sanctuary

Sanctuary Second Season DVD

Sanctuary Season two is an amazing season even better then the first!

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What we got in season two

  • Find out what happens to Ashley
  • Watch the incredible dancing Will Zimmerman as he dances with darkness, death and even a god
  • Find out who the abnormal Big Bertha is and why she is such a big deal
  • Kate Freelander newest member to the sanctuary
  • Helen Magnus’ power struggle over the sanctuary
  • return of Terrance Wexford
  • John Druitt’s revenge
  • Meet the god Kahli

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Out This Week: April 20 2010

Out this week we have four DVDs to feature:  Avatar, Star Wars Omnibus: Boba Fett, Xena: Warrior Princess - Season OneHercules: The Legendary Journeys - Season One.  Do we Love It, Rent it, or Avoid Like Plague?

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Sanctuary’s Artful Moment of Kali

There are so many great moments in Sanctuary’s season two finale but the representation of the 4 armed Kali is breathtaking.  The scene is when Will visits with Kali in the temple.  She is sitting in the bath with two arms above the water and using the reflection in the water to make two more arms appear on her.  It’s an amazing artful way to represent the 4 armed Kali without breaking the immaculate reality of the setting.

Removing of Maya

Kali Image via Wikipedia

The symbolism put into this scene is also brilliant.  Having a naked Kali symbolizes her as beyond the covering of Maya, the illusions that is the reality around us.  Having her bring Will into the same state symbolizes how he is moving beyond all of the illusions surrounding the struggle of the current situation and danger.  This is also the scene where Will learns / realizes how to get Kali’s control away from those who would use her to destroy everything.

Divine Knowledge vs. Human Ego

The four armed Kali is also significant in the scene.  The four arms represent: Divine Knowledge, Human Ego, Fearlessness and Blessing.

Divine Knowledge and Human Ego are in conflict.  Human Ego must be slain in order to gain freedom from the cycle of life and death.  This is the struggle that is going on between Will who represents Knowledge, soon to be Divine Knowledge after Maya is removed and Edward Forsythe who represents Human Ego.

Kali’s Other Forms

It will be fun to see how they resolve Kali’s rage when season three of Sanctuary starts up.

In the season two finale we get to start with a Mahakali where kali is a great being content to be left alone.  After agitation we get to meet Dakasinakali.  It is the destructive face of Kali.  The one who dances with a destructive frenzy which we see in the wave unleashed upon the earth.

In season three I wonder if we will get to see the story of the Maternal Kali play out.  This is where the infant Shiva goes onto the battlefield and cries.  Dakasinakali sees his need and ceases her dance of destruction to take care of the helpless infant.  This would be Will in danger from the wave crying out in need calming Kali and getting her nurturing side to come through.

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Sanctuary Kali and a Megatsunami

Sanctuary season two ended bringing up one a subject that both fascinates and freaks me out. ***  Warning this post will have some spoilers for Sanctuary season two episode Kali (Part 2).  ***

I loved getting to see Kali in action especially after they angered her and she sent out the wave.  It was a brilliant way to end the episode, I can’t wait to see season three.

The wave fascinates me because it brings up one of my most favorite subjects Megatsunami.  But to get there we should look at the size and scope of what has been unleashed.

Size

Kali is about 50’ tall.  This is known from two different sources.  First we can use the submarine as a size reference.  I love that they put in the submarine for size reference.   Los Angeles class submarine is 33’ high (beam).  A Typhoon class submarine is 23’ high (beam) this gives us a submarine height range of 23’ –33’ and Kali is about two times taller then the sub.  This would put Kali between 40’ –60’ tall or more simply put about 50’ tall.

The second method is more direct because they tell us her height in the commentary podcast.  Not as much fun especially hearing the answer after I went through the fun from the second method but a nice confirmation.

With Kali’s height we can determine the height of the Island that she is standing on.  The Island is about 3 times taller then kali making it about 150’ tall.

The wave is about the height of Kali plus the island she is standing on.  This puts it at about 200’.

Scope

So how bad is A 200’ wave.

To put a 200’ wave hitting the shore we can look at two historical events.  The first one shows the upper reach of the wave.  In 1972 Japan when a volcano eruption and resulting landslide caused a 300’ megatsunami which killed 15,00 people from the local fishing villages.  The second event shows the devastation on the smaller scale.  The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake caused a 100’ tall tsunami.

The disturbing part to consider is that the 2004 tsunami started as a wave in the ocean about 1’ high.  When the wave reached the shoreline and hit the ocean shelf it was pushed up to it’s 100’ height.  This adjusts the scope of that megatsunami that kali started.

Potential height 2,000’

If we follow the simple jump in height from the 2004 tsunami of 1 to 100 then a 200’ wave becomes 2,000’ tall.  This would make it higher then the 1958 megatsunami in Lituya Bay Alaska which reached 1,720’ high.  For fun some other height comparisons

  • 2,000 Potential Kali megatsunami
  • 1,454 Empire State Building
  • 746 Golden Gate Bridge

For me it’s the fact that the megatsunami grow to tremendous height once reaching the shoreline that both fascinate and freaks me out.  I will be curious to see how Dr. Magnus and the Sanctuary gang handle the devastation that Kali unleashed when season three starts up.

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Sanctuary: The Abnormal Reality of A Vampire Squid

Sanctuary-vampire-squidI really enjoyed watching Sanctuary episode 208 Next Tuesday.  In it they were hunting a Vampire Squid off the Gulf of Mexico.  In the setting it’s a rare, docile abnormal and I wondered what is the real Vampire Squid like? Unlike in the show the real Vampire Squid or Vampyroteuthis infernalisgets to a maximum of one foot in total length.  Big enough to battle a scorpion but not big enough to pull a person under the water.

They also differ by having a webbing connecting the eight arms so it could not do battle with those individual arms.  It does have two additional filaments that are like a squid’s tentacles which do reach well beyond their arms.

vampire-squidWhat I found particularly fascinating about the Vampire Squid are all of the light-producing organs covering it.  It has great control over the individual organs that they can produce a disorienting light show with them, varying the intensity and size.  If only I could have one in my fish tank, turn off the lights, sit back and enjoy the show.

I wished Sanctuary would have spent more on their version of the Vampire Squid.  What makes them an abnormal beyond their intelligence?  Part of me hoped they would be more of a humanoid octopus hybrid.

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Review: Sanctuary 206 Fragments

One of the Sanctuary's research scientists is viciously attacked by a seemingly docile Abnormal. While Magnus tries to save the life of the scientist, Henry investigates the origin of the creature's uncharacteristic behavior. Sanctuary 206 Fragments airs November 13, 2009.

Fragments trailer

What did you think about Episode 206 Fragments?

Let me know in the comments below what you like, dislike and are your favorite moments?

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Sanctuary Season 2 Cast

Season two of Sanctuary brings a return of many of the cast and crew we know and have fallen in love with plus some new faces and guest appearances.

Helen MagnusSanctuary-season2

Played by Amanda Tapping.  Head of the Sanctuary in Old City Helen is 157 years old doctor.  She and John Druitt have a relationship which produces Ashley Magnus though her embryo is frozen in stasis for many years before being born.  I love hos Amanda portrays her character Helen.  She comes across as genuinely caring, inquisitive, and open minded about the weird world she lives in.  She is the third from the left in the picture.

Will Zimmerman

Played by Robin Dunne.  He works for the Sanctuary now after serving as a police forensic psychiatrist.  Will possesses a creative and open mind looking beyond the surface of a situation.  He also has natural empathic abilities.  His talents serves him well in the world of the Abnormals where nothing is.  In season two we will get to look into the darkness that is in Will's past.  Will is a fun character.  If comparing Sanctuary to Stargate he kind of fills the role of Daniel Jackson when looking at the model but he is different enough to not be a carbon copy.  What they share in common are an endearing quality, a curiosity, and a boldness to fight for what is right regardless of weather that might buck the chain of command.  Will though has adapted to his new environment much faster then Daniel by the end of season one he is fully adjusted to the Sanctuary.  I expect to see more of Will in his own right in season 2.  He is second from the left in the picture above.

Henry Foss

Played by Ryan Robbins.  He is the Sanctuary's weaponsmith and tech guy.  He started going through a transformation in season one revealing that Henry is an abnormal who can change into a werewolf.  I'm glad that his character has been promoted to main character status for season two.  This means that we will get to see more of Henry and where the show will go with his werewolf condition.  I expect that they will go in a fun creative direction with it giving a twist on the classic monsters.  He is on the right in the picture above.

Clara Griffin

played by Christine Chatelain.  Granddaughter of Nigel Griffin, one of "The Five" who had the power of invisibility which Clara inherited.  She joined up with the Sanctuary late in season one helping them in their struggle with the Cabal.  We expect to see her and will have a growingrelationship this season.

Kate Freelander

Kate FreelanderPlayed by Agam Darshi.  One of the new faces to season two, Kate is a witty and sarcastic swindler with a gift for persuasion.

She finds herself in an uneasy alliance with Dr. Magnus after her business relationship with the Cabal goes sour.

Kate should be a fun character this year.  Her comments in the trailer have been witty and sarcastic.  She should also adds some needed info on the Cabal along with being, I have enjoyed her comments in the trailers.

John Druitt

John-DruittPlayed by Christopher Heyerdahl.  A member of "The Five" during the Victorian era and Helen's former lover.  John has the ability to teleport through time and space but at a cost.  Each time he does so it furthers his brain damage which drives him to homicidal tendencies.  This is what drove him to become Jack the Ripper for a period of time murdering prostitutes in London.

After being tortured by electric shock at the hands of Nikola Tesla John was cured of his murderous urges.  He has now joined up with the Sanctuary helping them in their fight against the Cabal.

Christopher Heyerdahl is brilliant in his role as John Druitt.  I love how this character gives a fun spin to the Jack the Ripper story yet it still takes time to explain why Jack murdered and why he vanished suddenly.  The most memorable and slightly chilling part about John is Christopher's laugh.  He plays his character so well that in the minds of the fans he becomes Jack the Ripper a figure to be feared and John a caring troubled person who just wants to bring his family back together.

At a convention this past summer, in a crowded hall Christopher was deep in conversation and broke out in laughter.  A Sanctuary fan jumped, letting out an instinctual shriek because somewhere in the crowded hallway was Jack the Ripper.  After being openly amused and proud to meet another Sanctuary fan I admitted that my skin also crawled instinctually, just brilliant.

Nikola Tesla

Played by Jonathan Young.  Tesla is half human and half vampire.  A member of "The Five" who despises humanity for killing off the pure-blood vampires centuries ago.  He has an on again off again relationship with Helen, John and the Sanctuary.  He is definitely for himself no matter who's side he is currently fighting for making him a dangerous character.

Ashley Magnus

ashley-magnusPlayed by Emilie Ullerup.  She is the daughter of Helen Magnus and John Druitt after Helen kept the frozen embryo for over a century.  She was working for her mother at the Sanctuary but after her abduction by the Cabal she has become unstable and her loyalties have been brought into question by the end of season one.

There is a part of me that still believes that this is her attempt to gain the confidence of the Cabal to help bring them down from the inside.  Though with her inheriting her fathers ability there is the possibility that she too has suffered brain damage and is currently in a psycocitic killer state.  When John became Jack the Ripper he killed hookers to clean up the streets of a corrupting immoral influence.  Having Ashley become Amber the Abnormal Slayer on a puritanical crusade to purge the their corrupting influence on humanity would poetically parallel her fathers plight.  If that is the case then we can have hope that she will overcome her derangement but we can only hope that she does so before she does things that will leave her with a century of regrets.

Special Appearance From

  • Paul McGillion bringing Wexford back from the original web series but re-imagined.
  • Michael Shanks who will play Jimmy who shares similar backgrounds with Kate.

For more read Sanctuary Season 2 Cast

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Sanctuary Season 2 Trailer 2

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The second trailer for season 2 of Sanctuary.  Season 2 will air on October 9th 2009.

This is a fun video with some excellently placed teasers.  They bring up the Cabal and their desire to bring down the sanctuary.  I like the introduction of Kate Freelander the new addition to the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Season 2

Sanctuary-season2The Sanctuary is a place of refuge, a safe haven, for those that are different from humans.  Known as Abnormals they are non-human intelligent creatures and humans with genetic variants.  They range from the cute to the extremely dangerous. Dr. Helen Magnus, a 157-year-old English scientist, and her team of experts run the Sanctuary.  They try to help the Abnormals and learn from them.  Working toward a peaceful existence between the humans and the Abnormals.

The show follows the adventures of Dr. Magnus and her staff as they struggle to bring harmony between the world of the humans and that of the Abnormals.  This difficult task because of the more dangerous Abnormals like Vampires and Nubbins is complicated further when the Cabal goes on the move.  A shadow organization with desires to spark a war between the humans and Abnormals the Cabal desires to see the extinction of all Abnormals.

Sanctuary is a great contemporary fantasy show with a polder society full of a wonderful array of exotic creatures.  I loved the episode with the Yeti, their portrayal of vampires and werewolves.  Sanctuary is also not afraid to tackle those social issues which makes for great speculative fiction, never being afraid of asking what if and exploring it thoroughly.

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Sanctuary was originally an independent production which used a web publication model.  After their first season became a big hit the show was bought up by Sci-Fi channel.  They did some re-writes did some new shots and aired what is now referred to as the first season.

Looking Forward at Sanctuary Season 2

  • Finding out what happened to Ashley Magnus, who changed after being kidnapped by the Cabal at the end of the first season.
  • Many more Abnormals including an oil rig extraction.
  • The conflict between the Cabal and the Sanctuary heightens.
  • The Tokyo Sanctuary.

For more read:  Looking Forward At Sanctuary Season 2

Sanctuary Season 2 Trailer 1

Cast

  • Helen Magnus  Played by Amanda Tapping
  • Will Zimmerman Played by Robin Dunne
  • Henry Foss Played by Ryan Robbins
  • Kate Freelander Played by Agam Darshi
  • John Druitt aka Jack the Ripper Played by Christopher Heyerdahl
  • Nikola Tesla Played by Jonathan Young
  • Clara Griffin Played by Christine Chatelain
  • Ashley Magnus  Played by Emilie Ullerup

More on the cast and picture here

Special appearance from

Watch Sanctuary Streaming Online

Looking Forward At Sanctuary Season 2

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What we can expect from season two of Sanctuary:

  • Things are in disarray:  The characters are just trying to figure out "How do we move on from here and keep things together?"
  • We are going to learn more about Will and his history.
  • A growing romance between Will and Clara.  Look at Trailer #2

The Darkness in Season two

  • The Cabal is out there and now has a new recruit Ashley... maybe
  • Find out what is happening to Ashley.  Is she infiltrating the Cabal or has she succumbed to her fathers mental illness and gone psycho killer.
  • Particularly for Will:  “There's definitely more of a darkness to Will, and he's kind of wrestling with some demons. That's going to be further explored, so what's happening in the present is going to clash with some of the things he's buried.”

Something New

  • Kate Freelander is introduced as a new member of the Sanctuary after falling out of favor with the Cabal.
  • See the Tokyo Sanctuary!  “There's going to be some major global problems with some of the other sanctuaries.”

While waiting for season 2 to start watch season one of Sanctuary streaming online here.

Life Stranger Then Fiction: Coral Man

coral-manLife can be stranger then fiction sometimes and Mr. Tianzhuan knows better then most.  He had dark brown hard shells growing all over himself that looked like coral. At the age of 13 he noticed some growths on his feet and hands.  These spread and got worse covering his arms, legs, back and head.

Like a slow real life version of petrification.

Thankfully the hospital was able to reverse the process.  After a year of surgery and treatment he has just a few discolored skin patches.

I'm glad we have Sanctuary to help the public to grow.  Treat people with rare conditions with dignity celebrating their diversity and getting help if it's a harmful condition.

(via Telegraph)

DVD Releases: September 15, 2009

Out this week we have five DVDs to feature:  Sanctuary: The Complete First Season, Doctor Who: The Next Doctor, The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season, Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Clone Commandos, Primeval, Vol. 2 (Series 3), X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

  • sanctuary.jpgSanctuary: The Complete First Season:  What a great sci-fi show.  I love how it started as an independent web project utilizing an all virtual backdrop style that looks great.  A must own exploration into the world of the abnormals.   In season one we get to see the Sanctuary, Witches, a folding man, the dangerous Kush, the ever adorable Nubbins I want one and I know not to feed it after midnight, Nikola Tesla, Werewolfs, Vampires, and much more.  Starring: Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Ryan Robbins, Christopher Heyerdahl, Agam Darshi.  I can't wait for season two to start on October 9th
  • Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas Special): Victorian London is the setting of this "Doctor Who" Christmas special, which finds the time-traveling doc (David Tennant) arriving in the city on Christmas Eve, 1851, to investigate a string of murders -- only to encounter a familiar foe: the Cybermen. He also crosses paths with another Doctor (David Morrissey) -- whom he believes is a regeneration of himself -- and together they must battle their common enemy, the evil Mercy Hartigan.
  • The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season: This show is great geeky fun that is also a celebration in fandom.  Whenever I want a nice laugh that still stimulates my mind with random science and a verbose vocabulary Big Bang Theory is my pick.  I see a lot of myself in Leonard and I do live with Sheldon.
  • star-wars-clone-wars-clone-commander-front
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Clone Commandos:  The second pack release of the TV Star Wars Series: Clone Wars.  This DVD has four really good episodes  "Rookies," "Storm Over Ryloth," "Innocents of Ryloth" and "Liberty on Ryloth."  Full of Mace Windu goodness a plus yet not the complete series.  I already own the complete series through Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  For those wanting to get it on DVD I would wait for the complete season which has a rumored fall release, fingers crossed.
  • Primeval, Vol. 2 (Series 3):  Is this series any good?  I have watched some of the trailers for it but they did not get me excited to want to watch it.  Evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter recruits Egyptologist Sarah Page to the team, hoping her research can shed some light on the mysterious time anomalies that continue to deposit dangerous dinosaurs in modern England.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine:  This movie was an utter piece of excrement.  Don't waste your time.  If you are insistent on wasting your money then at least support us by buying it here:

Netflix, Inc.Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home - Try free for 2 weeks

Darth Vader's march on the Jedi Temple accompa... Image via Wikipedia

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SF TV Series To Watch This Fall

Ghost Hunters
Image via Wikipedia

With so many Speculative Fiction shows and new shows coming out this fall I thought I could help sort them all out.

Currently Airing

  • Eureka (Syfy):  A fun sci-fi show.  Love it, watch it on Hulu
  • Ghost Hunters (Syfy):  Fascinating exploration of U.S. ghost stories and haunting investigation.  Love it watch it on Hulu
  • Warehouse 13 (Syfy):  A fun sci-fi show that adds a dash of paranormal into it.   Love it, watch it on Hulu

SEPTEMBER 9

  • Glee (FOX):  loved the pilot, a nice feel good musical tale with a dash of fantasy.
  • Destination Truth (Syfy):  Loved the previous seasons can’t wait to see what Josh and the gang get into this season.  Hopefully nothing from Chernobyl bit Josh.

SEPTEMBER 10

  • The Vampire Diaries (CW):  A vampire is in it so I have to check it out but I don’t have much hope.  I realize it is not a Twilight clone (I have been schooled on that subject, lol) yet I can only hope that it is way better then Twilight.
  • Supernatural (CW):  I’m a sucker for a paranormal show involving demon hunters so this is on my check out list because I also realize there are a lot of bad ones out there as well.
Destination Truth
Image via Wikipedia

SEPTEMBER 22

  • The Forgotten (ABC): I don’t have much hope for this show, mainly I’m concerned this will turn out to be yet another show for people who don’t like sci-fi to watch.

SEPTEMBER 23

  • Eastwick (ABC):  The trailers looks really good, they captured the essence of the movie so well in the promotional material I’m looking forward to watching it.

SEPTEMBER 25

  • Dollhouse (FOX):  Season one rocked!!! A must see
  • Smallville (CW): I could appreciate the concept behind Smallville but until this season just didn’t care enough bout the show to want to watch it but with Callum Blue joining the cast this year I think I may start watching it.

SEPTEMBER 27

  • The Simpsons (FOX):  If you don’t know then I’m at a loss for words.

OCTOBER 2

Morena Baccarin at the 2005 Serenity "fla...
Image via Wikipedia

  • Stargate Universe (Syfy):  I started out not caring much about this show, but as more came out and especially the latest trailers I’m excited to watch it.
  • Clone Wars: Rise of the Bounty Hunters (Cartoon):  Season two of George Lucas' animated Star Wars tales covering the era of the Clone Wars.  The animation style is a unique style that has been difficult for some to get into but worth it.  The story is really good though lighter because the show is marketed more towards a kid audience I have hope that the second season will get better.

OCTOBER 9

  • Ugly Betty (ABC):  What an amazing retelling of the classic fantasy tale
  • Sanctuary (Syfy):  The original web series was good.  The first season was awesome so of course I’m looking forward to season two.

NOVEMBER 3

  • V (ABC):  I enjoyed growing up with the original show V and it is one that could use a retelling, plus Morena Baccarin.

November 7

  • Legend of the Seeker (syndication):  Season one was so good I can’t wait to see how season two unfolds.

I find it interesting that all of the speculative fiction programming out there are on either sy-fy, Fox, CW, or ABC.

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Sanctuary Season 2 News with Trailer

The Sanctuary mythos is growing!  The trailer made me foam at the mouth for more of one of the best original series I have seen in a long time.

Paul McGillion returns, David Hewlett is conflicted

wexfordTapping also mentioned a few characters that she'd like to bring back from the Web series. "We actually just brought Wexford [Atlantis' Paul McGillion] back. ... He's on our season finale. We've been trying to get Wexford back on the show since the webisodes, and now we've found the perfect place for him. ... We've been trying to get David Hewlett [Dr. Rodney McKay from Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis]; ... we have. There was a scheduling issue. He was shooting a film. And then there was another scheduling issue. ... We'll get him on the show eventually. We love him. We want him to be a part of it (Scifi Wire)."

Wexford is a great character from the original series and I cannot wait to see him come back.

I understand that they will be "re-imagining" his creature to take advantage of the bigger budget.  It will be fun to catch up with him.

I am a little sad to see that Larry Tolson (Hewlett) will not return this season.  Hewlett is busy.  I understand that.  I just really want to see him return to the show.

Tesla Returns

TeslaNikola Tesla (Jonathon Young) is portrayed as a vampire on the show. "I sort of have always liked vampires," Tapping said. "I've always liked that dark mythology. ... Vampires are hot right now. ... I think we have one of the best vampires going in Tesla. I like the fact that we take historical characters, ... Nikola Tesla, a vampire, what? That's crazy! I like that we do that. ... Jonathan actually played Tesla onstage. He did a one-man show about Tesla before we cast him as Tesla on our show. And Nikola Tesla is being played much different ... in our series. Tesla didn't like to be touched. He ended up living in a room, and he was surrounded by pigeons ... so it was quite filthy for a germophobe to live in this environment. ... He was just a really bizarre character. He never had a relationship. ... We played Tesla somewhat different for obvious reasons (Scifi Wire)."

I love the way Tesla is portrayed in Sanctuary.  It is an interesting and fresh take on Vampires.

Tesla is a loved villain on the show and I cannot wait to see more about him.  I hope they will flesh out the vampire a little more, because I cannot get enough of the bloodsuckers.  I also have high hopes that they will make Vampires quirky and badass!

Michael Shanks on Sanctuary

Heyerdahl said in an exclusive interview. "This episode is called 'Penance,' or at least that's what it's called now. Basically, we have a special guest star, who is Michael Shanks. He's playing a wonderful departure from what we're used to seeing him. The two characters that spend most of their time together are Michael's character, Jimmy, and Kate Freelander [played by new cast member Agam Darshi]. They end up together and discover they share a similar past. They're a couple of streetwise wanderers who find their lives have a very surprising similarity. It's a pretty cool episode because it's a mystery search story, as well as those two characters getting together to fight for their lives (Scifi Wire)."

Sounds interesting.  I hope he is a recurring villain.  I can't get enough Evil Shanks.

The Show Premiers

The second season of Sanctuary premieres on Oct. 9 a 10 p.m. Special guest stars this season include Christopher Gauthier (Eureka) and Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) [Scifi Wire].

Hulu should get the episode the next day.

Michael Shanks will will be on Sanctuary!

Daniel Jackson
Image via Wikipedia

Former Stargate SG-1 star Michael Shanks will appear in an episode of SCI FI's Sanctuary in its upcoming second season, Shanks' managers at JDS in Los Angeles told SCI FI Wire.

Shanks reunites with his former SG-1 co-star Amanda Tapping, who stars in and produces Sanctuary, in episode 209, entitled "Penance," which begins filming next week in Vancouver, Canada; he'll play a character named Jimmy (SCI FI Wire).

This is some of the best news I've read in a while.  I love Michael Shanks.  I love Sanctuary.  Michael Shanks + Sanctuary = Brilliant!

I am really curious about the episode.  With a name like Penance, I have to wonder if this might have something to do with a sin Magnus committed in her past.  She has a long history, and I would love to learn more about it.  It would be great if Shanks was a part of that.

More realistically, Shanks will probably play a character who has done something terrible to the Abnormals and has to make amends.

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My Top 10 Favorite Television Series, I Didn’t Watch On The TV Box.

You know how it is. You see the ads for a new TV show and then never catch it. Or the network pulls it before you can really get a grip on the characters. Or they keep changing times and you can never figure out when it’s on. Or you like it, watch the first or even second episodes, and then one night you miss it and bam… you’re out of the loop. Now with places like Hulu.com and Netflix streaming online, you can catch a lot of your favorites online. Here are my top ten favorite television shows I didn’t watch on the TV box, in alphabetical order:

movies

  1. Cleopatra 2525 - Complete Series, 2000 Ok, so I know this is a little corny, but I love it. An exotic dancer in for plastic surgery in 2001, wakes up in the year 2525 to find the world has been taken over by evil robots. This show brings you scantily clad beauties with arm bands that shoot lasers and help them repel down giant elevator shafts and a freaky bad guy in clown makeup and extensions. It doesn’t get better than that.   Watch it streaming online on Hulu
  2. Dead Like Me, 2003 A college dropout is killed by a toilet seat that falls from a space station on her first day at a temp agency. Upon death, she finds out she is has been chosen to be a grim reaper and take people's souls just before they die. The bad news? She still has to work for a living! Some of these scenes are so close to real office life, it's scary. Can anyone say collate?
  3. Eureka, 2006 The best minds in the US are tucked away in a remote town where they build futuristic inventions for the government's benefit. A US Marshal gets stranded there and decides to becomes the next Sheriff after the old one is injured from a science project gone wrong. Quirky, fun.  Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
  4. Firefly, 2002 In the distant future, Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds a former soldier for the independents, is now a smuggler and commander of a small spacecraft with a loyal hand-picked crew. They travel the far reaches of space in search of food, money, and anything to live on.  Along the way, they encounter life-threatening missions and a cast of interesting characters. Must see. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
  5. Jericho, 2006 When bad boy Jake returns to his Kansas small-town home, Jericho, everyone is preoccupied with petty private business and family matters, but that changes drastically after an unexpected explosion hits. It soon becomes clear there has been a nuclear attack, but no one knows by whom or to what scale. Jericho inhabitants gradually discover the USA is disintegrating. Life becomes complicated for these small town folk when needs such as food, fuel, and self-defense against invaders become the main task. Jake proves extremely resourceful and a smart hero saving the town many times and changing the resident views of him. Watch it streaming online on CBS.
  6. Kindred the Embraced, 1996 Julian Luna, prince of the kindred (vampire), clans in San Francisco, has his job cut out for him as he must try to keep peace among them while not being afraid to apply ruthless justice against those who would break kindred rules. Infractions that merit "final death" include the taking of human life and changing humans into vampires who have not volunteered for the transformation. This show was an exciting and perplexing moment for all of us hard core vampire LARP'ers.  We were thrilled at the fact that mainstream took notice of something we enjoyed, puzzled the changes they made, and disappointed when it was cancelled just as the series started heating up!  I remember being upset that my favorite clan, Tremere, was not represented and hoped that season 2 might have brought them out of the woodwork. The tragic death of Mark Frankel (Julian) after Season one, caused all of us Masquerade RPG'ers to lose faith in another season.
  7. Moonlight, 2007 A vampire is a private investigator and falls for mortal woman who he saved from dying as a child.  This show has been ridiculed by fans of the 1980's series Forever Knight.  It does seem like some of the shots used in Moonlight are very familiar to us Forever Knight fans and even some of the themes they use are very close to the other show.  However, I feel that Moonlight brings a sexier, up-to-date feel to our favorite "do-good" vampire role. I'm not saying it's better, it's just more vampire fun.
  8. My Own Worst Enemy, 2008 As an agent for a top-secret government agency, Edward agrees to let the government insert a chip in his brain that can be turned on and off.  When he is turned off, he is Henry, an efficiency expert, who lives a typical suburban life right down to the wife, two kids, dog, and minivan. In contrast, Edward is a lethal, multilingual operative. Somehow the chip breaks, making it impossible for the government to control when Henry is "on" or Edward is "on".  I caught this on Hulu.com and loved it so much, I bought the DVD.  This is sort of a 24 meets Alias meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. TV aficionados will recognize many members of the cast and Christian Slater does a brilliant job of playing the innocent family man who could never harm a soul trying to come to grips with the fact his life is a sham and the lethal killer who will do anything to stay alive. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.
  9. Red Dwarf, 1988 Three million years ago, a radiation leak killed the crew of the mining ship, Red Dwarf. The only survivor was Dave Lister, the chicken soup machine repairman. He spends his time on the ship with a holographic projection of Arnold Rimmer (his dead bunk mate), Cat (a life-form that evolved from Dave's cat), Holly (the ship's senile computer), and Kryten (a service mechanoid).  BBC comedy good for hours of fun.  If you haven't heard of this one, you've been under a smegging rock.
  10. Sanctuary, 2007 Amanda Tapping stars as a unique woman (possibly immortal?) who runs a Sanctuary for all kinds of creatures and monsters.  This show follows her and her team as they find new species and try to help them.  They also have their enemies.  I'm anxious to see what this show becomes... if it's renewed. Watch it streaming online on Hulu.

You can check out a lot of these gems at Hulu.com.  If you'd like to purchase them, you can do as I do and shop Amazon.com.

So, now that I've given you some to catch up on, what are your favorites?

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Amanda Tapping interview on Sanctuary

As you head into season two, what would you like to see for Helen and for the show in general?

Tapping: For Helen, I'd love to see a bit more into her backstory, maybe go back in time a little bit with her and see what shaped her. We're definitely going to be doing more interaction between the characters. We bringing some characters forward a bit more. There's a lot of stuff happening in season two.

Some interesting hints about season two.  I love how she starts out with non definitive language about what she would “love to see.”  This makes me wonder if Amanda Tapping either does not know if they are going to go back in time to look into her back story, which I seriously doubt or if they won't and she is just wishing they would or is she just trying to be vague so as not to reveal the entire story arc for the second season.  Then she lists what is “definitely going to be doing”

  • more interaction between characters
  • some characters are brought forward
  • lots of stuff…

That’s a given, Captain Obvious… yet there are some hints in there.  I wonder which characters are going to get more time.  Do you think they will do more with Henry Foss?  What is going on with his character?

You wear several hats on Sanctuary, most important as star and producer. How complicated is it to juggle those responsibilities while doing each one justice?

Tapping: That's the one thing about last year that was the biggest learning curve for me, was how to learn when to take off what hat. As an actor I really needed to focus sometimes, but I was in the middle of conference calls or meetings and then running down to set. I found my balance toward the end. And this year I'm going to be directing as well. It's not like I need to do all these things; it's just sort of falling into place like that.

She will be directing as well next year.  It’s a juggling act but pulling it off helps to prove the new production model and show the transition into the new media.  There is a trend toward more streamlined budgets for production which allows smaller studios and independent projects to produce quality content that does not have to have the mass appeal and mega advertising dollars to support the show.

If you haven’t caught up yet Sanctuary is still streaming online here, though not all of the episodes are up.  Season one has 13 episodes.

Season 2 to start soon according to Sci-Fi’s trailer yet they don’t give a date and they don’t have it on the schedule for the next two months… I guess soon means sometime between two months from now and fall season schedule?

Read here for more on Sanctuary

(via Sci-Fi Wire)

Literature of Change

We have discussed What Speculative Fiction is, What makes it Progressive, and Why it is important that it is progressive,  but now it is vitally important to clarify some key points about the nature of Progressive Speculative Fiction.  There are two equally disastrous paths we can take from here.  As with everything in life, we have to find the middle path between the opposites:

  • The Light Side: Everything is great, and will only get better.  The future will be a universally happy place.  We are heading towards a utopia.
  • The Dark Side: Entropy rules the world and things are only getting worse.  The future will be a gloomy and sinister place.  We are heading towards a distopia.

Both are extremes, and neither can ever paint a valid world that has any grounding in reality.

Does Speculative Fiction have to be gloomy?

Damien G Walter at the Guardian wrote a fascinating article about the utopian and distopian sins of Science Fiction (read it here).  He asks the basic question that I would love to paraphrase: Does Speculative Fiction have to be gloomy?

From the recent releases, you might assume the answer is a yes, but it doesn't have to be.

Gloomy has its place in any story, but if that story only strikes one note throughout, then it become boring, and the audience looses interest.  We can see this trend with Lost and Heroes, but shows like Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, and Sanctuary show that it s possible to strike a happy median.

Sometimes a story has to be bleak and gloomy throughout to make the point, like 1984 by George Orwell, but more often then not writers take the gloom to an unnecessary extreme.

The challenge for writers of science fiction today is not to repeat the same dire warnings we have all already heard, or to replicate the naive visions of the genres golden age, but to create visions of the future people can believe in (The Guardian).

Must SF fix the worlds problems?

Kathryn Cramer at Tor had an interesting take on Damien's post (read it here):

I view science fiction partly as a set of perceptual tools we take with us into the world. I don’t think SF can be held responsible for finding solutions to all the world’s problems, but I think it is SF’s task to help us understand them (Tor).

Whether or not the writer understands or believes it, all fiction is a perceptual filter that shows their readers/viewers the world from a certain point of view.  People are influenced by these perspectives to differing degrees.  The quality of the fiction plays a part in that, but so too does the structure and discipline of the reader/viewer's mind.

It is too much to ask any writer to solve the world's problems in their work, but they have to understand that they are responsible for show the cost and consequences of their character's actions.

For example, we like to believe that people are born good or evil, and that it is alright to be amoral from time to time.  This is why so many people reacted negatively to George Lucas' edits of the original Star Wars Trilogy and the addition of the prequel.  He clarified Han Solo's morality and showed how a good person can become evil.  In fact, it has been argued by C. S. Lewis and others that their truly is no such thing as evil.  There is only vile, horrible, and misguided attempt to do good.  If you look at most of the "monsters" in history, they are people who thought they were doing good even though they wrought horrors on the world.

It is the job of every writer to show that every action has an effect.

A Positive Science Fiction Platform?

Jason Staddard over at Strange and Happy put forth his Stranger and Happier: A Positive Science Fiction Platform.  While it is well intentioned, I think it swings the pendulum too far in the other direction.  Let's go through the planks in the platform.

Positive science fiction starts with acknowledging that there are positive things happening, now (Strange and Happy).

Is this necessary? No.

Often an SF writer will start here, but others will start with the fear of the current situation or from the perspective that the current state of affairs in beyond saving, and impose a new solution to avert the mistakes the present state could lead too.

  • Star Trek starts with a world war and global catastrophe that nearly brought about another dark age.
  • Lestat saw the system of mandated belief an filial duty as corrupt and corrupting.  It wasn't until he became a vampire that he started looking for a better way.

That does not mean we should ignore this plank, but simply take it as advise rather than a rule.

Positive science fiction is about the possibility of positive change (Strange and Happy).

Absolutely.  In the Project: Shadow Manifesto, I call this simply "hope for the future."  Things can get better, but that doesn't mean they are destined to.  If there is no hope, there is nothing at stake for the characters and no tension in the story (What is Progressive SF?)

Positive science fiction has a protagonist or protagonists that can effect change (Strange and Happy).

Definitely.  This is the problem I have pointed to time and time again with SF media, and why I didn't like Battlestar Galactica for a long time.

This ties directly into hope.  If it is impossible for a character to affect change, then there is no tension.  The villain will win.

Positive science fiction isn’t afraid to look at challenging definitions of “positive (Strange and Happy).”

This is where the writer has an important question to answer.  "For whom is the change positive?"

Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side is necessary to bring balance to the force.  There are many ways to take this, but it is fundamental to Progressive Speculative Fiction.

Positive science fiction inspires people to act and influence positive change (Strange and Happy).

So long as it is not preachy, I agree.  If the story inspires the reader/viewer to make a possitive change within themselves, then the story succeeded.  There isn't enough time or space for me to list all of the stories that have influenced me positively.

Literature of Change

There is a common thread weaving through this discussion.  Jetse de Vries on his blog, In the Plane of the Ecliptic found the middle ground between gloom and naivite, the answer we have been looking for:

I disagree with the cliché that SF is the literature of ideas (they help, but they're not the core): to me, SF is the literature of change.

Roughly speaking, there are two kinds of change: things change for the worse, or things change for the better (I realise life is much more complex than that: some things improve, other things worsen, and some things don't change very much. I'm looking, admittedly roughly, at the net result here) (In the Plane of the Ecliptic).

Even the simplist horror and fantasy deals with the nature of authority and friendship.  Change is the only constant in the universe, and Speculative Fiction is the literature of change.  Writers ask themselves, "What if this happened?"  The answer is usually, everything would change.

How writers explore the changes is the difference between and great and a mediocre story.

Review of: Sanctuary: The Nubbins

Review of:  Sanctuary: The Nubbins Overall Rating: 9

Season 1  :  Ep. 6  When a mating pair of cute, furry and seemingly harmless abnormals is brought in for scientific study, the Sanctuary team begins to exhibit some hidden animal attractions for one another.

Likes

  1. Tribbles with faces… cute, scary little faces.
  2. another fun episode of sanctuary and the continued exploration of abnormals
  3. touches lightly on some environmental nature topics like keeping equilibrium, population control, and natural predators
  4. I like how they played with the pheromone parts and the attractions between the characters

Dislikes / Concerns

  1. still some artifacts in the style they are using to shoot the show but I’m more than willing to overlook some of the weird effects if it means getting to watch episodes.

Get you copy from:


Netflix, Inc.Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home - Try free for 2 weeks

  	 Fandango - We've Got Your Movie Tickets!Don't wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and  avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

Review of Sanctuary

Review of:  Sanctuary Overall Rating: 8

sanctuary

Sanctuary started as an online series and was later picked up by Sci-Fi Network.  They made some changes to the short webisodes but kept the spirit of the series.  I’m really enjoying it so far.

Sanctuary is a haven established by Dr. Helen Magnus where she seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures. Some of these creatures she needs to lock up to protect the public, and some of them she needs to protect from the public. She is aided in her quest by her reluctant protégé Will Zimmerman, her intrepid, if somewhat reckless, daughter Ashley, the talkative geek Henry Foss, a computer and security expert, and her taciturn Neanderthal-like assistant.

Sanctuary is a fantasy series created by Damian Kindler and Starring Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Christopher Heyerdahl.

Watch it on Hulu Here


Netflix, Inc.Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home - Try free for 2 weeks

  	 Fandango - We've Got Your Movie Tickets!Don't wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and  avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.