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For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Archive for August, 2008

Chicago SG-1 Convention

August 26th, 2008 | Category: Farscape Alumni

Scores of SG-1 and Farscape fans gathered at the O’Hare Wyndham hotel in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont this past weekend to see and hear Ben Browder, who made a rare appearance in the midwest.¬† Several of the ChicagoScapers showed up to see the man who played Commander Crichton and Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell.¬† He was friendly, gracious, appreciative of what the fans have meant to his career, and not least of all, immensely entertaining as he spoke about his career, playing Cameron Mitchell, and Commander Crichton.

The audience in the grand ballroom of the Wyndham.

The audience in the grand ballroom of the Wyndham.¬† Ben Browder is just a very tiny, pale figure that can be barely seen against the white backdrop at the front.¬† He didn’t really look so pale and inconsequential, it’s just the crappy photo that I took that made him seem that way.

Earlier in the afternoon, one of the ChicagoScapers members invited the rest of us there to appear in the picture with her and Ben.¬† We all accepted the generous offer with pleasure.¬† We waited so that we could be at the end of the line, which would allow the convention staff and photographer to have an easier time of herding everybody in and out.¬† A second group of ‘Scapers were behind us, and several of us were wearing our Harvey “Lost Weekend” Mambo shirts.¬† Ben smiled as he saw us, and said “Oh, here are the ‘Scapers.¬† You can always spot them.¬† The Gaters show up with just some dog tags around their neck, but the ‘Scapers are wearing MAMBO!”

Yep, that’s us.¬† Loud and obvious.

He began his panel session by observing how sorry he was to hear about Atlantis being canceled.¬† He said that he had actually just heard this news this morning at the Charity breakfast.¬† He also gave a nod to Don Davis, to whom this weekend was dedicated.¬† He said that since he’d been a newcomer to the SG-1 family, he hadn’t had too much interaction with Don, but that Don had been warm and welcoming.

Then he apologized for depressing us.¬† He also observed that there are several Stargate movies on the horizon, and told us that was directly because of us, the fans, and how we’d responded to the two recent movies.

At this point, a baby started wailing.  Ben apologized for both depressing us AND scaring us.  (This got a nice laugh.)

Ben Browder, at SG-1 Convention in Chicago

Ben first asked how many ‘Scapers there were in the room, and a goodly number of people (about a third of the room) raised their hands.¬† So we all did a “HELL YEAH!”¬† Then he asked how many in the room were Gaters who had discovered Farscape, and about 10 percent of the audience raised their hands.¬† They did a very creditable “HELL YEAH!”, too.¬† (Welcome to the lunacy!)

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Oh, the Snark! It BURNS!

August 20th, 2008 | Category: Farscape

There’s a new Farscape recap up at TV Without Pity.¬† This time it’s Out Of Their Minds.

Note that the recap is by a TV Without Pity recapper, but since the website changed hands, the Farscape recaps will remain unfinished.  Keckler has done this as a labor of love for Farscape fans.

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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?”

PS:

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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Quark

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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Kubrick’s Chicago

August 03rd, 2008 | Category: Chicagoland

Things that make you go hmmmm…

               

I did not know that Stanley Kubrick, famous director, had been a photographer for Look magazine.  Take a look at some of his Chicago photos here.

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Farscape Alumni on DVD

August 02nd, 2008 | Category: Farscape Alumni

As we all wait and wait and WAIT for the new comic book series and the new webisodes, it might be pleasant to catch up on the recent work of some of our Farscape alumni.¬† Here are some links to projects on DVD that you can buy or rent and see what the cast members have been up to.¬† If you’re really jonesing for something (ANYTHING!) related to Farscape, why not add these to your Netflix queu, or check some of these out on DVD or perhaps on iTunes.

Gigi Edgely (Chiana) had a very small, but important role in USA’s Starter Wife.¬† This was a light and fun miniseries that aired during the summer of 2007, starring Debra Messing (of Will and Grace fame).¬† It’s definitely a chick-flick kind of miniseries, but not one that took itself too seriously.¬† (As a sidenote, Starter Wife is due to return to USA in October of this year, but it is unclear if Gigi will be part of the cast.¬† The show is set to film in LA, so that might make it even more unlikely that we’ll see her.)

Gigi also lent her voice to the videogame Lost: Via Domus.

Anthony Simcoe (Ka D’Argo) had a role in the recent movie Nim’s Island, which is now out on DVD.¬† I haven’t seen it yet — I’m waiting for it to appear on HBO — but it’s described as a pleasant, family movie. Here’s what the Chicago Reader had to say about it: link

Lani Tupu (Captain Bialar Crais) had a small role in the WWE movie, The Condemned, which starred Stone Cold Steve Austin.  He played one of the guards.

Wayne Pygram (Scorpius and Harvey) had role in a season 2 episode of Lost, called “S.O.S.“¬† He also had a role as Governor Tarquin in Star Wars Episode III; Revenge of the Sith, replacing Peter Cushing who originally played the part, and who had passed away.¬† Sadly, both roles were victim to the editor’s knife, and only glimpses of Wayne are available to the viewer.¬† In the Lost episode, he has a few lines, but in SW III he can only be seen in the background of one scene.

Most of us know that both Ben Browder (Commander John Crichton) and Claudia Black (Officer Aeryn Sun) had joined the cast for the final two seasons of Stargate SG-1: season 9 and season 10.  Ben played Colonel Cam Mitchell, and Claudia played Vala Mal Doran.  They both also appeared in the movie Stargate SG-1: Ark of Truth and Stargate SG-1: Continuum.

Claudia also had a role in SciFi’s The Dresden Files, in an episode called “The Other Dick”.¬† This show only had one season, but it is out in DVD.¬† She voiced one of the main characters in the machinima film, The Stolen Life.¬† Her most recent role was that of a Cleaner in the final episode of Moonlight, and series on CBS which was recently canceled.¬† The show is not out on DVD, but it will probably be released in the near future.¬† Claudia is often cast as the voices of characters in video games, and some of her recent works are Project Sylpheed, Conan, and Crysis.¬† She also provided the voice for the computer in the direct-to-video movie Wargames: The Dead Code.

David Franklin (Lieutenant Braca) had a brief role in Conversations With Other Women (playing a bartender) and also appeared in six episodes of The Young and The Restless, a daytime soap opera running on CBS.¬† (Damn!¬† I watched Conversations With Other Women and did NOT spot him!)¬† David’s voice can be heard as Heat Blast, on the children’s show Ben 10: Race Against Time.

Virginia Hey (Zhaan) is semi-retired from acting, and now concocts wonderful scented candles, soaps, and fine perfumes which are available at her website White Flower Lei.¬† Her products are wondrous for aroma therapy.¬† I particularly like her perfumes, which are richer and more sensuous than the typical department store designer perfumes.¬† (The typical department store designer offering I find to be overpriced, and designed only for young twenty-somethings. Those of us “of a certain age” need something more “womanly”.)

Other cast members have had various roles on Australian TV, in Australian movies, and on Australian stage.  It is a pity that we cannot see some of these here in the States.

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