Earth Final Conflict - Why all of the cast changes? Backstory?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by ZeNd, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    comments 2 my butt
    Who said it had to be a "shining pinnacle of television"? It was just good. We don't need caviar 100% of the time, but no one wants to live on McDonald's, either. (At least, I hope not.)

    The first season had its problems but the storytelling and themes were not among them. They were building up a complex, ambiguous universe, and humans had to answer the question, "Are the Taelons here to help us or hurt us?" The answer turned out to be "yes." ;)

    Then it was decided that the Taelons would be primarily bad guys, albeit not as bad as some badder guys. I hate it when a show has its subtlety and nuance stripped away just to make it appealing to mass audiences. Christopher noted that that's what happened to Andromeda, too. I recall some comments by Kevin Sorbo about Wolfe, how Wolfe is so smart and has this great imagination and tells such complex stories but nobody can understand them, can we please make it more accessible? And, well, Tribune agreed.

    The '90s had a lot of sci-fi shows that had one good season and then got retooled into shit, if they made it to a second season at all. (RIP, Total Recall 2070.)
     
  2. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    I think killing Boone badly harmed the series because the Boone and Da'an friendship was the best part of the first season. You can't get rid of the best part of your show and expect to recover from that.

    Tribune being so cheap with the show was embarrassing when you look at how much Paramount was spending on TNG and DS9.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Except that Da'an's character was profoundly simplified in the second season, so the Da'an we knew in the first season pretty much ceased to exist too. Even if they'd kept Boone, the change in the sophistication of the writing would've ruined that relationship anyway.

    But it didn't have to be that way. In a late first-season episode -- the second-last one, I think -- they started to set up a Lily-Da'an relationship that could've taken the place of Boone-Da'an if they'd done the smart thing and made Lily the lead after Boone was written out. That could've been interesting -- if the writing had remained up to par. Which, sadly, it didn't.
     
  4. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Thing is though, eventually they would HAVE to answer the question of whether or not the Taelons were good or bad for Earth. I don't know if the Jaridians were part of the original arc, but assuming they were, establishing the Taelons as the lesser of two evils would have been natural. They just jumped the gun.

    Then changed it for an air rifle.

    Then threw it away in favor for a cool-looking foam sword.

    Then threw THAT away and tried to make the Atavus look cool.

    They failed.

    Mark
     
  5. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    And regarding Sorbo and Andromeda, last year he said at a convention I was at, that he wanted changes (more babes, Herc in space, etc.) but was okay with the general idea of the show. Apparently it came down to a vote, he voted to keep Wolfe, and lost. Grain of salt time...

    Mark
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Why would they? In real life, few things can be so easily cubbyholed. Most major changes have both positive and negative impacts. The Taelons genuinely meant well for us, but they were so alien in their values that their ideas of what was good for us were very different from ours and went against a lot of our core values. It was the ambiguity of the situation that made it so intelligent and compelling.


    The Taelons were trying to protect us -- and themselves -- against something; that was clear enough. But I'm sure it was meant to be something more complex and interesting than the Jaridians.

    On the Ex Isle BBS, we once managed to get E:FC's developer Richard C. Okie to post and talk briefly about his experience with the show:

    http://www.exisle.net/mb/index.php?...conflict-question/page__p__672046#entry672046
    Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he never posted again. But it's clear enough that nothing about the Taelons -- or their ancient enemies -- was meant to be straightforward, formulaic, or clear-cut. The goal was to raise questions and challenge expectations rather than give simple answers.

    And that's why it saddened me and turned me off when the later producers simplified everything. The alien enemy is just a bunch of Star Trek baddies with rubber foreheads. Da'an is a full-on good guy. Zo'or is a full-on bad guy with a lust for gold. And so on.
     
  7. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The Jaridian probe appeared in the sixth episode of the series, so clearly they planning on some kind of alien menace that early...
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I watched it all recently in a cluster. What they did from season 2 - 4, although a mess, was a linear progression of a somewhat thought out story, not that what they got at the end could have been anything like they planned in s02e01.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    No, an alien probe appeared in the sixth episode. It was later retroactively explained as being the work of the "Jaridians." But I do not believe the Jaridians represent Okie's original intent for those aliens. They're far too ordinary, just your stock sci-fi humanoid alien baddies.
     
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I'm assuming that every season they were given less money.

    If everything went perfectly, and their ratings doubled a coupled times, they would still never have been given more money to work with.
     
  11. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Location:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    It was clear the probe wasn't Taelon. The episode strongly implied it wasn't from a Taelon ally, either. Beyond that, yeah, it's ambiguous.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Yes, the probe was clearly meant to be the creation of the Taelons' ancient enemy, the Shaqarava or the Sleeper, whose existence was hinted at throughout the first season. What I'm saying is that when the second-season producers eventually identified that enemy as the Jaridians, that was a change from what the original producers intended the enemy to be.
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    No denying that. I was merely pointing out that there was going to be some form of an alien menace from the get go.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^And I wasn't refuting that, because it's self-evident. My point is that if the original producers had stayed, it would've been a much more interesting and imaginative menace than the "Jaridians," which just seemed like refugees from a TNG episode, one more race of rubber-forehead humanoid baddies with a four-syllable iambic name ending in "-ians." I just hated the damn "Jaridians" so much. They were so boring, such a profound anticlimax from what we might have gotten.
     
  15. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    No, getting rid of Boone pissed me off. I would have wished for the show to die either way.

    I saw like 2 episodes of the second season, maybe 2-3 episodes of the later seasons as a curiosity. Never understood the changes.
     
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I found S1 o be the more interesting of the five seasons, and overall I think the quality degraded with each season. That isn't to say that each season didn't have it's moments but overall each season was weaker than the season before it.
     
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I thought S4 was vastly better than S3, to the point where I was actually getting into the show again. I thought S4 ended the series quite well.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I wasn't watching the show regularly by that point, but what I saw of season 4 didn't seem significantly improved on S3. Certainly I didn't like it enough to become a regular viewer again.
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Season 4 really is quite good. A few years ago when I was buying the seasons on DVD, I ended up enjoying season 4 so much I actually considered getting season 5. I didn't, in the end, but season 4 is just that good.
     
  20. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Randyland
    I watched, and enjoyed, all of the first season, and followed the first half or so of season two, but gave up at that point. I watched one or two episodes in, I think it was season 4 or 5, but the show never re-captured my interest enough to begin following it again.

    It was pretty much the same with Andromeda.