Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday: Deep Space Murder.

One of my least favourite Deep Space 9 characters is Odo, played by René Auberjonois. This is unfortunate since the man has a reputation of being one of the nicest celebrities on the convention circuit. Part of my hang up is that Odo seldom shifted shape due to budget restrictions. But also,  in my mind Auberjonois will always be Clayton Endicott III from Benson

He appeared twice on Murder, She Wrote. He was Professor Harry Papasian in "Murder in a Minor Key." For the episode called "Mourning Among the Wisterias," he portrayed Homicide Captain Walker Thorn.

He has other Star Trek credits:

Star Trek: Enterprise: Oasis as Ezral

A few other character actors I've mentioned in earlier posts appear in both Murder, She Wrote and The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. The very thought of revisiting those credits makes me stabby. If you're so inclined,  check back through earlier posts for mentions of  Thomas Kopache, Tricia O'Neal, John De Lancie, Gail Strickland, Andrew RobinsonCyril O'Reilly, Leslie Bevis, James Sloyan, Bruce Gray, Duncan Regehr and others. Though just for fun, here's a snap of Regehr as Shakaar (with Nana Vistor's Kira Nerys):

His other appearances were The Begotten, Crossfire, and Shakaar. For some reason, I thought he was on many, many more episodes.

HEY! Is that Stephen Macht in the MSW episode Moving Violation?

It is! He has five MSW episodes on his imdb profile:

Track of a Soldier -- Arthur Wainwright
Bloodlines -- Lloyd
A Killing in Vegas -- Frank Stinson
Moving Violation -- Attorney Jason Farrell
Capitol Offense -- Congressman Dan Keppner

[In Track of a Soldier]

He has two Star Trek: Deep Space Nine credits:

Ray Buktenica was Deyos in "By Inferno's Light." On MSW he was Kyle Laughlin in "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue."

Dr. Renhol in  "Equilibrium" was played by Lisa Banes, aka Lucy Hendrix in MSW's A Shooting in Rome.

The character of  Cal Hudson in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "The Maquis, Part I" and "The Maquis, Part II" was played by Bernie Casey. Over on Murder, She Wrote  he was Doc Evans in Three Strikes, You're Out.  He shared screen time with Robert Mandan who played Irving Randolph.  Mandan was Kotan Pa'Dar in the episode called "Cardassians." 

Frozen Stiff  was a Murder, She Wrote episode based on a Ben & Jerry's type ice cream company. One of the main characters was  Larry Armstrong (aka Leonard Atkins) and played by Bill Smitrovich. He was in the DS9's Past Tense: Part 1 and Part 2 as Webb. It's a really excellent episode, and I highly recommend it. 

In the same MSW episode Gregory Itzin appears as Ralph Brewer.

His Star Trek credits are: 
Star Trek: Voyager  Critical Care -- Dr. Dysek

Robert Curtis-Brown was Vedek Sorad in "Sanctuary." He later appears in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Natural Law" as a Ledosian ambassador.  His MSW credits are:
Death by Demographics  -- Bud Forbes
Twice Dead -- David Randall
Murder on the Thirtieth Floor -- Steve DiNapoli 

The credits for DS9's  Profit and Loss  and MSW's Proof in the Pudding include Heidi Swedberg. In the former she was Rekelen and in the latter Lorna Thompson.

John Glover pops up in "When Thieves Fall Out" on MSW as Andrew Durbin. When he appeared on screen, I immediately recognized him as Verad from "Invasive Procedures."He has one other MSW credit: One White Rose for Death (Franz Mueller).

One other Deep Space 9 series regular popped up on Murder She Wrote. "See you in Court Baby" featured Nana Visitor as insurance investigator, Marcia McPhee.

Hopefully next week, I'll be posting about Voyager. But don't hold your breath. (Sorry.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pretty Pictures.

I've just finished Dan Brown's Inferno. As with his three previous Robert Langdon books, I frequently (and reluctantly) put it down to Google images of the places and things mentioned. Since I'm hardly the only person lacking in knowledge of European landmarks or famous art, here are some key images:

Don't scroll beyond this point if you plan to read the book
 and want to be surprised. ]]

Botticelli's Map of Hell.

Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy.

Vasari Corrider, Florence.

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Il Duomo, Florence.

The Battle of Marciano, by Vasari.

Dante's Death Mask

Florence Baptistery, Florence:

Piazza San Marco, Venice.

Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St Mark's.

Hagia Sophia,    Istanbul, Constantinople, Istanbul was Constantinople; Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople; Been a long time gone, Constantinople; Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night,   Istanbul, Turkey.

Tomb of Enrico Dandolo, Istanbul.

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I really only enjoy thrillers that -- like Dan Brown's books -- feature strong, intelligent female characters. I'd appreciate any recommendations that fit this bill. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday with Fogo and her Friend.

For the past month, we've been walking the neighbours' dog at lunch. He's the very definition of a "gentle giant."

I think my favourite part about taking these two for walks (beside the money) is when people refer to Fogo as "the small one." Because only when standing next to her 150 lb friend, does my 60 lb mutt look small.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Misty water-colored memories of the way we were.

Yesterday the boys and I drove into The Big City to shop and visit their orthodontist. En route, I started thinking about a trip I took in the summer of 1987. My dad had a ridiculous amount of vacation time banked, so we went to Vancouver without my mom.

This vacation is memorable for two reasons.

Firstly, I wanted to go to the aquarium, but my dad and brother did not so I walked over by myself. From downtown Vancouver, into Stanley Park, past the Pitch 'N Putt, around the lagoon, under George Street, past the rowing club, and over to the aquarium. I was 14! Doesn't that seem young to be wandering through a strange, urban park? My dad did give me some sage advice as I left: Don't be stupid.

Damn. Parenting in the 80s sounds like a breeze.

The other memory -- and the one that sprang to mind yesterday -- was of the long drive to and from Vancouver. My brother was sprawled in the back seat with his sweet Sony Walkman and a selection of shitty heavy metal music. I sat up in the passenger seat next to my dad. I had two jobs:

1. making minute adjustments to the radio dial so that when the mountains cooperated we could hear CBC radio, and

2. sticking my hand up through the sun roof and giving bad drivers the bird. In unison with my father.

Yesterday when an asshole tried to pass a transport truck on a double yellow, approaching a two-lane bridge at such a pokey speed that the truck driver pulled off the road lest the idiot kill anyone (ie me), I had to give the asshole the finger THROUGH my bug-splattered windshield. It lacked dramatic flare.

My next car will have a sun roof.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday: I'm just dialing this one in because it's late and I'm sleepy and it's +1000 degrees KELVIN in my house.

Thank you, JJ Abrams, for casting Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek: Into Darkness, thereby giving me another excuse to blog about the man.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The trailer for "The Fifth Estate" was released recently.  Butterscotch Candybatch    Boilerdang Crinklesnitch    Fragglerock Ampersand  Benedict Cumberbatch1 plays Julian Assange, and the movie looks very good. However Benedict doesn't look very good. This white wig is doing nothing for my lady bits:

Do my eyes deceive me, or does Alexander Siddig (Doctor Bashir from Deep Space Nine) appear in the trailer at the 1:31 mark? His imdb page doesn't show this credit -- which I think is odd.

Either way, I definitely want to see this movie.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

 1 -- explanation found here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Girl Detectives.

I have decided to write a series of children's books.

They will be about two sisters, Birdie and Cricket, who live in depression-era [note to self: do research and confirm that this term refers to the 1930s] New York City [note to self: maybe you should chose a city you've visited and not one you only know from watching every single episode of Seinfeld, Law & Order and Friends]. The girls are complete opposites. One is dark haired, the other blonde. One is bookish, the other impulsive. One loud, one quiet. One has glasses, the other a cyber-netic eye...hmm -- okay, maybe I'll work on that one. My point: they are different but, share a close bond.

Birdie and Cricket are amateur detectives and have many adventures as they solve crimes. Since these are books aimed at children, the crimes will not be particularly violent, and only truly evil people will die. Each novel will have a happy ending, plus an element of soft social commentary. Such as:
                   "being poor is not very nice," or
                    "it's wrong to judge someone by their skin colour," or
                    "the correct response to Hitler's rise to power is neither appeasement
                    nor isolationism," or
                   "women can be trusted to make informed choices about their reproductive organs."

My stories will be fun and educational.

Joining Birdie and Cricket  are various friends and family. There is a street smart doorman who is a recent immigrant. He's Italian and to make sure this doesn't escape my reader's attention I will-a write-a all-a his-a dialogue like-a dis, capisce? Endiamo! Venti cappucino! Grande latte! Vermicilli! Bunga bunga! Birdie and Cricket's father is an American business tycoon who didn't lose a cent during Black Tuesday, so the girls remain safely ensconced in their upper middle class lifestyle. Their mother is from England and she's a naturalist [note to self: confirm this is term for someone who studies nature and is not euphemism for nudist] and will be posh, but lovingly attentive. Their father's mother lives with them. She is a straight-talking, former-suffragette with a colourful past & undeniable joie de vivre.

Of course, in my book "Birdie" and "Cricket" are nicknames. No sensible parent would curse a child -- who will one day be an adult and want to be taken seriously -- with a legal name that is so lacking in gravitas that it makes her the object of mockery while still an infant. The girls in my books are really called Bridget and Catherine. Or maybe Bernadette and Camille. But not Birdie and Cricket, because a parent who chose these as legal names would have to be:
                  a.) a fool, and/or
                  b.) so rich their daughters would never need to find a job, and/or
                  c.) Busy Phillips.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Shall I mark you down for an advance copy of "Birdie and Cricket and the Pimp Who Preyed on Human Weakness?"

[Special thanks to Allysha and Beck for the inspiration. When I'm a famous writer I'll think of you fondly and refer to you as "salt of the earth people who I use to know".]

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday: Fionnula Flanagan

The many faces -- and hairstyles -- of Fionnula Flanagan, as seen on Murder, She Wrote and Star Trek:

MSW: Steal Me A Story (1987), Freida Schmidt:

MSW: A Killing in Cork (1993), Fiona Delaney Griffith:

DS9: Dax (1993), Enina Tandro

TNG: Inheritance (1993): Dr. Juliana Tainer

MSW: Nan's Ghost (1995), Eileen O'Bannon

ENT: Fallen Hero (2002), Vulcan Ambassador V'Lar

MSW: The Celtic Riddle (2003), Margaret Byrne

Regardless of how big her hair, or what accent she's employing: Ms Flanagan is one of my favourite actresses. The excuse to watch her MSW & Star Trek appearances was one of the reasons I wanted to write this series. If you peruse her imdb page you'll see that her credits are extensive, including one of my favourites: Waking Ned Devine. One of the best things about 
Ms Flanagan is her lovely speaking voice:

{performance of Eavan Boland's poem "The Emigrant Irish"}

Only when I sat down to rewatch the MSW episodes did I realize how many other Star Trek actors shared screen time with her. 

In "Steal Me A Story," Scott Lawrence has a small bit as a crew member on a tv production. 

He played Garon in "The Void" (VOY) and appeared on-screen as a Starfleet officer on The Vengence in "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Gail Strickland was Alixus in "Paradise" (DS9) and played a big-haired network executive in "Steal Me A Story."  

One of my favourite Star Trek characters is Elim Garak, the Cardassian tailor on Deep Space 9

Like many Star Trek actors who wear latex masks on screen, I recognized Andrew Robinson not by his face, but his distinctive voice. He was Ambrose, the murder victim, in "A Killing in Cork."

This episode is twenty years old so I have no qualms about spoiling the plot by announcing the killer was played by Dakin Matthews.

He was in 3 MSW episodes: "The Scent of Murder," "A Killing in Cork," and "The Wind Around the Tower." His sole Star Trek credit is "Admiral Patterson" in "Relativity" (VOY).

In the following photo, the man on the left is Mark Rolston, aka Sgt. Terence Boyle in this episode. 

He was in three other MSW episodes: "The Wind Around the Tower" and  "To the Last Will I Grapple with Thee." His Sargent Boyle pops up again in "Another Killing in Cork."

Rolston has several Star Trek credits:
Star Trek: Enterprise: The Augments  --  Captain Magh
Star Trek: Enterprise:  Canamar  --  Kuroda Lor-ehn

 Cyril O'Reilly has four MSW credits including "A Killing in Cork." He was in the episodes "An Egg to Die For" and "Snow White, Blood Red." He also played Paddy Whelan in the MSW made-for-tv movie "The Celtic Riddle," which also starred Fionnula Flanagan -- but more on that later. Personally I prefer him as Nahsk from "Who Mourns for Morn?" (DS9).

The Doctor's holographic wife from "Real Life" made an appearance in the MSW episode "Nan's Ghost, Part 1" and "Part 2."

Her real name is Wendy Schaal. In "Nan's Ghost" she portrayed a small time con artist posing as a "divorcee" staying at the inn operated by Flanagan's character.

Tom Kopache (who I mentioned in an earlier WSW blog post) has only one MSW credit on his page. 

However, "Leonard" the man-servant was a favourite of the Star Trek casting department:

Star Trek: Generations  --  Com Officer
Star Trek: Enterprise Broken Bow: Part 1  --  Vulcan Attaché Tos

Michael Jonas was a quisling featured in the second season of VoyagerRaphael Sbarge also turned up in MSW as snivelly Peter Franklin in "Nan's Ghost." Five years earlier he was cast in "Hannigan's Wake" in the role of  Stephen Thurlow.

In this photo he's about to suck face with "Andrea Nadar:" 

Her real name is Leslie Bevis. In three Deep Space 9 episodes ("Broken Link," "The Abandoned," and "The Homecoming") she played "Rionoj." Bevis had one other MSW appearance:  Barbara Desmond in "School for Murder."

The final entry for "Nan's Ghost" is Christopher Neame. On MSW, he was in "Nan's Ghost" as Dr. John Sullivan and "The Legacy of Borbey House" as Peter Jatich.

He has two Star Trek credits: Unferth in VOY's "Heroes and Demons" and a "German General" in  "Storm Front: Part 1 & 2" (ENT).

After MSW concluded, three tv movies were made.  Cyril O'Reilly (I mentioned him up-post) joined Fionnula in "The Celtic Riddle," this time as Paddy Whelen. A local poet named Denny is portrayed by William Morgan Sheppard. Shepherd has one other MSW credit: "Twice Dead" as Dr. Fredrick Grundberg. His Star Trek credits are more extensive:

His son Mark Sheppard had an uncredited performance in "The Celtic Riddle" as "Man In Car." He was Leucon in Voyager's Child's Play.

A Sergent in "The Celtic Riddle" is played by Tim De Zarn. He's been in several different Star Trek series:
Star Trek: Voyager. Repentance -- Warden Yediq

In case you are still hankering for more JB Fletcher awesomeness, check out this video

Also let's take a moment to appreciate Angela Lansbury's lovely legs: