Slice of SciFi #76: Eric Busby of Darker Projects

Darker ProjectsNews Bytes:

  • USA Network renews “The Dead Zone”, “The 4400″, and “Psych”
  • Moviegoing audiences have been increasing
  • Tim Russ’ Of Gods and Men will explore the darker side of Star Trek

Movie Talk: Buena Vista Pictures next supernatural thriller will be The Invisible, a story that centers around a young man who has been attacked and left for dead. After regaining consciousness he comes to realize that he is stuck in a place of limbo somewhere between the living and the dead. While he remains among the living he cannot be seen by them and is, therefore, “The Invisible.” He also learns that he can only remain in this state for a short amount of time and if he doesn’t somehow get reunited with his misplaced body, he’ll be gone for good.

Movie Pulse review of The Covenant

TV Talk:
NBC’s “HEROES”, will follow it’s super-powered characters as they grow and discover their capabilities, and the good guys and bad guys won’t all stay that way. The show has also appeared at as an online comic book.

Interview: Eric Busby of Darker Projects joins Michael and Summer to tell us about being a fan of the old radio dramas, and about the many audio drama projects underway, including Star Trek: Section 31, Star Trek: Pioneers and Doctor Who Adventures. Check out the award-nominated Falcon Banner, based on a series of books by Christopher Patrick Lydon… you may have to hunt the books down.

Future Talk: What’s Coming Up?
Mr Peabody and Sherman will be coming to the big screen on their own, thanks to DreamWorks Animation. Rob Minkoff has been tapped to direct the CGI feature, and Tiffany Ward, daughter of the Jay Ward, the toon’s original producer, will be this project’s executive producer.

Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know.


  1. says

    Akira is not an anime that people should start with. It’s very good, but might be confusing for the novice viewer. For anime, it’s always best to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles.

    And, loving Heroes so far.

  2. al says

    I was wondering, how can you tell the difference before you buy the movie, between the original Japanese version and the Americanized version?

    What were some of the differences in Cowboy BeeBop for example? I have this series and enjoy is very much. I just have no idea how true to form it is.

  3. says

    Al, in most cases, they are talking about the differences between the Japanese dialog and the dubbed version. Sometimes what is said in English is entirely different that what was said in the original version. Sometimes, however, the American version has been hacked and slashed for supposed American tastes. This is why G-Force/Battle of the Planets is very different from the original Gatchaman.

    I don’t think the DVDs of Cowboy Bebop have been edited. If you watch the Japanese subtitled version you should be fine.

  4. tllgrrl says

    ‘ USA Network renews “The Dead Zone”, “The 4400″, and “Psych” ‘
    Let me be the first to say: Squeeeeee!
    I’m just sayin’.

  5. says

    Regarding Tim Russ’s Star Trek webisodes. I’ll be frank, if it’s reasonable in how dark it takes it, that’s fine, I may enjoy it. On the other hand, if Russ turns it into “Ed McBain[1] and Warren Ellis present Star Trek”, I’ll pass.

    [1] I say Ed McBain as I’ve found far too many of his stories involve every. single. one. of his characters being assholes. The chief likes to antognize ethnic people (there’s a scene in “The Big Bad City” which consists of this character antagonizing a taxi driver – it doesn’t forward the plot, it’s just the character being an asshole). The main character’s partner suspects the co-workers of the victim he questions of being involved in the murder because they don’t tell him everything he wants to know and then some, and he describes the co-workers considering suing the police department for harassment.

  6. says

    Actually Michael must be thinking of something else, the Bebop dub is an excellent piece of work and the director Shinichiro Watanabe is on record as being very happy with it. At the time it was released it was regarded as being a prime example of how dubs should be done.

    In general dubs, be they Japanese or English, vary in quality from series to series. Finding out which is the best for you is a matter of trial. If you are legally buying the stuff, rather than using the illegal fansubs, then you pretty much always get the choice. Most modern dubs, post 2002 or so, are normally fairly faithful to the source material. Well aside from the series snapped up by 4kids and edited for children’s television. One Piece has been a victim of this.

    It then gets down to personal choice which you prefer.

  7. says

    Phillip, are we talking the Bebop movie or the series, or both? Anyway, many of the early US releases back in the 80s and early to mid 90s were awful, IMO, so I got used to watching things in Japanese even though I didn’t understand what was being said. I learned to read subtitles pretty handily, though :)

    I’m finding out that modern dubs are much better, but that a lot of the older dubs haven’t been redone. Nausicaa, yay! Laputa, still needs a do-over, or at least a retouch.

    Ah, I guess old habits are hard to break. That, and a couple of my favorites have never been dubbed and released domestically at all.

  8. says

    Modern dubbing has gotten much better over the past 5 years. A lot of effort is put into not only creating a good translation but one that also matches the mouth animations so that the dub looks realistic.

    I still prefer to listen to the original Japanese voice track with subtitles, mainly cuz I feel the overal voice and sound quality is better that way.

    I agree with Summer: the new Nausicaa dub is much much better.

    BTW, there is a large community of American voice actors in Huston. They take a lot of pride in their work and, in general, do a fantastic job. It’s this growing community of anime fans that are responsible for the really good anime we are getting here in the US.

  9. ZorPrime says

    All of the Studio Ghibli films (Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Laputa, Kiki, Spirted Away, Howl’s, etc. etc.) distributed by Buena Vista on DVD are uncut. I think that was part of the distribution deal between the two companies. Just switch language/subtitle options to hear/read the original versions. In either format, Miyazaki movies should be required viewing for film buffs.

    I liked the Bebop dubs. Sometimes it comes down to which language version you view first.

    In the new Nausicaa dub I was waiting for Patrick Stewart’s character to say: “Engage.” :)

  10. says

    Either Bebop the Movie or the series – they shared the same cast and Wendye Lee (English voice of Faye Valentine) stepped up to do the ADR direction for the movie. Given that the show was dubbed 1999/2000 mark it qualifies as a pretty recent adaptation.

    Yes, the early 80’s Manga (aka Mangle) dubs were often quite hideous but as the market has grown in size and it has become economically possible to spend more money on actors and production techniques this has improved dramaticly. Even the older dubs are occasionally capable of providing a good effort. For instance the PatLabor movie dubs were both remarkably good, as was Ninja Scroll and it is a toss up wether the new Pioneer Akira dub is much of an improvement over the older Streamline one. (turns and roundabouts with the Akira dubs)

    Nowdays we have studios like Geneon, ADV and Bang Zoom! doing some excellent work. Any series with ADR direction by Jonathan Klein, of Geneon/NGP, tends to be very tightly produced and quality work. That would include shows like Haibane Renmei, Paranoia Agent and R.O.D. the TV. All of which not only have good acting but quite deftly done script work to smooth over language/cultural incompatibilities. ADV’s Matt Greenfield frequently does good work, with his RahXephon dub being pretty much perfect – one language choice in the whole series I took slight issue with. I’d have loved to see Jeff Thompson do another stint of ADR direction as his work on the Boogiepop Phantom dub is just excellent stuff. Sadly he died not too long ago so that won’t be possible.

    I do understand that people remember the older dubs thus are dubious and the way the industry has grown has been it’s own worst enemy in this respect. But the situation has improved to the point now that generally I start with the English dub first because aside from odd abberations it is well done now. It is just a little frustrating that people keep now repeating the idea that all dubs are inherently terrible when the reasons for that have pretty much past.