Slice of SciFi #41: Interview with Rod Pyle (Producer, “Beyond the War of the Worlds”)

News Bytes:

Movie Talk:

  • Andrew Rai Berzin’s adaptation of Beowulf and Grendel makes its way to the Palm Springs International Film Festival as a preview to it’s US and Worldwide release
  • Special “Slice of SciFi” Indie Movie report: Mark Cheng’s scifi short film project Deployment Strategy

TV Talk: The WB’s Supernatural to answer a few questions about the mystery of the disappearance of the Winchester boys’ father, before moving on to new mysteries.

Interview: This week, Michael and Evo talk to Rod Pyle, producer of the History Channel documentary “Beyond the War of the Worlds”, and writer of “Destination: Moon”, a retrospective of the Apollo moon program in the words of the astronauts who went there.

Future Talk: What’s Coming Up?

  • Isabel Allende’s Alexander Cold trilogy coming to the big screen thanks to Walden Media
  • The Gouly Boys comic finds a production home with Mandate Pictures

and for everyone who hadn’t read it, here’s Larry Niven’s classic essay Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

Listener comments: We’ve got plenty of voicemail from fans to listen and respond to!

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  1. mike rabil says

    supernatural rocks! it really fixes my x-files itch ( and the guest babes are always hot! ). give this show a chance before you go ripping on it.

  2. says

    Thanks for the coverage on Deployment Strategy, guys! Love the show! Btw, to clarify: I’ve spent the past 8 years working in web application development mainly in the financial industry. So I’ve seen how coding bugs and lack of beta testing can be disastrous to an application’s performance. A wrong decimal point can result in a lot of mistakes! I didn’t want to give a false impression that my real world experience has anything to do with real AI research!! thanks again!
    Mark Cheng
    Deployment Strategy Movie

  3. Anon E. Mouse says

    Please, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop saying “skiffy”.

    Ignoring the fact that its a too-cute look how 1337 I can be, annoying thing to say, the purpose of an abreviated nickname is that it is ABREVIATED.

    sk-iff-y = 3 syllables.

    sci-fi = 2.


    Thank you.

    And, if you disagree with this opinion, and think that you are just soo cool saying “skiffy” and continue to do so (and you think Keanu Reeves is annoying???) then just start using it for every single reference to sci-fi. For instance : Its no longer slice of “sci-fi” but slice of “skiffy”. Is there any good “skiffy” on? Whats your favorite “skiffy” movie? You can make T-Shirts and coffee mugs, after all – its sooo cooool to say skiffy, im sure you can trademark it and make a fortune.


  4. Mark in NY says

    Couldn’t care less one way or the other on saying “skiffy,” but I thought I’d point out it has exactly two syllables, divided thusly: skif-fy. Perhaps in the next “Cover to Cover” show you guys can recommend some good books on grammar for those who need it; and what the hell is “1337” anyway?

  5. Anon E. Mouse says

    Wow, you’re right. It must be my brain bleeding from hearing that stupid description of the sci-fi channel being repeated over and over.

  6. says

    Hey guys. Toward the end you were talking about the high price of e-books. You’re right–they probably are overpriced. But not by nearly as much as you think. Someone mentioned e-books should be around $3. I think you’re assuming that most of the cost of a book is in the material it’s printed on. While that’s certainly *an* expense, it’s far from the only one or the main one. For one thing, the author would like to be paid. The editor, who may have worked on the book for up to a year, also needs to be paid. Then there’s the cover artist. Then keep in mind that e-retailers like Amazon or Fictionwise take a piece of each sale, too. Maybe if e-books sold more copies, publishers could afford for the prices to come down. Hopefully, with e-ink devices starting to come on the market, that’ll happen Real Soon Now.

  7. bugleboy624 says

    Skiffy. I like it. I think it’s spiffy.

    Oh wait, I feel a T-Shirt coming on…

    “Skiffy” is spiffy!!

  8. Michael R. Mennenga says

    Next week we start the, “Find a Clever Skiffy T-shirt Slogan” contest.

    There is our first entry.

    I’m out to make Skiffy a household word now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Mark A says

    So Evo needs a PVR?

    How about something where you don’t have to pay a monthly fee, have no real limit on the hard drive size, and NO BROADCAST FLAGS?

    I’m talking about, of course, of building your own.

    Popular solutions can work under Linux (like MythTV), because free is good, or if you’re quite attached to Microsoft, buy software like Beyond TV to add the functionality. The tuners can be both external (like the DVICO FusionHDTV 5 Gold USB) or internal (hauppauge is a good recommendation).

    You don’t have to stick with TiVO!!!

    PS why no html links?

  10. Ash says

    I agree. “Skiffy” has got to go! I cringe every time I hear you guys say it.

    I have another request too. You guys tear apart science fiction TV shows so often you hardly seem like science fiction fans at all. I want each of you to name a science fiction TV that you DO like (other than Battlestar Gallactica!).

  11. says

    Ash, to whom did you direct your question?

    Surely you haven’t missed Michael and I talking about Surface and Threshold, and Michael loves the Stargates, too.

    I’ve also never called SciFi Channel “Skiffy”.

  12. Brian in Winnipeg says

    Ahhh, “Monster Squad” how I loved that movie as a kid. So much so, that I even formed my own little monster squad gang (yeah, it was only me, my bro and my best friend, but hey, it was fun).

    By the way, I think the quote is:
    “Kick him in the nards” (not “nads”).

    “Woah! Wolfman has nards”.

  13. says

    I’m not sure I understand the argument against referring to The SCIFI Channel as “Skiffy”. I’ve heard the argument against calling “science fiction” “sci fi”, with the hard “eye” sound at the end. Proponents of this position state if anything, it should be referred to as “sci fih”, to properly get both first syllables.

    Skiffy is a bastardization of the letters SCIFI, using a hard “k” sound for the C. Yes, I realize there is no K in the word. But consider:

    * “Beemer” is an appropriate term for BMW’s, yet there is no “R” in “BMW”
    * “Scooby” is an appropriate term for Subaru WRX vehicles, yet there is no “C” in either word.

    Skiffy is our (and at least 1800 others) affectionate pet-name for The SCIFI Channel. No, I don’t name other channels, with the possible exception of the I Hate Men Channel.


  14. mat says

    Supernatural: you really don’t need to get much of the backstory. The episodes stand on their own pretty well. You’ll be able to judge if you like in one episode. Personally I like it.

    Invasion: You are all going to be screwed next season (well except non-Tivo Evo (maybe another T-Shirt)) when Surface is canceled and the rest of us are enjoying season 2 of Invasion.

  15. fred says

    Grendel, I also thought that name rang a different bell for me. Dark Horse comics had a very cool comic series called Grendel. Which was about a huge time-spaning society of assassins.

  16. Brian in Winnipeg says

    Supernatural: caught the first 2 eps last night, and well now I am hooked – thanks all! (No, seriously, that’s a good thanks, not a sarcastic one… I’ve been looking for a new show to start watching!).

    I was surprised just how intense it was – especially with what happened to their mom in episode 1.

  17. TechnoPagan says

    >I agree. “Skiffy” has got to go! I cringe every time I hear you guys
    >say it.

    >I have another request too. You guys tear apart science fiction TV
    >shows so often you hardly seem like science fiction fans at all. I
    >want each of you to name a science fiction TV that you DO like
    >(other than Battlestar Gallactica!).

    I think this is Evo’s fault, he’s really just not cut out as geek material – and IMHO he’s really annoying. He hates everything, and doesnt want to talk about anything, and then belittles SCI-FI, (thats SC*I* F*I*) channel by calling it “skiffy”. You guys do better when hes not there.

    I wouldnt normally say something like that – its your show – but, since he felt it necessary to call the show that didnt include him a “love fest” – I’d have to argue the opposite, it was your best show ever.

    Dump the dead weight guys, or please put a collar on evo and shock him everytime he degrades SCIFI by refering to it as “skiffy”. Maybe then he’ll get better.

  18. says

    A few notes on the Doctor Who airings on SciFi for you.

    It will start March 17th, airing at 9 pm ET/PT. Stargate Atlantis will move back to 10 pm ET/PT with Galactica being relegated to late night broadcasts.

    Lee Whiteside Webmaster

  19. Mark in NY says

    Wow, now I’m finding myself somehow feeling skiffy–er, skippy–er, flipper. Or something. I Hate You.

  20. says

    In answer to the “could you do something like ‘War of the Worlds’ today” question — look into a British TV movie from 1992 called “Ghostwatch.” According to the trivia listing on IMDB, it “Earned the dubious honour of being the first TV programme to be cited in the British Medical Journal as having caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in children.” :)

  21. Woyro says

    during your conversation about A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, Evo said that you should schedule an interview with Roddy McDowall. Problem #1: Roddy’s been dead for over 7 years. Problem #2: it was MALCOLM McDowell who starred in the film.