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Old August 1 2012, 12:17 AM   #1336
DWF
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.)
The Incredible Hulk TV series had to find their own audience, which is something The Human Target didn't do. And clearly you've not heard of the Superpup pilot, which was about as far away from Superman as you could get.
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Old August 1 2012, 12:26 AM   #1337
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post

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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.)
Well, on its own terms, the Hulk TV show was done well. Kenneth Johnson knew what kind of Hulk show he wanted to make (one without the Bi-Beast or Thunderbolt Ross) and executed it well. And, in his defense, back then costumed super-villains, diabolical deathtraps, killer robots, and so on were still pretty firmly linked in the public imagination with the campy Adam West approach. Hollywood hadn't quite figured out how to strike the right balance between, say, the BATMAN approach ("ZAP! BANG! POW!") and THE INCREDIBLE HULK approach ("Let's do the Fugitive with a big green monster.")

And it worked for the Hulk, but maybe not so much for Spider-Man or Captain America.
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Old August 1 2012, 12:45 AM   #1338
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I think it's pretty clear that many compromises in comic book adaptations (to either the big screen or the small screen) were made because of budget.

For example, it would have been unthinkable for Doctor Octopus to have appeared on-screen opposite Nicholas Hammond. If it had been done cheaply, it probably would have been confusing, unconvincing to the degree of being ridiculous, or some combination thereof. In the 1970's, it could have been done competently on TV, say with a completely stop motion animated figure (but always facing away from the camera so that animating and revealing the face was not a problem), alternated with shots of a live actor with immobile arms or arms out of the field of view, but that would likely have entailed expense not available for a TV show. The Amazing Spider-Man was too expensive to stay on the air, just as it was.
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Old August 1 2012, 03:12 AM   #1339
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Well, on its own terms, the Hulk TV show was done well. Kenneth Johnson knew what kind of Hulk show he wanted to make (one without the Bi-Beast or Thunderbolt Ross) and executed it well.
And that's just the point -- so many fans assume that quality equals fidelity to the source, but it doesn't. Johnson's TIH is proof that there's no correlation between the two, that you can diverge almost completely from the source and still do something good. Yet it's surprising that despite the popularity of TIH, the attitude that fidelity is necessary persists.


And, in his defense, back then costumed super-villains, diabolical deathtraps, killer robots, and so on were still pretty firmly linked in the public imagination with the campy Adam West approach. Hollywood hadn't quite figured out how to strike the right balance between, say, the BATMAN approach ("ZAP! BANG! POW!") and THE INCREDIBLE HULK approach ("Let's do the Fugitive with a big green monster.")
True, Batman did set an influential precedent, and Wonder Woman was in a similar vein. I guess they were closer to the source because DC comics up through the late '60s really had been pretty much like that (and it's not uncommon for mass-media adaptations to lag a decade or two behind the state of the art of the things they're adapting). But Marvel comics in the '60s had been a very different animal -- still with a lot of wacky and bizarre elements, but with lots of intelligence and sophistication and mature characterization too. And that wasn't something TV viewers or networks would've been able to reconcile with their image of comics. So I guess the only way they saw to do a comics-based drama, something non-campy, was to divorce it from the comics as much as possible.

Although Johnson wasn't trying to do The Fugitive. Rather, he and Roy Huggins were independently doing Les Miserables -- though Johnson crossed it with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
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Old August 1 2012, 03:38 AM   #1340
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Well, on its own terms, the Hulk TV show was done well. Kenneth Johnson knew what kind of Hulk show he wanted to make (one without the Bi-Beast or Thunderbolt Ross) and executed it well.
And that's just the point -- so many fans assume that quality equals fidelity to the source, but it doesn't. Johnson's TIH is proof that there's no correlation between the two, that you can diverge almost completely from the source and still do something good. Yet it's surprising that despite the popularity of TIH, the attitude that fidelity is necessary persists.
It's hard not to have that attitude, I find myself guilty of that often and yet I loved Spider-Man, Hulk and Wonder Woman as a kid on their own terms without the baggage of knowing more about their background. And I didn't see Adam West until I was an adult but Superfriends and Scooby Doo Batman is as genuine a characterization to me as The Dark Knight.

It's kind of funny the imperfect FX made the Hammond Spider-Man kind of creepy to me especially as a kid. His movements and his web-crawling had an unsettling unnatuaralness to them. He definitely seemed more insectlike.
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Old August 1 2012, 04:33 AM   #1341
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I quite liked the movement style of whoever it was who played Spidey in costume on the '70s series (most likely a stunt double rather than Hammond, except in dialogue scenes). I always found it interesting the way he used head tilts and body language to convey expression in the absence of visible facial features. The wall-crawling, not so much, since it was always slllooowww straight up or down and you could often see the winch at the top of the building. There wasn't much sense of Spidey's acrobatics at all.

Now, if you want to see a live-action '70s Spider-Man that really handles the movements in an interesting way, check out the Japanese Spider-Man series, which should be available for streaming at Marvel.com. That stuntman (or stuntmen?) did a great job of capturing a spiderlike movement style -- which isn't surprising, since some martial arts are about mimicking the movements of animals. (There is something called spider kung fu, but I'm not sure if he was actually using it.) It really felt to me like a plausible way for Spidey to move. Then again, he also did that weird posturing/interpretive-dance thing when he announced himself, like the Power Rangers do (the show was from the same studio that makes the Super Sentai shows that Power Rangers is adapted from), and that is a custom of tokusatsu shows that I have never understood.
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Old August 1 2012, 01:12 PM   #1342
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
^^ We live in a risk-averse era.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
But not with Captain America.
I thought Namor, Cap and the original Human Torch were all teamed up in All-Winners Squad.
That was after the war in 1946. Though they did appear on various covers together they never became a team until then.
Oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying that. I'm probably thinking of covers that I've seen. I've read comics from that era, but I can't remember if I ever read anything with them all in the same story.

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Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
And if the masses can't handle a Ditko style Doctor Strange, put the show on HBO. The masses can stick with their CBS procedurals.
I don't think pay cable would be any more friendly to psychedelia or surrealism. All of their shows tend toward gritty realism (or at least what passes for it).
I don't really see where something something like that would be out of place on a group of networks that include things like True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Spartacus. True Blood and Game of Thrones did start out a little more realistic, but have got more fantastic as they've gone on.
I haven't been following Game of Thrones, but True Blood has gone a little trippy from time to time. Doc Strange would be orders of magnitude beyond that, though.

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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.
This is pretty much the problem I've always had with superheroes on TV or in movies-- they mainstream the magic out of them.

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 . . . .
Yeah. No offense to Barnaby Jones, but that describes it perfectly. I don't remember that Dr. Strange movie, though. I wonder if it is on DVD>
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Old August 1 2012, 02:12 PM   #1343
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RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I don't remember that Dr. Strange movie, though. I wonder if it is on DVD>
Sadly, the Dr. Strange pilot aired opposite ROOTS--and went largely unnoticed. Don't know if it's available on DVD.
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Old August 1 2012, 02:45 PM   #1344
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

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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.)
Yes, they're going for a Nolanesque approach, but they're not going as far as Mike Grell's run in the comic books. In Grell's run Green Arrow killed, eschewed trick arrows, stopping wearing a mask after the first few issues, and there were almost no appearances by traditional comic book villains at all. So the TV show is downplaying comic booky elements, but not "as much as possible".

As for Green Arrow's ability to kill with a bow and arrow, he's skilled enough that he can make a kill shot if he so chooses. He's just that good. Whether that's realistic in the real world I don't know, but that's the way it is in Green Arrow's world.
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Old August 1 2012, 02:58 PM   #1345
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^I'd argue that if he's really that good, he has no legitimate reason to inflict a kill shot. Killing as an unavoidable means of protecting oneself or an innocent is justifiable as a defensive act. Deliberately choosing to kill when you have other options is simply murder.
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Old August 1 2012, 03:15 PM   #1346
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^^^
There are real world instances where people who are incredibly skilled with guns go for kill shots rather than wounding shots because they have to defend themselves or innocent life and a kill shot is the only way to make absolutely sure of that. Green Arrow could find himself in similar situations.
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Old August 1 2012, 03:28 PM   #1347
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Well, from what I've read about the series, I'm not convinced that's going to be the situation here. I think they're portraying Oliver more as someone on a mission of revenge, although they will have him confront the emotional consequences of the killing he does. So it sounds to me like this is going to be more a show about an assassin than about someone who only kills when he has no other choice.
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Old August 1 2012, 03:34 PM   #1348
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Well, we'll have to see how it plays out on screen.
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Old August 1 2012, 05:20 PM   #1349
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Maybe that will be part of the story arc, Oliver learning that "Killing Is Wrong."
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Old August 2 2012, 03:30 AM   #1350
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Greg Cox wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I don't remember that Dr. Strange movie, though. I wonder if it is on DVD>
Sadly, the Dr. Strange pilot aired opposite ROOTS--and went largely unnoticed. Don't know if it's available on DVD.
Roots was on in 1977, the Dr. Strange movie came out in 1978 and it was released on tape.
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