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Sci-Fi / Fantasy Blog

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Roundup: Sci-Fi Central Casting

Monday June 24, 2013
Anthony Head as Paracelsus in (I)Warehouse 13(/i).

Anthony Head as Paracelsus in Warehouse 13.


© Steve Wilkie/Syfy

A couple of stray casting notes as what seems like early summer torpor masks all the productions we've been hearing about over the last year buckling down to business:

The Strain--As if we all weren't excited enough about Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's promised TV adaptation of his own grisly vampire novel has attracted a name we always enjoy hearing. Deadline says that John Hurt, whose distinctive voice and manner most recently added all kinds of layers to the old dragon on Merlin, has signed onto the pilot for FX, playing Professor Abraham Setrakian, a holocaust survivor now running a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. Already cast as the other leads are Corey Stoll (who will look familiar to you if you've seen Law & Order: Los Angeles, Midnight in Paris, The Bourne Legacy) and Mia Maestro.

Warehouse 13--And in other Merlin-related news, old king Uther is horning in on Gaius's territory. Anthony Head will be joining Warehouse 13 for a three-episode story arc starting tonight, June 24, playing Machiavellian alchemist Paracelsus. (I love that I have an About link for that.) This after being attached to the CW's reboot of The Selection and to the Percy Jackson sequel we were all sure would never, ever get made.
Tags: The Strain, Guillermo del Toro, Warehouse 13
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Early Schedule Notes for 2013-2014

Monday June 24, 2013
Jonathan Rhys Meyers in (I)Dracula(/i), which will debut after (I)Grimm(/i) in late October.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula, which will debut after Grimm in late October.


© NBCUniversal

The broadcast networks have started announcing their official premiere schedules for the new season, and so far we've heard from NBC and CBS.

NBC has two returning series and one new one. For season 2, Grimm, on the cusp of a big buzz wave thanks to a late-season surge in visibility, was given an extremely high profile early debut in mid-August--and then seemingly had to pay for it with a huge four-month hiatus in the midseason. This year, Grimm is getting a later start: the dark cops-and-anthromonsters series and its new partner, the Victorian-era vampire series Dracula, won't bow until late October. Believe, about an orphaned girl hunted for her special powers, is being held for the second season in early 2014, but the NBC midseason dates have not been specified.

The NBC premieres:Meanwhile, CBS, which hasn't really shown much interest in sci-fi/fantasy since the long-forgotten days of Ghost Whisperer, is definitely holding its microchip-enhanced-agent series Intelligence for the midseason. The CBS premiere:One further scheduling note: The fifth and final season of the original UK version of Being Human comes to BBC America starting on Saturday, July 13. It runs for six episodes.
Tags: Revolution, Grimm, Dracula, Intelligencer, Being Human
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This Week: June 24-July 1

Monday June 24, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |


© IFC Films; Aircraft Pictures; Subterranean

This Week: TV
The premiere of Under the Dome, plus much more. Read more...

This Week: Film
Out in cinemas this week: A vampire tale told from an original perspective for once, and we'll all die a horrible, fiery death if this one nondescript white guy doesn't get laid. Read more...

This Week: Video
Two worlds, so close and yet so far apart; a bunch of high schoolers fight the rampaging supernatural effects of an evil tempation-exploiting book; and rescuers of trapped scientists underground encounter all the sci-fi horror cliches. Read more...

This Week: Hardcovers
Willful nanites may be behind an asteroid seemingly targeting Earth; a once-poor girl in Hollywood seeking her lost mother uncovers dark secrets about what the fae want from their unknowing heir; a widely heard skeptic starts suffering a mental breakdown just as he accepts a long-derided truth; a freedom-fighter in a plantation-dominated alternate 19th century America must liberate the leader they need, Lincoln, from a dangerous federal prison; in the afterlife, a heartbroken husband hires an investigator to find his much-mourned wife; and more. Read more...

This Week: Paperbacks
Newly released paperbacks in science-fiction and fantasy this week include books by Aaron Allston, Madeline Ashby, Terry Brooks, Larry Correia, Peter David, Carol Emshwiller, David S. Goyer, Michael Cassutt, Steven L. Kent, John David Krygelski, Anna Laforge, Jeff Lemire, Kelly McCullough, David Nickle, Pamela Palmer, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter, Jamie Quaid, Jennifer Roberson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jillian Stone, Charles Stross, John Varley, Michael Z. Williamson, and more. Read more...

Tags: Byzantium, Todd & the Book of Pure Evil, The Last Full Measure
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This Week: TV (June 24-July 1)

Monday June 24, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |

Rachelle Lefevre in the series premiere of (I)Under the Dome(/i).

Rachelle Lefevre in the series premiere of Under the Dome.


© Michael Tackett/CBS

This Week's TV Listings

 Next New Episodes
 Listings By Date
 Listings by Show Name
 Movies on TV

TELEVISION—New episodes this week from:

 Continuum,
 Defiance,
 Falling Skies,
 Futurama,
 Primeval: New World,
 Sinbad,
 666 Park Avenue,
 Teen Wolf,
 True Blood,
 Under the Dome (premiere),
 Warehouse 13.

Synopses below the jump. For details see the listings (regular or alphabetical). For sci-fi/fantasy movies on TV this week go to movie listings.

Read More...

This Week: June 17-24

Monday June 17, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |


© Pixar/Waklt Disney; Warner Bros Pictures; Marvel/Legendary

This Week: TV
The premiere of the last round of Futurama episodes, plus much more. Read more...

This Week: Film
Some cuddly monsters go to college, while some rather less cuddly zombies bring about a planet-wide fight for survival. Read more...

This Week: Video
A bright-eyed farmer awakens a war with giants, a magic teapot drives a damaged couple to avarice, and a musical sci-fi spoof complete with a Tor Johnson lookalike. Read more...

This Week: Hardcovers
A Terry Pratchett-Stephen Baxter collaboration, plus trapeze artists, cyborgs, a 50-foot telepathic merman, mind control, and graphic novels featuring Pacific Rim monsters, Star Trek heroes, future Skywalkers, sad-eyed Parisian children, and Wolverine. Read more...

This Week: Paperbacks
Newly released paperbacks in science-fiction and fantasy this week include books by Mark Clark, Douglas Nicholas, Paul Melko, Greg Cox, and more. Read more...

Tags: Monsters University, Jack the Giant Slayer, Pacific Rim
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This Week: TV (June 17-24)

Monday June 17, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |

A scene from

A scene from "Fry and Leela's Big Fling," one of two new episodes kicking off the final season of Futurama this week.


© Twentieth Century Fox

This Week's TV Listings

 Next New Episodes
 Listings By Date
 Listings by Show Name
 Movies on TV

TELEVISION—New episodes this week from:

 Continuum,
 Defiance,
 Falling Skies,
 Futurama (return),
 Primeval: New World,
 Sinbad,
 666 Park Avenue (yes, really),
 Teen Wolf,
 True Blood,
 Warehouse 13.

Synopses below the jump. For details see the listings (regular or alphabetical). For sci-fi/fantasy movies on TV this week go to movie listings.

Read More...

This Week: June 10-17

Monday June 10, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |


© Warner Bros Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures; Del Rey

This Week: TV
The season premiere of True Blood, plus lots more going on. Read more...

This Week: Film
The end of the world, as plotted by Zod or as experienced by Seth Rogen playing himself. Imagine if they both existed in the same universe. Read more...

This Week: Video
Lots and lots of loud CGI explosions and calculated visual strangeness, from Oz to medieval fairy tale land to an Word War II Navy destroyer misplaced by a few decades. Read more...

This Week: Hardcovers
This week in new hardcovers: The latest from Elizabeth Moon, plus collections of gay speculative fiction, early Verne SF classics, and essays on the influence of Lovecraft; graphic novel releases under the New Batman, Spider-Man 2099; a book on Ray Palmer's impact on SF pulp; and much more. Read more...

This Week: Paperbacks
Newly released paperbacks in science-fiction and fantasy this week include books by Guy Adams, Danny Birt, Elspeth Cooper, Philip Jose Farmer, Jasper Kent, Will McIntosh, Felix J Palma, Daniel B Royer, Jera Publishing, Kevin Royer, Sarah Zettel, and more. Read more...

Tags: Man of Steel, Oz The Great and Powerful, Limits of Power
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This Week: TV (June 10-17)

Monday June 10, 2013

This Week: TV | Film | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |

Even with all the vampire stuff that's out there, you can always tell when it's (I)True Blood(/i).

Even with all the vampire stuff that's out there, you can always tell when it's True Blood.


© HBO

This Week's TV Listings

 Next New Episodes
 Listings By Date
 Listings by Show Name
 Movies on TV

TELEVISION—New episodes this week from:

 Continuum,
 Defiance,
 Falling Skies,
 Teen Wolf,
 True Blood (season premiere!),
 Warehouse 13.

Guest stars this week include Brian J. Smith on Defiance; Rutger Hauer, Robert Patrick, Arliss Howard and more on True Blood.

Synopses below the jump. For details see the listings (regular or alphabetical). For sci-fi/fantasy movies on TV this week go to movie listings.

Read More...

Both 'Clown and Hero', Matt Smith Is Leaving Who

Monday June 3, 2013
Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.


© BBC

Despite hints that he would be involved in next year's season 8, it's now been announced that Matt Smith--saying only that "when ya gotta go, ya gotta go"--is leaving BBC's Doctor Who as of this year's Christmas Special, the last Who installment of this fiftieth anniversary year.

Smith, who first made his debut as the series' 11th Doctor in 2010, will depart at the end of this year after starring in the anniversary special airing November 23 and the Christmas special. The BBC said Smith's "spectacular exit" was yet to be revealed and would be "kept tightly under wraps".

This gives us what seems like surprisingly little notice compared to past transitions: although Christmas is still still seven months away, with season 7 over we'll only two specials--one of them a multi-doctor event--left before Smith turns over the reins. David Tennant's departure was publicized in October 2008, fourteen months and a string of specials ahead of his regeneration into Smith in the final moments of "The End of Time, Part 2". (Announcement of Christopher Eccleston's exit had been planned to coincide with the end of the one season he'd agreed to do, but the story leaked.)

In the classic series, the public generally knew about the departure of the lead well ahead of the transition: Colin Baker, for example, was introduced as Peter Davison's replacement midway through what was already known to be Davison's final season, while "Frontios" was being transmitted.

"It's been an honour to play this part," Smith said in a statement, "to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the Tardis for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go..."

Show runner Steven Moffat gave no better explanation of Smith's departure, though like the actor he suggested it was a matter of timing. "Great actors always know when it's time for the curtain call," he said.

Though he offered little information (as usual), he was quick to lionize the young star he'd selected as one of his earliest acts on the series. "Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me," Moffat told the BBC. "The way he'd turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry--I just never knew what was coming next. The Doctor can be clown and hero--often at the same time--and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him--sometimes literally--his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor."

The search for the show's next Doctor is, as one might expect, both well under way and entirely opaque. Speculation is naturally running rampant. In light of the news no one knows what to make of the sudden entry of John Hurt, complete with the portentous credit "Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor," at the end of "The Name of the Doctor," the season 7 finale, though it seems clear his primary function is as nemesis to his other selves. A host of names have been suggested in Sunday's UK papers, with Hurt being joined by such conversation-starters as Idris Elba and Helen Mirren.

Moffat, of course, was not only cagey but actively encouraging fandom's ill-informed random guessing. "Somewhere out there right now--all unknowing, just going about their business--is someone who's about to become the Doctor," he hinted. In fact--it could be you, gentle reader! Have your costume ideas ready...
Tags: Doctor Who, Matt Smith, Steven Moffat
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This Week: June 3-10

Monday June 3, 2013

This Week: TV | Video | Hardcovers | Paperbacks |


© TNT; Summit Entertainment; Tor Books

This Week: TV
A big week with season premieres for Teen Wolf, Continuum, and Falling Skies; season finales for Game of Thrones and Revolution; and more besides. Read more...

This Week: Video
Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: Freedom fighting against cynical and oppressive aliens; overcoming your little alien anxieties to save your hero brother; and a warm-hearted zombie deciding humans aren't just for eating. Read more...

This Week: Hardcovers
This week in new hardcovers: A fighter against supernatural evil, forced into new alliances, sets out to bring down the Shadow Bank at its own annual festival; a stage magician whose secret is the use of real magic learns his assistant is an unawakened prodigy whose life is in danger; Earth is unprepared for the destructive forces massed against it as the Formic War advances; a horror novelist is startled and intrigued by dark Japanese legends seemingly come to life; plus much more, including anthologies of celebrating famous artists from Batman Noir, Scott Pilgrim, and Star Trek comics. Read more...

This Week: Paperbacks
Newly released paperbacks in science-fiction and fantasy this week include books by Cassie Alexander, Keri Arthur, Nina Bangs, Beth Bernobich, Elaine T. Cook, James S.A. Corey, David F. Dufty, Donna Grant, Simon R. Green, Charlaine Harris, Tracy Hickman, Tanya Huff, Crystal Jordan, Richard Kadrey, William King, Mercedes Lackey, Ari Marmell, Devon Monk, James O'Neal, Alastair Reynolds, Timothy Zahn, and more. Read more...

Tags: Falling Skies, Warm Bodies, Earth Afire
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