Sci-Fi TV Tuesday: Smallville, Walking Dead, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Smallville, No Ordinary Family + more

In Sci-Fi TV this week we start off with a first look at the Doctor Who Christmas special and get some new details on the return of Torchwood. We also have another peek at Smallville’s final season, and a trailer and premiere date for The Walking Dead. All that plus the latest previews (including a link to see the full pilot of No Ordinary Family). All that plus latest television ratings casting bites and more.

 

GENRE TV NEWS

First look at Doctor Who Christmas special

Here’s your first look at filming of the 2010 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. Click to enlarge. Also, check out an interview with series stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in the video below.

Synopsis and character breakdowns for Torchwood: The New World

Starz has released an official synopsis for the upcoming "Torchwood: The New World", which is the title for the fourth season of the "Doctor Who" spin-off series:

When C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy, he finds himself unearthing a threat which challenges the entire human race.

The answers seem to lie within an old, secret British institute, known only as Torchwood. But Torchwood was destroyed, years ago, and the keys to the institute are held by its only two survivors – former Police Officer Gwen Cooper, who has long since disappeared along with her husband and child, and the mysterious Captain Jack Harkness, a man whose history seems to stretch back centuries.

With Rex under attack from all sides, in both the US and the UK, he soon discovers there are forces at work within every level of society, determined to stop Torchwood’s return. As a chain of events across the world links together the most disparate and unlikely individuals – including a surgeon, a killer, senators and CEOs – a new Torchwood team takes shape. But this time, the threat is much closer to home, as they realize that their greatest enemy is mankind itself.

"Torchwood: The New World" premieres next summer on Starz. Check out descriptions for the show’s characters via SpoilerTV.

Smallville: First look at Laura Vandervoort’s + Allison Mack will appear in 5 episodes

The third episode of "Smallville" this season is called "Supergirl" and will feature the return of Laura Vandervoort as Clark’s cousin, Kara / Supergirl. TV Guide has our first look at the actress in the episode along with some details about her role in the episode:

“Kara returns in a very heroic way,” Vandervoort told TV Guide. “When I found out this could be my last episode, I thought it would be great to see a quick glimpse of her in the uniform before she takes off.”

“You really see her as Supergirl,” says exec producer Kelly Souders. “Not the whole outfit, but her wardrobe will have evolved even a little more than Clark’s. She’s less Kara and way more Supergirl.” Watch for Kara to don her new look for a photo shoot after she becomes a media darling following a heroic save that reveals her flying capabilities to the world. To protect her superhero identity, “You’ll see Kara in the [brunette] wig and glasses [as] a bit of an homage to her other identity from the comics, Linda Lee Danvers,” Laura says.

In other news, Allison Mack revealed to the NY Post’s Pop Wrap that she’ll reprise her role as Chloe in a total of five episodes:

PW: Do you know how many episodes you’ll be back for?
Allison: I’ll be back for five total episodes.

PW: I heard that the incredibly loyal fans were one of the reasons you decided to return. True?
Allison: Definitely. They were the reason I decided to come back. I was very much ready to move on, and not because I was unhappy with the show or that anything bad happened, I was just very much ready to enter a new phase of my life. But I realized as we came towards the end of the season that my character wasn’t getting a completion. I didn’t feel comfortable walking away from the show, and my character, without a completion. So I committed to doing five episodes to giving her the ending I think she deserves. I do think there’s a relationship between my character and the people who’ve watched the show for so many years. I want to honor them, her and myself.

in other casting news, two characters will make their return next season: Lionel Luthor (John Glover) will appear in at least two episodes that are expected to air in November, while the show’s first villain, Bugboy (Greg Arkin) will be back in the 200th episode "Homecoming". Season 10 of Smallville" kicks off on Friday, September 24.

Set images [more at SpoilerTV]

The Walking Dead premiere set for October 31 + Watch the trailer

AMC has announced that the six-part zombie TV series "The Walking Dead", from director/writer Frank Darabont, will debut on October 31, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. The network has also made available the official four-minute trailer for the series. Check it out below.

Promotional stills [more at AMCtv.com]

Michael Emerson talks LOST

The "LOST" season six complete collection DVD and Blu-ray’s were released today, and with their release comes the debut of the DVD/Blu-ray exclusive epilogue featurette "The New Man in Charge". Michael Emerson (Ben) talked about the special feature and his character’s arc on the show in a roundtable discussion with journalists:

"I think the chapter is a nice addition to the Lost narrative—nice to have some of the more particular or practical questions answered, since the finale took a more spiritual tone," said Emerson.

With regards to his character, Emerson said he was happy with how Ben’s journey concluded:

"I loved the entire arc and was especially delighted with Ben’s end in the finale. It was finer and more satisfying than anything I could have imagined," he said. "I think what’s perfect about the Ben storyline is that we are never certain where he falls on the scale of good and evil. It’s a tribute to the skill of the writers that the audience could never be certain about Ben, even to the very end," said Emerson.


Watch No Ordinary Family Pilot Now

ABC has made the pilot episode of  their new superhero show "No Ordinary Family". available online, at NoOrdinaryScreening [enter password Extraordinary.] The viewing is limited to the first 50,000 U.S. streams. "No Ordinary Family" premieres on ABC on Tuesday, September 28. Here are the latest cast images [more at KSiteTV].

Syfy announces fall premiere dates

Syfy has announced premiere dates for their fall 2010 programming including the returns of "Ghost Hunters" (August 25), "Destination Truth" (September 9), "Stargate Universe" (September 28), "Sanctuary" (September 28), "Scare Tactics" (October 4) and "Fact or Faked" (November 4) plus the premiere of the Syfy original movie event "Sharktopus" (September 25). The network has also set premiere dates for the new series "Beast Legends" (September 9) and "Hollywood Treasure" (November 4):

Syfy’s 2010 Fall Programming spans the imagination with new seasons of powerhouses Stargate Universe and Sanctuary, (both moving to Tuesdays), Ghost Hunters, Scare Tactics and Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, Destination Truth traveling to Thursdays, and WWE Friday Night SmackDown climbing into the Syfy ring beginning October 1.

The Autumn primetime schedule also features the premieres of Hollywood Treasure (formerly Hunting Hollywood) and Beast Legends.

For the first time, Syfy’s two most popular original scripted series – Eureka and Warehouse 13 — will debut special stand-alone holiday episodes in December, showcasing guests stars Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live) and Matt Frewer (Eureka), and Judd Hirsch and Paul Blackthorne (Warehouse 13).

Upcoming popular Syfy Saturday Original Movies include Roger Corman’s highly anticipated Sharktopus on September 25.

Check out the complete press release at this link.

PREVIEW Videos & Images

Chuck

Set image [ChuckTV.net]

Eureka

Promo for episode 4×08 – "The Ex Files" [Syfy]

Sneak peek at "The Ex Files" [Syfy]

Fringe

Set images [more at Accidental Sexiness]

Season three promo [Fringe Television / YouTube]

Interview with Lance Reddick and Jasika Nicole [via Fringe Television]

Ghost Hunters

Season premiere sneak peek [Syfy]

Supernatural

Set images [more at SpoilerTV]

V

Audio interview with Elizabeth Mitchell [Earth’s Mightiest]

The Vampire Diaries

Season two promotional still [Vampire Diaries Show]

Season two promo [YouTube]

TV BITES

  • More than 8,000 sci-fi fans contributed in a poll for SFX magazine to choose their favorite monster, supernatural beings or fantasy creatures. The top vote-getter was The Daleks from "Doctor Who". The Borg from the "Star Trek" franchise came in at #11 of 20… [SFX via Blastr]
  • …The third "Doctor Who" adventure game comes out this week (Friday, August 27) and will be called "TARDIS". [BBC]
  • "Supernatural" executive producer Sera Gamble teases the start of the season: "When we start the season we very consciously riff a little bit on season 1 in that Dean is out of the business and Sam comes for him," which harkens back to the beginning of the show: "On the surface anyway, the situation is reversed at the beginning of the season." [EW]
  • "V" spoilers: Executive producer Scott Rosenbaum says the John May storyline isn’t complete yet, and that includes actor Michael Trucco. "I thought, ‘OK, he’s dead, but he’s coming back?’ They’re like, ‘Nope, he’s dead.’ I wrote that off as a one-off [appearance], but they made some indication that maybe he’d come back." [TV Guide]
  • Joshua Jackson won’t appear in the season premiere of "Fringe" or any other odd-numbered episode for at least the first half of the season: "Every other episode is going to be either one universe or the other. So, they’re going to be alternating universes…," said co-star Lance Reddick… [E! Online]
  • …Check out some season three spoilers in the latest issue of SFX. [via Fringe Television]
  • "True Blood" creator Alan Ball has revealed that season four of the hit HBO series will introduce Hallow Stonebrook, from Charlaine Harris’ fourth Sookie novel, "Dead to the World". Ball says the character is "actually a medium. She communicates with the dead, and she’s interested in developing further powers." [EW]
  • The Syfy original movie "Lake Placid 3", which starred Eureka’s Colin Ferguson, drew 3.02 million viewers this past Saturday making it the most-watched Syfy telecast since October 2009. The two-hour TV movie was also the most-watched cable program during its time period (8-11pm) among adults 25-54. [Syfy]
  • Sorry "Chuck" fans, but Brandon Routh and Scott Bakula’s characters will not be returning to the show. Both characters are, and will remain, dead… [E! Online & Fancast]
  • …Captain Awesome won’t be making the transition to the spy world: "Last season Awesome realized if there was one place in the world where he wasn’t awesome, it was on spy missions," notes exec producer Chris Fedak. "He’d like to stay as far away from the spy world as he can." [EW]
  • …But Casey’s daughter, Alex might: "It’s a spy show, so I think she’s going to be on some missions," says Adam Baldwin, who plays Alex’s father… [TV Guide]
  • …And finally, episode five will be called "Chuck vs. The Couch Look". [SpoilerTV]

CASTING BITES

  • Comic book legend Stan Lee will guest-star in an upcoming episode of the recently renewed Syfy original series "Eureka". Lee’s role on the show is not known. Ming-Na ("Stargate Universe") will also guest-star during the fifth season and her role could span more than one episode. She’ll play Alice Wen, described as "a senator who arrives in Eureka to handle a sensitive matter within Global Dynamics." [TV Guide]
  • Tia Texada will play Hortencia, the wife of the character Premier Alejandro Goya — to be reprised by Armand Assante — in the upcoming fourth season of "Chuck". [TV Guide]
  • Guillermo Diaz will guest-star in an upcoming episode of the new ABC series "No Ordinary Family". Diaz will appear in the fourth episode playing Detective Cordero, "a tough-talking cop who dismisses mild-mannered Jim’s [Romany Malco] pursuit of a possible vigilante killer." [Fancast]

SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]

True Blood

Episode 3×10 – "I Smell a Rat" drew 5.39 million viewers (+8%) and a 3.0 A18-49 rating (+7%). That’s a series high performance in viewers and a tie in A18-49 rating. The current season is averaging 4.88 million viewers and a 2.8 A18-49 rating.

Futurama

Episode 6×10 – "A Prisoner of Benda" drew a series low 1.77 million viewers (-8%) and a 0.8 A18-49 rating (-20%). The season six average now stands at 2.17 million viewers and a 1.1 A18-49 rating. Since the season six premiere, "Futurama" is down a steep 39% in viewers and 50% in A18-49 rating (2.92M viewers and a 1.6 A18-49 rating).

Warehouse 13

Episode 2×06 – "For The Team" drew 2.34 million viewres (-16%) and a 0.7 A18-49 rating (-22%). The current season is averaging 2.56 million viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating.

Eureka

Episode 4×07 – "Stoned" drew 2.30 million viewers (-9%) and a 0.7 A18-49 rating (-13%). That brings its season four average down slightly to 2.38 million viewers and a 0.7 A18-49 rating.

Haven

Episode 1×07 – "Sketchy" declined slightly to 1.89 million viewers (-5%) and a 0.5 A18-49 rating (n/c). This week’s numbers bring the freshman drama’s season average down to 2.02 million viewers and a 0.5 A18-49 rating.

Stan Lee’s Superhumans

Episode three of this new History channel series drew 1.36 million viewers (+7%) and a 0.6 A18-49 rating (+20%), both series highs. The show has averaged 1.32 million viewers and a 0.5 A18-49 rating thus far this season.

CHART (8/9/2010 to 8/15/2010)


Follow Russ on his blog: Your Entertainment Now and on Twitter: Twitter.com/YourEntNow.

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Harry Ballz

Smallville is coming back? Oh, joy! We are in for good times, people! :>)

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

WWE on scify just does not work for me. Great to see supergirl on smallvile and can’t wait to see Clark final become superman. looking forward to seeing V and stargate universe and fringe return. just wished flash forward would have made it.

George

I’m looking forward to the fall TV season, but I think that in Smallville, that we should see Clark fly and at least end the season in the classic Superman suit. Really at this point you have all these other Kryptonians flying around and Clark can’t do anything but jump really high, it’s time to move the character forward to where he should be.

Mr. Horga'hn

So the Doctor has an alternate jacket, interesting. Oh and Karen Gillan + Laura Vandervoort = giggity giggity goo!!

sean

It’s a shame Futurama’s ratings are down, as it’s improved with each and every episode. ‘A Prisoner of Benda’ was one of the best yet!

Canon Schmanon

I stopped watching Superboy 90210 very early into it’s life. I think it’s proof that many science fiction fans will gobble anything up in the genre, no matter how poor, simply because they’re starving for the themes. I know that comment will irk its fans, and I apologize in advance. But come on, TEN years to finally make this kid into Superman? Five years too long, man. Tom Welling must be using Grecian Formula by now. Probably even feeling the early stages of arthritis.

I’ve read all of the Walking Dead comics and they’re grimly fantastic. Emphasis on grim. This could be the most depressing show ever. That’s fine in comics, but you can’t keep the TV audience down too much. That’s one of the things that killed Millennium (what a fantastic show!) So it’s going to be interesting to see where they go with the tone of the series. I think it’s pretty risky really. I wish them the best. I’ll be watching.

Futurama is still so fun, and so much better than much of the animated dreck out there. The Simpsons and Family Guy can’t hold the proverbial candle to Futurama. The others couldn’t even light the match. I hope we can get more episodes in spite of the faltering ratings.

Who keeps these ratings these days anyway? Do we even know if they’re accurate? Why do we trust these numbers? I WANT TO KNOW!!

Harry Ballz

Hey, the chick who plays Supergirl is a terrible actress. Really stinks. They probably only brought her back in order to kill her character off. Good!

Red Dead Ryan

7

Don’t forget Erica Durance as Lois Lane! Your favorite whipping girl!

I bet you need a bottle of red wine to help wash down “Smallville”!

Harry Ballz

No, that would take a full case!

Captain Conrad

#1
Are you dumb? Burn Notice and Leverage end next week. TV is going to suck for a couple weeks

Schwozh

Can’t they just stop producing more Vampire Diaries episodes.
I hate these hollywood vampire productions. Vampires are mean things.
If u look at European vampire mythology, they are beasts, seducing people just so that they can feed on them.

Its more like a comic series.
Thank God for the Nosferatu film from the 1920’s.

//Schwozh

Jack

11. Watch True Blood.

The women on Smallville are all very pretty, but in my opinion, none of them are much good at the acting. Perhaps that is more of the fault of the writers. But it really does come across as 90210 with super powers.

Bleeech…

I would however tune in for the episode where Clark finally gets to wear the traditional red, blue and yellow and go up, up and away!

Goldman

Laura Vandervoort is incredibly gorgeous. Canadian perfection doesn’t get much purer than her.

Kent Butabi

I think Laura Vandervroot is OK; but the chick they had for their original take on Kara towards the end of season 3 was much better.

Robert H.

Let’s hope the Dr. Who Christmas special is better than the Star Wars Christmas special.

And I saw the costume they are planning to use for Clark, um, sorry. Too Power Rangers style for me.

Ghost Hunters is world class rubbish. Does anything set paranormal investigation back farther?

The only truly Vampire story of any value? Nosferatu. All else is romanticised bollocks.

Lore

Your all correct about Smallville of course. Its a terrible show with shoddy writing and high school drama actors.

They should do the right thing and put Supperman is Back on the air starring that great soap opera actor and Ken Doll Brandon Routh. Every episode can feature him using his xray vision to peep on Lois and her new husband. Then he could get arrested as a sexual offender when he tries to secretly meet with Lois’s son, whom he thinks might be his son.

Then he can lift a city made of Kryptonite with the sheer muscles in his face and kill Lois, husband and their bastard child.

I would much rather see that than what we have to swallow right now. At least it would be worth watching.

Lore

I said your all right. I mean Smallville has only had ten years of commercial success. It must be a fluke. I mean, network executives are always leaving shows on the air that make no money and no one watches right? Smallville is going to be one of the few shows in the history of televison that actually stays on the air ten years. No Trek show can make that claim to fame.

Having said that, most of your critisisms are warranted, but somebodys gotta stick up for the show on this site.

Harry Ballz

Lore

I think the fact that the sitcom According To Jim ran for 8 seasons proves that logic wrong. If that show rubbed up against dogsh*t, the dogsh*t would try to rub it off! What a stinker!!

Lore

It was obviously making money for the network. It also ran one year longer than ST TNG, and I hate to admit this, but the first season of TNG is little more than dog poo.

Lore

By the way, we’re talking about an hour long show, not a sitcom, which many people without cable simpley mindlessly watch.

Name the 1 hour drama action shows that lasted that long, Walker Texas Ranger comes to mind.

NuFan

Walking Dead is only 6 episodes? I thought it was an ongoing series. :-(

Harry Ballz

Lore

I agree that the first season of TNG was turd central!

Lore

It wasn’t their breast work.

John from Cincinnati

That set picture of Joshua Jackson reminds me of the Beatles’ former manager Brian Epstein.

Desstruxion

Hey 16, got a link to that Super suit? I wanna see it.

Red Dead Ryan

21

Harry, “According To Jim” was the “successor” to “Full House” which began the trend of cheap, dumb annoying sitcoms boring the heck out of audiences with half a brain. Television started on its downward spiral in the 90s. Shows like “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place” didn’t help matters either.

Any show that goes beyond the seven year mark (in particular sci-fi series) is doomed to burnout and mediocrity in my opinion. “The X-Files” should have been cancelled after season six. The show really deteriorated after that, resulting in a series that bore little resemblance to the early seasons and episodes. Season 9 completely sucked, with the finale being the final insult. It was like Chris Carter forgot how to write.

Red Dead Ryan

Also, I hope that “Fringe” doesn’t go beyond five seasons. I don’t think the theme and premise of the show would permit that. I don’t want J.J Abrams to make the same mistakes that Chris Carter did.

MikeTen

I think of Smallville like a car accident. You don’t want to look but you can’t help it and look anyway. I watch to see how the heck they are going to make Clark into Superman when everyone has seen his face without glasses. Most of the time I have the show on and I’m on my computer surfing sci-fi sites like this one.

TrekTech

That trailer for Walking Dead looked like a 28 Days Later rip off. Hero wakes up from a coma in an empty hospital…wanders streets in his hospital gown….heads to his house…ends up with survivalist. Not overly familiar with the comic but that trailer looks like a 28 Days Later remake/ripoff.

Holger

Off topic somewhat: I still can’t get used to “Syfy”. Whenever I read that I think: gee, what a silly name!

Lore

#33 I think their using phonics because so many people don’t understand proper grammer. Sci-Fi, or SYFY.

Red Dead Ryan

33

Whenever I read anything concerning NBC, I think to myself “Gee, what a silly network!”

They went with “Sy Fy” because it was easier to trademark, plus they want to appeal to women. Except the problem is, they can’t grasp the fact that female viewers don’t like wrestling and crap like “Sharktopus”!

Someone should write a sitcom about NBC/Sy Fy. The “decisions” being made by the people who run those networks would provide enough fodder for years of hilarity!

Daoud

“According to Jim” was a half hour program with 182 episodes, yes, but only a half-an-hour show…

That doesn’t hold a candle to “The Next Generation” which had 178 episodes of hour length, and 4 movies of two-hour length, and two spinoffs. Plus, TNG + DS9 + Voyager is 14 years worth of continuous in-sequence one-hour drama production, with extensions via movies.

I haven’t seen any “According to Jim” novels yet.

Nothing compares to Trek.

Harry Ballz

36

I agree.

Lore

1st According to Jim novel ideas.

1. Jim runs out of beer.

2. Jim’s friend runs out of beer.

3. Jim goes out for beer.

4. Jim is refused sex by his wife…….so he goes out for more beer.

5. Branna Bragga comes on board and Jim is killed while driving after drinking too much beer.

Gorn

The only media franchise that could stand up to Star Trek and in some way even surpass it in terms of the number of episodes, quality, acting, continuity, popularity, product placement, and advertising is the Doctor Who franchise. All together, the Star Trek franchise has produced 727 episodes, including The Animated Series, verses Doctor Who’s 769 episodes. Altogether, Star Trek has lasted 30 seasons (1966-1969, 1973-1974, 1987-2005), and Doctor Who has lasted 31 seasons (1963-1989, 1996, 2005-present). Doctor Who, and even Star Trek, are some of, if not, the longest running science fiction franchises out there that have transverse many, again if not all, types of mainstream and non-mainstream media. Even Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, or Stargate can’t hold up to that standard.

Darryl

I’m a big fan of Michael Chiklis, his work on The Shield was full of depth and insight on actual human behavior. So it pains me to say this, but his new show, No Ordinary Family, is, from what I saw in the pilot, a bunch of meaningless pablum. Such a shame.

Darryl

I seem to love commas today, huh, how strange?

Oh, and #38 made me spew tea from my nose, so, thanks for that.

Harry Ballz

“Tea. Through nose. Hot” :>)

Gorn

I’ve also heard that ABC will air the second season of “V” on November 30, 2010. Can anyone confirm this?

RedShark

Can’t wait to see the new Eureka on Friday…there’s something strange going on with Stark. He seems almost like a…well, a Q in that clip. Can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

Will_H

Walking Dead looks really legit, can’t wait for it. As for No Ordinary Family, I can’t imagine Michael Chiklis as someone that’s willing to beat someone to death with a huge chain.

Darryl

I just got referred to as “hot” because I spewed tea through my nose. By someone named Harry Ballz. I really need to find a new hobby.

Harry Ballz

47

What, nobody twigged to my “Earl Gray” Picard pun?

Jim Nightshade

Allison mack is who makes smallville-cant believe cuttin her role to 5 episodes–her character is gorgeous funny n smart n very vulnerable-best written character in smallville-cant believe clark wouldnt fall for her over the other dumbimbos–futurama started with good ratings–why arent the same number still watching-it is hilarious much more original than other cartoons-cant believe it has low ratings–bad news everybody–:(
lots of scifi shows on few worth watching–at least ghost hunters doesnt pad or falsify their shows with overly dramatic reactions by psychics and other lies like most of the other paranormal shows–gawd there needs to be a trek series on tv —

Darryl

Earl gray tea bagging?