Sci-Fi Saturday: Fringe, Farscape, Freddy, and more

NEW FEATURE: Most (if not all) Star Trek fans are also science-fiction/genre fans. Every week reports on every nook and cranny of the world of Trek. Now once a week we will bring you Sci-Fi Saturday, a column about the latest in the sci-fi world outside of Trek (although often with ‘Trek connections’). Our first week brings you news on JJ Abrams new "Fringe" TV series, Farscape, The Hobbit movie, Indy 4, plus some min-reviews, ratings and more.

‘Fringe’ finds young tough
Fox’s upcoming drama “Fringe”, from the Star Trek team of J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci about the spread of an unexplained phenomena, has added new cast members. Australian actress Anna Torv has been tapped to play the lead role of the FBI agent who must work with scientists to investigate unexplained phenomena. Stage actress Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole have also joined the cast. which already included John Noble (Lord of the Rings, 24), who will play an institutionalized scientist whose work might be at the center of the coming storm. "Fringe" seems to have a nice "X-Files" vibe.  Hopefully it can generate the kind of fan base and success of that show. Shooting begins shortly in Canada. The Hollywood Reporter has more.

Iron Man Super Bowl Spot Details and Picture
Paramount and Marvel Entertainment today announced that a spot for "Iron Man" will be aired during Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, February 3. has already provided an image from the spot: and the TV debut of the spot will take place approximately 7:30/4:30 p.m. ET/PT during the big game.  The trailer will also be available online at and several other sites following the airing. "Iron Man" hits theaters on May 2, 2008. Head on over to for more.

New ‘Indiana Jones’ Pictures
From the latest issue of Empire Magazine, here are two new images from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. MTV Movies Blog also nabbed a shot and has more details. The movie hits theaters May 22, 2008. The first full "Star Trek" trailer is likely to be shown with either this film or "Iron Man."


Del Toro Signed for The Hobbit
Last week, it was reported that Guillermo del Toro was in talks to direct the two planned installments based off of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  Well those talks seemingly went quite well, as Del Toro is now confirmed to be signed up for the project. So how long do we have to wait?  Plans are for principal photography (films will be shot back-to-back) to begin in 2009, with releases of 2010 and 2011.  Budgets are of no concern, with each movie budgeted at $150 million. IGN has more.

‘Sanctuary’ in Sci Fi’s world
A side project of “Stargate SG-1” trio Amanda Tapping, writer-producer Damian Kindler and producer-director Martin Wood and potentially the start of a new trend, the SCI FI Channel has given a green-light to a television series based on the Web series Sanctuary.  The network has ordered a full 13-episode season of the scripted drama series.  "We were blown away by the level of quality they have been able to achieve on a Web budget," SCI FI executive vice president of original programming Mark Stern said. For more, go to The Hollywood Reporter.

Farscape Released On iTunes
Well, the show has exited the syndication schedule this season, and is no longer aired on SCI FI, but DVD isn’t the only option for watching this cult favorite.  Beginning this past Monday fans have been able to purchase episodes from the first season of “Farscape”. For more, go to SCI FI Wire. Take note Farscape fans, several months ago SCI FI ordered a 10-part online series based on the “Farscape” universe.  Should that web series do well, you never know…   

Padawan Ahsoka Joins the Star Wars Cast
A new character has been added to the cast of the upcoming animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Ahsoka Tano, is a young Padawan to her master Anakin Skywalker.

Raimi new ‘Wizard’ of syndie
Raimi will executive-produce a new syndicated, live-action weekly series targeted for a fall launch in conjunction with Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios.  The show, titled “Wizard’s First Rule”, is based on Terry Goodkind’s fantasy book series “The Sword of Truth”.  Production on 22 episodes is slated to begin in May. For more, go to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gilliam Replacing Ledger With Depp?
According to a rumor in the British tabloid The Sun, director Terry Gilliam is looking towards Johnny Depp to take over the role played by late actor Heath Ledger in the fantasy film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Ledger was six weeks away from finishing his work on the film before his death. "There is a point in the film when Heath falls through a magic mirror," a studio source told the paper. "He could change into another character after that, and that is where Johnny would come in. It’s a weird, fantasy, time-travel movie, so Heath’s character could easily change appearance. It would be a poignant moment. Johnny’s not working at the moment, so everyone is praying he will do it." For more, head on over to SCI FI Wire.

Jericho’s Fate Hangs In Balance
Executive producer of "Jericho", Carol Barbee told SCI FI Wire that she’ll know very quickly on whether or not the show will live beyond the seven-episode second season. "I’m just guessing here, but I would imagine that probably, they usually start to have an opinion around the third airing, so usually by then your fate can be sealed in terms of it not going well," Barbee said. "They may wait another week or so if it is going well for us to order more." Jericho returns to CBS on Tuesday, February 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.  And SCI FI viewers, don’t forget that the network picked up the off-net rights to the first two seasons, and will begin airing the series with a four-episode marathon on Monday, February 11, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT.  For more on Barbee’s thoughts, head on over to SCI FI Wire.

The return of Freddy Kruger
Platinum Dunes is a big fan of the horror genre; that much is certain. According to Variety, partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are set to relaunch the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise for New Line. Platinum Dunes is responsible for the currently prepped for production “Friday the 13th”, and also were responsible for the recent remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For more, head over to Variety.

Cleese Stands Still
IGN is reporting that Monty Python veteran John Cleese is in negotiations to join the cast of Fox’s remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day The Earth Stood Still.  The film is currently filming in Vancouver for a December 12, 2008 release. This film will be Star Trek’s biggest competitor next December, especially if Trek moves its release up to the 19th. For more, head over to IGN.

ABC Family brood growing: ‘Middleman’ among new pickups
ABC Family has picked up the supernatural drama pilot The Middleman for a full series, though a launch date and production have yet to be determined due to the still on-going writers strike.  Middleman, from writer-producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost), stars Natalie Morales as a 20-something struggling artist recruited by a secret agency to fight comic-book-type villains. Head over to The Hollywood Reporter for more.

Marvel Comics Get Lost
Here’s an interesting bit of marketing.  ABC worked with Marvel Comics to insert images (such as a poster) and references (the slogan “Find Yourself”) to the hit series Lost in several upcoming comic books.  Comics include Uncanny X-Men, Incredible Hercules, Thunderbolts and Wolverine Origins. For more, head to SCI FI Wire.

MINI REVIEWS (slight spoilers may follow)

Short reviews of the latest movies and episodes

Lost – "The Beginning of the End" – Thursday, January 31
Unexpected opening sequence, questions go unanswered, new questions emerge; character sees a dead person and the episode closes out with a strange ending. Yeah, new eps of “Lost” have returned.  9/10

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – "The Turk" – Monday, January 21
Let’s see here, through just three episodes we’ve had 1) A character getting offed unexpectedly by the female Terminator, 2) Sarah throwing the female Terminator through a window out of a two story building, and 3) a student committing suicide by throwing herself off the roof.  What will they think of next? This is one franchise "restart" that is working. 8/10

Stargate Atlantis – "Harmony" – Friday, January 25
Umm, the ending was kinda funny? 5/10

Stargate Atlantis – "Outcast" – Friday, February 1
Only marginally better. Increasingly with ‘Atlantis’ I’ve noticed that by end of the episode I’m almost always left wondering about the following question: What was the point of all that? Oh and are we really suppose to believe that anyone — and in this case, several people — in the military is/are that bad a shot with an automatic weapon? 6/10.

Flash Gordon – "Revolution, Part 1" – Friday, February 1
No you didn’t misread that.  “Flash Gordon” is still on television folks.  How is this even possible?  Better yet, since it hasn’t been canceled yet, does that mean SCI FI is considering a renewal? 0/10


If football isn’t your thing, SCI FI has a Star Trek: Enterprise marathon this Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m.  Since it’s a bit of an annoyance getting those discs out of their cases, I think I may tune in and out of that one.  Check here for details. Several good episodes listed.

Monday night brings us another episode of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”.  Can’t wait to find out what this guy (below) has in store for Sarah and company.  Freaky.

Moving to Wednesday brings us episode two of the new season of “Lost”.  Sure we’re only getting half of the 16 episodes this season, but it sure is nice to have the show back.  I wonder how long they’ll hold off revealing who the person in the casket that Jack went to see in the season three finale is?  Such teases.  I have a feeling they’re going to hold off a while on that though. After all, Jack hasn’t got his beard flowing yet.

Thursday’s “Smallville” and “Supernatural” night, but I’m a few episodes behind on those two fronts.  

And the week closes with “Stargate Atlantis”.  Not a particularly good way to end the week.  I suppose watching a show out of habit and not enjoyment puts you in that mood.


A favorite topic of mine, first a quick primer.  Nielsen ratings measure the amount of viewers, households and adults 18-49 who are viewing a specific show during a certain time period.  In addition, the Share number measures the total amount of viewers watching that specific show in relation to how many TV’s are on at that time.

Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows   HH Rating/Share
1) ‘Terminator’   11.1/16
2) Medium   6.4/10
3) Ghost Whisperer   6.1/11
4) Moonlight   5.1/9
5) Smallville (R)   1.6/2
6) Supernatural (R)   1.1/2

1/7/2008 to 1/13/2008 – Source: Nielsen Media

Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows   Rating
1) Stargate SG-1   1.0  
2) Star Trek   0.9  
3) Dead Zone   0.8  
4) Stargate Atlantis   0.6  

1/7/2008 to 1/13/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire

Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows   Rating  
1) Ghost Hunters International   2.0  
2) Ghost Hunters   1.6  
3) Stargate Atlantis   1.2  
4) ECW   1.2  
5) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy   1.0
6) Solar Attack   1.0
7) Asteroid, Part Two   0.9
8) The Arrival   0.9
9) Asteroid, Part One   0.9
10) Meltdown   0.8

1/7/2008 to 1/13/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire

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Terminator has definitely started off running. I hope they can keep it up.

Gee!, I guess this will ALSO become just like every other Star Trek site that doesen’t have enough Trek content so it diggs (pun) crap from other sites for filler? Just stick to the trek stuff, even if its slow it will stand out from the other sites. Wonder how long this will stay up until its removed?

Darth “Not another teen Trek site” Ballz

Ghost Hunters International the top sci-fi show?


That’s just … bizarre.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Hi folks….Rosario’s new column is another one of the new regular features of Yes I know it really isnt about Trek, but we are up to about 20 stories about Trek a week and we all love scifi too.

Anyway look forward to feedback on this and all our other new columns….more are coming next week

and yes the new Terminator show is great. Blows the new Bionic Woman out of the water. It is interesting to see how some Terminator ‘purists’ are hating the show for little things and missing out on the fact that it is a well written well made show that takes some risks.

I’m in Canada right now. It’s COLD!

Anthony and Rosario,

I like my Trek but there’s nothing wrong with a ‘mixed bag’ approach. I welcome the new column.

Great idea!

Re: 5. Cast and Crew of the Enterprise – February 2, 2008

“I’m in Canada right now. It’s COLD!”

I’m in Kentucky and it’s cold as well. Perhaps not quite as cold as your corner of the world but cold enough for me.

in case anyone is wondering “Cast and Crew of the Enterprise” is Roberto Orci…who is up in Canada shooting the pilot for Fringe

As a huge X-Files fan, I look foward to see what the Abrams Mafia can do with this new show…there may even be a Fringe site in my future

Hell, I’ll catch Fringe just to see John Noble. *Loved* him in LOTR!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Keep warm, Roberto! Best of luck with Fringe.

Cast and Crew of the Enterprise
I’m in Canada right now. It’s COLD!

It’s all relative my firend. Up here in the north, you get use to this. Just put on a pair of gloves.

I was in Los Angeles 3 weeks ago, the temp was about 64 and practically broke out in a sweat.

I am a sci fi fan, and enjoy reading the articles here. But wonder if you diversify enough that you might change the name of the web site to better reflect its content??? Time will tell.

the site name will change at leat after the movie comes out to

This will never be a general scifi site, in fact that is what this one column is for…to catch all that stuff at once…in one place.

#5 Your next project needs to be set in the Caribbean. :)

Re the Hobbit: So is Peter Jackson still involved with this project? I was kinda keeping up with this, and I lost track a couple of months ago.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

The Hobbit query is to anyone out there who’s got an answer.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Peter Jackson was unable to take on directing duties for the project due to other commitments, namely Spielberg’s Tintin trilogy.

He’ll be executive producing alongside Fran Walsh. Both will have creative and active roles in the project.

Peter Jackson is still Exec Producing it from what I gather, Vulcanista, and of course heading up the effects side with WETA on the production.

That was a good read, well done and comprehensive. I caught up on alot of sci-fi with this article and it’s nice to see that at 40, TOS is still bringing in some good syndication ratings.

Fringe sounds pretty interesting as well, and I’m thrilled that it, along with the exceptional new Terminator series, are both on FOX, especially since FOX is one of only 5 channels that I get with my rabbit ears!

Nice job on all the new articles Anthony (and company).

Thanks All!

I’m reassured for now!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I’m digging the new Terminator show, too. I don’t watch Lost, Stargate or Flash Gordon, but I do dig that Sarah Connor (the actress now playing her really nails that obsessive drive, too … very spot-on performance, IMO, respectful to the original while still bringing a new dimension to the character).

Hey Anthony,

Dig the new feature. It’s fun to get little updates about other scifi projects like Iron Man. It’s still beyond me how you juggle all these balls, but again, you go!

And looks like you’re on your way to giving and a run for their money.

you should look at all the names on the front page….I have a lot of help juggling…it is a team effort

How can anybody not like StarGate: Atlantis??? That show rocks! I look forward to it, as it gets better every week!

As for the new Terminator show (long title name) a lot of my non-scifi friends are liking it, so that is a good sign! And I like it too!


You’re in Canada? Get back to the ST set pronto. I promise to watch Fringe but we need your full attention on that little Sci-Fi movie being released next December.

nice but maybe keep non trek stories in seperate sci-fi news area so trek fans dont have to wade through it all to find the star trek stories…


I do not understand your comment…if not interested you could skip ‘scifi saturday’ it is just one of 25 stories on the front page. one does not have to read every story.

Nice idea for a column. I’m always up for some Farscape news(although I had already heard the I-tunes info).

I know they are pretty thoroughly covered elsewhere, but feel free to include some Doctor Who and Torchwood(just saw my first episode tonight) info as well. Our friends across the pond are doing some nice sci-fi work. With the writers strike still going, that might soon be our only source for new scifi.(Jekyll was unexpectedly good too – haven’t heard if there will be any more.)

Anthony, I’m a Terminator purist too, and I’ve gotta say that I enjoy the SCC greatly!! I think it stays very much within the mythos of the Terminator franchise, and gives a valid continuation to T2. I’m even MORE happy that it banishes the god-awful T3 into the realm of non-canonicity in which it belongs!!

I liked when there was more info. on Remastered…the good old days.

This part I will probably just skip like I try to do with the non-trek-activities-of-the-trek-stars stuff.

Being a huge X-Files fan, I will certainly stay away from Fringe as far as possible.

But I’m rather interested in The Hobbit movie and I do hope P. Jackson is still involved – he did a tremendously wonderful job with LOTR.

There’s a better quality version of the new Indiana Jones IV photo with Kate Blanchett and Ford over at the official Star Wars site, here
Click on the picture to get a larger size.

Anthony, if pulling out the Enterprise DVD’s seems like hard work, why even bother? Enterprise is Star Trek televisions dud, in my opinion. It started out appealing, but like a good date going bad on the third dinner, it lost cohesion due to Rick Berman’s sad approach to the series.


@5 – Welcome to the Great White North Roberto. Next time try to schedule your projects up here for the summer months!

The adventure continues…

Great colume Anthony!!!!!!!!
Keep up the great work gang!
One note on Terminator, Sarah Connor Cronicles.
Uh didn’t Sarah Connor have sandy blond hair. (That’s one big bitch I have with the show)^
Also from the pix’ I’ve seen of the Indy film, it looks like Indy is in the huge warehouse at the end of the first film. I sense some closure on the franchise here.

Here’s some great news I’ve just heard. The much underrated 60’s TV show “The Invaders” is FINALY being released on DVD in May. Don’t know about extras at this point, but anything will beat those good awful bootlegs!! Oh, and when you pick up your copy at Best Buy, keep an eye on the pinky finger of the guy at the checkout counter!!!!!

Here’s some great news I’ve just heard. The much underrated 60″s TV show “The Invaders” is Finally being released in May. Don’t know much about extras, but anything will beat those godawful bootlegs!! Oh, and when you go to purchase your copy from Best Buy, keep an eye on the pinky finger of the guy at the checkout counter!!!

Great column! As someone who is not as up-to-date as you guys on all the scifi/fantasy that’s out there, I especially appreciate pointers to *good* non-Trek material (think: Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Sarah Connor Chronicles, …).

I have to just throw in my 2 cents here. I come here for TREK news that is hard to find. You guys cover Trek well. When you spread out your area of expertise you dilute the pool.

If I want sci-fi news, I can find that anywhere. The only place to go to for reliable TREK news is here.

Its bad enough you stopped the weekly remastered reviews…
…the Week in Trek doesn’t show up weekly…
…Science Saturday was interesting but doesn’t always show up on Saturday…
…Screen caps and SFX reels are late consistently…

Do you really need to add even more content with these other nagging problems?

Thanks for the round-up, Rosaria. There’s a lot to chew on here.

Coupla quick thoughts: This confirms that The Hobbit will be a two-part movie. Ugh. That’s a lot to pay to see Smaug.

As for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is Terry Gilliam the most cursed director still working, or what? I can’t imagine the audience watching Heath Ledger turn into Johnny Depp and saying, “Yep, made perfect sense cause it was a magic mirror.” I know its gobs o’ dough, but it fhey can even get Depp, wouldn’t it be a MUCH better movie to just redo all those scenes? Gilliam is such a dark genius, that he improvises with the plot (and continuity) long after other directors would have bailed or found a way to graft in some cliche to cover the mess. I think La Mancha was the only one he finally had to call it quits on. This’ll be interesting.

Great Review……….for people who dont go to that is. Thank God for cut and paste huh.

Anthony I was just curious is Trekmovie going to turn into a general Scifi web site? I think the new column is cool but I don’t want to sound mean here but their are other Scifi web site that do daily Scifi news and I am not sure If fans of this site, like me, would not want to wait a week for Scifi news. Allthough I think maybe having Trekmovie become a general Scifi news mght be good as a one stop place to go to for both Trek and Scifi news and still have the Abrams and contacts for Trekmovie news and chats. I wondered what this site would do during the downtime between Trek movies and if their wasnt any series to where they might need to do Scifi news also.

My two quatloos on the issue of adding “other” sci-fi…

I think Anthony is doing an excellent job keeping the focus on Trek, which is getting bigger and bigger this year.

I like that this site touches on other sci-fi and don’t get the feeling it’s trying to be all things to all geeks.

In short, kudos and bravura Mr. Pascale, you are a credit to your Terran species.

Thanks for the heads up Moonwatcher,(#36) I can’t wait to dig into some old school Invaders, full of paranoia and aliens that walk among us.

And don’t forget, because it was a Quinn Martin Prodcution, it was also “in color”. Good stuff.

So far, “The Turk” is the weakest episode of “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. For half the episode, I was bored. Where’s all the Terminator action?

“The Beginning of the End” was okay. It felt more like a transition episode than anything else.

I totally agree with “Harmony”. It’s possibly the worst episode of the series. That little brat was so annoying. “Outcast” was better than a 6/10.

As for “Flash Gordon”, does 0/10 mean you didn’t watch it, so can’t rate it? I watched it and would easily give it at least an 8/10. I know the series got off to a rocky start, but the recent episodes have shown definite improvement.

I can’t wait for “Fringe” to start!

Wonder if the Trek Teaser will be shown during “The Stupor Bowl” A.K.A. “4 hours of the most expencive advertiseing in the world, interuppted by some lame ass football game I could care less about”

I don’t care much for sports, can’t you tell ?


– W –
* Pondering *

Has anyone heard anything more on the Farscape web series? Is that still in the works?

I think this is a terrific new section, and welcome aboard to Mr. Calabria with his new beat. We -are- scifi fans here, and I think it’s a great way to further ensure that I get absolutely all my news from TrekMovie. :) All I do is skim it, because I care about fairly few of the projects, but, for the ones I do care about, this is quite valuable.

I could do without the mini-reviews, though. The only reason I can handle snarky reviews from sites like Television Without Pity is because they go into such depth on them, obviously giving it a great deal of thought. A quick X/10, good or bad, plus a one-liner is, IMHO, not useful to the readers or respectful to the creators, so I’d just as soon do without it.

Best part of this is most -definitely- the Nielsen charts. That data is not easy to come by in any one central location, it’s massively undercovered by other major news sites, and it is probably the most important piece of information we could have in charting the fortunes of SF&F television, separating myths and memes about a show’s success from cold, hard fact. Kudos.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Good job Rosario, thanks and welcome aboard!
I don’t have time to go digging around for info on other scifi ventures, so your summary was very helpful. And doing this just once a week in one article is not going distract from the Trek focus of this web site.

I give Sci-Fi Saturday two thumbs up!

I’m an X-Files fan (minus the last two abysmal seasons) and that makes me WANT to check out Fringe. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

As for people complaining about the column…it’s really just as easy as using the scroll button on your mouse. That can’t be such a monumental expenditure that it’s honestly worth your time to gripe about it.