Archive for November, 2009

The Syfy Channel Finds Haven

November 30, 2009

THE Syfy Channel has ordered 13 episodes of the supernatural drama series Haven, based on the novella The Colorado Kid by renowned author Stephen King. Haven from E1 Entertainment will be the first property to be produced for Syfy pay channels around the globe (excluding Canada and Scandinavia). The announcement was made today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Content for Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content for Universel Cable productions, and E1 Entertainment’s John Morayniss, CEO of E1’s Television Group. Production is expected to being in early 2010 for an anticipated air in 2010. International distribution is being handled by E1 Entertainment.

Deep in the heart of Maine, Haven is a town where people with supernatural abilities have migrated for generations because it mutes their powers, allowing them to lead normal lives. At least, until recently. When hot-shot FBI Agent Audrey Parker is called to Haven to solve the murder of a local ex-con, she catches the killer, but uncovers a much deeper mystery about this town. Each week, as the townspeoples’ dormant powers begin to express themselves, Audrey will try to keep these supernatural forces at bay while unraveling the many mysteries of Haven – including one surrounding her own surprising past in this extraordinary place.

The impressive creative team behind Haven includes Scott Shepherd (Tru Calling, The Dead Zone) serving as showrunner and is joined by his partners, Executive Producers Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller (The Dead Zone, Wildfire, Greek) and E1 Entertainment’s John Morayniss (Hung, The Bridge) and Noreen Halpern (Hung, Copper). The pilot is written by Sam Ernst (Shrek the Third, The Dead Zone) and Jim Dunn (Shrek the Third, The Dead Zone), who will also serve as executive producers on the series. Adam Fratto will serve as co-executive producer.

Haven is the quintessential Stephen King town, full of complex, yet identifiable, characters and compelling supernatural situations. Sam and Jim wrote a great pilot and we can’t wait to see Scott, Lloyd and Shawn join them in bringing this town to life as a series. We also couldn’t be more excited to partner with our international Syfy channels and be in the business with E1, who will definitely deliver the high-quality production value we expect,” Mark Stern said in making the announcement.

“E1 has successfully orchestrated the first Syfy global partnership with Syfy in the U.S. and their international pay channels and we couldn’t be more pleased,” added John Morayniss. “What a combination; the Syfy brand, the pedigree of Stephen King and the global presence and reach of E1. With those ingredients, I predict a worldwide ratings hit for Haven. Syfy audiences and television viewers around the world will be enthralled with this exciting new series.”

Syfy President Dave Howe commented, “This is the first series to capitalize on the global power of the Syfy brand. This and more series like this in the future will be a potential game changer for Syfy’s business, enabling us to commission and produce more and more high production value original content that can live on Syfy’s growing network of channels around the globe.”

Roma Khanna, President Universal Networks International added, “Haven, based on the novella The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, is the first major content partnership driven by our global Syfy business and is the first step in our plan to invest in more top-quality content for Syfy Universal and our newly revitalized global channel portfolio. This world-class project illustrates our commitment to deliver more high-profile, first-run content, which provides compelling entertainment for our viewers around the world.”

Sanctuary’s Ryan Robbins – Wolf In The Fold

November 28, 2009

Ryan Robbins as Henry Foss in Sanctuary. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

When it comes to tackling problems of a technical nature, Henry Foss is your man. Whether it’s cracking a multi-digit encrypted code or breaking down a seemingly impenetrable firewall, there is no one better qualified or more likely to get results. However, as a member of Dr. Helen Magnus’ Sanctuary team, Henry is more than just a gifted cyber-hacker. A descendant of her father Gregory’s first weaponsmith, he has designed many of Sanctuary’s weapons and is in charge of its defenses. Our beloved techie also has some hidden “talents” that he calls upon only in the more extreme of situations.

Introduced in the Sanctuary webisodes, Henry made the leap last fall to the Syfy Channel’s TV incarnation of the show as a recurring character, and this (second) season is now a regular on the series. On this particular Monday afternoon in June, actor Ryan Robbins, who plays Henry, has been tapping into his character’s techie side while filming the season two episode Veritas. Although the dialogue seems to roll effortlessly off his tongue, it took a bit of practice for him to get to this point.

“To be honest, it was a little nerve-wracking at first because of the nature of Henry,” says Robbins. “As the tech and weapons guy, my character has a lot of tech-talk and scientific babble, which was initially intimidating for me. Also, he was supposed to be the comic relief, and while I’d done comedy before, having to get a handle on being the funny guy in an otherwise dramatic series was, for some reason, difficult and I put some pressure on myself.

On the job with Henry. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“Prior to this I’d been playing a lot of bad guys and killers, so this was a wonderful opportunity and a terrific acting challenge for me. So I just went with it and committed to the material and let myself have a good time, and so far things seem to have worked out.

“Henry changed quite a bit from the webisodes to the first season of the TV show. In season one of Sanctuary there was definitely more depth to my character as well as an air of mystery. Then later on, there was also a darker side to Henry that was revealed, with him being an Abnormal and having the werewolf beast inside him. That was a part of him that he couldn’t control and it gave me even more levels to play in terms of relationships with the other characters.

“So there were a lot of different directions to go in any given scene, which is a gift as an actor. Henry is such a neat character because he’s so complex and his humor comes out of , not necessarily positive things, but rather from his efforts to overcome certain obstacles. What’s the saying, ‘Tragedy plus time equals comedy,’ and I think Henry is the epitome of that in a lot of ways. It’s almost like this running joke that he always has to be overcoming something, otherwise he’s not Henry. Things can’t always go right for him, you know? So many things just go wrong, but he’s constantly trying, and that’s what you’ve got to love about the guy – he just won’t quit. At the end of the day, he’s going to take care of business, but it can’t be easy for Henry.”

There is more than the eye can see with Henry Foss. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

Having first directed Robbins in the two-part Stargate Atlantis episode The Storm and The Eye, Sanctuary executive producer Martin Wood later called the actor about playing Henry in Sanctuary‘s two-hour Internet pilot. “My Atlantis character [Ladon Radim] was only supposed to have a two-story arc and then get killed off,” recalls Robbins. “However, Martin told me, ‘I like you, and I don’t want them to kill your character off.’ So instead they killed a background character, and I stayed on. Ladon ended up becoming the leader of the Genii people, which was great and a lot of fun for me.

“Martin directed most of my Atlantis episodes, and when Sanctuary came up, the story is that he told [series creator/executive producer] Damian Kindler about this guy named Ryan Robbins who he should cast as Henry. And Damian was like, ‘Ladon from Atlantis? But he’s not funny,’ but Martin said something along the lines of, ‘But the guy who played him, Ryan Robbins, is kind of an oddball. He would be perfect for the role.’ So they phoned me and I thought it sounded really cool, and being part of a show that was groundbreaking seems like a good idea, too. Then, of course, we wound up getting a first season on Syfy and now we’re doing season two, so hopefully we’ll be around for a while,” says the actor with a smile.

During season one of Sanctuary, Henry worked with Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), her daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), Magnus’ former patient and longtime friend/confidant, Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl), and her new protegé, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), in the preservation and protection of centuries-old creatures called Abnormals. In the episode The Five, the Sanctuary itself falls victim to a series of mysterious attacks. The culprit turns out to be a snake-like creature, and in order to stop it, Henry reveals that he, too, is an Abnormal, more specifically, a werewolf. Before shooting this episode, did Robbins have any idea that his character harbored a hirsute alter ego?

Henry and Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) try to work through yet another crisis facing the Sanctuary. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“We talked at the end of the webisodes and leading up to season one about this being a potential storyline for Henry in the future,” says the actor. “Although it remained kind of vague for a time, I started off in season one playing Henry as having some sort of mystery, because I think characters with secrets are always more interesting to watch. So when it eventually came out that he’s a werewolf, it seemed very natural and not entirely surprising.

“If you go back and watch previous episodes, you can see that Henry is maybe hiding something about himself, and I love it. I think it works really well and creates lots of dynamics. For example, people living with an illness or other difficulty might go for days and days laughing an enjoying themselves just like everyone else around them. However, when they are reminded of that illness or situation they’re in, they will fall into a funk and realize, oh, yeah, I’ve got to deal with this. For the most part, though, you try your best to get on with life. Originally, I feel Henry looked at his condition as being some sort of disease, but he’s since been able to embrace it. I still don’t believe he’s entirely comfortable with it because he’s still learning how to control it.”

The following episode, Edward, – for which Robbins won a Canadian Leo Award for Best Guest Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series – finds Henry contemplating surgery as a way of exorcising his werewolf persona. He changes his mind, though, when his abilities help him and his colleagues save the life of a fellow Abnormal. “I really enjoyed Five and Edward because they were quite dramatic and, again, interesting background stuff. I’m a comic book fan and I love origin stories, and it was cool to see a hint of an origin story for my character,” he says.

Henry at work on yet another invention. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I also had a lot of fun shooting Nubbins, which was directed by Peter DeLuise. I just felt like was taken to comedy school in all the best ways, and gratefully and happily so. Peter knows comedy so well when it comes to timing and rhythm and sticking to it. I can’t begin to explain how much I learned from him about hitting comedic beats, including stuff that you never even saw on the screen.”

In Sanctuary‘s two-part season one finale, Revelations, Helen Magnus’ archenemy, the Cabal, unleash a biological weapon designed to turn Abnormals against humans. Ashley and Henry are captured when infiltrating a Cabal weapons facility to try to stop the development of the bio weapon, and the Cabal attempts to permanently turn Henry into a werewolf.

“Man, were those ever intense episodes, especially the torture scenes with my character,” notes Robbins. “It was weird because although I don’t have a fear of needles, I don’t especially like them. There’s this scene where over and over again this woman had to inject a needle into Henry’s arm, and I just kept thinking, ‘Jeez, I know they’re prop needles, but if that thing seizes up even a little bit, then it’s going into my arm.’ So it wasn’t hard to play the fear of the needle,” chuckles the actor. “On top of that, I’m strapped into this chair and here’s Alex Diakun, who is a sweetheart of a guy, doing such an incredible and convincing job of playing the creepy and menacing doctor.”

Ashley (Emilie Ullerup) and Henry are cornered by the Cabal in "Revelations." Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

Thanks to Henry’s Abnormal abilities, he and Ashley are able to escape from the Cabal, but not before the organization turns Ashley against her teammates. At the start of  Sanctuary‘s second season, she and five others are transformed into super-Abnormals whose sole purpose is to bring down the entire Sanctuary network. Despite the dire circumstances facing their characters, Robbins and the rest of the show’s cast as well as crew could not wait to return to work.

“When we came back for the second season, it felt like coming home,” enthuses the actor. “There was this level of confidence and one of, ‘OK, people dug what we did last year, so let’s keep going.’ So I think we all felt like we were maybe able to take a few more risks. Last year was one of discovery for all of us, and the episodes were written that way. In season one, Will Zimmerman was not only the new guy, but also the viewers’ reference. He was seeing everyone and everything for the first time, and in doing so, we were introduced to other characters and discovered things about them for the first time through Will’s eyes.

“Well, this year, we hit the ground running. I mean, Will is here and he’s one of us. Now we’re a real team and we’re moving forward with a fury and on-fire. In the season opener [End of Nights], the action, the tension, the storytelling, everything was ramped up. Season one was cool, but season two is exceptionally cool.

Henry and Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) working side-by-side. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“As for Henry, I feel like I have an even better understanding of him this year,” continues Robbins. “I love playing this character and I feel now like I can trust in my acting as well as my instincts and not have to worry about whether or not this or that comes across or if my subtext shows. I actually like watching Henry on the screen, and that’s a big deal for me because I don’t like watching myself all that much.

“We just finished shooting a wonderful Henry episode called Fragments, which was directed by Steve Adelson and guest-starring Anne Marie DeLuise. To tell you the truth, all the episodes have been really good so far. There have been some nice Henry/Bigfoot and Henry/Magnus moments this year. We’ve played it that Bigfoot has always known Henry’s secret, so they’ve had a very close connection. And now that my character has embraced his Abnormal side and is trying to deal with it, there’s this amazing bond that has developed between them. Henry has an amazing bond with Magnus as well, and now he and Will get to be buddies, too.”

In the aforementioned season two story Veritas, Henry helps Will and new team member Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi) find evidence that will prove Helen Magnus is innocent of murdering Bigfoot. The episode is Robbins’ first time being directed by Sanctuary‘s leading lady, Amanda Tapping.

Ryan Robbins and Anne Marie DeLuise in "Fragments." Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“She’s a tyrant. There’s the cracking of the whip and all the screaming and yelling, not to mention the potty mouth. Other than that, it’s been fun,” jokes the actor. “Seriously, Amanda is awesome. I’d work with her again as a director in a heartbeat and without question. Amanda is an exceptional and wonderful individual in everything she does, acting, producing, directing, it doesn’t matter. She’s one of a kind, and it’s completely inspiring to be around her. And the crew really loves Amanda, too, especially today. It was only a 10-hour workday instead of a 12-hour one. Look how happy these guys are to be getting out of work now in this fantastic weather.”

Robbins was 12 years old when his desire to become an actor surfaced, but like most people that age, he did not know how to go about it. “I went to a very progressive arts-oriented high school with an intense theater program, and there was a teacher there named Drew Kemp who was sort of the catalyst that inspired me to pursue acting,” he says.

“My first big job was as a circus performer, and following that I moved back to Vancouver where a friend of mine who was a stuntman, suggested I try that as a way to break into acting, especially given my circus experience. I had a martial arts background as well, so I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, it’s not a good way to break into acting, at least it wasn’t for me. I had an accident and ended up compressing my spine. From there, I helped form an experimental band called Hellenkeller, which took off. We had a good run for about six years, and during that time there was a filmmaker who was also a fan of the band and she put me in one of her movies.

Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Henry. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I guess I did OK in the film because from there I got an agent and began getting acting jobs. When the band eventually broke up, I was working as an actor, so I feel that perhaps it was meant to be. I just kept following my gut. I don’t like to say no to any opportunity, so I had a series of opportunities that presented themselves and I just wanted to seize them. Fortunately, they led me to where I wanted to be, so here I am making a go of things.”

Walking Tall, Catwoman and Passengers are among the actors’ feature film credits, while on TV he has appeared in several made-for-TV movies as well as guest-starred on such series as Dark Angel, The Outer Limits, Smallville, Supernatural, The Guard and Battlestar Galactica.

“I actually worked as an audition reader for the Galactica miniseries,” says Robbins. “That’s where I got to know [producer/director] Michael Rymer, and he offered me a role, which turned out to be at the very beginning of the miniseries. I’m the old man at the armistice station, and Number Six [Tricia Helfer] comes in and asks, ‘Are you alive?’ My character tells her, ‘Yes,’ and she says, ‘Prove it.’ So they kiss and then the place blows up and it starts a whole new war. Forty years of peace ruined by blowing me up.

A contemplative moment for Henry Foss. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I kept in touch with Michael, and in the show’s third season he brought me in to play a bartender called Charlie Connor, which I did on-and-off for two years. It was a blast and that show is one of the best experiences of my career. That cast was amazing and the crew was phenomenal. Mary McDonnell [President Laura Roslin] and Edward James Olmos [Admiral William Adama] are incredible forces. They love this craft along with the environment of being on a set, and I learned a ton from my time on that show. In years to come, I think people will look back and realize what a relevant piece of history that program was, even though it was set in the future.”

Besides Sanctuary, Robbins can also be seen in the web-based Sci-Fi/Fantasy series Riese and in episodes of the upcoming Syfy Channel series Caprica. He recently completed two films, Smile of April and The Masculine Mystique, and will soon start work on Wrecked. It has been a busy year for the actor, and that is music to his ears.

“I never had a back-up plan and I don’t have a retirement plan either,” says the actor with a smile. “I don’t want to retire. I want to drop dead on a film set when I’m 100 years old. I believe in my heart and soul that I’m supposed to be doing this and I don’t ever want to stop.”

Steve Eramo

As noted above, all photos by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions, so no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Sneak Peek At Next Week’s Heroes – 11 – 30 – 09

November 25, 2009

Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) gives his brother "Nathan" (Adrian Pasdar) a much-needed hand next week on Heroes. Photo copyright of NBC TV

SPOILER ALERT!! – H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) is greeted by some unexpected visitors and Samuel’s (Robert Knepper) grand plan begins to come to fruition. Meanwhile, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) struggles to accept the truth and takes extreme measures to get what he wants. Elsewhere, Claire’s (Hayden Panettiere) journey leads her to an unexpected destination. Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto and Cristine Rose also star, while Jimmy Jean-Louis, David H. Lawrence XVII, Madeline Zima, Dawn Olivieri, Todd Stashwick and Elisabeth Rohm guest-star. The Fifth Stage airs Monday, November 30th @ 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

As noted above, photo courtesy of and copyright of NBC TV, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Sneak Peek At This Week’s Ghost Hunters Academy – 11 – 25 – 09

November 24, 2009

More chills and thrills in-store for Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango along with their investigators-in-training on this week's Ghost Hunters Academy. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

SPOILER ALERT!! – Things heat up on Ghost Hunters Academy as the group heads to Philadelphia to investigate the place where Al Capone did time at the Eastern State Penitentiary. The jailhouse has been around since the 1800s and certainly has seen it all. From inmates dying in the hospital ward to prisoners going crazy in solitary confinement. The dark dreary cell blocks may be filled with spirits simply trying to plead their case.

Many claim to have heard footsteps and voices nearby as well as seen shadows lurking in the halls. But the students may be shaking in their boots from more than just ghosts this week. Steve and Tango make an addition to the class. A new investigator-in-training arrives, causing some dissension among the group. Will she be able to make the cut and send someone packing, or will the original team remain intact? Find out in this dramatic episode of Ghost Hunters Academy. Back to Basics airs Wednesday, November 25th @ 10 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Click the following link for a preview of this episode – https://rcpt.yousendit.com/778538154/13b756d01f10ab7605619b646397be0a

As noted above, photo copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar Autograph Signing

November 23, 2009

FOR all those living in the New York area or plan to be in the city next week. Heroes‘ Adrian Pasdar (a.k.a. Nathan Petrelli) will be signing autographs at the NBC Experience Store at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Monday, November 30th from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Stargate Atlantis’ Jewel Staite – Doctor’s Orders

November 22, 2009

Jewel Staite as Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

No matter what the job, it is never easy on someone when he or she comes in to fill the void left by a departed colleague. That was certainly true for Dr. Jennifer Keller when she, much to her surprise, was promoted to Atlantis’ chief medical officer after Dr. Carson Beckett unexpectedly died while saving a patient’s life. It was a position that she neither wanted nor felt especially qualified for, but Dr. Elizabeth Weir saw potential in Keller, and she was not mistaken. The physician has since proven to herself and her colleagues that she is more than up to the task at hand. Naturally, it took time for Keller to settle into her new role in the Pegasus Galaxy, and the same is true for the actress who plays her, Stargate Atlantis‘ Jewel Staite.

“When I first started on the show [in season three’s First Strike], I didn’t have a clear understanding of who Keller was; I don’t think anyone did,” recalls Staite. “It was more or less a case of, ‘OK, here’s the part, we begin shooting tomorrow.’ So I just started from the ground up insofar as building a character. A lot of it was about taking the material for what it was and going with that, but it was always important for me to play Keller as real as possible. She’s a city girl in this bizarre world, and she had to get used to it in a hurry. My character also felt that she had to prove herself because she knew she was replacing someone who had the whole thing under his belt. She doesn’t quite have that yet. Keller is still a little insecure, and what I liked is that they [the show’s producers] weren’t afraid to play that with her. Not everybody has to be a hero, and I liked that Keller wasn’t. She was a normal girl stuck in a place she didn’t understand.

“As the seasons passed and time went on, Keller definitely became more confident and more capable of dealing with these crazy, dire and dear situations. She gained some new skills in season five and became more aware of as well as felt more comfortable in her surroundings. At the same time, she’s still vulnerable and isn’t a heroic type of girl. When necessary, Keller steps up to the plate, but that’s not her first choice. She would much rather have someone there to protect her, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I think Keller is still a strong female, but she’s not going to be the person who fights the Wraith if she doesnt absolutely have to, and that’s OK.”

Not the most comfortable of positions for poor Dr. Keller in "The Seed." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Jennifer Keller had no choice but to put on a brave face early on at the start of Atlantis‘ fifth season when, in The Seed, an alien pathogen is found in her blood and Wraith tendrils begin growing out of her torso. “My initial reaction to that script was, ‘What did I do? Why are they [the producers] so angry with me?'” jokes Staite. “I was nervous, I won’t lie. It’s generally a thing here on-set about being in prosthetics – no one really likes it. It’s usually pretty uncomfortable and requires lots of early calls and long days, but they assured me that they were going to do it in such a way that it would be comfortable for me.

“Basically, it was me lying in bed and underneath a cage-like contraption,” continues the actress. “They would open the cage, I’d slip inside, they would then close the cage and put a Wraith tentacle ‘blanket’ over the top. So it wasn’t too bad to get into and out of, but then I had these face pieces that were actually part of the blanket that they would pull up and glue to my neck. Once those were on, I was there for the day, and my hands were underneath the cage, so it was this weird way of working because there was nowhere I could go. I would watch the crew running around setting up the cameras, lighting, etc., and then we could shoot a scene. As soon as we cut, they’d be busy setting up the next shot, and I just laid there watching them go off in a flurry. It was a way of observing the [filming] process that I’d never really experienced before on this show.

“Needles to say I didn’t drink a lot of fluids on the job that week because going to the bathroom was a challenge. I mean, I could do it, but it took about 15 minutes to get out of the cage, so I thought, ‘You know what, I’m just going to lay off the water and hope for the best,’ and it became very Zen-like. Of course, poor Dr. Keller was completely powerless, alone and frightened, you know? As for me, I was just so relaxed that I would doze off and catch myself starting to fall asleep in-between takes,” she chuckles. “So it was an interesting week for sure.”

Dr. Keller is ready for action! Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Among the more challenging season five Atlantis episodes for Staite to have worked on is Tracker, in which Dr. Keller is kidnapped by a Runner named Kiryk (Mike Dopud) while off-world on an errand of mercy with Dr. McKay (David Hewlett) and Ronon (Jason Momoa). “This was another of those episodes written by [executive producer] Carl Binder, and I don’t know what the deal is, but he enjoys having Keller tied up and dragged through the woods,” jokes the actress. “No, seriously, I worked with an excellent guest-star, Mike Dopud. He’s a stuntman, but he’s an amazing actor as well and a terrific person to be around. It was just me and Mike in the woods for two weeks. Keller does a major switch in this episode and she does something that surprises the viewer.

“One of the most memorable season five episodes for me is The Shrine. It’s beautifully written, very touching and definitely different from the other stories I’ve done. It’s a team episode that shows the humanity in all the characters as opposed to giant space battles and that kind of stuff. The story focuses on who these people are and is a huge tear-jerker. When I read the script, I cried. It was great for all of us and allowed us to really stretch ourselves that little bit more as actors.”

In year four’s Quarantine, Atlantis goes into lockdown as a result of a computer glitch and traps our heroes in various parts of the city. Ronon and Dr. Keller end up in the infirmary and, for a moment, it looks as if there might be a bit of romance in the air. However, it is the geeky and egotistical Rodney McKay that ultimately gets the girl, which, in Staite’s eyes, makes sense.

Dr. Keller attempts to save Dr. McKay's (David Hewlett) life in "The Shrine." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

“I think it was the most logical outcome,” she notes. “McKay and Keller started out as friends and she seems to mellow him out a lot and tolerates him much better than the other characters. I think, too, that my character finds his whining, crankiness and all that stuff funny, and Jennifer is charmed by Rodney and vice versa. They’re both scaredy cats and want more than anything to be in a safe spot. The two of them are also slightly dorky, but incredibly smart as well and, again, feel like they constantly have to prove themselves.

“So they have a number of things in common, and in season five their relationship developed into something stronger. David and I have the same sense of humor and way of working. So it’s easy to be around him and I think the show’s writers saw that and thought, ‘OK,’ and decided to go that [romantic] route with the two of them, which I was super happy about.”

Long before joining the Atlantis cast, Staite had acquired plenty of Sci-Fi/Fantasy experience playing such TV roles as Catalina in Space Cases and Kaylee Frye in Firefly. The actress’ fans will also know that prior to being cast as Dr. Keller, she booked the part of a young female Wraith named Ellia in the second season Atlantis episode Instinct. She had no idea that this job would lead to a regular spot on the series.

Staite as Ellia in "Instinct." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

“I thought the [Instinct] character was so special and really wanted to do it,” says Staite. “[Director/producer] Andy Mikita and the guys tell me that when I walked into the audition room they were like, ‘That’s Kaylee from Firefly. What’s she doing here?’ It wasn’t anything unusual for me, though. I’m more than willing to audition to prove what I can, hopefully, do in a role.

“Luckily they gave me the job and I loved working on the series. I told them that I’d be happy to come back and they said, ‘We won’t forget you. One day we’ll write something new for you.’ Lo and behold, a year later they offered me a fulltime role on the show, no prosthetics required – at least for the first episode. I was like, ‘That sounds great.’ So it just kind of fell into my lap and I couldn’t have been happier,” smiles the actress.

Last fall, the Atlantis cast and crew wrapped production on what became the show’s fifth and final season. The script for a made-for-DVD movie has been written, but filming dates are still pending. In the meantime, Staite can be seen in the upcoming Syfy Channel movie Mothman, and is also slated to begin work on a horror film, P5ych. From out-of-this-world roles to more down-to-Earth ones, the actress enjoys nothing more than creating gaps between each character that she plays.

Dr. Keller and Dr. McKay share an especially tense moment. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

“For me, it’s really important to do projects that are as different as can be from the last one I did,” she says. “And while sometimes they may be in the same genre, it’s still important to have the character challenge me and to show other aspects of what I can do as an actress. When I succeed in doing that, that’s what makes this job especially rewarding.

“It’s nice to have viewers watch me in a show and say, ‘I love what you’re doing.’ It was hard for me when I first started Atlantis; I knew what was going to happen, and it did. So whenever I hear people say positive things about Keller it makes me feel good because she’s a part of me and I love her a great deal and protect her very much.”

Steve Eramo

As noted above, all photos copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

David Tennant Says Goodbye To Doctor Who Next Month On BBC America

November 20, 2009

David Tennant as The Doctor in The Waters of Mars. Photo copyright of the BBC/BBC America

THE finale to the era of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor is one of the most eagerly anticipated adventures in the history of Doctor Who. As previously announced, the next special, Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars, premieres Saturday, December 19th @ 9 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America. The final two specials, Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part One and Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part Two, will premiere over the holiday season starting December 26th on BBC America. Guest-stars John Simm, Timothy Dalton, Catherine Tate, Lindsay Duncan and Bernard Cribbins join Tennant on his final journey. Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part One premieres Saturday, December 26th @ 9 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America, with the air date for part two to be announced shortly.

http://bbcamerica.com/content/123/index.jsp  has exclusive Doctor Who clips, including a sneak peek of The Waters of Mars, which The Times says is “a big-budget, knock-yer-socks-off blockbuster” and the Guardian exclaimed, “it’s a belter, a watery nightmare – scary, moving, relevant, believable.”

The Doctor faces an uncertain future in The End of Time. Photo copyright of the BBC/BBC America

The site also has a new world premiere clip from The End of Time, Part One, with never-before seen footage that will keep fans all over the globe wondering what’s in store for the Doctor.

As noted above, all photos copyright of the BBC/BBC America, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

This Week On Robin Hood – 11 – 21 – 09

November 20, 2009

Archer (Clive Standen) and Robin (Jonas Armstrong). Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

SPOILER ALERT!! – Robin (Jonas Armstrong) and Guy (Richard Armitage) resolve to go to York to free their half-brother, Archer (Clive Standen), but it’s not long before old tensions soon re-surface and they’re fighting again. Allan (Joe Armstrong) spots them and the outlaws leap to Robin’s defense, but to their surprise Robin stops them and announces that Gisborne is one of them. Meanwhile, Isabella (Lara Pulver) is anxious to know the whereabouts of Hood and Gisborne. She pays Lipscomb, who collects the tolls on the Great North Road, to gather information for her. When Robin and Gisborne rob the tollhouse, Lipscomb takes word to Isabella that her two enemies are heading to York together. Isabella grows paranoid – what are they plotting? She sends her Guard to the Sheriff of York to offer 100 crowns each for their heads – alive. In Sherwood, Little John (Toby Stephens) is still reeling from the shock of Robin working with Gisborne. They’re meant to protect the people and they’ve joined forces with their oppressor. He storms off, but Allan chases after him. The outlaws are Robin’s only hope. Episode eleven of season three airs Saturday, November 21st @ 9 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America.

An unlikely alliance - Gisborne (Richard Armitage), Archer (Clive Standen) and Robin (Jonas Armstrong). Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

Things do not look good for Gisborne. Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

And Robin's prospects look none the better! Photo copyright of Tiger Aspect

As noted above, all photos copyright of Tiger Aspect Productions, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

This Week on Sanctuary – 11 – 20 – 09

November 20, 2009

SPOILER ALERT!! – Will (Robin Dunne) goes up against the heads of the Sanctuary Network to defend Magnus (Amanda Tapping) who is charged with a shocking murder. But as the evidence stacks up against her, even Will has trouble finding a way to convincingly defend her innocence. Directed by Amanda Tapping, Veritas airs Friday, November 20th @ 10 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Click on the following link for a preview of this episode – https://rcpt.yousendit.com/775690590/8b787812593fe28620f34fff61e3eb90

Geraint Wyn Davies Hosts Forever Knight Marathon

November 20, 2009

THIS year, Chiller counts down to Thanksgiving with back-to-back evening marathons of the classic vampire series Forever Knight, featuring star Geraint Wyn Davies’ favorite episodes. The actor will host the marathon in all-new, never-before-seen interstitials, offering behind-the-scenes scoops on one of television’s most beloved cult hits. It all begins Tuesday, November 24th @ 8 p.m. and continues Wednesday, November 25th @ 8 p.m. on Chiller!

Chiller, the recently-launched channel from NBC Universal, is the only network devoted to delivering viewers round-the-clock scares. The channel’s eclectic slate of adrenaline-fueled, soul-stirring entertainment includes classic drama and anthology series (Tales from the Darkside, Twin Peaks, Nightmare Cafe), international programming (Spine Chillers, Strange) and a broad offering of films, including feature-length premieres on the first Friday of each month. Chiller is currently available in nearly 34 million homes. To learn more, visit www.chillertv.com