This Week in Sci-Fi — January 10-16, 2015

The ExpanseThis week in tv and film sci-fi, we’ve got weird crossovers, the usual amount of Marvel material, new trailers and a fan push to bring back old favorites. Let’s not waste any time; on to the news roundup!

  • One of the weirder news points of the week is the announcement that the Arrow/Flash TV universe that’s been building is getting another spinoff, Vixen. What’s so weird about that? Well, it’s an animated spinoff, that’s been explicitly stated to be in continuity with the two live action series. How’s that going to work, exactly? Will Stephen Amell be voicing himself in the animated series? Is there a chance that Vixen’s voice actor (whomever that ends up being) will wear a real costume once in a while? Who knows. Definitely an unexpected move, if you ask me.
    • Possibly related, as it’s still not established yet whether or not it’ll crossover, but CBS has made some comments about their Supergirl series. Cross-network shared universes? Now we’re getting too weird.
  • Bouncing over to the Marvel side of the comics universe:
    • The Avengers: Age of Ultron had a second trailer released this week. If you care and somehow still haven’t seen it, you can watch it here. It seems to show a good bit of Wakanda-related material as well as further teasing of that Hulk/Iron-Man showdown.
    • An interesting interview with Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson of SHIELD) that I saw this week, where he discusses bringing Inhumans into the show. Don’t expect much in the way of spoilers or hints, but it’s still an interesting read.
  •   Tangentially related to the MCU, it’s been said that the next trailer for Star Wars Episode VII will be released with Avengers 2. And this time, we might actually get to see the old cast back in action. Can’t wait to see Luke and the gang back on screen again!
  • In TV related news, Syfy has just released the first trailer for their upcoming series, The Expanse. It looks, uh… like a Syfy show. Honestly, after Ascension I just can’t bring myself to draw a conclusion from the trailer, and the fact that all that article has to say about it is “0 G sex” isn’t promising. At least we know that, since it’s based on a book series, it actually is what it says it is this time. You can watch the trailer on youtube if you don’t want to deal with the crappy one in the article here.
    • Syfy has also started developing a potential new series called 51st State, about a prison society in a futuristic America where the prison population gets so large we have to buy Greenland to keep them all in. You’d think someone would try, oh,  I don’t know… changing the way the prison system works? This sounds like an awful premise to me, but it’s still early. Who knows?
    • There was also a twitter Q&A last night in promotion of Helix and 12 Monkeys, which just aired their first episodes on Friday. There wasn’t much of note to be gathered, except that premiere dates are far from being set for the other shows in production, like DefianceDark Matter, and Killjoys. He also said that they hadn’t decided the fate of Ascension yet, if anyone still cares about the fate of Ascension.
  • Amazon, much like Netflix, has taken to producing its own content, although they do it a bit different by presenting a number of pilots to the public and seeing which ones stick. One of these pilots is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, about an alternate North America in the wake of losing World War 2. The buzz for it has been pretty good, although I haven’t had a chance to watch it myself yet. It’s more alternate history than straight sci-fi, but no one would deny PKD’s sci-fi cred, so it seemed worth mentioning. If it sounds appealing, go check it out on Amazon Prime Instant Video. The more views, the better the odds of a full season pickup.
  • Lastly, Gillian Anderson, best known as Scully from The X-Files, appeared on Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist podcast, where they ended up kicking off a growing campaign to revive the show. Will it work? Will we get a conclusion? Will Vince Gilligan bring back some of that sweet, sweet, Breaking Bad-level writing quality if it does? Well, it can’t hurt to take part in the campaign if you want more.

That’s all for this week. Is this helpful to you? Learn anything you hadn’t seen elsewhere this week? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @RetroPhaseShift.

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