A Blog for Fans of the 4400

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kavan Smith talks to 4400fans.com!

Last weekend at DragonCon, I got a chance to meet and interview Kavan Smith, who plays Agent "No First Name Yet" Garrity on The 4400, among many other "Hey, It's THAT Guy!" kinds of roles.

He shared with me a little anecdote about a technical SNAFU on the set of Smallville - something about a car not starting when it was supposed to, trust me, you don't care - and then we talked about how amazing it is that The 4400 is so popular in other countries like France and Germany. I told him that nearly 70% of the visitors to 4400fans.com are from countries other than the US and Canada and that one week I'd gotten a lot of hits from Sri Lanka. He was all, "I didn't even know they had TVs in Sri Lanka!" Hee.

He graciously agreed to be interviewed, and it went a little something like this. There are no spoilers until the very end, where he drops one (IMHO) major one, so if you want to stay 100% spoiler-free, stop reading at "they tell you nothing."


ANDIE: If one were to look at your IMDB listing, which one totally did, one would notice that the bulk of your work has been in Canada.


ANDIE: Has that just been a happy coincidence, or has that been on purpose?

KS: Well, at the beginning of my career, I did spend time in Los Angeles and... I guess my small town roots kind of stuck with me. So while I liked LA, and I was excited by it, I just kept working back in Vancouver and in Canada, so there was no real need for me to make the leap to Los Angeles, which I am – I'm doing more concertedly now. I've been – I have my papers and everything like that – so I think most of the stuff is Canadian because it just kept coming. There was just no reason to leave.

ANDIE: I ask because I know a lot of Canadian actors who make a real effort to stay and work in Canada just to support the industry up there.

KS: No, I mean, I totally do, but it's been less of that for me, and more that just the work has been there and it's just worked out that way.

ANDIE: There some major changes in the show this season in terms of cast and plot... how did the returning cast adapt to that? Was there a period of mourning, or was it more like – the show must go on?

KS: Well, I think there was a lot of – well, maybe not confusion. There were definitely some big changes that weren't expected at the end of – technically the end of last season. So coming into this one, it's not that we were worried, but for the first few episodes, everybody was a little trepidatious, perhaps, and wondering where they were going to go with this. But as soon as we saw that nothing was really going to change, the characters were going to stay solid, the scripts were going to stay solid, the ideas were going to stay solid – and then we.... I guess by episode three or four we had heard where the season was going to go, what the intentions were, and so a lot of those things were going to come full circle and work it out. And also, this past season had just been so good, so we knew that was was what it was leading up to, and we were just like – "Ah, well, let's just go for it."

ANDIE: It was a very powerful season finale for season two.

KS: Yeah, it was awesome.

ANDIE: So, the writers so far have created some pretty ambiguous characters.

KS: [laughs] Uh, yeah!

ANDIE: Who do you think is the real Big Bad there? Jordan, Isabelle, Ryland, the future people – who do you think is gonna be the one to beat at the end of it all?

KS: Well, I'd like to see where they finally decide to go for the end before I say who the ultimate bad guys are, because we don't know who's really controlling who. But there's been some really interesting twists with Tom in there, just being sort of the Chosen, and all that kinda stuff. But we were working with Peter [Coyote] just before, I guess it was the last episode, the second to last episode, and - he's just such a great bad guy! I love him, just – even if he's not the bad guy and he's just the representative of the government faction that may or may not know what's going on –

ANDIE: With the really dehumanizing view of the returnees –

KS: Yeah, exactly! And he's just got that voice, that vibrato thing. He's so cool. He's my choice for The Bad Guy.

ANDIE: Yeah, mine, too, actually.

KS: I think Billy can play the bad guy, but he's got so much nice guy behind the camera, I'm just like – "Naaaah, I don't buy you as the bad guy! You're too nice!"

ANDIE: And Peter's got that amazing strength of his convictions behind his actions. He totally thinks he's doing the right thing, even if he's doing something monstrous.

KS: I was just gonna say - and those are the scariest people! The people who control everything because they think they're right and justified and nothing's gonna sway them. And he's totally got that commitment. Absolutely.

ANDIE: Now to flip the switch a little, out of all the groups and factions in the story – NTAC, the Nova Group, Jordan's cult, Ryland's corporation, who are you rooting for to win?

KS: I guess I'd have to say NTAC, because [coughs] I am part of NTAC. [laughs] But I'd also like to think that I'm part of a faction of NTAC that represents the innocence of the show. Because a lot of us, we don't really know what's going on, but we're out there on the front lines trying to make a difference anyway. So I think that to some degree you want to see the innocence win out. And in a day and age where the stories you see [on TV] are so often dark and –

ANDIE: Cynical?

KS: Yeah, cynical, which I love, but in this one, I'm thinking, "You know what? It'd be nice if the good guys pulled one out." And I am part of the NTAC, so – let's go with that one.

ANDIE: There is a lack of cynicism on the show, and I think that resonates with a lot of people.

KS: I think so, too. I agree. I agree.

ANDIE: So. [Your character, Agent] Garrity is very serious. Are we ever gonna see him, you know, smile... be happy...

KS: Well, what they've been doing is –

ANDIE: And he's nothing like your personality!

KS: I know! He's not at all! But they've made him this kind of complaining... whinery guy that just comes up with – I'm like the Doomsayer! I come up with some lines and I'm like, "Ohmygod what's gonna happen with this! And what's gonna happen if– "And I think their intention now is to give it some kind of comic relief. Not that I'm gonna [he makes a rimshot noise] with the one liner thing, but a bit more of – he's just the real guy, he's like, "Fuuuuck this! You go get him! I'm not going out there and getting my ass shot!" So... I think they want a bit more of that.

ANDIE: [cracks up] The everyman! Oh, my gosh, Garrity is the Everyman of this show!

KS: Yes! He's like one of those stabilizing characters that makes it – because the leads are always in deep drama or in this or that – when you have some periphery guys on the side that are just everyday people, it makes everything a little more buoyant, it makes everything feel a little bit more real. But [at the same time] it takes a few years to give those characters some depth. So I think over time if we can give Garrity some – slowly start building his character there, then I think the audience will start to anticipate those responses and think – "Oh, here he comes with more cynicism, 'cause, ehhh, that's just Garrity."

ANDIE: I noted that on my site, that a lot of times you were just running into the room and being all [throws up hands] "Well, that's it. We're doomed!"

KS: [laughs] Yeah, that's basically what he is, though. He's a doomsayer! But I think that over time, that could actually add some levity to it, you know what I mean?

ANDIE: Oh, yeah. He fleshes out their universe. There has to be someone there backing up Tom and Diana.

KS: Yeah, I mean, Tom is always so, so tense on the show, and I mean, he's always in the midst of all this drama –

ANDIE: And he cries so much... [laughs]

KS: Heh, yeah! And Diana's always trying to save the world, and do what's right, and Jarvis is always so business-like, so it's nice to have a couple of people in that same office that are a little more real. Or... balance out that serious nature with a little bit more of – either it's complaining, or superfluous or whatever.

ANDIE: So do you think your role's gonna expand next season from what it is right now?

KS: Well, one can only hope. I mean, I was in, what, eleven out of fifteen episodes this year? And everybody was very pleased and said nice things, so as it continues, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

ANDIE: Soooo my last question is: What's gonna happen in season four?!?! [Everyone laughs] I totally won't tell! You can tell me! This isn't really being recorded!

KS: [rubbing chin] Well, since I've written all the episodes myself...

ANDIE: [cracks up] Right!

KS: No, no, you know, one thing about [The 4400] is that each season – because they've been fighting for their survival, because it's such a quirky little show and is only now starting to develop that cult following, it's now starting to give it some legs. and I think at the end of every season it's been like – not that they weren't expecting to get picked up, it's just been, "Maybe we'll see you next year! Let's keep our fingers crossed!" So I'm sure that Scott and Ira have plans about where they ultimately want it to end, but with television, it's really hard to say.

ANDIE: So in other words, they tell you nothing.

KS: [laughs] Exactly! Exactly! I mean, but look at Stargate[: SG1] – they were on for ten years. If after the fourth season they knew exactly where they were going to end it, they're only gonna make it to the end of five or six. Although it's a rarity for a show to go for ten seasons. But I do know that there's gonna be a lot more to do with Billy [next season]. And I know that Ryland's not going anywhere. So it should be very interesting. And as long as you have 4,400 people out there, with 4,400 abilities, there are always going to be a lot of interesting stories.

ANDIE: Yeah, y'know, I was wondering, because the promicin kills off half the people who take it, if it was originally 8,800 and half of them just didn't make it?

KS: Very possible. Maybe there's another 2,200 running around out there!

ANDIE: Maybe!! Well, that's pretty much it for the interview - thank you so much for your time!

KS: You're very welcome, and thanks for coming by so early in the morning! And that someone thinks I run the show! Seriously, I just do what I'm told!


Special thanks to Edie22 for her technical help, Nici of KavanSmithFans for the picture of Kavan at the Stargate Atlantis panel at this year's DragonCon, and Kelex for help with the transcription.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Third Season Finale and Season In Review

It's been a week or so since I posted here - real life has been hectic - but that was some season finale, huh?

I didn't personally find the episode as well-paced, satisfying or thrilling as the second season finale, but I also knew going into it that it was going to be hard to out-cool that second season finale, seeing that it was one of the best endings to a season on any show that I've ever seen. This season itself has been unevenly paced for me, so it's only fitting that the finale was, too. I did like the open possibilities and the closure provided to several storylines - something last year's finale did superlatively well, too.

I felt that it was a bit of a cop out to have Tom make the final decision that he did. It was anticlimactic and would have been far more affecting had he made the other choice. (I'm trying not to spoil it too much for anyone who hasn't seen it, though my policy on this site has always been that already-aired episodes in the US are open for discussion in the posts, so continue reading at your own risk.) Kyle's decision also makes sense, as did Anna's. I know we're supposed to wonder if either of them are going to die, but I'm calling it now - neither of them will, especially Kyle, since I presume he was already promicin-compatible in the first place, seeing as the future-people chose him and not Shawn to abduct originally.

There were moments in the finale that seemed very ill-timed, as though there had been gaps in the editing and some filler was needed for a minute or two after the fact. In particular, the scene with the children and Isabelle dragged. On. For. Ever. And... a. Day. An episode that's going to end on a breakneck cliffhanger simply cannot afford three entire minutes of characters giving each other determined stares, issuing soundbytes and waiting for something to happen. The pacing and editing were the biggest downsides of this episode, which is all the more glaring since, again, these are things in which this show normally excels.

It WAS a great deal of fun to watch Isabelle have a breakdown after she discovered her new state. I didn't enjoy Isabelle very much as a wide-eyed but potentially destructive superpowered innocent and I thought she really dragged the season down the first half of the season. I think a big problem is that Megalyn Echikunwoke's rather thin dramatic repertoire did not cover all the nuances this character needed. I can't help but compare her performance negatively to Summer Glau, who had a very similar (and even more difficult) role on Firefly and the Serenity film and was much more affecting and charismatic. Additionally, Megalyn's distractingly glaring Northwestern accent which causes unusual-to-my-ears speech inflections and rapid-fire delivery of many of her lines put many of her more dramatic moments this season on the spectrum of unaffecting to unintelligible. I simply could not understand what the girl was saying half the time.

That said, as the UberQueenBitch of Maybe!Future!Humanity, I rather enjoyed Isabelle a lot more. At least she created some kind of dramatic tension in the story as this type of plot contrivance, rather than spending, as she did in the first five episodes, all her time navel-gazing.

More things I enjoyed about this season and the finale: I liked that we got to see Shawn mature and learn from his mistakes and respond competently, for the most part, to increasing amounts of pressure. But I also liked that the finale gave us a reminder of just how young and idealistic Shawn really is. The season definitely picked up for me when the writers finally remembered they gave Richard telekenesis last year and started using it in this season's plot arc in an active way, rather than waste talent and magnetism of Maharshalalhashbaz Ali's caliber by making him stand around looking concerned a lot.

There was not enough Richard this season. Period. After the loss of Lily, there should have been a heavy emphasis on the aftermath for him, but that was eclipsed by Isabelle's self-discovery plot arc, which made her grate all the more for me.

By the way, in the BuddyTV chat session last week with Joel and Patrick, I was user Andie and I asked them to both pronounce "Maharshalalhashbaz" and they were both able to rattle it off like it was nuthin. ;)

Diana's feelings at the end of the season and her decisions based on those feelings were very organic as a mother and just as a person. Tom had very little left to lose by the time we leave him at the end of this season, but Diana is faced with the prospect of beginning a very, very good life - a safe life for herself and her child and her fiance (yeah, I can't see that lasting, sorry, Diana). I don't blame her for wanting a lifestyle that is a lot less dangerous and high-octane. Do I think it'll last and we'll never see her again? Psh. Of course not.

So, in summation, the season was hit-or-miss for me and so was the finale. I didn't love the magic cigar episode - come on, y'all! Really? A magic cigar??? - and I did ADORE the Jordan and Kevin/KevinandTess episodes. This season in general just didn't seem as tightly put together as the previous two, but it also underwent some major shifts in the cast dynamics. Some of these were very effective - Jordan's triumphant comings and goings, Kevin, Tess, and Kevin/Tess- and some of them were not - the absence of Kyle for most of the season, the death of Lily, the overexposure of Isabelle - so that was to be expected, but I was happy with the way it all turned out in the end. I could have done without the cheesy last three seconds, but what can ya do. :)

If you'd like to hear me talk more about the season in person, come check out the three 4400-related panels at which I'll be speaking at DragonCon this weekend, where I will also get a chance to meet and hopefully talk to Kavan Smith and Summer Glau! See you all next week, when I get back from the con, when I'll finally start posting all the backlog of post-finale articles, reviews and interviews.

And in the meantime, let me know what YOU thought of this season in the comments. And for those of you in the US: Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fourth Season of The 4400!

According to Jacqueline McKenzie's MySpace bulletin, the USA Network has renewed The 4400 for a fourth season! Says Jacqui:
Tell you what - I've got my fingers AND toes crossed! (Thanks for the heads-up, amber!)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chat with Joel and Patrick!

In case you are seriously unobservant (hey, nobody's perfect!) and didn't notice the giant animated ticky countdown on the right over there, the fabulous folks over at BuddyTV have arranged yet another chat with the cast of The 4400 this Monday night, August 21, 2006 starting at 9PM EST. This time, it's with Joel Gretsch and Patrick Flueger. For more information, click on the ticky. This one, I'll definitely make it to. Be afraid, Patrick and Joel. Be very afraid. ;)

Now if only they got Maharshalalhashbaz Ali, Richard Kahan and/or Jeffrey Combs next. A girl can dream, right?

Patrick Named One of Summer's Best Performers

I know I'm way behind for the blogging here, so expect one of my article and post blitzes today.

My girl Amy Amatangelo aka TVGal for Zap2It.com has named Patrick Flueger one of summer's best performers in this article:
Of all the characters on the sci-fi drama, Shawn has undergone the biggest transformation. And he plays both sides of his character so well -- the young guy who would like to reconnect with an old girlfriend or go on tour with a rock star and the leader of the returnees who must be wise beyond his years.
Very nice, and very true.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Jacqui Chat Transcripts

In case you, like moi, missed the two 1-hour chats with Jacqueline McKenzie last night on BuddyTV.com, they've been kind enough to archive them here. She looks like she had a pretty good time. :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bill Campbell Writes Article for TVGuide

I swear I'm not that obsessed with Bill Campbell, it's just that most of the 4400-related news lately has been about him.

In the August 7-13 print issue of TVGuide, Bill wrote a wonderful article about his time aboard the Picton Castle.Cujoy has scanned and posted the entire thing with pictures here, and he makes it sound like the thrilling adventure of a lifetime. Also, I love the picture of him and the kitty napping together. Reminds me of why I've crushed on him since I was a teenager and saw him in The Rocketeer. ;)

Chat with Jacqui Tonight

The folks over at BuddyTV are having a live chat with Jacqueline McKenzie tonight! Details are here. Per the website:
Don't Miss this Special 4400 Event! Jacqueline McKenzie, who plays NTAC agent Diana Skouris, will be with us LIVE during the airing of The 4400 on Sunday, August 6th at 9pm ET/8pm CT and again at 9pm PT. She will comment on the action, answer fan questions, and maybe even drop a few nuggets of inside info. Be sure to get here early!
I'm not a good multitasker, but I do have TiVO, so I'll try to make it to both because I'm a geek like that. Thanks to TVSquad for the heads up!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More Billy Campbell Lowdown

SciFiWire has a great and highly spoilery article regarding the mysterious re-appearance of Jordan Collier (Bill "Call Me Olly" Campbell) at the end of the second season of The 4400.
Although Collier was assassinated halfway through the second season, certain events—including the disappearance of his body and the subsequent appearance on a beach of a mysterious figure resembling him—led to speculation that he might not be gone for good.
Read the rest of the article here.

You can see even more recent and very nice pictures of Bill, Megalyn, Joel and Jacqui at ComicCon last week here, posted by findle on LiveJournal.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Bill Campbell Article

There is a new and very, very awesome interview/article on MSNBC, with Bill Campbell about his work on The 4400 and Jordan Collier's future on the show. It also features many of Bill's cast members and Ira Steven Behr talking about Bill and Jordan. It's a terrific article and a great read, but obviously, there are many spoilers, too. You can read it here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Comic Con Pictures!

I finally got my Comic Con pictures up and on-line at 4400Spoilers. (And don't worry, the post linked here, contains Con pictures, but no spoilers. Unless you consider the fact that Billy Campbell has a beard a spoiler ;)

Here's a teaser for you. :D

There are also some Comic Con related pictures up at WireImage. (Just search on the name of one of the stars, for example, Joel Gretsch, and it will take you to a page of pictures.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Comic Con!

Hi, I'm literally just back from San Diego, and I bring fresh information on The 4400 Panel at ComicCon. Ira, Greg and company gave us some spectacular clips from upcoming episodes to mull over, and other good stuff too.

The panel took place yesterday and consisted of Ira Steven Behr, Greg Sweeney, Joel Gretsch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Billy Campbell. Patrick was not there, :( and no reason was given for his abscense. But it was absolutely marvelous to have Billy there.

I got a spot in the fourth row center, and will have pictures in the next day or two, with the disclaimer, that I don't have the greatest camera in the world.

Billy, BTW, is still sporting his beard. And in case I forget to mention it, the cast is GORGEOUS in person, especially Jacqui. And I must say that Ira is quite fetching, blue beard and all. ;)

For more spoilery info and a detailed description of the clips go to 4400Spoilers on LJ!

Friday, July 21, 2006

New Megalyn TVGuide Interview

TVGuide has a new interview with Megalyn Echikunwoke, covering all kinds of topics such as her past roles, whether or not Isabelle is evil, whether she'll see Jordan again, and what it was like to make out with Patrick Flueger. Don't worry, most of the questions aren't that no-brainer. :)

You can read the entire thing here. Be aware, there are a few spoilers toward the end, including a huge honkin' spoiler for the season premiere of 24, apropos of nothing. Megalyn has some interesting thoughts about Isabelle and her approach to characterization which should mollify some of her many recent critics. (It made ME feel better, I should say.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jacqui's "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" Eppie!

"Umney's Last Case," the episode of TNT's mini-series Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes starring Jacqueline McKenzie and William H. Macy, premieres tonight on TNT at 9PM EST. I know it's short notice, because it completely slipped my mind to post it this morning, but the good news is, it'll be rerun tomorrow, Thursday, at 11PM EST, so those of us who missed it can see it then. To find out more about the series and Jacqueline's role on it, visit the official web site.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ten Questions with Kaj!

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Kaj-Erik Eriksen ("Danny Farrell") and asked him if he'd agree to be interviewed for this blog. He agreed, and here are the results! My questions are in bold, and his answers are below them. Many thanks again to Kaj for taking the time out to do this!


1. Okay, I totally realize this interview is supposed to be about "The 4400." But I'm a longtime closet Trekkie, and I thought your story arc on "Enterprise" was the best one that show ever had, so I have to get this out of the way first: what was that like for you? What can you tell us about having worked with Brent Spiner?
Aside from having to wear that horrible wig, Star Trek: [Enterprise] was great! I never watched Enterprise but I knew Brent Spiner from watching [Star Trek: The ]Next Generation when I was a kid. It was cool to see how comfortable he was on the set. I guess the crew has been the same on most of the Star Trek shows so he knew everybody.

2. Are you a sci-fi fan too, or is it just coincidence that you've gotten some roles on those kinds of shows? Is it a genre you'd like to do more of in the future?
It's a bit of a coincidence. I've never really done any sci-fi shows until The 4400, and now it's like I've been initiated into the sci-fi world. Right after I started working on The 4400 I booked The Dead Zone and then Star Trek shortly after that. I do like the sci-fi genre. I think the story lines in sci-fi shows are quite strong and they have a different structure than most hour-long dramas.

3. What else can we look forward to seeing you on in the near future? Are you working on anything right now? How long's your stint on Saved for?
I'm in a new Al Pacino film called 88 Minutes that's coming out soon. And I'm not sure how many episodes of Saved I'll be doing just yet. My character depends a lot on Misha (the bookie that Tom Everett Scott owes money to).

4. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How'd you get into acting in the first place? Is there an interesting story behind that? Did you always set out to be an actor or did you just kind of stumble upon it?

My mom got me into modeling when I was very young. When I was 6, I decided that I didn't like the whole modeling thing anymore. So my mother and I went to tell my agent that we were done. When we were sitting down with him he asked me if I wanted to try acting. It sounded like fun, so I gave it a shot and when I booked my first job, I was hooked right away.

5. And now on to the 4400-related questions. Danny, your guy on the show, irks some fans, but then, a lot of people totally feel his righteous indignation, too. (Me, I'm in the latter camp. Shawn done him wrong!) My question is - do *you* like Danny? Do you find him sympathetic and/or understand where he's coming from? Do you think your understanding of the character has come through on the show as much as you wanted?
I wish that Danny was a bit happier, yeah! He does come off a bit angrier than I wanted. I do have sympathy for him, though. I don't know if I like him, but I do understand where he's coming from. I tried to put myself in his shoes with the whole Nikki thing. That's a horrible thing to have happen to you, so of course he comes off a bit pissed. But there also has to be conflict right? Makes for good T.V.! I'm trying to play him a little happier in the new season (and since Shawn and him have made up).

6. What can you tell us about where your role on the show is going this year? What do we have to look forward to with that?
I haven't been around much this season. A lot of my stuff on the show last season was with Kyle. Since Chad Faust isn't around this year, there isn't as much for me to do. But I can say is that the family will be together very soon. (Well. Mom, Shawn and Danny anyways.. what the hell happened to Dad?!?)

7. Are he and Shawn going to patch things up? I'm guessing no, so if not, what do you think it would take for that to happen?
As far as patching things up, that little water fight they had at the end of last season is as much as they have addressed any kind of reconciliation vocally. Things are better between the two of them since then.

8. So, the Nova Group, NTAC, Ryland & Co., the 4400 Center people...Who are you rooting for to get their way at the end of it all? Who should be the last ones standing?
I'm rooting for the 4400s! They were taken for a reason.

9. What was your favorite episode to do? Which one was your least favorite? Why?
I think everybody's favorite episode to do was the pilot. The show was new, we were all excited and getting to know each other. It was a lot of fun. In terms of my favorite episode to watch... I like "The New Improved Carl Morrissey" episode. My least favorite would have to be "Life Interrupted," 'cause of that horrible little mustache I had to wear!!

10. Finally, if you were a 4400 returnee, with what crazy/ amazing ability would you want to come back?
I used to say x-ray vision but now I think I'd like to be able to control time!

Monday, July 17, 2006

2006 ComicCon Information

According to the web site, Ira Steven Behr and some members of the cast of The 4400 will be available for a panel discussion and autograph meet-and-greet at this year's ComicCon in San Diego,CA on Saturday, July 22, 2006. Here are the details of their appearance:
4:30-5:30 The 4400— Get a sneak peek at upcoming scenes from CBS Paramount Network Television's hit sci-fi series The 4400 for USA Network, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Joel Gretsch (Tom Baldwin), Jacqueline McKenzie (Diana Skouris), Patrick Flueger (Shawn Farrell), and Megalyn Echikunwoke (Isabelle Tyler) and executive producer Ira Steven Behr (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and producer Craig Sweeny (Medium). The third season of The 4400 sparks a new beginning for the 4400 people who, over a span of years, mysteriously disappeared—only to be returned to Earth all together in a ball of light. Though the returnees have not aged physically, many of them reappeared with dramatic abilities ranging from enhanced reflexes to precognition. NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) is the government agency responsible for keeping track of the returnees and investigating all things related to the 4400. Craig Tomashoff, West Coast Bureau Chief at TV GUIDE, will moderate.
According to Jennifer, it will be difficult to go to the autograph session if you go to the panel, as they are back-to-back and by the time the panel's done, the autograph line will be too long for you to get a chance to meet them. Decisions, decisions! If anyone attends and wants to pass on any stories, anecdotes, transcripts, pictures or anything else about ComicCon, please do drop me a line at randomabductee at gmail dot com.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Diana" paints for "Marco"

New eppy tonight! And in the interim, I hopped onto MySpace this morning and found this little note broadcast to everyone by Jacqueline McKenzie:
Please stop by my website for your chance to bid on a piece of art by yours truly!... I painted it specifically for Richard "Marco" Kahan to auction off in an effort to raise funds for his independent theatre company. I come from the theatre myself- and know what a hard slog it can be- particularly with no corporate backers etc etc

So do stop by and take a look at the piece. It's a 30" x 30" oil on canvas and it's called "first trip to the theatre". I painted up here in Vancouver, Canada. It will be signed/autographed to the lucky bidder.

The chance to bid should pop-up when you log in to: http://www.jacquimckenzie.com
Cheers and for those who can manage it, good luck!
You can also bid on it directly on the eBay.ca listing - anyone can bid on it anywhere in the world, and it's for a good cause. :) There is a photo in the eBay listing and the painting is really lovely. I sadly do not have $300 to spare, but maybe someone out there is interested in this!


The cast of The 4400 has its panel and autograph session at ComicCon next week in San Diego, so I should hopefully have some reports (and with any luck, pictures!) from various sources ASAP. If you have anything you'd like to share about the show or its cast, please be sure to email it to randomabductee at gmail dot com.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The 4400 Rocks USA's Ratings

The Futon Critic has posted a press release from the USA Network which reveals that The 4400 is one of the reasons that the network has held on to its #1 position in basic cable channels in all key demographics.
THE 4400 and THE DEAD ZONE continue to maintain USA's position as the #1 network for original series on Sunday night, with the two programs taking the top two spots in basic cable prime on Sunday among P25-54 (2 million in P25-54 for THE 4400 and 1.7 million in P25-54 for THE DEAD ZONE).

Read the entire press release here. A fourth season's pretty much in the bag, I'd say! (And on an only semi-related note, I couldn't possibly love Psych more than I do and am considering starting up a blog like this one for it. It's the best new show of the summer, IMHO.)

Stay tuned for some 4400 related ComicCon news! Cujoy, Jennifer, y'all better give me first dibs on whatever goodies you get from there ;)

I'm Back! And Wondering: Does Isabelle Work For You?

I try to blog something here at least every other day, but that all fell by the wayside when I got knocked on my tuchus by a killer flu. Sorry y'all :(

Needless to say, I have a LOT to catch up on, including ComicCon news and updates and spoilers and articles. A few tidbits:

SpoilerFix has spoilers all the way through episode 3.11, which only leaves two episodes to the season. If you're into that, go catch up and see what's happening. Maia's diary also has some interesting clues, explored and discussed here.

This is a little old, as it was posted a week or so ago, but Zap2It has an interview with Garrett Dillahunt, who played Matthew. I was pretty happy to see him die in "Graduation Day," I have to say. The actor is really handsome and everything, but damn, Matthew was paper-thin as a character.

I wanted to love her, but it seems as though Megalyn Echikunwoke's portrayal of Isabelle is falling flat, and for an awful lot of people. I have to admit that though she is beautiful, she is dwarfed in screen presence by Maharshalalhashbaz Ali, who is a powerfully charismatic actor, or even Patrick Flueger, with whom she really doesn't have nearly as much chemistry as I'd hoped she would (they sure make for a pretty picture, at least). I can see, through the writing, what they're trying to do with her, but Megalyn just rushes full speed ahead through all her dialogue with little inflection, emotion and even less enunciation. I say this as someone who liked her on Supernatural and Veronica Mars and was looking forward to seeing her on this show; I can't imagine the amounts of bile that must be coming from people who didn't enjoy her performance in those roles.

I think what really hit this home for me is when, in "Graduation Day," Diana talked about how whenever Isabelle looks at her, she gets the feeling that she's looking at ants she's considering pulling the legs off of. Jacqueline McKenzie could read the phone book and tell a good story in the process, so she sold that line as believable, but... that's not what we're seeing on screen, I'm sorry. We're seeing a scatter-brained, expressionless teenager. Other characters

That showdown between her and Tom should have been the episode's climax, but it just fell completely flat and was anti-climactic. It was like a dramatic vacuum. He became increasingly agitated and ambivalent, and she just stared blankly back at him. I think with that scene, the Isabelle subplot has officially become a rough patch in the show's mythology, and as someone who was really looking forward to this storyline, I find that really disappointing. I'm hoping that Jordan and Kyle and all the other subplots make up for it, and I AM invested in which of the two FuturePeople sects is The Real Evil, despite Isabelle being the focal point of that.

And it bears repeating: lack of Marco and lack of Kevin in the same episode hurts us, preciousssssss.

What do you think? Do you think Isabelle is effective as a character? Am I missing something here? Is she ruining the show for you? Are you somewhere in the middle? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Thank Heaven for Little Blogs

According to Kaj-Erik Eriksen's blog, the first-season 4400 trading cards have been sent out to the actors for signing, so it does look like the July launch date is still in place for that. Kaj has some very vague spoilers about his upcoming participation in season 3, for those of you who are allergic to spoilers. And, awww, what an awesome post, and not just because Mr. Mister is love.

Over on Jacqui McKenzie's blog, she tells us that Bill Campbell is back on land from his wacky ship misadventures. The blog post is a little spoilery for you spoiler-avoiders among us. It is too cute to see her root for her hometeam for the World Cup.

I hadn't noticed this before, but the ship's web site has a picture of Bill Campbell in their crew manifest page. You have to scroll down to where it says William "Ollie" Campbell. All I'll say is that I hope "Ollie" shaves before he makes it back on to the show. ;)

New Article gives a sneak peek into "Gone, Part 2"

IGN has posted a positively glowing review of the second part of "Gone," set to air this Sunday on USA Network.
I thought I'd miss the "4400 of the week" set-up that past seasons have incorporated into the show, but when The 4400 pulls out these kinds of stories and performances, I could really care less now if I ever see one of those episodes again[.]
You can read the rest here.

I have a lot of articles to post this weekend. I'm way behind on the posting, 'cause I've had a cold, so bear with me. =)

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Articles! And Gone, Part 1

Entertainment Weekly has a very very generous and enthusiastic review of the third season so far, which can be read entirely online here.

TVGuide has a spoiler article about Maia's diary, with some "spoiler clues" that Ira promises will "pay off" if we keep track of them, just like Diana will have to. You can see the scanned article over here.

And what did I tell you guys? Was "Gone Part 1" not edge-of-your-seat awesome? Now that's The 4400 I know and love! Even though Jacqui's accent slipped in pretty heavily in those first few scenes ;) I hardly recognized Alice Krige as Not!Sarah at first; she is a master, so of course she played the clinical-but-not-cold part to a tee. Conchita Campbell acted her little heart out. Her pleading was gut wrenching. That kid is such a huge, huge talent.

I was also pleased that Matthew dropped his David Caruso routine (smugly prancing about predicting the inevitable) and started acting like a real human being, loved the return of UberTeacher from S1, loved the little kids (that diffusion thing was a pretty neat trick, huh), loved the return of Ambiguously Evil Isabelle... didn't love the from-out-of-nowhere Shizzabelle sex. That's going to be weird for people watching S3 on DVD in a year or so from now. If you watch "Being Tom Baldwin" and "Gone, Part 1" back to back, you have Shawn saying it wouldn't be right to sleep with Isabelle one minute, and literally 5 minutes later, he's sleeping with Isabelle. Richard's going to be really happy about that one.

Speaking of Richard, it was brilliant of Matthew to refer to Richard's military experience; Richard is one of the most humble characters on television and stroking his ego wasn't going to work, so he appealed to Richard's common sense and strengths. I would also think that Matthew knew exactly what he was doing when he goaded Isabelle to tell Shawn to share power with Richard, except that he looked absolutely gobsmacked at Isabelle's defiance. Gobsmacked is a good look on him. ;)

I'm convinced more than ever that there are warring factions in the future and that Matthew is one of those folks, and maybe not on the side of the good guys. I liked the organic tension between Tom and Alana - surely she wasn't going to spend the rest of the season being Tom's personal holodeck. I like that she's going to have a more active role. I hope this doesn't mean even less of The Faust, though - it's not the same show without him at all.

Finally, I couldn't have gotten the only one who got chills at Marco's discovery of his means of death. Although from his downright chipper reaction, since I love Marco to the point of derangement, I'm just going to assume that Maia was all and Marco outlives us all, and chokes on a radioactive prune at the age of 137.

Trouble Hearing The Episodes

I just got digital cable (just to have USA again and be able to see this show - yes, I subscribe to cable just for The 4400) and thought it was a quirk in my set-up, but apparently, I am not the only person having trouble hearing the episodes. People seeing the show on both coasts and the midwest are having difficulty with their sound during the episodes.

Everyone is reporting the same phenomenon - they have to turn the sound way, way up during the episodes (and it's still not that audible) with normal sound returning during commercials and before and after the episode.

I know that "the powers that be" read this blog, so can someone be a dear and look into what on Collier's green earth is going on? Thanks! =) And if you're having trouble with it, chime in here or on the post I just linked to, or on the official boards.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I Watch TV, Therefore I Blog.

This is supposed to be a blog, though I haven't been doing a lot of actual blogging on it. But lo! Today we change that up.

From MediaLife Magazine:
Show on the decline: “The 4400,” USA, Sunday 9 p.m. The second episode of the third season declined by 1.1 million viewers, or 26 percent, from the 4.2 million who watched last week’s premiere. It also lost about 600,000 viewers 18-49 facing stiffer competition in Game Five of the NBA finals on ABC.
It's not quite time to panic. Some decline after a season premiere is normal, and most of those were due to basketball. But what happened to the other 500,000 or so that jumped ship after the premiere?

I still haven't posted my review of the premiere yet, and am not sure if, at this point, it wouldn't be totally irrelevant, but I know that a lot of people were disappointed in it around the Internet. On this very blog, I had to delete about a dozen comments from people who appear to believe I am solely responsible for this show (there is no other logical explanation for the people who left comments like "THANKS FOR NOTHING!!!!" here.) I can't decide if this is flattering or terrifying. We'll go with flattering for now.

I do think "New World" didn't keep up the tight pace of the last few episodes of S2 and certainly seemed anti-climactic after that amazing finale. One example of a weak point that comes to mind immediately: did the S3 premiere really need four separate scenes of Kavan Smith's character declaring imminent doom, with long reaction shots of the other characters' looks of consternation following each instance? It's lead people around the Internet to nickname his character "Chicken Little." This is not a good thing, and possibly emblematic of how meandering and erratically paced the premiere was. And we're not even getting into the many obvious plot holes (Diana lives with a precog and didn't even ask her if she knew what was going to happen October 19? Okay, then!) And what's worse, I am not sure that "Being Tom Baldwin" with its scifi stock "mistaken identity because it's a clone!!!1!!1" plot was a strong enough episode at all to recover the momentum. I mean, these things weren't deal-breakers for most of us (3.3 million still tuned in, after all) but they were definitely disappointing for, I think, many.

Now I have to say this in response to the folks who are blaming it all on the Isabelle subplot: I don't love the death of Lily (though I understand that was out of the producers' hands and they didn't want it either), but I DO love Megalyn Echikunwoke and think she is doing a marvelous job of portraying a nigh-impossible character. How do you method-act an adult genius with the emotions of a toddler without being cloying and caricaturish? I don't know, but I know she's doing it. I am totally convinced by her performances that Isabelle is both childlike and brilliant; she could slow down her dialogue a little bit. I'm Cuban, so I have no room to criticize in the talks-too-fast department anyway. But otherwise? Her, and Shawn/Isabelle? It's like McDonald's. I'm lovin' it.

Anyway, I'm willing to admit that "Being Tom Baldwin" was not the strongest follow-up to what was widely perceived as a problematic season premiere. But the good news is: I'm absolutely confident that "Gone, Parts 1 and 2" are strong enough to recover the momentum and then some. I'm spoiled rotten for those episodes, and can assure fans of this show that it's going to be a nail-biting, suspenseful and harrowing 2 hours with lots and lots of interesting mytharc advancements and twists, and the integration and advancements of all the subplots in satisfying ways. I'm actually spoiled rotten for the entire season, and I'm confident they have no intention whatsoever of disappointing its fans. Keep the faith, y'all. It's gonna be gooooooood.

Speaking of spoilers, has anyone signed up for those wacky phone updates? I don't have a cell phone (I know, I know, how do I live, Shakira-ringtone-free as I am?), otherwise I would sign up for them myself, but I'm hearing from people who *do* have them that they send them during the airing of the actual episode as well as one or two during the week. Is that as annoying and distracting as it sounds? What are you supposed to be paying attention to? The phone? The episode? Both at the same time? I would suggest sending them out before and after the episode, not during, but what do I know. =)

Also speaking of spoilers, I forgot to mention that my girl Kristin V. at the E! Channel is finally giving The 4400 some love in her chats and columns. Huzzah!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

4400 Trading Card Updates

Thanks to Jennifer for the following information:

Inkworks, the company that is doing the season one trading cards of The 4400, have added new information:

Autograph Cards - One Per Box! Nine different autograph cards inserted approximately 1 in every 36 packs.

Signers include:
Peter Coyote – Dennis Ryland
Jacqueline McKenzie – Diana Skouris
Billy Campbell – Jordan Collier
Laura Allen – Lily Moore
Patrick Flueger – Shawn Farrell
Kaj-Erik Eriksen – Danny Farrell
Brooke Nevin – Nikki Hudson
David Eigenberg – Carl Morrissey
Richard Kahan – Marco Pacella

Don't forget that you have until August 15, 2006 to request a FREE card from this set. Just follow the instructions found on their site. Also, I cannot even fathom how much it would cost to actually get a complete master set of the nine signed cards. Good Lord. (And again I must ask: whither the Faust? Has he set sail on his own "life-quest" on the seven seas a la Mr. Campbell? I'm starting to seriously wonder.)

On a related note, I heard from Kaj-Erik Eriksen a few days ago and he mentioned that he, at least, had not yet done any actual signing for this set, so my and Jennifer's best guess is that the company is waiting for Bill Campbell to come back from wherever the heck he currently is to do it.

This has to be the world record for "Most People Inconvenienced By Someone's Vacation" ever. ;)

4400 Mediapalooza

See, this is what happens when I take the weekend off. You get a post with approximately forty thousand articles. Sorry! *takes a deep breath*

Ira Steven Behr has given IGN a long, detailed and somewhat spoiler-laden interview in two parts, eight pages total. To quote Cujoy on the 4400 Spoilers community, the non-spoilery parts include:
  • Everything you never wanted to know about the show's in-fighting with the production company and the network.
  • Why ISB has a blue beard. (He shaved his head! He is definitely a Cool Dad now!!! :D )
  • The very real possibility of NBCU moving The 4400 to the Scifi Channel.

There is lots of other stuff too regarding Peter Coyote, Jeffrey Combs, Laura Allen, Billy Campbell and the instant aging of Isabelle, as well as some info about Kyle and Jordan and whether we'll ever see them again. Read Part One and Part Two.

Jacqui and Joel gave Zap2It a really terrific, but alas, again, spoilery interview, which you can read here. Trekkies should take note: there is an AWESOME CASTING SPOILER in there!!

According to the FutonCritic, the ratings for the June 11 premiere of the third season made the USA Network reclaim its status as the #1 basic cable channel. And there was much rejoicing!

MediaBlvd Magazine has posted a very detailed interview with Jacqueline McKenzie. It contains no spoilers whatsoever, but it has a lot about her thoughts, her acting approach, and her background. Great read! Read it here.

Finally, in a similar vein, The Boston Herald posted a brief and non-spoilery interview with Joel Gretsch, in which he reveals, among other things, that William Shatner loves the show. :D Read that one here.

... whew! ;)

The 4400 Goes All MultiMedia On Yo Behind

I come bearing gifts again! The USA Network has put together a bunch of goodies about the show.


First the pictures, and they're for the upcoming episode, but they're not spoilery, unless you consider "people who are related to each other speak to each other!" or "Tom and Diana have a job together!" to be a huge spoiler. =)

And here are two pictures I DO think are a little bit spoilery.


If you missed the trailer for next week's episode - it's the first of a two-part episode entitled "Gone" - you can now download it right here either as a:
Remember to right-click and save it to your hard drive BEFORE viewing.


Yep, you can download and run them here too, either for PCs or for Macs. Just download and run it - it'll self install!


I've never seen this picture of the ladies before.

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The men... well, three of them, anyway (whither Chad? Bill? Richard? Kaj? Jeffrey?)

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The whole cast... hmmm... this looks familiar!! :D

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Come kill some time with these games and features the USA Network has devised to make sure the summer doldrums don't get the best of you. Post your results in the comments!

I have actual news to post, too. Sit tight.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The 4400 On The Interwebs

Please go show some love to our newest affiliates:

GiveMeMyRemote - A comprehensive television news and information blog run by my friend and fellow TV fanatic Kath, featuring interviews, up to the minute news, recaps, reviews and television thoughts. Not only has GMMR been a pioneer in the TV blogosphere, it's also got some terrific content us couch potatoes can't find anywhere else, and a growing and active TV addicts' message forum.

The 4400 Wiki Page - That's right. The brilliant Vigilyn has created a Wiki exclusively about The 4400. An ambitious undertaking, it is relatively slim on content right now (which YOU can help remedy, it being a Wiki and all) but is quickly growing into one of the best resources on this show right now. I'm totally jealous I didn't think of this myself.


My friend Craig from Kryptonsite and I have mutually agreed due to time and space constraints to no longer host a forum for The 4400 on Kryptonsite's forums as part of 4400fans.com. I just don't have the time to moderate it, unfortunately. Instead, I'm just going to point everyone over to the official show forums, which is home to some of the most robust and excellent discussions about the show and its cast available anywhere.

An excellent alternative to that is 4400abductees, a forum, run by Aliza and modded by my friend and 4400fans frequenter Purpleyin and others. It's not as busy as the official forums, but it's quite a bit more organized and comprehensive!

I have to say, the USA Network has really knocked it out of the ballpark when it comes to leveraging new media. I think they are the only network right now who really understand the role that the online fan community can play in growing its numbers, viewership and critical buzz. I am a huge fan of all their official sites, but The4400.com is one of the best official show sites on the Internet right now and truly capitalizes on every multimedia possibility available. USA has put together a site that is a tremendous resource for any fan of the show that is soon to rival and possibly surpass even StarTrek's web site. I'm not even just blowing sunshine here. Bigger networks should take note. Certainly their site leaves the embarrassing half-hearted circa-2001 endeavor the CW Network has put together in the dust.


Speaking of web site design geekery, I'll be doing a few upgrades to this one today, including adding more feed options and some hopefully inobtrusive ads and cool new links and things like that.

I have been considering moving this entire web site and porting all its content into something similar to GMMR's set up - a full blog WordPress site with categories, cut-tags and other similar advanced options, including the ability to have @4400fans.com email addresses and a more advanced search feature. The categories issue is a big draw as well. When I post this article, it will be post #62 and it's already getting quite unweildly to find anything here even with the search bar at the top. I am also soon to start including special features like cast and crew interviews. I can imagine that in a year or so from now it'll be impossible to find anything here. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone? Bueller?

InFANity Special and Lily thoughts

This week's InFANity on the TVGuide channel features The 4400. It includes a comprehensive look at the series, featuring cast interviews; set visits; stars' off-screen activities; fans' questions; and plot previews. Check your local listings; it re-airs Friday and Saturday in my area every few hours. Thanks to TV411 for the heads up! I've got my TiVO set already. =)


Thank you to everyone who's sent it in, but we are aware that there is a longer version of the Ira Steven Behr interview about the decision to write Laura Allen off the show. We haven't posted it until now because, honestly, the new comments don't shed any additional light on the situation and unfortunately have only served to fuel a lot of unflattering Internet speculation, most of which is almost certainly baseless, and I'm not into being a part of that.

In that spirit, I recommend these folks just repeat after me the next time they're asked about this: "It was regrettable, but ultimately best for the show. We wish Laura Allen the best of luck in all her future endeavors. Please watch our show regardless, because it is very, very good, even without Lily, and also because we are not the production team of Desperate Housewives and do not ever even hint at behind the scenes drama." Just keepin' it real, babies! You know I got much love.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lily's Death "A Business Thing?"

I have a review of the season premiere to type up and post tomorrow, but in the interim here's a new article for you:

Ira Steven Behr discusses (?!) at length his reasons, or rather, his non-reasons, for writing Lily and Laura Allen out of the show in this new SyFyPortal interview.
...[T]here's just so many things that I'm sure you hear all the time from people on shows. They're just money decisions and business decisions, and there's a lot of people with a lot of say in all these things. A lot of people who have to answer to a lot of other people who don't have any dealings with us, and it just got out of hand. And, suddenly, there you go.
Well! I'm glad that's settled...