FLIMgeeks http://flimgeeks.com Critical Media Tue, 26 Feb 2013 16:25:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 #?v=4.0.5 Hack. /2012/hack/ /2012/hack/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 15:40:31 +0000 /?p=2514 Book 1.0: Alpha Only mobsters, federal agents, and gladiatorial combatants stand between our intrepid hacker and his goal to save his family, his life, and (time permitting) both of the worlds he holds dear… Alexander leads a double life. In the ‘real’ world, he’s a mild-mannered family man and nerd for hire who spends as […]]]> Book 1.0: Alpha

Only mobsters, federal agents, and gladiatorial combatants stand between our intrepid hacker and his goal to save his family, his life, and (time permitting) both of the worlds he holds dear…

Alexander leads a double life. In the ‘real’ world, he’s a mild-mannered family man and nerd for hire who spends as much time changing diapers as he does at his tech consulting business. But in the dark and sinister cyberspace of the VirT, Alexander is an avatar of deadly efficiency—a private eye and elite assassin.

But when a sultry new client’s betrayal leads to his derez, Alexander must hack back into the VirT to solve his own murder and get to the bottom of the mysterious rapid-onset plague spreading around the real world, creeping ever closer to home.

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Beginning Of Line. /2011/beginning-of-line/ /2011/beginning-of-line/#comments Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:38:12 +0000 /blog/?p=2486 Put on your holobands, we’re returning to Caprica.

As I mentioned in A Farewell To Caprica “Perhaps the next season of Caprica is in the safest, best place for it: In my head, and the minds of the fans themselves.” Announcing a new project from those who revere the series the most, the rampant frakking fanbase. So say we all.

I’m contributing a series of five stories to the project, all set in the fantastically rich & vibrant setting of the virtual world. The first of which entitled, “Assassin Nation” is the story of a hard-boiled private detective hired to hunt the Deadwalker in New Cap City.

Enter New Cap City

Welcome To New Cap City

The project is being masterminded by @teresajusino and will surely be as compelling and thought-provoking as the series we prematurely said goodye to.

From The Teresa Jusino Experience:

Beginning of Line will launch Tuesday, January 11th, and will begin with “Caprica: Season 2.” Season Two will include 18 brand new stories for you to enjoy, written by Caprica fans from all over the world! Each story will be accompanied by a piece of Caprica-inspired artwork also created by a fan, and will be posted weekly the way episodes would have aired had the show been allowed to continue. There will be as many iterations of the Caprica universe as there are contributors, and you will be free to discuss the merits and drawbacks of each in our forums. You’re also invited to submit Caprica-inspired fiction and artwork yourself!

Caprica and Battlestar fans are used to hearing the phrase “end of line,” the computer command that punctuated the Cylon Hybrid’s cryptic messages as well as titled the brilliant mid-season finale of Caprica. I believe that, despite Caprica‘s cancellation, we’ve only started to discover what’s possible with these characters and with this world. Welcome to Beginning of Line!

Beginning of Line launches January 11th, on a humble Weebly site. Bookmark beginningofline.weebly.com and check back on Tuesday at the only place where you can find new, regularly updated stories set in the world of Caprica! And if you’re a writer or visual artist interested in hearing more about submitting work, email beginningofline@gmail.com!

The future of humanity begins with a choice. The future of Caprica begins with you.

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Cloak & Dagger /2010/cloak-dagger/ /2010/cloak-dagger/#comments Mon, 20 Dec 2010 16:00:18 +0000 /blog/?p=2386 If you’re looking for Dabney Coleman, you’re in the wrong place.

I don’t know why I’m such a fan of Cloak & Dagger.

Perhaps it’s because it was one of the first ‘gritty’ comicbooks I read as an impressionable youth.
Perhaps it’s the symbiotic nature between light and the darkness.
Perhaps the flawed nature of the runaway characters helped show me an alternative definition of ‘heroes’.
Perhaps Dagger’s outfit is mind-blowingly sexy to a pre-pubescent version of myself and that kind of imagery leaves a lasting impression.

After my first successful National Novel Writing Month in 2009, I decided to take part in Script Frenzy: the screenwriting awkward sister of NaNoWriMo. I had started to create my science-fiction TV show opus with wonderful arcing storylines and fascinating branches of humanity and all that other wonderful junk — when two days in I shelved it in frustration from not being able to find the ‘thread’ of the story. Not wanting to give up on the challenge so easily, I grabbed an old outline for a Cloak & Dagger movie that @MFLuke and I collaborated on.

I wanted to do this adaptation. It felt right. I immediately rushed to grab all the source material I could find — I found BOTH books. I exaggerate for comedic effect but there’s really only been a handful of actual CLOAK AND DAGGER stories (and trying to find one without Power Pack was challenging). Apt appearance in Runaways, Cloak mass transit system in Civil War, and the original stories from the 1980s. That was it. At least I didn’t have the trouble of too much source to try and adapt.

So presented here is a spec script to myself, to see if the kind of dark elements and urban vigilante themes of Cloak & Dagger could translate into a movie worth watching. There have been rumours of mid-budget movies, or television serials based on ‘minor’ Marvel characters, and of course Cloak & Dagger was mentioned off-hand from time to time. Warning, there is some foul language and intense scenes (I don’t know how the Disney version would leave out the heroes-via-drugs angle) so it might be considered NSFW.

Cloak and Dagger (comics)

Image via Wikipedia

Synopsis

Two very different runaways are introduced by fate: Tandy ‘Dagger’ Bowen fleeing the high-pressure upper-class lifestyle, and Ty ‘Cloak’ Johnson down on his luck and on the run from the other side of the tracks. When a maniacal mad scientist named Simon Marshall abducts the pair to subject them to horrible drug experiments, it changes the two hapless youths. They emerge with super powers: Cloak becomes a living portal to a dark dimension, and Dagger becomes an incandescent entity of light. Their quest for revenge may cost them their hope of redemption.


Cloak & Dagger first appeared in 1982, created by writer William “Bill” Mantlo and designed by artist Edward Hannigan . They’ve been in their own series, their own graphic novels and it seems there’s been a C&D cameo in other titles (somewhat) consistently since their inception. Cloak has the unique ability to teleport multiple people to almost any location instantly, so he’s been the Deus Ex Machina transportation of choice numerous times. Where goeth Cloak, so goeth Dagger so no doubt you’ve seen them pop up from time to time. There has recently been an attempt to put the limelight back on this unlikely pairing, most notably by the fantastic Valerie D’Orazio in one iteration, and handled by Matt Fraction as part of the Dark X-Men series.

Bottom Line: Please, Marvel, Disney or any other PTBs that may or may not be planning a Cloak & Dagger TV show/movie/elaborate-broadway-musical — PLEASE do it right.

Disclaimer and Junk: I do not own these characters, their likenesses or any of that jazz. Just a superfan writing a speculative script. If I get a cease and desist letter, it means someone in an official capacity read it and found it threatening enough to want to put a stop to it, so thanks in advance.  ;)

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End Of Line. /2010/end-of-line/ /2010/end-of-line/#comments Sat, 18 Dec 2010 20:39:57 +0000 /blog/?p=2398 A Farewell To Caprica (and soon enough, most other smart science fiction).

Denial

In a way, Caprica isn’t really cancelled, just like Stargate there will be another iteration coming down the assembly line sooner or later. Licensing runs the TV & movie world as much as the marketing does. They’re not selling Intellectual Properties anymore, they’re selling entire estates. It’s all about franchises, and branding, and other slimy words marketing executives like to use. Surely Battlestar is up there with Star Trek and Star Wars in the endless rotation of recycled mythos, right?

The pilot for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome is coming out in 2011, based on a (most importantly) cheaper and arguably more BSG-like tone. “It’s the show we wanted Caprica to be in the first place; a BSG spin-off with vipers and lasers and robots and junk. Frak yeah!”

But that’s not Caprica.

That’s not mind-bending questions like, “How did this delectably decadent society annihilate itself?” and “How did they ignore the clear, unmistakable signs of the impending doom that we ALL KNEW WAS COMING?” That’s not concepts like the rise of the subservient yet superior machine to the point of insurrection. That’s not examining the idea of our own connections and electronic aspirations becoming digital apotheosis and other such goodness. That was Caprica.

A recurring statement (question?) that I see in regards to Caprica is, “I didn’t even know what it was about, really.”
Here is a simple explanation:
1. BSG was humanism and futurism that just happened to be on a spaceship.
2. Caprica was humanism and futurism that just happened to be on a distant planet — that’s exactly like ours… a decade from now (if even that long).

Anger

“Damn it SyFy with your stupid rebranding name, and stupid wrestling and stupid Z-grade movie mashups, and everything is stupid, stupid. Stupid.” I mean, who else to blame — the legions of non-fans who didn’t watch?

I’ll admit some — let’s call it mild frustration with SciSyFiFy’s handling of Caprica, most notably the incomprehensible scheduling of the show and DVD releases, and regrettable handling of the end of the show. Bottom line: nothing kills a serial drama like hiatus after hiatus and a complete lack of continuity. Although to their credit they did do a great job with the digital content and online promotion. Goodbye @SergeGraystone , you’ve earned a sad robot emoticon.  :[

Can science fiction shows embrace the high tech they boast? Or at the very least give an infographic with pertinent information to the people who measure success in this field? Fuck the Nielsen system. Seriously. While I’ll admit that the program may have been damn effective in the dawn of the TV advertiser age at gathering information from BOTH active televisions, it’s now horribly outdated and measures the wrong criteria.

The general populace of mouth-breathing, brainless eyeballs with disposable income make the current entertainment industry work, and that’s not going to change any time soon. “More reality TV! More fads! More mindless self indulgence!”

Perhaps Sam & Joseph Adama (Sasha Roiz & Esai Morales) should have been in "Help! My Brother's AVATAR is Gay!" instead. Better ratings.

Bargaining

I’ll eat at Subway if it’ll help save Chuck (not every day, mind you, but I would probably choose it over its competitor). If I could afford the cylon toaster I’d already have it. I’ll buy the DVD’s. I’ll buy the action figures if you’ll bear the burden of producing them. I’ll buy official @BambolaBambina Little Cylon® plush toys if you can ship to Canada (Note: someone really does need to make these). I’ll spend my hard earned money to save the show, even if I did DVR it to watch at my leisure in the first place, or worse, watched it at a friend’s house. I didn’t have to download it illegally because I live in Canada (Thanks @SPACEchannel !), and I won’t ever again –never ever[fingers firmly crossed]. I don’t actually agree with iTunes, but I’ll certainly tell my apple clone buddies to download the shit out of them. I promise.

I don’t buy everything I watch or read because, quite simply, there is far too much out there. If I only watched what I paid a fair and reasonable amount to the producers directly to create I’d be watching that human elvis statue vagrant — sorry, aspiring performance actor — that I gave a dollar to yesterday. I would like to contribute directly to the creators.

That’s simply not the case. Someone who failed upwards enough to make huge, sweeping decisions based on archaic information or so-called ‘expert’ analysis of trends is going to decide what I want to enjoy and get money from the advertisers who want me to buy their product because it’s featured at a better time. The old methods of producing TV from advertising credit in advance, then trying to recoup that debt after the fact week by week, and maybe, perhaps eventually from DVD sales and possibly (if it even lasts that long) from syndication. Can’t I just donate to $5 to Joss Whedon directly via his website to contibute to Doctor Horrible 2? I realize it’s terribly over-simplified, but really, in today’s day and age can’t we make it that simple?

If I do all these things, and RT everything Craig says, and ‘Like’ stuff on facebook, and trend the topic on The Twitters — can we have a Caprica season 2.5? Where do I send the peanuts?

Depression

Seriously, why do I even bother watching new shows, especially genre programming? It’s only a matter of time before the next show is subjected to ‘ratings decay’ after a 3 month break. They’re punishing fans tech savvy enough to use a DVR (it weighs differently on the Nielsen system), or who watch it online or on their phone (in the worst way possible, but it’s a selling feature of this cellular distraction-machine) or wherever other than a Nielsen home.

I’m dreadfully tired of my favourite show being ‘on the bubble’ and waiting to see if it will actually make it a full season before it’s yanked. I guess I’m just too cynical and pessimistic to emotionally invest in another soon-to-be-unfinished product. I’m jaded by the publicized saga of its doom and the networks/producers/analysts complete lack of faith in what they’re selling me outweighing the marketing for the damned show.

We'll never know if Clarice was capable of redemption or simply the most delightfully sultry, wantonly-conniving, evil-scheming wench ever.

Acceptance

It is not a good time for TV. It is a bad time for intelligent, serialized drama. It is an especially terrible time for serialized, dramatic, sci-fi TV. A brilliant show like Caprica was doomed from the start. The math just doesn’t add up, and the possibility of overcoming that is mired in a conflict of interest between producers, marketeers, licensing lawyers, and lastly and least importantly, the fans.

Perhaps the only shining light of hope comes from an unexpected source: the TV static of the HBO logo and other specialty cable networks. Smaller orders mean higher relative budgets for a pre-determined number of shows. Subscription services mean at least a voluntary audience, and a guaranteed cashflow. They avoid the common pitfalls of network censorship and primary demographic calculations and are making adult-oriented content for adults with a-cussin’ and a-swearin’ and, gasp, some nudity. Mature subject matter for people like me, or even better, for mature people.

Has Walking Dead and Dexter paved the way for smart, intellectual science fiction? Or should they simply continue with the logical model they used for previous Battlestar universe expanders Razor and The Plan? I’d watch the living shit out of Caprica: New Cap City.

So Caprica joins the rest of my favourite TV shows, now officially earning the moniker of TV too good for TV. From Twin Peaks to Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, from The Prisoner to Carnivale — what I’m left with are the most excruciatingly wonderful unanswered questions about future plot points and ultimate character developments.

Perhaps the next season of Caprica is in the safest, best place for it: In my head, and the minds of the fans themselves.

And you, Zoe Graystone. I think I'll miss you most of all.

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NaNoWriMo 2: Electric Boogaloo /2010/nanowrimo-2-electric-boogaloo/ /2010/nanowrimo-2-electric-boogaloo/#comments Sun, 24 Oct 2010 06:16:11 +0000 /blog/?p=2377 30 Days of Literary Abandon, Again.

Last year I took part in National Novel Writing Month. I don’t remember exactly how I found out about it, but signed up on November 1st with a half-baked idea and absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. 28 days later (which is quite apt considering my sleep-deprived-coffee-infused-undead appearance), I came out with a completed manuscript, an entirely new view on the craft, and most importantly a big ol’ life goal accomplished. Success! Months of editing (and surprisingly little revising) later I had a book that I didn’t hate. I decided to tempt fate and take on Script Frenzy, the awkward-sister screenwriting challenge in April and succeeded in finishing a full screenplay (that I’ll be posting soon). With self-imposed challenges, deadlines, and best intention ideas failing miserably between then & now,  I can only deduce there is something simple & mind-blowingly effective, and most certainly magical, about NaNoWriMo. Perhaps I was simply waiting until November for the reckless verbosity and ferocious caffeine driven wordsprints.

Update 11.30.2010 – It’s Official.

There is no rational, earthly explanation for the magic of NaNoWriMo. Unless you count ‘The Office of Letters and Light is staffed by infectious, maniacal elves!’ as rational.

Second year attempted, second purple bar earned at 50,056 words. I still have yet to write, ‘The End’ but I accounted for that from the beginning. I know exactly where I’m going to get the extra 10-20k to turn it into a (forgive the term) ‘proper’ length novel, and still stuck to the initial outline I scrawled in October (interestingly, while the outline stayed intact, the synopsis did not).

And now for the hardest, most time-consuming part: Editing.

Fun fact: Say “I haven’t edited it yet” out loud. Most awkward phrase in the english language. ;)


Nanowrimo 2010 – Book 2: Monster Hackers

Synopsis: The intrepid explorers from Dream Hackers set off for an expedition into unmapped territories of the imagination and nightmares. Trapped in a world full of all the classic silver screen monsters, and (perhaps even more terrifying) a world completely bereft of technology, Coop & Doc must adapt & become steampunk monster hunters to survive the labyrinth of creatures set against them.

Update 11.30.2010 – Success!


Nanowrimo 2009 – Book 1: Dream Hackers

Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure for Young Adults and those not Grounded by Reality

Synopsis: Doc and Coop have it all. They have a great idea for a dreamhacking machine. Thanks to a mysterious character known only as Deus Ex Machina, they have the cash to make it work. Best of all, they have a devoted best friend named Ella who has no qualms about being the first human test subject in this, their latest invention.

But when things go awry—as, in the case of smart-mouthed boy geniuses, things often do—Doc and Coop find themselves suddenly missing a best friend, pursued by monsters hiding out in their garage, and jettisoning from one crazy dimension to another—not to mention on the wrong side of the law and on the wrong side of this Deus Ex Machina character. With only their wits, their lip, and their determination to bring Ella home safely, they embark on an adventure of epic proportions.

Explore the first book Dream Hackers


Ways My Brain Is Going To Try And Stop Me From Doing This

  1. Not enough time. Still have to waste three hours doing other things which are infinitely more important than writing.
  2. Ideas are whores. Better looking ones saunter up at the worst times, making what I ‘have’ infinitely less satisfying.
  3. This is crap, nobody’s ever going to read this and if they did they’ll probably punch me. In the face. Twice.
  4. I’m out of ideas, there is absolutely no way to fix this plothole I’ve fallen in, right under the corner I’ve painted myself into.
  5. Aspirations of being an author, or unrealistic pipe dream?

Update 11.30.2010 – How I conquered this list.

On the first page of every little dollar-store notepad I buy — to jot down random half-dreamt ideas, or to scribble down indecipherable diagrams (you know, to help explain the details) — I write the same single, punctuated word.
“Write.”
Then I underline it. Twice.

Then I made sure to read the list below. Often.

Ashley Edward Miller: on Writing

Follow @ashman01 for profane wisdom & fascinating geekery

Tips for being a prolific writer, counting down:
  • 10) Write something every day. Sounds obvious, but it’s the thing wannabes do least. “Good” word and page counts are relative to what you’re writing. I can pump out 10 pages/day (prose) for a novel, 2x that + for a screenplay
  • 9) Read every day. Not so obvious. Even some pros I know don’t do this. But I think it’s crucial.
  • 8) Location, location, location. Write someplace that’s physically comfortable — you’re gonna be there a while.
  • 7) The Russkies don’t take a shit without a plan, and neither should you. Plan your content like the invasion of Poland.
  • 6) It’s not food, it’s fuel. Like an athlete, you need to give your body and brain sustainable energy to work.
  • 5) Take a break. Writing is work like anything else. Don’t go all-out until exhaustion hits. Makes it hard to re-start.
  • 4) set a routine. Brains love routines. It’s all about creating the right mental state to do the job.
  • 3) Use the buddy system. Writing partners can be a major motivator to get shit done. I use “partner” loosely. Don’t just mean a “co-writer”, but someone who’s in the same boat you are. Best if it’s someone whose opinion you trust and work you like There’s also the competitive angle that comes into play when we’re talking sheer output. If a co-writer, it’s also about load sharing.
  • 2) One scene or moment at a time. That’s what you’re writing. Not a novel or a story or a script. You’re writing scenes. writing dialogue comes down to knowing ON A DEEP LEVEL who is speaking the words. Everything else is just a gimmick.
  • 1) The most important advice I’ve ever been given as a writer  was presented as an inscription in AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman So you can take this advice to the bank, because I’d say he’s the most prolific writer on Earth, possibly just behind Alan Moore. The inscription reads simply “Finish things.” I’ve always interpreted Neil’s advice this way: it doesn’t matter how many pages you produce, if they’re incomplete you’ve written nothing. Psychologically, finishing things is a confidence booster. If you can do it once, you can do it again. If you’re a real writer, you will. Now that I think about it, it’s damned good advice overall. So let me take a moment to say thanks, @neilhimself .

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A Great Book /2010/a-great-book/ /2010/a-great-book/#comments Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:37:24 +0000 /blog/?p=2107 A great book should never be in mint condition.

I realize the irony of this ode to paper volumes on the InterWebNets, if only to prove the point that electronic books will never completely replace the experience of reading your favourite book.

Dog-eared pages containing oft-repeated, beloved passages and rips in the cover from years of travel in the bottom of a knapsack. That book has traveled to every far- away destination you have, more if you include mindscapes traversed.

Bath-time delving into its depths has left it with that slight yellowing of pages and a hint of must.

You’ve read each page hundreds of times—sometimes only a random passage like a quick salutation to an old friend, while other times you’ve settled in for hours with you as its only secret confidant within miles.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Books should never be loaned, only given — so this is already the fourth copy you’ve owned in your lifetime.

You could replace it. You could buy a new printing perhaps, but it wouldn’t be the same.

It wouldn’t have your notes scrawled in the margins, or that small piece missing from when you desperately needed to take a vital note (like that girl’s phone number).

It wouldn’t be familiar.

It wouldn’t be your favourite book.

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Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome /2010/battlestar-galactica-blood-chrome/ /2010/battlestar-galactica-blood-chrome/#comments Fri, 22 Oct 2010 23:53:19 +0000 /blog/?p=2343 SyFy has ordered a new spin-off of Battlestar Galactica set between Caprica and the original (reimagined) BSG series.

Updated 05.04.12:

As of now, the fate of Blood & Chrome is undecided.

It was initially pitched as an online series, similar to the Battlestar Galactica ‘webisodes’ The Resistance and Face Of The Enemy. Based on initial concepts SyFy was on board, and production began in Vancouver last year on a two hour pilot for television. Composer Bear McCreary recently stated that he had finished scoring the pilot.

In March, 2012 footage was ‘leaked’ and looks, pardon the expression, frakking amazing.The leaked content was subsequently removed but can be found at:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/catesish…

The following day, SyFy announced that the series was canceled but it could potentially continue as a web series, as initially developed.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/…

“Though the vision for “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” has evolved over the course of the past year, our enthusiasm for this ambitious project has not waned,” Stern said in a statement today. “We are actively pursuing it as was originally intended: a groundbreaking digital series that will launch to audiences beyond the scope of a television screen. The 90-minute pilot movie will air on Syfy in its entirety at a future date.”
Syfy president of original programming  Mark Stern


“This Has Happened Before”: What We Know

Official description: Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet… the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.

“The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory,” said Syfy programming head Mark Stern. “We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”

“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question:  what does it mean to be human? – ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” said David Eick.

“But the movie isn’t confined to Galactica,” said screenwriter & BSG veteran Michael Taylor. “Far from it. It’s a story that will take us to new corners of the Battlestar world and yet it aims to be a very contemporary war movie in a lot of ways…We’re not going to be shying away from R-rated blood and guts and sex. Because this is initially meant to air online, we pretty much have no restrictions in that department.”

“The Plan”:  How does this fit into the BSG Universe?

  • Takes place 42 years before the cylon holocaust (original series) , about 16 years after Caprica
  • 27yr old Husker Adama, enlisting as Viper Pilot aboard a shiny, not-so-bucket Galactica.
  • If Caprica is the creation of the 1st cylon AI, then Blood & Chrome may contain creation of the first hybrid, and subsequently the first skin-job, John Cavil.
  • Most of the cylon cast, including final 5, shouldn’t really be involved as they are yet to be made
  • Showrunner Eick, not Moore & Eick. Much of the BSG crew returning, not known yet about Espenson or McCreary

Check out the full BSG timeline from the Battlestar Wiki

“Razor”:  Will it actually be any good, more importantly, can it succeed?

While we still wait for official word on Caprica being picked up for a second season, it’s not clear whether this would be fully fleshing out the BSG universe into multiple concurrent shows, or if this would be replacing it as ‘the BSG prequel that most fans wanted in the first place.’ There has been precedent before for overlapping science fiction, most notably Star Trek and more recently (and more applicably since it was SyFy itself) with the Stargate Franchise. Although those were more robust times for TV,  lately there has been more of a divide between ‘network TV’ and ‘cable TV’ programming. Serial dramas, genre shows, and well, let’s face it anything other than RealityTV & game/talk/variety shows are doomed on network TV. If the announcement was for a major network doing a BSG spin-off, it couldn’t possibly fare any better than Moore’s Virtuality. SyFy could be the last bastian of hope for SmartTV, and great, serial science fiction.

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12 reasons to watch #Caprica /2010/top-12-reasons-to-watch-caprica/ /2010/top-12-reasons-to-watch-caprica/#comments Tue, 12 Oct 2010 23:26:51 +0000 /blog/?p=2324 As usual, intelligent TV is in danger of losing another smart, intriguing serial drama. Here are 12 reasons to help get the ratings up (one for each colony of course).

12 – Caprica Itself: Rich, expansive universe with endless possibilities, from the colonies themselves to the Virtual Reality World.


11 – Cylons: We all know how it ‘ends’ & the lead up to that simply has to be awesome.


10 – Real Drama: Best serial drama on TV, that just happens to be sci-fi.


9 – Battlestar Pedigree: Much of the talented crew from the best sci-fi show this generation.


8 – Excuses To Rewatch: The hiatus hurts, but it’s easier to rewatch/catch-up than ever ( @Syfy has done a great job with digital content ).


7 – Writing. Jane Espenson weaves lofty, complex storylines together seasmlessly and brings these characters to life.


6 – VR World: The philisophical & ethical ramifications of digital astral projection & technological excess.


5 – Style: Astropunk – Googie at it’s finest as the show drips stylish decadence.


4 – Adversaries: The dynamic between Graystone & Adama ( @Esai_Morales ) is absolute gold.


3 – Apotheosis: Look it up. The fact that this is a central theme is heady bonus points.


2 – Alessandra Torresani ( @BambolaBambina ) Fresh, original, & simply drop-dead gorgeous.



1 – Bottom Line: This show simply deserves renewal. High quality, thought-provoking SmartTV that has literally just begun to plumb the depths of humanity via science fiction allegory.

Also Check Out:

Caprica for beginners – What if you’re not a ‘Battlestar’ supergeek?

Caprica: The end of humanity has a beginning… – Returning to the Battlestar Galactica Universe, in the most un-BSG way.

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#Lost: The Lighthouse & The Compass /2010/lost-the-lighthouse-the-compass/ /2010/lost-the-lighthouse-the-compass/#comments Sat, 02 Oct 2010 23:59:09 +0000 /blog/?p=2304 Jacob’s ‘Prophecy’ VS Man In Black’s ‘Long Con’

The entire series of Lost is the fateful prophecy & intervention of Jacob, in conflict with the simultaneous machinations of the MiB. Both sides, by very different Light & Dark routes, work towards the same endgame… their deaths and the end of the current cycle. The analogy of white & black in an eternal game is symbolic of these strategies. They can both see each others pieces, without knowing what the other was really planning.

The basis of this game evolved on the core of humanism by Jacob & MiB. Fundamental differences in their beliefs, and how it affected their view of humanity became the whole point of their game. Is man good but flawed, or civilized evil? What began as a simple board game became the hand of fate drawing select people to the mysterious Island, and a near-unstoppable force to test them. Their conflict is over with the closing of the final chapter… but life is conflict and the question remains.

The relationship between Jacob and the MIB was about conflict, about proving a point about humanity. Jack and the Losties won this argument. The over-riding message about humanity in Lost was a positive one. People have great capacity for good, for love, for collaborative living and community. It was their personalities, their lives, that ‘broke’ the Smoke Monster. Jacob’s prophecy finally proving that humanity has reached a point where it is ready for enlightenment. And not forced enlightenment, ultimately, through choice.
@porridgebrain

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse - The beacon to draw & inspire

Light: Jacob needed Jack to fulfill his long & circuituous destiny… which included a number of pawns for him to lead, a love in Kate (later Juliet) to truly live & ultimately lose, he needed a foil in Locke (later Sawyer) to catalyze him, and so on. All of this is achieved by  fateful nudges at critical times of Jack’s life (and others). His candidates are his most important pieces, and are protected as much as possible.

Jacob’s last prophecy: “They’re coming.” – This is in reference to Jack & his posse returning from their time travel to the Island ‘present’ by way of the Incident; the detonation of Jughead. Of course, they’re coming to kill the MiB in Jacob’s rebuttal to MiB’s ‘loophole’ and though MiB thinks he has won, Jacob has in fact been playing for a stalemate the whole time.

It may have also been the more direct reference to Widmore bringing Desmond to the Island. The final piece of the plan was needing Desmond (who has steeled himself against the ‘magic’ of the Island from Swan implosion) to remove the plug and turn off The Source, so Jack could kill the MiB and that the surviving 6 could leave. Ending the cycle.

The Compass

The Compass: To gauge and choose your own direction

Dark: MiB set up Locke to be leader by planting evidence and intervention, from current Island to needing time travel to implant a self-fulfilling prophecy to make Locke leader of the Others, and put him in a position to maneuver Ben to kill Jacob. This would allow him the freedom to plan the complicated demise of the candidates, freeing him from his Island prison. Whether he was bound strictly to the Island, or more likely confined to his role on the Island, is still unclear. Either way, the release he ultimately sought was the destruction of the Island entirely, his unbalanced attempt to end the cycle.

Smokey was pictured with Anubis (egyptian god of the dead) and was hinted as a ‘protector’ of sorts, while Dharma built elaborate defenses against him. Clearly he has been playing this game quite differently throughout the years, but always involving power struggles, manipulation, and a cunning intellect. Wheels within wheels. Testing candidates by scanning their memories and taking the shape of dead people from their past, especially ones they have a deep spiritual connection to, is one of his more effective moves. Smokey also seemed to enjoy appearing in various shapes, pitting one side against the other & turning allies against each other.

Ultimately, their plans have to merge for it to succeed, or at least they have to utilize the other’s methods. MiB’s long con allowed the cycle to progress, while Jacob’s prophecy allowed it to end.

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#Lost: Answering the Unanswered Questions /2010/lost-answering-the-unanswered-questions/ /2010/lost-answering-the-unanswered-questions/#comments Thu, 23 Sep 2010 05:55:34 +0000 /blog/?p=2293 One of the greatest legacies of any fantastic television show, especially one as mysterious as Lost, is the unanswered questions that linger and tease the brain. Here I attempt to unravel the tangled web & put the pieces in perspective.

I grabbed this list of questions from: LOST Season6 Blogspot

  1. What is the history  of the Others? Where did they come from?  Why did they kill off the  Dharma Initiative?
    There have always been Others; visitors to the Island. Ancient cultures like egyptian and greek have clearly influenced the Island, The shipwreck that brought Claudia also brought other castaways (later befriended by MiB, & slaughtered by Mother), and Oceanic 815 for example. There always seems to have been indigenous people living on the Island, referred to as Others, or Hostiles, or now like Rose & Bernard. In Dharma’s glden age, and later the apex of Ben’s New Otherton, they had pretty easy ccess to & from the island, and would assumedly add to their numbers whenever they wished. This type of hubris would usuallylead to a Purge.
    They killed off Dharma in the most recent Purge, orchestrated by Ben with Richard. The Island seems to rid itself of infection from time to time by various means.
    Theory: Time-trvelling back to Dharma in the 70s paradoxically saved most of their lives, as Dharma evacuated most of its personnel before the Incident.
  2. What’s  up with Walt’s powers? How did  the Others know  about them?
    They didn’t. Not at first anyway. They abducted him because he was a child, and the Others had a habit of taking kids that ended up on the Island due to their own fertility woes. Walt was also used as leverage later for Michael to carry out ben/Christian(Fake jacob’s) orders.
    After some of their initial brain-washing experiments (Room23) they realized he was special, and potentially dangerous. Ben decided to get rid of Walt & Michael ASAP. mobisode: Room 23 (I think)
    Theory: Walt had a special connection with animals. His bond with Vincent was prevalent, but also was interested/knew about animals (later ep). He may have ‘drawn’ the polar bear to them in the pilot, and attracted the birds to the window of Room 23.
  3. How did Cindy  the stewardess and the two  children from the Oceanic flight come  to be among the Others?
    The Others were not entirely exclusive, and indoctrinated not just kids, but those who could help/staff them.
  4. Why exactly did Jacob pick these particular folks as his candidates? He tells them because they are “flawed.” Seriously, this is the best the show’s producers can do? By that standard, any random human fits the bill! Six years and all we get is, “they’re flawed.” Criminy.
    Jacob was looking for potential candidates (the exact criteria we don’t know) but they all shared some traits: alone, flawed, seeking redemption, and have the potential to fulfill their destiny. Casted not just individually, but as a group as well; Jack wouldn’t be Jack withut Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, etc.  Jacob’s intervention steered the most important 6 candidates towards the same fate. Everyone else just happened to be on the fateful flight.
  5. Jack is now Jacob’s successor and it’s his job to protect the magic golden light at the center of the island. But why? What has this light ever done for anyone apart from turn them into smoke monsters. What’s so danged good about the island. Everyone on the danged thing has been threatened, beat up and killed, it seems like. Sure, it has healing properties. But, to what purpose? Locke was made able to walk again so he could get killed by an evil entity that wants to destroy the self-same healing island. This makes NO SENSE people. And if the point is that it’s not supposed to make sense, that’s not coming through clear either. It’s all random and tossed together.
    I’ll get back to this one when I figure out what the question is.
  6. Why was Ben selected the leader of the Others? And why, ostensibly in the name of Jacob, do such horrible things to people? Did Jacob intend this? Why did the Others go along with it? Why did Richard go along with it?
    Ben was chosen as leader of the Island the same way Others always chose their leaders… those that seemed to be ‘in tune’ with the Island, and may have been destined to lead them. Ben’s resurrection at the Temple after being shot by time-jumping Sayid paradoxically gave Ben this distinction.
    Ben was an essential part of the MiB’s ‘loophole schemes’ long before he was aware of it. Just as MiB had to set up Loke to a position of importance, it was primarily to get Ben to actually kill Jacob.
  7. * Why did Jacob exclude Kate from being a candidate because she’s a mother? Wasn’t Sun a mother also? Wasn’t Jin a dad? Aren’t Jack and Sawyer also dads? Is Jacob a sexist pig?
  8. What was Ben’s breakfast on the beach with  Kate in season 3 all  about? We didn’t see any of their discussion.
    A wonderful scene to exemplify Ben’s pseudo-society resort of new Otherton that he had established. He was showing off to kate the luxurious life the Others led, in stark contrast to the image they portrayed to the Losties initially (fake beards & rags to imply their low-tech nature).
  9. Why does the smoke monster kill some people and not others?
    Smokey is a force of nature, the personification of death. He kills people. A lot.
    However he cannot kill the candidates directly. He also has weaknesses to sand, ritualistic circles of ash, or in one case, potentially was thwarted by the threat of dynamite.
  10. Why did the smoke  monster kill Eko, in particular? What did the monster see/sense  in him?
    Eko was a powerul figure of faith, and was presumably a person of interest to Smokey to twist & bend Eko to his will. He attempted to break Eko by taking the form of his dead brother, Yemi. Eko had already found his redemption through faith, and would ultimately serve no purpose to MiB’s schemes, so he killed him.
  11. Why did the magic light turn the man in black into a smoke monster? If the light is such a good thing, why did it create an entity that goes around killing essentially innocent people?
    Smokey has clearly been around for a very long time, he’s pictured with the egyptian god fo the dead Anubis in the hieroglyphics beneath the Temple. I don’t think Smokey was ‘created’ by MiB’s murder, more awakened by the violent sacrifice. As MiB died within the source, the sacrifice merged his soul/being into that of the Smoke monster. Since Jack died in a similar fashion (and ended up in the same spot/position as MiB did) I theorize that Jack is the new adversary on Hurley’s Island.
  12. Why did the Others initially disguise  themselves as shipwrecked  pirate types? What  was the point?
    Subterfuge & power struggles. They were making the Losties think they were simple folk, plainly living on another part of the Island, and that they preceded them. They kept their cushy lifestyle secretive, since you can assume most people stranded on a desert Island would try and reach The Resort.
  13. What’s up  with the sickness that killed off Danielle’s team? [Were they killed by Smokey or  turned evil by him? Or both?]
    Assumedly the same ‘sickness’ that infected Sayid. This may be a simpler way to explain the influence of Smokey, or ‘evil’.
    Also, since Rousseau had to piece together the answers herself in her addled brain, she may have included ‘clues’ that were intended to reinforce the Dharma quarantine stories used on Swan attendants.
  14. Is  the Dharma  Initiative still active at all?
    Assumedly no.There appear to be operatives from the Others scattered about our world, and the Widmore corporation & fronts, but assumedly Dharma has disbanded. One could assume the island undertaking was huge & expensive, and failed miserably as far as the outside world is concerned.
    Dharma backstory is explored more in LOST: Via Domus & some of the ARG’s
  15. Who was behind  the air drop of Dharma  supplies that has benefited the Oceanic survivors? [There was  a drop after the Oceanic survivors arrived, wasn’t there? Or was this  an old drop that Hurley discovered? I may be misremembering.]
    Technically never explained, I assume it was supplied by either The Others or their network of off-island Others. It was a bigger deal when we thought the Island was self-contained & shot-off from the outside world, but as we know that wasn’t the case. It may have been requisitioned by the hand of Jacob or the MiB, but that’s just theory.
  16. Why do  women on the island die instead of giving birth?
    The Others
    were unable to reproduce on the Island. Assumedly since ‘The Incident’ which would likely have left radiation & other fun side-effects behind.
    Another theory is that the scientific side-effects of the ‘magic’ of the Island, strange phenomenon, electromagnetism, and so on may have contributed to this mysterious form of population control. The fact that the statue is Tawaret, a deity of fertility & pregnancy, may indicate that the Island’s residents have always had a problem reproducing.
  17. Why did the Others steal children?|
    Because they could not reproduce themselves, only bring in others to their secret Island. There is also a precedence of ‘special’ children fatefully arriving, so assumedly they would test for this.
  18. What’s behind the apparent healing properties of the island?
    Effect of the Source of Light on the Island, and in its water table. The Temple as a concentrated source of this blessed water, and submerging the nearly dead would restore them with the light of life. This overall effect diffused throughout the entire Island is apparently enough to heal Rose of her cancer, as well as the other healing properties.
  19. What’s responsible for the visions of animals and dead people the crash surivors sometimes see on the   island?
    The Smoke Monster has taken a number of forms throughout the series, but always of the dead. there is no reason to assume he cannot take the form of an animal, or other images he is able to derive from scanning your memories.
    There may have also been artisitc license taken in that the characters own delusions or visions may have been hallucinatory.
  20. What’s the deal with Libby, killed in   season 2, who evidently gave Desmond the sailboat that landed him on  the  island and who once was in a mental ward with Hurley? [Despite  Libby’s recent appearance this season, these questions were not  answered.]
    Libby’s backstory is convoluted at best. Involving lost (rich) love, mental problems (perhaps as a result of them), and perhaps a tendency to show up at fateful times.
  21. What’s up with the giant statue?  Who built it? What is its significance?Ancient egyptians, the staue is of Tawaret. They constructed much of the early monuments & buildings, and may have been the first ‘civilized’ visitors/inhabitants to the Island around and perhaps before the reign of Mother. They built the statue, the Temple, the sub-temple tunnels, and the ‘plug’ and adorned it all with their hieroglyphics.
    Dharma would later expand on this theme, with hieroglyphics in the countdown timer.
  22. Is there   any explanation for why the man in the Dharma Initiative videos is at   different times identified as Dr. Marvin Candle, Dr. Mark Wickmund,  Dr. Pierre Change and   other names and why the CIA agent who identifies himself as Joe Inman   to Sayid tells Desmond that his name is Kelvin Inman?
    Part of Dharma’s experiments were psycholgical in nature. Not just their own experiments on animals & mysterious phenomenon, but also its effects on people. Different instructions were given to staff of different stations (especially the Swan & Pearl) as part of these experiments. Later it was also implied that Pierre Chang made up these names on the spot as he was filming them.
    Kelvin Joe Inman was the ‘full’ name of Clancy Brown’s character after ‘Joe’ was added as a red herring for the reveal of Inman’s involvement in both plots (to foil the dreaded ‘TVGuide- spoiler’).
  23. Why did the psychic in Australia encourage Claire to take the  doomed  flight?
    Though he was later debunked by Eko’s flashbacks, the psychic may have had a brief moment of clarity (perhaps via Jacob’s influence). It was important for Claire to take that flight, as the most important part of her life would be her time on that Island. She is one of only two characters (Sawyer is the other) who arrived on Day One, and left on the very last day.
  24. Who is the man Sarah left Jack for? Why is she so   reluctant to reveal his identity? Is he somehow associated with the   Dharma Initiative and/or the Others?
    Kind of an irrelevant question, as the main point was that Jack let his job take precedence over his whole life, and love-life. Conspiracy theorists may blame some other intervention, but I just think Jack was a jerk.
  25. What’s up with that polar bear in Tunisia? Was Charlotte   part of Dharma when she found it, or was she snooping into what Dharma   is all about? [Pretty much answered, I guess. We know Charlotte was  investigating her Dharma past? The polar bear likely transported from  the island ala Ben and Locke.]
  26. Who is Penelope’s  mother?
    Unnamed. But it may have been the character we know as Eloise Hawking. We know Widmore & Eloise had Daniel Faraday, it was unclear if she was also Penny’s mother.
  27. Why did Alpert want the body of Amy’s  husband? [Was it merely as proof of retribution to the Others?  Or did they do something creepy with it?]
    I assume he was maintaining order within the Hostiles by bringing back the one resposible for the deaths of two of his own. Richard generally meant well, and I think he wanted to avoid further retaliation. I mean, other than the whole killing them off with gas thing…
  28. Who  created the ancient temple on  the island?
    Ancient visitors/inhabitants to the Island. Perhaps the egyptians, but maybe other, later visitors. It seemed to be more Incan or Mayan in design. Either way, it seems to be founded & built upon a spring of blessed, light-infused water, so it’s effects would have been miraculous.
  29. How did the Others save young Ben after he was shot? [They put him  in the dark pool, most likely. But we weren’t shown that this is the  case.]
    He was brought to the Temple and submerged in the healing spring-waters by the monk-like Others located there. His resurrection would mark him for leadership of the Others, and would begin his important role in MiB’s plan.
  30. What is Ilana‘s history with  Jacob? Why was  her face bandaged?
    In my own twisted-paradox theory, her wounds were inflicted by the explosion that caused her ‘death’ on the Island.
  31. Is Locke really dead?
    Yes. John Locke was murdered by Ben Linus off the Island.

Additional  unanswered questions from Lostpedia:

  • Why did  Desmond tell Charlie he saw a vision of Claire and Aaron getting  on a  helicopter that could only come true if he died?
    There is an important distinction on Lost of the things we are shown, and the things we are told about.
    We know Desmond saw Charlie’s unavoidable death by a number of different means. I think he may have seen Aaron leave on the helicopter with Kate who he mistook as Claire, or simply lied to Charlie to give him an uplifting, fortune-teller type vision — some peace before his impending demise.
  • Why did Claire abandon Aaron?
    She was convinced by the Man in Black who at the time was disguised as her father, Christian Locke. She became ‘infected’ and was not of sound mind & body.
  • What caused the bad luck surrounding Hurley?
    Fate and coincedence, mainly. One could argue that each run of ‘bad luck’ was another step into pushing towards his ultimate goal, benevolent protector of a new age on the Island.
  • What does Juliet’s mark mean?
    She upset Ben, and the Others way of life. She was punished by branding, a primitive & effective message.

Have any other unanswered questions?

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