For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Archive for the 'scifi' Category

How Did Warehouse 13 Do?

July 08th, 2009 | Category: Farscape Alumni,scifi

According to TV By The Numbers, the premiere of Warehouse 13 did better in overall viewers than the finale of Battlestar Galactica, but worse in the number of viewers in the all important 18 – 49 year-old demographic.  As the author points out, in the cable TV universe, numbers rarely rise above the premiere episode’s ratings, except in rare instances. 

This will be my last post on the subject of Warehouse 13 — unless some other Farscape alumni gets involved with it.

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Warehouse 13 Finally Debuts on "SyFy"

July 05th, 2009 | Category: Farscape Alumni,scifi

On Tuesday, July 7th at 8 PM CDT, Warehouse 13 will get its 2 hour premiere.  This is the pilot that Rockne O’Bannon co-wrote (along with two other people who had nothing to do with Farscape so we won’t mention them here.  If you need to know, look it up on IMDB.)  Nothing that I’ve read about this show has piqued my curiosity (see here, here, and here).

This also the day that The SciFi Channel transforms itself to become SyFy.  (OOoooh!  Now that’s  edgyFAUX edgy, that is.)  Clearly, the cable network wants to broaden its audience, hoping to increase its viewing numbers, which is what the TV biz is all about.  As noted in a recent blog entry at TV by the Numbers, it’s a trend that all niche cable channels are following.


Look familiar??


Those of us who remember back when there were only three broadcast networks will also remember that television was all about Lowest Common Denominator programming.  Will it "play in Peoria" was the television industry mantra.  And who can forget the endless copying that all the networks did.  If a show was a hit, you would be sure to see at least three additional copies of it the following season.  Cable TV offered the promise that there would be new, different, and more interesting things to watch, even if only relatively few audiences were interested.  However, with the television industry being what it is, i.e. a vehicle for advertising, it’s not surprising that every cable channel has to widen their appeal.  So the SciFi Channel rebrands itself as a lite genre channel, and we get more dimwitted shows about supernatural ghosts and spooky stuff.  Science fiction gets watered down so that nothing otherwordly or alien ever actually appears, and the stories are inoffensive enough to appeal to the most pedestrian audience. 

Is this Warehouse 13 show going to be as imaginative, as colorful, or as epic as Farscape?  Will it even be close?  I can’t see how it can be, given the direction this new SyFy is headed.

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Crichton and Kirk? Alike??

June 15th, 2009 | Category: Farscape,scifi

You decide.  (With pictures, no less.)

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Rockne O’Bannon’s Latest Writing Gig

May 14th, 2009 | Category: Farscape Alumni,scifi

Boom! Comics has announced a new series, which is a retelling of Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  (Scifi fans will of course know that this is the book that the 1982 movie Blade Runner was based on.  True scifi fans will have even read the book.)  The series will consist of 24 issues, which tell the entire story using Dick’s original words. 

Rockne O’Bannon will be writing some "back matter" for issue 4. 

I must say that even though I am not a fan of comic books, the cover art for this series looks attractive.  It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to say that about any comic book.  The only thing disappointing about the preview pages is that the images seem awfully like the movie, and one would have hoped for something different and unique.

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For Star Trek Fans

May 12th, 2009 | Category: scifi

You Might Be a Geek if….

May 10th, 2009 | Category: scifi

From the Chicago Tribune comes a neat quiz which might show that you might be more of a geek than you imagined.

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Okay, But Where Would You Go?

December 23rd, 2008 | Category: Science,scifi

Virgin Galactic Airlines is developing spacecraft to provide ordinary non-astronaut folks a means to take space trips.  Their test spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, has recently successfully made its maiden flight.  You can read more about this milestone here, and someone has posted videos of the actual flight, including takeoff and landing.

The airline’s earliest commercial flights, which only offer sub-orbital trips and provide six minutes of weightlessness to their passengers, are priced at $200,000.  (Yep, you read that right!)  After the first 500 passengers have flown, the cost of a flight will be reduced to a mere $20,000. 

Wikipedia has a nice entry that provides a succinct overview of what Virgin Galactic is all about.

Although one is tempted to sneer a little at this idea, let’s not forget that doing so is cheap, easy, and ignorant.   That’s not to say that a ChicagoScaper wouldn’t be above doing such things, but Farscape fans have learned to keep their minds open to the wonders of this universe.  At its core, this is a neat idea, and a visionary one at that.  Considering that so far there’s nowhere to actually go in space, Virgin Galactic’s founder seems to be taking aim at a bold new future that isn’t quite in sight yet. 

If I had a spare 20 large, I sure would sign up for a ride. 

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News of New Stargate Series

December 15th, 2008 | Category: scifi

french movie poster for The Full MontyFrom Empire online comes the news that Robert Carlyle has signed on for the new Stargate TV series.¬† Who is he and why is this a Big Deal?¬† He’s that scrawny looking Glaswegian actor (that’s Glasgow, Scotland) who first came to notice on these shores in The Full Monty.¬† He also played one of the Bond villains in The World Is Not Enough.

This sounds almost unbelievable.¬† It’s as if some Shakespearian actor from London’s West End decided to appear in a basic cable scifi show.¬† Oh wait…¬† Didn’t Patrick Stewart appear in some syndicated scifi show?

Maybe this new series may turn out okay.¬† It won’t be as good as Farscape, though.

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Space Wars and Cloaking Devices

August 16th, 2008 | Category: Science,scifi

What I like about science fiction is that in it, a future is imagined, and sometimes not too terribly long after, a version of that future comes into being.¬† That’s how it was with Jules Verne and his 80 Days Around The World, with Stanley Kubrick’s moonwalk and space station in 2001:A Space Odyssey, and many of the gadgets and gizmos on Star Trek.¬† Even the prognostications in Max Headroom are probably only 20 minutes away from happening.

Only a few short years after ‘Scapers were beguiled with tales from The Peacekeeper Wars, in which two vast superpowers engaged in a space war of mutual destruction, both the US and China experimented with shooting down satellites.¬† What is been less obvious, especially for those of us preoccupied with earthly affairs, is that this is only a tip of the iceberg of what the US (and, it is supposed, China, too) have been up to in the way of space weapons development.¬† The Atlantic Monthly has a rather alarmist article about these unseen developments.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, scientists seem to be one step closer to creating an invisibility cloak.

In the immortal words of Samuel Morse, “what hath God wroth?”


Evidently, I’m not the first one to think about scifi and inventions.¬† Take a look.

HAHAHAHA!  This just cracks me up (from the article):

“The problem, both with a ray gun and the light saber, the problem is a portable power pack. We see pictures of lasers blasting through objects, and we can do that now. But you have a nuclear power plant behind that laser. It‚Äôs impractical to go into a firefight with the Klingons with a hand-held ray gun, with a nuclear power plant behind you.”

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August 07th, 2008 | Category: scifi

If Farscape fans get too bitter about the untimely cancellation of the show (and who wouldn’t?), it’s instructive to consider the fate of this little scifi comedy series, which lasted all of seven episodes back in the late 70′s.¬† My recollection was that it really was funny, but probably a little too advanced for its time. The show, called Quark, starred Richard Benjamin, and was produced by Buck Henry, who also produced Get Smart, and wrote the screenplays for The Graduate and Catch-22.¬† (How’s that for a pedigree, eh?)

The show is finally getting released on DVD, and I think it would be a perfect gift for the scifi geek who has everything.¬† (Especially if they’re trekkies, and if they enjoyed Galaxy Quest.)¬† When it aired, I remember laughing my ass off, and regretting that it was canceled.

I take a back seat to no one in my bitterness and disappointment in the loss of Farscape, but we did get four seasons and a miniseries, unlike this little gem.

By the way, this show seems to have been the first to feature two characters that were clones of each other, but who each claimed to be the original.

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