Monday, February 28, 2005


DVD player recommendation

There are lots of times where you start to collect various mpeg and avi files on your computer, and you'd like to display them on your television. The Philips DVP642 lets you play cds or dvds that have files in these formats directly -- which can make it far more convienient and space-effective than burning a DVD or VCD.

I haven't tried that much with it yet -- but so far, it looks to be very useful.


The true thoughts on Enterprise Rallies

One of my favorite SF websites, Tachyon TV has a great lead article concerning what more than a few SF fans are really thinking about the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise.

That said, this is really the best season of Trek in quite a while -- but I think the fundemental problems with Star Trek require a complete fresh start...


Sunday, February 27, 2005


Hally Berry gets respect

Oddly, I think I'm more impressed that Hally Berry picked up her Razzie for Catwoman in person than that she actually won an Oscar.

(So, any predictions so far for next year? My money is on Fantastic Four, which no matter how much I love the property, just looks like it's going to be a train wreck...

Saturday, February 26, 2005


He's the greatest!

Now this, I did not expect.

TV Shows on DVD is reporting that A&E Brings on Danger Mouse in May!. For those of you not of the appropriate age, Danger Mouse was a staple cartoon on Nickelodeon during the 1980s, after being imported from the UK.

It's been years since I've seen any episodes -- but unlike some shows that you find disappointing after you see them years later, my suspicion is that elements of Danger Mouse would still be enjoyable today.

Check out The Unofficial Danger Mouse fanclub while you're at it.

Friday, February 25, 2005



Did you know that Google had a calculator? I didn't....


Planning ahead

The next two months are big for our planning for the panels at CONvergence, the largest annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans in Minnesota. Right now we're updating the descriptions and starting to update panelists; and both of those are things that I try to get feedback from as many different individuals as possible.

If you see an item that you'd like to help improve, or a panel you'd like to sit, or anything, send us a message. I like to keep our process as open as possible.


Thursday, February 24, 2005


Doctor Who Confidential

I suspect that the only way we're going to be able to see Doctor Who Confidential is to get copies from friends in the UK, but it sounds like the ultimate in DVD extras, really -- six and a half hours of a Doctor Who documentary.



For British TV and Movie Fans

And, of course, that's a big part of what I cover here.

Screen Online is a cool site about British TV and Film....

And congratulations are due to the creative team behind Dr Blink, which is apparently selling out all over. It's good stuff!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I see you've had this place redecorated

Ain't It Cool News has had a bit of a face lift. I'm not quite sure about it all -- but then, the previous incarnation was one of the uglier sites out there, so I suppose it's an improvement...


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy videogame nostalgia

The BBC has two enhanced versions of the classicHitchhiker's text adventure. I fondly remember the original game, though the best part of it was all of the additional things that came with the game as well.


Blogging Who

The Doctor Who Blog has started; it's by the Doctor Who Information Network (DWIN), the Canadian fanclub, and without any US nation-wide fanclub, the best fanclub for Doctor Who fans in North America.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Don't Panic

Amazon has a full Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer. I'm a little grumpy that it doesn't seem to work if you are using Firefox. Grrrr.

But still, once I address that issue and watch the trailer by using the other browser, I can't wait! Looks like a Hitchhiker's Guide movie to me...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


March 26th!

Outpost Gallifrey has started a countdown clock until the UK premier of the new Doctor Who. Obviously, things could change, but it looks really, really likely at this point.



The Dr. Blink Home Page

The Dr. Blink Home Page

Issue #1 will be shipping in the next couple of weeks. And it's definitely worth checking out, I've read it, and it is very funny, and comes recommended.


Orbital Movements

One of the reasons why it's good to be excited about the new Doctor Who is that we've seen what Christopher Eccleston doing Russell T. Davies dialog is like. And in this review of Orbital's Blue Album the reviewer describes the sample from The Second Coming during the song "You Lot" as "the greatest sample of its kind".

There's good reason to be optimistic towards the new series -- and if the rumors that the Sci Fi channel is going to be the likely US home for the new series, it'll be a strong follow up to Battlestar Galactica, as yet another strong revival.

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Saturday, February 12, 2005


Watchmen Movie

Considering the track record of Alan Moore adaptations, I'm not sure about a Watchmen movie. And the original comic is very much the product of the 1980s, and I'm not sure how an adaptation that tries to bring it into the modern day would work -- and I can't see it being done as a period piece either.

Same thing goes for V for Vendetta -- but that might be a little bit easier. And since they're using the Gunpowder Plot in their original tagline, there's at least some reason to think they haven't done something silly like move it to America.

(The less said about Constantine the better as far as those sorts of translations go. But oddly, I'm hearing that movie is alright, if you aren't familiar with the original character.)

Friday, February 11, 2005



Tonight's Galactica was perhaps an appropriate episode to air as we hear obituaries to the author of The Crucible, Arthur Miller. As anyone who has taken an English class over the last twenty or thirty years should probably know, The Crucible was written in reaction to the 1950s hunt for communists, and as such that play is as meaningful as ever with concerns about terrorism.

And this week's Galactica had a "witch hunt" as well.

Now, it's a little bit strange for Galactica to say that they also have "witch hunts", since the origin of that phrase would be particularly based in American history. But I take it as part of the conceit of the program that we're having those sorts of idioms translated from whatever sort of Kobolian language that they should "really" be speaking; our language is filled with phrases and expressions that have a historical context, frequently ones we don't even consciously know.

And I'm willing to forgive a lot since it's hardly a secret that this new Galactica is a classic example of the use of science fiction as a way to go through the issues of today.

And one of the things that's nice about the series is that it's not simple -- often times a series that has a social or political message is very obvious and simplistic. I don't really see that in the new Galactica -- yes, the Cylons are bad -- but also frequently, "good" people are guilty of errors in judgment; sometimes serious ones that can cost lives.


Thursday, February 10, 2005



The Onion A.V. Club has an article about one of those all time classic conversations for the TV generations, an article about TV spin-offs

They don't really get into the "Which series has the most spin-offs" part of the discussion -- that's usually where these discussions end up when I have them, usually focusing on Happy Days or All In the Family.


Hitchhiker's Guide Pictures

Filmforce has some excellent pictures of The Vogons of Hitchhiker's Guide -- I think they look *great*. Recognizably Vogans if you are familiar with the TV series, but still looking infinitely better than early 1980s BBC SF Television. (And of course, it goes without saying that I love early 1980s BBC TV Science Fiction.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005



I'm convinced that tonight's episode of Lost, "Homecoming", made a reference to The Office. I don't imagine there would be other reason to reference a paper company in Slough in an American series...



Battlest Galactica Renewed

The Sci Fi Channel has picked up Battlestar Galactica

This is great news -- especially as the series is apparently getting better ratings as the series goes on. I can tell that there are lots of people interested in the new series, since I've been getting a lot of hits from people searching on Battlestar Galactica ratings.



New Who pictures

icWales has a couple of recent Who pictures

I'm still always happy to see some new pictures out there.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Map of the World

I'm enjoying playing with Google's new map service. The user interface is *very* smooth and slick, and I'm very impressed. I don't know how well it stands up as far as directions goes, but so far, so good...

Monday, February 07, 2005


You Can't Go Home Again

This week's Galactica was, to some extent, something very retro. It's difficult, I don't think I really want to go into spoiling episodes to any great detail as I comment on any television episodes here. But this episode was, in many respects, an episode at the surface is the most like either the original Galactica, or for that matter, other space series. But the execution of the episode, as always, is one way that makes this series so particularly good. And the revelations about the Cylons were especially fascinating.

"Home" has been a bit of a theme in my weekend's entertainment. I went to see In Good Company over the weekend, the Dennis Quaid/Topher Grace/Scarlett Johansson movie. Obviously, any movie that contains a Peter Gabriel song will get my indulgence, and a movie that plays Solsbury Hill in the fashion that this movie does will especially get my indulgence. I was surprised that it wasn't as much of a romantic comedy as I had initally expected, and that made me a bit happier about the movie, even as the movie gave me other things to think a lot about.

Of course, to prove that there is no justice, I wasted a few moments of my life watching the Paris Hilton Saturday Night Live episode, and it wasn't during the sci-fi sketch where she's in a hat and scarf. [Outpost Gallifrey has it on their news page as I'm writing this, though it'll roll off eventually, I'm sure.]

And to return to Galactica, Ron Moore's blog has an interesting entry about the future of Star Trek. While I think Enterprise was in trouble long before the new Galactica started, I think that Galactica outperforming Enterprise was the final signal to the executives that the latest Trek wasn't capturing the imagination -- even of its core audience -- in the way that it used to.

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Saturday, February 05, 2005


Cat Comics

Two Lumps tells the true story about cats...

Friday, February 04, 2005



I found the The Unofficial DriveSHAFT Fansite -- it's a bit difficult to find information about the band at times since Charlie Pace got Lost on that airplane disaster a few months back, so this is a nice "unofficial" site supporting the band.

I still think Charlie was seperated at birth from one of the hobbits on Lord of the Rings though...



A New Theme

SFX has confirmed that Murray Gold is doing the new version of the Doctor Who theme. I don't think this is terribly surprising, as Gold is also doing the incidental soundtrack for the new series.

I had suspected that we were getting something very, very close to the original version, and based on the description in the article, it looks like that's exactly what we're going to get, except made for a modern television soundtrack.

The original, of course, is one of the best television themes ever. There's a really informative article by Mark Ayres detailing the history of the theme during the original TV series.


Thursday, February 03, 2005


Local, of course, is not in the USA

The League of Gentlemen Movie Website has the trailer for The League Of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, the film version of this cult British comedy. I've no idea if and when this movie will show up in the US, as the UK series had a couple runs on Comedy Central and BBC America, but was a bit difficult for American audiences to get into. And the teaser obviously won't make a whole lot of sense if you aren't familiar with the key catch phrase of the UK TV series.

So I suspect it'll be something that if we're curious about seeing, we'll have to wait until a DVD release and import it.

Of course, there are a few people in it of that might be of interest to people unfamilar with the League. Obviously, there is the Doctor Who connections of League member Mark Gatiss, but it also has one of the people appearing in the new Doctor Who, Bruno Langley. Outside of that, there's also Bernard "Theoden" Hill and David "Evil guy in Tron and Time Bandits" Warner.



James Bond Will Return In Casino Royale

MI6 has articles about the new James Bond movie, a new version of Casino Royale, without Pierce Brosnan.

It's a bit unfortunate that Brosnan didn't have a clear "last movie" -- and it's also unfortunate that the recent movies haven't quite been able to live up to their potential. James Bond shouldn't really need to be the effects driven action movie -- there needs to be wit and cleverness. Fortunately, Goldeneye is one of the better Brosnan ones, so while we don't have Brosnan anymore, there's hope that we'll have another fresh start that will be good for the franchise.

Oddly, I felt for a while that James Bond was becoming increasingly difficult to justify in a modern setting, but I'm not sure. It's difficult to say how he actually fits into the modern era. Sometimes I wonder if doing them as period 1950s or 1960s pieces wouldn't be more interesting.


TARDIS arrival

A slideshow showing the arrival of the TARDIS somewhere in Wales

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Free Enterprise,Special Edition

Former CONvergence guest of honor Robert Meyer Burnett has an interview talking about a new special edition DVD of one of my favorite films, Free Enterprise.

One of these days, I'd love to see an american sit-com that would be like Free Enterprise, Spaced, or Clerks. If I worked for the Sci-Fi Channel, I'd be working real hard to develop a series like that, instead of some half-baked reality series.



It's been a long time...

TrekToday reports that 'Star Trek: Enterprise' is cancelled.

I'm unsurprised; when Battlestar Galactica scored higher ratings, I figured it was doomed. It's unfortunate, to some extent, as this was perhaps one of the better seasons of Star Trek, but at the same time, there have been 25 seasons of Star Trek over the last 18 or so years, and I think it has been clear for a while that there needs to be a rethink. I don't think the problem was Enterprise -- if anything, I think the problem started with the awful Voyager -- but I think the faith of many casual fans was lost, and that's difficult to regain.

It's exactly like what happened to Doctor Who in the 1980s -- it ran for so long, that really, the only way to refresh the franchise is to take a break. And the same thing happened with Galactica -- the revived series is fantastic. (And Galactica 1980 is one of the worst television series ever -- which destroyed any chance of a continuation, I feel.)

I don't believe that this is the end of Star Trek. Eventually, it'll be back. I've no doubt that Star Trek books will continue for a long time. But it should be a couple of years.

That said, I think this has been the best Star Trek season in a long time. But I think it was sadly too little, too late. And we've been able to take Star Trek for granted, so perhaps if it goes away for a while, we won't be able to.

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Doctor Who Web Comics

The Whovian Observer looks like an amusing set of Doctor Who (and other sf tv) related cartoons.

Oh, and I'm thrilled to see that DWM is apparently reporting that Joe "Ultraviolet" Aherne is going to be directing much of the new Doctor Who. I can't recommend Ultraviolet highly enough.


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