Q&A: The Cape’s Tom Wheeler

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SciFiChick.com was recently able to participate in a Q&A session with the creator and executive producer Tom Wheeler of NBC’s newest superhero vision – The Cape. The Cape premieres with a two-hour episode on Sunday, January 9th at 9pm EST with an encore broadcast the following Monday. Then, the regular time period will begin Monday, January 17th at 9 pm.

Could you tell us a bit about The Cape universe, some of the ideas behind it and how it will differ from other superhero shows?

Tom Wheeler: Sure I mean I think one of the kind of fun challenges of – I mean I’m a lifelong comic book fan. The idea of sort of writing my own comic was always really appealing, you know, writing any comic. I just – I’m just a fan of, you know, I just have always been sort of attracted to those stories.

The opportunity when I thought about writing the Cape it was – it came sort of in stages. I knew I wanted to write a story about a father and son and a father who takes on the persona of his son’s favorite comic book hero. But then it took a while for me to settle on who that hero should be.

And I also wanted it if I was going to write it for TV I really wanted to kind of wrap my arms around something that felt like its own comic book universe, still grounded and emotionally grounded and sort of high-stakes but I sort of wanted to create my own kind of playground.

So the idea of creating a fictional city seemed to fit in a sort of kind of silver age fashion just sort of create, you know, a hero with some silver age sensibilities for even though it’s set in the 21st Century and just larger than life characters but see if we could maintain a really sort of strong emotional thread throughout and kind of what’s some of the great character driven superhero stuff we’ve seen.

I knew I wanted costumes. I knew that would be a challenge. But I also feel that that sort of in a sense what embodies a superhero or at least the ones I grew up with.

And I’ve been sort of approaching it from a couple different places. I want it to have kind of a pulp sensibility. I wanted it to feel – I wanted Palm City to feel like it was – it had some timeless elements to it. The nightlife I wanted to feel sort of old Hollywood. I wanted there to be some – I didn’t – I wanted to have different – a feel of different worlds with in it and yet still be a relatable world.

So I think you’ll see kind of a mixture of both. But those were some of the – that was the genesis of some of it and how they ended up combining a little bit.

In looking at the longevity of the superhero-based series like The Cape, where does the focus need to be beyond superpowers and saving the day?

Read moreQ&A: The Cape’s Tom Wheeler

Book Review: Ghost Country

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Ghost Country, by Patrick Lee

When Paige Campbell is attacked shortly after visiting the President, Travis Chase decides to once again align himself with the secret agency known as Tangent. Travis joins Paige’s colleague Bethany and the two find the latest artifact to come through the Breach. The object creates a portal to the future – a devastating and shocking future. Travis and Bethany must work together to find Paige, discover the cause of the apocalyptic future, and try to stop that future from ever happening.

This is a sequel to last year’s thrilling Breach, but works well as a standalone. Once again, the adventure and suspense are non-stop and fast-paced. This unique scifi thriller is pure excitement and reads like watching a blockbuster action film. Not much time is spent on character development, yet they never seem flat or lacking depth. All but impossible to put down, the unpredictable surprises and shocking reveals continue through until the very end. Breach was a fantastic debut, and this latest installment impressed me even more.

Ghost Country releases from Harper Books on December 28, 2010.

Q&A: Merlin’s Colin Morgan and Bradley James

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Colin Morgan and Bradley James costar in Merlin, which returns for Season 3 on Friday, January 7th on the Syfy Channel.

How is the return of Morgana going to change things in Season 3?

Bradley James: All right. I’ll answer that. And whenever Morgana turns up in Series 3 there’s been a year-long search for her as decreed by Uther. And we don’t know where she’s been for that year. We don’t know what she’s been up to or what she’s been harvesting.

But it becomes very evident very quickly in the first episode that despite appearances she hasn’t changed. She’s just as evil as she was before if not more. And so it’s basically the beginnings within the first episode of where she’s going to go and what she’s going to create and what she’s going to change.

Can you tell us a bit about Season 3 and what we’re going to see?

Bradley James: Well I don’t think it’ll – I’ll get into too much trouble for this. But basically I think the thing I was most excited about with the third series is the introduction of certain characters who have a more longstanding place within the legend and the story and within the show for us because there’s one or two knights who turn up. And I was particularly sort of really pleased about that because it’s had a sort of aspect of developing the show as well which is a great thing about Season 3.

For people who may not have seen the show before, what can you tell us that separates this version of the story from all the others that have come before?

Bradley James: Well I would say that we’ve completely butchered the legend and sort of reworked it for sort of Saturday night escapism because anyone who’s kind of quite strictly religious to the legend perhaps will take a bit of time to get used to what we’ve done to it. But we – I think we’ve taken the legend and kind of – I mean the producers like to sort of compare it with the sort of Smallville idea of having Superman before he was Superman.

And I mean this is Merlin before he was Merlin and Arthur before he was King Arthur. So it’s kind of the prelude story to the familiar tale that everyone’s aware of.

Who do you consider the greatest enemy of Merlin: Morgause, Morgana or Uther?

Read moreQ&A: Merlin’s Colin Morgan and Bradley James

Merlin Season 3 Returns January 7th

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Merlin, starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Anthony Head, returns for a third season on Syfy beginning Friday, January 7, at 10PM (ET/PT). The Syfy Channel will be repeating the first season of Merlin starting December 13th and a marathon of Merlin Season 2 episodes during the day of January 7th.

From Press Release:
Season three sees the young wizard Merlin (Colin Morgan) in increasingly more dangerous and dark battles in his secret quest to protect Prince Arthur (Bradley James) in the fabled kingdom of Camelot where magic is forbidden by King Uther (Anthony Head). They rejoin Katie McGrath as the mesmerizing Morgana, who has a dark destiny of her own, Angel Coulby as her loyal maid Gwen, and Richard Wilson as wise Court physician Gaius. The new season sees our heroes pushed to their limits as the kingdom is thrown into turmoil by the return of Morgana from a year’s absence. As misbegotten secrets are exposed and old friends choose new sides, the battle for Camelot has truly begun.

A host of new guest stars joins the regular cast to enthrall audiences over the 13-episode run, including four actors from the Harry Potter films: Harry Melling will play Merlin’s friend Gilli; Warwick Davis assumes the role of bridgekeeper Grettir; Miriam Margoyles will play Grunhilda; and Mark Williams is voice of a mischievous Goblin. Guest stars from the previous season such as Emilia Fox who plays Morgause, and Santiago Cabrera, who plays Lancelot, will also be returning for the new season.

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