sf/f TV development news - 2013

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

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    And True Blood has trippy, V-inspired hallucinations, as well the occasional visit to Faerie . . . . .

    I think TV and movie viewers are a lot more tolerant of fantastical weirdness than some fans give them credit for.

    Hell, the top-grossing movie of all time is about nine-foot-tall, blue-skinned, dragon-riding cat people on a colorful, 3D planet on the other side of the universe!

    If audiences can handle Harry Potter and Avatar and American Horror Story, I think they can handle the Dread Dormammu! :)
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  3. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    That's you though, a show about zombies is one of the highest rated cable shows out there, nobody could've predicted that.
     
  4. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    A zombie show on AMC is what's odd. It's not so strange that a violent, exciting zombie show somewhere on TV could be a big hit.

    But asking people to accept a WWII Namor is asking for them to leap a few hurdles. Superhero shows work for a younger audience, while historical dramas appeal to an older premium cable crowd. How do you fit those jigsaw puzzles together? if the character were Captain America, maybe it could be done, since he fits the era wonderfully. But a half naked merman fighting Nazis? Sounds like Sat night SyFy movie.
     
  5. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Then put him in a suit and put him the present like John Bryne did. And there were to Captain Amercia TV movies back in the late '70s the second one even had Christopher Lee as the baddie and the movies still didn't catch on.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    But Namor doesn't really fit the standard "superhero" mold. The story wouldn't have to be told in that way. It could be more like how he was originally treated in the comics -- our human viewpoint characters come under attack from a mysterious force in the sea, they discover it's the Atlanteans being led by this powerful king bent on avenging the damage we've done to the oceans, but the leading lady plays the Sue Richards role and discovers he's not so evil, just a well-intentioned extremist, and eventually he's persuaded to see reason, but remains a figure who could go either way. That's not really the formula for a superhero story at all.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    That's because they were dreadful. Even as a teen, I hated them.

    On the other hand, I remember enjoying the DR. STRANGE tv-movie from the same era (even though I'm sure it hasn't aged well).
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I have a certain nostalgic fondness for the Reb Brown Captain America movies, I guess because they were my first exposure to the concept so I was able to judge them as they were rather than in comparison to what they were (extreeeeeeeeemely loosely) based on.

    It helps that they aren't actually claiming their lead is the "real" Cap, but is rather the son of the original WWII hero and is continuing his legacy, albeit in a '70s "travel the byways on a quest to find the real America" sort of way. True, they did imply that the original Captain America never wore a costume, but the idea is there. And the costume '70s Cap wore in the second movie, aside from having a motorcycle helmet and Lucite shield, was actually pretty authentic to the original design.

    Plus they've got a cool Mike Post-Pete Carpenter main title theme.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The problem I had with them was that, even as a kid, it seemed to me that the filmmakers were embarrassed by the character's comic-book roots and seemed to determined to minimize the comic-booky elements as much as possible. Hence, no costume, no Red Skull, no Hordes of Hydra, etc. As I recall, they generally avoided calling "Steve" Captain America wherever possible, and only did so sheepishly at best. "Maybe you can be some sort of, er, 'Captain America' or something." That kind of thing.

    Compared to the CAPTAIN AMERICA comics I reading at the time, it all seemed rather mundane and timid.

    By contrast, the DR. STRANGE pilot, despite its limitations, embraced the wilder aspects of the original comics: you had astral travel, visits to strange Ditko-esque dimensions (as much as a limited tv-movie budget would allow), demons being summoned, ageless sorcerers throwing spells at each other, even a fairly accurate recreation of Strange's Sanctum. As opposed to all the other CBS productions of the time, which sometime seemed determined to cram larger-than-life comic book characters into "Barnaby Jones"-sized plots, DR. STRANGE at least tried to capture the feel of the comic book . . . .
     
  10. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Namor is a complex character he's been a hero, villain, king, corperate CEO and he was Marvel's first mutant. The Hulk is a similarly hard character to get a hold of and he still an Avenger and Defender along with Namor and Dr. Strange.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    And how many times did they call Selina Kyle "Catwoman" in that obscure little movie you just novelized...? ;)

    Really, it was par for the course back then. The Incredible Hulk had no Betty, no Rick, no Thunderbolt, no "Hulk smash," no supervillains -- it didn't even keep Bruce Banner's first name. Kenneth Johnson didn't even want the Hulk to be green, but Marvel put their collective foot down (because there was no way Marvel was going to stand for a red Hulk!). And it's still going on today -- the upcoming (Green) Arrow series is avoiding as much of the comic-booky stuff as possible.


    It's interesting how the DC-based live-action shows of the era, Batman and Wonder Woman, were pretty faithful to the comics of the time or earlier decades, embracing the comic-booky aspects (Shazam! somewhat less so), while the Marvel-based shows (except for the Dr. Strange pilot) tended to be radical departures that kept only the most basic elements. In addition to those mentioned above, the Nicholas Hammond Spider-Man was a huge departure, with no Uncle Ben backstory and none of the comic villains, and no familiar supporting characters except Jameson (and Aunt May in the pilot only) -- and a Jameson that was changed into a far more avuncular Lou Grant type. Plus they changed the spider-sense from a heightened awareness of imminent danger to Peter himself into a psychic ability to detect any plot-relevant criminal activity within a several-block radius. They did a pretty good job making the costume authentic, though, aside from there being only one webshooter (and it and the utility belt were worn outside the costume, but that actually makes more functional sense).
     
  12. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Not quite as much as it first seemed. New promo images reveal that Arrow/Green Arrow will wear his familiar domino mask in the show and they're going to feature such familiar supervillains as Deathstroke, China White, and Deadshot.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I know and, honestly, I used to bitch about it back then. Heck, even as a youngster, it bothered me that George Reeves's Superman was mostly fighting gangsters and such. Where was Bizarro and Brainiac and the Bottle City of Kandor? And the rest of that cool scifi stuff from the comics?

    Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Reeves and THE INCREDIBLE HULK tv show, but I always wished they weren't so mundane in comparison to the original comics, which were my first exposure to the characters.

    Call me crazy, but watching Bill Bixby help some teenage runaway was not nearly as fun as reading the Hulk's latest battle with the Wendigo or the Leader's army of rubber androids! :)
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Casting Ray Walston in the 70s as the Leader would have been superb.

    But, no.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The characters, yeah, but they're avoiding any superpowers and going for a more grounded, Nolanesque tone, to all indications. And don't hold your breath for any boxing-glove arrows. This (Green) Arrow kills. (Which strikes me as being unrealistic in the othe direction, since most arrow wounds would be survivable unless they hit a major artery and the victim bled out before the ambulance came.)


    But it interests me that, when there are so many fans out there who scream bloody murder about any adaptation that diverges from the original in the slightest degree (and thereby misunderstand the meaning of the word "adapt"), the Bixby Hulk is nonetheless regarded as a superior comics-based show and is frequently referenced and homaged, even though it's the farthest thing from a faithful adaptation you could possibly get while still counting as an adaptation at all. (Well, second-farthest. The recent Human Target series -- or as its critics called it, Human (Standing Next to the) Target -- was the farthest.)
     
  16. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The Incredible Hulk TV series had to find their own audience, which is something The Human Target didn't do. And clearly you've not heard of the Superpup pilot, which was about as far away from Superman as you could get.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Well, on its own terms, the Hulk TV show was done well. Kenneth Johnson knew what kind of Hulk show he wanted to make (one without the Bi-Beast or Thunderbolt Ross) and executed it well. And, in his defense, back then costumed super-villains, diabolical deathtraps, killer robots, and so on were still pretty firmly linked in the public imagination with the campy Adam West approach. Hollywood hadn't quite figured out how to strike the right balance between, say, the BATMAN approach ("ZAP! BANG! POW!") and THE INCREDIBLE HULK approach ("Let's do the Fugitive with a big green monster.")

    And it worked for the Hulk, but maybe not so much for Spider-Man or Captain America.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I think it's pretty clear that many compromises in comic book adaptations (to either the big screen or the small screen) were made because of budget.

    For example, it would have been unthinkable for Doctor Octopus to have appeared on-screen opposite Nicholas Hammond. If it had been done cheaply, it probably would have been confusing, unconvincing to the degree of being ridiculous, or some combination thereof. In the 1970's, it could have been done competently on TV, say with a completely stop motion animated figure (but always facing away from the camera so that animating and revealing the face was not a problem), alternated with shots of a live actor with immobile arms or arms out of the field of view, but that would likely have entailed expense not available for a TV show. The Amazing Spider-Man was too expensive to stay on the air, just as it was.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    And that's just the point -- so many fans assume that quality equals fidelity to the source, but it doesn't. Johnson's TIH is proof that there's no correlation between the two, that you can diverge almost completely from the source and still do something good. Yet it's surprising that despite the popularity of TIH, the attitude that fidelity is necessary persists.


    True, Batman did set an influential precedent, and Wonder Woman was in a similar vein. I guess they were closer to the source because DC comics up through the late '60s really had been pretty much like that (and it's not uncommon for mass-media adaptations to lag a decade or two behind the state of the art of the things they're adapting). But Marvel comics in the '60s had been a very different animal -- still with a lot of wacky and bizarre elements, but with lots of intelligence and sophistication and mature characterization too. And that wasn't something TV viewers or networks would've been able to reconcile with their image of comics. So I guess the only way they saw to do a comics-based drama, something non-campy, was to divorce it from the comics as much as possible.

    Although Johnson wasn't trying to do The Fugitive. Rather, he and Roy Huggins were independently doing Les Miserables -- though Johnson crossed it with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    It's hard not to have that attitude, I find myself guilty of that often and yet I loved Spider-Man, Hulk and Wonder Woman as a kid on their own terms without the baggage of knowing more about their background. And I didn't see Adam West until I was an adult but Superfriends and Scooby Doo Batman is as genuine a characterization to me as The Dark Knight.

    It's kind of funny the imperfect FX made the Hammond Spider-Man kind of creepy to me especially as a kid. His movements and his web-crawling had an unsettling unnatuaralness to them. He definitely seemed more insectlike.