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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old May 7 2012, 12:42 AM   #871
AviTrek
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
Revolution - the space war series, that is - had its pilot episode aired on Sky years ago.
Years ago? The hell?

Why did I not hear about this...did it not air in the US at all? I would have liked to see it...
Never aired in the US. Failed pilots never air in the US unless they are ordered as a mini/back door pilot. I've looked online and I've never found a source for it either. I doubt we'll ever get a chance to see it in the US.
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Old May 7 2012, 03:35 AM   #872
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Speaking of failed pilots: Did Doorways ever air?
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Old May 7 2012, 04:45 AM   #873
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Never heard of it. IMDB lists this "Doorways" from 2011:

A financially oppressed single mother unexpectedly gets an opportunity to fulfill her shelved dreams of singing and financial independence through an unexpected series of events.
Booooooring...I prefer the "Doorways" from 2006:
Your mind is the key.
That's the way to pique people's interest, short & sweet!

And then there's 1993's contribution:
Cat, a fugitive from a parallel Earth ruled by aliens, lands on "our" Earth in the middle of a freeway...
That cat better have nine lives, wakka wakka!
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Old May 7 2012, 04:48 AM   #874
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

This idea just popped in my head: Zachary Quinto as Doctor Strange. He's a bonafide movie actor now, so he needs to find his superhero alter ego sooner or later.

If he was a tad more conventionally handsome, I'd nominate him for Sub-Mariner. If there was only a way to cross him with Chris Pine...
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Old May 7 2012, 05:14 AM   #875
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

AviTrek wrote: View Post
Failed pilots never air in the US unless they are ordered as a mini/back door pilot.
Well, "rarely" rather than "never." At least, if it's "never" these days, it wasn't always. Networks used to burn off failed pilots as "specials" or "showcases." But that was back when networks still showed things like specials and movies of the week. Network programming seems to have become narrower in focus these days.


Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Speaking of failed pilots: Did Doorways ever air?
Do you mean the George R. R. Martin alternate-timelines pilot that came along a year or two before Sliders? As far as I know, no, it never aired.
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Old May 7 2012, 05:23 AM   #876
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I'm so over LOST-type shows--I've decided to not watch any show that dares follow that storytelling style. It'd be nice if we could get at least one or two more general premise shows that didn't depend on a shitload of mysteries drawn out for years and whose storylines aren't all interwoven.

Is it really too much to ask for a small ensemble of 7-9 characters, 2-4 parallel-arcs that play out over the season and are definitively resolved in episode 22 without the need for out of order flashbacks, ADD pacing, tons of angst, a large cast with tons of backstories, writers leaving the audience whimpering because of the insane amount of questions and constant confusion. And it isn't like this style of storytelling has a good track record i.e. Surface, Invasion, Daybreak, LOST, Heroes post S1, V, Alcatraz, Persons Unknown, Happy Town,Flash Forward, Harpers Island, The River, American version of Life on Mars, Kidnapped, The Nine, Vanished to name a few
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Old May 7 2012, 05:30 AM   #877
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Whosoever was making One Tree Hill, probably has something for you in the next couple months.

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Old May 7 2012, 07:58 AM   #878
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Would your definition exclude The Proposition and Quigley Down Under, then, since they're set in the Australian outback?
Yes.
In that case, your definition is too limiting to be useful. In reviews, those films were referred to as "Westerns." In advertising, the iconography of the Western was emphasized (with each film belonging to a separate cycle of Westerns). In the video store the movies would be found next to other Westerns. On IMDB, the genre listing is "Western."

If a Western has to take place in the American West, then The Magnificent Seven doesn't really qualify, either. The Mexican villagers briefly cross the border to recruit some American gunslingers, but 90% of the proceedings take place in Mexico. Or do Westerns set mostly or entirely in Mexico get a pass because of the country's proximity to the West?

Christopher is on the right track with his discussion of syntactic and semantic elements of genre. Rick Altman's book Film/Genre is a pretty smart book on the subject, and not too academic.
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Old May 7 2012, 09:40 AM   #879
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Outland uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of High Noon. So is it a Western? Semantically, no, but syntactically, hell yes, blatantly so. It's not a simple yes/no question, because one story can fit in more than one genre.
So if a Western uses the syntax of Space Opera, then it's a Space Opera?

Harvey wrote: View Post
In that case, your definition is too limiting to be useful.
Even if there were examples that fell into a gray area, I'd hardly call the definition of a Western too limiting to be useful.

In reviews, those films were referred to as "Westerns." In advertising, the iconography of the Western was emphasized (with each film belonging to a separate cycle of Westerns). In the video store the movies would be found next to other Westerns. On IMDB, the genre listing is "Western."
So what? As noted, all sorts of non-SF material is lumped under "Sci Fi" by reviewers and Blockbuster clerks who don't know any better. That's sort of what kicked off the discussion.

If a Western has to take place in the American West, then The Magnificent Seven doesn't really qualify, either. The Mexican villagers briefly cross the border to recruit some American gunslingers, but 90% of the proceedings take place in Mexico. Or do Westerns set mostly or entirely in Mexico get a pass because of the country's proximity to the West?
It's still the North American West. Borders have nothing to do with it. The classification of a movie as a Western doesn't depend on whether or not it's set before or after California became a state.
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Old May 7 2012, 02:13 PM   #880
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
So if a Western uses the syntax of Space Opera, then it's a Space Opera?
You're missing the point, which is that there's no need to force every work of fiction into a single genre category. A single work can fit into more than one genre at the same time.


So what? As noted, all sorts of non-SF material is lumped under "Sci Fi" by reviewers and Blockbuster clerks who don't know any better. That's sort of what kicked off the discussion.
And that's a straw man. There are also plenty of well-informed SF/fantasy creators and critics, including our own Greg Cox and myself, who understand that a lot of speculative/fantastic fiction actually does blur the lines between categories such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. By insisting that those categories are rigid and mutually impermeable and that only the ignorant would believe they could be blended, you are simply exposing your own ignorance. Genre is a starting point, not a straitjacket.
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Old May 7 2012, 06:04 PM   #881
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Maybe the OWN channel should do a show about Oprah in Space?
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Old May 7 2012, 06:25 PM   #882
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post

So what? As noted, all sorts of non-SF material is lumped under "Sci Fi" by reviewers and Blockbuster clerks who don't know any better. That's sort of what kicked off the discussion.
And that's a straw man. There are also plenty of well-informed SF/fantasy creators and critics, including our own Greg Cox and myself, who understand that a lot of speculative/fantastic fiction actually does blur the lines between categories such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. .
By coincidence, I spent the morning working on the cover copy for Shadow on the Sun, an old Richard Matheson novel that has, at a various points, been marketed as either a western or a horror novel. Berkeley originally published it as a category western back in the nineties, downplaying the book's more fantastic elements, but I'm packaging it as a supernatural horror novel, complete with a Stephen King quote on the cover.

Both approaches are correct. In truth, Shadow on the Sun is both horror and a western . . . .

(And a fun, spooky book, btw. Somebody really needs to make a movie version.)
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Old May 7 2012, 08:55 PM   #883
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Maybe the OWN channel should do a show about Oprah in Space?
At this point, I'll try anything.

Pilot buzz update...

NBC: Revolution looks solid for a pickup. Whether this will end up being another one of JJ Abrams' hyped-up flameouts is another matter. Look at how FOX got burned with Alcatraz and it's supposedly "amazing" plot twisty story that never actually materialized.

Do No Harm also looks solid, with The Frontier and Midnight Sun looking more like long shots now, tho I still hope NBC swings for the fences with a supernatural-ish Western. Of all its pilots, that one and Chicago Fire could make the most splash in Olympics ads, because they are unusual genres for TV that appeal to men.

ABC: Biggest surprise is no update for The Last Resort, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but if ABC decides to go for an all-female-skewing strategy, that one could end up being passed on.

Gotham and 666 Park Ave appear to be duking it out for the post-OUAT slot, with Emmerich's Dark Horse as a maybe. Beauty & the Beast is a possibility, but needing to undergo "massive re-editing" this late in the game doesn't sound good. OUAT's ratings have cooled off enough that ABC may not be quite as high on fairy tales as they were a few months back.
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Old May 7 2012, 11:15 PM   #884
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
You're missing the point, which is that there's no need to force every work of fiction into a single genre category. A single work can fit into more than one genre at the same time.
How can I be missing the point when I've said that about a hundred times already?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Both approaches are correct. In truth, Shadow on the Sun is both horror and a western . . . .
So I guess then there's no reason to re-define either term then.

Just out of curiosity (and not being familiar with the book), do you think it should be marketed as Science Fiction?
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Old May 8 2012, 12:40 AM   #885
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I'll give ya guys something meatier to argue about: Revolution has been picked up to series.

And they're still saying it's "a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist." Plus I have no idea why that title makes sense for the premise.

My quatloos say this one goes the way of Terra Nova and Alcatraz, a lot of hand-waving smoke & mirrors about the mystery that goes nowhere, meanwhile the audience wonders when the zombies will liven things up.

PS, TNT is not going forward with their Western pilot, Tin Star aka Gateway. All I care about from them is LA Noir, which is still filming, so no way to get a read on it yet.
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