Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CBS' New STAR TREK Series Beams Up Bryan Fuller as Showrunner

Well, this is just...fascinating.

Entertainment Weekly has word that the upcoming CBS' upcoming Star Trek series for the digital subscription service CBS All Access is bringing aboard none other than Bryan Fuller as showrunner.

Fuller, 46, is the acclaimed writer and producer of HBO's upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, along with his previous series Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Heroes, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me.  This will be his return to the Star Trek universe, after writing two episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1997, and serving as writer, story editor and producer of Star Trek: Voyager from 1997-2001.

"My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls," said Fuller, who will be co-creator and executive producer on the untitled project. "Before seeing a frame of the television series, the Star Trek universe lit my imagination on fire.  It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand-new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before."

Kurtzman co-wrote and produced the blockbuster films Star Trek (2009) with Roberto Orci, and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof.  "Bringing Star Trek back to television means returning it to its roots," added Kurtzman, "and for years those roots flourished under Bryan’s devoted care.  His encyclopedic knowledge of Trek canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds."

David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios remarked, "For the past 50 years, Star Trek has been a groundbreaking franchise that not only changed the landscape of television, but made a significant impact on pop culture.  When we began discussions about the series returning to television, we immediately knew that Bryan Fuller would be the ideal person to work alongside Alex Kurtzman to create a fresh and authentic take on this classic and timeless series.  Bryan is not only an extremely gifted writer, but a genuine fan of Star Trek.  Having someone at the helm with his gravitas who also understands and appreciates the significance of the franchise and the worldwide fan base was essential to us."

The new series will debut with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service, previously announced as $5.99 per month.

In 2013, Fuller was quoted as having a "very specific idea" for a relaunch.  "Having spent four years on staff and another year of freelancing before that on Star Trek, it’s a very near and dear property to my heart, and also a philosophy. I would love to create a Star Trek show, so that’s on my dream docket.  I think there’s something very exciting about the new J.J. Abrams-verse, and there’s also kind of an interesting reinvention.  How would The Next Generation evolve from that?  Where would that be?  Where would that go?  But there’s also…Star Trek is such a big universe, and there are so many places to go with it.  I have a very specific idea that I would love to do.  We’ll see if I ever get the opportunity."

Later that same year, Fuller mentioned another idea would be to not have the show set on the Enterprise, but the U.S.S. Reliant, best known for being commandeered by Khan Noonien Singh in the franchise’s second feature film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.  "I think let that be the movies and let that be their story.  I would love to do something on the Reliant…I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson.  I would love to do that version of the show and but that’s in the future to be told."

The new Star Trek series is expected to debut on CBS sometime in January 2017.

Monday, February 8, 2016

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 052: "The End of the World" is Up!

"You lot, you spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're gonna get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids.  But you never take time to imagine the impossible. Like maybe you survive.  This is the year 5.5/apple/26, five billion years in your future, and this is the day...Hold on...This is the day the sun expands.  Welcome to the end of the world."
-- The Ninth Doctor to Rose Tyler, Doctor Who: "The End of the World"

Re-recording after yet another Skype fail, my good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I are finally back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like our continuing battles with recording on Skype, Jesse's growing appreciation for Christopher Eccleston, how I watched this episode in 2005 before SyFy and BBC America, the previous episode "Rose," the introduction of the Time War, why the Doctor decided to make Rose a companion, wondering why the Doctor takes Rose to the destruction of her home planet as her first trip in the TARDIS, Sting's lute album, the huge improvements in makeup and special effects since the classic series, the influence of Farscape and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Ninth Doctor's more modern leather jacket, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and Britney Spears' "Toxic," songs that should be played at the end of the world, why Captain Jack Harkness is not the Face of Boe, the meaningless Bad Wolf references throughout Series One, spoiling The Sixth Sense, my Reverse the Polarity segment, our thoughts on Steven Moffat being replaced as showrunner by Chris Chibnall and the long wait for Series Ten in 2017, 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?

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show!

Be sure to come back soon for our review of the Eighth Doctor audio drama "Blood of the Daleks" from Big Finish Productions starring Paul McGann, and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Sticher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

THE FANDOM ZONE 044: "Lucifer" is Up!

"I'm like walking heroin...Very habit forming.  It never ends well."
– Lucifer Morningstar to Dr. Linda Martin, Lucifer: "Pilot"

That's right, Karen Lindsay and I are back with another big episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

1x11 -- "Strange Visitor from Another Planet"
Lucifer 1x01 -- "Pilot"
The Flash 2x11 -- "The Reverse-Flash Returns"
Agent Carter 2x03 -- "Better Angels"
Arrow 4x11 -- "A.W.O.L."
Legends of Tomorrow 1x02 -- "Pilot, Part 2"

This time, we talk about things like planning for our upcoming 50th episode, some Senator Miranda Crane speculation, some background on J'onn J'onnz the Martian Manhunter, Maxwell Lord becoming Lex Luthor, Kara translating Cat Grant to human, the damn good timing of using David Bowie's "Fame" in the Lucifer pilot, the Sandman storyline "Season of Mists," Mazikeen slurring her words, classic Marvel Comics western hero Kid Colt, the various social issues of the 1950s, some background on Eobard Thawne the Reverse-Flash, Barry and Cisco being responsible for killing Barry's mom, Wally West becoming even more annoying and unlikable than Iris, Patty Spivot desperately wanting to make Barry admit he's The Flash, speculating on Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon, Felicity being trolled by Goth Felicity, speculating on Damien Darhk's wife, obscure DC Comics character the Immortal Man, The Atom's epic fails, Sara flirting with two Professor Steins, Marty Stein needing to attend the Enchantment Under the Sea danceanother new Justina review, 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 The Fandom Zone show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @FandomZoneCast.

And hey, if you're interested in an officially official Fandom Zone Podcast t-shirt, you can get those on TeePublic HERE as well!

Be sure to come back next week as we review new episodes of Lucifer, iZombie, Legends of Tomorrow, Agent Carter, Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

LEGION Pilot Casts Dan Stevens as David Haller, Aubrey Plaza as Lenny

Let's just hope David Haller doesn't race antique cars...

Deadline has word that the upcoming FX pilot Legion has cast the lead roles for the proposed television series from Fargo creator Noah Hawley based on the Marvel Comics character.  Here's the principal cast and character descriptions listed in the article...

Dan Stevens as Legion/David Haller -- The son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness.  Diagnosed as schizophrenic, he has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years.  A haunted man, David is getting tired of finding his way back to sanity and is about to give up when he meets the girl of his dreams, a fellow patient.  After the strange encounter, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.

Aubrey Plaza as Lenny -- David's friend, who despite a life of drugs and alcohol abuse, knows that any day now her life is gonna turn around, which gives her the likeable energy of the impossible optimist despite her rough demeanor. 

Jean Smart as Melanie -- A nurturing, demanding therapist with a sharp mind and unconventional methods. 

Rachel Keller as Syd -- Self-sufficient and street-smart, Syd uses her sharp and prickly demeanor to protect her soft core, because even though it makes her a sucker and puts her at risk, she still believes in happily ever after.

Created in 1985 by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, Legion first appeared in The New Mutants (vol.1) #25 as David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. The two met while Xavier was working in an Israeli psychiatric facility where she was one of his patients.  Xavier was secretly using his psychic powers to ease the pain of Holocaust survivors institutionalized there.  The two had an affair that resulted in the birth of their son David. However, Xavier was initially unaware of this, as Gabrielle never told him.

When he was very young, David was among the victims of a terrorist attack, in which he was the only survivor.  The trauma of the situation caused David to manifest his mutant powers, incinerating the minds of the terrorists.  In the process, he absorbed the mind of the terrorist leader, Jemail Karami, into his own.  Being linked to so many others at their time of death, he was rendered catatonic, and remained in the care of Moira MacTaggert at the Muir Island mutant research facility.  The trauma caused David's personality to splinter, with each of the personalities controlling a different aspect of his psionic power.

Karami struggled for years to separate his consciousness from David's.  Using David's telepathic abilities, he reintegrated the multiple personalities into David's core personality. Some of the personalities resisted Karami, and two proved to be formidable opponents -- Jack Wayne, a swaggering adventurer, who commands David's telekinetic power, and Cyndi, a temperamental, rebellious girl who controls David's pyrokinetic power.  Wayne intended to destroy Karami's consciousness to preserve his own independent existence within David's mind. Neither personality succeeds, and Karami, Wayne, and Cyndi continue as David's dominant personalities.  During his time at Muir Island, David emerged from his catatonia.  Soon after, David was possessed by the Shadow King, who used his powers to psychically increase the amount of hatred in the world and feed on the malignant energy. During this time, the Shadow King, as David, killed the mutant Destiny.  The X-Men and X-Factor fought the Shadow King, and as a result, David was left in a coma.

After awakening and later, with the help of Merzah the Mystic, David gained a great amount of control over his powers by constructing a prison in his mind and locking away many sub-personalities while using needled gloves to drain the persona of its power.  However, this control was destroyed when a Phoenix Force-possessed Cyclops killed Professor Xavier, which caused a mental shock that caused Legion to lose control and destroy the place he was in and free all the evil personalities.  This caused the death of Merzah the Mystic and many others.  Also, unknown to David a new persona emerged and killed another persona. One by one, the Legion personas took control of David's body and start wreaking havoc around the world.  David took his body back over and found out there were two twin mutants in need of help.  David decided to help them and take control of his power once and for all.

After finding his way to Japan, Legion was ambushed and captured. Later, David learned that the twins were not prisoners but the heirs of Wolverine's old enemy Ogun.  Legion eventually admitted to himself that his father wasn't perfect and there was no harm in trying to be better.  This allowed David to gain more self-confidence, which made him mentally stronger and able to beat another persona and drain it to use its power.  Having reached the full extent of his powers, Legion decided to erase himself from existence by never being born. However, there is still an aspect of himself living within Blindfold's mind.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

THE FLASH Crossover with SUPERGIRL is Officially Happening

First, we had John Constantine meeting Green Arrow.  And now...

Deadline has confirmed that the proposed TV crossover between The CW's The Flash and CBS' Supergirl is officially happening.  According to the article, the DC Comics TV Multiverse takes place in March when The Flash star Grant Gustin appears on an episode of Supergirl titled "Worlds' Finest."

The crossover will be one-way only (for now, at least), with the reason being that Barry Allen/The Flash is able to cross dimensions while, (also for now) Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) can't.  It seems this is due to the current storyline on The Flash, which deals with the aftermath of a dimensional rift opened between Earth One and Earth Two that's connected to The Flash’s super-speed.

"We are so incredibly excited to announce something that we have dreamed of happening since we starting making Supergirl," said executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg in a statement.  "We want to thank Grant Gustin for making the time to come visit (on top of his already immense workload) and all of the folks at CBS, The CW, Warner Bros. and DC for working this out.  And finally, thanks to the fans and journalists who have kept asking for this to happen.  It is our pleasure and hope to create an episode worthy of everyone’s enthusiasm and support."

It's probably no coincidence that the Supergirl episode airs just three days after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in movie theaters, which features the first on-screen meeting between The Man of Steel and The Dark Knight.

The crossover should help the chances of Supergirl being renewed for a second season on CBS, which was rumored to be connected to the deal.

The Flash appears on Supergirl on Monday, March 28th at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

DC Still Has Plans for a Live-Action TITANS

Titans...together again?  Maybe?

TVLine revealed yesterday that the Titans television series based on DC Comics characters the Teen Titans may be only mostly dead, as opposed to all dead.

The article claims they talked with DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns at the Television Crtiics Association, just days after TNT announced their plans for the series were shelved.  "We [at DC] have known about [Turner nixing Titans] for months and months and months," said Johns.  "That’s not new news to us.  We have plans for Titans.  It’s a huge piece of DC and we have plans."

Bleeding Cool mentioned rumors that a Titans feature film may replace the Cyborg solo movie in 2020 starring Ray Fisher spinning out of Justice League, with the character joining the team.  

DC appears to be developing the Titans brand, which will be featured in the next DC Animated Universe film, Justice League vs. Teen Titans.  In addition, a new Titans ongoing series has been rumored for DC Comics' upcoming "Rebirth" relaunches, replacing the current Starfire solo series.

First appearing in DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980, the New Teen Titans were a new team of Teen Titans featuring original members Robin (who later becomes Nightwing), Wonder Girl (who later becomes Troia) and Kid Flash, along with former Doom Patrol member Beast Boy as Changeling, and new characters Cyborg, Raven and Starfire.  Brought together by Raven to fight her demonic father Trigon, the seven teenaged heroes continued as a team to fight such notable villains as Deathstroke the Terminator, the Fearsome Five, Brother Blood, Blackfire, the H.I.V.E., the Brotherhood of Evil and more.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Captain Phasma Confirmed for STAR WARS EPISODE VIII

So much for the trash compactor.

People has confirmed that Gwendoline Christie will reprise her role as Captain Phasma in Star Wars Episode VIII, despite her character's apparent off-screen death.

"I will be in the next Star Wars movie," said Christie to People's Deputy Editor JD Heyman on Saturday's red carpet preshow for the 2016 SAG Awards.  "I think that's an exclusive, actually."

When last seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Phasma was introduced during an attack on a Jakku village in search of coordinates to find the missing Luke Skywalker. After the battle was won, Phasma and a squad of Stormtroopers executed the villagers at the order of Kylo Ren.  Back on the First Order's base, she ordered Stormtrooper Finn to report for reconditioning.  Instead, Finn fled and betrayed the First Order in favor of the Resistance.  When Finn, Han Solo, and Chewbacca infiltrated the Starkiller Base later in the film, they took Phasma hostage and forced her to remove the base's shields, before dropping her in a trash compactor to supposedly meet her end.

Christie, 37, also spoke about being cast for the role, saying, "I was very overexcited.  I made no secret of the fact that I really campaigned for the part for a long time.  And then I was delighted when J.J. Abrams wanted to have me in the film and then wanted to cast me in this role that had originally been designed for a man."

On the subject of her character's chrome-plated costume, Christie remarked, "I thought the costume was incredibly striking.  I also just liked this notion of a female stormtrooper,  I felt it encouraged diversity, and it was doing something new, and it was an interesting bit of casting for women, and I hope that in something that was such a mainstream success it would breed more of those kind of opportunities for other women."

Star Wars Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson and is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 15, 2017.