Here’s a summary of some of the more interesting sci-fi news of the day.
Virtuality – If you haven’t heard, Fox aren’t happy with Ronald D. Moore’s new sci-fi series pilot. The story in a nutshell: Virtuality isn’t mainstream enough and Fox want it dumbed down. Well, that’s the way I see it without the sugar coating. Here’s the sugar coated version according to Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for Fox: “It [Virtuality] could air as is, and there’s a certain segment of the audience that would flip over it, but it is, I think, right now a little bit too dense. They shot a two-hour pilot, and I think the storytelling probably would have been served as a one-hour, so they’re going in, and they’re re-cutting, and we’re going to look at it. It’s pretty cool.” Flip over it? It’s pretty cool? There was some doubt as to whether or not the pilot would even see screen time, but after those comments I’d say the butchering that’s been imposed upon Ron Moore is just a delay and not an ending.
Stargate Atlantis – More than 2.02 million viewers tuned in to view the final episode of Stargate Atlantis, making the finale the best performing episode of Atlantis since the finale of the previous season. According to the Sci Fi network the great performance of Atlantis also helped contribute to higher than average Sanctuary viewer numbers and resulted in both season finale’s sliding into the top ten most view programs in cable entertainment for the day.
Sanctuary - Sanctuary is the SCI FI Channel’s latest sci-fi series to hit the big time. Already season two has the green-light and season one has broken records becoming the best performing sci-fi series for the SCI FI Channel (for a first year original script) since Eureka. There’s some news and also a pointer to an excellent interview with Amanda Tapping, the ‘Queen of Sci Fi’, here.
The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man 2 – Everyone’s been talking about it since his cameo at the end of Iron Man – I’m talking about Samuel L. Jackson playing Marvel’s Nick Fury of course. Or maybe not ‘of course’. According to SCI FI Wire Jackson may be on the out as the actor to portray the popular Marvel character – and it might relate to salary negotiations. I would have thought such things would have been ironed out before his cameo was set in concrete…or maybe it was and the popularity of Iron Man changed the original ironings. I don’t know. Still, despite the report on SCI FI Wire, Jackson may still step into the eye patch of Nick Fury because Marvel are still referring to it as an active negotiation.
Eyeborgs – This cult movie from director Richard Clabaugh has been a long time coming but is nearing closer to a release. Ok so you’re probably not that excited given it’s a mega low budget ($1M) b-grade movie, maybe even c or d grade. Regardless, I say think again because what it lacks in budget it makes up for with its underlying message. The story follows the US Government as it sanctions the use of mobile robot surveillance systems called ‘Eyeborgs’. They are unleashed on the public under the guise of protection against terrorism, but as people soon learn the Eyeborgs can do more than simply observe. Watch the Eyeborgs trailer here.
Doctor Who – Digitalspy have posted some information from Russell T. Davies who has apparently confirmed the upcoming Doctor Who “Easter Special” will move away from the themes of recent adventures. Planet of the Dead will bring some new imagination to the series and, in particular, will introduce two new alien races that have never been seen before in the series. Sorry, no Daleks or Cybermen this easter.
Torchwood – John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood, is going to write an original Captain Jack comic strip in conjunction with his sister Carole E. Barrowman. If you’re a fan you might like to check out ‘Captain Jack and the Selkie’ in the March issue of ‘Torchwood Magazine’.