Syfy has greenlit production on a fourth season of SANCTUARY, it was announced today by Mark Stern, President, Original Programming, Syfy & Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions.
Sanctuary season 4 is slated to commence production on a 13-episode season in spring 2011 in Vancouver, BC with an eye towards a fall 2011 premiere on Syfy.
Sanctuary follows brilliant scientist Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her team, who use their unique combination of instinct, medicine and cutting-edge science to find and aid a clandestine population of beings that the world refuses to believe exists.
The series also stars Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as the quick-witted Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as tech wiz Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as the sinister John Druitt.
One of television’s most groundbreaking series, shooting almost entirely on green screen, Sanctuary was the first television series in North America to use the RED camera exclusively. Its stunning visual effects were nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award.
Created by Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis), Sanctuary is produced in association with Syfy and is distributed by Tricon Films and Television. Season three of the series is executive produced by Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood, Keith Beedie and Tricon Films.”
Glad to see SANCTUARY’s returning, it’s a fun show. Seems odd that SyFy’s only committing to 13 episodes, though they do have a lot of projects in the works.
Currently being shopped at the AFM by American World Pictures, PARADOX is a fun little B-Film with a comic book/TV movie vibe.
It doesn’t feel exactly original, reminding me strongly of CAST A DEADLY SPELL (1991), and is perhaps too true to its comic book origins.
PARADOX is based on the three-part Arcana Studios graphic novel mini-series of the same name, written by Christos N. Gage. Gage has written for TV and for other comics, including Union Jack for Marvel and Deadshot for DC.
On an alternate version of Earth that has a technology powered by magic, police detective Sean Nault (Kevin Sorbo), is investigating murders that seem impossible, as the murder weapon used wasn’t powered by magic, somehow embedding a lead pellet in various bodies—including his partner. This weapon is of course a handgun, a .44 magnum revolver that eventually winds up in Nault’s possession.
With the aid of Lenoir (Steph Song, THE THAW, SMALLVILLE) a “scientist” who prefers the term pragmatist, as science is both ridiculed and reviled, he hopes to hunt down the killer(s).
One of the problems I had with the film (which seems to be shot on HD video) is that their technology is very close to 21st century devices; often absolutely identical, down to current makes of cars— in a world in which we are told that iron and other metals are supposed to interfere strongly with magic.
Science fiction, and the best kinds of fantasy, pick a set of fairly consistent rules for their fictitious worlds, and sticks closely to logical extrapolations of these premises. Audiences tend feel a little frustrated by obvious violations of the internal logic that’s been implicitly or explicitly set up, and unexpected “cheats” are usually disliked in both mysteries and SF. Both kinds of story transgressions can be found in PARADOX.
However, specific mentions of a few illustrative points would bring me further into spoiler territory that I care to venture, as the film is not yet in general release. Suffice it to say a character says that he/she can’t do something, and later uses that thing to get out of a situation—and no further explanation or mention is given to the subject. A simple line saying “I finally got that to work” would have covered this little annoyance. What we get is a “Huh?” moment and a smirk. Other quibbles, such as the cars, can be forgiven due to the lower budget nature of the production.
The look of PARADOX is generally very standard TV show in style, which is understandable, as director Brenton Spencer has helmed episodes of ANDROMEDA, STARGATE ATLANTIS, and SANCTUARY.
Perhaps trying to give the movie a different look and feel, Spencer (or the editorial staff) has used a great deal of still frames painted-over to look like comic book panels, including transition shots with text captions that ruin jokes before they’re sprung or contain information that characters will shortly repeat. One scene seems not to have been filmed and is awkwardly represented by some comic book panels instead— if I am interpreting the sequence of events properly. (There are other odd shortcuts, repetitions and ommisions that suggest both editorial padding for length and a lack of footage.)
Occasionally, the screen is split into several comic book style live-action panels, though this is not used in any consistent manner. This entire comic book approach is, in my opinion, a misfire. It’s not well handled, and gives the production an unwanted air of campiness.
FX vary highly in quality, some are quite good, others—particularly some simple green/blue screen composites, to my surprise—are rather unconvincing.
PARADOX is also being developed as a TV series, and I think that’s where the idea has the most potential. The idea is fairly interesting, the story serviceable, and the actors are likeable in their roles. With a little more time, money and attention to detail, I could easily see PARADOX filling a slot on SyFy’s schedule. PARADOX (2010) Bron Studios, American World Pictures.
Starring Kevin Sorbo, Steph Song, Christopher Judge, Alan C. Peterson, Ailsen Down, and Jerry Wasserman.
Directed by Brenton Spencer, screenplay by Ruth Fletcher and Christos N. Gage. Produced byAaron L. Gilbert and Deborah Gabler. Executive Producers Nicolas Bonavia, Bernie Melason, Sean O’Reilly. Director of Photography Curtis Peterson, Edited by Nicole Ratcliffe, Music by John Sereda and Paul Michael Thomas, Production Design by Michael Nemirsky, Motion Graphics and Design by Jeremy Unrau.
SyFy has announced their fall scedule.
From their Press Release, the following scripted shows are listed:
“STARGATE UNIVERSE — Season 2 Premieres Tuesday, September 28, at 9PM (NEW NIGHT) — Stargate Universe returns with 20 all-new episodes for season two. SGU follows a band of soldiers, scientists and civilians, who must fend for themselves as they are forced through a Stargate when their hidden base comes under attack. The desperate survivors emerge aboard an ancient ship, which is locked on an unknown course and unable to return to Earth. In the new season, the team fights to take back the ship from the Lucian Alliance, who transported themselves on board Destiny with plans to take control. The team also discovers their true mission. It’s not about going home, it’s about going further.
Season two guest stars include Robert Knepper (Heroes, Prison Break) and Julie McNiven (Supernatural, Mad Men) for a multi-episode arc in which they portray members of the Lucian Alliance. Also, series star Robert Carlyle makes his directorial debut in episode 4, Pathogen. Robert Cooper and Brad Wright, of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, serve as executive producers and writers. SGU is produced and distributed by MGM Worldwide Television Distribution. SANCTUARY — Season 3 Premieres Tuesday, September 28 at 10pm (NEW NIGHT) — Syfy’s original series Sanctuary returns this fall with an all-new 20-episode season. Season three picks up from the adrenaline-fueled action of season two, which raised the stakes for the brilliant scientist Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping, pictured) and her team, who use their unique combination of instinct, medicine and cutting-edge science and technology to find and aid a clandestine population of beings that the world refuses to believe exist.
In season three, the team will face a host of new and daunting abnormals, embark on adventures with both new and familiar faces and unravel some of the secrets woven through the Sanctuary’s rich past.
This season will also feature a two-episode arc for guest-star Polly Walker (Caprica, Rome). Sanctuary also stars Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as the quick-witted Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as tech wiz Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as the sinister John Druitt.
One of television’s most groundbreaking series, shooting almost entirely on green screen, Sanctuary was the first television series in North America to use the RED camera exclusively. Its stunning visual effects were nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award. Created by Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis), Sanctuary is produced in association with Syfy and is distributed by Tricon Films and Television. Season three of the series is executive produced by Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood, Keith Beedie and Tricon Films. WAREHOUSE 13/EUREKA HOLIDAY SPECIALS — Premieres in December — For the first time, Syfy’s two most popular original scripted series will debut special stand-alone holiday episodes. On Warehouse 13, Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) are called upon to hunt down a malevolent Santa Claus — who terrorizes guest star Paul Blackthorne — while Artie (Saul Rubinek) and his estranged father, Isadore Weisfelt (guest star Judd Hirsch), reunite after 30 years.
On Eureka, Global Dynamics staffer Dr. Noah Drummer (Chris Parnell/Saturday Night Live) nearly absconds with a volatile experiment. The halls get seriously decked when Dr. Drummer’s unstable hydrogen crystal starts to grow at a frightening rate. Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Henry (Joe Morton) attempt to deal with the potentially explosive crystal, but before long the true scope of the problem is revealed. Former series regular Matt Frewer also returns as Taggert.
Both series are produced and distributed by Universal Cable Productions. Jack Kenny (The Book of Daniel) is executive producer and showrunner of Warehouse 13. Co-creator Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller are executive producers of Eureka.”
Also listed as a scripted show: WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN — Syfy Series Premiere Friday, October 1, at 8PM — “The ultimate in imagination-based sports entertainment.” Two hours of this — guess I’ll be watching the CW’s SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL.
Well at least, they’re admitting the scripted nature of the events. My father used to watch the wrestlers rehearse at Madison Square Garden when he was assigned there for a time as a NYC police officer. Thankfully, he didn’t reveal this information to us when we were kids, watching Wrestling on UHF television. I might never have discovered the Mexican horror movies that aired afterwards, had I known.
Check out Blastr.com for details on their “reality” shows (some are real enough—others, I suspect somewhat less than fully so) and movie premieres, including Roger Corman’s SHARKTOPUS.
Tuesday June 15 sees the home video release of the box office hit THE BOOK OF ELI, along with season collections of the TV series SUPERNATURAL and SANCTUARY, plus a new Blu-ray release of THE STEPFATHER (1987). BOOK OF ELI – the post-apocalyptic adventure, starring Denzel Washington and directed by the Hughes Brothers – earned over $150-million world wide when it was released in theatres this January; it now arrives on DVD and in a combo pack containing Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy. The Blu-ray is loaded with bonus features: a bonus view track providing an in-depth examination of the production; 35 minutes of focus points; an animated short; three featurettes looking at the film and its soundtrack; 3 deleted/alternate scenes; the disc is alos BD-Live enabled.
If you’re more a television fan, you can pick up SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON on Blu-ray; it was previously released on DVD back in 2006. Also arriving SANCTUARY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, on DVD and Blu-ray. For more details on the later, click here.
THE STEPFATHER was the subject of an unnecessary remake last year. Now the original, starring Terry O’Quinn (LOST) makes a reappearance courtesy of a new Blu-ray release. There was a DVD release last October, timed to the remake; the Blu-ray ports over those bonus features: audio commentary with director Joseph Ruben; The Stepfather Chronicles (an all-new retrospective featuring interviews with cast and crew); trailers; stills gallery. Although not a huge hit when released in the ’80s, THE STEPFATHER is a classic thriller that deserves to be seen.
As for the rest, budget-minded buyers can take advantage of discount double bills of DRILLER with DRILLER KILLER and SNAKES ON A TRAIN” with KING OF THE LOST WORLD. Really budget-minded buyers can obtain four titles from low-budget filmmaker Brett piper in the SHOCK-O-RAMA HORROR COLLECTION. And horror host Mr. Lobo strikes again with a Cinema Insomnia Slime Edition of GAMERA SUPER MONSTERS (1980), the final entry in the original series about the giant flying turtle, which relies heavily on stock footage from its predecessors.
SANCTUARY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, which earned a 2009 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects, will arrive on DVD ($44.98 SRP) – and for the first time ever on Blu-ray ($49.98 SRP) – on June 15th, 2010.
Releasing simultaneously with Season 2 will be a Blu-ray edition of SANCTUARY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($49.98 SRP), which will includes the exclusive “Pilot Episode: Visual Effects Picture in Picture” bonus feature.
Presented with in anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 Surround Sound (as well as DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio on Blu-ray), SANCTUARY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON includes exclusive extras: audio commentaries on all 13 episodes with cast and crew including Amanda Tapping, creator Damian Kindler, director Martin Wood and more; four mini-featurettes (“International Sanctuary,” “Amanda Tapping Directs ‘Veritas’,” “Dancing in Mumbai” and “Sanctuary Visual Effects”); “Anatomy of an Episode”.
An in-depth look at the “Next Tuesday” episode from script to screen; two “Robin Dunne Video Diaries” (“Behind-the-Scenes” and “Sanctuary Goes to Japan”); the “Sanctuary Goes to Comic Con” featurette, a “Bloopers and Outtakes” reel; and a production stills photo gallery. SANCTUARY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
Street date: June 15, 2010
SRP:DVD: $44.98/BD: $49.98 (4 Disc Set)
Running Time: 585 minutes