Natalie Martinez, Britt Robertson, Alexander Koch, Colin Ford, Nicholas Strong, Jolene Purdy, Jeff Fahey and Aisha Hinds.
“The book takes place over just a few days. You’re under there for a relatively short amount of time. Our goal with the series is hopefully to be on the air for years and show how this town is going to change over that period of time,” said Vaughan. “I also think because we have a little more space — if you’ve read the book — Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara, who is our hero, starts out in the novel as very much a white hat, and Big Jim Rennie, who’s sort of a councilman in town, is really evil in the book to begin with. We wanted to back off both. We start off our story with Barbie in a much darker place and Big Jim as a bit more of a hero. It’ll take some time for them to become the people they were at the start of the book.”
Since the action takes place over time, “we’ll see a lot of reversals. People that the town might have taken for granted before, the farmers who are considered the least of these people, are now going to be first. They suddenly have a great deal of importance. Really, this dome is a microcosm for planet Earth. It’s our story. We are all trapped here together under this fragile atmosphere, and everything we do has an impact on each other, and there’s only so much to go around. Just like in our world, this will lead to conflict, to war, to violence. Are we going to live up to our best nature and overcome that and learn to survive together?” he said.
Behind the scenes both Stephen King and Steven Spielberg serve as active executive producers. “I wish I could name-drop somebody cool, but we’re stuck with those two Stevens,” joked Vaughan. “But yeah, they have very different worldviews. Steven Spielberg has traditionally seen the very best in people, while Stephen King has seen the worst. But I think that they have a lot of similarities as artists. They’re both real humanists, and they love characters, and they love taking ordinary people and throwing them into extraordinary circumstances. I have always loved that collision of the mundane and the fantastic, and nobody does it better than those two guys.”
It’s official: Ronald D. Moore’s time-traveling Outlander gets a series order
Ronald D. Moore is officially a showrunner again.
The Starz network announced today that it’s given a 16-episode series order to Moore’s adaptation of Outlander, the bestselling fantasy series by Diana Gabaldon. Moore will serve as writer and executive producer for the series, which will shoot in Scotland this fall for a 2014 premiere. So, just a few months after we got the encouraging news that Moore was mustering a writing staff, the show is a reality.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Outlander to Starz next year,” said Chris Albrecht, CEO of Starz. “Diana has created an incredibly compelling heroine, thrust into a very complex world, not to mention, time. The books weave a fascinating tapestry of history, spirituality, love and honor, not to mention plenty of time travel, sex and warfare. With Diana’s stories guiding us and Ron’s mastery, we hope to bring Claire and Jamie to life for the millions of fans the world over.”
The Outlander novels — which tell the story of Claire Randall, a combat nurse in 1945 who is suddenly swept back to 1743 Scotland — have sold more than 20 million copies and frequently appear on the New York Times bestseller list. The eighth novel in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, is due out in March, 2014.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to bring these books to life,” Moore said. “Diana’s created a rich and textured world filled with intriguing characters, and I believe that Starz is the perfect home for her story. I think we’ll make something that the millions of fans of these books will enjoy and recognize as Outlander.”
So, between this and the forthcoming Syfy series Helix, which he’s executive producing, it looks like 2014 will be a very good TV year for Moore.
Will you be watching Outlander when it premieres next year?
Turns out there’s gonna be 2 Independence Day sequels (but no Will Smith)
Today we declare our Independence Day! Twice.
Director Roland Emmerich is out in the world doing his best to promote his latest offering, White House Down, but, as ever, people are more interested in hearing about the possibility of an
Independence Day sequel. If you happen to be one of those people, hang on to your hat, because things just got real. Real official, that is.
Twentieth Century Fox has formally announced it plans to make not one, but TWO ID4 sequels, tentatively titled ID Forever Part I and Part II.
But just because there will be more movies doesn’t mean that the whole gang’s getting back together. Yes, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin will be taking the reins on the sequels, but at least one notable person will be absent. Says Emmerich:
Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much. We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film and the other half people who are new.
As of now, the only actor who is, apparently, promising to return is Jeff Goldblum. Which is great news, especially if we need to give any aliens a cold.
As for whether this is a reboot, a sequel or something in between, Emmerich explains, “We’re not doing a total reboot, we’re doing something that’s totally unusual.” That sounds like a continuation to us, just not an immediate one. With an approximate 2015 release date, we could imagine the movie taking place, oh, say, 20 years after the first one.
But do enough people still care about Independence Day to see it even without WIll Smith?
Warner Bros.’ ‘Man of Steel’ Nabs $170 Million in Promotional Dollars
“Man of Steel”
The Superman reboot has 98 partners — more than “The Dark Knight Rises” — with Sears playing a “dramatic role” in the film, plus action figures (Mattel), razor blades (Gillette), cars (Chrysler), shoes (Converse) and even the National Guard.
This story first appeared in the June 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It’s a bird! It’s a planet! It’s an ad!
Warner Bros. has booked a whopping 98 promotional partners worldwide — so far — that are providing about $170 million in support (on top of paid ads) for Man of Steel. That’s even more than The Dark Knight Rises’ $150 million in third-party promos last summer. In addition to those already on board, Warners sources say even more international partners are expected before the movie takes flight June 14 in the U.S. and elsewhere this summer.
Warner Bros. would not discuss their third-party promotions or provide any figures but did confirm some of those who are involved. Sources say that Man of Steel has been a much easier movie to pitch to partners than The Dark Knight Rises, which was darker in theme and plot.
Clark Kent’s alter ego may not be as joyful as the singing penguins who created a marketing glow that helped propel Happy Feet into merchandising history, but Superman is seen as an all-American figure, a real hero and someone whom people of all ages can admire. That makes the reinvented hero someone advertisers want to associate with.
Along with DC Comics regular partners like Mattel, with a line that includes a variety of action figures and collectibles (priced from around $10 to over $100), a partial list of partners includes toys from Lego, JAKKS Pacific (collectable figures) and Fisher Price (Super Friends for toddlers), shoes from Converse, costumes from Rubie’s, Hallmark cards, as well as apparel collections from Kinetics, Junk Food and Bioworld.
In the U.K., Chrysler is offering two new series of vehicles inspired by Man of Steel. The S-Series comes with oversized black alloy wheels, a dark steel grill and interior accents and a matte-black roof and hood.
Chrysler is also producing two, and only two, concept cars, that will have everything from embroidered carpet mats to a Man of Steel-branded key fob. They will be part of a contest in the U.K. with the cars going to two lucky winners.
There are also Nokia phones and interactive apps, Carls Jr. Super cheeseburgers, Hershey’s Twizzlers on Facebook (where fans create and star in a personalized video) as well as two retail partners — which is unusual — Walmart (selling licensed merchandise and tickets to a special screening) and Sears (one of whose stores features in a dramatic twist in the film).
Even the U.S. Army National Guard has enlisted with a Soldier of Steel promotion.
Movie Trailers: Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox
An alteration of the timeline for the superhero, The Flash, creates ripples that disastrously alters the Universe. The Flash must team with other heroes to restore the timeline while the Earth is ravaged by a war between Aquaman’s Atlantis and Wonder Woman’s Amazons.
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lois Lane (voice)
General Lane (voice)
Wonder Woman (voice)
This week in Star Trek:
Real-Life ‘Star Trek’ Tricorder Project Raises $1 MillionBy Clara Moskowitz
“Star Trek” fans may soon get a chance to have their own Dr. McCoy moment with the world’s first real-life medical tricorder, which will be available to the public soon thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $1 million for the Space Age technology.
On “Star Trek,” Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy used a medical tricorder to scan patients and immediately diagnose their ailments. While the new real-life version, called the Scanadu Scout, is missing some of the features of its science fiction counterpart — namely the ability to make internal scans and complex diagnoses — it still can be a handy device for medical checkups on the go.
Within about 10 seconds of pressing the Scanadu Scout to your forehead with thumb and forefinger, the tool reads out your heart rate, temperature, oximetry (blood oxygen level), respiratory rate, blood pressure, stress and electrocardiography (ECG). [The Top 10 Star Trek Technologies ]
“It’s the 21st-century version of the medical tricorder from ‘Star Trek,'” said Scanadu founder and CEO Walter de Brouwer. “Basically it has a complete emergency room in there — when you go to the emergency room and they hook you up, the same readings you get out of [the Scout]. It’s one more device out of ‘Star Trek’ that will see reality.”
About a month ago, Scanadu started a crowdfunding campaign for the device on Indiegogo, hoping to raise $100,000. As of Monday (June 24), the company had raised more than $1.18 million.
Shortly before the campaign’s one-month deadline, Scanadu decided to extend it for another month. The public now has until July 20 to order a first-generation Scanadu Scout for $199, before they are out in stores.
De Brouwer founded Scanadu out of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The Scout device even uses some real-life space technology, as its operating system, the 32-bit RTOS Micrium platform, was also used in the SAM instrument on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.
De Brouwer said his invention was inspired by “Star Trek,” and hopes over time the Scout will become more like the futuristic tool of the television series.
“If you look at the tricorder in Star Trek, it has four ideals: It is non-contact, it is non-cooperative — you may even be unconscious — it is non-sampling (doesn’t take a sample of blood) and it is non-invasive,” de Brouwer told SPACE.com. “The technology, probably in 10 years from now, will be built into our environment, so preventive medicine will almost disappear into the walls, into the fabric of our reality.”
Early adopters of the Scanadu Scout will get to try the device out as an exploratory tool. In order to market the product as a medical device to the consumer market, the company will have to seek approval from the FDA. Scanadu plans to use experiences and data collected by its first customers to improve and understand the product in preparation for that stage.
“It’s great that you can have a customer who pays but is also a developer and thinks with you, and at the same time you make a planetary effort to make this device come out of a movie,” de Brouwer said.
SciFi Five in Five:.
5 Great Animated Comic Book Superhero Adaptations on Netflix you ought to check out.
5. Superman vs. The Elite
3. The Invincible Iron Man
1. Justice League: Doom