Today we’re gonna talk about a few of the major events from this past week plus on some of our favorite shows. This post will contain spoilers from the span of June 3-5, for the following shows; Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Real Time with Bill Maher.
I had the wonderful pleasure of being able to attend the Cosmos panel at Comic-Con with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and producer Brannon Braga. First off, it probably was one of the coolest panels I have ever attended and it was the second time I have heard Dr. Tyson (or Neil at the panel if you were lucky enough to ask him a question) speak. The first time being the Starship Smackdown panel last year where he expounded on why the original Starship Enterprise deserved to win the smackdown (which, not shockingly, did win). The second time I heard him speak in person was this panel and it proved that seeing him in person is an experience in itself. Very eloquent and never condescending, he spoke with passion yet never overpowering the audience. You can definitely see why he was chosen to be the next host of Cosmos.
Even better was the involvement of Ann Druyan, the widow of Carl Sagan, and what she had to say on the subject of bringing back this show of science and discovery so that a new generation can enjoy Cosmos. I had never seen her speak before but you can definitely tell she is more than capable of carrying the torch that Sagan lit with this program. For those that don’t know, Cosmos was a mini-series from 1980 that had 13 episodes. It was presented by Carl Sagan and talked about a wide range of scientific subjects, whether the origins of life, life out in the universe or even investigating our own mysteries here on Earth. It was well received and people have been clamoring for a return. Luckily, Seth MacFarlane carries an enormous amount of clout these days and is executive producing Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey because he was such a big fan. So in 2014, we will be treated to the next iteration of the series on both FOX and the National Geographic Channel. It’s hard for me to really explain more about the series so below is the trailer to the new mini-series.
Yeah, I know right? I managed to watch Cosmos when I was a lot younger and it really did turn me on to science as a young kid and the whole idea of exploration and curiosity. By bringing this to a whole new generation, the goal is to at least expand the minds of new generations and provide a starting point for those to inquire more about science. I hope this project becomes a great success and a starting point for those younger kids to begin looking into the world. Again, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey will air on FOX and National Geographic sometime in Spring 2014. Below is a small bit from the Cosmos panel, showing why Neil deGrasse Tyson has the ability to speak to the new generation and get some blood flowing to the brain.
I want to know what star Seth MacFarlane had sex with, and then how good that sex had to be that the star then went and told all the other stars that they should go ahead and align in Seth MacFarlane’s favor this year. Seriously.
So in a week filled with overnight lines and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, Comic Con was crammed with hundreds of panels and booths. The one I had the most fun at though, was the one that closed out my weekend. Starting at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon, in a room of around a thousand people, I saw a panel of Sci-Fi geeks who seemed like they were truly enjoying themselves. The group, moderated by Mark Altman (Free Enterprise) has been doing this panel since 2002, and it seemed pretty unanimous that this was the best version to date. The whole idea is to nominate a bracket full of famous Sci-Fi Starships, and argue out who would win each matchup in the bracket.
Altman’s panel included the lovely Madison Dylan in her full-out Star Trek Geek glory, dressed as an ‘Orion slave girl’, and playing Altman’s ‘Vanna White’ as she worked the board. Among the panelists Thor and X-Men: First Class writer Ashley E. Miller, Rob Burnett who just finished an extensive documentary for the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th Aniversary Blu Rays‘, Star Wars Comic Book writer and artisit Chris Gossett, Clone Wars writer Steve Melching, former Millennium writer Kay Reindl, and Geek Magazine executive editor Jeff Bond. Mr. Bond, who has, what I’m sure his wife would call “an excessive amount” of Starship models, worked with Geek Magazine to create a poster of all the ships built to scale. The poster, which will be available in the upcoming 2nd issue of Geek (on Newsstands in August), was distributed to the audience as a guide.
Once it got started, it quickly turned into a comedy routine as the panelists tore apart the ships almost as quickly as each other. The level of comfort between them was obvious, and made for a good viewing experience. And I’m not just saying that because I was seated next to Nikki Griffin, who was in the midst of a rather convincing ‘Emma Frost’ Cosplay.
The headline stealing real event of the day though came near the end of the panel (which by that point had run more than 30 minutes over) when renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson emerged from the audience to comment.
This was not planned, and the spontaneity of the whole thing left even the most veteran panelists star struck…
It’s funny, as I was sat there, watching the girls on either side of me (Nikki Griffin and my friend Anna in her Sookie Stackhouse Cosplay) totally Geek out over Dr. Tyson’s appearance, I think it was still a little lost on me just how special a moment I had witnessed. Rob Burnett popped such a nerd boner I thought he was gonna flip the table. And now, in the few days since, while collecting my thoughts (and traveling) this story has blown up all over the place. I think the Hollywood Reporter put it best though:
“For all of its overblown, over-inflated, hyper-stimulated mania, sometimes the San Diego Comic-Con can deliver a moment of glorious inspiration, one that reminds us why we love the things we love and how that love knits us together. And that Kirk’s Enterprise is just friggin’ cool.”
And with influence from Trekkies like Altman, Madison Dylan, Jeff Bond, Rob Burnett, and Dr. Tyson – it’s not surprising that they out voiced Star Wars loyalist Steve Melching to end with the original ‘Enterprise’ won out the whole bracket this year.