Shows 3

Posted by Chris Philpott on Tuesday Aug 5, 2014 Under News, TV


This week from THE ZONE we have something for fans of werewolves, a little bit of time travel for the sci-fi fans, everyone’s favourite demon fighting brothers and we go aboard two of the most famous starships in the galaxy…

New Zealand Series Premiere

Scott’s a young high school sophomore who has always been on the outside looking in, no girlfriend, bad at sports and socially awkward – a single wolf bite changes everything. Armed with new super-human abilities, Scott quickly becomes the star of the lacrosse team and his athletic prowess makes him popular and desirable. Everything is going well, he even falls for the new girl in town, Allison, who’s equally smitten but Scott’s “new” personality and abilities also pose several problems. He is pulled into the middle of a war between werewolves and werewolf hunters, the leader of which is Allison’s Father. Now Scott must try to curb his animalistic desires and urges while trying to maintain his relationship with Allison and his best friend Styles, not to mention his family and society at large.

Starring: Tyler Posey (Lincoln Heights, Doc), Crystal Reed (Skyline, Crazy Stupid Love), Dylan O’Brien (High Road, upcoming The Maze Runner), Tyler Hoechlin (Road To Perdition, 7th Heaven), Colton Haynes (Arrow, The Gates), Holland Roden (Bring It On: Fight To The Finish)

New Zealand Series Premiere


A group of fanatic terrorists escaping their planned execution in the year 2077, vault back in time to the year 2012, sweeping dedicated CPS Protector Keira Cameron along with them. Stuck in the past and unable to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can wreak havoc in our present. Kiera receives unexpected assistance from a teen tech genius Alec Sadler and impersonating a member of local law enforcement forms an uneasy alliance with her detective partner Carlos Fonnegra.

Starring: Rachel Nichols (Star Trek, Criminal Minds), Victor Webster (Mutant X, The Lot), Erik Knudsen (Jericho, The Guardian), Stephen Lobo (Stephen King’s The Dead Zone, Fringe), Lexa Doig (Andromeda, Stargate SG:1), Roger Cross (The Chronicles of Riddick and Eureka).

From the beginning…

Year’s after losing their mother in a suspicious fire, two brothers find themselves reunited travelling the country searching for their missing father who disappeared on a hunting trip. But he isn’t your typical hunter, their father hunts the supernatural, a trade he has obsessed over since losing his wife all those years before. Dean the eldest followed in the family business but Sam desperately trying to avoid it finds himself drawn back in as the two save the innocent and take on evil, all the while gathering clues for the whereabouts of their father.

Starring: Jensen Ackles (Dark Angel, Dawson’s Creek), Jared Padalecki (Gilmore Girls), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Magic City, Grey’s Anatomy)

From The Beginning…

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (TNG) focuses on the 24th century adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). This incarnation of the famous starship is much larger than the one captained by James T. Kirk a century earlier carrying a much larger crew complement: 1,012 men, women and surprisingly, children. This era’s Starfleet Command believes that men and women are more likely to sign up for long-term exploratory missions if they think of their ship as home. Thus, Picard’s crew enjoys many of the comforts they’d have otherwise left behind, including a wide variety of recreational opportunities, “replicated” food dishes to suit every palate and quarters large enough to share with spouses and offspring. There are schools for the children and a bar (stocked with synthetic alcohol, or synthehol) where the adults can unwind. However, the ongoing mission – no longer limited to a mere five years – remains virtually the same as it was during Kirk’s time: to seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Starring: Patrick Stewart  (X-Men franchise, American Dad), Jonathan Frakes  (Beyond Belief: Fact Or Fiction), Levar Burton  (Perception, Captain Planet & The Planeteers), Brent Spiner  (Independence Day, Warehouse 13), Wil Wheaton  (Eureka, The Big Bang Theory), Whoopi Goldberg  (Ghost, Sister Act)


This classic science fiction series set in the 23rd century, follows the voyages of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise as it explores the endless universe – seeking new life, new worlds, and new civilizations.

Starring: William Shatner  (TJ Hooker, Boston Legal), Leonard Nimoy  (Fringe, Mission Impossible), Deforest Kelley  (Bonanza, Ironside), James Doohan  (Flight Into Danger), George Takei  (Heroes, The Neighbors), Nichelle Nichols  (Snow Dogs, Heroes)


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Shows 2

Posted by Chris Philpott on Tuesday Jul 29, 2014 Under News, TV


We will be keeping you in THE ZONE each week with more information on the kick-ass titles we will be playing on the channel when it launches in November. THE ZONE will be a mix of cult genres, from New Zealand premiere series like The Strain and Defiance, to classic library favourites, which we will announce with these weekly emails.

This week from THE ZONE:

New Zealand Season Premiere
GRIMM (Season 3)

A modern take inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers fairytales, this supernatural cop drama returns for its third season as Portland detective Nick Burkhardt and his crew continue to battle fairy tale creatures. Descended from a long line of hunters known as Grimms, Burkhardt finds the tables turn as he becomes the hunted and his responsibilities as a detective are increasingly at odds with his ancestral calling.
There once was a man who lived a life so strange, it had to be true. Only he could see what no one else can – the darkness inside, the real monster within and he’s the one who must stop them. This is his calling, this is his duty, this is the life of a Grimm.

Starring: David Giuntoli (Caroline and Jackie), Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights, In Treatment), Bitsie Tulloch (quarterlife), Silas Weir Mitchell (Cold Case, Prison Break), Sasha Roiz (Warehouse 13. Caprica), Reggie Lee (Prison Break, The Fast and the Furious).

New Zealand Season Premiere

This epic drama from executive producer Steven Spielberg, tells the extraordinary story about life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. In the fourth season of Falling Skies, college professor turned resistance leader Tom Mason and his family find themselves and their fellow rebels in new, far more dangerous territory. Leading the second Mass against a catastrophic alien invasion, they’ve been through so much and survived so many battles — fighting for earth, but always fearing the next attack from the skies. Countered by the aliens every time, the survivors endured, however, and won. But the nightmare is just beginning. Now abandoned, separated and alone, everything has changed. And there’s no escape from what’s coming next.

Starring: Noah Wyle (ER), Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation, Journeyman), Drew Roy (Hannah Montana, iCarly), Colin Cunningham (Stargate SG-1, The Collector), Seychelle Gabriel (The Last Airbender), Sarah Carter (DOA: Dead Or Alive, Shark), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Agency)


Stargate SG-1 picks up where the blockbuster film left off. Colonel Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), and his SG-1 team; Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), Teal’c (Christopher Judge), and Capt. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), set out to explore the mysteries of the Stargate. Each mission through the gate takes the SG-1 team to new worlds in a seemingly boundless universe.

Starring: Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver), Michael Shanks (Saving Hope), Christopher Judge (Sirens, voice on X Men Evolution), Amanda Tapping (Supernatural, Sanctuary), Don S Davis (Twin Peaks)


One of the most celebrated dramas on television, Battlestar Galactica is the classic adventure of a ragtag fleet of humans, the sole survivors of a devastating nuclear attack by the robot cylons. Faced with an un-winnable battle against a deadly enemy, they are forced to flee under the protection of their one remaining warship, the outdated Battlestar Galactica. Pursued by the cylons-some of whom have now taken human form-Commander Adama (Olmos) and President Roslin (McDonnell) lead these last remnants of humanity in search of a new home – a planet called Earth.

Starring: Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Stand & Deliver), Mary McDonnell (Dance With Wolves, Independence Day), Katee Sackhoff (Riddick, Longmire), Jamie Bamber (Law & Order UK, Hornblower), James Callis (Eureka, Bridget Jones Diary), Tricia Helfer (Burn Notice, upcoming Ascension), Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0)


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Posted by Chris Philpott on Friday Jul 4, 2014 Under News, TV



SKY’s brand new entertainment channel, THE ZONE, will have local fans of Science Fiction, Cult, Fantasy, Superhero and Horror genres battling for the remote.

Launching this November, THE ZONE’S line-up will include some of the planet’s most anticipated premiere series including Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain, Defiance featuring New Zealand’s own Grant Bowler and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn, along with a mix of modern and classic series including drama and comedy, movies and the odd documentary.

THE ZONE, made right here by Kiwis for Kiwis (with the occasional Kiwi appearance too), will be available to all SKY’s domestic customers at no extra charge as part of SKY’s Basic package and will also stream live from launch on SKY GO, so fans won’t miss a minute of the action wherever they are.

SKY’s Head of General Entertainment Karen Bieleski said “This is the channel that many of our viewers have literally been clamouring for. We looked at a variety of options for satisfying their requests and decided that the best way was to make our own channel, so that we could select from the widest possible range of international content.

Our research has uncovered an incredibly diverse fan base so it was imperative to make THE ZONE available to as wide an audience as possible by being included in SKY’s basic package.

THE ZONE has a fairly broad remit for acquiring programmes, our rule of thumb being that anything which could feasibly promote itself at Comic-Con has a place on the channel. We are very aware that fans of this type of content are keen social media users so once the channel has launched, we aim to screen our key shows as close to international premieres as possible to ensure that spoilers are kept to a minimum on their newsfeed.

The team involved putting this channel together, myself included, are passionate about this type of content and we are excited to create and curate a channel for Kiwi fans of the many genres THE ZONE will encompass. I can’t wait until we’re actually on air in November.”

More details on THE ZONE will be released over the next few months. Fans can interact with THE ZONE team and find out more about programming with weekly updates on THE ZONE’S facebook page. and Twitter

Viewers can look forward to a range of great new & classic titles from the Science Fiction, Cult, Fantasy, Superhero and Horror genres including:


Set in the near future, this epic drama introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. At the center of this world is Lawman Jeb Nolan (Grant Bowler – True Blood), who enlists the help of deputies and occasionally some civilians in the struggle to maintain law and order in the town and region. To survive in this unforgiving landscape, it will take strength. It will take will. It will take Defiance.

Starring: Grant Bowler (Outrageous Fortune, True Blood), Stephanie Leonidas, Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Graham Greene (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Green Mile), Tony Curran (This Life, Ultimate Force, Blade II, Underworld: Evolution), Jaime Murray (Hustle, Dexter), Mia Kirshner (The L Word, 24), Jesse Rath (18 to Life).


Expanding on the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez co-directed original film, this new series is a supernatural crime saga centered around the Gecko Brothers who are on the run from the FBI. After the brothers hijack a RV owned by former minister Jacob Fuller, taking him and his family hostage, an unpredicted stop at a run-down strip club in the middle of a desolate Mexican desert exposes the late night haunts façade and the legion of Mesoamerican vampires who dwell there. The series, directed by Rodriguez goes deeper behind the mythology of the creatures in the club and the backstories of the characters as they fight until dawn to stay dead.

Starring: D.J. Cotrona (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Zane Holtz (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Eiza González, Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show), Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges), Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera, Locker 13), Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, Incredible Crew), Jake Busey (Contact, Starship Troopers).


The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Co-Creators, Executive Producers and Writers Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan co-wrote the pilot script for The Strain, which was directed by del Toro.

Starring: Corey Stoll (Homeland, House of Cards), David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), Mia Maestro (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2)


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Posted by Chris Philpott on Thursday Jul 3, 2014 Under Ramblings, TV

The first episode of The X Files that I ever watched from start to finish is titled “Darkness Falls”. The twentieth episode of Season 1, it follows Mulder and Scully as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a logging crew at the hands of an ancient swarm of man-eating insects that are only visible at night. The episode is now considered a classic, often ranking among the shows best standalone episodes. Yet, for me, it was something much more profound. It was my introduction to the science-fiction genre, and it established, in my mind, many of the things that I love most about this particular corner of the entertainment world.

For a start, I love anything involving monsters. “Darkness Falls” was definitely a monster tale, albeit on a much smaller scale. Still, to this day, I get creeped out by anything involving insects; The X Files returned to creepy-crawlies again and again, notably in a Season 3 episode titled “War Of The Coprophages”. The revelation, in “Darkness Falls”, that the nocturnal attacking bugs are actually everywhere, even during daytime, is an absolute nightmare scenario, as far as I’m concerned.

Science-fiction doesn’t always have a happy ending. “Darkness Falls” certainly doesn’t: Mulder and Scully barely escape with their lives, while the bugs continue to exist in some north-western forest – and the unhappy ending is a trope that continues through most of The X Files’ run. In fact, I suspect these two points – monsters and unhappy endings – explain my deep and abiding love of Cloverfield. And it’s not that I’m some kind of entertainment masochist, that I want to feel bad at the end of a thing. I appreciate the ending of a film like Super 8 as much as anything else. I just love subversion, and an unhappy ending is certainly a subversion of our expectation, as viewers.

In a similar vein, science fiction has the ability to surprise. A product of sci-fi’s inherent ability to go in any direction, to take place in any space or time, the element of surprise is key to what makes sci-fi – and fantasy, and horror – programming so effective. It is unpredictable in the best possible way. It takes us to lands and times and dimensions unknown. It forces us to drop our expectations at the door.

Science fiction is the highest form of escapism – we’ve been calling it ultra-escapism – because, as it’s best, it presents us with worlds and ideas that can’t be found anywhere else on earth.

The X Files, starting with “Darkness Falls”, introduced me to this world of wonder, and my love of the mid-nineties series gradually turned into a love of the sci-fi and fantasy genres at large. Shows like Firefly, Lost, Battlestar Galactica and, more recently, Orphan Black and Game Of Thrones – among much, much else – have been an obsession for this television junkie, bringing countless hours of joy to a man who, at the centre of it all, just loves a great story.

And now I get to help bring that joy to an audience of ready and waiting Kiwis.

SKY TV today announced the impending arrival of THE ZONE, New Zealand’s first television channel dedicated entirely to the science fiction, fantasy, horror and cult genres, which will launch in November. And I am proud to say that I’m honoured to have joined them, gladly accepting a position as channel manager and doing my best to steer the (space)ship through this brand new adventure.

We’ve announced our first few shows – sci-fi actioner Defiance, starring Kiwi actor Grant Bowler as a charming rogue who takes over as sheriff in a small, post-apocalyptic town populated by a mix of humans and aliens; sci-fi/horror The Strain, Guillermo Del Toro’s horrifying take on vampires; and fantasy/horror From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, an expansion of Robert Rodriguez’s movie of the same name – and we’ll be announcing more over the coming months.

The task of managing a television channel dedicated to my most loved genre is a dream job for me. And I’m excited about what we’re doing with THE ZONE, not just as a manager, but as a fan of the genre. By the time THE ZONE hits the airwaves, I am confident that we will have put together something very special, something that genre fans can be proud to call their own. I can’t wait for you all to see what we have in store.

Until then, check THE ZONE out on Facebook: and Twitter: @TheZoneNZ – we’ll be making future programming announcements there.


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Posted by Chris Philpott on Saturday Jun 21, 2014 Under TV



… July 3, to be exact.

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Posted by Chris Philpott on Friday Nov 23, 2012 Under Music, Ramblings

One of my favourite bands, since I discovered them back in the mid-1990s, Deftones have now released seven studio albums – the latest of which came out last week, titled Koi No Yukan. It’s their second album without original bass player Chi Cheng, and it’s their best album to date (even counting the stuff Cheng did).

Anyway, I’m now looking back on the seven albums, and I’m thinking: if you took three tracks from each album, you’d have a pretty kick-ass collection of 21 fantastic Deftones tracks. A home-made Greatest Hits, if you will.

So here are my picks for three songs from each album – I’ve tried to consider which are the most popular tracks that should be included, but I’ve also picked a few favourites as well. Let me know what I’ve missed out in the comments, below.

Adrenaline, 1995
1. 7 Words
2. Engine No 9
3. One Weak

7 Words was the breakout hit for the group, while Engine No 9 has continued to be a live favourite. Meanwhile, One Weak was the first Deftones song I ever learnt to play on a bass guitar. I love that song. To this day I use the opening bass riff as a sound-check.

Around The Fur, 1997
1. Be Quiet & Drive (Far Away)
2. My Own Summer (Shove It)
3. MX

Be Quiet & Drive is easily one of my 3 favourite Deftnes songs ever, while My Own Summer is probably their most famous track. Meanwhile, MX is one of their most brutal tracks and a personal favourite (though I could’ve also gone for Dai The Flu, Around The Fur and Headup).

White Pony, 2000
1. Change (In The House Of Flies)
2. Passenger
3. Digital Bath

Change and Digital Bath are two of the groups most famous tracks. But Passenger is my favourite song on White Pony – the guest spot from Maynard James Keenan is perfect, and the melodic nature of the song is a great example of what Deftones has always done well.

Deftones (Self-Titled), 2003
1. Minerva
2. Hexagram
3. Lucky You

It’s probably their worst album, but still there are some goodies here: Minerva was the lead single and a strong track, while Hexagram is brutal and shows off Chino Moreno’s range. Meanwhile, Lucky You is a great example of Deftones musical range and penchant for experimentation.

Saturday Night Wrist, 2006
1. Mein
2. Beware
3. Rapture

I’m in the minority, but I loved this album: Mein is a good Deftones track with a nice Serj Tankian guest spot, Beware is a fantastic song that shows off Moreno’s voice (and the bands “wall of sound” style), and Rapture is very much a heavy fore-runner for their two latest albums.

Diamond Eyes, 2010
1. Diamond Eyes
2. You’ve Seen The Butcher

I actually found it hard limiting myself to three tracks here: the title track is a near perfect Deftones song, You’ve Seen The Butcher is brutal and dynamic, and CMND-CTRL is just a brilliant heavy metal track, complete with odd time signature.

Koi No Yukan, 2012
1. Tempest
2. Leathers
3. Rosemary

It’s still pretty new, but I’m loving these three tracks: first single Tempest is affecting, Leathers is just amazing, and Rosemary might end up one of the groups best songs.

What do you think should be included on a Deftones: Best Of album?

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