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April 12 2007

(SPOILER) Watching the first hour of Drive with Nathan Fillion....(sort of). Mokibobolink on livejournal attends a Browncoat only preview screening of the new Fox tv show Drive. No, no spoilers. You'll get it when you read it. Edited to add: No spoilers in the linked article, but there are now spoilers in the comments.

darn living on the East Coast and not being able to DRIVE
Here's a photo instead, rivergirl.
Here's some photos of the Drive screening:

Before the screening, Danny Bonaduce was the host of a radio controlled model racing car competition, where the winner got thousands of dollars worth of free gas from Union 76. It was a big promotional setup right in the middle of CityWalk, and the stars of Drive were there as well.

The screening was in one of the newly-remodeled large auditoriums in the AMC (ex-Odeon) theatres, with free popcorn and soda. Nathan came and, after initially plopping himself down in one of the seats, as if he was just going to watch it with the rest of us, stood up and greeted us, thanked us for being there, and cautioned us that the effects weren't complete, just like the early screenings of Serenity still had colored boxes where the ships were going to be, so don't do like fans did then and go posting "wow, those effects were really bad." And don't go giving spoilers. So here's me trying to be vague enough to not spoil anything:

All in all, I was quite impressed. I'd seen the test reel that Minear had shown, but although I thought the effects were amazing, I couldn't figure out how they were going to keep that up as a weekly series. Okay, now I get it. And although now it's not the big, clunky 1980s cell phones that we saw in the test reel that gives the instructions, I noticed that there was still one sitting on the dashboard of one of the racers. Not sure if that was reused test footage, or even if it will still be part of the finished episode, but it was something that made me go "hrmm."

So far, Amy Acker was just seen in photos, but we did see another familiar Jossian face from Serenity in this episode, and in a scene with Fillion, no less. Most of the episode (and, presumably, the series) is from Nathan Fillion's character's point of view. He knows less about what's really going on than anyone else, and we're right there with him. But at the same time, we don't know much about him yet, or why they went to such lengths to bring him into the race. (Ooh, a mystery!)

There were some great moments in the episode. There's one bit that had everyone rolling that just seemed very Josslike. Let's say it's sort of like early Spike giving an ultra-cool speech, then immediately falling into an open grave or catching his hair on fire. Some things didn't entirely make sense if you really think about it, but this was just the first hour of the two-hour pilot, so there's a good chance that we'll get an explanation later. But it's all a question of what people would do or risk for a chance at $32 million.

Okay, now I want to see the second hour.

I'm just amazed at how much Fox is promoting this. Fox! Who'd've thunk?
I've seen the first two episodes, and I am giddy. Giddy!
Fox! Who'd've thunk?

In fairness, most of the people at FOX who caused problems with Firefly are now gone.

I'm thrilled FOX is stayin' behind it.
A blog I read mentions the 'Drive' cast even being at the filming of American Idol. Or he was being sarcastic (he's one of the writers of MASH and Cheers so sark is often in evidence) because they're currently being seen all over the place but either way, it sounds like a proper job of promotion.

Kind of like 'Heroes' had so let's hope for the same success (and then that that success isn't undone by the early hiatus).
A blog I read mentions the 'Drive' cast even being at the filming of American Idol. Or he was being sarcastic

It's true!

[ edited by J.Monique on 2007-04-12 13:45 ]
I am looking forward to the show....but part of me is afraid to get too into it because of FOX's track record. I got totally into Firefly and...well we all know what happened there. I'm just afraid to get too psyched in case it's cancelled. I love Tim and Nathan's work - but I am going to stay this side of excited till there is a firm commitment to not cancelling it ! :)
I wish Nathan well, but I probably won't watch Drive. Why? The networks have taught me well. I don't watch TV series broadcast anymore. I just wait until the series comes to DVD.

On DVD, I'm spared the pain of "I really like this show" only to have some penny-counting twit in a paneled boardroom cancel it after half a season. On DVD, I also don't have to watch silly and offensive commercials over and over ad nauseam. I can't remember the last time a TV ad got me to buy something.

Yes, it's more expensive than "free TV" (which ain't really free), but I value quality entertainment enough to pay for it.

Hopefully the internet-first released series "Sanctuary" ( will be something worthwhile and a model which can produce revenue. Who needs the unpleasant network execs when you can market directly to the people who want your art?

After all, the networks are driven by greedy middlemen. That's it. That's all. They're not really useful in an artistic context, and they just add millions of dollars in cost to the bottom line. Why should we wanna buy these guys seven new sports cars and five fancy homes all over the fricken planet when they don't contribute anything to our entertainment value?
deanna b, great pictures. I now want the yellow street sign/Drive promotion that is in the last pic.
I must say I feel a bit odd. I just got excited by American Idol.
quantumac, if you don't support a show when it's on the air... it probably won't make it to DVD. I'm eagerly awaiting the premier and I reminded all my podcast audience to tune in as well!
Hubby told me we have to give it a chance, but there is nothing, save Nathan, attractive about the promos to me. I haven't been able to get enthusiastic about anything Tim has done post-Joss, and I'm afraid this ain't gonna be the thing to grab me.

I mean...a car race show. Could it get any less up my alley??

But okay, okay. I'll give it an hour, in honor of Nathan. I owe him that for all the other great things he's done.
I saw the first hour at the screening last night. Excellent! If you like Tim Minear's work, you will like this. Lots of laughs and shocks of the kind that we love. And lots of familiar faces.

The effects looked done to me. What I'm hoping isn't done is the music. The score is very...basic, like basic progressions you learn when learning an instrument. I don't think they spent much money or even thought on the songs. Lame Doors cover? X? I love X, but that's from 1982. Shouldn't the music be more contemporary and contextual?

I'm bitching because I love it and really want it to be a success.

He then said that once we saw it we would be tempted to go on the internet (who us? Nah!) and though he encouraged us to go ahead and go on the internet, tell people we were lucky enough to go to the screening and we should even rub everyone's noses in it, he didn't want us tattling. Tell them we loved it, tell them it was cool, but DO NOT tell them about it, he said.

I don't need to change my original comment that this post has no spoilers, now do I?
I thought the Doors cover worked well during that scene. That terribly exciting scene.

The song near the end with _________ and __________ dueling to the red eye was very underwhelming and made me think, "I hope they change that."
Yeah, you probably should, just in case I sort of spilled one above.
The music was, I believe, temp. Although I could be wrong, it depends which version they showed. The finished music only went in the other day.
First off, much thanks go to Fox for organizing the screening for the Browncoats. I thought it was going to be a combo Browncoat/Press/random person off the street kind of screening. But instead it was Browncoats only and that rocked!

Second, another huge thanks to Nathan. He had to show for the Drive contest earlier in the evening. And he came straight from the set for that. But what he didn't have to do was come and intro the screening. He even raced home, showered and changed and raced back to do it. And yes, he was running when he showed back up. He is a true class act and confirms yet again that he isn't forgetting the Browncoats.

For all those wanting to see more pics or video, we'll be posting links to pics on the SoCal Yahoo group. And there were interviews of the cast being done by The Insider, Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood.

holymother - That yellow sign is now resting comfortably in my apartment :) It will likely become either a display item at our future convention fan tables or a fundraiser prize, but for now it's all mine!!

One thing about the show. We were expecting a good show, but it exceeded our expectations. And I heard at least one person mention that even the parts without Nathan were great/funny/etc. I think Tim has a chance to get past 13 episodes.

ETA gossi - According to the Fox guy, this version was the latest possible, ink still drying and all that.

[ edited by danregal on 2007-04-12 17:02 ]
BrownCoat_Tabz wrote: quantumac, if you don't support a show when it's on the air... it probably won't make it to DVD.

I beg to differ. I never watched Buffy, Angel, Firefly or Wonderfalls when they were on broadcast. I learned about them afterwards, and bought the DVDs. I also watch excellent Japanese anime on DVD, like Ghost in the Shell, which haven't been broadcast in my country. Even Star Gate I watch on DVD, as they publish each season.

My point is this: Broadcast TV sucks the life out of shows. It is ruled by no-nothing TV executives who care more about their own bank accounts than our entertainment. That's why they constantly appeal to the lowest common denominator, since there are far more of them than intelligent viewers.

I think subscription is a different kind of model, and since it works for books, comics and the adult-industry, it could probably work for science fiction and fantasy. That's what I'm hoping.

My time's too precious to waste on TV commercials.
My time's too precious to waste on TV commercials.

Mine too. That's why I invested in a Tivo!
Tell them we loved it, tell them it was cool, but DO NOT tell them about it, he said.

Why? Did Fox make them sign some sort of NDA at the screening?
Nope. I think Fillion likely meant don't give a bit-by-bit detailed description which spoils the surprises (which nobody has, although one newspaper review gave something big away in the middle of their review for no reason which annoyed me).
Yeah, there are some cool surprises and such in the first hour. Nathan wanted us to spread the word about how cool it is without giving any spoilers or detailed descriptions.

I really can't wait to see where this show is going.
Why? Did Fox make them sign some sort of NDA at the screening?

There were no corporate types around at all. Just Browncoats, Nathan, and the nice theater people with the free popcorn and drinks. That was a nice touch.
I think subscription is a different kind of model, and since it works for books, comics and the adult-industry, it could probably work for science fiction and fantasy. That's what I'm hoping.

And it may in the longer term but right now if enough people don't tune in to watch a show live it won't last long enough to do more than a 13 episode DVD run.
And it may in the longer term but right now if enough people don't tune in to watch a show live it won't last long enough to do more than a 13 episode DVD run.

Good point, helcat. On the flip side, the subscription model wouldn't have to support the bloated incomes of network executives and board of directors, major stock-holders, etc. Minus the millions of dollars usually paid to these "middlemen," costs could be substantially lower. Also, the producers in a subscription model could tailor their art to the tastes of their viewers, not advertisers.

This is an aside, though. I hope "Drive" does well and is a labor of love for those who make it. The teaser trailer looks interesting.
It was actually E! that was there doing interviews, not Entertainment Tonight. At least I don't think ET was there. Too many E's!

Also, a couple of fans were interviewed by E! because they were wearing Drive t-shirts that they made themselves.
quantumac, I see where you want the industry to go, but you have to realize that what you want is many many years in the future and will only happen on a mass scale with some kind of studio backing. Do you think we should all stop watching TV until then? The current eyeballs willing to subscribe to shows on the Internets and watch them on their computer or handheld device is miniscule. Can you let the rest of us cheer on Tim's new show for now?

And in the interest of full disclosure my career path includes being one of those network penny pinchers that you hate so much. Maybe I can make a difference from within the system rather than just railing at it.

edited cuz I kant speel.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2007-04-12 20:50 ]
I've just uploaded pics from the event here. If anyone in any of the photos wants me to delete it, please let me know. And if you want to use one, please send me an email and ask first, thanks!
Thanks Danregal.
Cool photos :)

Wow, his hair looks good.

Guess I'll have to skip the Sopranos this Sunday and check out Drive.
Why? Did Fox make them sign some sort of NDA at the screening?

No, but I heard that everyone who posed for a photo with Fillion had to sign an agreement to give up their firstborn.

This is what I get for being early. I zipped right into the theatre and missed the cast goodness outside. The show, however, was fan-frakking-tastic. There were a couple of cringe-worthy Exposition Fairy moments, but beyond that, I was impressed.
Actually you had to be really early to catch the cast. They were there from about 4:30 until 6:00.

Except Nathan, who was also there for about 10 minutes around 7:30.
Ah. So I managed to slip in at the perfect time to miss everyone. I got there around 7:10. Oh well, still got to see Nathan inside.

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