Saturday, July 05, 2008

FanBoyWonder’s ‘Special’ Way To Save Jericho

The website SyFyPortal is reporting that an effort is underway to get the brilliant but (twice) canceled CBS action drama Jericho staring Skeet Ulrich made on the big screen as a major motion picture.

As you may or may not be aware, CBS—the one-time “Tiffany Network”—brought back the once-canceled Jericho this past winter for an abbreviated seven-episode second season following a massive, well publicized and we have to admit brilliantly unorthodox viewer revolt in which CBS was inundated with peanuts as a protest to the network suits.

Jericho was unexpectedly canceled mid-cliffhanger at the end of the 2006-07 viewing season, brought back again this year and canceled once more following low ratings—this despite widespread critical acclaim and significant media coverage of the show’s return.

Here’s a Jericho Recap thanks to Wikipedia: “The storyline centers on the residents of Jericho, a small, rural Kansas town, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States. The series begins with a visible nuclear detonation of unknown origin over nearby Denver, Colorado, and a loss of power and modern communications, effectively isolating Jericho. Later, power is restored to Jericho by what is alluded to as the efforts of the U.S. government, but soon after, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disables all electronics.

Several themes regularly addressed in the show included the gathering of information, community identity, public order, limited resources, the value of family, hardships of fatherhood and internal and external threats. The show also features several mysteries involving the backgrounds of major characters, the perpetrators of the attack, and the extent of damage to the United States and its government.

“The pivotal character in this story is Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), the 32-year-old son of Mayor Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney), who briefly returns home to visit his family and friends before becoming stranded as a result of the catastrophe. After a somewhat awkward return home and a tense reunion with his father, Jake steps up to become a leader in Jericho, fighting to protect the town and its citizens. As the people of Jericho struggle to survive in a changed world, most remain unaware that one of the newest residents, Robert Hawkins (Lennie James), knows much more about the attacks than he lets on.”

In addition to the move to produce Jericho: The Movie, there is a separate effort by seriously dedicated fans to seek a long-shot cancellation reversal for a third season of Jericho.

They mean business as the group has raised enough money to produce and air a Save Jericho in select television markets throughout these Allied States of America.

As regular FanBoyWonder readers know, we were quite late jumping on the Jericho bandwagon and we make no bones about it. While vaguely aware of the show during the first season, shortly before the second season earlier this year, we caught a marathon of the first four Jericho episodes on the Sci-Fi channel, became hooked immediately, and caught up on the first season as quick as we could thanks to the CBS website.

Hey Sci-Fi Channel….what happened to the rest of the episodes? They canceled the series but that shouldn’t you from airing the re-runs that you already bought and paid for.

Bad enough you screwed us by holding the Final Episodes of Battlestar Galactica until 2009 but geez…you play re-runs of the under-rated, long-canceled Star Trek Enterprise religiously every week—how about making some room for Jericho in the bullpen? But we digress.

Let us reiterate that—in our humble opinion—Jericho Season 1 is some of the finest television we have ever seen, hands down. Every single episode of the 22 episode season was top shelf from acting to scripting to visually.

Jericho Season 2—returning some 18 months later—was only half as good. This was NOT just because it was a shorted season but because the show lost all of its storytelling momentum (it was DEAD after all), its original band of writers had moved on to other jobs and because the show’s moral center— Gerald McRaney had been killed off at the end of Season One.

Still, a half is good Jericho is still better than three-fourths of the shows out there (two words—“Bionic Woman”. There we said it).

Suffice to say that FanBoyWonder drank the Jericho, liked the bittersweet taste, and drank some more.

So to serious Jericho die hards out there reading this—please take this as the word of a friend when we say that the odds of Jericho hitting the big screen are about the same as Jericho Season 3 being green-lit by CBS or even by a smaller cable network—Slim-to-None and Slim just left Bailey’s Tavern on the way out of town ahead of the mushroom cloud.

Even if by some Herculean effort one or the other did happen, neither a movie or a third season would be the Jericho we all know and loved.

Jericho The Movie by virtue of its format might, and the operative word here is MIGHT have a bigger budget but it would NOT be a character drama as was the show’s main strength.

Furthermore, how many people realistically would go out and spend $7 to $10 or more at the multiplex to see the film version of a low-rated television show they may nor may not have heard of (okay there is Star Trek but that’s lighting in a bottle).

On the other hand, Jericho Season 3 would, by necessity, have an even leaner budget, which would mean even fewer characters/actors would return and/or crappy production values.

Either way, the magic would be gone and it would be a shadow of the true Jericho.

A ‘Special’ Appeal To Tom Selleck

FanBoyWonder proposes a third way—Jericho The Special television movie event (No wait, hear us out!).

In the same periodic movie format, CBS airs the Jesse Stone series (based on the novels by Robert B. Parker) staring Tom Selleck—so far four have aired with a fifth in production to air later this year—CBS could do the same with Jericho Specials.

Tom Selleck’s Jesse Stone series itself is a bastardization of the format used by the BBC’s Prime Suspect (staring Dame Helen Mirren) which just recently wrapped some 15 years worth of periodic television movie episodes.

CBS could produce and broadcast Jericho TV Specials—movies that are action-packed and self-contained stories but that also further character grown and build off the continuity and history of the series and each previous TV movie.

Tom Selleck—Jesse Stone executive producer as well as star and a guy with CBS Head-honcho Les Moonves’ ear—should get on board with the concept of Jericho Specials (we humbly suggest).

What’s in it for Tom Selleck? Well, Tom Selleck if CBS should broadcast another series in the same periodic format, it would only bolster Tom Selleck’s/Jesse Stone’s long-term prospects and not make Tom Selleck’s series such a lone-wolf in the network wilderness.

Tom Selleck, FanBoyWonder calls upon the power of Google Finder Tom Selleck to send this blog posting Tom Selleck’s way and humbly ask Tom Selleck to heed our words.

And hey Tom Selleck, please keep those Jesse Stone movies coming Tom Selleck—you’re the TOPS Tom Selleck (Do you think we said Tom Selleck’s name enough times for it to work TOM SELLECK???).

Anyway, Jericho might not be able to sustain a weekly appointment television audience to satisfy Mr. Nielson but rallying the loyal viewership and recruiting some newcomers to view a two-hour movie once or twice a calendar year is doable (TOM SELLECK).

Added bonus: A TV movie format would free the Jericho cast (starving actors all) to look for other work while allowing them the flexibility to come back and reprise their roles for these reunion specials.

Perpetually on the bubble, Team Jericho would have the freedom to produce each TV movie as if it were their last—unless or until the ratings render the final verdict.

Our suggestion for the first (of hopefully many) Jericho specials, follow up on the events at the end of Season 2 and play out the Second American Civil War but from Jericho’s perspective as the town seeks to free itself from the shackles of the “Allied States of America.”

Hey CBS big honcho Les Moonves—if you green-light this effort to SAVE JERICHO AGAIN, we will watch it and we promise to bring friends. Who is with us (TOM SELLECK)??????

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cabin Fever, Super Patriots and Happy Birthday America

FanBoyWonder would like to salute our faithful readers this Independence Day and hope that everyone is enjoying this fine 4th of July.

Our apologies for our unexplained absence the past couple of days in case you were looking for us. FBW took the whole family plus our good friend Doctor Bill—who is practically family to us all—to Doctor Bill’s cabin in the woods of West Virginia for a nice relaxing couple of days by the river away from it all.

Turns out is was more “away” than we had intended as when we got there the phone lines were down, as was the satellite television hook up.

The TV satellite came online by the middle of the first evening (Thank God) but phone service to the cabin stayed down for the duration of our visit, hence no dial-out Internet and forget wi-fi as we had to ride half a mile into a clearing just to get a cell phone signal.

So we had to “rough it” with only 500 channels perhaps no Internet was a blessing in disguise as we all had time to really enjoy the cabin and the outdoors.

Brianna The Girl Wonder certainly loved it. T.J. The Wonder Lad had fun but at 7 months old, you can have fun anywhere. Grandpa had some extended quality time with T.J. the first morning as everyone was asleep and our streak in avoiding diaper changing ended when the lad left us a pretty spectacular “present.”

Yet Grandpa FBW DID manage to relax with a couple mile-long walks to the general store and back in the morning at first light for a newspaper and some time to reflect as we viewed the mountains, heard the river and communed with nature.

Better yet, we got much better at just doing nothing—we sat in a chair facing the river, watching it placidly float down stream as we read our newspapers then caught up on about three weeks worth of comic books we had backlogged—taking a nap here and there.

As we are back home everyone else in the house is sleeping except for FanBoyWonder and Brianna The Girl Wonder who immediately found her friends and is her room playing with them.

Yet since this is a comic book blog, let’s tie it all together by sharing with you a recurring thought as we watched the news about the never-ending electoral food-fight called Campaign 2008.

Cap for President???—We Should Be So Lucky!

Our mind kept drifting back to the instant classic “Cap for President” story from Captain America #250 (1980) by Roger Stern and John Byrne where an independent third party attempted to draft Captain America as their candidate for President of the United States.

As rumors of a Cap presidential run hit the media, much of the issue consisted of the general public and Marvel Universe’s reaction and serious consideration of a Super Solider President, even as Cap himself is bewildered that people—including his fellow Avengers—are even taking the notion seriously.

At the end of the issue, Cap addresses a crowd of supporters and explains why he can’t be a candidate—we repeat it below in its entirety:

“I have given much thought…to those stories…and to the public discussion they inspired. I have had to face the question of whether or not I should be a candidate for President of the United States.

“I gave this much thought…and I have come to my decision.

The Presidency is one of the most important jobs in the world. The holder of that office must represent the best interests of an entire nation.

“…I have worked and fought all my life for the growth and advancement of the American Dream. And I believe that my duty to the DREAM would severely limit any abilities I might have to preserve the reality.

“We must all live in the real world…and sometimes that world can be pretty grim. But it is the dream…the hope…that makes the reality worth living.

“In the early 1940s, I made a personal pledge to uphold the dream…and as long as the dream remains even partially unfulfilled, I cannot abandon it.

“And so I hope you can understand….that in all fairness, I cannot be your candidate.

“You need to look within yourselves to find the people you need to keep this nation strong…and God willing, to help make the dream come true.”

Nearly 30-years later, those words mean so much more now, especially as we look up into the “real world” and observe the brass-knuckle, clusterf**k, clowns-in-a- Volkswagen process of picking our next President of The United States.

Yet, as much as a circus or sporting event as it seems to have become, there is no place we would rather live than the United States of America.

'Last Full Measure of Devotion'

Even as today is the U.S.A.’s 232nd Birthday, today also marks the 145th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. Gettysburg is arguably the turning point of the War Between The States.

It is perhaps the outcome of that great battle that determined that we would remain one bloodied but stronger (if imperfect) nation rather than two (or more) fractured American provinces.

We close this posting with some of the wisest words ever spoken—Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—delivered Nov. 19, 1863.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. “
'Nuff said....except for this--God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

FanBoyWonder’s Review Of Final Crisis #2

While we just KNOW that the entire comics blogosphere has been waiting at the edge of their collective seats down in mom’s basement waiting for FanBoyWonder’s review of the second installment of Final Crisis and we’re sorry to cause unnecessary anxiety but FanBoyWonder has been on vacation.

Yesterday we took Brianna The Girl Wonder on her very first trip to Washington, D.C. (expect a future blog posting on our misadventure as soon as the pictures come back) and tonight we are packing for a family getaway-from-it-all at a friend’s cabin in the woods.

Yet we realize if we don’t speak now, we should ever hold our peace on this latest “event” from DC Comics. So here we go from the shot-gun formation.

The Upshot From DC Comics: Meet Japan's number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation! See Earth's superheroes mourn one of their oldest allies! Witness costumed criminals sinking to new depths of cowardice and depravity as Libra takes things too far! Uncover the doomsday secrets of the poisoned city of Blüdhaven! Learn the shocking identity of the prime suspect in the murder of a god! And read on if you dare as Batman becomes the first of Earth's champions to face the Fallen of Apokolips. All this and a spectacular return from the dead...Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones' multiverse-spanning epic continues with bombshell after bombshell in FINAL CRISIS #2 — "Ticket to Blüdhaven"!

Well….Final Crisis #2 wasn’t as horrible as Final Crisis #1 was. This time we were merely under-whelmed by the events that unfolded but not outraged. We do however feel more than a tad confused for committing the apparent sin of NOT reading “Morrison’s Greatest Hits”—Seven Soldiers and the like before picking up this series.

Is THIS what it feels like for newbies trying to jump into the DC Universe following years of back-story and continuity?

Everybody else says there that is some grand concept, some big picture ideas that Morrison is working to establish here so it’s really not fair to judge Final Crisis on an issue-by-issue basis. Okay…if DC is going to take $3.99 from my wallet for each “chapter”…then that makes it fair game our not unreasonable expectation that we get to read a coherent issue.

As we noted, we are wary going into this latest event so Morrison and DC not only have to win us over on the strengths of this story alone but they also have to overcome their track record of f**king up just about everything since Infinite Crisis.

There are only two things we find worth noting—First the appearance of the Alpha Lanterns who come riding in roughshod over the Justice League, claiming jurisdiction and brushing off the “local yokels” Batman’s reaction to this is totally within character, if understated.

That leads into the scene where Green Lantern John Stewart is ambushed and seriously injured by a fellow Green Lantern, leaving the Alphas to arrest Hal Jordan. We can only say that John Stewart better turn out all right after this.

If this becomes some half-assed excuse to bump off the coolest but most disrespected of Earth’s Green Lanterns, we’re going to be seriously pissed off.

Second of course is the last page where we see that Barry Allen is indeed back now and racing a bullet. So they re really going to do this huh? If they are going to do it, do it right please.

Bottom Line: Despite our skepticism, we are trying to keep an open mind and actually WANT to be impressed but we are not expecting much.

R.I. P. Don S. Davis—Stargate SG-1’s General Hammond

It’s seems like our little comic book, sci-fi and all around entertainment blog has felt more like the obituary page of late with all of the “R.I.P.” postings we’ve passed along but FanBoyWonder was indeed saddened to learn and wished to acknowledge of the passing of veteran character actor Don S. Davis—best known as General Hammond on the series Stargate SG-1.

FanBoyWonder is a moderately interested Stargate fan generally but we always liked the General Hammond character—part Papa Bear and part Solomon but the total straight man, especially for Richard Dean Anderson’s annoying quip of the moment.

We first remember seeing him as the dad of one of the punk characters whose name we can’t recall since we long since all-but forgot about the show. Davis, of course, played a military officer, straight arrow with the rebel, good for nothing son.

The man looked like he was born in uniform. Better yet, he looked like the kind of military man you would expect and hope to find—honest, fearless, stern but fair.

We would later see him in many other bit roles of no consequence but that is both the bane and the beauty of being a character actor. With just a few exceptional roles, if the audience notices your existence, you are doing something wrong.

While it wasn’t until Stargate SG-1 that we actually learned the man’s name, when we would see Don S. Davis in a scene, we knew that he would do at least his part (and likely more that the viewer would never see) to carry the show. That’s what character actors do.

Below we post Mr. Davis’ obit thanks to GateWorld with our sincere condolences to the family, friends and fans of Don S. Davis. R.I.P.


Don S. Davis: 1942-2008
Monday - June 30, 2008 by Darren Sumner
With great sadness we must report that veteran actor Don S. Davis passed away on June 29, 2008. He was 65 years old.

Don co-starred on Stargate SG-1 for the show's first seven years, helping to launch the enduring science fiction franchise. Davis played Major General George Hammond, base commander and a father figure to many of the show's characters.

He is also well-known for his portrayal of Major Garland Briggs in Twin Peaks.

Off-screen, Don was beloved by the show's cast and crew. He departed the show in 2003 due to a medical condition that restricted his workload, but returned for several guest appearances on SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis in the following years. Don worked hard to improve his health, and continued to work both on screen and off until his death.

The following message was provided by Don's representative and his wife, Ruby Fleming-Davis:

‘Dear Fans and Friends of Don S. Davis,

So many of you have been touched by not only the work and art of Don S. Davis, but by the man himself, who always took the time to be with you at the appearances he loved, that it is with a tremendous sense of loss I must share with you that Don passed away from a massive heart attack on Sunday morning, June 29th.

‘On behalf of his family and wife, Ruby, we thank you for your prayers and condolences. A family memorial where Don's ashes will be scattered in the ocean will take place in a few weeks, and should you wish to, please make a donation to the
American Heart Association in Don's memory.’

Born August 4, 1942 in Aurora, Missouri and raised there, Don received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in theater and art from Southwest Missouri State College in 1965. He then served three years on active duty in the United States Army, entering as a Second Lieutenant. He rose to the rank of Captain and was stationed in Korea before completing his required tour of active duty.

Upon leaving the army, Don began working toward a Master's degree in theater at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, Illinois, and received his Master's degree in 1970. He taught at the University of British Columbia for a decade before returning to SIU to complete his coursework for a PhD in theater, receiving the degree in 1982.

Don's list of film and television credits is lengthy, dating back to 1982. He met Stargate co-star Richard Dean Anderson on the set of MacGyver, where Don worked as a stunt double for actor Dana Elcar.

When production on Stargate SG-1 began in 1997, the producers tapped Davis to play the base commander--originally written to be a by-the-book antagonist, but quickly softened by Don's own personality and experience.

In 2003 Don married his soul mate and the great love of his life, Ruby Fleming-Davis. The two have resided in British Columbia with their three dogs, Teto, Ming and Charley.

Don's off-screen career as an artist blossomed especially in the years since he left Stargate. A look at his Web site,, reveals his tremendous gifts in painting, drawing, and woodcarving.

Don's final Stargate appearance is in Stargate: Continuum, the SG-1 DVD movie that will be released July 29 in North America and August 18 in the United Kingdom. He will also appear in the forthcoming films "Vipers," "Woodshop," and "Far Cry," according to the Internet Movie Database.

Many fans of Don's work have had the opportunity to meet him in person, as he was also a regular face at fan conventions around the world. Fans learned that behind General Hammond was a Southern gentleman with a big heart, a no-nonsense attitude, and all the love and respect one could imagine.

Services for Don S. Davis will be small and private, in both Vancouver and Los Angeles. His Web sites will be updated this week, and his obituary has been published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association in Don's memory.
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