TV Archives


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If you are of a certain age and inclination, you have fond memories of Gerry Anderson’s numerous Supermarionation shows like Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, Fireball XL5, and Terrahawks.

His son Jaime Anderson is the Director of Anderson Entertainment, the film production company set up by Gerry Anderson MBE and his wife Mary. Today the company continues to develop projects from Gerry Anderson’s personal archive as well as managing his estate and existing work.

The Kickstarter for Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm recently met its funding goals in four days, and a pilot for the show is heading into production.

We got to talk with Jamie about the project…


JEFF PATTERSON: Firestorm looks like an ambitious project. Can you give us a little history behind it?
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Author Ann Leckie announced on her blog that her first novel, Ancillary Justice, has been optioned for television!

Ancillary Justice is a story about Justice of Toren, who used to be a starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers under service to the Radch empire, but who now appears on a remote, icy planet as a human soldier on a mission of revenge against the Lord of the Radch. The book explored themes of gender and swept the awards in recent months, winning the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The sequel, Ancillary Sword, was released earlier this month.

The option for Ancillary Justice was purchased by the Fabrik production company and Fox Television Studios, who together produced Burn Notice and The Killing. Leckie says she worked closely with the production company to make sure that the show would remain true to its exploration of gender, to which she was assured it would not be “whitewashed”.

As Leckie notes, an option doesn’t necessarily mean the show will make it to production, but it’s an important first step. And not only is this good news for this specific title, but also for the genre at large because it means that Hollywood still sees speculative fiction as a viable source of good stories. But then again, when have they stopped?


Maria Alexander is a fiction writer who lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats and a purse named Trog. Her debut urban fantasy novel, Mr. Wicker, was just released in September 2014 by Raw Dog Screaming Press. Publishers Weekly calls it, “(a) splendid, bittersweet ode to the ghosts of childhood.” Follow Maria on her webiste or on Twitter as @LaMaupin.

Four of the Dumbest Things Done with Swords in Film and Fiction

by Maria Alexander

Everybody loves swords. Writers and readers alike enjoy a bladed tale because of the mystique this ancient weapon wields. I’m a big sword lover myself. Last year, I wrote a blog post that went viral called, “Why I Hate (Most) Photos and Drawings of Women with Swords.” In the post, I outline my qualifications to speak on the subject, which include many years of studying stage combat with top Hollywood fight masters and four years in the art of Shinkendo. I’m also a veteran author and screenwriter, so I understand the challenge of balancing fantasy and fact when creating an entertaining story both for both fiction and film.

But too many writers and filmmakers are unaware of the realities surrounding bladed weapons. Most of what they know about swords they learned from the movie Highlander and in turn they propagate those fallacies in their work. That’s like learning about planes from the movie Flight. Here are a few facts about swords that, if heeded, could actually create better stories.
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I feel so, so guilty for liking these videos so much. Such a simple idea that consumes so much of my time when there are so many other more important things to do.

And then this makes it seem all worthwhile: “There ain’t a man alive who doesn’t wanna get his butt washed in the Jedi fountain…”

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Hey, would you look at that! Actual science fiction on SyFy? Who knew they could do that?

Here’s how their new show Ascension is described:

In 1963, the U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship Ascension to populate a new world. Nearly 50 years into the journey, as they approach the point of no return, a mysterious murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their mission.

Ascension stars everybody’s favorite Cylon, Tricia Helfer, and a bunch of others I’ve never heard of. Also intriguing is that this is a mini-series (lasting 6 hours), so SyFy doesn’t have to sully their network with more actual SciFi than is necessary. Yes, I’ll tune in to see if it’s any good.
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Here’s some (awesome and doctored) archival footage from The Great Martian War, an alternate history documentary appearing on the History Channel.
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I love these Bad Lip Reading videos with a passion that’s disturbing. So much good stuff in here. (Singing “Mister Potato Head likes…to punch me…” Genius.)

Best of all: Carl’s epic “Carl Poppa” rap at 2:47. Seriously…I just purchased the mp3 so I can play it in my car at top volume with the windows down.

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The Warp is reporting that Vince Gerardis (co-executive producer of HBO’s Game of Thrones) is bringing an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy to Spike TV.

Robinson’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars series — consisting of Red Mars (1993) , Green Mars (1994) and Blue Mars (1996) — details the story of the colonization of Mars and all of the political and ecological challenges that go along with it. The trilogy also examines the effects that advanced technology has on the society that develops it.

Robinson will be on hand to consult on the series.

I grew up watching reruns of the 1960’s Batman television series starring Adam West, Burt Ward and a host of celebrity villains. The show appealed to me on a superficial level because it had…superheroes! Fights scenes! Evil villains! It was a must-watch every day and it killed me — killed me! — when they ended it on a cliffhanger, like they usually did. How dare they make me tune it to the show tomorrow at the same bat-time on the same bat-channel. Those bastards.
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John Scalzi is on fire!

Not too long ago, news broke that his novel Redshirts was getting a limited run tv series, as well as his Old Man’s War novels. Now comes word from Variety that Legendary TV has acquired the rights to adapt Scalzi’s new novel Lock In into a television pilot for a potential series .Not much else is known at this point — this is still in the very early stages.

The plot of the near-future thriller Lock In revolves around a disease that renders people in a mannequin-like state of immobility, but otherwise aware of their surroundings. Technology is developed that allows those who are infected to inhabit the bodies of others and live through them, a situation that sets the stage for a police procedural.

Here’s the book description:
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Remembering Moonbase Alpha, Fifteen Years Later

On September 13, 1999, our dear Moon experienced a catastrophic nuclear explosion which hurled it out of orbit into deep space. It took with it the brave men and women of Moonbase Alpha. In the years that followed the Alphans encountered Joan Collins, Christoper Lee, Brian Blessed, and whip-wielding women in red catsuits.

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I thought I had seen all the episodes of The Twilight Zone. My Tivo proved me wrong.

It recorded the 1961 episode titled “The Obsolete Man,” a fantastic story about an Orwellian future and the one man who dared stand against it. It’s low-key, being largely dialogue-driven, but it’s nonetheless captivating thanks to a marvelous script written by Rod Serling himself. Excellent performance are given by Burgess Meredith (he of another excellent episode, “Time Enough at Last”) as Romney Wordsworth and Fritz Weaver as The Chancellor.

Great stuff. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

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“Spock’s Brain” is widely believed to be the worst episode of the original Star Trek ever. One would think that a condensed version could only be better. One would be right.
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This toungue-in-cheek video is a greta way to punk Star Trek noobs…

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Austin Basis plays JT on the hit CW show, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, and I was thrilled to be able to ask him about the show, acting, and more!

A complete bio for Austin can be found at his website.


Kristin Centorcelli: You play JT Forbes, a scientist and childhood friend of Vincent Keller (the “Beast”) on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Will you tell us more about the show and your character? What kind of prep have you had to do for the role?
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TRAILER: SyFy’s 12 Monkeys

SyFy seems to be on a mission to shed some of it’s, well, less than stellar reputation with regards to quality SF on its network. They’ve recently announced series based on S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels, John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades and a “re-imagining” of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys. Below is the trailer for SyFy’s version.
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William Ritter lives and teaches in Springfield, Oregon. The Sherlock Holmes–style adventure Jackaby is his first novel. He began writing Jackaby in the middle of the night when his son was still an infant. After getting up to care for him, Will would lie awake, his mind creating rich worlds and fantasies—such as the one in New Fiddleham. Follow William at his website and on Twitter as @Willothewords.

Doctor Who Distilled

by William Ritter

Your fervent, occasionally unhealthy enthusiasm for Doctor Who has finally piqued the interest of your last non-Whovian friends. You’ve been scribbling “Bad Wolf” in the margins of their history books for years, freaking them out by staring unblinkingly at every stone angel you see, and answering their legitimate questions, such as “What have you done with all of my left shoes?” with a cheeky “Spoilers!” Well, congratulations, all of your hard work has finally paid off—they’ve reached out an arm and given you the chance to pull them aboard the TARDIS!

One problem—that big Peter Capaldi party you’ve been planning is right around the corner! Your Whovian hold-out doesn’t have time to sit down and start from the beginning! You need to cherry-pick the best of the best. (Trust me, don’t leave them to their own devices. My brother-in-law tried “giving it a go” three times on network television. By pure chance he got “The Girl in the Fireplace” EVERY time. He is a fan now, but he’s developed a Pavlovian response and weeps uncontrollable whenever he hears the opening credits.) I don’t recommend starting a newbie with the classic series either—not because it isn’t worthy, but because fine wine is wasted on an unrefined palate. So where to begin?

Without further ado, because I know you’ve got darling little Dalek cupcakes and Cybermuffins to bake before the big day, here is Doctor Who Distilled. In just 5 hours of screen time, these episodes showcase the breadth of Doctor Who. They feature Eccleston, Tennant, Smith, and Hurt’s incarnations of The Doctor, and introduce viewers to Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory, Jack, River, and Clara.
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Looks like some interesting things are in store for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.

Here’s the Season 5 trailer that premiered at ComicCon…
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Deadline in reporting that Amazon has ordered a pilot episode for a drama series based on Philip K. Dick’s famous alternate history novel The Man In The High Castle. The book posits an alternate history in which Germany won World War II and now occupies the United States.

The order went to Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free, who owns the rights. The script is being written by former X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz.

This is not the first news of this novel being adapted. Back in 2013, it was being reported that the SyFy channel was interested in adapting the series, but that apparently went nowhere. Now, Amazon has expressed an interest in the adaptation. Time will tell if actually pans out this time.

Friday YouTube: Star Trek / Odd Couple Mashup

What fans really wanna know, can two Star Fleet offciers share a starship…without driving each other crazy?

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