Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Claudia Black

The name Claudia always reminds me of Interview with the Vampire and Party of Five. No offense to Claudia Black, but I hope she's not overly interesting and complicated. Tim says he might upgrade the computer today. That means I can go back to playing Sims 3. I've been eagerly awaiting that.

Well, Lord Wiki has shattered my hopes here. It looks like Black has a pretty long filmography. Her big thing seems to be science fiction. She was in Farscape and Stargate SG-1. I'm guessing she's a cult favorite with science fiction fans. So that's good. That's something I like....people who get really into their favorite TV shows. I like how they go to conferences, wear costumes, learn made-up languages, etc. Although his post might not be as short as I'd like it to be, I think it will probably be interesting to me. I'm eager to know more about all these popular science fiction shows.

Baby Claudia was born in Sydney, on 11 October 1972. She's one month, and eleven days older than me.

Black attended the Kambala Girls School in Rose Bay. I wonder if that's where her family lived.

What else?

Besides acting, she's also a singer. Those two things do often go hand in hand.

She also plays the guitar.

She has two sons. One is about nine now, and the other is about two-and-a-half.

Now I'm going to go to IMDb.

Black's first screen appearance was in a 1993 Australian miniseries called Seven Deadly Sins. Hugo Weaving was in this too. Black's pretty far down in the credits, so she probably had a small role. By the way, when I say someone is far down in the credits, what I usually mean is that they're not on the first IMDb page. I have to click on see more to get to their name.

In 1993 and 1994, Black appeared in various TV shows. I'll mention the ones in which she appeared in more than one episode.

She played Joanna in a two part episode of G.P Here's some scenes from that.

Tim just came upstairs to tell me our computers can't be upgraded enough for Sims 3. So there goes that. I'm going to have to wait until he gets his new work computer. It's probably for the best. That way I can play only when Tim's home from work. It puts a limit to my addiction.

I'm watching the scenes from G.P now. This might be the first time I've seen an Asian on an Australian TV show. Or maybe I've seen someone before, and I've forgotten. No wait. I totally forgot. There's Jeff from the Wiggles. Although Tim and I didn't know he was Asian at first. My sister told us he was, and we initially thought she was nuts. It's funny that the white family recognized Jeff was Asian before the part-Asian family recognized it.

In these clips, Black reminds me of Frankie on Another World.

Black played Claire Bonacci in eight episodes of A Country Practice. This Australian television website gives a synopsis of the episodes. I'll look at the first one.

Claire is a new nurse heading to her new job at a hospital. She comes across an accident involving a pregnant woman and her husband. She promises the woman that her husband will survive, and then she ends up being wrong. The pregnant woman gives birth, but wants nothing to do with the baby, since her husband is dead. Claire has to get her to accept the new baby.

It looks like Black disappeared for three years. Maybe she was doing theatre. Then in 1997, she was in an American TV movie called Amazon High. Maybe she moved to America before that, and had some trouble finding work. The trivia page says this movie was actually a TV pilot for something that would fit into the whole Hercules and Xena universe.

The show was filmed in New Zealand, not America. I was going to say this means my guess was wrong....she wasn't looking for work in America. But she could have been there, and then went to New Zealand to do the movie.

I really have no idea.

From 1997-1998, Black appeared in two episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. I'm trying to remember this show. Was it very popular? I do remember hearing about Xena....Lucy Lawless, and all that. I'm not sure if I remember the Hercules one. The shows were connected?

Anyway, Black played Cassandra, a woman from Atlantis. Here's a scene from that.

This show was filmed in New Zealand too.

I just took a LONG break. We went out. First we went to the arcade. Then we went to Costco and Michaels. That was fun. Actually, it was kind of sad, because the last time we did Costco we were with our friends in Hawaii. I was all missing them. Then Michaels had all this Hello Kitty stuff which Tara likes, so it made me miss them even more. I am tired of missing people. I'm thinking I should stop having real life friends, and have online friends only. Then I'll never have to miss anyone....well, unless their computer breaks down or they lose their internet connection.

Anyway, let me get back to Claudia Black. I made another chronology mistake. We need to back up a year or so to 1996. Then she started working on a soap opera called City Life. It was a New Zealand show. I don't think I've ever heard of a New Zealand show before.

It looks like Black was the main star, or at least one of them.

Here's some clips. It's weird. Black speaks, and then someone translates. Is that how it was broadcast, or did someone do that when they uploaded it to YouTube?

Oh! I just noticed Lisa Chappell was on the show too.

The clip I just watched was black and white. Was it always like that? I'm doubting it. Maybe that was just a special episode.

Lord Wiki says that Black played a corporate lawyer who decides to downgrade her career to being a legal aide. I wonder why she decided to do that.

City Life ended in 1998. In 1998 and 1999, Black did a few guest star appearance type things. Then in 1999, she started working on Farscape. She was on the show until 2003, playing Aeryn Sun.

I didn't know this. It's an Australian-American show. I thought it was just American. Although it's not that I knew much about this show in the first place. I just vaguely heard of it before.

So by now, I think I have the answer to my question. Those three mystery years did NOT have Claudia Black looking for work in America.

Lord Wiki is trying to explain the plot of Farscape to me. It seems complicated. I got that it's about space. There are these corrupt space officers called Peacekeepers. Aeryn Sun was one of them, but then she dropped out of the program. I guess she became one of the good guys. I'm reading further though, and it seems she didn't drop out by choice. Something happened. Aeryn was captured by the other team. Then I guess her team came to the conclusion that she was contaminated. She lost her position in the Peacekeeping troops, and learned she'd face the death penalty if she returned home. Yikes.

The character has no emotions or empathy. I guess she'd be like a psychopath then.

A cousin of Lord Wiki has a whole site about Aeryn Sun. I'm reading some of it. I guess Aeryn wasn't born a psychopath. It's not some kind of brain defect, or whatever. It's more about how she was raised. She wasn't brought up with love. She was trained to be a soldier. But it seems through out the series, she slowly learns about love, friendship, emotions, etc.

Here's a scene from the show. I'm confused by the do-you-love-John-Crichton bit. Is that guy talking about himself in third person?

This is all very dramatic. I'd probably appreciate it more if I began from the beginning, but I don't feel that compelled to do so.

Here's a fan video about Aeryn Sun and John Crichton. Black's voice reminds me a little bit of Mercedes McCambridge in the Exorcist.

Black did some other projects while Farscape was going on. In 2000, she was in the movie Pitch Black. If I remember right, that's an American movie filmed in Australia.

I had to look at the credits to see why I've written about this movie before. It was for Simon Burke.

It looks like most of the movie was filmed in South Australia.

Here's the trailer. I'm going to watch it again. Maybe I'll see Black....not just pitch black, but Claudia Black.

That woman they keep showing isn't her, is it?

No. I think that must be Radha Mitchell. And hey....she's Australian too!

Here we go. This website has photos of Black in the movie.

In 2002, Black was in Queen of the Damned. That's the Anne Rice thing. I read the book, but never saw the movie. I remember it's the one who had the singer/actress who died in a plane crash.

Black played Pandora. I'm guessing this refers to the one who has that box.

No. I guess I'm wrong. This is a different Pandora...a character invented by Anne Rice. Lord Wiki says she has her own book. I wonder if I read it. I thought I read all of Rice's vampire and witch books, but I might have missed one or two.

Pandora is connected to Marius. I know that name, but I've totally forgotten who he is. Is he the guy that Antonio Banderas played? No, IMDb says he played Armand. I'm totally lost. Well, at least I know if I run out of reading material, I can turn to Anne Rice. I've obviously forgotten most of everything. It will all feel new to me....probably.

Here's a trailer for Queen of the Damned. It looked pretty good, but I couldn't really find Black. I think it all went too fast for me.

I wonder if any of the teenagers obsessed with Twilight have gone on to try the Anne Rice stuff.

I end up loving almost every vampire thing I read....knocking on wood right now. I don't want to be cursed with bad vampire reading.

Cool. It looks like most of the movie was filmed in Melbourne.

In 2003, Black lent her voice to a video game, Lords of Everquest. She played Lady Brianna.

Here's a trailer for the game. I'm not sure if we'll hear Black. Those green guys look like they could be related to Shrek.

In 2004, Black was in a Farscape miniseries. From what I was reading before, the show was canceled when fans were not ready for it to be canceled. A miniseries was made, so there could be a satisfactory conclusion. Lord Wiki said the reason it was canceled is because the ratings declined, and it cost too much to make.

I've experienced shows being canceled abruptly before. The worst is when they end with a cliffhanger. That happened with Now and Again. And I think it also happened with Alien Nation, the TV show. Although I think with that, they MIGHT have done a movie later. Maybe?

I'll ask Lord Wiki.

Wow. He says there's been five Alien Nation movies! Did I miss all of them? I need to watch them someday.

Back to Farscape. Black won a Saturn award for her role in the miniseries.

Here's the trailer. Honestly. It's not really calling me in. But I'm glad to have learned about it. I hear vaguely of all these science fiction shows, and always feel I'm missing out on something. But for this one, I feel I can be okay without it.

Also in 2004, Black started her work in Stargate SG-1. This is another one of those shows in which I've heard of it, but know very little.

It's American-Canadian, rather than American-Australian. Black played Vala Mal Doran from 2004-2007. The show itself was on for a long time. Ten years. That's fairly impressive.

Lord Wiki says it's military science fiction, and he says that Black Vala Mal Doran is a con artist. Lord Wiki's cousin describes her in a way that reminds me a bit of Sawyer from Lost. He says, Vala has a tendency to lie and trick people in an attempt to get her way. This sometimes gets to the point where she assumes it is necessary when it really isn't....

Here's a montage of Vala scenes. Sometimes she looks a little bit like Alex on Lost.

And here's a video that includes talking. Black has a very interesting voice.

While doing Stargate, Black did some voice work.

She played Artemis in the game, God of War. Here's the trailer. Lord Wiki says it's a Greek mythology type thing. In 2006, it won a Saturn award for best video game release. That's cool.

In 2006, Black was in Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. Are Neopets like Webkinz? From what Lord Wiki says, it does sound similar to me. They both involve virtual animals on a website. I'm not sure if Neopets involves buying a stuffed animal like Webkinz does.

Here's the official website. Is it free, or do you have to pay?

Well, it looks like it's free, and it also looks fun. I know the fad is probably way over. I'm getting to it a bit late. What can I say? I'm a late-bloomer. I need to tell Jack about this. I think he's heard of it, but he always did Webkinz. I think he's over that now. Maybe he can get into this.....

Oh no. I probably shouldn't have done this. I forgot how much grief virtual pets give me. I am missing that gene that allows people to separate fantasy from reality. I start thinking of the animal as real, and feel all guilty about not feeding it on time, and not giving it enough love. I got into those problems on Facebook with the Haiku Pet thing.

You know what I'll do. I won't activate my account. I'll just imagine my pet is in some kind of suspended animation. Then I won't have to worry about it.

I probably shouldn't get Jack into it either. He already spends too much time doing video game/internet stuff.

I was thinking Black was in a Neopets movie, but it turns out it's a video game. Here's some scenes from it....actually, some gameplay. I think watching a few seconds of that is enough for me.

Here's a video of Black's character Fauna being rescued.

Also in 2006, Black did the video game Project Sylpheed. She did the narration for the English version. Here's a trailer for the game. You can hear Black in it.

We just ate dinner. Tim made falafel. They were very good. Then Jack and I played with a yellow smiley face ball. It was like a mix of physics and P.E. We had fun.

In 2007, Black was in an animated Australian movie called Stolen Life. This science fiction website has an article about it. The movie is a robotic artificial intelligence type thing with a film noir style. Black plays a robot.

Here's the trailer.

It's pretty long for a trailer.

Black was in the video games Conan and Crysis. In the latter, Black plays the daughter of a Dr. Rosenthal. It's a first person shooting game.

Here are some scenes from Crysis. You can hear Black at :28.

The game looks pretty violent.

In 2008, Black was in two Stargate movies; Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Julian Sands was in the ark of truth one. I haven't seen that guy in a LONG time.

Both movies were direct to DVD type things.

Here's the trailer for Stargate: The Ark of Truth, That spider at 1:14 is pretty cool.

The fate of the galaxy is in their hands!

The IMDb trivia page says the film took only 18 days to shoot. That's impressive.

and here's the trailer for Stargate Continuum.

I guess there was a sequel to Wargames. I didn't know about that. It was a straight to video thing that came out in 2008...Wargames: The Dead Code.

Black played R.I.P.L.E.Y. Well, her voice played R.I.P.L.E.Y. I'm guessing she's a computer.

The original movie is about a teenager's game being mistaken for a real nuclear war threat. In this one, the teenager's game is mistaken for terrorism. I'm not sure if it's a remake, or a sequel.

Here's the trailer. Wow. That's intense. I think this is another case of the fate of the world being in someone's hand. I guess that's usually the case with science fiction stuff.

In 2009, Black was in the video game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Jack's sitting on my lap right now. He wanted to know what the game was rated. For some reason, the kid is really interested in game ratings. Anyway, to answer his question, it's rated MA. That means it's for adults...MATURE adults. So, I don't qualify.

Although actually....Lord Wiki says the game in America is rated T. I'm almost as mature as a teen. Sort of.

Jack just whole-heartedly agreed with the fact that I'm incredibly immature.

It looks like the game is historical action adventure.

Here's the trailer. It looks kind of cool. The animation is amazing.

Here's a video that shows Black's character (Chloe Frazer) talking. Lord Wiki says that it's not just Black's voice that was used, but the creators used her motions as well. Chloe has gotten kudos for being a strong female lead.

One of Lord Wiki's cousins says that Chloe is Australian. That's cool.

Black did another video game in 2009. This was Dragon Age: Origins. Tim Curry is in it!

Lord Wiki says Black plays Morrigan, a shapeshifting mage. What's a mage? I've never heard of it.Link

Well, Lord Wiki says it's someone who practices paranormal magic. I guess it would be kind of like a witch.

Here's a scene with Morrigan. And I think this is one with Tim Curry. Yeah. That sounds like Curry.

That's a pretty gruesome death scene.

Black is in the fairly recently released game Mass Effect 2. It's about aliens who collect humans. The protagonists of the game have to prevent humans from disappearing. The fate of the world is in their hands. Of course.

Here's the trailer. I bet Tim would like it. And here's a scene featuring Black.

I think this character fits Black's voice. Personally, I think she does better with powerful queen-like characters rather than romantic-type ones. Yeah. She's more queen than princess.

Black is going to be in an upcoming movie with French Stewart; Rain from Stars. And Leo from Charmed is in it too! It's a thriller about disappearing members of a jury in the 1940's. The plot description on IMDb makes it sound pretty eerie.

In 2011, Black will be heard in Rango, a cartoon starring Johnny Depp. I'm not sure what that's going to be about.

Now I'm reading the IMDb trivia page about Black. They say she refuses to tell people what her birth year is. So maybe she's NOT close to my age. I think that's kind of sad. When people act ashamed of their age, it feeds into the whole worshiping-of-youth culture.

Although maybe it's the opposite. Maybe she's really young, and embarrassed about that.

I'm happy and proud to be thirty-seven, although I feel like I'm about twelve. When I watch stuff like Twilight, I totally relate to the teenage characters. Then every so often I stop and think....shit! I'm the parent's age! I must say though....I do NOT feel that most adults around my age are more mature than me. I don't feel left behind or anything. I feel like we're ALL about twelve.

I guess most of us have that inner child thing going on.

I'll admit it. Sometimes I AM jealous of the young....the pretty woman in their early twenties. They have their perky boobs displayed in cute skimpy bikinis. But all I have to do is remind myself that they'll grow older too. I also remind myself to think of my age as young. Because in ten years, I'll be much older. I'll look back at this age and think, why didn't I realize how damn young I was. Thirty-seven is so much younger than forty-seven. And when I'm forty-seven, I'll remind myself that it's much younger than fifty-seven. Fifty-seven. Wow. Then I'll be old enough to be the grandparents of the Twilight characters!

I am totally rambling here.

Okay. Honestly. I wasn't sure if I liked Claudia Black. Her voice really isn't my thing. But now I totally love her. I found this video, and she talks about her boobs. She wants her animated self to have awesome ones. This is so much like me. I totally love breasts. Tim and I were talking about this the other day. I said I think it's nuts when women complain that a man looks at her breasts when she's talking. Breasts are awesome. How can we not look at them? And it's especially ridiculous when a woman wears tight clothing and says that. What in the world is that all about? If you have big breasts and you wear tight clothes, I'm going to want to have a look. Now it's very rude to keep staring, or to reach out for a feel. But is it bad to glance down a few times? People make it out to be anti-feminist, and rude. We should look at someone's eyes, not their boobs. But a face and breasts....they're both body parts. What's the difference?

The other thing about the video....I think Black is cute when she's just being herself. She seems sweet, and down to earth. Although I shouldn't judge from a 27 second clip.

There's a really long interview with Black. I'm not going to watch all of it, but I will watch part 1.

She's cute. I think I prefer her to the characters she plays.

Black started in theater. She got an agent when one heard her sing. Did she audition, or did she have one of those fairytale stories where someone is magically discovered and made famous?

Black says that science fiction seems to be the genre for strong women characters. Interesting point. Anyone agree? Disagree?

Black says she's a lazy perfectionist. Interesting. What would that be like? Am I one? No...probably not. I think I'm an overachieving perfectionist. Well, sometimes. If it's something I'm passionate about, I'm over-achieving. If it's something I don't care about, I can be very lazy.

This fansite says that in 2000, Black admitted to being twenty-eight. So I guess then someone did the math, and figured out she was born in 1972. Well, I'm glad she was finally brave enough to announce her age. I remember being twenty-eight. I'm much happier now at thirty-seven.

I should probably stop rambling on and on. I need to start getting ready for bed. So....good night.


  1. I think maybe A Country Practice was my first Australian love. Claudia Black was definitely in more then 8 episodes, imdb can't really be trusted when it comes to number of episodes I'm afraid. Anyway, my sister and I would see this show everyday and sing the theme song!

  2. Grethe,

    Yeah, sometimes I wonder how reliable IMDb is. And then there's also the chance that I misread something. I do that sometimes.

  3. Claudia Black is brilliant! She was here in Sydney for a Stargate convention just recently and it just about killed me that I couldn't afford to go along and meet her and all the other Stargate people. Ben Browder was there too (John Crichton) and as a serious Farscape fan too it was torture to see friends tweeting about meeting these guys. They tell me Claudia was absolutely lovely.

    If you do get the chance to see Farscape from the beginning don't miss it, it's very different and lots of fun.

    Paul Goddard, one of the other Farscape actors, has an album of jazz music, Claudia sings one of the songs on it, she's good.

    As for Sci-Fi being the domain of strong women characters, yep, I'm with Claudia there. I think it's because Sci-Fi allows a freedom to portray ideas or situations that would be considered improbable if they were set in "the real world" or the current time period.

  4. Mim,

    Hey, was there a Farscape movie? I was talking to Tim about the TV show, and he thinks there was a movie with a different name, but it had the same characters. ???? I didn't remember seeing that in my research, but I often miss stuff. And since you're an expert, I'm assuming you would know.

    I can totally imagine Claudia Black singing good...especially jazz. She has a powerful voice.

    I think you have a very good point about SF women. Although I'm thinking of the science fiction/fantasy shows I watch, and I don't think they have particularly strong women. I guess it would depend on the show then. The stuff I watch is more mainstream, so that might make the difference.

  5. Nope, no Farscape movie, just those miniseries you mentioned. He might be thinking of the Joss Whedon series Firefly for which there was a movie called Serenity - if you haven't seen those then you MUST!

  6. In case anyone is reading this now. There was a FarScape movie called PeaceKeeper Wars which basically closes out the story from the TV Series.