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Old September 23 2012, 08:28 PM   #16
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Before I get into my own thoughts on adapting Elfstones rather than one or more of the chronologically earlier novels (of which there are 9), I wanted to address Lonemagpie's spoiler-tagged comment. There were actually indications of what you mentioned present in The Sword of Shannara, although they really became prevalent in Elfstones and Wishsong (the second and third books, publishing-wise, in the series).

Now, on to my thoughts on the decision to adapt Elfstones. I'm not entirely convinced that avoiding comparisons to LotR is a strong enough reason to not adapt a story like Sword or First King, but, if that's indeed what they're worried about, they ought to adapt either the Word and Void or Genesis of Shannara trilogies since both are so dissimilar to LotR that it would be impossible for comparisons to be made between the two properties.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

^


It's been a very long time since I first read 'Sword', so I don't recall all of the details, but I believe you hit the nail on the head here - directly on the head, I might add.

There's no doubt that Terry basically took LOTR and retooled it for a more modern audience at the time (1977) and placed it two thousand some years into the future, but by and large, Ray Charles could've seen the similarities between the two works. Kind of amazes me that Del Rey even published the damn thing, considering how incredibly similar it was.

That said, however, in many ways, TSoS was a much easier read in terms of the actual prose itself and the fact it was streamlined into one novel, as broken in three (and yes, I know that Tolkien originally did write LOTR as one, gigantic novel, in the beginning).

'Sword' still have merit, if for no other reason than being ballsy enough to re-write the greatest fantasy work ever written.


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Old September 23 2012, 08:36 PM   #18
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Tulin wrote: View Post
I know of the books but don't know anything about them.

Hopefully they are more like GoT and less like that appalling NZ fantasy series a few years back with the young pretty guy. That was just more Hercules/Zena crap.
I am disheartened to see Sonar Entertainment behind it as apparently that's the new incarnation of RHI/Hallmark and Robert Halmi which makes a lot of mediocre but genial fantasy pablum. Occasionally they make something that's enjoyable but they're rarely ambitious.

Still something is better than nothing probably so I'm curious.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:39 PM   #19
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

The thing about using the 'it's too much like LotR' thing against Shannara - specifically Sword - is that it's not the only franchise or novel against which the same complaint can be leveled. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series also follows nearly the exact same formula as LotR, as do a number of the novels written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, including their fabled Dragonlance series. However, that doesn't make them sub-par novels or unworthy of being adapted.

I'd personally disagree with the whole 'greatest fantasy work ever written' thing as it applies to LotR, but that's really neither here nor there.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:39 PM   #20
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

DigificWriter wrote: View Post

I'm not entirely convinced that avoiding comparisons to LotR is a strong enough reason to not adapt a story like Sword or First King, but, if that's indeed what they're worried about, they ought to adapt either the Word and Void or Genesis of Shannara trilogies since both are so dissimilar to LotR that it would be impossible for comparisons to be made between the two properties.

Excellent point. Though the Word & Void trilogy is the one part of the overall narrative I haven't read, I did read 'Genesis' and as you say, it's completely different enough to avoid any real comparisons to Rings.

Quite honestly, that really would be an excellent place to start, though if the show didn't continue past a first season, then you'd never really get into the Shannara world that so many are familiar with.

Incidentally, my above post was in response to Silvercrest's excellent comparison between Brooks and Tolkien.


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Old September 23 2012, 08:42 PM   #21
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

DigificWriter wrote: View Post

I'd personally disagree with the whole 'greatest fantasy work ever written' thing as it applies to LotR, but that's really neither here nor there.

Point taken. Perhaps I should've phrased it as "arguably the greatest fantasy work ever written." Or viewed another way, perhaps the most well known by the general populance.


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Old September 23 2012, 08:47 PM   #22
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Regardless of quality LOTR is definitely one of the standard bearers of fantasy fiction. I think it's inevitable that everything will be compared to it at one point (even if the result comes back negative).
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Old September 23 2012, 08:48 PM   #23
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Procutus, the W&V trilogy is an excellent read, and I would highly recommend it.

I was also responding to Silvercrest's post, BTW, as well as yours.

Also, while we're still sort of on the subject of comparisons, I see way more comparisons - overall - between Shannara and stuff like Stephen King's The Dark Tower and the Fallout RPG video game series than I do with LotR, since, despite the impression left by the early books (Sword, Elfstones, and Wishsong specifically), the series is more 'post-apocalyptic Urban Fantasy' than it is 'Tolkien-esque High Fantasy'.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:49 PM   #24
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
The thing about using the 'it's too much like LotR' thing against Shannara - specifically Sword - is that it's not the only franchise or novel against which the same complaint can be leveled. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series also follows nearly the exact same formula as LotR, as do a number of the novels written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, including their fabled Dragonlance series.
Though Mithgar goes in different directions later, Dennis L. McKiernan's The Iron Tower and The Silver Call are very Lord of the Rings-like; the latter because it is a sequel to Lord of the Rings, the former because it was written so that The Silver Call would have backstory.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:54 PM   #25
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

DigificWriter wrote: View Post

the series is more 'post-apocalyptic Urban Fantasy' than it is 'Tolkien-esque High Fantasy'.


Well, 'Genesis of Shannara' certainly fit that description nicely. I have to admit, the connecting threads between that trilogy and 'W&V' have me curious enough to see if they're available to download onto my Sony reader, if not, then a trip to Half-Price Books for real copies. Then I could truly say that I'd read the entire Shannara saga.

Except, of course, for the new one, 'Dark Legacy of Shannara', which I think I'll hold off on until Book II comes out in, I think March. Then I'll get them both and have only six months to wait for Book III.

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Old September 23 2012, 08:59 PM   #26
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

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^ How much Fantasy from the 70's & 80's wasn't a rip-off of his work on some level?
The problem isn't that it used plot and theme elements from Tolkien.

The problem is that is contains so many that are identical.

Try this:

1) Young non-hero living in isolated land is informed by crotchety wizard that he's connected with an artifact that can defeat the Big Bad.

2) Non-hero is hunted by supernatural agents of the supernatural Big Bad in connection with same artifact. Forced to flee his homeland with a few friends and family members.

3) Group has unrelated adventures in wilderness while trying to reach a place of temporary safety. Group is baled out of trouble by friendly hermit/wilderness spirit-- unclear which. Has no bearing on story.

4) Group reaches safe haven. Council of war is called in connection with the artifact. Traveling group is formally arranged for this purpose which includes non-hero, his kinsmen, the wizard, representatives of the elf and dwarf races, and an uncrowned king of a distant land.

5) Non-hero is separated from the rest of the party and is required to complete the mission without them. He recruits as a travel guide a half-mad creature who has his own connection with said artifact.

6) Remainder of party gets involved in the overall war that is being waged by the Big Bad. They encounter a ruler who is under the malign influence of one of his advisors.

7) Having arrived at the city the uncrowned king is from, he is required to take command after the death of the interim ruler. He leads his people to a final stand against impossible odds. They are saved at the last minute, because--

8) The non-hero and his mad guide travel into the Big Bad's own land with the artifact and complete their mission. The Big Bad is destroyed. The guide is killed in the process. The enemy army stops fighting just in time to save the non-hero's friends.


Which work am I talking about?
Oh, no doubt this was closer than most in theme to Tolkien.

My hope is SyFy doesn't have any part of this project. It could be very watchable if SyFy stays out of it.
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Old September 23 2012, 09:03 PM   #27
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post

My hope is SyFy doesn't have any part of this project. It could be very watchable if SyFy stays out of it.

Funny thing is, while SyFy's regular weekend original movies basically suck to high heaven, the various mini-series they've done (Taken, Tin-Man, The Triangle) have been fairly decent.

Still...

I take it there's no idea yet whether this will be a premium cable series, or if it will appear on a network?


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Old September 24 2012, 03:53 AM   #28
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

^ I liked Tin Man enough to buy the DVD, but they did that 5 years ago.
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Old September 24 2012, 03:58 AM   #29
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Procutus wrote: View Post
Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post

My hope is SyFy doesn't have any part of this project. It could be very watchable if SyFy stays out of it.

Funny thing is, while SyFy's regular weekend original movies basically suck to high heaven, the various mini-series they've done (Taken, Tin-Man, The Triangle) have been fairly decent.

Still...

I take it there's no idea yet whether this will be a premium cable series, or if it will appear on a network?


Well... at least SyFy shows TNG reruns!
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Old September 24 2012, 04:41 AM   #30
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

^ Do they? I always watch TNG reruns on BBCA. At least until the blu-rays all get released.
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