June 26, 2008

‘Bones’ Character Takes Major Turn to Shake Up Plot of Comedy-Drama

By Rich Heldenfels, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Jun. 26--If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag . . .

Q: Explain to me why "Bones" made Eric Millegan a killer at the end of last season.

A: For those of you who don't watch the entertaining Fox comedy-drama, Millegan's character, Zack Addy, was a murderous associate of the serial killer Gormogon.

"We're going into our fourth season and you want an audience to know that you're not 'in a box,' that anything can happen," producer Hart Hanson told TV Guide. "Even though we're half a comedy, you don't want an audience settling in and getting blase."

But you haven't seen the last of Zack. "He won't be in every episode, but Zack has certain talents we can use in a 'Hannibal Lecter' kind of way," Hanson said. "We can go visit him and he can look at stuff."

Q: Was the "Battlestar Galactica" episode on June 13 the series finale? I have checked the Web site and it is not on its schedule and doesn't seem to say when its coming back on if it is at all.

A: That was a "mid-season finale," according to experts on the show. It will be back in 2009, probably early in the year, to complete the series. Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, one of the top BSG watchers, says there are 11 hours to go, including a series finale that will run three hours.

Q: I know Ross Martin died of a heart attack in 1981, that he was born in Poland and spoke Yiddish, Russian, Polish and English. What I have never understood is why this outstanding actor's talents were never truly recognized with any kind of awards.

A: While he did stage work and a lot of television, Martin is best remembered for playing Artemus Gordon, James West's disguise-wearing sidekick, on The Wild Wild West.

He did not go entirely unnoticed by awards groups. He was nominated for an Emmy for best actor in a drama series in 1969 for Wild Wild West, although he did not win. (Carl Betz of Judd for the Defense did; the other nominees were Raymond Burr for Ironside, and Peter Graves and Martin Landau for Mission: Impossible.) He was also nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for the movie Experiment in Terror.

As for why Martin did not get more acclaim, the choices made by awards-givers are often mysterious. Jackie Gleason, Angela Lansbury and Andy Griffith have never won an Emmy; Lansbury alone has been nominated 18 times. Peter O'Toole has been nominated for an Oscar eight times to date and has never won. (He did receive an honorary award for career achievement.) Christopher Cross has as many Grammys as the Beatles won as a group, and more than twice as many as the Rolling Stones.

Do you have a question or comment about movies, TV and other popular culture? Write to [email protected] or the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309. Please mark the note for Mailbag and do not phone in questions. Letters may be edited. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in a blog at http://www.ohio.com. You can find more columns, questions and answers at http://www.ohio.com/entertainment/heldenfels.


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