Entry for April 17, 2007: Stargates, Tim’s run, movies

Friends, I hope you had a good weekend. On Friday, 13 April 2007, I watched the half-season premieres of "Stargate SG1" and "Stargate: Atlantis" on the SciFi Channel. I think that "Farscape" alumni Ben Browder and Claudia Black have breathed new life into "SG1," which is probably the closest thing we have to the optimistic legacy of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry currently on U.S. television. However, 10 years is a good long run, so it's with mixed feelings that I watch the final episodes of the military space opera (at least until two planned telemovies later this year).

Spin-off "Atlantis," which will have some cast changes later this season (many U.K. and Canadian viewers have already seen them and protested), is O.K., but I'm not sure I'll watch it for long on its own, let alone the possible "Stargate: Universe." I do look forward to eventually watching Series 3 of the revived "Doctor Who," as well as to the next episodes of "Hustle" and "Heroes."

On Sunday, Janice and I took the T (Boston's subway) into town to meet Tim M.B. and Christy B. for lunch. We met at the crowded Hynes Convention Center, where Tim had registered for the Boston Marathon, which he completed on Monday despite bad weather. We went to a nearby barbeque restaurant, where we discussed mutual friends in Virginia, our respective role-playing games, and Tim and Christy's impending second son.

The marathon was overshadowed by the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. My thoughts are with the families of those slain, and I'm a proponent of stricter gun control. Unfortunately, many of the violent crimes committed in the Northeast are aided by the guns widely available in Virginia.

Speaking of Virginia, congratulations again to Steve M.R. on his and Aleece R.'s progress in their housing search! I've also been working with my brother Peter to arrange the celebration of our parents' 40th wedding anniversary in New York in June 2007.

I also watched the premiere of "Painkiller Jane," the second SciFi Channel series based on the action-oriented comic books. It was more cyberpunky in tone than its predecessor, but nowhere near as good as, say, TNT's short-lived, live-action "Witchblade." Janice and I have been enjoying the supernatural private investigator on "The Dresden Files," and she's been reading the novels, which are apparently somewhat different from the television show.

In other genre entertainment news, Edward Norton ("Fight Club," "The Illusionist") will replace Eric Bana ("Troy") as Bruce Banner in the planned "Incredible Hulk" movie. Intense and intellectual, he may be a good choice for the latest reboot of the franchise. While the Ang Lee-directed film had some psychological insights, the fans and studio want more of a superhero action movie next time around. I'm also curious about Robert Downey Jr.'s upcoming take on Tony Stark/"Iron Man."

Although I'm a big fan of the pulpy archaeological adventures of Indiana Jones and the recent "Mummy" movies, I'm disappointed that John Rhys-Davies ("Sallah") and Rachel Weisz ("Evie") won't be in the next installments of their respective franchises. Of course, "Indiana Jones [3] and the Last Crusade" and "Mummy [2] Returns" were both good endings, so we'll have to see how the next sequels are.

I'll have to save my dental and gaming notes for the next posting, but in the meantime, I hope you have a good week…