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Old December 12 2012, 10:38 AM   #1921
RJDiogenes
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

So S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to be an X-Files rip-off?
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Old December 12 2012, 04:08 PM   #1922
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Or maybe Weird Desk was less like The X-Files than some people have prematurely assumed based on a couple of sentences.
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Old December 12 2012, 04:54 PM   #1923
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
So S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to be an X-Files rip-off?
They're probably both (Weird Desk and S.H.I.E.L.D., I mean) procedural shows with genre elements.
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Old December 12 2012, 11:01 PM   #1924
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I guess I was expecting more of a James Bond or superhero (or both) type of show.
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Old December 12 2012, 11:36 PM   #1925
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
I guess I was expecting more of a James Bond or superhero (or both) type of show.
Well, look beyond the X-Files comparison and listen to what the description for Weird Desk actually said:

...it centers on the workings of a clandestine organization rumored to be named “Weird Desk.” Working above the levels of top secret and above the office of the President, the unit is the destination for mysterious intelligence rerouted from the CIA and NSA. Tasked with investigating and solving occurrences of the paranormal, supernatural and sometimes extra-terrestrial...
So we're not talking Mulder & Scully in the basement here. We're talking a powerful, top-secret organization handling cases even the CIA and NSA can't handle, including everything from the supernatural to the alien. That sounds quite a lot like SHIELD to me. (Or like the Men in Black crossed with Section 31.)
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Old December 13 2012, 10:30 AM   #1926
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

And, except maybe for the "above the president" part, sounds exactly like X-Files, who dealt with the paranormal and the extraterrestrial. S.H.I.E.L.D. was always a James Bond type of deal, and since this is a spin-off of the recent Avengers movie, superheroes are a reasonable expectation.
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Old December 13 2012, 02:35 PM   #1927
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
And, except maybe for the "above the president" part, sounds exactly like X-Files, who dealt with the paranormal and the extraterrestrial.
No, to me it sounds like the opposite of The X-Files. Mulder & Scully were on the outside of the vast overarching government conspiracy that knew about all this stuff, and they were trying to unearth all these secrets that they were shut out of knowing. Weird Desk would be about the characters who are the vast overarching government conspiracy. So they're on opposite sides of the veil of secrecy. In that sense it's more like Warehouse 13 -- a show about the people behind the secret government conspiracy. Or at least like Fringe, where the investigators are fully backed by the government rather than having it work against them as with Mulder & Scully.


S.H.I.E.L.D. was always a James Bond type of deal, and since this is a spin-off of the recent Avengers movie, superheroes are a reasonable expectation.
Yes, and superpowers are essentially a paranormal phenomenon, often rooted in supernatural abilities, weird science, or extraterrestrial influence. So yes, there is a lot of overlap in the concept, even if there are differences in style.
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Old December 14 2012, 12:09 AM   #1928
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
No, to me it sounds like the opposite of The X-Files.
Wasn't the "X-Files" a secret section of the FBI or CIA or something?

Yes, and superpowers are essentially a paranormal phenomenon, often rooted in supernatural abilities, weird science, or extraterrestrial influence. So yes, there is a lot of overlap in the concept, even if there are differences in style.
And yet "paranormal" has a certain specific meaning in its typical usage, which includes neither superheroes nor James Bond. It's not a word that a network press release would include to describe either.
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Old December 14 2012, 12:13 AM   #1929
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

On the show, the "X-Files" were simply the unsolved case files of the FBI. I don't think there was anything secret about it (at least, any more secret than anything else the FBI does).
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Old December 14 2012, 12:19 AM   #1930
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Oh, okay. But it was part of the FBI. That's what I thought.
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Old December 14 2012, 12:25 AM   #1931
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
Oh, okay. But it was part of the FBI. That's what I thought.
I think what Christopher was saying is that the XFiles they were solving were often causing them to go up against the Gov't covering stuff up, whih is the opposite of SHIELD who would be doing top secret stuff and doing the covering up
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Old December 14 2012, 01:26 AM   #1932
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
And yet "paranormal" has a certain specific meaning in its typical usage, which includes neither superheroes nor James Bond. It's not a word that a network press release would include to describe either.
Oh, come on, plenty of superheroes/villains cross over into the paranormal: Dr. Strange, Blade, Werewolf by Night, Madame Web, you name it. Heck, Thor is an actual deity, at least in the comics. Okay, in the movies he's an alien, but that's one of the areas Weird Desk would've covered as well. Superheroes are not a single genre; they're broad enough to incorporate all sorts of genres from high fantasy to science fiction to gritty noir realism. Of course the SHIELD show is going to have episodes involving paranormal threats, episodes involving alien threats, episodes involving weird science, you name it. It's all going to be in there because it's all part of the Marvel Universe.


Sindatur wrote: View Post
I think what Christopher was saying is that the XFiles they were solving were often causing them to go up against the Gov't covering stuff up, whih is the opposite of SHIELD who would be doing top secret stuff and doing the covering up
Yes, of course. Mulder & Scully did work for the FBI, but they were lower-echelon people kept in the dark about the big conspiracy that other branches of the government were involved with. They were trying to expose the secrets others in the government were keeping. They weren't keeping the secrets themselves.

The "Weird Desk" organization -- above the President, handed cases too big for the CIA -- sounds like it's at the top of the secret-keeping pyramid. It's a completely opposite power dynamic from The X-Files. It's closer to Warehouse 13. And obviously similar to SHIELD, which is about an ultra-powerful top-secret agency that's apparently above the authority of any single government (in the movie it seemed to answer to a global council) and handles the cases nobody else can handle.
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Old December 14 2012, 01:47 AM   #1933
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Speaking of shows that remind you of the X-Files...

Described as “The X-Files meets The Matrix“, DarkNet is a mystery series about a couple of cyber-crime investigators who stumble across a far-reaching conspiracy to change the course of human evolution. “On one level, DarkNet‘s a cautionary tale about transhumanism inspired by something Ray Bradbury said,” Balcer said. “He thought the Internet was a massive scam perpetrated by computer companies. I thought, what if he was only half-right, and they had something far more sinister in mind.”

DarkNet, produced by Universal Cable Prods., centers on a woman with an MIT degree whose younger sister disappeared years ago, allegedly a victim of a cyber predator. As part of her quest to find the truth, the woman joins the FBI’s cyber crime unit where she is partnered with a former hacktivist who recruited by the FBI after serving time in jail.
Sounds like the topic could be cool, but I liked Weird Desk's nerd guy/ass-kicking gal combo more than what this sounds like, which I hope won't be Ms. Strait Laced Prig vs Smartass Punk. Unless they want to break out of the format and gasp not expect them to have any romantic chemistry...if the hacktivist is played by a really deft actor like Jimmi Simpson, I guess it wouldn't be too bad...
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Old December 14 2012, 03:54 AM   #1934
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

X-Files meets the Matrix, brught to you by the hippest references circa 1999.
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Old December 14 2012, 04:06 AM   #1935
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It's worth pointing out that these glib comparisons to old shows are just part of the TV-pitch vocabulary, a shorthand for conveying the genre the show belongs to, and shouldn't be taken as a literal indication that the creators intend to copy the specifics of the shows being referenced. For instance, Gene Roddenberry pitched Star Trek as "Wagon Train to the stars," because Wagon Train was a successful television show that had the kind of format and tone he wanted to emulate, and saying that was a quick-and-dirty way of conveying that to the network execs because they'd know what kind of show it had been. But ST was a very, very different show from Wagon Train.

So let's try not to be so quick to accuse people of unoriginality based on the pitch shorthands they use.
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