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Tag Archive: Robert Knepper


After a painfully long wait for fans of the series, the CW Network renewed the hit horror comedy/drama iZombie for a fifth season late Friday.  Even the folks at TV Guide had their fingers crossed for this renewal, stating, “At last, our long national nightmare is over,” in response to the news.  What began as a successful comic book series by writer Chris Roberson and artist Michael Allred for DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint about a gravedigger zombie gal who eats brains to survive, took on its own life under the deft management of showrunner Rob Thomas, who had already dazzled his target audience with Veronica Mars.  Powerhouse star Rose McIver’s Liv Moore has become every bit the ace detective that Veronica was, but she also bridged the audience back to the pop culture references and off-the-wall fun Joss Whedon brought the TV audience with the original badass heroine with his Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  And McIver had the added bonus of playing a character that had to change up her performance every single episode while also appearing in nearly every scene, like Quantum Leap’s Sam Beckett and more recently Tatiana Maslany’s several sisters in Orphan Black.  And she has met the challenge with high energy along the way.  Everyone should be taking a good look at McIver’s performance this year come award season.

That isn’t to say the series hasn’t had a few ups and downs as it found its footing each season, upping the ante for its characters faster than anyone could have predicted… Liv and Major (Robert Buckley) are off, then on again… Ravi (Rahul Kohli) and Peyton (Aly Michalka) are off, then on again… Major and Blaine (David Anders) were zombies, then they weren’t and now they are, etc.  The experimentation worked, as the change-ups kept the show fresh and interesting, and as other shows get tired after the first or second season iZombie has taken the road traveled by NBC’s Grimm, a show that kept up the momentum taking major risks and changes only to get better with every new episode.

This week’s Episode 10 of the fourth season, “Yipee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher!” was the kind of crazy fun you might find on an early episode of South Park or Buffy.  Mocking shows that run out of funds that then are left to have their action scenes off-screen to be summarized on-screen by a character afterward, in an audaciously hilarious move by the writers, co-star Malcolm Goodwin (last year’s borg.com pick for Best TV Actor) was left to pantomime a recap of his off-screen heroics for the episode.  That was coupled with the kind of genre trope episode the series’ fans love: a bombardment of movie references and Easter eggs tied to 1980s action flicks.  And Blaine and Bryce Hogson’s Don E continue to surprise us, but never more than in this week’s episode.  The excellent villainy of the past four seasons (iZombie has three episodes left in Season 4) has smartly balanced out the heroes’ story: first with the brilliant Steven Weber’s Vaughn Du Clark and his daughter Gilda (Leanne Lapp), then with Eddie Jemison’s mobster Stacey Boss, followed by the return of Veronica Mars lead Jason Dohring as the questionable zombie law enforcer Chase Graves, and meanwhile the writers were furtively building the character arc of Robert Knepper’s Angus/Brother Love into compelling new territory as we prepare for what’s coming next season.

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twin-peaks-behind-the-scenes-image-2017

Showtime released two teasers this month for next year’s Twin Peaks sequel, hoped for by fans of the show for 25 years.  The first shows several actors, including series star Kyle MacLachlan looking like he hasn’t changed a bit, including a behind the scenes image sporting his FBI suit with director David Lynch.  The second teaser shows composer Angelo Badalamenti back again working on the new score for the series.

Coming back for the series is Kyle MacLachlan (FBI Agent Dale Cooper), Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddie Ferguson), Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Mädchen Amick (Shelley Johnson), David Duchovny (Dennis/Denise Bryson), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk Hill), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Alicia Witt (Gersten Hayward), Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady), Everett McGill (Ed Hurley), Phoebe Augustine (Ronette Pulaski), Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan), Julee Cruise (Roadhouse Singer and soundtrack singer), Warren Frost (Doctor Hayward), Jan D’Arcy (Sylvia Horne), and Gary Hershberger (Mike Nelson).

Also returning is Andrea Hayes (Heidi), David Patrick Kelley (Jerry Horne), Bellina Logan (Louie), Walter Olkewicz (Jacques Renault), Richard Beymer (Ben Horne), Carel Struyken (the giant), Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley), Al Strobel (one-armed man), Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs), Marv Rosand (diner cook), Jerry Marshall (James Hurley), Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby), Carlton Russell (jumping man), Harry Dean Stanton (Carl), and David Lynch (Gordon Cole).

Cooper and Audrey Twin Peaks

So no Michael Ontkean, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Heather Graham, Billy Zane, Brenda Strong, Michael J. Anderson, or David Warner. Key players Jack Nance and Don S. Davis have passed away since the original series aired as has most recently Catherine Coulson, who was able to film some scenes for the series.

Check out the new Showtime teasers plus everything you want to know from past borg.com updates on the series, after the break:

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Cooper and Audrey Twin Peaks

Step back five years and ask what television series genre fans would like to see turn into a modern sequel and at the top of the list you would likely have found The X-Files, Firefly, and Twin Peaks.  Two out of three ain’t bad.

Add 217 more citizens to Twin Peaks’ population of 51,201.  David Lynch & Co. released the list of cast members for Twin Peaks, the Showtime sequel series, and the question really isn’t who is in the new series, but who is not.  Coming back is Kyle MacLachlan (FBI Agent Dale Cooper), Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddie Ferguson), Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Mädchen Amick (Shelley Johnson), David Duchovny (Dennis/Denise Bryson), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk Hill), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Alicia Witt (Gersten Hayward), Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran), Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady), Everett McGill (Ed Hurley), Phoebe Augustine (Ronette Pulaski), Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan), Julee Cruise (Roadhouse Singer and soundtrack singer), Warren Frost (Doctor Hayward), Jan D’Arcy (Sylvia Horne), and Gary Hershberger (Mike Nelson).

And that’s not all.  Also returning is Andrea Hayes (Heidi), David Patrick Kelley (Jerry Horne), Bellina Logan (Louie), Walter Olkewicz (Jacques Renault), Richard Beymer (Ben Horne), Carel Struyken (the giant), Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley), Al Strobel (one-armed man), Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs), Marv Rosand (diner cook), Jerry Marshall (James Hurley), Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby), Carlton Russell (jumping man), Harry Dean Stanton (Carl), and David Lynch (Gordon Cole).  Scott Coffey is also listed as a returning actor, but we don’t remember him in this Lynch show, although he was in other Lynch productions.

Dale Cooper coffee

So no Michael Ontkean, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Heather Graham, Billy Zane, Brenda Strong, Michael J. Anderson, or David Warner.  Key players Jack Nance and Don S. Davis have passed away since the original series aired as has most recently Catherine Coulson, who was able to film some scenes for the series.  The biggest miss, of course, is Michael Ontkean, retired from acting now, who played MacLachlan’s co-lead for much of the series as Sheriff Harry S. Truman.  Fans want to see all of the return players, but it may not be a good sign that so many newcomers will be in the show.  Even if the originally discussed nine episodes doubled, that doesn’t give a lot of screen time to very many characters.

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Jack Reacher sequel

If you missed 2012’s Tom Cruise action flick Jack Reacher, you missed Cruise in one of his best performances.  That’s saying a lot considering Cruise has more successful movies than any other actor.  Check out our review of Jack Reacher here at borg,com.  We compared Reacher to Harry Callahan, Frank Bullitt, and Daniel Craig’s James Bond.  We might add any number of Chuck Norris roles, or, as seen in this new trailer for this year’s sequel, Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back, John Rambo.

Reacher is a no-nonsense guy, and his signature move is beating someone with someone else’s body parts, whether it’s their arm or head.  But they usually deserve it.  And we always cheer him on.

This time around Cruise is joined by Cobie Smulders (The Avengers, How I Met Your Mother), Robert Knepper (Heroes, Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Aldis Hodge (Leverage). 

Jack Reacher Cobie Smulders

Check out this first trailer for Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back:

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Public Morals gangsters

Timothy Hutton.  Brian Dennehy.  Christopher Eccleston.  Paul Bettany.  Neal McDonough.  Tom Hardy.  David Thewlis.  Tara Fitzgerald.  Robert Knepper.  Chazz Palminteri. 

That’s a pretty impressive roster of actors taking to mobster stories this year, in only two productions.  One a television series, the other a big screen release.  What draws us to gangster stories anyway?  Even before the film classics The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Hollywood was pumping out–and audiences were devouring–movies about gangsters back to black and white pictures starring screen legends like James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.  More recent, modern classics like Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco have defined what we all look for in a mob story.  Coming 2015 releases continue to look at this popular sub-genre.

Tim Hutton Public Morals

First up is Public Morals, an in-your-face, no-holds-barred series showing all the ugliness of a 1960s New York City, and a police division with corrupt a corrupt force led by show creator and star Edward Burns.  Public Morals is TNT’s latest effort to produce a show to compete with the sex and violence you’d find on HBO or Showtime.

You’ll find top-notch genre actors Hutton, Dennehy, McDonough, and Knepper on this series.

Tom Hardy Legend poster

Next up is a British movie, Legend, which tells the true story of twin brother mobsters Reggie and Ronald Kray, played by The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max: Fury Road’s Tom Hardy.

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Heroes Reborn NBC banner

What we thought was going to be another ad for the DVD release of Gravity actually was a teaser for the return of Heroes to NBC.  NBC released a few details to the press before the Olympics Saturday night teaser premiere, revealing a new Heroes TV series will be returning in 2015.  NBC and creator Tim Kring will be holding the details close to their vests until Heroes Reborn draws closer, but we’re thinking there is no way to move the series forward and call it Heroes without at least Hayden Panettiere as invincible ex-cheerleader Claire Bennet, Milo Ventimiglia as power-borrower Peter Petrelli, Masi Oka as time traveler Hiro Nakamura, or the always awesome Jack Coleman as Claire’s dad, the horned-rimmed glasses guy.

NBC has ordered 13 episodes for the new mini-series, an entire season for any other property. Could this be a try-on that could be continued if the first year is successful?

“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke.  “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment.  We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept,” Salke continued.  “Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”

Heroes Reborn - how about bringing back Jack Coleman as HRG

Masi Oka is currently on Hawaii Five-O on CBS, Hayden Penettiere is on Nashville on ABC, and Milo Ventimiglia is filming a series on the Crackle online network coming off of his Mob City mini-series in TNT.  Ali Larter, who played Tracy Strauss and her mirror twin on Heroes, last filmed a mini-series on TNT and continues her string of big screen movie projects, and ex-cop Greg Grunberg is making a string of movies.  Although he’s been seen on ABC’s Scandal, Jack Coleman also had a key role in the last season of USA Network’s Burn Notice last year.  USA Network is an NBC sister network.  Could that mean a possible connection to have Coleman’s character lead the new mini-series?  Something like Agent Colson on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  Coleman is our top pick, and we think HRG is the most likely driver of a new series.  But why stop there?

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RIPD cops

The largest independent comic book publisher and the third largest comic publisher overall, Dark Horse Comics has scored pretty well at movie theaters so far in its relatively brief 27 years as comic book publisher, with successful adaptations by its Dark Horse Entertainment division of its books The Mask, Time Cop, Tank Girl, Mystery Men, Hellboy, Sin City, 300, and Aliens vs. Predator.  Finally, Dark Horse Comics has teamed up with Universal Studios to bring to the big screen one of its most popular long-running series, R.I.P.D., from the anthology series Dark Horse Presents.

RIPD comic book prequel

Roy Pulsipher and Nick Walker are dead, but that doesn’t mean their stint in law enforcement is over.  Both Roy and Nick are officers in the Rest in Peace Department, or R.I.P.D., sworn to serve the Almighty and protect the living from the evil monsters among us.  If you haven’t read R.I.P.D. before, you can see a seven-page preview of the prequel comic book series, R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned, released this past winter in a trade edition and available at Amazon.com, here:

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Knepper as Grimm in CW Network Cult series

Review by C.J. Bunce

What hidden evil lurks in the hearts of TV producers?  There must be something going around in Hollywood about cults and serial killers.  That is, cults made up of serial killers.  Last month we reviewed the pilot of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a has-been detective tracking down a recently escaped serial killer.  It’s four episodes in and so far, so good.  Starting Tuesday on the CW Network another new cult themed series debuts, titled Cult.  We at borg.com previewed the pilot and found both of these new series have enough differences, and enough going for them, to watch and keep watching them both.

CW’s Cult offers enough layers of creative theatrics that you’ll want to check it out just to see how the producers introduce a series-within-a-series.  That’s right–Cult is two shows in one.  The series centers on a fictional Warner Bros. production of a TV show called “Cult,” featuring an actor named Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper) who in turn is playing the character of Billy Grimm, a charismatic, religious, rural cult leader.   The fictional “Cult” also stars an actress named Marti Gerritsen (played in real life by Alona Tal) as LAPD detective Kelly Collins.   Formerly close to Grimm, Collins is trying to learn what happened to her sister and her sister’s son, somehow taken under the influence of Grimm’s cult.  Genre fans will instantly recognize Knepper from Heroes, Prison Break, and SGU Stargate Universe, as well as his guest roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, and Alona Tal as Veronica’s best pal Meg on Veronica Mars, Jo Harville from Supernatural, and notable guest roles on Monk and Leverage. 

Alona Tal in CW Network Cult series

This series-within-the-series is a quick-paced mystery with a horror twist and altogether pretty fun stuff.  Tal is tough and determined and Knepper brings in just the right amount of creepiness.  And he acts differently when seen outside the series as actor Roger Reeves.  In fact, we hope the producers break out of form at some point to show complete episodes of the inside show.  At times the show-within-the-show looks like it could quickly suck in viewers more than the main plot.  It even includes a bizarre and creepy catch-phrase likely to stick around in genre culture.

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