Sci-fi TV pilot edges to Fringe

February 12, 2008

High school dropout Peter Bishop is gifted with an surprisingly high IQ. Teaming up with an FBI agent, Peter becomes drawn into investigating the spread of unexplained phenomena. Peter’s estranged relationship with his scientist father complicates matters.

Such is the premise of Fringe, Lost creator J.J. Abrams’ next highly anticipated genre TV drama. On the surface, the concept seems to have a more than passing resemblance to Chris Carter’s landmark X-Files.

Dawson’s Creek actor Joshua Jackson imagined on imaginedworlds.usCanadian actor Joshua Jackson, who once starred in the television series Dawson’s Creek, returns to the small screen as Peter. Anna Torv plays his FBI agent compatriot.

Filming on the Warner Bros. TV-produced series is under way in Toronto. The pilot’s cast also includes John Noble, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole and the brilliant talent Kirk Acevedo, a stand-out alumnus of HBO’s stand-out prison drama Oz .

Jackson, 29, played Pacey on Dawson’s Creek between 1998 and 2003.

He has since appeared in several small films including Cursed, Bobby and Battle in Seattle.

Debut novel bridges science fiction and Christianity

February 10, 2008 images FlashpointIn Chicago 2036 of an alternative future siblings ‘Calamity Kid and e-girl fearlessly walk the valley of death. The Patriot Act waxes Stalin-esque and the violence of terrorism has united the world. Fundamentalist terrorists are the One State’s only threat: including Bible-believing Christians. When peacekeepers make a home-church bust in the Chicago Metroplex, only Calamity Kid and his sister evade capture and turn to the ‘Body of Christ Underground’ where they adopt street-names, undergo spiritual and technological reformation, and slip between the cracks of Chicago. They’ll need every molecule of their re-formed faith to face down peacekeepers, gangers, One-State Neros, and fallen-angels. Their mission: to save believers before they’re rehabbed and brainwashed, or worse, by the One State Neros.

Frank Creed is Christian sci-fi writer“Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground” by author Frank Creed weaves cyberpunk and Christian science fiction any reader can enjoy. Published by The Writers Café Press, “Flashpoint” was the 2006 winner of best science fiction chapter book at the world’s largest sci-fi/ fantasy online community and the 2007 Christian Fiction Review Impress award for the best book toured. More information at or

“Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground” can be purchased at the following:,, and can be ordered into any book store. ISBN #978-1-934284-01-8

Sci Fi Channel delivers Sanctuary

February 10, 2008

Sci Fi Channel has green-lighted Sanctuary, the first television series to use live-action actors against virtual sets in the style of the features 300 and Sin City.

Stargate’s Amanda Tapping in SanctuarySci Fi has ordered a full 13-episode season of the new scripted drama series, which originated online as the first high-definition sci-fi Web series.

Sanctuary hails from the Stargate SG-1 trio of star Amanda Tapping, writer-producer Damian Kindler, and producer-director Martin Wood, who are executive producing the series with Sam Egan.

Tapping stars as the enigmatic Dr. Helen Magnus, who is on a quest with her young protege, Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), to track down, aid, and protect strange creatures that walk the earth.

Kindler created Sanctuary, and Wood directed the Webisodes starring Tapping.

Stargate SG-1 star Amanda Tapping stars in SanctuarySanctuary launched on the Internet last year using a subscription model, but many of its Webisodes found their way to video-sharing sites like YouTube.

Because of Sci Fi’s ties with Tapping, Kindler, and Wood through the Stargate franchise, the network’s brass had discussed Sanctuary with them even before it launched as a Web series. Talks shifted into high gear when the trio came back with a DVD containing two one-hour blocks of Webisodes.

“We were blown away by the level of quality they have been able to achieve on a Web budget,” Sci Fi’s executive vice president of original programming Mark Stern said. “We loved the world they’d created, and we particularly loved their approach, since we had been looking for a way to apply the virtual-set CGI environment from films like 300 and Sin City to a television series.”

TV networks have been trying to use CGI-generated environments on TV series, most notably ABC’s efforts with Dinotopia. But “this is the first time the technology is mature enough and inexpensive enough to do it,” Stern said.

Sanctuary, which features 90 percent CGI sets, will be retooled for its transition to television, including the creation of a new two-hour premiere episode. Still, a lot of the footage from the Web series will be used, with some enhancement of the visual effects and the CGI background to play better on the TV screen.

The cast from the Web series will remain intact. (Source: Reuters)

How the new ‘Star Trek’ will be next ‘Cloverfield’

February 3, 2008

New slick Starship EnterpriseNew slick Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 for Star Trek filmClick pics to enlarge the eye candy.

The viral marketing of J.J. Abrams’ anticipated re-imagined Star Trek is all ready well on its way. There is every indication that the approach will mirror the well-craft pseudo-secret teaser-ladened campaign Abrams and Paramount Picture mounted for Cloverfield.

Interests piqued over casting choices rolled out over the latter half of 2007, particularly Leonard Nimoy’s return cameo as signature character Spock and Heroes villain Zachary Quinto (Sylar) set to play Nimoy’s younger self. New images of refurbished Starship Enterprise recently made public promise to kick buzz mustering in the upper atmosphere. There is the teaser trailer that premiered with the release of Cloverfield.

Paramount is betting that such consumer baiting will wet appetites for the new film far beyond Star Trek’s fan base, which is crucial for the movie to be successful. Abrams has much competition for moviegoers’ interest and much to overcome with the franchise’s own diminished street value. It should be fun to see how Abrams and Paramount orchestrate the selling of Star Trek over the next 11 months, what is given away and what is held close. Positioning the film at comic conventions will be a given. But much more will need to be accomplished–the least of which is a damn good movie.

Star Trek warps into theaters Christmas Day this year.

Sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” to become video game

February 3, 2008

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game“Ender’s Game,” the classic science fiction novel about a boy military genius that is trained through war games to fight aliens, is finally becoming a game itself.

Under a deal announced on Tuesday, Chair Entertainment, the game studio behind the recent hit “Undertow,” will develop titles based on Orson Scott Card’s book.

The novel, with its probing of the line between reality and games, has long been eyed by video game fans as a rich source of material for the medium.

Chair plans to make several titles based on the book, with the first one slated to be a downloadable game that should be available in 2009.

Card said he decided to move ahead with an “Ender’s Game” video game after years of wrangling to make a feature film bore no fruit.

“There is going to be a universe of ‘Ender’s Game’ games, hopefully. But that’s like someone starting a restaurant and thinking about opening 100 franchises all over the country,” Card told Reuters.

“Let’s make this one work first,” Card said.

The first game will focus on the Battle Room, the elite military academy where Ender hones his strategic and tactical skills and that provided some of the most memorable scenes in the book.

Based in Provo, Utah, privately held Chair enjoyed success with “Undertow,” a downloadable game for Microsoft Corp’s Xbox 360 console that pits teams of players against each other in a fast-paced underwater battle.

“The really cool thing about ‘Ender’s Game’ is that there’s lots of potential for lots of types of gameplay. We wanted to initially create the Battle Room, that’s really what jumped out to me as a gamer that I really wanted to play,” said Chair’s creative director Donald Mustard.

“We have not fully designed the game yet. I think that the game will play very much what we’ve all imagined the Battle School is, a cross between ‘Call of Duty’ with zero-g with hardcore strategy elements more like a sports game,” Mustard said, referring to a popular military shooting game.

It is the latest collaboration for Card and Chair, which is making a game based on Card’s recent novel “Empire.” (Source: Scott Hillis for Reuters)

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