Monday, 28 February 2011

Malcolm MacIver on creating digital selves, the Singularity, and the first transhumanist opera

Just a few quick updates today:

Caprica City tweets that the German Amazon has a release date for the Caprica 1.5 DVD in Europe: April 15. still hasn't provided a release date.

Caprica and BSG's science advisor Malcolm MacIver has a new blog post up at Discover Magazine and it's another must-read. You can check it out here: Transhumanism: A Secular Sandbox for Exploring the Afterlife?

A couple of snippets:

The latest panel to be added to my list is a discussion about the first transhumanist opera, Tod Machover’s "Death and the Powers." The opera is about an inventor and businessman, Simon Powers, who is approaching the end of his life. He decides to create a device (called The System) that he can upload himself into (hmm I wonder who this might be based on?). After Act 2, the entire set, including a host of OperaBots and a musical chandelier (created at the MIT Media Lab), become the physical manifestation of the now incorporeal Simon Powers, who’s singing we still hear but who has disappeared from the stage. Much of the opera is exploring how his relationships with his daughter and mother change post-uploading. (...)

Exponential growth lies at the heart of the arguments for the nearness of the Singularity. Given Kording’s result, however, how long do you think it will be before we can record from every neuron in the brain at once? You might be surprised: even with this incredible exponential growth, it will take 220 years. If we suppose that uploading our consciousness will at a minimum entail recording the pattern of activity of the entire brain (why not–it’s no less plausible than every other argument out there), then we can’t even get cracking until 2211.

Other fronts:

Judas Kiss, with Richard Harmon and Genevieve Buechner, will be screened at the Phoenix Film Festival on April 1. More details at the film's official blog.

On TV tonight:

The Cape, still scored by Bear McCreary, airs at 9 pm on NBC. With the show's episode order reduced from 13 to 10, this is the second to last episode, with no air date set for the series finale yet. (The Event returns in its time slot next week.)

Patton Oswalt is scheduled to appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

And here is a new featurette for The Killing, which includes a brief interview with Michelle Forbes and a glimpse or two of Kacey Rohl:

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Interviews with Esai Morales & Kath Lingenfelter, and some behind-the-scenes clips

What the spiders collected this week:

Bear McCreary has won the IFMCA award for Best Original Score for Television for his work on Human Target. It's his second win in a row. Last year, he nabbed one for Battlestar. Huge congratulations!

Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg will take part in a panel discussion on TV writing in Los Angeles on March 27. More details here. has an eight-page interview with Kath Lingenfelter (Caprica 1x05, "There Is Another Sky"), who is working on House these days. Snippet:

How did you come to write for the series?

When I first started in television, it was as an assistant to Jason Katims, who at the time was running a show called Roswell on the now defunct WB. The [show’s] staff at that time included Katims, Ronald D. Moore (who went on to adapt Battlestar Galactica for SyFy); Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts—and Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner (House writer/executive producers). Friend and Lerner were like the Grateful Dead. Wherever they were, that’s where I wanted to show up. And I just learned a tremendous amount from them, really, really respected them as writers and individuals. When they got on House, I was so envious and just loved the show and loved their work. And so it’s great to be able to work with them again. Being a huge fan of the show (House) and of the writers, I jumped at the opportunity to learn from them and to join the show. So that was last April.

Ron Moore's pilot for 17th Precinct has landed another really cool Englishman, Eamonn Walker from Oz. Deadline writes that he'll play the lead, Detective Chief Inspector Wilder Blanks.

Teryl Rothery guest starred on Fairly Legal last week. There are some screencaps over at the Superior Pics forum.

Patton Oswalt will be back on United States of Tara when the show returns (Monday, March 28, 10:30pm, Showtime).

Esai Morales attended the 8th Annual Global Green Pre-Oscars Party the other day. He posted a few photos on his Facebook page. Here is an interview from the event:

Here is a preview of next week's Hellcats, with Kevin Murphy and Magda Apanowicz:

And a few more behind-the-scenes clips with Caprica actors that appeared on YouTube this week.

The first one is from The Charlie Da Clown Show, the film with Ryan Robbins and Aleks Paunovic:

The second one is from The Good Wife (an interview with Scott Porter and Archie Panjabi):

And the third one is from last week's episode of Glee, directed by Eric Stoltz:

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cast on TV tonight, return date for Sanctuary, new promos for Falling Skies and The Killing

Beginning of Line is taking a break this week too and the deadline for the video contest has been extended until the 28th. You can read the announcement on the So Say We All blog.

Here is what's on TV tonight:

Glee 2x14, "Blame It on the Alcohol" (press release & promo), with Eric Stoltz on the wrong side of the camera, is on at 8 pm on Fox.

Hellcats 1x16, "Fancy Dan" (press release & pics), with Ryan Kennedy and directed by John Dahl, airs at 9 pm on the CW. Magda Apanowicz tweets that she is in tonight's episode too, but the episode she mentions ("Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep") doesn't air until next week (March 1). Either way, good news.

V 2x07, "Birth Pangs" (press release & promo), with Zak Santiago, airs at 9 pm on ABC.

And on other fronts:

Mortal Kombat Online has all the info you need on the Mortal Kombat series, with Ryan Robbins, Aleks Paunovic and Tahmoh Penikett, in one place (at least when the server isn't acting up).

AMC has released a couple of new promos for The Killing, with Richard Harmon, Kacey Rohl and Michelle Forbes

Slashfilm has the press release and several new teasers for Mark Verheiden's new show, Falling Skies, which premieres on TNT in June.

And Syfy has announced a definite return date for Sanctuary:

SANCTUARY - Returns Friday April 15, at 10PM - Syfy's original series returns with the next all-new 10 episodes of season three! The adventures pick up in the events of the mid-season finale's cliffhanger, with the team at the mercy of the inimitable Ranna, played by Polly Walker (Caprica, Rome). Sanctuary stars Amanda Tapping as the brilliant Dr. Helen Magnus, Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as John Druitt. One of television's most groundbreaking series, shooting almost entirely on green screen, Sanctuary was the first television series in North America to use the RED camera exclusively. Its stunning visual effects were nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award. Created by Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis), Sanctuary is produced in association with Syfy and is distributed by Tricon Films and Television. Season three of the series is executive produced by Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood, Keith Beedie and Tricon Films.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

New interview with Alessandra Torresani, new film for Ryan Robbins

A quick round of updates.

REELZCHANNEL will air the VES Awards, with Patton Oswalt hosting and the Caprica VFX team winning, tonight at 10 pm.

Magda Apanowicz tweeted that she will be back on Hellcats this Tuesday (Feb. 22).

Ryan Robbins and Michael Hogan have been cast in the independent drama Pleased to Meet You. Here is some basic info, from

Based on a short story by Caroline Adderson (finalist for Canada’s Pulitzer Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award) the project has been awarded the prestigious Bravo!Fact award and attracted a kick-ass cast, crew and production team. Pleased to Meet You tells a story of how, through acts of kindness one man is opened to transformation.

The film received a grant that will cover some production costs, but not others, and they're trying to raise $10,000 in donations. In exchange, they're offering a bunch of stuff, from behind-the-scenes photos and the DVD once the film is finished to special thanks and associate producer credits. For more details about the film and if you want to help, go here.

Aleks Paunovic has been cast in Mortal Kombat. He will be joining Ryan Robbins and Tahmoh Penikett on the set this week.

It looks like John Pyper-Ferguson will be joining Ben Cotton, Brian Markinson, Carmen Moore, Zak Santiago (who showed up on V a week early), and Mike Dopud in Blood & Chrome. IMDb says he will be playing a character called Xander Toth.

Alessandra Torresani did a music video, "Tonight I'm Frakking You," with BSG's Richard Hatch, Kunal Nayyar from The Big Bang Theory and Amy Okuda from The Guild.

Here is an interview she did on the set (there is also one with Richard Hatch here):

And here is the video:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Caprica locations, cast on TV this week, and other updates

The 13th Colony posted a new video file with some very familiar locations, both from Caprica and BSG.

A new week of auctions started on Ebay yesterday.

You can catch several cast members on TV this week:

Ryan Kennedy, Ben Cotton, Aaron Douglas and who knows who else (Rekha Sharma made an unannounced appearance last week) are on Hellcats tonight (9 pm, CW). Photos and teaser are at Daemon's TV.

Scott Porter guest stars on The Good Wife again (10 pm, CBS).

Paula Malcomson is on Private Practice this Thursday (10 pm, ABC). Not seeing her in the promo, though.

Brian Markinson guest stars on Fairly Legal, also on Thursday at 10 pm, on USA. The teaser is on YouTube.

Spoiler TV also has the press release and photos from next week's Glee, directed by Eric Stoltz.

A bunch of other things happened since the last update:

Esai Morales talked some more about Gun Hill Road to The Celebrity Cafe and also gave an update on his new web series, Los Americans, and upcoming film with John Lithgow and Meg Ryan, Lives of the Saints.
TCC: You also have other projects: Lives of the Saints and Los Americans.

EM: We just finished shooting Los Americans and now we're in the process of editing. It's a really neat concept that I did with some friends and it focuses on an Americanized Latino family. My character is visited by a cousin who has an illegal immigrant wife and needed to stay with me for a while. We're just trying to move on up and the man is kind of dragging us down. It is very interesting in dealing with so many issues, but what I like about it is that we worked with Robert Townsend and company.

There will be a website that is attached to this web series, so if have you issues and problems that are featured on our show then you can actually click on the link and that will help you get help and guide you to places where they are prepared to help people deal with things like family alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, relationships, anger management and infidelity. I mean we cover quite a lot in this series. Los Americans is dramatic but funny at times. (...)

TCC: Have you started production on Lives of the Saints yet?

EM: It just got pushed back a little bit so we probably will be shooting that later on this month. I did a little cameo with Meg Ryan and it is a pretty cool script, very much like Crash in how people's lives intertwine.

TCC: Lives of the Saints has a big name cast: Meg Ryan, 50 Cent, Kat Dennings, Anthony Anderson, director Chris Rossi.

EM: I will probably be working mostly with Meg Ryan because of my character, but I love Anthony Anderson and I love 50 Cent. He is quite the business man. I just want to get in the mix with some folks that I haven't worked with before. Hopefully we get a chance to cross paths, and if not then we can see each other at the premiere for sure.

Carmen Moore confirmed on her Facebook page that she is definitely in Blood and Chrome.

Headline of the week goes to Patton Oswalt, who mentioned that he will be the first person to exhale pot smoke in 3D in A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. His character is a weed selling Santa Claus.

Ron Moore's 17th Precinct has landed its first two leads. They are Stockard Channing and BSG's Jamie Bamber. Michael Rymer, who will direct the pilot, shared a few interesting tidbits with Coming Soon last week:

"It's for NBC and we're in the process of casting it right now. It's bigger than 'Ben Hur,' very wild. It's a procedural set in a world where science is replaced by magic."

"There’s a lot of FX work," explained Rymer. "I'm very excited because it's going to be a real challenge to figure out how to explain why something is magical and not technological. There are some real challenges, but this is a very good script. It's Ron's main forte, which was very well demonstrated by 'Battlestar Galactica.' This is a great storyteller and just a lot of creative characters. We've had wonderful characters. So you get great actors and the writers will see what the actors are doing and they'd feed off of each other and there was this fantastic dialectic going on."

Mo Ryan at TV Squad has a great new interview with Bear McCreary. He talks about his work on BSG, Human Target, The Walking Dead, and The Cape. Last week, Bear scored two nominations for the International Film Music Critics' Awards: Best Original Score for a Television Series (Human Target) and Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media (Dark Void).

Ryan Robbins and Tahmoh Penikett have joined Mortal Kombat, a new digital series from Warner Bros. More details at

AMC's The Killing, with Michelle Forbes, Richard Harmon and Kacey Rohl, has a premiere date: Sunday, April 3 at 9 pm.

Stargate Universe will finish its run on Syfy starting March 7. The second half of season two will air Mondays at 10 pm.

Spoiler TV has an interesting videolog with Kath Lingenfelter, who wrote yesterday's episode of House.

Jeffrey Reiner will direct the pilot for David E. Kelley's The Wonder Woman for NBC.

And John Dahl has signed on to direct Cooper & Stone, a pilot for a new detective show for the CW.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Esai Morales on Fairly Legal, Brian Markinson & Zak Santiago to Blood & Chrome

There is a new story up at Beginning of Line and this time it comes with really cool opening credits. You can check it out here: Safe Journey: Hypatian's Bluff. It was written by Beginning of Line editor Teresa Jusino.

There are also a couple of new interviews, one with Rhesa Sealy (Twitter) who wrote the last two installments of "Caprica: Season 2," and the other with Juanita Martinez (Twitter), fan artist and author of "Prototype."

A new week of Caprica auctions started yesterday. The new items are on Ebay.

Battlestar Galactica Online has been launched today. You can read the full press release at The Futon Critic. Here is a snippet:

Based on the internationally popular Syfy television series produced by Universal Cable Productions, Battlestar Galactica Online is a free-to-play, browser-based space combat MMOG that combines high-quality, 3D graphics with intense gameplay. Following a successful closed beta period that started in late 2010, the free-to-play game can now be enjoyed by players worldwide.

David Eick, Executive Producer of "Battlestar Galactica," said, "Bigpoint has successfully embraced the spirit of 'Battlestar Galactica's' aggressive ship design, tactile physics, and its signature, vérité-style combat aesthetic, and taken it all to an entirely new level. Playing this game is like watching the most highly-adrenalized, nail-biting episodes of the series while chewing on a hunk of uranium. I highly recommend it - just make sure you don't have anything else to do for a few days..."

Esai Morales was at the CineFest in San Antonio over the weekend. There are a few fun clips from the festival on YouTube: clip 1, clip 2, clip 3.

A new interview with Esai appeared at Celestrellas the other day. It's mostly about Gun Hill Road. Here's a snippet:

What should moviegoers expect from 'Gun Hill Road?'
You will find a great humanity. At the end of the film, you get the sense that you're closer to understanding people you might not have otherwise had the time to; people who you might want to judge, even despise, you come to appreciate as different. There's a great deal of prejudice within the Latin community itself -- chauvinists against feminists, right against left. This film helps us reach a much-needed level of understanding for other human beings.

According to a couple of sites (TV Guide, Antipodal Araima), Esai will make an appearance on Fairly Legal this Thursday (10 pm, USA Network). He is not in the teaser, but he is supposed to be in the same ep as Eddie McClintock, who definitely is in one of the previews. Either way, here is a tidbit from an interview with Michael Sardo (executive producer):

DEDMAN: I do have to ask you about the "Battlestar Galactica" connection. Michael Trucco plays the assistant district attorney, Justin Patrick, and Esai Morales plays his boss, the district attorney. Trucco was on "Battlestar Galactica" and Morales was recently on [the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel] "Caprica." Is that a coincidence in the DA’s office on the show there?

SARDO: [Laughs.] I like that you’re looking deeper than we had time to think when we were casting. We were just looking for the best actors we could find, and the good actors work a lot, and they just happen to be in close proximity to each other, but it was not by design. Some of "Battlestar Caprica" people may want to believe it is.

Brian Markinson guest stars on the show next week.

Markinson is also the third Caprica actor who will be in Blood & Chrome. No official confirmation yet, but The Province reports:

Vancouver's Brian Markinson is among the stars of this currently-filming pilot, a prequel to the recently-ended Battlestar Galactica. He plays commanding office to a crew of space pilots.

According to the IMDb, he will play Silas Nash, the commanding officer who sends the young Adama and Coker (Ben Cotton's character) on the super secret mission.

Also unconfirmed, the fourth (and possibly not the last) Caprica actor who will be appearing in Blood & Chrome is Zak Santiago. According to the IMDb and Caprica City, he will play Armin 'High Top' Diaz. Wild guess, the character is a pilot.

Sanctuary, with Ryan Robbins, Chris Heyerdahl and (guest star) Polly Walker is coming back in April. Peter Wingfield will definitely be back on the show before the season is over.

Ryan Kennedy, Ben Cotton, and Aaron Douglas should be back on Hellcats tonight (9 pm, CW). Omar Madha ("Blowback") directed the episode. Here is a preview with Kevin Murphy:

Thursday, 3 February 2011

New interviews with Esai Morales and Carmen Moore

Esai Morales talked to Daemon's Movies recently and they have a nice, long interview up on their site today. It's mostly about Gun Hill Road, but he also talks about Caprica and his new projects. A few quotes:

On Gun Hill Road:

How was it watching other people react to such an intimate film?

Esai Morales: Mind blowing. It was really freaky. I was nervous. I didn’t expect the movie to be as good as it turned out to be, to be honest with you. That’s no aspersions to anyone, per se, but it was just such a small, little heartfelt film. Rashaad [Ernesto Green] had never done a feature length film before and you have some concerns. So when I saw the rough cut I was like, ‘Wow. This is not bad.’ Still, I was thinking, ‘Are they going to get it?’ Then when I saw it on a screen and all the nuances that audience picked up on I was blown away.

On Caprica:

I’m very sorry about ‘Caprica’ being cancelled. Do you know what happened there?

Esai Morales: I can’t say exactly what happened. It’s all about numbers. It’s all about the mathematics. I can’t begrudge SyFy. They have a business to run. I’m sad that it happened because it was really helping to re-brand the network like they wanted to, but I don’t think that they had the fiscal patience. When you have a show like ours that was upwards of $2 million an episode and Snooki gets punched in the face and gets eight million people in her first season, you try to compete against that.

On new projects:

Do you have anything else in the works right now?

Esai Morales: Well, we’re looking at pilot season and we have a couple that are very interesting, very nice. There’s still more to come, but I’ve decided to start developing projects. I want to become Tyler Perez–that’s a little joke there, but it’s also important because I think that our market needs to be unified and I want to be the Spike Perry or the Tyler Lee. Obviously, I’d like to make my own name at it, but for now we’re developing three ideas.

One that’s sci-fi which is funny because I had all these people approach me with sci-fi titles that were very cheesy. But that’s what they do. ‘Mansquito’, ‘Sharktapus’. They make those movies for ten cents in Romania or Bulgaria and then they come here and they’ve got fans. The teenagers love that stuff. So we were looking at titles and I heard one that wasn’t rather silly and we’re developing from there. It’s a little bit like backwards engineering. ‘Here’s a little title that we think we can market. Let's build it.’

There are two others. One is more ‘Pineapple Express-ish’, a comedy kind of thing. And I can’t give you the title because it’s so good. I love it. Then one more that’s like a nice date movie for the Latino core audience, but should be good enough – I watch Anglo films and I’m not completely Anglo. Why can’t people from not within our community enjoy movies that deal with us, too?

Read the rest of the interview at Daemon's Movies.

APTNtv posted the second part of the interview with Carmen Moore from a few weeks ago, about Blackstone. The show airs Tuesdays at 9 pm EST on APTN and Fridays at 11 pm EST on Showcase.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Wednesday roundup

Propworx has a video preview of the items that will be auctioned in the sixth week. The Caprica auctions have now been extended to nine weeks.

A heads-up to the UK fans: there is still no word on when the second half of the season will air, but if you follow @Sky1Insider on Twitter, you'll probably be the first to find out.

Other fronts:

Esai Morales will attend the CineFestival, which opens in San Antonio tomorrow. Here is what the press release says:

Television, stage and film actor Esai Morales will attend the Saturday night festivities of the The Guadalupe’s CineFestival en San Antonio, the nation’s longest-running Latino film festival, celebrating its 33rd anniversary February 3-6, 2011 at the historic Guadalupe Theater in San Antonio, Texas. The Guadalupe will proudly present the "Emma Tenayuca Award for Activism in Media," a special Premio Mesquite Award, to Mr. Morales based on his work as one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. The group works to expand the presence of Latinos in media. The award will be presented to Esai Morales at the Premio Mesquite Awards Dinner, hosted by Jesse Borrego, on Saturday, February 5, at 6 pm in the Progreso Building across the street from the Guadalupe Theater.

Paula Malcomson's episode of Private Practice will air on Thursday, February 17. Here is the synopsis, from Spoiler TV:

"Home Again" - After tragedy strikes the Montgomery family, Addison goes home to Connecticut and Sam and her friends decide to join her. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Violet clash when Sheldon's death row patient confesses to a crime that his wife, one of Violet's patients, believes he didn't commit, on "Private Practice," THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

And it looks like Paula's next gig will be on Fringe. A bunch of photos of her on the set appeared on Flickr yesterday.

Jane Espenson has been tweeting pictures from the set of Torchwood: Miracle Day. For more info on the new season, check out this interview with Russell T. Davies. Also, Blastr has a bunch of stills from the first episode.

Elsewhere on Twitter, Glee's Cory Monteith posted this scary little pic of Eric Stoltz on the set. (Last reminder: Off the Map, tonight at 10, ABC.)

Frankie & Alice with Brian Markinson is out in theatres this week and Conviction with John Pyper-Ferguson gets released on DVD.

Screen Rant has an update on the John Carter of Mars remake, with Polly Walker.

The final season of Friday Night Lights has a definite premiere date on NBC: Friday, April 15 at 8 pm. The second to last episode airs on DirecTV tonight, and the season five DVD will be released on April 5.

Screen Junkies talked to Patton Oswalt at the VES Awards yesterday. No nice standalone quotes, so hit the link for the interview.

And Guido Superstar: The Rise of Guido, with Aleks Paunovic and Michael Eklund, hits the big screen in Vancouver this weekend. The Vancouver Observer has an article about the film and the trailer is on YouTube.

Caprica wins VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series

The Visual Effects Society announced the winners of the VES Awards in Beverly Hills yesterday. Inception nabbed the top awards in the feature categories, and Caprica, Boardwalk Empire and The Pacific won in the main television categories. You can find the complete list of winners is on THR. The other VES Award nominees in the Broadcast Series category were Stargate Universe, V, No Ordinary Family, and The Event.

Big congratulations to the VFX team!
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
Michael Gibson, Gary Hutzel, Davey Morton, Jesse Mesa Toves

Patton Oswalt of all people hosted the event. There are some pictures at Getty Images.

More updates coming later today, but for now: a new Caprica story, "Vengeance Is Mine, Part 2," has been posted at Beginning of Line. Check it out!