To illustrate, here’s a five-minute video of someone walking along the entire length of the line. Yes, it’s exactly that exciting. (And I suspect we’re probably in there somewhere, although I watched it through once and didn’t manage to spot us.)
Fortunately for us, there’s not that much overlap between the Heroes audience and the Battlestar Galactica audience, so the room cleared out and we were able to get in. The panel consisted of Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell, Ron Moore, David Eick, and Sci Fi Channel exec Erik Storey. And then after they announced that Deanna was getting unboxed, Lucy Lawless came out and joked that Dean Stockwell has been playing with the Deannas in his quarters. Or maybe that wasn’t a joke, it’s hard to tell with this show. Supposedly she’ll be back for two or three episodes, starting around episode ten.
They talked about how all hell broke loose on the set when everyone found out about Starbuck’s death and Katee and the writers were keeping her return a secret. David Eick called Katee at home on a Sunday morning and was like, “I heard you’ve been crying on the set—what the hell?” Katee: “I’m an actor, you told me to sell it!”
They showed a trailor for Razor and answered some questions about it. It’s going have a lot of character flashbacks and jump around in time. We’ll get to see some of the first Cylon war, what happened on Pegasus during the timeline of the miniseries, Lee’s first mission as commander of the Pegasus, plus a look at some of the original centurions and raiders. It’ll also introduce a new character, Kendra Shaw, who they’re gonna have a hard time making me care about.
As for the upcoming season, when asked whose destiny we will be most surprised by, Ron Moore (or was is Eick?—my memory’s getting fuzzy) answered Baltar and Six. Tricia Helfer also tantalizingly mentioned that Baltar will be getting a lot of action and she hasn’t been involved.
Ron Moore talked about how it feels like senior year, when you’ve finally figured everything out and now it’s coming to an end. Katee said on her last day of shooting she’s going to put on her flight suit and helmet, get into her car and just drive home. Quipped Mary McDonnell: “And be stopped at the border.”
Um, what else? Oh, when asked the resolution of the relationship between Starbuck and Admiral Adama, Moore promised that we would not come out of the season saying, “Gee, I wish there’d been more Adama/Kara scenes,” and that we’ll be very happy. And that’s about all I can remember.
After that was the Futurama panel, which I admit was one of the ones I was most excited about. They’re making four full length movies, the first of which comes out on DVD on November 27, and they’re also being cut up for broadcast as individual episodes on Comedy Central. Squee!
To celebrate their triumphant return, they passed out a mini comic book to everyone in the audience, which the voice cast then proceeded to do a cold reading of for us. Awesome! It was written just for Comic-con, about the crew’s cancellation by the “Box Network” and journey to “PackageCon in Space Diego,” where the fans used their nerd powers to bring them back for more epic adventures. We also got a trailer, which poked liberal fun at Fox, and which you can see part of a bootlegged version of below.
There’s video of pretty much the whole panel up on YouTube, including the reading of the comic book, so if you’re interested you can head over and start with part one here. The cold reading starts about halfway through part two, and continues into part three.
Next up was Joss Whedon and I kind of hate to try and recap the whole panel, because I won’t be able to do it justice. Basically he just stood up front with a microphone and was charming and took questions from the audience. Again, here’s a (very wobbly) video for those who want to experience the whole panel first-hand.
He seemed fairly bummed about the fact that he’s been mostly working on projects that haven’t panned out, with the result that he hasn’t actually produced much of anything the last couple of years. So now he’s focusing on smaller, creator-owned projects that take less time.
He talked a little about his new web comic, Sugarshock, which you can read on the Dark Horse MySpace page. He also announced that he’s in negotiations to finally film Ripper sometime next year as a 90 minute movie for the BBC, but he stressed that it’s not definite. He also wrote a movie script with Drew Goddard called Cabin in the Woods, which he described as “the horror film to end all horror films,” but it hasn’t gone out to the market yet. Goners is sadly still in rewrites, and he frankly sounded a little depressed about it, describing the network notes as a setback.
When asked about the possibility of an Angel movie he joked that it was entitled “Bones season two.” Um... what else? Oz will make an appearance in the Buffy season eight comics. As far as that series ending, he says he knows how season eight ends, but that he also knows what happens in season nine. He described the upcoming Angel: After the Fall comic as not exactly Angel season six, but said that it incorporates some of what they would have done if they’d had a season six. It does show what happens after the battle with Wolfram & Hart and he said that it’s BAD. Asked about Wesley, he quipped, “Well, Wesley’s dead, so obviously he’s the star.” When asked if he was doing anything more with Fray he said “Yes,” but wasn’t sure he was allowed to say anything more about it.
Also, he’s apparently composing the score for a short film about ballet starring Summer Glau. No, I’m not kidding.
And that’s about all that I can remember. My overall impression, frankly, was that he hasn’t been in a great place lately and he didn’t exactly seem to be on the road to happier times. He seems to have that genius writer’s schizophrenia thing going on, where he’s spreading himself too thin and starting way too many different projects at once and he’d maybe be a little better off if he’d just narrow it down to two or three that he really cares about give his full concentration to them. Or maybe not. What do I know, I’m just that crazy chick who tried to trap him on an elevator.
After that we headed over to the room where the “Once More With Feeling” sing-a-long organized by Whedonopolis was going to be, predicting that it was going to draw a way bigger crowd than the tiny space it had been allotted could hold. We were right, and they eventually expanded the screening to a couple of rooms to try and accommodate everyone who showed up. I’d love to say that it was a wonderful communal experience, but honestly we found some of the Buffy fans around us to be kind of rude and annoying and we took off before they showed the second episode.
The panel immediately before the singalong, however, was delightful. It was for a weekly comic book talk show from New York called the Comic Book Club. The whole room was packed with Buffy fans who’d only turned out to save seats for the OMWF screening, but the panelists were good natured about it (more so than some of the jackasses in the audience) and worked in a few Buffy references to keep everyone appeased. The “surprise guests” turned out to be Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (!) and a musical comedy duo called Hard ‘N Phirm, who totally rocked the house. They sang two songs, and by the end the hardcore Buffy audience was on their feet giving them a standing ovation. If you like Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D, keep an eye out for these guys, who are supposed to be featured on Comedy Central Presents sometime soon.
And that’s it for Saturday. Whew. Sunday was more laid back. I spent some time wandering the floor buying t-shirts before heading upstairs for the Cartoon Voices panel. As I learned last year, voice actors make the best panelists. Appearing was Maurice LaMarche (The Brain), Jess Harnell (Wakko), April Stewart (South Park), Gregg Berger (Transformers), Michael Bell (Duck Dodgers), and Tom Kinney (SpongeBob, Eduardo, and dozens of others). They all did some of their classic voices for us, and then the moderator passed out copies of the old Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio script, which they then proceeded to perform cold, each of them performing multiple parts and making up all the voices on the spot. And I’ll bet all you Pinky and the Brain fans can guess who did the voice of Orson Welles. It was amazing.
And... that’s it for Comic-con. The sad thing is, I totally could have gone to the Jericho panel, but I hadn’t watched more than the pilot episode at that point and I didn’t want to get spoiled. And then of course I came back, mainlined the whole season, and wanted to kick myself for not going. Fortunately the whole panel’s up on YouTube, so I was able to catch it that way.
Even more annoyingly, last year the Jericho panel was a mostly-empty affair on Sunday morning, immediately after The Tick panel that I was at, and although I was interested in the show and had been intending to stay for it, I decided at the last minute that I was sick of panels and blew it off. And on the way out I totally walked by Skeet Ulrich loitering unobtrusively in the hall and I didn’t even care. And now I’m totally hooked on the show and feeling guilty for every time I snarkily referred to him as a poor man’s Johnny Depp. Sorry, Skeet.
After the con we decided to do some sightseeing for a change and take a harbor tour, which was lovely. As soon as we stepped onto the boat the munchkin squealed, “It’s just like the Booze Cruise!” And it totally was. I kept looking around for Captain Jack.
Here are some pics of pretty, pretty San Diego:
And finally, for you Veronica Mars fans, here’s a pic of the Coronado Bridge. If you squint I think you can actually see Lynn Echolls falling to her death, and Hart Hanson and his buddies on the shore making their little war movie.