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Week of October 8, 2001

Gloria Foster, 1936-2001. The actress who played the Oracle in The Matrix (and who already shot her scenes for the upcoming sequel, The Matrix Reloaded), has died at the age of 64. Ms. Foster's acting career spanned over 30 years, with appearances in several movies and guest appearances on TV series such as Law & Order, Soul Food, and The Cosby Show.

Enterprise to arrive in England early in 2002. British fans have a little while to wait before they get to see the latest incarnation of the Star Trek phenomenon. Sky One will begin airing Enterprise on February 26th, 2002, according to one report, and U.K. video releases are scheduled to begin in March 2002. The videos will be available through, though it is unknown whether or not the Sky One airings or the home video releases will retain the widescreen aspect ratio of the U.S. broadcasts. No DVD release plans have been announced yet. Source: TrekWeb

Back and Fourth. A groundbreaking new book which could prove to be the starting point for an entire series of such volumes, BBC Books' Doctor Who: The Scripts - Season 12 contains the complete original shooting scripts of the 12th season adventures Robot, The Ark In Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis Of The Daleks and Revenge Of The Cybermen. (Season 12, aired in 1975, also happened to be Tom Baker's first year in the role of the Doctor). Footnotes, production design sketches, background material, and an introduction by then-script editor Terrance Dicks round out the package. Hopefully this book series will take off, as it promises to be a treasure trove for fans who want to see the battle plan, from beginning to end, of the Doctor's adventures.

Doctor Who: The Scripts - Season 12

Gateways to more Trek. This month, Pocket Books continues a new series of interconnected novels spanning the entire Star Trek TV and literary universe. Star Trek: Gateways is a seven-book saga, with one book planned for each existing series (though the new series, Enterprise, isn't included) as well as the Challenger and New Frontier crews, which are Pocket Books' own creations. The Gateways saga does not, as you might suspect, involve the various crews searching the universe for affordable computers with friendly customer service; but rather focuses upon the Iconian gateways first introduced in the Next Generation episode Contagion (and followed up on in the Deep Space Nine episode To The Death). All of the Iconian gateways have opened up, and all hell is breaking loose in the galaxy. The seventh book, the only hardcover planned in the series, promises to tie the loose ends of the other six novels together in a multi-crew extravaganza next month.

Star Trek: Voyager - No Man's Land
Star Trek: New Frontier - Cold Wars

Zoom Tour goes international. Aware that perhaps the loyal overseas audience will be the fans who feel most cheated by the cancellation of the Electric Light Orchestra Zoom tour, Image Entertainment is also releasing the upcoming ELO Zoom Tour Live DVD - culled from two live west coast performances in May 2001 - overseas, a few days earlier than the U.S. release. It will also be available on VHS.

Electric Light Orchestra - Zoom Tour Live

This is going to be the title that sets the DVD market on fire like nothing has since The Matrix - and it's also the first sign of hope that we may someday yet see the original Star Wars trilogy on shiny round discs that aren't large enough to serve pizza on. Of course, we're talking about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace on DVD, including over half an hour of deleted scenes filled out in full special effects glory by ILM just for the DVD edition, as well as a whopping six hours of other bonus materials, documentaries, and even an audio commentary. This two-disc set is due simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic - a shrewd move if ever I've seen one (did you hear that, BBC Video?).

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

A little mage music. Legendary composer John Williams has reportedly completed work on the score for the upcoming film Harry Potter And The Sorceror's Stone, due for a November release. Fittingly, however, the soundtrack CD will be released early - one day before Halloween. But don't wait to fight the crowds - you can pre-order it from now.

Harry Potter And The Sorceror's Stone soundtrack

Daleks will exterminate again next year. Big Finish Productions, having already confirmed that the Dalek Empire series of audio plays has merited enough attention (and sales) for a second "season," now says that the second slate of four single-CD adventures will arrive in 2002, not 2003 as had been stated earlier. In other news, Big Finish has also launched a new series of audio plays based on James Follett's Earthsearch novels (which had already been translated into a successful radio drama by the BBC in the 1980s); guest stars such as Colin Baker (the sixth Doctor Who), Nicholas Courtney (Doctor Who's Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and India Fisher (Paul McGann's current sidekick in the Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventures) will help to relaunch the series. Source: Big Finish Productions

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