For those of you who couldn’t make it to San Diego last week, Discovermagazine.com and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange present our panel discussion on “Mad Science,” featuring Jaime Paglia (co-Executive Producer of Eureka), Kevin Grazier (Battlestar Galactica and Eureka science adviser), Jane Espenson (Dollhouse, Battlestar, Caprica, and lots more), Ricardo Gil da Costa (science adviser for Fringe), and Rob Chiappetta and Glenn Whitman (writers for Fringe).
Big thanks to Jennifer at SEE, to all of our panelists, and to the Bad Astronomer, who found time to moderate our panel while he wasn’t partying with Hollywood starlets (Phil – we kid because we love).
Going to Comic-Con is awesome on many levels, but going as press is, if you’ll forgive my butchery of the English language, even awesomer. Not that we keyboard-stained wretches get into crowded events more easily than everyone else—Comic-Con is remarkably egalitarian that way—but we do get the opportunity to interview some of our favorite actors, directors, and creators. Some of those interviews I’ll be publishing as blog posts in coming weeks, but I thought I’d share the interviews with the of Doctor Who folks right way.
Few TV or film composers can command the attention of the entire cast of the shows they work on. But when composer Bear McCreary and the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra turned up on Comic-Con weekend to play two shows at the San Diego House of Blues, they had a few, shall we say, “special guests.” Specifically, both shows were M.C.ed by Edward James Olmos (Adm. Bill Adama), and he was joined by Grace Park (Boomer/No. 8/Athena), James Callis (Baltar), Michelle Forbes (Adm. Cain—stand back), Nicki Clyne (Cally), Michael Trucco (Sam Anders), and Michael Hogan (Col. Saul Tigh). I was at the Friday night show, but apparently at the Thursday show Hogan brought down the house by growling into the microphone, “Can anyone else hear that frakkin’ music?”
I met with McCreary in the basement of the House of Blues a few hours before the band went on show. He’s not a big man, maybe 5′ 8″ or less. He wears a goatee, keeps his hair long, and he has that pale-skinned pudginess that geeks earn by long hours in front of a keyboard, though McCreary uses a totally different keyboard. But he had none of the geeks’ renowned social awkwardness. Maybe that’s what happens when a composer starts scoring Battlestar at 24, and then held the gig for the whole run. Along the way he became the composer for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Eureka, among others. These days, McCreary is working on Caprica, the Battlestar prequel; he’s even written the Caprican national anthem.
I’m here at the Eureka panel at Comic-Con. Lead actor Colin Ferguson (Jack Carter on the show) is on location in Bulgaria and could not be at the panel. So a SyFy (heh) VP who’s here had moderator Josh Gates call Ferguson in Bulgaria on his cell phone, leading to much hilarity. But Ferguson put the VP on the spot and demanded to know if there would be a fourth season of Eureka.
Answer: Yes, 22 more episodes for sure.
The VP also requested a musical episode. All of which is pretty awesome. SciNoFi loves it some Eureka.
I’ll have more from the panel, and an interview with creator Jaime Paglia.
This morning, io9 demonstrated that in addition to putting out an awe-inspiring blog every day, they could also put on a mind-expanding Comic Con panel. With no Hollywood celebrities and just a couple of special guests, our favorite sci-fi bloggers ran through the TV shows, movies, comics and books of the past year that “blew our minds without blowing up any giant robots.”
Here are a few of their recommendations:
Moon -Duncan Jones’s new movie topped the list for both Annalee Newitz and Meredith Woerner. Like a lot of the works recommended by the panel, Moon explores what it means to be human in a rapidly approaching era where humanity can be technologically upgraded or artificially created (note: this is not a spoiler, the lead character realizes very early in the film that he is a clone).
Julian Comstock – In this novel, Robert Charles Wilson depicts a 22nd century American that has sunk into barbarism and theocracy. In response, the hero undermines the regime in part through trying to popularize ideas about Darwin in a world that has forgotten about science.
Rest – What if someone invented a pill that meant no one would ever have to sleep, with no adverse side effects? Panel guest Bonnie Burton from StarWars.com picked the Devil’s Due comic Rest, which explores this idea and its implications on society, the environment and mental health.
Wonton Soup – James Stokoe’s comic, recommended by Graeme McMillan, investigates what humans would do if they had to be out in space for a really long time. Apparently the answers are get high and cook alien recipes.
Infoquake – io9 editor Charlie Jane Anders picked a series of novels by David Louis Edelman. In Edelman’s future, people can hack and upgrade their own bodies and brains, impacting human relations in both the literal and business senses of the phrase.
We are teaming up with Jennifer Ouellette and the crew at the Science and Entertainment Exchange to produce a panel on “MAD SCIENCE,” i.e. Science as a double-edged sword, ethically and morally neutral in and of itself, but dependent upon who wields it, and how.
Beloved Internet Personality Phil Plait is lined up to moderate (after he gets his tattoo) and we’re expecting guests from Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, Stargate: Universe and more. Watch this space for additional details.
Recently released scenes of the upcoming remake of V combine two of our favorite things: creepy aliens and Party of Five! [via thrfeed]
And the first Star Wars may have been 30+ years ago, but its spirit lives on in the hearts of harp music loving pre-teens everywhere [via The Website at the End of the Universe] :
This week’s travel advice from Fringe: When picking up the ladies at night clubs, avoid the ones with scary blue eyes who don’t talk. They tend to have shockingly pointy teeth, and are likely to eat you. Or at least, parts of you that you might wish you had later. More on the nutritional content of your parts after the jump, which contains mucho spoilers.
As we’ve mentioned before, though, this is sometimes problematic when it comes to J.J. Abrams’s Fringe. Still, we try not to critique.