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Old September 24 2012, 04:47 AM   #31
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
^ Do they? I always watch TNG reruns on BBCA. At least until the blu-rays all get released.
They still show TNG reruns in episode blocks every once in a while.
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Old September 24 2012, 05:40 AM   #32
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Thanks, gentlemen. (DigificWriter and Procutus.)

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.
I don't have any problem with franchises or novels that use Tolkienesque elements. I just have a problem with anything that parallels plot and theme as closely as Sword did. I haven't read any of the works you're citing, but I'd be interested in hearing how many of my points they hit.

Although my understanding is that Dragonlance was inspired more by the D&D game (which was in turn inspired by Tolkien). So it would be more "second-generation derivative". I think.

The curious thing is, back in the 1980s or 1990s I remember seeing ads for a Dragonlance game. My reaction was, "They took an RPG and turned it into novels, and now they're turning it back into an RPG?! Aren't they going in circles?"

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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.
Ugh, ugh. Bad sign already. I watched what they did to Earthsea. And was Halmi responsible for that awful adaptation of Mysterious Island with Patrick Stewart?
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Old September 24 2012, 06:06 AM   #33
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

^ There's actually two of 'em, Jr. and Sr., and at least one was involved with Mysterious Island.
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Old September 24 2012, 07:45 AM   #34
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Silvercrest, the Wheel of Time, particularly the first novel The Eye of the World, is paced and structured very similarly to the bullet point outline you made, but I've never before heard of that being held up as a point against the series.
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Old September 24 2012, 05:20 PM   #35
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Robert Jordan did consciously structure the opening of The Eye of the World to be reminiscent of Tolkien, but it's nowhere near as close to The Lord of The Rings as The Sword of Shannara is. To draw from Silvercrest's handy bulleted list (SPOILERS for The Wheel of Time follow):

1) Moiraine is not a crotchety wizard (though she does belong to the same general type of fantasy mentor), and Rand's capacity to defeat the Big Bad, which is not linked to an artifact, is not revealed to him at this point. Basically no match.

2) Basically a match, though again there's no artifact, and no clear understanding of why they're being attacked. Different from "Shadow of the Past"- style infodump.

3) I guess you could point to Shadar Logoth, but that's not quite as irrelevant to the overall story due to the Mordeth/Padan Fain connection, and there's no hermit/wilderness spirit in sight.

4) The point where they're reunited in Caemlyn is a loose equivalent here, but there's no formal council of war. Loial is as close as you get to an elf or a dwarf, and while the Ogier are in a lot of ways a combination of the stock traits of those races, it's not as straightforward a derivation as in the Shannara books. Lan is an uncrowned king, but not of an extant city in the way that Aragorn and Balinor are.

5) [Breaking away from The Eye of the World here, since it's the only way to find even loose parallels:] The traveling companions eventually diverge as in The Lord of the Rings, but Rand is never entirely alone, and there's no Gollum/Orl Fane figure. Lews Therin's presence in Rand's mind is loosely comparable (for those not familiar with the series, Lews Therin is an earlier incarnation of the Dragon, the messianic figure Rand serves as in the series' present day, and Rand hears Lews Therin's insane voice in his head), but that's nowhere near as similar.

6) Morgase and Gaebril/Rahvin is a somewhat close parallel here (in most other instances the agents of the Dark One, the Wheel of Time Big Bad, work by taking power directly rather than manipulating extant rulers), but no protagonist encounters Morgase until after she has, under her own steam, separated herself from the malign influence.

7+8) These are hard to do, since the ending of The Wheel of Time is currently unknown (the last book is still four months away), but as noted above, there's no city for the uncrowned king, though the remnants of his people do gather for a final stand against impossible odds. I imagine the non-hero will indeed travel into the Big Bad's land, but there's still no artifact, and no mad guide. Edit: thinking further about it, you could see Padan Fain as a general parallel to Gollum, since he's also mad and seems likely to have some role to play in the endgame. But there's no shared connection to a central artifact like the Ring or the Sword of Shannara.

The Wheel of Time is a pretty good example both of how contemporary fantasy is generally reminiscent of Tolkien, and of how The Sword of Shannara is blatantly derivative on a level that little else matches.
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Last edited by Brendan Moody; September 24 2012 at 07:11 PM. Reason: one more vague parallel
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Old September 24 2012, 06:44 PM   #36
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Agree SoS is a bit too close for comfort, so probably a good call to skip over it. Still think the First King could be a good jumping on point, and they could go straight to Elfstones from there.

Actually, First King feels like Terry recognized that SoS was a bit too close, and kinda took another stab at it later on. Better story, still uses the sword, and then just doesn't fully banish bad guy at end, because he has to survive for SoS to tackle. If you do First King, and then just beat the big bad at the end, you can lose the sword to myth/time and put it right where it needs to be for Elfstones. Just as good a setup...
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Old September 25 2012, 05:50 PM   #37
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

I always preferred David Edding's stuff like the Belgariad and the Malloreon.
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Old September 26 2012, 12:50 AM   #38
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
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.
Ugh, ugh. Bad sign already. I watched what they did to Earthsea.
On the other hand, Farscape.
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Old September 26 2012, 06:04 AM   #39
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Attribution error! Attribution error!

Kegg wrote: View Post
DigificWriter did not write this, but Silvercrest wrote:
Ugh, ugh. Bad sign already. I watched what they did to Earthsea.
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Old December 8 2013, 01:48 AM   #40
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Jon Favreau and Smallville Creators Adapting Shannara for MTV
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Old December 8 2013, 02:30 AM   #41
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

I'm really looing forward to this series, MTV feels like an odd fit but I'm willing to see what they do with the series.
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Old December 8 2013, 02:48 AM   #42
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

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I'm really looing forward to this series, MTV feels like an odd fit but I'm willing to see what they do with the series.
MTV has Teen Wolf and it is pretty good fantasy show.
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Old December 8 2013, 03:08 AM   #43
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

Dream wrote: View Post
DWF wrote: View Post
I'm really looing forward to this series, MTV feels like an odd fit but I'm willing to see what they do with the series.
MTV has Teen Wolf and it is pretty good fantasy show.
Yeah I know but once upon a time MTV played music videos too. Still this is a far more ambitous of a series than Teen Wolf.
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Old July 12 2014, 05:29 AM   #44
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

MTV has officially picked up the Shannara series with a 10-episode order
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Old July 12 2014, 06:35 AM   #45
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Re: Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' Books To Become a TV Series

What does MTV stand for again?

I mean, I hope the series is as good as I remember the books being, but the genericizing of cable channels continues.

At some point they should just number the channels and drop the names, ala BBC.
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