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Old February 15 2014, 01:59 AM   #2
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Re: "Spectre of the Gun" set "West of Mars"?

Possibly more a case of convergent evolution. Both shows were working within limited budgets, so it's plausible they would've independently arrived at the same money-saving option. You can see the same kind of minimalist set design throughout the third season of Batman.

But the difference is in how the technique is used, and how skillfully. In "West of Mars," the setting is supposed to be a real settlement, so its bare-bones construction just looks like cheap stagecraft. In "Spectre," it's deliberately used to represent a dream landscape, essentially, and helps create a surreal atmosphere that serves the story.

I mean, really, that's the whole point. The inventiveness that people talk about wasn't the decision to use minimalist sets at all; I think most of us understand that the low budget compelled that choice. The inventiveness is in how the director turned that limitation into an advantage. I don't think the same can be said of "West of Mars," not judging from those screencaps, anyway.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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