Australian overnight ratings for Listen

(Doctor Who News)

Against stiff competition from the commercial networks, Listen averaged 661,000 in the five major Australian capital cities and was the twelfth highest rating program of the day overall in the big cities (these figures do not include regional and rural viewers or time shifted viewers). It was the second highest rating drama of the day (after ANZAC Girls). For the first time this series, Doctor Who also slipped outside the top ten national programs as well (which includes the five major capitals and regional and rural viewers).

Sneak Peek Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2×01

(Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series)

Shadows - Copyright Marvel

iTunes has a 1 minute preview clip of the first season 2 episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. available for free. The clip features Skye, Director Coulson and Agent Tripplet. To view the clip go to itunes.apple.com

Season 2 is also available on iTunes for pre-order.

Shadows - Copyright Marvel

Marvel has also released some additional images from the first episode.

Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (6) Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (5) Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (4) Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (3) Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (2) Agents of SHIELD, Shadows Copyright 2014 Marvel (1)

Discuss this episode and more in our forums.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at NY Paleyfest & More

(Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series)

Clark-Gregg1

New York PayleyFest

New York Paleyfest will be held October 11-19 with a panel for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Sunday October 19th at 4pm. The event will be held at The Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52 Street, New York.

So far announced guests included Clark Gregg and executive producer Jeph Loeb with more “to be announced.”

Tickets are on sale now to Paley Center Patrons & Supporting Members, on sale to General Paley Members on Sep 18th and on sale to the General Public on the 19th.

For more information or to buy tickets head to the Paley Center website.

New York Comic Con

This event follows New York Comic Con the previous weekend (October 9-12) at the Javits Center 655 W 34th St with an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel on Friday 10th so it’s a great time for fans in New York. Unfortunately tickets for NYCC are sold out.

C.A.S. Convention

Clark-Gregg1For fans elsewhere don’t forget you have a chance to meet Clark Gregg and other members of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast and crew (more being announced this week!) in a more intimate setting at the fan event C.A.S Convention in Los Angeles on November 9th.

Fans from all over the world will come together for to meet members the cast and crew of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Q&As, Autographs, Photos and a special VIP lunch event. This is something you won’t want to miss!

For more details visit the website casconvention.com.

Time Heist – New Pictures

(Doctor Who News)

The BBC has released a new set of pictures from the next episode of Doctor Who - Time Heist, which debuts next Saturday.
The Doctor turns bank robber when he is given a task he cannot refuse - to steal from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos.

With the help of a beautiful shape-shifter and cyber-augmented gamer, the Doctor and Clara must fight their way past deadly security and come face to face with the fearsome Teller: a creature of terrifying power that can detect guilt.
Written by Steve Thompson and Steven Moffat, and directed by Douglas Mackinnon.

Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Ray Burmistan, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014 Doctor Who: Time Heist. Photos: Adrian Rogers, BBC Worldwide 2014

The Metro: Could we be seeing Robert Downey Jr, Hugh Jackman and Samuel L Jackson in cameos?

(Jedi News: Gathering Star Wars News From Across the Galaxy - RSS Feed)

Check out my latest entry at  The Metro as I look at a number of mega stars who are apparently making cameos in Episode VII.

Add this to the list of crazy rumours which Star Wars so readily attracts.

Apparently, according to The Mirror, Robert Downey Jr, Hugh Jackman and Samuel L Jackson are set for Star Wars Episode 7 cameos.

Coming quickly on the heels of the rumour that Daniel Craig and Greg Grunberg are to appear in cameo roles, there’s a risk that the production will turn into an episode of intergalactic Celebrity Squares.

Bryan Fuller on his repurposed High Moon TV movie: 'I think we imagined too great'

(Blastr News)

Forget NFL football and Dancing With the Stars — there’s a wild, outside the box sci-fi epic on tonight, created by genre auteur Bryan Fuller. They just, you know, might’ve went a little too far outside the box with this one.

Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) has been cooking up the Syfy series High Moon for years, and after bouncing from miniseries to series and back again, the pilot is finally being aired as a TV movie tonight on the cable network. So what does Fuller have to say now that we finally get a peek at his sci-fi passion project?

He doesn’t sound too embittered by the fact that the project didn’t move forward as a full series, and in classic Fuller fashion, he is unabashedly proud to have embraced all the weirdness and insanity to make the two-hour pilot his own. It sounds like a zany, ambitious sci-fi project — and we can’t wait to get al look at it.

Here are some excerpts from what Fuller had to say in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

“Return with us to a bygone era when science fiction was fun, and see giant human cephalopods, giant robot dinosaurs, [and] gay Russian spies. We need to remind ourselves that the moon is up there and [it's] still waiting for us to explore it … 

[We're] taking the bare basics … of discovering an alien plant form on the moon and blowing it up. Basically, The Lotus Caves … it’s a children’s book, so the main characters are all, like, 11 and 12, and it’s all about what it’s like to grow up on the moon. I had actually met with the producers of this project a few months before Jim [Danger Gray, writer] did, and they showed me some animatics. And I [wasn't] particularly interested. And then Jim was like, ‘I think there’s a fun way to make this James Bond on the moon.’ And I was like, ‘That I can get behind.’

One of the most fun parts of breaking that process with Jim was [when] we were at some point in, like, Act 6 or 7 of a two-hour pilot, and he was like, ‘I just wish a giant robot would just come along and save the day.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s have a giant robot come along and save the day!’ It really was about taking the SyFy motto of ‘Imagine greater’ to literal lengths—and I think we imagined too great. [Laughs]”

The full interview is well worth a read, and includes some great stuff on the Russian spy angle and the other aspects that attracted him to the project. We’re sad to know it won’t be moving forward as a series, but we can at least take solace in this intriguing pilot that gives us a glimpse at what could’ve been.

The two hour TV movie High Moon airs tonight in primetime on Syfy. Be sure to set your DVR, or better yet, watch it live and give Fuller's ill-fated sci-fi epic a little boost.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

This awesome short film proves it ain't easy being an orc in Mordor

(Blastr News)

Judging the Lord of the Rings films, being an orc seems like it’d be a pretty sweet gig (you know, if you’re evil): Cause trouble, raid villages and wreak all kinds of havoc. But, it ain’t easy being green(ish).

This awesome, live action, 7+ minute short film, based on the upcoming video game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, digs into the life and times of your average orc just trying to make it in the world. The story follows Krimp the Orc, who as the synopsis rightly states, is “about to have a very bad day. Like, Wraith bad.” Indeed.

Check out the stellar short below, which could almost pass as a long lost (and extremely random) chapter in Peter Jackson’s massive Lord of the Rings saga:

The short was directed and written by Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer, and produced by Jake Watson.

(Via Sploid)

Scientist creates an 'ethical trap' to test a robot and Asimov's First Law

(Blastr News)

Humanity still has a ways to go until we have robots in the everyday world, but one researcher is already starting to tinker with how our mechanical slaves (and future overlords) will respond when told to save a human.

As most genre fans know, famed author Isaac Asimov established Three Laws of Robotics that would define how ‘bots worked in his fiction. Basically, robots cannot injure a human or allow a human to be injured by inaction; a robot must obey human orders (unless ordered to harm a human), and a robot must protect its own existence (so long as it doesn’t break rules one and two).

To put Asimov’s First Law to the test, roboticist Alan Winfield of Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the U.K. built an ethical trap for a robot that tasked the ‘bot with protecting automatons (standing in for humans) from falling into a hole. The findings? When tasked with protecting one person, the robot was successful. No problem.

But, put two humans into the mix? The robot spends so much time panicking and fretting, trying to make a decision as to who to save, it let both humans fall into the hole 42 percent of the time. Oops. Well, at least the robot isn’t taking its responsibility lightly.

As a stellar piece at New Scientist notes, Ronald Arkin, a computer scientist at Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology, is working on similar tech in regards to military robots that could eventually be used in the battlefield. They’ve developed a set of algorithms called the “ethical governor” to help the warzone ‘bots make better decisions to minimize casualties, at least that’s how it’s working out in simulations. 

Wendell Wallach, author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong, noted projects like the ones Winfield and Arkin are doing could go a long way in laying the groundwork for the real-life application of the Three Laws once we eventually advance far enough to have real-life artificial intelligence:

"If we can get them to function well in environments when we don't know exactly all the circumstances they'll encounter, that's going to open up vast new applications for their use."

What do you think of Winfield’s experiment? Can we trust our robot friends, or are we eventually doomed to a Skynet-level apocalypse?

(Via New Scientist)