With The Force Awakens on the horizon, a few studios are busy slipping out teasers for their next franchise sci-fi flicks. On Sunday, Twentieth Century Fox released the trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, with Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, and Bill Pullman picking up twenty years after the initial alien attack that was defeated by uploading a Mac virus. They also set up a site to track the history from 1996 to the present, including an explanation of where Will Smith’s character went.
And this morning, Paramount dropped the teaser for Star Trek Beyond, with a heavy dose of action, explosions, and the Beastie Boys. How many Trek films in a row will the Enterprise be destroyed? Idris Elba joins Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in this film directed by Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame.
Ready for the big premiere tonight? I’m talking of course of the newest space story to hit the screen, based on an earlier property: The Expanse. Airing in two parts, starting tonight on Syfy, the miniseries is based on the Expanse series of novels by James S.A. Corey, a pseudonym used by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, who also penned Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves, one of the last Legends novels. Andrew Liptak describes The Expanse as the new Battlestar Galactica. Check it out tonight and Tuesday night at 10 pm on Syfy. You can also watch part one online. Also on Syfy, starting tonight, is a three-part adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End.
It looks like Warehouse 13 is getting renewed and canceled at the same time: the Syfy show will be getting a fifth and final season for 2014, but that season will be severely abbreviated: six episodes to wrap everything up.
Entertainment Weekly calls it a cancel but The Wrap calls it a renewal. Sci Fi Stream goes a bit further in depth and examines the viewership, and the previous hopes that the series would be the one to break the five-season curse of the Syfy channel (No original scripted show has lasted more than five seasons on the network). Currently, the show just recently started the second half of season four.
I’ve been a fan of Warehouse 13 from the start – it’s a fantastic show with great characters and a cool world, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s also one of the few shows I’ve found recently that not only casts women in a majority of the main character roles (Myka, Claudia, Leena, Mrs. Frederick to Pete, Artie, and Jinx) but also shows all the characters as positive and competent but still human. While it started off as fairly light and it still maintains that bit of comedy, it also has gotten a bit more serious in the past season or two, with some major character drama. In the more recent seasons, they’ve brought on a cavalcade of well known sci-fi actors as guest stars (like Kate Mulgrew, James Marsters, and Lindsay Wagner), but the core of the show is “snag it, bag it and tag it” with wacky artifacts that wreak havoc (and sometimes global destruction) when in the wrong hands.
It’s sad that Warehouse 13 will be coming to an end, but at least it won’t be coming to an abrupt end – that the show’s creators will have a chance to give a somewhat proper ending for the enjoyable characters and the mythology of the show. Having Syfy produce six episodes to wrap it up is certainly better than say, unspecified (and not likely to be aired) ‘bonus content’ for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Awards. The finalist list for the Nebulas was released yesterday, and I’ve read… Exactly one of the novels. (The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. It was okay, but I found the sequel much more engaging. Still, not a bad book at all.) So, no idea who will win, and I won’t even guess at the rest. I am likewise ignorant on the Andre Norton nominees, but I do have two of them on my to-read shelf.
I’m not much one for short fiction, but if you are, the SF Signal link above has links to the lions share of novelette and short story nominees.
As for the Bradbury (Dramatic Presentation,) the selections are The Avengers, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Cabin in the Woods, The Hunger Games, John Carter (?!?) and Looper. Alrighty then.
Adaptations. SyFy is aiming for Philip K. Dick’s Man in the High Castle, while Heathers and Mean Girls alums are taking the reins of the Vampire Academy movie. One of these projects is doomed, and sadly it’s not the one about a vampire academy.