Stardate 07.09.01: The Miniseries of AVALON (Mania.com)

By:Michelle Erica Green
Date: Monday, July 09, 2001

Though this week brings several new and returning series, perhaps none is as highly anticipated as TNT's original miniseries THE MISTS OF AVALON, based on Marion Zimmer Bradley's best-selling version of the Arthurian legend told from the perspective of its women. The production stars multiple Oscar and Emmy nominees including Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Julianna Margulies as members of a family sworn to protect the sacred Isle of Avalon during a tumultuous era for Britain.


The High Priestess Viviane (Huston) uses ancient magic to manipulate the passions of her family members in order to produce a royal heir, and trains her niece Morgaine (Margulies) to succeed her. But Viviane betrays Morgaine's trust in her efforts to ensure the safety of Avalon. As young King Arthur grows and takes a bride, his plans to build a strong nation come into conflict with the destiny of Avalon, which recedes further into the mists that protect its secrets.


Stunning location photography and music by contemporary Celtic composer Loreena McKennitt (THE MASK AND MIRROR) lend authenticity to THE MISTS OF AVALON. The sword and sorcery of

Edward Atterton as Arthur in The Mists of Avalon.

Camelot serve as backdrop for the themes of conspiracy and betrayal running through this epic tale. At ita core, this is a story of spiritual growth and the discovery that the will of the Goddess often takes unexpected paths.


But of course, this is also the tale of the passions of Igraine and Uther, Morgause and Lot, Launcelot and Gwenhwyfar, Arthur and Morgaine. TNT's ads for the miniseries contain warnings about the explicit sexual content. Whether you're a fan of EXCALIBUR or you only know the music of CAMELOT, THE MISTS OF AVALON is a must-see.


IN THE NEWS


SPOILER WARNING! Many of these news items reveal information about upcoming plots, casting and events on genre-related television.



  • Jeph Loeb, executive producer of the upcoming BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER animated series along with Joss Whedon, revealed to Comics Continuum's web site that BUFFY staff writers have begun work on the first several scripts. He said that writers Jane Espenson and Steve DeKnight have done such a good job that he and Whedon may "just let them have the show."


    "They are funny, bright, intelligent, true to the mythos and are going to make great animation," he added of the scripts.


    The cartoon is targeting a fall 2002 airdate on Fox Kids and Loeb said the producers were currently working on the budget. "Joss and I are still very confident this will be an awesome series and a worthy match for the live-action show," he concluded.



  • STARGATE SG-1 executive producer Brad Wright is very excited about the show's upcoming 100th episode. "It's the second series I've helped take to 100 episodes I did OUTER LIMITS as well," he told Sci-Fi Wire. "Wormhole Extreme, [which will air in September, will be] something of a parody of ourselves, kind of a GALAXY QUEST version of STARGATE SG-1," he said. "It is a balls-out comedy."


    In January, Wright added, the series will air a two-parter, "Summit" and "Last Stand," that will bring all the System Lords together. The fifth season will feature more of the villainous Goa'uld. Wright had no news yet of a sixth season, but considered it a strong possibility.

    Leni Parker as Da'an in Earth: Final Conflict.



  • First XENA, now EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT. Fans unhappy with the latter series' direction have launched a protest against the producers, according to Sci-Fi Wire.


    The letter-writing campaign objects to EFC's fourth-season finale, which heralded cast and storyline changes upsetting to the campaign organizers. Taking a cue from ROSWELL fans' successful tactic of enclosing small bottles of Tabasco sauce with their notes, fans have been asked to enclose blue glitter along with their letters to Tribune Entertainment.



  • Is she or isn't she? Conflicting reports emerged last week about Gillian Anderson's future X-FILES plans. The same day they were reporting that Pierce Brosnan would remain as James Bond, British papers quoted Anderson as saying that she intended to leave the series at the conclusion of this season.


    "Physically, psychologically, I don't think I could do another season," E! Online reports the actress telling the LONDON TIMES. "After sacrificing the first seven years of my daughter's life, she has to be the priority."


    Anderson complained that the hours she put into THE X-FILES had taken her away from her child, and said that "the stuff I am going to do [next] is as far from Scully as humanly possible."


    But Anderson's manager, Connie Freiberg, quickly told Reuters that the actress "is happy to be going back to do the ninth season," adding that they could only speculate on whether she might return for a tenth after they find out if the series gets renewed. "We can only face that when it happens."


    Anderson's longtime co-star David Duchovny recently declared that he would never make a cameo appearance on THE X-FILES, only to add later that if the right script came along, he'd consider it.



  • It's official, at last: Fox has ordered a two-hour BATTLESTAR GALACTICA pilot from Studios USA to kick off a run during the 2002-3 TV season. The series will run jointly on Fox and Sci-Fi, according to Sarah Timberman, President of Studios USA programming division.


    "We're tremendously excited to be bringing the originality and immense talent of Bryan Singer, Tom DeSanto, Dan Angel and Billy Brown to bear on reinventing what was clearly such a pop culture phenomenon," Timberman added. More good news: the new GALACTICA series will be set after the time frame of the original series, and will apparently erase GALACTICA 1980 from canon.



  • Can't wait to see ENTERPRISE's new Enterprise? TV Guide features the ship on this week's cover. Trek Today reported last week that a large pullout collectors' poster would feature the ship on one side and images of all 34 past TV Guide STAR TREK covers on the reverse.


    The special pullout reportedly only appears in newsstand copies, along with an interview with Rick Berman in which the executive producer hypes the new series' technology.


    WHAT'S ON THE TUBE


    All airtimes given are Eastern Daylight Time. Most network shows will broadcast in the same timeslot elsewhere in the United States, but cable movies may begin earlier. Please check local listings.



  • THIS WEEK'S PICKS


    In the midst of rerun doldrums, two new genre series worth mentioning make their debut:

    Night Visions






  • MONDAY, July 9






  • TUESDAY, July 10






  • WEDNESDAY, July 11

    Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is borgified in the "Uniimatrix Zero" two-parter of Star Trek: Voyager.






  • THURSDAY, July 12






  • FRIDAY, July 13






  • SATURDAY, July 14

    The T-Rex attacks in Jurassic Park.






  • SUNDAY, July 15






  • SYNDICATED AND CABLE





    QUOTE OF THE WEEK

    Anjelica Huston in The Mists of Avalon.


    "Usually I find myself playing the darker, more evil character. So it's very nice to be on the side of good." -- Anjelica Huston to TNT's web site on playing Viviane in THE MISTS OF AVALON.



  • Frequencies is our weekly TV column.