Your mind to my mind

I’m a contributer to the latest Mind Meld article over at SF Signal along with many others including wrong_questions and saxonb. My bit is allllll the way down at the bottom. Take that however you wish. 😉

The rather leading question at hand is this: BSG has ended, and no one appears to be thrilled with the finale. What would you have done differently, if you could run the show?

It’s a question I singularly fail to answer, on the grounds that it’s much easier to complain and point fingers than to offer solutions *cough*. In fact I quite enjoyed the Battlestar Galactica finale, on just about every level except logic. I’ve been known to forgive a lack of logic when a) the writer is Joss Whedon, b) the characters and the emotion hit me the right way, or c) both of the above (e.g. Buffy‘s ‘The Gift’). There are certainly some fine and poignant moments of character and emotion in the BSG finale, but somehow along the way I stopped caring, enough, about these particular characters.

I think BSG and I parted ways emotionally and intellectually at the end of Season 2, when I stopped my reviews, but the rot certainly set in before that.

Shiny, stompy

Janet is now the proud owner of a black 16GB iPod nano 4G. It’s shiny. It’s curvy. It’s tiny. It even has a motion sensor so you can play little marble-rolling games — for some reason. Considering that this is an upgrade from an old mp3 player that only had space for three albums, she’s very pleased.

We saw the Watchmen trailer at the cinema for the first time today, and it looks great. I also [via percyprune] really like this viral marketing for Watchmen in the form of a faux-historical news article on Dr Manhattan. Really nicely done.

And finally for snowking on the occasion of Hoggmas, hot on the heels of the Steampunk Cyberman comes a competition to design a Steampunk Cylon. STOMPY.

Media things

A quite nice X Files 2 poster. Apparently they’re still haggling with the studio over what the film will be called. I don’t mind “The X Files 2” personally. It’s been so long since the first one they don’t really need a subtitle, and anything is better than “Fight the Future”.

The director of the fourth Terminator film, which is having title troubles of its own, seems to imply that they’ll be trying to keep its timeline straight with that of the very decent TV show The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Nice idea, although frankly since that series may or may not run for several years who knows where it might end up and how it may end up contradicting things? Despite the continuing absence of James Cameron (which arguably hamstrung T3), Christian Bale is on board for the film and there’s talk of making a Batman-style fresh start, which bodes well.

Incidentally the Sarah Connor series has some kind of tangential viral marketing site, EniTech labs, that seems to have little to do with the actual show but ties in strongly with the Teminator franchise as a whole. Frankly I couldn’t be bothered to plough through all the dodgily acted videos/webisodes but the last one does feature some cool Killer Robot Action.

Ronald D. Moore reckons they’ve taken the opportunity afforded by the writer’s strike hiatus to retool the second half of Galactica season 4 (spoilers in the link for those who haven’t seen the S3 finale). This either means that we’ll feel the benefit of forward planning that blessed the first half of Season 2 or, more likely on the evidence of recent storylines, that important threads will fizzle into nothing while major events and character arcs will suddenly erupt out of nowhere.

Battlestar Galactica’s Helo is one of the stars of famed misogynist (just kidding) Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.

Meanwhile Moore and fellow Galactica producer David “Not the one who thinks the Queen is a lizard” Eick have been given the greenlight on their strangely dull-sounding Galactica prequel Caprica. I wish I could summon up any interest in this but I can’t.

Eick is also writing the pilot of a TV show based on Children of Men. Sounds like a terrible idea given how good the film was, but from the brief comments he makes it seems it will be based more on the book and the social aspects of having no future for mankind. So it may not suck.

And finally… J Michael Straczynski In Good Script Shock. Specifically his movie script for World War Z, apparently.

Sparkly

Some sparkly things that have captured my ever-drifting attention:

Everbody’s favourite transporter chief1, Colm Meaney, says he’s filmed the pilot episode of David E Kelley’s U.S. version of Life on Mars. He’s in the Gene Hunt role. I’m extremely interested to see what it’s like. The original BBC show, especially the first series, was excellent but there’s room for a different take on the concept. Relocating it to LA could just be enough of a difference.

Ben Goldacre’s seminal explanation in The Guardian of why homeopathy doesn’t make sense (it’s really good–read it) has won high praise from James Randi. Which is nice.

Galactica showrunner (and Trek alumnus) Ronald D Moore has a shiny new blog replacing his moribund one on the Sci-Fi Channel site. At present there are musings about Galactica and the Writer’s Guild of America strike.

Speaking of the shiny, in the wake of the terrifying number of Trek fan series underway on the internet, there’s now a Firefly fan series named Into the Black in production. As with most things in modern fandom, the production values are surprisingly decent. The cast… not so much. At least, not if the YouTube trailer is anything to go by. Also the song is quite scary.

Lastly, for the woman who has everything except a talking Stephen Fry clock: a talking Stephen Fry clock. Cool, but not quite as cool as Lego Batman: The Videogame.


1 Unless you favour Mr Kyle but, really, how geeky would that be?

Arc of Infinity

There’s a trailer for the new Babylon 5: The Lost Tales DVD on the official website. The website has been given a facelift too, by someone without any noticeable design skills.

The DVD is set ten years after the series. Just seeing the familiar ships and hearing the music certainly gets my B5 juices flowing. For all its flaws, and they are many, Babylon 5 was a show that completely hooked me at the time. Although it didn’t make it to the end of its five year story as seamlessly as planned, it inspired subsequent science fiction series to seriously consider long-term storytelling as a viable proposition. My wife has managed to get one of her work colleagues into the original series and he seems to be having a hugely good time watching our DVDs. He’s right in the show’s heyday (mid Season 2) with plenty of good stuff ahead, and I can’t help but be a little envious.

Battlestar Galactica is a series that takes almost the opposite approach to story arc, preferring to make it up as it goes along. Nonetheless its producers are still bravely claiming that “This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and, finally, an end.” They simply have no idea what any of those things are. Hopefully they’ll make their minds up soon, since they’ve just announced that Galactica will officially end after its Fourth Season.

Sci-Fi, meet Drama

Sky Continuity Announcer after SG-1 this week: “Coming up next, sci-fi meets drama in Battlestar Galactica”. Because, as we know, sci-fi and drama are normally mutually exclusive. Last week the same announcer’s line was: “Forget Sci-Fi, this is real drama.” Bad enough he says these things over the end credits of Stargate SG-1, but what is this fascination with trying to promote Battlestar Galactica by simultaneously distancing it from and belittling other Sci-Fi shows?

Meanwhile this week’s episode of SG-1 included a not so subtle dig at the programme’s cancellation:

Not-really-spoilery cut for dialogue