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August 11 2005

"The Inside"'s Rachel Nichols To Keep "Alias" Going? According to The Insider, Nichols is being looked at to become the show's star from season 6 onward.

Sounds like a load of rubbish to me, best they end it than do this, the show is about Sydney, not about some new character that's being brought in to keep the show action packed despite the star being pregnant.

I agree with you Ghost Spike. Better end it while it's fresh. They're about to reach their episode 100 mark, it's a good time think, about closing things, especially after the way last season ended. I must admit, Rachel Nichols started to grow on me, after the erd or 4th episode of "The Inside", but it would be something strange, having her as a new lead in Alias, which was a show with mythos really surrounded around Jen's character.

It reminds me of the X-Files mess. I got to be be sincere, to say that after how the movie was a let down for me, It only got me watching half of season 6. And then came that Robert Patrick joining the show, when Duchovny decided to quit. It didn't make me go back to the show, what I only did for the series finale, which was only a so-so episode.

Remember, sometime after SMG annoucing that she'd leave Buffy after S7, and only a few weeks later, all those rumours speculating about someone replacing Sarah, as Buffy, if the show did beyond season 7.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-08-11 16:51 ]
This is kind of off-topic but when are the rest of The Inside episodes airing. I know it is in the archives somewere and I have looked, and looked and looked some more...but I can't find it...
I also think this is rubbish. If they were going to replace JG with anyone as the star it would most likely be Nadia taking over. That character has already been established. I've always heard that this would be the last season for Alias anyway. Kind of like JW saying he had a seven year story arc for BtVS.
Jonas -- they may not. As far as Rachel goes, I thought she was fairly blah at first, but came to realize that she was playing the character flat and detached deliberately and then I came to apprciate her, especially in the last two or three eps of Inside that aired. Just now watching S1 of Alias.
Jonas, I'm pretty sure they aren't going to air at all.
Oops, Zeitgeist beat me to it!
Jonas, I believe Tim Minear, said, that Fox, won't be showing the rest of the episodes, actually I think he asked them not to, since they already canceled the show. So they'll have more unaired episodes in the dvd set, so it'll be even more marketable (sp??).

I believe he said that the set will include all the episodes, including the ones that weren't aired, and alll 3 versions of "The Inside" pilot that were shot.

Concerning Alias S5, it seems that'll be a season with many new faces. The guy who plays Weiss is leaving, and it seems that even Mia Maestro won't be around much.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-08-11 16:57 ]
I swear i read an article a couple of years ago where it said Alias had been signed up to 8 years or Jennifer Garner had signed on to play Bristow for 8 years.

Can anybody else remember anything like this?
Garner signed a 7 year contract in Season 2. She can't quit. They have to let her go which they'd never do. The show is built around her.

I finally watched the last episode of The Inside. I've been waiting to see if Fox would ever air the episodes. The show was really finding its footing lately. Peter Coyote is great and I need to see more of him. I'll probably follow him to his next project whatever it may be.
Interesting parallell to the discussions around Buffy S7, is it possible to keep the show going if the central character that a lot of the stories are based on disappears ?
Will be interesting to see if the Alias producers believe they have enough story material (and audience) to continue after S5, I doubt it, suspect the producers and JG agrees to call it quits.
I'm in total shock... I've been into Alias for about a year and I really love it. It's certainly helped me cope with the loss of the Buffyverse, and I feel that it consistantly manages to reach the same level of quality that Joss's shows do. I'm only up to the third season so far on DVD, but I'm still really enjoying it and I would be extremely disappointed if it ends after season five, and I would also be upset if Jennifer Garner was replaced.

I'm glad that she has allegedly signed on up to season nine although I'm not sure if it could maintain its quality that long, although knowing J J Abrams I wouldn't be surprised if it was still fresh and interesting at that point. I know that there is a strong possibility that they could manage to keep it going without Jennifer Garner, and possibly do so successfully, but with Lost being so successful I'm guessing that J J Abrams probably has less input into the show, and whilst that is fine at the moment, if there were to be a radical change like JG leaving, then I'm not sure they would be able to pull it off without heavy input from him.

It's like the situation with Buffy. After Sarah Michelle Gellar left, I wouldn't have wanted the show to keep going on without her. Sure, I would have loved to have seen a new series with a new format and certain characters in it, but I didn't want the show to keep going on under the name of Buffy if Buffy herself wasn't in it. Alias doesn't have quite the same problem, but JG is a massive part of the show, just as SMG was to Buffy or DB to Angel. They probably could continue with the fantastic supporting cast like Victor Garber and Ron Rifkin, but I'd rather see something slightly different with the characters.

I've also heard Michael Vartan is leaving which is a little sad as well. I know that after doing Alias both he and JG will probably want to focus their energies on films, but I just feel like it's not the right time yet. Seven years was a good time for Buffy. Five was good for Angel although it definately could have kept going for another couple of seasons if it hadn't been cancelled. I think that seven seems to be a good number of seasons so I hope Alias could keep going that long with its familiar characters and then they could end it on a high note. After that there would always be the possibility of a new series featuring some old or new characters, just like what we're hoping for with Joss's work.
It didn't work with "The X-Files." Good as Robert Patrick was, the show lost its footing and viewership after David Duchovny left. They were angling to replace both Mulder and Scully and it didn't work.

"Buffy" wouldn't have been the same without Buffy, either. The better alternative at the time was to let it go and focus on "Angel," where plot twists that took place in "Buffy" could, to an extent, be continued (i.e., souled Spike, lots of new slayers). There was so much potential there, too, to follow up in season 6...

Another slayerverse show could work, but it would have to be different than "Buffy."

And "Alias" should end at season 5. It's starting to struggle anyway, and has lost the edge it originally had. Then again if they could get Sarah Michelle Gellar to sign on... (jk!)
In last weeks Ask Ausiello column, the ABC head honcho guy (Steven something) said he was almost certain that this would be the last season of Alias. The show has never done particularly well (despite having Lost as a lead-in last season) and moving it to Thursday seems like a last ditch attempt.
Alias is one of the best most consistantly frustrating shows I've ever followed. The cast is supurb. Especially daddy Bristow. The writers sure know how to end an espisode and leave you wanting more. Abrams probably is the best show runner working today. He develops his charachters well, develops his plot lines in an extrordinary fashion....the baam! No payoff. I'm still not sure what all those Rimbaldi artifacts were supposed to accomplish. Drama was heightened and made more heartfelt as people were killed off. Then guess what, they weren't really dead! It's not like there's a Whedonverse talking beyond the grave element. Nope. There actually living on the beach, or, silly person, you killed there double. All that emotion wasted on someone who, suprise suprise, is alive!

I miss Joss.
Alias is probably my favorite stopped making TV, it matches the whedonverse in that the story hardly ever goes in the direction you expect it to, and the characters are always being developed. I will miss this show, and there's characters that are spinoff worthy, but they really shouldn't continue the show Alias without Jennifer Garner.

I believe that Jennifer Garner had a seven year deal with ABC, and not with Alias.

Nancy Boy hair Gel I think the double was the best excuse they could come up with for how to bring Irina back, when they killed her that was probably supposed to be the end of her, they'd tried throughout season 3 to get Lena Olin back with no success so just decided to kill her as it seemed she would never return, of course when she finally agreed to come back they weren't going to say "no thanks", and so they did the best they could. The faking of Sloane's wife's death was important to the story too, it was one of the first times Sloane was actually shown to have a heart, and it was through that that he played a part in bringing down the Alliance.
I rented the first season of Alias. Didn't make it past episode six. To push the much-abused cliche, t'was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Didn't care what happened to any of the characters, because I didn't believe in any of the characters, and it was rather full of unlikely - to put it mildly - events. I can't agree for a second that it was anything like Joss-level quality.

It was, however, beautifully shot.
I agree with most of your comments, Nancy Boy Hair Gel. I think it is a superb show. However, as I said before, I'm only half a dozen episodes through season three so I can't comment on it or season four. I have heard people criticising season three and I'm not sure what the general opinion is on season four.

I felt that the first season was fantastic. Each episode resolved a cliffhanger, then set up a new storyline which ended on a cliffhanger, usually with ongoing arcs dealt with in the episode. The cliffhanger at the end of the season was particularly potent because it was so shocking yet not entirely unexpected.

I felt season two continued in this vein, and the addition of Lena Olin to the cast as Irina was amazing. I felt that "Phase One" was an extraordinarily bold move, that truly paid off. It's like when the Buffy gang left high school. People wondered how the show could adapt with the characters becoming adults when it had been about adolescence, and there wouldn't be the same "high school is hell" metaphors, not to mention the loss of Angel and Cordelia. However this was a natural progression, they couldn't keep the characters in high school forever. With Alias, I'm sure they could have easily kept SD6 around for another few years and continue with the format of the show, but instead they decided to flip the Alias world upside down and I think that was really rewarding for viewers.

I do think that the Rambaldi plotline is probably one of the show's only problems. This has been going on since the first season, almost every other episode has revolved around the acquisition of his artifacts. I think it's almost impossible for the show to actually satisfy people when the whole plot is finally complete, after it building up for so long. Perhaps if it had have been uncovered at the end of season two, during "The Telling" then there wouldn't be quite as much anticipation, but as it is, they are going to have to have some sort of giant payoff.

However I do agree that the season two finale was a little arbitary. I'm sure someone here commented before on it, how yes it was very shocking and opened a lot of possibilities, however it was came out of nowhere, a completely random event, unlike Irina's return.

I think season three is a little depressing so far and it's difficult to see Syndey trying to adjust to her new life. I've heard people complain about it, but I also remember similar complaints for season six of Buffy, which I was initally unsure of but completely love now. Sometimes you have to have the characters go through bad times in order to get them into the light. Take Buffy herself, for example. Her happiness in "Chosen" is even more rewarding when you consider her tumultuous relationship with Spike and post-resurrection depression. Likewise, Willow becoming so powerful and in control is much more potent considering the journey she went through the year before, the loss of Tara and giving in to her lust for power.

I think that maybe Alias season three is like that, maybe you wouldn't want it to be the final season because it's not quite as positive as you would like, but it is necessary. So far I haven't witnessed any decline in the writing, acting or production values so I hope that it stays strong for the rest of it's run.

I do agree that some of the twists can be disorienting and occasionally cheapen the emotional impact. Emily's death for example was beautiful and tragic, but whenever she was revealed as being alive I didn't feel like her original death had been cheapened, because at the time, for Sydney, it was real. And it added all new dimensions to the characters, letting us know that Sloane actually wouldn't actually kill his wife as we were lead to believe, but that he has something even more nefarious planned.

I'm still trying to get over Francie's death. I'm glad it happened, really, because the character, although likeable, had so little to do by that stage, and it really gave Sydney a tough challenge and real loss. It sort of feels like Tara's death to me, though, in that I don't think it has received the amount of recognition by the characters that I would have liked. I know they can't spend every episode grieving, but Sydney is the only one who seems to care and we haven't even seen that much of her reaction. I suppose if Will was still there then they might talk about it more.
And I should have said this in my comment above, but:

strictly speaking - in fact, speaking in any manner, - Rachel Nichols is not Whedon "cast & crew," since she has never appeared in any Joss production. Expanding the definition of "cast & crew" to encompass every cast and crew member who appears in every production by every Joss Whedon co-writer is a little too much.

Given the healthy discussion here right now, the thread will remain. But no more links to Rachel Nichols news please - unless it has direct quotes by, or input from, an actual Whedon colleague, such as Tim Minear or Drew Goddard.
I'm surprised to hear a fan of Joss' work complain about a show being full of "unlikely" events. Alias is based in a comic book type of reality, which is what I love about it. People expecting something grounded in our reality are probably going to be disappointed, but those who can find the groove of the show will be instantly addicted.

And, not to bring up the old season one cliche, but what if you had stopped on episode 6 of Buffy? 'The Pack' isn't anywhere near the level of quality the show would eventually reach.

That being said, Alias definitely should not survive without Jennifer Garner. I'm already dubious about the casting of Rachel Nichols, who I didn't care for on The Inside, and I definitely don't think she should carry the series. I'm sure this is an unfounded rumor anyway, much like the rumor of Michael Vartan leaving.
Well, there's unlikely and there's unlikely. As a lover of fantasy et al., I can accept the proposition that vampires exist, and hellmouths, and so on. It's a question of internal consistency and emotional consistency. I didn't buy any of the emotions I was registering on the show. I didn't buy the dialogue. I didn't feel it. And, personally, I love Season One of BtVS - it gripped me instantly. Alias, um, *bored* me instantly.

I get that shows develop - and my line on other threads that shows should be given a chance to develop before being cancelled still stands. But if it's a question of how I, personally, use my own viewing time, I'm not necessarily going to give a show 20 hours of my time if it doesn't show me something. Same with Farscape, which so many W members love - it just didn't appeal, the exciting and moving events of Seasons Two, Three, Four, etc. notwithstanding. There's just too much other stuff to investigate.

But y'all who love Alias, - terrific. I never begrudge the enjoyment of others. Unless it's like, you know, Friends or something . . . ;)
I find JJ Abrams' shows to be all hat and no cattle whereas Joss' tend to be all cattle with little or no hat. I think David Fury's recent con remarks about Lost reflect what I've always suspected about Lost and Alias - directionless storytelling where the showrunners are just tossing out flashier and flashier tricks to disguise that they have no clue where they're going with any of their characters or arcs. JMPO, YMMV, yadda yadda.

As for Rachel Nichols taking over the lead? Well, they've already introduced a subplot where Arvin Clone was effectively brainwashed to "be" Arvin Sloan, so they could just as easily do the same for Syd.
I find JJ Abrams' shows to be all hat and no cattle whereas Joss' tend to be all cattle with little or no hat.

I have no idea what this means, but I love it.
My problem with Alias (and I believe I made it through seven or eight episodes of Season 1, maybe a little more) is that I had a been-there-done-that feeling while watching. A lot of it was, for me, reminiscent of the La Femme Nikita TV series, only more suited to a mainstream audience. There may've been higher production values for Alias, sure, but it didn't quite have as much heart as Nikita. And Peta Wilson was a far more compelling lead. I think Alias' supporting cast is much better than its lead, but remember that I'm only going on about half a season's worth of viewing. Jennifer Garner has bored me as Hannah on Felicity, as Elektra in Daredevil, and as much as I wanted to enjoy 13 Going on 30 (I thought the previews made it look like fun fluff, and Mark Ruffalo's always great), she wasn't helping much. I think the only role I ever really liked her in was as the prostitute in Catch Me If You Can.

I definitely wanna give Alias one more chance. I like JJ Abrams' other two series (Felicity, Lost), often a whole lot. But there're many other TV-shows-on-DVD that're way higher up on the list of stuff I wanna check out before Alias gets another shot.
I agree with punkinpuss - Alias (and Abrams shows in general) are flash without the substance.
I fully admit to tearing through the first two seasons of the Alias DVDs via Netflix (the less said about the third season the better, and by this year, I just stopped watching), but I always considered it guilty pleasure territory, and I'd never actually plunk down money and buy the DVDs, since the chances of me rewatching an episode are zero.

I agree with most of what SNT said the dialogue is contrived, the plots unbelievable (operating on that "internal consistency" yardstick), the characters and relationships relatively shallow, and there's not a lot of emotional integrity. And then, I just got fed up with the constant build-ups toward huge events that had no pay-off (which looks to be a problem in "Lost" as well) and the ridiculous Rimbaldi stuff. So why did I keep watching for two seasons? Total entertainment value. I liked seeing a strong woman kicking ass, and I found Sydney and some of the other characters immensely likeable.

I've found that Alias tends to be a lot more entertaining for women than it is for men several of my good female friends are Alias fanatics (that I have yet to convince of the value of the whedonverse, alas, through no lack of trying), but I don't know of a single guy friend who's watched more than a half dozen episodes and really loves it.

I'm toying with the idea of renting season 4 when it comes out on DVD, since i head it improved a lot, but I just don't know if I care to devote that many hours to watch it.
Thanks to everyone for helping me out with my question from above. I now know more than I did this morning about comic books. :)
"All hat and no cattle" means it takes more than a hat to make you a cowboy.
Thanks, brownishcoat. So the converse, "all cattle with little or no hat," which is how punkinpuss describes Joss's shows above, means, um, all substance with no style? Good for you, but unattractive, like granola? 'Cos I would have to disagree with that too . . .
Well, SNT, bein' a cowboy (staying with the analogy) has more of an effortless style and charisma that's kind of built in. Meaning the stylish part happens without a lot of effort.
I'm sure she's perfectly fine, but I just don't get all the buzz about this young woman. She came out of nowhere, and in my opinion, her talent Not to mention her typical little hollywood blonde self. What's so great?
" but I don't know of a single guy friend who's watched more than a half dozen episodes and really loves it.

I started watching the show in the 3rd season after hearing all the hype for so long from friends. I liked what I saw but was confused so I went out and bought the first 2 seasons. Loved it. Ripped right through them. It was very addictive. I think the show fell off midway through season 3(When the romantic triangle took hold of the show) but I very much enjoyed the 2nd half of Season 4. I mostly watch the show now for the older characters(sloane, jack, etc.) but what HOOKED me was the family story(sydney, her parents, and soon her child). That story to me has always been the heart and soul of the series and without it I'd stop watching.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-08-11 21:43 ]
I'd also like to mention that I'm a guy, and my 3 best male friends and my older brother are all obsessed with the show.
Though I own the three seasons of 'Alias' on DVD, I must admit it's nothing more than window dressing for an action packed junket. While I enjoy watching the series whenever I play a disc, the only episode I can recall off the top of my head is 'Phase One' from season two. And that's due to the scene when Syd reveals to Dixon the true nature of SD-6. Besides that, nothing. Guess that says it all.

As for this series continuing to a sixth season with another main cast star as lead, throw me on the rubbish band wagon. First, though the fourth season did see an increase in the series ratings, it's still on the lower end of the scale for a network such as ABC. Recall it averaged around 8 million viewers this past season? Second, almost as a rule, a series never succeeds when the main character is recasted by another actor. Or another character takes the reins after a series has grown long in the tooth such as this one. Bottom line, I believe 'Alias' will close if Jennifer Garner decides to walk after this upcoming season. Just my humble opinion.
Point of order request: could we correct the spelling of Ms. Nichols name in the title?
I love Alias. Like many of you, I only began watching this year. So naturally I went out and wasted a lot of money, renting the first three seasons. Unlike many of you, I wouldn't mind too much if the show DID go on without her. I love Jennifer. I think that she is probably the perfect person for her role and I love her emotions and everything, but I also remember telling myself that if SMG left Buffy, I'd leave too. I was wrong. I WISH that they'd go on without her now. That way, we wouldn't be stuck here, 2 years later crying about the verse not returning.

Alias plots have somewhat gotten crappier since maybe the third season, but it still a hell of a lot better than most things on t.v. This season of television shows SO better be worth it.
All hat and no cowboy. I'll through another meat analogy in there (hmmm). It's a lot of sizzle very little steak.

The thing about Alias is it has everything it needs to be a GREAT show. Good acting. Intriguing concepts. Stylelistically supurb. The production value is on par with many movies. Great setups.

It just trips over itself.

There is a show waiting to achieve Buffy/Angel/Firefly quality, it just needs more tight plotting. Rimbaldi stuff should have been better plotted. They lost a very intersesting and complex relationship when they wrote Bradley Cooper off.

I do have to give it props for writing a strong female lead. There should ne much more of that.


I Miss Joss
I agree with Fury. Alias writers always seem as though they have no idea what's ahead for their characters as Joss always plans ahead, he doesn't just do things for the shock and awe value. I love the 1st 2 season's of Alias IMO the best acted and thrilling back to back seasons of any TV show. I love Buffy and Angel both my great loves and seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy come close but IMO Buffy came alive mid way through season 2. Buffy was well acted, witty and one of a kind. I loved it right off the bat(i watched the 1st episode when it aired) but didn't fall IN love with it until Buffy got her heart broken after she slept with Angel and he turned. Thats when the show hit it's stride. Alias hit it's stride from the first day (again this is my opinion) and then dies during the 1st part of season 3 while Buffy kept going.

Watching the DVD's of Alias took me a while to get excited cause I am no Garner fan but once i started watching the 1st 2 seasons it was hard to turn the DVD off and i truly believe that Garner deserves all her Emmy noms. Season 1 had a clear direction, but what made then show was her home life, hiding her identity from Will and Francie. The anticipation of Will finding out then the shock of SD-6 during season 2 and the great cliffhanger. That season 2 cliffhanger is where the writers had no idea where they were going with Rimbaldi, what they were gonna do about Syd's missions and what happened during her lapse of 2 years. They let Will go and took away her home life. All we saw was her agent life. I love the family dynamic with her immediate family but it became to soapy with Sloane and Irina having Nadia and now Vaughn isn't Vaughn. Makes no sense, sure i dropped my jaw and yelled "OH SH**" when the ending happened, but what made Vaughn Vaughn was his integrity, his good guy image. Plus now we have a baby....oh boy more soap opera.

Joss and his writers knew how to mix emotions and shock into the plot and know where it's headed (exluding season 4 of ANGEL). The killing of both Tara and Jenny were complete shocks but both were very important setting up the season finales.

My point is Joss rocks!!
I think David Fury's recent con remarks about Lost

Could you link me to some of these comments?
Melisande, I was just going by what punkinpuss said in an earlier post above. I'm sorry i should say that Fury made those comments for sure as I wasn't there.
Here's a link to a con report from the recent Alternate Universe event where David Fury did a Q&A. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page for the post by TalkEnglishToMe.
I have no idea what this means, but I love it.

LOL, it's a phrase Spike used in S2's "I Only Have Eyes For You" when he's taunting Angelus:

All hat and no cattle scene

I didn't get it at first either and had to ask around to find out what it meant. Now I use it whenever I can!

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2005-08-12 10:31 ]

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2005-08-12 10:33 ]
May be there is something to this rumor. I found more on this subject on the MSN Gossip page.
I found the comment about women preferring Alias to men interesting, given that I was reading criticism of Alias the other day, which stated that its only fans were teenage boys.

I agree that the show has its faults. On a purely aesthetic level, it is very high quality. The sets, costumes, props etc all look fantastic, and the fight scenes and special effects are great. The music is also fantastic.

I also think that all of the actors are very talented. It's hard to pinpoint exactly the aspects of Alias I find dissatisfing. I think perhaps it does suffer because the plots don't feel quite as planned out as in Joss's shows. It's not that there aren't arcs and development, it's just that at times it doesn't always seem intentional.

Take Angel, when Skip reveals in season four that certain events all took place in order to get them to this point. I doubt it was planned that far in advance, but the way in which the stories are constructed means that in hindsight they really could be, so when you look back you can see the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

The same with Buffy. An episode like Restless presents many themes and ideas that both represent the past and foreshadow the future. I think Joss always had a very strong vision and whilst not every single episode was planned in exact detail, there was always a rough outline for what was going to happen.

I think Alias may be missing that. When we get twists in Jossworld, they're a shock to us but not to the writers. When we get them in Alias, it seems like they're just as much of a shock to the writers, and that they don't seem very planned.

But I find that Sydney's relationships are what drive the show. Her parents Jack and Irina. Her romantic interests Vaughn and Will. Her friends Francie and Will. Her colleagues Dixon, Weiss and Marshall, and her enemies Sloane and Sark. To most people, Buffy wasn't about the vampires and demons, it was about the relationships and emotions, but the action and mythology was just the right amount. I don't think Alias has found quite the right balance. The characters are important but just not quite important enough.

It's definately very different to Buffy but the first two seasons as least were fantastic, in my opinion. It remains to be seen what season three and four turn out like.

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