SciFi Diner Podcast

Welcome to the SciFi Diner where we serve up spicy conversations off the latest menu of SciFi Movies & Television Shows.

Scifi Diner Podcast Ep. 33 – An Interview with Robert Picardo from Stargate: Atlantis and Star Trek Voyager. News on Defying Gravity, Warehouse 13, Dr. Horrible, Fringe and More!


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Tonight’s Diners: Scott & Miles

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Tonight’s Agenda:

We have an interview tonight with Robert Picardo from Stargate Atlantis and from Star Trek Voyager.  Defying Gravity Gets Canceled then uncanceled, Battlestar Galactica meets Warehouse 13, Dr. Horrible is an Emmy winner, Prince of Persia, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Surrogates, Wolverine and Fringe DVD releases.

Show News:

  • Thanks to everyone that listened to our interview with Allison Scagliotti
  • Tons of people retweeted it.
  • Props to the many people who signed up to follow @scifidiner on twitter
  • Tons of people answered the trivia.
  • Explain our trivia: Everyone can play, not everyone can get the prize.  Not meant to slight our listeners across the sea, economic reasons.
  • We draw from all our winners at random for the prize.
  • For more info. Visit our site and click the link to contest

The Trivia Question this Week:

The Prize: This week we are giving away a copy of Smallville: Season 2

The Question: Name two popular scifi movies Robert Picardo was in?

If you know the answer, call us at 1.888.508.4343, e-mail us at, or contact scifidiner on Twitter with your answers!

Last Week’s Question & Winner:

The Prize: This week we are giving away a copy of Batman Beyond: The Movie

Question: Who played Hiro Nakumara’s father?

Answer: George Takai

Winner: selby90

Our Interview:

We sat down and chatted with Robert Picardo at Shore Leave 31 this past summer about his work in both the Stargate Franchises and Star Trek Voyager.  He talked a bit about how he landed the job of Richard Woolsey and his perspective on the character. He also shared about the comedy shtick he and Ethan Phillips do at the various convention they visit.  Of course, Picardo also talked about his work on Star Trek Voyager and how in a sense the doctor he played was the most human character, the most authentic on the show.

SciFi News:

Ten Minutes of Scifi TV:

Defying Gravity: ABC came out this week saying that 8 aired episodes and with 5 more in the can that DG was cancelled; Then other news broke that apparently they were still considering it.

The story care of

UPDATE 15/9/2009:  The Futon Critic have confirmed that Nicole Marostica, publicist for Defying Gravity, has stated ABC hasn’t pulled the plug on the show completely and is still mulling scheduling options going forward.  However, she gave no indication about if or when the series would return.

Well it was on the cards due to poor ratings but now its official, ABC has pulled their sci-fi series Defying Gravity from their schedule.

I think the reasons why Defying Gravity’s ratings have been poor can probably be debated until the end of time (and no doubt will be), but in the end the only thing that matters is the fact that those ratings were poor.

For those that liked the series – and I’m one of them – my only hope is that the final five episodes will find their way to our screens in due course.

It’s a shame to see the series pulled at episode 8 whilst knowing that the entire ‘mystery’ that’s been building up remains unresolved (not that I can say if all 13 episodes would have resolved it!).  Whilst it is probable those five episodes will surface in due course, at this stage when that might occur remains unknown.

Whilst I’m not going to claim Defying Gravity was a show in the leagues of Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or even My Own Worst Enemy to name a few, it will nonetheless be added to the same list of “good shows that ended before their time”.  Why do I say that?  Because I’m guessing that even if those five episodes finally get air time, my money is on the series going no further than that.

Defying Gravity has received atrocious ratings so I’m guessing there won’t be a second season, but if you have more hope than I do and would still like to try and add weight to ABC’s future decisions regarding the series, visit the Defying Gravity message boards at  There are already a number of threads going that you can join in the conversation with.

You can also send a polite email to ABC asking them to consider continuing with distribution of this brilliant show.

Firefly’s gone, but are sci-fi Westerns on their way back?

Are we on the cusp of a new wave of sci-fi westerns? Years after the premature demise of TV’s The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. and Firefly suggested that viewers didn’t much like mixing horseplay with spaceships, now comes news that Chuck executive producer Scott Rosenbaum is developing an as-yet-untitled sci-fi oater for the Fox broadcasting network.

The news comes on the heels of reports that Star Trek/Fringe producers/writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are developing a Cowboys & Aliens movie and that frequent Orci/Kurtzman collaborator J.J. Abrams and his Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof are developing a movie based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter describes Rosenbaum’s proposed sci-fi western TV pilot:

The untitled project, from Warner Bros. TV and McG’s studio-based Wonderland Sound and Vision, has landed a script commitment with a significant penalty.

Described as an epic Western with a sci-fi twist, the show will revolve around “a gunslinger caught between worlds” and will feature a nod to Planet of the Apes, said Rosenbaum, who is executive producing with Wonderland’s McG and Peter Johnson.

“What I’m really interested in is the revamping of the Western genre where you still have all of the iconic Western themes and iconic Western tropes but the idea is that it will feel incredibly contemporary and will introduce the Western to a whole new generation,” Rosenbaum said.

Isn’t that kind of what Joss Whedon was attempting in the short-lived but much-loved (at least by a hard-core coterie of Browncoats) Firefly and its film spinoff, Serenity?

Of course, all involved have great track records: NBC’s Chuck is a nearly irresistible mashup of romance, slacker comedy and the spy genre. Wonderland is also behind The CW’s creepy sexy Supernatural and Fox’s upcoming comic-based Human Target, which we also liked a lot. Stay tuned!

3 reasons ‘Col. Tigh’ couldn’t resist a Warehouse 13 guest slot

Battlestar Galactica‘s Col. Tigh, Michael Hogan, can rattle off the reasons why he couldn’t say no to appearing on tonight’s episode of Syfy’s Warehouse 13.

Reason #1: “It’s always fun when people call you out of the blue and ask me and my wife [Susan Hogan] to play husband and wife. So that was, of course, an intriguing thing.”

Reason #2: “I’m not sure if I’d seen the Warehouse 13 pilot yet when this came up, but I was intrigued by the idea and it was a show that brought me back into the Syfy family. So it was a no-brainer.”

Reason #3: “And playing the parents of Joanne [Kelly] was fabulous. We hit it off right away.”

So, to put all of the above in context, Hogan and his wife play husband and wife and the parents of Myka Bering (Kelly) in the episode “Nevermore,” premiering at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The episode finds Myka visiting her desperately ill father (Hogan), who’s under the influence of half an artifact that once belonged to Edgar Allan Poe. The other half is in Oregon, in the possession of a student who’s behaving very strangely.

Hogan spends much of the episode awake and screaming in pain, unconscious and writhing spasmodically, or some combination thereof. During an exclusive telephone interview last week, Hogan joked about the shoot being one of his more unusual experiences on a set.

“They would say, ‘OK, those who are not in this immediate shot can go, and we’re gonna watch Hogan progressively writhe,” Hogan said. “Acting-wise, the director would just say, ‘OK, a little bit more,’ or, ‘OK, no, no, no, not so much,’ or, ‘Now, really go.’ It was a lot of fun. There was no forgetting my lines.”

Minor spoiler coming up … Hogan does not die in the episode. That means that the role could become one of the recurring variety, something that appeals to him and Mrs. Hogan, too.

“Definitely,” he said. “Susan and I got on well with everybody there, but we really fell in love with Joanne, with our daughter. No acting required there. I saw the episode, and it was a lot of fun, and we would go back in a flash.”

Dr. Horrible wins first Emmy for Joss Whedon

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on Saturday won the Emmy Award for short-format live-action entertainment programs, a first for creator Joss Whedon, whose only previous Emmy nomination was for writing the Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Ten Minutes in SciFi Movies:

Is Prince of Persia the first great game movie?

Video games have inspired few good movies. Mortal Kombat was sort of fun, Resident Evil had its chills, and Angelina Jolie was a credible Lara Croft, but none of them have been great. For every Tomb Raider there’s a Hitman, Legend of Chun-Li or Super Mario Bros.

But producer Jerry Bruckheimer unveiled never-before-seen footage from Disney’s upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at the D23 fan expo in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, and it rocked the house, suggesting that Persia may be the first video-game-based movie to break the mold.

Johnny Depp Confirmed For ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 4′

Johnny Depp will be reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Walt Disney Studios next Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides.

Depp appeared in full costume in front of 5,000 fans at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California as Disney Chairman Richard Cook announced the news.

Disney are aiming for On Stranger Tides to be the first film in a new Pirates trilogy.  Filming will commence next year for a US Summer 2011 release.

3 things ‘Uhura’ wants in the next Trek and 1 she doesn’t

Zoe Saldana is eager to reprise the role of Nyota Uhura in the inevitable sequel to J.J. Abrams’ hit Star Trek movie and is looking forward to three big things:

“To get to go back to Star Trek and see Chris [Pine]’s baby-blue eyes and get to kiss Spock, Zachary [Quinto], and to work with J.J. I couldn’t have been in a better environment, from the writers to the producers,” she told a group of reporters (including SCI FI Wire) last week. “[It’s exciting] to get to relive that experience in another adventure in space.”

But there’s one thing she’s not looking forward to: fitting into Uhura’s form-fitting uniform. “I’m not looking forward to the dress,” Saldana admitted with a laugh. “It just means I have to hit the gym two months before we start shooting, so I’m not looking forward to that.”

Abrams’ Star Trek reboot has taken in more than $380 million worldwide, and a sequel is in development.

Saldana also has starring roles in James Cameron’s upcoming 3-D sci-fi epic Avatar and Warner Brothers’ adaptation of the DC/Vertigo graphic novel The Losers.

There’s one other thing that Trek has given Saldana: a new life as a fan convention regular for years to come. “They’re perks,” Saldana said. “Besides the financial perks of signing on to films that turn into franchises is that you get to work with the actors and the directors all over again.”

New trailer for sci-fi Surrogates Out September 25

Transformers 3. Will  NOT come out till 2012.

Ten Minute in SciFi DVD/Video:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Two-Disc Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] is now out!

Fringe DVD Release – also out!

Product Description
Teleportation. Mind control. Invisibility. Astral projection. Mutation. Reanimation. Phenomena that exist on the Fringe of science unleash their strange powers in this thrilling series, co-created by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias), combining the grit of the police procedural with the excitement of the unknown. The story revolves around three unlikely colleagues – a beautiful young FBI agent, a brilliant scientist who’s spent the last 17 years in a mental institution and the scientist’s sardonic son – who investigate a series of bizarre deaths and disasters known as “the pattern.” Someone is using our world as an experimental lab. And all clues lead to Massive Dynamic, a shadowy global corporation that may be more powerful than any nation.

DVD features:
Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette – The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique
Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette – From teleportation to re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science. Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show.
A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) – An in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly challenges of bringing episodes to air
The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the series.
Fringe Visual Effects featurette – Goes deep into the creation of the shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show.
Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes
Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel
Fringe: Deciphering the Scene
Roberto Orci Production Diary
Gene the Cow montage
Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner

Both available on My Scifistore

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1 Comment

  1. Nichol Sharbono May 20, 2010

    Megan Fox gone!

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