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

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Old July 31 2012, 12:23 AM   #1321
Greg Cox
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Even Breaking Bad sometimes has a slightly surrealistic style, even though it takes place in the real world, such as it is. Mad Men included an LSD trip this season. Cable is more willing to take creative risks and not insist that everything be straightforward and simple for the audience to grasp.
And True Blood has trippy, V-inspired hallucinations, as well the occasional visit to Faerie . . . . .

I think TV and movie viewers are a lot more tolerant of fantastical weirdness than some fans give them credit for.

Hell, the top-grossing movie of all time is about nine-foot-tall, blue-skinned, dragon-riding cat people on a colorful, 3D planet on the other side of the universe!

If audiences can handle Harry Potter and Avatar and American Horror Story, I think they can handle the Dread Dormammu!
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Old July 31 2012, 12:39 AM   #1322
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Now here's something more usual for TV: High concept series about a mysterious game.
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Old July 31 2012, 01:15 AM   #1323
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
We're talking about TV, that's what happened. Even cable has a limited stomach for very strange ideas. Which is why my Acid Trip Doctor Strange idea is a long shot, but fun to contemplate.
That's you though, a show about zombies is one of the highest rated cable shows out there, nobody could've predicted that.
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Old July 31 2012, 06:19 PM   #1324
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

A zombie show on AMC is what's odd. It's not so strange that a violent, exciting zombie show somewhere on TV could be a big hit.

But asking people to accept a WWII Namor is asking for them to leap a few hurdles. Superhero shows work for a younger audience, while historical dramas appeal to an older premium cable crowd. How do you fit those jigsaw puzzles together? if the character were Captain America, maybe it could be done, since he fits the era wonderfully. But a half naked merman fighting Nazis? Sounds like Sat night SyFy movie.
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Old July 31 2012, 06:26 PM   #1325
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
A zombie show on AMC is what's odd. It's not so strange that a violent, exciting zombie show somewhere on TV could be a big hit.

But asking people to accept a WWII Namor is asking for them to leap a few hurdles. Superhero shows work for a younger audience, while historical dramas appeal to an older premium cable crowd. How do you fit those jigsaw puzzles together? if the character were Captain America, maybe it could be done, since he fits the era wonderfully. But a half naked merman fighting Nazis? Sounds like Sat night SyFy movie.
Then put him in a suit and put him the present like John Bryne did. And there were to Captain Amercia TV movies back in the late '70s the second one even had Christopher Lee as the baddie and the movies still didn't catch on.
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Old July 31 2012, 06:28 PM   #1326
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

But Namor doesn't really fit the standard "superhero" mold. The story wouldn't have to be told in that way. It could be more like how he was originally treated in the comics -- our human viewpoint characters come under attack from a mysterious force in the sea, they discover it's the Atlanteans being led by this powerful king bent on avenging the damage we've done to the oceans, but the leading lady plays the Sue Richards role and discovers he's not so evil, just a well-intentioned extremist, and eventually he's persuaded to see reason, but remains a figure who could go either way. That's not really the formula for a superhero story at all.
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Old July 31 2012, 06:39 PM   #1327
Greg Cox
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

DWF wrote: View Post
Then put him in a suit and put him the present like John Bryne did. And there were to Captain Amercia TV movies back in the late '70s the second one even had Christopher Lee as the baddie and the movies still didn't catch on.
That's because they were dreadful. Even as a teen, I hated them.

On the other hand, I remember enjoying the DR. STRANGE tv-movie from the same era (even though I'm sure it hasn't aged well).
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Old July 31 2012, 07:11 PM   #1328
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I have a certain nostalgic fondness for the Reb Brown Captain America movies, I guess because they were my first exposure to the concept so I was able to judge them as they were rather than in comparison to what they were (extreeeeeeeeemely loosely) based on.

It helps that they aren't actually claiming their lead is the "real" Cap, but is rather the son of the original WWII hero and is continuing his legacy, albeit in a '70s "travel the byways on a quest to find the real America" sort of way. True, they did imply that the original Captain America never wore a costume, but the idea is there. And the costume '70s Cap wore in the second movie, aside from having a motorcycle helmet and Lucite shield, was actually pretty authentic to the original design.

Plus they've got a cool Mike Post-Pete Carpenter main title theme.
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Old July 31 2012, 08:50 PM   #1329
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

The problem I had with them was that, even as a kid, it seemed to me that the filmmakers were embarrassed by the character's comic-book roots and seemed to determined to minimize the comic-booky elements as much as possible. Hence, no costume, no Red Skull, no Hordes of Hydra, etc. As I recall, they generally avoided calling "Steve" Captain America wherever possible, and only did so sheepishly at best. "Maybe you can be some sort of, er, 'Captain America' or something." That kind of thing.

Compared to the CAPTAIN AMERICA comics I reading at the time, it all seemed rather mundane and timid.

By contrast, the DR. STRANGE pilot, despite its limitations, embraced the wilder aspects of the original comics: you had astral travel, visits to strange Ditko-esque dimensions (as much as a limited tv-movie budget would allow), demons being summoned, ageless sorcerers throwing spells at each other, even a fairly accurate recreation of Strange's Sanctum. As opposed to all the other CBS productions of the time, which sometime seemed determined to cram larger-than-life comic book characters into "Barnaby Jones"-sized plots, DR. STRANGE at least tried to capture the feel of the comic book . . . .
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Old July 31 2012, 09:50 PM   #1330
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
But Namor doesn't really fit the standard "superhero" mold. The story wouldn't have to be told in that way. It could be more like how he was originally treated in the comics -- our human viewpoint characters come under attack from a mysterious force in the sea, they discover it's the Atlanteans being led by this powerful king bent on avenging the damage we've done to the oceans, but the leading lady plays the Sue Richards role and discovers he's not so evil, just a well-intentioned extremist, and eventually he's persuaded to see reason, but remains a figure who could go either way. That's not really the formula for a superhero story at all.
Namor is a complex character he's been a hero, villain, king, corperate CEO and he was Marvel's first mutant. The Hulk is a similarly hard character to get a hold of and he still an Avenger and Defender along with Namor and Dr. Strange.
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Old July 31 2012, 10:04 PM   #1331
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
The problem I had with them was that, even as a kid, it seemed to me that the filmmakers were embarrassed by the character's comic-book roots and seemed to determined to minimize the comic-booky elements as much as possible. Hence, no costume, no Red Skull, no Hordes of Hydra, etc. As I recall, they generally avoided calling "Steve" Captain America wherever possible, and only did so sheepishly at best. "Maybe you can be some sort of, er, 'Captain America' or something." That kind of thing.
And how many times did they call Selina Kyle "Catwoman" in that obscure little movie you just novelized...?

Really, it was par for the course back then. The Incredible Hulk had no Betty, no Rick, no Thunderbolt, no "Hulk smash," no supervillains -- it didn't even keep Bruce Banner's first name. Kenneth Johnson didn't even want the Hulk to be green, but Marvel put their collective foot down (because there was no way Marvel was going to stand for a red Hulk!). And it's still going on today -- the upcoming (Green) Arrow series is avoiding as much of the comic-booky stuff as possible.


By contrast, the DR. STRANGE pilot, despite its limitations, embraced the wilder aspects of the original comics: you had astral travel, visits to strange Ditko-esque dimensions (as much as a limited tv-movie budget would allow), demons being summoned, ageless sorcerers throwing spells at each other, even a fairly accurate recreation of Strange's Sanctum. As opposed to all the other CBS productions of the time, which sometime seemed determined to cram larger-than-life comic book characters into "Barnaby Jones"-sized plots, DR. STRANGE at least tried to capture the feel of the comic book . . . .
It's interesting how the DC-based live-action shows of the era, Batman and Wonder Woman, were pretty faithful to the comics of the time or earlier decades, embracing the comic-booky aspects (Shazam! somewhat less so), while the Marvel-based shows (except for the Dr. Strange pilot) tended to be radical departures that kept only the most basic elements. In addition to those mentioned above, the Nicholas Hammond Spider-Man was a huge departure, with no Uncle Ben backstory and none of the comic villains, and no familiar supporting characters except Jameson (and Aunt May in the pilot only) -- and a Jameson that was changed into a far more avuncular Lou Grant type. Plus they changed the spider-sense from a heightened awareness of imminent danger to Peter himself into a psychic ability to detect any plot-relevant criminal activity within a several-block radius. They did a pretty good job making the costume authentic, though, aside from there being only one webshooter (and it and the utility belt were worn outside the costume, but that actually makes more functional sense).
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Old July 31 2012, 10:10 PM   #1332
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
And it's still going on today -- the upcoming (Green) Arrow series is avoiding as much of the comic-booky stuff as possible.
Not quite as much as it first seemed. New promo images reveal that Arrow/Green Arrow will wear his familiar domino mask in the show and they're going to feature such familiar supervillains as Deathstroke, China White, and Deadshot.
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Old July 31 2012, 11:18 PM   #1333
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Really, it was par for the course back then. The Incredible Hulk had no Betty, no Rick, no Thunderbolt, no "Hulk smash," no supervillains -- it didn't even keep Bruce Banner's first name. Kenneth Johnson didn't even want the Hulk to be green, but Marvel put their collective foot down (because there was no way Marvel was going to stand for a red Hulk!). And it's still going on today -- the upcoming (Green) Arrow series is avoiding as much of the comic-booky stuff as possible..
I know and, honestly, I used to bitch about it back then. Heck, even as a youngster, it bothered me that George Reeves's Superman was mostly fighting gangsters and such. Where was Bizarro and Brainiac and the Bottle City of Kandor? And the rest of that cool scifi stuff from the comics?

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Reeves and THE INCREDIBLE HULK tv show, but I always wished they weren't so mundane in comparison to the original comics, which were my first exposure to the characters.

Call me crazy, but watching Bill Bixby help some teenage runaway was not nearly as fun as reading the Hulk's latest battle with the Wendigo or the Leader's army of rubber androids!
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Old July 31 2012, 11:31 PM   #1334
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Casting Ray Walston in the 70s as the Leader would have been superb.

But, no.
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Old July 31 2012, 11:44 PM   #1335
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Out Of My Vulcan Mind wrote: View Post
Not quite as much as it first seemed. New promo images reveal that Arrow/Green Arrow will wear his familiar domino mask in the show and they're going to feature such familiar supervillains as Deathstroke, China White, and Deadshot.
The characters, yeah, but they're avoiding any superpowers and going for a more grounded, Nolanesque tone, to all indications. And don't hold your breath for any boxing-glove arrows. This (Green) Arrow kills. (Which strikes me as being unrealistic in the othe direction, since most arrow wounds would be survivable unless they hit a major artery and the victim bled out before the ambulance came.)


Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Reeves and THE INCREDIBLE HULK tv show, but I always wished they weren't so mundane in comparison to the original comics, which were my first exposure to the characters.

Call me crazy, but watching Bill Bixby help some teenage runaway was not nearly as fun as reading the Hulk's latest battle with the Wendigo or the Leader's army of rubber androids!
But it interests me that, when there are so many fans out there who scream bloody murder about any adaptation that diverges from the original in the slightest degree (and thereby misunderstand the meaning of the word "adapt"), the Bixby Hulk is nonetheless regarded as a superior comics-based show and is frequently referenced and homaged, even though it's the farthest thing from a faithful adaptation you could possibly get while still counting as an adaptation at all. (Well, second-farthest. The recent Human Target series -- or as its critics called it, Human (Standing Next to the) Target -- was the farthest.)
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