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

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Old September 23 2012, 11:41 PM   #1606
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I haven't seen Spartacus specifically, but most shows and movies that are hyped as "gritty," "dark," "edgy," "mature" et cetera are geared toward adolescents who want to feel like tough guys. Perhaps Spartacus is an exception.
From DeKnight's record on Buffy, Angel, and Dollhouse, I'd say there's more substance to his work than that.


You haven't heard of Space Command? It's Marc Scott Zicree's current project, which had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. The first movie should be out next year. The official site is here. This looks like something we both will love.
Oh, that. Yeah, I have heard about that, but I didn't associate it with a discussion about upcoming TV shows since it's a movie or an online thing or whatever.
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Old September 23 2012, 11:50 PM   #1607
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Kegg wrote: View Post
The gender comments are interesting as the contrast is given between del Toro's vampires and 'traditional' 'tuxedo-clad studs,' which seems a pretty explicit nod to Bela Lugosi's Dracula, who comes from a movie I haven't often heard said to skew female..
You'd be surprised. Don't forget, the Bela Lugosi Dracula was released on Valentine's Day, 1931 and marketed as "The Strangest Love Story Ever Told." Which suggests that Universal thought it was a date movie, with plenty of female appeal.

At the time, Lugosi was actually considered a sex symbol, in the Rudolph Valentino mode and got tons of fan mail from smitten female admirers. (He also had a fling with Clara Bow, after she saw him play Dracula on Broadway.)
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Old September 24 2012, 12:42 AM   #1608
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

1. A movie that arouses a woman to the height of sexual excitation until she must make love to the closest male.

2. A movie that scares the bejeezus out of a woman so that she grips her date like the last life boat on the titanic for safety and security.

Is "1" or "2" more likely from a movie like Dracula?
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Old September 24 2012, 12:58 AM   #1609
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
1. A movie that arouses a woman to the height of sexual excitation until she must make love to the closest male.

2. A movie that scares the bejeezus out of a woman so that she grips her date like the last life boat on the titanic for safety and security.

Is "1" or "2" more likely from a movie like Dracula?
I'm not seeing a downside.
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Old September 24 2012, 08:30 PM   #1610
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
J.J. Abrams, "Children of Men" writer developing fantasy drama at NBC

In his foray into American television, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón has teamed with J.J. Abrams for a high-concept drama, which just landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment. Cuarón is set to direct the pilot, which he will co-write with Mark Friedman (Home Of the Brave). It is about a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down .
That sounds a bit like The Standard Thing, but Cuarón's involvement piques my interest. Having to wait seven years for The Big Surprise, tho...dunno about that.

Ayelbourne wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
If it's just one battlefield after another, that doesn't seem as interesting.
Depends on the battlefields. Each planet could call for a totally different kind of warfare, which in turn could mean different types of soldiers, i.e. a new cast of characters each season.
We know from Spartacus that DeKnight isn't afraid to discard most of the show's cast in one fell swoop.
Yeah I'll give it a shot. If it's very war-focused, fine by me, war stories on TV is not an overdone genre, probably because of the expense. Being sci fi in particular increases the range of story possibilities, so there's no reason they need to run out of story types and become boring. My main concern is the budget - either it looks cheap or the limited audience can't justify the budget, the classic conundrum.
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Old September 24 2012, 09:11 PM   #1611
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
That sounds a bit like The Standard Thing, but Cuarón's involvement piques my interest. Having to wait seven years for The Big Surprise, tho...dunno about that.
Yeah, given typical modern series lengths, maybe they'd be better going for five years.


Yeah I'll give it a shot. If it's very war-focused, fine by me, war stories on TV is not an overdone genre, probably because of the expense. Being sci fi in particular increases the range of story possibilities, so there's no reason they need to run out of story types and become boring.
Fine for folks who like that sort of thing, but for me, the more the focus is on combat, the more completely tedious I find it. There was this Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode where maybe half the installment was basically Saving Private Ryan's Clone, one big extended fog-of-war scene for a whole act or two, and I just had no interest in it whatsoever. I can get into action if it's something like martial arts, or if there's some interesting strategy and tactics behind it, but if it's just people (or ships) shooting guns at each other, it's a yawnfest for me. I generally prefer the SW:TCW episodes that aren't about the shooting part and are more about the worldbuilding, the characters, the politics, etc. (Well, sometimes. There was this one 2-parter about politics and corruption on Mandalore that was a complete waste of time.) I guess whether DeKnight's show interests me would depend on how much it focused on the aspects other than combat.


My main concern is the budget - either it looks cheap or the limited audience can't justify the budget, the classic conundrum.
Well, sticking with a single setting for an entire season would help save money, because you could reuse sets, costumes, props, FX elements, etc. throughout the season. Although hopefully there wouldn't be too much reuse. I'd hope that if they spend an entire season on a planet, they'd take the time to make it a planet, a vast setting with a wealth of different environments and different cultures if there's indigenous sapient life, rather than the usual episodic sci-fi approach where entire planets can have less diversity than a single major city on Earth.
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Old September 24 2012, 11:44 PM   #1612
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I agree, the clones are a bore but the show is very limited in what it can do with them. Can't really go into the ethics of the Republic manufacturing sentient beings in order to send them to fight in a war they never asked for. The Republic has to stay basically the good guys.

In a show with more creative freedom, the story of soldiers who are manufactured to fight a war could be much more compelling. They don't all have to be clones of each other for instance. They could be like Cylons, with several models, specialized for various tasks. The moral and psychological issues would be wide open. And the military could also have soldiers who aren't manufactured. Episodes could be told from the enemy's point of view, whoever they are.

When they do a boring ep, I just focus on the gorgeous art. If that's the episode I'm thinking of, they were on a planet that looked like Tron with the neon effects, loved that! Also, I like stories that focus on individual Jedi characters, most of the political episodes, and even the "comic" eps with the droids.

TCW is bascially a space war series, but it includes a wide variety of locales, politics back in the capitol, various side characters not directly involved in the fight, the enemy's point of view (Sith, even the enemy droids to some extent), and non-clone combatants (Jedi, various fighters on Republic worlds).

Even without the budgetary advantage of being animated, a space war series that is crafted from the start to be fascinating, without having to incorporate or compensate for various poorly planned ideas, should be able to be just as good, if not better.
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Old September 24 2012, 11:59 PM   #1613
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I agree, the clones are a bore but the show is very limited in what it can do with them.
Well, that's not agreeing with me because it's not what I said at all. I don't find the clone characters boring; I find gunfights and battle scenes boring -- in general, not just in The Clone Wars. The parts of that 4-parter that weren't just shooty-bang-kaboom were actually pretty interesting -- and I respect their daring in telling a movie-length story that was almost devoid of canonical characters, not to mention one where Dee Bradley Baker single-handedly played over 90 percent of the entire cast.

And I'd say the clones are the characters the show is least limited in what it can do with, since they're original characters (aside from Cody) and the writers have pretty much carte blanche to develop them however they like. And no, the show can't really have the Republic confront the morality of what it's doing with the clones or change its policies, but it can tell more personal stories about how the clones themselves perceive and react to their situation, and those are some of the more interesting stories the show does. I just prefer it when the clones are talking and interacting as characters than when they're just shooting and being shot.


In a show with more creative freedom, the story of soldiers who are manufactured to fight a war could be much more compelling. They don't all have to be clones of each other for instance.
Well, that's part of what's interesting about the show's portrayal of them. They all have the same baseline appearance and voice, but they're very much individuals.


Episodes could be told from the enemy's point of view, whoever they are.
They're the Sith, Separatists, and droids, as we know. But yes, there has been too much of a tendency to focus on the pure-evil side of the Separatist movement. There have been a couple of episodes that made an effort to explore the Separatists who have legitimate grievances and good intentions, but not enough has been done with that to date.
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Old September 25 2012, 03:57 PM   #1614
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Ayelbourne wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
If it's just one battlefield after another, that doesn't seem as interesting.
Depends on the battlefields. Each planet could call for a totally different kind of warfare, which in turn could mean different types of soldiers, i.e. a new cast of characters each season.
I'd rather they kept the focus on a single unit and/or cast of characters, although with an appreciably large amount of cast turnover (because war series). War is as Temis noted kind of rare for TV due to expense, but HBO's miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific were excellent war narratives with a sprawling cast of characters connected by all being members of one unit. I think this war series - like so much TV - will live or die on how much or how little we actually care about these soldiers. I could see the show moving away from the unit, for example, but only because Main Character and Some Supporting Characters are transferred into the new unit/outfit/whatever.

Moving the location of the warfare, though - different planet every season, wasn't it? - is a great idea. Gives each season an arc that concludes recognizably, and allows the arcs to work together as part of the series' greater whole (assuming we have a perspective on how well or how poorly the war is progressing).

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
You'd be surprised. Don't forget, the Bela Lugosi Dracula was released on Valentine's Day, 1931 and marketed as "The Strangest Love Story Ever Told."
Oh, I wouldn't. My point - if this wasn't clear - is that Bela Lugosi's Dracula has never been dismissed as 'girl stuff' in the way the Twilight series has (and to various extents Anne Rice and her many imitators/contemporaries), but there's definitely some sex appeal going on there.
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Old September 25 2012, 07:43 PM   #1615
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Battles in fiction are interesting to the extent you care about the characters, so the issue regarding the clones is definitely about them as characters. If they were better characters, then the battles wouldn't be such a bore.

Band of Brothers is engaging not because the particulars of the battles are interesting in the abstract but because the characters manage to engage the audience's symapthy and interest (despite the characters being somewhat hard to tell apart, everyone wearing the same uniforms and covered in mud.)

If a fictional battle is boring, it's because the writer didn't find a way to make you care about the characters. But if you care about the characters, then you care about anything they do that has important consequences. It could be as mundane as them doing the dishes.

It's easier to see how warfare could be consequential for the characters, so there's no reason to assume that in a series like Incursion, it wouldn't work just as well as anything else the characters could be made to do.

The main issue is, if that's all they do, the writers might run out if ways to make it fresh and novel, but it's sci fi, so that gives them a lot more latitude, and we don't know that fighting is the only thing they're doing.
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Old September 25 2012, 08:08 PM   #1616
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Battles in fiction are interesting to the extent you care about the characters, so the issue regarding the clones is definitely about them as characters. If they were better characters, then the battles wouldn't be such a bore.
That's your opinion, but you and I are different. I've only been describing my own personal tastes, and have never claimed that anyone else has to share them. I'm not making any general statements about what's objectively good or bad, just saying that the DeKnight show doesn't sound like it would appeal to me personally. Which is a shame, because there are things about it that do interest me. But war stories turn me off.

In the case of the Clone Wars 4-parter we've been talking about, my point was that I did care about the clone characters once the shooting stopped, but the initial fog-of-war, Saving Private Ryan-homage sequence in the same story was completely tedious for me. So I didn't dislike that scene for the same reason you did, the reason you're describing here. You don't like the clones but think the battles are okay when the characters are interesting. I like the clones fine, I think they're one of the best things about the show, but the battles are my least favorite parts as a rule. Different people, different reactions. Okay?
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Old September 27 2012, 08:36 PM   #1617
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Another afterlife cop show!

Near Dead centers on a NYC detective who experiences a near-death experience and may have witnessed his wife’s murder while “under.” He then re-enters the force with a new perspective on how to close those cases he wrote off as unsolvable; all the while pursuing answers to who may have killed his wife and why.
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Old September 28 2012, 04:28 AM   #1618
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Meh. I don't know why exactly, but that really doesn't do a thing for me.
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Old September 28 2012, 09:22 AM   #1619
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Dead Zone meets Monk. It will all depend on the writing, characters and actors.
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Old September 28 2012, 06:48 PM   #1620
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It sounds too much like everything else, doesn't it?
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