#46-November 2002
CLUB NEWS
1.OCTOBER'S MEETING WAS GROOVY
2.INSOMNIA HAS ITS REWARDS
3.NEWS OF OUR NOVEMBER MEETING
4.NOVEMBER MEETING: COMPUTERS IN THE MOVIES
5.COMING UP FOR THE ICS
6.TWO FANEX CONVENTIONS IN 2003
7.TALKING DURING MOVIES
8.CALENDAR REMINDER
9.YANKEE SWAP TIME'S ALMOST HERE
10.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY: GET YOUR NOMINATION IN NOW
11.A DAY AMONG SPIES
TV NEWS
12.THE GLASS TEAT
With news on JEREMIAH, THAT WAS THEN, a new supernatural series on CBS, BIRDS OF PREY, DO OVER, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SHE, VOYAGE TO MARS, HAUNTED, JOHN DOE and IN SEARCH OF. 
13.ANDROMEDA LIGHTENS UP
14.BUFFY'S LAST ROUND-UP?
15.BUFFY'S WEBSITE OF THE DEAD
16.OTHER BUFFY NEWS: NO TOONS, NO BENSON
17.LOOKING FOR BRUCE CAMPBELL? TRY THE SCI-FI CHANNEL
18.WHO WINS!
19.FIREFLY KEEPS FLYING - FOR NOW
20.MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM BUFFY TO FIREFLY
21.F/X JOURNEYS TO THE EDGE
22.THE GROOVENIANS LAND AT THE CARTOON NETWORK
23.JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SAVAGE TIME ON CARTOON NETWORK
24.THE APOCALYPSE WILL BE TELEVISED
25.NIGHT THRASHER COMES TO UPN
26.SMALLVILLE'S NOT AS SMALL AS IT USED TO BE
27.SCI-FI RENEWS STARGATE
28.ABC CONSIDERS STARMAN
29.SCI-FI STUDIES UFO'S IN ADVANCE OF THE DEBUT OF TAKEN
30.UPN STAYS IN THE ZONE
31.MacGYVER: THE NEXT GENERATION
EVENT NEWS
32.THINGS TO COME
With news on ECLECTICON, THE MINI-DEALER'S ROOM , PHILCON and EVE CON 20.
LITERARY NEWS
33.MEET CIVILIAN JUSTICE
34.ROBBY THE ROBOT AND JUMANJI
35.A PLETHORA OF POTTER?
36.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
37.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS
38.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST
MOVIE NEWS
39.QUICK TAKES
With news on FREDDY VS. JASON, DON'T LOOK UP, STAR WARS: EPISODE III, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, the Bond Girl Barbie, a sequel film to THE WIZARD OF OZ, PAYCHECK, The Phantom, ASH, the Brothers Grimm, a Stephen Spielberg stalker, a third SCOOBY movie and BAG OF BONES. 
40.COMIC BOOKS TAKE OVER HOLLYWOOD
41.CHI-CHIAN COMES TO THE SCREEN
42.TAMPERING WITH JULES VERNE
43.TWOHY LOOKS AHEAD TO THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
44.DENNIS QUAID CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW
45.THE FLEXIBLE ORIGINS OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR
46.PASSING POTTER'S TORCH
47.IAN McKELLEN TALKS ABOUT THE HOBBIT
48.TOM CRUISE AND THE LAST SAMURAI
49.DUCK DODGERS FLIES AGAIN!
50.LOONEY VISIONS OF THE 50'S BEST ALIENS
51.MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN APPEARS ON THE SCREEN
52.MICHELLE YEOH IS THE MASKED CRUSADER
53.2003: YEAR OF THE MATRICES
54.2003: YEAR OF THE WOLF - BITTEN
55.2003: YEAR OF THE WOLF - CURSED
56.DISNEY AND SPIRITED AWAY
57.KILLING A JEDI
58.NICOLE KIDMAN BECOMES ONE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES
59.SUB-MARINER AND PRIME HAVE UNIVERSAL APPEAL
60.PICARD VS. NOSFERATU
61.PATRICK STEWART SAYS THE FATE OF THE FRANCHISE IS IN THE HANDS OF THE FANS
62.THE MAN FROM PLANET X
63.BRYAN SINGER TALKS X2
64.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER
    With news on the premieres of  SPY, FEMME FATALE, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, HALF PAST DEAD, DIE ANOTHER DAY, SOLARIS and TREASURE PLANET.
INTERNET NEWS
65.UNIVERSAL PUTS NEW PRODUCT ONLINE
VIDEO NEWS
66.EPISODE II DVD IS SET TO COME OUT
67.DVD ENHANCES FELLOWSHIP
FAREWELLS
68.We remember
Jonathan Harris, Larry Dobkin, Sidney Pink, Andre de Toth, Nathan Juran, and Peggy Moran. 
IN REVIEW
69.NOVEMBER CALENDAR
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1.OCTOBER'S MEETING WAS GROOVY 
    Our October meeting was amazing. We started off with an excellent potluck dinner. Everyone walked out of the hall ten pounds heavier! We then had an amazing presentation by Dave Henderson on "Those Groovy Vampires of the Seventies," (Dave was dressed as a hippy with fangs for his talk!). We watched  the 1970 film, COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (more on that below). After the movie we had "Scary Story Time." We turned off the lights, lit some candles, and listened to Stephen King read his story "Room 1408." It's the story of a very haunted hotel room. Afterwards we watched the latest Godzilla film, ALL MONSTERS ATTACK. The movie held sort of an alternate timeline to the traditional Godzilla films. Godzilla hadn't been seen since his Japanese debut in 1954. When he emerges he's not the sensitive new-age monster from some of his earlier incarnations. Godzilla, Mothra, Baragon and King Ghidorah mix it up in a giant monster mash. 
2.INSOMNIA HAS ITS REWARDS 
    There were three survivors who made it through to 5:30 at the October meeting. Donna and Dava Sentz and Lacey Burke all (nearly) got to watch the sun rise over the church after a night of movies and partying. 
    In recognition of this amazing achievement the Board has decided to give this sleep-defying trio double-vote coupons. Donna, Dava and Lacey will each get a special coupon that will allow them to cast an additional vote for a movie they'd like to watch. Each coupon can only be used one time, so use them wisely. Nice work ladies!
3.NEWS OF OUR NOVEMBER MEETING 
    Our November meeting will be held on Saturday November 23 at 5:30 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 443-570-6455. That's my cell phone. I'll talk you in. 
4.NOVEMBER MEETING: COMPUTERS IN THE MOVIES 
    Charlie Wittig will be dazzling us with a his presentation and movies on "Computers in the Movies." Come prepared to consider Charlie's assertions - that machines will never be able to simulate the complexities of the human mind and, therefore, will never go berserk the way they do in the movies. 
    Following is a list of titles that Charlie may be bringing. The ones with the asterisks are movies he doesn't own. If you own a decent copy of any of these titles let Charlie know and bring it along with you to our November meeting.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) 
ALPHAVILLE, UNE ETRANGE AVENTURE DE LEMMY CAUTION (1965) 
AI: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) 
COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT (1970) 
DARK STAR (1974) 
DEMON SEED (1977) 
ELECTRIC DREAMS (1984) 
FAIL-SAFE (1964) 
FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) 
GOG (1954) 
THE INVISIBLE BOY (1957) 
JOHNNY MNEMONIC (1995) 
THE MATRIX (1999) 
THE TERMINATOR (1984) 
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991) 
WAR GAMES (1983) 
WESTWORLD (1973)
5.COMING UP FOR THE ICS 
    On December 28 Mike Schilling will be thrilling us with the films of John Carpenter. We'll also have our annual Yankee Swap gift exchange. On January 25 Mitch Kline will be offering part 2 of his presentation on CGI. His movie these is "Oscar caliber sci-fi and horror." On February 22 we'll have our another literary night. We invite all the wannabe writers and poets to share their short work with us that night (preferably movie-related). That evening's films will be presented by John Ward. John's movie theme will be "The Films of Ray Harryhausen."
6.TWO FANEX CONVENTIONS IN 2003 
    We'll be doing two Fanex conventions next year. On April 11-13 we'll be at "Son of Fanex." On August 1-3 we'll be going to Fanex 17. Just like we did last summer, we'll be offering free admission to anyone in the Imaginative Cinema Society. AND, also just as last time, we will need people to work. If you like some of these special activities then please support them. We need you to volunteer a little of your time and energy to make things like this happen.
7.TALKING DURING MOVIES 
    For those of you who missed the last meeting we had some considerable discussion about talking during films. Some people thought that the film shown, COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE, was the funniest thing they'd ever seen. Others strained and struggled to hear the dialogue. 
    The Board consulted on this issue at some length. Ultimately we decided to trust to the discretion and wisdom of our members. We're asking you to be considerate of your fellow club members. If you see people trying to listen, back off. If you have a comment try to make it to people sitting near you rather than the entire room. If you're bothered by talking, grab a Board member. We'll produce a very quick remedy. 
    If talking continues to remain a problem we might have to physically separate the comedians from the crowd. We're trying to be reasonable and not over react. We ask for everyone to practice patience and consideration while we try to fine tune the meetings so that everyone can enjoy them.
8.CALENDAR REMINDER 
    The 2003 ICS calendars are now available. We have a few to spare beyond the special orders. If you want one, and you didn't pre-order it, don't wait. See Regina at the next meeting. They're $15.
9.YANKEE SWAP TIME'S ALMOST HERE 
    In December we'll be doing our annual Yankee Swap. It's always a lot of fun. We'll be reviewing this in more detail in the December issue. This is a reminder that, if you're considering giving out an ICS Membership Gift Certificate you might want to see Regina at the November meeting. That will give you time to package it for the December meeting. 
    The ICS Certificate is $20 for individuals and $30 for couples. The Yankee Swap designated amount is $20. 
10.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY: GET YOUR NOMINATION IN NOW 
    We have our annual elections for the Board coming up on January 25. We're beginning to take nominations now. This is a self-nominating process. 
    The job has no glory. It has many responsibilities. If you're considering the position you should know the following: 

Be prepared to work. 
Be prepared to attend monthly Board meetings. 
Realize that this is not a right or a privilege - this is a trust placed in your hands by those who've elected you. 
    Here's what our constitution says about service on the Board: 
"The members of the Board will enjoy no special powers or privileges for their service. The Board should strive to operate harmoniously among its members and work on behalf of the club to preserve the spirit of fellowship in all club functions." 
    If you're interested in serving on the Board contact Regina. Try to let her know by December 31. 
11.A DAY AMONG SPIES 
    What do you think about another ICS field trip (our first one was to the comic book museum recently)? This one would be down to D.C. to the new International Spy Museum. It's located at 800 F St., NW. They have exhibits and events based on the real life exploits of the characters we've been seeing in movies for years. Their hours are 10 AM to 6 PM. The admission is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors (65+) and $8 for children. If you were interested we could either car pool into DC or car pool to the nearest Metro station and take a subway in. 
    It might be fun. Let's talk about it at our November meeting.

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12.THE GLASS TEAT 
Sean Astin on JEREMIAH. Sean Astin is joining the cast of Showtime's series, JEREMIAH. Astin may be most familiar to fans as Frodo Baggins' staunch companion Sam in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. In JEREMIAH he'll play Mr. Smith, staunch companion to Luke Perry's Jeremiah and Malcolm-Jamal Warner's Kurdy. Fifteen new episodes have just gone into production. . . . THAT WAS THEN was then. THAT WAS THEN earned the dubious distinction of being the lowest-rated series on any of the four major networks, pulling in an average of just 4.3 million viewers in its two airings at 9 PM Fridays. ABC hasn't officially canceled the show, but they've pulled it from their schedule. Susan Lyne, ABC's entertainment president, explained, "it was a good show in a bad time period. We have six remaining episodes that we fully anticipate trying in a different time slot later on.". . . CBS considers another supernatural series. Barbara Hall, the creative force behind the CBS series, JUDGING AMY, has received a new pilot commitment from CBS for what is described as a family-based drama with a supernatural twist involving one of the family's teenage daughters. . . . BIRDS OF PREY and DO OVER earned quick commitments. For a series to air through a season is no small feat. First it has to be bought when its creator pitched the idea to the production company, then it has to have a pilot that tests well, then it has to make it through its first several weeks of broadcasting. BIRDS OF PREY and DO OVER have made it at least that far. Both of them got season-long commitments from the WB after only a couple of airings (in the case of BIRDS OF PREY after a single airing). . . . The Blouse of Wax. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER has been immortalized in wax - as part of a Halloween special at London's Madame Tussaud's. Buffy will appear in the Chamber of Horrors part of the museum, complete with a coffin. The statue took five months to mold, after Gellar posed for it during work on SCOOBY-DOO. As part of the exhibition of the new model there will be a game where kids must spot the other celebrity statues that have been bitten by Count Dracula. A spokesperson for Madame Tussaud's said, "Buffy is one of the most popular kids' characters - and the dads will no doubt be showing some interest too. The trick for the kids is to find out which 20 celebrities have already become victims. Judging by some of his early victims, Dracula has terrible taste." . . . TNT and Imaginative TV. TNT's slate of original movies for 2004 includes some titles that would be of interest to the ICS. The list includes a remake of H. Rider Haggard's SHE and a space-based movie entitled VOYAGE TO MARS (based on a book by Laurence Bergreen). . . . UPN's exorcism. UPN is pulling its low-rated series HAUNTED from the schedule. They're replacing it with other programming for the November sweeps period. UPN will sub in a WWE special and air repeats of other UPN programs in HAUNTED's 9 PM Tuesday timeslot in subsequent weeks. No official announcemnets have been made but when networks do this it's usually the beginning of the end. Production is underway on the show's 11th episode. Seven episodes will have aired this season. . . . JOHN DOE sticks around. JOHN DOE has received a full season commitment from Fox. . . . Don't go in seacrh of IN SEARCH OF. The Sci-Fi Channel series, IN SEARCH OF, hosted by Mitch Pillegi, wasn't popular enough to warrant airing the final four of its previuosly filmed 8 episodes. This is another black eye for the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT team (following their crash with FREAKYLINKS). Usually, when a sci-fi series gets an early cancellation, there's some mild hope the Sci-Fi Channel will pick it up. I wouldn't wait for that tis time.
13.ANDROMEDA LIGHTENS UP 
    Kevin Sorbo, the star and executive producer of GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, said viewers can expect a     lighter mood and a less conservative Dylan Hunt as the syndicated series begins its third season. "This season you'll see us running into more and more problems with the Commonwealth that Dylan formed, because it's not the Commonwealth that he wanted," Sorbo said. "There's all kinds of corruption, so he becomes disillusioned and pretty much before the season's over, I think people will see Dylan say, 'You know what? Screw the Commonwealth. You know what? Let's just go out and do good for people. I don't have time.' He's going to become a little bit more impatient, . . . more of a renegade. He's going to be more of a guy who's just going to say, 'You know what? I got nothing to lose anymore. I've lost everything. Let's just go out and have some fun." 
    Part of the change is attributable to the show's new head writer, Robert Engels, who is best known for co-developing TWIN PEAKS with David Lynch. "I think it's just different in the fact that there's more of the humorous beat to it," Sorbo said about Engels' addition. "There's more of a quirky beat to it. We're not going to go so overboard of what he did with TWIN PEAKS, but there's still just more strange twists and turns. But I think we're making it just more accessible for everybody. I think we're making it easier to follow. We were getting off the track, and the show was getting too dark and too hard to follow, and I think season three just brings a lot of shows that just have a beginning, middle and end. Pretty much like the original STAR TREK was. If you weren't watching every week, you could, boom, pop on and still see what's going on and have fun."
14.BUFFY'S LAST ROUND-UP? 
    Is this BUFFY's final season? It depends on which day you catch Joss Whedon. 
    Recently Whedon said. "I'm beginning to suspect that it may be [BUFFY's] last season. Nothing's official, but it's starting to feel possible. The way people are talking, there's a finality to it." 
    There are some numbers to back that up. BUFFY's ratings have dropped 16 percent over last year. Whedon said that his feeling isn't driven by the numbers. "I never check BUFFY's ratings," he said. "It doesn't really affect me. It may affect the network." 
    Perhaps that announcement riled the wrong people. A couple of weeks later he said, "At some point, in the next couple of months, people will make their decisions. They will tell me what they are, I will make some of my own and everything will get all announce-y. But as of now, I haven't heard anything definite. I think the chances for an eighth season are good. Whether or not they will include Sarah [Michelle Gellar], I don't know, but I suspect there may be some kind of incarnation of the show, even if she decides to pull back or even pull out altogether. Right now, I'm looking at every possibility humanly possible, but it doesn't really affect where we're going this year." 
    An anonymous source claimed "the buzz around set is it's 90 percent sure Sarah will not sign on, that she feels it's time to focus on other things, like her film career. If she does sign on for another year, it will probably be for part of the season, not the full 22 episodes. They're sort of preparing for that." 
    How does all this uncertainty affect this season's story arc? Whedon said, "It doesn't really make a difference to me creatively, because I build every season to be self-contained. I do think where we're heading this year is kind of monumental. It's going to be a big finish in May, so that if it is the last season, that's great. And if it's not, if BUFFY continues or some incarnation of BUFFY continues, it will serve that as well. There's always more stories to tell."
15.BUFFY'S WEBSITE OF THE DEAD 
    At the end of an October episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER called "Help," Cassie Newton (Azura Skye), a student at Sunnydale High, keeled over from a congenital heart condition. Most of the episode centered around Buffy's efforts to head off Cassie's psychic prediction of her own demise. Although Buffy did manage to slay the supernatural threat - a demon raised by an evil student - in the end, she couldn't fight Cassie's own heredity. 
    While trying to help Cassie, Buffy and Willow stumbled across the girl's Web site, www.cassienewton.com . Sharp-eyed viewers who saw Buffy typing in the Web address rushed to their computers after the show and gave it a try. 
    They were rewarded with the same site they saw on television, with death-obsessed poems and artwork supplied by the episode's author, Rebecca Rand Kirshner. "One of the most frightening things about this," she says, "is tapping back into my high-school journals. I have all the journals from all those years. I have this big, lockable bookshelf, and I have them all in there. I had to look back, which throws you into all of those apoplectic teenage memories. I didn't crib any of my own poetry, but I did crib my own mentality." 
    According to the president of Mutant Enemy, Chris Buchanan, they wanted the site to be "very realistic. So, when we registered the domain name, www.cassienewton.com , we registered it as Cassie Newton and gave her an address in Sunnydale. Everything we did was in her name, because we knew 'Buffy' fans would dig, and they did. We set it up on Geocities, a free Web site, which now has become less than free. We've had so many hits that I'm having to pay." 
    To date, Buchanan says he has a "phone book full" of guest-book postings and thousands of e-mails sent to Cassie. "I'd like to leave it up for long enough to see what the next mutation is," Kirshner says. Right now, there are no immediate plans to take down the site - partly because Cassie might make a return appearance. "She's so great," says Kirshner of her creation, "and Azura Skye is amazing. On a show like BUFFY there's always a possibility that the dead can live. I'm crossing my fingers." 
    "The interesting thing about Cassie, she does sometimes seem to be e-mailing from the Great Beyond. It's an easier way for the dead to communicate. Some things might add on at the site. I don't know exactly what. But there's the 'Ramblings' page, and I think there will be some more writing from beyond on that." 
    The success of the Cassie Newton Web site has got Buchanan thinking about another teenage girl, Buffy's sister Dawn. "We were just talking about it this morning," he says. "Wouldn't it be nice if Dawn had a Web site?"
16.OTHER BUFFY NEWS: NO TOONS, NO BENSON 
    There's been a lot of buzz about an animated BUFFY series that would serve as a prequel. It would be set in the original Sunnydale High and the characters would still be teens. It's not going to happen. Joss Whedon announced that the animated BUFFY series is dead. "We just couldn't find a home for it, which will baffle me to the grave," Whedon explained. 
    There was also an announcement as the season got underway that Amber Benson, who played the late, lamented Tara, would return as another character. It looks like there'll be no homecoming for Amber Benson. She failed to reach a deal with producer 20th Century Fox. "It was a question of negotiations, as it sometimes is," Joss Whedon said. "It's sad, because I love Amber. But that's between her and Fox."
17.LOOKING FOR BRUCE CAMPBELL? TRY THE SCI-FI CHANNEL 
    The Sci-Fi Channel announced that it has signed a two-picture film deal with Bruce Campbell. Campbell will star in two original made-for-TV films. One film, THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, has been a longtime pet project of the actor, who will write, direct, star in and produce the movie. Campbell says, "The movie is sort of like BODY HEAT only with a brain transplant. It's a bit of a film noir with a sci-fi/horror twist. It really wants to be in 1957, black-and-white, but that's not something they're interested in." 
    The other movie, EARWIGS, is about mind control and was inspired by the creatures from STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Production is set to begin on the first of the films in April 2003.
18.WHO WINS! 
    The London Metropolitan Police have lost an appeal for the rights to DOCTOR WHO'S famous time-traveling police box, Tardis. The BBC retained the copyright to the blue box, which became the subject of a legal wrangle between the police and the network. 
    Tardis is modeled after the once-ubiquitous police telephone boxes that have largely disappeared from London streets since the 1960s. But the police objected to the BBC's using the image of the Tardis on comics, T-shirts, videos and other merchandise, something it has done since the 1970s. 
    In losing its appeal, the Metropolitan Police were ordered to pay £850, plus legal costs, BBC Online reported. The case has been rumbling on since 1996, when the Patent Office originally accepted the Tardis as a BBC trademark.
19.FIREFLY KEEPS FLYING - FOR NOW 
    Despite a rocky development process, a last-minute pickup by Fox, a tough time slot, preemption's by baseball and sagging ratings, Joss Whedon's science-fiction/Western drama FIREFLY is still alive and kicking on Friday nights at 8 PM. 
    Fans have organized a Web-based campaign to keep the show alive, knowing the show has been struggling in the ratings. The FIREFLY Immediate Assistance campaign encourages fans to write to the network and its advertisers. Organizers also hope to raise money to buy an advertisement in The Hollywood Reporter. 
    Perhaps some amalgam of the campaign and Fox's willingness to try a little longer has prompted the network to wait a little more before making any decision. They've ordered three more scripts, over and above the original 13-episode order. "That makes 16," says executive producer Tim Minear. "I think I can count. This is the land bridge that connects the two continents. The notion being, they haven't made a decision. If they decide to pick us up, the scripts will already be in development, in the stages of being written, and we won't have to stop production." 
    The two-hour pilot episode is scheduled to finally air on Dec. 20. It looks like FIREFLY is likely to stay on the air at least until then.
20.MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM BUFFY TO FIREFLY 
    FIREFLY may be a shaky transition for fans of Joss Whedon's other series, BUFFY and ANGEL. There is no obvious mission for the characters of FIREFLY. They're not charged with saving the universe from anything, and seem to have no mystical destiny to fulfill. 
    "I wanted to get away from this sort of overweening Chosen One," Whedon says. "There's a messianic steam in popular culture right now, with BUFFY and THE MATRIX. One chosen person - it's been cropping up a lot. I want to get away from that." 
    "I want to show people - although they have River there [a disturbed " genius" girl, played by Summer Glau], who's extraordinary, and they're big damn heroes, all that good noise - I want to show people that really aren't chosen, who would not make the list, who are not the saviors of the world." 
    "Frankly," executive producer Tim Minear says, "Mal's mission is to keep these people alive and keep flying. It's just about getting by. That's always been the mission statement of what the show is - getting by." 
    Asked if he thinks that's enough for appointment television, Minear says, "I do. It depends on who the people are. It depends on if an audience resonates with the stories that are told week to week, and if the cast is engaging." 
    One cast member seems to have broken through already - the mercenary Jayne, played by Adam Baldwin. Blunt and lumbering, his deadpan humor and bullheadedness have struck a chord with fans. "I was a little surprised that Jayne was as popular as he was," Whedon says. "He's kind of like Cordelia. He's the guy who says the thing that other people are afraid to say. That usually means that it's the funniest thing in the room." 
    Minear says that FIREFLY is not planning any particular story arcs for the November ratings-sweeps period. "Actually, we're trying to make every episode big," he explains. "Something big for the series does happen, pretty much in every episode, but it's not a three-episode arc like we would do on ANGEL yet. We're not to that point. We're trying to make sure that it's user-friendly for as long as we can make it, so we can hopefully build an audience and stay on the air."
21.F/X JOURNEYS TO THE EDGE 
    F/X is the cable network that was (until recently) known for running endless repeats of IN LIVING COLOR and M*A*S*H in prime time. They've made an effort during the past 18 months to reinvent themselves. They want to be thought of as a basic-cable HBO - a haven for edgy and provocative programming that would never make it on a broadcast network. 
    THE SHIELD star Michael Chiklis' stunning upset win for best drama actor at last month's Primetime Emmy Awards seemed to be the vindication for that strategy. The show put F/X on the map in terms of media attention and critical acclaim. Plus it brought in big ratings - an average of 2.1 million viewers in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic in its first season, a solid showing for basic cable. 
    There's no telling yet how this will play out. For those of us who enjoy good-quality shows that don't look like everything else being ground out of the network assembly line this is nothing but good news.
22.THE GROOVENIANS LAND AT THE CARTOON NETWORK 
    Dennis Hopper, Paul Reubens and Ann Magnuson will voice characters in Cartoon Network's animated sci-fi TV special THE GROOVENIANS. Conceived by pop surrealist Kenny Scharf, the special tells the story of a pair of bored teens who escape to the bohemian planet of Groovenia. 
    Scharf, whose work sits in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, said, "I've always wanted to do a cartoon. And I finally decided to kick myself in the head and do it." GROOVENIANS was written, produced and directed by Jordan Reichek (INVADER ZIM) and illustrated in the style of Scharf's works. 
    THE GROOVENIANS will air Nov. 10 at 10:30 PM as part of the network's Adult Swim programming block. If it does well it may expand into a series.
23.JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SAVAGE TIME ON CARTOON NETWORK 
    The Cartoon Network has scheduled the special JUSTICE LEAGUE TV movie presentation of  THE SAVAGE TIME for November 9 at 7 PM during CARTOON THEATRE, Cartoon Network’s weekly showcase of contemporary animated movies. 
    In this special feature length presentation the Justice League returns from a mission deep in space to find a world that has drastically changed - for the worse. A ruthless, repressive dictator named Vandal Savage has seized control. To restore life as they know it, the world’s greatest collection of superheroes must travel back in time and team up to with some heroes of the past to re-fight a world war in order to stop Savage from taking power. 
    When the Justice League lands back in Europe during the waning days of World War II, they find themselves split from each other and fighting side-by-side with the Resistance on the war’s frontline. Superman, Hawkgirl and the Flash join with the Blackhawks, a squad of fighter pilots from occupied nations, and assist in their efforts to destroy a critical enemy weapon before it can be deployed. Green Lantern is trapped behind enemy lines with a tough-as-nails Army squadron without the use of his ring, the source of his powers. Meanwhile, Manhunter heads to Berlin to infiltrate the despot’s headquarters and uncover the secret to his power while Wonder Woman teams up with an American spy to break Savage’s secret code.
24.THE APOCALYPSE WILL BE TELEVISED 
    Producers of the LEFT BEHIND movies - based on Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins' Christian-themed apocalyptic best-sellers - are readying a TV series that will take the franchise onto the small screen. Cloud Ten Pictures' chief executive Peter Lalonde announced that the series is slated for broadcast in Canada in early 2003. The series will also be available on video and DVD in both the United States and Canada, Lalonde said. 
    The series will follow the development of Nicolae Carpathia's global command center and chronicle the Tribulation Force's efforts to undermine and expose the man they believe to be the biblical Antichrist. Cloud Ten production head André van Heerden will serve as the series' show runner. 
    Cloud Ten intends to produce 13 episodes for the series' first season. The company is talking with several broadcasters about airing the show, but no agreements are in place. A second film, LEFT BEHIND II: TRIBULATION FORCE, released Oct. 29 on home video and will hit theaters on Dec. 31.
25.NIGHT THRASHER COMES TO UPN 
    UPN has ordered a one-hour series based on Marvel Comics' black superhero NIGHT THRASHER. NIGHT THRASHER is based on a Marvel series from the 1990's. Think of him as a black Batman. 
    In the comic, the Night Thrasher by day is Dwayne Taylor, a New Yorker whose parents were killed mysteriously when he was 5. As an adult, he uses his excellent athletic skills and mental prowess to fight evil when the sun goes down. In the UPN show, set in the present day, Taylor will be the 25-year-old multimillionaire owner of a hot hip-hop clothing line, enjoying the high life with a penthouse apartment overlooking New York's Central Park. But he also lends his superhero services to the CIA, having been recruited by his CIA agent uncle, who raised him. 
    This will be a live-action rendition of the 1990s comic book series. Michael Elliot is writing the script and will executive produce along with Ben Silverman and Marvel's Avi Arad and Rick Ungar. Silverman's a former Marvel employee whose production company, Reveille, brought the project to UPN 
    Marvel has been challenging their old rival, DC, for dominance on the big screen. NIGHT THRASHER is the opening salvo of a war between the two corporations for control of our TV's.
26.SMALLVILLE'S NOT AS SMALL AS IT USED TO BE 
    SMALLVILLE's population is about to increase by two. This month the show gets a pair of recurring characters added on. 
    Patrick Cassidy, son of Shirley Jones and the late Jack Cassidy is joining the cast in the recurring role of Henry Small. The character is introduced in an episode called "Lineage," airing Tuesday, Nov. 5. While Small's exact significance in the plot is being kept secret, he is connected in some way to Lana Lang. While Cassidy does not appear until "Lineage," the storyline involving Small is introduced in the previous episode, "Redux." 
    It has also been confirmed that William B. Davis, who played the nefarious Cigarette-Smoking Man on THE X-FILES, appears in the Nov. 12 episode of SMALLVILLE, called "Ryan." He plays Smallville's corrupt Mayor Tate, who goes head-to-head with Lex Luthor.
27.SCI-FI RENEWS STARGATE 
    The Sci-Fi Channel renewed its original series STARGATE SG-1 for a full seventh season. Sci-Fi ordered 22 new episodes from MGM. Richard Dean Anderson will stay in his role as both the series' star and executive producer. 
    "STARGATE fans are everywhere," Sci-Fi president Bonnie Hammer said in a statement. "The ratings prove it. We are delighted to renew SG-1 for a new season. Clearly the show has done phenomenally well for Sci-Fi, both with original and acquired episodes, and we look forward to another record-breaking year." 
    Sci-Fi began airing the series in June, starting with its sixth season. STARGATE SG-1 broke a channel record with its summer finale episode (2.0 rating, 1.6 million households). In October, Sci-Fi began airing earlier STARGATE SG-1 episodes as a Monday-night block, which delivered the biggest average monthly 8-11 p.m. audience for the time period in the network's history. 
    Production on the new season is slated to begin in Vancouver, B.C., early next year, for a summer 2003 launch. The remaining original sixth-season episodes will resume on Sci-Fi in January 2003.
28.ABC CONSIDERS STARMAN 
    ABC has ordered a script for a proposed TV series based on the DC Comics series STARMAN. The network has given a script commitment to Tollin/Robbins Productions, the company behind The WB's SMALLVILLE and BIRDS OF PREY, and Warner Brothers Television. 
    Like the comic, STARMAN will center on a 25-year-old former slacker who is forced to become a superhero after his brother, the former Starman, is mysteriously killed. John Gatins (HARDBALL) is writing the script for the show and is executive producing with Tollin/Robins' Joe Davola, Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. 
The WB Network has ordered a pilot for an update of the 
old MacGyver TV series, entitled Young MacGyver. The Paramount Network Television show will be executive produced by Henry Winkler, Stephen Downing and John Rich. 
Young MacGyver will center on the adventures of MacGyver's nephew, who is brought into the fold of Phoenix Foundation, a think tank dedicated to righting wrongs and defeating bad guys throughout the world. Sam Baum is writing the script and will serve as a supervising producer on the pilot. Casting is under way for the show's lead.
29.SCI-FI STUDIES UFO'S IN ADVANCE OF THE DEBUT OF TAKEN 
    The Sci-Fi Channel has suddenly become very interested in getting to the bottom of the UFO controversy. It looks suspiciously like the network suddenly got fascinated with the topic a couple of months prior to the premiere of their big mini-series, TAKEN, about UFO abductions. 
    They've joined with John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, in calling for declassification of secret government records on UFOs. Sci-Fi is backing a Freedom of Information Act initiative to obtain government records on cases involving retrieval of objects of unknown origin by the secret Air Force operations Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly. "It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the real nature of this phenomenon," Podesta said in a statement. 
    Bonnie Hammer, the Sci-Fi Channel's network president, explained the network's involvement. "For the past decade, Sci-Fi programming has explored the often-blurred line that separates science fiction from science fact. But when credible scientists conclude that 5 percent to 10 percent of UFOs cannot be explained by natural or artificial causes, we think it is worth taking a much closer look at what is clearly a real and ubiquitous phenomenon." 
    Sci-Fi has also commissioned a report by independent journalist Leslie Kean to document the government's failure to carry out systematic scientific research into the UFO phenomenon. "The fact is that scientists who have spent time studying, classifying and analyzing these phenomena agree that they are real and that it will require a sustained research effort to determine their cause," Kean said in a statement. "The public has a right to know what is being observed in our airspace, once it has been determined it is not a foreign or domestic aircraft," said Kean. 
    Hammer also announced that on Nov. 8 Sci-Fi will sponsor a symposium at George Washington University exploring the potential for interstellar travel and the evidence of unidentified aerial phenomena. Panelists will include American scientists and aviation experts. 
    Sci-Fi also announced the formation of the Coalition for Freedom of Information, to be headed by Ed Rothschild. "We have constructed a new Web site to generate public support for greater disclosure of government records and for more scientific investigation," Rothschild said. "We are providing the public with an opportunity to get directly involved in this issue. The site contains some of the best information available on this issue, as well as letters that citizens can send to their senators and representatives." 
    TAKEN premieres December 2.
30.UPN STAYS IN THE ZONE 
    UPN's THE TWILIGHT ZONE has just crossed over into . . . a full-season pickup. The network has ordered nine additional episodes of the series. 
    The network called the series, the most successful pairing with a STAR TREK series in the network's history. Since its premiere on Sept. 18, THE TWILIGHT ZONE has held onto an average 73 percent of ENTERPRISE's audience and garnered 74 percent of its lead-in's ratings, the network reported. 
    UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff said in a statement, "The creative strength of THE TWILIGHT ZONE stems from the combination of quality writing and fantastic guest stars, and by pairing it with ENTERPRISE, UPN has created a solid night of out-of-this world programming."
31.MacGYVER: THE NEXT GENERATION 
    There was a story in the September ICS Files about a feature film based on the ABC show, MacGYVER. As far as I can tell that deal is still on with New Line. In addition to that it looks like the series is ready to spawn a new generation for the small screen. 
    The WB has given a production order for a new series called THE YOUNG MacGYVER. The new show would focus on MacGyver's nephew, who follows his uncle's footsteps. He's a twentysomething hero who leaves school and winds up joining the Phoenix Foundation on a lark. Once there, he discovers that he's incredibly adept at stepping into Uncle MacGyver's shoes. 
    According to Carolyn Bernstein, The WB's senior vice president of drama development, "It felt like a perfect combination of a recognizable brand for our audience and also the kind of lighter franchise storytelling that has become our bread and butter. Our MacGYVER will be a little more irreverent than the original. It will have a lot in terms of the same elements of the original series, but with a brand-new cast of characters and updated for present day." 
    With the series and the movie underway there's only one thing left for us to do - buy shares of duct tape stock. It'll soon be going through the roof.
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32.THINGS TO COME 
   ECLECTICON is a media fanzine conventions, focusing on fanzines and the varied fandoms that inspire them. It will be held on November 8 -10 at the Ramada Hotel at Routes 1 & 9 South in Newark, NJ. This is a convention that prides itself on having everything other conventions have EXCEPT celebrity guests. They'll still have dealers, panels, gaming, discussions and the other things associated with other conventions. Programming at ElectiCon is comprised of four tracks: General Interest, Fandom, Media, and Writing/Editing/Publishing. There's no further information available on what will be contained in those tracks. Registration for the weekend is $40. If you'd like further information either hit the link on this article or, for snail-mailers, drop a note to Eclecticon/ PO Box 3165/ Bayonne, NJ 7002-0298. 

    THE MINI-DEALER'S ROOM is being held by Gary and Sue Svehla, the folks who do Fanex, at the Days Hotel in Timonium, on Saturday, December 7.  Admission is free!  Everyone attending will receive a copy of Forgotten Horrors: The Definitive Edition and Monsters, Mutants and Heavenly Creatures FREE while supplies last. The hours are 10-3. 

    PHILCON, the oldest science fiction convention in America, takes place December 13-15  at Marriott Center City, 1201 Market Street in Philadelphia. This is a literary convention. The Principal Speaker is writer Connie Willis (winner of six Hugo and six Nebula Awards). The Artist Guest Of Honor is Donato Giancola. Special guests include authors David Gerrold, Nalo Hopkinson and Spider and Jeanne Robinson. There'll be a large dealer's room, panels, speakers, an art show, a charity auction and a ball. Pre-registration is available until 12/2. A weekend membership is $45, children $20. For more information either follow the above link, e-mail Jeff Linder at info@philcon.org or call the toll-free hotline at 877-744-2315. 

    EVE CON 20 takes place December 27 - 29 at the Sheraton Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston VA. To quote the convention Website, "If you've never been to one of our conventions - this is an ideal place to find others who share your interests in things such as sci-fi, fantasy, horror, weirdness, centuries past and future, cultures near and far, art, music, movies, books, games. If you feel out of place in the mundane atmosphere of day-to-day life, this will be a homecoming for you." There's no exact schedule available yet, but trust that there'll be a variety of talks, workshops, discussions, gaming, and an art show. Registration is $25 if postmarked by December 13, and $30 at the door. For more information go to the above link, send an e-mail to cherylz@fantek.org or call (301) 292-5231.

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33.MEET CIVILIAN JUSTICE 
    From the clouds covering lower Manhattan on that terrible day in September last year emerged a new hero. His name is Civilian Justice. He was just another thug until September 11, 2001. Now he's a vigilante hero who's vowed to crush terrorists everywhere. 
    Civilian Justice is the story of one person who survives the 9-11 attacks, but loses the love of his life in the towers. He's driven over the edge and cannot let the memories of his love and the rest of the victims die in vain. After finding an American flag left in the debris, he wraps it around his face like a mask and begins his journey to seek out and stop the hidden terrorist cells who remain in the United States. Civilian Justice represents us, the Civilians. He could be any one of us under the mask of justice. 
    This new character is the creation of Graig Welch, owner of a tiny comic book company that's been getting a lot of attention called Beyond Comics. So far one issue has come out. He's already got a movie deal and is talking with a major toy manufacturer. 
    Welch explained what prompted him to create the character. "I'm a fifth generation New Yorker and felt helpless after 9-11. I didn't know what I could do. Everything I was doing in the world of comics had lost it's meaning to me. Nothing seemed to make sense any more. I wanted to do something that would make sense out of a senseless tragedy. A place to give people a forum to release their anger and hate without actually hurting anyone; hence the comic book." 
    A portion of the profits for Civilian Justice will go to the non-union overlooked victims of the relief funds. Welch called this, "The first superhero to actually help raise money for the overlooked victims in real life, kind of like a Robin Hood I guess you could say."
34.ROBBY THE ROBOT AND JUMANJI 
    Chris Van Allsburg is the author of the children's book, Jumanji. He's got an illustrated sequel coming out entitled Zathura. It reveals what happened to the children who played the disastrous Jumanji board game. A boy, Danny, rolls the dice on a new board game and launches himself and his older brother, Walter, on a space adventure that includes pirates, meteor showers and evil robots, the newspaper reported. 
    So where does Robby the Robot fit in? Van Allsburg's illustrations for Jumanji were inspired by Victorian ideas of African jungles. For Zathura, he looked to the 1950s for FORBIDDEN PLANET-style robots and WAR OF THE WORLDS-inspired spaceships. I wonder if the kids wind up on Altair-4?
35.A PLETHORA OF POTTER? 
    According to J.K. Rowling there will be seven Harry Potter novels - no more, no less. Reports have begun to emerge that put that figure in doubt. 
    Warner Brothers applied to the United Kingdom patent office for rights to future Harry Potter titles. They stumbled on plans for eighth, ninth and 10th Harry Potter books. They applied for rights to the titles Harry Potter and the Pyramids of Furmat, Harry Potter and the Chariots of Light and Harry Potter and the Alchemist's Cell. 
    J.K. Rowling's agent denied reports in the British press that his client plans to continue the series of books beyond a planned seven titles. "The plan is to have only seven books in the series," Neil Blair, of Christopher Little literary agents, said. "There is no truth in the rumors." Blair said none of the registered names would be used for any future Potter books. However there was no explanation as to why they were protected by patent.
36.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION 
    An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith by John Kenneth Muir, $18.95 
Taking its title from Smith's View Askew production company and Website, this book serves as a guided tour of the New Jersey filmmaker's cinematic style, from short synopses of Smith's films to behind-the-scenes stories of how they were made and how Smith himself has evolved.

    The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film by Jack Morgan, $25.00 
Unearthing the fearful flesh and sinful skins at the heart of gothic horror, this book examines the genre's biological core. 

    FARSCAPE: The Illustrated Companion Season 2 by Paul Simpson, Ruth Thomas; $16.95 
This book provides in-depth coverage of the show's second season. With access to the show's stars and production team (including Rockne S. O'Bannon), the book takes an exclusive, detailed look behind the scenes, and also includes an episode guide to the whole of season two, with a look ahead to season three. 

    Jack the Ripper: The Murders and the Movies by Denis Meikle, $24.95 
A book that no “Ripperologist” will want to miss - a complete illustrated guide to the legendary murderer in film and on television. 

    James Bond, the Legacy: Forty Years of 007 Movies by John Cork, Bruce Scivally; $49.95 
Published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of DR. NO, the first James Bond film, James Bond: The Legacy is the official, definitive guide to the 007 phenomenon. Loaded with anecdotes, facts, and illustrations, the book provides features on the key actors, from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan, directors, costume and set designers, and others working behind the scenes. 

    JoBlo.com Presents . . . the 50 Coolest Movies of All Time by Berge Garabedian (foreword by Kevin Smith), $17.95 
This is a collection of 50 new reviews, from JoBlo.com, a popular Online reviewing site. Each review is complemented with two sections entitled "The coolest thing about this movie is . . ." which details some of the specific cool elements from each film and "Interesting tidbits about the film and its stars" which forks over plenty of trivia for all movie fans. The films review for their "coolness" include ALIENS, BLADE RUNNER, BOOGIE NIGHTS, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, CLERKS, THE CROW, EVIL DEAD 2, HEAT, GOODFELLAS, THE KILLER, LA FEMME NIKITA, POINT BREAK, PULP FICTION, ROBCOP, Se7en, SWINGERS, THE TERMINATOR, TRUE ROMANCE and 32 others. 

    John Carpenter: Prince of Darkness by Gilles Boulenger, $19.95 
This book is a lengthy, lively, and candid interview with Carpenter. It covers his background, his inspirations, and his ups and downs in Hollywood and thoroughly discusses each of his films. Among the many and varied subjects that pop up are his Bible Belt childhood, German expressionism, Howard Hawks, John Wayne, The King, Barbara Streisand, Michael Myers, Kurt Russell, Stephen King, quantum physics, and attractive female extras. 

    The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson, $35.00 
Over the last quarter century some people consider this the finest reference work about the lives of people in the film community. Now it returns, with its old entries updated and 300 new ones - from Luc Besson to Reese Witherspoon - making more than 1300 in all, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long. In addition to the new “musts,” Thomson has added key figures from film history - lively anatomies of Graham Greene, Eddie Cantor, Pauline Kael, Abbott and Costello, Noël Coward, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Gish, Rin Tin Tin, and more. 

    THE PRISONER: The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series by Robert Fairclough, $24.95 
Like many before him, Fairclough attempts to wrestle with the rich metaphorical premise of THE PRISONER. Unlike many before him, many think Fairclough succeeded. Using a light easy-to-read style the author ignores the classic question, "Who is No 1?" Instead he gives us an insight into the political, cultural and sociological conditions surrounding Patrick McGoohan at the time. This description of the not so liberal sixties and McGoohan’s biography (as far as known) serve as launching pad for the most comprehensive fact file ever gathered on THE PRISONER. The episode guide is an exhaustive account of all aspects of the series. 

    Slimetime: A Guide to Sleazy, Mindless Movies by Steven Puchalski, $24.95 
Slimetime wallows in those films which the world has deemed it best to forget - everything from cheesy no-budget exploitation to the embarrassing efforts of major studios. Many of these films have never seen a major release, some were big hits, and others have simply vanished. To compliment the wealth of reviews on sci-fi, schlock, flower power and puppet people films are detailed essays on specific sleaze genres such as biker, blaxploitation and drug movies. Fully updated and revised with new reviews and new illustrations. 

    Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures by Christiane Kubrick, Steven Spielberg (Introduction); $40.00 
The is a pictorial glimpse of one of the greatest geniuses in the history of cinema. This is a "family album" of pictures from Kubrick's widow,  Christiane. It spans his life from his Bronx childhood through his career as a great director. 

    Tarzan, My Father by Johnny Weissmuller Jr., $24.95 
An authoritative insight into the life of the man most film fans consider the "one and only" Tarzan - Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller. This book offers an intimate look at Weissmuller's early life, middle years, and later decline, through swimming training, Olympic triumphs, failed marriages, a Hollywood life as Tarzan of the Apes, and subsequent career as Jungle Jim.

37.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS 
    ANGEL: Endangered Species by Nancy Holder, Jeff Mariotte; $17.95 
Angel, Cordy, Gunn, Wesley, Fred, and a client named Chaz set off for a tropical island to try to save Faith from the nefarious plans of Chaz's wife, the vampire Marianna. Angel stumbles onto a plan to rid the entire planet of vampires, including him. The real danger may come from the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart. 

    DARK ANGEL, No. 1: Before the Dawn by Max Allan Collins, $6.99 
Set in the ruins of Los Angeles in the year 2019, this is an origin novel. We meet a pack of street kids is the young expert thief among them named Max. Hell breaks loose when she seeks her missing “brothers and sisters” from Manticore, the covert agency with a sinister history of militaristic manipulation and control. 

    DOCTOR WHO: Heritage by Dale Smith, $6.95 
Nothing goes right on Heritage. Everything is dead. The colonists are dirt poor and getting poorer And meaner. The only hope for the future is a little red-headed girl called Sweetness, bearing an uncanny resemblance to someone in the Doctor's past. The Doctor needs to solve some unsettling mysteries before he can offer any hope to the struggling colonists. 

    ENTERPRISE: Shockwave by Paul Ruditis, $19.95 
This is a novelization of the series first season cliffhanger and its second season premiere with the resolution. Thirty-six hundred colonists were incinerated in a blast and it looks like the USS Enterprise is responsible. Archer sets out to prove the innocence of his ship and his crew. 

    SALEM WITCH TRIAL by Kathryn Wesley, $6.99 
This is the story of the infamous witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. This novelization retells the story of how the small colonial settlement became obsessed in the belief of witchcraft, which led to the deaths of 19 people. This is based on a four-hour miniseries airing on CBS in May, starring Shirley McLaine, Kirstie Alley, and Peter Ustinov. 

    SMALLVILLE: Strange Visitors by Roger Stern, $5.99 
In this first novel spun off from the series, things get dicey in Smallville when a mysterious faith healer and lecturer who possesses some Kryptonite comes to town. 

    STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: Mission Gamma: Book Three: Cathedral by Michael A. Martin, Andy Mangels, $6.99 
Cathedral continues the two major story arcs: the Defiant's exploration of the Gamma Quadrant, and the inception of Bajor into the Federation. Events conspire in the Gamma Quadrant to force Nog, Bashir, and Ezri Dax to do some sincere soul-searching about the paths their lives have taken. On Bajor things turn dark as Vedek Yevir aspires to be the next Kai. 

    STAR TREK Star Charts: The Complete Atlas of STAR TREK by Geoffrey Mandel, $17.95 
See how far Earth is from Vulcan or plot a course to the Klingon homeworld with these full color maps of the STAR TREK universe. This is the definitive guide to the Star Trek universe. From Qo'noS to Bajor, from Vulcan to the farthest reaches of the Delta Quadrant, these charts reveal the location of every major STAR TREK world and star system. In addition to maps of the stars themselves there are mission charts for each of the main starships featured in the various STAR TREK series, from the Enterprise commanded by Captain Kirk in the original classic series to the USS Voyager on her epic journey of exploration, and now back to the very first Enterprise of all as seen in ENTERPRISE. There are charts from the tenth STAR TREK feature film, NEMESIS. 

    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Double Helix Omnibus by John Gregory Betancourt, Dean Wesley Smith,  Diane Carey, Esther Friesner, Christie Golden and Michael Jan Friedman; $17.00 
A six-book series featuring all aspects of the TNG universe in a complex and gripping adventure, now collected in one single omnibus volume. For over a decade unknown enemies have unleashed a string of deadly biological weapons throughout the Alpha Quadrant. Not only the Federation is at stake. The plague threatens first Romulus, where Vulcan Ambassador Spock calls upon his old friend Dr McCoy; and then the Cardassian space station Terok Nor - later to be Deep Space Nine - where Prefect Gul Dukat is forced to work with Federation doctor Katherine Pulaski and rebel spy Kira Nerys to save those under his command. Meanwhile Captain Picard and his crew join forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the USS Excalibur to confront the hidden architects of the virus and avenge the deaths of thousands. But the truth is closer to Jean-Luc Picard than he knows. Its seeds were planted ten years before, when, as captain of the USS Stargazer, he was caught in a conflict between two hostile races. Then, Commander Jack Crusher of the Stargazer and Vulcan officer Tuvok teamed up to investigate the conflict, unaware that their intervention would breed catastrophic consequences for the future. 

    TAKEN by Thomas H. Cook, $6.99
This is a novelization of the epic mini-series headed for the Sci-Fi Channel this December. Over the course of sixty years various people have encounters with the unexplainable that will change them forever.

38.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST 
    Bradbury, an Illustrated Life: A Journey to Far Metaphor by Jerry Weist, Donn Albright, Ray Bradbury (Introduction); $34.95 
This hardcover book is a pictorial overview of Ray Bradbury's career - not focusing so much on his life, but more on his life's product. Page after page of photos, with special attention given to his stories, as well as the movies, plays, comics, and other things based on them. It contains an abundance of personal photos, hardcover and paperback cover images, movie stills, behind-the-scenes photos, EC comic pages, discussions of the artists most associated with Bradbury's works, and even some rough drafts and alternate versions of book covers. 

    The Science of Vampires by Katherine M. Ramsland, $12.95 
Forensic psychologist and horror-cultural journalist Katherine Ramsland's latest book considers the scientific possibilities and psychological implications of vampirism, from its literary genesis in Bram Stoker's Dracula to the present day. She examines vampire mythology and practice in scientific terms, taking the reader into discussions of psychoneuroimmunology, endorphins and psychedelics, psychopathology, and other areas of science and metaphysics. She isn't advocating the existence of creatures of the night. Rather, she applies scientific methods and concepts to the aspects of the vampire that are most attractive - immortality, abilities of mental and sexual control, the maintenance of life through the blood or energy of others. The particular applications of theory aren't always convincing, but they will be entertaining and interesting to fans of vampire stories and culture who want to go beyond story into the realm of science. 

    Seeing Is Believing: America's Side Shows A. W. W. Stencell, $23.95 
If you just can't get enough of the movie FREAKS, or otherwise have a taste for the unusual, this book is for you. From striptease midgets, human pin cushions, and monkeys in miniature race cars to trained fleas and people with double bodies, three legs, and enormous feet, this chronicle of twisted midway attractions and the showmen who have presented them covers it all. The history of the circus side show and its companion, the carnival, is celebrated in words and rare, eye-popping images, making this a must for all collectors and enthusiasts. Interviews with many of the big players on the carnival circuit are included. 

    Superman in the Fifties, DC Comics, $19.95 
The Fifties! A decade like no other, and one where a certain man of steel faced some of his most outrageously fun tales ever. Here we have the first appearance of Krypto, Supergirl, and Titano the Super-Ape; the first Kryptonian villains; Superboy's last day in Smallville; Superman's big brother; Superman's Super-Magic Show; the battle with Bizarro and the Bride of Bizarro; the new team of Superman and Robin and much more.

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39.QUICK TAKES 
FREDDY VS. JASON DIRECTOR: NO EXPERIENCE DESIRED: Chinese director Ronny Yu got the directing job for FREDDY VS. JASON because he wasn't familiar with either franchise. Yu said hew had a similar experience when he did the CHILD'S PLAY sequel, BRIDE OF CHUCKY. "When I did CHUCKY, I didn't know anything about CHILD'S PLAY," Yu said. "That's exactly what the producers from CHUCKY and the producers from FREDDY VS. JASON want. They want a fresh angle, a director with a different style." . . . DON'T LOOK UP, AMERICAN STYLE. American producers have bought the rights to the Japanese horror film, DON'T LOOK UP. The original movie's directed by Hideo Nakata. Nakata also directed the Japanese film THE RING, a supernatural terror tale that served as the basis for DreamWorks' English-language remake. DON'T LOOK UP centers on a film director and his crew who lose their sanity when the spirit of a slain actress from another era haunts their set. . . . THE VOICE OF DARTH RETURNS. James Earl Jones said that he has signed to become the voice of Darth Vader again for STAR WARS: EPISODE III. The next - and final - prequel will tell about Anakin Skywalker's transition to the dark figure that we know and loathe. Jones said that George Lucas told him: "When Anakin goes bionic - that will be in the last five minutes of EPISODE III - they will hear you." . . . GETTING A LOT FOR YOUR SIX MILLION DOLLARS. Producers have been announcing a movie-version of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN since the 80's. The title haunts Internet sites and lists of coming films as frequently as Elvis-sightings. Dimension Films has decided to keep that ball in play. They've named Trevor Sands to write the screenplay for its new version of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. The film will be based on Martin Caidin's Cyborg novels, which were the basis for the Universal Television series THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN in the 1970s. . . . BARBIE GOES BOND. There's a new Bond girl for 007 - she's six inches tall and made of plastic. The makers of Barbie are bringing out a special Bond Girl Barbie in a limited-edition 007 gift set, along with her friend Ken as Mr. Bond. Mattel Inc is releasing the $75 set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of DR. NO. Mattel marketing vice president Jamie Cygielman says, "The James Bond 007 Ken doll and Barbie doll gift set pay tribute to the many memorable James Bond films and their famous characters over the past 40 years." Ken is dressed in 007's trademark tuxedo and carries a briefcase while Barbie is wearing a golden lace gown and red shawl with a cell phone strapped to her thigh. . . . SURRENDER DOROTHY. That provocative titles is almost all we know of producer Robert Kosberg intended sequel film to THE WIZARD OF OZ. We also know that Drew Barrymore is attached to star and that Warner Brothers is making it. As news filters in, I'll let you know. . . . JOHN WOO'S PAYCHECK. John Woo is in negotiations to direct PAYCHECK. The project is aimed to go into production in February. It's based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. It's a futuristic story of a man who has part of his memory erased and begins to find clues to his whereabouts for the past two years. . . . THE PHANTOM REVISITED. With the current superhero boom there's an attempt underway to produce an updated film version of Lee Falk's classic comic-strip hero The Phantom. Steven De Souza will write the script. It will have nothing to do with the 1996 Paramount movie (good idea). The new film will reinvent the character to be closer to films such as SPIDER-MAN and THE MATRIX. . . . PRODUCERS HOPE ASH CAN. Work continues on the development of a feature film based on Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's ASH. The comic tells the story of a Chicago fire-fighter who, after being trapped in a mysterious blaze, finds he can transform into fire-wielding warrior. With the popularity of fire fighters and super heroes at all time highs, it's no wonder Hollywood's interest in this project is piqued. . . . TERRY GILLIAM AND THE BROTHERS GRIMM. Terry Gilliam is looking to astonish us again, this time on his mythical take on the lives of the Brothers Grimm. The movie will center on writers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, called Jake and Will in this version. While traveling from village to village pretending to protect townsfolk from enchanted creatures, they encounter a real sorceress with terrifying powers and are put to the test. The movie's scheduled to go into production this spring. . . . JUST KEEP REPEATING "IT'S ONLY A MOVIE. IT'S ONLY A MOVIE." A 47-year-old California woman named Diana Louisa Napolis is really angry at Stephen Spielberg, and his wife, Kate Capshaw. She wrote them a 13-page letter accusing the Spielbergs of being members of a "satanic cult" who gathered in their basement to spy on Napolis' meetings with aliens. She's passed out fliers at movie premiers with the same message. Spielberg expressed concern "for his "safety and security and for the safety and security of my family, and others around me," as he got a restraining order against her. Spielberg added that, "to state the obvious, I am not involved with any form of manipulating Ms. Napolis' mind or body through remote technology or otherwise." . . . SCOOBY 3!?! Warner Brothers has hired writers Dan Foreman and Paul Foley to write a third installment of its SCOOBY-DOO film franchise. A second installment is already slated for release in 2004. The first SCOOBY-DOO grossed $265 million worldwide. SCOOBY producers Chuck Roven and Richard Suckle will also produce the third SCOOBY movie. Foreman and Foley also wrote a script for a proposed live-action film based on THE JETSONS. . . . BAG OF BONES. Peter Care (THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS) has closed a deal to develop and direct MGM's film based on Stephen King's 1995 novel, BAG OF BONES. The deal will see Care directing from an adaptation by David Velos. The movie tells the story of Mike Noonan, a novelist who is helped by the spirit of his dead wife to exorcise the spirit of a murder victim who has killed several children and now has her eyes on an innocent 3-year-old. Bruce Willis and Arnold Rifkin's Cheyenne Enterprises is producing, and Care's wife, Lorraine, is co-producing.
40.COMIC BOOKS TAKE OVER HOLLYWOOD 
    Perhaps it had to happen. Studio executives aren't widely known for their literary skills. They might be able to navigate a financial report or a newspaper story, but it takes a certain amount of skill to read a movie script and see the movie in your head. Coupling their lack of talent with the drive to find big-action movies with lots of explosions, comic books appear to have ascended to the top of Hollywood's food chain. 
    Take a look at the shows either currently on TV or headed for it. They include AQUAMAN ANIMATED, ASTROBOY, BIRDS OF PREY, BLADE TV SHOW, FANTASTIC FOUR ANIMATED, JEREMIAH, JUSTICE LEAGUE, MUTANT-X, NIGHT THRASHER, SMALLVILLE, SPIDER-MAN ANIMATED, STARMAN, TEEN-TITANS and X-MEN EVOLUTION 
    Comic-inspired movies, in various stages of production, include 100 BULLETS, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, ANT MAN, BARBARELLA, BATMAN YEAR ONE, BATMAN BEYOND ANIMATED FEATURE 2, BLADE 3, BULLETPROOF MONK, CABLE, CAPTAIN AMERICA, CAPTAIN JUSTICE, CAPTAIN RIGHTFUL, THE CARNIVAL OF THE IMMORTALS, CASPER, CATWOMAN, CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, CIVILIAN JUSTICE, THE CLEANER, COMIC BOOK VILLAINS, DAREDEVIL, DEADMAN, DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, FLASH GORDON, FROM HELL, GHOSTRIDER, HELLBOY, THE HULK, THE INVISIBLES, IRON FIST, IRON MAN, ISIS, JADE, JETCAT, JIMMY CORRIGAN: THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH, JINX, JUDGE DREDD: DREDD RECKONING, JUDGE DREDD: POSSESSION, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, MAJOR DAMAGE, MORT THE DEAD TEENAGER, PREACHER, RISING STARS, RONIN, RUPERT THE BEAR, SANDMAN, S.M.A.S.HEROES, SAINT SINNER, SAM SLADE: ROBO-HUNTER, SGT. ROCK, THE SUB-MARINER, SUPERMAN, SWAMP THING, TALES FROM THE CRYPT: REVELATION, V IS FOR VENDETTA, VAMPIRELLA, THE WONDER TWINS, WONDER WOMAN and X-2. 
    Entertainment Weekly published their annual "Power 101" in a recent issue. Comic book connections ran throughout the list (the people on the list were depicted with super-hero charactatures). This year's list marks the debut of Marvel Studios big-wig Avi Arad. Arad ranks 48 on the executive list. The magazine credits him with a string of hit movies this year (BLADE II and SPIDER-MAN) and a powerhouse slate for next year (DAREDEVIL, X-MEN 2 and THE HULK). 
    There's little doubt that comic book movies rule Hollywood. The question is, is that a bad thing? As a comic book fan myself I've enjoyed many of the high budget skillfully executed comic book films I've seen. BUT, as I consider the list of my favorite films they were made with carefully nuanced characters and subtle story-lines. These are the sorts of things that comic books are apt to miss. 
    I think that comics make a rousing side dish in movie fare. There's a problem, though, when they become the appetizer, entree and dessert. Until a generation of movie executives appears that actually knows something about film, comic books will continue to rule.
41.CHI-CHIAN COMES TO THE SCREEN 
    Plucky comic book heroine Chi-Chian is taking her mission - to save 31st century Manhattan from giant insects, secret police and samurai robots - to the big screen. Independent production company Lonetree Entertainment has acquired the exclusive film, television, publishing and game rights to the comic book and animated series from its creator, New York artist and animator Voltaire. Lonetree producers Tony Eldridge and Michele Barbara are on board to develop the project as a live-action feature film. Voltaire first brought Chi-Chian to life as a stop-motion character in a 10-second station ID for the Sci-Fi Channel. He went on to create a series of episodes starring the character for the channel's Web site. It is unclear whether actress Bai Ling, who voiced Chi-Chian in the series, will be involved with the feature adaptation.
42.TAMPERING WITH JULES VERNE 
    The cinematic fields of battle are strewn with the corpses of movies that tried to re-imagine classics. Does anyone remember THE WIZ? What about the (gulp) CASABLANCA re-make, BARB WIRE? Directors seem to be plagued with a terrible forgetfulness. The American public can get very mean when they find an lovely old classic has been "re-imagined." 
    Director Frank Coraci has thrown caution to the wind and announced that his upcoming film version of Jules Verne's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS will elaborate on the sci-fi themes and gadgetry in Verne's original story. "The movie does take place at the turn of the century, and I decided instead of just making Phileas Fogg an Englishman that's very wealthy, in this version he's an inventor," Coraci explained. "That was inspired by the idea that Jules Verne was way ahead of his time, and so our Phileas Fogg is a man way ahead of his time, living in a Victorian era when people didn't want to accept big change. They were very stodgy and trying to hold onto their old ways, and the bet [to travel the world in 80 days] stems out of him trying to prove to them that the world is a much more progressive place and that anything is possible. In that sense, I think it's the modern-day version of a Jules Verne theme. Think ahead. Think progressive." 
    Coraci will also include an appearance by a character from another Jules Verne story, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea's Captain Nemo. Phileas and Passepartout will encounter Nemo, allowing Coraci to construct Nemo's submarine Nautilus. "We thought it would be fun to do that, and we've created this amazing version of what we think the Nautilus looked like. Of course, a lot of it is going to be special effects, because we're going to create this 300-foot sub. We looked at every possible design, because there are so many Nautiluses, and we created this one that moves sort of like an animal. So it sort of slinks like an eel or a snake. We've created this bizarre organic version of it, so a lot of that is going to be done with special effects."
    Jackie Chan will play Passepartout. The character's been changed, making him a martial arts Robin Hood fleeing the law. 
The role of Phileas has not yet been cast. Production is set to begin in January 2003, with an eye to a Christmas 2003 release.
43.TWOHY LOOKS AHEAD TO THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK 
    Director and writer David Twohy recently spoke about his proposed film trilogy that spins off PITCH BLACK. He said that the first sequel in the CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK series will greatly expand the universe seen in the original film. "It takes that [Vin Diesel's] Riddick character and follows him through multiple universes, multiple worlds, as he meets multiple adversaries," he said. "There's a lot of theology running through it. Not just mythology, like maybe you get out of STAR WARS or LORD OF THE RINGS, but theology as well. Even though I'm not a religious guy, I'm very interested in religion anyway and why people turn to it." 
    Twohy said that the title of the first sequel film will be the same as the title of the new series as a whole, to establish continuity, yet create an identity apart from the original. "Right now we're saying the series is called CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. We're referring to it as C1, C2 and C3. I'm plotting all three films as we preproduce this first film. And we're in active preproduction. I've got a production designer on it. I've got a whole art department of conceptual artists. The script is in. We are being funded by Universal. It's a big deal."
44.DENNIS QUAID CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW 
    Dennis Quaid, who will play a climatologist in Roland Emmerich's TOMORROW, said that he'll make it up as he goes along when he begins filming in a November. "As far as any preparation for it and stuff like that, there's no big active preparation for that, because the movie is the star of the movie," Quaid said. 
    Quaid's character will have to stop a sudden global warming and a new ice age in New York, which will lead to the sorts of catastrophic special effects of Emmerich's other big hits, he said. "I loved INDEPENDENCE DAY myself, because of just that ride," Quaid said. "It's not my usual taste, but I did love that ride, and this is just going to be a big action end-of-the-world movie." 
    TOMORROW will also star Jake Gyllenhaal as Quaid's son. Look for it next summer.
45.THE FLEXIBLE ORIGINS OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR 
    Writer Doug Petrie (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) announced that he's drafting a script for a proposed FANTASTIC FOUR movie that will alter the origin mythology of the Marvel Comics superheroes and their chief villain. "The change to the origin story, which came from the earlier drafts and I adopted, is that Doom was like the fifth Beatle," Petrie said. "He was on the spaceship with them, and in my version he saw this particle wave coming. They didn't want to say cosmic rays, because they felt it sounded fake, but in fact cosmic rays are real. I wanted to do A PERFECT STORM in space, where a giant wave is coming towards them, and Victor blasts off in the escape pod, saving his own skin. He crash-lands [on] Earth and becomes Doom, because his face is lost in the re-entry process, which is horrible and violent, while the four of them get bombarded by these mysterious rays and become the Fantastic Four." 
    The origin scenes will be told in flashbacks. The proposed film's opening is "a giant action sequence, where everyone in New York City is watching the Fantastic Four kick the crap out of a giant monster on Fifth Avenue," Petrie said.
46.PASSING POTTER'S TORCH 
    Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter movies, said that he is passing the director's torch to Alfonso Cuarón for the third film, but  won't abandon the franchise and its young trio of leads. "I'm certainly going to be around," Columbus said. "I'm not going anywhere." 
    Columbus explained that he'll be working as producer for HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. "I will be on the set. I will make sure the transition is going very smoothly. So I will be there for them. I met with each of [the stars] individually when I made the decision [not to direct AZKABAN]. They were the first people I talked to, aside from my own family. I said, 'Look, guys, I'm not going to be doing the third [film].' I explained to them the reasons why. They were very kind about it and said they were going to miss me, but they understood. And I guaranteed them at that time that I would be there for them. I said I will be on the set, and I said, 'If there are any problems, if anything makes you uncomfortable, I will be there for you guys.' So they know I'm still going to be there. I won't be the guy directing their performances, but I will be there. That was a commitment I had made to them earlier on, and I felt compelled to say it [again]. That's why I'm staying in London for another year." 
    Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón jokingly referred to the raw sexuality of his most recent film, the Spanish-language art-house hit Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN. He said it could rub off on Harry, Hermione and Ron during their next adventures at Hogwarts. "Sex in HARRY POTTER?" Cuarón teased. "It's going to be steamy . . . magical. We'll have digital effects, too!" 
    Cuarón has directed films where his cast remains fully clad. He directed GREAT EXPECTATIONS and A LITTLE PRINCESS. He said that he and J.K. Rowling are getting along well. "[She is] super cool, a great creative ally," he said. "I think we have a great connection creatively. I feel very good about it." Cuarón has been spending time in London meeting with Rowling and Chris Columbus. 
47.IAN McKELLEN TALKS ABOUT THE HOBBIT 
    Ian McKellen recently told fans on his official Web site that he might consider appearing in a movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's THE HOBBIT. In response to a fan question, McKellen wrote, "I recently asked about the film rights to THE HOBBIT, which seem to be somewhat controlled by Peter Jackson, as far as I can tell. I hope that's the case, because obviously he should have first refusal at translating the novel into a movie. I should be intrigued to return to Middle-earth, even though it involved putting on Gandalf's nose, which is even more distinctive than my own. . . .  I thought it might be possible to make a really long screen version, probably for television, with every episode of the book covered week by week in a multitude of episodes. Ian Holm - who was proud to look so young as well as so old as Bilbo in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - even he might think the young Bilbo of THE HOBBIT was unlikely casting for an actor of his age."
48.TOM CRUISE AND THE LAST SAMURAI 
    In keeping with our September meeting's Samurai theme, here's some news about new high-profile American Samurai film. Principal photography's underway for THE LAST SAMURAI,  starring Tom Cruise. The movie's filming in Japan, New Zealand and the United States.
    THE LAST SAMURAI is a sweeping epic set in Japan during the 1870's. It takes place during Emperor Meiji's reforms that abolished the Samurai. Tom Cruise stars as Capt. Nathan Algren, a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him. 
    The film is directed by Edward Zwick, written by John Logan and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz. The cast includes Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly and Tony Goldwyn. 
49.DUCK DODGERS FLIES AGAIN! 
    Writer/producer Larry Doyle said that Warner Brothers is producing a series of new Looney Tunes theatrical shorts, including one featuring the character of Duck Dodgers, to build anticipation for its upcoming live-action/animated sequel film LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION. Duck Dodgers will appear in a short called Attack of the Drones, which will spoof many recent SF films. 
    "You never do a direct spoof of anything, because it always looks too derivative, but there are things in there that you'll recognize from MEN IN BLACK and from STAR WARS and from STAR TREK and from THE MATRIX," Doyle said in an interview. "So there's all sorts of different things. It's an overall sci-fi spoof." 
    The plot, however, does involve clones. "Daffy creates an army of robots based on himself to fight something, but the short isn't really about the fight, which ends very quickly," Doyle said. "It's about letting the robots loose after they've been victorious." Warners has not announced a release date for the Looney Tunes shorts.
50.LOONEY VISIONS OF THE 50'S BEST ALIENS 
    Joe Dante, the director of the upcoming live-action/animated sequel film LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, said that the film will include cameos of creatures from famous 1950s SF movies. Giving a tour of one set, Dante said, "This is Area 52, the place so secret that they invented Area 51 to cover it up. This is where [the government] takes all the aliens, and we figured if they're all really aliens from the '50s, let's really get aliens from the '50s. So we recruited a bunch of characters from my youth, which was long ago, and we have the MAN FROM PLANET X, who's made a return since his first picture in 1951. Also making his first reappearance since 1951 is ROBOT MONSTER. And THE THING WITHOUT A FACE is here and another one is [an alien from] THIS ISLAND EARTH." 
    The original Robby the Robot from FORBIDDEN PLANET and a Triffid from THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS will also be seen in the Area 52 set. Production designer Bill Brzeski said in an interview that these references are intended for the film's older audience. "I don't think a lot of kids are going to get any of it," Brzeski said. "But those are the layers you have to bring to a movie to make it really good, and I think it's fun. Joe was very specific in what he wanted and how he wanted to use these B-movie things. Our challenge was how to make them not look [bad]. When they made these movies, they were doing the best they could. They wouldn't fit to our standards nowadays, so what we had to do was take the joke and move it to the 2002 visual standard of moviemaking. That was our challenge. We went back and looked at a lot of these movies, and they really don't look good. They're really badly done compared to our standards today. We kept the [creatures]' silhouette and shape, but we brought them up to our modern technology. I think they look great now. They're really cute, and they're funny." 
    LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION is currently in production. Look for it November, 2003.
51.MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN APPEARS ON THE SCREEN 
    The rights have just been acquired for the classic comic strip, MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN. Two companies will co-finance and co-produce a live-action MANDRAKE movie. They've hired Josh Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly (A SOUND OF THUNDER) to adapt the strip for the screen. 
    Created by Lee Falk (who also created The Phantom) in 1934, the long-running comic strip is now syndicated in more than 200 newspapers on six continents. The strip follows Mandrake on various adventures as he uses his powers of hypnotism and illusion to combat crime. He's often joined by his partner, Lothar, and his girlfriend, Princess Narda. The exact adventure that the first installment will center on is being tightly guarded, but producer Ashok Armitraj said that the project will follow the magician from the United States to Europe to South America in a "big-canvas adventure story."
52.MICHELLE YEOH IS THE MASKED CRUSADER 
    Michelle Yeoh is donning her actress-producer hat for a stint as a female Robin Hood with a new film, THE MASKED CRUSADER. It will be directed by cinematographer-turned-director Jingle Ma. The $10 million film will be produced by Yeoh and partner Thomas Chung. 
    Principal photography is expected to start in January in Hong Kong, China and Japan. THE MASKED CRUSADER is based on the legendary Wong Ngung, who fought for justice for the underdog and was a popular subject of black-and-white films of the 1960s, with many of the top actresses of the time portraying her. This version, set in the year 2009, will be the first time a modern-day film has been made about her. 
    Michelle Yeoh observed, "We've had a lot of superheroes but they've usually been guys. What happened to all the women?" It looks like she's about to answer her own question.
53.2003: YEAR OF THE MATRICES 
    Joel Silver, producer of the next two MATRIX movies, says that the cliffhanger between the first and second parts of the next installments is so compelling that people will be desperate to see the next film. "I think we won't even have to advertise the third film, we'll just tell people the date, and they'll come," Silver said. "The story is so fantastic." 
    Silver says THE MATRIX RELOADED is set for release next May 15, and the third part, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS will be out in October. "You're not going to want to wait for the next movie, so we want to release them as close as we can together," says Silver. "The cliffhanger is so substantial you will want to see it soon, and we're aware of that." 
    Originally the films were supposed to be spread out over two years, the first screened in 2002 and the third installment in 2003. But, the special effects needed on both movies delayed the project until 2003. 
    Directors Larry and Andy Wachowski originally conceived the movies starring Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss, as one, and filmed them together in Australia. When seeing the nearly-completed projects, they realized that they couldn't wait a year between releases of the films. 
    "The boys (the Wachowski's) wanted to release both of them in the same summer, but we won't have them both ready," Silver explains. "So, we'll have one in May and the next a few months later." 
    They would release the films closer together, but the effects team may not be ready for the third part until later in the year. 
    Silver says that fall of 2003 will be a good year because another Warner Bros. franchise won't be scheduled. "There won't be a HARRY POTTER that season, so it's a good time for our movie to come out," Silver says, smiling.
54.2003: YEAR OF THE WOLF - BITTEN 
    Angelina Jolie is attached to the new Warner Bros. project BITTEN, about a female werewolf, based on the novel by Kelly Armstrong. Alexander Stuart (THE WAR ZONE, UNDER THE SKIN) will adapt the book. 
    Jolie will play Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf on the planet. She wasn't born that way. She was bitten and made a werewolf when she was an adult. A little over a year ago she separated herself from her pack in order to establish herself in the human world and to have as close to a “normal” lifestyle as possible. Living in Toronto, she has a job as a journalist, a very nice boyfriend, and what looks to be a stable future. She may not be very comfortable living in the city and fighting her werewolf urges, but she's finally getting what she wants. 
    Then Jeremy, her alpha, calls and summons her back to the pack compound. It seems that there's trouble in the area, things happening that could expose the pack for what it is, and Jeremy needs some of Elena's expertise. But going is trouble for Elena who will have to confront her werewolf family again, including sexy, arrogant, overbearing Clayton, who brings up their history whenever she returns, attempting once again to turn the past into the present. 
    No director or production date has been announced for BITTEN. They're looking for a release sometime next year.
55.2003: YEAR OF THE WOLF - CURSED
    Following their success with the SCREAM franchise, director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson are hoping to touch gold again with another horror cycle, CURSED, for Dimension Films. The story will be a Los Angeles-based modern twist on the werewolf genre. It already been set for release on Aug. 8 2003. 
    "Kevin wrote a fun, scary and surprise-filled script just like the original SCREAM,” Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein says in a statement. "The only person I could think of to direct it was Wes Craven and I couldn't be more excited to team them up again for what I think is another crowd-pleasing thrill ride." 
    The inspiration for CURSED appears to have originated from Weinstein's love of the genre. "We'd talked about genres like ghost movies, serial killer films and when I said I always loved werewolf movies, Kevin said, 'We'll have something for you soon,'" says Weinstein. "He pitched me the story at lunch, and I was hooked almost from when he told me the title. Like SCREAM this is a movie that will be scary first, and then a lot of fun. The new twist element here is special effects, because we're determined to show audiences something they've not seen before." 
    The three SCREAM movies grossed over $290 million, making it the highest grossing horror franchise of all time. Before starting this new project Craven will continue work on his adaptation of the Japanese ghost movie PULSE about a group of friends who wake up one morning to discover that people are slowly disappearing around them.
56.DISNEY AND SPIRITED AWAY 
    New York Daily News film critic Jack Mathews has chided Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook for rolling out Hayao Miyazaki's animated SPIRITED AWAY "as if it were some experimental gruel from Cremoria." Noting that the film received nearly unanimous rave reviews when it was released, Mathews asks in an "open letter" to Cook, "Why didn't you treat it like any other Disney animated feature, with a wide release and a big-bucks ad campaign?" 
    Instead, Mathews noted, the film, which opened in 26 theaters on Sept. 20, is now showing on only 151. He concludes: "I hate to say it, Dick, but you had a tap-in putt here and you blew it."
57.KILLING A JEDI 
    You're a writer. In fact, not just any writer - you're George Lucas's writer! You're looking ahead to EPISODE III. You're planning the demise of the Jedi. How do you handle the most visible of the doomed Jedi - Mace Windu? Is he bested in battle, slips on a bar of soap left in the shower, gets devoured by Ewoks, strangled with JarJar's tongue? How? 
    Samuel L. Jackson explained how, during a lunch meeting with George Lucas recently, he tried to find out details of his character's impending demise. "We were just talking about stuff," Jackson said. "And then [Lucas] finally said, 'Okay, so you know you've got to die. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to kill you yet, because I guess you're the most important guy that's going to die. In the other ones, Obi Wan is still there and Yoda's still alive and Darth is still there.' So I become the most important character that can die. I guess it's got to be pretty dynamic. So he's working that out." 
    You'll get to find out what Lucas finally decided to do with Mace Windu in May, 2005.
58.NICOLE KIDMAN BECOMES ONE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES 
    Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in a remake of the 1975 film, THE STEPFORD WIVES. Frank Oz will be directing. Paul Rudnick is writing the adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel. 
    The original was directed by Bryan Forbes and starred Paula Prentiss and Katherine Ross. It centered on a newly married couple that moved to a small town where all the wives are perfect homemakers and seemingly live only to please their husbands. When the new "wife" discovers that the women in the town are actually cyborgs she desperately tries to stop her husband from replacing her as well. 
    This new is being written as a dark comedy, retaining the story’s macabre tone. Kidman will play Ross’ role of the newcomer to the strange New England town. Special effects will be used to convey the changes in the women.
59.SUB-MARINER AND PRIME HAVE UNIVERSAL APPEAL 
    Marvel Studios announced a deal with Universal Pictures to produce film versions of its Sub-Mariner and Prime comic books. The deal comes on the heels of the first Marvel-Universal collaboration, THE HULK, will which be released nationwide in June. 
    "With the masterful job currently being done on THE HULK, Universal Pictures has proven to us that it has the vision and creativity to bring our superheroes to the screen in grand fashion," Avi Arad, Marvel's CEO, said. "Sub-Mariner and Prime are two characters that have incredible stories. Sub-Mariner will be an epic underwater tale of majestic fantasy. Prime is a complete departure from the standard superhero story. With this film we are developing what we think will be Marvel's first superhero action-comedy." 
    ROAD TO PERDITION writer David Self will write the Sub-Mariner screenplay, with Arad and Kevin Misher set to produce the film and Kevin Feige, Stan Lee and Self on board as executive producers. Don Calame and Chris Conroy will write Prime with Arad and Chuck Gordon producing, and Feige, Lee and Scott Rosenberg serving as executive producers.
60.PICARD VS. NOSFERATU 
    STAR TREK's resident makeup artist, Michael Westmore, said that the Viceroy, the STAR TREK: NEMESIS character portrayed by Ron Perlman, was specifically designed to resemble Nosferatu. "That's exactly what [director] Stuart Baird wanted," Westmore said. "Stuart handed me a picture of Nosferatu and said, 'I need an alien that looks like this.'" 
    Westmore created some sketches for Baird, "and then we went to town on it," he said. "We designed the head and then the ears. That was neat, because Stuart said, 'I want to be able to see through the ears.' So I made the ears out of clear gelatin. If there's any backlight behind them, you can see through the ears. Then we painted veins on the back of the ears. So if there's any light showing through, you can see veining through the ears. I think the Viceroy is a pretty fearsome character, and Stuart seemed pleased with what he saw. We were also lucky in that we were dealing with Ron, who's done makeup roles so much. He just kind of sat down and enjoyed it, even though this was probably one of the most extensive makeup processes he's had to go through since [the TV series] BEAUTY AND THE BEAST."
61.PATRICK STEWART SAYS THE FATE OF THE FRANCHISE IS IN THE HANDS OF THE FANS 
    Patrick Stewart said that he's "open" to reprising his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in future STAR TREK: TNG features, but that the fate of the big-screen franchise depends on TREK fandom supporting the upcoming STAR TREK: NEMESIS . "The fans continually ask the question, 'Is this the last movie? Please don't tell us it is. Let there be another movie,'" Stewart said. "So I say to them, 'We've done our part now in all of this. Everyone from Rick Berman to the cast, the writer and the director has played their part. But now it's up to the fans.'" 
    Stewart admitted that the studio's December 13 opening puts the movie in the middle of some heavy traffic. "We are opening in the toughest of times. We are surrounded by mega-movies. We are a mega-movie, too, in the great scheme of things, but [NEMESIS faces competition from] HARRY POTTER and James Bond and THE LORD OF THE RINGS and SOLARIS. November-December is crazy. So we have, I don't know, five to seven days to make our impact. You know how it is with movies these days. Unless you're a low-budget independent movie that can sit around in a couple of cinemas in New York and Los Angeles for several weeks, if you don't do [big box office] in that first weekend you're dead. I would love to see NEMESIS hit a home run that weekend, to use a current image. That, more than anything, is what would promise a further episode of THE NEXT GENERATION."
62.THE MAN FROM PLANET X 
    Remember David Duchovny? He was that guy who couldn't get away from his old show, THE X-FILES, fast enough. Perhaps it's because the golden movie career that he expected never got started. Maybe he's just late on a boat payment. Suddenly he's "Mr. X-FILES." 
    David Duchovny recently said that he's ready to jump back into THE X-FILES, reprising the role of Fox Mulder in a second feature film. "I think we're all kind of excited to go back and have a reunion, even though we haven't been apart for that long," Duchovny said. 
    The first X-FILES film was a 1998 box-office success. No word has come down yet on when the second feature film will get off the ground.
63.BRYAN SINGER TALKS X2 
    Bryan Singer, director of the X-MEN sequel, X2, said that the film will give more screen time to each character, as well as to new characters such as Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). "I solved that," Singer explained. "It'll be a longer movie. And that way, everyone will get the same amount of time. Oddly enough, with all the characters and a bit of splintering that happens in terms of locations where people end up and how they come apart [and] come together, it's . . . very evenly spaced, so to speak. . . . I think that certain characters that weren't utilized as much in the last film will emerge a great deal more in this film, and then the new characters. Every character serves the story at any given time, so I have no tally in my head. Sometimes certain characters that have more lines have less screen time, and vice versa." 
    Singer said that he's a little more free in the sequel to tell a story, though he understands that audiences will expect more. "It's kind of necessary, because I think people are going to see a sequel, and they don't want to simply see a continuation of exactly what they've seen before. They want to see an evolution. So you want to improve upon it, make it better. The benefit here is not to be saddled with introducing a new universe to an audience that may not be familiar with it. Introducing 12 new characters. The characters are already introduced, so it's a great opportunity to now have fun with them. And the few new characters that are going to be introduced in this film, one can do with less exposition and have more fun with. So it's actually a lot easier. The pressure is, you know, you want to make it bigger. More spectacular. Fortunately, we have a little more time, a couple more dollars, and everybody knows what they're doing a little better." 
    X2 is still in production in Vancouver. It's slated for a May 2003 release.
64.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 
    NOVEMBER 1: I SPY, starring Eddie Murphy as Kelly Robinson and Owen Wilson as Alexander Scott, comes out today. 
In the TV series the cover identities had Scott as tennis-pro and Robinson was his trainer. This time around Scott is a full-time secret agent. He recruits boxing champion Kelly Robinson to help him recover a missing jet. The TV show had a sense of ultra-hip coolness about it. This movie just goes for the laughs. The director is Betty Thomas (PRIVATE PARTS, DR. DOLITTLE, THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE). The screenwriters are Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (HOTEL BLUE, THE 6th DAY) 

    NOVEMBER 6: FEMME FATALE is Brain DePalma's first film since he stumbled around with MISSION TO MARS. 
This is a film noir thriller about a woman (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) trying to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her. Antonio Banderas plays a member of the Paparazzi, including scenes shot at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. One potentially good thing about the film - it was both written and directed by DePalma. Those are usually better films. Among the titles where he's done double duty there's SISTERS, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, DRESSED TO KILL, BLOW OUT and BODY DOUBLE. But that rule doesn't always hold. He wrote and directed SNAKE EYES. 

    NOVEMBER 15: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS is, of course, the second HARRY POTTER movie. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has to live through the nearly fatal favors of Dobby the house elf, make it around the gigantic ego of Professor Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), watch out for the angry Whomping Willow, discover the mysteries behind former Hogwarts Head Boy Tom Riddle, make it past Aragog the Spider (voiced by Julian Glover) and brave the dangers of the dreaded Chamber of Secrets. As before the movie's got a sterling support cast, including John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, the late Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore, Gemma Jones as Madam Pomfrey, Alan Rickman as Snape and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. The director (Chris Columbus) and writer (Steven Kloves) of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, returned for this movie. 
    HALF PAST DEAD is being described as "DIE HARD set in a prison." This is the story of a criminal mastermind (Morris Chestnut) who has a plan to infiltrate a high-tech super-prison to persuade a man on death row to tell him where he hid $200 million in gold from a heist the FBI was never able to solve. What he doesn't know is that the feds have an agent (Steven Seagal) planted undercover to try to stop him. The director and writer is Don Michael Paul (making his feature debut - he's previously directed various TV episodes). 

    NOVEMBER 22 DIE ANOTHER DAY is Pierce Brosnan's fourth James Bond film (reports are he'll do one more and then retire from the role). Not a lot is known about the plot. We know the action begins and ends in Korea. We know he's finding an evil megalomaniac named Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) and his ruthless assistant Zao (Rick Yune). And, of course he has a much anticipated roll in the hay with Jinx (Halle Barry). The director is Lee Tamahori (ONCE WERE WARRIORS, MULHOLLAND FALLS, ALONG CAME A SPIDER). The screenwriters are Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (the writing team of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH). 
    DIE ANOTHER DAY was originally to feature the first return female character in a leading role in the series: Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh). Rumors suggest that her character made a return in earlier drafts of the screenplay, but sometime before filming it was determined that she would not be returning due to scheduling conflicts. It is believed that the role of Halle Berry's character, Jinx, was made considerably larger to fill the gap left by the absence of Yeoh. 
    Pierce Brosnan has hinted that the latest James Bond adventure shows the dark side of the super spy. Brosnan says, "This time you see a much more desperate character in Bond. You see this renegade, a man completely out of his environment. He's in a situation that you've never seen Bond in before - so vulnerable and broken, as it were, because he's captured and tortured in the beginning of the film. The film has everything everyone loves about Bond, but much more so. I think they've thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it, but in a good way." 

    NOVEMBER 27: SOLARIS is based upon the novel of the same title by Stanislaw Lem. It was previously adapted to film in 1972 as a Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Upon arrival at the space station orbiting an ocean world called Solaris, a psychologist (George Clooney) discovers that the commander of an expedition to the planet has died mysteriously. Other strange events soon start happening as well, such as the appearance of old acquaintances of the crew, including some, like the psychiatrist's wife, who are dead. The movie's director and writer, Steven Soderbergh (TRAFFIC, OUT OF SIGHT, OCEAN'S 11), described this film as "a combination of 2001 and LAST TANGO IN PARIS." The movie's executive producer is the king of the world himself, James Cameron. 
    TREASURE PLANET is Disney's combination of traditional animation with CGI characters and backgrounds. This is the tale of a young boy, Jim Hawkins, who is caught up in the search for the buried space treasure of Captain Flint. He and some adults chart a ship to search for the treasure, but on the ship of Long John Silver, one of Flint's pirates . . . and he wants the treasure too. Vocal talent includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jim Hawkins), Brian Murray (Long John Silver), David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Emma Thompson among others. None of them will have to sing a note. Continuing Disney's move away from animated musicals, the characters in this movie won't be singing. However, there will be music, including a song by John Rzeznik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls. The directors are Ron Clements and John Musker (codirectors of ALADDIN, HERCULES, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE). The screenwriters Sam Levine and Alex Mann (very loosely basing their story on the novel, Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which Disney previously adapted in a 1950 live-action film). 
    This film will have the distinction of being the first to open in wide release, and in IMAX theaters on the same date. Disney is hoping to capitalize on the film's "big' sci-fi scope.

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66.UNIVERSAL PUTS NEW PRODUCT ONLINE 
    Universal plans to put THE SCORPION KING, BIG FAT LIAR, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF and other first-run features on the Internet next month to begin a four-month test of a video-on-demand service, employing the CinemaNow service. Holly Leff-Pressman of Universal TV Distribution said, "Working with CinemaNow allows us to explore the demand for both the downloading and streaming of our content to an established audience while testing the quality and security of the environment."
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67.EPISODE II DVD IS SET TO COME OUT 
    STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES will come out in a special-edition DVD and VHS video on Nov. 12. The DVD will be available for a suggested price of $29.98. The VHS version will be $24.98. Lucasfilm is describing it as "The first major motion picture captured and created directly from the digital source." The movie was shot with digital cameras. 
    The DVD will be available in both full-screen and widescreen versions, with more than six hours of additional materials. The DVD version, Lucasfilm promised, will offer "spectacular digital clarity." Released on two discs, the DVD package will also include eight deleted scenes, three "making-of" documentaries, three "featurettes," dealing with the development of the film's script, and audio commentaries by George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum and others. By placing the DVD in a personal computer, viewers will also be able to access additional material via the Internet. 
    The DVD will also feature eight deleted scenes, complete with new visual effects; three featurettes; a 12-part Web documentary series; theatrical trailers and 12 TV spots; the Fox TV special R2-D2: Beneath the Dome; a visual-effects breakdown montage; a production photo gallery; and the Across the Stars music video, featuring John Williams.
68.DVD ENHANCES FELLOWSHIP 
    The special extended version DVD of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING features a completely new edit of the movie that now clocks in at more than three and a half hours. Peter Jackson significantly altered the theatrical-release version of the movie, which itself ran nearly three hours in length, extending most of the film's scenes and adding important new scenes, new visual effects and a new soundtrack with nearly 50 minutes of new score music by Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore. All told, Jackson inserted about 30 minutes of new footage into the movie. 
    The new version of the movie occupies two discs of the upcoming four-disc special-edition DVD, which will be available Nov. 12 with a suggested retail price of $39.99. A limited collector's edition of the special version will also come out with a price of $79.92. 
    Among the added scenes: 

The film opens with a new sequence of Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) writing a journal entry entitled "Concerning Hobbits" and features extended scenes of life in Hobbiton. 
Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) witness the exodus of the elves from Middle-earth to the Grey Havens. 
Aragorn talks more with Boromir (Sean Bean) about the fate of men. 
Gandalf (Ian McKellen) intones the Black Speech inscription from the One Ring during an extended Council of Elrond scene. 
Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) bestows gifts upon the Fellowship before they depart Rivendell (and the new version restores Gimli's [John Rhys-Davies] crush on Galadriel). 
Extended scenes of the Fellowship with the elves in Lothlorien. 
    In addition to deepening the story and offering more insight into the characters, the restored footage also sets the viewer up for events to come in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS. That chapter of the saga premieres in theaters on Dec. 18.

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69.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
    Jonathan Harris, the dastardly, villainous, yet endearing Dr. Zachary Smith, who sabotaged the spaceship Jupiter II in 1965, causing the hapless Robinson family and inadvertently himself to be forever LOST IN SPACE on prime-time television, has died. 
    Harris' plummy villain did not appear in the series pilot, which was not telecast. But when CBS decided that the show needed a bad guy, Allen considered such actors as Carroll O'Connor and Eddie Albert before settling on Harris. Harris had worked with the star, Guy Williams, in ZORRO. 
    It didn't take Harris long to steal the show from the rest of the cast. "I realized that the original concept of Smith was a deep-dyed, snarling villain, and he bored me to death," Harris said in 1998, explaining how he developed the character. "There's no longevity in a part like that. They'd have to kill me off in five episodes, and I'd be out of a job, unemployed again, right? So I began to sneak in the things for which I am - at the risk of seeming immodest - justly famous. Comedic villainy." 
    Pompous and verbose, Harris' Smith became well-known for certain catch-phrases. He had his own names for Robot, such as "you bumbling bag of bolts" or "you primitive pile of pistons." In addition to his insulting references to Robot and his deadpan "Oh, the pain, the pain," there were "you bubble-headed booby," "you Neanderthal ninnies" and the oft-quoted "Never fear, Smith is here." 
    The curmudgeon, whose doctorate supposedly was in "intergalactic environmental psychology," was always trying to make deals with extra-terrestrial life forms to return him (but not the Robinsons or Robot or their pilot) to Earth. He would sell parts of Robot or, when threatened, shove the littlest Robinson forward and say "Take the boy! Take the boy!" What made Smith as likable as he was inept, however, was that he would redeem himself by recovering the piece of metal or the boy. 
    Creating the character that made him an international caricature, Harris said, was "the most fun in the whole world. I loved creating that dreadful, wonderful man." Nevertheless, Harris always considered his favorite television role that of Bradford Webster, assistant to Michael Rennie's Harry Lime in the television version of THE THIRD MAN, which ran in syndication from 1959 to 1962. 
    Harris had a resume' that extended beyond LOST IN SPACE. He appeared in dramatic classic television series like STUDIO ONE and GENERAL ELECTRIC THEATER. He worked frequently in such popular series as THE TWILIGHT ZONE, OUTLAWS and BEWITCHED. 
    In his post-LOST IN SPACE he switched to voice-overs for commercials and children's animated series, such as FREAKAZOID. He was the voice of Manny the Preying Mantis in A BUG'S LIFE and the voice of The Fixer in TOY STORY II. 
    Harris died of a blood clot that reached his heart after he was hospitalized for an unrelated illness. He was 87. He's survived by his wife of 64 years, Gertrude; his son, Richard; two sisters, Rosalie and Allene, and two granddaughters. 

    Ever hear of Larry Dobkin? No? Perhaps you've seen his work. Ever see a movie called THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL? He played one of the physicians at Walter Reed Hospital trying to care for Klaatu. How about THEM!? He was cast as a Los Angeles city engineer. 
    Larry Dobkin was an itinerant actor, wandering from movie to movie, series to series, always leaving the production a little richer than when he found it. He appeared in more than 65 feature films and countless TV shows. 
    His movies included THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, JULIUS CAESAR, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, THE DEFIANT ONES, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, PATTON and ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD. He appeared in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, YOU ARE THERE, PLAYHOUSE 90 and THE COLGATE COMEDY HOUR. 
    He was a famous utility player on I LOVE LUCY. He was the restaurant counterman who caught Lucy with her hand in the till, as Xavier the waiter he forced Lucy and Ethel to wash dishes, as a Parisian tout his phony francs landed Lucy in jail. 
    STAR TREK fans might know him as either a director or actor. He directed the episode "Charlie X" on the original seires. He was Klingon Ambassador Kell in the presence of a brainwashed Geordi in the TNG episode, "The Mind's Eye." 
    In an amazing career that lasted seven decades Dobkin has woven a career out of most our pasts. That thread that tied together classic series like GUNSMOKE, THE RIFLEMAN, 77 SUNSET STRIP and THE UNTOUCHABLES with modern hits like NYPD BLUE, JUDGING AMY, THE PROFILER and THE PRACTICE has finally reached its end. Larry Dobkin was 83. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Anne; three daughters, a son, and a grandson. 

    The 3-D film has lost two of its favorite sons. The first of them, Sidney Pink, was a movie producer who pioneered 3-D feature-length movies in the 1950's. 
    Pink's milestone first full-length 3-D movie was the 1952 film, BWANA DEVIL, starring Robert Stack as Bob Hayward, the head engineer bent on killing the lions who've been feasting on the British railway workers in Kenya. The movie boasted garish tag lines like, "A lion in your lap, A lover in your arms!" Despite a healthy box office, according to Pink's widow, Marian, "He wasn't very happy with the results of the film itself, but it was not too bad considering, and the story was good. . . . Lions were jumping into your laps, spears were flying and people were coming toward you in hordes." The success of the film prompted Jack Warner to come out with his own 3-D production at Warner Brothers in 1953, THE HOUSE OF WAX. 
    Robert Stack recalls the shaky start that his 3-D debut had. "Sidney Pink and Arch Oboler and all of us poor innocents were involved in something that we didn't even know worked or not. It was a very expensive process, and it took a lot of guts to even do it." 
    Stack recalled that everyone had their fingers crossed at the first preview. "Over the titles, they had a train that made a long, circling turn and then came directly to the camera," he said. "Well, when it came directly to the camera, people began to scream and jumped out of their seats and ran out of the theater. I remember one of the guys saying, 'Son of a [gun], it really works.' " 
    Pink produced more than 50 films, including the 1959 cult sci-fi movie THE ANGRY RED PLANET. Pink co-wrote and produced the film about the first expedition to Mars. The movie was filmed in what was advertised as a "revolutionary" process called "Cinemagic," a printing-process technique that gave the Mars scenes a pink glow. 
    Working with co-producer Arch Obler, Pink also did FIVE and THE TWONKY. Co-writing with Ib Melchior he produced the 1962 John Agar film, JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET. He later moved to Denmark, where he produced and directed REPTILICUS. 
    He's lived in Madrid, where he produced films throughout the remainder of the '60s in Spain, Italy, Germany and other countries in English and other languages, including THE CASTILIAN, starring Caesar Romero; and one of the earliest spaghetti westerns, FINGER ON THE TRIGGER, starring Rory Calhoun. 
    Sidney Pink died at his home in Pompano Beach, Fla., after a long illness. He was 86. 

    The other great champion of 3-D, director Andre de Toth, passed away. Between 1939 and 1987 De Toth directed 38 films. Most fans remember him for one of them. 
    The native Hungarian was one of the last of the generation of European-trained filmmakers who came to Hollywood during the World War II period and went on to display remarkable aptitude and versatility with American subjects and genres. He was known for his tough, hard-edged films, whether westerns or urban crime dramas, and showed no compunction about depicting violence in as realistic a manner as possible, an unusual and somewhat controversial attitude for the time. 
    De Toth directed such films noir as 1948's PITFALL, which he co-wrote, starring Dick Powell, Jane Wyatt, Lizabeth Scott and Raymond Burr, and CRIME WAVE with Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson and Phyllis Kirk. He also created memorable Westerns, including RAMROD starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, SPRINGFIELD RIFLE with Gary Cooper, THE INDIAN FIGHTER with Kirk Douglas, and half a dozen films with Randolph Scott: MAN IN THE SADDLE, CARSON CITY, THE STRANGER WORE A GUN, THUNDER OVER THE PLAINS, RIDING SHOTGUN and THE BOUNTY HUNTER. 
    One 1953 film crowds out much of his resume. He directed Vincent Price in THE HOUSE OF WAX. Perhaps what makes the film so remarkable is DeToth's approach to a new gimmick. Unlike other directors playing with a new trick, De Toth stressed character and plot over the special effects. "Till now," De Toth said in an interview while making the film, "we have had only mental and emotional contact with you, the audience. Now we have physical contact. Not only can we reach out and touch you, but we will be able to reach your nerve centers through your eyes - give your stomach butterflies, make you recoil, set your ticker pumping!" 
    De Toth remained enthusiastic about 3-D long after its demise, and was delighted when modern Imax techniques began re-creating the effects. His own accomplishment was considered all the more remarkable because he had lost an eye in his youth, destroying his depth perception and therefore his ability to see the girl from his film catapult into viewers' laps after her trapeze broke. 
    Quentin Tarantino has praised him as a major influence. Martin Scorsese called him, "a director's director" and said: "There is tension in De Toth's visual style that seems to reflect a continuous struggle between people and their surroundings. Be it in his film noir or his Westerns, De Toth's characters always move in a treacherous world where deception and cynicism are aimed at one goal: survival." 
    For those who knew him, De Toth never seemed to grow old. He was still considered an enfant terrible in his 80s. He was forever championing films that offered frank depictions of violence and human emotions. "Life is violent," he said last year. "To depict it truthfully can show us what not to do. Make us look at our ugly faces in the mirror." 
    De Toth has long been known as the most flamboyant figure in a town known for its excesses. He's put his own life in danger frequently - flying planes, racing cars and frequenting war zones. Scouting for locations in Egypt shortly after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he related, he was mistaken for Moshe Dayan and kidnapped, pistol-whipped and questioned by vengeful youths. He recounted other scrapes, including blundering into a student demonstration in his teens in Budapest, where he said he was shot and woke up in the morgue; getting trapped with producer Alexander Korda in a cage with a tiger named Rajah; and flying his own plane to an emergency landing in a snowstorm with the radio on fire. 
    By De Toth's death at 89 he was married seven times, including to Veronica Lake, and left 19 children, including some stepchildren he adopted. He is survived by his wife, Ann Green, and several of his children. 

    Nathan Juran was both an accomplished art director and prolific director. We in the ICS will remember him best in the latter role. 
    He won an Academy Award for his work as an art director in the 1941 John Ford film, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. 
He continued his work in that field through more high profile productions like THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946), BODY AND SOUL (1947) and the wonderfully titled KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS (1948). 
    Turning to directing in 1952, Juran launched into the work for which he is best remembered - his fantasy and science fiction films. His first film was the moody period piece, THE BLACK CASTLE, starring Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, jr. He directed THE DEADLY MANTIS and THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (both in 1957) and the following year directed ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN. 
    He collaborated with Ray Harryhausen on three films - 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957), THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) and FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1964). Rick Mitchell, a film historian and film editor who knew the director, said Juran, a trained architect, had an unusually strong visual sense that complemented that of Harryhausen. "Nathan had a stronger visual background than a lot of directors, and you can see that even in his non-Harryhausen films," Mitchell said. 
    Unlike many directors in the '50s, Mitchell said, Juran didn't look down on the science fiction and fantasy film genre. And although Juran was primarily a director of B movies, Mitchell said, "He was able to pull off good stuff with no money and no 
time." 
    Juran's work as a director influenced a number of younger filmmakers, including directors John Landis and Joe Dante. "He was much more influential than he knew," Landis said, recalling his own decision to become a movie director after seeing THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD when he was 8. Landis said Juran was remarkable not only for his collaborations with Harryhausen, "all of which are really quality pictures," but for his own work. "He was the consummate, no-nonsense craftsman," Landis said. "What I admire most about him is his complete lack of pretension. He approached it as a job of work." 
    As Juran said in a rare interview for Starlog in 1989, "I approached the picture business as a business. I always did pictures for the money, and for the creative challenges. I wasn't a born director. I was just a technician who could transfer the script from the page to the stage and could get it shot on schedule and on budget. I never became caught up in the 'romance' of the movies." 
    He started his life as the son of a shoemaker in an Austrian mountain village in 1907. He concluded it last month at his home in California. He was 95. 

    Peggy Moran, pre-dates the notion of "Scream Queen." She was once dubbed one of Hollywood's top "shrieking violets" for her work in the much-loved cult horror films of the early 1940s. 
    You can hear her screaming in THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940), HORROR ISLAND (1941) and (through the use of flashback footage from THE MUMMY'S HAND) THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942). 
    In a brief stretch, from 1938 to 1942, she was in 36 films. Her meteoric career ended abruptly in 1942 with a marriage proposal and a somewhat deceptive promise from Harry Koster, director of such classics as HARVEY and THE BISHOP'S WIFE. "He asked me to give up my career," she said, "but he promised he'd put me in every movie he made from then on." 
    He did - sort of. Koster had a bust made of Moran's head, and the bust appeared in all of his films made after their marriage. "It didn't matter," she said. "I had such a wonderful life with him, and I was always on the set. In Hollywood, we were known as the closest couple there was." 
    Thanks to cable television's fond replaying of THE MUMMY'S HAND, featuring Moran as Marta Solvani, who shrieks fetchingly when a mummy invades her tent during an Egyptian expedition, the actress' fame was rekindled. It made her a latter-day object of fans' adulation. She was flown to conventions all over the country. She was invited last year to Universal's premier of THE MUMMY RETURNS starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. 
    Moran was 84.

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NOVEMBER CALENDAR
FRI. 1: TV - MOVIE:  I SPY premieres 

SUN. 3: TV - THE SIMPSONS season premiere 

WED. 6: MOVIE: FEMME FATALE premieres 

FRI 8 - SUN 10 -EVENT- ECLECTICON takes place in Newark, NJ. 

SUN. 10: TV - FUTURAMA season premiere 
            TV - THE GROOVENIANS airs on The Cartoon Network 

FRI. 15: MOVIE - HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF 
        SECRETS and HALF PAST DEAD  premiere 

FRI 22: MOVIE - DIE ANOTHER DAY premieres. 

SAT 23: ICS MEETING

WED. 27: SOLARIS and TREASURE PLANET premeire.