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The Zocalo Today - Dec. 7, 2002

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  • Sandra Bruckner <sgbruckner@aol.com>
    THE ZOCALO TODAY – December 7, 2002 WHAT S NEW 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
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      THE ZOCALO TODAY – December 7, 2002

      WHAT'S NEW

      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
      say."

      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
      December 15!

      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
      http://www.thegalacticgateway.com/pl/ 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
      DREAMS? Why?

      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
      http://www.cinescape.com/literarycontest/ for details.

      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
      http://www.filmjerk.com/archives/0212/021203galactica.html. The
      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
      18.

      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
      deal.

      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
      http://talk.trekweb.com/articles/2002/12/02/1038805295.html.

      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
      release.

      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
      deal.

      NEMESIS: Patrick Stewart talks about NEMESIS and X-MEN 2 over at
      http://www.darkhorizons.com/news.htm.

      WHAT'S ON TODAY

      On Syndicated TV:

      Mutant X
      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.

      Stargate SG-1
      Threshold
      In an attempt to free his mind from Apophis, Teal'c must undergo a
      trying Jaffa ritual.

      Buffy the Vampire Slayer
      The Initiative
      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
      supernatural creatures.

      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.

      UPCOMING CHATS

      Here are a couple of chats that you might want to participate in:
      December 10:

      Marina Sirtis chats about Star Trek: Nemesis, 9 pm ET, www.scifi.com
      December 12:

      Elijah Wood chats about Lord of the Rings, 6 pm ET,
      http://chat.msn.com

      That's about it for now.
      Have a safe and happy weekend.
      Sandy

      Sandra Bruckner
      Editor/Publisher
      ISN News: The Zocalo Today
      http://www.isnnews.net
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