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Week of September 24, 2001

Not business as usual - not by a long shot. Whereas last week we split our news update down the middle, one normal news page and one editorial feature to address the momentous events that have overtaken us all, this week's is a little more routine. I think it's safe to say that our lives will never be the same again, so any discussion of things returning to normal seems a bit silly. But to answer any possible criticism, I believe this site will serve best as an escape from the events of the day (though we may indeed reference them from time to time). In no way do we actually think that TV, games, music or any of our other subject matter are more important than the war on terrorism - but we also realize (and this has been backed up by many psychologists recently) that one needs a diversion from the darkness that has pervaded the news of late. (If it's any consolation, the webmaster of this site works in TV news for a living and has little choice but to hook himself up to the IV drip of news every day. Those psychologists are right - there is a breaking point.)

So this is how this site is doing its part - to provide a place to go for something unrelated to what's going on in the world right now. This is something which is needed, whether you realize it yet or not. Therefore, this week it's business as usual - and, simultaneously, anything but.

Earl Green webmaster

Films undergo rethink after terrorist attacks. While it's easy for Fox to pull an airing of Independence Day and reschedule it, but what do you do when you've got a film in production which prominently features a New York skyline which no longer exists? For some, as is the case with Men In Black 2, they haven't shot everything yet and will find another venue for the movie's climactic battle, which would have taken place at the World Trade Center. Director Sam Raimi, however, isn't so lucky - his upcoming film of Spiderman will need to undergo an expensive, reverse-Forrest Gump style digital treatment to remove the World Trade Center towers from backgrounds. (The first Spiderman theatrical trailer, featuring Spidey snaring a rogue helicopter in a web woven between the two towers, was also hastily pulled after the terrorist attacks on September 11th.) The first video game based on the Spiderman movie will also have to be revised accordingly. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

Despite production halts, some series/season premieres still on track. All of the major studios halted production on September 11th in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and some shows - such as Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Fox's terrorist-thwarting drama 24 - have pushed their fall launch dates back anywhere from a couple of weeks to indefinitely. UPN, however, seems to be staying its course for this week's premiere of Enterprise, as well as its upcoming premieres of the network-hopping Buffy and Roswell series, both acquired from the WB. Sources: Sci-Fi Wire, Electronic Media

Is the bow broken, or the arrow? Veteran Trek author Diane Carey has written the novelization of the Enterprise series premiere, Broken Bow, for an October release by Pocket Books. The novel will also feature a section on the making of the show written by Paul Ruditis. seems to have the wrong title for the book (Broken Arrow, which is actually another Oklahoma city), but it is now available for pre-order. A series of original novels will follow in 2002.

Okay, so it's a box set, but is it wrapped in plastic? Once upon a time, oh, say, about eleven years ago, there was innocence - and we had more time to worry about such pressing matters as who killed Laura Palmer. If you're itching to return to that time, Twin Peaks is now available for pre-order on DVD - though not in the form originally announced. Instead of a full-series box set, the first through seventh episodes are being compiled into a the first volume of the series, which lasted two seasons on ABC (or more like one and a half), with the promise of further volumes to follow. (Previously, it had been announced that the entire series - minus the pilot episode, which was snagged in a rights dispute - would be released in one box set.)

Twin Peaks DVD Box Set: Episodes 1-7

Existing footage of a nonexistent tour. As we reported in August, the entire North American ELO tour was cancelled, leaving fans crying foul and leaving the band stunned (the cancellation wasn't their idea). But despite the cancellation of the U.S. tour, an ELO Zoom Tour DVD has been slated for a mid-November release. How? It's a compilation of two west coast shows in May which formed the basis of a PBS special (which, adding to the band's streak of good luck this year, hasn't aired in many markets). And now more than ever, the lyrics from the first Zoom single seem appropos: "you've gotta find something that makes you feel alright."

Electric Light Orchestra: The Zoom Tour - Live

Is-this-the-end-of-the-Da-leks? Not by a long shot. Big Finish Productions has announced that a second season of its Dalek Empire audio dramas will be produced, though it may arrive no sooner than late 2002 or early 2003. Other recent Big Finish announcements include another New Adventures-era Doctor Who Audio Adventure for early 2003 with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Lisa Bowerman as the Doctor, Ace and Bernice (though Paul Cornell won't be scripting this story), and a one-off solo adventure for Frobisher written by Rob Shearman, who gave the created-for-comics shapeshifter-stuck-in-the-shape-of-a-penguin his audio debut in last year's outstanding Holy Terror audio play. Robert Jezek will reprise his role as the voice of Frobisher. Source: Outpost Gallifrey

Many American shows have been based on far funnier British counterparts. Take, for example, Sanford and Son, based on the classic Brit series Steptoe and Son. Or take Cheers - and what did the producers of Cheers have in mind? They were actually trying to duplicate the adversarial relationship of Basil Fawlty and his wife in the classic sitcom Fawlty Towers, both seasons of which are now being released in a single box set. Monty Python alumni - and then-husband/wife team - John Cleese and Connie Booth created and starred in this incredibly funny show, which managed to avoid jumping the shark by lasting only twelve episodes.

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Box Set

All Trek, all the time! Throughout October (and only October), is going into all-Trek mode, with a tribute to Gene Roddenberry's universe in all of our regular sections - along with the first five entries in the Enterprise LogBook! (There will be additional music reviews and episode guide entries for other series for those who get just a wee bit weary of all the Trekking, by the way.)
They're baaaaaaack... Those pesky Elves! They're taking over an entire section of the site once again beginning next week, giving you an even better chance than last year to get a head start on Christmas shopping for the SF fan on your list. This year, the store is so big that it's been split into several different "aisles" including DVD, video, music, collectibles, and more. Click here for a sneak preview. These guys definitely haven't been making cookies. Source: The North Pole

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