Next week sees the last, major genre film debut of the year with the release of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY in glorious 3D and an innovative high frame-rate (HFR) projection system (advance word: bring Dramamine). The film marks the beginning of a new film franchise based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tales of Middle Earth, but of course it isn’t the first time director Peter Jackson has visited the realm of elves, orcs, and humble, fun-loving hobbits. So while the film industry took this weekend to rally its strength by observing a moratorium in genre film debuts, Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons take a look back at the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, and weigh whether, a decade later, this is a world worth revisiting.
Plus: Dan gives his capsule verdict of BAD KIDS GO TO HELL, and what’s coming to theaters next week (can you guess?). SPECIAL FUN TECHNICAL NOTE: Did you know listening to podcasts in which the audio occasionally, randomly skips makes you more popular? It’s true! Find out for yourself by listening to this show, and just see how many New Years parties you’re invited to. (TRANSLATION: Our audio software screwed up. It doesn’t really mess up the show, but we apologize and will be better next week.)
In such series as FARSCAPE and STARGATE SG-1, Ben Browder traveled to distant universes filled with strange and fascinating creatures. But in all their adventures, neither FARSCAPE’s John Crichton nor SG-1′s Cameron Mitchell ever had to contend with an environment as daunting as high school, or a life form as enigmatic as teenagers. That’s just what happens in BAD KIDS GO TO HELL, the new horror comedy in which Browder plays Max, a janitor of the “quiet loner” breed, who tends to the corridors and classrooms of a tony private school as a clutch of the institution’s least-favorite students while away their time in detention, and find themselves being bumped off, one-by-one, by a resourceful killer with mysterious motives.
So in this episode, we talk to Browder via phone, our conversation ranging from his extended absence from the screen, to the difference between movie and TV shoots, to what it was like being a visitor to the world of DOCTOR WHO. Click on the player to hear the show.
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Via BBC AMERICA, here’s the first teaser trailer for the seventh season of the revived DOCTOR WHO.
In addition to the Doctor (Matt Smith), we see Amy & Rory (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) as well as our first look at Ben Browder’s (FARSCAPE, STARGATE SG-1) character, a lawman in an anachronistic Western town. And a Cyborg gun-slinger, scenes on a dismal beach where all is not well, a snowy landscape with oddities of its own, and much more.
According to SFX , Ben Browder (FARSCAPE, STARGATE: SG-1) is set to star in NAUGHT FOR HIRE, a web series based on John E. Stith’s (Redshift Rendezvous) SF detective stories.
Nick Naught is a private detective in the relatively near furture, a 1930’s throw-back with a well-earned distrust of the semi-sentient machines that complicate his life and work.
Jennifer Sky (CLEOPATRA 2525) will play Annette Taylor, investigative reporter and Naught’s old flame . Juliet Landau (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) is set to voice Precious, the detective’s fiercely protective AI car/secretary, while Chase Masterson (DEEP SPACE NINE) will portray Maxine McCormick, the CEO of the company that created the “smart chips” that make the technology self-aware —or close enough.
Producer Jeffery Berman (THE WRITE ENVIRONMENT) says the mystery-comedy will shoot this summer, but no date has been set as to where and when the ccliff-hanging webisodes will debut.
“I can’t say too much about it just yet, but I like to think that if you put out a good product an audience will find it. What’s great about a project like NAUGHT FOR HIRE is that it appeals to a large demographic. By airing it on the web, we don’t have to worry about a niche broadcast channel that only airs Science Fiction or Comedy or Drama. We can allow the story to dictate those choices, and not a network.”
The Nick Naught stories first appeared in Analog Science Fiction Magazine in the `90’s and two novelettes have been collected as a book, All For Naught, published by Wildside Press.
An earlier version of this article erroneously credited producer Jeffrey Berman with having worked on STAR WARRIORS, a direct-to-video film whose crew included another person of the same name.