Tagged: House

The Originals: The Complete First Season Arrives September 2

The OriginalsBURBANK, CA (June 12, 2014) – Ready to get sucked in? Just in time for the Season Two premiere on The CW, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will release The Originals: The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack on September 2, 2014. Season One is also available to purchase on Digital HD. Averaging nearly 3.1 million viewers weekly, The Originals is The CW’s #2 show among Adults.* Fans can feast on all 22 one-hour episodes from Season One, plus over two hours of gripping extras — including commentary, the 2013 Comic-Con panel, the 2014 PaleyFest panel, featurettes, and deleted scenes. The Originals: The Complete First Season will be priced to own on DVD at $59.98 SRP and on Blu-ray Combo Pack at $69.97 SRP.

This sexy and thrilling new series from The Vampire Diaries’ executive producer Julie Plec centers on the Original vampire family and the dangerous vampire/werewolf hybrid, Klaus (Joseph Morgan), who returns to the magical melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago. Acting on a mysterious tip that a plot is brewing against him, Klaus’ questions lead him to his diabolical former protégé, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a charismatic vampire with total control over the human and supernatural inhabitants of the city. Determined to help his brother Klaus find redemption, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) follows Klaus and is soon forced to side with Marcel’s enemies. Meanwhile, Klaus and Elijah’s sister, Rebekah (Claire Holt), must decide if she’ll join her brothers in New Orleans and help them to reclaim their hometown and all its extraordinary offerings.

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, The Originals: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 9-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (4 Blu-ray discs, 5 DVD discs) will feature a high-definition Blu-ray, standard definition DVD and a Digital HD copy of all 22 episodes from Season One.

Season one of The Originals stars Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries, Ben Hur), Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, Saving Hope), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle), Charles Michael Davis (Grey’s Anatomy), Danielle Pineda (Homeland), Leah Pipes (Sorority Row), and Danielle Campbell (Prison Break), with Plec executive producing along with Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars) and Gina Girolamo (The Lying Game) Created by Plec, the series is based in part on the character Klaus from The Vampire Diaries novels by L.J. Smith. The Originals has been renewed for a second season on The CW for Fall 2014.
*Source: Nielsen Galaxy Explorer, Live+7, US ratings (10/03/13-04/22/14)

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Pilot Commentary – With Creator Julie Plec and Director Chris Grismer
• 2013 Comic-Con Panel – Executive producer Julie Plec and the cast discuss the origins of The Originals, and what you can expect in this spin-off of The Vampire Diaries.
• 2014 PaleyFest Panel – Cast and producers discuss the creative process in these highlights from the panel at PaleyFest 2014
• The Originals: Origins – In this featurette, creator Julie Plec leads us on the journey of creating The Originals and continuing through to the production of the pilot in New Orleans.
• The Originals: Re-mixing History – In this featurette, the writers of The Originals will describe how they were able to blend fact with fiction, generating strong roots in New Orleans for the Mikaelson family.
• The Original Vampires: A Bite-sized Backstory – A dynamic and stylized montage featuring key storylines and scenes of the original family. Including scenes from The Vampire Diaries, this piece will depict where the originals came from.
• Deleted Scenes

22 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

1. Always and Forever
2. House of the Rising Son
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Girl in New Orleans
5. Sinners and Saints
6. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
7. Bloodletting
8. The River in Reverse
9. Reigning Pain in New Orleans
10. The Casket Girls
11. Après Moi, le Déluge
12. Dance Back from The Grave
13. Crescent City
14. Long Way Back from Hell
15. Le Grand Guignol
16. Farewell to Storyville
17. Moon Over Bourbon Street
18. The Big Uneasy
19. An Unblinking Death
20. A Closer Walk with Thee
21. The Battle of New Orleans
22. From a Cradle to a Grave

BASICS

Street Date: September 2, 2014
Running Time: Feature: Approx 928 min, Enhanced Content: approx 141 min
Blu-ray & DVD: Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

DVD
Price: $59.98 SRP
5 DVD-9s
DVD Audio – English (5.1), Portuguese
DVD Subtitles – ESDH, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Thai
Catalog # 1000437527
UPC# 883929374557

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK
Price: $69.97 SRP
9 Disc Elite (4 BD-50s/5 DVD-9s)
DVD Audio – English (5.1), Portuguese
DVD Subtitles – ESDH, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Thai
Blu-ray Audio – 1080p Full HD Video, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English, Portuguese, French, Castilian Spanish
Blu-ray Subtitles – ESDH, French, Danish, Latin Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, Castilian Spanish
Catalog # 1000437689
UPC # 83929374540

Jen Krueger: The Gaming Sweet Spot

Jen Krueger: The Gaming Sweet Spot

Until very recently, the thought of spending a hundred dollars on a board game would have seemed like madness to me. If it actually is madness, then I guess it’s appropriate that Betrayal at House on the Hill is what had me considering it. It’s a game in which you and your friends explore a haunted mansion by building it out room by room with tiles that reveal objects, events, and traps to test your sanity. Everything changes in the middle when a haunt is triggered to reveal one player as a traitor out to kill the others, and playing it just once at a board game cafe was more than enough fun to make me want a copy of my own. Unfortunately, it’s currently out of print and procuring a copy would mean spending around a hundred dollars for a used set through a reseller.

So what about Betrayal at House on the Hill was so fun that a single experience with it made me actually consider dropping that kind of money on a type of product for which I’ve generally paid no more than fifty dollars? The fact that the mechanics for both the layout of the house and the type of haunt that occurs mean it’s never the same game twice. Knowing that even if I happened to run through all 50 different haunts the rule book contains, the unique layout of rooms and the randomness regarding which player becomes the traitor would keep the gameplay from ever becoming rote. As much fun as it can be to play a classic like Monopoly or a modern hit like Ticket to Ride, whenever I play something of a more fixed state like these, I find myself less engaged with the game itself as well as the other people I’m playing with. There’s never really any surprise to this kind of game, and at a certain point I end up on autopilot. There may be variation in which specific spaces I land on or cards I pull, but the range of possibilities is firmly set from the start, diluting the replay value and leaving me content to play them but never dying to own them.

But as much as I want board games I play to give me a unique experience every time I sit down to them, there are of course games that go too far down that path. Risk Legacy builds on the foundation of the classic game Risk, but is meant to be played by the same group of people 15 times because each session results in the players making alterations to the game based on their specific experiences with it, like scarring a territory with a negative effect on any future combat that takes place there, or naming a territory so that only the player who named it can start in that territory during future games. These alterations are permanent, and affect every session that follows, making every Risk Legacy set that’s sold into a completely unique experience for the group that plays that set. I was pumped to try the game when my friend Art wrangled a group to play. More friends of mine, Farley and Clay, were playing with a separate group around the same time, and as each group got more sessions under our belts, we’d check in with each other about our impressions and strategies for sessions to come. The incredibly customizable nature of the game meant that both of our groups were constantly realizing we’d been doing something wrong due to not fully understanding the understandably complicated rules, but the continuing effect of each session on the ones that follow it make it very hard to rectify mistakes. And though correlation doesn’t imply causation, I can’t help but think any game with such a high level of customizability runs the same (cue groan) risk.

For me, the games that do it right are the ones right in the middle of this spectrum of uniqueness per session. Cyberpunk card game Android: Netrunner gives players a wealth of cards to pick from with multiple expansion packs on the market and new ones released every month, making the possibilities endless when putting together a deck to sit down with a friend and, depending what side of the table you’re on, either hack their servers or foil their hacker. Betrayal at House on the Hill gives a different board and set of circumstances every time, but the rules governing play are constant and basic enough to let the players get them under their belts in a few turns on a first play-through, then simply immerse themselves from that point on. And if a game can be as simple in concept yet as different every time it’s played as Betrayal at House on the Hill, a hundred dollars for a set gives you unlimited replay value. In my book, that’s actually a bargain.

Longmire Season 1-2 Come to Blu-ray This Month

Longmire Blu-rayThe Walt Longmire book series from award-winning author Craig Johnson has spawned a fine adaptation on A&E and in the coming weeks, fans are in for a treat. First, the first two seasons are making their Blu-ray debut on a combo set from Warner Archive followed by season three premiering on June 2 and then two days later the eleventh novel in the series arrives.

Here are the formal details with some thoughts from Johnson.

BURBANK, CA (May 5, 2014) – Few television dramas have captured the intense cinematic nature of the Southwest like A&E’s hit mystery series, Longmire. Warner Archive Collection is proud to bring those stunning visuals – and equally enthralling stories – to full 1080p HD presentation with the Blu-ray™ release of Longmire, Seasons 1 & 2, on May 27, 2014 via WBShop.com and many online retailers.

Longmire2Warner Archive Collection’s presentation of Longmire, Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-ray™ includes all 23 episodes in a six-disc set, as well an interesting array of bonus content, highlighted by three fascinating featurettes and two “director’s cut” extended episodes with introductions from the executive producers.

Longmire1Long shadows of secrets and murder hang over Absaroka County, Wyoming, jurisdiction of the tough and brooding Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), in the spell-binding series, Longmire. Struggling since his wife’s death a year ago, and at the urging of his attorney daughter, Cady (Cassidy Freeman), Walt knows he must turn his life around. Aided by a new female deputy, Vic (Katee Sackhoff) and his oldest friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), Walt becomes re-energized about his job and running for re-election – even though his ambitious younger deputy Branch (Bailey Chase) is a rival candidate. The unraveling truth about Walt’s wife death will astonish the stoic lawman and his daughter. While shattering storms darken the skies, Longmire doggedly solves the big crimes of “Big Sky” country.

Longmire3In addition to the cast regulars, Longmire has featured guest performances from such notable actors as Peter Weller (Robocop), Gerald McRaney (House of Cards, Simon & Simon), Xander Berkeley (24, Salem), Shawn Hatosy (Southland), Tom Wopat (The Dukes of Hazzard), Jim Beaver (Supernatural), A Martinez (L.A. Law, One Life To Live, Santa Barbara), Charles Dutton (Roc, Alien3), C. Thomas Howell (Southland, E.T.) and Stephen Culp (Revolution).

Longmire, the TV series, has its roots firmly embedded in the best-selling Walt Longmire book series from award-winning author Craig Johnson. The latest and 11th in the series of novels, A Serpent’s Tooth, arrives June 4. A current resident of Ucross, Wyoming (his bio proudly states “population: twenty-five”), Johnson is an avid fan of the A&E television series, which returns for its third season on June 2. Johnson particularly enjoys the dedication everyone involved with the show has taken in bringing his characters and stories from page to screen.

Craig Johnson“I think the thing that’s been the most amazing to me is the way the producers, directors, actors, designers, and crew have been able to capture the feel of the novels” Johnson says. “It’s not easy to translate perception from one artistic venue to another, but I think Longmire has amplified the integrity, the humor, and the edginess that have made the books a success. There are elements that you can rely on in doing a true western, like the epic romantic quality, but the show goes one step further in portraying the west as it is today; the characters are complex, and the plots not only credible, but compelling – it ain’t your daddy’s western.”

Johnson also notes that Warner Archive’s presentation of Longmire Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-ray™ will further enhance the cinematic beauty of the series.

“The thing about Longmire is that at its core, it’s a western, and filming a western indoors doesn’t make much sense,” Johnson explains. “Most crime procedurals are shot on a couple of sets – offices, apartments, and such – but Longmire embraces the challenge of being outdoors and does an amazing job of allowing the scenery to speak for itself; you can almost hear the landscape breathe as it becomes a major character in the series. The landscape creates a mood in this show – it’s not perfectly lit and coerced like a lot of television. Visuals are something that Hollywood can do better than a book, and the images that Longmire invokes match up magically with those I have in the novels.”

Longmire, Seasons 1 & 2, on Blu-ray™ extra content features include:

Featurette – The Camera’s Eye: Realizing the World of LongmireLongmire is against a backdrop where every turn of the camera is a perfectly composed frame, mixing nature against the world of Cowboys, Indians, Lawmen, and Villains.  The world Walt Longmire calls home and where the story takes place would not be possible without the skilled artisans behind the camera. This documentary film proves that story may start on the page, but what lands on the frame is what ultimately counts.

Featurette – Longmire Justice: Exploring the Cowboy Detective – Longmire is a bit cowboy, a bit detective, a bit American Indian, and even a bit of the human drama. But the one consistent element that serves the broadest audience, and central to the core of Longmire’s popularity – is the passion we share for carefully crafted stories.

Featurette – Testing Courage: The Storm Defines the Man – Longmire adeptly captures, from episode-to-episode, the subtlety of what it means when a man is challenged to be consistent in his ideal.  It’s a unique piece of entertainment that calls to attention one of the over arcing themes of Season 2.  Can Walt Longmire survive his test of courage?

“Director’s Cut”: Sound and Fury Extended Episode with Introduction by Executive Producers Greer Shepard and Hunt Baldwin.

“Director’s Cut”: The Election Extended Episode with Introduction by Executive Producers Greer Shepard and Hunt Baldwin.

Pre-orders are now available for the Warner Archive Collection presentation of Longmire, Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-ray™ at shop.warnerarchive.com and wbshop.com, as well as a host of online retailers. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is also releasing Longmire, Season 2 on DVD on May 13, 2014.

 

Mike Gold: Doctor Doom Is Obsolete

Gold Art 140115A great many of our finer super-villains in the heroic fantasy world are bent on world conquest. Admittedly, a few simply want to destroy the planet, but at Lord Cumulous said to Prince Chaos in Warp, “Destroy the planet? Where are you going to live?”

For the life of me, I don’t understand why anybody would want to run a single nation, let alone the entire blue marble. Nonetheless, everybody from Doctor Doom to Ming the Merciless have tried time and time again. That’s how we know they’re insane: they keep on trying, and they never succeed.

These people spend a lot of money on their sophisticated Jack Kirbyesque machinery and even more money on henchmen. I’m sorry; henchpeople – just because you are evil, you don’t have to be sexist as well. And, by the way, are your henchpeople covered by minimum wage laws? How about health insurance? Obamacare? But I digress. Add the cost of your hidden lair, costume design and manufacture, those little flying television cameras that allow you to read the hero’s word balloons (today we call them “drones”), and you’ve spent the gross national product of Latveria and then some.

There is a better way to take over the planet. It’s probably less expensive and its got the benefit of being safer than, to site merely one example, the stunt the Masked Meanie pulled on Wonder Wart-Hog (Help Magazine #26) where he dug a hole several miles wide and as deep as the center of the Earth, filled it up with gunpowder, and lit the fuse.

If you’re a super-villain-in-training and you’re thinking about taking over the world, here’s what you do, in eight easy steps:

1) Start a Super-PAC http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/ie_only_letter.pdf.

2) Decide which of your henchpeople will follow your orders in the Senate and the House. You’ll need at least 60 Senate seats and 218 in the House. Make your henchpeople trade in their villain costumes for Brooks Brothers suits.

3) Use your Super-PAC funds to get your henchpeople elected.

4) Abduct and terminate the vice president.

5) Have your henchpeople vote you in as the replacement vice president.

6) Have your House henchpeople impeach the president and then have your Senate henchpeople vote to remove the president from office.

7) As president, go to the next U.N. opening and, during your welcoming speech, have your henchpeople slaughter all the representatives.

8) Declare yourself “King of the World!” Don’t worry; James Cameron won’t sue you. You’re king of the world! Tradition dictates you have a crown and you place that crown on your own head. It’s also a swell image on the teevee.

It’s just that simple. No muss, no fuss. And it has the benefit of not destroying the place where you live.

Any villain can do it.

REVISED COLUMN SCHEDULE FOR  THIS WEEK:

FRIDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Martha Thomases

LATER FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

 

 

Marc Alan Fishman: Who. Who? Who!

Fishman Art 131130Yeah. I know. I’m last on the bandwagon, yet again. But that’s OK, kiddos. I found Nirvana well after Kurt Cobain passed away. As many of you would also note, I found Star Trek: The Original Series just a little over a year ago. Funny enough, that was one of my most popular columns. For all the nerd-rage that exists when we poke and prod one another about our loves, we’re also the first sub-culture to embrace noobies with the unbridled passion of 1000 angry Daleks. That’s joyful rage though, so it’s all good. A bit over a week ago, I became of a fan of Doctor Who. Whovians, take me into your bosom. Move the celery stalk first.

A bit of backstory to begin. Unshaven cohort Kyle Gnepper has long been an outskirt Who-fan. Unshaven cohort Matt Wright also partook of the good Doctor upon subscribing to Netflix. My own timey-wifey has been a fan for quite some time as well. Heh. As we are all apt to do when everyone we know is in to something, we feel the latent pressure to join in the rapture. So, on occasion, I tried. And tried. And tried again.

Each time, the same feeling would pass over me. I’d glare at a Dalek, or a Cyberman, or whatever the thing-of-the-week was, and I’d scoff. Even ladled with every well-budgeted CGI and modeling trick, the episodes reeked to me of technical limitations. Much as I’d railed against Trek, I couldn’t find the suspension of disbelief due to the constraints of a TV budget. And much like Trek, what was really missing was my understanding and appreciation for characterization.

If you’ll allow me one more deviation off the pathway before I gush over “The Day of the Doctor” special… it’s the aforementioned note of characterization that I need to extrapolate on. Take Firefly. There, Fox supplied Joss Whedon with a budget that made his sci-fi romp visually appealing at the get-go. Without the stigma of eww, this looks like it cost pennies to make, I was quicker to give the show a try (still way late and well after the show was DOA). As much as I wanted to hate the show, like so many before me, I was enchanted by the roguish charms of Captain Mal. I bought into the character, and quickly thereafter, I bought into the show. The same could be said for my finding love in other series like House, Modern Family, and more recently Hannibal (which I can’t wait to return). The common factor here is simple: my adoration is bestowed to shows (and comics, movies, et al) that give us strong characterization.

Now, onto Who. As I’d said briefly above, I’d given myself several chances to fall in love. Each time, I was met with an odd fellow who dazzled my friends, but confounded me. His mannerisms, his oddness, his aloofness irritated me. And when I’d make an attempt to find the hook of The Doctor, I’d be met with either terse explanations (“It’s just how he is, in this incarnation…”) or lengthy diatribes that attempted to cram decades of knowledge into a tight ten-minute lecture. In both events, I simply didn’t get it. Much with Trek, it would take me having to clear my head of preconceived opinions and walk into things blindly.

After dinner with my parents, my wife, son and I retired to the casa del pescador. I’d noted that somewhere around the 8:30 hour the living room TV was still blaring. You see, that is typically night-night time round these parts. But there, wide awake, sat my young scion and my lovely lady partaking of the Doctor. Figuring it would be best for me not to attempt to daddy-lecture my own wife as to the importance of adhering to a strict schedule, I opted instead for what all us white people do when we want to make a point, but fear confrontation: I sat in the same room silent, in hopes that waves of passive-aggression would communicate my feelings.

What? (See what I did there, Michael Davis?)

And so, I sat for the better part of an hour, watching “The Day of the Doctor.” With three Doctors sharing screen space, I was curious. David Tennant with his sand shoes, Matt Smith with his fussy hands, and John Hurt with his John Hurtiness. They occupied the same space, playing iterations of the same character. Different lives, but ultimately the same consciousness. And between them, a history, a future, and a mantra I had not heard until then.

“Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in.” And there it was. Just as I’d found my love of Trek via Kirk’s labido and Bones’ testicular fortitude. Just as I’d found my love of House via his unseen pain and self-doubt (and because it’s fun to watch him be a jerk). Here was The Doctor, making the hard choices, living and reliving moments in his lifetime, and decidedly declaring a purpose. This was to me the same as the oath of a Green Lantern, or Truth-Justice-and-the-American-Way.

When I’d posted on Facebook that I’d found a love for the character and now decided to jump in with the new season to come… I was pelted with more comments than I’d seen in the last year. Seems the whole world had become Whovian without me, but were quick to open their Tardi (Tardidisisisisis?) to me with open arms and weee-oooo-weee-oooo’ing sonic screwdrivers. For the record, I liked Tennant just a bit more than Smith (sorry, that Fez ain’t cool, no matter what he says), and Hurt more than either of them (“Why are you pointing those things? What are you going to do, assemble them a bookshelf?”). Doctor Who is about a hero who fights the good fight for all the universe, through all times. That I can certainly get behind. And now? I look forward to the future… the past… and all the timey-wimey in between.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

 

Mike Gold: Will There Always Be Superman Comics?

Gold Art 131120Over a decade ago the head of what was then called Tribune Media Services told me that as far as the producer of the Little Orphan Annie musicals was concerned, he did not need the comic strip around in order to keep his Annie franchise successful. I responded, “Well, somebody’s figured out what Disney’s been up to.”

Walt Disney used to say that he always reminded people that the whole thing started out with a mouse. And to this very day – the 85th anniversary of the first Mickey Mouse cartoon was last Monday – Mickey has remained the (usually silent) Disney spokesmouse. So… riddle me this, Mousemen. Outside of a few direct-to-DVDs and a couple teevee shots, how many Mickey Mouse cartoons were made in the past 60 years?

There was not a single Mickey Mouse cartoon produced between 1953 and 1983. There’s been maybe four true Mickey cartoons produced since then, plus the short-lived House of Mouse show, some video games and a few cameos.

And tons of merchandising which, obviously, was not dependent upon the character’s presence on the large or the small screen.

Two of the biggest superhero characters of the 1930s through 1950s were The Shadow and The Lone Ranger. Both remain icons, but neither are vital forces in our cultural marketplace – despite what seems to have been a contest to see who could produce the worst Lone Ranger feature film. If this were, say, 1940, I suspect most people would say these guys would remain strong in one form or another for a long, long time. In The Shadow’s case, that would be until his radio show was cancelled on December 26, 1954. The Lone Ranger lasted on teevee until September 12, 1957; there was an animated series that ran for 28 episodes in the mid-60s.

So, I ask you: as a comic book, how long will Superman last? Or Spider-Man, or Batman, or the X-Men… you get the idea. In the 1940s, Superman was successful in comic books but even more successful as a radio series and a newspaper comic strip. The comic books were kept alive by the success of the Superman television series in the 1950s. National Periodical Publications, predecessor to DC Comics, didn’t need comic books to make a profit. In fact, if they didn’t own their own distribution network they might have canned the print operation when sales plummeted during the mid-50s.

Warner Bros. (DC comics) and Disney (Marvel comics) do not need the comic books in order to sell merchandising and produce movies and television shows, although producing good movies and teevee shows is always challenging.

The good folks at DC’s New York City office – including the vast majority of their editorial departments – have but a few more weeks to decide if they are going to move to Los Angeles in the spring of 2015. It’s a tough decision.

As a member of DC’s historical family, indulge me as I offer this piece of advise. If you want to move to Los Angeles, do so. But as soon as you get there, keep an eye out for other jobs. Warner Bros. and Disney do not need to publish comic books in order to keep their stockholders happy.

Just don’t tell them so.

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

THURSDAY AFTERNOONL The Tweeks!

 

Netflix Commissions 4 Marvel Series Leading to The Defenders

David Slade Exits Fox’s DaredevilMarvel’s cinematic Avengers will be joined on the smaller screen by The Defenders, the culmination of four series just commissioned by Netflix. Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist were announced this by Variety morning as each receiving thirteen episode commitments. The linking device is that all four series will be set in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, which, in the comics, has been Daredevil’s base of operations dating back to the 1970s.

This rumored set of series was revealed without naming producers, writers, showrunners or casting but would be expected to debut some time in 2014. The announcement did not acknowledge if this quartet of series will be set in the same reality as the film series. If so, it would also connect these shows to ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Netflix has received great attention thanks to their original series, a move now being imitated this month by Amazon Prime and soon by Hulu and YouTube. Their House of Cards was the first internet series to receive an Emmy nomination and will be back for a second season in the winter. The pay channel’s Orange is the New Black is their most watched original series and will also be back for a second season, as will their Hemlock Grove.

Since Jeph Loeb was added as a VP for filmed material, Marvel has filled in a vital gap with live-action television, something they seemed unable to crack. Beyond these four, and the subsequent Defenders teamup project, Marvel has been said to be eyeing a Peggy Carter spinoff based on the short film with Haylee Atwell that was attached to the home video release of Iron Man 3. Other series apparetly also ebing pitched to other networks.

Disney’s Marvel movies will move from Starz to Netflix after the current dea for the studio’s output expires in 2015, just in time for The Avengers 2.

DC Entertainment aso has numerous television series in development, mostly at their co-owned CW network with the Flash expected for the 2014-15 season. Fox is also developing a Gotham City series featuring young James Gordon, long before Bruce Wayne first dons the cape and cowl.

“Doctor Who” lost episodes to be announced on Tuesday (we think)

The Web of Fear

The Web of Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A rumor claiming a cache of as many as 106 episodes of Doctor Who being found has been declared at least one percent true. The Radio Times is reporting that missing episodes from the Patrick Troughton era have not only been found, but will be available for sale on iTunes as early as this Wednesday.

The BBC have announced a press conference on Tuesday, presumably to share specifics.  Insiders are suggesting the missing episodes include Enemy of the World  and The Web of Fear.  Enemy of the World features a lookalike for The Doctor attempting to (dare I say it) rule the world in the mid twenty-first century.  The Web of Fear is the second appearance of The Great Intelligence, just seen in the latest series of the show, and features the returning Abominable Snowmen androids, and first appearance of Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, here a Colonel, but eventually promoted to Brigadier General, will go on to lead UNIT in the Pertwee years, and on through the run up to actor Nicholas Courtney‘s passing.

This is a minor confirmation of a rumor that has run roughshod over Doctor Who fandom for most of the Summer.  The story, broken first by the folks at Bleeding Cool, involves as many as 106 episodes of the series being discovered in an Ethiopan TV stations vaults.  This trove allegedly contained episodes from both the Hartnell and Troughton years, including completely lost stories, and missing episodes from partially complete adventures.  Taken with grains of salt by most, the story gained suggestions of corroboration as times passed; members of the restoration team came out staunchly against the rumor, and then tactfully amended their positions.  The BBC went with the very popular “Cannot confirm or deny”, which, thanks to a world where shows like The Thick of It and House of Cards are often mistaken for documentaries, was taken as a tacit “yes” by many optimists.

The story got a new life when UK tabloid (and all that that implies) The Mirror posted a story “confirming” the find this weekend.  The story was light on facts, and appeared mostly to parrot points made in the original Bleeding Cool article from the early summer, leading most Who-fen to wave it off.  But the Radio Times announcement, combined with the press conference, has caused a resurgence in the hope that the rumor may have far more than its current one to two percent veracity ratio.

Considering the long time frame between the alleged discovery and now, one could envision a scenario where episodes have been getting a top-secret restoration treatment to tie into next month’s anniversary.  But with the DVD release of the final hartnell adventure The Tenth Planet having been hastily rescheduled for October 14th in the UK, many are wondering if the currently announced contents of the disc may change radically at that press conferences.  At least one report of the massive lost episodes haul claims it includes a complete copy of Tenth Planet. The final episode, featuring the first regeneration of The Doctor, is one of the most desired missing episodes.  The only existing footage of the regeneration is a brief clip from an episode of children’s show Blue Peter.

The original number may not be true, but the recovery of ANY episodes of the series is newsworthy, and the management entreats hopeful Whovians to bear that in mind when definitive details are released this Tuesday.

But so help me, if they’ve recovered The Web Planet, I may break my fingers pulling my wallet from my pocket.

Tomorrowland, Starring George Clooney, Begins Filming

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Burbank, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2013) —Principal photography has begun on Disney’s mystery adventure Tomorrowland, starring two-time Academy AwardÒ winner George Clooney (Michael Clayton, Syriana), Hugh Laurie (

Monsters vs. Aliens, House), Britt Robertson (Under the Dome), Raffey Cassidy (Dark Shadows, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Thomas Robinson (The Switch). The film is directed, produced and co-written by two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles). Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus) and Jeffrey Chernov (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) are also producers. The screenplay is written by Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof from a story by Lindelof & Jeff Jensen and Brad Bird.

Jeff Jensen and John Walker (The Incredibles) will executive produce with Bernard Bellew (Les Misérables, 28 Weeks Later) and Tom Peitzman, VFX producer (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Alice in Wonderland) serving as co-producers.

Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland.

Bird has gathered a great team behind the lens with Oscar® winning director of photography Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), production designer Scott Chambliss (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens), Oscar® nominated costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (Inception, Ocean’s Eleven) and Academy Award®-winning editor Walter Murch (The English Patient, Cold Mountain).

Tomorrowland will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on December 12, 2014.

Martha Thomases: The Needles And The Damage Done

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Twice a week, I teach knitting to people with cancer and caregivers.  Most of you probably think of knitting as something serene, a hobby for little old ladies (current and future).  However, when I teach, my instructions are filled with images of guns and shooting, stabbing people with knitting needles, and  when I make a mistake, I threaten my materials with unspeakably filthy and unnatural acts.

I do this when I teach for a couple of reasons.  Most important, it makes the techniques easier to remember.  However, for this group in particular, it gives a sense of control.  These people have so little control in their lives that it’s great to have control over knitting needles and yarn.

It’s powerful.  When you’re staring the possibility of dying in the face, it’s good to have something that makes you feel powerful.

This is a long, roundabout way of getting to the intersection of a couple of trends I see in our beloved graphic story medium.  As I wrote last week, the industry has a sad tendency to throw away creative talent when it is deemed to be “old.”  There is also a pathetic paucity of work by women, racial minorities, and people whose identify as queer.

Things are slightly better outside of the Big Two (Marvel and DC). but not much.  Not really.

This is a problem.  It’s a problem in many media (especially broadcast news, but that’s another rant) but it seems to me that comics is one of the worst.  It seems like a paradox, but by appealing to a cultural ideal of straight, white young men, comics may be stuck in a closet of marginalization.

We all have impulses and emotions.  Many of these are not welcome by the larger society in which we not only live, but rely on for daily support.  I think it’s healthy and mature to work out inappropriate feelings with the vicarious experience of entertainment.

Specifically, when we feel angry at our lives and helpless within are mortal bodies, we need power fantasies.  Hence, in other mass media, we get not just superhero stories. but police procedurals, sword and sorcery, House and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

There’s other emotions that are inappropriate to express in our daily, public lives.  We don’t show grief or sadness or lust.  Men don’t show nurturing.  These feelings are for private time, or for working out with art.

There are books and movies for these feelings.  Dreary foreign films about death, silly romantic comedies with Katherine Heigl or Kate Hudson.  This movie, which is one of the most bleak, self-loathing things I’ve ever seen.  Sometimes, I need Carey Mulligan to hate herself so I don’t have to hate myself.

There are some brilliant graphic novels that appeal to these audiences, but they are few and far between.

There is nothing wrong with having a target audience.  That’s effective marketing (note:  marketing is not the same as editing, or publishing).  However, if one plans to have an entertainment conglomerate and see some growth, one needs to occasionally try for other audience segments, or at least other audience moods.

In the meantime, if you see any bald-headed women making socks, watch your ass.