Tag Archive: CBS All Access


Once a year at borg we ask: What makes a great screen heroine? It’s time for borg′s annual look at the Best Kick-Ass Genre Heroines in film and television.  Despite delays in releases due to the covid pandemic, nothing kept Hollywood from including great female characters on the screen, even if that meant moving movies to the small screen for a while. We’re highlighting the very best from a slate of fantastic heroines, with characteristics to learn from and root for.  Determined, decisive, loyal, brave, smart, fierce, strong, you’ll find no one here timid or weepy, but all rely on their individual skills to beat the odds and overcome any obstacle that comes their way.  Over the years we have expanded the list to include any tough, savvy, gritty character played by a woman, so villains are welcome here, too.  (Want to see previous years’ kickass genre heroines to see how 2020 compares?  Here are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015). Some may be frazzled, put-upon, war-weary, or human, but all have fought, some against difficult circumstances, others against personal demons (literally, figuratively, or both), and some against gun and laser fire.  And they all showed what a tough, kick-ass, and often badass, character is about.

This year we add masked superheroines, a CDC epidemiologist, aliens, assassins, martial artists, warriors, cyborgs, a telephone operator, an engineer, a bounty hunter, and a frog and a pig–with a roster evenly split between television and movie characters. Credit goes to both the writers, costumers, and other creators of the characters and the actors and performers that brought them all to life.

These are the Best Kick-Ass Genre Heroines of 2020:

Bo-Katan Kryze (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars).  In the animated series she would let nothing stand in her way. In a galaxy with villains like Grand Admiral Thrawn and Grand Moff Gideon, we’re lucky to have Bo-Katan on our side. Leading a team to find the Darksaber and restore Mandalore, she’s also willing to enlist a lone straggler, and help him for his efforts. With Katee Sackhoff, the actress behind Starbuck, in the armor, the coolness factor goes up by a factor of 100. Great heroines are great leaders, and, like Bo-Katan, they wield an incredible arsenal of skills. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Nicole Haught in Wynonna Earp

Sheriff Nicole Haught (Wynonna Earp).  Katherine Barrell’s tough, savvy, and friendly sheriff is one of the best reasons to watch Wynonna Earp, now four seasons running. She’s the girlfriend of Wynonna’s sister Waverly, she is plugged into the local supernatural happenings, and she’s always available to lend a hand, when she’s not carrying out her sheriff duties. She’s an investigator who is loyal, driven, and smart. She’s also fun and friendly, making her the heart of the series. In a show about supernatural people, she holds her own as law enforcer simply by her own human wits. (Syfy)

Seven of Nine (Star Trek Picard).  More than forty years of Star Trek have revealed some exceptional women leaders. This year we were lucky to see the re-appearance of one of the best, a character who was captured as a child and trapped in what amounts to a technological cult. With the help of a strong captain, Seven was able to break free, and re-learn what it means to be human. This year that meant helping a legendary former admiral, avenge the death of her closest friend, and fight for good long after her call to duty. (CBS All Access)

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Now that everyone has seen it who likely was going to watch CBS All Access’s next Star Trek incarnation, Star Trek: Picard, it’s time to delve into the series.  If you haven’t yet, take advantage of the free CBS All Access offer while you can.  Series star Patrick Stewart has said he decided to bring his character back to the screen because of the role he performed for even more years than Picard–Charles Xavier in the X-Men series–specifically because of the strong finish he was able to give the character in James Mangold’s Oscar-nominated finale Logan, possibly Stewart’s strongest performance in his film and TV career opposite Old Man Logan as Old Man Charles.  Stewart succeeded, as Star Trek: Picard, already expecting at least another season, showcases the beloved character as Old Man Picard and wraps far better fans’ last meeting with not only Picard, but Data, Riker, and Troi, too.  And surprisingly it does that for Star Trek Voyager, specifically for Jeri Ryan′s Seven of Nine, who also had a rather anticlimactic finale in the last episode of that series.  Her new take is very different from before, but still lots of fun.

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If you’ve finally caught up with the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard, now would be a good time to go back and check out IDW Publishing’s three-part prequel comic book series, which is scheduled to be released in trade paperback form this summer.  Star Trek Picard: Countdown is IDW’s latest Star Trek prequel series, following series like the stellar Star Trek: Countdown, where comic book readers first (and last) saw retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek canon, and Star Trek Discovery: The Light of Kahless, the lead-in to the Star Trek: Discovery TV series.

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PatrickPicard

Patrick Stewart is back again to save the day, and he’s doing it in two ways.  As Sir Patrick Stewart, he has begun reading sonnets and sharing his readings online.  And as one of our favorite Captains, Jean-Luc Picard, he’s sharing news of the ability for anyone to stream the first season of his new series Star Trek: Picard on the CBS All Access streaming service–free.

As most know, the master thespian was an actor in the Royal Shakespeare Company before appearing in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as Charles Xavier in the Marvel X-Men franchise films, including one of his landmark performances in James Mangold’s 2017 Oscar-nominated film, Logan.  On his social media (see his Instagram page here) Sir Pat has begun reciting a sonnet a day, in the hopes that “a sonnet a day keeps the doctor away.”  He has so far read Shakespeare sonnets 116, 1, and 2.

Patrick Stewart

And Tuesday he announced more good news for his Star Trek fans: “Our #StarTrekPicard season finale is Thursday, and starting today until 4/23, you can watch for free on @CBSAllAccess in the US with the code: GIFT.”  All you need to do is sign up for the streaming service and use the code GIFT.  Check out the CBS All Access website for full details.

Star Trek: Picard takes place twenty years after the events in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, which resulted in the death of Brent Spiner’s character Data, and also after the events of Star Trek (2009), which resulted in the destruction of the planet Romulus.

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Peck?  As in Gregory Peck?  Turns out Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck has a grandson who took to the acting business–Ethan Peck–and he has been tapped to co-star in the next season of Star Trek Discovery.  This will be the 13th actor to portray the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock in the more than five decades of the franchise–a role performed by more actors in the franchise than any other character.  Peck appears in the photo below (center) with Leonard Nimoy’s family, released today (and if the woman at left looks familiar, that’s because it’s Terry Farrell, who played Dax on Deep Space Nine, Leonard’s daughter-in-law, married to Leonard’s son Adam earlier this year).

Although he wasn’t “that kid in Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Peck did play a boy in the Disney fantasy film (which also featured former Star Trek actor Alice Krige).  He has also appeared in The Drew Carey Show, That ’70s Show, and the TV series version of 10 Things I Hate About You, among other things.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement earlier today about Peck from Star Trek Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman:

“Through 52 years of television and film, a parallel universe and a mirror universe, Mr. Spock remains the only member of the original bridge crew to span every era of Star Trek.”

Oops.  Actually Spock did not appear in Star Trek Enterprise.  So Spock has been in almost all the eras of Star Trek to be put to TV or film.  Kurtzman continued:

“The great Leonard Nimoy, then the brilliant Zachary Quinto, brought incomparable humanity to a character forever torn between logic and emotion.  We searched for months for an actor who would, like them, bring his own interpretation to the role.”

Pretty much anyone–sci-fi fan or not–can tell you Leonard Nimoy portrayed Spock the longest, from the pilot to the original series through the second film in the J.J. Abrams movie series, Star Trek Into Darkness (and a photo of him appeared in the next film Star Trek Beyond).  The character is almost without question the most iconic sci-fi character of the post-television era.

Zachary Quinto has taken on Spock for the three Abrams movies–that is, the part of young Spock in the separate, Kelvin timeline.  So where did we come up with eleven other actors who performed the role of Spock well in advance of Peck being handed his first tricorder?

Audiences have seen Spock several times before.  Remember in Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock, moviegoers saw Spock grow up on the Genesis planet, where he was played at age nine by Carl Krakoff:

Then at age 13 he was portrayed by Vadia Potenza:

At age 17 he was played by Stephen Manley:

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Although fans had heard the rumors and suggestions, you just can’t beat hearing good news from the source.

Patrick Stewart just announced to his social media followers the best news fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation could hope for:  The return of Stewart as everyone’s favorite captain, Jean-Luc Picard.  Stewart made a surprise appearance to make the announcement at the same time as his media release with Star Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman at this year’s annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.

Here is Stewart’s announcement:

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Big news for fans of Star Trek: Discovery at San Diego Comic-Con Friday was the announcement of Librarians and X-Men actor Rebecca Romijn as the new character Number One for season 2 of the series.  Number One was the first of three roles taken on by Majel Barrett (and later Barrett-Roddenberry after she married Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry), for the Star Trek original series episode “The Cage” with then Enterprise captain Christopher Pike.  CBS All Access released the trailer for the second season showing our first look at the third actor to play Christopher Pike, Inhumans star Anson Mount.  He follows Jeffrey Hunter and Bruce Greenwood taking on the role of the captain of the Enterprise before Kirk.  In the coming second season we catch up with the crew of USS Discovery, commanded by acting Captain Saru and Commander Michael Burnham as they respond to a “Priority One” distress call from the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike. Mount’s Pike seems to borrow mannerisms, voice, and dialogue more from Greenwood’s work in 2009’s Star Trek and the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.  The new trailer is filled with more humor and quips than seen in marketing for the first, darker season.

The trailer was unveiled at Star Trek: Discovery’s Hall H appearance today at SDCC, with series’ showrunner Alex Kurtzman also announcing Star Trek: Short Treks, a four-episode spinoff series of fifteen minute short films (like for Star Trek fan film-length features) that will begin monthly in December, to include episodes with Leverage’s Aldis Hodge, Rainn Wilson, Doug Jones, and Mary Wiseman.  Kurtzman also revealed that fans can expect Spock to appear next season, as hinted at in the trailer.  The panel included actors Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Tig Notaro (new Chief Engineer Reno), and executive producer Heather Kadin.

Take a look at a new look at a classic character in this preview for season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery:
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The big news this week for sci-fi genre fans–besides that surprisingly good trailer for The Orville previewed here earlier this week–is the release of the first full trailer for CBS All Access’s new series Star Trek: Discovery.  The new subscription service network released trailers for its new series Wednesday.  Along with Star Trek: Discovery are trailers for a S.W.A.T. reboot, a SEAL series, a crime drama, and three new comedies.

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Bones will be happy to see David Boreanaz back as the star of another drama, SEAL Team.  SNL’s hilarious comedian Bobby Moynihan stars in his own comedy, Me, Myself, and I.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jeremy Piven, who we last saw as an early 20th century businessman in the brilliant PBS series Mr. Selfridge, will star as a modern-day successful businessman with Richard T. Jones in a new crime series about crowdsourcing called Wisdom of the Crowd.  And fans of The Big Bang Theory will get a prequel series called Young Sheldon.

Check out all the previews for the new TV series from CBS All Access below, along with the network’s PR descriptions:

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USS Discovery Star Trek 2016 take off

CBS has now revealed six cast members for the next Star Trek television series, the CBS All Access pay channel series Star Trek: Discovery.  Focusing on another ship of the Starfleet line that flew the friendly galactic skies ten years before the original Star Trek series, USS Discovery NCC-1031 is slated to be available to subscribers sometime in 2017.  Supporting many fans’ analysis that the ship sports design elements from Federation and Klingon vessels from the era of the original show, three new cast members were revealed this week–all of them to play Klingons.

Along with word that originally-tapped showrunner Bryan Fuller is no longer part of the production, CBS announced in the past few weeks that award-winning actress Michelle Yeoh, known to genre fans for both her leading role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and as a “Bond girl” in Tomorrow Never Dies, will play Captain Georgiou, but at least at first she will not be leading the Discovery, but a vessel called the Shenzhou.  Known for his extensive work in heavy make-up, genre fans were pleased to learn Doug Jones will be featured in the series.  Known for roles in Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, DC’s CW Network series, and much more, Jones will play Lieutenant Saru, a Starfleet science officer and member of an alien species new to Star Trek.  Anthony Rapp (Psych, A Beautiful Mind, Rent, The X-Files, Twister) will play Lieutenant Stamets, an astromycologist (a fungus expert) and Starfleet science officer aboard the Discovery.

trek-cast-a

So who are the Klingons?  Chris Obi will play T’Kuvma, a Klingon leader set on uniting the Klingon houses.  Shazad Latif will play his protégé, Commanding Officer Kol.  And Mary Chieffo will play the Klingon vessel’s Battle Deck Commander L’Rell.  Obi has worked in series including Doctor Who and American Gods as well as Snow White and the Huntsman.  Latif has been seen in series from MI-5 to Penny Dreadful.  Chieffo is a relative newcomer to television, known for her “statuesque” 6-foot tall presence.

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Star Trek 2017 TV Series Logo

It’s not much but the first teaser for the next Star Trek television series could be telling.  It features the new logo for the series, which doesn’t air until 2017, following the 50 year anniversary of the original 1960s series.  It features familiar notes from the classic Star Trek theme, and a journey through the stars similar to the footage that accompanies the end credits to the J.J. Abrams movies.

CBS presents a new adventure.  New Crews.  New Villains.  New Heroes.  New Worlds.

The “New Worlds” shows an attempt to return to the series’ roots, the search for strange new worlds.  But it’s the plurals that may be sharing some of what fans have been after.  New Crews?  So will this be a series of one-shot episodes?  A series of multi-episode story arcs?  An all-out anthology?  The reboot Battlestar Galactica offered up a reasonably successful spin-off following another vessel’s exploits.  Is that the kind of story the new producers are working on?  Or will each season follow another strange new world and crew?

We still know nothing about the sixth Star Trek series, but fans are hopeful.  Check out this first teaser for the series:

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