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

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Old July 17 2012, 08:48 PM   #1141
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Here are my thoughts on Electric City:
-The whole Electric City page has too much going on, between the actual episodes, map that shifts as the story moves around in the episode, and the character guide. I usually have lag and eventually get stuck with horribly low quality video at some point while watching the episodes.
-The art style and animation are pretty good, but some of the voice acting is lacking.
-I get the feeling the first 10 episodes are all about world building and setting up the cast, because the Tom Hanks character doesn't show up all that much or get that much focus.
-The most hilarious bit of the show is the fact that they all say expletive whenever they should be cursing. It just sounds so weird when they say something and follow it with "Expletive."
-One of the most annoying aspects of this show is the cabal of old women who are running things behind the scenes, mostly because they seem to have turned Electric City into a strictly controlled environment for no reason other than losing their children in the post-apocalypse. They even kill one of their operatives because he wants to have a child (which you have to get a permit for), which makes no sense.
-They really need to show us something about the electrical generation in this city, because I can't see why the Spiteful Old Bitches go on and on about wasting electricity when they apparently have solar power in restaurants and give their operatives lightning guns. They've either got to show that electricity generation is hard in this post-apocalyptic world or the SOBs are stuck in their revenge fueled mindsets and ignoring the fact that they don't need to be as stingy with electricity, because this is a major part of the story and world that needs to be understood for most of the events in the show to make sense.
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Old July 17 2012, 09:17 PM   #1142
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Anyone here familiar with the Outlander books? I'm curious why Ron Moore would go for such a project, it seems outside his usual tropes of identity/technology+society/religion.
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Old July 17 2012, 09:49 PM   #1143
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Eh... I'm bitter over more than just Firefly Matter of fact, I wasn't even aware of Firefly until it was already gone. Dollhouse, Tru Calling and Sapce:Above and Beyond were shows I watched in first run.
But Dollhouse is a key example of how the current FOX executives are far more nurturing and supportive of their shows than the execs a decade ago were. Dollhouse got terrible ratings. The old FOX regime would've cancelled it midseason with episodes unaired, as they did with Firefly. But the new execs stuck with it and allowed it to play out its whole season, and then, once Whedon proved with "Epitaph One" (made for the DVD due to a contractual discrepancy) that he could produce episodes on a much tighter budget by using digital cameras, FOX agreed to give him another season, another chance that the old guard never would've given him -- and, again, they let the whole season play out rather than cutting it off in the middle, so that Whedon was able to bring the story to a satisfying (if relatively rushed) climax and resolution. The network gave the show all the support it possibly could -- but the audience wasn't there, and ultimately it's the audience that's responsible for whether a show succeeds or fails. If they don't watch, the network can't keep making it, no matter how much it wants to.

As for Tru Calling, I don't recall exactly, but while it was under the old regime, I think it was lucky to be granted a second season. Again, the audience just didn't come, and that's why it was cancelled. Really, the problem is that the show took too long to really find its voice and start getting good, too long to start fleshing out its mythology and story arc, so that audiences lost interest early on. By the time it started to get really interesting, it had lost too much ground and wasn't able to recover.

The bottom line is, most new TV shows fail, period. That's true on any network. The viewing audience only has so much time and attention to spare, shows are competing with other shows for that attention, and some of the shows are going to lose the competition. And SF shows have a harder time than most because of their more niche appeal and their greater cost to produce. So even with the most supportive, generous network imaginable, as long as that network is still supported by ad revenue and depends on ratings, not very many of its genre shows can be expected to succeed and endure. Yes, there are some cases where the network makes bad decisions that kill a show, like what FOX did with Firefly, or the way UPN totally failed to promote and schedule Michael Piller's Legend in a way that would pull in the Voyager audience. Or where they cancel a decently performing show for business reasons that are understandable but still unrelated to the show's own success, like when the young FOX network cancelled Alien Nation because they wanted to expand their then-limited lineup to more nights and could produce four sitcoms for the same cost as that one show. (Although in that case, FOX didn't give up on the show and kept on looking for a way to make it feasible to bring it back, eventually reviving it for a series of TV movies.) But a lot of the time, the network isn't to blame, and it's simply that the show didn't find or hold an audience.
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Old July 17 2012, 10:03 PM   #1144
Sindatur
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
Eh... I'm bitter over more than just Firefly Matter of fact, I wasn't even aware of Firefly until it was already gone. Dollhouse, Tru Calling and Sapce:Above and Beyond were shows I watched in first run.
But Dollhouse is a key example of how the current FOX executives are far more nurturing and supportive of their shows than the execs a decade ago were. Dollhouse got terrible ratings. The old FOX regime would've cancelled it midseason with episodes unaired, as they did with Firefly. But the new execs stuck with it and allowed it to play out its whole season, and then, once Whedon proved with "Epitaph One" (made for the DVD due to a contractual discrepancy) that he could produce episodes on a much tighter budget by using digital cameras, FOX agreed to give him another season, another chance that the old guard never would've given him -- and, again, they let the whole season play out rather than cutting it off in the middle, so that Whedon was able to bring the story to a satisfying (if relatively rushed) climax and resolution. The network gave the show all the support it possibly could -- but the audience wasn't there, and ultimately it's the audience that's responsible for whether a show succeeds or fails. If they don't watch, the network can't keep making it, no matter how much it wants to.

As for Tru Calling, I don't recall exactly, but while it was under the old regime, I think it was lucky to be granted a second season. Again, the audience just didn't come, and that's why it was cancelled. Really, the problem is that the show took too long to really find its voice and start getting good, too long to start fleshing out its mythology and story arc, so that audiences lost interest early on. By the time it started to get really interesting, it had lost too much ground and wasn't able to recover.

The bottom line is, most new TV shows fail, period. That's true on any network. The viewing audience only has so much time and attention to spare, shows are competing with other shows for that attention, and some of the shows are going to lose the competition. And SF shows have a harder time than most because of their more niche appeal and their greater cost to produce. So even with the most supportive, generous network imaginable, as long as that network is still supported by ad revenue and depends on ratings, not very many of its genre shows can be expected to succeed and endure. Yes, there are some cases where the network makes bad decisions that kill a show, like what FOX did with Firefly, or the way UPN totally failed to promote and schedule Michael Piller's Legend in a way that would pull in the Voyager audience. Or where they cancel a decently performing show for business reasons that are understandable but still unrelated to the show's own success, like when the young FOX network cancelled Alien Nation because they wanted to expand their then-limited lineup to more nights and could produce four sitcoms for the same cost as that one show. (Although in that case, FOX didn't give up on the show and kept on looking for a way to make it feasible to bring it back, eventually reviving it for a series of TV movies.) But a lot of the time, the network isn't to blame, and it's simply that the show didn't find or hold an audience.
Agreed on all of the above, which is why I pointed out "When the network makes the Business decisions it has to".

Tru Calling, if I remember correctly went as follows:
1. 13 Episode S1 comission
2. Addition of Jason Priestly inspired them to comission the back 7 episodes
3. Renewal for S2 of 13 episodes
4. While filming episode 6 of S2 (The Christmas Episode), they changed their mind and squashed it right there, and decided to not start airing in late November as intended and instead aired Point Pleasant (which, I believe lasted 3 or 4 episodes before being canned)
5. January or February, they finally showed episodes 1 - 5, but, decided to not air episode 6, since Christmas had passed
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Old July 18 2012, 12:09 AM   #1145
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Sindatur wrote: View Post
That's not the way reads, especially since Temis points out, it's those of us, like on the board who are the exception (IE: We're the ones driving up the numbers by seeing it multiple times) IMHO. The General Audience might see it again, with another group of folks, but, they're not likely to watch it 3 or 4 or 5 times, like many of us
And yet I was directly referring to the people who Temis said forget, obviously. In any case, it was just a joke. No need to overthink it.

stj wrote: View Post
Admiral Janeway's selfish history-changing plot in Endgame was exchanged for a heroic history-changing attack on the Borg. Genocide of the bad guys is the kind of history changing everyone can get behind. (The Admiral dies for her sins, what more do you want, gang-rape? Captain Janeway, like all of us, has the right to change her future.)
But she changed everybody else's future, too. How many people were alive in the original timeline that were never even born in the altered one? And genocide is kind of on the list of bad things, too. No, "Endgame" was a low point in Trek lore.

Yes, Fist Contact was a dumb space vampire (not mindless zombie, get the facts right!) movie. It was still the only re-watchable TNG movie.
Okay, they can be space vampires if you want. But I could barely manage one watching. The one I find rewatchable is Generations. Maybe occasionally Insurrection. I have little interest in seeing Nemesis again.

As to the new Star Trek movie and concerns with continuity, as I recall there some tedious persiflage in the new movie that rationalizes that. Doesn't help the movie a bit. In Star Trek, Spock was the cool character and Kirk/Spock was such a famous friendship it inspired slash. In the new Star Trek movie, Kirk is the cool character and Kirk viciously attacks Spock, which we are supposed to believe is the foundation for a new famous friendship. Plus, Star Trek improved the believability of the setting and premises, while the new movie invents new offenses against plausibility.

Driveling about how narrow continuity has never been part of the Trek phenomenon misses the direct opposition between the two Star Treks. No doubt the completely white, completely non-geeky guy being the cool one is more popular. And no doubt adolescents of all ages feel like friendship is like being accomplices in defying the 'rents and the teachers, so that getting all drippy about each other has nothing to do with it. But as much as you might like the takeaway from the new Star Trek, the only thing it's got to do with the old Star Trek is Leonard Nimoy.
All true.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Come on. It's not about whether you dislike a movie, it's about how you express that dislike and whether it's fair or hurtful.
Well, I suppose it might be hurtful to the writers, but they did an awful job and there's no need to soft soap it. In any case, they've become millionaires despite their awful writing, so I imagine that eases the pain.

I don't like The Wrath of Khan much. But I don't constantly hijack every Trek movie thread with mean-spirited, abusive rants about what a horrible movie it was and how only idiots and fools could possibly like it.
That's good. I don't either.

I strongly dislike the choices Nicholas Meyer made. But I don't impugn his competence, intelligence, or motives just because he happened to make creative choices that don't conform to my personal taste. Criticism does not require hatred, hostility, or abuse. Disagreeing with the choices made by a creator does not require vilifying the creator on a personal level or damning the intelligence or judgment of anyone who liked that creator's choices. Those are the tactics of a bully, not a reasonable critic.
Good thing I never did any of that, huh?

If you haven't figured it out yet, you never will. You're just not listening to anything except your own biases and preconceptions, so of course you're not able to understand it even though I've been explaining in detail for what feels like weeks now. So I'm done trying.
Okay.
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Old July 18 2012, 04:43 AM   #1146
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I watched the first episode, and thought it was pretty good. It was only 5 minutes long, so it didn't get real deep into the story or world, but what I saw was pretty interesting and unique. I especially like the fact that their people manipulating things behind the scenes (at least that was the impression I got) was a bunch of old ladies sitting around knitting.
bullethead wrote: View Post
Here are my thoughts on Electric City:
...
-The most hilarious bit of the show is the fact that they all say expletive whenever they should be cursing. It just sounds so weird when they say something and follow it with "Expletive."
...
I'm pretty sure that them saying expletive was their version of cursing. It's pretty much their version of Red Dwarf's smeg, Farscape's frell/dren, and BSG's frak.
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Old July 18 2012, 03:13 PM   #1147
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^Yeah, sounds like one of those cases where a euphemism gets so associated with the thing it's euphemizing that it ends up being considered vulgar itself. (In-universe, I mean.)
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Old July 18 2012, 08:55 PM   #1148
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
The conversation shouldn't be about broadcast; I'd be surprised to ever see Star Trek on broadcast again.
I'd be much more surprised to ever see it on Showtime or a similar premium cable channel, aber. It's a matter of what kind of TV channel Star Trek fits in, what kind of niche a new Star Trek series would be looking for.

I've never heard of this premise and I have no idea whether or not I should be excited, but on the other hand, it's Ron D. Moore, so I'd definitely consider giving it a watch.
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Old July 18 2012, 10:00 PM   #1149
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Star Trek will have to adapt itself to the channels available, not the reverse. do you really think any channel would change its strategy just for one show?

Star Trek's options are basic or premium cable, or a streaming service. in any of those cases, it has to fit in with what already exists.
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Old July 18 2012, 11:23 PM   #1150
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It would be a good bet for Netflix or Hulu or something. It's got the name recognition and a built-in audience of a good three million minimum.
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Old July 18 2012, 11:47 PM   #1151
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

There's not going to be tv until Abrams is finished with the movies.

How many movies does he have in him, and how long will it take to make them, because he started on first movie almost 10 years ago, and the second one isn't out yet...

So if he has a 5 movie story arc planned, then that really means that he may not be finished till 2050-something.

By then, maybe whatever has replaced broadcast network TV might be interested.
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Old July 19 2012, 02:44 AM   #1152
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

If and when the next movie is a hit, then the time might be right to pitch CBS on a new series. Ideally, the series debut should coincide more or less with the third movie, to capitalize on PR. That would synch up well with Both tv and movie production schedules.
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Old July 19 2012, 04:57 AM   #1153
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

If the JJ movies remain successful you can forget about a live action TV series. I would like to see an animated one though. Let's hope.

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Old July 19 2012, 05:20 AM   #1154
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Check Future of Trek, apparently Orci is saying the opposite - Trek on TV depends on the next movie's success, hitch makes sense. CBS wants assurance the last movie's success wasn't an anomaly.
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Old July 19 2012, 05:30 AM   #1155
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I would like to see an animated TV series and a live action TV version of TNG in the JJverse. Doing something radically different on TV doesn't make sense...why do TOS reboot in 2009? If they could have done something original under the 'Star Trek' name??? CW is he best bet for a new TV series unless they want to sell outside CBS kingdom and the direction CW wants to go...a Trek series would be a great opportunity.
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