THE ZOCALO TODAY December 7, 2002
I had a few extra minutes so I thought I'd send out a quickie to let
you know a couple of things.
BABYLON 5 ON SCIFI: Babylon 5 will return to the SCIFI schedule
beginning January 5. There is no episode listing as yet, but when one
is posted, you'll find it here.
JEREMIAH: While Sean Astin is out and about promoting LORD OF THE
RINGS: TWO TOWERS, he also had a few words to say about his upcoming
role on JEREMIAH as Mr. Smith. "You don't know which he is. He claims
that God is speaking to him and he seems to know a lot more than he
rightly should." Why JEREMIAH? Smith is "a fun character to play. It
came about because my name was on a list at MGM, and I'm sure I was
higher up on the list after the success of The Lord of the Rings than
I was before. It came to me as an offer. I watched a lot of the
episodes from the first season, read the script, looked at the money,
thought about my family, saw what the time commitment was and just
said, 'Yeah, let's go.' Jeremiah is based on a Dutch comic book,
which I went and got. I met with Joe Straczynski, the creator of the
show, who'd done Babylon 5, and I thought I wouldn't mind allowing
this guy to be my puppeteer for 13 episodes of Jeremiah. He seemed
like a really intriguing, interesting guy who may have something to
BE A SANTA
The deadline for sending in contributions for Pat Tallman's BE A
SANTA campaign is drawing near! Pat will be taking things over to
the center on December 19, so be sure to have your items to her by
Pat Tallman has given of her time and talent for a number of years
now to enrich the lives of the children at PENNY LANE. PENNY LANE is
a home for abused children. By giving them a place to live or
gather, it gives them a safe haven, a place where they can learn
about life and get help for their special needs. Christmas time is
special for everyone -- and you can help make it extra special for
the kids at PENNY LANE. Drop over to
and see what items are needed.
The list isn't much different from the one you are filling for your
loved ones CDs, clothes, books. Help make this year a special one!
Share your blessings with someone this year -- BE A SANTA.
THIS WEEK'S DISCUSSION TOPIC:
Since Babylon 5 is currently not on SCIFI (but it will return soon),
let's turn our attention to a favorite episode. What is your favorite
episode - from season one? Is it SIGNS AND PORTENTS or PARLIAMENT OF
Send in your favorite first season episode to thezocalo@...
. I am
posting them on the Discussion Page as they come in.
THIS WEEK'S NEWS FROM AROUND THE GENRE:
SHAZAM: Yes, SHAZAM may be the next comic book hero to see on the big
screen. According to Variety, New Line Cinema is teaming with DC
Comics to create a movie based on the classic comic book. Final
negotiations are under way with DC to acquire feature rights to the
60-year-old title, in which mild-mannered Billy Batson discovers that
he can call on the powers of an ancient Egyptian wizard, Shazam.
Michael Uslan, who executive produced the Batman franchise for New
Line's sister studio, Warner Brothers, will serve as executive
producer on the project.
TAKEN: This Steven Spielberg's miniseries is setting all sorts of
records for SCIFI. If you missed the first five episodes, you can
catch up today and tomorrow. SCIFI is re-running all of the episodes
shown so far starting at 11:00am ET.
MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION Tom Hanks and IMAX are teaming up again. When
IMAX brought APOLLO 13 to the big screen, it's deployment of 3-D
technology made images jump off the sceen. Variety reports that Tom
Hanks will narrate MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION. The film will be a
documentary that applies two IMAX processes the 3-D technology so
successfully deployed in SPACE STATION 3-D and the image enhancement
processes used to bring APOLLO 13 to IMAX to archival footage
actually shot by the lunar astronauts. Where did the title come from?
It was a comment drawn from astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
CINESCAPE 2002 GENRE LITERARY COMPETITION: Do you have a novel, short
story or comic book that you feel could/should be published? Here's
your chance to make it happen! Cinescape's competition has been
established to assist science fiction, fantasy, and horror novel,
short story, and comic book writers get noticed and possibly
published. Writers who submit the top manuscripts, short stories, and
or comic books will receive cash & prizes, and along with having
their work made available to interested literary agents, managers and
publishers. The contest began November 1, 2002. Early entry fee
deadline for each category was by November 30, 2002. The regular
entry fee deadline is by December 31, 2002. The late entry fee and
final deadline for submission is January 31, 2003! All entries must
be postmarked by this final date. Go to
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: The other day we reported that the new USA
Network version of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA had gotten the greenlight and
production would begin in March. We knew that Ronald D. Moore was
writing the script, but now some specifics have been received and I
must say, fans of the old series will NOT be pleased. For more
details go to
problem with remakes -- both TV and film -- is that the memory of the
original stays with you for quite a long time. In this case, Apollo
and Starbuck were BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. The show was way ahead of
it's time. This new version will have to work very hard to overcome
the memories of Boxie, Adama and others looking for a new world after
theirs had been destroyed by the Cylons.
RATINGS: Top 10 SF Network Shows: Touched by an Angel 5.7; Alias 5.4;
Smallville 5.4; John Doe 4.1; Charmed 3.2; Enterprise 3.1; Birds of
Prey 3.0; Firefly 2.9; Buffy 2.9, and Futurama 2.5. Source: Nielsen
Galaxy Report, 11/4/02 - 11/10/02.
NEMESIS: Patrick Stewart will be out and about promoting STAR TREK:
NEMESIS (which opens in theaters on December 13). He will be a guest
on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Thursday, Dec. 12 and on
CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn on Friday, Dec. 16.
STAR TREK: NEMESIS: Starting December 4, two movie theaters, one each
in Los Angeles and New York, will beam Trekkers to Star Trek heaven
by running the first nine Trek adventures in advance of Star Trek
Nemesis. According to Zap2it.com, the Universal City Walk Loews
Cinemas in L.A. and the Loews 34th Street Theaters in New York City
will have a Trek film a night, beginning with Star Trek: The Motion
Picture. Screenings will begin each night at 10 p.m. Admission will
cost $5 per film per night. On December 13 however, you'll have to
pay full price to see NEMESIS.
TAKEN: According to the Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg's TAKEN
brought big ratings for Sci Fi Channel in its opening episodes. TAKEN
averaged a 4.5 household rating over its first two nights from 9-11
p.m., starting strong Monday with a 4.9, the cable network's most-
watched original program ever. The second episode drew a 4.1 on
Tuesday. SCIFI's president Bonnie Hammer said, "We are hitting an
extremely strong stride."
FARSCAPE: Season 2 of FARSCAPE will soon be available on DVD. ADV
Films announced that next FARSCAPE DVD will be released on February
25. The DVD, FARSCAPE SEASON 2 VOLUME 2.5 will include the following
episodes: "A Clockwork Nebari," "Liars, Guns and Money Parts I and
II," and "Die Me, Dichotomy".
JOHN DOE: No, this isn't about the popular TV series on FOX - JOHN
DOE. The Hollywood Reporter had a piece this morning about "Blade"
star Wesley Snipes set to star in the title role of Revolution
Studios' sci-fi action script tentatively titled "John Doe." Written
and directed by Zak Penn, the story is of a homeless man (Snipes)
with severe memory loss who tries to recover his former life. As he
is putting the pieces back together -- including how his beautiful
girlfriend and fabulous home fit into his life -- he also discovers
that he has superhuman abilities he can't explain. He goes on a quest
to uncover his true identity, and the answer proves to be more
terrifying than he ever imagined. At the same time, he is desperately
eluding the relentless assassin who knows his secret and is
determined to keep it hidden by any means necessary.
I, ROBOT: Will Smith has signed to star in Fox's cyborg thriller I,
ROBOT. Based on the classic Isaac Asimov short stories, the
futuristic tale revolves around a detective investigating a robotic
crime. The Crow's Alex Proyas directs the project, which begins
shooting in April for a probable 2004 release.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE: While not represented among the TV nominees, SCIFI
is well represented on the movie side of the house. Lord of the
Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Spider-Man and My Big Fat Greek
Wedding are competing for Favorite Movie at the 2003 People's Choice
Awards. The awards will be presented January 12 on CBS. CSI and CSI:
Miami are both in the running, one for best dramatic series; the
other for best NEW dramatic series.
RATINGS: Top 10 SF Syndicated Series: Stargate SG-1 2.7; Buffy 2.4;
The X-Files 2.3; Mutant X 2.2; Andromeda 2.0; 3rd Rock 1.7;
Beastmaster 1.6; John Edward 1.4; Sabrina 1.4, and Beyond With Van
Praagh 1.3. Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 11/4/02 - 11/10/02.
NEMESIS: With the premiere of NEMESIS approaching at warp speed,
Marina Sirtis, who returns as of Deanna Troi in the movie, said in a
recent interview that she hopes the latest Next Generation film is
Troi's last. Sirtis said that her Trek association has been both
blessing and burden. Her close tie to Troi makes it difficult for
casting directors to see her in any other way. "So it's an image that
I'm going to have to try and change, possibly do something, not wear
makeup, I don't know. Whatever it's going to take."
FARSCAPE: At a recent FARSCAPE convention in New York, Gigi Edgley
(Chiana) and Claudia Black (Aeryn Sun), let slip that a motion
picture might be in the works. Another plan is a four-parter. Could
be wishful thinking on their part -- but it is an alternative that
FARSCAPE fans would love.
BIRDS OF PREY: X-Files alumni Mitch Pileggi takes on the role of
Shemar Moore's mobster father on an upcoming episode of Birds of
Prey. The episode, titled "Nature of the Beast" will air on December
LORD OF THE RINGS: Over on the WB tonight (at 8:00pm ET), you'll find
Return to Middle-Earth. "Smallville" star Michael Rosenbaum hosts
this preview of the film "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,"
which includes interviews with cast members.
DIE ANOTHER DAY: While I pointed out that Pierce Brosnan worked a
sweet deal to receive the Aston Martin he drove in the DIE ANOTHER
DAY movie, a reader pointed out that Halle Berry also received a copy
of the car she drives in the movie, a new Thunderbird. While the car
cost about $40,000, it's a tad less than the Aston! Still not a bad
RATINGS: Top 10 SCIFI Channel Programs: Stargate SG-1 1.6; The Beast,
Pt. 2 1.6; Gargantua 1.5; The Beast, Pt. 1 1.5; Meet Joe Black 1.3;
Crocodile 1.1; Lady in White 0.9; The X-Files 0.9; Fairies 0.8, and
Prophecy 3 0.8. Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 11/4/02 - 11/10/02.
DINOTOPIA: Setting the premiere for Thanksgiving Day sounded like a
good idea -- but I guess no one was actually home to watch the show!
According to Variety, DINOTOPIA pulled in a disappointing 1.7
rating/5 share in adults 18-49.
STAR TREK: THE ADVENTURE: Billed as the biggest Trek exhibition ever
staged, STAR TREK: THE ADVENTURE opens in London's Hyde Park on Dec.
18, in time for the 10th Trek movie, NEMESIS. Reuters indicates that
following London, the exhibition will then tour Europe, the United
States and Australia. Martin Biallas, president of Hollywood-based
Special Entertainment Events, spent nine months persuading British
authorities to open Hyde Park for the $47 million exhibit. The
exhibition will allow fans to pose for a photo with Capt. Kirk,
battle the Borg from the bridge of the Enterprise, ride a simulator
and have themselves superimposed on a souvenir video clip. NEMESIS
opens in the North America on December 13.
John Logan, writer of NEMESIS (and Gladiator) spent some time with
the folks at TrekWeb and talked about scenes we won't see if the
movie -- there are a number of cuts that had to be made, but the
final product is something he is very proud of. "I take it very
personally, very deeply because my intention all the way along was to
write a movie for the fans," Logan said. Read more at
SONY PICTURES: With a number of megahits this year, Sony Pictures
Entertainment has landed in the record books as the studio reached a
staggering $2.75 billion -- a historic high in theatrical movie
ticket sales by a U.S. distributor in a calendar year. Sony's
worldwide boxoffice tally shatters the previous record of $2.68
billion racked up by 20th Century Fox in 1998, when "Titanic" steamed
off with $1.2 billion in international receipts.
JUNGLE BOOK 2: CineMovies has a collection of fifteen stills from
JUNGLE BOOK 2 -- the sequel to the classic Disney animated adaptation
of Rudyard Kipling's most famous tale. The film is set for a 2003
RATINGS: Top 10 SF Network Shows: Alias 6.2; Touched by an Angel 5.7;
Smallville 4.5; John Doe 3.8; Enterprise 3.3; Charmed 2.9; Firefly
2.8; Birds of Prey 2.6; Angel 2.2, and Sabrina 2.0. Source: Nielsen
Galaxy Report, 10/28/02 - 11/3/02.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets took back
the #1 spot this week. While the film isn't grossing as much as the
previous POTTER flick, it is continuing to draw a health audience.
Here are the numbers: 1. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS,
$32.2 million this weekend, $200.0 million since opening; 2. DIE
ANOTHER DAY, $31.0 million this weekend, $101.6 million since
opening; 3. THE SANTA CLAUSE 2, $12.3 million this weekend, $113.9
million since opening; 4. TREASURE PLANET, $11.9 million this
weekend, $16.5 million since opening, and 5. ADAM SANDLER'S 8 CRAZY
NIGHTS, $10.1 million this weekend, $15.1 million since opening.
DIE ANOTHER DAY: I saw this movie yesterday and LOVED IT! There is
something about a James Bond movie that works for me. Maybe it's the
cars. The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish featured in this movie cost a
meer $234,260. The six-liter, 460 horsepower engine can blast you
from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds and boasts at a top speed of 190
mph. The Formula 1 six-speed manual transmission has no clutch. You
zip through the gears by flicking paddles on the steering console
with your fingers. Pierce Brosnan is a lucky fella. He not only got
to drive it in the movie, the studio gave him one as part of his
NEMESIS: Patrick Stewart talks about NEMESIS and X-MEN 2 over at
WHAT'S ON TODAY
On Syndicated TV:
Past as Prologue
This episode was the second season opener!
This intense episode centers on the evil mutant Gabriel Ashlocke
(Michael Easton), who, dying of complications from new mutations to
his body, holds out one hope for extending his life: the resurrection
of an ancient Egyptian alchemist whose powers can save him. Adam
(John Shea) and his team, however, have other plans.
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
If the Wheel is Fixed
As the third season begins, Dylan races to rescue Tyr and Beka, who
have become trapped in a space tunnel. But when the pair are
extracted, the crew realizes that something is very different about
their two friends.
In an attempt to free his mind from Apophis, Teal'c must undergo a
trying Jaffa ritual.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Slayer stumbles into a intricate web of conspiracy and intrigue.
The black-masked commandos, who've been lurking in the shadows
recently, finally step into the light after ensnaring Spike. They
take him to a massive underground research facility and are revealed
to be "The Initiative," a military-science agency studying
On SCIFI tonight and tomorrow:
11:00 AM Taken
Beyond the Sky, Part 1 of 10
In Part 1 of 10, Capt. Russell Keys (Steve Burton) returns home a
changed man after his World War II bomber plane is besieged by
glowing orbs; ambitious Capt. Owen Crawford (Joel Gretsch)
investigates an air crash in Roswell, N.M.; lonely Sally Clarke
(Catherine Dent) falls for an enigmatic stranger (Eric Close).
1:00 PM Taken
Jacob and Jesse, Part 2 of 10
Part 2 of 10. "Jacob and Jesse" follows the evolution of two boys
with extraterrestrial connections---Jesse Keys, whose father was
kidnapped by aliens, and Jacob Clarke (Anton Yelchin), who was
fathered by one.
3:00 PM Taken
High Hopes, Part 3 of 10
Part 3 of 10. With his UFO project in jeopardy, Col. Crawford (Joel
Gretsch) intensifies his search for alien hybrid Jacob Clarke, whose
powers are becoming erratic; alien abductee Jesse Keys (James Kirk)
reunites with his father (Steve Burton) and offers himself to
Crawford as a test subject.
5:00 PM Taken
Acid Test, Part 4 of 10
Part 4 of 10. Crawford's sons Eric and Sam (Andy Powers, Ryan
Merriman) learn the truth about their father's involvement in the UFO
project after Owen (Joel Gretsch) is ousted; drug-addled Vietnam vet
Jesse (Desmond Harrington) is haunted by his abductions.
7:00 PM Taken
Maintenance, Part 5 of 10
Part 5 of 10. Eric Crawford (Andy Powers) wrests control of his
father's old project and teams with an amoral scientist (Matt Frewer)
to hunt down Jesse and Jacob (Chad Donella), who visits his dying
mother and shares his secret with cynical Tom (Ryan Hurst).
9:00 PM Supernova
A medical-spaceship crew picks up a mysterious intergalactic drifter
who possesses a dangerous space artifact.
Here are a couple of chats that you might want to participate in:
Marina Sirtis chats about Star Trek: Nemesis, 9 pm ET, www.scifi.com
Elijah Wood chats about Lord of the Rings, 6 pm ET,
That's about it for now.
Have a safe and happy weekend.
ISN News: The Zocalo Today