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SCI FI Wire UPDATE — Feb. 13, 2004
Riverworld earns a Saturn Award nomination for Best Television Presentation.

Welcome to legendary author Philip José Farmer's Earthlike afterlife, where people from every era have been reborn young and healthy — and where an astronaut and a motley assortment of allies battle an ancient Roman emperor and a Viking warlord for the soul of humanity.

In the year 2009, a meteor shower above Earth claims the life of astronaut Jeff Hale (Brad Johnson of the Left Behind movies, Steven Spielberg's Always and TV's Soldier of Fortune, Inc.). He awakens in an ocean of jade-green geodesic bubbles, as a mysterious cloaked figure pierces him with a pike. Dazed and in pain, he soon finds himself crawling onto a beach littered with canisters of clothing. Soon dozens of people from different lands and eras emerge from the water. Remarkably, they understand each other's language — all except for the lone Neanderthal man, who is killed by the ancient Roman Lucius Domitus Ahenobarbus (Jonathan Cake, First Knight), who became infamous under another name....

Suddenly: hoofbeats! The warlord Valdemar (the late Kevin Smith of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, in his final role) thunders in with an army, to announce that he is the ruler of Riverworld and that the newcomers are to be soldiers, workers or slaves. Soon Hale and a band of compatriots — among them the now beautiful and young octogenarian Alice Liddell Hargreaves (Emily Lloyd, A River Runs Through It), a famous writer and Mississippi riverboat captain named Samuel (Cameron Daddo, star of F/X: The Series), concentration-camp victim Lev Ruach (Jeremy Birchall), stunning African priestess Mali (Madonna dancer Karen Holness, Atomic Train, Rated X) and the alien Monat (Brian Moore), who died on Earth — fight for their freedom and to learn the secret of RIVERWORLD.

Mixing historical figures and pure imagination like no one else, legendary author Philip José Farmer launched his "Riverworld" series with the novelette "The Day of the Great Shout" in the January 1965 issue of Worlds of Tomorrow. Combining that story with "The Suicide Express" in the March 1966 issue, he created the Hugo Award-winning novel To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971). His novelettes "The Felled Star" and "The Fabulous Riverboat" (Worlds of IF Science Fiction, July-August 1967 and June-August 1971) were combined to create the next "Riverworld" book, The Fabulous Riverboat (1971).

This SCI FI Pictures telefilm is based on the first two novels of Farmer's remarkable saga — which, by 1993, included 10 novels, short-story collections and such books of miscellanea as Riverworld War: The Suppressed Fiction of Philip José Farmer (a collection that includes a chapter which was cut from the fourth novel).


Sci Fi Pictures, Alliance Atlantis, Tasman Films, Box TV

In Memory of Kevin Smith

Director – Kari Skogland
Writer – Stuart Hazeldine

Brad Johnson – Jeff Hale
Karen Holness – Mali
Emily Lloyd – Alice Liddell Hargreaves
Jeremy Birchall – Lev Ruach
Kevin Smith – Valdemar
Nikita Kearsley – Gwenafra
Brian Moore – Monat
Cameron DaddoSam
Jonathan Cake – Nero
Paolo Rotondo – Flavius
Patrick Kake Tane
Colin Moy – Langer
Lloyd Edwards – Mysterious Stranger
Crawford Thomson – Warrior
Andrew Kovacevich, Winston Pitt, Russell Dixon – Guards
Slade Leef – Neanderthal Man
Mac Jeffrey Ong – Asian Man
Florian Habicht – German Man
Monish Anand – Indian Man

Executive Producers – Don Reynolds, Gub Neal, John Morayniss, Janine Coughlin, Ralph Vicinanza & Vince Gerardis, Alex Proyas & Topher Dow
Co-Executive Producer – Stuart Hazeldine
Producers – Janine Dickins, Mary Kahn
Supervising Producer – Peter Bray
Co-Producer – Justin Thomson-Glover
Music – Victoria Kelly
Director of Photography – Allen Guilford
Editor – Christopher Plummer