Friday began again at the crack of dawn, waiting in a line, but fortunately, the wait to get in to Ballroom 20 wasn't nearly so long, the day kicking off with Syfy's "Stargate: Universe" panel. I've kept up with the series sporadically, as it can vary from amazing, brilliant, and inspiring arcs like Ming-Na's character, Camille Rae, choosing to spend a month in the body of a quadriplegic in order to be with her lover to the absolute moments of not only failing to pay off an episode, but destroying everything it could have been by simply blowing it in the last 5 minutes (Yes, I'm still bitter about "Faith".) So I wanted to hear that we're going to get stronger character arcs, more tension between Earth and Destiny relationships, and stronger relationships on Destiny. Fortunately, that's exactly where the panel went, so I've signed on to give the show a few more episodes. SG-1 it ain't, but then, neither was SGA.
SGU was followed by Caprica. Listening to the two panels so close together has inspired me to look at doing a blog on some of my issues with Caprica and the BSG universe, so you can look forward to that. Ron Moore and David Eick broke out the tequila early in the panel! Also on the panel, and most exciting to the geek girls in our group who don't follow Caprica was James Marsters, of "Buffy" and "Torchwood" fame. Handsome and dashing as always, he talked about basing his character, a religious fanatic and subsequently a terrorist, partially on the Muslim extremists and partially on his father, a Methodist minister. The character had to be coming from a place that, at least in his own mind, was a place of love and religious devotion, Marsters explained.
Next was the Big Bang Theory panel, moderated by Wil Wheaton. My turn to sit back and relax, because I don't follow the show. I did, however, get a huge kick out of the Bare Naked Ladies performing, because I've loved them since I was in high school, and out of Simon Helberg, who I knew as Moist from "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog."
Following Big Bang Theory, Hart Hanson and David Boreanaz took the stage for the "Bones" panel. They were the only ones scheduled to join the panel, but fresh in from the Maluku Islands (okay, her Bones shoot which had wrapped at 4 that morning) was Bones herself, the lovely Emily Deschanel. Deschanel and Boreanaz bickered quite a lot and teased each other in a very brother/sister sort of way, which was a lot of fun to watch, given their incredible on screen chemistry as romantic interests. Rumors of Booth (Boreanaz) bringing back a potential love interest from Afghanistan were neither confirmed nor denied in a manner that definitely leaned toward a confirmation, while show creator Hanson said that the show would not feature another breakup between characters Angela and Hodgins-- the pair is in it for the long haul now! The panel was joined by novelist Kathy Reichs near the end, who announced release dates on her new novels.
Following "Angel"... I mean, Boreanaz and the "Bones" panel... was master storyteller and man with a pen of gold, Joss Whedon! I'm a huge fan of pretty much everything Joss has done, particularly Firefly and Buffy, and I love his style of storytelling, so I was thrilled to get a chance to hear him talk about writing and directing. I took video of him talking about his writing process, which involves a lot of avoiding of the writing by frequently discovering he's hungry. He took audience questions early, confirming during the questioning that the Firefly comics will soon be telling the complete backstory on the mystery that remains-- Shepard Book. At the end of the panel, he was asked by a rather strange looking gentleman who his favorite actor to work with was. Joss first deadpanned, "It's Nathan Fillion" then added, "No, seriously, it's Nathan Fillion!" pointing at the man, who removed a hat, a pair of sunglasses and a fake mustache disguise.
After the panel with Joss, I wandered a bit before I made my way to the room where Eureka was going to screen that night (I was determined to have good seats!) and also wanted to catch the BBC's "Being Human" panel in the same room. I found the Jim Henson "Fraggle Rock" display while picking up swag from Thursday's panels, and had to get a picture snapped with it. Once an intern at JHC... well, hopefully not always an intern, but I do still geek out like mad over the Jim Henson properties. I was still early, and caught the panel on TNT's "Falling Skies". Underwhelmed, probably going to give the pilot a miss. "Jericho" meets "Independence Day" and my money is falling hard on aliens as the hot new in crowd to replace the (hopefully) waning popularity of the vamps.
Ironically, as I take a shot at the vamps, I now get to talk about a vamp I really like, as the BBC "Being Human" panel followed. I love the BBC show more than any other vampire show out there because it's not a vampire show. It's a character show about three supernaturals trying to be human. That said, I'm not thrilled by the idea of Syfy's American remake of the show. The Brit charm is a big part of what works with the show for me. The cast and crew for BBC's version were quick to tell the audience that no matter what happens with Syfy's version, they won't be affected. The American version's numbers or success or failure won't impact what BBC does with the show, nor will it potentially cause the show to be canceled if the Syfy version fails badly. The only harm would be if next year's panels were at the same time, one actor joked, and that no one showed up to the BBC panel. This was met with quite a bit of booing from the audience, who then cheered when he asked, surprised, "You'd all still show up here?"
Fellow geek-girl Sarah joined me for the "Being Human" panel, and we grabbed some great seats afterward for the "Eureka" screening. Problem being, there was a LARP in the hall first, so we got hit on by Harry Mudd and watched Klingons fight it out first in a very bizarre spoof of Clue.
The Eureka screening was introduced by Jamie Paglia and Bruce Miller, who were joined by Salli Whitfield-Richarson and James Callis. I've been loving the reboot, and episode 403 was no exception. I loved the homage in both style and occasional lines to multiple classic zombie flicks, but still am wanting to kick Jo's butt, tell her to go fight to win Zane back! I wasn't overly impressed by the long anticipated guest appearance of Wil Wheaton, perhaps because there wasn't much of it beyond being the scientist who caused this week's adventure into madness at GD. I did really enjoy Callis (Charles Grant) and Morton (Henry Deacon) and their arc of the episode, especially with the reveal that Henry's new wife has quite the sense of humor. I'll do a more through review on Eureka after I rewatch the episode this week. The plan after the Eureka half of the screening was to quietly slip out after and not stay for "Haven" and neither Sarah or I enjoyed the show. Unfortunately, it seems every other Eureka geek had the same idea, as the room went from packed with people standing in the back to mostly empty seats. I imagine that doesn't bode well for the new show.
Overall, Friday was exhausting, amazing, and overwhelmingly awesome!