Posts Tagged ‘Stargate’

Sci-Fi and Animation

TAS EnterpriseOne of the things that I, for whatever reason, rarely get around to talking about here is animation. When I recently highlighted the fact that some of those alien costumes and makeup application processes used in live action series can be brutal, I made sure to point out that one of the few exceptions to the “TV aliens must be human-like” is if CGI is used to create the alien from scratch. Which does, of course, bring up the question: why don’t we see more science fiction told exclusively through animation? Read more

4 Amusing Sci-Fi Casting Situations – Friday Four

WoolseyIt’s not uncommon, especially in sci-fi shows, to see the same actors cropping up from program to program. Many of the shows are shot in the same area, often at the same time in different parts of the city (usually Vancouver), so it’s not terribly uncommon to see actors from one show with small roles on another. This goes double for actors from shows that have ended, and that tends to lead to some odd trends emerging. Here are four strange casting situations that arose from all these shows and movies drawing from the same actor pool.

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4 of the Most Grueling Sci-Fi Costumes – Friday Four

He knows his luck.

He knows his luck.

One of the more unique aspects of sci-fi television series is that it often presents us with non-human characters, which are used in a variety of fashions to help bring the world of the show to life. The only problem is that the majority of these non-human characters are played by human actors (the rest being CGI or puppetry), and that means heavy makeup and prosthetics. Some, like Christopher Judge’s makeup for Teal’c, is quite simple and unobtrusive. Others, like Michael Dorn, not so much; his forehead now has permanent discoloration from wearing the Worf prosthetic for nearly fifteen years. And yet, there are still people in shorter roles that suffered far greater for their art. Here are 4 of the longest, most difficult, or most painful costumes seen on television.

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4 Great Shows with Awful First Seasons – Friday Four

FerengiWith Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season almost half over, I think it’s safe to say that the show has now reached quality-TV levels, becoming a show that’s thoroughly entertaining on its own, and not just as an adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Defiance, too, proved its worth in its second season and earning the right to a third. But I think most fans would be willing to admit that these two shows had some pretty significant problems when they started, with SHIELD having insignificant, family-friendly standalone episodes and lifeless, peppy characters, and Defiance trying too hard to emulate premium HBO shows like Game of Thrones while centering on a group of people who were almost the polar opposite of SHIELD‘s: selfish, petty and often times cruel. It’s basically the opposite problem of those shows that ruin it all in the ending, but this trip-up is a far more common one. And that’s why it’s so difficult to watch these one-season shows (like Charlie Jade) fail to move on. Usually, it takes time for a TV show to find itself, but often times they don’t get the chance. Just look at these, 4 shows with downright terrible first seasons, and imagine the awesomeness we’d have missed out on if they hadn’t been given a chance.

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What Almost Wasn’t: 4 Near Misses in Sci-Fi History – Friday Four

StarkOn here, one of my most popular topics is “What Could Have Been,” where I go over the now-public plans for seasons and shows that never developed. But what about those times when these major losses were narrowly averted? Once in a while, things align just right, and looking back, it’s hard to imagine how the show could have continued without this one aspect. And yet, there were many moments of serendipity that ended up playing a huge part in these shows’ success. So today, we honor just a few of those close calls by looking at “What Almost Wasn’t,” with 4 near misses from the annals of Sci-fi history, focusing today on casting and characters.

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4 of the Weirdest Alternate Realities – Friday Four

D'Argo JoolOne of the most interesting opportunities presented by science fiction shows is that of the alternate universe. It gives us a glimpse at another version of our heroes, in a reality where things turned out slightly differently. Perhaps they lost the climactic battle, or maybe someone died early on and caused the group to splinter. Sometimes the differences in these alternate universes (or realities, or timelines, or any other different world from the primary) can be absolutely huge–entire characters might be missing or new ones exist in their place, or worse, the entire landscape of the setting is changed, like with Star Trek‘s Mirror Universe. But there are also these, alternate universes where one can’t even quite imagine how they got to the state they’re in.

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Crossovers and Verisimilitude in the Shared Universe

Ent-D at DS9When you have a shared universe, one of the biggest benefits is the crossover–bringing characters from one show within the property over to another show. Agents of SHIELD is starting off its second season tomorrow with a crossover of sorts, featuring flashbacks with Agent Peggy Carter before her own spinoff starts early next year. While this situation is a little different, as both Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter are spinning off from the same parent property, they still have enough in common to enjoy the benefits of a crossover. And with that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to examine the crossover and how it helps with the cohesiveness and plausibility of a shared universe. Read more

4 of the Most Frustrating Unresolved Cliffhangers – Friday Four

SGU Destiny FirefightAs a television viewer, odds are you’ve had a show you enjoyed canceled prematurely. Sometimes this is okay; the last episode of Almost Human is probably the best ending it could have realistically asked for. But other times, especially for shows that had orders for a full season upfront, the producers were fairly confident they’d get renewed, and chose to end their season finale with a cliffhanger (like the rebooted V). And then, for whatever reason, the show wasn’t renewed, and… oops. Fans are left with a finale that placed their favorite characters in a trap of unavoidable death, the bad guy in command of the starship, or with hundreds of killer robots surrounding their base, giving a nasty implication about the fate of the heroes and their world. So this week, we’re going to countdown some of the most aggravating unresolved cliffhangers in sci-fi TV history. (Obvious spoilers ahead.) Read more

The Webisode and Online Supplements

Vastra JennySo, we’ve discussed the history of the webisode, and looked at some of the earlier examples. But as I said at the end of that piece, those early webisodes are quite different from how this medium is utilized today. If webisodes aren’t usually spinoffs, then what are they? And why should anyone care to look them up?

As we’ve already established, webisodes have been linked with sci-fi for a long time. You occasionally see them for sitcoms (Scrubs: Interns comes to mind), but more often than not, the invented world of a sci-fi show provides the kind of room for exploration needed to create interesting web content. One of the biggest shows to utilize the webisode format has been Doctor Who. As an early adopter to the idea, Doctor Who has experimented a lot trying to figure out what makes for a successful webisode. Naturally, then, I’m going to be using it as an example frequently throughout for the different varieties out there. Without further ado, let’s explore the concept and what value it has in a storytelling capacity. Read more

What Could Have Been: Stargate Atlantis Season 6? TV Movie?

AtlantisThe demise of Stargate Atlantis has long been a point of contention in the Stargate fandom. While the story of how it ended has changed over the years, the commonly believed version is that Atlantis was canceled to make room for Stargate Universe, which aimed to take the franchise in new (not necessarily fan-approved) directions. The truth is a bit more complex, but even at the end of its run, Atlantis was popular, with solid ratings, an active fanbase, and growing good will for accepting and addressing some of the more common criticisms of the show. Whether its cancellation was deserved or not, we have to face the fact that with the reboot in the works, there’s no going back to Atlantis. With that in mind, the show’s writers have been uncommonly open about their plans, particularly Joe Mallozzi, who posted in great detail what he felt he could share about Stargate Atlantis season 6. There’s a lot to dig through, however, so I’m going to try to condense it all in one place.

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