#47-December 2002
CLUB NEWS
1.OUR NOVEMBER MEETING HAD SOME REAL BYTE!
2.THE DECEMBER MEETING:THE BASICS
3.THE DECEMBER MEETING: JOHN CARPENTER
4.THE DECEMBER MEETING: YANKEE SWAP TIME
5.ICS MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATES
6.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER: MR. JOE AUSLANDER
7.GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, FOR A WHILE
8.COMING UP FOR THE ICS
9.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY
10.CALENDAR REMINDER
11.WE'RE INVITED TO THE BSFS ANNIVERSARY PARTY
12.MEET TROY MURDOCH, AMATEUR ARCHEOLOGIST
13.OUR SPY FIELD TRIP IS SCHEDULED FOR 3/15
TV NEWS
14.THE GLASS TEAT
With news on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS, DEPRIVERS, JOHN DOE, FEARLESS, and LOST IN SPACE.
15.ALIEN LEGION INVADES FROM CANADA
16.ANGEL MAKES A MOVE, AGAIN
17.BIRDS OF PREY: ENDANGERED SPECIES
18.ANTHONY STEWART HEAD FORESEES THE END OF BUFFY
19.THE STUDIOS CONTEMPLATE BUFFY'S FATE
20.WHAT MAKES BUFFY DIFFERENT: ACADEMIA SPEAKS
21.THE GILES SPIN-OFF IS STILL IN THE WORKS
22.McMAHON LEAVES CHARMED
23.UPN: DANGER IS THEIR BUSINESS
24."I AM FARSACPE"
25.THE WB IS FEARLESS
26.FIREFLY REMAINS ALOFT, BARELY
27.PENN & TELLER ARE OUT TO BUST CONS
28.SMALLVILLE'S SOUNDTRACK
29.STARGATE'S RETURN OF DANIEL JACKSON
EVENT NEWS
30.THINGS TO COME
With news on PHILCON, EVE CON 20, FARPOINT 2003 and KATSUCON.
LITERARY NEWS
31.HARRY POTTER AND THE RUSSIAN RIP-OFF
32.THE PHOENIX HAS LANDED
33.ON THE ROAD AGAIN
34.THE WORLD FANTASY AWARDS
35.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
36.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS
37.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST
MOVIE NEWS
38.QUICK TAKES
With news on JURASSIC PARK IV, PAC-MAN, X-MEN 2, MEN IN BLACK II and PHONE BOOTH. 
39.THE SEARCH FOR DUMBLEDORE
40.HALLE BARRY'S HIGH JINX
41.MAJOR LEAGUE NASTY
42.THE CROWD CHEERS FOR THE TWO TOWERS
43.WELCOME TO HOBBITON: TOUR OF THE RING
44.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE REDUX
45.PETER PAN BY THE BOOK
46.RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA INCHES TOWARDS PRODUCTION
47.ROBOTS ARE ON THEIR WAY IN 2004
48.SCARY MOVIE 3 SEES SOME MAJOR CHANGES
49.LEE V. MARVEL
50.IS NEMESIS TREK'S LAST ROUND-UP?
51.FILM'S IN TROUBLE? THIS IS A JOB FOR SUPER-CONSULTANTS
52.HALLE BERRY COMPLAINS OF BEING A LOW-PRESSURE FRONT IN X2
53.TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE DARK
54.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
With news on the premiere of EQUILIBRIUM, STAR TREK: NEMESIS, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS, GANGS OF NEW YORK  and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.
INTERNET NEWS
55.WRITE OF THE LIVING DEAD: YET ANOTHER FINAL DOUGLAS ADAMS WORK
56.MOVIELINK.COM OFFERS FIVE MAJOR STUDIOS AT ONE SITE
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
57.THE HOTTEST GIFT THIS YEAR? DVD BURNERS
VIDEO NEWS
58.BACK TO THE FUTURE BACK TO STORE SHELVES
59.A LARGE MINORITY
60.BATMAN: THE MYSTERY OF BATWOMAN
61.CALLING ALL ZONE-HEADS
62.2002 WAS THE YEAR OF DVD AND THE YEAR OF THE HI-DEF MUDDLE
63.DVD HELPS FILL THE GAP LEFT BY THE DEATH OF SYNDICATION
64.BAD NEWS FOR BLOCKBUSTER: THEY'RE THE KING OF RENTALS
65.BLOCKBUSTER SHIFTS FROM RENTALS TO SALES
66.THE DOGFIGHT FOR RENTAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
FAREWELLS
67.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
We remember Hilary Bader, Jerry Sohl, Bert Granet and Glenn Quinn.
IN REVIEW
68 DECEMBER CALENDAR
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1.OUR NOVEMBER MEETING HAD SOME REAL BYTE! 
   Charlie Wittig did a spectacular Power Point presentation called "When Computers Attack." He put a tremendous amount of work into this well thought out and well executed talk. Thanks Charlie. 
    The movie we watched was COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT. We capped it all off with a lively business meeting and (for some of us) a trip to the diner. It was excellent! 
2.THE DECEMBER MEETING:THE BASICS 
    Our December meeting will be held on Saturday December 28 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.
3.THE DECEMBER MEETING: JOHN CARPENTER 
    Special thanks go to Mr. Mike Schilling, not only for what he's doing for the club but for what he's not doing. Mike has an excellent assortment of John Carpenter films (see below). He didn't realize that, due to the Yankee Swap, his planned presentation on the films of John Carpenter would make for a long evening. Mike has generously agreed to forego his presentation so that we can get our meeting in without wearing everyone out. 
    Below you'll see the John Carpenter films that Mike's selected. 

DARK STAR (1974) 
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13(1976) 
HALLOWEEN (1978) 
THE FOG (1980) 
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK(1981) 
JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING(1982) 
CHRISTINE (1983) 
STAR MAN (1984) 
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA(1986) 
MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN(1992) 
BODY BAGS (1993) 
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS(1995)
4.THE DECEMBER MEETING: YANKEE SWAP TIME 
    We have a holiday game of voluntary gift giving and detachment. It's our annual Yankee Swap. It's a lot of fun. THIS IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY. NO ONE IS COMPELLED TO PARTICIPATE. 
    For those of you who want to get involved, buy a Christmas gift, valued at around $20, that would be of genuine interest to someone in the club. Please make sure that it's a movie-related gift. Wrap it well. Participating members will draw numbers. Starting with the lowest number, members have the option of going to the gift pile and getting a gift or stealing someone else's gift. If your gift is taken you then have the same option of stealing or getting a new gift. After a gift has been stolen twice it's off the table and becomes the property of the last recipient. It's an interesting lesson in detachment.
5.ICS MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATES 
    Please remember the ICS Gift Membership Certificates. They make a fine gift for the Yankee Swap. They're also great as a gift to people that you know just HAVE to belong to the ICS. 
    They're good for a full year, ending on December 31, 2003. They'll be available until January. See Regina at a meeting, e-mail her at Rvaller107@hotmail.com, or call her at (410) 366-7093. She'll get you all set up.
6.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER: MR. JOE AUSLANDER 
    Special greetings to our newest member, Mr. Joe Auslander of Reisterstown, Md. Many of us remember Joe from the old Horror and Fantasy Film Society. Joe hasn't actually been to a meeting yet. He's the first recipient of a special gift membership via our new membership gift certificates. Welcome to the ICS, my friend!
7.GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, FOR A WHILE 
    We have a surplus of chips in the club's possession. Chips will not last forever. We're going to use up the existing stock before we go for more. When you're coming to a meeting, and you're going to bring a snack (and we do encourage you to bring a snack!) think about something non-chip related. Fruit, cookies, more beverages, baked goods, chicken, chinese food - anything but chips. 
    Since we're heading into our holiday meeting perhaps some Christmas cookies, some candy canes, some egg nog - as long as your family doesn't give each other bags of Utz and Doritos for Christmas.
8.COMING UP FOR THE ICS 
    On January 25 Mitch Kline will be offering part 2 of his presentation on CGI. His movie theme 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 (see below for Troy Murdoch). That evening's films will be presented by John Ward. John's movie theme will be "The Films of Ray Harryhausen." On March 29 Suzanne Cooper will be showing movies themed around, "Gems That You May Have Missed." We'll be playing another round of ICS Academic that evening.
9.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY 
    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.
10.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.
11.WE'RE INVITED TO THE BSFS ANNIVERSARY PARTY 
    The Baltimore Science Fiction Society is holding their 40th anniversary party on Saturday, January 11. They've been gracious enough to invite the entire Imaginative Cinema Society. 
    The party will be at their club house located at 3310 E. Baltimore St. It starts at 6:00. Cake, ice cream and good company will be provided. 
    They're asking us to RSVP. Either let me know at the next meeting or (if you can't make it to the meeting) e-mail or phone me if you'd like to go. It would be nice to have a decent showing from our club.
12.MEET TROY MURDOCH, AMATEUR ARCHEOLOGIST 
    Our meeting on February 22, 2003 will take place on February 22, 1933, or thereabouts. We're having a literary night. Many of us will be bringing stories about Troy Murdoch, amateur archeologist. Below you'll find out all you'll need to know about the amazing Mr. Murdoch, his companions and his enemies. 
    Troy is made to be a serial, or dime novel, kind of hero. As a result we're not looking for a lot of character depth. We're also  not looking for a lot of words. A page, maybe a page and a half, no more than two pages tops. Think of this as a serial chapter and free yourself of the responsibility of getting Troy and his pals completely into, and out of a scrape. 
    This should be fun. 
   TROY MURDOCH: He's an amateur archeologist. He's half Italian and half Irish. He's brunette with green eyes. He's a-political. He has a pet ferret named Fritz. He's a master of the machete and never goes traveling without his trusty boleadoras wrapped around his waist as a belt. He's originally from West Virginia. He's undergoing intense physical and mental therapy. He has a phobia concerning loud voices. 
    LILLY WHITE is Troy's girlfriend. We don't know anything about her other than that she's a dancer. She could be a burlesque stripper, a dime-a-dance taxi dancer, a ballerina, a nightclub performer, a chorus girl on Broadway or a movie star. She might be dancing at dingy dives on The Block (Baltimore's adult entertainment zone), the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, at some dangerous little night club in Calcutta or giving command performances for the rising new chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler. 
    SPARKY O'TOOLE is Troy's trusty companion. He's an old school chum. He made the boleadoras that Troy always keeps with him. He's missing a finger on his right hand. He has an extensive collection of naughty French postcards. 
    DR. VINNIE BOOMBATZ is Troy and Sparky's scientist companion. He's good at all sorts of science - chemistry, botany, pharmacology, all branches of physics, astronomy, pharmacology - he's a regular renaissance kind of guy - and an inventor too! When he's not tinkering around the lab he loves to play the saxophone. Unfortunately he's tone deaf. His best friend is Dr. Smitty McDoogleberg. 
    PROFESSOR RICO is Troy's dreaded arch-nemesis. He aspires to rule the world. He has a ferret phobia. He hates tall people, dancers, boleadoras, saxophones and anyone who gets in his way. 
    DIEGO is the Professor's chief henchman. He wears an eye patch, has a baseball bat where his right hand should be and has a serious allergy to chocolate. 
    The year 1933 is the setting. In 1933 the Great Depression was at its absolute worse. Hoover left office after one tumultuous term, turning the White House over to the new president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The New Deal began. Prohibition came to an end. J. Edgar Hoover was beginning to get national attention with his war on gangsters. It's the era of Capone, Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. The Nazis came to power that year. The Luftwaffe was formed. The movie KING KONG wowed audiences. It opened in New York on March 1, the rest of the country on April 7. Silent stars were fading away as the talking picture era was taking over.
13.OUR SPY FIELD TRIP IS SCHEDULED FOR 3/15 
    Our field trip to the International Spy Museum in Washington is scheduled for Saturday, March 15. We'll work out the details as the time draws closer. Stay tuned. 

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14.THE GLASS TEAT
BUFFY migration? If BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER wraps after the current seventh season, some of its characters may migrate to The ANGEL according to Joss Whedon. "Until I know what's happening with BUFFY and ANGEL, I don't know who will go where." . . . STAR WARS: CLONE WARS. The CARTOON Network and LUCASFILM are working together on a STAR WARS: CLONE WARS animated series. Genndy Tartakovsky (SAMURAI JACK) is producing the show, which will be formatted as a series of serialized shorts that will air between other shows. . . . TBS ponders DEPRIVERS. TBS is developing the sci-fi thriller DEPRIVERS as a potential two-hour pilot. Andy Wolk will direct and co-adapt the DEPRIVERS script with author Steven Altman. Mandalay Pictures and Sony Pictures Television are producing the pilot. DEPRIVERS, which will be published in the spring by Putnam, is set in the near future and details an epidemic known as Deprivers Syndrome. . . . DOE is dear (to Fox). The Fox network gave a full-season pickup for JOHN DOE, ordering up nine more original episodes for the year. JOHN DOE stars Dominic Purcell as a man who knows everything except his own identity. You might want to check it ut. It's pretty good. . . . The WB is FEARLESS. The WB is developing FEARLESS, an hourlong superhero drama about a girl born without the gene for fear. Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI) is executive producing. The show is based on Francine Pascal's series of young adult novels and revolves around Gaia Moore, whose mom was murdered and whose anti-terrorist operative dad is in hiding. The WB has become the home for superhero series, including SMALLVILLE, BIRDS OF PREY and ANGEL. . . . Jeffrey Bell earns his wings on ANGEL. Jeffrey Bell, who has been running ANGEL since the departure of co-creator David Greenwalt, was formally promoted to co-executive producer. Bell had previously been supervising producer. He replaced David Simkins, who exited ANGEL in August after a brief tenure as executive producer. Bell joined the ANGEL writing staff last year, after a three-season run as a writer and producer on THE X-FILES. . . . LOST IN SPACE lost on NBC. NBC has dropped plans for a new TV movie based on LOST IN SPACE.
15.ALIEN LEGION INVADES FROM CANADA 
    Mainframe Entertainment announced that it is developing the comic series ALIEN LEGION for television. Vancouver-based Mainframe will develop and produce the computer-animated series, based on the comic created by Carl Potts, Alan Zelenetz and Frank Cirocco. 
    ALIEN LEGION focuses on a band of interstellar fighters called Force Nomad, culled from the dregs of three galaxies and hardened by intergalactic battles into a seemingly  unstoppable fighting corps. The TV series will place ALIEN LEGION characters in new adventures. 
    Checker Book Publishing Group released the first of a series of large high-format ALIEN LEGION trade paperbacks, Force Nomad, in December 2001. The second Checker volume, Piecemaker, debuts this month.
16.ANGEL MAKES A MOVE, AGAIN 
    If you've been a loyal fan of BIRDS OF PREY on Wednesday nights at 9 you're in luck, sort of (see below). You've got another show airing, same channel and timeslot, in its place. This show is also about a champion who takes on formidable villains. The show is ANGEL. 
    Yes, ANGEL is once again on the move. And if, like most Americans, you're a loyal fan of something else on Wednesday nights at 9 AND (like a tiny band or of Americans) you also like ANGEL, you'd better either flip a coin or go buy a new VCR. 
    I'm a WEST WING kind of guy myself. I've been secretly glowing because I know that, in 2003, Bravo will start re-airing newly run episodes of WEST WING (the insider term of this is "re-purposing). I've just discovered that that WEST WING re-purposing will begin sometime in the fall of 2003. 
    If only they'd make a show about a vampire with a soul as our chief executive. If they can successfully pitch MY MOTHER THE CAR, my President Dracula idea should be easy. 
17.BIRDS OF PREY: ENDANGERED SPECIES 
    The WB has canceled BIRDS OF PREY, committing to airing only its initial 13 episodes. The series has seen its audience drop by nearly half from its blockbuster premiere. 
   The show became a casualty in the battle for young viewers at 9 PM Wednesdays. Several networks decided to counterprogram against NBC's perennial time-slot winner THE WEST WING this season, resulting in a glut of shows aimed at young adults. THE BACHELOR has by far been the most successful of those shows, giving ABC an overall boost and even occasionally beating THE WEST WING in total viewers. That's left FOX's FASTLANE, CBS' AMAZING RACE, UPN's THE TWILIGHT ZONE and BIRDS OF PREY to fight for the remaining audience. 
    After drawing 7.5 million viewers for its premiere, BIRDS has declined significantly in the ratings since then. It's averaging about 5 million a week for the season but that number's been declining rapidly. 
    According to WB Entertainment president Jordan Levin the problem, was that the series failed to find a "strong writing showrunner" who worked well with creator Laeta Kalogridis, a feature-film writer (TOMB RAIDER) making her first foray into television. "We think we can attribute the erosion of BIRDS OF PREY quite frankly, to a failure of execution," he says. "We think we had a very strong concept and just failed to execute it, and audiences abandoned the show as a result." 
    Those of you who are worried that the show will end with many loose ends, worry no more: BIRDS OF PREY is set to end with a 2-part finale which will wrap up many storylines and change the lives of the BIRDS forever. At the current time, it is very likely that the 2-part finale will air as a special 2-hour movie.
18.ANTHONY STEWART HEAD FORESEES THE END OF BUFFY 
    Anthony Stewart Head says that he believes BUFFY will end at the end of the current seventh season. "It's not winding down. It's coming to an end," Head said. "It's gone its full [course]. Joss Whedon brought it really neatly back into a full cycle. It's come back to the high school. And in terms of telling Buffy's story, in terms of saying how she has learned to deal with her gifts, if you like, and how it's affected her life and also the lives of all around her, it's reached the end of the story. It's not a surprise to anybody who's working on the show that it feels absolutely right." 
    Speculation has been running high that the series will end this year, especially since it's thought that Sarah Michelle Gellar might not come back after her contract ends at the end of the current season. Publicly, Whedon and UPN have said that a decision about an eighth season remains up in the air, with or without Gellar. For her part, Gellar has said it's too early to say whether she'll be back. 
    But as far as Head is concerned, the creators of the show are ready to wind things up, and he doesn't think the show could continue without Gellar. "We've all talked about it," he said. "Who knows? In the world of TV land and network studios, nothing that the creative team wants always necessarily happens. Somebody may slap a wad of cash on the table and say, 'It must not end.' But at the same time, you know, as far as the creative team is concerned, this was the way it's always been perceived. It's good to get out on a high. It's not something you want to drag on. Now, at the same time, there are many plans afoot for how [a] franchise can be developed and be extended. So ... it may be the end of Buffy's story, for the moment. Now who knows? Somewhere down the line, we may pick up Buffy's story in another space or another form. I don't know. I would love that [Whedon] gets to make the movie that he always wants to make. That depends on a number of factors. I don't know." 
    Head is back in Los Angeles to shoot several episodes in which his character returns to Sunnydale. It's unclear how many more episodes Head will do, though he's believed to have committed to at least 10 this season. "We're in debate at the moment ... because I've got to go back to England," he said. "And we're just looking at whether they need me to come back before Christmas or not. People keep asking me how long I'm here for, and I keep saying, 'I haven't the vaguest idea.' And it's true. ... Sometimes it's useful for me to withdraw and not be here to help out. And sometimes it's useful for me to help out. I do know that my first big scene back, I had all the exposition. Give the English guy the big words."
19.THE STUDIOS CONTEMPLATE BUFFY'S FATE 
    Fans of BUFFY are looking at a grim future for their favorite show. UPN's deal with 20th Century Fox TV for rights to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ends this season. Sarah Michelle Gellar's contract is up. As you can see from the above article, speculation is running wild about the show's demise. There's also the little matter of the pending apocalypse on the series. 
    All that doesn't necessarily mean, however, that fans have seen the last of Sunnydale, regardless of what devours from beneath later in the season. 
    UPN is talking with 20th Century Fox and Joss Whedon about several possible futures for the series. The interested parties met recently and plan to again soon, according to Dawn Ostroff, UPN's entertainment president. "We started talking about all different possibilities: [Gellar] coming back - which we'd obviously be thrilled if she wanted to come back - we talked about spinoff opportunities, we've talked about a lot of different configurations," Ostroff said. 
    The show's ratings are off somewhat compared to this time last year, but it's still one of UPN's most-watched series and does reasonably well among the 18- to 34-year-old viewers UPN targets. Ostroff stresses that the discussions are still in their early stages, and nothing close to a final word on BUFFY is coming. 
    "Obviously a decision doesn't have to be made until May," she says. "We still have a ways to go." 
20.WHAT MAKES BUFFY DIFFERENT: ACADEMIA SPEAKS 
    Studio bosses just haven't figured out what makes BUFFY unlike other TV shows. They throw us stuff like ROSWELL and HAUNTED in a vein attempt to satisfy what they mistakenly believe to be a thirst for "kid's sci-fi" or "spooky stuff." They haven't realized that the difference is the writing and the complex text of the show. 
    Scholars don't typically come together to discuss most UPN shows. Then again, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 
 isn't a typical TV show. 
    About 160 people gathered in October at the University of East Anglia in England to attend "Blood, Text and Fears," what was billed as the first-ever academic conference devoted to BUFFY. Sixty of those people presented papers about the show, with titles like "Yeats's Entropic Gyre and Season Six of BtVS." 
    The conference is part of a burgeoning field of BUFFY studies. At least two collections of critical essays have been published. The editors of one of the books, David Lavery and Rhonda Wilcox, maintain a web site, www.slayage.tv, devoted to analysis of the show. 
    Dr. Carol O'Sullivan, an organizer of "Blood, Text and Fears," said that the show is a "tremendously rich text" to study. "It's now built up as a body of work substantial enough, and well thought out enough, that it sort of lays itself open and invites interpretation," says O'Sullivan, associate director of the British Center for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. 
    Americans presenting papers at the conference were encouraged not to reveal any plot points from the current season, which hasn't premiered yet in the United Kingdom. Screenings of the season's first three episodes quickly filled up. 
    Lavery and Wilcox say they're considering organizing a BUFFY conference in North America for 2004. Who knows? Maybe they'll hold it in Sunnydale!
21.THE GILES SPIN-OFF IS STILL IN THE WORKS 
    Anthony Stewart Head said that plans are still in the works for a British spinoff series based on his character, despite reports that the show was on hold. "I had lunch with Jane Root, who's head of BBC 2, shortly before I came out [to Los Angeles], and we talked briefly about it," Head said in an interview. "Jane still wants to do it. And still thinks we will do it. But everybody knows, basically, that Joss [Whedon] is absolutely strapped at the moment. I mean, bless his heart. Ultimately, there isn't really time for him to start running another show. I'm seeing if I can put together a group of people in England for him. But the problem with Joss is that . . . he has to be involved. I mean, that's the nature of the beast. And you can feel it when he's not involved. And so therefore, the more stuff he's working with and on, the more he's involved. And . . . I think it's just a matter of, the timing will be right. If and when it happens. You know. I'm not going to say, 'It's going to happen next year.' Who knows? It may be three years down the line. The bottom line is, the story is still a good idea. The theory is still a good idea. So if and when it happens, I think ... it needs to have time and care spent on it. They've already written some scripts. [Buffy producer] Jane [Espenson] and he have already got some . . . about three or four of the storylines." 
    Head said the proposed BBC 2 series will be called either RIPPER or THE WATCHER and will explore Giles' background and darker side. "That's why [Whedon] wants to call it RIPPER. Because Ripper is the darker side of Rupert. But in Joss' words, it's more about . . . inner demons than . . . the guys with prosthetics on their heads. It's about people coming to terms with their past and with themselves. His concept I've said it before, but it kind of puts it neatly in the box, which is it's CRACKER, with ghosts." 
22.McMAHON LEAVES CHARMED 
    Julian McMahon, who has played Phoebe's husband, Cole, CHARMED, is leaving the series. "The 100th episode [airing Jan. 19, 2003,] is Julian's last episode," executive producer Brad Kern announced. "It's time to free up Alyssa Milano's [Phoebe] character, and Julian has expressed interest in exploring other creative opportunities. I'll miss him terribly, personally and professionally." 
    "It is bittersweet to celebrate the fact that I'm dying!" McMahon said with a laugh. "But I need to push my boundaries a bit creatively, so I called up Brad and asked if I could get off the show. He's been wonderful in regard to everything with the exit and demise of my character." 
    Despite the defection of a central character Kern is optimistic about the show's future. Kern said that he expects the series will be renewed for a sixth season.
23.UPN: DANGER IS THEIR BUSINESS 
    As BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER edges toward the end of its run, UPN is looking for its next action heroine. It may have found one with DANGER GIRL, an adaptation of the Image Comics title about a network of female spies. 
    UPN and Paramount have struck a deal with producers Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh to develop a drama series based on the DANGER GIRL comic book character created by J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnel. Analisa LaBianco will adapt the comic for the small screen. 
    DANGER GIRL was optioned as a film project by New Line Cinema shortly after its debut in 1998, but that project never got off the ground. The comic was first published by the Cliffhanger imprint of Image Comics. 
    The comics tell the adventures of the members of an underground network of female spies that grew out of the government's success in recruiting women for espionage duty during World War II. The main character masks her true mission in life by working as an "outlaw archaeologist" based out of San Francisco. 
    "These are women dealing with the quarter-life crisis, that moment when you're 25 and think, 'What do I want to do with my life?' " LaBianco said. Her archaeologist job title attempts to put her in a league with Indiana Jones and Lara Croft - both dedicated scientist when they're not battling the bad guys of the world. 
    DANGER GIRL is the second script based on a comic book UPN has ordered in recent weeks. The network is is also developing a series based on Marvel Comics' NIGHT THRASHER.
24.."I AM FARSACPE" 
   Avid fans of the FARSACPE have created a commercial titled "I Am FARSACPE." They say they bought time on cable outlets in 24 cities nationwide to aired it during the week of Nov. 24th. The commercial, which they call "this first ever fan-produced, fan-funded television commercial," is aimed at accelerating a grass-roots movement to save the series. In a message posted on the Save Farscape website , the show's fans acknowledge that in major cities they have only been able to buy time in the middle of the night. "But that's okay, because the goal of this project is to draw mainstream media attention to our cause."
25.THE WB IS FEARLESS 
    Another superhero could be headed to the WB, courtesy of executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The WB's already home to heroic champions with SMALLVILLE, and ANGEL (and, until recently, BIRDS OF PREY). Now they're developing FEARLESS, an hourlong drama project about a girl born without the gene for fear. Evan Charnov and Vincent Ngo are writing the pilot script and will serve as exec producers, along with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman. Jeremy Carver is also attached as a writer. Warner Bros. TV is producing the project in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Prods. 
    The series is based on Francine Pascal's series of young adult novels. FEARLESS revolves around Gaia Moore, whose mom was murdered and whose anti-terrorist operative dad is in hiding. Her genetic mutation and special training make her a superhero of sorts, but she's also just a high school student, a la early BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. 
    Project has a script commitment from the WB. They're targeting the series for next fall.
26.FIREFLY REMAINS ALOFT, BARELY 
    The clock is ticking for the valiant crew of FIREFLY. There's a bad news/ good news outlook for the show. 
    The bad news is very bad for fans of the series. The show's going on hiatus in January. That's usually the "Roach Hotel" for shaky series - they check in but they don't check out. Look for the Fox show, FASTLANE, (currently airing Wednesdays at 9), to take FIREFLY's place in January. 
    The good news is that Fox is giving FIREFLY another chance to attract viewers with its recent order of two more episodes. December will be do-or-die month for the show. The series' two-hour pilot, "Serenity," which hasn't aired yet, will finally get special treatment in a full broadcast on Dec. 20. Joss Whedon commented, "The ratings in December will matter [for FIREFLY's future]. "A lot of that is on Fox's shoulders. They have to bring the people in. Whether or not they stay is our job. That's our hope, that we're building. But we have started out kind of handicapped in not showing the pilot [yet]. That was a creative decision that threw a lot of people off and kind of put it out in the ozone that there was something wrong with the show, and that's never a good way to start. So we have a lot to overcome. But we're definitely in creative sync with [Fox] now, and we're working enormously hard to make the episodes as exciting as humanly possible. And they recognize that the quality of the work is really high, and I can say that without reservation, because the work that we're doing is so hard. The actors are as good a bunch of actors to a man as I've ever worked with. And I've got [executive producer] Tim Minear and [writer] Ben Edlund and . . . some great goddamned minds working on the show. So when I say the quality is high, I'm not just bragging. Well, I'm sort of bragging. More boasting than bragging." 
    We talked about the problems that the series has faced. Early in the show's first year, "we just couldn't have been more boned by baseball and clearly in the death [time] slot and not promoted very heavily and, you know, the show taking time to find itself, as shows do. The only question is whether they're given that time. And now Fox is getting a good response to the episodes we're putting out, and so they're looking to see, well, if they do give us a bit of a push, can we build some and get a base that's big enough for them to justify keeping us around. So . . . we all feel like we're on Serenity. We're looking ahead to that next job. We're still flying. The future's uncertain, but we're still flying."
27.PENN & TELLER ARE OUT TO BUST CONS 
    Comic magicians Penn & Teller have in the past explained how to scam unsuspecting dupes. In their latest project, they'll expose scams perpetrated by other people. 
    The duo will host a series on Showtime beginning early next year, in which they will "leave no stone unturned in their quest to destroy everything the trusting public believes in," the network says. Using their own knowledge of con games, the pair will expose people who run them. 
    Showtime has ordered 13 episodes of the half-hour series. Each show will feature interviews and hidden-camera segments on such topics as TV psychics, alien abductions and other enterprises designed to make a buck on the easily convinced. Comedy bits will break up the investigative parts of the show. 
    Penn & Teller will also turn their focus toward the viewers, pointing out that they may be just as gullible as those who pay to have their fortunes told over the phone. The untitled show is in production, with a premiere date scheduled for January.
28.SMALLVILLE'S SOUNDTRACK 
    The WB's most popular series, SMALLVILLE, will join the growing group of TV shows releasing soundtracks. The soundtrack, features songs that have been used on the series, including some by bands who've appeared on the show. It is scheduled for release in February. 
    In addition to the show's theme song, "Save Me" by Remy Zero, the album will include tracks by Weezer, the Flaming Lips, The Hives, Eva Cassidy and, naturally, "Superman" by Five for Fighting. "Inside Out," a song performed by the band VonRay, will be the first single from the album. The band Steadmanwill also be featured. 
    In recent months, soundtracks for series ranging from SCRUBS and GILMORE GIRLS to CSI have been released, along with one for the musical episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
29.STARGATE'S RETURN OF DANIEL JACKSON 
    Michael Shanks will return as a regular cast member of STARGATE-SG1, again playing the role of Dr. Daniel Jackson, in the show's seventh season. Shanks left the series at the end of season five, and his character gave up human life and ascended to a higher plane of existence. Shanks has made one guest appearance during the sixth season and will also return in the season finale. 
    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 The Sci-Fi Channel on Jan. 10, 2003.
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30.THINGS TO COME
    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.

    FARPOINT 2003 takes place on February 14, 15 & 16, 2003 at the Hunt Valley Inn located at 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD. The special guests include Armin Shimerman (DEEP SPACE NINE's Quark, BUFFY's Principal Snyder); Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint & Michele Scarabelli (all from ALIEN NATION); and Gil Gerard & Erin Gray (both from BUCK ROGERS). Also appearing are The Boogie Knights, TREK's Lolita Fatjo; writers Michael Jan Friedman, David R. George III and Bob Greenberger, scientists Inge Heyer and Marc Okrand; the Prometheus Radio Theatre; Susan Sackett; Howard Weinstein; And The Not Ready for Paramount Players. There'll be a Writers' Workshop led by David R. George III (who co-authored the STAR TREK novel The 34th Rule with Armin Shimerman). Armin has agreed to attend parts of the workshop as well (the final cost of the workshop has yet to be determined, but space will be LIMITED). Friday Evening at Seven, the Farpoint Committee invites you to join our special guests for a dinner of out-of-this-world delicacies (the Chef specializes in Klingon Cuisine!). Vic’s Place! Friday night, join us for Karaoke with the Pack Rats. There'll be a masquerade Saturday night at 8 PM. Ten Forward! immediately follows the masquerade, where fellow fans and an occasional celebrity guest mingle on the dance floor in a casual, night club atmosphere. There'll also be a Farpoint Art Show & Auction, a Charity Auction, the Klingon Jail, and, of course, a large dealers’ room, more panels than you can attend, and lots of fanzines. Price in advance for a full weekend is $45, Saturday only for $30, Sunday only for $25, and a child membership for $15. If you'd like to attend the Friday night banquet it requires a $35 deposit. The writer's workshop is a $45 deposit. For questions you can click the link above, e-mail trekcontact@comcast.net or drop a note to Farpoint Enterprises, Inc./ 6099 Hunt Club Road/ Elkridge, MD 21075. 

    KATSUCON takes place February 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia. This is a major Anime convention. Guests and activities will fit that theme. Registration is $45.00 for the weekend. Pre-registration must be post-marked by December 31st. After that everything's "at-the-door" registration. To pre-register click here. At the door registration is $45.00 for the weekend, $35 for Friday or Saturday only and $15 for Sunday only. For questions or to register send inquiries to Katsucon 9/ P.O. Box 222691/ Chantilly, Va. 22153-2691.

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31.HARRY POTTER AND THE RUSSIAN RIP-OFF 
    Lawyers for J.K. Rowling are threatening to sue a Russian writer, arguing that his book Tanya Grotter and the Magical Double Bass plagiarizes Rowling's work. Her lawyers threatening to sue author Dmitry Yemets and Eksmo, the Russian publisher of Grotter, unless they withdraw the book and promise not to print any more. 
    Grotter is an orphaned 11-year-old girl who rides a magical double bass, wears glasses, has an unusual mark on her face (a mole on her nose), and makes use of magic words to set spells in motion. Yemets, a philologist and specialist in Russian folklore, said that his work was "entirely independent." But he also acknowledged that it was meant in part to parody the Potter series, only with roots in Russian culture and folklore. 
    For its part, Eksmo denied plagiarism charges. "This baseless accusation of plagiarism is no reason for us to carry out their wishes," Eksmo spokesman Alexei Shekhov said. The first Grotter book has sold about 100,000 copies. The second, Tanya Grotter and the Disappearing Floor, hit bookstores last week.
32.THE PHOENIX HAS LANDED 
    J.K. Rowling has uttered the words every fan of her books has been waiting for - the fifth part of the magical saga is finished. The writer has revealed that the new book, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, is longer than the fourth one, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, by one chapter. She says, "At the moment it's 38 chapters. I'm really pleased with it. I'm just going to tweak it a tiny bit more, then the publishers will have it." The eagerly-awaited book will be out in shops within five months. 
    A card from Rowling containing clues about the fifth book is to be auctioned for charity. The card, which contains 93 words taken from Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, will be auctioned at London's Sotheby's and is expected to fetch $9,000. Sotheby's have released a snippet of the card which will go to auction in December. It reads, "Thirty-eight chapters . . . might change . . . longest volume . . . Ron . . . broom . . . sacked . . . house-elf . . . new teacher . . . dies . . . sorry." The money will go to Book Aid International, who provide books for people in developing countries.
33.ON THE ROAD AGAIN 
    Michael O’Sullivan is hitting the road once again. DC Comics announced plans for three new graphic novels featuring the characters from this summer's graphic novel turned hit movie ROAD TO PERDITION. PERDITION creator Max Allan Collins will write the graphic novels and Jose Luis Garcia will draw one of the comics. 
    The three graphic novels are not exactly sequels. Collins said, “These three graphic novels are ‘continuity implants’ - filling in a gap I purposely left in the original book, when I learned that we would not be able to do any follow-ups (the Paradox mystery line was shutting down). The original intention had been not to reach PERDITION's inevitable conclusion until I'd done two more 300-page graphic novels; my intention always was to have the father and son on the road for a long time, in keeping with the LONE WOLF AND CUB homage that was part of the mix. During the writing of the final third of the original graphic novel, I was informed by DC that there would be no additional volumes so I wrapped the story up, leaving myself that window, just in case.” Collins said the new comics will most likely feature an adventure with the father and son on the road and possibly a flashback showing how Michael O’Sullivan got involved with organized crime. 
    Collins is planning direct sequels for PERDITION in a different medium. He is planning two prose novels that will chronicle the life of Michael Jr. The novels will be called Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise.
34.THE WORLD FANTASY AWARDS 
    The World Fantasy Awards were presented Sunday afternoon, November 3, at the conclusion of the World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis Minnesota. What follows is a complete list of the winners 
    NOVEL: The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin, NOVELLA:  "The Bird Catcher" by S.P. Somtow (The Museum of Horrors edited by Dennis Etchison), SHORT STORY: "Queen for a Day" by Albert E. Cowdrey (F&SF Oct/Nov 2001), ANTHOLOGY:The Museum of Horrors edited by Dennis Etchison, COLLECTION:Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson, ARTIST: Allen Koszowski, SPECIAL AWARD PROFESSIONAL: (tie): Stephen Jones (for editing), Jo Fletcher (for editing the Fantasy Masterworks series), SPECIAL AWARD, NON-PROFESSIONAL: Raymond Russell & Rosalie Parker (for Tartarus Press), LIFE ACHIEVEMENT: George Scithers, Forrest J Ackerman 
    Perhaps some ICS members may consider attending next year's World Fantasy Convention. The 2003 convention will be in Washington, DC
35.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION 
    THE AVENGERS & Me by Patrick MacNee, Dave Rogers (Contributor), Patrick McNee, $19.95 
Patrick Macnee, who played the part of John Steed in the television thriller series, THE AVENGERS, provides a memoir of the making of the program, including his relationships with the four Avengers girls - Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson and Joanna Lumley. 

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Script Book Season 2 vol. 3, $14.99 
The original shooting scripts for BUFFY season two. 

    Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan: A Biography of the Author and His Creation by Robert W. Fenton, $35.00 
First published in 1967, Robert W. Fenton's biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs includes letters, documents, synopses, lists of characters, and plots and themes Burroughs used in creating Tarzan, one of the most famous characters of all time. Burroughs' early years were far from promising - he was dropped from school, undistinguished himself as a cavalryman at Fort Grant, lost out in gold mining and had little success as a salesman. He knew nothing about writing, but decided to try it anyway. Burroughs wrote 25 sequels to the original Tarzan story and 40 other novels. This book also reveals his interest in and observations on such issues as women's suffrage, prohibition, morality in Hollywood, and the Scopes trial in Tennessee. 

    Horror: A Biography by E. Michael Jones, $17.95 
There’s more to horror than cheap thrills. This book reveals the origins of horror in the lives of its creators. 

Tormented by her husband's spectacular debauchery, Mary Shelley created a powerful and unforgettable avenging monster. Rising in repudiation of the very way of life that produced it, Frankenstein's monster, Jones shows, became the model for all others. 
Turning next to Bram Stoker's Dracula, Jones follows the progress of horror from the syphilitic underworld of Victorian England to Weimar Germany and the classic film NOSFERATU. 
Bringing his account to the end of the twentieth century, he shows how the Western imagination has responded to the explosive force of the sexual revolution with horror of unprecedented intensity. In the ALIEN series and other contemporary films, the culture of abortion and pornography has spawned a new and terrifying breed of avenging monster. 
Shows fans of Steven King, Anne Rice, and Wes Craven “what lies beneath.” 
Explores the chaotic lives and haunted consciences of the men and women who created horror 
Reveals the connection between sex and horror 
Explains our need for horror - and why we don't understand it 
    Japanese Movie Posters: Yakuza, Monster, Pink and Horror, $30.00 
A collection posters featuring Japan's finest fiends. 
    Science Fiction Films by John Costello, $6.95 
This is part of a series called "Pocket Essentials."  Like the rest of the titles in this series this is short, snappy, and easy to read. It's packed with facts as well and opinions about sci-fi films. It's perfect for someone who either needs to brush up or for friends or relatives who want to understand why you watch these sorts of movies. 

    Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography With an Introduction by Robert Cettl, $65.00 
From ABSENCE OF THE GOOD to ZODIAC KILLER, this reference work allows a detailed study of the development of the serial killer film as a distinct genre with its own character types, narrative patterns and styles. An introduction outlines the historical evolution of this film genre and covers the whole range of cinematic interpretations from the response to Jack the Ripper and other real life serial killers through the late 1960s on to the current state of the genre. The filmography covers over 500 feature films and select television movies. Each entry contains the main credits, a synopsis, a summary of the film's merits and discussion of how they fit into the genre's themes and structures. 

    STARGATE-SG1: The Illustrated Companion, Seasons 3 and 4 by Thomasina Gibson; $16.95 
This is the follow on to the Companion for seasons 1&2. It's packed full of information -a short synopsis for each episode giving a brief outline of its story, followed by interviews and behind the scenes highlights.
36.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS 
    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: The Death of Buffy by Tom Fassbender, Fabian Nicieza, Jim Pascoe, Cliff Richards, Fabian Nicieza, Tom Fassbender; $15.95 
In this graphic novel Buffy is dead. Her friends are trying to get on with their lives. Between them, there is enough anger, frustration, loss, guilt, and tragedy to resurrect an ancient demon. Sunnydale being what it is, things aren't looking too good for Willow, Xander, and the gang. A lovelorn demon has been set free into our dimension, and its food is the grief of Buffy's nearest and dearest. If that’s not bad enough, a horde of demonic reptilian sorcerers plan to resurrect their fallen comrade and paint the town blood red. Can Buffy's friends face the threat without a Slayer to defend them? Willow finds that she can learn a great deal from these reptilian mystics. And if there’s going to be one resurrection, why can't there be TWO? 

    DOCTOR WHO: Foreign Devils by Andrew Cartmel, $17.95 
China, 1800, and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are attending the English Trade Concession in Canton. A supposedly harmless relic known as the Spirit Gate becomes active and whisks Jamie and Zoe into the future. The Doctor follows in the TARDIS and arrives in England, 1900, where the descendants of an English merchant from 1800 are gathering. Among their number is a young man called Carnacki, an expert in all things mystical, and before long he is helping the Doctor investigate a series of bizarre murders in the house. The spirits of the past have returned, and when the Doctor discovers that the house and surrounds have literally been taken out of space and time, he realizes that their attacker may not be all they seem. 

    Dracul: The Vampire Returns by James C. Wardlaw, $19.95 
Have you ever wondered what happened to the characters in Bram Stoker's classic novel, DRACULA? What happened to the lovely Mena or to her fiancé, Jonathan Harker? How did their lives turn out after Dracula was no longer a danger - or is Dracula ever no longer a danger? Dracul: The Vampire Returns answers these questions and more. It captures all of the horror of the original story and also the lust associated with Dracula's legend. Jeffrey Harker, the son of Jonathan Harker, is plagued all his life by questions about his own birth and life, and even by questions about who his real mother is. He feels his life is complete when he becomes engaged to the beautiful Jessica Frasier, yet the darkness from his past, the questions surrounding his very identity, soon turn his happiness into terror. Robar Libellule, AKA Robar Dracul, must exact his revenge on the Harkers and has waited thirty-five years to do it, and he does so in traditional gothic vampire fashion. 

    ENTERPRISE: What Price Honor? by Dave Stern, $6.99 
Ensign Alana Hart is dead. Worse still that she died while attempting to sabotage the Enterprise - and at the hands of Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, the ship's armory officer and her nominal superior. Even as questions swirl around Hart's death, Archer, Reed, and the rest of the Enterprise crew find themselves caught squarely in the middle of another tense situation- a brutal war of terror between two civilizations. But in the Eris Alpha system, nothing, and no one, are what they seem. And before the secret behind Ensign Hart's demise is exposed, Reed will be forced to confront death one more time. 

    DIE ANOTHER DAY by Raymond Benson, $6.99 
This is a novelization of the movie. 

    STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: Mission Gamma Book Four by Robert Simpson, $6.99 
Chaos erupts aboard Deep Space 9 as the crew begins a desperate search for a killer in their midst, catapulting Colonel Kira Nerys on a dangerous chase into the heart of the Federation. But the crime she seeks to avenge is part of a plot more ancient and far-reaching than anyone suspects, and that secret, if exposed, could divide worlds throughout the Alpha Quadrant. Meanwhile, as the Starship Defiant makes its way back toward the wormhole and home to DS9, a startling discovery shakes Commander Elias Vaughn to his core and brings to light the truth behind the most tragic mission of his long life. 

    STAR TREK: Gateways Book 7: What Lay Beyond by Diane Carey, Peter David, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Robert Greenberger, Susan Wright, $6.99 
This anthology is the culmination of a seven part series including all of the different series of the STAR TREK Universe. 

    STAR TREK VOYAGER: The Nanotech War by Steven Piziks, $6.99 
This story set prior to Voyager's homecoming. While cruising the Delta Quadrant the ship encounters the Chiar. They're an advanced and scientific people who have made great strides with nanotechnology. Caught up in a bitter civil conflict, some Chiar will try to take advantage of their meeting with their encounter by attempting to the power of the deadly Borg. Instead they set in motion an experiment that goes devastatingly out of control.
37.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST 
    The Science of Superman by Mark Wolverton, Roger Stern (Editor), $22.95 
The world’s most popular superhero has his powers examined through the lens of real science! Everyone knows that Superman arrived here as a babe from the planet Krypton. Because his physiology is different from Earth-born humans, he has developed powers beyond those of mortal men. These powers include the ability to fly at great speeds, either through the atmosphere or through airless space. His super-strength is legendary. He has super-hearing, super-vision, and the ability to see through objects. Each of these super abilities is examined through the lens of real, bona fide science. Scientific explanations of how Superman can do the things he does are clear, easily understandable, and more than a bit of fun.

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38.QUICK TAKES 
JURASSIC PARK IV MOVES AHEAD.  Universal Pictures is moving forward with a fourth installment of JURASSIC PARK. William Monahan (TRIPOLI) will write the script. There was no word on who would direct the sequel. Steven Spielberg directed the 1993 original and its 1997 sequel, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK. Joe Johnston directed the most recent edition in 2001. The trio earned a combined $1.9 billion at the worldwide box office. Sam Neill said, "There is a chance you'll see me in it."  . . . PAC-MAN'S GOING TO THE MOVIES. Crystal Sky, an international film production and distribution company, will develop the classic 1980s arcade video game PAC-MAN into a live-action fantasy adventure movie. The deal follows on the heels of Crystal Sky's other video game deal, to develop the video game TEKKEN into a feature film. Crystal Sky is also overseeing three Marvel Comics properties: the Steve Norrington directed GHOST RIDER; DEATHLOK, written by Raven Metzner and Stuart Zicherman; and the Hans Rodionoff-adapted WEREWOLF BY NIGHT. . . . TAIL TRAVAIL. Fans wondering about Nighcrawler’s appearance in X-MEN 2 can rest assured that the character will stay true to his comic book persona. He’s even got the tail. According to the actor portraying Nightcrawler, Alan Cumming, he makes good use of it too. “I have this long, black, oily tail that I kill secret servicemen with.” Cumming is scared that the moviemakers won't be the only one's coming up with creative uses for Nightcrawler’s tail, “I'm already having nightmares about children penetrating my action figure with its own tail." . . . THE DOG DAYS FOR WALL STREET. Perhaps unintentionally calling undue attention to the dog days of the stock market, Frank the Pug from MEN IN BLACK II rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange in November as part of a publicity campaign celebrating the release of MiBII on DVD and VHS. The canine star is was accompanied by the film's director, Barry Sonnenfeld, and NYSE President Benjamin Feingold. . . . PHONE BOOTH GETS ITS RELEASE DATE.  PHONE BOOTH is finally set for a February 2003 release after much delay following a series of real-life sniper shootings. The film, about a man trapped in a phone booth by a sniper, was pulled from its November release date because of the high profile string of sniper shootings around Washington DC.
39.THE SEARCH FOR DUMBLEDORE 
    According to the British press, the hills are alive with the sound of Dumbledores. Any well-known male British thespian of a certain age seems apt to be mentioned. 
    The current front-runner is Sir Ian McKellen. He confessed he was offered the role of Professor Dumbledore before Richard Harris died. He has not confirmed or denied whether he has been approached again or if he wants to take over the part. A posting on his official website teases, "I still haven't seen the first HARRY POTTER. Before Richard Harris died there was an inquiry from the POTTER camp about filching Gandalf. The Grey or the White was not specified." 
    A film insider says, "They need someone with gravitas and presence to take on the role, and Ian's got that by the bucket load. It's hard to think of anyone else who could really make the part their own." McKellen's spokesperson declined to comment on the reports. 
    Christopher Lee has also been asked. He announced his disgust at being lined up to replace Richard Harris so soon after the actor lost his battle with Hodgkin's Disease 
    Peter O'Toole is the latest actor rumored to be in the Dumbledore Derby. They'll probably be more before this is all done.
40.HALLE BARRY'S HIGH JINX 
    James Bond bosses are so pleased with Halle Berry's character Jinx in DIE ANOTHER DAY, they're planning to produce her own spin-off movie series. The character, who serves as an onscreen equal to Pierce Brosnan's 007 has greatly impressed bosses, and they're now scurrying to give Jinx the first sanctioned spin-off in Bond's 40-year history. Halle says, "Right away, when I first read the script, I started to gather that she was his equal. In the first scene where she beds Bond and when he wakes up she's gone because she's busy doing other business, I was like, 'Yeah!'" And Halle says that she'd happily play Jinx over and over again - provided certain conditions were met. She explains, "If Jinx could stay just as she is and evolve even further, and if they would put the love and care that they put into James Bond, I'd absolutely do it in a heartbeat."
41.MAJOR LEAGUE NASTY 
   Sir Sean Connery has spoken about the huge arguments he's had on the set of his latest movie. Connery is at odds with Stephen Norrington on the set of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. The pair hardly speak on set - bringing many problems to the production. Connery admits, "There have been differences of opinion on almost everything. Professional differences, personal differences, you name it. But my philosophy has been to shoot the movie and talk about right and wrong afterwards. I just want to complete the picture. It has been very difficult. There is no question about that." A co-star on the film who refused to be identified, admits tensions on set have been high between the two strong characters. He says, "They both have really powerful personalities. Sean has really strong feelings about how he wants things to be done. He wants to get the shoot done. Stephen has not been around that long. Connery is not very pleased with how this is going. He is not used to being kept waiting on set." The movie, in which Connery stars as the adventurer Allen Quartermain, is due to open next summer.
42.THE CROWD CHEERS FOR THE TWO TOWERS 
    The slurpy sloshy sounds of the Dead Marshes in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS are as authentic as they could get while taping in Wellington, New Zealand, according to Ethan Van Der Ryan, Supervising Sound Editor/Co-Sound Designer on the film. He says the team tried to use as many realistic sounds as they could. 
    "Part of our philosophy behind the sounds on this film was to have the sound effects be as naturalistic as possible," Van Der Ryan says. The goal is to come up with the sounds through animals and the natural environment around Wellington. 
    According to Van Der Ryan, finding places to tape sounds was a challenge within itself. "Wellington is small and noisy, so it was hard to find places," he says. 
    The Dead Marshes in the film allowed the film-makers to experiment with their different sound making abilities. "All of the sounds in the Dead Marshes are vocal based," Van Der Ryan explain on the official site of the movie. The sound team was then able to turn the vocal noises into the mud bubbles and wind into the "slurpy, sloshy elements" required for these scenes in THE TWO TOWERS. 
    According to Van Der Ryan, one of the biggest challenges was taping the crowd scenes. The first idea was to get about 50 people together and then layer their voices over and over again. But the team really wanted to include the community. "So we involved the community during half-time at the Cricket stadium," Van Der Ryan says. "It was incredibly powerful to have this many people chanting." 
    Because of the sound team's out-of-the-box thinking, 25,000 people in Wellington, New Zealand all had a hand in the making of THE TWO TOWERS. 
43.WELCOME TO HOBBITON: TOUR OF THE RING 
    After receiving reluctant approval from New Line Cinema, the New Zealand owners of the farmland where the hobbit scenes for THE LORD OF THE RINGS were shot have opened the property to tourists. 
    Many of the sets remain on the property and a "Welcome to Hobbiton" sign has been posted in the center of nearby Matamata. New Line Cinema was initially reluctant to have Middle Earth linked with New Zealand in case it destroyed the films' mystery. but after visiting New Zealand, New Line staff realized it was "a magical place" and the association would enhance the movie." Tickets cost $25.00.
44.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE REDUX 
    Denzel Washington has signed on to star in a remake of John Frankenheimer's 1962 film, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE for Paramount Pictures. The film will be produced by Tina Sinatra and Scott Rudin. 
    Based on a novel by Richard Condon, the original film centered on a Korean War hero (played by Laurence Harvey) who had strange memories from his past. The other members of his platoon couldn't remember what he did to win his medal and two of the soldiers started having recurring nightmares. When one of them decides to investigate the hero's current activities, he uncovers sinister government and army secrets. 
    Frank Sinatra played Captain/Major Bennett Marco, the role Washington will be reprising in the updated version. Sinatra gave his daughter Tina his blessing for the remake before his death in 1998. 
    Washington, 48, will be starring next in his feature directoral effort ANTWONE FISHER. He recently finished shooting Carl Franklin's OUT OF TIME with Sanaa Lathan, and is about to begin production on Tony Scott's MAN ON FIRE. 
    No director has been hired yet for the THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE remake. No production date has been set.
45.PETER PAN BY THE BOOK 
    Jason Isaacs said that, as J.M. Barrie intended, he's playing both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in the new live-action film version of PETER PAN. "It's fantastic," Isaacs said. "What's great is that no one has ever made a film of PETER PAN. One thinks they have seen it, but in fact no one has." 
    Isaacs, who plays the evil Lucius Malfoy in HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, added, "Disney did a cartoon, which is really nothing like J.M. Barrie's story. Steven Spielberg made a film [HOOK] about a 40-year-old man who couldn't stop using the cell phone, but he didn't make J.M. Barrie's version of PETER PAN. This is the first time anyone's ever made a live-action version, with a 12-year-old boy playing a 12-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl playing a 12-year-old girl. It's actually about a little girl. The play was called Peter and Wendy, and it's about a little girl who's facing adulthood and terrified of it, and so goes off to this land where there's someone who's never grown up and someone who's too grown-up, the way Captain Hook is. I'm having a great time. Currently, we're shooting [scenes involving] Mr. Darling. I haven't done any Captain Hook yet." 
    PETER PAN is filming in Australia. It's tentatively set for release in late 2003.
46.RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA INCHES TOWARDS PRODUCTION 
    Paramount Pictures will decide whether or not to make Morgan Freeman's long-percolating RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA, a proposed film adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's 1973 novel. Freeman and producing partner Lori McCreary, through their Revelations Entertainment company, have been developing the film with director David Fincher (ALIEN 3, PANIC ROOM). Bruce McKenna is writing the script. This film has been a personal dream of Freeman's for years. Tentative production details were first announced in 1997. 
    The novel is set two centuries from now. A mysterious, immense alien spaceship dubbed 'Rama' enters the Solar System. Earth sends out an exploration team to board the approaching craft, which appears to be a giant cylindrical tube. Once inside the vessel, the explorers find themselves in a self-contained world of alien wonders and unknown purpose - seemingly abandoned . . . perhaps. 
    Paramount gets a crack at the project under its new two-year, first-look deal with Revelations, Freeman and McCreary. I'll keep you posted on its status.
47.ROBOTS ARE ON THEIR WAY IN 2004 
    ICE AGE director Chris Wedge announced that he's deep into preproduction on his next computer-animated film, which has the working title ROBOTS. "It's being written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel [MULTIPLICITY], and it's being designed by William Joyce [A BUG'S LIFE]," Wedge said. "So it's a real fun, big collaboration, and it's going to be a really colorful, funny movie. It's not [science fiction]. It's a completely fresh take on the world of mechanical people." 
    Meanwhile, Wedge is also contemplating the inevitable follow-up to ICE AGE, the computer-animated comedy about the adventures of prehistoric animals and a human baby, which grossed more than $180 million during its theatrical run earlier this year. "We're working on treatments for it right now," Wedge said. "I think the studio is certainly interested. I'm happy. You get to know all these characters, and we have a million spinoff stories. But I'm just kind of consumed by [ROBOTS], and I have to take it one step at a time." Wedge expects ROBOTS to reach theaters sometime in 2004. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment released the DVD of ICE AGE on Nov. 26 in a two-disc set, with a new five-minute short and a director's commentary, among other things.
48.SCARY MOVIE 3 SEES SOME MAJOR CHANGES 
    When SCARY MOVIE 3: EPISODE I - LORD OF THE BROOMS starts filming this February it will be with some major changes. 
    First of all brothers Keenen Ivory, Shawn and Marlon Wayans are gone. Just days after they signed a two-picture deal with Revolution Pictures to make a similar kind of movie Dimension Films announced that it will make SCARY MOVIE 3 without the brothers. 
    David Zucker has come aboard to direct. "I am a huge fan of the first two SCARY MOVIES and am excited to be part of the next installment,” Zucker said. “Having done AIRPLANE!, THE NAKED GUN and THE NAKED GUN 21/2 it is great to return to the kind of movies I love the most." 
    Secondly the movie's five man-writing staff just became a six-man team. Kevin Smith will be co-writing and co-producing. Smith said, "It is an honor to be involved with David - one of the creators of AIRPLANE!, which is arguably the funniest movie of all time. Our aim is to make this third in the franchise as funny as that other third-in-the-franchise flick, THE GODFATHER III." 
    The one piece of stability in the movie is in the casting. Anna Faris, who plays Cindy Campbell, will return.
49.LEE V. MARVEL 
    Stan Lee has sued Marvel, his old comic book company, claiming that it has cooked its books to show that it has made no profits from the SPIDER-MAN movie and therefore owes him nothing. Lee, who is 79, created Spider-Man in 1962. In his court filing, Lee also asked the court to ensure that he receives his share of profits from upcoming films based on Marvel characters, including THE HULK, X-MEN, and DAREDEVIL. Marvel issued a statement stating that it was in full compliance with the terms of its contract with Lee and pointed out that he is well compensated as an employee. He reportedly is paid $1 million annually. 
    "Despite reaping enormous benefits from Mr. Lee's creations, defendants have failed and refused to honor their commitments to him," the lawsuit charges. The film version of Marvel's SPIDER-MAN has been the year's biggest hit, grossing more than $400 million domestically.
50.IS NEMESIS TREK'S LAST ROUND-UP? 
    Rick Berman, the executive producer of STAR TREK: NEMESIS, said that it's not decided yet whether there will be more NEXT GENERATION movies after this one. Because of events that occur in the movie, "there is some degree of finality to it," Berman said. "But as to whether that means it's the last film with this cast is yet to be decided. The next film could have this cast. It could have a combination of this cast and people from other casts or a combination of this cast and new people. We just haven't decided yet." 
    As for the marketing slogan for NEMESIS - "A generation's final journey begins" - Berman said, "That slogan is basically just that. Although, when one sees the film, one realizes that that certainly is a possibility. If you look at the original Kirk/Spock films, I think the last three of them were all sort of the last. I mean, in STAR TREK II [THE WRATH OF KHAN] Spock dies. Which felt kind of final. And what was happening there is the actors were basically saying, 'Uh-uh. I don't want to do another one.' So they kind of gave a finality to every one." 
    But is THE NEXT GENERATION cast saying the same thing? "No," Berman said. "No. The actors are more than happy to keep going." But whether or not THE NEXT GENERATION cast returns, he added, "I think there'll be STAR TREK movies until we're all at the home. In a funny way the one thing that changes is how much money Paramount is willing to invest in the movies. One of the great things about making STAR TREK movies for the studio is it's not a gamble. They know that it'll make somewhere between X and Y. And I think as each movie continues, however well it does dictates how much money they're going to be willing to spend on the next one." 
    Patrick Stewart got a little more precise in his predictions. Knowing studio executives fetish for opening numbers Stewrat speculated, "Actually, it might come down to Friday night," Dec. 13, when NEMESIS open. "I would think by Saturday morning, we may know if there's going to be another movie or not." 
51.FILM'S IN TROUBLE? THIS IS A JOB FOR SUPER-CONSULTANTS 
    Filmmakers behind the new SUPERMAN movie are looking to four comic book greats for guidance on the design of the film. Members of the SUPERMAN production design team sat down with Howard Chaykin, Walter Simonson, Michael Kaluta and Stuart Immomen to kick around design ideas for the film. 
    Few details were available at the time of this writing. Hopefully this meeting of the comic minds can be taken as a sign that the movie will faithfully adhere to the comic book roots. 
    Fans were alarmed in recent months when a detailed description of an early script hit the web indicating drastic changes to the SUPERMAN canon were afoot. Subsequently, screenwriter J.J. Abrams and director Brett Ratner have both admitted that that version of the script was not going to be used, and the film will be more true to the core of the character. 
    There's no telling if this is a one-time consultation or if the four comic creators will have an ongoing role in the development effort. If nothing else, it's certainly another sign that development on the film is moving quickly.
52.HALLE BERRY COMPLAINS OF BEING A LOW-PRESSURE FRONT IN X2 
    Halle Berry said that she's pretty much had it with her character of Storm in the second X-MEN movie (which recently wrapped shooting in Vancouver). Scheduled to come out next summer, the second installment of this comic book franchise has so many more characters that her role as the woman who can control the weather is cut back to a few lines - much less than she had even in the first film. 
    "With X-MEN I'm a part of such a large ensemble, and it's only gotten bigger this next time out, so I just don't get to do as much," Berry sighs. "The shoot was okay, but it's very much like the last time. But it's going to be really good." 
    With cast members such as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman reprising their roles, Berry says she's under no contractual obligation to come back to the X-MEN this time if they decide to do a third film. They haven't beefed up her part, and never explained the intricate background of her comic book role as a white-haired African-American princess who has learned to take on the elements of nature. 
    "I think initially they tried to bulk up my role, but there are so many characters to deal with. All the ones in the past plus five new ones. So, I think it's very much an ensemble. You don't really get into the mind of Storm in this movie," she says rather sadly. "You don't really get to know where she comes from, what makes her tick. I don't think that's what this one is about." 
    She thinks that her character has the most unusual powers. 
    "I do think they should use her powers a little bit more," Berry smiles. 
    "Contractually, yeah, I don't have to come back," she admits. And she wouldn't consider it unless her role was beefed up. 
    She's more excited, however, about continuing on her action-star journey as a female African American in her role of the latest Bond film and her character Jinx (see the above story for details).
53.TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE DARK 
    APOCALYPSE NOW has been named the greatest film of the past 25 years by a panel of 50 British critics and film writers. The survey was conducted by "Sight and Sound" magazine, and was open to all films dating from January 1978. Nick James, editor of "Sight and Sound," said, "As film history now spans over 100 years it's almost impossible to compile a list of top films. In this new poll we wanted to free people up from choosing the established classics like Citizen Kane and let them concentrate on recent cinema." A "Sight and Sound" poll to find the best film of all time in August this year was dominated by films from the first half of the century, with Kane topping the list. 

1. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) 
2 RAGING BULL (1980) 
3. FANNY AND ALEXANDER ( Swedish-1982) 
4. GOODFELLAS (1990) 
5. BLUE VELVET (1986) 
6. DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) 
7. BLADE RUNNER (1982) 
8. CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Hong Kong-1994) 
9. DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES (U.K.-1988) 
10. (tie) ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (USA/Italy-1983), YI YI (A ONE AND A TWO...) (Taiwan / Japan-1999).
54.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 
    DECEMBER 6: EQUILIBRIUM is set in a grim futuristic world. A strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Clerick John Preston (Christian Bale) is a top-ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist these rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-alterering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it. Taye Diggs plays Preston's partner. Angus MacFadyen plays the "villain" who controls the society. The movie's written and directed by Kurt Wimmer (writer of THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and SPHERE). It's coming out on a "limited release." There's no word if there will be a wider theatrical release, or if the title will go to video and cable. 
    Wimmer's concerned that some people won't judge the film on its own merits, but compare to an earlier movie. "I'm concerned that people will watch this film and say, 'Well, it's just a remake of FAHRENHEIT 451,'" Wimmer said. "FAHRENHEIT 451 was about McCarthyism, and it's a story I love very much. However, I would never dream of retelling FAHRENHEIT 451, because I don't think it's an appropriate story to tell right now. I don't think there is any real censorship of ideas right now. In fact, I think there's quite an abundance of ideas, if not an overabundance of ideas. What affected me, and what I used to color the world of EQUILIBRIUM, was this idea that, today, I think there's a very, very widespread emotional repression. To me, movies are an emotional drug, and every weekend my wife and I say, 'What emotion do we want to feel? Happy? Sad? Frightened?' We intentionally do that and sort of manipulate our brain chemistry in a very purposeful way. I see the [Motion Picture Association of America], with every film that comes out, narrowing the bottleneck of the emotional bandwidth that we're allowed to feel. The R-rated films [now] are literally the PG-13-rated films of 1989, and the R-rated films of 1989 were the PG-rated films of 1979. That's important to me. It's not 100 percent obvious in EQUILIBRIUM - which I thought it would be - but all the contraband is rated EC-10, which is a not-so-subtle poke at NC-17, and it's why they're burning films when they're saying it. So I hope people will look a little deeper into the film, because it's not just a remake of FAHRENHEIT 451."

    DECEMBER 13: STAR TREK: NEMESIS features the crew of the Enterprise in yet another life or death situation. They're diverted to the planet Romulus when the Federation's old enemies signal they are willing to begin peace negotiations. Once in the shadow of the Romulan Empire, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew are thrust into the center of a plot that could lead to the destruction of Earth at the hands of a new and chilling nemesis. Besides the usual NEXT GEN. cast the movie's also got Majel Barrett, Steven Culp, Dina Meyer as Romulan Commander Donatra, Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway, Ron Perlman as Romulan Viceroy, and Susan Gibney as Dr. Leah Brahms. The movie's directed by Stuart Baird (U.S. MARSHALS, EXECUTIVE DECISION). The writer is John Logan (THE TIME MACHINE, cowriter of GLADIATOR). 

    DECEMBER 18: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS may be the most anticipated sequel in cinema's history. The quest continues. All of your favorites from FELLOWSHIP will return. 

    DECEMBER 20: GANGS OF NEW YORK finally gets its release after waiting for a year. This film was scheduled for release December, 2001. It was delayed because of concerns over sensitivities toward violence in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11. It was moved to July of this year but got moved again when ROAD TO PERDITION came out at the same time. 
    Set in the period from 1846 to 1863, this is the story of how gangs got started in New York City in that time of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed. The two gangs at the heart of this film are the Dead Rabbits (Irish) and the Native Americans ("natives of New York", i.e. British/Dutch). Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the son of the Rabbits' murdered leader, and he vows vengeance on the man who killed him, Bill "The Butcher" Poole (Daniel Day-Lewis). Cameron Diaz plays a thief that falls in love with Vallon. Liam Neeson plays DiCaprio's father. Brendan Gleeson plays an Irish mercenary. The director is Martin Scorsese (RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS). The screenplay's by Steven Zaillian (SCHINDLER'S LIST, HANNIBAL). It's based upon a non-fiction history book of the same title by Herbert Asbury, first printed in 1928. 

    DECEMBER 25: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is the true story of Frank W. Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), the youngest man to ever be put on the FBI's "most wanted list," for a string of impersonations and forgeries over the period of five years, from the age of 16 to 21. He used his amazing abilities of forgery (cashing in millions of dollars) and subterfuge to assume many altar egos, going so far as taking on the identities of an airline pilot, a doctor, a professor, and even an assistant attorney general. Abagnale eventually reformed and became a consultant for the FBI, the very law enforcement agency that once pursued him so completely. On his tail was FBI agent Joe Shaye (Tom Hanks), who respected Abagnale's abilities so much that he eventually worked out the deal that got out of prison after just five years. Ellen Pompeo plays a flight attendant Abagnale loses his virginity to. Christopher Walken plays the con man father who introduces Abagnale to the game; Amy Adams plays Abagnale's primary love interest. Martin Sheen plays her father. Jennifer Garner plays a call girl. The movie's directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay's by Jeff Nathanson (RUSH HOUR 2, SPEED 2).

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55.WRITE OF THE LIVING DEAD: YET ANOTHER FINAL DOUGLAS ADAMS WORK 
    The BBCi Web site announced that it has been recording an audio version of late author Douglas Adams' never before produced DOCTOR WHO script, "Shada." The episode will be posted to the Web site in honor of the franchise's 40th anniversary in spring 2003. 
    Originally planned to conclude DOCTOR WHO's 17th season, the original version of "Shada" began filming in 1979, but production was halted by industrial action. Since then there have been several unsuccessful attempts to remount it. 
    The new version will feature Paul McGann, who played the eighth Doctor in the 1996 DOCTOR WHO TV movie, as well as Lalla Ward (Romana) and John Leeson as the voice of K9. The story concerns a quest to track down the most dangerous book in the universe. The episode will be directed by Nicholas Pegg. Other cast members include James Fox (Professor Chronotis), Andrew Sachs (Skagra), Harry Potter star Sean Biggerstaff (Chris Parsons), Susannah Harker (Clare Keightley) and Hannah Gordon as the voice of Skagra's spaceship. 
    The new production will feature animated illustrations by artist Lee Sullivan. The BBC said it worked with Adams' estate to make the minor changes necessary to adapt the script to Paul McGann's Doctor and the new format.
56.MOVIELINK.COM OFFERS FIVE MAJOR STUDIOS AT ONE SITE
    In a rare collaborative move, five major studies have collaborated to launch a website that will allow for Online viewing of popular films. Sony Pictures, Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros. and Universal have come together to develop Movielink.com, highlighting both the increased prominence of Online movie viewing as well as the studios' piracy concerns. 
    Online movie streaming is currently provided by about half a dozen Websites, including Kanakaris.com, the site that claims to have first streamed a video in 1995. The Kanakaris site offers select video titles from seven major studios and claims to be the leader in the online video market. Kanakaris.com also announced that it sees the entry of Movielink as proof that the Online video rentals have come of age. 
    On that point Movielink.com CEO Jim Ramo agrees. "This is a unique moment in time as video-on-demand infrastructure deployment is beginning to match the consumer's demand for ever greater convenience in viewing options, whether through cable, satellite or broadband Internet." 
    "The creation of Movielink demonstrates these studios' commitment to VOD as a growth opportunity and the Internet as a new channel of distribution." 
    The Movielink.com website will open with over 170 available titles. Some will be recent hits like COLLATERAL DAMAGE and HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE others will be classics like BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. In order to access the videos, viewers will need to have a high-speed internet connection (at least 128 kbps), Windows 98, ME, XP or 2000, and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. Those who use Macs or are outside the United States will be unable to access the site's films. Rentals cost $2.99 or $4.99 depending on the title.
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57.THE HOTTEST GIFT THIS YEAR? DVD BURNERS 
    DVD burners (aka DVD recorders of recordable DVD players) are the hottest commodity on retail shelves this Christmas. Three years ago they were $2,500. Today they have a suggested retail of $699, with some stores knocking the price down to about $500. One analyst noted, "They're going to sell as many as they can get off the boat by December 25." 
    Panasonic is attempting to position its DMR-E30 as a "VCR replacement." After selling about 250,000 units up to now, by year's end, they might break the one million mark. 
    The prices for blank DVD's are dropping too. Last year they were about $6 each. This year there are some Online sources that are offering them for $1 each.
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58.BACK TO THE FUTURE BACK TO STORE SHELVES 
    The BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy of movies is coming to DVD on Dec. 17, loaded with extras and priced for quick sale. The trilogy was first be released in Europe in September, with fewer extra features. 
    Universal Studios Home Video will release the three discs, whose extra features are still being produced for the U.S. release. The BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy will carry a minimum advertised price of $39.95. A new set will also be available on VHS, where the titles have been on moratorium since 1994. 
    Michael J. Fox, director Robert Zemeckis, screenwriter/producer Bob Gale and producer Neil Canton recently recorded new interviews and audio commentaries. A Q&A session with Zemeckis at USC Film School last month will also be included among the 10 hours of extras, which will also include newly discovered deleted scenes and outtakes, three separate featurettes on the making of each film, and a public service announcement for the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Disease Foundation, the trade paper reported. Other extras include a feature called Universal Animated Anecdotes, in which consumers can watch the feature film and simultaneously learn over 150 facts, and a Huey Lewis music video.
59.A LARGE MINORITY 
    Although MINORITY REPORT was just released a few months ago, the DVD version has been in the works for nearly two years. In what is becoming more common on major theatrical productions, Spielberg's DVD producer Laurent Bouzereau was given full access to the set of MINORITY REPORT from the first day of filming. 
    Bouzereau chronicled the production by shooting hundreds of hours of high-definition video, which resulted in more than an hour of featurettes on specific areas of filmmaking, including original interviews with Spielberg, Tom Cruise and a handful of other filmmakers. DreamWorks will release MINORITY REPORT on DVD and VHS on Dec. 17.
60.BATMAN: THE MYSTERY OF BATWOMAN 
    A new direct-to-video animated BATMAN movie is being made. It will be called BATMAN: THE MYSTERY OF BATWOMAN. What follows is an official description of the film. 
    "A ruthless destructive vigilante posing as Batwoman is wreaking havoc in Gotham City. While she sets her sights on thwarting Penguin's evil plans, Batman concentrates on discovering this mysterious impostor's true identity. But when she's captured by the vicious Bane, it falls upon the caped crusader to rescue her, defeat Bane and foil the Penguin's devious plot himself." 
    Kelly Ripa has been cast as the voice for Batwoman. The movie is being prepped for home video release in the fall of 2003.
61.CALLING ALL ZONE-HEADS 
    AnotherUniverse.com, in conjunction with V3 Media, has released a limited-edition boxed "gold edition" DVD set of the classic SF TV series THE TWILIGHT ZONE on December 2nd. The $399.99 re-mastered series will comprise 156 episodes on 49 Disks (Includes 5 Disks of Supplemental Material), making it the largest DVD collection ever released. 
    The Gold Collection is numbered with a certificate of authenticity and limited to a production of 2500 sets. Set will be filled in order. 
    This is the same as the original Image Entertainment DVD’s only collected in chronological order and slipcased. This set also includes two episodes NOT included in the original numbered volumes available from Image Entertainment. "The Eye of the Beholder" (episode 42) and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (episode 142).
62.2002 WAS THE YEAR OF DVD AND THE YEAR OF THE HI-DEF MUDDLE 
    This year is the year when the DVD established its dominance over the market. By January its estimated that 50% of all households in America will own at least one DVD player. 
    To put this all in perspective remember back to that distant year - 1998. Consumers spent a total of $400,000 on DVD's that year. As this year closes 2002's totals are projected to be $8 billion. 
    Studios love DVD owners. Not only do they (obviously) buy and rent more DVD's than DVD-housholds, they also buy and rent more VHS too! In fact those households just like to buy more - period. They're much more avid (and avaricious?) consumers. 
    Believe it or not, numbers like these radically effect the roll-out of hi-def DVD. The blue-light lasers will not be compatible with today's red-laser machines. Some manufacturers have made a red-laser hybrid that will not be as efficient as their blue cousins, but they'll be compatible with present software. I'll keep you informed as this story breaks.
63.DVD HELPS FILL THE GAP LEFT BY THE DEATH OF SYNDICATION 
    Studios are raking in hundred of million of dollars on DVD sets of the public's favorite TV shows. With the cost of TV shows spiraling up and the once-robust syndication market crippled, DVD is the answer to every studio CFO's prayers. 
    As studios try to milk every drop of revenue out of shows they're doing second airings on cable channels, bumping off what might have been a timeslot for a syndicated show. And as consumers continue to forsake their VCR's for DVD's they're losing what they might have once used to tape a favorite series. 
    At this point the chief draw is being able to archive favorite TV memories in a quality format with a few extras thrown in. As time goes on we may begin seeing some racier scenes in shows than we're getting on the air. Who knows, perhaps one day we'll get to see whole seasons of BUFFY in the buff!
64.BAD NEWS FOR BLOCKBUSTER: THEY'RE THE KING OF RENTALS 
    America is making it a Blockbuster night. In every measurable demographic Big Blue reigns supreme. 
    Forty-nine percent of Caucasian and African-American households prefer Blockbuster. Hispanics, Asian and other ethnicites weigh in with 69% of their households. 
    The younger the renter the more they love Blockbuster. Seventy-three percent of 18-20 year old renters with DVD players prefer Blockbuster. In fact 40% of all VHS households and 52% of all DVD households love Blockbuster best. 
    You might think that the folks at Blockbuster Inc. would be throwing drunken celebrations nightly with impressive stats like that. You'd be wrong. The head that wears the crown has never been uneasier. 
    As sell-through heats up rental is dying. For the first year in 22 years this year's rental numbers will be less than the year before. There's a rule of thumb in the video business - one sale displaces three rentals. If numbers like that are even close to true rental is a very shaky foundation upon which to build your empire. 
    Even if rental remains viable, even if only sputters and flickers but continues on in some diminished capacity, that's not enough to fuel mega-chains with gigantic overhead. You have to understand that for the following story to make sense.
65.BLOCKBUSTER SHIFTS FROM RENTALS TO SALES 
    Blockbuster said that it is changing its focus from movie rentals to movie and game sales at its more than 4,400 company-operated outlets. A spokeswoman for the company said, "We have a new mission which could have a bigger payoff [than rentals] and that is to enter the $30-billion retail movie and game market." Stores are now being reorganized into three color-coded areas: blue for rentals, red for retail, orange for games. About a quarter of the stores will also feature a purple section for Spanish-language product. 
    They're giving customers one free movie rental for every DVD or VHS movie they purchase. Blockbuster's marketing chief said that the plan, "furthers our commitment to being a complete movie source for our customers, and it's a compelling offer that other mass retailers simply can't compete with." Blockbuster has been trying to combat the notion that it is the place to go for movie rentals but that new releases can be obtained at lower prices at other retailers.
66.THE DOGFIGHT FOR RENTAL SUBSCRIPTIONS 
    Despite the above stories about the decline of rentals, there's still a place where the issue of rentals is hot and getting hotter. Netflix has blazed the trail for rent by mail DVD's. Blockbuster and Walmart are looking at that action and they're licking their lips. 
    Blockbuster's backed DVDRentalCentral.Walmart's got a program under their own name. Here's how the three stack up: 

Netflix: $19.95 monthly gives you unlimited rentals as long as you have no more than three discs out. 
DVDRentalCentral: $19.95 monthly gives you unlimited rentals as long as you have no more than four discs out. 
Walmart: $18.86 monthly gives you unlimited rentals as long as you have no more than three discs out. 
The real difference between the companies will be service. Will they have what you want in stock? Will they accurately record your returns? Using these criteria Netflix may still be hard to beat. As the two competitors learn their trade and feel their way through Netflix only has to keep doing what it's been doing very well for the past four years.

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67.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
Hilary Bader, was an Emmy and Annie Award-winning television writer. You've seen her work on shows including the  STAR TREK series NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER as well as SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, BATMAN BEYOND. She wrote for LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN and XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. She wrote TREK books, games, comics and "webisodes" too. That wonderful flow of creativity is at its end. 
    Hilary Bader died of breast cancer. At 50 she was far too young to go. 

    Science fiction author Jerry Sohl passed away. You've seen his work before if you've ever seen episodes of the original STAR TREK, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, NAKED CITY, THE OUTER LIMITS, ROUTE 66 and THE INVADERS. 
    Sohl did more than TV writing. He was a solid science fiction novelist. His many books included The Transcendent Man, The Altered Ego, The Mars Monopoly, The Lemon Eaters, The Resurrection of Frank Borchard and The Spun Sugar Hole. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Nathan Butler, Sean Mei Sullivan and  Roberta Jean Mountjoy. 
    He dropped out of college for a career in journalism. He worked as a photographer, police reporter, critic and reviewer for several Midwest papers after World War II. During the war, he served in the Army Air Force. 
    He died at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, of undisclosed causes. He was 88. 

    Bert Granet, is the man you can thank if you ever enjoyed any episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Without his work we may never have seen the show. Granet literally pulled the show off the shelf.
    Granet, an executive for Desilu Studios, was producer of the WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE. When he asked Rod Serling for a usable script, Serling suggested "The Time Element" about a bartender returning to Pearl Harbor the day before the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack. It was Serling's plan to use the script as a pilot for the science fiction series he envisioned, but CBS was skittish about the commercial value of science fiction. 
    Granet said, "Using great persuasion . . . I bought it for what was a lot of money at that time - $10,000." He was determined to put the show on the air over the objections of a skeptical network and angry sponsors. 
    Westinghouse's ad agency, McCann-Erickson, which had script approval. The advertiser, they said, would never accept a show with the ambiguous sort of ending that became a hallmark of  THE TWILIGHT ZONE. But Desi Arnaz backed Granet, and the show was finally produced. It starred William Bendix, Darryl Hickman and Jesse White and aired Nov. 24, 1958. To appease the sponsor, Arnaz appeared at the end of the show to provide his personal answer to what happened, explaining away time travel by saying it was a character's dream. 
    When the show garnered more audience reaction than any other episode of DESILU PLAYHOUSE that year, CBS finally decided to take a chance on Serling's series, THE TWILIGHT ZONE. "I was the first to like it, basically," Granet later said. "I fought very hard because it was difficult to get it on the air. It's questionable whether THE TWILIGHT ZONE would have ever existed if I hadn't beat down McCann-Erickson . . . because they did not want that show nohow. At any rate, the rest of it just became history." 
    Granet did other work on TV and in films. He was key, for example, in getting THE UNTOUCHABLES on the air. He was said to have always fought for what he believed in, which sometimes made him unpopular in a climate that like conformity and the adoration of power. 
    Granet died at a convalescent home in Santa Monica, California of injuries suffered in a fall. He was 92. 

    Many of you might remember Glenn Quinn best known for his recurring role on the first season of ANGEL. He played Doyle, the half demon/half Irishman link between Angel & co. and "the-powers-that-be." 
    When his character was killed off in the first season there were rumors floating around. The story was that Joss Whedon was forced to let him go because of a serious problem with substance abuse. 
    Those rumors transformed themselves into a sad reality. The Dublin-born Quinn was found dead from a possible drug overdose at a friend's home in Los Angeles. Detectives said the case will remain open pending the completion of toxicology tests, but no foul play was suspected. 
    Quinn was born in 1970. He played in local bands before moving to the United States in 1988 with his mother and two sisters. 
    He made his feature film debut with a supporting role as a drummer in the 1991 John Travolta rock musical SHOUT in which he shared an on-screen kiss with Gwyneth Paltrow. He went on to appear in the films DR. GIGGLES, LIVE NUDE GIRLS and CAMPFIRE TALES. 
    He had a particular fondness for the Doyle role that he played on ANGEL. Most of his roles required him to hide his Irish accent. ANGEL was his first role in an American series in which he could speak naturally. "When you get to speak Irish, you become more at one with yourself, you kind of have a spark when you use it, and I think it's a great dialect," he said at the time. 
    He also appeared in the TV movies CALL ME ANNA and SILHOUETTE and co-starred in COVINGTON CROSS, a short-lived, historical-fantasy series, which aired in the United Kingdom and on ABC in 1992. Most recently, he co-starred in AT ANY COST, a 2000 VH1 movie. 
    Glenn Quinn is dead at 32. He is survived by his mother, Bernadette, and two sisters, Sonya and Louisa.

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68.NOVEMBER CALENDAR
 FRI. 13 - SUN. 15: CONVENTION - PHILCON 

FRI. 13: MOVIE - STAR TREK: NEMESIS premieres. 

WED. 18: MOVIE - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO 
        TOWERS premieres. 

FRI. 20: MOVIE - GANGS OF NEW YORK premieres. 

WED. 25: MOVIE - CATCH ME IF YOU CAN premieres. 

FRI. 27 - SUN. 29: CONVENTION - EVE CON 20 

SAT 28: ICS MEETING