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Old August 2 2012, 03:49 AM   #1351
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Here's an interesting article that addresses the same issues we were debating here a couple of weeks ago about remakes as a basic part of creativity, and that explains it better than I could have:

http://io9.com/5931046/why-remakes-a...a-civilization
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Old August 2 2012, 04:46 AM   #1352
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

DWF wrote: View Post
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.
Dr. Strange was broadcast on CBS on Wednesday, September 6, 1978 [http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/10/m...in-america.php, http://bluemoviereviews.wordpress.co...k-adaptations/].

Roots was rerun in prime time in September 1978 [http://jfredmacdonald.com/bawtv/bawtv17.htm].

At this point, I haven't found the exact date of the Roots rebroadcast, but it certainly seems plausible that Greg Cox is correct. However, I know for a fact that Dr. Strange was broadcast on TV in 1978, because that's the only time I ever saw it.
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Old August 2 2012, 10:23 AM   #1353
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Hmm. I watched Roots the first time around, but I'm not sure if I watched the repeats. Anyway, it looks like Dr. Strange is not on DVD.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Here's an interesting article that addresses the same issues we were debating here a couple of weeks ago about remakes as a basic part of creativity, and that explains it better than I could have:

http://io9.com/5931046/why-remakes-a...a-civilization
"Why Remakes Are One Of Our Greatest Achievements As A Civilization?" A bit of hyperbole there. Anyway, his points about folklore, while true, are not applicable to individual creativity. His use of Dracula and Buffy make my point-- Whedon did not name the gang after Harker, van Helsing and the rest, nor did he name Angel after Dracula. He created an original concept (also incorporating the idea of upending the scream queen cliche) to embody his ideas. Or do you think Buffy would have been improved by recycling Bram Stoker's character names?
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Old August 2 2012, 02:49 PM   #1354
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^And you're still hugely missing the point by thinking that it's about what names you give the characters. Just please try to think about it instead of rejecting it out of hand because it's not what you already believe.
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Old August 2 2012, 06:42 PM   #1355
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

The bulk of the link is devoted to an analogy, which is that variants are to folklore as remake and reboots are to Hollywood movies. The thing is, that analogies are only as compelling as the resemblances between the things analogized. If they really are the same, the analogy essentially becomes an argument from causality.

Variants are the authoritative local versions of a story. They are only local stories because folklore is oral and cannot be transmitted accurately. Remakes and reboots are not authoritative but compete with other versions of the same story. This is possible because Hollywood movies are mechanically reproduced, i.e., perfect copies.

As you can see, Newitz has tried to argue an analogy between things that are opposites, not the same. This would be incredibly stupid were it not for the self-serving goal of justifying io9 puff pieces for remakes and reboots, rather than making an honest argument.

There is also the truism that nothing is original. A truism is a statement that is true but trivial. This is a truism because the real question is not, was this story completely unlike what has come before? (Never, of course.)

The real question is, are the elements from other stories and life put together in novel ways? This kind of originality is quite common to some degree even in derivative stories. A few stories are highly original. Often these begin a subgenre, or even a whole genre of stories, that imitate them. Remakes and reboots, by recycling even the names, character, plots and themes are not even as original as derivative stories. But, like Shakespeare, they have still have as much originality as the novelty of their dialogue allows. In practice, we know that most are not really very original.

The claim that Buffy is the same story as Dracula is of course BS. Mina Harker plays the role of an unfaithful wife whose very blood is corrupted by her adultery (think syphilis.) Buffy is not Mina. This is not just obtuse, it's a flagrant imposition.

Lastly there is an element of faux-populism in associating the desire for originality with Modernism. Shakespeare may have recycled plots, but he (almost)* never recycled verse or prose dialogue. Unlike most Hollywood remakes and reboots, his new dialogue was both highly original and a great improvement. Very few other Elizabethan and Jacobean (or Restoration) playwrights remade or rebooted plays. Nor was there any demand for remakes and reboots. Instead there was a relentless demand for as much novelty as could found. Now that was four hundred years ago. So much for the Modernist innovation in valuing originality!

There are cases in drama where originality was devalued, mediaeval mystery and morality plays or (I think) Chinese opera. That has nothing to do with Newitz' thesis.

Obviously nothing Newitz wrote was worth reading, much less the labor of rebutting. But it is irritating to see such shameless BS held up as rational thought.

*Shakespeare directly quoted Marlowe in As You Like It, so there's at least one exception.
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Old August 2 2012, 07:34 PM   #1356
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Deadline has a rundown of Starz's upcoming shows, including this pertaining to Incursion:

Spartacus creator Steven S. DeKnight, who is under an overall deal at Starz, is already working on his next project for the pay cable network. “Steven just returned from Hawaii where he shot ‘proof of concept’ for a show he’s developed,” Albrecht said. That show is sci-fi drama Incursion, which Albrecht described as “Band of Brothers meets Halo” and involves a lot of creatures.
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Old August 2 2012, 07:49 PM   #1357
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^
Never cared for Spartacus, but I'm still liking the sound of Incursion. That may be one of the most promising sounding sci-fi shows in dev that I've vaguely heard about, up there with RHW's Defender.

stj wrote: View Post
As you can see, Newitz has tried to argue an analogy between things that are opposites, not the same. This would be incredibly stupid were it not for the self-serving goal of justifying io9 puff pieces for remakes and reboots, rather than making an honest argument.
Just so.

Nobody ever retold a folk epic so they could continue to milk the name recognition value of a licensed or owned IP (like Bay's Transformers movies) or to actually retain the rights to said IP (like the recent X-Men and Spider-Men movies).
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Old August 2 2012, 07:49 PM   #1358
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Looking forward to that one. It gives me echoes of Space: Above and Beyond. Hopefully it paints itself at least remotely similar in practice, should it go forward.
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Old August 2 2012, 07:57 PM   #1359
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I never got into Spartacus either but Incursion sounds like it could be worth checking out. The article says they shot proof of concept in Hawaii, I hope that's where they're filming the whole thing. I love Hawaii as a setting. maybe they can get Josh Holloway for the lead role. Giving the ladies some eye candy didn't hurt Spartacus any.
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Old August 2 2012, 07:59 PM   #1360
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I haven't seen Spartacus either, but I'll give it a whirl eventually.

And yeah, this and Defender. Please, television gods, let one of these happen. Two would be extra-sweet, but will likely only happen if the first is a success.

Which I'm also praying for, you see.
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Old August 3 2012, 02:50 AM   #1361
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Pilot order for Bryan Fuller's High Moon!
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Old August 3 2012, 03:10 AM   #1362
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It's kind of like a space opera!
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Old August 3 2012, 03:16 AM   #1363
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Kegg wrote: View Post
Nobody ever retold a folk epic so they could continue to milk the name recognition value of a licensed or owned IP (like Bay's Transformers movies) or to actually retain the rights to said IP (like the recent X-Men and Spider-Men movies).
But how do you know that's the sole or even primary motive, at least as far as the creative types are concerned?

Somebody offers me a chance to remake Logan's Run or Fantastic Voyage, I am so there. Not to mention Frankenstein or The Creature from the Black Lagoon or any number of fun old properties that could benefit from a modern facelift. How do you know that the prospect of reinventing, say, Quatermass or Doc Savage isn't enough to get some people's creative juices flowing . . . .

(Says the guy who once wrote the bible for a new version of TOM SWIFT.)

True confession: I can't watch an old movie on TCM without thinking about how I would remake it!
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Old August 3 2012, 03:52 AM   #1364
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
But how do you know that's the sole or even primary motive,
I know it's a fundamental difference between remakes and mythic traditions. I did not claim it was the only motive behind all remakes, but oral traditions were part of a shared narrative that did not involve ligitous corporations enforcing their legal right to profit from repeated iterations of the same product, and acting that because they both retold the same story they're basically the same kind of thing just isn't being accurate.

You want to say there's good remakes/reboots? I'd agree with you. I loved Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica. But I'm not going to say that Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica is basically the same kind of thing as Virgil's Aeneid.
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Old August 3 2012, 05:05 AM   #1365
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

But how do you explain the constant remakes of, say, Dracula or The Three Musketeers or Robin Hood or King Arthur or Snow White. Those have nothing to do with intellectual property or trademarks or "litigious corporations." They're all public domain, but writers and directors and filmmakers keep wanting to reinvent them, over and over again . . . maybe just because somebody woke up one night and thought, "You know, I really, really want to do a radical new version of Moby-Dick!"
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