Monday, March 30, 2009

ON HEROES -- 3/30/09!

The fine folks at NBC/Universal provide the tease once more:


Now that Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar) ability has been revealed and he has lost control of his operation, he and Claire (Hayden Panettiere) go into hiding in Mexico. With Emile Danko (guest star Zeljko Ivanek) now in control of the government operation, his plan to destroy everyone with abilities is set into motion as he teams up with an unlikely partner. Meanwhile, Angela (Cristine Rose) and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) seek refuge in a church and begin to mend their broken relationship. Kevin Alejandro also guest stars.

The intrigue continues... and next week, my second episode of the season (co-written with Rob Fresco), an emotional episode that goes into the personal toll the government's Fugitives program is taking on some surprising characters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tip O' The Hat To...

...Logan at the Galactica Sitrep site for an amazing compilation of reviews and comments on the BSG finale episode. Some fascinating and wildly disparate views, ranging from the beatific to "you don't want to see me when I'm mad." Pretty amazing...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

BSG Is Over...

...except for "The Plan" and "Caprica", of course, and the comics, and whatever other ancillary stuff remains in the pipeline. I keep expecting Ferris Bueller to appear somewhere on the edges of the BSG-verse and say "you're still here? It's over! Go home!" Except the truth is, there's always something else...

For instance, being "a writer," I think it would be interesting at some point for the actual episodic scripts to be released. There was always material that was cut on stage or left on the cutting room floor, and the episodes themselves were sometimes restructured. I'm not sure how the scripts would affect "the canon" of the series, yet another topic for spirited debate. Is the series "the series", or is it the extended DVD cut(s), or what? Personally, I'm not sure it matters... more information is just more information, fun for those interested and easily ignored for those who aren't.

And aside from that, the scripts are a fun read. All the writers had different prose styles and intriguing ways of presenting events and characters. I still remember an action line from an Angeli script that described Col. Tigh as a "wrecking ball with whiskers."

So maybe that's a possibility down the line... who knows?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse

Sean Penn is Larry, Benecio Del Toro is Moe and Jim Carrey is Curly.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Once again the fine folks at NBC promotion do the best summary...


HRG (Jack Coleman) convinces Emile Danko (guest star Zeljko Ivanek), a.k.a. “The Hunter”, to release Tracy (Ali Larter) from “Building 26,” in hopes that she will lead them to “Rebel.” As Angela (Cristine Rose) evades capture, she turns to an old friend (guest star Swoosie Kurtz) for help. In Los Angeles, Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee) continue on their latest mission from “Rebel” to protect the newest hero.

Brea Grant and David H. Lawrence XVII guest star.

Major changes are afoot in the Hero-verse as the Fugitives arc continues. FYI, my next episode (co-written with the wonderful Rob Fresco), "Turn And Face The Strange", airs in two weeks.

NBC! Monday nights at 9:00PM! It looks fine in standard def but it looks GREAT in high def!

I'm Just Sayin'...

Most overused derisive/dismissive term seen on the internet: "Meh!" I see it and I want to say "meh!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Heroes For Autism Benefit!

My friends at Heroes have put together a very fun, very important fundraiser that will support the Autism Speaks group. Live performances by "Band From TV" (what the heck are Matt Parkman and Greg House doing on the same stage?!) and Wendy and Lisa, the fabulous musicians who do the music for Heroes. I'll be there along with many of the stars of Heroes. It's a worthy cause and promises to be a blast of an evening. Full details are available at:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Springsteen and the Finale Episode...

I did a little clicking around the internet and there seems to be much discussion about the last episode of Battlestar Galactica. The fact that there IS discussion, some pro and some con, is a good thing.

I will not wade into the critical arena or debate various judgments, only note that it's hard to imagine a finale episode that could have pleased everyone (though it appears many were moved and thrilled). Bruce Springsteen, of all people, articulated an interesting take on this. He was on the Daily Show Thursday night, and Jon Stewart asked how Springsteen feels when one of his on-stage political comments is met with less enthusiasm than, say, a rousing version of "Born To Run." Paraphrasing, Springsteen said he realizes he has a collection of "audiences" at his shows. Some are there to hear the oldies, some welcome the political dimension, others just want to dance. BSG's audience has (or had, *sob*) the same dichotomy, I suspect... but we could only do one finale episode!

Anyway, I walk away from BSG proud of the work we did, and in the end, that's about as good as it gets in this biz...

Friday, March 20, 2009

TODAY & TONIGHT on Battlestar Galactica

Talk about bittersweet... this is the last time I'll be able to announce a new episode (well, until "The Plan" debuts later this year!). It's been a long, wild ride, but the roller coaster is coming into the platform and it's almost time to get off. Unless you're in the rag-tag fleet, of course, in which case... but that would be telling!

So tonight is the finale, the wrap-up, the end of the series. Daybreak Part 2. Curious what all those flashbacks were about? What is the "hour of your life" that Adama was discussing? How come Lee is suddenly mad at birds? All that and much, much more, because all good things come to those who wait!

For those with time and/or a lot of DVR room, Sci-Fi (or is it SyFy now?) is rerunning a bunch of BSG episodes today, in "regular" and high def. Great way to get caught up and prepped for tonight's 2 hour and eleven minute spectacular (yes, you read that right, so adjust your recorders appropriately!). If you miss it, it looks like it'll be rerun on Saturday March 27th, too...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is the End... Battlestar Galactica Style...

The cast and crew and extended family will be gathering at an undisclosed location Friday to watch the final episode together and commiserate, discuss, laugh and probably cry a little over the last act of our little drama. I've been buried with work the last few weeks (a good thing!) but it's been fun dragging myself out of the house for all the screenings and get-togethers over the past couple of months. Hollywood and screenwriting can be a pretty cynical business, but I have frequent "pinch me" moments these days, because I've been awfully fortunate in my so-called career. And Battlestar Galactica is definitely a high point.

Sometimes people ask me, what was my favorite script or produced piece of work? My stock answer has always been "the next one", and that's still mostly true -- I'm hopeful that my best work is still in front of me. But jeez, BSG set a pretty high bar. The freedom to deal with the world around us in a science fiction setting was intoxicating and liberating and all that other good stuff, and even better, the people involved were all great.

I'll probably have more to say after the screening, but for now, sit back and enjoy the last episode and hoist one (or two or three) for Galactica!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ron Silver R.I.P.

I only met Mr. Silver a couple of times, but I admired his work and was thrilled when he came on board for Timecop. He played a great villain and his sarcastic performance definitely classed up the joint.

Silver's post 9/11 ideological/political shift was intriguing. I didn't agree with him on most points, but civil disagreement is the great "joy" of democracy. You certainly had no problem understanding where Silver stood on the issues! But regardless of the political vicissitudes, Silver's work will live on. Reversal of Fortune, West Wing, Rhoda (!), all great stuff.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gomorrah & SHM CDs (together for the last time!)

Varied and sundry that has crossed my path recently...

I had a chance to see Gomorrah, a slice of life gangster story from Italy. Except that description doesn't really do it justice; Gomorrah is relentlessly downbeat and thoroughly unromantic. The thugs in the film are low level worker-bees for the organization, trapped in dreary and scary lives that are almost always cut short by gunfire. They may quote the Pacino Scarface, but none of these guys are actually living that life. Actually, by the end of the movie, very few of the characters are "living" at all. Roger Ebert has a perceptive review at his site, check it out at

There's a new CD format of sorts, mostly available in Japan. SHM CD, or "Super High Material", is supposed to use a super-duper clear poly-whatever that allows regular CD players to better read the ones and zeroes on the disc, resulting in better sound. I don't have a mega-pricey sound system and I'm half deaf from a misspent youth (and adulthood) playing the drums and listening to loud music, but to these ears some of the CDs do sound better than traditional pressings. However, how much of that is because of SHM and how much is because of subtle new mixing, I dunno. I won't be replacing my CD collection with (expensive!) SHM discs anytime soon, but I am a sucker for "technological advances" like this...

Friday, March 13, 2009

TONIGHT on Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Part 1

Well, only two more weeks left... cast and crew have pretty much scattered to other things, but many of us have been getting together almost every week in Los Angeles to enjoy the last episodes on a variety of big screens. I suspect our gathering for the big finale will be joyous and melancholy and emotional, all at the same time. Kind of like BSG, actually...

Tonight, it all starts coming together. Or falling apart. Welcome to the world that is Battlestar! Candid admission time... I know the story, but while I've had versions of the finale on my desk since last Fall, I still haven't watched them. They were preliminary cuts, so I'm guessing a lot has changed, and selfishly as a fan I wanted to let the last couple hours flow over me. I sure hope they kept the Daggit...

TONIGHT on the Sci-Fi Channel! 10:00PM! Don't miss it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frank Miller's Charlie Brown

Sin City goes Peanuts...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who Watches The Watchmen?

Well, I do... or did. Snuck out from a busy workday and caught a screening of Watchmen, the adaptation of A*** M**** and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel. I'm not trying to be cute with Alan Moore's name (well, I guess I am), but he's so utterly opposed to film versions of his work that he had his name removed from the movie's credits. Part of me admires the fact that he puts his money where his mouth is and not only eschews credit on the movie, but refuses and/or gives his share of the proceeds to his collaborators. The more pragmatic part of me notes that you could turn Watchmen into a Saturday morning cartoon (already done, go to and click on "watch the cartoon"!) and the original graphic novel would still exist in all its glory.

But that's someone else's problem! Me, I loved the graphic novel... bought it in chapters when it was first released and probably five different editions since, from the swanky Graffiti box set to the recent Absolute Watchmen. I had drifted away from comics after college, but like countless other fans the Watchmen and Dark Knight books were a one/two punch that suggested there was life left in the mainstream superhero genre...

And the movie version? Well, I more or less loved it. I'm not going to re-read the book to refresh my memory, but it certainly feels like a faithful adaptation. I could quibble around the edges (oh, okay, I didn't really care for the music choices, and hey, Watchtower again?!) but given how far off the rails this could have gone, it's an amazing achievement. I especially like that it doesn't go all PG-13 on us and delivers all of the original stories adult conceits, from Doc. Manhattan's blue johnson to the uncompromising conclusion (albeit that's changed from the original).

(Self deprecating admission -- I was briefly up for adapting Moore's V For Vendetta. Which I actually think is a better book than Watchmen, though both are excellent. The direction being discussed at that time was, in hindsight, so unfortunate that I suspect I would have had Mr. Moore's suicide on my hands had it gone forward. But it didn't. And oddly enough, I still haven't seen the movie that was eventually made from the book!)

Final Watchmen note: there's a Battlestar connection! Don Thompson, aka Figurski, is seen right at the top of the movie as a police officer investigating a murder scene. And I knew him when... *sniff*...

Monday, March 09, 2009

TONIGHT on HEROES -- "Shades Of Gray"

Once again those fine folks at NBC have created a glorious synopsis! Once again I have cut and pasted it!


When Sylar (Zachary Quinto) comes face-to-face with his long lost father (guest star John Glover), the reunion proves to be what he least expected. Elsewhere, after receiving a tip from “Rebel,” Claire (Hayden Panettiere) must decide if she will help her sworn enemy, Eric Doyle (guest star David Lawrence XVII), evade capture. Meanwhile, as “The Hunter” (guest star Zeljko Ivanek) plans to uncover the Petrelli family’s secrets and take control of Nathan’s (Adrian Pasdar) operation, Matt (Greg Grunberg) finds himself in the spotlight and on the verge of leveling Capitol Hill. Randall Bentley and Ashley Crow also guest star.

In the "small world" department, John Glover, who was Lex Luthor's papa on my old stomping grounds of Smallville, joins the Heroes cast as Sylar's Dad. Clearly Mr. Glover's characters have a proclivity for creating unusual offspring. If you're into the Sylar character and curious how such a nice young man developed so many demons, you'll love this episode!

In other news, I'll be doing another on-camera episode commentary for my second Heroes effort, episode 22, "Turn and Face The Strange." I'll be joined by my co-writer Rob Fresco and Mohinder Suresh himself, Sendhil Ramamurthy. Something to check out a few weeks from now...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Drive Everyone You Know Completely Insane

Start playing with this really loud...


Islanded In A Stream Of Stars... written by Michael Taylor, directed by Edward James Olmos, we're coming to the close, my friends. Galactica's feeling poorly, Athena's a tad cranky after Boomer went bye-bye with Hera, booze, intrigue, just another day on the Battlestar!

After this episode, we're into the three hour finale. Will the rag-tag fleet finally find peace on the casino planet? Will Boxey make his epic return? Did Gaeta survive the firing squad? None of these answers and more are coming...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Your Guide To The BSG-a-verse

There is dedication and there's above and beyond the call of duty. I'm not sure where this timeline/chart of BSG history falls, but it's pretty cool. Incidentally, I've just skimmed it, so I can't vouch for every factual point, but at this remove I'm guessing this chart's more accurate than my (often faulty) memory...


I could paraphrase a description, or go straight to NBC's handy-dandy synopsis! TONIGHT ON HEROES --


After receiving a tip from “Rebel,” Matt (Greg Grunberg) and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) race to “Building 26” to rescue Daphne and recover files that will expose the government’s plans for those with abilities. Claire (Hayden Panettiere) finds help from an unlikely source in smuggling Alex (guest star Justin Baldoni) out of the city. As Sylar (Zachary Quinto) and Luke (guest star Dan Byrd) continue their road trip, Sylar begins to have memories of his father that lead him to the truth about his mother. Meanwhile, “The Hunter” (guest star Zeljko Ivanek) puts his own agenda into action with an explosive surprise for one of our heroes.

Randall Bentley, Ashley Crow and David Lawrence XVII guest stars.

Written by Adam Armus and Kay Foster. Yes indeed, things continue to ramp up for our heroes (and villains)... that's NBC, 9:00PM, after Chuck, before Medium, right in the middle, it's called Heroes!