Monday, May 09, 2005

Monday. TV News. (notstarwars)

Abrams Coy About Lost Finale
J.J. Abrams, co-creator of ABC's hit Lost, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming season finale will strike a balance between revealing and concealing.

"That was one of the I think requirements of the finale, was to answer some questions and keep others out there and open," Abrams said in an interview at the Saturn Awards this week. "So, you know, like with everything, that's the ambition, and I believe we've succeeded. But ultimately the fans are the judge."

Lost wraps up its first season on May 25 with a two-hour finale.

Abrams, meanwhile, said that he's recently completed a global location scout for his upcoming feature-film directorial debut, Mission: Impossible 3.

"All over the world," he said. "It was like insane. But it's a trip. I mean, literally, it was a trip. ... I'm so excited. It's just a blast." EDITOR'S NOTE: LIKE, IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE LIKE HE IS A WRITER.

As for where the film will shoot, he said, "The specifics are being ironed out, [but] it's going to be a pretty big, large scale." Meanwhile, he said, "We're deep in prep, and we start shooting July. ... The script was rewritten. ... I'm a huge fan of literally each actor that they cast originally [including Carrie-Anne Moss and Scarlett Johansson], but to have kept the actors when we were reinventing the story would have been an odd process to sort of say, 'OK, write a script with these people in mind for characters that hadn't been written.' I mean, you know, it felt like we just needed to start over with a clean slate."

Black, Browder Talk New SG-1
Former Farscape star Claudia Black told SCI FI Wire that her character in the upcoming ninth season of Stargate SG-1 will bedevil Michael Shanks' Daniel Jackson for the season's first six episodes.

Black reprises the role of the mischievous Vala first introduced in last season's "Prometheus Unbound."

"I've come to make Michael Shanks' life a misery," Black said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles this week. "The character I'm playing is sort of the hair-pulling variety. She's really infuriating, but, I hope, funny." Black added: "She's the naughty kid that says everything that everyone else is thinking, but doesn't dare say. She's irreverent. Everything she says is to get a rise or reaction out of someone. ... She's also a highly comedic character. She provides a lot of energy and comedy. And that was something. ... Aeryn [her Farscape character] was a very dramatic, weighty serious character, and I think smiled once a season. Vala is completely the opposite from that perspective alone."

Black finds herself again sharing a show with Farscape's Ben Browder, who joins the regular SG-1 cast as Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, a new member of SG-1.

But Browder said that he won't share much screen time with his former Farscape on-screen flame. "They're trying to keep us apart," Browder said. "But we'll break them down eventually. They've got to give us one [scene together]!"

Black added: "There's a good reason, though, [for keeping us separated]," she said. "It underlines how obviously different our characters are this time around. It's a whole different ballgame."

Browder said that the SG-1 cast has been nothing but welcoming. "The interesting thing about joining a show that's been going on for such a long time is, really, when you work on a show after a period of time, it's actually refreshing to have new people come in and mix it up," he said. "At least, that was I think our experience on Farscape. As long as they didn't take me away from scenes with [Black], that was fine. So they've been very gracious and welcoming. You know, it would be hard to ask for much more in regards to the cast taking us in."

Black and Browder added that they hope Farscape lives on, though it ended its run on SCI FI Channel last year with the miniseries Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars. (The miniseries won three Saturn Awards.)

"I'd love to see a Farscape feature film, EDITOR'S NOTE: YES PLEASE. OR ANOTHER MINI-SERIES. OR MAYBE JUST BRING THE THING BACK FOR REAL?!!!! (SNIFFLE)but for now I'm very happy launching the ninth season of Stargate [SG-1] with Beau Bridges [who joins the cast as Maj. Gen. Hank Landry]." He added: "Beau Bridges is running the show. Every time he comes into the room, I stand at attention." "We all do," Black added. Stargate SG-1 has resumed production at its base in Vancouver, B.C., and returns to SCI FI Channel in July.

What happens when we find life outside our own planet? EDITOR'S NOTE: OR MAYBE INTELLIGENT LIFE ON OURS.

Discovery Channel brings viewers on a virtual mission of the future. Right now, the search for planets with "life signatures" goes on. These efforts are global, and experts tell us on camera how this search for life is progressing around the world. No longer just the domain of science fiction, what could alien life really look like? Alien Planet dramatizes an exciting — and possible — answer.

The show takes place on Darwin IV, a fictional planet 6.5 light-years from Earth, with two suns and 60 percent gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the mothership Von Braun and three probes: Balboa, Da Vinci and Newton. This unmanned fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life-forms on Darwin IV. Initially, the expectation is to find microscopic life, but the probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with life of all sizes.

Real scientists consider data in this planetary environment. They discuss the larger issues of the possibilities of life outside our solar system and deconstruct the animals on Darwin IV, basing the analysis on the laws of evolution and physics. Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and various scientists will participate in the discussion of where science is today. Other participants include Jack Horner, Craig Venter, George Lucas and NASA's chief scientist, Jim Garvin.

Alien Planet premieres Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT

BLADE Bound for Small Screen
Spike TV announced the network will turn the BLADE franchise of films into a TV series for early 2006.

New Line Television and Marvel Studios will produce the show along with David Goyer. No definite word has been given yet on whether or not Goyer will write the pilot or for the series.

During an interview conducted at the Saturn Awards, Brannon BragaEDITOR'S NOTE: GRRRR...., former Star Trek: Enterprise executive producer, talked about THRESHOLD, a series he is working on with Blade writer David S. Goyer, Harry Potter producer David Heyman, Mark Rosen and Bragi Schut.

Braga said he and the others are awaiting word from CBS on whether the show will be picked up. "The status of the pilot is we're done. We've finished it, and we're waiting to hear what happens. I don't want to jinx it, though. The next couple of weeks. It's a psychological thriller, science ficiton show. It's contemporary sci fi about aliens amongst us. But more emphasis on
the psychological suspense and less emphasis on the effects-heavy type of genre piece."

THRESHOLD begins with the discovery of an extraterrestrial spacecraft in the middle of the ocean. Molly Anne Caffrey (Carla Gugino), a physician and former NASA employee, is
recruited to await the planet's first contact, along with a carefully assembled team made up of a brilliant physicist, a language and communications expert and a covert operative, the
document said. Together they implement Operation: Threshold, charged with finding out the purpose of the landing and the fate of the ship's crew and preparing for the worst-case scenario of an alien invasion.

The cast includes Charles S. Dutton and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Brent Spiner, as well as Robert Benedict , House of Wax's Brian Van Holt and Lost's William Mapother. EDITOR'S NOTE: INTERESTING CAST. WONDER IF BRAGA WILL MESS THIS ONE UP TOO?


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