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Saturday, November 11, 2006
A Good Combo
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:23 pm

All six Star Wars flicks in a row + two sick boys = making the best of a bad situation (Eldest Son and Middle Son both have strep throat and the flu-plus the combo is creating asthma probs for Middle Son. Not good all ’round).

And I will say this: 1) the Star Wars movies look good in HD, but 2) HD doesn’t make the writing in the first three any better and may, indeed, make Hayden Christensen’s acting look even worse than it does otherwise.

The number of logical problems with episodes I-III in particular are legion.

I won’t go into them now, but here are my musing on II and III. I also mused on the political ethics of Star Wars here.

I will re-iterate a point that I like to make: Empire Strikes Back is, in my opinion, the best of the six and to me it is no coincidence that that is the one that Lucas didn’t write.

Filed under: Movies, Kids, SciFi | Comments (7) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Overheard
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:24 am

(Context: last night we watched Star Trek III and the kids have also been watching some of TOS)

My two youngest playing:

Youngest son: Let’s play Star Trek!

Middle Son: Ok! I’m Captain Kirk. But not the old one, the young one!

Indeed, my Oldest expressed confusion the other day over the fact that the Kirk in the movies was the same one as the one on TV

Filed under: Kids, Trek | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Monday, October 23, 2006
In Memoriam: Jane Wyatt
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:29 am

Via the NYT: Jane Wyatt, Mother on ‘Father Knows Best,’ Dies at 95.

While I wholly remember Ms. Wyatt as the Mom on Father Knows Best, the first thing I thought of was “Spock’s Mother” when I saw the headline. And, that does get a mention:

One of her more offbeat television parts was that of Amanda, the human mother of Mr. Spock, the pointy-eared Vulcan member of the “Star Trek” crew of space voyagers in the late 1960’s. She reprised the role in the 1986 film, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.”

It may be offbeat, but odds are that she will be remembered longer over time for those brief minutes on the small and large screens than for everything else-geeks have long memories after all.

Filed under: SciFi, Trek, In Memoriam | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A Reimagined Bionic Woman?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:40 pm

Via the Sci Fi Wire: Eick Reimagining Bionic:

David Eick, executive producer of SCI FI Channel’s original series Battlestar Galactica, will reinvent another 1970s SF show: The Bionic Woman, which he will executive-produce with film writer Laeta Kalogridis for SCI FI’s parent TV network, NBC, Variety reported.

Hmm. I must admit that when I was a kid, I was a fan of the whole Bionic franchise, so a reimagining could be interesting and I have been quite impressed with BSG.

However, I have to say, this sounds a bit, well, odd:

Eick and fellow executive producer Ronald D. Moore turned SCI FI’s Peabody Award-winning Battlestar into a series vastly different from its predecessor. Eick and Kalogridis are planning a similar “reimagination” of Bionic Woman: Instead of focusing on terrorism and militarism, the new Bionic will explore the role of professional women in contemporary society and how they juggle their various roles.

I mean, where does the whole bionic thing fit into that?

Filed under: SciFi | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Eureka Renewed
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:29 pm

Via SciFi Wire: SCI FI Renews Eureka:

Eureka will begin production on its second season in Vancouver, B.C., this spring and will return to the air in summer 2007.

Good deal. I find the program to be entertaining. And, apparently, I am not alone:

It was SCI FI’s highest-rated, most-watched series of 2006, bringing in more than 5 million new viewers to the Channel through last week’s episode.

Filed under: SciFi | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, September 29, 2006
An Odd Choice
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:20 pm

Robert Downey Jr. — I am “Iron Man”

“The Marvel characters are not just about how high they jump or how fast they fly, they’re about their character flaws,” Feige said. “They’re about their inner demons. They’re about the struggles that they go through between being a man and being a hero.”

Downey, who has battled his fair share of inner demons, worked hard to get the role, getting in shape and even growing a goatee like the one Stark sports in the comic books.

An interesting argument.

I suppose I should withhold judgement, given that Michael Keaton was actually pretty good in the first Batman flick, and the choice originally struck me as, well, insane.

Filed under: Movies, SciFi | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, September 14, 2006
A Sub-Mariner Flick?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:23 pm

Via Reuters: “Terminator 3″ director revives Marvel veteran

“Terminator 3″ director Jonathan Mostow will write and direct “Sub-Mariner,” an adaptation of one of Marvel Comics’ oldest superheroes.In the comic, the Sub-Mariner’s real name is Prince Namor, a half-man/half-amphibian from the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. An anti-hero, he frequently finds himself helping the human race as much as he fights it when humans pollute the waters.

I can already feel myself being hit over the head with some sort of “message” from this film.

Even if that tactile premonition turns out to be false, I have to ask: the Sub-Mariner?!? As a supporting character he was often interesting and John Byrne’s treatment of him in 1990s comic, Namor was fine (but more because it was Byrne than because of Namor), I’m skeptical that Namor is sufficiently interesting to merit his own movie.

Filed under: Movies, SciFi | Comments (7) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Webisode 2 is Up
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:43 pm

SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica

h/t:   a reader

Filed under: SciFi, BSG | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Credit and Loans Guide linked with Credit and Loans Guide
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
More BSG Info
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:05 pm

No spoilers, but some hints about Season Three: Battlestar Galactica season three — an early look - TV Squad

h/t: Sean Hackbarth

Filed under: SciFi, BSG | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
BSG First Webisode Available
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:12 pm

It’s at: SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica

Filed under: SciFi, BSG | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, September 1, 2006
Trek Facelift Coming to a TV Near You
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:30 am

Via E! Online: Extreme Makeover: “Star Trek” Edition

CBS Paramount gave Trekkers reason to throw their pointy ears in the air Thursday with the announcement that all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek are getting digitally remastered and will be heading into syndication next month for the first time in 16 years in honor of the sci-fi classic’s 40th anniversary.Manyof the series’ beloved yet decidedly dated visual staples, from the galaxy glimpsed in the opening title sequence to the myriad otherworldly landscapes seen from the bridge of the starship Enterprise, will receive a CGI makeover to appeal to the sons and daughters of 1960s-era Star Trek fans who actually found someone to mate with.

[…]

“We’re taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original,” Michael Okuda, a scenic-art supervisor on the Star Trek films and spinoffs for the last 18 years, told TVGuide.com. “Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would [creator Gene] Roddenberry have done with today’s technology?”

Battle sequences, ship exteriors, galaxy shots and landscapes (which previously came courtesy of matte paintings) will be given more shading, depth and computer-generated believability. The original Alexander Courage-composed score has been rerecorded in stereo and, perhaps best of all,William Shatner’s opening monologue has been remastered, so that “Space, the final frontier” will sound better than ever.

[…]

Star Trek: The Original Series goes all 21st century on us Sept. 16, beginning with the first-season episode “Balance of Terror,” in which the Enterprise crew matches wits with the Romulans.

Intriguing. I had read some stuff in the last week or so about a CGI upgrade for the series for HD, but had gotten the impression that this was for an HD-DVD release, not for broadcast, and certainly not starting this month.  It is encouraging that the Okudas are involved, as they should know what they are doing.

Of course, spiffy new exteriors and fx may cause a sort of mental whiplash when some of the old sets come on screen.

Filed under: SciFi, Trek | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
When Geeks Get Ph.D.s (or is that a redundancy?)
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:26 pm

And no, this is not an autobiographical post…

Via the The Age: Star Trek’s a thesis

It’s the PhD thesis that boldly goes where no thesis has gone before. Djoymi Baker watched 700 episodes - 624 hours without ads - of Star Trek and its spin-offs, dating from 1966 to 2005, in the name of research.

[…]

It may sound like torture for those with an aversion to William Shatner’s campy theatrics but, six years and 90,000 words on, it has earned Dr Baker a coveted chancellor’s prize for excellence at Melbourne University. And the respect of academics and Trekkies alike.Wow

-and I had to move to another continent to do my dissertation research.  Clearly, I picked the wrong field…

h/t:  Reader Ratoe via e-mail

Filed under: Academia, Trek | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Dating linked with Dating
Pros and Cons » My High School Genius linked with [...] The Sultan over at Poliblog posted yesterday about a PhD candidate who did his thesis on Star Trek. 624 hours of episodes. [...]
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Trekulation
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:36 pm

The Trek Movie Report asks of the fellow heading up the next Trek project: JJ Abrams: The New Roddenberry or The New Meyer?

Let’s just say that I hope, as the piece speculates, that Abrams is more the new Meyer and not the new Roddenberry. While Roddenberry deserves many accolades for creating Trek and especially for the work he did in the first two seasons of the show, the bottom line is that he never seemed capable of fully understanding his own creation-or, at least, significant elements of its magic.

For example (and as the post at the Trek Movie Report rightly notes) ST:TMP was wholly almost devoid of the Trek magic-yet, after Paramount gave the reigns to Harve Bennett and Meyer with Treks II, III, IV, the magic was clearly back. After the hiccup that was V, Meyer was back for Trek VI.

I would also note that ST:TNG was better starting in season two, after Gene was no longer able to be hands-on with the show. Certainly his desire to portray humanity as having evolved beyond petty conflicts has a serious problem with it: no conflict=no drama. As such, the characters on TNG were pretty boring at first.
Although, really, the bottom-line is that Trek needs new blood at the helm, so I am willing to see what Abrams cooks up. Certainly if Roddenberry to be considered in this case as stolid and stale and Meyer is considered fresh and exciting, let’s go with the latter.

Filed under: SciFi, Trek | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Mythusmage Opines » Blog Archive » How I Would Save Star Trek linked with [...] Doc Taylor has a few things to say about the new Star Trek Flick. Now I haven’t been following the brouhaha at all, but I’m not letting that stop me. [...]
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Who News
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:56 am

Via the SciFi Wire: SCI FI Gets Who Season Two

SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas announced a major licensing agreement for SCI FI to air the second season of the hit British SF series Doctor Who in the United States. The series will return to SCI FI on Sept. 29, kicking off with a two-hour premiere that will include the “Christmas Invasion” special in which David Tennant is introduced as the 10th Time Lord.

To which I saw: kewl.

Filed under: SciFi, Doctor Who | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Trek XI Rumors
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:35 pm

As Steven L. noted in my absence, Poliblogger is the Star Trek geek-fest”-so with that in mind, here’s some Trek movie stuff.

The TREK XI Report is noting a rumor that the next Trek flick will focus not on Kirk’s academy days, but on his first voyage as Captain of the Enterprise.

This makes more sense, because it was unclear to me that Kirk and Spock were sufficiently of the same age to have them both at the Academy at the same time.

It also makes the Matt Damon rumor make more sense, as Damon isn’t exactly Academy age.

Such a setting for the film would likely mean no McCoy, however, as if one goes by the series, McCoy wasn’t the ship’s CMO in pilot.

I have never been a big fan of the academy-era story in the first place, so this would be more to my liking.

Filed under: SciFi, Trek | Comments (10) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
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