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The Open Box: T.V. & Electronic News – 3/23/08


(2008-03-24)

 

The Open Box: T.V. & Electronic News – 3/23/08

1) In 1997, Paramount’s Star Trek franchise launched a new series written by novelist Peter David of tie-in novels called Star Trek: New Frontier, set in the Trek universe, as well as a tie-in comic book, Double Time. This spring, New Frontier returns to comics in a mini-series from IDW, written by David with art from Stephen Thompson, about the adventures of the U.S.S. Excalibur, captained by Captain Mackenzie Calhoun. Star Trek fiction is also appearing in manga form from Tokyopop as an anthology series with stories written by Wil Wheaton, David Gerrold, Nathaniel Bowden and Luis Reyes, who also edits the series, with art from E.J. Su.

2) This Easter weekend, on Sky One in the U.K., Terry Pratchett fans were treated to a t.v. Discworld movie, The Colour of Magic, adapted from both the first Discworld novel of the same name and the second, The Light Fantastic. The next Discworld novel that will be adapted for t.v. is Going Postal. Hopefully, other countries will get the chance to see them on DVD.

3) Despite jars of peanuts and one of the most dedicated fan revival efforts, CBS network in the U.S. has decided to cancel SF show Jericho for good. The cult hit post-nuclear holocaust drama was unable to muster enough ratings during its short, seven episode second season reprieve. The show’s producers shot two different ending episodes, depending on the show’s fate, and will probably be airing the one that wraps up the show as a series finale. However, there is talk that the series, which stars an ensemble cast headed by Skeet Ulrich, might still have one more resurrection in the works by moving to a cable channel.

4) The U.K.’s BBC has announced that filming has begun on its new Saturday-night, family fantasy series Merlin, with Richard Wilson and Anthony Head in the cast. Head will play Arthur’s dad Uther Pendragon with Wilson as Gauis, joining newcomers Colin Morgan and Bradley James as youthful versions of Merlin and Arthur. The 13-part series is scheduled to air in autumn 2008 and casts Merlin as a young wizard who clashes with the young Arthur. Merlin is produced by Shine, which also did Hex and Sugar Rush and is making the upcoming Van Helsing project for ITV.

5) Marvel Entertainment is launching two new animated series featuring Wolverine and Iron Man on Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons Network channel in the U.S., scheduled to air in May 2009. Iron Man: The Animated Series and Wolverine and the X-Men will each have 26 half-hour episodes. The live action movie Iron Man will be released in May 2008.

6) Fantasy demi-god Joss Whedon is putting a brief superpower musical on the Web, entitled Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The show will have three episodes about ten minutes long apiece and was written with his brothers Jed and Zack and Jed’s fiancee Maurissa. The musical is the story of a low-rent supervillain, the superhero who keeps beating him up and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to. Neil Patrick Harris stars as Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion plays the obnoxious hero Captain Hammer and Felicia Day is the love interest.

7) The newest incarnation of British SF perennial Doctor Who will officially launch its fourth season during the week of April 5th on the BBC. The show stars David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as his ally, Donna Noble. Sarah Lancashire will guest star in the first episode of the season. A North American debut for the season is reportedly April 18th.

8) David Eick, executive producer for recently cancelled U.S. t.v. series Bionic Woman and for Battlestar Galactica and its spin-off prequel series, Caprica, is developing a pilot for a t.v. series based on the world depicted in P.D. James’ SF novel, Children of Men, which was recently made into an acclaimed 2006 film. The t.v. series would focus on how society functions with the knowledge that they are probably the end of mankind.




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