sf/f TV development news - 2013

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

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Would your definition exclude The Proposition and Quigley Down Under, then, since they're set in the Australian outback?

    An approach to genre that doesn't take usage into account and totally disregards iconography as a generic marker doesn't strike me as very useful.
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I had always heard Seven Samurai, but either way the point remains intact. :D

    Exactly. It makes more sense to apply multiple adjectives to something than one generic descriptor.

    Yes.

    Each genre is defined in different ways, with emphasis on different aspects. The definition of Romance weighs heavily toward character relationship, the definition of Mystery weighs heavily toward a very specific situational aspect-- the definition of Western happens to rely heavily on time and place.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I don't know why someone would tell you that Star Wars was an homage to The Seven Samurai. Their stories are very different. SS is about a village being terrorized by bandits and recruiting a motley group of defenders who teach them how to defend themselves.

    As for the definition of "Western," it's true that nominally it refers to a story taking place in the American West during the frontier era, but I think that's taking it too literally. After all, the version of the American West seen in movies and TV never really existed; it's a mythology created by the makers of motion pictures. So in a way that makes it timeless, a set of storytelling symbols and tropes that don't literally correspond to a specific place or time and thus can be mapped onto other settings.
     
  5. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Commodore

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Seven Samurai begat The Magnificent Seven, which begat Battle Beyond the Stars with Star Wars. Therefore, conceptually they're in-laws of a kind.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Err... Star Wars came out three years before Battle Beyond the Stars, and the latter was obviously a knockoff of the former as much as of The Seven Samurai. So that doesn't prove a damn thing.
     
  7. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Commodore

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^ The fact that BBTS came out after Star Wars was already referenced in my post. BBTS is Star Wars meets The Magnificent Seven and so the connection of Seven Samurai to Star Wars is that both influenced Battle Beyond The Stars, which was my point.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Well, you said "which begat Battle Beyond the Stars with Star Wars." In retrospect, I suppose you meant that The Magnificent Seven, along with Star Wars, begat BBtS. However, that isn't immediately evident because of the awkward word order you chose, which implies that you're saying that TMS began both BBtS and SW simultaneously.


    And I don't think that point is valid. Yes, obviously BBtS is a ripoff of both A and B, but that doesn't prove that B is in turn inspired by A. One work can borrow from two otherwise completely unrelated works. For instance, Total Recall was based on a Philip K. Dick story and its director was influenced by the style of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, but that doesn't mean that Hitchcock was inspired by Dick or vice versa.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Beats me, since I've never seen Seven Samurai. But I've been hearing and reading it for decades. A quick Google search came up with a bunch of references, including this one.

    Like anything else, a Western can be stylized, mythologized or realistic. You can map the tropes onto another genre, but it doesn't take the genre with it. You could tell the same basic story as High Noon in ancient Herculaneum, but it would be silly to call that a Western.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^What you're overlooking is that there are at least a couple of levels of defining genre, the semantics and the syntax. Semantics are the vocabulary, the surface content, the pieces used to assemble the story; syntax is the underlying structure and set of ideas underlying the story. It's possible for a story to combine the syntax of one genre with the semantics of a different genre. For instance, Star Wars uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of sword-and-sorcery high fantasy. Outland uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of High Noon. So is it a Western? Semantically, no, but syntactically, hell yes, blatantly so. It's not a simple yes/no question, because one story can fit in more than one genre.
     
  11. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Never aired in the US. Failed pilots never air in the US unless they are ordered as a mini/back door pilot. I've looked online and I've never found a source for it either. I doubt we'll ever get a chance to see it in the US.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Speaking of failed pilots: Did Doorways ever air?
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Never heard of it. IMDB lists this "Doorways" from 2011:

    Booooooring...I prefer the "Doorways" from 2006:
    That's the way to pique people's interest, short & sweet! :rommie:

    And then there's 1993's contribution:
    That cat better have nine lives, wakka wakka!
     
  14. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    This idea just popped in my head: Zachary Quinto as Doctor Strange. He's a bonafide movie actor now, so he needs to find his superhero alter ego sooner or later.

    If he was a tad more conventionally handsome, I'd nominate him for Sub-Mariner. If there was only a way to cross him with Chris Pine...
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Well, "rarely" rather than "never." At least, if it's "never" these days, it wasn't always. Networks used to burn off failed pilots as "specials" or "showcases." But that was back when networks still showed things like specials and movies of the week. Network programming seems to have become narrower in focus these days.


    Do you mean the George R. R. Martin alternate-timelines pilot that came along a year or two before Sliders? As far as I know, no, it never aired.
     
  16. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I'm so over LOST-type shows--I've decided to not watch any show that dares follow that storytelling style. It'd be nice if we could get at least one or two more general premise shows that didn't depend on a shitload of mysteries drawn out for years and whose storylines aren't all interwoven.

    Is it really too much to ask for a small ensemble of 7-9 characters, 2-4 parallel-arcs that play out over the season and are definitively resolved in episode 22 without the need for out of order flashbacks, ADD pacing, tons of angst, a large cast with tons of backstories, writers leaving the audience whimpering because of the insane amount of questions and constant confusion. And it isn't like this style of storytelling has a good track record i.e. Surface, Invasion, Daybreak, LOST, Heroes post S1, V, Alcatraz, Persons Unknown, Happy Town,Flash Forward, Harpers Island, The River, American version of Life on Mars, Kidnapped, The Nine, Vanished to name a few
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Whosoever was making One Tree Hill, probably has something for you in the next couple months.

    Spyshcool for girls
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    In that case, your definition is too limiting to be useful. In reviews, those films were referred to as "Westerns." In advertising, the iconography of the Western was emphasized (with each film belonging to a separate cycle of Westerns). In the video store the movies would be found next to other Westerns. On IMDB, the genre listing is "Western."

    If a Western has to take place in the American West, then The Magnificent Seven doesn't really qualify, either. The Mexican villagers briefly cross the border to recruit some American gunslingers, but 90% of the proceedings take place in Mexico. Or do Westerns set mostly or entirely in Mexico get a pass because of the country's proximity to the West?

    Christopher is on the right track with his discussion of syntactic and semantic elements of genre. Rick Altman's book Film/Genre is a pretty smart book on the subject, and not too academic.
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    So if a Western uses the syntax of Space Opera, then it's a Space Opera?

    Even if there were examples that fell into a gray area, I'd hardly call the definition of a Western too limiting to be useful. :rommie:

    So what? As noted, all sorts of non-SF material is lumped under "Sci Fi" by reviewers and Blockbuster clerks who don't know any better. That's sort of what kicked off the discussion. :D

    It's still the North American West. Borders have nothing to do with it. The classification of a movie as a Western doesn't depend on whether or not it's set before or after California became a state.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    You're missing the point, which is that there's no need to force every work of fiction into a single genre category. A single work can fit into more than one genre at the same time.


    And that's a straw man. There are also plenty of well-informed SF/fantasy creators and critics, including our own Greg Cox and myself, who understand that a lot of speculative/fantastic fiction actually does blur the lines between categories such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. By insisting that those categories are rigid and mutually impermeable and that only the ignorant would believe they could be blended, you are simply exposing your own ignorance. Genre is a starting point, not a straitjacket.
     

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