sf/f TV development news - 2013

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Not a remake of the Bill Bixby version then. :rommie:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    No, it'll be closer to the comics, and focus on the Bruce/Betty relationship and the "early days" of the Hulk's existence. But I think any mass-media adaptation of the Hulk these days is going to be influenced by the Bixby series. Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk was influenced by it and quoted the famous "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" line and the "Lonely Man" musical theme. And reportedly the version of Bruce Banner in Whedon's The Avengers is even more influenced by Bixby's version than what we got in previous films, in that he's focused on helping people rather than just curing himself.

    It's fascinating to me that so many Hulk fans these days are fans of the TV show as well as the comics, given that the show was as far from the comics as its creator could possibly make it. It really gives the lie to the assumption of modern fans that any adaptation that isn't slavishly accurate can't be any good. The Incredible Hulk proved that you can change everything except the most basic defining elements -- even the character's name -- and still produce something good and worthwhile. (At least, if what you put in their place is good in its own right. No denying that there are plenty of unfaithful adaptations that failed.)
     
  3. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  4. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    The power of the high concept. The trope being creating something that controls you kinda thing on the run from it but that could be expressed better to peak my interest other than a super strength gene. I don't watch tv anymore because of a lack of originality.
     
  5. wahwahkits

    wahwahkits Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    You are right, there is a total lack of originality in the genre at the moment. I am sick to death of zombies, vampires and quirky series set in small town America.
    I think that now every series concept has been done to death.
    The last original genre stuff was Carnivale and the movie Inception
     
  6. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Since you mentioned vampires, I assume by "genre" you include fantasy-horror, in which case, check out American Horror Story. It's not wholly original of course (what is?) and I won't actually claim that the writing is good per se, it's more like just a string of tawdry gimmicks being thrown at us in rapid-fire fashion, but it's the most entertaining train wreck I've seen in a long time. And the cast, at least, is excellent.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Source Code was gutsy in its originality.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Er, there's exactly one zombie show on tv these days. Two if you count Death Valley on MTV which is barely on anybody's radar.

    And there's only two vampire series: True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. (And, okay, Death Valley again.)

    That doesn't seem terribly excessive to me.
     
  9. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    But there have been more vampire series than that in the last few years. Moonlight and Being Human (and you can almost count this twice) among others.
     
  10. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Vampires suck.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    But how does that stack up against, say, shows about time-travelers, or people with super-powers, or space operas or whatever? Or cops or lawyers for that matter.

    Granted, I'm grew up watching Dark Shadows after school everyday, so it just seems natural to have vampires and werewolves on tv again . . . .
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Vampire shows have been a steady fixture on TV for decades, going back through Buffy/Angel and Forever Knight at least.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Exactly. It's not like this is some pernicious new trend. It's just a tv staple, like space operas, spy shows, or courtroom dramas.

    Zombies, on the other hand, have never appeared regularly in prime-time before. The idea of a doing a weekly tv series about a zombie apocalypse is actually a pretty radical and original notion . . .
     
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Of course it can be good. It just gets to the point where you have to wonder why they recycle any bits of the original at all; they could just as easily have the show a re-imagining of Jekyll and Hyde, or made it something original.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Why did Picasso use live models if his art was so profoundly unlike what live human beings look like? Because every artist needs a starting point, a reference to build from. Art is a process of interpretation. It's not about pulling stuff out of thin air, it's about responding to what came before, building something new on an existing foundation.

    Authors and playwrights have always based their works on previous works. The previous work is the inspiration even if the resulting work is transformed into something extremely different. That's just the way creativity happens. Shakespeare's Macbeth bears little resemblance to the history it's based on (the historic Macbeth was a far more benevolent figure, but England's king at the time was descended from Macbeth's enemies so Shakespeare had to make him a villain), but it still grew out of the history. Pretty much all creative works are a response to or outgrowth of earlier creations, sometimes more directly than others.

    Or there could be less highfalutin explanations, like maybe the network/studio already bought the idea from Marvel and then happened to assign it to a producer who didn't like the comics and tried to get as far away from them as possible. But that's still a form of creative response to a prior work.
     
  16. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    T.v' s new approach is to give people everything they don't want and see what happens and how far they can push it, er, shove it down our throats. Unfortunately there aint no substitute for things like oxygen and food and water. Is there? Real life is a crutch for people who can't do science fiction right.
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    ABC's got two of those under development.

    I'm still waiting for someone to make a vampire show that really interests me. The last time that happened, it was Dark Shadows and I'm pretty sure my tastes have changed radically since then.

    The really overdone tropes are: superheroes; sci fi/fantasy cops; and the Touched by an Angel/Medium type show.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    I think the less high-falutin' explanation is more likely. As you say, writers throughout the ages have been inspired (both positively and negatively) by other or prior writers; most of them have used that inspiration to create something original. Forbidden Planet was inspired by The Tempest, but it was neither slavishly derivative nor did it recycle names and terminology. If it did, it would have been weaker; as it is, it stands as a classic in its own right. If the producers of the original Hulk TV show wanted to combine the theme of the inner demon with The Fugitive, they should have created something original. But the real answer is that they took what was felt to be a marketable commodity and they mainstreamed it to reach a wider audience.

    And the Hulk character is a re-imagining of the Jekyll and Hyde concept, but done in an original way.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    Actually, no. That's completely wrong. Throughout most of recorded human history, the normative pattern was to retell pre-existing stories, whether classic myths or legends, historical events, or the like. Keep in mind that the vast majority of human history took place before the printing press, before literacy was widespread, before it was easy to propagate a single version of a story. For most of the time our species has existed, the only way to keep a story alive was to retell it, and it's the nature of oral history and lore in any culture that it changes with the retelling, adapted to suit the tastes and inclinations of its teller and audience. Look at all the classical Greek and Roman plays that are based on mythology, or all the various different, evolving versions of Arthurian legend from Geoffrey of Monmouth to de Troyes to Malory to Tennyson to White. Retelling and reinventing old stories is the way humans have done things for most of the history of creativity.

    The cultural practice of creating mostly new stories rather than retelling old ones is a fairly recent innovation in our society. There's a reason why novels are called novels, meaning "new" -- because at the time they started to come out, it was a distinctive thing for stories to be new rather than retold. It wasn't something people were used to seeing.



    And Malory's Arthur is not "slavishly derivative" of de Troyes' (or whatever his other sources were), and indeed it reinterprets the lore considerably and adds a lot of new elements to it, but it definitely recycles names and plot points, just like every other iteration of Arthurian legend or every Greek play or most of Shakespeare's canon. For that matter, The Tempest itself, while just about the only thing in Shakespeare's canon that doesn't have a single clear source it's adapted from, definitely draws from a variety of other sources, such as the traditions of commedia del'arte, the writings of Montaigne and Strachey, and the like. One of Prospero's speeches is cribbed almost verbatim from a passage of Ovid's Metamorphoses. They didn't have copyright laws back then.

    It's a straw man to say that the only two options are total originality and "slavish" imitation. That's so obviously false that I shouldn't even need to call you on it. Many works of fiction, including the one we're talking about, combine adapted elements with original elements.


    They did, by any legitimate and reasonable definition of "original." Anyone who knows jack about creativity knows that originality is in what you do with the ideas, not where you get them from.

    And I categorically and emphatically reject any argument based on what creators "should" be prohibited from doing. That way lies censorship. It's a hideous notion. Creators need to have the freedom to try whatever they feel is appropriate. There's no guarantee it'll work, but who the hell are you to seek to impose limits on what they're able to try?
     
  20. Whofan

    Whofan Fleet Captain

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    Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

    The Hulk concept actually is a bit flexible, since unlike a lot of other Marvel heroes the character has had multiple incarnations apart from being just the Savage and Bruce Banner...perhaps Del Toro's series will reflect this in some way.