Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE Episode 13: "51st Anniversary Special" is Up!

"Let me get this straight...A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard, it can move anywhere in time and space?"

My good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  Ah, but this time there are three of us as the awesomely cool Karen Lindsay returns!

We recorded this episode on November 23, 2014, Doctor Who's fifty-first anniversary, so naturally we cover our favorite Doctors, what got us into Doctor Who, ye olden days watching Doctor Who on PBS, the return of Doctor Who in 1996, the real return of Doctor Who in 2005, the eternal wait to download "Rose" on dial-up, Peter Capaldi's first season as The Twelfth Doctor, our favorite companions, who would make a good companion for the Twelfth Doctor, who should be the showrunner after Steven Moffat leaves, terrifying monsters, more of our plans to review classic stories starting next week, and more!

And for those who still aren't aware of this yet, we're available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. If you're looking for direct MP3 downloads, you can find them RIGHT HERE as well. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Be sure to come on back next week for our review of Jon Pertwee's first story, "Spearhead from Space," and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on  iTunes, Libsyn, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DANGEROUS HABITS Episode 005: "Danse Vaudou" is Up!

"Voodoo's nothing but a magical excuse for a party."

My friend and co-host Karen Lindsay and I are back once again with the next episode of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine Podcast!

We give our thoughts on "Danse Vaudou," the fifth episode of Constantine, including things like how migraines are not good, the BBC series In the Flesh, Jim Corrigan (the future Spectre), taking a whiz in an alley, Zed's BDSM harness, Chas getting his ass kicked by a ghost, the return of snappy dresser Papa Midnite, Cedilla's skull from Hellblazer #71-75, bodysnatching, the movie Poltergeist, a review posted on iTunes, Blazing Saddles, Constantine halting production after 13 episode and the possible Season Two, and more!

You can check out the episode HERE and for those of you who use iTunes, we're already available HERE, so please subscribe and rate us!  If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well.  In addition, we have our Dangerous Habits show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @DangerousHabit5 because some bloody arse already claimed @DangerousHabits.

Be sure to share these with all of your friends, enemies, demons, angels, sorcerers, ghosts, whomever, and help build our new podcast into something special. Oh, and send us your thoughts about the show or the podcast via Twitter and Facebook. As soon as we get some more, we'll be reading them on the podcast.

Have fun watching the next episode, "Rage of Caliban," on NBC this Friday night, then keep checking iTunes, Libsyn and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Constantine review!

Monday, November 24, 2014

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Casts Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse

Ready the Horsemen...Here comes Apocalypse!

Variety reports that the upcoming Bryan Singer film X-Men: Apocalypse has cast Oscar Isaac in the role of Apocalypse, the film's central villain.  Apparently, Singer had been meeting with actors for the past couple of weeks but Variety's sources said Isaac always seemed like the type of actor Singer wanted for the role and the long-time favorite from the start.

The 35-year-old Guatamalan is best known for his starring role in the 2013 film Inside Llewyn Davis and has had roles in the films The Bourne Legacy, Sucker Punch and the 2010 adaptation of Robin Hood.  He also has roles in the upcoming movies A Most Violent Year and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

X-Men: Apocalypse will be the third in the trilogy of X-Men films that began with X-Men: First Class (set in the 1960s) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (partially set in the 1970s).  The movie is expected to be set in the 1980s and will reportedly feature younger versions of classic characters such as Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm, in addition to the returning cast of James MacAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult and Evan Peters.

Created in 1986 by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice, Apocalypse first appeared in X-Factor (vol.1) #6 as the master of a group of villains called the Alliance of Evil.  Later stories revealed that he was En Sabah Nur ("The First One"), the first mutant born 5,000 years ago in Aqaba, Jordan.  A scientific genius, Apocalypse has a variety of powerful mutant abilities that have been augmented with Celestial technology. 

Seemingly immortal, Apocalypse traveled the world, convincing civilizations that he is a god and manipulating them into fighting wars.  After spending many years in suspended animation, Apocalypse awoke in the modern era, briefly employed the Alliance of Evil, then recruited various mutants to serve as his personal guard, The Four Horsemen

Isaac will be the first actor to signficantly portray Apocalypse in live action, although the character appeared in a brief teaser after the closing credits to X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by Brendan Pedder.  Previously, he had appeared in the animated series X-Men (voiced by John Colicos and James Blendick), X-Men: Evolution (voiced by David Kaye), and in an unspeaking role in Wolverine and the X-Men.

X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27, 2016.

CONSTANTINE Halts Production with 13 Episodes, Season 2 Still Possible

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Hellblazers...

Deadline reports that the NBC series Constantine will halt production after its initial 13 episode order.  The cast and crew were notified of the decision three days ago after completing production and the series will remain in its usual Friday 10 p.m. slot for the remainder of its run.

However, according to the article, Constantine still has a chance for a second season, possibly similar to how NBC airs 13-episode seasons of Hannibal.  NBC supposedly had to make a decision whether to keep Constantine in continuous production with little ratings information.  Because the show was delayed until late October when NBC’s Friday genre block begins, the network had to make a call whether to order additional episodes after only four episodes had aired instead of at least seven, the norm for a new series.

Daniel Cerone, Constantine's showrunner, confirmed the article's accuracy on Twitter, stating that the decision for Season 2 is in fans' hands...

The suits at NBC may have been encouraged by the show’s +38% week-to-week ratings jump for Episode 5, "Danse Vaudou," this Friday — earning a 1.1 among adults 18-49 in Live+Same day, the show’s highest mark since the series debut, and by its best retention of the Grimm lead-in, also since the series debut.  Constantine also has a strong fan base because of the Hellblazer comics and has seen big DVR improvements, recently rising +81% in Live+3 for Episode 4, "A Feast of Friends," regarded by fans as a possible creative turning point in the series.

NBC showed support for the show, running a marathon of the first four episodes on Syfy last Thursday and revealing that Constantine cast members will appear on the network’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  It's not known what will replace Constantine on the schedule after its run, but Hannibal seems most likely.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

GLOBAL FREQUENCY Gets Pilot Commitment from Fox

Are you on the Global Frequency?

That's the question Fox may be asking you next fall after giving a pilot production commitment to a new television adaptation of Warren Ellis' DC Comics/WildStorm series Global Frequency.

According to Deadline, the show "will chronicle the workings of The Global Frequency, a privately funded crime-fighting operation that uses worldwide crowd-sourcing to solve crimes the police cannot."  Jerry Bruckheimer is executive producing the drama series along with Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Rockne S. O'Bannon and yes, Ellis himself.  O'Bannon, creator of Farscape and Defiance and writer for NBC's Constantine, will script the pilot.

Global Frequency will be the fourth Warner Bros./DC Comics property being developed for next season, after Supergirl, which has a series commitment at CBS, Titans, which is being developed for TNT, and Lucifer, which has a put pilot commitment at Fox.

Created in 2002 by Ellis and twelve different artists, Global Frequency was a twelve-issue science fiction limited series that explored the Global Frequency, an independent and covert intelligence organization headed up by the mysterious Miranda Zero, whose purpose is to keep the world safe from secret government projects unknown to the general public.

This will be the second television pilot based on the property.  In 2005, Survivor executive producer Mark Barnett developed a Global Frequency television series with Michelle Forbes as Miranda Zero, Josh Hopkins as Sean Flynn, Jenni Baird as Dr. Katrina Finch and Aimee Garcia as Aleph.  The characters of Sean Flynn, an ex-policeman who accidentally stumbled on a Global Frequency mission and Katrina Finch, a brilliant scientist with expertise in multiple fields, were created specifically for the series.

Unlike Ellis' comic book series, which had an ever-changing cast of field agents, Flynn and Finch were to be regulars along with Zero and Aleph, with other Frequency members coming in as and when necessary in supporting roles.  This would allow for the character continuity expected of a television series and yet allow other characters to be killed off as in the comic book.

Another script was in development for The CW in 2009, but the project failed to go to pilot.

GOTHAM's Bruno Heller Discusses Killing Characters & Villain Plans

Nine episodes into its first season, the Fox series Gotham has both delighted and frustrated fans with the show's exploration of a Batman prequel. Some things, such as the rise of The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) have worked well, while others (Erin Richards' Barbara Kean, for example) have been disappointing failures.

Entertainment Weekly spoke with Bruno Heller, Gotham's showrunner, about where the show is heading next, including plans for various Batman villains and the possibility of killing off iconic Batman characters.  Here's a rundown of highlights from the interview...

EW: Gotham feels like it started strong and is getting progressively better—which I guess is another way of saying the show seems to be creatively evolving. Is that accurate? And if so, how has the show evolved from your perspective?

BRUNO HELLER: “Evolving” is one word for it. “Getting it right” is another. Learning. Seeing what works and what doesn’t, and what we have fun doing. So yeah, it’s evolving. There really is no template for this show. There is no other show that’s in this same ballpark. It’s like a circus. There’s lots of different performances and acts. One minute it’s an acrobat flying above your head, the next it’s clowns, and there might be a juggler coming down the road. For me, as long as the audience feels like you’re really working hard to entertain them, and trying new stuff, and trying stuff that might not even work as well as you’d hoped it would, as long as you’re doing it with sincerity and energy and joy, then the show will work. And that’s really the evolution—characters finding the nut of their performance, DPs, directors and writers finding what works best.

EW: What are your favorite aspects of the show, and what are you still playing with?

HELLER: I would say my favorite aspects of the show are all those that are not within my purview—what [director] Danny Cannon and the DPs have done visually with the show that allows for big theatrical performances and small detail. So we get that graphic novel sense of possibility, but also the emotional tug of a real story. I love the fact that characters as big as Fish Mooney and The Penguin can exist in same world as more down-to-earth people like Jim Gordon; that we can be tragic and comedic in the same scene. That’s what I love most of all—Gotham, the world the story is in. Having said that: Fish Mooney is the one character I invented and we were so lucky to get somebody as genius as Jada Pinkett Smith. There are very few actresses that can pull that performance off.

EW: The big critic note when the show launched was that there were too many major villains too soon. And now there’s Harvey Dent, and we’ve heard Mr. Freeze and Scarecrow are still to come. Is it fair to say that you disagree with that assessment — that the show should have fewer pieces on the chess board at the same time?

HELLER: I never disagree with criticism. No point. We front-loaded [the show with iconic characters], which we had to do, both for story purposes and marketing purposes. We had to let people know it’s not just a hum-drum police procedural, it’s about these larger-than-life characters. If you do that you can’t just say, ‘Here’s one larger-than-life character, now wait for next season.’ Once we introduced those initial characters—Penguin, Riddler, Ivy, Selina—then we slowed down with those aspects and we’re bringing in those iconic DC characters in a much more measured way, which was always the intention. You have to have that amount of spice in the show to make it pop and different. Once the wheels are turning, it’s much easier to bring those characters in in subtle, organic ways. That’s the plan, anyway.

EW: Can you give us a sense of your plan for Scarecrow? I think some were surprised to hear he would still be a kid because it’s felt like the kids’ storylines have been the toughest to make dramatic and integrate with the rest of the show.

HELLER: Well, quite. And I don’t want to give too much of that story away. But this is very much about the origin stories. We’re going to do a prenatal origin story for Robin down the line. This is not a kid being a loony Scarecrow; this is a couple episodes about how that character has evolved—everyone’s character is formed in their childhood to some degree or another. His father is involved, as is part of the [character's] mythology

EW: My antenna went up at “prenatal Robin.” Do you mean literally prenatal?

HELLER: There are no MRIs involved. There’s an episode coming up where we learn how Robin’s parents got together.

EW: We only saw Ivy once, in the premiere, are there plans to bring her back around?

HELLER: She’ll be back. Absolutely.

EW: Ra’s al Ghul is coming to
Arrow on The CW, any chance of the character coming to your show too? Or does Ra’s al Ghul being on Arrow preclude him from joining Gotham?

HELLER: It doesn’t preclude him from joining Gotham, but now you’re deep into [DC Comics chief] Geoff Johns’ territory, so you’d have to ask him. Where was Ra’s al Ghul in this particular juncture in Batman’s life? He was probably a teenager as well, with Mrs. al Ghul making him sandwiches and sending him off to Ghul school.

EW: Harley Quinn is the sidekick of the Joker—does her coming into the show mean he will appear this season in some form?

HELLER: We haven’t got Harley Quinn in it. Riddler’s girlfriend is coming up. And Harley Quinn is definitely planned for later on, but so far no.

EW: So Harley Quinn won’t be this season then? There were reports…

HELLER: One of the things about the size and scope of this production is that—it’s not that there’s lots of chefs in the kitchen, but there’s a lot of people with opinions and views and inside knowledge. That aspect of the show, which characters to use and when, is a source of constant discussion. And that may well have been an issue that came up and was dropped. For me it’s about what you said earlier—you can’t just keep pumping these characters into the show in a comic book sort of way because you get the Super Friends effect. Which isn’t a bad effect, but then you have spaceships and need to go underwater and get wacky villains and the rest of it. You have to work as a character piece first. First it has to be real.

EW: Before Gotham premiered there was some discussion about how the show cannot kill any members of its cast of iconic characters, since the story is a prequel. And you had a great reply to that by saying, “It’s sad thing if you can only generate suspense by killing people.” I’m wondering now that you’ve dug more into the season and are juggling all these characters, with some being more interesting than others, whether there’s a part of you that’s like, “You know, what if we did?” Or is it just iron clad that you can’t deviate that far from canon?

HELLER: I wouldn’t say it’s iron clad. You’d need a damn good reason to do it and a damn good end game to justify it. We’re certainly just learning the ropes at this stage. Not to be modest about it, but we’re still learning how to do a show this big. I’m always deeply reluctant to kill off characters simply for the shock value of killing them off. I’m not averse to cheap tricks. But apart from anything else, this season literally every actor has come through and [performed really strong]. I would hate to lose any of them. Killing off Sean Bean in the first season of Game of Thrones made everyone go, “Oh, what a good idea that is!” But I don’t think it’s a good idea if you’ve got Sean Bean. The bad one was on Deadwood, when they had David Carradine doing that marvelous Wild Bill Hickok, and then he was gone.
EW: I would say the killing of a so-called unkillable character would add a greater layer of suspense when any of those characters are in jeopardy after that—because the message has been sent to the audience that, “You think you know how this story is going to go, but you’re wrong, because we’re not following the train tracks that you already know so well.“

HELLER: That is a very good point, and an actor somewhere is cursing you. You’re absolutely right. One of the things about doing the extra six episodes, and hopefully being successful enough to get a season two, is that once we’re up and running, that kind of narrative playfulness—playing with the audience’s expectations—is going to be much more a part of the show. For instance: Who will turn out to be The Joker? Those kind of games you can only get into once you have the audience’s trust and the train is rolling down the tracks. We want to establish the real deal—that this is the canonical Gotham—and then start messing with people’s minds.

EW: I like the sound of that! This season is about the rise of The Penguin. Which villain has the best odds of being the focus of season two?

HELLER: I can’t tell you at this stage because there’s some wonderful possibilities and we have to talk to Fox and Warner Bros. about who that should be. But back to the circus analogy: It won’t be one guy or gal. Thematically it will be around one of those great iconic characters, but it won’t be solely concerned with one of them.

EW: What can we expect, story wise, for the rest of the season?

HELLER: What I would say [mild spoilers] is that at a certain point, Gordon says, ‘Screw it. I’m tired of playing it safe and being cautious. I’m going to go full throttle to bring down the corrupt police administration.’ And things start to move fast and furious and urgent. The stakes keep rising. And just when Jim thinks he’s achieved a certain level of success against the powers that be, they pull a vicious table-turn on him that will play out in the last episodes of the season in a very big, scary theatrical way.

Gotham airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

THE FLASH's Greg Berlanti Discusses Grodd & Time Travel

During last night's episode "The Flash is Born," fans of the CW series The Flash finally breathed a sigh of relief when Barry Allen formally adopted the identity of "The Flash" instead of the rather embarrassing name "The Streak."  So the big question is, what's coming up next in the Scarlet Speedster's future?

TVLine spoke with executive producer Greg Berlanti about that very thing, discussing a number of topics including the introduction of Grodd, new super-speed abilities, time travel and more.  Here's the exchange...

TVLINE: Am I wrong in reading the situation as it just being a matter of time before Barry has to tell Iris either that he loves her or that he’s The Flash in order to salvage their relationship?

Berlanti: One hundred percent. I think that’s a fair assessment. One of those two things will be revealed soon enough.

TVLINE: You had a pretty juicy tease there at the end of the last episode about Grodd. Is that something that’s going to be more teased rather than introduced?

Berlanti: I wouldn’t say teased. I would say we’re going to deal with it this year. The comparison I make is a little bit to Slade the first year on Arrow in the sense of we started with the mask in the pilot and then we saw which way we were going. He was, ultimately, in the back half of that first season even more than we would ever do with Grodd this first year because…We’re going to have to get the technology right and all the stuff right to make it look and feel real. But a lot of times, we do this stuff not as a tease as much as a challenge to ourselves of, “Can we do it?” Grodd’s definitely one of those, so we hope we pull it off.

TVLINE: We saw so many different abilities with the last episode — running on water, running up a building, changing his voice. Are there other special abilities still to come?

Berlanti: Oh, he has tons. Definitely. We’re holding back on some big ones still. He famously can phase through things. We haven’t seen him do that yet.

TVLINE: And time travel?

Berlanti: That is the one that we deal with directly in the winter. We, obviously, hint at it from the pilot episode. That is a big — “theme” is the wrong word for it — but that is a big part of the DNA of who The Flash was, so we do deal with that.

TVLINE: And with his suit being destroyed by the bomb (in "Plastique"), is now the time when you’re going to evolve his costume?

Berlanti: We’ll keep evolving it and tweaking it as we go. I think people are waiting to see when it’s going to be a white emblem versus a red.

TVLINE: Are there any big crossovers with Arrow planned for the second half of the season?

Berlanti: We just started talking about that. It’s so much fun to do. They’re so hard to do. But I think they’ll be so rewarding for everybody, ultimately, that that’s our hope, for sure.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.