A seeming non-story managed to reach the national newspapers, Variety, teletext and of course the Internet concerning a proposed new Doctor Who feature film, which led to the usual speculation about a female Doctor. This apparently followed a reply on 18th May during the Cannes Film Festival by BBC Head of Film and Single Drama David Thompson to a journalist's question about the possibility of such a production. It is believed Thompson replied along the lines of it being something the BBC might like to do at some point or has not ruled out. From this the story escalated, although Variety went as far as to mention the involvement of a company called HAL Films - no doubt for production in 2001!
US Autumn Primetime Schedule Announced
During May the US television networks presented advertisers and media buyers with their provisional Autumn schedules. You can find all the schedules for major stations in TV Zone #104, but here's a sneak preview of what's going to be showing on the Fox network:
This is the main place for your fix of cult television, the network having found programming which brings in the audience demographic advertisers love. Re-commissions have been extended to The Simpsons, The X-Files, Ally McBeal, King of the Hill and Millennium. Newcomers are Brimstone and Hollyweird. The former stars Peter Horton as New York detective Zeke Stone, who on his demise is sent to Hell for having avenged his wife's death. Following a mass jailbreak by 113 of Hell's most depraved souls, he is offered heavenly redemption if he can capture them and eternal fire and brimstone if he fails. The latter comes from Wes Craven (Scream) and Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic/Roar) and tells the story of three Midwest teenagers who end up in Hollywood with their unsolved murders cable show and find the more bizarre aspects of the city. Two new animations are in preparation for midseason. Matt Groening's Futurama sounds like a cross between The Simpsons and Woody Allen's Sleeper. Fry, a 20th Century Everyman trying to escape his dull life, finds himself 1,000 years in the future, befriends a robot called Bender and a woman called Leela and finds the future holds many changes and challenges, yet the traffic is still a bitch! Family Guy is a satire about family life featuring dysfunctional middle-class New Englanders.
Crusade - Racing the Night
Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade will première on TNT (US) on 6th January with a standard length episode Racing the Night, which, in an attempt to start the series in high gear, is so ambitious in production terms, it will be third to enter production, thus enabling additional preparation time. John Iacovelli stays with Babylonian as production designer on Crusade but is being joined by some new design colleagues. According to jms, the set for the Excalibur "may be the coolest starship I've ever seen on film for tv". The seven-day production period is being restored for Crusade following the six-day episode turnaround for B5 Season Five.
Read all the latest cult television news in TV Zone #104.