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RR26: Captain Pike & The Cage

RR26: Captain Pike & The Cage
Redshirts & Runabouts

 
 
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We kick off our TOS watch with the very first episode of Star Trek ever made, The Cage. This episode, which did not air in its full form until the 1980s, includes a different Captain, a different First Officer, a different doctor, and a fairly different tone when compared to the test of The Original Series. We are introduced to Captain Pike, played by the late Jeffrey Hunter, who leads this crew of the USS Enterprise. The Cage stands as a monument to what Gene Roddenberry initially wanted Star Trek to become and this week, we talk about it in all of its glory and failings.

If The Cage and Captain Pike are not your thing, join us next week for the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before!

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Join our three-man crew for a journey that will span decades, every episode, every series, every movie, and every possible timeline no matter how small.

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Redshirts & Runabouts Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Greg Bosko
Derreck Mayer
Jeremy Monken

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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RR26: Captain Pike & The Cage

How Supergirl Can Join the CW-Verse

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a young twenty-something girl who clearly doesn’t look like either of those things. CBS’ Supergirl is changing homes, moving to sister (or is it cousin) network The CW. For those who think that might be an odd move, you’re probably not aware that The CW is currently home to four different DC Comics TV shows: Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and iZombie. They even have a fifth show in the form of a web series on CW Seed, Vixen. The CW is no stranger to bringing the DC universe together either. In fact, they put the first live action Justice League together on Smallville ages ago. After NBC cancelled Constantine, Stephen Amell (Arrow), lobbied to get the character’s rights to The CW so they could do a crossover and not only did Matt Ryan show up on Arrow, he is lined up to be a recurring, if not regular character in the second season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

So, The CW, it seems, is building its own DC Universe and with the exception of iZombie, it’s all deeply connected. Characters crossover all the time and the animated Vixen even showed up in live action form on Arrow already. Say what you want about the DCEU from a film perspective, The CW has pulled out all of the stops by introducing crazy characters, intense stories, and even the Multiverse in just the second season of The Flash. The network isn’t hesitant to go full comic book and I love that!

Alright, but what does that mean for our Girl of Steel? I, for one, love the show. It’s bright, fun, motivating, and hopeful. Now, there will be some spoilers after the image break pertaining to the March crossover with The Flash. You have been warned.

Supergirl - Kara Danvers - The CW

Still here? Cool. So, back in March CBS and The CW decided to join forces and bring Flash to Supergirl. This was perfect for two main reasons. First, the tones of the show are very similar. The Flash is bright and fun just like Supergirl and definitely not the depressing, teenage angst-filled soap opera Arrow has become in recent months. Second, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin are old friends from Glee and love working together. That is evident in their promotional photoshoot pairing the two characters together, spurring rumors of a crossover. While the writing for that particular episode may not have been the best either show has seen, the chemistry between Benoist and Gustin was clear and exciting. I wanted to see more of them together and the episode left me wishing Supergirl was a CW show because that network has earned my trust when it comes to DC shows.

The crossover was able to occur because Barry Allen can pass between universes and is specifically trying to do so at the time to defeat Zoom. The Barry Allen character has been able to do similar things in the comic books for decades and in the classic graphic novel Kingdom Come by Alex Ross, Flash has become so quick in his old age that he can literally walk between universes and dimensions.

Now the question The CW has to answer is, will Supergirl stay in its own universe or will something change? Options include keeping the show in its own universe, merging the two universes in a major cataclysmic event, or pulling Kara from her universe to The CW’s permanently. The safe, easy choice is the first one. Let things continue as they are and do a crossover when it’s convenient or organic. The third option would be difficult to pull off. Kara would never be okay with leaving her world behind, so they’d need a really good reason she sticks around. That leaves us with the middle option: major cataclysmic event. Now, these things have happened before… in the comic books. In fact, DC did something like this recently with their “Convergence” story line that spanned the entire DC universe and made basically anything published by them official canon. Now we have two different Superman characters from two different universe, for example.

The CW could do something basically unheard of in the TV world and go down the path of a universe merging event (yes I know this kind of happened in Fringe and I loved that show). Imagine if the Flarrow-verse’s National City was wiped out and replaced with Supergirl’s? It’d be epic. The consequences of such a disaster, dealing with a whole new population that might have doppelgangers around the world is complex, potentially dark, and definitely heavy. Now, something like this could easily be a season spanning arc or at least half a season between setting it up and coming to some kind of resolution. A man can dream but I doubt something like this will happen.

What I expect is that The CW will keep Supergirl in its current universe and provide more crossovers at times, maybe even with doppelganger characters with all the other actors being on the same lot now. We can see Supergirl’s Barry Allen and Oliver Queen pretty much any time now. Like we see Arrow and The Flash characters crossover frequently, we can now see those actors play different versions of themselves much like Earth-2. Does that make Supergirl Earth-3? Those who read the comic books know Earth-3 is not really a good place but The CW-verse is not the comic books.

One final possibility is the inclusive of Legends of Tomorrow crossovers. While the show centers around time travel in the first season, the sky is the limit with such a flexible cast and advanced technology. Crossing between Earths wouldn’t be too difficult to explain.

What would you like to see? Are you excited for the move? Comment below with your thoughts!

How Supergirl Can Join the CW-Verse

NBC’s Emerald City – A New Oz

There’s never too long before a Wizard of Oz adaptation comes to fruition. Scheduled for an April 2016 release, NBC has begun production on Emerald City, a ten episode mini series. While very little details are known regarding the synopsis, it has been confirmed that the Wizard (recently cast Daredevil villain Vincent D’Onfrio) will rule Oz with an iron (emerald?) fist, outlawing all magic of any kind. Dorothy, played by the up and coming television actress Adria Arjona, will be much older than the book depicted child, which leads audiences to assume she will take a more active hero role in the story. Tarsem Singh (known for directing spectacles such as Mirror, Mirror) is set to direct all ten episodes.

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For those of you that don’t already know, I’m an avid Wizard of Oz fan. It’s been my favorite movie since childhood. You know those hanging monkey toys that were popular for awhile? Yeah, I totally made wings for them. I digress.

I’m going into this being cautiously optimistic. It’s difficult for me to always be excited about new Oz when I’ve been burned by Oz before. The adaptations don’t always capture the magic and danger that Oz brings. They want to make them sexy, futuristic, bloody, cyborg, steampunk, drug addled, etc. When those adaptations are released, they are marketed as an Oz we’ve never seen before, when that’s never what an Oz fan has wanted.

Personally, I love when they tell new stories. Expansions on such a beautiful fantasy world bring new life into the fold, and while they’re not always innovative stories, they at least have my respect. So while I’m not looking forward to an Oz story I’ve already seen a million times, I’m intrigued by the Wizard as a villain (or at least a bully) angle, since that is how I’ve always seem him. I also have a lot of faith in Singh as a director. He’s often panned as one of the worst in the business, but, truthfully, I enjoy the sense of whimsy he brings to all of his work. If there’s one thing Oz should always be, it’s whimsical.The%20Wizard%20of%20Oz

Do you want some Oz recommendations to prepare for the new show? Here’s a small list of my favorite Oz adaptations:

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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Arguably the most successful and famous continuation of the Oz legacy is the 1995 novel written by Gregory Maguire. A tale of Elphaba, the notorious Wicked Witch, this story predates the time of Dorothy and gives Oz a more realistic look as a country while focusing on a character that helped create the villain trope that we know today. The introduction of politics and religion into a world filled with magic was so exceptional it spawned 3 sequels and a hit show on Broadway that is seeing its 13th year in production. Read the book, see the play, watch the movie again, hate Glinda.

Marvel’s Wizard of Oz comic books

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These are what I consider to be the most faithful adaptations of the books.  They are almost word for word taken from Baum’s first six canonical stories.  Begun during Marvel’s period od adapting classic novels in the late 2000’s, write Eric Shanower and artist Skottie Young’s take on the stories were so well received that the Oz comics were the only ones to continue while all the other classics had been canceled.  They truly capture some of the most difficult aspects of Oz (like how to make it frightening as well as magical) without losing its appeal to children or adults.

I know there are a ton more adaptations out there, and most of them I have seen.  They all have a lot of great qualities to them, but these two are the only ones I feel really continue the legacy of what Oz is and what it means. What are your favorite Oz adaptations?  Are you looking forward to the new series? Do you want to hear the reasons why I dislike so many other Oz…things?

NBC’s Emerald City – A New Oz

Knowing the Future is Boring

Minority Report and Blindspot both debuted their pilot episodes recently, with both shows relying heavily on a mysterious in-world phenomena that lets the characters know aspects of the future before it happens.  Minority Report, set as a sequel to the Tom Cruise-starring 2002 film of the same name, features one of the trio of ‘precogs’ returning to the city and wanting to help prevent the murders that he sees, but the visions he receives on his own never allow him to get to the victim in time to do more than watch.  Blindspot introduces us to a ‘Jane Doe’ who has had her memory almost completely erased, but is covered head to toe in intricate tattoos.  The FBI team managing her case quickly discover that the tattoos provide information on where and when crimes will be committed that the FBI would be invested in solving.

Outside of the common framework of providing the central characters with pieces of the future to act on in the hopes of preventing something bad from happening, both shows share another feature: they’re set up as fairly standard crime procedurals.  There will be a crime every week that they’ll need to prevent, and for some reason standard law enforcement procedures will consistently prove inadequate to meeting that challenge.

Both shows also seem to have some kind of ongoing mystery that intend (supposedly) to slowly unravel over time.  For Minority Report, the closing scene of the pilot shows the other two ‘precogs’ discussing a vision one of them had, where the trio are once again taken by the government by force to serve some unknown end.  For Blindspot, the origin of Jane Doe’s tattoos, as well as the character’s own origin ,since she appears to have been a highly trained special forces operator, will provide the same essential mystery.

After one episode each, I’m nearly bored to tears at the idea of knowing scraps of the future.

For starters, neither show is doing anything particularly new or interesting here.  As I’ve already stated, Minority Report is set in the same world as the film, so there isn’t really any new ground to tread there.  Substitute Jane Doe’s tattoos and apparently high level of training for ‘expert knowledge of everything’ and Blindspot becomes the 2002 series John Doe, which only lasted for a single season.

On top of that, we have an abundance of crime procedurals on television these days.  Some have been running for more than a decade.  NCIS started back in 2003, as a spinoff from JAG, which started in 1996.  Law and Order, or some show with those words in the title, seem to have been on television since the beginning of time.  And then there are the various CSI: Random Location series.  We have an abundance of this kind of show and none of them really interest me.  Usually this is because the crime-of-the-week is the priority over telling any kind of ongoing story about the characters we see every week.

This is one of the reasons that Person of Interest is one of my favorite shows on TV right now.  It started out very much the same way, being set up as a crime procedural with tidbits of information about the future.  But as the show has progressed, we’re at the point now where while there is still generally a crime of the week to be solved, the last two seasons (and hopefully the upcoming fifth season) have focused much more heavily on the story of The Machine that provides the information to prevent those crimes.  The story of an Artificial Intelligence that watches everyone, all the time, and correctly predicts not only potential terrorist threats before they take action, but also normal premeditated crimes, opens up a lot of questions for a writer beyond “how do we solve the next crime?”  And to the credit of the show runners, Person of Interest is now taking the time to address those kinds of questions head on.  Because that story is significantly more interesting than saving yet another random person/famous guest star week after week.

That’s what worries me about both Minority Report and Blindspot.  The criminal case of the week, for both shows, was rather uninspired.  And since both shows are dealing sources of information outside of the ordinary, neither show will feel much of a need to depict any kind of real police work.  Meanwhile, the story I actually care about, that is interesting, will (at best) be doled out in tiny doses here and there.

As bad as it is to say, I don’t care about the crimes being committed each week in these shows.  I care (or at least, the show hopes that I care) about the characters we’re going to see every week.  That’s the people investigating the crimes, not the victims.

For Blindspot, I care about Jane.  So I want to know where the tattoos came from, why her memory was erased, who trained her.  There appears to be an entire conspiracy behind what happened to her.

For Minority Report, I care about Dash, the naive precog that just wants to help save people, and how there appears to be a looming threat to once again abuse him and his siblings for their abilities.  But watching Dash clumsily make his way from crime to crime, with a cop in tow, trying to stop the next murder before it happens, sounds repetitive and boring.

For either of these shows to keep me coming back, they need to change gears fairly quickly, and ditch the crime-of-the-week format.  I don’t care about it.  At all.  Tell me the story about the mystery that’s been set up in the first episode.

This is the point where I ironically point out that I’m going to predict the future, in a blog post that talks about how knowing the future is boring.

blindspotheaderIn all honesty, I don’t see either of these shows lasting long.  As I mentioned, Blindspot seems like someone wanted to take a second stab at John Doe, which only got a single season. Jaime Alexander does amazing work as Jane Doe and I’m tempted to keep coming back just to see her portrayal of this incredibly damaged yet mysteriously competent character.  But I don’t want to have to slog through weeks of ‘our next case’ to see anything more develop from it.

CLwj7qVXAAAir5HMinority Report is airing on Fox, which has a reputation for killing even beloved science fiction shows (Dollhouse, Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and of course Firefly), because (one assumes) that the executives just don’t know what to do with the show once they have it.  And so far Minority Report is not as good as any of those shows were.  I like the concept more than Blindspot‘s, since there’s infinitely more information that a psychic can ultimately provide than a tattoo’d body can, but the cast, writing, and execution of the show are a lot weaker than Blindspot.

So tell a coherent story this season.  Focus on unraveling the mystery that’s been set up, and give it a satisfying conclusion.  If you get a second season, that’s great, I’m sure you can find ways to tell a new story with the same characters next year.  But don’t try to drag out this mystery for as long as possible.  Do you know what happens when you do that?  The show gets cancelled and I, as a member of your target audience, am left without ever sense of resolution.  And I hate that.

Knowing the Future is Boring

Heroes Reborn Trailer is Here!

Heroes Reborn looks impressive.

I know what you’re thinking.  How can we trust this new series when the old one went downhill so fast?  Well, I’ve got five reasons why you should give Heroes Reborn a chance.

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5. The plotline sounds amazing. Based on the summary alone, I can tell they’ve realized the mistakes of the first series and have done their best to rectify them. Check out the official NBC synopsis:

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, “Chuck”) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2“), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss.

Noah Bennet, aka H.R.G. (Jack Coleman, “Heroes”), has gone off the grid but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, “A to Z”) finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy.

While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, “Once Upon a Time”) just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, “Criminal Minds”), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, “Shameless”), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, “Death Yankee 3”), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, “The Boy Next Door“).

Meanwhile, Erica (Rya Kihlstedt, “Masters of Sex”), the head of the highly successful tech conglomerate Renautas, has an agenda of her own.

For better or for worse, some are fated to cross paths with assorted heroes of the past, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Yet, together, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world and mankind.

Joining Kring are executive producers James Middleton (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) and Peter Elkoff (“Sons of Anarchy”). “Heroes Reborn” is produced by Imperative Entertainment, in association with Universal Television.

11194536_10153368273958189_8431127769755967874_o4. The cast is really well thought out. It takes a lot to run a well-done ensemble show and most shows do not get it right (insert obligatory nod to Joss Whedon here), including Heroes. What they have done with Heroes Reborn, though is incredibly smart.  They have taken characters from the first series with the most interesting powers, backgrounds, and storylines and continued them here.  We’re getting Parkman, Suresh, The Haitian, Noah, and Hiro back!  These characters were all connected to other favorites, so we know that while they may not appear, there’s a chance we’ll still get to know what happened to Claire and Peter.  The majority of the cast are all newcomers to this world, but enormously talented.  You can’t go wrong when your show’s main character is played by Zachary Levi.

3. The shortened season gives way for tighter storytelling and better action. Gone are the days of 22 episodes per season and time-waste fillers – or at least they should be. The shows that have tried this “mini-series” approach have been wildly successful, including The Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow. It’s a way for the studios to test fan waters without drowning themselves in overwhelmingly awful TV decisions.  In no way does this mean we won’t see more.  In fact, if the pilot episode’s numbers are even remotely high, they’ll greenlight a second season soon after.  If you feel like you’re missing anything from it (a character didn’t get the attention it deserved or what have you), don’t fret; there’s also a companion web series on NBC.com and a comic set to debut as well.

2. Tim Kring is back! The creator of the original series was a driving force in its success and will be a huge part in this series. While the WGA writers’ strike killed the second season, it was Kring and his creative team that got season three back on track. His involvement in this continuation leads me to believe that the 13 episodes will be some of the best TV this fall.

1. That trailer! That music! Those scenes! I just… watch it for yourself and tell me you don’t want to see this show!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHClJhC8Wfs

 

Heroes Reborn debuts on NBC September 24, 2015.

 

Heroes Reborn Trailer is Here!