Hi Gang, and greetings from Hollywood!
If you’re a Sci-fi maven like me, you’re probably still sitting shiveh over the passing of the series “Stargate: SG-1”. Feh! But don’t fall too deeply into despair. Just because the weekly series is gone, that doesn’t mean they closed the iris for good. Look to see “Stargate: The Ark of Truth” in early 2008. The whole cast is back, (sans Don Davis,) again doing battle with the Ori. Seems that pesky, elusive ancient weapon they keep looking for in one form or another is in the Ori’s home galaxy and they have to track it down. Presumably they succeed, otherwise there would be no “Stargate: Continuum” which is set to air in late 2008. This one deals with Baal, (Nu? Didn’t they kill him off? Oh, well, these false Gods all look alike anyway,) traveling back in time to stop the Stargate Program from ever getting started. This one will no doubt be the better of the two, since it even enticed Rick Anderson out of mothballs to appear! Oh, and for those of you still laboring under the rumor that Anderson left the series for health reasons, nothing could be further from the truth. He has been playing a far more important role, that of father to his daughter, Wylie Rose.
As for the reasons for the end of the series, it’s the old story…. boredom. Many of the cast members are just plain tired. Doing the same thing six days a week, ten or more hours a day for a decade can get to someone, even with a salary in the mid-six figures per episode. I remember doing tours of musicals back in the seventies, and after two shows a night, six nights a week for three months or more, it gets tedious and exhausting. So, I can understand why some of the cast members are even taking a break from performing altogether.
Meanwhile, the other ex-residents of Cheyenne Mountain won’t all be sitting at tea with the Asgards. Michael Shanks, (SG-1’s answer to ‘The professor’ on “Gilligan’s Island”,) can be seen in “Megasnake”, a thriller set for release on July 28th.
For those of you who thought Amanda Tapping was the best thing to ever travel a particle beam across the galaxy, you can find her next season as the new commander of “Stargate: Atlantis”, replacing Tori Higginson. Also appearing in the season premier will be Mitch Pillegi, former deputy FBI director from “The X-Files” as Colonel Steve Caldwell. As for Tori Higginson, look for her later this year in the film “Yumi in Love”, her first film since taking on the role of Dr. Weir in the “Stargate” franchise.
Meanwhile, Beau Bridges has hung up his General’s uniform too. The 67 year old son of Lloyd Bridges has signed on to star in a new pilot for a television series called “Two Families”, now in pre-production.
Only Christopher Judge and Ben Browder seem to have decided to take a break from acting. After ten years of saving Earth from the various system lords, they’ve earned it earned it. But we haven’t seen the last of them by a long shot. Both will be reprising their respective roles in the future ‘Stargate’ TV movies.
As for current flicks, the two standout films this summer are “Live Free and Die Hard”, Bruce Willis’ latest “Hey, remember me?” offering. It’s pretty much the standard ‘Die Hard’ drek, only like Sylvester Stallone in his last “Rocky” film, he looks tired and ill-suited for an action adventure romp like this. But mavens of the series will no doubt flock to the theaters to see it, despite the obligatory weak storyline and mindless violence.
Not true of the new live-action “Transformers” film. The fact that Steven Spielberg is involved says it all. The CGI is flawless and the storyline and action will keep you on the edge of your seat from opening credits to closing credits. The writing is often predictably hokey, and the sheer scope of the production has a tiring effect on the viewer, but the letter speaks volumes about the film’s ability to draw the viewer into the fray. If you liked the Tom Cruise version of “War of the Worlds”, you’ll no doubt love this one!
Of course, this is all mere hat tipping. The real blockbuster of the season is “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. The whole Hogwarts’ gang returns in what looks to be the best of the series to date. Unlike many series that try to keep their young characters forever pre-pubescent, you will find what the kids have grown quite a lot in the past three years. Hermione, (Emma Watson) is developing breasts, and Ron, (Rupert Grint) is getting a rather deep voice. Even make-up can no longer conceal Daniel Radcliffe’s facial hair this time, and for those of you who followed his ‘scandalous’ romp with nudity in “Equus” you may find yourself, as did my significant other, trying to watch the film without imagining Harry Potter in the buff. As in the previous stories, the film manages to stay as true to J.K. Rowlings’ concept while still squeezing as much as they can into just a tad over two hours. Naturally, with the maturing of the characters, they are called upon for more scary adventures, and no, I won’t spoil it for you by giving you a ‘for instance’. But trust me, this one, like its predecessors, is well worth the price of admission.
Meanwhile, yours truly is going to be keeping an eye on the trades for a “Stargate” props auction. There were four ‘stargates’ used in the series, (five if you count the one in ‘Atlantis’) and I think one would look way cool as the entrance to my new driveway!
Till next month, Gang!
The Gantseh Megillah
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