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SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 182 – Our Interview with Jeff McArthur (Author of Relic Worlds)


SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 182

Our Interview with Jeff McArthur

(Author of Relic Worlds: An Adult

Choose Your Own Adventure Saga)


Download the Episode here.

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Tonight’s DinersScottMiles, and M.

Welcome to the Diner.

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Interview: Jeff McArthur
New Trivia: We’ll announce the winner of the Trivia contest.
TV News: Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.; 5 Things We Learned About Joss Whedon’s New ABC Series; Dexter; The New Who; Under the Dome Season 2; and CW Flash TV Series.
Movie News:  Man Of Steel Sequel: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin & Joe Manganiello – All Batman Contenders; Snowpiercer
Special Interest: Bye, Bye Mickey! Disney Is Ready for the Next Generation
TWIST:   NASA Funds 3D Pizza Printer; Star Trek 3″ Gets Writers, Director Talk
SciFi 5 in 5 :  5 Great Moments from Shore Leave.


Trivia Question: Who does Star Trek TNG, DS9, Enterprise, Lost and Defiance have in common?

The Prize: A signed Rob Paulsen, Lee Arenberg & Muessatta Vander prints

The Answer: Fionnulla Flanagan

The Winner: Brett H.


H.G. World

Pendant Audio


Image of Jeff McArthur

Jeff McArthur grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska where he wrote stories, worked in the theater, and made small films. He went to film school at New York University, then moved to LA to work in the movie industry. Fifteen years later, he returned to his roots to write a book about his grandfather, a lawyer who represented Caril Fugate in one of the most infamous cases in American history. The book is called Pro Bono. McArthur has also worked on a number of other books, such as The Table of Truth, and the Relic Worlds series.

TV News:

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5 Things We Learned About Joss Whedon’s New ABC Series

New details have emerged about ABC’s new fall televisions series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Executive Producer Joss Whedon, as well as cast members Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May), Brett Dalton (Agent Grant Ward), Chloe Bennet (Skye), Iain De Caestecker (Agent Leo Fitz), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Jemma Simmons), and four other executive producers of the show, hit the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday evening and dished to reporters a few details about the program, which has so far, been clouded in a fair bit of secrecy.

Here’s a few details we gleaned from the session, which followed a screening for reporters and critics of the premiere episode.

How Big The Show Can Be Week To Week: “It looks bigger than you think we spent on it because it was directed and put together by people who are really good at doing that,” Executive Producer Jeffrey Bell said. “We have a terrific writing staff who are writing stories, a production team who are telling us what we can and cannot do and also, both Marvel and ABC have been very generous with us and we have a responsibility to Marvel to look awesome and terrific, but I think what Joss, Jed [Whedon, EP] and Maurissa [Tancharoen, EP] have done with characters is hopefully give you characters that you care about and get people invested. And so we will have visuals and action and emotions, but really, it’s these people and their lives, with this wonderful cast that we hope you’ll come back for.”

How Involved Joss Whedon Will Be: “As much as an executive producer can whose also making a movie,” Joss, who will direct “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” said. “I got the best writers I know to do this and actors who can do pretty much anything, so I can do less. That’s always the way to run a show.”

On How Clark Gregg Found Out Agent Coulson Was Coming Back From His ‘Avengers’ Death Scene For This Show: “My next to last day on ‘The Avengers’ involved this Asgardian fellow impaling me quite convincingly. And while I was surprised how emotional it was to me to give up the character and the longtime job… it was really clear that I was dead. I had a great run and I thought what Joss did with the character was such a magnificent kind of resolve with it and I love what happened in ‘The Avengers.’ … Four or five months after ‘The Avengers,’ I got a call from Joss and we talked about how much we wanted to have whatever reason Coulson had for being alive and walking around not be anything that undermined the reality of ‘The Avengers’ and when [he] explained to me [a few details], I [put down] the phone very deeply on board,” Clark said.

Chloe Bennet On Her Character, Skye, Who Encounters S.H.I.E.L.D. In The Premiere Episode: “What’s interesting about Skye is she’s a computer hacker, but she’s not one of those ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ awkward, socially inept computer hackers, she’s actually better with people, I think, than computers, so I think you’re gonna see a lot of her being Skye and working people just as much as computers,” she said.

What The Show Will Look Like Week To Week : “There’ll be a challenge every week, I’ll say. We’re gonna try to hit all sorts of different things and hopefully, the characters will be dealing with each other enough that there’ll be stuff to interweave through the standalone episodes,” Jed Whedon, an EP on the show, said. “But then, it is a Marvel thing, so there’s gonna be an overarching mythology and all of that stuff will come into play.”

“Every week it’s not going to be some new hero,” Joss added. “There could be fights, there could be a mystery. There are so many aspects to what happened since everyone in the world found out that there’s a superhero team and there are aliens that invaded New York and we want to be able to change it up every week. We want to be able to deal with every aspect — the spy stuff, the hero stuff, the heartfelt stuff. We want to make sure the humor [is there], obviously, but every week, you get something that feels a little bit different.”

— Jolie Lash

Exclusive Dexter First Look: [Spoiler’s] Return Sends Deb Into an Emotional Tailspin

By Megan Masters

It’s one step forward and two very emotional steps back for Deb in this Sunday’s Dexter, when — Spoiler Alert! — Hannah’s surprise return leaves the sometimes unstable P.I. reeling.

The following first look at the departing Showtime saga’s next installment (airing at 9/8c) finds Deb and Dex plotting to rid themselves of Yvonne Strahovski’s poisonous Hannah McKay. “I don’t want to deal with this,” a devastated Deb declares. “I want her gone.”

The New Who

Under the Dome Season 2

CW Flash TV Series

Movie News:

Man Of Steel Sequel: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin & Joe Manganiello All Batman Contenders

Who will face off against Henry Cavill in the “Man of Steel” sequel, where Superman battles Batman?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Zack Snyder is beginning to formulate a list of potential actors and is considering casting a Caped Crusader in his late 30s or early 40s.

The sequel will reportedly not tell the character’s origin story, but give fans an “established and rugged” Batman, similar to the character seen in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” comic series from the ’80s.

So who is on the potential Batman shortlist?

Josh Brolin, 46, is said to be the frontrunner according to two THR sources, but another studio source told the mag that the casting process has just begun.

Ryan Gosling, 32, is also reportedly being eyed for superhero role.

“True Blood’s” Joe Manganiello, 36, who director Snyder liked as a possible Superman, is also a potential Batman. The actor’s schedule for his HBO vampire show could reportedly pose a problem for filming.

Other Batman contenders include: “The Hobbit’s” Richard Armitage, “Pacific Rim’s” Max Martini and “Watchmen” star Matthew Goode.

The Batman casting could reportedly be settled in the next few weeks. The studio is looking to shoot the film in 2014, with a release slated for 2015.

— Jesse Spero


“Snowpiercer is a South Korean/American/French sci-fi action thriller film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige (lehr trahns – pear – seh – nehge)  by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and co-written by Bong and Kelly Masterson. “

“The film is set in a future where a runaway experiment to stop global warming has caused an ice age that killed nearly all life on the planet. The only survivors are the inhabitants of the ‘Snowpiercer’, a massive train that travels around the planet and is powered by a perpetual-motion engine. Over time a class system evolves on the train, with the elites inhabiting the front of the train and poor inhabiting the back of the train. Tired of their poor living conditions, the riders in the back revolt, attempting to seize control of the engine, which the elites in the front consider sacred.”

A couple days ago, we got some cool images from Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, which showcased the film’s setting, a post-apocalyptic train divided into classes.  A new trailer has been released highlighting the revolution the lower classes are bringing against the passengers at the front, and there are also new images and six new featurettes that take us even deeper into the movie.  They provide interviews with the actors, Bong, and the South Korean crew members.  Unfortunately, only the interviews with the English-speaking actors are in English—there are no English subtitles for the Korean speakers.  However, these featurettes are still worth watching, and one of them gives us our first look at Alison Pill, who we hadn’t seen in either posters orpassports.  We learn that she plays a teacher in one of the upper classes of the train.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and featurettes.  The film also stars Chris Evans, John Hurt,Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.  Snowpiercer opens in South Korean on August 1st.  No U.S. release date has been announced.Via The Film Stage.

In other News:

Bye, Bye Mickey! Disney Is Ready for the Next Generation

Mickey Mouse may turn 85 this year, but Disney (DIS) watchers can be forgiven for thinking the old Sorcerer’s Apprentice is still working his magic. Under CEO Bob Iger, Disney morphed from a company living off nostalgia to a cutting edge brand that is driving traffic to its parks and appealing to generations of new fans.

Iger’s latest audacious move was spending more than $4.05 billion buying Lucasfilm last October. The acquisition brought the Star Wars franchise into Disney’s ever-growing stable of super star brands. This week at Disney’s hotly anticipated 23rd annual Expo, appropriately called D23, fans will get their first glimpse of what Iger and Co. have in store for Yoda, Darth and the rest of the Star Wars crew.

Disney has been cultivating a frenzy with carefully orchestrated leaks for months. So far fans know to expect Star Wars Episode VII in 2015 with new installments to follow at two year increments. Fans have also been told to expect previews of attractions linked to Captain America, Avatar, virtual thrill rides, a Fantasia short, and details on a comic book so far only known as “Weird.”Imagineering on Display

What’s really going to be on display this week is the most creative force in Hollywood: Disney’s fabled Imagineers. This development arm of Disney has been tasked by Iger to constantly refresh its brand and define trends instead of reacting to them.

In 2006 Iger spent $7.4 billion on Pixar — a move that has created more than $8 billion in worldwide box office sales, revitalized Disney animation and generated countless billions in product sales.

Over the last few years Pixar’s star has started to dim but Disney didn’t miss a beat. As Pixar’s box office returns faded Disney already moved on to super heroes. (See box on left

Super Heroic Profits

For his next trick, Iger spent $4 billion to purchase Marvel Entertainment in 2009. At the time, there were whispers that Disney had overpaid. In 2012 and 2013 Marvel’s the Avengers and Iron Man 3scored a total of $2.7 billion in worldwide box office sales. The new character base also gave Disney a neat transition in demographics from kiddie movies like Finding Nemo to smash-up comic book fare. The company now controls the hearts and minds of kids from two to 20, and this fall the company is going to bring the Marvel brand to prime time with the debut of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC.

“Bob Iger is Walt Disney re-created,” says Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors. “He’s re-imagined the company to position it for the longer term. It’s about making it cool again.”

The Next Act

All of this adulation has extended from Main Street USA to Wall Street. Disney’s stock has been a boffo hit for investors — up 30% year to date — making it one of the top performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Clearly investors have caught on to the new and wildly improved Disney.

At long last the wait is finally over this week. D23 is here and with it will come a glimpse into the next generation of toys, rides and movies that are sure to dominate pop culture for the next generation of fans.

Disney reports fiscal year third-quarter earnings today after the market close.


This Week in Star Trek:

NASA Funds 3D Pizza Printer

NASA has doled out a research grant to develop a prototype 3D printer for food, so astronauts may one day enjoy 3D-printed pizza on Mars.

Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC), based in Austin, Texas, received a $125,000 grant from the space agency to build a prototype of his food synthesizer, as was first reported by Quartz.

NASA hopes the technology may one day be used to feed astronauts on longer space missions, such as the roughly 520 days required for a manned flight to Mars. Manned missions to destinations deeper in the solar system would require food that can last an even longer amount of time.


“Star Trek 3” Gets Writers, Director Talk

A surprising amount of movement has taken place over the past couple of hours on the third “Star Trek” film over at Paramount Pictures.

First up, it looks like “Thor” scribes Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz will not be taking over scripting duties. Instead, scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are in negotiations to return for the third entry.

Orci and Kurtzman penned the 2009 reboot and co-wrote this year’s “Into Darkness” with Damon Lindelof. Lindelof will not be returning for the third outing.

With his “Star Wars” commitments, J.J. Abrams isn’t back as director but has begun negotiations to produce the film.

Shortly after that came a rumor that “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” director Jon M. Chu was the top candidate to take over from Abrams as director on the film. The Huffington Post got in touch with Chu’s reps who denied the report.

Shortly after Cinematallica posted a report claiming that Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) is “virtually a lock at this stage in the game”.

All this comes as one of the cast, Dr. McCoy himself Karl Urban, talked to IGN about his hope for the third film – sentiments that cite the misgivings quite a few had with ‘Into Darkness’:

“What I really believe we should do now is strive for originality. Because in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ we took one of the most revered and loved adversaries of the Enterprise and put him in there, and did a story that had all of these wonderful nods to films from the past, and episodes from the past.

I really think that what we should do from here, in my personal opinion, is strive to be original. Strive to be something different and new. You know, let’s not forget that Star Trek as envisioned was about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film, so that we do something different than a revenge-based picture.”

Sci Fi 5 @ 5

Miles’ Shoreleave thoughts.

5. Seen so many great costumes. From Star Trek to  movie classics like The Fifth Element. It was there.

4.  Great panels. There was something for everybody.

3. Great guests.  A diverse group of people from our favorite sci fi shows.

2. Didn’t get to many of the Guest’s sessions, but the ones I did was very enjoyable.  Brent Spiner is great on stage.  Eddie McClintock & Saul Rubinek were great on stage together. Both had great stories.

1.  Seeing old friends.  John, Heather and Lou and Neil and others.  We only get to see each other maybe twice a year, but, it’s always a great reunion.

1.  Finally meeting our third co host in person. M & I had great time on Sunday and we jumped many hoops to get interviews.

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  1. Carl August 15, 2013

    I highly recommend Breaking Bad it is one of the best acted show i’ve ever scene.
    If Bale returns as Batman then i’ll be interested to see the next film.
    With respect to Snowpiercer Song Kang-ho is one of the greatest south korean actors he’s been in some of my favorite south korean films. Also the director Bong Joon-Ho has produced award winning film after award winning film, Memories of Murder, The Host, and Mother and I’m jacked to see this!

  2. Damian August 19, 2013

    Re: “Replicators” – I remember seeing an article on using large versions of 3D printers to construct the eventual Lunar bases, using concrete made from moon rock and the walls squeezed out like toothpaste in a circular pattern, building dome like structures. So that’s cool!

    “Korean films” – have you folks seen The Host? Monster flick that came out a few years back. Awesome film.

    As for “Batman”, I did like Bale, but I think his tenure as Batman is over. I’d like to see a new actor in the cowl.

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