Creation Entertainment Salute To Supernatural Toronto 2013

Creation

My first experience with a Creation Entertainment event was back in 2007 for their first ever salute to Firefly and Serenity.  I’d tried to go to a different Firefly con the previous year, and it was cancelled the day it was supposed to start, but Browncoats are the shiniest, and out of the ashes our Backup Bash was born!   That was my first experience at an American convention, and was the key reason I ended up on the Browncoat Cruise in 2007, as well.  I just wanted to be around those Browncoat people again.  The Cruise actually changed my life in many ways, but so – to a lesser but similar degree – did my first Creation event.  I was used to the events in Toronto I’d been attending, where many fandoms are all represented at once.  But going to a convention where the theme is JUST Firefly/Serenity was so intriguing to me, I couldn’t wait to give it a shot.

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I’ve been hooked ever since.

Creation has established themselves as a premiere event organizer, particularly for themed events for properties to which they own the rights.  I decided right from the beginning that, for as long as they supported the Firefly/Serenity franchise, I would support them.  So I trucked myself to California in 2007, 2008, and 2009 to enjoy what became like my Christmas – time spent with the writers, cast and crew of my favourite series, and – almost more importantly – with faces now familiar to me as fellow Browncoats.

After the first couple of years, Creation started throwing more than one convention in the same hotel at the same time, and patrons could take in elements of both, or all three, as the case may be.  One year we got to hang with the cast of Stargate as well as Firefly/Serenity, which was a crazy lot of fun, especially as the lovely Jewel Staite worked as a guest for both franchises!  In time, however, the fanbase wasn’t turning up enough to continue holding Firefly/Serenity events, and Creation reluctantly stopped having them.

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I was extra sad about this turn of events, because I really enjoyed the format of a Creation con, and the organization was out of this world.  The amount of face time attendees get with the guests is more than any other I’ve experienced, and since everything is scheduled according to one theme, you never have to worry about missing out on one panel while running to another.  It’s all laid out for you and you just show up at whichever parts of the event you want to experience.  No lining up hours in advance to get a seat in the main hall – Creation only sells the number of tickets for which they have seats.  Only one panel goes on at a time, and photo op lines are run like a well-oiled machine.  I enjoy the chaos of a Fan Expo, of course, but I really missed the more intimate experience a Creation event can give.

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So, it was with a happy heart that I found myself loving the show Supernatural.  I’d been aware of it, but never started watching it when it first began to air, and after that, it didn’t seem worth it to go back and add it to my already-full TV-watching plate.  But last year, a local channel aired the first 4 seasons on weeknights starting from the pilot, and I decided to give it a try at last.  I got so addicted so quickly that I had to beg a coworker to start bringing in the rest of the seasons for me on DVD so I could get caught up.  Somewhere in there, while still watching on TV each night, I decided that I was finally going to attend the only Creation event held in Toronto – a Salute To Supernatural.  I’ve been eyeing their Vampire Diaries events, and would love to attend the Grand Slam some year, but travelling to the US can be hard to do when I keep spending all of my money at local conventions, and none of my Browncoats would necessarily be there to spend the weekend with me, so thus far, I have remained in the city.  Hence, my excitement at once again gearing up for another Creation event was pretty high off the bat, and it just kept growing from there.

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The guests announced comprised an all-star line-up in their own right.  There were “the boys”, of couse (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki), Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, Mark Pellegrino, Matt Cohen, James Patrick Stuart, Ty Olsson, Rob Benedict, lone lady Samantha Smith and the whole weekend was hosted by the hilarious Richard Speight Jr.  Rick Worthy was also supposed to appear, but had to cancel at the very last minute.  Happily for me, though, they added local superstar Julian Richings to cap it all off perfectly!

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I arrived on the Friday early enough to get registered, pick up my wristband for the weekend, and settle into a seat in the main hall.  I’d only gotten a weekend pass this time, because it’s all I could afford, and I wanted to spend extra money on photo ops instead of autographs (when I have to choose, I go for the one that involves touching).  My friend and companion for the weekend, Dorothy, had just gotten a new camera with a lovely zoom lens attached, so I was able to get some pretty amazing pictures from the very back of the room, which was also awesome!  Creation also set up big screens on each side of the stage so that everyone in the room could have a decent view of what was going on, and Richard Speight Jr set the tone early on by wandering through the audience with his microphone!

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My first impression when I got there – despite it being a Creation event, it wasn’t my beloved Firefly – was that I didn’t really fit in with the other hardcore fans of the show.  Given the hotness level of the male guests, however, the room was pretty much filled entirely with women, so that was…interesting.  I might have been a bit spoiled with Browncoats because we’re a different kind of fan…we didn’t get even a full season of our show, and everything we did get we’ve had to work for ever since.  Supernatural is airing its 8th season now, and is still going strong, so naturally the fans will have a different sense about them.  Less loss and heartache, perhaps.  Anyway, shortly after Speight took the stage, I forgot that I was a fish out of water, and settled right in to my old Creation routine of enjoying every moment.  They were even doing this cool thing where you could Tweet a photo using “#TORCON” and they would scroll everyone’s photos on the screens at the front between panels throughout the weekend.  Thank goodness they weren’t doing that in LA for the Firefly conventions – my phone bill would have been ridiculous!!!  But for Toronto it was super-fun, and I hashtagged everything that was even remotely relevant to the event!

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I wasn’t getting any autographs, so my programming ended early each day (autographs are done at the end, after the Q&A’s are over, and people are called by rows according to where they are seated), and since I wasn’t staying in the hotel, I would head home to feed my kitties and hang out with them for a bit each night.  I did, however, manage to get a photo op done each day, which led to two awesome discoveries.  Apparently, when Creation travels with their events to other cities, they take along many of the same crew.  I’m not sure why I thought it might be different people doing things at conventions in places other than California, but I was very happy to see my two favourite staff at my first photo op – Chris the Photographer and Val the line-wrangler/security gal!  (And is the guy who looks like John Cleese still there ever?  I didn’t see him this time). I’d asked Dorothy to split a photo op with me for Julian Richings that first day, because he’s awesome and I wanted a quick moment to say hello to him.  I was well and giddily into Creation event mode by then, too, so it all worked out pretty perfectly.  AND he hugged me, which was even more awesome!

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Anyway, as I said, Richard Speight Jr got everyone all warmed up, and then brought the lovely Samantha Smith to the stage.  He hung around to keep the Q&A lively and entertaining, which was cool – I like when more than one cast member can be on stage together because they can just play off of one another and the whole thing is crazy fun to watch.  Creation is awesome at setting up panels like that, and – even when they happen more spontaneously (I’m looking at you, Nathan Fillion) – Creation is excellent at just bringing out another chair and going with the flow!

Julian was up next for his stage time, and he was hilarious, as well.  For stepping in at the last minute, he sure seemed to be having a great time!  James Patrick Stuart entertained to end my portion of the day (there was a killer karaoke bash that night with many of the guests also in attendance, but I needed to get home), and suddenly my first day was done, and I couldn’t even remember that whole fish-out-of-water thing I’d been feeling!

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Things got progressively busier and more crowded as the weekend moved along – Jim Beaver received a standing ovation the moment he stepped on stage on the Saturday (and again on the Sunday), Matt Cohen, Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr gave the most hilariously ridiculous panel I’ve ever seen, and Mark Pellegrino and Misha Collins made a perfect devil/angel pair.

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The crowd had reached maximum proportions by Sunday morning, however, as that was THE day.  The boys were there, Jensen and Jared, and the amount of lady prep going on prior to the photo ops in the morning was unlike anything I’ve ever been that close to.  Here’s where Creation’s experience and skill comes into play, as well.  They gave numbered tickets for those photo ops, and had everyone go sit in the main hall until their numbers were called.  No one was allowed down in the photo op area unless they had a ticket number that fell within the accepted range at any given time.  Also, they only sold a certain number of tickets, so that the photo ops wouldn’t run all day long, and could instead fit within a reasonable amount of time at the start of the day.  As a result, the line moved quickly and efficiently, and it still didn’t feel rushed at all, which is an amazing thing.  Chris the Photographer always checks to make sure no one blinked during the photo before he lets you leave, so you can always be pretty sure that your photo op is going to look amazing when you pick it up.

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I actually wasn’t nervous going in to see J&J for the first time.  I’ve accepted that they are both handsome (though is it just me, or is Jensen, like, beyond regular human kind of hot?), but since I’m gay, I figured it would just be a quick pose-smile and out.  I was, however, wearing my “I love posse” shirt, which I bought online shortly after seeing that episode, and Jared glanced at it as we introduced ourselves.  I shrugged and said, “I love posse”, which made him laugh, and therefore caught Jensen’s attention, too.  It was a quick moment, but a golden one nonetheless.  Plus, Jared is stupid-tall, which I like, and really, who doesn’t love dimples?  So my first brush with the Supernatural gods was done, and we still had their whole panel (with Dorothy’s zoom lens) to go!

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On the way back upstairs, I snagged a quick moment to chat with Val, just ’cause she’s my favourite.  :)

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I found the boys’ panel to be really fun, too, and the questions better were much better than usual.  The boys work together really well by now, and can crack one another up even while giving reasonably intelligent answers to the questions they’re being asked.  Both have easy smiles and stories to tell from behind the scenes of the show, as well as from their own lives.  Thankfully, I don’t think any personal lines were crossed in the Q&A, either.  I’ve been there to see some pretty inappropriate questions being asked in other panels, and I think the most personal this one got was to ask what their kids were dressing as for Halloween.  Jared had a particularly entertaining answer for this one which got so funny at one point that Jensen got up with him to re-enact the story for us!  They really do seem to be great guys, and very professional even when they are goofing around.  I think Jim Beaver was the one who mentioned how he’d been spoiled for other sets because everyone on the Supernatural set can keep it light while still getting the job done, and that kind of balance is pretty rare.  In ANY industry, really.

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We are only a couple of episodes into Season 8 now, and already things have been turned on their heads (the trenchcoat!!!!), so I am eager to see how things play out from here.  In addition, I was so happy to be back at a Creation event that I just may sign up again to attend next year.  Jensen, Jared and Misha are already confirmed, and with nearly a year to go, who knows what might happen!

Now, if only I could coax them into bringing their Vampire Diaries event to Toronto, as well…  :)

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Hammertown Comic Con

htcc-bttf Sue and I, with our friend and camera operator Kayleigh Book in tow, tackled the Hammertown Comic Con in Hamilton this past weekend, and we had a lot of fun! There were 3 Back To The Future guests, a couple of DeLoreans, some fantastic costumes, great art, and some cool folks to chat to! Sue and I arrived in style…

Is there possibly a cooler way to show up at a con?!? From there we wandered the floor, taking in the sites, and coming very close to collecting these… IMG_0003 From there we had a wander and looked at some of the amazing art by folks like Ron and Indy as well as the awesome art of Steve McGinnis - I picked up a copy of his The Thing print (I have to get a frame for it, because it needs to go up like now!!), and Sue picked up his Alfred Hitchcock print. Then we decided it was time to jump in and do some interviews!!

First up was the amazing James Tolkan, best known as Principal Strickland in Back To The Future, and various other Stricklands through Hill Valley’s history, as well as Stinger in Top Gun…

Once that first interview was out of the way, things started to come together pretty quick for us as we began hitting one guest after another, all of whom were a joy to chat with! We were pleasantly surprised by how simply awesome Donald Fullilove was, best know for his turn as Goldie Wilson in the Back To The Future series, we got him to deliver his most famous line, and I bought a replica of his Re-Election poster.

Mayor Goldie Wilson… wow.

Then we moved along and spoke to the series original Jennifer Parker, Claudia Wells! Make sure you check out her official site here. As a side note, my hair seems to get wilder and wilder from one interview to the next…

After that, we decided to wander the floor again, where Sue encountered Ruffus the Dog, who was talking about his new project, Ruffus the Dog’s Steampunk Adventure, take a look at it’s trailer and site here!

From there we wandered for a bit, checking out costumes, and looking at toys, Sue got herself a new Christmas tree… IMG_0004 Then we had a couple of more chats. The first was with Kylie Szymanski, who played the Governor’s daughter Penny, in season 3 of The Walking Dead…

We then got a chance to converse with the brilliant, funny, and generally awesome Robert Picardo from Star Trek: Voyager, the Stargate series…

Then for our last chat of the day we wandered over to chat with the hosts of YTV’s popular show Splatalot Matt Chin and Jason Agnew, and we were then ambushed by a surprise guest… Pat Mastroianni!

It was a fantastic day at the Hammertown Comic Con, and Sue and I want to extend our thanks to everyone who went, everyone who chatted with us, and everyone who made the event a success! We hope to see you next year!

Independence Day (1996) – Roland Emmerich

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The 101 Sci-Fi Movies list brings this combination of sci-fi in the vein of War of the Worlds and an Irwin Allen disaster flick, with a huge dose of popcorn entertainment thrown in as good measure. Now that being said, this film isn’t with its eye-rolling cheese, and its questionable plotlines… the most famous of which is using a Mac to hack an alien computer system and upload a virus, and the fact that the rest of the world was sitting there on their haunches waiting for the Americans to do something… Anyway.

But the film, despite all it’s flag waving, doesn’t take itself overly seriously, and has an all-star cast to make you forget how bad some of the story actually is.

Take a look at this roster… Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, Adam Baldwin, Randy Quaid, and Harry Connick Jr. Not bad right? The entire cast is stocked with familiar faces, and they all totally embrace the popcorn aspect of this big screen romp.

On July 2nd, something starts to interfere with our communication satellites, and SETI picks up an unusually close unknown signal, minutes later, reports are coming in all over the world that large ships, 15 miles across, are sliding into place over major cities all over the world (except apparently Canada, I’ve seen this movie a number of times, and we don’t get mentioned once, perhaps we were hidden behind all the flag-waving…) – shades of V!

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As the chips position themselves, one man figures out what they are actually doing, David Levinson (Goldblum) who tells everyone he knows to flee the city, and races to track down his wife Constance (Margaret Colin), who serves on the President’s (Pullman) staff. Escaping the White House just in time, the aliens launch a brutal one-sided assault on the citizens of Earth, intent on driving us to extinction and then using up the rest of our planet’s resources.

But we’re determined to fight back!

So while lives, loves and relationships are torn asunder, new ones form, alliances are made, and David and Captain Stephen Hiller (Smith) are recruited to fly the recovered Roswell craft to the mothership, upload a virus that will knock out the protective shields for alien fleet, and then the rest of the world will launch a last gasp assault.

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The film is big and fun, and probably Emmerich’s best, though Stargate will always be a favorite of mine, and is certainly better than the films he made post ID4, they just didn’t have the same sense of big operatic fun.

The film doesn’t dip too often into schmaltz, but it’s there, death scenes to try to pull at your heart-strings, and make you more invested in the idea of going after the aliens, because it was war before, but now it’s personal…

I dunno.

Don’t get me wrong, I sat there and enjoyed my rewatch of this one, but even when I first saw it, on opening day no less, I walked out having enjoyed it, but questioning a lot of the goofier plot points.

Still, it’s big grand sci-fi, and is a popcorn movie done right.

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Doctor Who S07x03 – A Town Called Mercy

This week’s episode of Doctor Who, written by Toby Whithouse, isn’t neccessarily a misstep, it’s just the weakest episode of Series 7, sure there have been only 3, but this one just doesn’t fire on all thrusters.

The concept is fun enough, the Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) get a chance to step into the old west. Filmed on location State-side, the episode looks epic, and the story is a good idea, it just doesn’t completely connect.

Our trio arrive on the outskirts of a town called Mercy, a small frontier town that has a line of lumber and rocks surrounding it. We learn that the town is under threat by someone known only as the Gunsllinger (Andrew Brooke) who is seeking out an alien doctor.

Despite the townsfolk attempting to toss the Doctor out of town to deliver him to the Gunslinger, who is a cyborg, we learn from the town Marshall, Isaac (Ben Browder of Farscape and Stargate SG-1) that there actually is an alien doctor in the town, hiding, Kahler Jex (Adrian Scarborough).

The Doctor learns that despite all the good Jex is done in the town, serving as their surgeon, he’s got a past, a war criminal and the Gunslinger is in fact his creation.

Jex is a war criminal, and the Doctor has to figure out what to do with him, how justice and morality is best served.

It’s an interesting dilemma, and that would have been more to my liking, if we had’ve focussed more on that, exploring it.

There’s a scene when the Doctor practically explodes in anger, and though it’s justified, I would have rather seen a slow burn before the explosion. I would have liked to see a build up to it. Still, he makes a bold decision, and almost hands Jex over, seeing it as putting the victims first for a change, instead of trying to find a way out for all involved. It also sees a big moment for the Doctor, because he draws a gun, and that’s something that rarely happens, because as a rule, he doesn’t believe in them. Which is why the righteous anger he has would have been so important to see building up, and much like Donna (Catherine Tate) did, Amy reins him back in.

But it is a fair point, the concept of justice, paying for ones crimes, but as he points out later, violence for violence only extends it, it doesn’t end it.

The story rockets towards it’s conclusion, allowing the Doctor to become the town’s Marshall, and have a showdown at high noon with the Gunslinger. And while there are some fun moments, overall, it just doesn’t seem to have the level of fun that Asylum and Dinosaurs had.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good serious sci-fi story, and this could have been that. But instead of dwelling on the good that someone evil can do, and at what point they’ve paid for their crimes, it doesn’t get the time and attention it needs.

Next week, with only two episodes left before the long break until the Christmas holiday, one of which sees the departure of the Ponds, things slide to focus on Amy and Rory, and the choice that lays before them in… The Power of Three.

Fan Expo Edition!

So Fan Expo is over for another year, sigh.

Oh well. Sue and I had a great time, and had some wonderful chats, and there are chats we missed out on that we’re still trying to run down, as well as more still to come, but this week, we have an amalgam of interviews over the course of our weekend.

On this edition you will find quick little chats with some amazing people… Amazingly funny, and brilliantly charming… Candyman himself, Tony Todd! Continuum Series Creator – Simon Barry! The creator of one of our favorite websites – check her eBay store out – Jackie from Baby’s First Boo! Star of Battlestar Galactica, and Band of Brothers – Jamie Bamber! And then we catch up with our friends Tim Doiron and April Mullen from the upcoming Dead Before Dawn 3D, and their star, the hilarious, and endlessly entertaining actor from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series – Devon Bostick!

It’s a lot of fun, and has a little of the hustle and the bustle that is the convention (which is why they tend to be really short) but hopefully you’ll enjoy them.

So join us on the floor of the Metro Toronto Convention Center as we bring you the Fan Expo Edition!.

Fan Expo 2012

Here it is August 2012! And it’s almost Fan Expo time, my favorite time of year!

The Mind Reels, just shy of it’s 1 year birthday, coming up in October (can you believe it?!) has been invited to attend this year’s Fan Expo and cover it as Media. Sue and I are delighted.

I’ve gone to this event every year since I moved to Toronto, so in other words, this will be my 4th. But I love it, it’s amazing geekry, and I’ve seen improvements each year, as the people at Hobbystar tweak listen to what those attending say, and strive to make it a better experience each and every time.

If it’s possible, the event seems to be getting bigger each year as well, more guests, more big names, more events, and more fun.

I currently can’t tell you who I’m most excited to meet and chat with… .Horror Meister John Carpenter, director of The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, Halloween, and Escape From New York… Rachel Nichols from Continuum (anyone who’s read my blog knows there’s a bit of a crush thing happening there)… the amazing Gillilan Anderson… The Boondock Saints – Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery… Amanda Tapping from Stargate SG-1 and Sanctuary… our friends the cast of Lost Girl… the man, the legend – STAN LEE!!! … the amazing cast and crew of Dead Before Dawn 3D (did you know Sue and I have a cameo in this?) starring Devon Bostick, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Doiron and April Mullen… the only Captain Jack who matters Torchwood’s John Barrowman, the voice of Fry from Futurama, Billy West and that has barely scratched the surface!!!

It’s going to be an amazing ride, and our twitter feed and Facebook pages will be seeing constant photo and status updates, as well as daily articles. And who knows? We may have an interview or two to share with you as well.

If you’re in T.O. or even close to it and consider yourself a geek, this is the place to be next weekend, and you can still get tickets! Just click the Fan Expo link on the right side of our page, and it will take you right to the site!

If you are going, make sure you tweet at us, and track us down and say hi!

We’re looking forward to a fantastic weekend.

Who are you most excited to see? Which events are must-see for you?

Continuum S01 E04 – Matter of Time

This week’s Continuum has the ‘A’ Story falling solidly into the term – ‘police procedural’ although Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), still using her cover as working for Section 6, uses some of her tech, specifically her heads up display ocular implant.

We start in pre-2077, as Sam is still a baby, and Greg (John Reardon) has just received a promotion, moments later a black-out sweeps the city, but Greg promises it will be back on in 10 seconds.

We leap back to 2012 with Kiera having a tough time with mascara and lets it slip that in the future the applicator works via electro-static, and releases the correct amount needed every time.

Carlos (Victor Webster) summons Kiera to an unusual crime-scene. Something has bored a hole through the chest of Dr. Martin Ames, and the five floors beneath him.

As the duo investigate they learn that Ames, and his grad student assistant Shane Mathers (Jesse Moss) are working on anti-matter containment, which could lead to clean fusion and a reliable energy source.

Relying more on her gut, than her tech, her suit was damaged last week, Kiera begins to suspect Shane, but Ames’ former partner, who was having an affair with Shane, Melissa Dobak (Mayko Nguyen).

The ‘B’ story kicks off with the arrival of Kagame (Tony Amendola) in 2012, and Liber8 taking over a marijuana hydroponics lab run by a couple of thugs,  that Sonya (Lexa Doig) and Garza (Luvia Petersen) take care of.

At the same time Kellog (Stephen Lobo) is securing his own future, by paying off the mortgage of his future grandmother’s house as well as buying the twenty-something some very nice things.

As Kiera and Carlos delve further into the case, learning all the possible uses that the discovery could be used for, especially for the military, Harry Maybourne shows up to tell them to knock it off and turn over their evidence. Sorry, it’s not really Harry Maybourne, but Stargate alumnus Tom McBeath appears as Lt. General Rogers.

Carlos momentarily believes that Rogers’ appearance is due to Kiera, but she asks him to drag out turning over his reports and evidence so she can run down some leads.

She also learns that Kagame is here, who is strolling the streets of Vancouver, remembering what will be, and recalling a speech he gave to an attentive group of people about debt-slavery to the corporate government. It’s scary because once again this is something you can see happening, and that just reminds us once again, that even though Kiera wants to get back to her family, she may be on the wrong side of this fight, though I certainly don’t condone Liber8′s violent actions.

Bringing Shane in for questioning they finally get him to implicate himself, but he won’t turn on Melissa, even after he learns she was just using him.

However, Alec (Eric Knudsen) learns that there is a second back-up, in Melissa’s possession.

In the interim, he also finds Kagame, and Kiera and Carlos race to catch him, running into Liber8, who take a baby and a mother hostage, and Kiera must trade Kagame for them.

Kiera arrives at the airport just in time to stop Melissa from leaving, and bluffs her with a protest flyer into thinking she has a warrant. Melissa hands over the data just as her fiancée arrives.

And Kiera makes a big choice. She knows the woman has committed murder, but lets her go, when she learns WHO she will become, Melissa LaRoche, who will be responsible for the creation of clean fusion.

But does that make it ok for Kiera to let her go? She’s securing her own future, but does she have the right to do that, meddling with the past?

These are questions that Alec brings up as well, showing up at Kiera’s apartment (31), meeting in person for the first time. He’s there to try to fix Kiera’s suit, but also puts it to her that if Liber8 has come to the past to play god, what is she doing by letting murderers go free to maintain her own timeline?

And I asked a few posts ago… Where’s the water? Apparently, water is at a premium, so all cleaning is dry cleaning, and vibration 8 secs for 30 credits, one more thing that puts you in debt-slavery to the corporate government.

We also see that Kiera was content to stay at home to look after Sam, she’d served in the military, but was now happy to raise her child. So what happened that was enough to motivate her to join the CPS as a Protector?

So while this episode strode right down the police procedural line, the welcome hints of future history always catch my interest.

I like the chemistry and friendship that is developing between Kiera and Carlos, they are slowly starting to trust each other, which if Carlos ever learns the truth, will blow up in a huge way!

We didn’t see anything with Alec’s step family, but I’m still convinced they’ll either be drawn into Liber8, or may in fact have come back from the future themselves to alter the course of the timeline. Alec’s relation with them is tenuous at best, but what will happen when they’re on different sides of the fight?

And did anyone else notice the flyers for Sonya Valentine posted on a pillar last week, or was that just me?

The show continues to be engaging, funny, entertaining, and like the best science fiction, makes you think, imagine and see the world in a different way.

Niagara Falls Comic Con!!

Yesterday was a brilliant day! (Even getting up at 4am to get it underway.)

Sue and I headed to Niagara Falls for their comic con in their brand new Scotiabank Convention Center. Chris Dabrowski Co-Owner of the show, who handles the celebrity bookings, as well as the PR & Marketing for the event kindly set us up with a media pass for the day, which we put to use documenting the day and chatting to a great many people.

What follows will be a photo journey through our day, as well as talking about some of the fantastic people we met.

This young Han Solo on the left won the awesome award as far as Sue and I were concerned. We saw him waiting in line with his parents, and practically ambushed them when they came in to take his pic. At some point through the day, they came across one of the original Kenner Millennium Falcon’s which he promptly carried around with him for the remainder of the day.

Also present, are the always awesome 501st, the stormtrooper legion comprised of fans who craft and upkeep their outfits, and do some fantastic charity work!

The fan turn out for the event was fantastic, there was always a steady line of people coming in, and all of them seemed to be having a brilliant time.

The exhibitor tables were a lot of fun, and we found a number of them we loved, as well as some fantastic artists!

One of them, which we will be following eagerly, as they have told us a web presence is imminent, is The Gift Crypt. At this table, there were hand crafted gothic items, as well as some homemade candies and chocolate, chocolate skulls, mints, and an amazing assortment of goodies. I highly recommend watching for this site when it pops up so keep your eyes open! If you would like to get in touch with them before hand their email is thegiftcrypt@gmail.com .

There were tons of collectibles, ranging from the pre-loved to brand new goodies, and they were all fairly, and amazingly priced, actually some of the best prices I’ve seen at a convention, and will probably be the baseline I use from now on when shopping at a convention.

I chatted with a number of comic book exhibitors, the wonderful gents from Pulp Comics in Niagara Falls itself, as well as Paradise Comics, Mostly Comics. Every single vendor I chatted with was eager, professional, knew their products incredibly well, and some of them were happily surprised by how busy the event turned out to be, some of them selling out of the inventory of certain titles that brought today, Batman Hush was incredibly popular! (I found a couple of Iron Man hardcover graphic novels for insanely cheap prices – 50% off the US cover price!! How sweet is that?!?! As well as an IDW Star Trek comic I was missing from my collection!)

One of the best things about conventions are the costumes, especially when people throw their imagination into it. You can’t help but wonder what happened to poor Robin and his sweetie in the pic to the left, but it looks awesome!

The Joker made a wicked appearance, and sadly, promptly made a baby cry. I’d say that’s perfectly in character for that fella.

There was a Rainbow Brite accompanied by a Strawberry Shortcake, there were at least 3 Tony Stark-types, and that isn’t including me with my new Tony-inspired goatee and shorter hair.

The security was maintained by roving clone troopers (not true, security there was awesome, and not a single untoward incident happened all day) of which there was a surprising number.

There also characters I thought I would never see in real life, like Bartman!

We also chatted with a number of artists, and I got a nice little print from Chris DeLara that I need to get a frame for (along with other pieces I’ve purchased over the years).

We found time to chat with artist Steve McGinnis, who recently made the leap from producing children’s art to horror art, and had one of his prints for sale that showed the bridge between them, a wicked picture of a little girl offering a lollipop to a bloodied, weapon-wielding Jason from the Friday the 13th series. You can check out his site here which he’s told us he’s going to update with a variety of his other pieces as well. If something strikes your fancy, I’m sure you’ll be able to order it through his site.

Oftentimes at a con, as much as I am having a great time, I am always reminded of the jostling masses surrounding me all intent on doing their own thing, and while the floor was constantly packed (the Bret Hart line was insane! I have never seen so many golden belts slung over shoulders in my life!) everyone was friendly, polite, eager to talk, and always more than happy to pose for a pic, or take a pic for you if you asked.

Wandering through Artists’ Alley, we chatted with the likes of Ty Templeton, Dave Ross, Mike Hogue and Ken Lashley who created this awesome Star Wars print…

Each one of the artists were exceedingly gracious with their time, chatting happily with each of their visitors, offering advice, opinions, and talking about some of their favorite characters and pieces.

The celebrity signing area, played host to a number of familiar faces and names, including the brilliant Robert Picardo, who talked with his fans in a Q&A as well as fielded questions at his table as he signed Star Trek: Voyager and Stargate memorabilia.

The man is erudite, well-read and charming, smiling and chatting with everyone.

Burt Ward, Robin from the original Batman TV Series was under a slew of fans, laughing, talking and sharing memories with a seemingly unending line!

The celebrity area was constantly busy much to the delight of the fans, and the lines moved smoothly, each fan waiting for their moment, but never intruding on the time of the person before or behind them.

Little Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl on the Walking Dead, seemed to be having a great time, and towards the end of the day found time to sit in the Back To The Future DeLorean that was on site.  It’s tough at that age to be the center of so much attention, but young Riggs handled it well, and always seemed to be ready for more.

Also on hand was a bearded Dustin Diamond, best known for Screech from Saved By The Bell. Every time I saw him he was laughing or very engaged in talking amiably with the scores of folk who came to see him.

Throughout the course of the day, there were photo ops with the guests in front of green-screens to drop you into high-school, a horde of zombies, the bat-cave or a wrestling ring depending on the guest. There were also Q&As through the day, as well as a screening of Niagara Falls home town girl, and fan favorite April Mullen and Tim Doiron’s film Rock, Paper, Scissors: Way of the Tosser.

There was also a VIP screening of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), and members of the cast.

The man’s a big teddy bear, and seems more appropriate to take on the role of Santa Claus as opposed to the terrifying cannibalistic killer he portrayed.

He and his cast mates, were across from the MacabreCon table that had arranged for them to be there, and were a great bunch of guys, including a clutch of filmmakers who are working on a feature film entitled Android Re-Enactment, have a look at their site here.

And long before there was a show called Jackass, there was another guy doing all kinds of crazy stunts and almost killing himself doing stunts and broadcasting them in the Southern Ontario area, that would be none other than Ralph Zavadil, known to his fans as Cap’n Video.

This guy’s energy was insane, he was rockin’ and rollin’ with each and every person who came to his booth. He was loud, boisterous, and a lot of fun for each of his fans.

Sue and I spent the day in close proximity to the Cap’n as we chatted and helped our dear friends April and Tim, promoting their two previous films, Rock, Paper, Scissors and Gravy Train, while talking about their upcoming film (which Sue and I have cameos in) Dead Before Dawn 3D!!

They were aided by various members of the Mullen clan (and you’ve never met a bunch of nicer people, EVER) and a young, up and coming filmmaker in his own right, Phil Marinucci. Watch for his name, cause I’m willing to bet we’ll hear more from him, and somewhere in the near future we’ll be having him on our show.

And speaking of our show, we’ll have a brief one up where we have a chat with one of the exhibitors on site… he and his friend constructed and maintain their very own 1966 era Batmobile. It’s perfect in every detail, and looks awesome!!!

So make sure you listen to that!

We also chatted with out dear friends April & Tim, who, let’s face it, along with Jeremy LaLonde need to be regulars on our show. All three of them are passionate filmmakers and dear friends.

At the end of the day, Sue and I were ready to head back to Toronto… so we commandeered the Delorean and a hover board…

We’d like to extend our thanks to Chris, and all the folks who made that con possible, it was fun, busy, and one of the smoothest run cons I’ve been to yet! We’ll be back for sure! Thanks for having us!

(Check out the rest of our pics on our Facebook page!)

Continuum – Meet Travis Verta

Travis Verta is one of the members of the terrorist organization known as Liber8 that made their escape from the year 2077 back to 2012, inadvertently dragging CPS Protector Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) with them.

Now, hiding out in the early 21st century, Travis and his fellows are recruiting, expanding, and planning to change their own future, seeking revenge on people and events that haven’t happened yet using his cunning intellect to persuade others to join him.

Will Kiera be able to stop them?

And as we’ll discuss this weekend in our review of episode 1, should we want her to?

Travis Verta is played by Roger Cross.

Cross is a genre favorite, he’s appeared in The Commish, Millennium, The X-Files, Stargate Sg-1, First Wave, The Outer Limits, Taken, X2, Enterprise, Fringe, Chuck, and played Curtis Manning on 24.

Cross was born in Jamaica, but moved to Vancouver when he was 11, and now resides in L.A.

Roger is always wonderfully intense in his performances, and it will be very cool to see what he does with Travis over the course of the 10 episodes of the series (hopefully if it does well enough we’ll get more than the 10).

Continuum debuts this weekend on Showcase, Sunday May 27 at 9pm.

How far would you go to save the future?

 

Niagara Falls Comic Con!!

In just over three weeks, Sue and I will be making a visit to Niagara Falls to attend and cover the Niagara Falls Comic Con! We’re both looking forward to this day trip, seeing some old friends, familiar faces, and meeting some new folks!

The event is scheduled for June 9th at the Scotiabank Convention Center, Hall C on Stanley Avenue. General admission tickets are available on the website for $15 as well as at the door. You can also trick out your membership as you see fit by adding in Q&As, photo-ops and autographs. I kind of like this idea, you only pay for what you actually plan on doing, hence the lower ticket price.

I’m not a wrestling fan, but there’s  a WWE Legends Q&A Session and screening of Classic Matches which features Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & “The Genius” Lanny Poffo!

These special event tickets, there is also one with Burt Ward (Robin), which includes a screening of the original Batman movie, and a Q&A with Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager and the Stargate franchise) are $20 per, but instead of including these in the admission ticket, you can pick or choose if you want to add them.

The photo-ops being presented are kind of unique as well. We’re all familiar with green-screen (which means don’t wear your Green Lantern shirt in the pics!!) in this case they are putting you on the bridge of Voyager with the Doctor (Robert Picardo), racing from zombies with Walking Dead’s Carl (Chandler Riggs), in the Batcave with Burt Ward, in Bayside High School with Screech (Dustin Diamond) or in the ring with the Dream Team, Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine! These photo-ops which sound very fun, I know Sue and I will probably be getting a couple are only $20!

For the horror fan, there is the Ultimate Texas Chainsaw Massacre VIP package that includes a photo-op with Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and Teri McMinn, an after-party as well as a Q&A with them, and a screening of the film! NOT BAD! This is put on by MacabreCon in conjunction with the Comic Con.

On top of that you have Artist Alley, vendors, displays and the geniuses behind the upcoming Dead Before Dawn 3D (currently in Cannes!) April Mullen and Tim Doiron!

We’re looking forward to meeting as many of these folks as we can, chatting with them, and hopefully getting a quick podcast chat out of them, as well as chronicling the con for you.

But if you can, head on out to it, show your support, and have a good time…

I plan on doing some comic shopping, other geek stuff, and snapping lots of pics to document the event, and plaster all over our posts about it!

We hope to see you there! There’s still time to buy your ticket!!! Don’t miss out! Check them out here!