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V - The New Series

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Anyone else GEEKED two Firefly actors were on there. Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin.

Yes but I'm a fan of Joss Whedon in general. (Consider reading the Buffy Season 8 graphic novel.) I liked the Firefly movie (Serenity) but I only like the Firefly episodes that lost the whole Old West theme. The Space Cowboy thing has been done to death (IMHO). I think it all peaked with Outland in 1981, which pretty much just set the movie High Noon (1952) on Jupiter's moon Io.

 

SF Snob,

- Thoth.

 

BTW: Serenity Captain Malcolm Reynolds (actor Nathan Fillion) now stars as a novelist on the TV show Castle.

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Yes but I'm fan of Joss Whedon in general. (Consider reading the Buffy Season 8 graphic novel.) I liked the Firefly movie (Serenity) but I only like the Firefly episodes that lost the whole Old West theme. The Space Cowboy thing has been done to death (IMHO). I think it all peaked with Outland in 1981, which pretty much just set the movie High Noon (1952) on Jupiter's moon Io.

 

SF Snob,

- Thoth.

 

BTW: Serenity Captain Malcolm Reynolds (actor Nathan Fillion) now stars as a novelist on the TV show Castle.

 

Yeah thats a great show too.

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If you want to geek out further, watch the first five minutes of the halloween episode of Castle.

 

I've seen the first two episodes of V. I like it so far, but Castle is a lot higher on my priority list, either because I like staring at Nathan Fillion, or the writers or pretty good (or both).

 

On the subject of Whedon and Tudyk, Dollhouse is alright, but I don't like Eliza Dushku (whom I refer to more often than not as Eliza Douchebag :/ )

 

You folks notice that all the series that came out recently seem to have done away with a traditional opening?

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If you want to geek out further, watch the first five minutes of the halloween episode of Castle.

Yep. Felt appropriately geeked out.

 

I've seen the first two episodes of V. I like it so far, but Castle is a lot higher on my priority list...

I'm concerned that the new V will go the way of Flash Forward. That is, it is becoming way too soap-opera-y. I understand that they have to parcel out the reveals but they could cut either show to 15 minutes and lose nothing.

 

On the subject of Whedon and Tudyk, Dollhouse is alright, but I don't like Eliza Dushku ...

Now, now. Eliza's doing the job. But FOX seems to have a problem with the cost of the show (versus ratings). Are they finished for the season? Are they coming back in 2010?

 

You folks notice that all the series that came out recently seem to have done away with a traditional opening?

Yeah. TV Guide implied there is a lot of revenue pressure on the networks now. Shorter openings means more room for commercials. They even run them during the closing credits. Technically, the FCC limits network TV to 16 minutes of revenue producing commercials per hour (I think that may have been increased recently) but that doesn't include promotional announcements since (again technically) they provide no income.

 

BTW: The Prisoner (a 17-episode British television series broadcast in the UK from 1967 to 1968) has been remade into an AMC miniseries which begins Sunday November 15.

 

I shouldn't be watching so much TV. It's going to hurt my NaNo writing.

- Thoth.

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Yep. Felt appropriately geeked out.

</squee>

 

Now, now. Eliza's doing the job. But FOX seems to have a problem with the cost of the show (versus ratings). Are they finished for the season? Are they coming back in 2010?

 

Not sure, I'm a bit more worried about the return of Defying Gravity. Joss Whedon has the money to be resilient.

 

BTW: The Prisoner (a 17-episode British television series broadcast in the UK from 1967 to 1968) has been remade into an AMC miniseries which begins Sunday November 15.

Not familiar with it. But speaking of old stuff, you know what I miss? Radio-dramas.

 

I shouldn't be watching so much TV. It's going to hurt my NaNo writing.

- Thoth.

 

Spend a day setting up a tivo, and come back in december.

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Not sure, I'm a bit more worried about the return of Defying Gravity. Joss Whedon has the money to be resilient.

Ah yes. Defying Gravity. Remember Laura Harris (Zoe Barnes in DF) as the alien lobster monster Marybeth Louise Hutchinson in The Faculty? (Great name for a space monster.) Jon Stewart (of The Daily Show) played Prof Edward Furlong in that one. (Talk about trivia!)

 

Not familiar with it. But speaking of old stuff, you know what I miss? Radio-dramas.

They're still available at B&N on CD. While you're there check out the original The Prisoner.

 

Spend a day setting up a tivo, and come back in december.

Funny you should mention that. I watch nearly all my TV on my DVR these days. No network programmer is going to boss us around. Right SP?

- Thoth.

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Ah yes. Defying Gravity. Remember Laura Harris (Zoe Barnes in DF) as the alien lobster monster Marybeth Louise Hutchinson in The Faculty? (Great name for a space monster.) Jon Stewart (of The Daily Show) played Prof Edward Furlong in that one. (Talk about trivia!)

 

 

They're still available at B&N on CD. While you're there check out the original The Prisoner.

 

 

Funny you should mention that. I watch nearly all my TV on my DVR these days. No network programmer is going to boss us around. Right SP?

- Thoth.

 

I haven't seen The Faculty to my knowledge, but I do know Ms. Harris from her performance in Dead Like Me. In fact, I had just finished the series when I started up DG, and I can certainly say it's disorienting to see the same actor play different roles.

 

I don't get around to the TV much, but for everything I want to see, there is a way to get it on the internet. Be it Hulu, or something less legitimate.

One of the benefits of living at a University, is the obscene amount of bandwidth to toss around. (We get something like 80MB/S down, when no one is on, although I think they capped us all to around 20-40, which is still more than twice what most people get to their homes.)

 

On a slightly unrelated note, but in response to my own comment on radio-plays, here's an audio clip my dad sent me regarding the power of radio (or in reality, narrative). You've probably heard it before, but I thought you'd appreciate it:

 

http://www.mediafire.com/file/ynjmr3ojwnv/...burg_Radio_.mp3

 

 

Will take a look at The Prisoner later this week. I'm only allowing myself a few diversions today, trying to finish the last 100 pages of Portnoy's Complaint today, as my analysis is due Friday, and needs to be brilliant.

(My apologies to Altruism for hijacking his/her post)

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1) Ah. The power of the imagination. Look out! Look out! That giant giant maraschino cherry is coming right at you!

 

2) A perfect book for college students. Portnoy's Complaint: A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature.

 

- Thoth.

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On the subject of Whedon and Tudyk, Dollhouse is alright, but I don't like Eliza Dushku (whom I refer to more often than not as Eliza Douchebag :/ )

Just read that Dollhouse was cancelled yesterday. Damn. But they will air the remaining six episodes; three in December and three in January.

 

Worse, Defying Gravity has also been cancelled (click here) and they won't be airing the remaining five episodes.

 

Any Eastwick fans? Yeah, cancelled.

 

Science fiction and fantasy has been hit hard on network TV.

- Thoth.

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Just read that Dollhouse was cancelled yesterday. Damn. But they will air the remaining six episodes; three in December and three in January.

 

Worse, Defying Gravity has also been cancelled (click here) and they won't be airing the remaining five episodes.

 

Any Eastwick fans? Yeah, cancelled.

 

Science fiction and fantasy has been hit hard on network TV.

- Thoth.

 

 

Major suck! I really liked both shows in general (despite Dushku). Thankfully, I've already seen all of DG, which can be credited to the powers of the internet. (The show continued to air in Canada).

 

Notice that MTV plays nothing but "reality TV", and SyFy shows nothing but anime? What the fuck? If I want to watch anime, I'll find an anime channel. Stick to your genre, networks, there are shows that will get good ratings, and its your job to find them!

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Just read that Dollhouse was cancelled yesterday. Damn. But they will air the remaining six episodes; three in December and three in January.

 

Worse, Defying Gravity has also been cancelled (click here) and they won't be airing the remaining five episodes.

 

Any Eastwick fans? Yeah, cancelled.

 

Science fiction and fantasy has been hit hard on network TV.

- Thoth.

 

Maybe they will work on Firefly again since it has the most insane cult following I've seen from a cancelled show. Maybe on the Sci Fi channel. They keep pumping out Stargates but lets Firefly out to dry, I just don't get it.

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Maybe they will work on Firefly again since it has the most insane cult following I've seen from a cancelled show.

"Most insane cult following" is a hard metric to quantify. But if I had to I'd give the prize to Star Trek, in the Cancelled Show category.

 

Maybe on the Sci Fi channel. They keep pumping out Stargates but lets Firefly out to dry, I just don't get it.

It's all about costs versus earnings. The Sci-Fi Channel is cable so they balance that equation differently from the broadcast networks. The Stargate franchise can cut deals since they have an alternate revenue stream (DVDs, books, toys). Joss was smart enough to go that way with Firefly but he was too late; a TV show has to be established in the television media before it can expand into others. (And yet, I really liked the movie.)

 

As for the Sci Fi channel, now calling themselves SyFy (don't ask*), they are now producing a great many one-offs themselves rather than buying vastly superior (IMHO) BBC series. They dropped Primeval in mid-season but it's scheduled to run through 2011 in the UK. They dropped Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood. Good news for American actors, I suppose, but I miss these shows.

 

Disappointed with the direction of American Sci-Fi TV.

- Thoth.

 

*Okay, since you asked. They're trying to appeal to the hip younger generation that likes to misspell things.

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...Thankfully, I've already seen all of DG, which can be credited to the powers of the internet....

I've been looking for the final episodes on the internet but can't find them. Would you be kind enough to provide a link?

- Thoth.

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I've been looking for the final episodes on the internet but can't find them. Would you be kind enough to provide a link?

- Thoth.

 

 

*Whisper* *Whisper*

http://www.surfthechannel.com/show/77920.html

 

 

Surfthechannel's where I do most of my internet viewing. It acts as a pathfinder to the video links, so they can't technically get in trouble.

 

If you prefer to "own" the whole series, there are already compilations up on the nets. Get yourself a copy of a bittorrent client, and visit a site like http://demonoid.com or http://btjunkie.com

I was about to make a comment about running a spyware scanner afterwards, when I realized that this is by proxy a mac forum.

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Okay. I saw the remake of The Prisoner and I can't recommend it. It not only doesn't stand up to the original it doesn't even stand on its own. (The editing was actually repellant. It was physically hard to watch.)

 

The original Village was a forced retirement community/prison/island for people who knew too much but were too valuable to kill. Number Six (Patrick McGoohan a.k.a. Bond-like secret agent John Drake in the acknowledged prequel Secret Agent) was cool, competent and typically a step or two ahead of Number 2 (played by a different actor almost every week). We knew #6 from the Secret Agent TV series but all other characters were kept deliberately two-dimensional. In this one respect I think the remake is better. (It's hard to fault Ian McKellen in anything. Even as Magneto.)

 

By the way, in the original The Prisoner (1967-1968) the Village was the Hotel Portmeirion resort, in Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales. In the remake the Village is the town of Swakopmund, Namibia.

 

Okay, I needed a break from my NaNo writing.

- Thoth.

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Okay. I saw the remake of The Prisoner and I can't recommend it. It not only doesn't stand up to the original it doesn't even stand on its own. (The editing was actually repellant. It was physically hard to watch.)

 

Okay, I have to jump in here. Not because I disagree. I agree, but so profoundly, it hurts like a wound. I should explain:

 

I love the 1967-1968 series The Prisoner. I didn't watch the original run (wasn't even in the womb yet) but did watch it as an adult, and fell in love. It was a masterpiece. Not every episode was a classic, but as a whole, the series was. It was off-center and off-putting, profound and psychedelic and serious and silly all at once. It thumbed it's nose at culture while being a part of it. And it managed to keep it's profound sense of purpose and paranoia through its entire run.

 

Years ago, I used samples from The Prisoner in one of my songs (the released song, available by my group Ember After [see iTunes] called "Twenty Feet," uses public domain samples instead) I dressed as Number 6 this Halloween.

 

I was so excited when I heard that Sir Ian McKellen, one of my favorite actors, would be playing Number 2 in a remake of The Prisoner. He can't put in a bad performance if his life depended on it. I was really looking forward to it.

 

I had to force myself to finish watching the 6-episode series, the first 5 episodes were so disappointing. They were basically slow, soap opera-y, not paranoid, not engaging. Hell, the whole point of "The Prisoner" was that Number 6 was...wait for it...a prisoner and wanted to escape. In the original series, Number 6 was always attempting escape. Huge swaths of this new series go by without Number 6 attempting to escape at all.

 

The original Village was a forced retirement community/prison/island for people who knew too much but were too valuable to kill.

 

And this village was a whole heaping pile of poo. There was no sense of menace to it. Really, to the whole series. Interestingly, had the climax and it's "twist" been a part of a whole separate show, it would have been great on it's own. In the context of this series, however, it rendered so much of what had come before non-sensical as to not fit. It was as if the writers has a really cool idea for an ending, but had no story for it, so decided to take a previous series for which the ending was completely unsuited and graft their ending on.

 

But McKellen was great. He couldn't save the show, but he's always such a joy to watch.

 

BTW--I'm really enjoying V for what it's worth. ;) As for Flash Forward...I stopped watching after the third episode.

 

Orren "TOS-era Trekkie and proud of it"

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Okay, I have to jump in here. Not because I disagree. I agree, but so profoundly, it hurts like a wound ...

Hear, hear!

 

I love the 1967-1968 series The Prisoner. I didn't watch the original run (wasn't even in the womb yet) but did watch it as an adult, and fell in love...

I watched the original 1967-1968 series as a tweenager with the same result. It fit in just about perfectly with the culture of the time.

 

...I dressed as Number 6 this Halloween.

Now that's dedication. I salute you, sir.

 

... In the original series, Number 6 was always attempting escape. Huge swaths of this new series go by without Number 6 attempting to escape at all. .... It was as if the writers has a really cool idea for an ending, but had no story for it, so decided to take a previous series for which the ending was completely unsuited and graft their ending on.

Just another example of the sorry state of so much TV writing these days. Sad. So very sad.

 

BTW--I'm really enjoying V for what it's worth. ;)

Remember Morena (Lizard Queen) Baccarin as Inara (Companion/courtesan) Serra in Firefly?

 

- Thoth (The Original Series)

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Now that's dedication. I salute you, sir.

 

Thanks—nobody else at the halloween party we went to had a clue why I was dressed the way I was though. ;)

 

 

Remember Morena (Lizard Queen) Baccarin as Inara (Companion/courtesan) Serra in Firefly?

 

I have to admit, that show was on when I wasn't watching any TV at all, so I missed Firefly. I've heard so many good things, it's been in our Netflix queue for a while now--we just haven't gotten down to it yet. But we will! :)

 

Take care,

Orren

 

PS—enjoyed the conclusion of V, however. Well, I guess it's not really a "conclusion" as there is still 9 episodes to go, but it's a 4-month hiatus...

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I have to admit...I missed Firefly. I've heard so many good things, it's been in our Netflix queue for a while now--we just haven't gotten down to it yet. But we will! :D

 

In fact, we have been watching Firefly on blu-ray; we're on episode 5, and we quite like it!

 

Speaking of sci-fi:

 

The wifey and I saw James Cameron's Avatar, in it's 3D IMAX glory. Highly recommended. I give my complete impressions on our blog at http://www.mertonfolio.com but the abridged version is that the visuals are a revelation, the characters are well acted and believable, and while the story may be stock in some ways, it isn't entirely stock and it's played so earnestly that we still found ourselves engrossed.

 

Orren

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Hi Orren.

 

I enjoyed your blog review of Avatar (or “Dances with Smurfs.” :D .)

 

I went to the AMC IMAX theater on Broadway ($18.50 before snacks) to see Avatar. (Man, has 3D come a long way.) The movie was visually thrilling but what impressed me most, technically, was the motion capture of facial expressions. Genius. Still, many of the background "smurfs" in the village crowd scenes seemed a bit wooden and stick-figure-like. The devil is in the details.

 

I wasn't expecting Shakespeare from James Cameron but he always gives me my money's worth ($18.50?). I also have to confess a certain bias in favor of his protagonist. (We both "wear the chair".) So you can imagine my appreciation of the (implied) ending.

 

Stocking up on Balls Beer. :(

- Thoth

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Hi Thoth,

 

I enjoyed your blog review of Avatar (or “Dances with Smurfs.” :D .)

 

Thanks!

 

I went to the AMC IMAX theater on Broadway ($18.50 before snacks) to see Avatar. (Man, has 3D come a long way.) The movie was visually thrilling but what impressed me most, technically, was the motion capture of facial expressions. Genius. Still, many of the background "smurfs" in the village crowd scenes seemed a bit wooden and stick-figure-like. The devil is in the details.

 

I agree with you about the background characters being more cartoony. I commented on that as soon as I'd seen it. I suppose that was done for financial reasons—it's probably quite expensive to use the complex facial motion tracking technology they used for the principals on dozens or hundreds of people. Not only were each of those physical hardware camera rigs custom made, but then the rendering in software took more time and money, etc. The movie already had an obscene price tag; I'm guessing that would have pushed it past obscene into the level of immoral (well, it's already there for some people...a half-billion dollar movie with an anti-corporate message? Hmmm...)

 

I wasn't expecting Shakespeare from James Cameron but he always gives me my money's worth ($18.50?). I also have to confess a certain bias in favor of his protagonist. (We both "wear the chair".) So you can imagine my appreciation of the (implied) ending.

 

I don't think the ending was implied, it was far more obvious than that—setting us up for Avatar II, the three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar sequel! :(

 

Stocking up on Balls Beer

 

That is a great comedy skit!

 

And here's some trivia for you:

 

One of the creative team (DP I believe) who put it together was my friend Kenn Michael (the short black man among the Democrats). He also directed the music video for my song "Lost"

 

Have a great new year!

 

Orren

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I don't think the ending was implied, it was far more obvious than that—setting us up for Avatar II, the three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar sequel! :D

We never did see Jake Sully opens his "smurf" eyes at the end. And the Na'vi did mention that the soul transfer process didn't always work. It didn't work for Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver). She went "into the tree" instead. That's why I said (parenthetically) that Jake's survival was implied. But I agree with you—they want a sequel! Whether or not it includes Sam Worthington (Jake) remains to be seen. Business is business and Worthington's price just shot way up.

 

And here's some trivia for you: One of the creative team (DP I believe) who put it together was my friend Kenn Michael (the short black man among the Democrats). He also directed the music video for my song "Lost"

Interesting. Maybe I'll submit this tidbit to the Trivial Pursuit people at Hasbro for their 2010 question set "Friends Of Orren". Their 2009 set was all about The Beatles. Done to death, don't you think? The world constantly needs new pop heros. Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) can't carry the burden alone now that MJ has passed.

 

Have a great 2010 :(

(Man, was Arthur C. Clarke ever the optimist about space travel.)

- Thoth

 

BTW: Is that you in lead vocals (in the video)? I'm getting a definite "early Ozzy Osbourne" goth vibe from him. And they lived happily Ember After.

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We never did see Jake Sully opens his "smurf" eyes at the end.

 

Wow...I don't know what to tell you Thoth. You saw a bum cut.

In fact, the very last instant of film is a close up on Jake's smurf eyes...and they open. What's odd is that if you do a Google search, it seems that others saw the version where he doesn't open his eyes...I honestly wonder if there were certain versions of the film that were simply a bit short. How weird! But the wife and I clearly saw Jake's smurf eyes open. There was about one second of his eyes open, and then the screen immediately goes black, we see the title "Avatar" and get the super-crappy song.

 

 

 

Have a great 2010 :(

(Man, was Arthur C. Clarke ever the optimist about space travel.)

 

You too! And interestingly, ACC also was a pessimist about the Cold War. But if you think about it, it goes together—our motivation for space wasn't to better ourselves, it was to beat the Soviets. With no Soviets to beat, we started to starve NASA to the point that our space program is now basically a joke.

 

I do believe that at this point, the only way to really advance space travel (meaning, not joyrides, but real exploration) will be if corporations need to start exploiting minerals on other planets, because we've used up all of ours. Pandora, here we come!

 

BTW: Is that you in lead vocals (in the video)? I'm getting a definite "early Ozzy Osbourne" goth vibe from him. And they lived happily Ember After.

 

Yup, that's me. Can you see the resemblance between me in the video and my South Park avatar? :D And BTW, speaking of early Ozzy, on our album Grasping At Straws, we cover Paranoid. Go figure. :)

 

Take care,

Orren

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Wow...I don't know what to tell you Thoth. You saw a bum cut.

...

DAMN! I think you're right. He definitely didn't "transfer" in the cut I saw. But my friend, who saw the film elsewhere, claims he DID see it! There definitely are at least two versions of this film. (Thanks for the spoiler.)

 

You too! And interestingly, ACC also was a pessimist about the Cold War. But if you think about it, it goes together—our motivation for space wasn't to better ourselves, it was to beat the Soviets. With no Soviets to beat, we started to starve NASA to the point that our space program is now basically a joke.

Agreed. The Soviets made us better Americans. A pity we couldn't explore space for discovery's sake alone. But even the Age Of Discovery was fueled by a thirst for gold.

 

I do believe that at this point, the only way to really advance space travel (meaning, not joyrides, but real exploration) will be if corporations need to start exploiting minerals on other planets, because we've used up all of ours. Pandora, here we come!

Oh no! No space exploration unless we can go rape another planet? (What does unobtainium go for on the London Metal Exchange these days?) I'm holding out for the discovery of cheap space travel, like teleportation through a Morris-Thorne wormhole. No expensive spaceships needed.

 

Yup, that's me. Can you see the resemblance between me in the video and my South Park avatar? :D

Indeed I did. Cute episode, by the way.

 

And BTW, speaking of early Ozzy, on our album Grasping At Straws, we cover Paranoid. Go figure. :(

Great minds, etcetera.

 

Have a good one.

- Thoth.

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