Putting a Name with a Face: Patrick Fischler

patrickfischler.jpgThis installment of Putting a Name with a Face comes to you at the behest of fellow Doombot contributor Tony. **Patrick Fischler** is another one of those guys who seems to pop up in every show I watch—last summer I saw him on three separate series within the space of a couple weeks. The distinctive-looking Fischler, 39, started [his Hollywood career](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0279209/) in 1993—his second role was as a guard in an episode of *The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.*—but here’s a few other places you might have noticed him lately.

* Most recently, Fischler has donned a Dharma Initiative jumpsuit to appear in several episodes of *Lost*’s penultimate season as Initiative member Phil, who Sawyer—in typical Sawyer fashion—describes as a dimwit.
* Last year, he also appeared in one episode of the dearly departed *Pushing Daisies* as the The Waffle Nazi. “I do not speak a vord of German. I speak English *mit* a German accent.”
* Over the past summer, Fischler appeared on the second season of the acclaimed *Mad Men* in one of his most prominent roles, that of the somewhat creepy, somewhat pitiable comedian Jimmy Barrett.
* Fischler also played a character named Jimmy in the second season premiere of *Burn Notice*, where he, like protagonist Michael Westen, found himself on the wrong side of the mysterious conspiracy.
* Around the same time, Fischler appeared in an episode of *The Middleman*, playing an alien doctor (which, along with *Burn Notice*, makes two series he shares with last week’s subject, [Mark Sheppard](http://doombot.com/2009/03/25/putting-a-name-with-a-face-mark-sheppard/)).
* In a season three episode of crime-drama *Bones*, Fischler played a character whose high school friend showed up dead inside a recently unearthed time capsule.
* Fischler also appeared in the third-season episode of cult-classic *Veronica Mars* that wins my award for the series’s best episode title, “Weevils Wobble But They Don’t Go Down.”
* And a few old-timers might recognize Fischler from his recurring role on the late ’90s Don Johnson vehicle *Nash Bridges*, where he played Pepe, the secretary at Nash and Joe’s detective agency.

Fischler’s also appeared in several feature films, including *The Shadow*, *Speed*, *Twister*, *Mulholland Dr.*, and *Ghost World*, as well as episodes of *The West Wing*, *Angel*, and *Star Trek: Enterprise*, and the both the unaired and aired pilot episodes of the short-lived Nathan Fillion series *Drive*.

Putting a Name with a Face: Mark Sheppard

For some reason, my brain’s always been wired pretty well for recognizing faces, and given I watch as much TV as I do, I frequently see familiar faces show up in guest star roles—especially when they then appear the next week on a *different* show. So as a public service, I’m thinking of providing this semi-regular feature where I tell you where the hell you’ve seen that guy (or gal) before.

marksheppard.jpgToday’s candidate? __Mark Sheppard__. I’m guessing many of you will know Sheppard from his recurring role on *Battlestar Galactica*, but I swear to God, every time I tune into a show it seems like he turns up eventually. Here are a couple of other places you might have seen the prolific 44 year-old London-born actor (that’s right, ladies: the accent is *real*), who usually plays villains and characters of questionable morality.

* On *Battlestar Galactica*, Sheppard plays Romo Lampkin, the lawyer who defends Baltar in his trial at the end of season 3, and turns up in a couple of later incidents (including ascending to auspicious post in the series finale).
* You also may have seen him pop up recently on *Dollhouse*, where he plays FBI Special Agent Tanaka, rival to fellow *BSG* alum Tahmoh Penikett.
* On TNT’s *Leverage*, Sheppard played the recurring role of antagonist Jim Sterling, who had taken over the former job of Timothy Hutton’s Nate Ford. And, in the last two episodes, Sterling’s chief henchman is played by [Alex Carter](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0141450/)….
* …who also played opposite Sheppard in an episode of *Burn Notice*. Sheppard played a bank robber; Carter reprised his role as federal agent Jason Bly.
* Over last summer, Sheppard also showed up in my favorite show of the year, [*The Middleman*](http://doombot.com/2008/07/22/short-television-review-the-middleman/), with a two-episode stint as mogul Manservant Neville.
* In 2007, he played the mysterious inventor Anthony Andros in the short-lived revival of *Bionic Woman*, although he only appeared in two aired episodes.
* And most of you probably first saw Sheppard in his memorable two-episode stint on Joss Whedon’s cult-classic *Firefly*, where he played Mal’s underworld contact with the very fine hat, Badger.

Of course, Sheppard’s got [an extensive filmography](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0791968/) dating back to 1992 with additional roles on *Star Trek: Voyager*, *Charmed*, and *24*, so the chances that you’ve seen him somewhere else are damn good.

Doomcast: Play the Dungeon Master

The fourth episode of the Doomcast covers a variety of topics that may have slipped through the cracks of so-called professional news organizations:

  • Dungeons (and Dragons)
  • matters prestidigital
  • high-end book retrieval
  • words, and the people who love them

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [18m 15s]

Subscribe via iTunes

Daily Doom 3/16/09

With Tony off collecting rattlesnakes and other dangerous animals, the task of compiling your weekly list of links falls to the rest of the Doombot crew. Please to enjoy.

Things That Happened a Long Time Ago

Frozen Goods

“Don’t touch that, 007”

Taking Back the Streets

YouTube Video of the Week

Doomcast: Pants on Fire

Episode three of our continuing podcast adventures sees Tony and Dan consider a number of important issues:

  • aliases, noms de guerre, and the legend of Biff
  • matters mendacious
  • reader feedback
  • cryptozoology revisited

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [18m 50s]

Short Movie Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The third and final installment in Leone’s Dollars trilogy is the lengthiest and the most iconic, if for nothing other than [its trademark theme](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ennio_Morricone-The_Good,_The_Bad_And_The_Ugly.ogg). Eastwood’s Man with No Name (here called “Blondie”) is the good, taking on the bad, in the form of the amoral contract killer Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef, who played the sympathetic Colonel Mortimer in [*For a Few Dollars More*](http://doombot.com/2008/12/09/short-movie-review-for-a-few-dollars-more/)). Then there’s the ugly, Mexican bandit Tuco, played by a show-stealing Eli Wallach, who can’t quite escape his Brooklyn accent and occasionally looks eerily like a pudgy Dustin Hoffman. All three are looking for a box of Union coins, but the convoluted plot features more twists and alliances than your average game of *Risk*. The version I saw was the extended 2002 version, with an almost twenty additional minutes of footage that had never before made it into the English cut and required Eastwood and Wallach to return to dub more lines 35 years after the original film (van Cleef had died in the meantime, with another actor filling his role—and I also swear I caught [*The Middleman*’s](http://doombot.com/2008/07/22/short-television-review-the-middleman/) Matt Keeslar in the credits, though I haven’t been able to confirm). Frankly, several of the cut scenes probably could have been left on the floor, since they stretch the movie out almost 3 hours, and make it lag in parts, but whole film—including the 5-minute Mexican standoff at the end—is still a work of beauty.

Doomcast: Canine Haberdashery

In this, the second in a series of podcasts, our heroes take on the following pressing topics of the day, to wit:

  • creatures cryptozoological
  • matters arboreal
  • insect identification, and pamphlets related unto
  • film adaptions of literary classics
  • the aforementioned canine haberdashery (for which we recommend these key informational resources)

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [19m 05s]

Short Movie Review: Coraline (3-D)

Based on the novel by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman and brought to life on the screen by Henry Selick (*The Nightmare Before Christmas*, *James and the Giant Peach*), *Coraline* is the tale of Coraline Jones, who discovers another world behind the tiny door in her new house’s living room. The movie, filmed as stop-motion, is absolutely gorgeous and exquisitely crafted, with the kind of attention to detail you’d expect from such a production. Of particular note to me was the recurring theme of reflections—for instance, a scene in which Coraline and her mother are driving in the car, and out the window you can see the side mirror, in which you can watch the road disappearing behind them. They could just have not bothered—but the fact that they didn’t tells you something about the immersion of the world they were trying to create. The 3-D effects were used to good effect as well—too often it’s a technique used mainly for cheesy gags, but here it added depth and texture to the experience (in particular, I loved the shots of the corridor that connected Coraline’s house with the other world—it was like you could actually *feel* it). Oh, and they snuck in a They Might Be Giants song, which was pretty cool, too. On the whole, the movie is a little bit creepy (probably too much so for the younger set), but does a fantastic job of creating a living, breathing world.

Doomcast: The Sport of Kings

The first in a series of podcasts, in which Tony and Dan discuss sundry matters of importance, including—but not limited to:

  • bands, of the musical variety
  • matters of money and measurement
  • the sport of kings
  • hybrid sports
  • …and general doom

Download, for your listening enjoyment. [21m 51s]

He taught us all…to dare

As I haven’t been posting a lot, I’m sure what you’re all (okay—what *some* of you) wondering is: what am I up to when I’m not [helping unstick widgets](http://doombot.com/2009/01/30/xbox-live-widget-updated/).

Well, boy am I glad that you let me appropriate your voice and ask. I recently spent some time working on [a little film project](http://www.fireball-the-movie.com/), featuring my friends [Merlin](http://kungfugrippe.com), [Scott](http://yourmonkeycalled.com), [Adam](http://lonelysandwich.com/), [John](http://apocatips.com), and, most especially, [John](http://daringfireball.net). Delightful folks, all. I hope they don’t sue me.

Anyway, you might enjoy watching the trailer below. Or you might not. Admittedly, it’s got a pretty limited audience.

Fireball – The John Gruber Story Trailer from Dan Moren on Vimeo.