Sanctuary Preview Webisode 7

12 September 2007

Real Life Sucks

Yep real life does suck! The world is conspiring to keep me offline (and surprisingly it's not my natural inclination for procrastination) but I hopefully see an end to the malevolent machinations in sight.

I will return... sometime soon... maybe...

13 August 2007

MON 13 - Another great Sanctuary Webisode

OK here is your first and final warning - here be spoilers, if you're allergic to them then bye bye.

I had a lazy day at home today, I woke up late and eventually got out of bed around 10am, booted up my computer and downloaded the next Sanctuary webisode and then got some brekky while it was downloading. I definitely liked today's webisode, more character insights into Helen and Ashley and a setup for a big showdown with the Keepers of the Dead next webisode.

I like the twists in the story that they take, sometimes showing the audience a believable red herring and then turning around and presenting something different. So now The Morrigan aren't really the bad guys, I like that.

So what happened in the webisode? Well it picks up in the lab with the three sisters causing mayhem for Will and Bigfoot, then they are surrounded by a blue electrical type field and drop to the ground. Ouch, that was a long drop! Then we see Helen wielding a great big gun which obviously she used to stun them with, hmmm I wish I had her bag of tricks, lots of neat gadgets she's got in good ole Sanctuary :-)

Will puts his foot in it with Helen by implying that she is letting her personal situation colour her dealing with the women. Will still doesn't believe that they could possibly be The Morrigan whilst Helen is open to the idea. Helen proceeds to enlighten Will on what her perspective really is :

"Life without end is not a gift, it's a curse. It means loneliness, isolation. It means being less human." Ouch, I guess Will hit a sore spot.

Will eventually goes on to piss off Ashley too and she yanks his chain by channeling her father a touch whilst describing what she feels when hunting ghouls. Now both RoX and I think that she was having him on because he doesn't know when to backoff on the "you should talk" bit. I'm sure RoX will update me later on what the word on the forums is about this aspect.

And finally we have Helen figure out that The Morrigan were turned from their true purpose by Merlin just in time for the Keepers of the Dead to scale the walls storm Sanctuary!! Now we have to wait another fortnight to see the conclusion of the pilot and the battle for Sanctuary. I'm looking forward to it!!!



Catch ya later,
Trace

12 August 2007

SUN 12 - The Annual City To Surf

Well I finally entered the City To Surf!!

Walking though :-) A few of my cousins and I decided we'd walk the race with the Back Of The Pack and we personally raised $600 for charity. According to the official website they have raised so far in total $865,973 and that figure is still climbing.

It was a nice day, pleasant but not too hot and we finished in 2hrs 14mins. Not a speed record but not too shabby for 14kms up and down hills. All I can say is that Heartbreak Hill is aptly named and I am sooooooooooo glad that I wasn't running (as if!!).

We organised the rest of the clan to meet us at the end and we spent a couple of pleasant hours at the beach. It sure was a fun day but next year I'm going to train a lot earlier as my body is starting to let me know what it thinks of me. A nice hot bath before bed should fix that though.

I'm too tired to do the geek bit today, luckily I have tomorrow off so I'll probably get to download Sanctuary early this week. We're up to Webisode 7 already YAY!!! Then we have to wait a couple of months till they go back to shooting again. I'm not sure when they start but they'll probably have to wait until Amanda finishes shooting Atlantis. Good news is that they have already sat down for a least a week to start planning out the next 40 webisodes!! Colour me happy :-)




Catch ya later,
Trace

10 August 2007

FRI 10 - Gadget Geek - Military Toys

W00t!! New Sanctuary webisode on Monday :-)




The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :




  1. Army tests Mule - this 'bot has a long name - Multifunction Utility Logistics and Equipment. Check it out at DangerRoom






  2. British Marines unveil their stealth boat. Check it out at DailyMail







  3. Laser guided bullets, what will they think of next? Check it out at DangerRoom






  4. Shotgun Taser. Check it out at GizModo






  5. U.S to Deploy an Entire Squadron of Unmanned Aerial Drones in Iraqistan. Check it out at GizModo





Catch ya later,
Trace

08 August 2007

WED 08 - Space

The space shuttle Endeavour is getting ready for another lift off in about 11 hours. Great! It's at a civilised hour for me to watch :-)

They may get to extend the mission a few days if the new Station-Shuttle Power Transfer System works. It looks like they'll be doing a bit of everything this trip; assembly on the space station, repairs, resupply and Barbara Morgan finally gets to go into space. After being a backup for Christa McAuliffe 22 years ago Barbarbara kept contacts with the space program and was invited back in 1998 to become a full-fledged astronaut. Now as part of The Educator Astronaut Project she not only has the regular duties of the crew but she also will take part in several education-related activities.

As the space shuttle program draws to a close the Constellation Program is ramping up. The new Ares launch vehicles will actually use some of the shuttle technology and facilities. The Orion crew exploration vehicle is a similar shape to the old Apollo ones but much bigger. Here's some info on Orion stolen directly from a NASA page:

"Orion will be capable of carrying crew and cargo to the space station. It will be able to rendezvous with a lunar landing module and an Earth departure stage in low-Earth orbit to carry crews to the moon and, one day, to Mars-bound vehicles assembled in low-Earth orbit. Orion will be the Earth entry vehicle for lunar and Mars returns. Orion’s design will borrow its shape from the capsules of the past, but takes advantage of 21st century technology in computers, electronics, life support, propulsion and heat protection systems."

In just a couple of years we will see the Ares/Orion combo take over the resupply of the Space Station.


Also on the space front, last Saturday saw the launch of The Phoenix Mars lander which is due to arrive at Mars next year around May 25


Today's geek photos are






  1. The Phoenix launch










  2. The Orion crew vehicle









  3. A cool drawing of HD 98800 which consists of two pairs of double stars







Catch ya later,
Trace

06 August 2007

MON 06 - Afterworld appears - guess where!

Well here I am at a friends place watching the SciFi Channel on Foxtel (Australia) and guess what they announce is next up?? You got it! The world premiere of Afterworld!! So I just rewatched the first episode with my friend and it looked pretty good on a big screen TV. Unfortunately I don't have Foxtel anymore so I'm working on getting my friend to record them for me but he is incredibly unreliable. Hmmmmm maybe I need to start searching through friends and acquaintances for another Foxtel source.

I wonder when the rest of the world will be getting it released to them and through what medium???? Hang on!! I just remembered that I signed up at Afterworld.tv for info on it's release, so it looks like the bozos still haven't got their act together yet.


On the Sanctuary front, the new preview is out but I haven't seen it yet. I'll have to wait until I get home to watch it as my friend only has limited internet usage :-( I must introduce him to broadband and the notion of unlimited bandwidth! I'll update the preview vids tomorrow when I get home.



The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :




  1. A cute but useless USB dohickey - I want one! Check it out at Popgadget









  2. Those Dick Tracy watches are getting closer every day. Check it out at ThinkGeek








  3. Where's RoX?? Here's another cool boatcar. Check it out at GizModo






Catch ya later,
Trace

03 August 2007

Fri 03 - I love Wexford!!

I watched Sanctuary webisodes 5 & 6 yesterday and I continue to be impressed with this show as they move into the second story of the pilot. Will seems to be settling in a bit, Helen continues to be mysterious but we're getting little tidbits about her history via flashbacks, Ashley continues to be a handful and be thoroughly entertaining at the same time and the guest characters continue to be impressive!

Wexford I loved him! Paul MGillion did a marvelous job with the character and there is much potential there to have the character as a recurring one but he should be used sparingly to help out with the necessary exposition. I'm curious as to what the cruel irony that his life is centred around. Are those things on his face gills or something like that? Hmmm I'm not sure but he does say that he needs moisture to survive and it looked like he picked a bug off a leaf and ate it, so maybe he is some type of amphibian hybrid???? This is one of the things that I do like about Sanctuary, they don't tell you everything, they throw intelligent hints out to the audience. I very much prefer this style of show where you are required to engage your brain a bit, way too many so called sci-fi shows have been dumbed down lately much to my disgust.

Whilst catching up on things on the net yesterday I found this couple of intriguing ladies who are also Sanctuary fans who have a blog called Two Idiots Do Sanctuary. They are totally off the wall and appeal to my warped sense of humour and they have recorded commentaries for the Sanctuary webisodes. I spent an amusing hour yesterday watching the first half of the Sanctuary pilot in a totally different light!!

Don't forget to vote for Sanctuary at The 2007 SyFy Portal Genre Awards. I noticed that RoX gave a pretty detailed breakdown of her choices a few posts back, but for me it's a simple choice. Vote for SANCTUARY, it simply blows the other candidates out of the water!!





The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Dreamate Sleep Inducer - this would be great for me when work gets to that frantic stage occasionally, I wonder if it really works? Maybe I should read up on those accupressure points. Check it out at ThinkGeek






  2. I certainly could use this power strip in my studio. Check it out at PopGadget






  3. NASA's Chandra Sees Brightest Supernova Ever. Check it out at NASA







Catch ya later,
Trace

02 August 2007

THU 02 - I'm back

Thanks RoX for filling in for me, I like what you did whilst I was away. I am now the pround owner of a totally rebuilt computer which I did myself after the moron from the local shop failed to actually do what he was contracted to do. Sheesh! I freely admit that my computer expertise is in the mainframe domain but I'm no dummy and know all systems have the
same basic constructs just different variations on the same theme. So I eventually told this so called PC expert he was full of bull and triple checked his so called technical expertise and came to the conclusion that I actually knew more than he did therefore I'd have my computer back as he still hadn't fixed it. So with some research and a hefty learning curve at this stage I have a spiffy new computer with only the case, fans and power supply still the same :-)

I've got the day off so now that I have my computer up and running I'm off to download the new Sanctuary webisode.



Catch ya later,
Trace

30 July 2007

SUN 29 - Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica vs Sanctuary

RoX here.

The 2007 SyFy Portal Genre Awards are on again and this year there is a category for Best Web Production. The four finalists are :
  1. Episode 1, "Sanctuary"
  2. To Serve All My Days, "Star Trek: New Voyages"
  3. Webisode 9, "Battlestar Galactica"
  4. Webisode 10, "Battlestar Galactica"

Now being a fan of Star Trek, Battlestar and Sanctuary I decided to take an in depth look at all four to determine how I was going to vote. At first glance it is difficult to judge them as they are all different productions aimed at different audiences.

Star Trek: New Voyages is a fan production and aims to continue the original voyages of the Enterprise that were curtailed way back in the 60's. It is still aimed at a traditional TV audience even though it utilises the web to distribute the episodes.

The Resistance was a set of short webisodes to fill the long break between seasons of Battlestar Galactica and was designed to give short glimpses and insights into the resistance movement on New Caprica as a precursor to the opening of Season 3 when 4 months had passed from the Cylon occupation at the end of Season 2.

Sanctuary is the only show that is designed for the web without links to the "normal" world of TV production. A two hour pilot was shot and it has been broken up into eight webisodes, each webisode telling part of a story and flowing into the next. It is the only show that is in an "establishing" phase and by that I mean We don't know what the Sanctuary story is yet, unlike the other two shows which already had established storylines and characters. So to me the only thing they have in common is that they were distributed on the web, so it is a tad difficult to compare them because they are essentially different in purpose.

Star Trek: New Voyages is styled as a continuation of the original Trek series and is a full length episode as we have become used to on TV. The storyline is decent, for a fan production. The visual effects are decent, for a fan production. The acting needs work as the actor performances are lopsided. On one hand you have several actors doing quite a decent job and then you have two of the lead characters, Kirk and Bones, being over acted. This disparity in performances definitely comes across as a fan production in the acting stakes. I'm ruling "To Serve All My Days" out because it simply is not of the same calibre (on any level) of the other two shows and therefore knocks itself out of the Best Web Production category.

I have no idea why Webisode 9 of The Resistance got nominated, absolutely nothing vital happens and it is extremely short. Jammer is released from detention and Duck grieves for his wife. It was definitely well acted, filmed and presented, a high class production but it has no real substance as a single episode.

Again Webisode 10 of The Resistance was definitely well acted, filmed and presented, and of the same high class as Webisode 9 but it too falls short as a single episode. I think the intention of this episode was to firmly establish Tigh's willingness to do anything and sacrifice anyone for the cause as well as establish why Jammer and Duck ended up in the NCP. It was not so much a story by itself but rather a background filler for some key emotions in the new Season of Battlestar.

Sanctuary is the first glimpse we have of a new series and it too is well acted, filmed and presented, definitely a high class production. It is comparable to the teaser and first act of a show we are used to seeing on TV. Sanctuary establishes a little history for two of the main characters and introduces two other guest characters and culminates in Dr Magnus making her first contact with Dr Zimmerman as a precursor to recruiting him (though we do not know that last part at the time). With some basic character groundwork established, Sanctuary piques your curiousity about where the story is going and what exactly is Sanctuary. It leaves the viewer anxiously awaiting the next webisode to continue the story.

My choice is definitely down to The Resistance Webisode 10 and Sanctuary Webisode 1. If The Resistance Webisodes had more substance to the story, it would really make the choice difficult because both The Resistance and Sanctuary are high class productions. I'd defintely choose say the equivalent teaser and first act of episode 1 of Season 3 Battlestar Galactica over Sanctuary Webisode 1 but Webisode 10 of The Resistance just doesn't quite measure up to that standard.

So it looks like it's a vote for Sanctuary for Best Web Production because it has all the elements of very good visuals and sound, presentation, acting and storyline whilst the other contenders fell short on one or more of those elements. That is not to say I liked Sanctuary better than the others because I didn't, I liked them all. They all appealed to me on different levels.

If anyone would like to cast their votes in the awards then please go to The 2007 SyFy Portal Genre Awards




I'll maybe see you again tomorrow as Trace was hoping to get all her computer problems resolved this weekend, though I haven't heard from her yet so that might not be a good sign.

28 July 2007

SAT 28 - Gadget Geek - "Different" vehicles

RoX here.

Tonight's dinner is casserole, nice blade steak and chunky veges, definitely the go for a cold winter's night (but not as good as last night's pizza!).

Photos and con reports are starting to trickle through now from Comic Con 2007 and i'll see if I can roundup links to a bunch of stuff tomorrow.

In the mean time here's a few things that I came across whilst trawling through Gizmodo. (Yes I'm a lazy sod, one visit to Gizmodo and I have days of stuff to post :-) )



Handsfree transporter. I'd seen a Segway before and this is similar but the designer is a performance artist and you HAVE to check out some of the stuff he has done at his website click on Performance once you are on the website for the vids.







A stingray sub - one of the vehicles in the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition held recently.








Magic Wheel - a different kind of scooter. I'll let you make up your own minds after checking out the vid.









Jet Kayak - Mate! This thing moves!









Definitely a different style of golf cart, I wonder how it handles?







Jetpacks that are commercially available now. Great stuff but they still only fly for about 30 seconds :-(






I've heard of high altitude jumps before but this one takes the cake. Who needs a spaceship?






Everglide - I'm not sure that this ugly bike will catch on.





A lithium ion electric motorcycle, you be the judge.



Proposed dual blade helicopter expected to break speed records








Gotta go, Doctor Who starts soon! See you all tomorrow.

27 July 2007

FRI 27 - Comic Con San Diego 2007

RoX here.

Tonight's star menu attraction is pizza, home made pizza! That means I get to put on it whatever I like :-) I've got a few friends coming over for movie night so there are lots of pizza toppings and pizza bases all ready just waiting for my guests and I to throw them together and into the oven. First up for me is double pepperoni with lashings of cheese!

Comic Con - Well, the first full day of Comic Con has passed and con reports and photos are beginning to surface on the net. On the Star Trek front those rumours have been confirmed by JJ Abrams himself. Zachary Quinto of "Heroes" has been cast as the new younger Mr. Spock for the 11th Star Trek film.

I've been glancing through all the photos of the Con that have been posted on Flickr so far and gee I wish I could go to a huge con like that. I love comics, sci-fi and model building and that would be so right up my alley. I did run across an LJ entry for some Sanctuary related stuff at the Con, there are pictures of Damian and the Sanctuary booth. Tomorrow (Friday in the US) there are the two Stargate panels so I expect more con reports to start appearing tomorrow night. If I had have been attending I know I would have been totally torn about which panels to sit in on as the Con program had lots of panels I would have dearly loved to attend. However the call of the booth halls would have been calling too. I simply love comics and model building so I'd be soooooo happy to run myself ragged checking out each and every booth and chatting to the people you run into. I'm generally shy when meeting new people but put a camera in my hand and a topic I love to talk about and suddenly it's "Who's shy?".

Gadget Geek - when I went searching through Gizmodo the other day for vehicles I found a whole bunch of environment saving "green" ones, so here are a few to go check out.

Eco One sports car races at 150Kmh and made from salad ;) Go and check out the naturally grown substances like potatoes and cashews that they made this car out of and it uses biofuel too. They say that they have some motor racing people interested in the design.







Greenbox turns Carbon Dioxide into Biodiesel








Tesla Electric Sports Car, apparently they are not sold out yet for this year






Fuelvapour Technologies car "ale" pulls 1.7g turns and reduces CO2 emissions by 30%






Steampunk does Batman. Not so much "green" rather steam and definitely in the alternate fuel category. Batman eat ya heart out ;)






Prototype electric engine for Sonex Sports Aircraft









OK, gotta go for now. I have a pizza with my name on it :-)

26 July 2007

THU 26 - Sanctuary moving to one price policy

Rox here, I think I've started a trend here, pop dinner into the oven and then go blogging! On the menu tonight is baked chicken pieces in a spicy marinade, YUMMY. Oh and I've done some redecorating :-) I've moved the Sanctuary vids to their own pages with just a link on the sidebar because it was getting a wee bit crowded in here, I'll leave the current preview up on the front page though.

Sanctuary - Today Damian has update his blog with news on the contentious pricing policy. As of Webisode 6 everyone will pay the one flat price, no more of the regionalised pricing rip off models!! Thank you to everyone at Stage 3 Media for paying attention to the fans and hopefully (I'm sure going to do my fair share of pimping the webisodes) you'll get a lot more customers now with a fair price for all.

Both Trace and I are opposed to the regional market ripoffs that many companies persist in applying. Living in Australia we often get charged 40% to 50% more on books, DVDs and CD's just because we live in the fair land of Aus. It could be worse, I suppose, we could live in the UK where they are often hit with prices double of that seen in the US. Thanks again to the Sanctuary people for listening to the fans and doing something about it, especially when it meant a major revamp of their pricing methodology which is extremely difficult with a new venture like this.

Also Damian had some news about a new update for Sanctuaryforall.com :
"We are about to test a new version of Sanctuaryforall.com, designed to bring you some new and exciting ways to experience the world of Sanctuary. We are evolving the site to do some things you've asked us for in your feedback and suggestions, and also to pave the way for some of the many features we are working on. This is just the 'pilot' of Sanctuary after all, there are many great things to come."

I'm looking forward to it!!

Oh and here is the video with Amanda that I mentioned yesterday



Farscape - New info on those webisodes that they are planning has been posted on Slice of SciFi. The episodes will be 3 to 6 minutes long but no word yet on who will be starring in them. Hints have been made that John & Aeryn's son will be in it and Ben Browder is talking to Henson so keep tuned for more details.


Gadget Geek - There's been some advances made in prosthesis technology recently and these two items are a stand out.



an amazing mechanical ankle






iLimb bionic hand and for video of it in action see here







See you all tomorrow.

Sanctuary - View the Webisode Previews

Here are the previews for the Sanctuary webisodes. Please visit the SanctuaryForAll website to be the owner of these wonderful webisodes for a small fee.

Webisode 5 Preview
While investigating an ancient crypt on a remote island, Magnus and her team encounter deadly creatures and three women with a mysterious past. Ashley decides to address the issues of her father's existence head-on.



Webisode 6 Preview
The investigation into the three women found in the crypt continues, confirming Magnus's theory that they are much more than they appear. Ashley's hunt for contraband creatures yields mixed results.



Webisode 7 Preview
Will falls victim to the three women's growing powers, while Magnus seeks proof of their true identities via a former resident of the Sanctuary. Ashley's luck in her monster hunt begins to run out...

Sanctuary - See the Free Webisodes

You can get the high quality versions of these Webisodes and others from the SanctuaryForAll website for a small low fee. I think it is well worth the money for quality entertainment.

Webisode 1
While tracking a young boy with dangerous powers, Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) encounters Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), a psychiatric resident who may have what it takes to become her new protege



Webisode 2
Will Zimmerman is drawn further into Magnus' mysterious world and finds himself confronting his oldest fear. Elsewhere, forces converge on the target of their hunt - including someone from Magnus' distant past.



Webisode 3
The origins of the mysterious mutant boy are revealed, as is the relationship between Magnus and her old flame, John Druitt. Meanwhile Ashley Magnus (Emilie Ullerup) seeks out Ernie Watts (Peter Deluise) a weapons dealer and fellow monster hunter - only to find herself in mortal danger.



Webisode 4
Magnus and Will confront John Druitt with deadly results for a member of the Sanctuary team. Ultimately, Will is forced to choose between his old life and the strange world of Dr. Helen Magnus!




25 July 2007

WED 25 - Gadget Geek - Cool & Unusual Vehicles

Rox here, OK so I've got the lasagna in the oven for dinner so that means I've got about 40 mins to whack together today's blog. Ummmmmmmm


Sanctuary - Yes folks they will be at the San Diego Comic Con and their booth is apparently in some prime real estate just across from the SciFi booth so they should get a lot of people going past. Of course they'll all stop to get autographs from Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood and Robin Dunne and get the lowdown on Sanctuary. Damian Kindler will be there as well. To find out the details simply hop across to Sanctuaryfans.
Update : While you are at Sanctuaryfans check out the new video Amanda & The Fan :-)




Following on with something Trace started, I hit one of the gadget sites (yeah just one site I'm lazy!) and looked around for some cool vehicles and this is what I found.


A more environmentally friendly green plane. Find out more about it at Gizmodo







Got a function that you need to make an impression at? How about turning up in a Tank Limo! No seriously, this service is actually available in the UK and it will seat 8 people. Find out more about it at Gizmodo



Any Halo 3 fans out there? Check out the full size working Wathog they've put together in New Zealand. Find out more about it at Gizmodo






The M200G is a cool hover car that hovers 10 feet off the ground and cruises at a speed of 50mph. Go and see a demo video of it in action. You might also want to visit the Moller website and check out the M400, another way cool craft. Find out more about it at Gizmodo

The concept of a boatcar has been around for quite a while and the US Navy is wanting in on the action. Find out more about it at Gizmodo







OK well there goes the oven timer so my lasagna is ready. See you all tomorrow!

24 July 2007

TUE 24 - I'm taking over!!

RoX here. Trace is having EXTREME technical difficulties at the moment, the Universe is indeed evil and is picking on her! As a consequence I'll be filling in for her for a little while (bwaaaaaahahaha).

OK a quick roundup of things over the past couple of weeks :

Sanctuary - is still AWESOME!! I really loved Webisode 5, I really liked the longer time (21 mins) and the new story line. Had to laugh at the hand signals - "I'm cutting off your allowance"!!! I'm looking forward to more on the Helen/Ashley front in regards to Druitt as there are lots of feelings there to be resolved.

The preview for Webisode 6 is up and it looks like we'll get to see a little of how Helen was introduced to Sanctuary by her father and lots of action (well I hope we do).


X-Files - The script for the second movie is done!! I can't wait to hear what it is about. I like that the second movie is a Monster of the Week style as I am a fan of both the Mythology eps and the MOTW eps. I'm keeping my ears tuned for any more details.


Babylon 5 - The 31st and The Lost Tales are almost here!! I think it's time that the distributors get over the freaking Region release BS - if it is going straight to DVD then bloody well release it everywhere at the same time!! I'm going to have to get my first look at this by downloading it - I wouldn't have to if you'd damn well let the rest of the world in on it's release!!


Comic-Con - In San Diego starts on Wednesday night with Preview Night and then there's 4 day's packed with lots of stuff. Stargate has 2 panels on Friday and I'm not sure if Damian Kindler managed to get anything organised for Sanctuary like he was hoping to. I really wish I could go to something like this, I love comics and sci-fi but unfortunately living in Australia means I don't get the opportunity to attend things on a scale like this. Oh well, it looks like I'll be living vicariously through my friends who kindly post pictures and accounts of their trips to various conventions.


Farscape - scifi.com has ordered a 10 part web series for Farscape. Few details have been released yet so we'll have to wait and see what they have planned.


Battlestar Galactica - I'm looking forward to the "Razor" movie premiering in the US on November 24. It will be good to see the battles that Battlestar Pegasus went through at the beginning of the Cylon attack and what pushed Admiral Cain into the stance that she took. There will also be an 8 part webisode series in the leadup to the premiere that was filmed at the same time as the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous webisode series that Galactica did so I'm sure this series will be good too.



OK roundup is over, now I'm not sure what I'll have left over to talk about tomorrow :(

Hmmmm, I guess I'll just make it up as I go along.

RoX

06 July 2007

FRI 06 - The Evil, EVIL Universe

Hi all. Yes, I am still alive and will be blogging again regularly once the evil universe has stopped conspiring to keep me off the internet!

First there was floods, then there was work and more work and more work AND then a power spike fried half my computer :-( Salvaging attempts are still ongoing with 1 hard drive recovered and one more to go. I should have a new videocard next week and I think I can repair the old soundcard. Well, that's 3 strikes so maybe the bad luck will go away for a while.

In the meantime Webisode 4 of Sanctuary was fantastic! I can't wait for the next episode to see the new story they come up with and if/how the Sanctuary crew deal with the emotional impact of the last webisode.

On a sad note :-( the next webisode has been delayed a week while Damian & the production crew move offices.

On a bright note when I looked in My Library of my Sanctuary account all the webisodes had the US pricing. Does this mean we will now all pay the one same price worldwide? Let's seriously hope so, I am an advocate against the BS pricing policy of the entertainment industry as a whole and the stupid region distributing BS as well. In today's world why should the majority of the world be penalised for not being an American?

If you haven't seen Sanctuary Webisode 4 yet I urge you to go ahead and do so, it is definitely worth it. I put my 4 weps onto DVD (before the Evuil Universe last attacked me) and watched an incredible 60 plus minutes of pure entertainment!


Catcha later,
Trace

22 June 2007

Fri 22 - Sydney's drought broken??

Hi there! No, I didn't fall off the earth or anything, I've been out in the country helping some family get back on their feet after their place got flooded. Boo for floods, my aunt and uncle thought their hobby farm was sufficiently far enough away from the river to not have to worry about floods but apparently they are not. Yay for hopefully the end of Sydney's 7 year drought, we've had 4 times the average rainfall this month and our dams have risen from 37% to 50% in just 3 weeks. We need some more as we usually get the most rain from January through June and then go leaner for the remaining months, but please God not all at once!

I got back earlier this afternoon and spent a totally delightful and relaxing 1.5 hours in my spa bath. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm no more freezing cold and being wet and muddy in the wind while we demolish half destroyed sheds, salvage what we can out the house, strip down and clean machinery, rebuild the barn, fix some of the fences and did I mention THE MUD!!!! We have the rels all set up in a caravan with generators and clean water while we wait for the old house to be demolished. Luckily it was a really old wooden house that they intended to demolish and rebuild next year so they just have to bring it forward a bit, though Uncle John is heading into town next week to get the plans changed to a raised dwelling. Last I heard he was rubbing his hands together about all the additional space they would have under the house; and my aunt was shooting down all his plans for a mini brewery and games room and workshop :-D

So once the plans are approved I guess I'll be spending a fair few weekends up there helping rebuild. Luckily one of my cousins is a builder so Uncle John can quite easily go the owner/builder route without much hassle and has quite an array of semi adept helpers. Yay for family!!



OH WOW! I checked out the preview for Sanctuary next Monday and it looks like it's going to be a great showdown!! Looking forward to seeing what happens. I'll see if I can knock together the synopsis for the last webisode over the weekend but I have heaps of housework to do so it's a definite maybe ;-)



Catcha ya later,
Trace

12 June 2007

TUE 12 - Sanctuary Webisode 3 Review

Here be spoilers, if you haven't seen it yet then bye bye!!




WooHoo! Sanctuary Rocks!
Yes, I was thoroughly impressed with the 3rd webisode of Sanctuary. We got to see more of what makes Helen and Ashley tick. We got to find out how John Druitt's power works, we got to know and see the little boy Alexei some more AND we have been set up for a major confrontation in the next webisode!!!

I have one tiny niggly thing though, I saw my first bug with the green screen stuff. When Sasquatch and Will were in the room with Alexei and Sasquatch goes to leave, check out his right leg. You can see the chair leg and the join of the floor & wall through his leg. Oooops. No worries though because I continue to be impressed by other stuff like all those fantastic exterior shots of Sanctuary and Helen's cool toys ah work equipment down in the labs.

Last review I said I wanted to know more of why Helen chose Will to be her next protege and we were shown another occasion where he is able to get through to a person (Alexei) when other people cannot. Helen left Will to do his stuff while she continued her research but she kept tabs on his progress remotely and obviously by her "Magnificent" comment she thinks he will fit in nicely. By the way, so do I.

I loved the flashback to Victorian England to see Helen and John together before John's problems interfered with their relationship. Amanda Tapping said in an interview about Helen that she "is massively in love with him, they're desperately in love" so I'm expecting major emotional fallout from any confrontation they have in the present. Especially with a closing line from Helen of "Each of us has our worst fears to confront Dr Zimmerman. John Druitt is mine".

It was great to see a touch of the mother / daughter relationship with Helen and Ashley and I wonder how Ashley will react with her mother when the full ramifications of her parentage hit home. Speaking of parentage, Christopher Heyerdahl put in another brilliant and chilling performance as John Druitt. From his appearance at the arms exchange, through the fight and to the final chilling reveal that Ashley is his daughter was just rivetting. Emilie Ullerup was fantastic with her bravado and spunk with a touch of fear and confusion as Ashley is held captive by Druitt. I can't wait to see what John Druitt has in mind for when Helen arrives on the scene.

It was also great to see Peter DeLuise in front of the camera again with his cameo performance as Ernie the arms dealer. I didn't see him getting taken out like that, nor his semi recovery to raise the alarm. I want to know what was in that epi pen!

So 51 minutes into the pilot and I'm still loving it! I'm expecting the next webisode to be a real kicker, with emotional fireworks and a possible showdown. Rollon the 25th of June!!




Catch ya later,
Trace

07 June 2007

THU 07 - Back to Space again

OK, bar any more problems and the shuttle should be taking off late this Friday in America. Which is good for me because it means it will be about 9.30am Saturday here and I won't have to get up at some godawful hour to watch it. Yes, I still watch launches live!! I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill of watching a launch, I mean these guys actually get to go into Space!!

This time around it's another retract and deploy of solar panels for the Space Station and another truss segment so there's going to be lots of work to be done but hopefully they've learnt a lot from past missions to help streamline the process.

Space, I'd love to go but I know I won't realistically ever get into space but maybe if I win the big lottery I can at least get a suborbital flight under my belt (assuming Virgin Galactic actually get going in the next couple of years). I mean it's technically space and 4 or 5 minutes of weightlessness is worth it right? Oh yeah and don't forget the spectacular view ;-)





The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. If you are into recycling then here's a handy helper especially if you are hard up for kitchen space. Check it out at BookOfJoe
  2. The world's slimmest laptop is a fashion accessory? Ugly mate but the specs are relatively nice. Check it out at PopGadget
  3. Tight on space or maybe you like making secret passages? Go and check out the bookshelf doors. Check it out at GizModo



Catch ya later,
Trace

06 June 2007

WED 06 - Sanctuary Webisode 2 Review

Ta Da! Here it is at last! A week or so late but here nonetheless. One thing to keep in mind is that we both had a little trouble getting into a review frame of mind because of the format. Both RealmOfX (RoX) and I are used to reviewing complete episodes of approximately 45 minutes with the occasional 2 or 3 parter thrown in and they have a certain format or style. We haven't quite come to grips with Sanctuary's format yet, it isn't episodic TV as we are used to nor is it truely serialised so we decided to treat it as a 2 hour movie that has been broken into 8 parts. It may not mean anything to people reading this but we had to establish a frame of mind to review this.

Here be spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet (WHY NOT??) and don't want to be spoiled, adios amigos.



This webisode has a touch of many things, sinister plottings, a drawn out death, fear and discovery, humour, puzzles, danger and scones! Oh yes, and Ashley got to speak!

Ashley speaks! and what an attitude! That is one little spitfire and I can see many things possible for the young lady. She is definitely kick butt, however she is cocky and incautious and I see a lot of learning life lessons in a difficult manner in her future. Ashley's relationship with her mother shall prove to be interesting and I hope complex as things develop. It was obvious that Helen has high standards and holds herself and her daughter to them and we saw an understandable clash when Ashley was tired and cranky after they captured Alexei. She certainly gave her mother a mouthful and I look forward to more sparkage on this front.

One thing I want to know about Ashley is how did she move so quietly dropping down right behind the guards and not be heard? She also made a comment to Helen "Tall dude, moves faster than me, if that's possible". Implying that she is very fast,so does Ashley have special powers, is she an Abnormal? or is she just extremely fit and is supremely confident / over confident in her skills? Time will tell I suppose.

Dr Zimmerman's introduction to Sanctuary began with a humorous faint in the shower, though I must admit I cringed at the double clunk of the bathtub when he hit bottom. His second attack of the vapours was not so funny but his awakening chat with Helen was quite humorous. Now whilst I do enjoy humour and this webisode was quite humorous in a nice low key manner. Here's hoping that they keep it light as a touch of humour can do wonders for a dark subject but as humour is very subjective it can, if overused, lead to turning off huge sections of fans.

I wasn't overly sold on Will's introduction to Sanctuary though. I can see that we are being introduced to Sanctuary through the newcomer Will but maybe a bit more on reasoning as to why he was chosen as her new protege would have been more beneficial. I got that she saw something in him in his interview of Tolson and she deliberately tweaked his interest to see how he would react but I think there was something missing between the parlour scene and Helen and Will turning up at the crime scene in the rail tunnel. Mainly what was missing is a bloody good reason why Will went straight from scepticism to going out on a hunt with Helen. Why? Because of Helen's impassioned speech? I just thought it needed something a little more as the jump was too abrupt, though that scene change with the river view of the city was impressive.

Also, why was Sasquatch sent to Will's apartment? Was Helen with him? Did Helen plan it that way, to first approach him after his interview with Tolson and liking what she saw of his reactions then followup quickly with a visit by Sasquatch? Again to judge his reaction. Maybe.

I'm totally impressed with how Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl are bringing their characters to light. Both are obviously complex characters so I'm hesitant to comment too much on them so early in the piece except that I am looking forward to seeing so much more from the pair of them. John Druitt totally creeps me out and I loved the whole "I love the dark" bit with Alexei. Helen is more of an enigma at this stage and we will obviously get snippets from her long life as things progress but what impresses me the most is not once have I thought "Oh this is Amanda playing a new character", it's always been "Hey here's this new character Helen and I want to know more about her". I've always been impressed by Amanda's acting, she is always so totally in character and it's impressive. Her non vocal acting always conveys feelings, her facial expressions, body posture etc. AND most of it is so subtle that you don't consciously notice it, she simply becomes the character. If you want to know what I'm talking about just go watch a Season 1 episode of Stargate: SG-1 and then one in the later Seasons and compare it to this webisode, also try viewing with the sound off. You'll see how totally into the character she is and how she constantly adapts the character over time, truely impressive.

Now on to some of the more physical aspects of the show, the sound track continued on with it's great form from the first webisode but there were a couple of spots with the visuals that jarred. On the whole I think the show is absolutely amazing in it's audio and visual presentation but two things did jar me out of my watching the story unfold. They were as the car entered through the gates, whats with the fake slow bouncing? Why not just move forward and continue with the motion established on approach to the gates? The other was in the tunnel with Helen and the torch (flashlight), they managed to transform Helen into a one dimensional shadow and that totally distracted me.

Actually Rox and I were discussing if they had deliberately lightened the show after some complaints of it being too dark, and that this might account for some of the effects being more noticeable? Mostly I don't even notice that the majority of the background is green screened and that is a major plus. Keep up the good work!

So 33 minutes into the pilot and I'm loving it, this webisode was very good even with a couple of niggly problems and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.



Catch ya later,
Trace

02 June 2007

SAT 02 - I know !! I'm slack!!

So much for my posting 5 times a week!!

My excuse this time is - it's all Trace's fault! Yeah the other one, she's quite sick this week and hasn't really been up to, now how did she phrase it, "stringing two coherent sentences together let alone let alone dealing with your disjointed stream of consciousness". Hmmmph, so what if I have to review my work 5 times before it remotely resembles structured English, you knew this before we started this project luv!! Anyways, get better soon hon, pneumonia is no joke, even if it is a mild case.


Alrighty now!! The Webisode 3 preview of Sanctuary is just out and it is totally kick arse!! The best preview so far. Now I don't know if I think it's the best because I'm totally hooked or because we're going to get more background on John Druitt or maybe because it looks like Ashley gets to kick some real arse! Anyways, take a gander and make your own mind up!






Catch ya later,
Trace

30 May 2007

WED 30 - Sanctuary Webisode 2 Synopsis

OK, this is a joint project by Trace & the other Trace (who is really sick at the moment, get well soon hon). We aim to get both a synopsis and a review done for each webisode, however my tendency towards procrastination may derail that plan ;-)

Here be spoilers, if you haven't seen it yet then now is the time to leave...







This webisode opens with Ashley still trailing Alexei, the Tentacle Boy, through the train tunnel where John Druitt leans down from a station platform to talk to the boy. Meanwhile a train comes along causing Ashley to have to move and consequently loses sight of her quarry.

We cross to Will's apartment where he is having a shower with his lousy water system. Someone flushes his toilet and gives him a super hot shower. This causes Will to get snarky and yell "OK, who the hell just used my can?" Cue faint one - A big hairy hand opens the shower curtain and Will gives a little girly yelp and faints!

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

A car pulls up to the Sanctuary gates and a hairy hand emerges to punch in the security code and then drives in when the gate opens.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

A station guard walks down some steps to a train platform, he is filling in a form on a clipboard. He spots Druitt leaning on a support post and tells him the station is closed and "what the hell is going on". The guard approaches Druitt and as he does so he spots Alexei standing behind the post and says "You know what? I don't want to know".

The guard turns around and heads back to the stairs puling out his radio and starts to put a call in about the incident. Close up on the guard and we see a flash of light and Druitt stabs him in the neck (I think) with his cane sword.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Pan across a dingy street in the Old City looking uphill to a church like structure, part of Sanctuary. Cut to Will startling awake in bed and saying "I'm so sick of it". He doesn't recognise where he is and gets out of bed (only wearing boxers) and looks about the room. He picks up several photos of Helen from earlier years. One on the Crimean Peninsula and one with boxer Joe Louis.

Helen enters the room and says "Good you're awake" but Will doesn't think that he is awake and goes back to bed. Helen assures him that he is awake and while Will is explaining why he can't possibly be awake, Sasquatch enters with a tea tray and Will faints again.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

The train guard is chained to a post with his feet off the ground and he can't speak, he is making choking sounds. Druitt is making friends with Alexei,he encourages him to fulfill his desires but that Alexei must help him find an "old friend". Alexei then kills the guard.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Meanwhile back with Will, he again startles awake in bed. This time Helen is sitting nearby drinking a cup of tea and remarks to him upon his awakening "My manservant seems to have a profound impact on you".

Helen explains that Sasquatch chose to stay with her after she remove several bullets from him and she added him to her staff. Will is having a difficult time adjusting to the fact that Sasquatch is real and demands his clothes back so that he can leave. Helen responds "As you wish, but outside that door are creatures that make my butler seem like a house cat by comparison. Sanctuary For All is not an empty motto." and then offers him a scone.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

In a dark rail tunnel two train guards walk the tracks with their torches (flashlights) trying to raise the missing guard on the radio. As they talk, Ashley drops down silently from above with the guards none the wiser. She moves to the side to hide and observe. The guards then spot the body of the other guard just ahead, laying on the tracks.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Next we find Will and Helen descending in a huge old elevator. Will asks Helen what kind of a doctor is she. Helen evades with "It depends on the patient of course".

The elevator stops and Helen and Will exit with Helen telling Will "I specialise in teratology among other things" and "Combined with healthy doses of cryptozoology and xenobiology as well. When the need arises". They walk along in an old laboratory, a strange mix of old and new. Will is looking all around as he continues to question Helen.

They arrive in a very large circular room with many rooms/cages running off from it. Will approaches one of the enclosures which is fill with water and has a mermaid residing in it. There are other monsters there as well, including a two faced man (one in front and one in back).

Will seems to be having a difficult time coming to terms with the existence of the creatures. Will asks Helen if any of the creatures are running about free to which Helen replies "Don’t be ridiculous" and then adds with a smile "Exercise time isn’t for another two hours".

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Helen and Will enter a parlour with Helen explaining that Sanctuary was established to find and help the unfortunate creatures of this world and that she thinks that Will could play a vital role there.

Helen expands a little more about Sanctuary trying to convince Will to join with her. She says she his potential when he was talking to Tolson at the hospital.

She ends with an impassioned plea for Will to "Open your eyes! Good doctors come and go. But the really great ones have always seen beyond the boundaries of science. Beyond the known. The great ones dare to believe in the unbelievable."

The scene fades out with With a scene of the river separating Old City from the New city. It's a dark and moody setting with partial moonlight from a stormy sky.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Back in the rail tunnel there are flares and a marked off crime scene around the body of the train guard. From the side, in the dark, Helen and Will observe the scene. Helen says that her quarry must be close.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

Cut to another tunnel, which Helen and Will enter through a hatch.

Will wants to know how Helen knew to come to the Old City and not uptown. Helen gives an evasive "I have my sources" which seems to annoy Will as he sarcastically requests Helen to please be more cryptic because he was starting to feel in the loop here and they wouldn't want that.

Helen explains that the subject is unused to human contact and would seek solitude in the catacombs. She pauses and then adds "plus I have a Police scanner".

Helen stops as she sees a playbill and picks it up. It is from Drury Lane for a performance of Twelfth Night, a limited engagement by order of Queen Victoria. Helen turns the leaflet over and finds "A5 S1" written there.

Will asks how Helen knew that the victim was the work of her subject. Ashley then walks in and answers because she had been tracking him all night. Helen quips "With very little success I'm afraid". Ashley replies that it was because someone else was down there. Someone tall who moved faster than her, which she didn't think was possible.

Helen reacts sharply to this and asks what he looked like. As they are talking Will spots some movement and moves away from them. As Ashley is explaining what the man looked like, Will discovers Alexei and calls out to Helen and Ashley and then tries to talk to Alexei.

Alexei lashes out at Will with his tentacle and Ashley shoves Will out of the way and rolls back to her feet and draws her pistol on Alexei. Helen shouts out to stop because they need him alive. They all approach Alexei with Helen trying to talk to him.

Alexei lashes out at Ashley which she dodges and will yells out to Alexei and moves off to the side trying to distract him. Helen then shoots Alexei with a tranquilliser dart.

Will asks Ashley if she is OK to which she replies I'm fine. Helen cutts in with "Far from it. This chaos was completely avoidable". Ashley then quite testily tells Helen to give her a break, she's been in the dark tunnels all night avoiding cops and ghouls and whatever and she doesn't need a lecture.

Will at this stage breaks in with a comment about the two of them knowing each other. Where upon Helen formally introduces Ashley to Will as her daughter.

S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S~S

The End



Catch ya later,
Trace

29 May 2007

MON 28 - Sanctuary continues to Impress

(Yes, I know it's Tuesday and I'm late but it's all the other Trace's fault!! Next webisode day, we'll just plan this post for Tuesday not Monday)

I've just discovered my new Monday night relaxation, watching Sanctuary :-) Monday is the day of the week I hate, yep, me and Garfield. It's the day that rudely curtails my weekend and lately is also a very, very long work day.

I now have my schedule set, I don't care what happens at work, the latest I'm staying is 6pm, barring a huge traffic jam I should be home by 7.15pm. Get home, boot up the computer, put the kettle on, log in to the Sanctuary site and download my next webisode then go and make some dinner.

By the time dinner is ready so is my next webisode. Plonk myself down on the lounge with dinner and watch Sanctuary. Ahhhhhhh a great way to wind down!



I've changed my mind, I'll post this now and wait for RealmOfX to drag herself out of her sickbed to help finish our collaborative webisode synopsis. Gee RoX, just because you're busy transcribing and sick is Noooooooo reason you can't get your wheezey a*** online to help me :D (waits for retaliatory IM).

Anyway RoX and I have decided to collaborate to get a few writing endeavours completed and posted, it seems we are both incapable of doing it by ourselves! Luckily we have a similar writing style and we put this method to great use way back in our X-Files days. So stay tuned for more on Sanctuary and hope that my procrastination does not jinx the intentions.




Catch ya later,
Trace

25 May 2007

FRI 25 - Sanctuary heads to London MCM Expo

Well the weekend is here and that means that it is only a couple of days to the next Sanctuary webisode. Yippee!! The folks at Sanctuary have released a small preview which I have posted above, I can't wait for Monday!

The London Movie Comic Media Expo is on this weekend and Amanda Tapping and Damian Kindler will be there representing Sanctuary. They'll be available for autographs and discussions about Sanctuary. Apparently the Expo attendees will also get to see Webisode 2 of Sanctuary, lucky buggers. Slice of SciFi have an article about the Expo and Sanctuary.

I wish I could go but unfortunately it's just a tad too far for a weekend jaunt for me. There is also going to be a small contingent of Sanctuary fans attending so we should be getting various reports and pictures posted on the net sometime next week.

It's been a long week and so I'm gonna crash early tonight. Weeee party hard Friday - NOT. Then tomorrow I hope to catch up with the next episodes of Afterworld, even though I'm still peeved at their lousy distribution philosophy.




Catch ya later,
Trace

THU 24 - Afterworld, where'd you go??

OK, I understand when doing something new that sometimes problems occur but seriously a little info to the people you are trying to build into an audience would be helpful!

I think the folks making Afterworld could be shooting themselves in the foot. First they gradually release the first 10 episodes of their new animation project catching quite a few people's attention. Then they promise starting May 14 they will deliver the remaining episodes one a day. They never turned up and no word was heard for quite a while.

Now we have an update saying that there were problems but now they are solved and go to their website to get the eps (previously they had a group at YouTube). I get to the website and it's only available to the US!! Well that sucks majorly. Don't tell me that they are going to follow the outdated and unnecessary model of restrictive distribution. If so, matey's you can shove it!

A little bit of helpful information would go a very long way in helping people understand this sudden reversal of access. Hey, I live in Australia and according to the website we will be next on the release. In AUGUST!!! I signed up for the email notification and did not even receive an acknowledgement of being put on the list. Dudes, this ain't the way to succeed! I'm not the only one a tad peeved, I noticed a few unfriendly blog entries when I was searching for info on what was happening. I managed to find the next 10 episodes on Bud.TV but I haven't had time to watch them yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to bother at this stage if I can't get confirmation that they will be continuing distribution to the WHOLE internet in the next few weeks.

It's about time that people realised that Aussies, Kiwis, Brits and Europeans are sick to death of not being able to see things at the same time as the US. AND we are ready to revolt over being charged up to double for the privilege of waiting. We've had a gutful of your restrictive trade practices. Be progressive and move to a new system or suffer the consequences and be left behind.



One peeved Trace, signing off.

24 May 2007

WED 23 - Gadget Geek - Comfy chairs... or Not

Ooops, I just remembered that I was going to check out the new episodes of Afterworld. I'll put a sticky note on my monitor for tomorrow!!


The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :


  1. The Trey Gaming chair, multiple configurations are great if you are limited for space. Check it out at Gearlog


  2. Solar System Chair - uh, no thanks. Check it out at GizModo






  3. Ergonomics to the extreme. Check it out at Aving.net







Catch ya later,
Trace

22 May 2007

TUE 22 - Another Sanctuary convert

I had one of my nieces over after university today and she watched Sanctuary and loved it! I think we have another Aussie customer, she was going home to check out the download limits of her ISP. I didn't watch it with her but I was listening to it as I finished off some paperwork and I found that I really enjoyed the sound track, both the music and the sound effects. I think that Ian Browne did a wonderful job on the music and Title Theme, very moody and fit well with the visuals.

Is it Monday yet? No? Rats!

I came across another article on Sanctuary at Softimage and they have some good shots of some graphics that I hadn't seen before, just click on the photos to enlarge. They also have a link, down at the bottom of the article, to a video interview of Ron Martin (Visual Effects Director) which I haven't seen before. It's about 7 minutes long and well worth viewing.



The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. Shades of Fantastic Voyage! A new form of diode propulsion that could allow microrobots to explore human bodies has been discovered. Check it out at NewScientistTech
  2. Plasma shield may stun and disorientate enemies. Check it out at NewScientistTech
  3. Lease an Exoskeleton. Check it out at MedGadget



Catch ya later,
Trace

21 May 2007

MON 21 - Another week to go

Saturday I logged into the chat that the good folks at SanctuaryFans.com had set up with several people from Sanctuary. When I heard that they had 5 guests I wasn't sure if it would be any good due to the limitations of structured chats. It turns out that my concerns were totally unwarranted as I had a bloody great time for 2 hours!!

The guests were Damian Kindler (creator & Executive Producer), Martin Wood (director & Executive Producer), Robin Dunne (plays Will Zimmerman), Emilie Ullerup (plays Ashley) and Ron Martin (Visual Effects Producer). Wow, this crew is a zany bunch and very entertaining. The hour chat was stretched into 2 hours and zipped along, often with 3 or more conversations going at the same time. I'm not sure about the okra references but I'm sure RoX will be able to bring me up to speed on that. I expect to see websites dedicated to Robin and Emilie really soon, and I'm interested to learn more about them as actors and their characters.

There have been lots of articles and blog entries about Sanctuary recently but here are two that I really enjoyed. Over at Sanctuaryfans.com they have an interview with Ron Martin that is heavy on the tech talk (which I love) and is definitely worth checking out here. You can listen to it or read the transcript.

Then over at VFXworld they have a feature article on Sanctuary and include some great video footage of comparisons between green screen shooting and the final product (just click on the pictures). Definitely worth checking out the article.

So, another week to wait for the next installment. I'm not sure what their intentions are for the future but I do understand why they are spreading out the first 2 hour pilot. They are really just feeling their way and testing what the audience is, what they want and what the consensus is on the so called "net attention span". It's all new ground but the people at Sanctuary are proving to be very responsive to the fans.

I'm really looking forward to the next webisode!!




Catch ya later,
Trace

18 May 2007

FRI 18 - Gadget Geek - USB Fun

The geek in me came across a few interesting things recently :

  1. So it's not really fun but rather practical a USB flash drive that is also a dual hub. Comes in a range of memory sizes 128MB, 256MB, 512MB , 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB. Check it out at RealTechNews
  2. A Rollup USB Drum Kit? Check it out at MobileMag
  3. A plug 'n play microscope, this digital microscope has a 200X magnification. Check it out at ThinkGeek



Catch ya later,
Trace

17 May 2007

Who is Helen Magnus?

It looks like the Sanctuary people have got the bugs ironed out and people have their accounts fixed and their customer service is swinging into action. Good work people, it seems that as a problem arises someone is tasked with fixing it and it happens ASAP. Yesterday I made a comment on their customer service and today I had word that they are indeed contacting people with problems and solving them. Again good work.

Also they have released a better quality free version of Webisode 1 which I have linked to at the top of my blog. This is a definite improvement over the darker original one but I still recommend that you purchase the HD version to enjoy it to the fullest.



Sanctuary has caught my interest on many levels so I think I'll just work my way through them one by one.

Firstly, may I say that 17 minutes is not long enough! :-) I can however deal with it when I know there are more webisodes coming, unlike my cohort RealmOfX. RoX isn't the most patient of people and is having difficulty with the waiting. LOL Sunshine, off you go and start practising your patience, AGAIN and stop picking on my lousy grammar ;-)

So who is Helen Magnus? What makes her tick?

We were treated to a few glimpses of her in the first webisode of Sanctuary, which give us a few clues but many more questions. We first see Helen Magnus, as she confronts John Druitt in Victorian England in 1888.

It is obvious that she knows that Druitt is killing people and that she knows about his mysterious power. She is confident with a gun and confident in confronting him. She cares and she wants to help, emotions cross her face as she tries to talk him down but she is not deterred in her mission to stop him. Helen appears to accept John's seeming capitulation and relaxes minutely but as he kills Molly, Helen does not hesitate and shoots at him.

At this point in time, I think, Helen is in her late 30's, she is very confident, a doctor and can handle a gun. How long has she been involved with Sanctuary by now? She doesn't seem at all fazed by Druitt's apparent transdimensional jumping (that's what I'm calling it for now). I'm thinking that Helen must have been a fairly confident woman to actually become a doctor in those times but I am curious to see how her environment has shaped her and what basic qualities she has.

We next see Helen in the present day, hiding in an alley and watching while the police attend to a disturbance in an apartment block. When the shots and screams from the apartment are heard, we see Helen flinch and show her concern and agitation but she doesn't move out of the alley to help. Why? Because she knows she would not be able to help? Or because she wants to stay below the Police's radar? Is this her long years of experience with Sanctuary showing? Why was she there in the first place? Did she know there was trouble or was she tracking down rumours of a new "monster" and stumbled across the trouble?

Next time we seen Helen Magnus we jump to a brief hospital scene and we see Helen and a nurse observing from another room as Dr Will Zimmerman is talking to the suspected killer Larry Tolson. Helen and the nurse are quite at ease both with each other and with observing the questioning of a suspected killer. Helen Magnus is wearing a lab coat, is she a doctor at the hospital? She is obviously known to the nurse and has the authority to be there or they would not be observing and talking so easily together.

Helen enters the hospital morgue and the doctor there knows it is her without looking up, suggesting that they are extremely familiar with each other. They do not see the need to stop and talk but continue working while organising lunch together for the following week. Helen was obviously expected but is she a hospital employee or is she a consultant for special cases? And why is Helen working on the body with very little light and no mask / protective gear?

On to the final scene, Helen's first contact with Will. It is great to see the subtle nuances here as Helen gently prods Will to think in other directions and consider other possibilities. A ittle intellectual pushing and prodding with a touch of mystery and Helen leaves Will. I'm assuming she is hoping to get him to a point where he would be a candidate to introduce to Sanctuary.

So at the end of the first webisode we do not know who Helen Magnus is but we have been given some intriguing clues and many questions that I want answered. I am seriously looking forward to the next installment!!



Catch ya later,
Trace

16 May 2007

WED 16 - Sanctuary Webisode 1, great debut

Whew, I barely had time to download the HD webisode and watch it, work hit another crisis and I've hardly had time to myself the last three days.

I loved the acting, I loved the characters, Victorian London was great, a surprise power for "Jack", overall a nice little setup piece that has whet my appetite for more. Much, much more. We didn't get to see much of Ashley but that will come soon. We had a good introduction to the normal world of Will Zimmerman and I can't wait to see how he is drawn into the world of Sanctuary. We saw little pieces of Helen in different environments and I can't wait to see how this complex character is unveiled. I was seriously impressed with Christopher Heyerdahl as John Druitt and can't wait to see him interact with both Helen and Ashley. I can't wait seems to be a continuing theme here :-)

Kudos to the director Martin Wood, I really do admire your work. Wonderful and interesting camera angles and your vision of Sanctuary has me enthralled. You also have all the actors working well together.

Kudos to the whole Sanctuary crew, from Damian on down. I was most impressed with Webisode 1 and I really was worried that I had built my expectations too high but that worry soon faded. Now my next date to anxiously await is May 28 and Webisode 2.

I sat down and compared the free YouTube version, at Sanctuaryfans.com, to the HD one and as RoX would say - chalk 'n cheese. If you can afford it, I say go for the paid version as it is well worth it. There were some problems with the site as they got hit with lots of people downloading and they had a few problems to iron out with servers and the shopping cart. Lucky for me I had no trouble getting my download but for some people like RoX, they bought the bundle of 4 webisodes and then there was nothing to download. I hear that they have fixed the problem but some people still do not have their accounts fixed yet but they have been given access to download.

Here's a big tip for the Sanctuary webmaster - get your website customer service sorted out real quickly or it will cost you customers. You need to have an easily found support service for your Shopping Cart and even if you cannot fix the problem immediately, you do need to at least acknowledge receipt of the problem. Common courtesy goes a very long way.

Overall, only minor teething problems for an otherwise excellent debut of my new favourite show. I'm looking forward to lots more in the ever expanding world of Sanctuary, my new reality.





Catch ya later,
Trace