NYCC 2017: TV Panels and Previews Galore

NYCC Panels 2017

Another whirlwind weekend of New York Comic Con is in the books. For me, it was two full days of lines, panels, and free swag. So overall, I’d call the weekend a success. I made it into all the panels I wanted to (my strategy still works!), got to talk TV with some cool people, saw a lot of sneak peeks & “exclusive” trailers, and the weather couldn’t have been any better.

But you’re not here to read about the weather. You’re here for the scoop. So without further ado, here’s what I learned from the TV panels I was able to attend on Friday and Saturday:

Friday

The World of Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Amazon Original Series panel NYCC

Guests: The Man in the High Castle’s Rufus Sewell (Obergruppenführer John Smith), Alexa Davalos (Juliana Crain), and Jason O’Mara (Wyatt Price), along with Executive Producers Eric Overmyer and Dan Percival. For Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, panelists included actor Liam Cunningham and Executive Producers Michael Dinner, Ronald D. Moore. Philip K. Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, Executive Producer on both series.

This was my first panel of the day and of NYCC 2017 for me. It was also the first one at Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday. Following it was the Hey Arnold! panel, see below for more on that, but that obviously resulted in a strange mix of audience members. Nevertheless, the panel featured an all-star line-up of people with some serious sci-fi cred, so I have to imagine there was a little something for everyone.

The Man in the High Castle

    • The panelist acknowledged the challenges of working with such sensitive iconography that has suddenly become a lot less representative of the past.
    • For them, knowing people will binge watch the series does change how they write because it condenses the time.
    • Now that The Man in the High Castle is in its 3rd season, there will be an even deeper exploration of the world and its characters.
    • The story will refocus on America after spreading itself out between several continents last season.
    • Jason O’Mara is a new addition to the cast this year, they wouldn’t reveal much other than he’s probably not what he seems.
    • A great deal of research continues to go into the show’s alt-history and set design to get details right, like what arts and culture would have survived post this version of WWII.
    • We were treated to a clip for the new season, watch it here.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dream

  • Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is an Amazon original anthology series based on the famed author’s short stories.
  • And by “based” they mean inspired, not every episode is an exact retelling of what was on the page.
  • First season will be 10 episodes.
  • The series is actually already airing over in the UK on Channel 4 so all episodes do follow a traditional TV structure in terms of act breaks and length.
  • Every episode will feature different stories, directions, and actors.
  • Names already attached to the series include: Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Rachelle Lefevre, Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard, and more.
  • The power of humanity is the through-line in the series, exploring themes like what it means to be human, identity, and empathy.
  • Click to see the trailer for Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.

Hey Arnold!: From Hillwood to the Jungle!

Hey Arnold! movie NYCC Panel

Guests: Original show creator Craig Bartlett and the series’ classic voice actors: Lane Toran (Arnold), Francesca Marie Smith (Helga), Anndi McAfee (Phoebe), and Olivia Hack (Rhonda)

And now for something completely different. It was indeed a very strange transition from the works of Philip K. Dick to 90s Nick Toons, but hey, that’s the beauty of Comic Con and as I’ve found before, any sort of 90s themed panel is always going to be great fun. I also enjoyed a beer during this panel, because why not, it was a day off of work.

I’ll be the first to admit that I watched Hey Arnold! when it originally aired; however, I remembered very little about how it ended, least of all that it was on a cliffhanger about Arnold’s parents. That finale aired 15 years ago and apparently there’s still a strong fanbase out there clamoring for more. Lucky for all of us, a new made-for-TV movie is on the horizon.

  • New trailer for the movie dropped!
  • Also, they revealed the release date: November 23, 2017 (That’s Thanksgiving Weekend.)
  • The original voice actors had to re-audition for their parts, Lane Toran who voiced Arnold in the 90s was recast because unsurprisingly he no longer sounds like a small kid. (They did give him another role to remain involved.)
  • What spurred the renewed interest in making a movie now? About 4 years ago there was a changing of the guard at Nickelodeon and those now working there grew up on the series.
  • Speaking of growing up on the series, the creative team behind the new movie was a mix of original crew and people who were fans of the show then but are adults working in the field of animation now.
  • While the movie will pick up where the series left off, some small changes were made to the wardrobe and accessories to update the show’s appearance for today’s viewers. Rhonda for instance will now have a cell phone.
  • Other ways it’s been updated, the made-for-TV movie is in the 9×16 format instead of the old 4×3 format.
  • Jim Lang, the show’s original composer is back.
  • Craig Bartlett has been wanting to make this movie for a long time, there were many working versions, but when it finally got the greenlight he did a complete re-write. This version is a lot more meta and was designed to satisfy fans.
  • If the movie does well enough with Nickelodeon’s target demographic, Bartlett said a new season is possible.

Saturday

Marvel Television Presents: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Agents of SHIELD panel at NYCC

Guests: Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television), Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May), Chloe Bennet (Daisy Johnson), Iain De Caestecker (Leo Fitz), Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons), Henry Simmons (Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie), and Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez)

Of all the panels I circled on my show guide, this was the panel that I HAD to attend. Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D is one of my favorite TV shows airing right now and this was the first time that the entire cast was going to be in attendance. It was also the first time that it was scheduled for the Theater at MSG instead of the main stage, which meant no room clearing in between panels. With a stacked line-up I was willing to get there early and wait it out.

But of course best laid plans can go haywire meaning my stress levels were through the roof. Weekend train times weren’t great coupled with a delayed train and overly dramatic @NYCCLines tweets had me on edge. Thankfully it all worked out just fine and as an added bonus I was even able to find Matt and Pete from the Phantastic Geek Podcast in line that morning and enjoyed the opportunity to talk all things TV with them for several hours.

But back to Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D, as one would guess, it’s Marvel so not much was given away, but here’s what I can share:

  • Season 5 will debut on Friday December 1, 2017, it will be a 2-hour premier.
  • They showed us the first 20mins of the two-parter, so I can confirm that they are indeed in space.
  • Not everyone makes the trip to space.
  • Unlike the prior seasons, there is no time jump this year.
  • A day prior to the panel, Marvel announced that Natalia Cordova-Buckley a.k.a. Yo-Yo had been promoted to a series regular!
  • The humor, special effects, and fight sequences are still on point.
  • Daisy’s powers do work in space.
  • Clark Gregg directs an episode this season.
  • They also showed us the season four gag reel, which is now up on YouTube.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek Discovery NYCC panel

Guests: The entire cast, showrunners, and a couple executive producers.

This panel followed up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D at MSG so there was zero drama getting into this one as I already had a seat. And I apologize for not listing out the entire cast in attendance, but there was seriously a ton of chairs on that stage and I’m not about to copy and paste all of the credits from IMDB. Also worth noting in this disclaimer paragraph of sorts, I’ve seen episodes of past Star Trek series in passing, but I can’t speak with authority on any of them so my notes and takeaways are probably most geared towards fellow new people like myself.

  • The panel was moderated by Dr. Mae Jemison who was the first African American woman in space. Not only was it incredible to be in her presence, but she was one hell of a moderator to boot.
  • We haven’t seen the last of Michelle Yeoh, who plays Captain Philippa Georgiou. Hilariously enough, she was not initially on the panel, but surprised the cast, and audience, by asking a “fan question” while in costume before revealing herself and joining everyone else on stage.
  • Star Trek: Discovery’s showrunners did acknowledge Bryan Fuller’s influence on the series, which included the push for more female representation.
  • Doug Jones was thankful to be playing a new alien race because he didn’t have to worry about appeasing fans of the original series, he also had more say in developing its physicality.
  • Jason Isaacs was likewise happy to have a chance at playing a character that was different from previous iterations of the captain role because he said he could never replicate the greatness that came before him.
  • We’ll learn more about the Klingons’s side of the story in this series.
  • When asked about this being the first Star Trek series to be locked behind a paywall, the show’s creative team acknowledged that there was a conscious push to make sure viewers felt like they were getting what they paid for both visually and story wise.

Netflix Presents Black Mirror

Black Mirror NYCC Panel

Guests: Charlie Brooker (Creator) & Annabel Jones (Executive Producer)

After spending a good chunk of Saturday at MSG I finally made my way back to the Javits Center in the late afternoon. I didn’t spend too much time above ground though as the Black Mirror panel was scheduled for that night in one of their smaller non-seat-clearing rooms. Playing it safe paid off, as apparently a lot of people in the queue line never made it into the room. (Always be early, my friends!) Bottom line, I did make it in and was able to bookend my time at NYCC 2017 with another anthology series.

  • Surprise! Jodi Foster moderated this panel. She also directed an episode from the upcoming season entitled “Arkangel”.
  • No release date was announced, but one episode is being called their next “Christmas” episode, so let’s hope we don’t have to wait until 2018.
  • We did get to see the season 4 trailer for the next batch of episodes and a few mins of Jodi Foster’s episode.
  • This season features some easter eggs and callbacks to past episodes so keep your eyes peeled.
  • Expanded their shooting locations this season, one episode was shot in Iceland another in Canada.
  • Charlie Booker described this season as having more “playful” moments but then had to concede that he has a skewed sensibility.
  • He also compared the series to a box of chocolate, you don’t know what filling you’ll get, but they’re all dark.
  • Apparently the biggest discussion surrounding “The National Anthem” (the pig episode) was why did it have to be a pig.
  • When asked about the shift from three episodes a season to six, the two explained that having more episodes to work with gives you more freedom to have a range of episodes without destabilizing the norm. “San Junipero” was actually one of the first episodes written after the show got picked up by Netflix.
  • In regards to the show being on Netflix, both agreed that it was a good fit because the series is hard to promote week in and week out, also because it can be viewed in any order.

Other Stuff

I also sat through Freeform’s Super Sci-Fi Q&A Panel with Shadowhunters and Beyond but since I don’t watch either of those series, it was all greek to me. Sorry fans, of Shadowhunters and Beyond, but anything of interest revealed or shared went over my head. They did cryptically announce that Shadowhunters was getting more episodes though, so even though no one really knew what that meant, everyone was really pumped about that.

I got to meet, Walter Jones, one of the original Power Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It was all a very lucky happenstance thing so I didn’t get to say much more than how much I loved the show and how cool it is that the legacy has carried on this long. He was super nice and really cool about giving me some time to chat when he didn’t have to since I wasn’t there for a signing or anything.

Not sure if Mr. Robot had a panel at NYCC this year, if they did it never ended up on my radar based on my schedule, but their fictional company E Corp had an Ecoin booth set up. Signing up with their fictional bank got you some cool swag and a “reassurance” that they weren’t evil at all. The entire thing was played super straight and the people working it wouldn’t break character or drop the charade. Still not entirely sure what I signed up for, but hey free things!

Obviously there was a lot more in the way of TV panels at New York Comic Con this year, but time only allowed me to hit up so many. So if you wanted to know more about what went down over the course of all four days, here’s a handy link to all the TV and movie trailers released at NYCC, which include shows like Future Man, Marvel’s Runaways, The Tick, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Walking Dead, The X-Files, and more!

Until next year, happy TV watching!

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Written by Jamie Paton

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