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Sci-Fi Television

JMS and Wachowskis Teaming Up for New Netflix Funded Scifi Series 268

Via Engadget, comes a press release that might bring joy to fans of science fiction dismayed by years without any new scifi shows: "Continuing its quest to sate subscribers' appetites with a flow of original content, Netflix has announced a new original series, Sense8. Due in late 2014, it's being developed by the Wachowskis of The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas and Speed Race fame, as well as J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5. Details are thin, but the press release promises a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted with a ten episode run for its first season." Hopefully it'll end up available on DVD eventually, for us poor GNU/Linux users who are not worthy enough for Netflix (or: to any Netflix engineers reading, make it work).
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JMS and Wachowskis Teaming Up for New Netflix Funded Scifi Series

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  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:25AM (#43291561)

    Netflix has been working in wine for quite a while.
    http://www.iheartubuntu.com/2012/11/netflix-on-ubuntu-is-here.html [iheartubuntu.com]

    Way to be out of date slashdot.

    • I think you missed the part where there's no graphics acceleration and it sucks.

      Also, I really just want a DRM-free RTMP stream that I can use with xbmc. Or, hell, throw some trivial drm on there that you know is broken and just look the other way like Amazon and Hulu. Until then... I guess Netflix doesn't get my money, and I will be sad that there is no legal way for me to watch JMS return to television.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        I think you missed the part where it does not suck, and CPUs these days are plenty fast.

        Keep dreaming on that DRM free RTMP stream.

      • You obviously have a job, so you can afford a Windows HTPC where XBMC can launch Netflix.

        I'm kind of surprised, though, that nobody has come up with a scheme for using a Windows VM as an external player for Netflix on Linux. Netflix works fine on XP in VMware at high resolutions, with smooth playback. It should be relatively trivial to script vmware player to fire off iexplore pointed to the particular playback page. You can already browse/search netflix from Linux.

        In the meantime, Android is Linux-based an

    • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @11:07AM (#43292183)

      Netflix has been working in wine for quite a while.

      4 months of "working" is still Alpha/Beta stage in FOSS time. WINE is great and a lot of blood, sweat and tears has been put into the effort but in the end, it's a recipe for disaster if you have read incantations from the Necronomicon (wget+curl+./configure+make+make install|patch -p1|at>cron|bash -x /bin/sh|blah blah blah...) just to get it working. On other platforms, it's click+download+install+watch movie. If it's this way on that (godforsaken) Boxee-Box, why is it not this way for Linux?

      Yes, there's a PPA to do all the heavy lifting for you but the first kernel/library update that comes along is going to leave your Netflix with a bleeding head wound until someone can get around to hacking things together again. Don't get me wrong, it's great that we have people willing to put the time and effort into this stuff but having a hacked-together-binder-twine-duct-tape solution is a piss-poor reason to not strive for native platform integration. I'd really like to hear the reasons why Netflix (and Amazon prime and Hulu for that matter) seem to be too braindead to figure out a viable Linux platform solution. No talent? Can't get the DRM right? Flash too screwed up? Can't figure out permissions? Prefer backslashes?

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        I am sure they have a working client, or could have one in a day or two. The licensing is probably far more the problem.

    • by Fox_1 ( 128616 )
      The main reason I'm commenting is to affirm this statement.
      Netflix has been working for a long time on a couple of my systems using the wine solution.
      AND get this crazy folks
      linux, virtualbox, old windows license = also working, for an even longer time - which is just as much cheating as wine, but come on, this isn't hard.
      I have even had netflix working on an old blackberry running BBOS6 - though technically that was just a stream from a linux host system I could still control it with the blackberry.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      1. I'm running kubuntu, and the instructions are for (ugh) Unity
      2. I already have Flash installed and they want me to use the Microsoft flash (silverlight) that's only used on Netflix and maybe 3 other sites on the entire internet? All the TV networks use Flash, why do Netflix have to be such dicks?
      3. Are they going to give me a free copy of Wine? It isn't like NetFlix is free!
      4. Fuck 'em, if I have to jump through hoops and pay more than a Windows user to watch it I'm not going to bother, this will be on T

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:26AM (#43291569)
    Huh, that's going to be one seriously polished series.
  • Uh oh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:27AM (#43291583)
    So just going from past history...

    JMS = doesn't really start to hit his stride until the second season.

    Wachowskis = each part of an episodic thing they work on is worse than the one that came before

    So either the strengths of one will compensate for the weaknesses of the other, or it's going to start out as on okay show with some promise but a lot of problems to overcome and then go downhill from there.
    • In all fairness... most shows take a couple seasons to hit their stride. I still remember watching the first episode of Star Trek: TNG and thinking that it stunk and I completely gave up on the show at that point. I then rejoined the party in season 2 and ended up loving the series, for the most part.

      Also, how many episodic things have the Wachowskis worked on? I can only think of the Matrix films. Maybe there are things out there I haven't seen yet.

      • In all fairness... most shows take a couple seasons to hit their stride.

        What on earth gave you this idea? Most shows, if they don't hit their stride by the end of the pilot, there isn't a season two. I don't remember the first season of Star Trek: TNG (been waaayyyy too long), but that was riding on the Star Trek name and fanbase. I don't think that show is indicative of greater trends in television.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          There are a lot of shows that barely squeak by, then are tweaked to get better numbers. Rockford file, Magnum PI, Battlestar, Heroes. Pretty much every show.

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            Let us not forget the original Trek.

            MASH was on for 11 years and it nearly didn't make it to it's 2nd season. It was pretty much saved by having one single very well placed fan (some executive's wife).

  • Who still watches netflix on their computers, anyways? At least half the blu-ray players on the market today can play netflix out of the box. Every major game console can as well. Quite a few TVs have it built-in now, too. Why on earth would you want to watch it on your computer?
    • I have two htpc's (AMD A-10 and A-8 and Linux Mint 14 KDE). One at home and one at work. Watch online content, Netflix, Hulu and play Stream. With 700+ dvd's who needs a BluRay player? Skipped right over it to all digital. Thanks....

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      You might find this hard to believe, but HDTVs made computers more popular for this sort of thing. It became trivial to hook a computer right up to the largest screens in the house.

    • Maybe you have a computer connected to your TV so you don't need a crappy blu-ray player or console.
    • My computer is attached to my TV and does more than just Netflix. Plus, if there is an update to the software platform Netflix uses which breaks your smart TV / games console / Blu-Ray player, do you think they will update it? No, they'll tell you to buy the newest version and throw your old one away.

      My 5 year old Samsung 37" has YouTube, NetFlix, Sky Go, iPlayer, etc etc etc ad nauseum because it is a dumb TV.
      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        Actually, smart TVs, game consoles and blue ray players are regularly updated. Hell, my panasonic TV even can stream freagin CrunchyRoll, and that gets updates almost instantly. Rokus even have indie developers making channels for it and updating them regularly.

        Even the freagin Nintendo DS gets regular updates for its streaming apps...

    • Why on earth would you want to watch it on your computer?

      Here, here. Quit bitching and drop $100 for a Roku 3.

  • Can't Wait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FuzzNugget ( 2840687 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @10:43AM (#43291805)

    Honestly, it sounds ... well, it has potential anyway. I seriously enjoyed three of the four movies mentioned (let's just play pretend and say that fourth one never happened, mmmkay?)

    Fringe is over after a good run, V was canceled just as it was getting really good and there's not much else out there I can find with as much character depth.

    Bring it on!

  • I like how Netflix delivered "House of Cards" in one shot. That's how TV shows should be. No more Neilsen ratings crap. There are SO many great shows that were axed because of prime-time competition. I hope this model will work and become the norm for TV entertainment and kill those NBC/CBS/ABC/ and other networks.
  • As a cable TV boycotter, all I can say is :
    "All good as long as cable companies do not make a cent of it)

  • There were several new shows in the past years. Not many made it though..

    From memory, and the amount of scifi might be discussed but in no particular order:
    Threshold, Werehouse 13, Defying Gravity, Lost, Person of Interest, Revolution, FlashForward, Eureka, The Event, Fringe, Alcatraz, Stargate Universe, Continuum, Heroes, V (the new one), Dollhouse..

    • Not disputing your point at all, but: Revolution sucks. Continuum sucks.

      And Lost was not scifi. The big thing about Lost was that it felt like it might be scifi but it ever got there. If Lost is scifi, then so is Hogan's Heroes, and the term has nearly no meaning.

      As for the rest, I haven't seen them, I remain hopeful, and I thank you for the tip.

      • Lost might have been sci-fi but they fucked it all up at the end with the "god did it" bullshit.
        • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )

          Lost might have been sci-fi but they fucked it all up at the end with the "god did it" bullshit.

          Same for BSG. But at least that you can just try to forget the last episode and the rest was pretty tremendous.

      • Oh. Warehouse is shit. Eureka is shit after the 3rd season. Fringe is ok but inconsistent and the ending doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Stargate Universe was good but got cancelled. Heroes was meh, and hardly sci-fi. V was good, but again, cancelled. Dollhouse was good but ... you guessed it ... cancelled. Seems anything good gets cancelled. I have high hopes for JMS and the Wachowskis. Hopefully it's good and by some miracle doesn't get cancelled.
        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          Warehouse is shit.
          actually, it's not. Its decent writing, and consistent with interesting characters.
          It's a well put together show.
          Now, subjectively you may not like it, but that doesn't make it shit.
          Learn the different between good/bad and like/don't like.

          "Seems anything good gets cancelled. "
          OR you a hipster who only like things becasue they get cancelled.

    • Stargate Universe died in 2010. It's been three years since we've had ANY space sci-fi shows.

      Yes there have been some sci-fantasy shows, but really most of that is SF lite. It'd be great if Netflix would consider a space series.

      • Can't really say I miss space sci-fi. Sure, I loved stargate universe, firefly and defying gravity, but space is not a necessity for a good sci-fi. Perhaps in some years when they can do something that is actually new. There can be only SO many weekly episodes of yet another planet and/or new aliens. ;-)

        Speaking of which.. you know they recently revived Red Dwarf? I guess that sort of counts like a space sci-fi.

        Haven't actually seen the new episodes yet.. hmm, better get around to that some day.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        "ANY space sci-fi shows."
        you moved the goal post.

        Space doesn't equal sci-fi.
        However, Dr.Who has been in and through space(and times) several times.
        I think Caprica might have involved space in some way.

        "sci-fantasy shows, but really most of that is SF lite"
        No true Scotsman, eh?

        That's not even looking at the many, many animated series.

  • Makes me set my expectations low, if religious mystery is already communicated in such prominent a line. As much as I liked B5, JMS's embracing of everything religious and metaphysical was in my opinion the most annoying aspect of the series. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to find out whether my prejudice will be proven right or wrong!

    • I'll still give it a shot, given the fact that the origins of production are getting away from the typical mainstream model that Sci-Fi (excuse me, Syfy) follows. But when I saw "souls hunted", my first thought was, "OMG! More Ghost Hunters garbage!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      JMS is an atheist from what I can tell in the various things he's posted on the internet (he's done a lot of online discussions). I think he included relgious and metaphysical stuff in B5 to show how people latch onto religious ideas and values and use them to guide their actions because that is a real phenomenon regardless of whether you believe in the reality espoused by a given religion. Religious ideas have a hand in driving all sorts of conflicts in the real world (and conflicts are important elements

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

        Yup. JMS has stated he doesn't believe in God, and the rest of parent post is dead on as well. However, he does acknolwedge that religon exists, and even did some speculation into what that would look like with alien species. That's the kind of thing Sci-Fi is supposed to do. What he didn't do is ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist, like was done in Star Trek.

        GP was essentially complaining that B5 wasn't Trek. It his perrogative to prefer that narrative I suppose, but it doesn't make other narratives ba

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:03PM (#43293023)

    Even if you can't get Netflix working under Linux, you can always buy an AppleTV or Roku box for under $100 and run Netflix on that. The experience is superior anyway, no plugins or updates, Netflix runs really well and you can easily attach it to any TV.

  • " might bring joy to fans of science fiction dismayed by years without any new scifi shows:"
    If you can't find new scifi shows, you aren't looking.

  • by pkbarbiedoll ( 851110 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:14PM (#43295015)

    I run several flavors of Linux at home and work and am disappointed that Netflix doesn't work natively under Linux. Rather than fudging around with a virtual machine or trying to get things working under Wine, I walked into my local electronics store and paid $70 for a nice blu-ray, internet enabled player. A Smart TV box. I now watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube and more without taking a hit on my laptop performance.

  • by Leo Sasquatch ( 977162 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:27PM (#43296057)
    Not to mention expensive to do properly.

    You have to postulate working anti-gravity without acknowledging the ramifications of that technology. Or spend more on wirework and/or CGI than can be coped with by a standard show's budget.

    And you have to find plots that haven't been done before. Without resorting to reversing the polarity of the neutron flow or getting this cheese to Sickbay. There's what, about 800 episodes of Trek in all its incarnations, plus Galactica old and new, Babylon 5, and stuff that only made very short runs, S:AAB, Space Rangers etc.

    All the science fiction from the last decade I can think of is earth-based, and I don't think it's because it's easier or cheaper to make, although it probably is. I think much of it is because any time someone comes up with an idea for a space-based series, it just sounds like Star Trek, The Nth Generation, or Babylon 6.

Neutrinos have bad breadth.