Here’s What’s Going On 06/27/2013: Who Will Star in INDEPENDENCE DAY 2?

Don’t wait for Will Smith?… STAR TREK ship gets a new lease on life… JUG FACE finds a pit of horror…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of fantastic media.

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BLADE RUNNER's William Sanderson: The CFQ Interview

William Sanderson (right) and Chris Bauer face the brave new, bloodsucking future in TRUE BLOOD.
William Sanderson (right) and Chris Bauer face the brave new, bloodsucking future in TRUE BLOOD.

Who among us didn’t watch lonely, trusting J.F. Sebastian take renegade replicant Pris into his digs at the Bradbury building and think, Oh, this shall not end well? It was William Sanderson who gave BLADE RUNNER’s afflicted replicant designer an awkward vulnerability, but the actor also gave life to TRUE BLOOD’s conflicted Sheriff Bud Dearborne and, outside of the genre, DEADWOOD’s canny innkeeper E.B. Farnum and NEWHART’s deadpan townie Larry (of Larry, Darryl and Darryl).
I got talk with Sanderson about the span of his career, during which we get some inside tales of life on-set, and a certain, geeky podcast host and producer gets hoist on his own bio. Click the player to hear the show.

Here’s What’s Going On 06/18/2013: Jonathan Demme to Direct Mind-Bending Pilot

Demme returns to the paranoid thriller with LINE OF SIGHT… John Lasseter digs into his studies for MONSTERS UNIVERSITY… Don’t go in that ABANDONED MINE…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre film.

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Here’s What’s Going On 06/18/2013: Joss Whedon Talks AVENGERS 2

Loki will not be the Big Bad… John Hurt will probably not be the Doctor for long… KUNG FU PANDA 3 seeks harmony with China… YouTube live video capture seeks no harmony with Google Chrome (you’ll see, sorry)…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online Studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre media.

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Here’s What’s Going On: 06/06/2013 Video News Update

Warners loses a Jason and gains a Chris (Nolan)… Owen Wilson’s a turkey; Woody Harrelson’s a hawk… Essential ARCHER item becomes real…
Direct from the lavish Cinefantastique Online studios, Dan Persons brings you up to date on what’s happening in genre film.

Here’s What’s Going On: 06/05/2013 Video News Update

Get a look at Superman’s new look… STAR TREK producer Brannon Braga gets all witchy… Damon Lindelof gets Left Behind… THE WIZARD OF OZ goes deep…
Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre media.

Cybersurfing: WGA List of Top 101 Shows declares Star Trek better than Next Generation

The Starship Enterprise from the HD DVD release of the original STAR TREK.Kevin Drum of Mother Jones points us to an interesting tidbit in the Writers Guild of America’s list of the 101 best-written television shows of all time:

  • 33: Star Trek
  • 79: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Drum takes this to be the nail in the coffin of any argument to the effect that STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION was better written than the original STAR TREK series, but I always find these lists somewhat dubious because of the difficulty of setting a standard for comparison. For example:

  • Are we talking about the sheer number of good episodes? That would favor longer-running shows like ST:TNG
  • Are we talking about average of quality, factoring the best and the worst? By that standard, an overall mediocre show might rank as highly as a great show that was marred by some bad episodes. This is especially important in the case of STAR TREK, because almost everyone agrees that its third and final season was a misfire. By this standard, I think STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION would edge out its predecessor: Episodes like “The Royale” were bad but not as bad as “Spock’s Brain.”
  • Are we just considering which show reached the highest level of achievement, even if in only a few episodes? By this standard, I think STAR TREK would handily win; there were a dozen or so great episodes that outdid anything STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ever mentioned.

Regardless of this concern, Drum points out that STAR TREK gave the world more memorable catch-phrases, such as “Live long and prosper” and “I’m a doctor, not a brick-layer.” ST:TNG has nothing comparable.
Other horror, fantasy, and science fiction shows to make the list:

  • 3: THE TWILIGHT ZONE
  • 26: THE X-FILES
  • 27: LOST
  • 35: TWIN PEAKS
  • 38: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2005)
  • 49: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
  • 63: SOUTH PARK
  • 66: DEXTER
  • 90: THE PRISONER
  • 91: THE MUPPET SHOW

Of course, any list that omits THE OUTER LIMITS (the original 1960s version) should be regarded as highly suspect. Likewise, placing LOST and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE above THE PRISONER is indefensible. But at least the voters were smart enough to put THE TWILIGHT ZONE near the top.

ORPHAN BLACK's Tatiana Maslany: The CFQ Interview

Tatiana Maslany meets herself in ORPHAN BLACK.
Tatiana Maslany meets herself in ORPHAN BLACK.

2013 is turning out to be quite the break-out year for actress Tatiana Maslany: Not six months into the thing, she’s already got several notable roles to her name. Of course, most of them are on the BBC America series ORPHAN BLACK, where she plays multiple clones, all with very different personalities and all of whom find their senses of identity threatened by the discovery of each others’ existence. In addition, she’s extended her talents further by playing a rebellious high school student in the non-genre drama PICTURE DAY, which recently debuted on VOD and home video.
We reached across the Atlantic by phone to catch Tatiana at a UK coffee bar, where she clued us in on what it takes to be one’s own co-star, among other things. Click on the player to hear the show.

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Frank Oz: The CFQ Interview

Frank Oz at work.
Frank Oz at work.

It’s amazing some researchers haven’t figured out a way of determining personalities based on what aspect of Frank Oz’s career one is impressed with. Of course there’s Yoda — Frank voiced the beloved, and powerful, Jedi master, operated the puppet for most of the STAR WARS films, and for many helped form the heart and soul of the franchise. For me, it’s both the time he spent with Jim Henson — developing characters such as Miss Piggy and Grover and innovating puppetry in that surprisingly visionary company — and his work in the director’s chair for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, taking the musical stage adaptation of the Roger Corman’s dark comedy and creating a rich and wondrous, albeit murderous, film world. I was able to talk with Oz on the occasion of the Blu-ray release of the film, which restores the original, apocalyptic Don’t Feed the Plants finale that was cut from the theatrical release. We also got to talk Muppets, STAR WARS, and the mysterious allure of sequel rumors. Click on the player to hear the show.

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