Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Churchill and Dalek News for Doctor Who

After hearing Matt Smith's Doctor for the first time, now we have other snippets of dialogue, this time from a Dalek (voiced by Nicolas Briggs as usual) who asks ''would you care for some tea? This question is definitely un-Dalek like and has me much intrigued about the storyline.

As well, we have a few more informations about the characters that will appear in this episode. As previously mentioned, we have Winston Churchill, and a character called the Professor.

Life, Doctor Who and Combom has the exclusive by alun.vega:

As far as I can tell, the story so far is that Bill Patersons character is some kind of Professor, a boffin working for Churchill during WW2. He believes hes invented the Daleks as a new super-weapon, though hes a bit fuzzy on how the idea came to him. The Daleks are stringing the Professor along, playing docile and very British.

Dalek: Would you care for some tea?

Churchill doesn't care where the Professor's "ironclads" came from, only that they have the potential to defeat the Nazis and win the war.

Churchill: Death to our enemies, Death to the 3rd Reich!The Doctor: Yes, yes, and death to everyone else too.

The Doctor is trying to convince the Professor and Churchill not to unleash the Daleks, but they're not taking him seriously (possibly because he seems implausibly young?) hence his growing frustration and anger, as he turns on the playing-it-innocent Daleks:

The Doctor: I sent you back into the void. I saved the whole of reality from you. I am the Doctor, and you are the DALEKS!

The Professor (Bill Paterson) seems to warm to Amy, as they're both Scottish. I believe the Professor says: "Are you from the Islands?" Very sweet.

My reading of this line is, he seems not only to be trying to convince Churchill and the Professor of the Daleks true nature, but also reminding himself of who he is: the Doctor!

Amy Pond is definitely 100% Scottish. She has a soft accent, so her voice didn't carry far, making it hard to hear anything she said.

We glimpsed someone looking very Churchillian from the side, yesterday lunchtime, but didn't recognise the actor

At one point, the professor talks about the Daleks being his ''Ironsides'' (probably meaning a form of weapon against the Nazis.) As well, he claims to have created the Daleks, and these ones answer back that THEY created him.

To hear the many awesome bits of audio recordings and more of Alun.vega's pics go Here

source, source

2009 Star Trek Convention: Saturday Night Gala

Picture 1: Robert Picardo belting it out for the crowd
Picture 2 and 3: Tim Russ with his electric guitar, accompanied by a piano man
Picture 4: Jacqueline Kim getting ready for her performance
Picture 5: Brent Spiner entertaining a raptured audience
Picture 6: The Enterprise Blues Band at the Dessert Party

On the Saturday night of the Star Trek Convention, I attended the gala presentation where four beloved actors were scheduled to perform.

Opening the evening and in great form, was Robert Picardo, all dressed to the nine – minus the tie. Accompanied by the orchestra, and to a thunderous round of applause, Mr. Picardo entertained the attending crowd with four musical renditions of various love songs.

He was then followed by Tim Russ who accompanied himself with his electric guitar (and by a piano player as well) and blew us away with his raw musical style.

Third up was the lovely Jacqueline Kim who was there for the first time. Playing acoustic guitar, and visibly nervous, Miss Kim charmed many in the audience with her soft voice. I was delighted to hear her sing a song in french, my own native tongue.

Last, but not least, was Brent Spiner, accompanied by his orchestra. The highlight of the gala, it was Mr. Spiner's first time singing during a Star Trek Convention. He closed the evening with 6 songs, and managed to make us laugh – while at the same time showing his showmanship – by admitting he had missed a few of his lines. The audience was laughing and was completely under his spell.

At the end, there was a much deserved standing ovation from the crowd.

The gala was then followed by a dessert party (mainly ice cream and many toppings, no cakes – shame on you Creation, I feel you're going cheap on us). We were again entertained by Star Trek actors, namely from the Enterprise Blues Band. On certain tables, throned centerpieces made by convention-goers themselves.

All in all, I thought it was a better evening than the previous Thursday Night Gold Party. My recommendations to Creation though, stop going cheap on your guests with the food. Nuff said.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hear the Eleventh Doctor Speak!

Well, this is one fantastic piece of news! We get to hear Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor speak for the first time!

It was recorded today (august 28th), in Jacobs Antiques Center in Cardiff, by alun.vega who says ''

''I wasn't bugging them! I was simply standing in the stairwell above where they were recording. There is a open (caged) lift shaft - seen in Love & Monsters - and the sound carried upwards when the actors shouted, as Matt did here.''

On the recording, the Doctor says:

''I send you back into the void. I saved the whole of reality from you. I am the Doctor, and you are the DALEKS''

You can hear the fantastic recording HERE!

I had to listen to it a few times. I find the way he calls the Daleks a bit weird, like he's saying Da -aah -leks. Perhaps this scene was re-shot a few times, and I suppose it needs to be heard and seen in context to make sense of the way he says the word.

In further news, it seems that Winston Churchill may finally make his appearance (it's been talked about for ages, and I know that the book writers were forbidden to use the character, meaning the show had plans to use Churchill) in the WWII-Daleks episode. Life, Doctor Who and Combom has received a scoop from both alun.vega and Scooty. Go here for the story. Remember, nothing is confirmed yet!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Daleks Are Back on Doctor Who?

Picture 1: The RTD Era Daleks
Picture 2 by Scooty: You can make out the top of the Dalek's head
Picture 3 by Scooty: Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

The always excellent Life, Doctor Who and Combom reports some filming on season 5 of Doctor Who and says that we will be seeing the Doctor's oldest and most resilient ennemies: The Daleks.

From the recent pictures taken by Scooty (which you can see here), we can make out the top of a Dalek's head. You can also see Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and actors dressed as soldiers from WWII. Filming is currently taking place at the Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University.

These pictures support earlier reports I have read about filming in an underground WWII bunker in Swansea, Wales. These reports can be found here with pics here.

I myself I'm very much excited about the return of the Daleks though many people have complained that they have been overutilised during Russel T. Davies' run of the series. In a way, I find that it links the series together, even though Steven Moffatt now runs the show. I would have feared a complete deconnection from what has been done before just because there is a new man at the helm and a completely whole new cast.

My Top Ten Data Episodes

Lieutenant Commander Data is arguably one of the most popular characters of the Star Trek universe and one of my own personal favourites. After finishing my TNG marathon viewing this winter, I wrote down a list of favourite episodes that have Data as the main protagonist. For you, dear readers, I decided to chose which ones, in my humble opinion, are the 10 best of the bunch. The choice was based on whether the episode brings character development or because it is simply fantastic. It was a difficult list to come up with because there are more than 10 episodes where the android shines. In chronological order they are:

1- The Measure of A Man (2x09): One of the greatest Data episodes as well as one of the best of Star Trek. It dealt with Data’s rights as a sentient being and whether or not he was the property of Starfleet. This episode will have repercussions on a further TNG episode titled The Offspring and on a Voyager episode called Author, Author

2- The Ensigns of Command (3x02): Data alone must convince a colony of 15, 000 people to evacuate a planet within three days before the planet's alien owners - the Sheliak Corporate - arrive and wipe the colony. The episode provides a further step in the android’s development as Data must use all his skills to convince people to trust and follow him. He will later get the chance to show his commanding skills in Redemption Part II

3- The Offspring (3x16): In this episode, Data’s rights as a father are challenged when Starfleet wants to take possession of a female android he has created, a ''daughter,'' named Lal (meaning Beloved in hindi). It is both funny and poignant as Data deals, in one scene, with his daughter’s flirtation with Commander Riker, and later with her untimely death when she exceeds her own programming and develops emotions causing damage to her system. An emotionless Data can only stand by and watch. This episode is a true testament to Brent Spiner's magnificent performance as Data who makes us, the viewers, feel for him.

4- The Most Toys (3x22): Data is kidnapped by a trader named Kivas Fajo who wants to add the android to his collection of unique and valuable items. Fajo’s subsequent murderous action, in order to keep Data, brings the android himself to the brink of murder - despite his directive against killing for no reason.

5- Brothers (4x03): Data endangers a mission when he is summoned by his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong. This episode is a real Tour de Force by Brent Spiner who plays the multiple roles of Data, his brother Lore and his creator Dr. Soong. We also first hear of the emotion chip in this episode.

6- Data’s Day (4x11): This fun and light episode shows 24 hours in the life of the android recorded for Commander Bruce Maddox, the man who previously challenged Data’s rights in Measure of a Man. Data tries to understand human behavior as his friend Keiko Ishikawa decides to cancel her wedding to Lieutenant O'Brien in a case of cold feet. The android also learns to dance for the wedding and acts as Father of the Bride.

7- Birthright, Part 1 (6x16): The main protagonist of the story is Worf but equally important is Data’s story because in this episode, the android gains the ability to dream. In Data's dreams, we also see a young Dr. Soong.

8- Descent, Part 1 and 2 (6x26, 7x01) Data gets manipulated by his brother Lore and the Borgs. In this episode, Data gains the capacity for emotions, albeit only violent ones. In the end, he chooses to have the emotion chip removed, wants to destroy it but keeps it, on his friend Geordie LaForge's entreaties.

9- Phantasms (7x06): Data begins to have nightmares because of interphasic parasites. This episode features some disturbing images of Data cutting a Counsellor Troi cake and stabbing her. He even visits a holographic Sigmund Freud to help him understand his nightmares.

10- Inheritance (7x10): Data discovers that his previously unknown ''mother,'' Doctor Juliana Tainer, is in reality another android and that she is completely oblivious to that fact. It is also discovered that androids can age due to an ''aging'' chip or program (surely to account for the fact that actor Brent Spiner was getting older in appearance whereas an android should remain eternally young).

Special love mentions go to: Deja Q (3x13) in which Data helps a temporarily human Q who has seeked asylum on the Enterprise. At the end of the episode the android is recompensed with a one time gift of sudden laughter; In Theory (4x25) in which Data gets a girlfriend - it's really a sweet story; and Time's Arrow parts 1 and 2 (5x26 and 6x01), a story that has Data stuck in 19th century San Francisco and aware of his possible upcoming ''death,'' after his severed head is found in an archaeological dig in the 24th century.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doctor Who New Tardis Interior Revealed?

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in front of the re-designed Tardis Exterior. New interior coming soon.

There's a description of the interior of the new Tardis on the Digital Spy Forum from someone who claims he has visited the new set and has taken pictures. These pictures have not yet appeared on the net but as soon as I find them, I will post them.

In the meanwhile, nothing is confirmed yet, so please take this news with a grain of salt.

Here is the description:

The set is on 2 levels, joined by a spiral staircase, but is not as big as I'd thought. It's apparently finished though sections of it seem to be missing at present. We saw the console room, a lab area, a sort of sitting room area, a fairly long section of corridor leading nowhere and numerous other little nooks and crannies. The console room reminds me of a new and shiny version of the old one, except the roundels are very simple and basic looking, simply spherical dents in the walls.

These new style roundels are featured throughout the whole set, though not on every wall. Back to the console room - mainly golds and silvers and the coral theme has been replaced with a smooth marble like finish. Also the room is not circular, it's a kind of hexagon-joined-to-a-square shape, the hexagon bit containing the console, which to me looked like the same console they've used throughout the series except with new buttons and blinky lights, though apparently it's entirely new. Your beloved hatstand was still there but no sign of the interior doors, also there was no ceiling to the set - could be that these bits are meant to be there but were missing from the set for some reason I suppose.

Apparently the whole set has been designed in a modular way, so things can be moved and double as other parts of the ship. The roundels are different colours in each area, gold for the console room, silver/grey/blue in the lab, brown in the sitting room. The roundels can be removed/swapped out or even turned around completely to be convex rather than concave, in order to become a different area

If this is real, then it will be very exciting to finally see more of the Tardis than what was previously shown (which was just the main console area and the wardrobe section). We know from the older series that the Tardis is huge and that it has many more rooms.

So there you have it. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 Star Trek Convention: Thursday Night Party

Picture 1: The Stratosphere (not my picture)
Picture 2 and 3: the Vegas view from the 104th floor
Picture 4-7: The second part of the entertainment comprised of Armin Shimmerman, Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs, Vaughn Armstrong and Max Grodenchik
The Thursday Night Party was a complete mixed bag for me. First, I arrived much later than 9pm because the autograph sessions ran late in the evening (it was the first day of the convention and it was also the busiest one concerning the free autographs for gold ticket holders.) Second, when I arrived at the Stratosphere, I searched in vain for my complimentary glass of champagne. I'm still miffed that I never got mine.

The reception was 104 floors up in the air, in the observation area. A big circular room with what appeared to be stores and the elevator shafts situated in its middle, the room was ill-suited for the event. The entertainment was taking place to one side of the room and people were grouping in one spot, making it very difficult for most to see the entertainment and to circulate easily.

The food was not fantastic either - if there was some to be found. The quality was average, in my opinion, and there was not a great quantity of it. The food stations were scattered around the room. When I decided to take some dessert, there was almost nothing left. Only a fruit here and there remained as well as the chocolate fountain. I also got scraps of what appeared to have been cheesecakes. I barely ate at all that night.

However, the entertainment itself was good. Suzie Plakson opened, but I missed most of her songs (having arrived late and looking for food and the free champagne I never got). But I did hear her a bit and she was great. The second part was very entertaining: Vaughn Armstrong, Max Grodenchik, Armin Shimmerman, Jeffrey Combs and Casey Biggs were singing songs written by Grodenchik. It was well-performed and fun, and the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves - from what I managed to see. It was a bit frustrating. In fact, I believe Creation received a lot of complaints because the next day, the actors repeated their performance in one of the convention's other rooms.

Then the entertainment was over by 11:30pm. And then there was no more music (seriously!) and no more food, so everybody simply started leaving. For a party that was supposed to last until 1am, it was definitely not a success! Also, only one ride was opened that night due to the high winds, so the people who were looking forward to all 3 rides were also disappointed in this.
In my opinion, Creation missed the mark completely for that party. I was utterly disappointed. Everyone agreed that it was generally a boring party though I give high points to the actors for at least being entertaining.

David Tennant and Russell T. Davies on the End of their Run

Boing Boing has a 20 minute video interview of David Tennant and Russell T. Davies, given soon after the close of the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.

Here are some of the interview highlights.

- Filming on Doctor Who finished on May 1st, then David went on to film on The Sarah Jane Adventures for a week.
- David Tennant was sad when he filmed on the Tardis for the last time, but he feels that they finished on a high. It was a big four years for him that was life-changing.
-Richard Metzger (the interviewer) asked David Tennant : ''How can you leave Doctor Who?'' to which Tennant replied that he left it because it was such a good time, that it's been a unique four years, and that he had the best of time. However he felt it was appropriate to jump when things are good. He did not want to overstay his welcome and felt it was a good time since Russell was leaving.
-Tennant confirms the Tenth Doctor is going towards the end of his days and that he's aware of that.
-For Russell T. Davies, there was to be no blood on Doctor Who
-The waters of Mars will be really creepy.
-David Tennant admitted that he cried a bit when he read the very last script and that it was exciting, thrilling and that it has some revelations.
-Russell T. Davies says ''some of the stuff The Master gets up to, probably on Christmas Day, is pushing it. I thought we'd push it right towards the end, responsibly'' He also adds that no one knows what is The Master's plan and that there are big surprises to come.
-David Tennant does not rule out a return in the role of the Doctor in the future.

To view the fantastic video interview and read more please go here.


Thanks to Denyalle for the heads up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

David Tennant on The Sarah Jane Adventures

Digital Spy has posted the season 3 episode rundown of The Sarah Jane Adventures which will air in the fall in the UK. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a start date for the series yet but I believe it should start in september or in october at the latest.

As some of you may know, the Doctor will play an important role in the two-parter ''The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.'' Here is the episode description:

Whenever the chiming of wedding bells can be heard in the Whoniverse, it's a sign that something strange is happening. Just look at Gwen Cooper's shapeshifter-dominated wedding in Torchwood. Just what lies in store for Sarah Jane as she prepares to walk down the aisle? She'd better have a sonic wedding ring to accessorise with her lip gloss.
The big news is that David Tennant will be featuring prominently as The Doctor in this story. "Viewers thought they may have to wait until November for the next full episode of Doctor Who," stated showrunner Russell T Davies, "but this is an extra special treat. It's not just a cameo from David - this is a full-on appearance for The Doctor as he and Sarah Jane face their biggest threat ever."
Sarah Jane herself, actress Elisabeth Sladen, added: "When I heard the news that David was going to be joining us, I was absolutely over the moon. Not only has it made my day but it will also make the viewers' day. It's fantastic news that Sarah Jane is going to spend some time working with The Doctor again and is testament to just how successful this CBBC series is."
But what is this big threat that awaits us? Could it lie in the form of the debonair Nigel Havers, who has personified suave in a glittering acting career?
Sladen's real-life husband Brian Miller shows up in front of the camera, too. Nikki Wilson told Doctor Who Magazine: "He was simply ideal casting for this pivotal role, which sees him in conflict with Sarah Jane and the gang. Although there's a lot more going on with Brian's character than might first appear." In addition, the ever-sinister Trickster is lurking around the church. The prospect of him and The Doctor locking horns is mouthwatering...

Amongst some of the most familiar Who foes, Season 3 of The Sarah Jane Adventures will bring back the Judoons and the Slitheens.

Please go here for the complete rundown of all 6 two-part episodes of season 3.

CBR Doctor Who Roundtable with David Tennant and Julie Gardner

In a roundtable interview recently published by Comic Book Ressources, David Tennant and Julie Gardner had quite a few many things to say about the beloved Time Lord and his final adventures in his Tenth incarnation. Listed below are some of the interview highlights.

Tennant talked about the evolution of the Tenth Doctor, that it evolves through the script and that:

“Inevitably things happen a little more subconsciously than that, as well, but on a conscious level you take it from the script. The character develops from what I took off the page, and then what the writers take from what they've seen. It's kind of an ongoing process.”

Gardner mentioned that sometimes subtle script elements become more major, for example this idea that he is the last of the Time Lords:

“The idea that he's the last of his kind was a very new thing,” Gardner said.
“But that's going to come back in a big way in the final stories,” Tennant added. “The Doctor being the last of his kind, or nearly the last of his kind.”

Both Tennant and Gardner say that there were ''surprisingly few discussions'' about how Tennant should play the Doctor.

Tennant joked that he was the the best actor Russell T. Davies could get after Davies could not get the Best one:

“Yeah, and you can't get him, so you get me,” Tennant joked.
“What was it Russell [T. Davies] said in the read-through? 'It's fantastic to work with such great actors, you're the best in your price range,'” Gardner recalled.

They talked about the very demanding physicality of the role but Tennant said he did not know what Steven Moffat had in mind for the Eleventh Doctor:

“Well, it has been. It isn't necessarily,” Tennant said. “We don't know what Steven [Moffat, oncoming writer-producer] and Matt [Smith, the next Doctor] are going to do--maybe he'll sit in a chair for four years. It's something we've developed over the years, the running and the exploding.”

David Tennant also talked about how he feels about his character and his own emotional state tied into the character:

“You kind of see what the story's going to be and that takes you on an emotional journey in itself,” Tennant said. “Those final stories are pretty emotional.”

They also talked about the many apologies the Doctor as muttered since the new series began. 120 times to be exact (someone has kept count!) The answer comes from the fact that the Doctor feels guilty. Gardner had this to say:

“I always think the Doctor is at his best and at his most exciting when he's suffering. . .I do! I love him as this tragic sufferer. Particularly when you're hanging off the wire.”
“That's not him suffering, that's me,” Tennant said. “Chaffing.”

They discussed the return of Jack, Donna, her grandfather Wilf, the Master and a mysterious character played by Timothy Dalton (whom everyone believes will be a Time Lord).
When asked whether he was able to “spirit away” a sonic screwdriver, the Doctor's signature tool, Tennant said he was actually presented with one:

“Yeah, I was very touched to get given one as I left. I don't know if this means, have they got new ones or—? [The Eleventh Doctor] might not even have one now. He might have a... sonic...”
“Pencil,” Gardner suggested.
“I have no idea if they're now one down or they don't need it anymore,” Tennant said. “But I've got one now in my house, which I'm very proud of.”

This interview is much more longer and has a few more things about the filming of Planet of the Dead and Midnight. Go here to read it all!

Captain Jack Harkness Will Be Back on Torchwood and Doctor Who

After the events of Torchwood: Children of Earth, some people may wonder whether or not Captain Jack Harkness will ever return. Jack left the planet to wander amongst the stars after the death of his beloved Ianto Jones (who's death had fans up in arms), and of his own grand-son whom he had sacrificed in order to save all of Earth's children.

However, it makes no doubt that Jack's return to the Blue Planet and to Torchwood could be imminent if the BBC finally commissions a fourth series.

Part of an exclusive interview with Russell T. Davies for the seventh issue of Torchwood Magazine was recently posted on Doctor Who Hideout. The interview excerpt says:

''I could write you scene one of series four right now, I know exactly how to pick it up. I've got a shape in mind, and I've got stories. I know where you'd find Gwen and Rhys, and their baby, and Jack, and I know how you'd go forward with a new form of Torchwood.''

After almost the entire team was decimated in season 2 and during the events of Children of Earth, it is clear that Torchwood will have to reinvent itself, plus, with the Hub gone, the new Torchwood team will need a new base of operation.

In the meanwhile, it is certain that Jack will show up in the last episodes of Doctor Who. In a recent article by Comic Book Resources, which features a Roundtable Interview with David Tennant and Julie Gardner, David Tennant says:

“Jack will come back again, bit more of Donna, that's never a bad thing,” Tennant added. “And we can all say now that John Simm's in it. We're admitting that now, I think we were pretending for a while. Having John back was great. And Timothy Dalton. That's been one of the eternal joys, that's been highly exciting, is the guest characters that join us.”

For those who miss the immortal Captain and former Companion to the Doctor, this is good news. Also, the Jack Harkness that travels with the Doctor is always a bit different than Torchwood Leader Jack. He's always more relaxed and laid back. More carefree when he travels with the Doctor. Plus the camaradery between John Barrowman and David Tennant is amazing. It will be a pleasure to see them both together again before my beloved Ten regenerates.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 Star Trek Convention Sunday: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy Panel

The William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy panels were an event many people were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, yours truly missed the major part of the Bill Shatner panel, as I was recovering from my earlier meeting with the lovely Zachary Quinto. Again I digress.

When I walked in on Shatner’s panel, the theatre was packed. Bill was already telling tall tales about filming with a horse on the set of the Star Trek: Generations movie. He was recalling the time when the horse fell on him and that he had gone up saying he required no hospital, fallen down again and then required to be sent to the hospital. Plus, while there, as he was getting ready to give a ''sample'' by peeing into a bottle, a nurse poked her head in, telling him she was his biggest fan. Hilarious. Bill was telling the story with tremendous energy and the crowd was visibly pleased and amused.
The actor also talked about the death of Captain Kirk in that movie. He also discussed his ad-libbed last line: ''Oh my!'' Shatner said he envisioned that what was coming his way was wonderful and awesome and it was death.

I arrived in time, however, to witness the arrival of Leonard Nimoy on stage when he joined his friend William Shatner. The uproar and applauds rising from the audience was deafening. It was really touching to see them both embracing.

The banter between the Original Kirk and Spock was amazing. These two old friends were really going at it, making everyone in the audience laugh.

Nimoy mentioned he did not understand why Kirk had to die in Generations, to which Shatner replied that it was the producer (namely Rick Berman) who wanted Kirk dead. At one point, Leonard Nimoy asked Bill Shatner what he thought of the new movie and this one flat out admitted he had not seen it. Nimoy retorted he had seen Generations though he had not liked it, to which Shatner replied that this was why he hadn't seen the new movie as well: he did not want to say the same thing to him. Uh, Oh. Nimoy diffused the situation by talking about SNL and making the audience laugh and Bill gasp when he said people who didn't like the new movie were ''dickheads.'' Another priceless moment. Shatner had to make Nimoy repeat himself, did you just say dickheads?

Another funny part of this joint panel was when William Shatner kept on calling Leonard Nimoy ''whore'' several times - while he was running around the stage in imitation - because, Shatner said, Nimoy ran to JJ Abrams when this one called for Fringe. Then he added a ''prostitute'' for good measure. Though it may seem rude, it was in fact very, very funny. And Nimoy was heartily laughing at his friend’s mocked affront. This whole shenanigan was making the audience laugh hysterically. Both men, especially Shatner, were in great form, though I have to admit that Nimoy came across as a little frail.

Nimoy later made Shatner promise that the two would sit together and watch the movie. Shatner agreed on one condition: That Leonard Nimoy brings popcorn and that he holds his hand (very funny). Nimoy also added that Shatner will be proud about the way Kirk was portrayed in the new movie, and that Chris Pine honored him.

When it was Bill Shatner’s turn to leave, Nimoy told him that ''you are my dearest friend'' and Shatner replied ''I love you Leonard.'' It was a very sweet moment.
Nimoy then began his solo panel which quickly went to Q&A.
He said that he and Zachary Quinto had spent more than 15 hours discussing the character of Spock, and that he did an excellent job by creating a slightly different character because he's at a different time in his life. He also mentioned that he was jealous regarding the new Spock/Uhura romance.
After a fan asked him if he had a bucket list, Nimoy answered no, because he was already happy and fulfilled in his life. When asked who was his idol, the actor also mentioned that he once met Cary Grant, and that he had been star struck: He simply just couldn't talk in front of him.

At the end of the panel, Zachary Quinto and Jacob Kogan both walked on stage for a 3 Spocks reunion to the complete surprise and delight of the audience. After talking a bit and waving to the crowd, and giving the ''live long and prosper'' salute, the 3 actors then left the stage together.
What a wonderful moment for the last panel I was attending. I will remember that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zachary Quinto on the Star Trek Sequel and Redemption for Sylar?

In an excellent recent interview with Sci-Fi Wire, Zachary Quinto talked about his character Sylar on Heroes and about the Star Trek sequel.

Regarding Star Trek, the actor said that:
''I know that they're breaking the stories and working on it.''
He also added:
''I think it's going to be much better served by taking time and being clear about the story that they want to tell. Whether or not that involves Khan or Mr. Shatner remains to be seen."
As for Sylar, he revealed that there may be some romance coming up for him. And on the subject of Sylar's redemption, one of my own personnal favourite subjects, Mr. Quinto had this to say:
''Those are longer-term conversations. And Tim Kring, our creator, is an incredibly supportive and creatively open person, so we have those conversations from time to time about where we see the character going. I don't know. Maybe the redemption would be in his eradication somehow. Maybe some kind of ultimate sacrifice. Or maybe just bloody and gory, ... a well-deserved demise for someone who's caused so much pain in the world of Heroes. We'll see."
He also reveals a bit more about the carnival and its characters, and he talks about being an avid gamer.

You can read the entire story here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Exclusive Robert Picardo Interview: Part 3

Last, but not least, I wanted to talk about Robert Picardo’s involvement in charity work. The actor is a great proponent of charity and he is very much involved in his local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

I attended the charity auction on the sunday evening after the convention. It was a lovely event filled with wonderful entertainment, and was hosted by Mr. Picardo himself. The actor was selling personal memorabilia in order to raise money for the San Gabriel Valley chapter of Habitat. Over 5000$ were successfully raised during the entertainment-filled evening.

Here is the final part of this exclusive interview:

IT: You seem to be very much involved in charities: The Aids Pediatric Foundation . . .

RP: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation… I’ve raised money for them with my CDs probably for, I guess it’s ten years now, and other things – auctions of cast things. I have a long relationship with charity and I believe in them a great deal. More recently, in the last five years, Habitat for Humanity, my local chapter, which is the San Gabriel Valley Chapter. We’re having our third annual charity dinner; it’s actually our fourth event because the first one was a brunch, but it’s our third dinner. Pat Arthur, who runs my website, has been instrumental in setting that up and she’s very popular with my local chapter of Habitat for her planning and her follow-through with these events. So we have that Sunday night. We schedule it so that as soon as the convention closes here, that the fans who’d like to come and are already in town can find their way over there.

Also, I’ve raised money for a bunch of other worthy nonprofit organizations. The Planetary Society, which I’m a big supporter of. I’m on their advisory board, and I recommend all of your readers who are interested in real science, as well, not just science-fiction, or if they’d like to know the real status of our space program and what we’re doing now and see some extraordinary images from current exploration, they just have to go to And also the Pasadena playhouse, which is the state theatre of California and also happens to be in my neighbourhood. I support them. Also, I usually do auctions for Catholic charities and different things.

I have a young nephew named Drew Koenig. He’s actually my first cousin Anthony’s eldest grandson. He’s five years old. He was diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s a real trooper, this kid. He’s really been through it since last November when he had the tumour taken out, and he’s had a very extensive course of chemotherapy and radiation. And now the family ran up some huge bills paying for that so there have been a number of events for him and for other families that they met with children with cancer. We had one of those at the Baltimore Convention Shoreleave. I’m going to try more regularly to have auctions of things to benefit him so I encourage your readers to go to and there will be a link to Drew Koenig: the Drew Koenig Fund, which is to help him and his family out with his treatment.

We have tremendous opportunities, working in a Science Fiction franchise, to be mercenary; to come and get things for ourselves, to get free trips, to make extra money and all that. But it’s always nice, I think, to balance commerce and self-interest with a good deed. So I’ve always tried to use these conventions as opportunities to do something for someone else, as well; and because Star Trek fans are not only very loyal, they’re also great supporters of charity. I suppose because they have, you know, being Star Trek fans by definition, they’re envisioning a brighter future. And I think people like that are pre-disposed to help make it happen by committing some of their resources to make things better for other people, especially other people in need. So Star Trek fans are very loyal supporters and if you say, ''hey, this is important to me, ''they kind of go – if they’re interested in you as an actor they go, ''Well, let’s see what’s important to him! Okay, that sounds worthwhile,'' and they follow suit. So it’s been a very nice kind of symbiosis [laughs] between my loyal fans and saying, ''hey guys, have a look at this! Do you think this is important too?'' And they’ve responded beautifully over the years, so I’m very grateful for that.

IT: Thank you so very much for your time!

RP: Thank you!

Exclusive Robert Picardo Interview: Part 2

Picture 1: Robert Picardo as werewolf Eddie Quist in The Howling
Picture 2: As Wade Mixon in the movie Sensored

In part 2 of this interview, I wanted to talk about one of Robert Picardo’s most recent characters, Alphonso, from the Acme Brand Comedy sketches ''Ask Alphonso.'' An hysterically funny Italian gigolo, the character ressembles one the actor's most famous movie characters, the Cowboy, from the movie Innerspace.

An extraordinary actor, Mr. Picardo played a very different range of characters. From the very funny characters such as the Cowboy and Alphonso, to the very dark and scary such as werewolf Eddie Quist on The Howling, and most recently Wade Mixon on Sensored.

I also wanted to know a bit more about his upcoming movie project called The Legends of Nethiah, on which he is currently working, as well as what he loves to do when he has a some time off.

Without further ado, here is part 2:

IT: I have to know about Alphonso …

RP: I love doing sketch comedy and I have guessed-hosted with a sketch comedy group called Acme Comedy Theatre, and one of the characters I played was sort of an Italian gigolo who does not know that he’s completely [laughs], he’s out of touch with the fact that he’s not entrancing women. He either never has, or he certainly isn’t anymore, but he’s very self-absorbed. So I wanted to play a completely self-absorbed character who thought he was God’s gift to women. It’s a little kind of a variation on my character in Innerspace, who was the cowboy. So it was just a character I played in a sketch and everybody loved him so we decided to do sort of advice for lovers from this completely self-absorbed guy, and his advice usually was, [laughs] ''it’s a shame you’re not me, guys, ‘cause I’m better than you,'' and for women it’s like, ''it’s a shame you’re not with me,'' so that’s the kind of advice he gives people. It’s really just for fun.

IT: Are you going to do more of these sketches?

RP: I would love to, I would love to do more. Until our Union comes with an agreement for the internet, now that we’ll have a contractual agreement. There was just an interruption of somebody’s websites because they didn’t know if they could keep making this programming. I was just doing it for fun. I was not doing it to get paid, it was just joy for me. But they stopped making programming pending the new agreement with the Screen Actors Guild, so I hope that when the website’s back up I will do more.

IT: So we know you’re a funny guy and we also know you’re a great dramatic actor. You’ve played some very dark roles and your recent film, called Sensored, just premiered in Sacramento. Can you tell [us] more about it?

RP: It’s a psychological drama more than a horror film. I play a character who is doing weird things in his basement. He looks like the guy down the block who just keeps to himself – who seems kind of nerdy but he’s also quite frightening when you see this other reality. But then as the movie progresses, you come to doubt his own sanity and how much of what he’s doing. Is he really doing or he thinks he’s doing? And is he torturing people or is he just brainwashing them? Or is he imagining that he’s doing? So it’s an interesting character study and a really cool role for me. But he’s a very dark character. The movie, I’m sure, will get a distributor. In fact, we’re talking to a number of them now. But whether or not it gets a feature release I don’t know. But it will come out on DVD and it’s pretty creepy.

IT: I want to talk a bit about The Howling. You mentioned that you scared the casting director Susan Arnold during the audition and that she was so freaked out that she didn’t want to see you again. Is that mended?

RP: Oh, I may have joked that she didn’t want to see me. She auditioned me for other things and I think cast me in other things, but I think I did creep her out a little. I think her reaction to me is what got me the part. Because she reacted to me and the producer saw how I creeped her out, so they thought ''yup, this guy will do this to our audience!'' She’s a lovely person. I haven’t seen her in years, but I have very fond memories of her.

IT: You have a movie you’re working on right now, The Legends of Nethiah. What is your role?

RP: I’m rehearsing and I start shooting it in about a week. It’s a really sweet little family movie. What I liken it to structurally is The Princess Bride, but it’s not a comedy – like a dramatic version of that. The wrap-around story is a grandfather telling his grandson a story. In this case, I’m the grandfather and my ten-year-old grandson is having trouble at school; his parents are divorcing, he’s acting up a lot, and he’s having just trouble in this transition in his life. And I tell him this story about these science-fiction characters and you cut to that world. So you see this wonderful little back-story that’s very futuristic and cool. We’ve shot that footage already. I even play a part in the story within the story, so it’s the ideas that when I tell my little grandson the dream, he dreams that his grandfather is a hero in the story. So you see me in two roles; you see me as an old warrior in the science-fiction story, The Legends of Nethiah, and then you see me as the grandfather telling the story to his grandson in order to teach him how to man-up and really deal with his problems, even though he’s so young. It’s a sweet little story and I’m looking forward to finish. We’ve done the first part; now we’re gonna do the part when we don’t have to jump around [laughs], the talking part.

IT: What does Robert Picardo do on his time off?

RP: I love to cook. I’m a serious cook. I recently got a wood-fired pizza oven outside; so I like to cook, have friends over, or just for my family or even for myself if I go out of town to work. When I was working in Canada, I made dinner for myself pretty much every night after work just because I enjoy eating my own cooking [laughs] because I know what’s in it and I’m pretty darn good. So that’s my main hobby, cooking. I like to read, I like to workout, smoke the occasional cigar, hang out with my friends – pretty simple stuff. I’m not a scuba diver or a skydiver, anything that I can hurt myself at, because I’m a little clumsy. Cooking is dangerous enough! I cut my finger shaking hands with someone last night, so you know, I got to watch it! It was a fan with a very sharp fingernail last night.

The conclusion of the interview is coming up in part 3.

Exclusive Robert Picardo Interview: Part 1

Picture 1: Robert Picardo as Stargate Atlantis's new leader, Richard Woolsey, and Paul McGillion as Beckett
Picture 2: Robert Picardo as the Doctor and his creator Lewis Zimmerman and Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi in the Voyager episode ''Life Line.''

An acting veteran with a career that spans more than 30 years and covers over 40 movies for both television and the big screen, as well as appearances in over 80 television series; Robert Picardo is well known for his roles on China Beach as Doctor Dick Richards and on The Wonder Years as Coach Cutlip. A stage actor first, Mr. Picardo once shared the theatre stage with the great Jack Lemmon, Danny Aiello and Diane Keaton amongst others.

Nowadays, he is more widely known to Science-Fiction fans as the Doctor on Star Trek Voyager and as Richard Wolsey on the Stargate series.

It was a complete honor for me to interview Mr. Picardo during the 2009 Star Trek Convention, as I am a great fan of his, and also because the Doctor is one of my favourite Star Trek characters ever.

In the first part of this interview, I wanted to talk about what he liked the most as an actor, what his feelings were on the subject of being part of both Star Trek and Stargate, and how he found the Doctor’s voice as a writer in both the Star Trek: Voyager episode called ''Life Line'' and in his very funny book: The Hologram’s Handbook.

Inside Trekker : You’ve had a very diverse career. You’ve acted in plays, movies, TV series – and you’ve also done some voice acting in animated movies and video games. Which medium do you like the most? What makes you the happiest?

RP: I think probably I’ve had the most fun working on stage. The actor is most in control when you’re working live. Even though you develop your performance under the supervision of a director, every night you are responsible for recreating your performance; so that, I think, is really the most exciting, especially for someone who started as a stage actor. However, it’s a great joy to work in all media and I love doing what I’m doing, which is everything. I like to do theatre work; I like to work on film and television, and I also like to do animation, as well. They all have different challenges and their different rewards. So I like it all. It’s good to be busy!

IT: You’ve been in two of the biggest and longest-running Sci-Fi franchises of all time – as the Doctor on Star Trek [Voyager] and Richard Woolsey on Stargate. How do you feel about being part of two huge franchises?

RP: I am proud to be the only actor who’s played a starring role in both of the major franchises. I am happy that the characters were distinct and different, and I’m really particularly happy that the Stargate fans accepted me – not only as a different character, if they were familiar with my work on Star Trek, but that they also grew to accept me as a leader. Because my character was pretty much introduced as a bad guy… or you thought he was a bad guy, then it turned out he was a just an obnoxious guy who meant well… and then he slowly, you know, they gave him some comic foibles and all that, but he was never meant to be a leader. He was someone who evaluated the leadership of others. He was like a think-tank person or a briefing room person who was all theory but no execution. [laughs] ''Here’s what you should have done.'' So the fact that the audience grew to accept me as a leader, I was proud of, because that was a difficult transition, I think, to take the character through.

IT: And you were a great leader. I loved you, actually.

RP: Thank you! Well, I’m happy to hear that because he’s not by nature a brave individual. We had established that. Also, he’s not very much of a people person; he doesn’t have very good interpersonal skills. He had to learn an awful lot, but mostly he had to learn to trust his senior officers. And he had to trust his own instincts and willingness to put the rulebook down and go with his gut, which was the hardest thing, I think, for him to do because he’s a very intellectual person.

IT: You have a writing credit on a season 6 episode (of Star Trek Voyager) called ''Life Line'', and you wrote The Hologram’s Handbook. How hard or easy was it for you to write that book in the Doctor’s voice?

RP: [Laughs] Well, I don’t have the discipline to sit down really to write scripts or to write a long-form book. But I loved playing that character and I missed him as the show was ending and that’s one of the reasons why I had the idea. But also, I thought of funny situations and ideas that we had never dealt with on the series. It really came out of the episode ''Message in a Bottle'' where I’m bragging to Andy Dick’s character, EMH Mark II, that I’ve had sexual experiences and I said to the writers: When did I have them? [laughs] When did it? How did this happen? The audience saw me first activated on Voyager and then they’ve been keeping in touch with me every week. When did all this stuff happen? No one had any answers for me, so I went and decided to write my own back story to different things that had come up on the show that I wanted to know [laughs], you know, what the background was. So it started just as humorous anecdotes.
And then I also have always been amused by all the psychology self-help books that are at supermarket checkout counters and all that. So it’s really a satire of the self-help book. It’s a ''if you’re smarter than everyone else that you have to work with, it’s how to get along with inferiors.'' So it was mostly just for fun. And my friend Jeff Yagher, who’s a wonderful actor and sculptor and cartoonist, he did the cartoons for the book. And we had been working together – he was guest starring on Voyager – and the idea developed for us to do something together, so he would do the art for the book and I would write the chapters. So that was also a fun way to collaborate with him and help him pay for his wedding.

IT: I read that [The Hologram’s Handbook]. It was a great book. I enjoyed it very much, and I even got the audio book

RP: Thank you! The audio book – it’s fun to hear me doing it, I think, because, you know, you get to hear the old windbag himself again if you miss him.

IT: Yes, I do miss him.

RP: Thank you! About the episode, one of my favourite plays is I Never Sang for My Father, so I thought it would be interesting to sort of borrow the structure of that play. It’s all about the disappointments from both directions – parents toward children and children toward parents. Parents, you know, ''why aren’t you what I’d hoped you’d be?'' And children’s point of view is ''why can’t you accept me for what I am, and why don’t you love me as I am, and look at what I can do and look what my strengths are?'' So, it was basically a father-child drama adapted for a programmer and a hologram.
The interview continues in part 2.

Doctor Who gets Animated in Dreamland

The BBC Press Office has released today the first picture of it's BBC animated Doctor Who special called Dreamland. The animation will be broadcasted this year in the fall.

This is part of the Press release that you can find here:

The six-part series will be premièred via the BBC Red Button on BBC One and the Doctor Who website (

The 45-minute long animation will be broadcast in its entirety on CBBC on BBC Two this autumn and also on the BBC HD channel.

Written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures) Dreamland will see the Doctor – played by David Tennant – arrive at the infamous alien hot spot, Roswell.
During a visit to a local diner he stumbles upon a mysterious alien artefact that leads him on a mission to rescue Rivesh Mantilax from the threat of the Viperox and the clutches of the American military.

Joining David Tennant will be Georgia Moffett (Doctor Who, Spooks) in the role of Cassie Rice – the Doctor's new animated companion.

David Warner (Wallander, Hogfather) also stars as the leader of the ruthless Viperox.

In the run-up to the animation, fans will be able to visit the Doctor Who website ( to follow a behind-the-scenes production blog on the making of Dreamland, giving the opportunity to follow the progress of the animation as it develops.

Dreamland was commissioned by BBC Drama Multiplatform and will be produced for the BBC by Brighton-based animation company Littleloud.

It is being executive produced by Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger, with Gary Russell as director.

The BBC really has every intention to have the Tenth Doctor go out in style before he transforms into Matt Smith's Eleventh one. They are multiplying every efforts to put him everywhere. First, he'll be on The Sarah Jane Adventures and then he'll have his own animated series! If the entire animation looks as good as this picture, we are in for a real treat!

Click here for the high res pic!

Thanks to Rosy for the heads up!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughts on the New Heroes Volume 5 Poster

After viewing the new Heroes Volume 5 poster, I found myself thinking about what the image means.

First off, this is not a cast poster as we only find Claire, Hiro and Sylar. I wonder if other posters featuring other cast members will show up before the season begins but I have doubts.

Claire is on the forefront of the poster, looking at us. We know Claire is again having a major storyline in season 4 as she is starting college this year. She will have 2 roommates, one of which will commit suicide and one of which may have powers. Perhaps her predominant place on the poster indicates the important place she will have again in Volume 5.

Hiro is a few paces behind her on the left side of the poster, looking a bit down and in seeming contemplation or thought. The story is that Hiro will face a terminal illness and will want to fulfil some sort of bucket-list before he dies. The fact that he seems to be looking away from us may be significant, though I’m no psychologist. He does look troubled and from NBC’s Press Release we know that he’ll try to correct mistakes from his past; something he’ll have to do while trying not to alter both past and present severely. A huge task is ahead of him.

Sylar is behind both characters in the background. Notice that he is not standing square in the middle but that rather he is more to the right, closer to Claire’s side. Also notice his eyes. It is unclear whether he is looking in front of him or if he’s looking at Claire. His body is also slightly turned towards her. We know that Sylar has plans for her, he even asked her to marry him at the end of season 3. Whether this signifies that he will keep on pursuing her remains to be seen but I believe it will be the case. Plus, there is still the matter of Sylar’s son.

So what do you think? Do you believe there is some significance to be found in this poster?

2009 Star Trek Convention: The Meet and Greet with Zachary Quinto

One of the most exciting moments of the Star Trek Convention experience was for me to go the Wine and Cheese party with one of my favourite actors: the wonderful and very talented Zachary Quinto.

As some of you already know, I had managed to win one of the 9 tickets auctioned on Creation Entertainment’s website for a chance to personally meet with the Heroes and Star Trek actor in a private setting for an hour. Did I say in private and for an hour? I needed to really stress that.
The location was held secret almost until the end. When I got to the room, I saw that we were going to meet him in a conference room, sitting at a huge conference table. It felt less convivial than I thought it would be. Still, the wine and cheese were there, and what was important was to meet Zach, albeit in a more . . . businesslike fashion.

It was with trepidation that I was awaiting the arrival of ZQ, as we affectionately call him in some circles. Perhaps it was the fact that I had already seen him up close at the breakfast function earlier that morning or perhaps it was because everyone had nothing to say but how nice he was, but I strangely felt more comfortable than I thought I would be. When he came in, Zach greeted us and sat at the head of the table, and I found myself sitting immediately to his right, merely a few feet from him.

Let me tell you about the Zachary Quinto I met. He must be one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest man ever. His sincerity shines through. He is even more beautiful in person than he is on television: can you imagine that? (I found that many of these actors were indeed more beautiful in person than on television). When he came to meet us, he was very laid back though he was a bit tired (he told us he had slept less than 2 hours). Accompanying Zach at the Wine and Cheese party was one of his oldest friends and Before the Door partner Corey Moosa.

After greeting us, the actor at once proceeded to learn everybody’s name by heart, which I thought was sweet and made us feel important for that whole hour. It was clearly a matter of principle for him to make us feel that way. Not many others would have bothered or taken the time to do so.

Simply as if going into a conversation, questions began, and Zachary Quinto talked about his time working on the show 24, which was not his favourite work experience. But then he talked about how much he loved his Heroes family, and it was completely endearing. The actor also mentioned that he loved the direction in which his character, Sylar, was going for season 4. Talking of Heroes still, he said that he did not like the fact that they killed Elle on the show and that he did not understand why the writers introduced Sylar’s son in I am Become Death if they’re not going to pursue this. Though he is contracted for 3 more seasons (which, I have to admit, was a relief for me as Sylar is my favourite character on the show), Zachary shared with us his uncertainty as to whether or not the show will go on past season 4 (I’m really hoping it will, crossing my fingers). For him, it is still unknown.

Sometimes real life intrude into these events, and while talking with us at one point, Zachary received a text message from Tori Spelling telling him something about an airport lounge. Zach was kind enough to share, to our complete amusement, and quickly texted her back.
Zachary Quinto talked again about his love of the theatre and that his ideal career as an actor would be to act in a play, then a movie, then a play, then a movie. But as for television work, after Heroes ends, he may not return to it for the time being. He also expressed surprise at not seeing any of his movie co-stars at the convention. He had thought that some of them would be there, but he tried to excuse them all, which was sweet.

Zach talked about the paparazzi and said that they were mostly not too intrusive and that the only pictures they usually got of him was when he walked his dog, because that’s all he had time to do besides going to the studio to film Heroes. We learned that the paparazzi now knew where he and Chris Pine lived after both were followed to their respective homes while returning from the airport after their Star Trek tour was over. The actor added that it gave him the idea to do his little video with Buddy and Andy and him walking the dog and having the paparazzi making him fall down. What was to be a way for him to help his friends get coverage turned into something other as many people really believed he was being harassed in this fashion. Zach said that not many people got it.

He and Corey then discussed the partnership between their compagny Before the Door and Archaia Comics with their 2 projects called Mr. Murder is Dead and Lucid. Both believe that the comics will probably debut at Comic-Con in 2010. They also revealed exclusive news about a Fraggle Rock project coming up – which both Zach and Corey happen to love - but nothing more was revealed. Corey made us laugh when he mentioned he’d been watching hours of the show the evening before.

The conversation was easy and it was going back and forth between Zach and the other guests. I managed to tell him hi! from SArmy at which he seemed both surprised and happy. He also talked to me about trying to learn French with the Rosetta Stone program. I should have said more things but I have to admit that my brain could not function properly. That and I basically just liked to hear him talk.

Most of the 11 people assembled did not talk. Some did more than the others, driving the conversation between the guests and the actor. And for a wine and cheese meeting, not many were either drinking or eating. I had tried nibbling on a bit of cheese and I had taken a few sips of rosée wine for courage but everything stayed mostly untouched.

At the end of the hour, the Creation handler came in and Zach had to leave but he shook all our hands and bid us all a farewell. I left this extraordinary meeting with one thought: that there was one of the greatest guys I had ever met.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Mystery to the Actors as to How David Tennant will Leave Doctor Who

A scoop from Digital Spy reveals that most of the actors that filmed the final episode of Doctor Who with David Tennant have no idea how he will go.

Digital Spy reporter Dan French talked with Robin Hood actor David Harewood (he plays Friar Tuck on the BBC series), who's character's name is Joshua Naismith, who had this to say:

''No - we only got four pages, so most of us didn't get to see. I think we'll all be checking in on Christmas Day''

He also talked about the atmosphere on the set during filming of the final episodes:

"I'd say it was very charged - people were in tears. It was the end of a very successful partnership. It was obviously David's last outing, and it was also Russell's last outing and Julie Gardner's last outing. So everyone was saying goodbye to what had been a very successful partnership."

The actor also revealed that he filmed scenes with John Simm who plays the Master.

Sources: Digital Spy and IO9

2009 Star Trek convention Sunday: The Zachary Quinto Panel

Picture 1: More coffee for Zach
Last picture: Zachary Quinto on stage with Garrett Wang asking the last question of the panel -Garrett Wang is on the bottom right corner of the picture (click on it to make it bigger)

When Zachary Quinto walked on stage, holding a cup of coffee in his hands on the Sunday morning of the Convention, the theatre was packed. People cheered and clapped loudly at his appearance, and he waved to the assembled audience. Not wasting time, Zach decided to go directly to questions.

This was the Heroes actor’s second appearance at a Star Trek convention for the second year in a row and he seemed at ease to work the stage, going back and forth between one end of the deck to the other.

Heroes fans will be happy to know that he was very much excited about the direction in which the show was going for season 4. He’s kept very busy in the last months by doing press tours for the movie, working on Heroes, and having his own production company (Before the Door). Zachary Quinto thinks that his next announcement as an actor will be a play, and revealed that his ideal career would be a movie, then a play, then a movie, etc. I was saddened to learn that he will take a break from TV after Heroes ends.

Talking about the new Star Trek movie, Zachary Quinto told us that it was rather easy to work with Chris Pine since they knew each other and that he really liked the scene where he got to kick Kirk’s ass on the bridge, a comment that elicited laughter from the audience. About the kissing scene, he was mostly happy and relieved that they had managed to keep it secret. He also mentioned that the hardest part about the whole experience of the new Star Trek was the expectations; but when asked what he thought about people who had problems with the new movie, his answer, in a deep Sylar voice, was that ''those are not my problems.''

There was a very lovely moment during the panel when, at one point, a young girl in the audience simply forgot the question she wanted to ask him and started crying. Zachary Quinto asked if she was alright and tried to make her feel better while saying ''just complete the sentence, I feel . . . ?'' (which drew laughs in the theatre) and then people shouted for him to go and give her a hug. Mr. Quinto complied to the sound of applause from the assembled audience.
The actor later made us laugh heartily when he mentioned that Leonard Nimoy was here at the convention and that he’d been ''kicked to the curb'' since William Shatner was also there! (Very funny and everyone was laughing). He reminisced that last year HE was doing everything with Nimoy, panels, photo-ops, everything. Poor Zach, we all felt sorry for him Haha! He was a very good sport about it and made us laugh quite a bit.

Zachary Quinto also told a funny story about the moment he learned he would play Spock. It was 10 am in the morning and he was still in bed sleeping. When the phone rang, he answered in a very sleepy voice, took in the news, then basically went back to bed. It took him a while for the fact that he had gotten the part of Spock to sink in as he was groggy from sleep.
He also made people laugh when he asked a person asking him a question ''are you wearing ears?'' to which the person replied yes but that they were LOTR ears. Zach jockingly told the person to ''get outta here.''

When time was up and there was only time left for one more question, Voyager actor Garrett Wang surprised everyone by being the last person to ask a question (Wang had to explain to Zachary Quinto who he was, since Zach had only seen a few of the Original series’ episodes and none of the other ones). Wang talked about the fact that he loved the new movie and that he saw it nine times, he also told Zach that he had pestered the Voyager production team for more action, more humour, and that the new movie got it right – at which point there was a round of applause. Then he asked Zachary Quinto for a picture to which Zach kindly obliged. What a great and wonderful moment.

Too quickly again it ended. After Zach made his salutation to a rapturous and applauding crowd, he left the stage. Another year, another time Zach.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Star Trek Convention Breakfast: Zachary Quinto, Jacob Kogan and Sabrina Scharf

The sunday morning came with the Zachary Quinto, Jacob Kogan and Sabrina Scharf Breakfast. It would be my first encounter with the wonderful and talented Heroes star and I was very excited about this moment.

Before the actors walked in (which was to be scheduled for 9am like the Voyager breakfast the morning before), we unfortunately got stuck with an auction that lasted until 9h30. I'm all for charity but it took too long and was out of control. Since the result was that the guests came in so late, they didn’t get to do the table hopping part. Instead, the actors were sat on the little stage and proceeded to a Q & A, with Zachary Quinto trying to diffuse the situation with humour and by repeating ''don’t be mad''; what a sweetheart that man is.
In any case, Zach was great and sweet. I was lucky enough to be sitting at a table next to the stage. He made jokes about the fact that it was so early. He even talked about how awful he thought his reading of the Star Trek audiobook was - especially some of the voices he made - which made us laugh. Jacob Kogan was a complete sweetheart and a bright kid (I was surprised to learn he's 14 years old. I wish I could have seen his panel). Sabrina Scharf, on the other hand, was elegant, gracious, and rather silent, letting the spotlight fall on the 2 boys.
Despite the auction, the presence of Zachary Quinto made the entire breakfast function worthwhile and fun. Next to come was his panel and then the much awaited Meet and Greet.