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Week of May 14, 2001

Douglas Adams, 1952-2001. The creator of the insanely popular (and maniacally funny) Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy franchise - spanning two seasons of BBC radio series, five novels, a game and a brief TV series - died suddenly of a heart attack in his California home on Friday, May 11th. Douglas Adams created the Guide in 1978 as a radio series, and the subsequent "trilogy" of five books sold over 14 million copies worldwide. Recently, Adams had been working on H2G2, a cyberspace version of the Guide (to which visitors could add their own entries), as well as collaborating with Austin Powers director Jay Roach on an upcoming movie version of the story. Mr. Adams is survived by his wife Jane and a six-year-old daughter. Source: Reuters submitted by Bill Nichols

Oh boy. Ziggy, can you fix this? I'm the captain now! Paramount has officially announced Enterprise, the fourth Star Trek spinoff, will be premiering this fall on UPN in an 8:00pm ET Wednesday time slot. Starring as Captain Jonathan Archer will be genre veteran Scott Bakula, who is of course best known for his stint on NBC's SF favorite, Quantum Leap. Some sources also say that Bakula is being given significant creative input into the development of his character (not surprising, considering that he has produced some of his recent TV vehicles as well as starring in them). Other members of the Enterprise cast include Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery, John Billingsley (who has guest starred in X-Files, West Wing, the short-lived FreakyLinks, and recently appeared in Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles), Dominic Keating (a guest player on such series as Buffy, G vs. E, Poltergeist: The Legacy and The Immortal), Jolene Blalock and Connor Trinneer (another FreakyLinks survivor). Nothing has been announced about which characters the new cast members will be playing, but more information will be forthcoming soon. Sources: Paramount Pictures,, TrekWeb, Ain't It Cool News

Rangers cast, FX house also named. But don't forget, there's another spinoff of another beloved SF series which begins filming on May 14th, and its cast has also been announced. Mackenzie Gray, Alex Zahara (a recurring guest on Fox's Dark Angel), Dylan Neal, Myriam Sirois, Warren T. Takeuchi, Dean Marshall, Jennie Rebecca Hogan, David Storch, Enid-Raye Adams and Gus Lynch have been cast in the pilot movie, To Live And Die In Starlight, though there's no information on what characters they play - or even if all of these actors are necessarily in the running for the weekly series which is expected to follow the two-hour pilot. Keep an eye on the new Babylon 5: Legends Of The Rangers LogBook for more details as they emerge. As posted in last week's, Andreas Katsulas will guest star in the pilot movie to hand off the torch. Also, the Sci-Fi Channel has revealed that Emmy-nominated Gajdecki Effects, an FX house which has handled such shows as Total Recall 2070, Stargate SG-1 and TekWar, will be doing the CGI and other special effects for the upcoming pilot movie. Gajdecki is based in Canada, which is also where the new movie - and hopefully series - will be filming. Source: Sci-Fi Wire submitted by Dave Thomer

Prowse paralyzed again. Actor David Prowse, who donned the Darth Vader suit for the first three Star Wars films, is back in the hospital with a relapse of a mysterious ailment that has left him partially paralyzed. Doctors' attention is currently focused on a spinal abcess as the cause of Prowse's problems, but Prowse's spokesman says that things are not looking good for the actor despite the diagnosis. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

All-star Doctor Who mini-saga in the works. Big Finish Productions, the studio responsible for the well-received Doctor Who Audio Adventures series, has announced a new twist on their popular series: a trilogy of single-CD adventures slated for release in the first six months of 2002. Each of the three linked stories will feature a single actor in the role of the Doctor (first Peter Davison, then Colin Baker, then Sylvester McCoy). The releases may go some way toward alleviating criticism from fans of the fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors, as Big Finish has already announced that Paul McGann will star as the eighth Doctor in all of the double-CD regular adventures scheduled for the first six months of 2002. The single-disc adventures will be available separately. Source: Outpost Gallifrey

New Trek video game ventures into Mirror Universe. Interplay, the publishers of such past Star Trek games as Starfleet Command and Starfleet Academy, has announced the final game to be published under its license from Paramount. Star Trek: Shattered Universe will center on Captain Sulu and the U.S.S. Excelsior on a post-Star Trek VI journey into the vicious Mirror Universe. Interplay's swan song to the Trek universe will be loaded with fan favorites, from the Guardian of Forever to the Doomsday Machine, with such familiar faces as the Gorn and the Tholians along the way. Star Trek: Shattered Universe will be available late this year for the Playstation 2. Source: Interplay Entertainment Corp.

New Seven Days episodes to air. After several weeks off the air, during which the quickly-cancelled supernatural hospital drama All Souls premiered and just as quickly vanished, UPN put its time-traveling series Seven Days in a new Tuesday night time slot at 8:00pm ET (7:00pm CT). There is still, however, no word on the renewal of the show - or where it would land in light of UPN's recent acquisition of Buffy and the upcoming Star Trek spinoff. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Ermey cast in upcoming war game. He's been seen in everything from Apocalypse Now to Full Metal Jacket, and he made a big mark on the pilot episode of Fox's much-lamented SF war story Space: Above And Beyond. Now actor and former Marine R. Lee Ermey is lending his voice to an upcoming Simon & Schuster Interactive PC war game, Real War. The game, slated for an August release, will be a real-time strategy game set in a volatile Middle East situation, featuring Ermey's voice-overs during mission briefings. Source: Simon & Schuster Interactive

The Truth Is Out There - Thrice. X-Files fans can rejoice again at the opportunity to add an entire season's worth of their favorite show to their DVD shelves. 20th Century Fox is releasing the third season of the series as a DVD box set this week, complete with commentaries, deleted scenes, a new documentary about the third season, and even a DVD-ROM game. Many fans regard the third season as the peak of the series, with such episodes as Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, Josè Chung's From Outer Space, Talitha Cumi, Syzygy and several other favorites included in this seven-disc set.

The X-Files: Complete Season Three DVD Box Set

So long, and thanks for all the fish, Doug. I was already having a frustrating weekend, still dealing with some of the fallout of my recent move, when I received the news of the death of Douglas Adams tonight.

I can't even begin to tell you how much this bummed me out.

Douglas Adams has been a fixture in my literary landscape since I entered my teens. His novels taught me that one could still be funny without stooping to the lowest common denominator, that all those big words I knew (which nobody else knew) could be used to humorous effect. Along with Harlan Ellison, whose writings I foolishly waited until my 20s to discover, Adams was a seminal influence on my writing. To this day, even my promo work carries some of his literate-but-matter-of-fact flippancy (much to my bosses' chagrin).

I cringe at the thought of trying to use this sad occasion to sell anything, so please take the following for what it is: a sincere recommendation of my favorite entries from Adams' work. I've enjoyed this stuff, it has had a tremendous effect on my life, and you might just enjoy it too.

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
(the original radio series)
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
(the original novel)
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
(the best of the "trilogy")

God bless Douglas Adams. Here's someone who has created something that has brought people together, inspired them to create something themselves, and most of all, made people laugh - and perhaps even think a little bit. That's not something that someone does everyday - nor is it something that anyone does nearly enough of.

Earl Green webmaster/editor-in-chief

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