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The Zocalo Today

Wordle Welcome and thank you for dropping by. Babylon 5 brought many of us together -- and it remains with us, despite the fact that is no longer in production. The good thing is that the internet gives a LOT of ways to stay in touch. Don't be shy. Join in the discussion today or drop by Facebook or Twitter.

If you have questions or items for the news, drop me a line at sgbruckner@aol.com.

Latest LATEST SCIENCE FICTION NEWS:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2014

Frankenstein Underground FRANKENSTEIN UNDERGROUND
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola's next comics project will feature his take on a legendary monster.

Back in 2011, Mignola introduced Frankenstein's monster to his Dark Horse Comics "Mignolaverse" with the Hellboy graphic novel House of the Living Dead. Now he's revisiting the creature with a five-issue miniseries set to hit comic-book stores next year. Featuring story and cover art by Mignola and interior art by Baltimore artist Ben Stenbeck, Frankenstein Underground will take the monster deep into the mysteries of Mignola's creepy comic-book world.

“This version of the Frankenstein monster has the same thirst for knowledge readers will remember from Mary Shelley’s novel,” Dark Horse editor in chief Scott Allie said. “The monster takes the reader through some of the biggest mysteries of the Mignolaverse, shedding new light on important stuff we’ve only touched on before."

Mignola's always had a talent for taking legends, folklore, myth and other pre-existing stories, giving them a new spin and weaving them into his Hellboy universe, and now he's hoping to do the same with Frankenstein by giving us a version of the character that's part Mary Shelley, part Boris Karloff and all Mignolaverse.

“It’s intimidating as hell to take on an icon like the Frankenstein monster,” Mignola said. “I’m trying to do something that’s true to the origin Mary Shelley created for the creature but also captures a bit of the feel that Boris Karloff brought to the role in the classic Universal films. At the same time I’m throwing the monster into an entirely new environment, so I think the result will be something new. It’s an odd one, but ultimately will add an important new wrinkle to the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. world.”

SW-Episode VII STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
We're still not in possession of very much official knowledge about Episode VII. We know who's in it, we know who some of those people are playing, and we know when the film's set. That's pretty much it at this point, but even as J.J. Abrams keeps his Star Wars Mystery Box (mostly) shut for the moment, rumors with varying levels of credibility just keep coming. One of the more prominent, and believable, sources for these reports so far is Badass Digest's Devin Faraci, and today he hit us with several new tidbits from his Star Wars sources. Some are intriguing little details of the world, while others could be major plot points, but they all seem plausible.

First, Faraci's got word of who legendary actor Max von Sydow will be playing in the film. Remember those reports of the film opening with the discovery of a lightsaber on a desert planet? Well, the weapon will apparently be picked up by a "blue alien guy" who'll take it to a salvage yard, where Daisy Ridley's character (who might be called "Kira") works. That's where von Sydow comes in as an "old cyborg dude" who "talks a lot of nonsense" until he sees the lightsaber, recognizes it, and starts talking about "the old days." Then he'll reportedly make a call to someone and let them know the lightsaber has been found, but if Faraci knows who's on the other end of that call, he's not telling. Oh, and another thing about Ridley's character: She's living in an old AT-AT walker that's lying on its side. Pretty neat pad.

Then there's the planet news. Remember a few weeks ago when we saw those aerial shots of X-Wings and the MIllennium Falcon at Greenham Common Air Base in the U.K.? According to Faraci's report, that location is meant to stand in for the Massassi Temple the Rebel Alliance was using as a secret base in Star Wars. So if this rumor proves true, it looks like we're going back to the site of the Rebellion's first major victory at Yavin IV.

FIRESTORM
Faraci also notes an interesting potential change for Chewbacca. Apparently there's concept art floating around that shows the Wookiee with "a cybernetic hand," carrying on the long Star Wars tradition of people losing their hands in battle. Faraci emphasizes that it's just concept art and that he doesn't know if it'll actually be in the film, but this is a franchise that likes slicing off appendages, so it's certainly plausible.

The immense contributions to science fiction and fantasy entertainment by British puppetmasters Gerry and Sylvia Anderson are unquestionable, with old-school marionette programs like Captain Scarlet, Supercar and Stingray and live-action spectacles such as Space:1999 and U.F.O.

Anderson's crack anti-terrorism squad, Firestorm, first lit up the small screen back in 2003 as a Japanese anime series by Enoki Films. The response was less than enthusiastic, but now Anderson's son, Jamie, has gone back to his dad's original concept bible for inspiration to gather the strings once again for another stab at Firestorm. He's now campaigning for cash through Kickstarter to complete an 8-minute "minisode" for a new puppet series filmed in Ultramarionation as a salute to those sensationally strange Gerry Anderson shows of the past, such as Thunderbirds and Fireball XL5. Have a look at his fundraising trailer, which includes a retrospective of his late father's monumental work in puppetry and special effects. The Kickstarter goals are to raise $77,000 with hopes to triple that figure, allowing them to shoot a proper 22-minute episode and return to tangible, practical filmmaking using many of the methods pioneered by his father.

INTERSTELLAR
One last Interstellar trailer is here to floor us with new footage before the film's finally in theaters.

If you've been itching to experience Christopher Nolan's ambitious sci-fi journey as much as we have, then you know we're now just five weeks away from seeing it. That doesn't seem like a very long time in the cosmic (see what I did there?) scheme of things, but every time we see new footage from the film the wait seems to get harder. It's safe to say everyone is expecting great things from Interstellar, and some of us might be expecting so much that the film will be a letdown no matter how great it is, but trailers like the one released today make it really hard to be skeptical about this movie.

The trailer runs for two and a half minutes, and though it doesn't tell us much more than we already knew about the film's plot -- dying Earth, crack team, wormhole travel, mission to find humanity's next home and so forth -- it does give us more powerful visuals, a greater emphasis on what's at stake in this story and a new exploration of the themes at work. I was particularly taken by a line Matthew McConaughey's character, Cooper, speaks very early on: "This thing needs to learn how to adapt, like the rest of us."

Sometimes we get way too excited about movies we haven't seen yet and we get let down in a big, crushing way. Trailers are designed to sell us movies, after all, and we've been burned by more than a few (Hercules, anyone?), but even with that in mind, it's very tough to be cynical about a movie that seems to be reaching so far and promising so much. Sure, Interstellar might let us down, but when you see things like "Mankind's next step will be its greatest," and waves the size of mountain ranges, and a great cast of people playing the ultimate explorers out to save us all, it's hard not to believe in this movie.

Interstellar will arrive with limited early screenings on Nov. 5 and hit theaters nationwide on Nov. 7.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS
The first trailer for Aquaman's newest animated adventure comes to us thanks to the good folks over at Newsarama. It stars our fave Atlantean/human hybrid King of Atlantis (voiced by Matt Lanter), as well as a plethora of Justice League members.

In the new, rebooted DC animated movie universe, Aquaman was replaced by Shazam as a founding member of the mighty Justice League, but it was all done in order to give him his very own feature film. And while it says "Justice League" in the title, well, it’s all about the King of the Seven Seas.

Here’s a bit of a blurb:

As Orm and Black Manta make their move against the surface world after the battle with Apokolips forces in Justice League War had deadly consequences for Atlantis, the queen of the lost underwater civilization searches for her other son, Orm's half brother Arthur. Living on the surface world with powers he doesn't understand, Arthur Curry steps into his destiny as Aquaman, teaming with the Justice League to save and unite all people of the world.

The awesome voice cast includes Matt Lanter (Aquaman), Sam Witwer (Orm/Ocean Master), Chris Gorham (The Flash), Jason O'Mara (Batman), Shemar Moore (Cyborg), Rosario Dawson (Wonder Woman), Jerry O'Connell (Superman), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) and Sean Astin (Shazam). The superhero flick is directed by Ethan Spaulding, who helmed Son of Batman and co-directed Batman: Assault on Arkham, the last two DC animated movies.

Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis is due out in the spring of 2015.

King Kong KING KONG COMING TO NETFLIX
Good news, Kong lovers: We’ll get a double dose of King Kong in 2016. Not only will we have Skull Island, a King Kong movie prequel starring the Prince of Mischief himself (Tom Hiddleston), but Netflix will also air a new animated series titled Kong — King of the Apes.

However, we’re being told that it won’t be the same ol’ same ol’ Skull Island story we’re used to.

Set in 2050 (yep!), the series has Kong become a wanted fugitive after wreaking havoc at Alcatraz Island’s Natural History and Marine Preserve. Humans who hunt for Kong don’t know that the legendary king of Skull Island was framed by an evil genius, whose plans are to terrorize the world with an army of enormous robotic dinosaurs, because, of course, they are. Kong is the only beast strong enough to save humanity from them, and he’s helped along by three kids who know the truth about the colossal ape.

The original CGI animation series from Netflix and 41 Entertainment will be primarily targeted at kids, and will be introduced by a feature-length flick, followed by 12 half-hour episodes, all set to air in 2016.

Industry vet Avi Arad, who has produced Iron Man, the Spider-Man movies and many of the X-Men films, will executive-produce the animated series.

Neflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Avi who has made some of the most successful action and adventure franchises today and whose Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventureseries has been very popular on Netflix around the world. With 41 Entertainment as our partner on this, we continue to work with some of the finest animation studios around the world to create shows that will appeal to kids of all ages globally.”

He also added:

“I always loved King Kong. This is a unique opportunity to introduce him in brilliant CGI animation to kids worldwide with the power of Netflix.”

CONSTANTINE
NBC has debuted a new featurette on "Constantine," its adaptation of DC Comics series "Hellblazer" premiering on Friday, October 24.

Seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight - or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind, but when demons target Liv (Lucy Griffiths), the daughter of one of Constantine's oldest friends, he's reluctantly thrust back into the fray - and he'll do whatever it takes to save her.

Before long, it's revealed that Liv's "second sight"--an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences--is a threat to a mysterious new evil that's rising in the shadows. Now it's not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.

THE ZOCALO TODAY

Be sure to check out The Zocalo Today on Facebook as well as at ISN News: The Zocalo Today on Yahoo Groups.

Did you miss the news from yesterday -- or earlier in the week. Catch up by going to the September News Archive. I have broken up the huge file into months to make it easier to scan through. It will bring you up to date for all that has been going on in the world of science fiction. Go to:
August News.
July News.
June News.
May News.

Tube ON THE TUBE TONIGHT

8:00pm on Fox
Bones
The Lance to the Heart
The team works with Special Agent Aubrey to investigate a far-reaching conspiracy in the government.

8:00pm on The CW
The Vampire Diaries
I'll Remember
Elena returns to college after months of coping with loss in a potentially dangerous way.

8:00pm on AMC
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Now 25, Connor (Nick Stahl) lives with no record of his existence -- no way he can be traced by Skynet. Out of the shadows of the future steps the T-X (Kristanna Loken), Skynet's most sophisticated cyborg killing machine yet. Now Connor's only hope for survival is the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), his mysterious former assassin. Together, they must triumph over the technologically superior T-X and forestall the looming threat of Judgment Day.

8:00pm on Syfy
Haven
Season 5, Episode 4: Much Ado About Mara

9:00pm on Fox
Gradepoint
Season 1, Episode 1
A new detective leads the investigation when a young boy is found dead on a beach in a small town.

9:00pm on The CW
Reign
The Plague
The stability of Francis and Mary's new rule is threatened as the plague ravages the land.

9:00pm on Syfy
Spartacus: Vengeance
Season 3, Episode 1: Fugitivus
Spartacus learns that being a leader of freed slaves brings great responsibilities.

10:00pm on Syfy
Spartacus: Vengeance
Season 3, Episode 2: A Place in This World
Spartacus and his men liberate a villa; Oenomaus throws himself into the brutal pits.

KEEPING UP WITH CAST AND CREW

SPACE COMMAND
Look who are on a sound stage together again -- Bill Mumy and Bruce Boxleitner. Not in this picture, but also on SPACE COMMAND is Mira Murlan.

STAR TREK writer Marc Zicree teams with GALACTICA FX whiz Doug Drexler & Sci-Fi Legends to reinvent classic 50s show as Feature Films.

For more information on this kickstarter project, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/58936338/space-command.

NEW AUDIO DRAMAS
Patricia Tallman and Claudia Christian have developed a series of audio dramas that you will want to listen to. "Anne Manx and The Blood Chase" is the latest episode, but you'll want to listen to them all. Here's a link for you.

https://soundcloud.com/user1452104/anne-manx-episode-recap.





Here is a quote from J. Michael Straczynski about emotions.
I had this theory that the more important and intimate the emotion, the fewer words are required to express it.

First it's in dating: "Will you go out with me?" Six words.
"Honey, I care for you." Five words.
"You matter to me." Four words.
"I love you." Three words.
"Marry me." Two words.
But what's left? What's the one most important and intimate word you can ever say to somebody? It's "goodbye."

While Michael O'Hare (Sinclair), Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar), Rick Biggs (Dr. Franklin), Tim Choate (Zathras) and Jeff Conoway (Zach Allen) are no longer with us, we will not forget their wonderful personalities and talent -- as well as their significant contributions to the BABYLON 5 universe. Be sure to visit In Memory Of for more information about memorial efforts.
Until we met again, in a place where no shadows fall.

BABYLON 5 BIRTHDAYS

OCTOBER
Dylan Neal - October 8
Jeff Conaway - October 5 - Gone too soon
John Vulich - October 10
Tim Choate - October 11 - we miss you
John Copeland - October 13
Linda Huse - October 16

Have I missed anyone? If you know the birthday of someone connected with Babylon 5, pass the information along. We want to include everyone in our Happy Birthday Wishes.


Go to http://www.hollywoodscifi.org/ for more information.

BABYLON 5 MUSIC VIDEOS AND TRIBUTES

John Hudgens has created many Babylon 5 videos, but I believe this is the most moving. It was first shown at the Phoenix Comic Con 20th Anniversary and honors many of the Babylon 5 family who have passed on.

Here is a link to John's Babylon 5 videos:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Babylon5MusicVideos?feature=watch

Richard Biggs memorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyD4L8yNtsA

Andreas Katsulas memorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2UQ2l9NPIg

- This is the extended version that I did for Andreas' widow ater the original cut was released on the net. It's never been seen online until now.

For those of you who've never seen these, I hope you enjoy them - and for those that have (and emailed me many times over the years about releasing them), I hope they're as good as you remember. Working with Joe on these videos was one of the highlights of my career, and I'll be forever grateful to him for the doors these have opened for me. I'm proud to have them on my resume.

John Hudgens
www.zteamproductions.com


Calendar




CRYSTAL COAST CON
Date: October 18, 2014
Place: Mac Daddys Family Entertainment Facility, Cape Carteret, NC
B5 Guests: Pat Tallman and Bill Blair
Pat will be a media signing guest. The facility located at 130 Golfin Dolphin Dr., Cape Carteret, NC 28584
For more information, go to http://www.crystalcoastcon.com/.

LONDON FILM AND COMIC CON WINTER
Dates: October 18-19, 2014
Place: Earls Court 2, Old Brompton Road, SW5 9TA
Guests: Katee Sackhoff, Nicola Bryant, Ralph Macchio, Christopher Cousins, Colin Baker, David Prowse and many more
For more information, go to http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/

Spooky's Ultimate Horror Weekend
Dates: Oct. 24-26, 2014
Place: Doubletree Universal Studios, Orlando, FL 32819
Guests:
Michael Rooker - Walking Dead & Jeremiah; Stephen Pearcy - Ratt; Dee Wallace Stone - ET & Cuju; Tyler Mane - Halloween & X Men, and Tobin Bell - Dexter
For more information, go to http://www.spookyempire.com/.

MALTA COMIC EXPO
Dates: October 31-November 2, 2014
Place: Mediterranean Conference Center, Valletta, Malta
Guests: Richard Piccardo, Dirk Benedict,Silvester McCoy and many more
For more information, go to http://maltacomicsexpo.com/.

LOSCON 41
Dates: November 28-30, 2014
Place: LAX Marriott Hotel, LA, California
Babylon 5 Guest of Honor: J. Michael Straczynski
For more information, go to http://loscon.org/41/.

STAR TREK SAN FRANCISCO: NEXT GENERATION REUNION
Dates: December 12-14, 2014
Place: Hyatt Regency San Francisco, CA
Guests: KATE MULGREW, JAMES DARREN, ROBERT PICARDO, Klingon Representatives GOWRON AND MARTOK, GARRETT WANG, DOMINIC KEATING AND CONNOR TRINNEER, JONATHAN FRAKES, BRENT SPINER, LeVAR BURTON, MICHAEL DORN, GATES McFADDEN and MARINA SIRTIS
For more information, go to www.creationent.com/cal/st_sanfrancisco.html.

MAGIC CITY COMIC CON
Dates: January 16-18, 2015 Place: Miami Airport Convention Center
Comic Guests: John Romita, Jr., Allen Bellman, Adelso Corona, Greg Kirkpatrick, Dan Scott
For more information, go to http://www.magiccitycomiccon.com/.

STEEL CITY CON
Dates: December 5-7, 2014
Place: Monroeville Convention Center, Monroeville, PA
Guests: Adam West, Burt Ward, Linda Blair, Henry Winkler, Michael Dorn, Peter Mayhew, Terry Farrell, John Wesley Shippe, and more.
For more information, go to http://www.steelcitycon.com/.

FED-CON 24
Dates: May 21-24, 2015
Place: Maritim Hotel, Dusseldorf, Germany
Guests: Sam Jones, Aaron Douglas, Grant Bowler and more to come
For more information, go to http://www.fedcon.de/en/.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS!
Wizard World Conventions has a large number of events planned for the year. Be sure to visit the page to see if there is a convention of interest near you.

Creation Entertainment has a large number of conventions planned for the next several months. They include stars from TWILIGHT, SUPERNATURAL, STARGATE, FARSCAPE, XENA, SERENITY, STAR TREK, etc. Check out their calendar to see if one will be in your neighborhood soon. Don't miss their Videos page as well. It is full of some priceless video from a number of conventions.

Be sure to visit the referenced sites to see if there have been changes in dates/guests attending. Visit our Convention Calendar for a full listing of upcoming conventions.

BACK ISSUES OF THE ZOCALO TODAY

The front page of the The Zocalo Today changes daily, so be sure to check the back issues to make sure that you haven't missed anything IMPORTANT! I hope you will become a regular visitor to The Zocalo Today!


Take care and I look forward to hearing from you.
Sandra Bruckner (sgbruckner@aol.com)
Editor/Publisher
ISN News: The Zocalo Today

http://www.isnnews.net
Copyright - SBruckner, 1999-2014

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