Stardate 06.24.01: Summer Arrives (Mania.com)

By:Michelle Erica Green
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Summer has arrived, and with it comes a whole spate of genre movies: the very successful SHREK and the less-than-exceptional EVOLUTION, ATLANTIS for the kids and TOMB RAIDER for the grownups, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS for teen-agers and DR. DOLITTLE 2 for the family. In the wake of the summer deluge, networks inevitably race to find shows that capture the qualities of the season's cinematic blockbusters, so it will be interesting to see whether mid-season replacements more closely resemble streaming video or live-action computer games. A few years back, we got lots of MATRIX-type stop-action and MEN IN BLACK look-alikes. This year, however, will the legacy be CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON's magnificent flying martial artists, or FINAL FANTASY-style animation, which looks phenomenal in the movie trailer?

Anything has got to be better than the ongoing spate of reality shows, originally put together in anticipation of a strike by the Writer's Guild a strike that has since been averted. But while fall teleplays have been assured, the performers may not be around to appear in them. Negotiations between the Screen Actors' Guild and the Hollywood studios are going slowlyless than a week remains before the current contract expires, although union negotiators suggested last week that a temporary extension might be possible. If a strike occurs, it will affect all the shows mentioned in this column and dozens of others, plus production on all but a handful of movies slated for 2002.
Let's hope the sides can work out their respective demands. Otherwise, everyone had better prepare for future summers when we could be subjected to SURVIVOR 21, TEMPTATION ISLAND 69, and lots of WEAKEST LINKs.

IN THE NEWS



  • ANDROMEDA's guest cast list for the fall is shaping up to be pretty impressive. Last week, Ain't It Cool News warned that X-FILES' Cigarette Smoking Man, William B. Davis, will play a scientist determined to find out nefarious purple chick Trance Gemini's secrets. Davis will follow Lone Gunman Bruce Harwood; the man who played sweet, geeky Byers will appear on ANDROMEDA as a contractor working with Rommie in the episode "All Too Human," which will also star FIRST WAVE's Roger Cross.

    Will Final Fantasy be the summer film that sets the style for the next round of TV ripoffs?

    And executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe (formerly of DEEP SPACE NINE) told Zap2it that BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER's Spike, James Marsters, would appear in the November sweeps episode "Into the Labyrinth" as the Nietzschean leader who married Captain Dylan Hunt's onetime lover Elssbett from last season's "The Honey Offering." Marsters will play Charlemagne Bolivar, who would make a valuable ally for the Andromeda crew but could prove a dangerous enemy if they misread him.

    Wolfe told Zap2It that Charlemagne believes Tyr's pride has taken the Nietzschean ideal of physical perfection too far, when they should have been concentrating on more Machiavellian pursuits like diplomacy and charm. The exec also said that the role was originally written for Kevin Sorbo's former HERCULES co-star Bruce Campbell, who was unavailable to play it; at one time DEEP SPACE NINE's Alexander Siddig was also considered. Marsters will play the part without his familiar British accent from BUFFY, and Wolfe assures fans, "We got his shirt off."

    SlipstreamWeb adds that Kevin Sorbo still hopes to bring aboard another former HERCULES colleague, Michael Hurst. The actor who played Iolaus may appear when his schedule and the show's casting requirements make it possible.

  • This week in ENTERPRISE gossip, the Dark Horizons web site is reporting that the new show's uniforms will bebrace yourselfpurple. They may have yellow stripes, though an earlier report stated that yoke colors would vary according to rank. With the exception of the new Vulcan first officer's catsuit, they are reportedly less form-fitting than the uniforms worn by previous STAR TREK crews. The official site said they would not sport the foot straps that made previous casts uncomfortable.

  • Missing Spock? Leonard Nimoy (who can be heard in theaters everywhere as the voice of the King in Disney's ATLANTIS) has a cameo in the upcoming MEN IN BLACK sequel. No word yet on the rumors speculating that he'll have a role in STAR TREK X.

  • The WB announced last Thursday that Rose McGowanwho appeared in SCREAM and JAWBREAKER, but is nearly as well-known for her past relationship with shock rocker Marilyn Mansonwill play the long-lost sister of Phoebe, Piper and the late, lamented Prue on CHARMED during its fourth season.

    Famed for playing vixens, McGowan will undoubtedly increase the onscreen tension among the bewitching sisters of CHARMED. Let's just hope she gets along better off screen with the other actresses than Shannen Doherty reportedly did before her unexpected departure at the end of this season. Jordan Levin of The WB said that Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs have set "a high bar," adding that the network was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with McGowan.

    WHAT'S ON THE TUBE



  • THIS WEEK'S PICK



  • MONDAY, June 25




  • TUESDAY, June 26

    James Marsters as the Buffy loving vampire Spike




  • WEDNESDAY, June 27



  • THURSDAY, June 28



  • FRIDAY, June 29



  • SATURDAY, June 30



  • SUNDAY, July 1



  • SYNDICATED AND CABLE



    QUOTE OF THE WEEK



    Yancy Butler stars as the comic book turned TV heroine Witchblade

    "I think STAR TREK series often garner more respect upon reflection. So I think that if viewers watch the reruns, they'll experience entirely different feelings than they did in the moment. In the moment, it's very competitive. People are more demanding. They're more relaxed upon reflection. But I was proud of VOYAGER, in the moment. I never counted the [ratings] numbers. That would have been very counterproductive. All I can say is that I gave VOYAGER everything I have, and I'm deeply proud of it."Kate Mulgrew, to Sci Fi Wire, June 20