Saturday, December 29

Welcome Back, Dave

Just saw the news that Letterman’s World Wide Pants company has signed a side deal with the WGA and will be returning to the air with the entire writing staff.

Good for them and good for the WGA in cutting the deal.

There are some bitchy comments out there in the blogosphere from “unnamed” feature writers complaining that it’s somehow “unfair” that Letterman’s writers are going back to work and they’re not. The Guild has already stated as a matter of policy that they’re willing to negotiate deals with individual companies outside the umbrella (butterfly net?) of the AMPTP, so the fact that they’ve been able to pull off one such deal shouldn’t be the occasion for whining about how “I’m not working and they are,” it should be a time to celebrate the fact that at least one company doesn’t feel the Guild’s demands are ridiculous or particularly onerous. It should also be a time to congratulate the writers of the Late Show and wish them all well as they take back the airwaves and hopefully pepper the show with not-so-subtle digs at CBS, et al for keeping this strike going this long (they walked away from the table, you may recall -- twice, for those of you keeping score).

I know what’s getting a season pass on my Tivo.

Sunday, December 23

Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series Season 2

Finally it seems possible to complete your Battlestar Collection.The DVD cover art has been released on the web, place down your cubits and pre-order your copy now!!

Episodes include:

1. 1- 1 Galactica Discovers Earth (1)
2. 1- 2 Galactica Discovers Earth (2)
3. 1- 3 Galactica Discovers Earth (3)
4. 1- 4 The Super Scouts (1)
5. 1- 5 The Super Scouts (2)
6. 1- 6 Spaceball
7. 1- 7 The Night the Cylons Landed (1)
8. 1- 8 The Night the Cylons Landed (2)
9. 1- 9 Space Croppers
10. 1-10 The Return of Starbuck

Friday, December 21

Actor Injured in Car Accident

Source: Buddy TV

Michael Trucco, who plays lovelorn Sam Anders on the Sci Fi Channel series, was recently involved in something scarier than any battle with the Cylons: a serious car accident. On December 2, Trucco was a passenger in a Ferrari that overturned after the driver lost control on a curve and went down an embankment. The driver walked away unharmed, but the roof of the car had crumpled, fracturing four of Trucco's vertebrae.

The good news is that Trucco is now out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. In a message posted on his official board, he explained the situation and thanked fans for their support:

"It's been a crazy week and a half to say the least. The paramedics on the scene that tended to me first said I was lucky to even be alive, let alone be able to pull myself outta the damn thing. The roof completely collapsed on the passenger side. I knew the second we rolled over and crashed down hard on the asphalt that something was seriously wrong with my neck. Then somehow I managed to crawl out on the driver's side after my friend got out and get to the side of the highway and lay down. From there I made a couple of calls and waited for the ambulance with my friend and about a dozen or so other motorists who pulled over to help. From there I was taken down the road to a waiting helicopter ready to take me to UCLA Trauma Center. It got progressively more frightening from that point on as the seriousness of what just happened started to set in."

While in the hospital, doctors were able to fuse Trucco's C-6 and C-7 vertebrae to his C-5 vertebrae. They told him he was lucky to be alive, and especially lucky not to be paralyzed, as his injury is very similar to that which crippled actor Christopher Reeve. Trucco will have to remain in a neck brace for about six weeks, but after that he should be fine.

Battlestar Galactica is not currently filming due to the writers' strike, so Trucco's injury will have no effect on production of the series.

Monday, December 17

WGA Uses Chaos Theory to Divide & Conquer Studios

The Writers Guild of America will put a strategy in action Monday to scatter the oppostion during these strike negotiations, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The guild will propose bypassing AMPTP and negotiating separate contracts directly with the individual studios themselves. It's a very long shot as that scenario promises heaping piles of headaches across the industry. If each fantasy factory were to dictate unique terms with the WGA, there could be different royalty rates, different salary ranges, etc., from network to network, studio to studio.

In New York, David Letterman is doing his part to aid his writers while muddying the strike landscape. His Worldwide Pants production company negotiated a preliminary exemption allowing his writers to return to work. Could other TV production companies do the same by ignoring their network alliances to hire writers on their own dime? Could powerful, fan-rich shows like Galactica, Heroes or Lost return to the air with writing staff forged by similar exempt guild deals?

Saturday, December 15

Actors Drop Hints About Season 4 of 'Battlestar Galactica'

Source: BuddyTV

It seems like we've been waiting ages for any hints of what's to come in Battlestar Galactica's fourth season, which will be beginning in March on the Sci Fi channel. Now, thanks to a recent convention that many of the stars attended in Burbank, some news is starting to leak out as to where our favorite characters may end up. Read on if you want to know what to expect when Battlestar Galactica returns to the airwaves, including the big news of which deceased character may be returning.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the convention is that Ellen Tigh, played by Kate Vernon, will be returning to the show in season four. Fans who speculated that she may be the final Cylon appear to be wrong, as it seems Ellen will only be appearing in flashbacks or dream sequences. Now that Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan) has discovered his true Cylon nature, his issues over murdering his wife are going to return to the forefront. After all, he did kill her due to the fact that she collaborated with the Toasters, so his discovery of his true nature is going to bring about some intense and complicated new feelings.

The other big character we've all been wondering about is Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), who was last seen returning in the finale after being presumed dead. In season four we can expect to see Kara Thrace in the brig, interacting more with Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), hanging out often with the Cylon ladies, and having less flirtatious screen time with Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber). We can also expect to see Kara spending a lot of time with Leoben, the Cylon who was once her captor.

All of this interaction with the Cylons really leaves me wondering if Starbuck will be the final model, but Katee Sackhoff hinted that she doesn't believe she is. It looks like the identity of the final Cylon will end up being one of the biggest mysteries of the season.
As for Lee Adama, Jamie Bamber mentioned that he had not yet been back in a Viper pilot uniform while filming the first batch of episodes, and that his character will be involved in something else. I can only speculate what that may be, but it's possible that Lee enjoyed being a lawyer so much that he'll continue to explore that in the new season.

We still have three months until the return of Battlestar Galactica, which means that more hints of what's to come should be on the horizon.

Wednesday, December 12

Pencil Day

Source: RDM

Here’s what I said:

Hello, I’m Ronald D. Moore, Writer and Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica, and member of the WGA since 1989 -- and I’d like to welcome you to Pencil Day here at Johnny Carson park.

What you see behind me is the culmination of a grassroots effort on the part of thousands of television fans across the United States and in some cases, from overseas. A group of fans, led by Brenda Lawhorn, Chris Bridgesm, and Adam Levemore-Rich, but including many others, were looking for ways in which they could support the WGA during the strike. They put together a website:, where fans could come together and talk with each other as well as with the writers from their favorite shows, and these fans came up with what became the Pencils Campaign.

Some of you might remember the famous “nuts” campaign on behalf of “Jericho” where fans send packages of nuts to CBS to save the show from cancellation or the “Tabasco” campaign conducted to save “Roswell.” Well, these fans came up with the idea to send pencils to the moguls heading the major studios and networks represented at the bargaining table. Fans were able to buy boxes of pencils in the name of their favorite show for $1, which would then be delivered to each of the six major companies today.

The pencils will be delivered to:

Leslie Moonves, President, CEO/CBS Corporation

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO General Electric (NBC/Universal)

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO News Corporation (Fox)

Jeffrey L. Bewkes, President, COO Time Warner Inc. (Warner Brothers)
Robert Iger, President, CEO Walt Disney Company
Sumner Redstone, Chairman Viacom

In less than three weeks, the fans bought over a half a million pencils, which you see here today.

Simply put, the message they’re trying to send by this effort is that members of the audience itself – the market for our shows and films – both understand and sympathize with the position of the Guild and want a return to collective bargaining. Lest this be dismissed as a small group of fans, it’s worth remembering that recent national surveys have shown solid majority support for the writers in this labor dispute.

The WGA is still at the table, waiting for the studios to return to good faith negotiations. While we believe our proposals to be fair and reasonable, the Guild has always been willing to engage in legitimate bargaining on each point of the contract.

But we need a partner to negotiate with.

Issuing ultimatums, staging walk-outs and releasing factually-challenged press statements tinged with manufactured outrage does little to resolve this dispute. There is no reason why the studios cannot return to the bargaining table, sit down, and work out a fair and equitable settlement for everyone involved, and we hope that this symbolic action on the part of the fans will serve to remind the studios and networks that their audience is indeed watching and listening, and they know the difference between posturing and bargaining.

Monday, December 10

'Trek' and 'Galactica' Fans at Odds over WGA Strike

Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica fans are taking different sides of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike -- akin to a democrat vs. republican debate (only with spaceships).

Galactica fans take the pro-labor side, often coming up with creative ways to show support for the picketing writers.

But, the ever-loyal Trekkers take more of a pro-management stance because they feel the strike threatens the eagerly awaited Star Trek 11 flick. The Trek loyalists fear the strike will prevent J.J. Abrams from producing the best film he can envision because rewrites are currently "illegal."

I think it's safe to assume that Abrams ad his cast can manage an on-set improvisation to save a scene without the Writers Guild firing its photon torpedos. But, as this clip shows, next summer's Batman sequel, Dark Knight, could've used the attention of the striking writers before it was too late.

Sunday, December 9

'Battlestar Galactica' Exec Offers Prizes For Pencils

Source Buddy TV

Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore wants fans of the show to support the writers' strike, and he's offering some very enticing incentives for those who do. Over at, you can spend one dollar to send a box of pencils to one of the six media moguls who run the corporate conglomerates that the writers are striking against. If you mention that the show you're supporting is Battlestar Galactica, you'll automatically be entered into a raffle where you could win some very interesting prizes.

When you go to Pencils2Media Moguls, you have the option of entering the name of which show you're supporting, as well as an actor's name. Type in "Battlestar Galactica Aaron Douglas," and you'll be entered into a contest where you can win a chance to go to a hockey game with Chief Tyrol himself up in Vancouver. Enter the names of Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, or Michael Trucco, and you can win a personal phone call from that actor.

However, most fans will agree that the best reward comes courtesy of Jamie Bamber, who has offered to sign and donate three towels to the cause that he has worn himself. The first two will go to the fans who purchase the most pencils in Jamie's name, and the third will be raffled off at random. If that's not enough incentive to buy a truckload of pencils, I don't know what is.

There's no word on when the contest will end, but Ron Moore teases that there may be exciting offers from other cast members in the near future.

Monday, December 3

Interview with 'Bionic Woman's' Katee Sackhoff

Thanks to Victor Pencak for the heads up

Sunday, December 2

Season 4 Preview

Contains spoilers for Razor and hints about season 4

Tricia Helfer: farm girl with a whip


Your favourite Cylon, Alberta-bred Tricia Helfer, slides on hot pants and thigh-high boots as Walk All Over Me's dominatrix.

As much as her new movie, Walk All Over Me, makes a great case that she was born to wear PVC hot pants, Tricia Helfer wasn't exactly convinced she was a sex bomb during her high-school years.

"I grew up a farm girl where I was into sports and into school," the 33-year-old former supermodel says, interviewed in Vancouver's just-off–Main Street Argo Cafe. "I was very tall and gangly, and you certainly don't think that's very pretty when you're a kid."

There's no point pretending otherwise today: Helfer is hot. You don't have to be sitting across the table from her for confirmation of that. She's squeezed into a booth at the Argo, a retro-cool '40s diner where the tables are vintage green Arborite and the specials are scrawled on chalkboards. Helfer, more La La Land than Lotusland, doesn't look like she's from around these parts, even though she splits her time between Vancouver, where she keeps a condo for work, and Los Angeles, where she lives with her lawyer husband and six cats.

She's wearing a low-cut grey sweater, skinny-leg jeans, and black stiletto boots. Her teeth are impossibly white, her hair off-blond, and her eyes Caribbean-ocean blue. The first thing you notice about her is that she looks different in person: preternaturally beautiful and somehow less hypersexualized than what you might have seen in Maxim, Stuff, and the countless other men's magazines that regularly name her one of the most desirable women on the planet.

The world, of course, has seen plenty of Helfer over the years, whether it's been as the elegant face of Chanel's Cristalle perfume or the host of Canada's Next Top Model. But these days, her profile has never been higher. Science-fiction aficionados who rarely leave their parents' basements know her as the ass-kicking Cylon operative Number Six on the critically lauded Battlestar Galactica. Those who buy Playboy for more than the articles were delighted to find a revealing shoot in the magazine's February 2007 issue, which celebrated its coup by putting her on the cover. And she's evidently on the speed-dial of whoever's job it is at Maxim to get hot women to pose in glorified dental floss. On Friday (December 7) she'll hit local multiplexes in Canadian director Robert Cuffley's Walk All Over Me, a comedy-thriller in which she plays a dominatrix who aspires to something more.

Even when she's not wearing fishnets and thigh-high boots, Helfer is one of those lucky few who's going to turn heads wherever she goes. What's refreshing about her, though, is that she doesn't seem to understand what all the fuss is about.

"I certainly didn't think that I could ever be a model," she says. "And I had no ambition to be an actor. I was petrified of being on-stage; I wasn't a singer and I wasn't a dancer. I was much more of a tomboy into basketball, volleyball, track and field, and soccer. And, again, I worked on the farm: I drove tractors and fixed farm machinery."

Today, Helfer is a world or two removed from her rural hometown of Donalda, Alberta, whose main claim to fame is that it's the home of the world's biggest lamp. But despite that, she clearly hasn't forgotten her humble, stubble-jumper roots. Reached at home in Calgary, Cuffley recalls Helfer arriving on the set of Walk All Over Me and promptly winning over the entire crew.

"The way she did that was by making herself accommodating," he remembers. "No ego, just, 'Can I do that again? What can I do to make this shot easier? Would it help you guys if I did this?' Those were all phrases that would come out of her mouth. After a while, you'd be like, 'Wow, she's not a prima donna Cylon from Galactica. She's a down-to-earth farm girl.'"

In Walk All Over Me, Helfer's Celene has hightailed it out of Buttnugget, Alberta, for Vancouver, where she pulls down big bucks humiliating sex slaves. Although she finds herself saddled with a delinquent younger sister played by Leelee Sobieski, Celene hasn't given up on Hollywood and an acting career. Suggest to Helfer that Celene's story somewhat mirrors her own–albeit without the whips and fetishwear–and she quickly shoots that down.

"From an outsider's perspective, the movie looks like it maybe mirrors my own life," Helfer says. "Celene leaves this small town to go be an actress, and I left a small town to model and now act. The difference is Celene didn't like where she grew up and couldn't wait to leave. I, on the other hand, had a great childhood and loved where I lived."

Her journey out of Donalda started in a theatre lineup in 1991. Helfer was out for a night at the movies when she caught the eye of a modelling scout. That was the start of a celebrated career that would take her to runways around the world and land her on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan. As much as the jump from small-town Canada to international 17-year-old jet setter had its challenges, Helfer was ready for them.

"I worked on the farm for a wage and had to do budgets, so I knew how to take care of myself," she recalls. "A lot of people going out on their own don't have a strong family base. I knew that if I got into trouble, I could call my parents and they would be there for me. Not everyone has that support. That really helped me to be comfortable with taking risks."

Taking a major risk was exactly what Helfer did a half-decade ago. Realizing that–unless your name is Kate Moss–modelling is a profession with an early pull date, she decided some advance career planning was in order.

"I thought I'd take an acting class," Helfer says. "I instantly fell in love with it. Part of the reason that I have this passion for acting is that I like the idea of getting inside someone's brain to study their characteristics–why it is that they do the things they do. My focus was suddenly very clear on what I wanted to do after modelling."

Assuming you're not running for president of the Tricia Helfer fan club, things you might not know about her include the fact that had she not been "discovered", she probably would have gone on to become an animal behaviourist. Beyond that, she eats fish and the occasional turkey burger but consumes no red meat. She's concerned about the environment but is not holier-than-thou about it; although she's currently building a solar-powered "green" vacation home in rural Alberta, she guiltily admits to riding a Harley and driving a Porsche. She's never been a party girl, which explains why you won't find a single mention of her on She was raised without television but now loves "smart comedy" like South Park and Arrested Development. She doesn't have much use for fantasy fare like The Lord of the Rings, admitting she's more drawn to darker, reality-based films like Requiem for a Dream. She would love to work with Cate Blanchett, Quentin Tarantino, and Darren Aronofsky. She excelled at sports in high school, but these days she's focusing almost all her energy in one area: acting.

With major roles in two feature films this year, Helfer has given every indication that she isn't going to be another Cindy Crawford when it comes to leaving the catwalk for the screen. Georgia Straight contributor and Vancouver native Mark Leiren-Young directed Helfer in his 2007 movie, The Green Chain, which looks at the issue of logging old-growth forests from various sides. Helfer, who plays a celebrity jumping on the green bandwagon, blew his mind when she showed up for filming and proceeded to rattle off a 13-minute monologue in one perfect take.

"I kept asking her, 'So, no theatre experience at all?' 'No,'" Leiren-Young tells the Straight by phone. "I had trouble believing she wasn't a theatre-trained actor. She was just astonishing."

Helfer's first high-profile role found her playing–what else?–a model on a 2002 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She credits her big break, however, to Battlestar Galactica, where she landed in 2003, a year after she quit modelling and left New York for L.A. to pursue acting full-time. What started as a miniseries reimagining a sci-fi show that impressed no one in the late '70s has hit big with both audiences and critics. Battlestar Galactica in now headed into its fourth season, with Helfer's platinum-wig–sporting Number Six salivated over by Comic-Con obsessives who can tell you which ship Saul Tigh served on during the first Cylon war. Helfer never saw the original Battlestar Galactica before signing on for the miniseries; her main attraction to the project, she says, was that she'd be learning from the Oscar-nominated likes of Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell.

"As a new actor, I looked at it as a great opportunity to work with these people and maybe pick up a few things," she says. "In the grand scheme of things, I got really lucky. I got Battlestar when I'd been acting for a year. To get a show that goes on to win Peabody and AFI [American Film Institute] awards is pretty lucky, I'd say."

Battlestar, filmed in Vancouver, has taken Helfer to a level of celebrity well beyond anything she experienced during her modelling days. What makes her feel blessed is that she's been able to maintain a degree of anonymity.

"On Battlestar, most of my characters–and I say characters because I'm a robot–have white hair, which is a wig, so people almost never recognize me," she says. "When I'm at the airport or on my own time, I don't have makeup on; I have my hair in a ponytail. People only seem to recognize me if I'm done up. For me, it's a blessing in disguise because you can really retain a normal life."

Not that most people living normal lives end up fielding offers from Playboy. Helfer says she thought long and hard before she agreed to do the shoot for the magazine. "If I was going to be sitting there spread-eagled and smoking a cigarette, then it would have been a big deal," she offers with a big laugh. "But I had total control over the shots, and coming from a modelling background, I believe that photos are art."

With Battlestar Galactica currently filming its final season, Helfer is now working on getting an amnesia-themed film titled Unforgettable off the ground on this side of the border, and thinking about pitching an HGTV–style series about building her green-themed house. For the immediate future, Cuffley rightly figures Walk All Over Me will end any arguments over whether or not she is just another genetically superior face.

"The bubble she is poised to burst, and I saw her burst it at the Toronto Film Festival," Cuffley says, "is that people go in [to Walk All Over Me] saying, 'Jeez, I don't know, this could be a sink-or-swim for Tricia Helfer because she's the second lead in the film.' I overheard some of this, saw some of it with my own eyes, and heard some of it secondhand. Every single time, people came out going, 'Holy cow, she's really good.'"

Getting Helfer to admit that is, predictably, not easy. "Obviously, after four seasons on Battlestar and a couple of films, I'm getting more used to it than when I started," she says. "It's a learning process, and I hope to never stop learning. I don't want to get to a place where I feel like I know it all."

If those sound like the words of a down-to-earth kid from the sticks, that's no accident. Except you somehow get the feeling that by the time this unmistakably driven farm girl is finished, Donalda, Alberta, will be famous for more than being the home of the world's largest lamp.

Saturday, December 1

Jamie Bamber"Had Reservations About Doing Sci-Fi"

Source: Buddy TV

While Jamie Bamber has gained much success from starring in the SCI FI Channel's Battlestar Galactica, he admits that there was a time when he seriously doubted the quality of the sci-fi genre.

"I did have reservations about doing sci-fi," Bamber, who plays Lee “Apollo” Adama, told TV Guide. "In my mind, it had been reduced to sort of post-Star Trek goofiness on TV. I would never, ever watch it, not in a million years."

All that changed, however, when he read the script for Battlestar Galactica and came to know about the show's aim to "really make a stink about our own civilization and what we do to ourselves on this planet." Now, with three seasons under his belt and another one on the way, Bamber is one of the most loved actors on the show. He is also considered by many as one of the sexiest men in sci-fi television today, and although he says that he does not see himself in that way, he is grateful to be reminded nonetheless.

“It's genuinely exhilarating to be reminded that some people do think of me in that way,” Jamie Bamber said. “I find as many men come up to me and go, 'I need you to sign this for my wife' or, 'I want this for my brother. We love the show.' [But] the women tend to have a different angle: They request photos of me without my shirt on and stuff like that. And they get a little bit giggly at times. And the men don't tend to do that so much."

Battlestar Galactica itself has become a hit among fans of the genre, although in the beginning, many expressed skepticism over the re-imagined series. Some were not so keen on watching a revival, while others were worried that the new series would compromise the integrity of the original. All this, however, did not intimidate Bamber, who was even excited to hear “so many different opinions flying around.”

"I had no idea that the mainstream and even sort of high-brow press would really champion it as groundbreaking and thought-provoking television,” he added.