Just Like Grandma Used to Replicate!

Back in April of 2008, a bunch of friends and I started the Sci-Fi Cast. It was designed to be a podcast where we could get together and chat about geeky stuff like Battlestar Galactica and science fiction in general. Now a year later, the Sci-Fi Cast is going strong, although the same cannot be said for BSG.

In recording our podcast over this past year, I’ve found that are most interesting and funny episodes are the ones where we pick a topic and just discuss it. These are the times when our geeky brains float unfettered in the deep reaches of sci-fi space. Episodes like 13.5 where Dave and I discussed the age-old question of Kirk vs. Picard, or episode 22.5 where Jen, Dave & I picked our most over and underrated sci-fi movies.

I’m happy to report that our latest recording is just such a journey. In episode 27 we talk about our favorite science fiction technology, how we’d use it in our day-to-day lives and the potential pitfalls that would crop up. I have to say it’s one of our funnier outings and I think you’ll really enjoy it. If you love sci-fi, then beam on over and check out episode 27 of the Sci-Fi Cast today.

PS – Don’t forget to nominate your favorite moments of Battlestar Galactica for our “Toastie Awards” which we’ll be recording this coming Tuesday. Time is running out and we need your help. Thanks!

The End of Galactica

I’ve been an avid fan of Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica for over four years, and with good reason. I consider BSG to be one of, if not the best weekly dramatic show on television. I’ve also spent the last year picking apart season 4 with my good friends Dave Caolo and Jen Segrest over at The Sci-Fi Cast. But after watching the first part of the finale last night, I’m starting to have my doubts that the show will end how it has lived. If you’ve watched Daybreak Pt.1 of Battlestar Galactica and are interested to know why I’m worried, then head on over to my post – “Walk with the Prophets, Ronald D. Moore” at The Sci-Fi Cast and check it out.

We’re Huge In Germany

Another week of Battlestar Galactica and so I’m please to present another episode of The Sci-Fi Cast for your enjoyment. This time around Jen, Dave and I discuss the week’s sci-fi news and of course episode 15 of BSG, The Oath. Along the way we learn Jen’s theory of how the new Star Trek movie relates to Muppet Babies, hear a pretty decent Adama impersonation from yours truly and vie for the love and affection of irony loving Germans everywhere. Head on over to The Sci-Fi Cast and check out episode 19 today. As always, the podcast contains major spoilers for the series, so just remember, you’ve been warned. Enjoy!

Frak You, Sci-Fi Channel

Just sent this off to The Sci-Fi Channel. I encourage you to do the same at feedback@scifi.com:

•••

As I’m sure you are aware, my favorite show on TV, Battlestar Galactica will be ending in just seven short episodes. After making me wait almost a year between the first half and the second half of season 4, you are once again demonstrating your utter disrespect for fans of this incredible series.

I have no idea why you insist on destroying the drama the series works tirelessly to build each week, but you do. For some reason, you insist on adding spoiler-filled previews directly at the end of each week’s episode before I even get a chance to change the channel or turn off my TV.

This week’s episode, “The Oath” was possibly one of the best in the entire run of BSG and yet you and your network slug-heads seem to need to pander to non-fans of the series by packing as much plot spoiling information into the 15 second previews as possible. Why?

I beg you, for Galactica fans everywhere, stop it. We don’t need to be teased to tune in next week. There are only 7 episodes left. We’ll be there anyway. Here, at the end, just once give us the respect we deserve and smarten up about next week’s previews. So say we all.

Ged Maheux
Galactica Junkie and Sci-Fi Geek

Oh My!

We’re back in the space saddle again this week with another installment of The Sci-Fi Cast. This time around we discuss the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica – “Sometimes A Great Notion” with Dave, Jen and a very special guest, my friend from the Iconfactory, Corey Marion. We discuss BSG, the latest sci-fi celebrities to join Twitter and find out just how good Dave’s George Takei impression really is. If you’re all caught up on season 4 of Battlestar Galactica and have about 20 minutes to kill, then head on over and catch episode 17 of The Sci-Fi Cast today. The podcast contains major spoilers for the series, so just remember, you’ve been warned. Enjoy!

For the Geek Who Has Everything

While I was surfing around looking for some last minute Christmas presents, I came across a little piece of Star Trek heaven. This new Seven of Nine 7″ figure, sculpted by Rudy Garcia is just one in a set but it’s a pretty good likeness and who wouldn’t want a little Seven on their desk? The clincher however is the incredible marketing text that accompanies the item:

“Seven of Nine’s grimly pallid countenance is moderately contradicted by the voluptuousness with which she occupies her form-fitting sculptured chassis.”

Sold and sold! I think “form-fitting sculptured chassis” is the most elaborate way I’ve ever heard someone say “nice rack!”. If you have a Trek fan on your Christmas list, this might be just the thing the holographic doctor ordered. Then again at this late stage in the game you’ll probably need a temporal anomaly to get it to your doorstep on time. Oh well, there’s always next year!

Enhance Section 324!

Want to know a sure-fire way to get three geeks all hot and bothered faster than warp 9.5? Easy, just ask them what specious scientific principals are abused most often by sci-fi authors! Dave, Jen and I tackle this topic whole-heartedly in Episode 15 of The Sci-Fi Cast and the results are funny indeed. We also review the week’s news including a nerdy discussion of the new Enterprise, the latest rumors about Doctor Who and just why you have to be naked to travel through time. Head on over to The Sci-Fi Cast and check out episode 15 today!

Bidi-bidi-bidi, Sucka!

Since Dave and I had so much fun theorizing about Kirk vs. Picard in last week’s episode, and the ladies were not available this week, we decided to go all-out geek this time around. Episode 14 of The Sci-Fi Cast is a rapid fire discussion of classic science fiction “Versus!” scenarios including such timeless classics as Twiki vs. Bender and the Borg vs. Aliens. I’m not ashamed to say that if you are a geek like we are, then this is your episode. I can practically hear the imaginary phasers getting set to stun right now! Any sci-fi nut will really have fun with this one so don’t miss it. Head on over to The Sci-Fi Cast and check out episode 14 today!

TV’s Chicken & The Egg

Last week IO9 reported that rumors of the death of FOX’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were greatly exaggerated. Don’t watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles? That’s okay, neither do I. I know nothing about the show, who stars in it or even what it’s about other than it has something to do with the Terminator movies and Wil Wheaton auditioned for a small part. I know that last bit because I used to follow him on Twitter. I stopped because he never, ever responded to any of the @replies I sent him (and I sent him a few). Seems to me you could at least try and answer your fans every now and then Wil. Where was I? Oh yeah, I don’t watch the SC Chronicles.

I also I didn’t watch FOX’s much-hyped “Drive”, or the X-Files rip-off Fringe, nor the lame-ass Sci-Fi Channel remake of Flash Gordon. I’m a total science fiction fan and these shows are made for geeks like me, so why didn’t I watch these shows? The answer is simple. I didn’t want to get hooked because I knew they had about as much of a chance of surviving as a Red Shirt on a routine away mission. Ratings for Fringe are nowhere near what FOX wants, Drive lasted a grand total of 2 episodes and Flash Gordon got cancelled after one season. And although IO9 reports that T:SCC has another 13 episodes coming, somehow I don’t believe it anymore than I believe Knight Rider will survive to make its first turbo jump.

So herein lies the problem. Viewers don’t want to emotionally invest in shows they don’t think will last. But if no one tunes in, then nothing ever becomes successful enough to survive and flourish. I didn’t watch the first season of Heroes partly because I thought it was all hype. Of course the hype was deserved and season one became a mega-hit. When the DVD’s were released, I plunged in and enjoyed season 1 from start to finish. Sadly, season 2 was a waste and I’m starting to get a sinking feeling about season 3 as well.

Given the fact that science fiction shows usually have life spans of Tribbles instead of Trills, how do you as the viewer, decide which series get your attention? I never watched Firefly when it aired, but fans often tell me that it was one of the best sci-fi shows on television. Despite the piss-poor treatment FOX gave it at the time, they say it was well worth the abrupt cancellation to enjoy the few episodes that aired. I find this very difficult to believe.

Often, the fatal flaw for these series are networks that disintegrate them before they have a chance to develop and grow their core audience. What TV shows have you passed on for fear of having the remote snatched away? There’s no guarantee, for example, that the historic ratings success of Battlestar Galactica will translate to the new spin-off series Caprica. But if I know the Sci-Fi Channel, viewers may not even get a chance to set a season pass for Caprica before it’s blasted out the nearest airlock. A note to trigger-happy network executives: if shows like Sarah Connor or Caprica are to earn a place on my TiVo, you have to learn to say “I’ll be back”, and not “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Geeky Pastimes

Sometimes you have to take a break from the big stuff and just enjoy the little things in life. For me, one of the things that gives me pleasure is spotting flubs in television and movies. Called continuity errors, they are gaffes made by the filmmakers that are antithetical to the story or the staging. Today I spotted one such error in one of my all-time favorite episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Take Me Out To the Holosuite.

In the episode, the crew of Deep Space Nine is challenged to an old-fashion baseball game by a group of smug Vulcans. Captain Sisko spends two weeks getting his fellow crew members up-to-snuff on the Great American Pastime. At one point we see Colonel Kira coming off the field and her jersey reads “Kira”. But a little later in the episode, her jersey magically changes to read “Nerys” (her birth name) and remains this way for the rest of the episode.

Like any die-hard Trekkie (yes, I’m a Trekkie, not a Trekker) I’m more interested in why this costuming error occurred in the first place. All the other Niners with surnames and birth names have their surname embroidered on their DS9 baseball jersey. Captain Sisko’s is “B. Sisko” as opposed to “J.Sisko” which we see on Jake’s back. Doctor Bashir’s is simply “Bashir” as you would expect. But in the Star Trek universe, Bajorans traditionally list their family name first, then their birth name (like Asian cultures). So although Kira’s character is called “Kira Nerys“, Nerys is really her first name and Kira is her family name.

Given this, which jersey in the episode is the wrong one? It seems to me that the character should indeed be wearing the “Kira” jersey, and not “Nerys” that she wears for the majority of the game. Then again, they are in an informal setting and so she might have opted to use Nerys among friends. Memory Beta, one of the numerous Trek Wikis simply says “In a costuming error, Kira’s uniform says “Kira” early in the game, and “Nerys” later.” but it doesn’t explain which is which.

Strangely enough, this is the kind of question that geeks like myself can spend all day debating, so if you’re a Star Trek fan, I’d love to know which name you think should be on Kira’s uniform. And if you happen to think this entire post was a waste of time, I know some friendly folks that are dying to meet you.