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Week of October 1, 2001

The Elf Zone is open! Just in time for the start of the Christmas shopping season,'s Elf Zone is once again open for business! Divided into such sections as DVDs, videotapes, music, audio/radio dramas, books, toys and more, the new and improved Elf Zone will help you find stocking-stuffers for everyone on your Christmas list. Click on our elfin friend at right, or here, to avoid the mall and do your shopping online.

Nemesis greenlighted for 2003. Paramount has finally given the green light to Star Trek: Nemesis, the tenth Trek film and the fourth to feature the Next Generation crew, which will start filming under director Stuart Baird in November of this year. Baird is aiming for a late 2003 release, which will make the five-year gap between the releases of Insurrection and Nemesis the longest gap ever between Star Trek films. Source: TrekWeb

Dig Dug is back - to pump you up! Yet another classic video game character's making a come back - y'dig? If not, here's the scoop - Dig Dug has been unearthed, polished off, and will be starring in a new game with a mid-October release date. Details of Namco's updating of their classic arcade game, which was licensed to Atari in 1982, are being kept under wraps, but Dig Dug will be joining such Namco classics as Pac-Man and Galaga in the modern-day facelift department. Dig Dug is now available for pre-order for the PC. (No U.K. release date has been announced as yet.)

Dig Dug

Deep Space 1: mission successful! JPL's Deep Space 1 cometary flyby probe had a successful rendezvous with Comet Borrelly last weekend, taking valuable measurements from the comet's immediate vicinity (the only other such data collected was from an unmanned probe that flew by Halley's Comet in 1985) and snapping many a memorable photo that scientists will be gawking at for years to come. Borrelly was on its way away from the sun, and was 137,000,000 miles away from Earth at the time. Even more surprising than the scientific information captured in the encounter was that Deep Space 1 survived the flyby; scientists and engineers expected it to be destroyed by the comet's coma, a cloud of fast-moving dust and debris surrounding its nucleus. Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory / NASA

Images from Deep Space 1
Go see the pictures!

Who's going to the Underworld? Providing positive proof that the BBC has almost completely strip-mined the existing library of Doctor Who stories, January 2002's VHS release in England will be Planet Of The Giants, the show's second season premiere from 1964, while April will see the long-awaited release of the sometimes unfairly savaged Tom Baker four-parter Underworld, whose interesting story (though somewhat derivative of Jason and the Argonauts) was buried under an attempt to cut set-building budgets by doing at least 50% of the story in front of blue screens - which might have worked had the blue screen work not been so horribly dodgy in places. We'll have pre-order information for these tapes for our British friends as soon as it's available. In another interesting twist, it looks as though the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann may indeed see release in the U.S., though there is no confirmation of this as yet. Source: Outpost Gallifrey

Paul still isn't dead. And the artists lined up to cover ex-Beatle Paul McCartney's solo songs on a new tribute CD are glad about that. Proceeds from Listen To What The Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute To The Music Of Paul McCartney will benefit breast cancer research in honor of the late Linda McCartney. Among those lined up to cover Paul's post-Beatles repertoire include They Might Be Giants, Matthew Sweet, World Party, Semisonic, Tim and Neil Finn, The Judybats, and SR-71. Listen To What The Man Said is now available.

Listen To What The Man Said

Finn cancels North American tour but still manages to feed the gods. After the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., New Zealand pop pioneer Tim Finn shelved his plans for a U.S./Canadian tour in support of his new album. However, the new album, feeding the gods, will still be available on schedule, arriving on the heels of his excellent 2000 solo set, Say It Is So. Finn's web site says that the inspiration and the songs came to him in a rush. Jay Joyce, the Nashville-based producer who guided Say It Is So's eclectic mix of sounds, left the country music capitol to visit New Zealand to help out with the new album. feeding the gods is now available for pre-order - though we wonder if is really planning on making the Brits wait until 2010 to hear Tim's latest! Tim also joins his brother Neil Finn for a cover of Too Many People on an upcoming Paul McCartney tribute CD (see elsewhere in this week's update).

Tim Finn - feeding the gods

New Jewel album ready to go. A November release date has been announced for Jewel's upcoming new album, This Way, her first since a 1999 collection of Christmas songs (and her first original material since 1998's Spirit). This Way may have a different sound from her previous works, though - expect to hear some modern elements alongside Jewel's trademark folksy acoustic-guitar-and-vocal arrangements. This Way is now available for pre-order through

Jewel - This Way

Here we go again - another U.K.-only DVD of the Week for the Doctor Who fans out there. BBC Video is releasing one of the better adventures of Colin Baker's woefully short reign as the Doctor, Vengeance On Varos. Guest starring Nabil Shaban gloriously chews scenery to bits as the villainous money-mongering alien life form Sil, who anticipated many elements of the Ferengi three years before they appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Though not the deep social allegory to TV violence that it was touted to be at the time, Varos does have its own charms, as well as lots of extras, including an audio commentary track with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, and Nabil Shaban.

Doctor Who - Vengeance On Varos

And for those on the U.S. side, we have a little something from the ranks of the webmaster's guilty pleasures. Of course, we're talking about the DVD release of SpaceCamp, starring Kate Capshaw, Tom Skerritt, and Lea Thompson, who must've been grateful to be doing anything that wasn't Howard The Duck. The SpaceCamp DVD isn't exactly feature-rich, but how can you go wrong with a goofy (and extremely fictional) NASA robot who wants to "put Max in space"? (But why did the robot have to bring him back?) Still, this movie was one of NASA's best shots at publicity at the time - and one of its last before the explosion of Challenger a year or so later.


Star Wars trilogy DVDs given a release date. It's the announcement that Star Wars fans have been waiting for - and it may come as a bit of a disappointment to them. It seems that the original three films won't be seen on DVD until 2005 at the earliest - in other words, after Lucas has finished working on Star Wars Episode III. However, it has been stressed that, after the release of Phantom Menace, the other prequel trilogy films will be released on DVD at the same time as they're released on VHS. Episode I is due on DVD in just over two weeks.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Don't panic! But hey, if you insist upon engaging in panic mode, do it digitally. BBC Video will be releasing the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy TV series on DVD in mid-January 2002. No extra features have been announced as yet, but all six episodes will be featured (including such famous guest stars as David Prowse, Peter Davison, and the late Douglas Adams - creator of the Hitchhiker's saga - himself). No Region 1 release date has been announced; for now, only Region 2 viewers will get to enjoy the remastered Hitchhiker's Guide.

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: The Complete TV Series

Angel goes widescreen. Some fans where surprised when Enterprise and the third season premiere of the Buffy spinoff series Angel appeared in widescreen letterboxed format. One of Angel's producers has said that the show lends itself to this cinematic style, though the overriding reason is more likely to make the series anamorphic-friendly for future DVD release (y'know, a few years from now when we're all supposed to have HDTV sets hanging on the walls). Originally it was thought that Enterprise would be shot in widescreen, but not aired that way; it remains to be seen if it will remain in widescreen as a weekly series. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

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