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Week of November 19, 2001


Happy Birthday, Doctor! Friday, November 23 marks the 38th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who on the BBC. But does this mean the Doctor gets a day off? Not at all, for this week also sees the release of Big Finish Productions' latest Doctor Who Audio Adventure, Primeval, starring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton as the fifth Doctor and Nyssa, and it's the first audio adventure written by Lance Parkin, acclaimed Who novelist. Big Finish has been teasing us for months with hints that Primeval will explain why Nyssa demonstrated psi powers in Time-Flight, the final story of the 19th season, as well as the earlier Audio Adventures Land Of The Dead and Winter For The Adept - and then showed no signs of those powers during the following season's TV adventures. Come to think of it, I've always wondered about that myself. Guest starring in Primeval is none other than Stephen Grief, who played the original Travis in Blake's 7, just the latest of several veterans of that series to appear in the Doctor Who audio plays. Source: Big Finish Productions

Doctor Who - Primeval
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Nemesis begins filming. The Star Trek: The Next Generation cast - including some surprise guests, such as Wil Wheaton - goes before the cameras on November 19th to begin filming what may prove to be the final Star Trek feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. The movie will be opening next year, contrary to popular rumors, and Patrick Stewart even recently rebuked another rumor: that the script, by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator), had been extensively revised to avoid potential offense in light of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Stewart has been quoted as saying that there's "no better time" for a movie like Nemesis. Also, Star Trek veteran Jerry Goldsmith has been confirmed to score the new Trek flick. Source: Sci-Fi Wire


Galactica runs aground. It looks like the Sci-Fi Channel/Fox revival of Battlestar Galactica has hit a stumbling block. Producer and potential pilot movie director Bryan Singer (X-Men) has jumped ship, leaving the production searching for a new guiding light. Singer's partner, X-Men producer Tom DeSanto, is struggling to keep the show in pre-production, and even Richard Hatch, who starred as Apollo in the original series and has opposed nearly every attempt to mount a sequel or remake that didn't involve him, has decided to give the production his blessing in the hopes that fans will unite to keep it alive. An online petition has been started to demonstrate fan interest to Fox.

Save Battlestar Galactica Petition


Who casting coup. It's official - Anthony Stewart Head, who played Giles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is taking on the mantle of Grayvorn, the Doctor's newest recurring enemy, in a series of linked single-CD audio dramas from Big Finish next year. Head's character will also appear in a Bernice Summerfield audio, Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Plague Herds of Excelis. Also joining the adventure in these stories will by Doctor Who veteran Katy Manning, best remembered as the scatterbrained Jo Grant from Jon Pertwee's era, who will be taking on the role of Iris Wildthyme, a Time Lady character who happens to be an old flame of the Doctor's. Created by author Paul Magrs in the BBC novels, Iris will be appearing in the first of the Excelis trilogy stories next year, as well as teaming up with Benny in Plague Herds. Manning will presumably reprise the role as Big Finish launches Iris Wildthyme in her own series of solo stories in late 2002 or early 2003. Source: Big Finish Productions


Technomage trilogy terminates. The final volume in Jeanne Cavelos' Babylon 5 Technomage Trilogy of books, Invoking Darkness, is due next week. The final destiny of Technomage leader Elric is revealed, as is the event that led Galen to be expelled from the order of the mages - later to come to the aid of Captain Gideon and the Excalibur in Crusade. The entire trilogy is based upon an outline by B5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, so it's official. Invoking Darkness is now available for preorder.

Babylon 5: Invoking Darkness


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Joe Don Baker, and as we all know, true believers, Joe Don Baker is Mitchell! Joel Hodgson's last turn at the wheel of the Satellite of Love, plus Joel and the bots' relentless, merciless hounding of both the movie's star and the movie itself, make this new Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD a classic. (And as for Joe Don Baker, apparently this movie was the man's magnum opus - he all but vowed revenge upon the MST3K writers and actors for this treatment of his lousy cop flick.)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Mitchell


Seven Worlds won't be colliding after all. Bad news for those fans who were eagerly awaiting Neil Finn's new concert video and DVD: it's been pushed back to January or February of 2002. The live CD of the shows will still be released this month as planned. But you want a sign that hell has, indeed, frozen over? February will also see the release of the Seven Worlds Collide DVD in the United States. Who would've guessed? Sessions At West 54th must have done better than we thought. Source: Frenz.com


New NASA head named. Is this good news or bad news? NASA's deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget will be ascending to the position of the head of the entire space agency. Sean O'Keefe has also, however, been a critic of NASA in recent years. There's no indication, as yet, to what his approach to managing the U.S. space program would be. O'Keefe will succeed Dan Goldin, who headed NASA for nine years. Source: Associated Press

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