Radiation by Fiona Rae


Here comes Summer

Like a girly little fangirl I went along to see Summer Glau at Armaggedon on Labour weekend and can report that she is gorgeous and sincere and, like John Travolta owed his late-career resurgence to Quentin Tarantino, she owes her career to Joss Whedon.

I even asked a question; the one about did she know what she was letting herself in for when she signed up to do Firefly. Turns out she didn’t know much about Buffy and had no idea that the interest from the fans would be so intense. However, apparently Whedon fans are smarter than your average fan. Heh.

The actors from Stargate Atlantis were a fun bunch, having the advantage of being a double act. They found it weird that Paul Holmes kept referring to them as “Hollywood celebrities” during their interview. (Speaking of Holmes, did Judy Bailey really say that “the journalism was the thing” during her interview? She was an effing newsreader for gosh’s sake!) So I’m a fan now of Stargate, which was funny on Thursday even if it did trot out the old body switcheroo storyline. (Funnily enough, my son and I had just watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager in which Tuvok and Neelix are mixed up in a transporter accident and create a whole new entity, who called himself Tuvix. They had latex FX to create a hybrid buy; Stargate had to make do with Laura being in McKay’s head.)

Someone asked about the second season of Battlestar Galactica (sorry about my late reply), which seems to have disappeared off TV3’s radar entirely. It’s not in their new season book and now you can buy the second season from Whitcoulls, maybe they won’t bother at all. Entertainment Weekly loves it; here’s a review mid-way through the second season and here’s Ken Tucker’s assessment of season three so far, if you don’t mind spoilers.

There was praise for Prime at the Stargate panel, actually, for being the only channel to screen sci-fi. I can report that Karen Bieleski, channel manager, is a Buffy/Angel/Firefly fan (one of us, one of us …), has shaken Adam Baldwin’s hand and considers Doctor Who and Stargate to be family entertainment.

The Who spin-off Torchwood has started in the UK, with mixed, although not unkind, reviews. It’s a bit uneven in tone and some of the lines are a bit clunky, but it’s got potential and is thoroughly watchable. The leads are John Barrowman – Captain Jack from Doctor Who – and Eve Myles, who was Gwyneth in the Doctor Who episode “The Unquiet Dead”. Oh, and Cardiff gets a starring role.

I’m slightly gleeful that the new season of Grey’s Anatomy in the US is kicking CSI’s butt in the ratings. Girly, character-driven drama 1; nasty procedural cop show 0. But CSI is fighting back through the dramatic technique of … character development. As Nelson would say, ha ha.

Ratings in the US for the third season of Lost are not quite as stellar as last season, but my guess is that 11.6 million viewers is still enough for the network. It seems to be in a celebrity death match struggle with Criminal Minds, which has started here on TV1 (yet another ensemble crime drama with a strong male lead character. I blame ER). Dominic Monaghan was quite open about the show on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, saying that the producers had an end in sight, but the network weren’t ready to let them wrap up the cash cow just yet. Stephen King also alluded to the fact in his Entertainment Weekly story, saying it’s a dilemma – do you give up your baby for artistic reasons, and let someone else take over and make a hash of it, or do you carry on with it and make it the best you can? Tricky. Nathan Fillion is turning up in the November 8 episode, which is the last one in the US until February. Why you need to know all this information is beyond me. What’s that? Death of television you say? I couldn’t possibly comment.

A friend points out that My Name Is Earl is like steps seven and eight of the AA 12 Steps.

Whoa, this is a bit of a ramble, so closing now with the award for the most excellent character development this year: Munter from Outrageous Fortune. The guy has depths.

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