For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Archive for July, 2008

How Smart Do You Have To Be To Be a Rock Star?

July 31st, 2008 | Category: Science

Pretty smart.  Brian May, member of the former rock group, Queen, has earned a PhD in astronomy from Imperial College London.

Move over, Commander Crichton.¬† You’re not the only super star with a PhD.

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The Balcony Is Closed

July 28th, 2008 | Category: Chicagoland

A long time Chicago institution has folded.¬† Roger Ebert is shuttering up his balcony, and Ebert and Roepert’s At The Movies will be retooled, with a different name and a different format.¬† Movie going will never be the same.

I started watching Siskel and Ebert’s movie review show (back then it was called Sneak Previews) way back when it first started on Chicago’s WTTW.¬† I had read Siskel’s reviews for several years even before the two of them began broadcasting, and had always enjoyed his direct way of telling the reader about the movie.¬† No high falutin’ references to obscure foreign cinema, no automatically favorable reviews to foreign films by virtue of them being *foreign*,¬† and no cheap shots at any movies or actors, no matter how low the aim of the filmmakers were.

Up to then, the only popular critics that reached me in the obscure corner of the midwest that was my hometown were Rex Reed and Gene Shalit.¬† The former’s constant snideness was tiresome and uninformative, and the latter tended to repeat the studios’ press releases, making his reviews equally uninformative.

Siskel and Ebert’s show proved to be exactly the same as I had found Siskel’s reviews to be.¬† In their show they were two guys having a passionate conversation about the newly released movies of each week.¬† They never pandered to the industry, nor did they ever resort to panning a movie or performance simply to show off how smart they were.¬† They knew a lot about films, but never talked down to the viewers.¬† Their enthusiasm for the medium was catching, and unlike most critics at the time, they made the viewers understand why they might want to see a movie that might otherwise only play to art-house audiences.¬† Yet they never looked down on a movie if its aims were much lower.¬† They evaluated each movie based on what it was attempting, and not on what they thought it ought to be.

The best thing of all about Siskel and Ebert, however, was that you could just about always take their opinion to the bank.  Two thunbs up meant you were sure to enjoy the movie.  Two thunbs down meant that you would probably hate the movie.  And a mixed, one-thumb-up-one-thumb-down meant that it was probably okay to see, but consult your own judgement and taste when deciding.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

July 26th, 2008 | Category: Farscape Alumni

Buy Stargate: Continuum on iTunes on July 28 — and get an EXCLUSIVE, FREE download of Col. Cameron Mitchell’s backstory – written and narrated by Ben Browder!

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Stargate Continuum Premiere

July 26th, 2008 | Category: Farscape Alumni

Stargate Continuum had it’s world wide premiere at ComicCon.¬† Actually, it was on the deck of the USS MIdway.¬† (How cool is THAT?!?)

Read all about it, and see all the pretty pretty pictures at Gateworld.

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It’s Not In Them To Sit Still

July 26th, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

Just in case you’re the last Farscape fan to hear the news, BOOM! announced at ComicCon that Rockne O’Bannon will write the story for their new Farscape comic book series.  You can read the article for yourself, or you can watch the YouTube video of the announcement.

Since not everybody in America is on a hi-speed internet connection, here are some of the highlights of the announcement:

  • According to Rockne, the events depicted in the comic book stories can be considered to be canon.
  • This will be an opportunity for Rockne to write the fifth season that fans never got to see.  As he put it, "…my feeling was, after the ‘Peacekeeper Wars’ miniseries, if this is the last of ‘Farscape’ it’s a good place to end it — but to my mind, those characters are still out there, and it’s still a dangerous world in which they live. And they are still the characters and the personalities that they are, and it’s not in them necessarily to sit still, on the front porch in their rocking chairs. "
  • Rockne is still working on the webisodes with Brian Henson, and now also with Ricky Manning, who wrote several episodes of the series, and acted as one of the show’s producers.  (That’s Froonium Ricky for Farscape cognoscenti).  New characters will be introduced in the comic books, and these characters will continue in the webisodes.
  • Rygel’s story will come to the forefront in the comic books.  According to Rockne they had always wanted to write a story set on Hyneria, but creating a world with that many animatronic Hynerians would have been prohibitive.

Additional links for more information and discussions:

Newsarama (longer news story with even more info.)

Scapecast (Look for episode 60, which has an interview with Boom Comics, and offers additional information about the webisodes.)

TerraFirma forum discussion

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Jetpacks…Pod Races…now THAT’S REAL Scifi!!

July 17th, 2008 | Category: Great Lakes Area,scifi

Remember this scene from Into The Lion’s Den Part 1?¬† Where Crichton flies around in the Command Carrier’s power plant using a jetpack?¬†¬† We’ve all dreamed about zooming around in our own personal jetpacks, haven’t we?¬† Well, dream no more!¬† It’s about to become a reality!¬† During the last week in July, an honest-to-goodness genuine jetpack will debut at Air Venture 2008 in Oshkosh.

It’s guaranteed to fly for up to 30 minutes (not like the 30 seconds that the last attempt done in the 60′s lasted), uses regular gas, and has an engine that lasts up to 1000 hours.

Er…that would be about 2000 half-hour battles for Commander Crichton.

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What Is Farscape?

July 13th, 2008 | Category: Farscape

Imagine if there was a show as exciting, as humorous, as epic, and as much fun to watch as the three original Star Wars movies were, except that there were 88 episodes of it, plus a miniseries.

Imagine a television scifi show that was so well done it made you feel like you were right in the middle of a completely alien world, and where many of the episodes had you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Imagine a show with a hero equal to Han Solo, and a heroine far better than Princess Leia, not to mention a large cast of great characters — and NO WHINY LUKE SKYWALKER! No stupid Jar Jar Binks! Not a single character that would grate on your nerves.

Imagine a scifi show that had villains more devious than Darth Vader, or indeed, worse than any James Bond villain.

Imagine, if you can, a scifi show without any tedious technobabble, where no one ever just stands around talk talk talking in “the command center”, and one that had action and danger at the very center of every episode.

Imagine a television series that got better with every season, and each episode had the same production values that a feature films has.

Imagine a scifi show that not only entertained you immensely, but kept you thinking about the meaning behind what you saw for days after seeing an episode.

Imagine a scifi show that could be appreciated both by children (not very young ones,though), and by their parents.  A show which showed the dark underside of rash decisions and poor choices, while always painting a picture of hope and humanistic values.

Wouldn’t you want to check out a television show that was like that?

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Stargate Panel at ComicCon

July 13th, 2008 | Category: Farscape Alumni

Farscape alumnus Ben Browder will be at the Stargate Continuum Panel at ComicCon this coming weekend!  Unfortunately, weekend passes are all sold out, as are daily passes for Friday (when the Stargate panel will be held) and Saturday.  Only passes for Thursday and Sunday are still for sale.

Gigi Edgely and David Franklin will also be at ComicCon, giving out autographs.  Speaking from personal experience, both are fun people to meet, and they will certainly take the time to chat a bit with the fans.

Sadly, I see nothing about any panel being hosted by The Jim Henson Company.

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July 03rd, 2008 | Category: Farscape,Farscape Characters,Uncategorized

So…why did Crichton call his “pet” DRD 1812?

The short answer is that no one really knows.

The only connotations that come to mind for Americans would be that Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is frequently played on the Fourth of July celebrations, when it is usually accompanied by fireworks and cannon shots.

And the next question is why is a Russian piece of music, which celebrates a Russian triumph over Napoleon’s army played during that most quintessential American holiday celebrating their declaration of independence?

That’s another mystery — although there is a tenuous connection.

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