Life Archive


Tonight on SGU: ‘Epilogue’

The crew uncovers a life that might have been. (9/8c on Syfy)


Science Supplemental: Has a NASA Scientist Found Alien Life in Meteorites? Not Likely…

Have we made “first contact” with fossilized alien microbes? A recent study by astrobiologist Richard B. Hoover of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center says “yes”. Pretty much everyone else says, “no,” or at the very least, “I’m skeptical.” If the claim is indeed verified, it will be a turning point in human history; If not, […]


The Artisans: Paul Inglis On ‘Game Of Thrones’

Supervising art director talks about bringing the cultures of the Seven Kingdoms to life on HBO’s new series

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New Photos From Terra Nova

Terra Nova, the Steven Spielberg dinosaur drama, will have a two-day preview on May 23-24, to be followed by the premiere this fall and thirteen photos from the series can be seen now.

Brannon Braga is an executive producer on the show which features a family traveling back in time to prehistoric Earth, in hopes of saving the human race.

The series will star Stephen Lang (Avatar) as Commander Nathaniel Taylor. The Shannon family will be portrayed by Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) and Shelley Conn (Mistresses) as the parents and Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott and Alana Mansour as their children.

Although the series is set in a lush paradise, life in Terra Nova is hardly tranquil. “The Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia,” and “Not everyone on this mission has the same idea of how to best save mankind; in fact, there may be forces intent on destroying this new world before it even begins.” If the human issues were not enough, Terra Nova itself should prove to be a dangerous place, with man-eating dinosaurs roaming about the place.

To see the thirteen photos taken from the show, head to the link located here.

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Koenig: Life Beyond Star Trek

In the second part of an interview with Star Trek‘s Walter Koenig, the actor talks about other roles in his career and what he is doing today.

Star Trek fans know Koenig as Chekov, but he found the role of Bester on Babylon 5 to be a better and more satisfying role. “[A]s sacrilegious as it might be for Star Trek fans, Bester was a more exciting opportunity and a more challenging role,” said Koenig. “It was a fleshed-out character, which was fun to play.”

One of his Babylon 5 co-actors felt that Koenig’s portrayal of Bester needed to be reined in a bit, but Koenig disagreed. “Something interesting is that on Babylon 5 one of the actors on the show said that I was going too far with the character and suggested that I tone it down,” said Koenig. “I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t. I feel I put a stamp on that character and that I made him my own, and I had a great time doing it. I was able to be a little bit more inventive and try things.”

Koenig’s preference for Bester over Chekov does not mean that he does not appreciate his time on Star Trek or what doors were opened for him as a result of his time on the show. “…I will always be enormously grateful to Star Trek because without Star Trek I’m sure there would not have been a Babylon 5 in my future,” he said. “Plus, Star Trek has provided me with a living, off and on, for almost forty-five years. So there’s that to be said.”

Working on the fan-produced Of Gods and Men was a positive experience because the Chekov played by Koenig was different than the one portrayed on the original series and in a good way. “[Of Gods and Men] was a much better experience than I anticipated,” said Koenig. “Initially, I thought I was doing it as a favor for Doug Conway. But when I got the script and I saw that the non-standard Chekov character that I played was really full of passion and energy and anger, it became a much more appealing role for me. It was quite challenging, and the performance was at least modestly successful. So I thoroughly enjoyed doing that.”

Koenig is currently working on graphic novels, including Things to Come, a story about vampires after the Apocalypse. “I’d love to see it adapted into a screenplay and into a movie,” he said, “but the process of writing it into a four-issue comic book is also an adventure and quite exciting. And it’s something I look forward to working on every day when I sit down at my desk.”

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‘Universe’ Cancellation Puts ‘Stargate: Atlantis’ Movie On Hold

Joseph Mallozzi still holds out hope that SGU will find life somewhere, and soon

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Todd As Kurn And Jake

Tony Todd was fortunate enough to land two good roles on Star Trek; one as Kurn, the brother of Worf, and the other as an older version of Jake in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s The Visitor.

The role of older Jake in The Visitor was special and even in grief, Todd recognized that. “The story behind my doing it is that the woman who raised me, my aunt, was a single woman, and she’d passed away at the beautiful age of eighty-two. I’d just finished Candyman 2 and it devastated me because she was a person I talked to every day. Fortunately, she was able to see some of the beginnings of my success. But I was in a state of shock and I wasn’t able to work for four months.
“They sent me the script for The Visitor. It wasn’t a complete offer, but they sent it for my consideration and wanted me to come in and see them. So it was the role that got me up off the bed, out of the house, and into the producers’ office. When I went in, I saw a lot of actors who I felt were of the age and who were people I respected. But I went in and I got it. So that was sort of my homage to the parental figure in my life that I loved and cherished.”

Cirroc Lofton had wanted to play the role himself, but wasn’t old enough to pull off the role of the older man. “I know when I saw [Lofton] on set (at the time) the very first thing he said was that he wanted to do it. That’s youthful bliss, but the producers convinced him that he, unfortunately at the time, didn’t have the age or gravity to pull off the older character’s life experience stuff. He got that.”

After The Visitor aired, Todd discovered the good side of the Internet, when the reviews and comments starting arriving. “The Visitor changed my life, not just in terms of convention appearances, but at the time that episode was done the Internet was just exploding and I remember sitting for hours just basking in the glow of the love that was being written about that single episode,” said Todd.

Todd also played Kurn, bother of Worf and credits Michael Dorn with making it easy for him to portray his brother.

“The good thing about my whole Trek association was that I’d auditioned several times before I landed Kurn,” said Todd. “I knew they wanted me and they knew I wanted to be a part of the show. I don’t think anybody really knew how big it was going to be. I got the job the same day I auditioned. I was literally walking off the Paramount lot and the casting director came running after me. It was one of those Hollywood moments.

“By the time I got to the set, everybody – Michael, Patrick (Stewart), Jonathan (Frakes) and Wil (Wheaton) – made me feel completely at ease. Michael and I just locked into each other very quickly, and he was happy to finally have an extension of who he was represented. It was just very easy and comfortable. I gave him respect and we had a lot of commonality in terms of people we’d worked with, and we were able to go from there.”

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Stewart Play Ends Early

Due to a combination of the bad economy and a bad review, A Life in the Theater, in which Patrick Stewart had a starring role, has ended five weeks earlier than planned.

“On Sunday at about five o’clock my association with A Life in the Theater ended for all time,” said Stewart. “It was one of those frustrating experiences where audiences who came had a great time but we were unlucky to have a very poor review from The New York Times and that is still a review that can do huge damage to a production. We had many reviews that were really positive but a poor review in The New York Times is harmful.”

A Life in the Theater isn’t the only play that is closing early, according to Stewart. “Broadway seems to be going through an extraordinarily difficult time right now,” said Stewart. “We are being followed immediately by two or three other [productions]. I have heard different numbers but I’ve been told between eight and a dozen Broadway shows are under the axe.

“This is so frustrating for everyone. I discussed this with our producer and this is traditionally one of the best times of year on Broadway in the lead up to the holidays. It is very disappointing that so many shows aren’t doing well. I knew we wouldn’t make it beyond 2 January because that is the worst month in Broadway. To have this happening now. We are in a recession, people are anxious about jobs, pensions, health and theater prices are high. It continues to shock me. We are so fortunate in London; we can see the best of British theater. If you are going to the National Theatre at a very reasonable price. On Broadway you take three people to see a show can you pay $1,000 just for the theater tickets alone.”

According to the review from The New York Times film critic Ben Brantley,  “So now what is essentially a series of quick, airy black-out sketches about two actors in repertory has been scaled up for its Broadway debut. This means it has been endowed with an impressive Santo Loquasto set and, more important, a highly recognizable cast of two in Patrick Stewart and T. R. Knight. And in trying to look big, A Life in the Theatre, directed here by Neil Pepe, has never seemed smaller.”

Stewart also came in for criticism from Brantley. “I had difficulty believing in Mr. Stewart as a vain, over-the-hill, lonely actor for whom theater is a religion with its own inviolable rules and rituals,” said Brantley. “Perhaps he needs a booming, heroic classical part to come into his own, but here, in relatively low gear, he seems neither as fragile nor as foolish as he needs to be. Un-self-conscious comedy is evidently not his métier.”

A Life in the Theater had been due to run through January 2, 2011.


Science Friday: Arsenic Life Controversy + Piccard’s Solar Plane + Real Sonic Screwdriver + Commercial NASA Launch + more TrekMovie in Antarctica

Welcome back to another Antarctic edition of Science Friday. But, before you travel south, learn about why NASA’s new arsenic-based life form may not be real, hear the latest on Captain Piccard’s solar plane, and get your own sonic screwdriver. All this and more, plus last week’s Antarctica questions answered as well as some new […]