SGU and Sanctuary Return to SyFy

Syfy released the news of when its cancelled series STARGATE UNIVERSE will return, as well as the second half of Season Three of SANCTUARY.

“STARGATE UNIVERSE – Returns Monday March 7, at 10PM – Syfy’s drama-adventure series returns for its anticipated final ten episodes. The new episodes pick up with the Destiny crew in a battle with a drone command ship and the surprise arrival of the aliens that abducted Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Chloe (Elyse Levesque). The final season culminates with a dramatic conclusion for the fate of the Destiny crew, who face a difficult crossroads when they realize the time has come for them to take a risky stand … or they will be left adrift forever.
Guest stars appearing in the final episodes include Victor Garber (Alien, Titanic), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun), Robert Picardo (Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: Voyager, China Beach), Kathleen Quinlen (Apollo 13) and Julie McNiven (Supernatural, Mad Men).
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 – Returns Friday April 15, at 10PM– Syfy’s original series returns with the next all-new 10 episodes of season three! The adventures pick up in the events of the mid-season finale’s cliffhanger, with the team at the mercy of the inimitable Ranna, played by Polly Walker (Caprica, Rome).
Sanctuary stars Amanda Tapping as the brilliant Dr. Helen Magnus, Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as John Druitt.
Sanctuary Season 3 Cast
Sanctuary Season 3 Cast

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.”

They also released details of their “un-scripted” shows”.
DESTINATION TRUTH, with a Live St. Patrick’s Day Investigation, which will then  move to a new night on Tuesday March 22, at 9PM.  
MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN – “Series Premiere Tuesday March 22, at 10PM – Syfy unveils the future of food with a daring new hi-tech cooking series for the modern age, featuring Top Chef’s Marcel Vigneron, one of America’s most notorious chefs on the cutting edge of the culinary field.”
Seriously? A cooking show?
FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES – Season Two Premiere Wednesday March 23, at 10PM.

'Red Dwarf' to return

REDdwarf-Robert_LLOn his Blog, RED DWARF actor Robert Llewellyn revealed to fans that the cult favorite UK Sci-Fi comedy (originally on the BBC) was returning in a brand new season for the Dave TV satellite/cable comedy channel.

“So, the thing is, the whole point was that I was told not to say anything. Doug (Doug Naylor, co-creator/producer) told me, face to face, ‘don’t tweet this bobby. Not yet.’
So I didn’t. I was really good. I said nothing.
Then I spend a day in my voice over cell and know nothing of the interview Craig had done on the radio, which was, it appears, picked up by the Daily Mail, which, as you know is my fave all time newspaper. Ahem.
So then I get back to my trusty lappy and there’s a great slew of tweets telling me that Craig has once again spilt the beans. You’ve got to love him, he knows how to spin the scoop.
I’ve just spoken to Craig, he was as usual gloriously funny about it. He said, and I quote.
‘I did a radio interview and it just sort of slipped out.’

RED DWARF: Back To Earth
RED DWARF: Back To Earth

So yes, we are making a new series, commissioned by Dave, not a special or a movie or a one off dooberry. A full 6 half hour episodes of a brand new series.
The previous Red Dwarf Back to Earth Dave specials were incredibly successful. For a Channel like Dave to get viewing figures which beat BBC 2 and Channel 4 combined was an unprecedented achievement which has never happened before or since.
The plan at the moment, and this could change, the plan is that we record the new series in front of an audience.
Now, this is a complicated issue. The last time we recorded a show in front of an audience was in 1998. Anyone remember 1998?
No YouTube, no Facebook, no Twitter, no broadband, no HD video cameras in mobile phones. Okay, a few people had e-mail. I had a crude web page already, but it really was basic.
So when the audience came in the producers would ask them politely not to reveal any spoilers ‘on the world wide web’ as we referred to it then. I’m sure some people did, but so few people would have seen anything it really didn’t matter.
The fear among the producers now is that it’s impossible to imagine an audience of around 400 people at the recording of a TV show like Red Dwarf, where nobody does a bit of a hint on Twitter, or sneaks a picture on Facebook or posts a bit of badly shot video on YouTube.
It’s just too tempting, it’s too easy.
The producers are very worried and I can see why. The gap between recording a show and it’s eventual broadcast is quite long, especially on Red Dwarf. It’s a show which uses a lot of post production time. Special effects, tweaking shots, CGI, even, dare I hope for it, model shots, all take time.
By the time the shows are released on Dave in 2012, half the potential bloody viewers could know an enormous amount about it.

Though the RED DWARF: BACK TO EARTH three part mini-series was successful, many fans felt the comic edge of the somewhat downbeat, reflective storyline was lacking. Perhaps shooting in front of a live audience, despite the dangers of spoilers, will give the new series the spark and energy some thought was missing from the single camera movie-style TV venture.
red_Dwarf_cast4For those not familiar with the series, it aired from 1988 to 1999 on BBC 2, and starred Craig Charles as Dave Lister, probably the the last human being from Earth left in the galaxy, after being revived from suspended animation (the brig) on the immense miing ship the Red Dwarf. All of the rest of the crew are dead from a radiation leak, and three million years have passed, before the sentient computer Holly (Norman Lovett or Hattie Hayridge, depending on what season or sex Holly currently was) determines it’s safe to resurrect him. He’d be all allone, save for the hologram of Arnold Rimmer (Brit Sitcom star Chris Barrie), Lister’s obnoxious room mate, the only person on the ship that Lister really knew. Death has not improved Rimmer, and they continue their “Odd Couple”-like dysfunctional releationship.
Fortunately for Lister, also onboard is Cat (Danny John-Jules), the sharp-dressing, vain and preening humanoid decendent of Lister’s pet cat, Frankenstien — the last of his kind, as well. The eager to please android Kryten (Llewellyn) joins the crew in Season 3, when the series really kicked into high gear.
Lister’s lost love Kristine Kochanski (played few times by Clare Grogan before Chloë Annett joined as a regular) rounded out the cast. She was actually a Kochanski from an alternate universe, where she rather than Lister had been saved. The female version of Holly originated in that reality, as well, and Holly Prime fell in love with her, causing the flaky AI to actually become her for  a good strech of time.
The series, created by Doug Naylor and Ron Grant, played skillfully with science fiction tropes and cliches, as well as twiting a wide range of TV and movie plots and conventions.
It also introduced a number of invented expletives, such as “smeg”, “smeg-head”, and “gimboid”, which are great fun to use.

'Galactica: Blood & Chrome' — Art

Click to Enlarge

Via come these promising looking pre-production concept art shots for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD AND CHROME.
According to SyFy, the Universal Media Studios  two-hour pilot movie will focus on “the adventures of a young William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon war.”

“Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet … the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.”

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

See two more pictures at the link above.

'Stargate Universe' Canceled

stargate_universe1According to Deadline, SyFy has officially  announced that it will not  renew MGM Television’s STARGATE: UNIVERSE for a third season.
Recently airing it’s mid-season cliffhanger, the show’s ten remaining episodes will be broadcast in Spring 2011. The cable network has been showing some iteration of the STARGATE franchise since 2002, including the original STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE: ATLANTIS. SG-1 had a good run, beginning on SHOWTIME for five seasons before being picked up by the then Sci-Fi Channel. ATLANTIS only lasted 4 years before being retired (prematurely,  fans thought) in favor of STARGATE UNIVERSE’s darker take on the STARGATE premise. 
This often literally dark approach—sometimes so under-lit that it was hard to see what was going on— may have been what doomed UNIVERSE. The characters were  lost in space, maraooned on an ancient, barely functioning  space craft. Their shock, rage and disfunctional internal battles made them difficult to like, or even sympathise with or care about.

Ming-Na with Robert Carysle
Ming-Na with Robert Carysle

Towards the end of the first season, the show began to show other sides to the sometimes baffling attitudes and hostile personalities of the trapped military personnel and scientists. This year we got more insight, and a real level of empathy was developing. But for the average viewer, it was too little, too late.
According to the item, STARGATE UNIVERSE recently averaged only a 0.5 in viewers 18 to 49, apparently below the average ratings for SyFy’s shows that are being renewed.
A similar thing happened with the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA spin-off CAPRICA, canceled last month. The GALACTICA reboot might have been  grim at times, but it made the viewer care about it’s flawed characters. The spin-off did not lay the groundwork of getting the audience to empathise with its major (and many minor) players before taking them down dark pathways.
Tellingly, the shows that are returning are the frothy, ‘quirky’ dramedies, WAREHOUSE 13, EUREKA, and HAVEN. Those shows rate well, featuring engaging, amusing and/or sympathetic characters.
Perhaps this will be a lesson to genre television producers: Build your characters up, before tearing them down.

Star Trek Scribes 'Break Story' for Sequel

star-trek_poster_BlueThe L.A. Times reports that the STAR TREK reboot writers, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, have ‘broken’ the story for the sequel, meaning that they do have the essential plot set for the next film
While not revealing any details, the duo did provide some insight into their process. Alex Kurtzman said (in part):

 “I think one of the weird challenges that we’re facing on this one is that in many ways, with the first movie, I don’t think people knew what to expect, so when we were in the writing process, Bob and I really spent our time going to things that we loved about TREK and it was a very unfiltered process. It felt intimate and small….  Now, that first movie has come up and did well and everyone wants to know what happens next…. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about TREK? Where can we go from where we left off?”

Roberto Orci noted that this film is not an origin story, and added the following:

 “We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still. Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from STAR TREK and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ STAR TREK, even though it’s a new story.”

For more details, including possible comparisons to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, follow the link above.

SGU: Resurgence – Description & Clip

Here’s a description and video clip from Tonight’s Mid-Season Finale of STARGATE: UNIVERSE, ‘Resurgence’.

“The crew’s newfound control over Destiny’s flight path introduces new risks when they find themselves in the middle of a war between two races.”

Directed by William Warning, screenplay by producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
Guest stars: Mike Dopud (Varro), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), and Lou Diamond Phillips returns as Col. David Telford.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.
Clip via MrGibbsOfficial

Leslie Nielsen, R.I.P.

Nielson_FPLanet_TintLeslie Nielsen passed away yesterday, November 28th, 2010. He was 84.

Most famous for his later-in-life comedy roles in THE NAKED GUN series, Nielsen was also a well-known sci-fi and horror performer. In 1956, he starred as Commander J.J. Adams in FORBIDDEN PLANET, the first big-budget, full color, and Cinemascope  Outer Space-set science fiction film. A classic of the genre, the film would be the blueprint for serious SF productions for years to come.
Born in the North West Territory of Canada, he attended Toronto’s Academy of Radio Arts before moving to New York and joining The Neighborhood Playhouse. Soon he became a regular performer in live television, including a number of science fiction-themed shows.
Among the live performances were OUT THERE (1951), LIGHTS OUT, SUSPENSE, and several episodes of TALES OF TOMORROW (1952-53). In one of the TALES shows, Appointment on Mars, Nielsen’s astronaut character was supposed to shoot another (played by Brian Keith). However, the prop gun refused to fire its blanks during the live program, so he was forced to rush his adversary and strangle him instead.
His powerful voice and leading man looks lent Leslie Nielsen an air of authority, making him a natural for FORBIDDEN PLANET’s serious-minded skipper of the United Planet’s Cruiser C57D.  Nielsen invested the stock character with a touch of  quiet humor in lighter situations and a sense of at-times barely-controlled fury at the strange predicament that imperils his ship and crew.
For Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,  Nielsen played Col. Francis Marion in the eight-part THE SWAMP FOX, based on the historical figure,  who was an originator of the use of intelligence-gathering and guerilla tactics during the Revolutionary War.
He appeared in episodes of THRILLER and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, starred as modern policeman Lt. Price Adams in THE NEW BREED (1961-62).
Dark_IntruderIn 1965, he played 19th century occult detective Brett Kingsford in  DARK INTRUDER, originally planned as a supernatural mystery series to be called THE BLACK CLOAK. Not picked up by a network, Universal released it as a feature film.
During the 60’s  and 70’s Leslie Nielsen appeared on many TV shows, often playing straightforward or ruthlessly corrupt authority figures. SF/Fantasy shows included VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, WILD WILD WEST, and THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
 TV Movies NIGHT SLAVES, THE AQUARIANS, HAUSER’S MEMORY (all 1970) shared some SF slant. Nielsen guested in two episodes of the supernatural anthology THE EVIL TOUCH (1973-74), played a recurring adversary for Caine in KUNG FU, and faced off against a bear in the ecological SF flick DAY OF THE ANIMALS (1977).
Leslie Nielsen visited FANTASY ISLAND three times (1978-80) before spoofing his screen image in AIRPLANE. He brought a deadpan delivery of nonsensical dialog as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 film, a chance to show off his real-life sense of humor and love of the absurd. 
Dracula_dead_and_lovingThis film would lead to a short-lived TV series POLICE SQUAD! as the disconnected from reality Detective Frank Drebbin, later spun off into the NAKED GUN films, and eventually other thick-headed characters in comedies such as THE CREATURE WASN’T NICE and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT.
He also appeared in horror movies PROM NIGHT (1980) and CREEPSHOW (1982), and horror spoofs REPOSSESSED (1990), and SCARY MOVIE 3 & 4.
Leslie Nielsen is sure to be missed, by several generations of TV and Movie viewers, and fans of both genre and mainstream entertainment. 

SGU: 'Visitation' — Preview Clip

Here’s a description and preview clip of this week’s episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE, ‘Visistation’.

“Crew members who were left behind on an idyllic planet resurface amid strange circumstances, and Chloe (Elyse Levesque)prepares for the next stage of her life.”

Viewers will remember that Chloe seems to have been infected with alien DNA and seems to be changing physically and mentally.
Guest Star Tygh Runyan (Caine).
Visitation was directed by Will Waring from a screenplay bt Remi Aubuchon.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.

SGU: The Greater Good – Clip

Here’s a clip and a description of this week’s new episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE, The Greater Good.
Col. Young (Louis Ferreira)
and Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) are trapped on an abandoned alien ship, while Destiny is stranded in deep space. Rush continues to refuse to divulge his secret. (That he has discovered the ship’s bridge, and can control Destiny, so some extent.)
Meanwhile, Lucian Alliance member Ginn (guest star Julie McNiven) and Eli’s (David Blue) relationship continues to develop, as Camille Wray (Ming-Na) discovers in this clip.
Kathleen Munroe and  Robert Knepper also guest star.
The episode was directed by Will Waring, from a screenplay by  Carl Binder.
Supposedly the audience will discover what the Ancients’ starship Destiny’s original mission was/is in this episode/
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT.