Regretting That Afternoon Nap

Now I’m wide awake and watching the SciFi Channel’s miniseries,
‘Knights of Bloodsteel’

The four-hour, two-part movie tells the tale of Mirabilis, a mythical land chock full of humans, elves and goblins in which the only thing of value, apparently, is a magical metal called bloodsteel. What little remains is controlled by the awful and horrible Dragon Eye (Mark Gibbon), a monster so ridiculously hideous he looks like he was drafted from a later episode of “The Power Rangers.”

There is, as luck would have it, a magic crucible that produces vast quantities of bloodsteel. To ensure that Dragon Eye doesn’t find it first, elven elder Tesselink (Lloyd) teams two humans, an elf and a goblin to seek and possibly destroy the crucible.

All of which sounds much more interesting than it actually is. Sam Egan’s script is trite and sophomoric, the acting beyond dismal — David James Elliott, late of “JAG,” plays John Serragoth but insists on employing an accent that moves from Irish to Welsh to Brooklyn, often within the same sentence — and so many visuals are lifted from “Lord of the Rings” that director Philip Spink should be ashamed of himself.

The bad guys are nothing but Orc rip-offs and speak in those deep electronically modified tones so beloved of cartoons. And as the “hot” elf Perfidia, Natassia Malthe (“BloodRayne II: Deliverance”) is strangely graceless; every time she pulls out her two swords, you’re fairly certain she will cut off her own head. Forget the bloodsteel, Perfidia; a little WD-40 works wonders.

Yeah, David James Elliott in a hero mullet. Anachronistic technology that makes this “Mirabilis” look like a Second Life fantasy sim with steampunk bolt-ons. Also DJE is a bit of a perv: he peeked at his elven female companion in the shower. Which shouldn’t exist, except that this is that kind of “fantasy” world.

As a Highlander fan, I always like to see the swords come out, but I’m also spoiled and jaded. If the fight choreography’s pretty good, if the actors don’t chew the scenery too much and are decorative, I’m pretty happy. But I also like the writing, editing, and directing to be competent, and bonus points for costuming and effects.

I’ll watch for a while, maybe record the rest for later. Christopher Lloyd’s wig is pretty scary in itself. I seem to have tuned in just in time for the “band to get together” scene, which was a total ripoff of the “Council of Elrond” scene in LOTR:FOTR. Previously, there was a dive-bombing dragon, which had some steampunkery crap on it that David James Elliott cut off with some big gaff thing. He seemed pretty pleased with himself at the time.

It seems this entire picture is one big gaffe. But I’ll watch for a while, if I can stand it.

Oooh, Penguicon looks like fun…

My husband @fallingrock is into Linux, we’re geeks, and @wilw will be there too… very tempting!

Penguicon: the free software and science fiction con in southeast Michigan, May 1-3 – Boing Boing

“The weekend of May 1 through 3, Penguicon brings together science fiction, open source software, and other geek interests in southeast Michigan. In its seventh year, the attendance target for the convention is one thousand, three hundred and thirty seven. Guests of Honor are ubergeek Wil Wheaton, alternate reality game creator Jane McGonigal, Rasmus Lerdorf of PHP, steampunk author Sarah Hoyt, and John ‘maddog’ Hall of Linux International. Hack of Honor is the Candyfab project that prints 3D models with sugar.”

BUGGER ALL Javascript and Cookies… hawk-spit!!

This post is in response to a blog post at Newsarama, but there was an error preventing me from commenting. Most of the original post is about a DC Comics character, and guest casting for this character on an upcoming episode.

For those of you who don’t know what a redshirt is, it’s Star Trek lingo for easily expendable cannon fodder, usually ones who bite the bullet ahead of icons like Picard and Kirk.

And perhaps the most famous redshirt was Wesley Crusher, played by Wil Wheaton, possibly the most annoying role in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Well, Comics Continuum has reported that Mr. Crusher will be playing Ted Kord, the superhero and professional bullet swallower known as the Blue Beetle, in the January 23rd episode of “The Brave and the Bold.” The episode will have young Jaime Reyes examining the legacy of his heroic predecessor.

A number of people commented on how stale and inaccurate this “Wesley Crusher, red shirt” quip is, mostly because they were pointed in that direction by Wil Wheaton himself, or  @Wilw as he’s known on Twitter. He’s become a well-known blogger and Internets Tubes guy, and recently his acting career went into a higher gear. Which is great, because he’s documented both success and disappointment over the years on his blog, and it’s nice when he gets to chalk up more WIN than FAIL.

Here’s what I would have posted as a comment if Javascript/cookies had been enabled:

Ah, the late Eighties. The joke in the title is actually *20* years out of date.

I spent a lot of time then grousing then about “Wesley saves the universe. Again.” Star Trek: TNG was my favorite teevee show at the time. “Mr. Crusher” wasn’t my favorite, as I was more into at the time. But as TNG ended its run, I liked the Wesley character much better, because he had matured – and in the context of the Trek universe, he was shaping up to be a fine young officer.

Guess what? I changed my mind about Wil Wheaton years ago. You should, too. He’s now a respected Internets-Tubes blogger and poker maven. Have you SEEN his recent performances on cop-procedural shows? I bet you didn’t recognize him… he was scary as hell on a recent “Criminal Minds.”

Via Blog@Newsarama » Blog Archive » It’s confirmed: Ted Kord is a redshirt

NASA Might Need A New Head

The Obama transition team has set up agency review teams that are meeting with a boatload of government fiefdoms agencies. The team leader sent to meet with NASA administrator Michael Griffen ran into some trouble.


However, over at NASA, this process is running into a roadbloack: NASA administrator Michael Griffin. He has gone after agency review leader Lori Garver, who once served as an associate administrator at NASA, calling her “not qualified” to judge his rocket programs. After a “heated 40-minute conversation” between the two last week, a “red-faced” Griffin reportedly demanded to speak directly to Obama.


Sorry, the President-Elect is not available. Will President-in-a-Jar Nixon do?

If Griffin isn’t careful, he might find himself replaced as NASA head.


NASA! Straighten up, or hail your new Vulcan overlord!
Via Think Progress » NASA Administrator Muzzles Employees From Speaking Openly With Obama Agency Review Team

Coming This Fall: V – The White House Years

You’d better hope I’m wrong. I’d heard that a remake of the classic SF TV series “V” was in the works, but take a look at this bizarre clip from YouTube someone put together. I went looking for more “poker tell” citations for the debate tonight, as the Chicago Trib had some in a slideshow, but somehow missed the many times McCain poked out his tongue. Actually, on this clip, he’s revealed as the first Iguana-American to be elected to the Senate and run for President.

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See? Quite, quite creepy. Don’t let your hamsters anywhere near this man!

YouTube – Lizard Lips McCain’s Tongue: 70 lip licks during first debate – aka the licker

Wot’s ‘E Doin’ Theah? What Are YOU doing theah?

As noted in ***Dave’s post, if a show has been on TV for 3 or 4 decades, there are bound to be… discernable patterns. And it’s odd that they didn’t call the show “Doctor What’s He Doing There?”

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Via ***Dave :: “What are you doing here?”

How Geeks Have Fun When It Rains

Incidents :: Chicago ::

  • Flooding
    I-190 O’Hare Access Exwy – Outbound

    At US-12/US-45/Mannheim Rd (#2) – flooding – Troopers planning to shut down I-190 to OHare Airport.

  • Flood

    Flood – The Illinois Tollway Authority and Illinois State Police are reporting numerous flooded roadways and underpasses on the area tollways. The flooding is due to overnight rain. Be cautious when driving, and be aware of standing water.

Yeah. Last night I wasn’t sleeping well, and about 330pm woke up to the sound of heavy rain. It went on all the rest of the night, and it’s still raining with no letup in the cards until at least Monday. Tomorrow we’ll catch the remnants of Ike. We got a bit of Gustav last week.

David’s down in the basement playing around with the sump pump – we had an Aquanaut installed a couple of months ago when we had the foundation crack sealed, and so David’s testing the emergency switch by cutting the power to the normal sump pump. He and our friend Steve were chatting away on the speakerphone, being geeks about sumps. Steve has two sumps (he has a very deep basement at the end where his fancy-schmancy media theater is) and so he was entertaining us by letting us hear the sound of his pump alarms going off.

Also entertaining: hearing his conversation with his dog Polly Wolly Labra-doodle Dog as she did some bidness outdoors before they headed inside to check on the sumps. We’ll see Steve tomorrow when we head over to watch Stargate: Continuum in his thea-tah with a few other people. Who cares if the weather sucks?

Brilliant but Cancelled: Top Ten SF Series

Yeah, I had to see if Earth2 was on this list. Not. Darn thos Philistines at SciFi Wire.

Wire’s Top 10 Brilliant But Canceled

1. Firefly, created by Joss Whedon. Fox. Original run: September 2002 to August 2003. Number of episodes produced: 14

A completely valid and worthy choice. I don’t own a Browncoat in real life, but I’d sure wear one in Second Life. And I’ve hung out at a Firefly-inspired bar inworld, too.

2. Wonderfalls, created by Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland. Fox. Original run: March 2004 to December 2004. Number of episodes produced: 14

Sorry, didn’t watch it.

3. Now and Again, created by Glenn Gordon Caron. CBS. Original run: September 1999 to May 2000. Number of episodes produced: 22

Vaguely remember it.

4. Alien Nation, created by Kenneth Johnson. Fox. Original run: September 1989 to May 1990. Number of episodes: 22

This was SUCH a great show. I thought it went longer than just one full season, but the TV movies implanted false memories. I still think the inter-species love interest was pretty hawt. Also, the food references cracked me up. And the social commentary was pretty sly; not only that, but I was only a casual viewer, and I still remember a lot of the character names. Matt, Cathy, and good old George Francisco, who was named Sam in the movie. Good times.

5. Space: Above and Beyond, created by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Fox. Original run: September 1995 to June 1996. Number of episodes: 24

Excellent, excellent, excellent show. MUCH better than the Starship Troopers movie that came out around the same time, or not long after. There are several character actors that made such an impression in that movie, that I have a “Hey, it’s That Guy from S:AAB” moment when I see them. I was kind of bored with Nathan’s pining for his sister or girlfriend, who was probably dead and eaten by bugs long before. But I liked everything else. Even the nipplenecks were damn straight in a fight. Boo-ra!

6. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., created by Jeffrey Boam and Carlton Cuse. Fox. Original run: August 1993 to May 1994. Number of episodes: 27

This show regularly made me snarfle beverages out my nose. Milk is not so bad and even mildly pleasant, but Coke or Dr Pepper hurts like hell when inhaled. Damn you, Brisco.

7. American Gothic, created by Shaun Cassidy. CBS. Original run: September 1995 to July 1996. Number of episodes: 22

“Someone’s at the doo-ah…” Oh, creepy. This show just totally creeped me out. I was into Gary Cole at the time. And the kid, Lucas Black, was just amazing. And still is, apparently.

8. Jake 2.0, created by Silvio Horta. UPN. Original run: September 2003 to February 2003. Number of episodes produced: 16

Loved this show – not as much as I loved Firefly, but I liked it a whole lot, and I always make a “squee!” noise when I spot Christopher Gorham in another role. I spotted the similarity to the current show “Chuck” right off, except this show was more serious (though still quite humorous, just not as self-conscious about it).

9. Nowhere Man, created by Lawrence Hertzog. UPN. Original run: August 1995 to May 1996. Number of episodes: 25

Didn’t watch much, was tolerably familiar with the premise, was annoyed when it was cancelled.

10. Eerie, Indiana, created by Jose Rivera and Karl Schaefer. NBC. Original run: September 1991 to April 1992. Number of episodes: 19

LOL! another unforgettably quirky show. I was just thinking about the Tupperware Lady the other day. The two kids were terrific.

Now, what’s missing? This list goes to 11, and beyooooond!

Earth2 – but it was more a chick series, so SciFi Wire passed it over even though Clancy Brown was in it, not to mention Debra Farantino. Devooooooooon!!! And yes, I was one of the fans that tried to save it. At one point, I called some ad guy at Chrysler, because they were one of the sponsors. And I loved the opening credits.. must swipe that graphic. I used to have the entire series on tape – even the rarely seen “unscheduled” episode, which I happened to catch just as it was starting. But I boxed all that up a couple of years ago and sent it to a Highlander chum, along with a ton of HL: The Series episodes I taped. More good times.

12. Legend was a science fiction Western television show that ran on UPN from April 18, 1995 until August 22, 1995, with one final re-airing of the pilot on July 3, 1996. It was Richard Dean Anderson’s first major role after the successful MacGyver series, and also starred John de Lancie, best known for his role as “Q” in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Aw, this was an awesome show! It was a lot like Brisco County, but with Wild West ur-steampunkery. Also, it had DeLancie. Double awesome.

13. The Dresden Files was an American television series based on the books by Jim Butcher. It premiered January 21, 2007 at 9:00PM EST on the Sci Fi Channel in the United States and on Space in Canada. It was picked up by Sky One in the UK and began airing on February 14, 2007.

The series ran for a single season of twelve episodes, and has since been released on DVD. The Sci Fi Channel announced on August 3, 2007 that The Dresden Files would not be renewed for a second season.

Another, quite recent and much-missed show from Sci-Fi. I guess they were too embarrassed to put this on their little list because they canceled it for no reason. They were complete asses about it. My husband David and I even watched the little “online chats” with series star Paul Blackthorne, and started reading the books because we liked the premise so much. Thank goodness, it’s been released on DVD and it gets repeated pretty often on SciFi. Bastards. They’ve been milking it.

Here’s another “brilliant but cancelled” show that lasted a whole 2 seasons, so not a short enough run to make this list, and also another one where Sci Fi Channel doesn’t look too good in the narrative.

14. The Invisible Man series debuted in 2000 and starred Vincent Ventresca, Paul Ben-Victor, Eddie Jones, Shannon Kenny and Mike McCafferty. Somewhat more successful than previous television series involving invisible secret agents, Ventresca played Darien Fawkes, a thief facing life imprisonment who was recruited by a low-rent spy organization and given the power of invisibility via the implantation of a special “Quicksilver gland” in his head. The gland lets Fawkes secrete a light-bending substance called “Quicksilver” from his pores and follicles. The substance quickly coats his skin, hair, nails and clothes and renders him invisible. He can consciously release the Quicksilver, which then flakes off and disintegrates. The Quicksilver gland was sabotaged at its creation by scientist Arnaud DeFehrn, to release a neurotoxin that accumulates in his bloodstream and causes intense pain, followed by psychosis and antisocial behavior. He requires regular doses of “counteragent” to keep him sane and healthy, which is controlled by said government agency. This series lasted for two seasons, before being cancelled due to cost issues and internal bickering between the Sci Fi Channel and its then-parent company, USA Networks.

God, I really liked Invisible Man. We watched faithfully, as it was part of a solid schedule block that we didn’t miss, thanks to TiVo and lack of a social life. The second season was a little weak, with the Chrysalis plot, but it was still a good show that died young.

15. Special Unit 2 is a short-lived, American SciFi/comedy television series that aired on UPN for two seasons from April 2001 through February 2002. The show focused upon the exploits of a top-secret Chicago police division known as Special Unit 2, charged with the task to police the city’s large population of mythological beings, known as “Links.”

What? This show wasn’t on the list? It was hilarious! And “The Middleman” totally rips it off. The bantering between the two detectives and Carl the Klepto-gnome made the stupid monsters bearable. Pauly Perrette was in it, too. Her current show rocks, and she’s an authentic mistress of Goth forensics. And who knew Jonathan Togo could do comedy? Too bad his current show is such total asscrap.

16. John Doe is an American television series that aired on The Fox Network during the 2002–2003 TV season.

“I woke up in an island off the coast of Seattle. I didn’t know how I got there … or who I was. But I did seem to know everything else. There were things about me I didn’t understand … the brand, being colorblind, extreme claustrophobia. And while my gifts provided answers for others, I still search for my own. My name is John Doe.”

The funny thing is I could not remember the name of this series about a mysterious man who woke up nekkid in the woods, unable to remember his name. It was a good show that kept me coming back each week, hoping to learn a little more about the title character. Never did find out who he was or why he knew so much, and I missed the final episode, which had a surprising plot twist. Wikipedia has the answers – I was pretty surprised, too.

There are more moldy oldies out there – UFO scared me when I was a kid – the “liquid-filled helmets” brought on nightmares – but I insisted on watching faithfully every week. And the same creator(s) were responsible for the flakiness of Space Precinct, whose title credits are incredibly cheesy in this high-resolution, sharp clip on YouTube. They’re nicely balanced by the poor quality, yet metrosexually hawt of Torchwood’s John Barrowman going behind the scenes at the then-new space oater for a British children’s show. He’s freakishly young-looking, that Barrowman. Maybe he really IS a Time Agent.

And finally, where the HELL is Max Headroom? Here we are, 20 minutes into the future – where are you, Max? He should be on this list! Or at least hacking into the new Who

OMGWTFBBQ Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog is super fantastic brilliant

You can watch Act One and then you can go “squeeeee!!!” to your heart’s content. Also, “W0000000t!1!!”

Who knew that Nathan Fillion could sing? Let alone Neil Patrick Harris? Oh, teh hawt.

Thanks, Super***Dave! What’s your super power? I have two: clutter, and multitasking.

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