The SciFi Diner Podcast
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On the menu tonight:
On this science fiction podcast, we interview David H. Lawrence VII, AKA Eric Doyle, the Puppet Master from Heroes. Also on the menu tonight we announce the Star Wars Trivia winner, our discision to join the Lifestyle Podnetwork, our Farscape show two weeks from now, Fringe Season 3 is a go, Felicia Day comes to SyFy, new Tron Legacy and Iron Man 2 trailers are out, Star Trek finally wins and Oscar, Alice in Wonderland breaks the Box Office, the new Aliens will be in 3D, and Jay from Georgia brings us his top five SciFi Classic Movies in the SciFi Five in Five.
In tonight’s interview, we chat with David H. Lawrence the XVII, who played Eric Doyle (the Puppetmaster) from NBC’s hit show Heroes. We discuss the him being the grandfather of podcasting, his switch from radio to acting, how he landed his role on heroes and why his character has been reoccurring, and we wrap up by looking at his cameo on Lost.
- The SciFi Diner Podcast is now a part of the Lifestyle PodNetwork
- Our Farscape Retrospective in two weeks with Kevin Bachelder from the Scapecast: call in with your thoughts on Farscape, what it meant to you, how you think it impacted the SciFi TV industry – 1.888.508.4343
- Keith RA DeCandido – Thanks for the plug on his blog!
- Congratulations to Chris & Subspace Communique for being on a year. Be sure to enter his 1 year Anniversary Reader Contest! You could wind Captain Kirk and buttload of Tribbles. By the way our friend Chris from Subspace Communique posted our show with another one. He checked before Miles said anything. This guy’s on the ball.
- Also, I was mentioned on the last DVD Geeks episode. Mary had asked for opinions on Flash Forward. ABC released the dvds for the mid season. So we got a little air time on their show.
Prize: A signed print of Sam Witwer as Starkiller from the Force Unleashed.
Question: Who was in charge of bringing down the deflector shield of the second Death Star?
Winner: Susan – Her name was drawn out of a hat from all the correct answers. The correct answer was that it was led by Hans Solo.
The Main Course:
Here’s the best news of the day: Entertainment Weekly reports that Fox has decided to renew Fringe for a third season!
Here’s what they said:
Though the show isn’t exactly blowing the roof off of Nielsen—it’s been averaging just 7.6 million viewers and is ranked No. 50 in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic this season—it managed to survive in a tough new time period on Thursdays. The show returns with new episodes—and the promise of more visits from Leonard Nimoy and to the parallel universe—on April 1.
That means we’ll get more of the delicious weirdness, more loony awesome John Noble as Walter Bishop, more sexy Joshua Jackson-Anna Torv tension, more mercury-blooded alt-dimension assassins, more Nimoy, more Blair Brown-Lance Reddick action, hopefully more Kirk Acevedo, and lots more ‘splodey heads. (And, yes, how could we forget: More of the button-cute, spunky Jasika Nicole as Astrid!)
Can’t wait till April 1!
Ultimate sci-fi TV pilot guide: Your favorite shows of the future
The Gates The supernatural crime drama sort of sounds like an anti-Eureka. It’s about “a big-city cop who becomes chief of police in a seemingly sleepy planned community only to discover there’s much more to the residents than meets the eye.” What could that be, you ask? How about a cardiologist who is actually a “vampire-like creature” in the form of actor Luke Mably. Prison Break’s Frank Grillo plays the new police chief, Nick Monohan. Janina Gavankar plays Leigh Turner, a sexy cop with a secret.
Chance of pickup: 100 percent. The Gates has a blind 13-episode commitment and will likely find a home during the summer.
No Ordinary Family Could this potential series be the new Heroes? The Shield’s Michael Chiklis and Angel/Dexter’s Julie Benz star in this drama, which revolves around a typical American family that experiences strange things when they suddenly find themselves with new abilities. Chiklis plays the dad and Benz plays mom, Stephanie, “a gifted scientist who develops a power for superspeed.” No Ordinary Family comes from Jon Harmon Feldman (Tru Calling) and Greg Berlanti (Eli Stone). The series also stars Autumn Reeser, Romany Malco, Jimmy Bennett, Kay Panabaker, and Christina Chang.
Chance of pickup: 75 percent. Chiklis is a star, and with Heroes certainly at the end of its run this season or next, we’re liking No Ordinary Family’s chances.
Terra Nova Steven Spielberg must be getting bored with movies, or maybe he’s just missing dinosaurs. He and Peter Chernin are trying to put together a deal for this time-travel drama “about a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to the strange and inhospitable environments of prehistoric earth.” According to Variety, the project would involve sets and special effects that are so elaborate, it would only be cost effective to order it directly to series. That means it’s either all or nothing on this one, so there’s no actual order for a pilot yet. Craig Silverstein and British writer Kelly Marcel wrote the script based on Marcel’s idea.
Chance of pickup: 20 percent. It’s Spielberg baby! And that means it’s really, really expensive, baby!
Torchwood Doctor Who/Torchwood’s Russell T. Davies no sooner came to the U.S. than he promptly pitched Fox a U.S. version of Torchwood. There’s also been talk that original star John Barrowman might reprise his role as Captain Jack and that the series about a covert group of alien hunters would focus on more internationally-based stories. It’s a longshot that this would go through. BBC America still holds the broadcast rights, and, as far as we know, it hasn’t been canceled across the pond. That doesn’t mean that there couldn’t also be an American version, but there’s some work to do to make a deal come together. It all sounds too good to be true.
Chance of pickup: 20 percent. We’ll believe it when we see it, and we’d really like to see it.
The Cape The other superhero offering is The Cape, about “a former cop framed for a crime he didn’t commit who becomes the Cape, a masked hero, to clear his name and reunite with his son.” ER’sHuman Target).
Chance of pickup: 65 percent. Lyons is a star waiting to happen, and NBC isn’t afraid of superheroes. Australian actor, David Lyons, plays the ex-cop, Vince Faraday. The series was created by Tom Wheeler, and the pilot is being directed by Simon West (
Day One Oh, poor Day One. Did NBC screw this one up, or what? Originally, Jesse Alexander’s (Heroes, Lost, Alias) “series” was picked up as a mid-season replacement, only to have its order trimmed down until it was nothing more than a two-hour TV movie. The story follows what happens when “an eclectic group of neighbors in a Van Nuys, Calif., apartment building” find themselves on a quest for survival after “a global event devastates the world’s infrastructures.” Huh? Well, the “global catastrophe” turns out to be an alien invasion, but why NBC couldn’t just come out with it? Who knows. Maybe they were scared of ABC’s V taking all the alien invasion mojo away from them. All that said, the script is great, and Alexander knows how to write sci-fi television. On the unfortunate side, the “series” stars David Lyons, who’s also been cast in NBC’s The Cape. Day One’s cast includes Adam Campbell, Julie Gonzalo, Catherine Dent, Derek Mio, Carly Pope, Addison Timlin and Thekla Reuten.
Chance of pickup: 8 percent. For whatever reason, NBC’s turned its back on this one, and it will be lucky even to air as a television movie at this point.
The Event Who knows if there’s actually any real sci-fi or fantasy at the core of The Event, but we’re liking the chances. From The 4400‘s Nick Wauters, the pilot is “a thriller with a unique storytelling device that features multiple points of view concerning a decent, regular fellow who battles against mysterious circumstances that envelope a larger conspiracy.” The “decent, regular fellow” is played by Jason Ritter, who stars along with Blair Underwood, Sara Roemer, Scott Peterson, Zeljko Ivanek, Ian Anthony Dale, Taylor Cole and Wes Ramsey.
Chance of pickup: 25 percent. Well, the summary couldn’t be any more vague and reminds us of Day One’s “global event.” We’re thinking this one is a bit of a long shot.
Nine Lives Call this Spielberg 2.0. Originally developed for Syfy, it’s been reported that Spielberg is interested in reviving this near-death drama. “Nine Lives unfolds as an epic story of love, exploring the greatest mystery of all … what happens after you die? The drama focuses on several characters, each grieving over the loss of a loved one. First by accident, then intentionally induced, each has discovered how to reunite with their loved ones in the afterlife through near-death experiences. But each journey to the other side brings closer an unknown evil, which is about to be unleashed on mankind.” Written by Taken’s Leslie Bohem.
Chance of pickup: 15 percent. Bohem is brilliant and Spielberg’s a force of nature, but we’re not liking its chances.
Undercovers J.J. Abrams’ latest takes him back to the spy game as “a domesticated husband and wife return from years in retirement and are re-activated as CIA agents. As they work together for the first time on new cases, they discover new aspects from their past—even as they re-ignite their passion for each other.” While this certainly could be a sci-fi-free series, we also know that Abrams loves sci-fi and loves to sell a sci-fi story as spy story, at least based on his work on Alias. The pilot was written by Abrams and Dirty Sexy Money’s Josh Reims and features Boris Kodjoe (Surrogates) as Steven Bloom and British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Doctor Who) as his wife, Samantha. The pilot also stars Carter MacIntyre, Gerald McRaney, Jessica Parker Kennedy and Ben Schwartz.
Chance of pickup: 80 percent. Undercovers seems to have a good chance considering Abrams knows how to do spy stuff. If he can rein in the Alias-esque bizarre sci-fi plots just a bit, this has great potential.
The Walking Dead You’ve got to love what happens after a good zombie apocalypse. The Walking DeadThe Green Mile’s Frank Darabont, with Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert executive producer.
Chance of pickup: 75 percent. The Walking Dead has a strong crew behind the scenes and let’s face it, it’s time for a good television zombie apocalypse. follows a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home. Based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman, “the comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive.” This one is from
Steven Spielberg’s Untitled Alien Invasion Series Steven Spielberg 3.0. We don’t have a title yet, but this “untitled alien invasion series” does have star Noah Wylie (The Librarian) playing the college professor who becomes the reluctant leader of “a rag-tag group of soldiers and civilians as they struggle against an occupying alien force.” The series begins “shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival all while struggling to maintain their humanity.” The series was created by Saving Private Ryan’s Robert Rodat and is produced by DreamWorks Television. The series also stars Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight, Jessy Schram and Seychelle Gabriel.
Chance of pickup: 100 precent. It’s already headed to series, and 10 episodes have been ordered.
Untitled Star Wars live-action TV Series This project’s been in the works for years and still doesn’t have a title. According to rumors, George Lucas is courting Britain’s top writers for pitches, OR scripts have been written, OR casting has started, OR none of the above. The idea is that the series would be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and would focus on minor characters, such as the smugglers and bounty hunters. Lucas would definitely like to do this, and he’s said he would write and produce the first season, and then “hand it off from there” and oversee the series as executive producer.
Chance of pickup: Who knows? No network is attached, and even though Lucas says he can produce the episodes for $1 million, it’s going to take a lot of special effects to pull this one off. Still, he’s faced greater odds, like getting Star Wars made in the first place.
Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog) will portray a werewolf-hunting descendant of Little Red Riding Hood in the new Syfy Saturday Original Movie Red, which is slated to premiere in 2011.
Remember that teaser trailer for Tron Legacy we told you about? It’s now live and you can view it below.
What did we tell you? Pretty awesome, right?
Tron Legacy opens on Dec. 17, way too long from now.
The new trailer for Iron Man 2, which premiered during the Jimmy Kimmel show following the Oscars on Sunday night, is now online, and you can view it above.
It show us a first real good look at Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and more of Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash in action against Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man. We also get a better look at Sam Rockwell’s rival, Justin Hammer, and Don Cheadle as Rhodey/War Machine.
There’s also a taste of the rockin’ new action. Iron Man 2 opens May 7, and we can’t wait.
It wasn’t a great night for 10-foot-tall blue aliens, but it was a historic night for Star Trek: J.J. Abrams’ movie won an award for best achievement in makeup, marking the first time a Trek movie has ever won one of the coveted gold statues.
Backstage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night, Trek makeup winners Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow talked about the history being made.
“I think we have a whole new generation of fans,” Hall said. “And that was one of our goals. We wanted our Star Trek to appeal to the current fan as well as a new generation, a younger generation, and kind of a younger, hipper Star Trek, if you will. It’s fantastic—fantastic for the whole franchise.”
Over the years, four Star Trek films have received various nominations (none for directing or acting or best picture), and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home earned four nominations in 1986, but none has ever won. Until now.
“As a makeup artist I think we all try to make people as believably realistic, whether it’s a strength or beauty or some kind of extreme prosthetic makeup,” Burman told reporters backstage. “We make them as realistic to the eye as we possibly can. So hopefully we never have to utilize or rely on lighting or editing to help correct our work. So I think the three of us strove for perfection, I think, every day, and with an amazing army of makeup artists that were of like mind, to make things as realistic and believable to the eye as possible. And, you know, and J.J. Abrams, God bless him, he demanded, he wanted to create a world and universe where everybody can live and breathe as though that’s a real place, and I think we achieved it.”
Harlow was asked about his influences. “It was just sort of a, you know, the Star Trek mythology,” he said. “When you talk about the tattooing, I presume you’re talking about the Romulans, and that was the mythology of Star Trek, was that the Romulans and the Vulcans sort of began as the same race, and the Romulans followed their more animal tendency and the Vulcans followed their more logical tendency.”
Oh frabjous day: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland killed the competition at the March 5 weekend box office, taking in an estimated $116.3 million domestically to set a new record.
Worldwide, the 3-D fantasy movie took in $210.3 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Even accounting for ticket-price inflation, that’s the biggest-ever (domestic) opening in the first quarter of the year, easily beating the record of $83.8 million set by The Passion of the Christ in 2004.
In the 40 foreign territories where it opened simultaneously, Alice in Wonderland collected an additional $94 million. That’s also a record for the biggest foreign opening in the winter or spring, Disney said.
All the Alien reboot news that’s slowly been coming out over the past year has been exciting, but now we’re really starting to salivate.
First we learned there was going be a prequel, and that Tony and Ridley Scott would be involved, though neither would direct. Then we found out that Ridley Scott was stepping in to direct after all. And a few months ago, he let slip a few details about the plot—that the film wouldn’t deal with the backstory to that giant alien ship the crew of the Nostromo discovered in his 1979 original movie.
But now it all gets even more interesting, because Roger Christian, art director for the original Alien, spilled big news over at shadowlocked: “Ridley’s doing the next Alien in 3D.”
And in even bigger news than that, the film may turn out to be the first of a trilogy:
Ridley told me some of his ideas when we were here in Toronto. He has a very clear understanding of where this should go. They kind of stopped dead one of the greatest horror franchises there’s ever been, and it had legs to go on. So I’m hoping he’ll revive another three. The world certainly wants it, and the fans want it—everybody.
Now, perhaps Christian is only speaking for himself and not Scott with his talk of a three-quel. But it does make us wonder whether the two have discussed the possibility, and whether it could be more than just idle speculation.
In any case, even if the trilogy talk is just a rumor, the 3-D sounds solid, so—can you think of any scene better suited for 3-D than an Alien chestburster? Not us!
Scifi 5 in 5
Jay’s Top Five Classic SciFi Movies
1. The Day The Earth Stood Still
2. Planet of the Apes
3. 2001 Space Odyssey
5. Godzilla (The Original Japanese Version)
By the way I said that the original Japanese version of Godzilla, Gojira, was one of my top 5 classic sci fi movies, I just wanted to clarify, because if you played my message on the air I am sure some people will say that it is not a sci fi movie, it is a monster movie. Which is partially true, there is a ton of science in the story where the Japanese scientists are explaining the existence of Godzilla, and the Oxygen bomb kills him, its full of science fiction. Sorry just wanted to defend this.
Jay from Canton, GA