Friday, March 30, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Crossroads 2 INTERVIEW

I chatted with the fine folks at WIZARD earlier this week and you can read the result in all its glorious confusion at:

There is some discussion of the creative process involved in writing BSG, and in writing CROSSROADS specifically.

Battlestar Galactica Sitrep = Good Site!

I know I have a link to the site on this very blog, but still, let me once again recommend Battlestar Galactica Sitrep for anyone looking for a handy compilation of reviews, commentary and etc. It's a nice round-up of the latest and greatest...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Crossroads Trivia #2

From the "it's a small world" department. Mark Sheppard, who did such a wonderful job as attorney Romo Lampkin in the last three episodes of BSG season three, is a well-known character actor. But did you know his father was Morgan Sheppard, who has appeared in movies ranging from THE PRESTIGE to THE KEEP, and also appeared in the first broadcast episode of ABC's TIMECOP television series, which was produced by... moi?

Well now you do!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Crossroads 2 - Afterword

So hopefully you've seen the show, if not, there are no real spoilers ahead, but a few production tidbits...

We really went the extra mile to protect the surprises at the end from being leaked, to the extent of actually writing and publishing fake scripted scenes. This isn't to fool cast and crew as much as to keep the big secrets from hitting the internet months in advance. That said, the "false" scenes were actually good enough to fool some people intimiately associated with the show. To those folks, I now say: "sorry." (Maybe one of these days someone will post/publish the fake scenes, they're actually not bad!)

The final-final revelation was scripted a couple of different ways, but the Vipers in space version was the most fun. However, the original version would have been a REAL mind-frak. When there's a little more distance and most folks have had a chance to see the show, I'll try to elaborate.

Finally, a lot of material was mixed and matched between Crossroads 1 and Crossroads 2 in the editing process, meaning I wrote some scenes that wound up in Part 1, and Michael Taylor wrote some that landed in Part 2. Welcome to the crazy world of television! It's really is a gigantic, collective effort doing these shows, from Ron Moore and David Eick on down, including cast, crew, editors, Gary Hutzel and the FX guys (how about that final shot?!), composer Bear McCreary (boy, did I like what he did for Crossroads!), et al.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Okay, this is it, the last reminder.

Sunday night on the Sci-Fi Channel, 10:00PM, get ready for the big season three finale. It's a show that will challenge everything you thought you knew about Battlestar's cast of characters. Old friends find themselves at odds, a father and a son face off over the soul of the fleet -- and that's just the beginning! Then things get really interesting, and Battlestar Galactica goes to places you probably never imagined. Figuritively AND literally -- so make sure you watch to the very end!

The show runs an extra FIVE MINUTES so adjust your Tivos and DVRs accordingly. I am not responsible for the emergency room visits that will incur from fans kicking themselves in the behinds because they missed the last few minutes!

And if you still crave MORE BSG news, Ron Moore has an interview up at Salon where he discusses the season and the upcoming Battlestar two-parter involving the good ship Pegasus. Check out the interview at:

Friday, March 23, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Crossroads 1 - MV Podcast!

Here's the link to the first of my Canadian podcasts, this one dealing with Crossroads Part 1.

I'm having problems making a direct link work, so you'll need to cut and paste all the above to reach the podcast site. BTW, thanks to my pal Mark Askwith at Space Channel for making all this happen!

Also, re: questions I've been getting in comments about Crossroads 2, the BSG "movie" and "et al", I would rather wait until after Sunday's show runs before diving into anything. Then I'll be much more comfortable discussing plot-related stuff and the rest.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


That's right, Sci-Fi just announced that the fourth season of BSG will offer up 22 glorious episodes, not the original 13. Obviously the staff is thrilled and already hard at work making season four the best one yet. We're well into the stories for season four and trust me, you haven't seen anything yet...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The NEW Cars - Music I Shouldn't Like, But Do!

I always a fan of The Cars, especially their first self-titled album, which is one of those pristine 70's classics right up there with "My Aim Is True" by Elvis Costello, "Are We Not Men" by Devo, etc. I lost track of them a few records in, but evidently one member died a few years ago and Ric Ocasek, the singer/songwriter who seemed to lead the band, went off to a solo career.

So two of the surviving members team up with Todd Rundgren (!) and form "The NEW Cars", a touring band that covers all the great old Cars material, plus a few tunes from Rundgren's solo and Utopia past. Their first release is a 15 track live, 3 track "new in studio" album where Todd mostly imitates Ocasek during one of their few gigs. (I believe one of the members of the band was injured soon after the launch, aborting most of the subsequent tour.)

Anyway, this is usually the sort of disposable, clearly done-for-the-green reunion that would set my teeth on edge. The rhythm section from Creedence Clearwater Revival tours as 'Creedence Clearwater Revisited" and actually had the cajones to release a live set with some guy imitating John Fogerty. That particular release wound up on my "interesting curiosity" shelf.

But the New Cars is actually awfully darn good. I love live material, anyway, and the sound here is heavy and chunky and sounds great on the car stereo, and you get most of the biggest original Cars hits. I even like the new stuff, including one clever song called "Not Tonight" that definitely seems to have the Rundgren whimsy. So what can I say? Worth a listen if you like the Car, Rundgren, live shows, etc...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Crossroads 2

So we're coming into the home stretch, with the big season finale THIS SUNDAY. Crossroads Part 1 set the table, now prepare yourselves as a events smash the dinnerware to the floor and stomp it into tiny shards.

I will be posting a couple more times as we near the big date. I'm thrilled with the way these episodes came together and I suspect more than a few jaws will be cracking the pavement before the show wraps.

Just remember, it's going to run FIVE MINUTES LONGER than most shows, so set your recorders accordingly. CROSSROADS PART 2, written by yours truly, directed by Michael Rymer, starring one of the best casts on television! That's SUNDAY MARCH 25 at 10:00PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: The Toys

Once season three is over, stage your own dramatic scenes with your personal Battlestar action figures. And try to remember that this is all about having good, clean fun, even though the mind boggles at what could be achieved with the Number Six and Baltar figures...

Photos of the prototypes available at the link:


So yes, the series has been plagued by delays and artistic change-ups, but here's the good news:

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #33, the climax of the enormous six issue "ENEMIES AMONG US" story, is done, at the printer, fini, shipping ASAP! Art by Joe Benitez! Story by me! Aliens, explosions, blackrocks, all kinds of action and adventure. There's even an extra page (23 as opposed to the usual 22).

Meanwhile, SUPERMAN/BATMAN #34, which launches a new storyline involving the Man O' Steel, the Man O' Not-Steel and a bunch of METAL MEN who are various alloys EXCEPT Steel. Art by Pat Lee, the first issue is by yours truly, then the next two are from a plot by moi, script by Marc Guggenheim. Click the link below for a preview of the artwork from the first issue!

Ssuperheroes, aliens, robots, a surprise villain and (wha?) it's actually ON TIME. Check it out!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Crossroads Part One


The trial of Gaius Baltar begins in earnest, but that's just the beginning. I don't think it's understating things to say the next two episodes of BSG will launch the show in a new, intriguing and controversial direction. If you think you know the answers, you're probably asking the wrong questions...

That's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Written by Michael Taylor, directed by Michael Rymer, it's SUNDAY NIGHT at 10:00PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Battlestar Spoilers?

To all those asking me to comment on the spoilers re: Battlestar? FORGET IT. Ignore them. Watch the show, enjoy it, let the surprises wash over you like a sweet cool breeze...

Oh, okay. One spoiler. GAETA LIVES. Happy?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Battlestar Babble' - Canadian Edition

If you happen to reside in Canada and can pick up the Space Channel's podcasts re: Battlestar Galactica, I will be providing some commentary on CROSSROADS 1 and 2 as we come closer to the airdate. There will be no grand revelations, but maybe a little chatter about working methods and "etc."

Keep your eyes peeled on the Space website for more info and details, "ehh?"


Thanks to anonymous, who posted the following info down in the comments section:

"Hi. I just wanted to let you know that Bruce Campbell will be attending the sneak preview of My Name is Bruce at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon on April 13, 2007. Also showing at that day are Bubba Ho-Tep, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness."

There you go! All you Ashland Deadites, prepare yourself for an onslaught of Brucemania. Google the Festival for times and etc. And to tease you just a little more, here is another line of AUTHENTIC dialogue from the feature film, "My Name Is Bruce":

BRUCE: "My God, I can smell her chapstick!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Host = Cool Monster

So an evil American scientist (Scott Wilson) tells his Korean aide to flush a bunch of poisonous chemicals down the drain. Guess what happens next? If you picked "a Government investigation fines the scientist for polluting", WRONG. Nope, that idiot Wilson's lack of respect for the environment produces a bizarre, sea-going, elephant-sized man-eating monster that proceeds to rampage across Korea.

Incidentally, that's not a spoiler. One of the fun things about THE HOST is that the filmmakers don't do the usual dance of hiding the creature in shadow for two acts, then bringing it on full force in the climax. One of the best scenes in THE HOST comes early, when folks trying to enjoy a Summer day on the river are suddenly beseiged by this thing. The first shot of the creature loping toward our featured characters is simultaneously spine-tingling and audacious.

When the creature drags a couple of youngsters down to its lair, the story becomes one of survival, and a family fighting an insensitive government to save their own. There's more on the story's mind than just the monsters, and that's fun. Definitely worth checking out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Richard Jeni - RIP

Sad news this weekend, it appears comedian Richard Jeni committed suicide at age 49. I met Jeni once or twice during my involvement with THE MASK, and remember him as an energetic, nice guy.

Looking back, I recall a lot of folks thought Jeni would be the break-out star from the movie, but for whatever reason that didn't really happen. But he had a great career in stand-up, with multiple HBO specials under his belt. And he was really funny.

Elayne Boozler has a nice piece on Jeni over at the Huffington Post,, including some of his best laugh lines. My favorite, "The way I see it, we're all flying on the Hindenburg, why fight over the window seats?" Yep...

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Mark Evanier has been extolling the virtues of Otto Preminger's tour de force SKIDOO for months now, pleading with Paramount to release this 1968 masterpiece to DVD. Check Mark's latest comments (with a link to 3 minutes of SKIDOO madness) here:

The clip only teases the madness that follows. A very cranky Jackie Gleason plays "Harry", a hit man for the mob, Carol Channing is his wife and Groucho Marx plays a rather elderly "God." The plot of the movie is impossible to describe, but I think it's supposed to be a comedy. Either way, we're talking about a movie where Jackie Gleason's character drops acid in prison and has an extended surreal "trip" involving Mickey Rooney, followed by the skeletal Channing stripping to her bra and panties to entice some goons. Between that, there are song and dance numbers, a murder and more thoroughly bizarre events.

In other words, yes. IT'S THAT GOOD. Apparently the Preminger estate has no interest in seeing Skidoo back in circulation, but this crime against art must be rectified.

Skidoo Skidoo!

300 The Movie

I managed to attend the premiere of "300" last Monday, a gala affair at Grauman's (or is it Mann's?) Chinese Theater and, afterward, the Hotel Roosevelt across the street.

First, a review of the movie. I liked it. Wildly stylized, it felt like every line was bellowed as opposed to spoken, but hey, we're talking Spartans here. Gerard Butler as the King was very good, but the star of this show was definitely the CGI and the "look." I'm not usually that impressed with showy FX shots, but "300" really pushes into some impressive territory. There's a shot of a storm lashing an armada of enemy ships that is truly mind-boggling in complexity. And I can't help suspecting there was a little CG augmentation involved in the physiques of the cast... either that, or someone went through a half dozen crunch machines to nail down those six pack abs.

Now, the review of the premiere itself. Again, I liked it! ***1/2. I sat behind Mr. Fantastic (the actor from the FF movies) and a couple seats down from Hellboy. The projection was great, the sound was screamingly loud, there was free popcorn, all was good. The after-party also gets a thumbs up. Criteria? Free hard liquor? Check. Tasty buffet? Check. Decorations in the spirit of the film? Check. Did I mention free hard liquor? Check, check and double check!

Funniest line heard at the party: in the film, the 300 Spartans seem to be alone in their war against the Persians and bring nothing but swords, shields, capes and leather briefs to the fight. In other words, you never see anyone lugging crates of food or water or ANY supplies. However, at one point the King is munching on an apple as he exhorts his troops. The line: "So where do you think he kept that apple all that time?"

Matt Roush from TV Guide on BSG's Future

Click the link for an nice piece by Matt Roush of TV GUIDE on last three episodes of season three... no real spoilers, but a great tease!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Battlestar Galactica SUNDAY - The Son Also Rises

I know I'm beating the drum pretty hard here, but I'm really proud of the next three episodes of BSG and it would be great if a few more eyeballs wandered over to watch them. Sunday night on the Sci-Fi Channel at 10:00, you'll meet new character Romo Lampkin as the stage is set for the trial of Gaius Baltar. But if you think the trial is the only issue facing the fleet, think again. There's continuing fallout from the events in Maelstrom, shifting loyalities inside Galactica and plenty of your classic BSG tumult.

Meanwhile, the rag-tag BSG writing staff is cracking season four, and you better stitch your socks to your ankles, cause we're planning some stories that'll blow them right off.

BUT... that's later. Right now, remember SUNDAY NIGHT, 10:00 PM, Sci-Fi Channel, BE THERE.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Gets LONGER

I'm told that the big third season finale, CROSSROADS Part 2 (written by yours truly, directed by Michael Rymer) will run five minutes longer than most episodes, so if you're TiVoing or recording the show, better make sure to adjust your clock accordingly. Trust me, if you miss the last five minutes, you will be missing some rather profound and significant plot points.

Meanwhile, this Sunday's episode, "The Son Also Rises", introduces a new character into the BSG pantheon as the trial of Gaius Baltar begins in earnest. You think Maelstrom was big, well, prepare yourself... the rocket sled is just picking up speed.

SUNDAY nights at 10:00PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

People I Like: Bob Greenberger

Just added another site to my list to the right. Check out the blog written by Bob Greenberger, a friend, former editor and all around good guy. Bob hired me for my first regular, monthly comic book (THE PHANTOM for DC Comics), which allowed me to quit my very unsatisfying day job at the Los Angeles Times and start... well, my career. But please don't hold that against him, he didn't know what he was unleashing, honest! Since those days, Bob's worked for both DC and Marvel, and both companies were lucky to have him.

Bob's now a freelance writer on various projects, and his thoughts on the business and the world at large are all worth reading. He sure gets to travel more than I do! So consider this a tip of the Verheiden cap in Mr. G's direction...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Sunday - MAELSTROM

Okay, people, prepare yourselves, because this episode is going to rock your world and kick off the last four episodes of BSG/season three. The less you know going in the better, but if you think you've guessed where we're going -- guess again!

Written by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. There will be Vipers, action, drama... and a lot more. SUNDAY NIGHT on the SCI-FI CHANNEL, 10:00 PM. Check it out!