Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Sexiest Green Women In Space

Green women are a force to be reckoned within science fiction, and they range from pint-sized invaders to powerful warriors and cunning schemers. We list the green-skinned ladies who make the universe a more colorful place. What's not on this list is Zhann from "Farscape" and the singing Diva from "The Fifith Element". Probably because they are more blue than green. Nonetheless they were a force to be reckoned with within science fiction.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Blame Time Travel For Kirk's Scarred Psyche

By now, you might have noticed that James Tiberius Kirk is, well... kind of a dirtbag in the new Star Trek movie. He trashes a gorgeous Corvette at age 11, and just gets more obnoxious from there on out. He's not just cocky like ShatnerKirk, he's actually irresponsible, where Shatner was sort of uptight. Is it just because he's young and immature?

Blame Time Travel For Kirk's Scarred Psyche | digg story

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Exclusive: The New Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) Speaks!

Chris Pine, who takes on the iconic role of Capt. James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie, spoke exclusively with SCI FI Wire about the movie and Abrams' new take. Star Trek opens in May 2009.

Exclusive: The New Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) Speaks! | digg story

Sunday, November 9, 2008

'Knight Rider' Falls To Almost CW Numbers

'Knight Rider' Falls To Almost CW Numbers

I hadn't got around to writing my own review for this weeks Knight Rider episode "Knight Of The Living Dead". But I wanted to defend this show in spite of it's bad ratings. I personally believe the Neilsen rating system is a load of crap. It's all rigged by the sponsors and the networks.

I'll say this, the episode was different than any previous Knight Rider episode in either series. KITT spends the entire episode, except the last 2 minutes in the belly of a plane. While I am a strong proponent of Knight Rider being about Michael and KITT, the man and his car, I think it was a very good Halloween story. I half expected the whole thing to be an elaborate Halloween trick in the end.

At least KITT was not incapacitated by some inferior technology, although he was set to self-destruct. The part about the Dr. Graiman getting shot a point blank range by someone he could not see, and only gets knocked unconscience, is a bit of a stretch. I mean if the shooter missed, what happened to the bullet?



Also see TV shows may see post-election ratings growth

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John Crawford

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Voyager's Hot Rod



All I can say about this video is that it's very KOOL! Whether or not you like Knight Rider, the original or the new series, you probably like the theme music. Ms. Belanna over at Belanna's Voyager Page has done it again with a spectacular video. She's taken video clips from Star Trek Voyager and put it to the theme music of Knight Rider. It's Awesome. Please visit Belanna's Voyager Page and sign the guest book to let her know how much you enjoy her work.

Link to this video



Run Your Car On Water



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John Crawford

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Galactica alum's new show joins CTV production slate

Battlestar Galactica's Aaron Douglas will star in The Bridge, CTV's new cop drama which has just been picked up for 11 episodes.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Canceled Shows

A slideshow of the best TV shows that were cancelled,

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

DIGG THIS --> Knight Rider: Knight Of The Hunter Reviewed


Could it be? The producers and writers read our blogs and heard our pleas for a change? While I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen, I think Knight Rider is showing signs of promise. The episode "Knight Of The Hunter" is reminiscent of the original show, Michael and KITT are the ultimate crime fighting team. And it would not be complete without a damsel in distress. Our man Hoff, the original Michael Knight, must have studied at the James T. Kirk school of "How to win in no-win situations." That formula always included a beautiful woman; Michael Traceur is a chip off that block for sure.



Episode Highlights and Leave comments at NBC.com

So Michael and KITT find themselves infiltrating a para-military camp run by some former disgruntled government contractors who's shady dealings got them kicked out of Iraq. After Michael gets the snot beat out of him during an interrogation by our mystery woman, Michael is confronted by her when snooping around the compound. She reveals her name is Cassandra and she is with MI-6, so they team up. The camp leader is watching all this and is in pursuit to kill them. Michael and Cassandra meet up with KITT and off they go.



KITT is configured as the F-150, they are being chased down a bumpy dirt road that is mined. KITT says "transformation would improve my mobility", and Michael gives him the approval. KITT hits a mine during transformation, flips end over end several times, and is wrecked off in the ditch.


This part makes no sense to me. How could a Mustang Cobra that sits low to the ground, with street racing tires provide more mobility on a mined, bumpy dirt road, than a decked out F-150 made for off-road? At night too. Do the writers have to incapacitate KITT in every episode? We know that during transformation KITT is vulnerable. Can we get just ONE episode where KITT is NOT out-manned, out-gunned, out-maneuvered, or incapacitated? PLEASE??


So Michael and Cassandra run away, and eventually find shelter in a cave. While Michael and Casandra dance around a romantic encounter, it takes well into daylight hours for KITT repairs itself. He rescues them, so they are off to catch the bad guys.


The plot ending is where the writers got it right.We find out the reason the bad guys stopped chasing them is because the bad guys were making their move. At Michael they thought they would blowup the FDR Memorial Dam. But after they follow a truck they are sure is carrying a bomb, when it doesn't explode they realize they've been on the wrong trail. The real crime was the heist of $250Million gold from the Phoenix Federal Reserve.


As Michael, Cassandra, and KITT proceed at neck breaking speeds to stop the robbers, the gold has already made into the wrong hands. But as our bad guys attempt to flee, they are confronted with Micheal and KITT. On the surface it's a lopsided game of chicken; two HUMVEE's and 5 ton against a tricked out Mustang Cobra. When they resist, KITT deploys his laser weapons and destroys the HUMVEE's. By that time, the Phoenix police and National Guard arrive. This is what makes it science fiction.

The plot ending is what the original series made of. It is why I became a TV critic, and it's why I write. One man (with a beautiful gal in tow) can make a difference.


As for the rest of the story lines, it's all filler, stuff to fill the 43 minutes of the actual episode between commercials. We're gonna continue to see the "baggage" between Michael and Sarah. We'll see more character development with Billy and Zoe. Charles (Bruce Davison) and Carrie Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) are not in every episode. Alex (Yancey Arias) is the bad guy of the bunch, and it would not hurt my feelings if they killed off his character, although he did help with some comedy relief in this episode.





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John Crawford

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Case Mod Makes You A Real Cylon

Though there are few things as potentially cringe-worthy as a Battlestar Galactica-themed case mod (or toaster, or pumpkin), we must admit that this project is pretty impressive.

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The Hour: Battlestar Galactica

"Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff on the cult sci-fi series and her role on Bionic Woman."

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'Sanctuary' Premiere Best Since 'Eureka' Debut

Viewers definitely wanted to check out a little "Sanctuary" on SciFi Channel last week. The debut of the Web series-turned-television series starring "Stargate SG-1" alum Amanda Tapping attracted 2.7 million viewers Friday night, marking the best rating for an original SciFi Channel series since the series premiere of "Eureka" in 2006.

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Scifi Books that Have Been Banned in the 21st century

Alien zoo sex, vulgar language, and the horrors of war have earned this novel (which shall remain nameless) a place on many a banned books list. And it’s hardly alone.

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The Greatest Depressions of Science Fiction

Science fiction never fails to predict bizarre, unwelcome futures and the current global economic meltdown is no exception. We love to imagine all the ways our world will end not with a bang, but with a flood of hemorrhaged garbage cash. Since the cyberpunk 1980s, the idea of financial disaster has haunted scifi.

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The most "storied" authors in the 25-year history of SciFi

It's been 25 years of Gardner Dozios' The Year's Best Science Fiction, and the 25th anniversary edition totals 692 pages of testimony to the state of the industry. Dozois dedicates the first 51 pages alone to a summation of the previous year, a trend he started in the first volume a quarter of a century ago. Congratulations is in order for the edit

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Review: 'Sanctuary' - Fata Morgana

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the "Fata Morgana" episode of the SciFi Channel series, "Sanctuary."It is a dark and stormy night, and Dr. Helen Magnus, Dr. Will Zimmerman and Ashley Magnus find themselves in a small cemetery on a Scottish isle. Soon, all heck breaks loose as dinosaur-skull-headed “keepers of the dead” attack.

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Which Sci-Fi Series Should Return Next?

Now that it's been announced that V is coming back to join other recently revived sci-fi franchises such as Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who and the upcoming J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot, the logical question is: What long-lamented sci-fi show ought to be next?

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JJ Abrams new sci-fi action show FRINGE debuts in the UK

FRINGE, the new show from the creators of LOST, ALIAS and CLOVERFIELD finally came to the UK TV screen this week with the screening of the pilot episode. Anticipation has been high, but was it worth the wait? The Sci Fi Freak Site review lets you know if it's worth catching the repeats.

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AMAZING Sci-Fi movie



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November, the Month for 'Star Trek' First Trailer

Initially expected to be outed by mid-summer 2008, the full length theatrical trailer of the J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated sci-fi is most likely to be released in November.

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11 Awesome Sci-Fi Gadgets You Wish You Could Have

You know you have been watching a sci-fi movie or TV show, and you catch yourself thinking about what you would do if you got a hold of a killer gadget like a lightsaber or the Green Goblin’s glider. Today we take a look at some of the hottest gadgets from your favorite sci-fi shows and movies that you wish you could have.

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The History Of Product Placement In Science Fiction

Science fiction is all about showing us new and startling worlds — and it doesn't hurt to sell a few widgets along the way. Like Eureka, which recently proved that you can save the world using Degree antiperspirant. Think Reese's Pieces in E.T. the first example of products in sci-fi? Take a look at this comprehensive history.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Screen Actors Guild to go on Strike?

SAG will possibly strike in November. The writers' strike affected the entire entertainment industry, and this would certainly rattle the industry just as much, if not more.

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Sci Fi Sports: Six Sweaty Moments of Geeky Triumph

If you watch enough high school movies, you'll begin to think that jocks and geeks are always at war. Not so, however: Science fiction is full of triumphant sports moments, and not just the ones that end in death.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

DIGG THIS --> Knight Rider: An Open Letter To NBC


Last Spring we got a preview of the NEW Knight Rider. It sounded promising, and we even got a special visit from the Hoff. So with much anticipation, I've watched the first 3 episodes, only to be disappointed.



Like many television of movie remakes of recent years, more often then not, they royally screw them up. Name a few you say? The Dukes Of Hazard, Starsky and Hutch, Planet Of The Apes, The Bionic Woman, and Dragnet (The Series). And I'm not looking forward to the new Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams, because he admitted he was not sticking to the ORIGINAL Star Trek "universe".

Note to all would be producers of TV and movies remakes. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE ORIGINAL STORY. If you think you're gonna put your own spin on it and it will be wildly popular, you better take a look around before you spend the studios money.

Knight Rider has gone off the beaten path from it's ancestral roots, and it's not being successful. What do I mean?

1. The shows writers and producers need to watch and re-watch the original series, especially the 2 hour pilot. From a show foundation standpoint, they are trying to reinvent it.

Mistake #1, don't re-invent the show, stick with what worked. Michael and KITT were a crime fighting team. They helped people, small businesses, and towns. The new "Team" only goes after the big fish.

Mistake #2, the foundation (F.L.A.G) is out, and the FBI is in. Listen, KITT's not gonna save the world from another 9/11 style attack. But he might help put some bad guys in jail.

Mistake #3, there are way too many people on the "Team", mostly because a show has 5-7 main characters. The other team members detract from the stories.

Mistake #4, government conspiracies and cover-ups are not required to make a successful show. In the original series, we knew who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Now we have a leader that is not exactly forthcoming about his intentions, and he would eliminate anyone of the team to further his agenda. I would remove this element of the show immediately.

Mistake #5. Because of the deviations, Mike Traceur's past is continuously coming back to haunt him. Something we didn't have with Michael Knight (Long). The attempt to kill off Mike Traceur in the series premier was short lived, since Mike Traceur keeps running into people from his past.

2. Bring back some of the original cast. I know that Edward Mulhare is no longer living, but his character could be revived but someone else filling the role. Patricia McPherson dropped out of show business in 1991, but would be a welcomed guest to the show.

What would really give the show a shot in the arm is the return of the Hoff and/or the original KITT. The show has nothing to lose at this point.

3. The original show features special effects and sounds. Some of these are corny, but the red light on the front, and the swishing sound are the only special effects from the original series brought to the new series. Fans identify with them, and is part of the entertainment. You need to work on that!

4. KITT is too vulnerable. In the TV movie and the first 2 episodes, KITT was incapacitated. This is unacceptable. The car is the show... The car is the show... THE CAR IS THE SHOW! Don't forget that.

5. KITT is too much like a real car, makes too much noise like a car. In this day and age loud cars are a menace to society. The original KITT was much more "science fiction" in every way, and I think that was part of it's attractiveness.

6. It's like the network wants to see this show fail, like the Bionic Woman did. The network and executives want things a certain way, see this article, and then can't understand when the show just doesn't appeal to even us hardcore fans. If NBC is still making new episodes of Knight Rider after Christmas, I will be very amazed.



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John Crawford

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

DIGG THIS --> NBC's Life Is Resurrected


NBC's Life is back, a rare survivor of last years WGA strike. The cerebral Charlie Crews and his partner Dani Reese are back as LA's top crime fighting team. Crews is like Monk, Columbo, and Baretta rolled into one. Quite the opposite of Monk, Crews is afraid of nothing, as cold as ice.

Crews has an uncanny ability to solve the most perplexing crimes. He is compulsive, and thinks outside the box on everything. Reese is a conventional thinker, and keeps Crews balanced and between the navigational beacons. In the season opener, a killer is putting dead bodies in luggage style crates, and depositing them in key locations. Crews used tracking data from GPS to outwit the killer, which turned out to be a young, but emotionally disturbed stationary store clerk. In the second episode, Crews and Reese go up against a steroid abuse ring, and the misfits peddling it to solve a brutal murder.

Charlie Crews is a cop that spent 12 years in prison for murder, but was later released after proven innocent. He received a $50 Million settlement and got his old job back. He also agreed to not pursue the case that sent him to prison. Season 1 was all about his "secret" pursuit, and ends with what is believed to be all the evidence to show who framed him. But Season 2 so far has been mostly absent of that. Solving the crime of the week is the primary focus. He did find the girl, who is now grown, who was in the house during the murders, and has her in protective custody. And he is still harassing Jack Reese, a key player in his conviction, whom Crews believes is the mastermind. Jack Reese is also the father of his partner. His partner is a recovering addict. While she is a great cop, she has a past. So far in 2 episodes we've had zero character development for Dani Reese.

New this season is Captain Kevin Tidwell, new captain of the Robbery/Homicide division. At first he came off as hard nosed, but soon he was following Crews' and Reese's lead. Life airs on NBC Monday and Friday Nights at 10PM.





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John Crawford

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

DIGG THIS --> Knight Rider: A Mixed Bag


NBC is banking on another series remake again. After it flaunted The Bionic Woman, and was just starting to gain some momentum, NBC pulled the plug. Just a victim of the WGA strike, I think. Now they've brought back Knight Rider, bigger and sexier than before. Ok, I like a bit of nostalgia once in awhile, I'm a huge fan of the original series. We got a big mouthful of Knight Rider last Spring with a pilot made-for-television movie. So, we had a good idea of what to expect. I don't think you need to be from my generation (old enough to remember the original series in prime time) to appreciate the new series. The creators built the foundation with the movie, and now we have a NEW crime fighting team with an invincible car. Well, that's the theory at least.


Most of the similarities end there. After the first two episodes, I'm thinking this new series leans towards the lame side. I mean, they have this car that should be invincible, at least the old KITT was close. 25 years later, a vastly more sophisticated and technologically advanced KITT is far from infallible. For instance, in last nights episode, KITT was nearly beaten in a street race. WHAT??? OK, the guy had NOX, but that whole scene is wrong. The original KITT could reach speeds well above 200MPH in super pursuit mode. And to top it off KITT had a melt down because it's not capable of doing a "transformation" during a turbo boost. Yeah, that's my tax dollars at work, jokingly of course. It sounds typical, though, for something to cost so much and have a such a weakness.

Let's transplant that flaw to another venue. During the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when they first encountered Q. When the Captain ordered the ship to be "seperated" at maximum warp, Data warned that maneuver had never been tried at such velocities and is not recommended. So the Captain ordered it so, and the ship craps out, dead in space, has to be towed back to space dock. ST:TNG would have been on less episodes that the Bionic Woman.

In the original series, KITT was always rescuing Michael. Seemed every week a new gadget was being showcased. Maybe because it was 1982, and the whole idea was far off the reality scale. It was all "jee-wiz, wow, bang, hey that's kool". In 2008, though, the technology is not so impressive. The stories seem to focus more on the main characters, their histories, their secrets, and their motives. This will be the shows undoing. What did we ever know of the original Michael Knight? Devon Miles? or FLAG? The good guys and the bad guys were clearly marked, and they didn't switch sides.

Clearly, this is one of televisions fatal flaws, certainly so for science fiction. The writers like to twist things up every which way, they mistakenly believe this will heighten the intrigue and cause viewers to tune in. In reality, it confuses and alienates them, and they do not tune back in.

So, here's my advice to the shows writers and producers. Knight Rider is all about the car. It's not about Michael, his partner girlfriend, or any of those other groupies in the bat-cave. It's not about Michael's "lost" memory, or the efforts to keep things from him. Knight Rider is ALL about the car, period. Your show will live allot longer if you focus on that. The writers and producers need to go back and watch to original series pilot, remember where the story came from.

Knight Rider has a whole new crew, but really only one person that's been around a while, Bruce Davison. Rumor also has it that Val Kilmer is the voice of KITT, but neither he (nor the identity of the voice) is listed anywhere on the official Knight Rider site.


Knight Rider airs on NBC on Wednesday nights at 8PM.




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John Crawford

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DIGG THIS -->Fringe: Quality Scifi Returns To Television


The WGA strike last year must have been good to some science fiction writers. This fall featured the premier of Fringe. Fringe is simply awesome, it's like the X-Files on steroids! Fringe pushes the envelope in every direction, including the time-slot it airs - 9PM Eastern Time. The subject matter is mature and intense, but not overly complicated. I think one could watch a single episode, and not knowing the whole background, would be drawn into the story.

After just the first 3 episodes, I have come to expect to get queazy sometime during the episode. So if you're not a fan of blood and/or needles, you are hereby warned. Last week's episode "The Ghost Network", was particularly unnerving, and I have to wonder how it got past the "sensors" for a 9PM timeslot. While I'm not a fan of Lost, or Mission Impossible, creator J.J. Abrams is certainly on track for success with Fringe. If they can get through the first half season without some cranky network executive calling for it's cancellation, I think we'll see Fridge for a few seasons.

Fringe airs Tuesday's at 9PM EST on Fox.

Our cast of characters:
FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, former Marine and now rising star of the FBI, is the lead character. When a German commercial airplane experience catastrophic failure in flight, but lands by auto-pilot with all hands dead, Agent Dunham is specially picked be part of a Homeland Security task force investigating it and and a series of unexplained phenomena called "The Pattern". Olivia is driven by the personal guilt of sexual involvement with another FBI agent, and his betrayal. She sees the simple link between all the "incidents" and a global company called Massive Dynamics. She hunts down a man in Baghdad, and convinces him to get his father released from a mental institute in order to help solve or at least explain these phenomenon. Olivia Dunham is played by Australian native actress Anna Torv.

Peter Bishop is played by actor Joshua Jackson. Peter has a mysterious past. Besides being the son of a brilliant, but weird scientist, which did not make for a fondly memorable childhood. Peter is immensely intelligent and well traveled. He also appears to be well connected, both good and bad, in high and low places. Olivia hunted down Peter in Iraq and convinced him to get his father released from a mental hospital. He was brought in to the task force to supervise his father.

Dr. Walter Bishop is played by another Australian native, John Noble. There was an accident in Dr. Bishop's Harvard lab 17 years ago which caused the death of an assistant, and forced him into a mental institution. He is father of Peter Bishop, and thus explains Peters unpleasant childhood. Peter got him released from the mental hospital at Olivia's request to help solve these strange phenomenon.
Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles is played by actor Lance Reddick, is a Baltimore, MD native. As luck would have it, no scifi drama seems to be complete without a government conspiracy. Agent Broyles is the link to the yet undisclosed conspiracy that awaits us. While he is the strong and immovable task force leader, we found out at the end of last week's episode that he is, in fact, "in bed" with Massive Dynamics.

Agent John Scott is played by actor Mark Valley. The character of John Scott was killed off in the first episode, supposedly. Agents Scott and Dunham were partners in the FBI, and they were romantically involved. After a passionate moment where he proclaims he loves her, they are called away on a mission, and both recruited for the Homeland security task force investigating "The Pattern". While chasing a suspect Agent Scott is hit by an chemical explosion. Not quite dead, his injuries and condition are a complete mystery to known science. The only lead to a cure is Dr. Walter Bishop, who is in a mental institution. Olivia tracks down Peter Bishop and convinces him to get his father released because she believe he can save Agent Scott's life. He does in fact save Agent Scott's , but is later killed in a car chase when Olivia discovers he is part of "whoever" or "whatever" caused the deaths on the plane. The 'dead" body is taken to Massive dynamic for "questioning". At the end of last week's episode, we learn they are still downloading information from him. Since he is listed in the opening credits, and not as a guest star, I'd say we haven't seen or heard the last of Mark Valley on this show. It's also a safe bet that Massive Dynamics has been and will be the root cause of all the unexplained phenomenon known as "The Pattern".



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John Crawford

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Battlestar Keeps On Keeping On, According To Six

While the audience waits impatiently for the final half-season of Battlestar Galactica, the cast and crew have already moved on... kind of. Tricia Helfer has been talking about her experiences on the show, from how little she knew at the start to the reaction of the cast to the end of the show... even though that end keeps on staying out of reach.

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Admiral Adama Will Direct the Upcoming Galactica TV-Movie

News continues to pour in about the upcoming Battlestar Galactica TV-Movie, which will be filmed after the completion of the fourth and final season of the series. Galactica staff writer Jane Espenson (a longtime writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will write the script, and Admiral Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, will direct

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First Pics Of Battlestar Galactica's Cool Prequel Caprica

It's mostly TV spoilers today, thanks to a ton of scans from TV Guide. But today's spoilers do include some new set pics from the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, which reveal what it would be like to live on Caprica some 50-70 years before the Cylon apocalypse.

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Exclusive: Battlestar Galactica Goes Back to the Beginning

Set 50 years before the first Cylon War in Battlestar Galactica, the two-hour TV-movie/series pilot Caprica (airing this fall) is more soap opera than space opera. [possible spoilers!]

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TCA Press Tour, Day 2: A&E

There hasn't been a lot of "arts" in Arts & Entertainment Television lately, but it's not at all impossible that the network's new series, "The Cleaner," starring Benjamin Bratt ("Law & Order") and Grace Park ("Battlestar Galactica"), could change start to change that.

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Battlestar Galactica Revealed... Perhaps

Wondering how to last the next six months (at least) until Battlestar Galactica returns to our screens? You could do worse that spend some time over at Battlestar Revealed, a site that attempts to piece together various sources to work out the remaining mysteries created by Ron Moore and crew.

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SciFi Channel Orders 'Caprica' Scripts

It's not exactly a series pickup, but things are looking good for the upcoming "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica." The SciFi Channel has ordered two more scripts on top of the pilot, according to Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune.

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The Final Cylon Solution « Battlestar Revealed

the complete solution to Battlestar Galactica - WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS

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Digg This --> Stargate Atlantis: Seed Reviewed



Paul McGillion returns to revive his Dr Carson Beckett character after Dr Keller brings him out of stasis. After Dr. Keller fails to report a strange "goo" she came in contact with in her lab, a few mornings later she fails to show up for work. The team overrides the security on her quarters to find her infested with a mysterious web of tendrils. Carson recalls seeing such a thing when he was forced to work in Michael's Lab.

This prompts a quarantine of all the personnel who were on the planet for the rescue when Michael's lab collapsed, including LTCol Carter who is back on Earth. Consequently, they all test positive for the same things affecting Dr. Keller. Dr. Beckett tries to surgically remove the tendrills, but doing so directly affects Dr. Keller's vital systems. So they must find another way to eradicate it.

Mr. Woolsey is not happy about allowing Dr. Beckett to lead the fight to overcome this infestation, since he is not actually a part of the Atlantis Team. But he knows he's the only one capable of beating it. Meanwhile, the infestation spreads outside the isolation room and gets in the power systems. Attempts to extricate it are met with force.

Dr Beckett eventually finds a cure that works positively on the other members, but the real challenge is how to save Dr. Keller. Mr. Woolsey, not being a trained military commander, is hesitant to expend resources and risk the security of the entire expedition to save someone that may be beyond saving. It's only through the unique ability of LTCol John Sheppard to disobey orders, and play by his own rules that allowed the team to save Dr. Keller.

At the end of the episode, Carson goes back to Earth to be debriefed by the IOA. Mr. Woolsey is coming to terms with life in Pegasus Galaxy where playing by the book may get you or someone else killed. He and Sheppard share a moment in which he questions his own ability to deal with such uncertainty. Sheppard, who is recovering from being injured rescuing Dr. Keller, appropriately shakes his hand and says "welcome to the Pegasus Galaxy!"

Enough of the synopsis. I liked the story. Earlier in the episode when they tried surgery, we knew that wouldn't work. What would they do for the rest of the hour, right? But unlike real life, ever little crisis on Atlantis turns into a complete meltdown. That's what our heroes do, and do quite well. This episode even adds a bit of dramatic flare with Dr. McKay in quarantine making comments about the "B" Team taking to ball on this one.

This Woolsey character... Can't we kill him off? This is the same person that was hired by Senator Kinsey to bring down the SGC. Somehow, he has hung on to some kind of power, as a consultant, to become part of the IOA, and now he's in charge of the greatest expedition ever undertaken by mankind. All I can say is Bob Picardo must need the work because he's a square peg in a round hole on Atlantis.

Which leads me to the next thing I despise about whole story. How in Gods name does a handful of representatives on Earth think they have ANY authority to decide or control what is going on in another galaxy? They don't freaking' own Atlantis. The whole premise is wrong. Maybe after 11 years Stargate needs some new writers and producers, this story's going nowhere fast.



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John Crawford

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Classic SciFi Reruns For The SciFi Deprived - 14-18 July




The summer season is upon us, and there is not much in the way of new scifi shows to turn to. Even with the return of Stargate Atlantis, there's still a major void of science fiction shows available. Not to fret though, if you're a hard core scifi fan, reruns will usually do the trick.

Here's what we have for the week beginning 14 July 2008 (all times are EST). Listings in parenthesis are not scifi shows, just good substitutes:

Monday
4:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scfi)
6:00PM Stargate SG-1 (Scifi)
7:00-11:00PM Star Trek: TNG (Scifi)
8:00PM Quantum Leap (ION)
9:00PM The Dead Zone (ION)
(9:00-10:00PM Family Guy (TBS))
(11:00PM The Bill Engvall Show (TBS))
(11:00-Midnight Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))

Tuesday
1:00AM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
2:00AM Star Trek: DS9 (Spike)
(2:30-3:30AM Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))
3:00AM Seven Days (Spike)
4:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scfi)
6:00PM Stargate SG-1 (Scifi)
7:00-10:00PM Star Trek: Enterprise
(8:00-10:00PM Family Guy (TBS))
8:00PM Quantum Leap (ION)
9:00PM The Dead Zone (ION)
(10:00PM Movie Fifty First Dates (USA))
(11:00PM-Midnight Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))

Wednesday
1:00AM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
2:00AM Star Trek: DS9 (Spike)
(2:30-3:30AM Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))
3:00AM Seven Days (Spike)
4:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scfi)
6:00PM Stargate SG-1 (Scifi)
(8:00-9:00PM Family Guy (TBS))
8:00PM Quantum Leap (ION)
9:00PM The Dead Zone (ION)
(11:00PM-Midnight Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))

Thursday
(2:30-3:30AM Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))
8:00AM-4:00PM Jake 2.0 (Scifi)
4:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scfi)
6:00PM Stargate SG-1 (Scifi)
(8:00PM Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox)
(8:00-9:00PM Family Guy (TBS))
(9:00PM The Bill Engvall Show (TBS))
(11:00PM-Midnight Family Guy (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim))

Friday
8:00AM-4:00PM Special Unit 2 (Scifi)
4:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Star Trek: Voyager (Spike)
5:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scfi)
6:00-8:00PM Stargate SG-1 (Scifi)
8:00PM Joan Of Arcadia (Scifi)
10:00PM Stargate Atlantis (Scifi)(New)
Midnight Stargate Atlantis (Scifi)(repaeat of 10:00PM showing)



Regards
John Crawford

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

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Stargate Atlantis: Search And Rescue Reviewed




A mission to find the pregnant Teyla goes bad when Sheppard's team is trapped under Michael's collapsed compound. When Carter mounts a rescue mission to save them, Michael's Wraith cruiser returns. The team bugs out and eventually meets up with the Daedalus.

Meanwhile, Michael sends Wraith to the planet to kill any survivors. The Daedalus and Michael's ship exchange fire, but since Teyla is on board, they cannot risk destroying the Wraith ship. The Daedalus's sensors find Sheppard and Ronin's life signs, and beam them out. Sheppard, though, is injured but refuses to stay down with Teyla missing.

They launch a "302" attack along with a cloaked jumper. When the Wraith open their bay doors and launch their darts, the cloaked jumper sneaks in to search for Teyla. They find her, but also find the ship is almost repaired and will be able to jump away within a few minutes.

While Sheppard and Ronin plant C4 on the main engine and destroy it, McKay helps Teyla as she gives birth. Sheppard and Ronin are quite surprised when they return to retrieve the rest of the team and find a baby. But they don't have the time for pleasantries, and must get off the ship. They discover the jumper has been taken. That's when Kanann (the baby's father), finds them. He agree's to help, the team escapes in Wraith ship. Once they are able to let the Daedalus know they have Teyla (and baby) safely off the Wraith ship, the Daedalus destroys it.

When everyone is safely back on Atlantis, Carter makes her way to Earth for a short project. Once on Earth she is met by Mr. Woolsey, who informs her she has been relieved of command and replaced by him. (The credits run...).

It's a good story, and they added some very good special effects. Sheppard's heroic efforts to save Teyla, in spite of his injuries, paid off. The delivery and birth scenes were... well, this is PG television, so not too real. No fuss, no mess. She gave birth standing up, no screaming, no cord cutting, no after birth, nothing. That's OK because I don't think McKay could have stayed conscience for that.

It was good to see Conner Trinneer, reviving his role as Michael. It's uncertain whether his Wraith character was killed off. Since they never found the cloaked jumper, and we don't see Michael again after he discovers his ship has been boarded and sabotaged. It's not like he didn't know where Teyla was stowed, he put her there. I don't think we've seen the last of Conner Trinneer as Michael.

The last scene is probably the worst in Stargate history, watching Carter lose her command to a civilian no less. While I realize Amanda Tapping is moving to another project, they could have found a better 'cover" for her to leave Atlantis. I have nothing against Robert Picardo, but I truly despise his role as Mr. Woolsey.

Eleven years ago Amanda Tapping etched her rather huge niche into the fabric of Stargate. Her character has single-handedly saved Earth, the galaxy, her team, and countless alien worlds many times over. Why they chose to have her exit with such a negative overtone is just another sign of just how far off the beaten path the shows producers have gone. They are going the same route as Star Trek. Let's hope the rest of the season gets better.


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John Crawford

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Holday TV Lineup

Remember when on every holiday you could count on finding something good on television? It's slim pickin's this 4th of July for sure. Maybe it's a hint to get out from in front of the TV, turn off the computer and do something outside. Whether you have cable, DirecTV, DISH, or just a big dish sitting out back, one would think with all those channels to choose from, the selection would be better. And for the cost I should be faced with the choice of which channel to watch, and which others to record.

The Scifi Channel is showing "Twilight Zone". Consequently, their signature "Scifi Friday" is shot. Not that it's worth tuning in anymore, but that's whole different topic.

The Fox Movie Channel is showing "Independence Day", repeatedly. They started showing it yesterday, repeatedly. Not that I don't like the movie, in fact, I was one of those people that went to see it at the theater in 1996. But watching it once in a sitting is enough.

Spike is showing more of their T&A stuff. TNT has a Law & Order marathon. AMC is showing "Jaws" and it's sequels. BTW, I also saw "Jaws" in theater back in 1975. It's probably the reason why I like the beach but not the ocean. Needless to say I've never watched it a second time, nor any of it's sequels. The rest of today's selection goes down hill from there.

On the good side, we have "King Of The Hill" on FX, I watched it this morning. This afternoon it's "JAG" and "NCIS" on USA. There's also "That 70's Show" on ABC Family, but I really have to be in the mood for that.


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John Crawford

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

GateWorld - Don S. Davis: 1942-2008

Gateworld reports today that Don S. Davis, who protrayed Maj. Gen. George Hammond for seven years on Stargate SG-1 has died of a massive heart attack.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The 10 Worst Top-Shelf CG Cartoon Movies Ever Made

Today, unanimously beloved animation powerhouse Pixar will release their latest work for nerds, movie critics and children around the world to fawn excessively over, Wall*E. It’s a reminder that we live in a golden age for animated movies, where the best of them have universal appeal to kids and adults alike and sometimes are considered among the b

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The 13 Best Movie Robots

With Wall-E dropping nationwide today, we've been thinking about the best robots to ever pour out their mechanical hearts on the big screen. We put together this list, which is only as good as our frail human bodies allowed it to be.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Battlestar Galactica - "Revelations" Reviewed

Earth - The Final Frontier


I'm disappointed. I expected an inhabited Earth, even if primitive. Did Ron Moore get a lobotomy during the Writers Strike? Did he forget about the basics of a TV series, like continuity? Is he trying to make BSG so much NOT like Star Trek that he's willing to re-invent the show every week?

It's not bad enough the characters change sides every week. It's not bad enough the story has become convoluted. It's not bad enough the producers are hell bent on finishing the story after just 4 seasons. They finally make to Earth and its completely destroyed, scenes right out of "Planet of the Apes". To top it off they've cut us off for the summer, maybe even until Spring 2009. To be honest it's starting to lose my interest.

I know I'm being hard on the show, but every week it feels like they are busting the bubble. I believe whole-heartedly the number one reason why scifi shows fail is they complicate things too much. BSG is there. Right now viewers are asking themselves "now what?".

Here's a theory. In last weeks episode "The Hub", Laura's fading in and out of reality every time she cylon ship jumps. Maybe, just maybe, "Revelations" was all part of that illusion. It doesn't make sense they would reach Earth, a barren, uninhabited Earth with 14 episodes left. Their quest wasn't to just find Earth, but to find the thirteenth colony. They'll probably introduce some survivors.

Last night's summer finale wasn't much of a cliffhanger. They made it to Earth, it's uninhabited. The people and cities have long died out, caused by things we can only speculate at this point. Our first clue should have been they didn't detect any orbiting satellites. Second, if dozens of space vehicles suddenly showed up in our atmosphere, the governments of the world would have greeted them with deadly force. I would have liked that scenario better, a modern day Earth fighting to defend itself from an unknown force from space.

A different scenario would have been to have a modern day Earth, and have them sneak to Earth without being detected, blend in. Oh, but that's what they would do on Star Trek, so that's out.

Our story would seem to be at the end, for the most part. The four sleeper agents in the fleet have been identified. The humans and cylons appear to have reached an agreement to not fight anymore, but I'm sure we haven't seen the last of the war.

Since we know they still have another 14 episodes to show, there's must be more surprises waiting for us, like who is the unidentified cylon model. Does D'Anna know? She knew there were only four in the fleet, but she did see five faces.

To steal from my review of "The Hub", maybe the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future will visit Ron Moore over the break, and show him the error of his ways.


Regards
John Crawford

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: The Hub Reviewed


It was sometimes difficult to differentiate Laura's dreams from reality. Every time the cylon ship jumped she went off into lala land. As the episode went on, her dreams became more apparent as to its purpose. In her dreams she is living her last moments dying from Cancer. But her reality is she's very much alive. In her dreams she is lead around by one of the Colony's spiritual leader, seeing her self in the 3rd person. It had the "ghost of Christmas future" feeling, letting Laura know that she has not and does not love anyone. In another dream the guide comments on how her friends are comforting each other, and 'at least you (Laura) had not taken that from them... yet." So every time the ship jumps she see herself slowly dying and suffering miserably, because she doesn't love anyone, at least in her dream.

She eventually find herself with Baltar when he is injured during the fight with the other cylon ship. He is very calm about things; he confesses to her his "guilt", the guilt of inadvertently giving the cylons the access codes which led to destruction of the colonies.

Laura is visibly shaken to hear Baltar's revelation, and seeing his lay there bleeding badly, she removes the bandages. He pleased with her not to do it. The ship jumps, and Laura has another dream, Her guide puts things in perspective about her plight. She says "I'm not saying that Baltar's done more good than harm in the universe, he hasn't. the thing is, the harder it is to recognize someones right to draw a breath, the more crucial it is. If humanity it going to prove itself worthy of surviving, it can't do it on a case by case basis. A bad man feel his debt just a keenly as a good man..... Just love someone." With that said, she watching herself die and only Admiral Adama is there.

As she returns to reality, she is frantic as she realizes that she is letting Baltar die. She rushes over to him and puts more bandages on him to spot to the blood that is now dripping from his side. Like Scrooge waking up a different man on Christmas morning, Laura has an epiphany.

Meanwhile, Cavil unboxes D'Anna. She's not a happy camper, and has a score to settle with the Cavil's that had her boxed and placed into cold storage. She asks why she has had to go through the download again, and is told there is a cylon civil war, with the Ones, Fours, and Fives against Twos, Sixes,and Eights. One of the Eights (Boomer) has crossed sides with Cavil, and informs them the rebel ships are going to destroy the Resurrection ship. To their surprise, D'Anna kills Cavil, but Boomer escapes. A few minutes later, Helo and another Eight rescue D'Anna and take her to their ship.

The plan to destroy the Resurrection ship is a success, as is the recovery of D'anna. Despite the mistrust among the cylon and human pilots, things work out. Helo and the Eight share an awkward moment, and he breaks her trust to fulfill his orders from the President by taking D'Anna to the President.

The President wastes no time getting to the question of who the final five are. D'Anna knows what Laura wants to hear. Laura is shocked by D'Anna's inquisitive answer that "she is a one of them." There is a momentary pause as Laura doesn't quite realize what she just heard. D'Anna quickly recants her statement, as she only wanted to see the look on Laura's face and her reaction. She goes on to say that she will reveal the names ONLY after she is safely back in the fleet. The Scifi channel had allot of people fooled on that as it ran in the previews for a week.

To be honest I am happy Laura is not a Cylon, that would be a let down. I still believe it is someone we haven't seen yet or someone we only see rarely, like Tom Zarek. Now it's not possible, but my personal choice for the 12th model was Ellen Tigh. She's not in the infamous "Last Supper" picture; there's an empty seat next to Saul Tigh. Not to mention Saul's been "seeing her" when he visits the Six in the Brig. Ellen conspired with the cylons during the occupation of New Caprica. The only catch is that she would have downloaded to the Resurrection ship when she was killed. So that's out. Also we still don't have an answer to this one "The dying leader will know the truth of the opera house."

At the end, we see Husker (Admiral Adama) reading a book waiting at the rendezvous point, there's a blue shimmer in the shadow. The Cylon ship with the captive crew has returned. Adama docks with the cylon ship, and is greeted with open arms from Laura. She tells him she loves him, he says "it's about time." Has Laura learned the true meaning of Christmas?

While the Cylon centurions are just robots, the lady that is playing the hybrid is to be commended. Her entire legacy is spent in this pool of goo, babbling incoherently. That has to be some hard lines to memorize.

Then we have Baltar (James Callis) and Laura (Mary McDonnell) trying to talk to the hybrid. You can just imagine how hilarious that was to film, cause they were just botching it royally. Even funnier was Baltar speaking to the centurion.

It was good to see an episode where things moved. last week's episode was definitely a shakeup. The Episode: Sine Qua Non was one of those episodes that you just scratch your head and wonder what else they completely change. The best way to describe this episode is that it's a Chinese fire drill. If you don't know what a Chinese fire drill is, it's something a car full of kids (or immature adults) do. They pull up to a STOP sign (or red light), then everyone gets out and changes seats. Each fourth season episode of Battlestar Galactica is turning out to be its own one Chinese fire drill; Sine Qua Non being the craziest one yet.

Last weeks changes. Let's see, Lee Adama is now the President. Admiral Adama resigns, Colonial Tigh is now in command of the fleet. The Six in the brig is pregnant. The other Six died after being shot by Athena. At the end of last week's episode, the Cylon Base Ship jumped with President Roslin. They find the raptors that jumped with them, damaged and some crew members dead. And we have Admiral Adama (Husker) sitting in a Raptor reading a book waiting for the Cylon Base ship to return, meanwhile the rest of the fleet jumped.

Hopefully, next week's episode "Revelations" will bring all of the elements back together. By the way, scifi.com is calling "Revelations" the "mid summer finale, so it looks like we won't see any new episodes for a few months.


Regards
John Crawford

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Who Shot JR?

I finally got to see Last weeks' BSG episode "Guess What's Coming To Dinner" for a second time. I watched it the first airing on the SciFi Channel, but missed the re-airing at midnight. So I had to wait till this weekend to watch it online. While there is allot going on as usual on this show, the only storyline people are really talking about who is the final cylon model. The theories abound, there's even Vegas betting as to who is the final cylon. I don't think we've seen anything of this magnitude since the infamous "Who Shot JR?" scenario from "Dallas". (OK, if you count "American Idol", but that's just America's obsession with embarrassing themselves, not a story that challenges the mind).

How they got the leg severing scenes past the sensors is beyond me. That scene where Gaeta is getting his leg cut off, and the sound effects of the saw and the sounds of his pain, I think are exclusively reserved for the "R" rating to be shown only in a movie theater. To say the least, it was hard to watch.

We also see more of the opera House mystery played out, but what does it mean? And why would Athena Kill the Six? Tory is busted for sleeping with Baltar, but it turns out Laura has taken to believing what Baltar is peddling. Tigh openly opposes the plan to find and unbox the D'Anna cylon model, because D'Anna can identify the final five models, including him.

We get a sample of (Alessandro Juliani) Gaeta's singing abilities as he works through the pain of having his leg cut off. Alessandro Juliani, according to IMDB, Graduated from McGill University with a B.M. (Bachelor of Music?) in vocal/opera performance. Some other blogs have implicated that his singing holds some message related to the immediate story. It's vague and cryptic if it is.

Here's a thought, what if Tyrol, Tigh, Tory, and Sam are NOT cylons? What if they have wrongly assumed they are cylons based on their shared experience? We've seen no conclusive evidence. But we do know the power of suggestion, they could have convinced themselves they are cylons. We know that because they THINK they are cylons they are beginning to ask strange and question their own life and experiences. Why do I question this? Well, a shared experience is what Laura, the Six, Athena, and Baltar are having. But were are pretty sure that Baltar and Laura are not cylons. Why? If for no other reason than it would make for a very weak and lame ending to this saga.

That fact is no one knows who the final (five) cylons are, except maybe the producers, if they've written that part yet. The whole story of BSG has been flipped on it's ear. For 3 years they've been running from the cylons, just trying to survive, and as a general rule looking for Earth.

Now the players on the home and visitors teams are changing sides at an alarming rate. We're supposed to be rooting for the humans, right? But each week I find myself rooting for the cylons and Baltar. I can identify with them more easily. Maybe it's because the cylons believe in one true God and that God has a master plan. The Colonials on the other hand believe in a group of 12 gods, which are something of a mix of the Greek gods and what we know as the 12 zodiac signs.

But it's more than that. The cylons have principles, but the Colonials, not so much. I mean, this is not the crew of the Starship Enterprise. The Colonials are a group of survivors, and they have, when it suits them, broken every covenant of their beliefs to survive. If I was a cylon I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them, cause I know they're unpredictable, and they're NOT trustworthy; the whole bunch of them, especially our key characters. While some are curious, many Colonials do not believe in any god, let alone the 12 gods. They honestly believe the whole world was created out of a void, everything is completely random and has no higher purpose. Sound like our modern society to you?

It's no wonder the cylons rebelled. The Colonials have no moral compass, kind've like a modern day America where crime is rampant, and greed is the overriding emotion in everything. The need to have and achieve; flaunt what you have, and lust after what you don't. Honesty and integrity are rare. From what I've read about the upcoming "Caprica" series, it will answer the questions about why they hated their makers. Imagine our world as we know it (sociologically), then throw in hundreds of years of technological advances. One particular storyline I read was about how a father programmed one of the "toasters" to be in the image of his rebellious daughter, who by the way, was part of a movement that believe in one true God.

If you're a fan of science fiction then you know about the Star Trek Universe. As technology advanced, so did the human ability to deal with it. Poverty, disease, and crime all were overcome. Now imagine all those technological advances WITHOUT the human growth, without the sociological changes to deal with it. That's what life was like on the 12 colonies prior to the cylon attacks.

To be honest, I didn't watch much of the first season, and I missed the miniseries. While I wasn't a fan of the original series, when I saw the previews of the miniseries, I was not impressed, and actually disheartened with how they were twisting it up. I surmised it would be like countless other series and movie remakes that flopped or just changed things too much like "Planet of the Apes, Dukes of Hazard, Miami Vice (later), Spiderman, Batman, and even the latest Star Trek movies.

Four years later it's has grown to one of the most talked about show on television. The story's intensity and depth will be hard to duplicate in other television series or movies.

The shows ending will need to be equally dramatic, and memorable. For example, one of "The Planet Of The Apes" Movies ends with a nuclear blast killing everything. There was the second Newhart series (1982-1990) that ended with him waking up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette, his onscreen wife from the original Bob Newhart show (1972-1977). My favorite though was from "Dallas" when the season premier opens with Bobby in the shower and Pam finding him in a surprise like she'd seen a ghost. And maybe she did, cause he was killed at the end of season 8. But as the story goes all of "Dallas" season 9 was a figment of Pam Ewing's imagination. Try to top that. Picture this, the entire BSG universe is being played out in a holographic cube sitting on Glen A. Larson's desk, the creator of the original series.


Regards
John Crawford

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