If you were wondering just what that extra dollar buys you when you upgrade to HD in the iTunes store, you can get a free look. Our pals over at TUAW made note of a number of shows that have free episodes available, in HD. The files are large, with the HD versions clocking in at right around 1.5GB, so it will take a bit to download. Something that isn't helped by the fact that iTunes downloads the SD version as well.
I've been taking a look at them and I grabbed screenshots from Heroes, Life, and Battlestar Galactica to give you an idea of the difference in the picture. It's fairly dramatic. Those captures, and the full list of free episodes, with the iTunes links, are after the jump.
(S03E06) "Who was that masked man?" -- Lexxie Carter
"Trouble." -- Jack Carter
After a week off of the schedule Eureka has returned to complete the second half of its summer season. So far, the third season of Eureka has been interesting. Both the "death" of Nathan Stark and the introduction of Eva Thorne and her mysterious mission have turned this show slightly on its heel. What they can do in the next three episodes to move the underlying stories ahead is unknown right now. So we'll just have to watch and wait, wont we?
NBC Universal has issued a press release touting the successes of the Sci Fi Channel over the summer. According to the numbers, the lineup of original programming led to the most watched summer the network has ever enjoyed. Among the highlights are Eureka, with 3.4 million viewers, which is the best performance for the show since it premiered in 2006. Ghost Hunters International checked in with 2.4 million. Scare Tactics and the Saturday original movies both impressed with averages of 2 million viewers.
(S03E05) This week in Eureka wasn't quite what I expected. After the dramatics from "I Do Over" I assumed most of that would be swept to the side and we would be treated to one of the more comedic episodes. The fact that the episode was based on a mummy, and that goofy title, kind of hinted at that as well. It wasn't all yuks and Egyptian mysticism though. Weaved in with that weekly story we had the fallout from those major events from last week.
(S03E04) "Ohh, dude." -- Jack Carter, on learning he would have to memorize a formula for the next time loop shift.
Boy, I do loves me a Groundhog Day episode! No, I don't mean an episode of a show where they pull a helpless groundhog out of its hole in the cold of winter just to "predict" what's coming up in the next six weeks. I'm talking an episode that features some sort of time loop where a character or characters relive a particular day over and over again. As they go along they learn from the mistakes they made in previous loops. Eventually, through some way that usually isn't understandable, the time loop is closed and things move forward. It's been done on past shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and The X-Files.
Now, Eureka joins their ranks with another Groundhog Day episode. At first, I was looking forward to the episode. And, as it progressed, I really enjoyed how the story expanded and how Carter put the pieces together. Then, came the solution and....Oh, no no no no no! (SPOILERS AHEAD)
(S03E03) We're still too early in the season to get too deep into the bigger picture mystery. In fact, the clues that were given this week where Eva's plans are concerned made the whole thing even more confusing. That's ok though, we've got lots of time for that story to grow. In the meantime, "Best In Faux" was another quirky stand-alone that got a lot of things right. The yearly dog show managed to dovetail with some crazy science, Zoey's homework, and some fantastic guest casting to deliver a very fun hour of television.
(S03E02) "This is the best season yet!" -- Fargo, speaking about the ongoing adventures in Lab 27.
Now that the storylines for this season have been established by last week's season premiere, and the gratuitous product placement has been introduced, Eureka moved ahead with an episode that was straight out of a Sci Fi Channel original movie. Except, you know, more entertaining. Not that those Sci Fi movies aren't entertaining, mind you. You have to have a very broad imagination to make a movie about Noah's Ark holding evil spirits bent on destroying the world.
But, I digress. What makes Eureka a refreshing change of pace in the science fiction genre is, while everyone in the town is brilliant and talented and unique in their own way, they are human. In other words, they have their own personal feelings and foibles. Yet, in Eureka, they are able to all work together to keep the town what it is. And, when someone or something comes around to throw off the balance these geniuses react.
Ah, product placement. It's a subject that's come up before. We have an award for it, and even as far back as those care free days of 2005, Karina was writing about the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild Of America protesting it. The telling quote from that piece, "Our writers are being told to perform the function of ad copywriter, but to disguise this as storytelling." And isn't that where most of us have always drawn the line in the sand? The placing of products into sets was kind of an understood cost of doing business, but having the writers change scripts to incorporate them was a whole other ball of (Turtle) wax. Unfortunately, those (Foster Farms) chickens have come home to roost.
(S03E01) With the return of Eureka, I think my summer viewing schedule is now complete. It's not exactly fall premiere season, but it's hard to complain about summer schedules anymore, given the amount of great programming available. When last we left our favorite eggheads, and Carter, there were two big questions in play. How would Allison respond to Stark's proposal? And would Henry go to jail? We got one of those answers, and a very short peek at where will be headed in season three.
The word of the day at the Eureka panel on Saturday was 'awesome'. For some apparent reason everyone on the panel ended their sentences with the word 'awesome'. That, and a mention about doing their scenes in towels. That was actually an on-going joke coming from a revelation that the stars and writers presented to the audience as something that will be coming up during season three.
Of course there's more than just certain people walking around in towels coming up n the new season, and the panel let the audience in on what they would see when the show premieres this Tuesday. You can find out as well after the jump.
Saturday -- a time of rest and relaxation. A time to put your feet up, grab a lemonade, open a book, and let the cool, summer breezes gently rock your hammock as a lazy July day passes. Of course, that's if you aren't attending the San Diego Comic-Con. Then, it's out of your bed, quick shower (if any), breakfast-on-the-go, and right back into the queues to see your particular favorites talking about their television shows.
Like Friday, Saturday at Comic-Con will be packed with television goodness. This is the day that many of the big guns come to play. Shows like The Office, Lost, Battlestar Galactica will be making appearances. They will be joined by newcomers Chuck, Dollhouse, and Pushing Daisies. There will even be an appearance by the recently single Sarah Silverman. There's also a good bit of television animation being featured, particularly by Nicktoons and B.E.T. Animation.
In order to make sure you get the most out of the money you paid to get into the convention, we here at TV Squad are providing you with a complete list of television-related panels for that day. If you are interested in seeing what else is going on July 25th you can review the official full schedule at the Comic-Con website. Remember, times and appearances are subject to change and seating in all event rooms is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Stargate: Atlantis (Joe Flanigan, Robert Picardo, Brad Wright, Jewel Staite, Chris Sanagustin)
- Sanctuary (Amanda Tapping, Martin Wood, Robin Dunne)
- Battlestar Galactica (Tricia Helfer, James Callis, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Trucco, Ron Moore, David Eick)
- Eureka (Colin Ferguson, Sallie Richardson-Whitfield , Joe Morton, Jamie Paglia, Charlie Craig, Tony Optican)
- Ghost Hunters (Robb Demarest)
Use the comment form below to submit your questions and we'll give the best ones to the moderator to ask. We'll post the answers to those questions and others as soon as we can get to a WiFi hotspot and post away. You've got until this Thursday morning to send in your questions, so ask away!
For those of you attending Comic-Con in San Diego, my hat is off to you. After looking at the schedule for the opening day, Thursday, July 24th, it is a wonder that your eyes don't grow glassy and that vein on the side of your temple doesn't throb with all of the events listed for that day. For those of you not attending, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that you won't have to decide what to attend and what to miss.
Granted, we here at TV Squad are only going to Comic-Con to cover the television-related events. Still, there are quite a few of them going on Thursday, starting when the convention opens and ending as the next day creeps into the night. Panels cover the gamut: public television shows, show revivals, anniversary panels about shows that have been revived, and Robert Smigel. So, if you are going, bring some comfortable shoes, plenty of snacks, and a ton of questions.
If you are not going, but are still interested in seeing what's going on in San Diego, here is a list of TV-related events for the first day of the convention. If you are interested in the complete list of events you can go to Spout blog for Thursday's full Comic-Con schedule.
Rarely does a show hit television that's so serialized it's almost impenetrable to come late into. And even more rarely does a network let it last past ten episodes; FOX'll yank it in one if they think they can get enough videos of aquatic life attacking compiled in time for a special. Well, never fear ... it's Sci Fi to the rescue!
That's right, starting September 15th, you can catch four episodes of Lost every Monday on Sci Fi. And Lost is a show that works even better in large chunks like that. I recorded the entirety of season three to my DVR before I even started it and wolfed it down in a weekend! But wait, there's more ... like what that picture has to do with this story!
The wheels keep on turning for the Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica. Eric Stoltz is the latest addition to the cast. He'll be playing Daniel Graystone, wealthy computer engineer. Details are few and far between, of course, but so far we know that after a family tragedy he will use his knowledge of technology to forever change the future of Caprica. He's joined by Alessandra Toressani, who will play his daughter, Zoe. And if your mind just flashed to Stoltz in Killing Zoe, we're on the same page.
That news is given a bit more of a boost if you recall that Paula Malcomson has already been cast as Amanda Graystone, a surgeon described as "something of a double agent." Now, add that to the previously revealed bits that tell us the story takes place 50 years before Galactica and focuses on the creation of the Cylons. A picture starts to emerge.
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