Comic-Con 2009 Roundup Post: extra coverage

Well, faithful readers, our press room interviews have been transcribed, our complete pictures have been edited and labeled and sleep has still not been had. Someday. To make it easier to enjoy all the Comic-Con goodness from start to finish, we have condensed our four days of coverage in one place. Enjoy and thanks so much for following the journey with us!

Day 1: Includes pictures and scoop from the Warner Motion Comics, Battlestar Galactica Retrospective and Mad Science: The Fiction of Science Fiction panels, and press room transcripts of Psych and Burn Notice.

Day 2: Includes pictures and transcripts from the Farscape 10th Anniversary Reunion and FlashForward panels along with full transcripts from press room interviews with Bones and Big Bang Theory

Day 3: Includes exclusive pictures and videos of the enormous Lost panel/arena rock event and the Futurama! and True Blood panels, as well as press room interview transcripts with talent from Fringe and MythBusters

Day 4: Includes exclusive pictures and transcripts of two final Sunday panels: Supernatural and the long-awaited Comic-Con appearance of David Tennant with the Dr. Who panel.

All four days of coverage include the Costume of the Day, chosen from an array of pictures that you can browse through on our Facebook fan page and extra side interviews and scoop from all the wonderful actors and writers we ran into.

But wait! There’s more! I’ve saved two special surprises for our last post. The first is our one-on-one sit-down with 24 writer/executive producer David Fury. We go in-depth behind the show’s themes of terrorism, torture, national security and how they extend to the real-world law enforcement reaction to the show. We also have a free fan giveaway of three copies of the Comic-Con 2009 40th Anniversary souvenir books handed out only onsite.

To read our interview and enter to grab your copy of the book, please click “continue reading”.

24 executive producer David Fury sits down at a press room roundtable with
24 executive producer David Fury sits down at a press room roundtable with Your show paints this terrorism world as very tense and pressing and in imminent danger. So it’s kind of a no-holds-barred search for information that saves lives. That’s your plot, that’s your premise. You’ll do whatever it takes.

David Fury: That is the premise, yeah.

SPhD: What response have you gotten from members of law enforcement, particularly from Homeland Security, in terms of how you portray this [arena], and if there has been any criticism, how is that then fed into the writing? I know you entertain and that’s your bottom line, but I’m just curious.

DF: No, it’s an excellent question, and we’ve certainly dealt with it a lot, particularly in the last couple of years. We’ve spoken to a lot of people at the Pentagon in law enforcement, now it’s federal law enforcement, and military. We’ve spoken to the men who literally interrogated the men who gave up Saddam Hussein. In fact, they couldn’t use their own names because these are top secret guys. How they feel about the show? They’re concerned, because the show does present this absolute, where we have a pressing problem, a bomb is gonna go off, an attack that’s going to happen, an assassination. And we have to get information quickly. In reality, if this wasn’t a real-time show, if this was a show that existed minute-by-minute, we would love to tell the stories of how they manipulate information out of their prisoners. But we are constrained by the premise of the show, which is a 24-hour period, real time, every episode one hour where very bad things are going to happen and what they’ve told us is, “Well that never happens. There’s never a ticking bomb. We’ve never been in a situation where there’s a ticking bomb and we have to have this information right now.” And to that I’d say, that’s the difference between reality and this show.

We try to be as true and as respectful to the people who do this kind of thing and we try, particularly last year, to address the nature of torture and the costs of that torture to all the people: the person being tortured and the one inflicting it. We try to deal with that, but it’s difficult for us to tell any stories where they use the methods that are actually being used right now to get information. These are brilliant people doing a very difficult job and a lot of it has to do with ingratiating them and the people they’re trying to interrogate and flattering them and promising them, and that’s just not dramatic. And if we were a show that was able to skip three days within an episode and say “Three Days Later…” and this is what’s happened, we’d tell that story, but we can’t, so we resort to Jack [Bauer] doing what he does, and other people, inflicting torture. But we’ve always been very conscionable in terms of the costs and I can tell you that the majority of the people are, I can’t speak for everyone, but we’re not pro-torture. We’re not, in life–

SPhD: No, no, I totally understand. The reason I asked you this question is because your show came along at a very important time in our nation’s history.

DF: Absolutely right.

SPhD: It was almost like timing meets opportunity. And you are an entertainment outlet, but it’s funny how you are capturing the zeitgeist. And I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Well if Jack Bauer can do this…” so do you ever worry that that bleeds over into a certain mentality–

DF: Well, it certainly does. And it does worry us, and it does apparently really happen. We’ve been told that some people in the military, I believe in particular, some of the younger recruits took to watching our show to get ideas [on] how to get information. And that was a scary thought to us. It’s like, “For God’s sakes, we’re not a training video! Don’t let Dirty Harry teach police officers how to catch criminals.” But you’re absolutely right. The show was born in a very tense time for this country. It was born in the shadow of 9/11, and it’s now eight years later and we have to maintain, for the purposes of drama, that kind of heightened threat. The one that we’re kind of feeling a little bit more relaxed about and we’re not really thinking about. But dramatically in the world of 24, it’s something that like for Jack Bauer, as we pointed out, he’s starting the season in a happy place, but as we all are, as we’re much more optimistic and positive, but something can happen to just turn it back all around and we’re back where we started eight years ago.

SPhD: Well I want to thank you on a personal note, because I was in New York City when 9/11 happened, unwittingly so actually, and being there [during a terrorist attack] really re-prioritizes your moral and political ambiguity of where you stand and your mindset when something like that happens to you. So your show really brings back a lot of the feelings [and struggle] I had when that happened. I’m really happy to hear that you’re cognizant of the greater outlet of what you are doing and I thank you for that.

DF: We are. Well, thank you for that. We’re very concerned, we certainly don’t want people to look to us as we’re painting the world as we see it. We’re painting a world where a character like Jack Bauer can exist and can function. And if it resonates with people’s fears, great. It doesn’t have to. I think it works on its own level as a character study of a man who is forced to do terrible things to protect the country.

SPhD: Thank you, sir.

DF: You’re very welcome!

The Comic-Con 40th Anniversary commemorative souvenir book.
The Comic-Con 40th Anniversary commemorative souvenir book.

And now, for my favorite part of this process… being able to interact with our wonderful fans and make you happy! I’m so grateful for the support our site has gotten and for all of you who have emailed to let us know where our transcripts have needed updates or adjustments, that we have decided to give away some Comic-Con memorabilia. Rather than giving away banal chachkes that appear every year, we wanted to give away something unique and special. This year, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Comic-Con’s existence as a festival, organizers put together a gorgeous commemorative book chronicling highlights, pictures, posters and factoids from each of the 40 conventions to date. For sci-fi, Comic-Con and comics buffs, this collector’s edition is a must have. We rounded up three extra copies (shhhh don’t tell anyone!) and will mail them to three lucky fans for free anywhere on Earth! Sorry, at this time, extra-terrestrial residents are not eligible. To make the process fair and transparent, the first three comment posts with a valid email address will win the prize–and don’t worry, if I can’t approve them right away, they are timestamped. We will contact the winners for mailing info. Good luck!

Please credit all photography to if you take any for your own use.


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