Sci-Fi TV Sunday: True Blood, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies + more

In Sci-Fi TV this week we get ready for the premiere of True Blood, get updates on the next seasons of Doctor Who, Torchwood,The Walking Dead and Fringe and learn about the still-planned live-action Star Wars TV series. All that plus much more, including the latest television ratings, and new images and video previews.


Doctor Who won’t have a complete seventh season in 2012

BBC has confirmed recent rumors that the upcoming seventh season of "Doctor Who" won’t in 2012 be a complete season. Here’s what BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said at the Church and Media Conference (via Doctor Who News Page):

"There will be some episodes but there won’t be a full series, so we won’t have a thirteen part run … but you know the man [Steven Moffat] has to sleep, he’s got a family! That’s the genuine reason, it’s about Steven Moffat – who’s the creative drive force behind Doctor Who at the moment and he also rather magically at the same time created and got to air Sherlock – we have to get that balance right."

Cohen added that the second half of next season will return in 2013, which will be a big year for the franchise — its 50th anniversary. In other news, the title for the ninth episode of "Doctor Who" has been revealed. The episode which was originally going by the working title of "What Are Little Boys Made Of?" will be called "Night Terrors".

Season 6.5 teaser trailer [YouTube]


Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres July 8 on Starz + NO Doctor Who crossover planned

The fourth season premiere of "Torchwood" — titled "Torchwood: Miracle Day" — will premiere on Friday, July 8 on Starz, but the new season won’t debut on the same night in the UK. Den of Geek reports that ‘Miracle Day’ will, however, debut within seven days of the US premiere. In other news, "Torchwood" showrunner and former "Doctor Who" showrunner Russell T. Davies says there won’t be a Torchwood / Doctor Who crossover:

"No, because actually the Doctor’s never gone into Torchwood, it’s always been the other way round, Torchwood’s gone into Doctor Who, which I think is correct because there’s a big child audience for Doctor Who and I think that would demand if we took the Doctor into Torchwood it would be a clash of styles"

And rounding out this week’s Doctor Who / Torchwood coverage is an update on the upcoming animated motion comic "Torchwood: Web of Lies". It has been revealed that the comic, which features the voices of Eliza Dushku, John Barrowman and Eve Myles, will also be made available as an interactive game. The 10 three-minute chapters will be available in bundles of three for $0.99 each, or you’ll be able to purchase the entire series for $2.99.

Promotional stills for episodes 1-3 [more at Den of Geek & SpoilerTV]

Live-action Star Wars TV series still years away, but 50 hours of scripts reportedly already written

In development for several years, it’ll be several years more before we see the live-action "Star Wars" TV series on the air. Producer Rick McCallum confirmed that while 50 hours of third-draft scripts are already in place, Lucasfilm won’t start production on the show for at least three to four years [via Bleeding Cool]:

"Network television and cable television as we know it are completely imploding, so we’re not really sure that in five years’ time we can release a dramatic one-hour episode because it is all reality TV now," he added.

McCallum also elobrated further on the content of show, confirming it to be set between the third and fourth movies and revealing Coruscant and mob-related activities to be the center focus:

Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution," McCallum said.

In related news, one of the writers hired by George Lucas for the project has been revealed to be British writer Matthew Graham ("Life On Mars", "Ashes To Ashes"). Graham confirmed to Den of Geek that he had done some work at Lucasfilm during 2008 and 2009, describing it as "something unbelivably cool", but he wouldn’t say anymore except that he hopes to be able to talk about it one day and that his contract "had come to an end".

Fringe producers discuss season four + Anna Torv reveals series finale has been written

"Fringe" producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel H. Wyman spoke to Examiner about the show’s upcoming fourth season, describing the new season as "like a new pilot":

"We’ve had a lot of people say ‘We love the promos; we want to figure out time to watch’, but not everyone has time to sit down and watch [three full] seasons, so we tried to make this [fourth] season like a new pilot. We did that a little bit last season, too, but it will just be an entry point for people to come in who haven’t seen everything."

Without revealing any details, Wyman teased what fans can expect in season four:

"We always look at it as a new chapter every season. It’s like you get the book and so you can expect something you did not expect. We like to say that. It’s not as easy as ‘Oh, it’s a jump forward’; we always try to go a little deeper than that."

In related news, star Anna Torv told TV & Satellite Week that the series finale has already been written:

"I’ve been told the ultimate final episode has been written," she said. "[The writers] know where they want us to go, but they don’t know yet when we will get there."

Granted, this doesn’t mean season four will be the show’s last, just that the producers have worked out how the series will end, in fact the producers have previously revealed that they have a seven-year plan for the show. Torv also noted that the plans for the show’s series finale "could still change". "Fringe" returns Friday, September 23.

Interview with Anna Torv [YouTube via FringeTelevision]


Game of Thrones grows from premiere to finale

The season one finale of "Game of Thrones" last Sunday drew a season-high 3.04M viewers and a 1.4 A18-49 rating. Although weaker than HBO’s other fantasy hit "True Blood", the finale audience did represent quite a signficant jump from the series premiere, which drew 2.22M viewers and a 0.9 A18-49 rating (+37% and +56%, respectively). Overall, the first season averaged 2.52M viewers and a 1.1 A18-49 rating through 10 episodes.

Locke & Key pilot to screen at Comic-Con

IDW has announced that the rejected FOX pilot "Locke & Key" will be screened at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 22, 2011. A question and answer panel will follow the screening with comic book creator Joe Hill, illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez, writer/executive producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci in attendance. Here are the details courtesy Comic-Con:

IDW show the screening in Room 8 and run the question and answer panel following in Room 9 discussion featuring Joe Hill, Rodriguez, the pilot’s writer/executive producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Room 8 and Room 9

Comic-Con 2011 begins on Wednesday, July 20 with a special preview night. The event will run from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24.

Falling Skies premiere averages 5.9M viewers; #1 cable series launch of the year

The two-episode series premiere of the Steven Spielberg-produced "Falling Skies" last Sunday drew an average 5.90M viewers making it cable’s #1 new series launch of the year. The show also attracted an impressive 2.64M adults 18-49 and 3.24M adults 25-54. As a way of comparison, "Walking Dead", which increased as its first season advanced, debuted to 5.3M viewers last October:

The enormous success of Falling Skies demonstrates what can happen when you partner with the best people in the business and give them what they need to do their very best work,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “TNT’s Falling Skies is an exciting, fascinating and often moving story made possible through the magic of DreamWorks Television, an incredibly talented cast led by Noah Wyle and the vision of one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg."

The third episode of "Falling Skies" airs tonight at 10 p.m. on TNT.

Promotional stills for episode 1×03 – "Prisoner of War" [more at SpoilerTV]

Promo for "Prisoner of War" (and entire season) [YouTube]

True Blood season four premieres tonight; Watch the first eight minutes + Catch up with recap video

The fourth season of the hit vampire series "True Blood" premieres tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. Check out this eight-minute preview:

Also, if you’re in need of a quick refresher to get you ready for tonight’s premiere, HBO has released this five-minute video recapping the first three seasons of the show:

In casting news, TVLine reports that Scott Foley will play a major recurring role that will begin with the fourth season finale and continue into season 5. Foley will play Patrick, "a tough and ruggedly attractive old army buddy of Terry’s (Todd Lowe) who pays him a visit". Speaking of that upcoming fifth season, show creator Alan Ball revealed to THR that he is currently in negotiations with HBO about the fifth season, but isn’t sure how many seasons the show has left in it:

"Right now I’m in the middle of negotiating for a fifth season…I don’t know if I have any left in me after that. We’ll see."

Part of the concern is that there wouldn’t be a legitimate way to explain the natural aging of some of the cast:

"I think if we did 13 seasons we’d have to address why vampires are aging,” Ball joked. “Maybe there would be a bad batch of Tru Blood. … With the supernatural thing you can always go places storywise that you couldn’t go on another show."

Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean the show wouldn’t advance without him, as he himself hinted at in a recent interview with Rolling Stone: "I don’t believe True Blood is 100 percent dependent on my participation. It has a strong following and a really strong cast, and there could be a future where I step back and the show would continue."

Promotional still [SpoilerTV]


Clip from the season four premiere "She’s Not There" [YouTube]

Watch another clip here


The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene gets cast

The producers of the AMC hit "The Walking Dead" have cast the key character of Hershel Greene. The character will be played by Scott Wilson:

"He is the patriarch of the family," says executive producer Gale Anne Hurd. "He’s a veterinarian with a great sense of humanity and a very unique take on the Walkers." Meanwhile, Laura Cohan has been cast as Hershel’s daughter Maggie: "She’s in her twenties and is a survivor who ends up as a romantic interest for Glenn (Steven Yuen)," says Hurd

Meanwhile, Hershel’s daughter Maggie has also been cast. The character will be played by Laura Cohan ("Supernatural"): She’s in her twenties and is a survivor who ends up as a romantic interest for Glenn (Steven Yuen)," says Hurd. Another recent casting is for Otis. The character, to be played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, is descibred as "a foreman at Hershel’s Farm". Production on season two fo "The Walking Dead" began on June 6. The new season is expected to premiere this fall on AMC. Check out an interview with comic book creator Robert Kirkman at the AMC TV blog.

Promotional stills [AMC]

Set images [more at SpoilerTV]

First day of shooting season two [YouTube]

Comic-Con 2011 panels: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Torchwood, Fringe, Supernatural + more

Unexpectedly, several sci-fi/genre shows will be present at this year’s Comic-Con. Studios and networks announcing programming so far are HBO, Starz and Warner Brothers TV. Shows confirmed to be at the event include HBO’s "Game of Thrones and "True Blood"; FOX’s "Terra Nova", "Fringe" and "Alcatraz"; The CW’s "Supernatural" and "The Vampire Diaries"; Starz’s "Torchwood: Miracle Day"; Cartoon Network’s "ThunderCats" and "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" and more.

PREVIEW Videos & Images


Cast images [more at SpoilerTV]

Promotional stills [more at SpoilerTV]


Promotional stills for season 4.5 [more at Multipleverses]

Game of Thrones

"Game of Thrones" theme (8-bit style remix) [YouTube]

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

Cartoon Network series sneak peek [YouTube]


Promotional stills for the season 2 premiere, "A Tale of Two Audreys" []

Terra Nova

Promotional posters [the live feed | THR]


  • David S. Goyer is adapting the DC Comics graphic novel "100 Bullets" as a TV series for Showtime. Goyer will write and executive produce the project. [Deadline]
  • G4 and Marvel will premiere the original animated series "Iron Man" and "Wolverine" on Friday, July 29, 2011. [G4]
  • FX is bringing "Archer" and "Wilfred" to Comic-Con 2011. Both panels will be taking place on Thursday, July 21 with stars and the creative teams expected to be in attendance. A screening of a new episode of "Archer" will also take place before the panel. [FX]
  • HBO has signed on for a planned six-season TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel "American Gods". The project would feature 10-12 episodes per season at a cost of between $35-40M per season. The show is expected to premiere no earlier than 2013. [Deadline & Bleeding Cool]
  • Author Salman Rushdie has announced that he has written a script for a commissioned sci-fi pilot called "The Next People" for Showtime. Rushdie says the series will be based in factual science but will also contain elements of the supernatural or extra-terrestrial. [The Guardian]
  • HBO has announced that production on the second season of "Game of Thrones" will begin on Monday, July 25 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. [HBO]
  • Syfy has announced season premiere dates for the summer season. Syfy’s summer premiere week kicks off Monday, July 11 with the season 4.5 premiere of "Eureka" at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) followed by the season 3 premiere of "Warehouse 13" at 9 p.m. and the new series "Alphas" at 10 p.m. The third season of "Ghost Hunters International" premieres Wednesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. followed by the series debut of "Legend Quest" at 10 p.m. Then on Friday, July 15 "Haven" begins its second season at 10 p.m., and premiere week ends on Saturday, July 16 with the Syfy Saturday Original Movie "Super Eruption" at 9 p.m. [Syfy]
  • The series premiere of the FX comedy "Wilfred", based on the Australian hit drew 2.6M viewers Thursday. That’s the highest-ever opening for an FX comedy premiere. [Show Tracker | LA Times]
  • Fox is planning to screen the pilot episode of "Terra Nova" at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. In related news, Fox has announced that the series will premiere on Monday, September 26 with a two-hour premiere (8-10 p.m.) and will air subsequent Monday’s from 8-9 p.m. [Crave Online & FOX]
  • Jim Uhls (“Fight Club”) has been hired to write the HBO miniseries “Year Zero”. The series is based on the 2007 album by Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails and is a co-production between HBO and BBC Worldwide Productions. the live feed | THR]


  • Lucy Punch has been cast as rookie detective Denna Pilgrim in FX’s superhero pilot "Powers". The series, based on the comic book by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, is about a police department set in a world where superpowers are real and there’s a ‘Powers’ division within the police force that investigate crimes involving those with special abilities… [the live feed | THR]
  • …Meanwhile, Jason Patric will play the male lead (Christian Walker) in the pilot and Bailee Madison will play Calista, "an otherworldly young girl raised by her stepdad Eagle, a man with powers." [TVLine & Deadline]
  • Syfy’s new superhero thriller "Alphas" has added Valerie Cruz as a recurring guest star. She’ll play "mysterious Department of Defense Special Agent Kathy Sullivan". The character will first appear in the third episode. "Alphas" premieres Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m. on Syfy. [E! Online]

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

CHART (5/23/2011 to 5/29/2011)

CHART (5/30/2011 to 6/5/2011)

CHART (6/6/2011 to 6/12/2011)

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With that much effort and time going into it, the Star Wars TV series sounds better than the Star Wars movie series. We can hope, at least.

Falling Skies, pilot kicked ass. Already, I’m wandering what the aliens want. And get this the human (Pope) who is the criminal and captured by the resistance, is interesting too. I wonder if he can be redeemed. Of course, I wonder if Noah Wyle can get his son back. It’s a like War of the Wars only this time the refugees fight back.

HBO signed up for six seasons of a show they haven’t even made yet? I do believe that is completely without precedent. It isn’t even on the same continent as precedent. I’d sure like to know what incriminating evidence against them Neil Gaiman is holding.

The Star Wars TV series doesn’t interest me in the least. The Godfather of Courisant? With the increasing fragmentation of television, does anyone care to wager that this series will ever get made?

It should be noted that Fred Steiner passed away last week. Mr. Steiner created numerous memorable scores for Star Trek TOS, including “Charlie X” and “Balance of Terror” and “The Corbomite Maneuver”.

I hate all this waiting for the Star Wars TV series, but what McCallum says here rings true:

“Network television and cable television as we know it are completely imploding, so we’re not really sure that in five years’ time we can release a dramatic one-hour episode because it is all reality TV now.”

I feel like there was a renaissance in the TV field about 7-10 years ago, and it is ending now. It seems interest in serious drama in any genre (including in, or even especially in, Sci-Fi) has taken a nose-dive, and we can expect nothing but drivel for years to come. I’m kind of retreating back into movies, and reruns from our latest golden age….

2. Pope was the best thing about Falling Skies. I hardly recognized Colin Cunningham (Stargate SG-1’s clean-cut Major Davis.)

The Doctor Who thing has already been cleared up by Steven Moffat and others. There will be a full season, they’re just going to start it later in the year (to move it away from the summer competition). So 7 episodes will air in autumn of 2012, with the final 7 airing in 2013. The BBC has confirmed a full 14 episode series (13 eps + a Xmas special).

“Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live their and control drugs, prostitution”.

Good grief! Really?! And Rick McCallum is worried about reality shows? I think he should be more worried about this concept instead! I think George Lucas is really jumping the shark this time.

I say get Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman to work on the live action “Star Wars”.
They’ll keep it true to itself and bring in fresh blood at the same time.

Also, Rick McCallum is becoming the Rick Berman of “Star Wars”. And George Lucas, who clearly is a genius, needs to step aside and allow the writers to have some leeway.

Also, I can’t wait for “The Walking Dead” to return. It will be too long of a wait after too short of a season (six episodes).

R.I.P. Fred Steiner, your music shall be enjoyed by many for years to come. I know it was off topic.

#9 Well said!

And back on topic, Jesus Rollerblading Christ! Are Starz walking over the BBC? They make sure North America got the Doctor and the Ponds mere hours after we saw them, but we seemingly will have to wait at least a week for Captain Jack and Gwen.

I’m disgusted at the BBC. I was there on the cold Sunday night in October 2006 when the first episode of Torchwood went out, and this is how the BBC repay the faithful who have stuck with this show when it was just OK to the epic that was Children of Earth.

Many peple will now just watch illegal downloads of it, and the rating may end up not being as straing at the BBC are expecting, and it’ll be their own fault. I’ll wait to see it on BBC One, but not everyone will.

Suck on that, BBC One controller Danny Cohen!

3: “The Star Wars TV series doesn’t interest me in the least. The Godfather of Courisant? With the increasing fragmentation of television, does anyone care to wager that this series will ever get made?”

Will probably get made just in time to compete with the first new Star Trek series in years, blowing it off the air.

George Lucas obviously has plans to bring Star Wars — with all that entails — to the small screen, which is perhaps the most ambitious project of its kind ever on TV. Technically it will break new ground if it happens; artistically its quality will probably depend on who other than George Lucas is writing it.

George has become much more of a technical innovator than an artist and if he governs the project with too much of a heavy hand in the story department, he will make a fabulous looking piece of crap. Best looking piece of crap ever to appear on TV.

But George is the man who can bring that sort of innovation to TV, and it would be exciting for a Star Trek series to ride in on the wake of whatever tech innovations he creates to take advantage of his contribution for a great new vision of Trek on TV.

Star Wars is George’s baby and the man is undeniably an innovator. Unfortunately Star Trek doesn’t have that kind of genius benefactor calling all the shots. Which is also a good thing as you can see what happens when that genius keeps having brainfarts in the storytelling department.

But it would be nice if Star Trek at least had a genius benefactor calling SOME of the shots.

The Star Wars folks are taking a BIG chance that
anyone will still be interested by the time the TV
show gets made… If not now, I probably won’t
care at all in 2016! Sheesh…

FALLING SKIES is a pile of crap dumped onto a giant turd crammed into a bottle full of old farts.

“Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution,” McCallum said.”



@11. “Unfortunately Star Trek doesn’t have that kind of genius benefactor calling all the shots.”

You are joking, right? Not including kiddie cartoons, Lucas has not done anything on his own worth watching since Return of the Jedi in 1883. (I will give Revenge of the Sith an honorable mention as being OK).

He has been riding the coattails of the greatest trilogy of all time for almost 30 years now. I am no longer buying what he is selling these days.

Star wars had precisely 0 fans before it blasted its way on the scene in 1977. It started from nothing and gathered the following it had because it was GREAT. Can it repeat that success on TV? Who knows. But I’d say that the zeigeist has changed. The original Star Wars did something totally unlike what had been done before: It made epic swashbuckling space opera believable, and it exploited a credulity gap in special effects left since Stanley Kubrick did 2001, and it exploited that gap with great characters, a battle between good and evil, and John Williams music.

But since then I don’t think there exists the same opportunity because we’ve seen and heard all manner of amazing things that the gap has shrunk, and what is there to do that is so great and that distances itself from what came before that it drops our jaws?

I’m not saying that’s impossible, but it may be for George Lucas because he’s not getting any younger and the probability is that he’s just going to keep on doing what he did before, which is why Star Trek went downhill series after series.

It’s time for a new George Lucas from a new generation to do that, to see what the older guys cannot see, and to blow everyone away with what THEY see that nobody else does.

Just trying to get Star Wars level scope on TV may not be enough.

Then again I might be completely wrong. It may just be totally awesome.

The stagnation of the Star Trek franchise is not welcome, not by me at least. The franchise really needs big thinkers at the top, not cashiers.

@2. Agreed, I really liked the Falling Skies pilot.

@13. Based on the careful though and preparation you put into your outstanding post here, my conclusion is that is is time to change your diaper.


Personally, I think we’re all far too nice about Revenge of the Sith. It’s really pretty crap, it’s just that it wasn’t as crap as the 2 movies that preceded it.

The DOCTOR WHO seasonal split is mainly budget. Yes – they will produce the full order for series 7 but produced over two years because the massive production cuts being endured by the BBC has finally reached one of their international cash-cows and they won’t be able to produce the full series 7 in one single year, according to reports. The show is already being produced under a smaller budget that during the Tenth Doctor years but that’s still forcing them to split production schedule during a 24 month-schedule instead of 12.

@18. I agree. It was OK, not great. I thin it it thought of better given that the two movies that preceded it were much worse…so, in comparison, it was kind of a pleasant surprise to see when it came out given expectations were so low.

So now the great Lucas wants to have Star Wars with characters who need drug fixes, and with Johns managing hookers. WTF?????

15. MJ – June 26, 2011

Well, to correct you, George Lucas hasn’t done ANY of his movies on his own at all. They were all team efforts. Lucasfim has been quite innovative on the technical side of things and as head honcho of Lucasfilm George Lucas gets credit for that, and it follows a pattern George Lucas established early on. So George Lucas has been much more consistent introducing technical innovations than telling great stories, and the technical innovations are really what made Star Wars what it was because they made the story realistic and believable in a way never before achieved.

But none of the Star Wars movie were as good as the original to me — not even Empire — and the only other truly great movie he wrote was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

BUT, he IS still technically innovative and if he manages to get this Star Wars show on TV I expect it will be Star Wars in all or most of it’s movie scale ON TV.

Since it may need emphasizing, that is not something that should get ANY Star Trek fan’s tighty whities in a bunch about, since those same innovations may carry over into future Star Trek series. Star Trek fans should be wishing George Lucas success in crafting this new model he’s after, since a successful model is unlikely to remain purely in the territory of a future Star Wars TV show.

Agree about Revenge of the Sith. Was hoping for a truly emotional depiction of Annakin’s final slide to the dark side. It sucked. The character was wooden, the dialogue was terrible, and Annakin’s final decision to join the dark side was inexplicable though it had been carefully explained.

Plus, if Mace Windu had Sidius beat, then so should have Yoda; but I will chalk up Yoda’s loss to the much more difficult terrain he had to contend with.

ok, now I’m geeking out about Star Wars on a Star Trek site…somebody shoot me with red matter…

Well to correct you, DM, Lucas is no genius benefector. You can’t have it both ways — calling him a genius in one post, and then highlighting “team” when it is more convenient. :-)

Also, Empire is the greatest of the Star Wars movies. And Lucas has never come close to doing anything on par with the original SW trilogy — I’m not including him riding Spielberg’s coattails on the first Indy movies.

Lucas proved how inept he is most recently with insisting that Indy 4 go with his bonehead crystal skulls idea.

Congrats to Lucas on his technical innovations. Now WETA has left those in the dust, but we do thank Georgie for the late 90’s digital advances like Jar Jar Binks…in other words, whippdy frikking doo! :-)

Can’t wait for season 2 of Walking Dead. I’ve been thinking about giving Falling Skies a shot, looks interesting.

@21 “BUT, he IS still technically innovative and if he manages to get this Star Wars show on TV I expect it will be Star Wars in all or most of it’s movie scale ON TV.”

—with alien crack whores and pimps in full 1080P digital glory. I can hardly wait!

Oh, and my last remark in #16 does not mean JJ or Bob or any of those guys since they are not the top. Paramount had a disdainful attitude toward Star Trek since Desilu, and it seems to me that they view it as just another property. Unlike Star Wars is for George Lucas, Star Trek is not some CEO’s baby. It’s just another asset in an entertainment company’s portfolio.

Peter Jackson is the real deal. And he is even spinning off great sf&f talent now like Neil Blomkamp.

23. MJ – June 26, 2011

Well to correct you, DM, Lucas is no genius benefector. You can’t have it both ways — calling him a genius in one post, and then highlighting “team” when it is more convenient. :-)


You haven’t corrected me since you haven’t pointed out any error.

George Lucas is BOTH the genius benefactor I said he was as the man at the top and the technical innovator who makes things happen for his franchise, AND he is lead member of a team that produces his visions and follows his direction. See? George is the man in charge AND member of team. Not one or the other. Both.

DM, sorry if I may have went off a bit on your here. I’m still in shock after reading that we are going to have an organized crime-based Star Wars, including drug users and prostitutes. I still can’t believe this???

I’m not so sure that George Lucas is the innovator now as he once was during the seventies and early eighties. Remember, he didn’t have cgi at his disposal and as such had to rely on talented model makers, visual effects companies, make-up desginers and prop people to build PHYSICAL things. It was the STRUGGLE that ultimately led to advances in cgi and other digital tools we now take for granted. George Lucas and his people, during the making of the original trilogy, had to constantly break down the proverbial walls and ceilings just to get his vision depicted credibly on screen. Often artists do their best work when they DON’T have every tool at their disposal. It forces people to get creative, and in turn, they end up pushing the boundaries and that is where innovation comes from.

The problem with the sequels is, is that cgi, by the time of “The Phantom Menace”, had become common place, cheaper and easier to do. That mean’t that while the visual effects got better, storytelling took a backseat at times (not just the SW prequels, but other shows and movies as well) because it became about trying to outdo the visual spectacles of the original movies, when in fact it were the STORIES and CHARACTERS which defined “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, and “Return Of The Jedi”. Because the visual effects were such daunting jobs back then, it forced George Lucas to not take story and character for granted. Also, he had to push the folks at ILM to do better and in turn, the visual effects which ended up to be groundbreaking, enhanced the already epic tale of the original trilogy.

I actually think that James Cameron has become THE INNOVATOR in filmmaking right now. Not just for his work on “Avatar”, but also for “The Abyss”, and the first two “Terminator” films. Specifically the morphing effects depicted in “The Abyss” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” which in turn resulted in various other fim and tv characters being created, including “Deep Space Nine”s Odo. “Avatar”, while not quite revolutionary, certainly did raise the bar when it comes to computer generated imagery.

@28. I would agree with most of what you said here, except that he is no longer a genius in my opinion. Even at the technical level, WETA has now surpassed ILM. And it won’ t change in the near future as The Hobbit movies and Avatar 3 and 4 are being/going to be shot in 48 FPS next gen 3D, and WETA and Cameron’s folks are leading this.

All Lucas is doing is having the SW movies post-processed into 3D, so that he can try to milk us all once again to pay for the same movies from him that we have bought in every other format to that. That’s not genius – that is basic greed. And he refused to give the fans a blu-ray of the the original theatrical cut of the first trilogy. What an ass!



By the way, I prefer the Special Edition Trilogy over the original versions of the classic trilogy. Maybe its because when I was sixteen, I got to see the original “Star Wars” movies in the theatres in 1997. I was blown away!

Prior to this, I had to watch the old versions at home in pan-and-scan standard vhs format.

Seeing it on the big screen was way more rewarding. You got the whole picture. And it was fun!

25: “—with alien crack whores and pimps in full 1080P digital glory. I can hardly wait!”

You are making fun of something literally years away — if ever — from production based on hearsay. I have no idea how good the stories they have are based on a few paragraphs on this site. Neither does anybody else.

If it’s typical George Lucas it will suck. But that he’s having other people working on the stories gives me some measure of hope.

Can’t wait for more “Walking Dead”; only six episodes in, and it’s already the best thing I’ve seen on TV since the new Battlestar Galactica debuted back in 2003. The graphic novel series is excellent as well. While the plots of the two formats are not consistent? Each feels like a cool, ‘alternate universe’ version of the other and I love them both! Fall on AMC can’t come soon enough…

As for Lucas’ long-rumored Star Wars TV series? I’ll believe it when I see it (and I’m in no hurry, sadly). After the less-than-stellar prequels and the tiresome CGI Clone Wars series I never thought I’d say this (and my inner 10 year old has a tough time even THINKING this) but I’m getting really tired of Star Wars. The CWs are just mind-numbing, meaningless exercises in CGI cartooning. Pale reminders of the original movies.

I prefer to keep my pristine memories of the 1977 original and it’s superior sequel “The Empire Strikes Back” and leave it at that (IMO, “ROTJ” is where it started to turn rancid with the Ewoks and Death Star 2). The Tartakovsky cartoon series was pretty good, but honestly? Lucas’ obsession with boring, meandering, overproduced prequels had drained all of the fun and epic feel right out of the franchise.
At this point, I couldn’t really give a bone dry damn what happens next…

29. MJ – June 26, 2011

DM, sorry if I may have went off a bit on your here


No need to apologize. Have never felt anything but complete confidence in handling myself on this site. ;-)

30: “I actually think that James Cameron has become THE INNOVATOR in filmmaking right now.”

He’s certainly another. We got room for both, plus a few.

Cameron also has George Lucas’s problem. But while George Lucas writes some downright awful dialogue, Cameron comes in higher at mediocre. Cameron is a brilliant technical innovator, and his writing is better than Lucas’, but that’s not saying much I’m afraid because Cameron still needs an emergency cornball-ectomy.

Also, I wouldn’t say either men are innovative with respect to filmmaking itself which to me means doing new things with the tools that exist. Cameron created cool new technology to do the same old things.

Watch New York, I Love You. That was cool filmmaking.


From Rick McCallum: “Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution.”

IMDB Bio on Rick McCallum: “.Assembling an extraordinary group in front of and behind the cameras, McCallum produced the next three films that Lucas wrote and directed: Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005).”

Hearsay? Really?

If this is hearsay, then I am a monkey’s uncle.

James Cameron has written some great scripts. “Aliens”, which is arguably even better than Ridley Scott’s original, “The Abyss” and the first two “Terminator” films were all James Cameron’s best moments as a writer.

Unfortunately, “True Lies” was an overrated “Die Hard meets James Bond” action movie, “Titanic” is a bloated soap opera, and “Avatar”, while miles ahead of both “True Lies” and “Titanic”, still features a stereotypical “white conquerers versus peaceful, naturistic natives” storyline.

Even Cameron admits “Avatar” fell a bit short in the plot department.

37. MJ – June 26, 2011

Submit your review of the stories to AP. I know this is a Star Trek site, but you’ve got the scoop on your hands!

50 hours of Star Trek TV scripts already written?!?! Fantastic!! What? Star Wars? Oh. Never mind. I’ll be back in stasis until Trek returns to the small screen. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

@39. I would, but it’s just hearsay. :-))

Also, if “Star Wars” was meant to be enjoyed by BOTH adults and kids, then why the hell is there even talk about including mob bosses, drugs and prostitution in the planned live action series?

Maybe these mob bosses happen to be Hutts, while the drugs are more like hyper-candy rather than true narcotics. But I’m not sure there can be another definition for which to depict “prostitution”, which is the act of selling sex while working for a pimp.

Britain must end the National Health Service immediately and divert funds to Doctor Who. This is important, across-the-pondians!

38. Red Dead Ryan – June 26, 2011

I don’t have a high opinion of Cameron’s work. Aliens was very good, but Alien was far better imo. I don’t like Cameron’s stories that much, and the only one of his movies that I own is Aliens because I think that’s the best he’s done.


Some people might consider replacing the word “hearsay” with “heresy”!

41. MJ – June 26, 2011

@39. I would, but it’s just hearsay. :-))



@45. I thought the spelling looked funny — tricked by DM again!

@44. You are missing out on some great Cameron sf movies. T2 and The Abyss are spectacular achievements, as is Avatar, despite some writing weaknesses.


Well, James Cameron is widely hailed as one of Hollywood’s greatest directors. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Well…if I may conjecture here…

There WAS some subtle Star Trek-like social commentary in Revenge of the Sith; George Lucas accurately portrayed the political trick of playing both sides of the fence, and using Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Northwoods style false flags…stuff that a politically aware George Lucas was aware of as happening during the 60’s. The crumbling of the Republic in ROTS is also the crumbling of OUR Republic. So Lucas was doing some Star Trek kung fu in that movie, but nobody seems to have noticed.

Carrying that idea forward he may be doing the same thing with the new Star Wars series. Perhaps it’s had an injection of Star Trek-like social commentary. Conjecture.


“The show is already being produced under a smaller budget that during the Tenth Doctor years”

I’m not sure this is totally accurate, but if it was, I’d have to tip my hat to the current production team even more, since the show has never, ever looked as good as it has in the last 2 years.

I remember watching the first few episodes of Series 5 with my bro-in-law (a major 10 fan) and he remarked that it was like the show was being made like a feature film.

In terms of the split, I’ve read several sources that indicate it’s because Who has too many competitors for Saturday nights during the summer, and they’d like to move it back into the winter months (where it often was in the past).