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"Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles" debacle !!!

Published at: Sept. 21, 1999, 10:52 a.m. CST by staff

Glen here...


Over the last few weeks, I've received a ton of e-mail regarding the scheduling situation of Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles. People asking and asking: "Why are they showing the same five or six repeats over and over again!?!?!?"

The answer to this question is both extremely comical and profoundly unfortunate. In layman's terms: it is a "cluster f**k" pure and simple.

Turns out, some genius sold Roughnecks episodes into strip syndication before the show was ready to go on the air. Usually, strip syndication isn't a bad thing. In T.V. terms "strip" means a show has been sold into syndication to air on multiple, consecutive days in a week (four, five, six, even seven days a week in some instances). Strip programming is fairly commonplace, and happens all the time with shows like Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Star Trek, etc.

Trouble is: all of the titles cited above have a great many episodes in their history, so it would take any station quite a bit of time before cycling through & repeating the syndication package they've purchased. In Roughnecks' case, however, the series was sold into strip syndication with only five or six episodes completed.

In other words, stations expecting to receive roughly two months worth of Roughnecks programming (which would have accounted for just about the entire limited run series) actually received less than a week of Roughnecks programming from the outset. While The Powers That Be assured stations that fresh episodes of the series would be put into rotation as soon as the episodes were out of post-production, the newer episodes were few and far between (and were very slow in arriving - an expected byproduct of time-intensive CGI work) - leaving stations with no alternative but to re-air Roughnecks episodes in tight rotation, ad nauseum - or to drop the show altogether.

At this point, it does appear that some stations have dropped Roughnecks due to lack of new programming - what (if any) legal ramifications this will have for the series' production entities remains to be seen. Other stations are indeed re-airing episode after episode of Roughnecks, occasionally integrating new episodes into the mix whenever they are received.

On a related note, it appears the Bohbot Kids Network, a partner in the Roughnecks endeavor, improperly sold Roughnecks to The Sci Fi Channel (they did not have the authority to do so) - infuriating Roughnecks' home company (Sony) to no end. So, for those of you asking why Roughnecks no longer appears on SFC's schedule(effective late September or early October, I believe), this is why: it was sold to SFC by folks who didn't have the right to sell the series to them, and the deal was rescinded.

Okay - so all of this is bad. Can it be worse? Oh, yeah.

There were two visual effects companies handling the CGI animation on Roughnecks. One was Foundation Imaging (I kneel before them in humbled awe and reverence), the other was Flat Earth (of Hercules and Xena fame). Well, somewhere in the midst of all this, Flat Earth dropped out of the project. I have heard two rumors about why Flat Earth left Roughnecks: 1) Flat Earth was thrown-off the project because they fell too far behind on their Roughnecks animating duties. A more accurate assessment re: Flat Earth's departure from the show is likely something to the effect of: 2) Flat Earth backed out of the series because Sony held up a delivery check beyond acceptable limits, forcing Flat Earth to finance their Roughnecks work (and staff) out of the company's own coffers. This was hurting Flat Earth, so they had to back out of the project to protect themselves.

Either way, Flat Earth is off of the project, and Foundation seems to be going it alone for the moment. PLEASE NOTE: I have heard NO indication whatsoever that Foundation is...in any way... responsible for the mess Roughnecks has become.

The fate of Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles seems to be a question mark at the moment. I have heard everything: "the series will be pulled until all required episodes are completed - then re-aired in sequence"; "the series will continue this funky rotation - adding new episodes into the mix until it's done"; and finally, "the series will go on for a bit longer, but the whole enterprise may become straight-to-video fodder somewhere down the line - and only then will we see the Roughnecks story completed."

Which brings up, perhaps, the greatest Roughnecks tragedy of all: the series is not unfolding the way it was designed to be told. There is some indication that, because of time pressures generated by having sold the series into syndication before its completion, the original arc of Roughnecks (a progressive, linear arc of about 44 episodes which would have followed the lives and deaths of the Roughnecks as the Bug War drew them towards a finale on Earth) has been significantly compromised.

In order to speed the production process along, some newer episodes are being turned into "flashbacks" to earlier episodes - to allow for the utilization of previously existing footage, etc. Other elements of the series will now seem incongruous in the bigger picture. For example, several main characters were to die on the show - but with all the schedule flip-flopping, their deaths may now seem disjointed and incongruous with what is happening on either side of these specific "impact" episodes.

So there you have it folks. Hope this answers some of the questions sent in by many concerned viewers of this show. If all of this sounds like chaos it's because...well...the making of Roughnecks is chaos. 'Twill be fascinating to see what happens from here, and I'll be sure to let you know as more information becomes available...


_________________________


Questions? Comments? Praise? Ridicule ?

CLICK HERE to e-mail Glen

If you send a message to the above address & it bounces back to you, send mail to a back-up address!

Or call:

(512) 347-1992

Mail can be sent to:

Glen Oliver

P.O. BOX 160812

Austin, TX 78716-0812

USA


Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 21, 1999, 11:22 a.m. CST

    okay...

    by soup

    okay, this is news to me that people are seeing the same 5 episodes over and over, I'm still waiting to see one..does anyone know where i can find it?

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Cursed TV

    by Shaithis

    It seems that any series that tries to run with a solid plot that would extend for a decent length of time is doomed. B5 has this problem. Beast Wars had problems with getting the series ended early, making the series finale seem disjointed. The real shame is this show is good. Damn good. It looks smooth and eventhe faces seem so much better than before. (Still off a bit) Television can't grow beyond the Short Attention span theatre it is now until the curse is lifted. Ah well... I'll still hold out hope and tape the series. BTW Anyone know were to find an episode list for the show?

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers

    by Paladin

    Whoo! I'm first (Big deal) It is sad on how this was managed. The guy who sold this in strip should have been shot. They should have shown this as weekend animantion. Most of the Bohbot (sp) aired on weekends before this year, why not this series. It could have allowed time for the episodes to be made, without comprimising the story. did any notice that the episodes that they did have, which could have ran in order, were not? Like ep 2 or 3 ran in the slot of ep 6. Well, 1999 seems to be a bad year for SciFi TV- Crusade, the Crow, Millenium(all fine programs that deserved better) and now Starship Troopers is dying, dammit!

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Bug Hunt

    by No-Op

    I was taping off SCI-FI, but with it gone from there, I don't see it anywhere now... gotta look harder. I didn't watch any til I had 4 on tape, watched them in sequence... and was entertained not only by the good work but by how you could see real improvement in animation quality - textures, lighting, shadows- from one ep to the next. A damned shame it got so fouled. But I do understand how hard it is to pull something like this off. A miracle when it works.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, noon CST

    A damn shame

    by Brendan3

    I taped a few episodes because it was on too damned early and was surprised to see they were actually pretty good, combining elements from the film (co-ed infantry, warrior bug design, etc.) and elements from the book (the skinnies, the dropsuits, the scope of the war, etc.) and made something pretty good. They made a computer animated series that appealed to both kids and adults with a surprising amount of attention to detail to everything in frame. Most animation cops out on the detail. The animation is geared to enthrall kids, but it doesn't dumb down the storyline or music to insult them or turn off adult viewers. I got hooked and I hope they get to complete and air all the episodes some day. Damn.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Well, this makes more sense anyway

    by jeffv

    When Glen first announced the air schedule for Roughnecks, I was trying to figure out how they'd have so many episodes that they could do a Monday-Friday strip already. Guess this explains it.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Starship Trooper Follies

    by Chris M

    Well they haven't canceled it outright yet, because I just taped an episode this morning. It was a clib show,though. But it should be in syndication on a local station in your area. I know here in Dallas it is.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Time slots

    by BV

    I love this show, but i'm really sick of having to get up at 4:30 AM to see it here in CA. Gotta get me a timed VCR.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Didn't this happen to Exo-Squad?

    by Drath

    That show had a pretty cool arc until it suddenly skipped the second half of evert two-parter. Characters died, then they looked like they might be resurrected, but then it was dropped. The humans took back Earth from the Neo Sapiens, but they did it using powers that no previous episodes explained. And now this same piss poor management is happening to Roughnecks? This is ludicrous! Whoever is responsible for ths is a gigantic ass! He/She should be toasted like so much s'moar fodder. At least this is happening after only a tiny number of episodes have aired. Exo-Squad was almost done when the ball was dropped, that's like getting through three seasons of Babylon 5 and then having it quit in the middle of the story! I can just feel that the same kind of uncertain fate awaits us with Roughnecks. Man this just reeks.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Episode Lists and News for Troopers

    by Shadow

    http://sicon.homepage.com

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Hopes and Dreams of good sci-fi on TV.

    by Barsoom Brawler

    Goddammit. Just.....goddammit.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 7:18 p.m. CST

    No Starship Troopers?

    by Melarkee

    Garn! Why does this keep happening to the good stuff...Crusade and now this wonderful show? Who "sold the show into sindication" before enough episodes were ready? Very disappointing.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know what Beast Machines is???

    by Defiant

    I know this is kinda off the topic but speaking of computer generated shows, I have seen commercials on Fox for a show called Beast Machines. It looks similar to Beast Wars, same animals turn into robots, but they all look different. Is it a sequel series to beast wars or spinoff. Someone lease tell me what this show is about and when it is on.

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Beast Machines, S.T.

    by zathras2

    1) Beast Machines is essentially the 4th season of Beast Wars, although it takes place after a break in continuity, on the planet Cybertron. Apparently not all of the characters will return. Think of it as a 'sequel series' if you will. If you don't know, Beast Wars is about a bunch of robots that transform into animals (sort of) and fight when stranded on earth. It is written as part of the Transformers continuity, although it was not originally intended to be. Done by the excellent Mainframe Canadian CG Studio, it started of kinda weak imho, but had some really great moments of black humor ("you're MY lieutenant -- shoot him!!!) before it finished with a strong season 1 finale. Unfortunately I was not able to see the other two seasons because it was dropped from syndication where I lived. I did see the 5 episodes that aired briefly on Cartoon Network, and those were quite good. For more info, try www.bwtf.com 2) I saw only the first two episodes of Starship Troopers Chronicles. Like I was disappointed but hope future episodes will be better. The facial animation was nice, but was I the only one who noticed that the characters seem to have odd split-second 'pauses' in their animations every few seconds (except in the 'camcorder' footage). I really thought the music was a letdown and *hope* it varies a lot. It needs a 'more epic than epic' score, imho. Lastly, I really think that as for the overall art direction, this series *should* be more like the StarCraft:BroodWar trailer (the one with the opera music -- catch it at any CompUsa in the speaker-test section). Since there is still time (I'm actually glad they're not close to finished) maybe someone will read this suggestion and the last few episodes will be like that. Set to operatic/choral music. Man, that would be great!

  • Sept. 21, 1999, 11:53 p.m. CST

    You'll be able to see the last 2 seasons of BW on Fox now.

    by Crosschecker

    FoxKids now has the rights to Beast Wars and are showing every episode now everyday so you'll be able to catch the last 2 seasons of this amazing series(still not as good as the original Transformers though IMHO). Beast Machines, while only having one episode aired, looks like it may be even better than Beast Wars.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Damn!!

    by VHD

    You mean I've got ALL the episodes so far on tape (I've been watching them every afternoon (4:30 am?? geez...scifi needs a west coast feed) and have been rewinding back over the repeats...) I'll keep this up (44 episodes?? yikes!) until they start over and straighten it out...(which I hope they do...it'd be nice...) But I'm having a blast!! (although I'm getting sick of the same episodes)

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the beast machines info but...

    by Defiant

    When is it on? Beast Wars started weak but got real good it's last 2 years. I hope they release it on DVD. Also, you said that it was originally not meant to be part of the Transformers story, but from the first episode, it seems to fit into the arc it became.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Beast Wars/Machines

    by zathras2

    **Crosschecker: from what I hear at www.bwtf.com though, FOX will edit those episodes. Don't see HOW they possibly could, though. Apparently FOX has a problem with the level of violence and black humor (the FCC was ok with it though), and it is rumored that they preferred the name 'Beast Machines' over 'Wars' since wars sounded a bit more violent. When you see it can you let me know, ok? I'd hate to lose moments like Dinobot shooting "for the royalty"'s head off with his own gun. If this is the case, I hope it goes to Cartoon Network eventually (didn't edit Reboot at all). This might mean B.Machines will not be as violent (probably will involve a lot of unpersonified 'cannon fodder'ish automatons that you don't have to feel bad about) or dark humored as B.Wars either. We'll see. As for the original TF being better than BW, well, I'll have to watch the later original episodes again (I remember them getting good towards the end after the movie story arc but then it went off air -- know where I can get them?) as well as the rest of BW to make a judgement. **Defiant: DVD? I wish but doubt it. And I meant that the show -- while still in planning -- was not meant to be part of the TF universe but the writers decided to write it into it once they got on board. You can find this info in one of the interviews at www.bwtf.com If any of you want to continue this on the message boards at www.bwtf.com that would be great.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Starcraft Influence *Please!* Your Opinion?

    by zathras2

    Since we got off topic a bit, here is my earlier suggestion. Care to comment? I really think that as for the overall art direction, this series *should* be more like the StarCraft:BroodWar trailer (the one with the opera music -- catch it at any CompUsa in the speaker-test section). Since there is still time (I'm actually glad they're not close to finished) maybe someone will read this suggestion and the last few episodes will be like that. Set to operatic/choral music. Man, that would be great!

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 2:20 a.m. CST

    I think I'll cry now...

    by TrooperPX

    It's sad to think that this show was doomed from the start. They should have put it on once a week, in a Saturday morning slot. Then, when it has enough episodes, put it on daily. Heck, we already have to wait a week for new episodes... what's the dif!? In my opinion, it should go straight to DVD. It's already digital... why step back into analog. But, no mater what happens, no matter how screwed-up the schedule gets, no mater how long it takes... I will set my VCR every morning and anticipate every episode. I'm here for the long haul. If you're worried about TrooperPX, don't. I will continue to post complete Roughnecks information. All of the original info will be avaliable, I will just make new pages for any new news. Like many of the Citizens out there, the history and lore of Starship Troopers will always entertain. Please visit and say "Hi!"... http://www.trooperpx.com/Collect/imgcolec/Story/series.html

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Re: If ST has been dropped from the Sci Fi schedule...((from COA

    by coaxial

    Glen here....As I understand the situation, ST will stop airing on SCF in October.**Glen**

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Just tell us who to kick the shit out of...

    by Milo_357

    Glen, just tell us who we can kick the shit out of , dammit!

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 5:37 a.m. CST

    The sound F/X

    by Monkeyfish

    Is anyone else really, really bothered by the sound effects on ST? The machine guns sound so anemic... I think they taped the sound of a toy gun whipping out those little plastic discs. I suppose you could blame it on the no-atmosphere planets they're on, but the explosions make nice, big booms.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 8:43 a.m. CST

    I have heard that this is the biggest piece of turd infested rot

    by mckracken

    I hears( but failing to wake up at 4:30am, I cannot verify this!) THAT THIS SHOW SUCKS GALLSTONES through a tailpipe!!! Can anyone confirm or deny this?? I heard that it was "kiddified" and "dumbed down" for Television and is the biggest piece of crap that has ever landed on television!!!...can anyone confirm this????

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 10 a.m. CST

    Starship Troopers

    by Zob10701

    Well, this latest fuck-up doesn't surprise me as Sony didn't support this thing from the get-go. The only way I found out where/when it was airing was from Glen here (after weeks of breathless anticipation, I might add), so any further botching of the series should have been expected. I can't believe we have yet another example of the ruination of a quality science-fiction product by some nameless suit. I really liked this show. I got up early every morning to watch it and as my wife can attest, I get up early for no man! FUCK!

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 10:17 a.m. CST

    New Episodes this week!

    by Professor

    I didn't watch Monday, but Tuesday was a new episode and so was Wednesday. Also, I've seen more than "5 or 6" different shows. These are from memory, and probably not in order: Pilot Capture plasma bug Rescue research ream Everybody has a Fear Robot warrior Train Higgins New flying threat New: Clip Show Diz' Claustrophobia

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Just a few notes. . .

    by CZ

    Greg Wiesman, one of the story editors, posted a nice, long rant about the series in the AskGreg section of www.s8.org/gargoyles. Also, the original Beast Wars airs at 3:30pm PT, and Beast Machines either at 10:00 or 11:00 AM. on Saturdays. I don't think FOX has decided yet. Zathras2, CN DID edit one episode of Reboot. They pulled a drinking scene out of the beginning of "Mousetrap" (3.3.4)

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST

    roughnecks/beast machines

    by sting

    I finally saw 3 eps and they reran the same one a week later. I was disappointed that i wasted tape space to record it (I am at college and my VCR/cable is back at home). The facial anime sucks, but they plots are decent. I hate the flashbacks, its too confusing. I hated the ep which introduced the show, it was a shortened version of everything that happened in the movie. Beast Wars was great, I saw Beast Machines and the story is very promising. Farscape is great, X-files has lost it since the second season. Voyager never had it, after their first ep there was no more tension.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Clarifications

    by Shadow

    1. There are 40 episodes, not 44. The concept is to have 8 "5 part" mini-arcs. 2. The insertion of 2 Clip Shows is because that the climax (#39-40) is being moved to a home video or TV-movie release. All the voice tracks for the show are already recorded and complete. 3. The last episode being shown by the SciFi Channel is "Water, Water Everywhere" (production #106) which is the first part of the Hydora campaign. This is the sixth episode of the series (excluding the clip show "Pluto and Beyond") from a continuity standpoint. This is scheduled to air September 30th on both SciFi Channel and BKN affiliates. 4. Beginning October 4th, SciFi switches to the secondary BKN package. This package includes older BKN shows. SciFi Channel's programming directory insists that Starship Troopers will return at a future time. Personal Comment: I really like this show and hope it gets over this difficulty. Foundation has beefed up it's staff and is now doing 6 episodes per week. I generally dislike CG shows, but this one I like.

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 6:42 p.m. CST

    kiddified, gun sounds, reboot

    by zathras2

    The gun sounds were kinda soft if you ask me but then I just thought it was my tv. For all we know in the future maybe guns don't have to make a lot of noise. As for being 'kiddified', the answer is certainly yes if you compare it to the movie. The bugs' deaths are often kinda weak compared to the movie also, but then they sure do kill a lot of them (and there are some good parts like the bug getting cut in half by the door). We'll see how 'kiddie' the show is once characters start dying -- Exosquad and Batman also stayed within the boundaries set for 'older kiddie' shows but still had mature writing and told good stories. We'll have to see. From what I've seen the writing isn't great, however. And CN *did* edit an episode?! Thanks for telling me (although I don't miss a drinking scene as long as I still get to see Satan's hand dripping blood and Enzo losing his eye, eh? -- BTW, why would they edit a drinking scene, it's not like they drink real alcohol or anything).

  • Sept. 22, 1999, 10:44 p.m. CST

    dumbified??? kiddified???

    by Defiant

    Did you see the movie??? Sure, it had tons of blood and guts, but it also had so many cheesy stupid things wrong with it. From the stupid in between commercials "The only good bug is a dead bug", to the 90210 type love story, to end it off with a cheesy horibble ending "It's afraid, yea!!!". I am not saying that the writing in this show is a science fiction masterpiece, but it is War and Peace compared to the movie. Sure the blood level is non existant, and the body count is much lower, but the writing and stories are what ultimatly makes it mature. Would you consider Mortal Kombat an adult video game? No, it's main audience are the kiddies. I do agree however that the show should have been only on weekends though. They would have had the time to write and produce much better episodes. For example, look at Beast Wars. The first year of the show wasn't that good because they made 22 episodes. The second and third year they made 13 episodes each and the quality in writing and animation was atleast twice as good. Then again this show looks 10 times better than Voltron, which I believe only had 13 episodes itself. Overall the stories have been good and the show has potential to be fantastic. In my opinion the show is MUCH better than the movie and from what I hear, it is also much closer to the book.

  • Sept. 23, 1999, 12:11 p.m. CST

    And now for some GOOD news... Please Read

    by TrooperPX

    And now for some GOOD news... Please Read The following information was blind-posted to me, that tries to clear things up for the fellow Trooper fan. I have drawn attention to key points, and I submit it now for your consideration: <*> 1. Yes, what Glen said on the AICN website is true about the show being pulled off of Sci-Fi channel... but it IS still on Network TV around the country. In short, BKN did not have the rights (at the time) to sell the show to the Sci-Fi Channel because it only had distribution rights for Network TV. Whether or not the show will return to Sci-Fi at a later date in not known to... <*> <*> 2. As you know, Starship Troopers is produced by Sony. But what a lot of people don't understand is that Foundation and Flat Earth were only doing the CGI animation for the series. A majority of the designs, all the writing, development, story boards, etc. are done at Sony. For example: A director begins by going to the voice-acting recordings (for which all of the episodes are completed), approving designs for props and backgrounds for the various planets, translating the script into story boards. And only then does the work proceed to Foundation or Flat Earth. All three studios working together: Sony, Foundation, and for a time Flat Earth contribute to the overall quality of the show. <*> <*> Please don't blame Sony wholly for the mix up. There was a great deal going against the show from the beginning within all facets of production. All of those directly involved wanted, was to do this show, and to do it well. Yes, it was some Sony exec. who sold the show before the show was finished (Being a common occurrence for TV animation so it isn't that much of a big surprise). Who that exec is, no one knows (They may already be in hiding). But who really cares? <*> <*> All that should matter is that everyone support the show and write their support to the TV stations, BKN, Sci-Fi channel and everyone else who can make the show a success and keep it on the airwaves on any channel. Again... write, and show your support for the show. "program@kcal.com", "program@www.scifi.com". What's important to remember is that the entire production crew at Sony and all the animators at Foundation and Flat Earth have put their hearts and long hours at work into this project to make it more than just a "kiddie" show. <*> <*> 3. Please remember, this show IS made for kids. 95% of all animated TV shows are made for one purpose, to sell toys to kids. If this show was sold as a Primetime sci-fi action show, then many things that we'd all like to see would be in the show. <Grins> Unfortunately, it is on at 7:30am in the morning, and it's made primarily for children. So don't expect too much. The overall goal is to make the shows appeal to everyone. There are big explosions and fight scenes for the kids, and the "character" moments for the adults (like Gossard recently hitting on Dizzy and other moral issues). Please keep an open mind to the plots of upcoming episodes. They aren't going to win any Emmy awards but they'll be damn fun to watch. <*> <*> 4. The show is not dead. Repeat: THE SHOW IS NOT DEAD! Everyone's response at AICN makes it sound like the show is already gone. The show is not. At the moment, a great number of episodes are being worked on. They will eventually air in the future, as deadlines are met, and the production is still going strong. Too much money has been invested into this project, (for the powers that be to just "pull the plug" on it) before any money has been made on the franchise. <*> <*> 5. You may have noticed that there is no advertising for this show. Why? Who knows except for the Sony PR guy. So go ask him. <*> <*> The only advertising the show is really gonna get is from people like you who get the word out on the street. SO I tip my hat to you and all of the other fans out there who are supporting the show. We apologize for the mix up and hope you and everyone else will continue to be patient and just wait and see how everything unfolds. <*> "program@kcal.com", "program@www.scifi.com"

  • Sept. 23, 1999, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Higgins

    by TrooperPX

    Is it just me, or does Higging look like the character "Uppham" from Saving Private Ryan??? Behavior as well...

  • Sept. 23, 1999, 9:57 p.m. CST

    "kiddiefied" vs. movie

    by zathras2

    I didn't mean to compare the writing of the show to the movie. Of course, anyone concerned about the maturity of the writing would not want to use the movie as a yardstick, imho. The movie's script was the lamest thing about the movie (not even the movie's supporters will defend this) and about the only thing that it got right were the silly satirical parts. I meant to compare the writing to the book or at least Exosquad, and it fell short in compared to both for the episodes I saw. As for it not winning any emmys, well, Batman won a (daytime) Emmy or two, so I'd hope that we should expect another well-written, mature show to come around by now. We can't just say that since it's aired in the 'kiddie' timeslot to not expect much! Hell, I expect Exosquad and I expect Gargoyles (neither of those being primetime either) and I say that if Sony studios can't hire writers at least that good then it doesn't deserve to make this show! Give it to Mainframe at least. Sheesh. Having to 'appeal to everyone' and being in a 'kiddie' timeslot should be NO EXCUSE.

  • Sept. 23, 1999, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Should've been on WEEKLY!! Should've been on HBO!!

    by Darth Siskel

    Need I say more?

  • Sept. 23, 1999, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Weekly? Yes. HBO? No.

    by zathras2

    Not everyone has HBO. I don't even have cable here in my dorm. Wide syndication is best, a common cable channel is 2nd best. I think we'd want a show like this to be as widely available as possible. Though premiereing first on HBO and then being syndicated later (like Thunderbirds 2086 was with Showtime back in the 80's) would have been great. Should have been sold weekly to FOX or WB in the first place. But noooooo....

  • Sept. 24, 1999, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Here we go again.

    by GleedMonger

    Give it to HBO. Pleeze, take the crack pipe from between your lips and step back. All they would do is ground it as it does'nt fit their plans for a package show, either that or they would embelish it with spurrious cursing and over amped violence so that adults would watch. No, definately not HBO and thank God that was'nt even a consideration. Mainframe is great but I think Foundation has outdone them with their CGI work on this show. They can do humanoid design well but they have some real problems in the organic scenery department. Shame too as they not just use high priced softs but also a custome modeler. Beast Wars is okay but I have to agree with Cross, the original Transformers or nothing and though I think War Planets has come close to matching the brilliance of detail seen in Roughnecks, the stories so far are limited and derivative. I have faith that this show will get back on its feet after this unfortunate snafu. All I can say is what we all have seen of the show is lightyears away from what they originally convcieved of making the series. Lets just say traditional cel animation that looked like something from Ruby Spears ala'1980 and utilizing most of the movies props and scenery, including the non power armor-armor, and they ditched that going against their better judgement for CGI from Foundation that was going to mirror alot of what was seen in the movie, and then they scrapped that for the look that you now see. Its been a rocky road for Roughnecks and let's face it. We have been given a taste of something worth exploring more. Here's hoping that we get the whole package and not just a taste. From what I read on the Gargoyles site mentioned earlier, Greg mentioned that one of the studios was declaring bankruptcy. I gather he was alluding to Flat Earth. Oh well, here's to the Roughnecks. "Apes! Live forever!"

  • Sept. 26, 1999, 2:41 a.m. CST

    by sk8punk

  • Sept. 26, 1999, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Digging Deeper: Rumors or not?

    by Wenhwa_Eng

    I've heard that work continues on Trooper production despite the ongoing litigation between Flat Earth and Sony. At Flat Earth, all assets relating to Roughnecks have been frozen and episode 114 was put on hold indefinitely. This means that all of Flat Earth's models have to be re-built from scratch, if Foundation does not already have them in their possession. A number of Flat Earth's people have been picked up by Foundation to continue their efforts on the show. I have been told that Foundation's modeling department has been working non-stop on creating new versions of the "third race", new bugs, ships, interiors, exteriors, characters, etc., for the show. The sheer numbers of models (different versions for each individual character, depending what they wear, if they are injured, etc.) is staggering. It is truly a milestone for a TV CGI series. Apparently, Foundation's animators now focus on doing just motion (they used to carry each shot to completion), and the process of Technical Direction (Lighting and any Special FX) are now being done by individuals specializing in each area, to improve the workflow and overall quality of the show. The latest efforts we've seen on progress tapes appear to be totally amazing for something originally designed to go up against the likes of "Pokemon". Some at Sony seem so impressed with Foundation's character modeling that many Sony Staffers involved with the show, have had their photos sent in to Foundation to be included as characters in later episodes of the show. Even one of the producers will appear as a CG Doctor in the series! Sony continues to not promote the show to the general public (ahem), while saying "off the record", that most of the problems are production related issues for the CGI. ~~sigh~~ To set things a bit more straight, it is known that Sony has itself, had problems getting some materials to FE and FI in a timely manner. On a number of occasions, Sony was clearly late in delivering final story boards and final audio. For example: I was told that one episode in particular, had to be re-written due to its premise being seriously incongruent with the prior storyline(s) that had been established by the writers. This alone took two weeks out of one show's production cycle while the fine (but overworked) guys and gals here, rewrote it. Many of the first stories were re-edited and revised, even after the original boards were sent down to be digitized and shipped off to be produced at FE or FI. An interesting situation with redos and corrected/final footage: the editors assigned to the show don't appear to always use all the redone footage received to correct problems with individual shots. Sometimes the incoming tapes with corrections get "lost" depending on who gets them first when they arrive.... Or they get ignored. Hmmm. The herky-jerky motions of Flat Earth's first shows (a by product, I'm told, of animating with the wrong frame rate in the 3D software after the mocap was filtered) were reportedly corrected (I swear I saw the one tape of them walking correctly), but thise footage was never used and cut into the final show, which shipped and ultimately aired that way. This sort of thing appears to have happened to both studios, on multiple occasions. Also, I wish they would stop messing with the speed. It might be 'creative' but I feel it breaks the believability of the show. I've noticed on another 3D show, "Beast Machines", that they do this as well, but more selectively. Stop playing with the speed button guys! Foundation, I'm told, continues to hire more people and is finding it difficult to locate more people familiar with their preferred 3D software, Lightwave. Apparently, this software isn't known to be well suited to doing character animation, like Soft Image or Maya. One finds it difficult to believe that they are not using custom software to get things done as well as they seem to be. I have noted that the facial animation and range of expression have greatly improved since the first episodes. The lip sync is much improved as well. Its been speculated that they might be using beta versions of Lightwave 6, the next and much hyped incarnation of the software. It is rumored that a non Lightwave CGI facility called "HyperImage" will attempt to use a software called "3D Studio Max" for an episode. I am told that all the models and textures would have to be converted/redone (mapping is not directly compatible between software, apparently), and all the character setups need to be totally redone to make this possible. Every single element would have to be converted and fixed to retain any continuity between studios. (What are "Normals"? Someone tried to explain this to me and it didn't make any sense to me at the time. I was told they have to be "flipped"?) Rumor is that this was Sony's idea to assist in generating more episodes. I'm not saying by who... (ahem) Idle Speculation: It has been said in some circles that Sony's 2D division might be happy to see this 3D effort fail. Some of them are said to be threatened by the decision to go 3D on this show, and/or that Troopers is really a test bed for Sony to eventually emulate and produce in-house, or ship overseas to Asia, at reduced cost. It is also known that many involved with the show at Sony COMPLETELY embrace 3D as the future for children's broadcast programming, and are wishing nothing but the best for the show. You know who you are. :) Its interesting that Image Works reportedly has no interest in doing a daily, CGI series. Toys: None that I know about, yet. Rumor is that teaser images had been sent to Japan for a toy conference earlier in the year to generate interest in their production. Gun Sound FX: Since the terrible shootings this last spring, Sony execs have worried about backlash from many fronts concerning the gun related violence of the show. The dulled down sounds were picked in favor over more realistic ones because of this sensitive issue. Can you believe they got a TV Y7 for this series???? I won't let my kids watch it... But then, they're too young to sit up on their own, anyways. Why some characters look a little "weird": All the main characters were designed originally as 2D, anime-esque looking designs. The style was not that dissimilar to "The Real GhostBusters", except that they wore power suits and not proton packs. Sony insisted on keeping some of that stylization on the 3D troopers. I wish they had gone more realistic with them. I think the face for the character named "Doc", is simply amazing. Has anyone started a fan page for the series yet? There was some mention of possibly doing the later episodes as a full feature movie, to complete the story arc-- probably for direct video release. I know that many of the writers would be pulling for this possibility, since many of them were so excited by the project and got very close to the characters. No, not that close! You know what I mean!

  • Sept. 27, 1999, 8:17 p.m. CST

    ICQ active list

    by lobo_8712

    I have started an ICQ active list for this show. #50702190 Thanks

  • Sept. 27, 1999, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Tame Gun Sounds Will Prevent Another Columbine!

    by zathras2

    Thanks for the info. Sheesh. More corporate @$$ covering by Sony. First the Buffy season finale, now this. I don't mind the "silencered" gun sounds (who says machine guns in the far future have to sound like they do today?) but still this is becoming ridiculous.

  • Oct. 2, 1999, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Upcoming schedule?

    by mbeemer

    I presume that people have not posted a schedule of upcoming episodes because it isn't available. Where did the first one come from (and why hasn't it been updated, if anyone knows)? Just curious.

  • Oct. 4, 1999, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Schedules and More

    by Shadow

    SciFi Channel publishes it's schedule information weeks, sometimes months in advance. With the loss of the SciFi Channel we've lost the channel scheduling. The TV Data-supplied publications (TV Guide, ClickTV) are not listing episode titles for Roughnecks. Moreover, SICON staff has called Bohbot Communications and the programming director is 'out of town' and no one else seems to know what the show even IS. :P If anyone else wants to have a go the number is (212) 213-2700. The division you want is "Bohbot Kids Network". Once we get ahold of someone qualified at BKN we'll try to get schedules posted on SICON (http://sicon.homepage.com), Magrathea SFTV Page and, of course, here. The general *pattern* right now appears to be new episodes on Thursdays and repeats Monday through Wednesday and Friday. SOME feeds are showing Roughnecks also on Saturday and Sunday - I don't know what they are seeing at this point. As it stands we got #7 (107) Swarm instead of #6 because Sony wanted some shots redone. Sometimes I wonder if BKN shouldn't pull the series from all the stations until they can show it properly. It's too bad the series doesn't suck like the trollers insist it does, so that none of us would care... SICON Co-Webmaster

  • Oct. 5, 1999, 11:35 a.m. CST

    October "Roughnecks" schedule!

    by mbeemer

    Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicals upcoming schedule per WADL, MI: (Production numbers were given; any episode title mistakes are my own) 10/05 - 104 "Basic Training" 10/06 - 112 "Stranded" 10/07 - 141 "Pluto And Beyond" 10/08 - 107 "Swarm" 10/11 - 141 "Pluto And Beyond" 10/12 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 10/13 - 107 "Swarm" 10/14 - 113 "Of Flesh and Steel" 10/15 - 105 "Deep Trouble" 10/18 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 10/19 - 112 "Stranded" 10/20 - 101 "Freefall" 10/21 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 10/22 - 102 "Plasma Bugs of Navarone" 10/25 - 103 "Handle With Care" 10/26 - 104 "Basic Training" 10/27 - 105 "Deep Trouble" 10/28 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 10/29 - 107 "Swarm" Feel free to post; I will e-mail to Trooper sites I am aware of.

  • Oct. 5, 1999, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Too many wars plots on the market now

    by sting

    The market is too saturated with galactic wars plots, we need variation. I have seen some great wars done on B5, Exo Sqaud, Beast Wars and DS9 to some degree, but the shows are risking losing peoples attention if they keep producing these war plots. Anyone else notice the sudden downturn in happy plots, people keep on predicting a dark future. Makes me wonder if we are heading for dark time (self fulfilling prophesy). Troopers is decent but often I feel like if you watch 1 episode you've watched them all. Cut:Troops fighting groudbugs, destroy bugs. Cut: Air bugs attack, destroy them. Cut: Battle is lost as replacement bugs arrive. The part where that intergalactic bug pops up was weird, considering I thought the bugs shot their spores into space through the bugs. Gargoyles remains one of the best cartoons of the 90's, next to the animated Batman original series. I don't like BBeyond much, nor is the new Spiderman series appealing, compared to the one that finished a few year ago.

  • Oct. 6, 1999, 5:24 p.m. CST

    2 new eps. this month!

    by TrooperPX

    Even though we are only going to get two new eps this month, thanks to Citizen Michael, we now have a schedule for October. Thank you, Citizen. Keep the comlink open. It looks like by the end of October, we will see episodes 1-7 in order... Citizen Keith has suggested a new watching order. I tried it and it seem to make sense. Good work! Stop by and try it for yourself (http://www.trooperpx.com/RSTC/series.html). Also, this month I will try to post some frame captures off a non "video-effect" episode I have. Stay tuned.

  • Oct. 26, 1999, 1:28 p.m. CST

    www.roughneckchronicles.com

    by rodimus

    Hello apes!! This is to anyone still at this talkback. I wanted to let all the Roughneck fans that I started a fansite for Roughnecks. The url is www.roughneckchronicles.com. Right now there isn't anything up yet, but I should have some things up in the next few days. I just wanted to let everyone know before this talkback went to the archives.

  • Oct. 26, 1999, 2:33 p.m. CST

    November "Roughnecks" schedule!

    by mbeemer

    Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicals upcoming schedule per WADL - Clinton Township, MI: (Production numbers were given; any episode title mistakes are my own) (Unless I have goofed, all new episodes are marked with an '!') 11/01 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/02 - 141 "Pluto And Beyond" 11/03 - 113 "Of Flesh and Steel" 11/04 ! 109 "Missing In Action" 11/05 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/08 - 107 "Swarm" 11/09 - 105 "Deep Trouble" 11/10 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/11 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/12 ! 110 "Sole Survivor" 11/15 - 112 "Stranded" 11/16 - 109 "Missing In Action" 11/17 - 101 "Freefall" 11/18 - 102 "Plasma Bugs of Navarone" 11/19 ! 116 "No Substitute" 11/22 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 11/23 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/24 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/25 ! 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" 11/26 - 109 "Missing In Action" 11/29 - 116 "No Substitute" 11/30 - 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" Feel free to post; I will e-mail to Trooper sites I am aware of.

  • Oct. 26, 1999, 4:47 p.m. CST

    November "Roughnecks" schedule!

    by mbeemer

    Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicals upcoming schedule per WADL - Clinton Township, MI: (Production numbers were given; any episode title mistakes are my own) (Unless I have goofed, all new episodes are marked with an '!') 11/01 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/02 - 141 "Pluto And Beyond" 11/03 - 113 "Of Flesh and Steel" 11/04 ! 109 "Missing In Action" 11/05 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/08 - 107 "Swarm" 11/09 - 105 "Deep Trouble" 11/10 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/11 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/12 ! 110 "Sole Survivor" 11/15 - 112 "Stranded" 11/16 - 109 "Missing In Action" 11/17 - 101 "Freefall" 11/18 - 102 "Plasma Bugs of Navarone" 11/19 ! 116 "No Substitute" 11/22 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 11/23 - 106 "Water, Water Everywhere" 11/24 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 11/25 ! 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" 11/26 - 109 "Missing In Action" 11/29 - 116 "No Substitute" 11/30 - 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" Feel free to post; I will e-mail to Trooper sites I am aware of.

  • Nov. 28, 1999, 6:50 p.m. CST

    I can't see it!

    by Casamai

    Okay, now I'm depressed. I just found out about this show in a couple of magazines. I got real excited about it. Now, I find out that Sci-Fi's not carrying it. St. Louis' UPN affiliate is not showing it. (It's a religious UHF channel that can pick and choose what it takes, because it was the only way UPN could get into this market). So the SFC deal is now history. What the heck am I supposed to do to be able to see this show? When might there be new eps?

  • Nov. 29, 1999, 7:24 p.m. CST

    December 'Roughnecks' schedule

    by mbeemer

    12/01 - 103 "Handle With Care" 12/02 - 104 "Basic Training" 12/03 ! 118 "Marauder" 12/06 - 105 "Deep Trouble" 12/07 - 109 "Missing In Action" 12/08 - 116 "No Substitute" 12/09 ! 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 12/10 ! 123 "Hot Ice" 12/13 - 118 "Marauder" 12/14 - 108 "Search & Destroy" 12/15 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 12/16 - 113 "Of Flesh and Steel" 12/17 ! 121 "Ice-Olation" 12/20 - 123 "Hot Ice" 12/21 - 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 12/22 - 118 "Marauder" 12/23 - 121 "Ice-Olation" 12/24 - 116 "No Substitute" 12/27 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 12/28 - 121 "Ice-Olation" 12/29 - 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 12/30 - 118 "Marauder" 12/31 - 108 "Search & Destroy"

  • Jan. 4, 2000, 6:11 p.m. CST

    January "Roughnecks" schedule

    by mbeemer

    01/03 ! 120 "Heart" 01/04 - 123 "Hot Ice" 01/05 - 107 "Swarm" 01/06 - 109 "Missing In Action" 01/07 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 01/10 - 116 "No Substitute" 01/11 - 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 01/12 - 118 "Marauder" 01/13 - 119 "Liquid Dreams" 01/14 ! 142 (Unknown - 2nd 'clip' episode) 01/17 ! 124 "The Inside Story" 01/18 - 120 "Heart" 01/19 - 141 "Pluto And Beyond" 01/20 - 110 "Sole Survivor" 01/21 - 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 01/24 - 109 "Missing In Action" 01/25 - 119 "Liquid Dreams" 01/26 - 116 "No Substitute" 01/27 - 142 (Unknown - 2nd 'clip' episode) 01/28 - 123 "Hot Ice" 01/31 - 118 "Marauder" Feel free to post; I will e-mail to Trooper sites I am aware of.

  • Jan. 25, 2000, 5:09 p.m. CST

    February 'Roughnecks' schedule

    by mbeemer

    02/01 - 124 "The Inside Story" 02/02 - 117 "...And Then There Were Two" 02/03 - 120 "Heart" 02/04 - 119 "Liquid Dreams" 02/07 - 123 "Hot Ice" 02/08 ! 121 "Ice-Olation" 02/09 - 142 "Propaganda Machine" 02/10 - 114 "Captured" 02/11 - 120 "Heart" 02/14 ! 115 "The Face of Truth" 02/15 ! 122 "Mixed Signals" 02/16 ! 111 "Betrayal" 02/17 ! 127 "D-Day" 02/18 ! 126 "Metamorphosis" 02/21 ! 129 "Letters Home" 02/22 ! 143 (Unknown - 3rd 'clip' episode) 02/23 ! 131 "Trackers" 02/24 - 121 "Ice-Olation" 02/25 ! 128 "The Mission" 02/28 ! 130 "Checkmate" 02/29 ! 125 "The Ice Men Goeth"

  • Jan. 25, 2000, 5:14 p.m. CST

    March 'Roughnecks' schedule

    by mbeemer

    03/01 - 115 "The Face of Truth" 03/02 - 111 "Betrayal" 03/03 ! 132 "Among Us" 03/06 ! 135 "Requiem" 03/07 - 126 "Metamorphosis" 03/08 - 127 "D-Day" 03/09 ! 137 "Spirits of the Departed" 03/10 - 131 "Trackers" 03/13 - 142 "Propaganda Machine" 03/14 ! 134 "Hide N' Seek" 03/15 - 129 "Letters Home" 03/16 - 130 "Checkmate" 03/17 - 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" 03/20 ! 144 (Unknown - 4th 'clip' episode) 03/21 - 121 "Ice-Olation" 03/22 - 122 "Mixed Signals" 03/23 - 124 "The Inside Story" 03/24 - 126 "Metamorphosis" 03/27 - 114 "Captured" 03/28 - 115 "The Face of Truth" 03/29 - 111 "Betrayal" 03/30 ! 136 "Funeral For A Friend" 03/31 - 127 "D-Day"

  • Feb. 25, 2000, 8:55 a.m. CST

    mbeemer Thanks/Roughnecks on Sci-Fi

    by kryten

    mbeemer Thanks for posting the schedule. I know from the lack of messages, it looks like no one is listening but I appreciate you posting the schedules for us. I just found out that the Sci-Fi Channel is back on M-Th @ 7:30AM EST. I have some catching up to do!

  • March 17, 2000, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Roughnecks sitrep!

    by mbeemer

    The folks at http://sicon.homepage.com/ have been doing an *outstanding* job staying on top of the latest developments with the show! #1 - The Roughnecks' story will *not* be completed this season. The final episodes were canned (I presume because several unplanned 'clip' shows fullfill the contract (and used the corresponding budget)), leaving the series at a critical point. Kinda like the novel in that respect... #2 - The series will be shown *IN ORDER* (Finally! Thank God!) beginning May 15. Viewers are encouraged to write to Sony to ask for a second season. And, I suggest, to ask for all Roughnecks episodes to be released on DVD.

  • March 31, 2000, 1 p.m. CST

    April "Roughnecks" schedule

    by mbeemer

    HEADS UP, TROOPERS!: The mission briefing schedule for the upcoming month is posted below. The critical state of the conflict requires careful review of previous missions to gain maximum advantage over the enemy. One new briefing will be transmitted during the next few weeks. Be advised that SICON Operations has arranged for a chronological review of all briefings beginning 15 May. It is hoped that broadcasting these reports in sequence will aid you and the civilians we protect in understanding the true nature of the conflict. LIVE FOREVER, APES! Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicals upcoming schedule per WADL - Clinton Township, MI: (Production numbers were given by the station. Dates followed by a dash indicate a repeat broadcast; dates followed by a ! indicate first broadcast of a new episode. Any errors on titling or marking are my own.) 04/03 - 128 "The Mission" 04/04 - 143 "Marooned" 04/05 ! 144 "The Court-martial of Lt. Razak" 04/06 - 129 "Letters Home" 04/07 - 122 "Mixed Signals" 04/10 - 125 "The Ice Men Goeth" 04/11 - 131 "Trackers" 04/12 - 135 "Requiem" 04/13 - 132 "Among Us" 04/14 - 134 "Hide N' Seek" 04/17 - 136 "Funeral For A Friend" 04/18 - 137 "Spirits of the Departed" 04/19 - 144 "The Court-martial of Lt. Razak" 04/20 - 143 "Marooned" 04/21 - 111 "Betrayal" 04/24 - 115 "The Face of Truth" 04/25 - 122 "Mixed Signals" 04/26 - 127 "D-Day" 04/27 - 126 "Metamorphosis" 04/28 - 124 "The Inside Story" Feel free to post; I will e-mail to Trooper sites I am aware of.

  • Feb. 25, 2001, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Roughnecks on DVD!!!

    by mbeemer

    The word is that a Roughnecks DVD with the first 5 episodes will be released 3/13. Future releases will probably depend on sales. GO BUY MANY COPIES!!!

  • March 17, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Was it any good?

    by orcus

    Orcus is curious