sf/f TV development news - 2013

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

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    I would imagine those are the aliens. They may not look humanoid (I hope not) but they will be some sort of intelligent alien life form that is capable of interacting with humans. I don't think that term means inanimate objects or weather events or whatever else you think it might refer to.

    So basically, it's some alien intelligence making contact with humanity or maybe just making their presence known after years of doing the whole UFO/abduction thing, and where the story goes from there, who knows.

    Since it's AMC, I'm just hoping it will be surprising.

    There were various alien/supernatural characters in both cases that showed up as actual characters in the drama in both cases.
    They're not all that different. Both are about first contact with aliens, in the sense that they aren't the second contact or the ninety-fifth. They have aliens who appear as characters in the story. The X-Files pussyfooted around because they needed to maintain some kind of mystery to drag out the story. V just dumped the aliens right onto us, in the remake anyway, which probably helped kill the story because then the writers had to spin out various motivations and goals for the aliens, which became stupid and incoherent.

    Here's hoping AMC will avoid the twin threats of stalling out the story through too much mystery or making the story inane by too little mystery.

    You can make up whatever definitions you want for things, it doesn't really matter to me. Discussions on that basis are a pedantic waste of time.
     
  2. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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

    There's a movie coming out where aliens show up on Earth and claim that we are the invaders of their world. How's that for an idea? For real. It was probably some plumber who thought of that. I can't remember the name of the movie but it's coming out.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    [To Temis:] I'm not "making up" the definitions, and I find that characterization needlessly dismissive. I'm describing how the different terms are widely used in the industry and in society. "UFO" carries undeniable connotations of mystery and eerieness. The "U" stands for "unidentified," after all, and the UFO mythology that's evolved in society since 1947 is basically the Space-Age version of ancient beliefs and fears about fairie folk and demons. This isn't just my opinion; there are whole scholarly studies about the UFO cult and culture.

    As for your first paragraph, I can imagine possible meanings for "entity" beyond what you suggest, but since you sadly seem more determined to narrow your perspective than attempt to broaden it, I don't see why I should waste my time suggesting any.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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

    Didn't see this one listed, but just saw a commercial for a new SyFy series Lost Girl. Premiering in January.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    It wouldn't be listed on a development slate for next year because it's been on Canadian TV for two seasons already. Syfy has picked it up for US rebroadcast.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Girl_(TV_series)

    Apparently its lead character is a bisexual succubus. Interesting...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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

    ^^ That does sound interesting. The link doesn't quite work, though (the closing parenthesis isn't included). This one should work.

    The Borg are definitely in the tradition of zombies, but that's not what ruined them. They were originally presented as a hive mind, so a queen makes sense. What ruined them was overusing them, weakening them, straying from the concept and, in the case of First Contact, bad writing.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^I fixed the link. Thanks.

    The problem with the Borg was that, as originally conceived, they were just an impersonal force of nature, and since story is fundamentally driven by character, you can't tell many stories about something impersonal. So it was an intrinsically flawed concept from the beginning, at least from a dramatic perspective. The only way they could do more than one story about the Borg was by changing the concept to personalize them more.
     
  8. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    Looks like a CW reject. :D
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Well, no.

    As was kind of observed upthread, the Borg have some similarities to zombies, and multiple zombie stories can be told without personalizing them. In fact if memory serves, the similarity of the Borg to zombies was the problem, Braga and Moore had intended to write the Borg as faceless adversaries in First Contact before the similarity to flesh-eating undead was pointed out.
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    The way to do Borg episodes is the way The Walking Dead handles zombies. No personalization, no queens, no nuthin. The story is about the people. The Borg/zombies exist to serve only as the boogieman, to show us what the people are/aren't made of.

    I don't know why Star Trek couldn't do a Borg episode every so often without destroying them if there's a whole series about nothing but zombies, zombies and more zombies, no Klingons or Cardassians to relieve the monotony, and it works just fine. But doing zombies/Borg right does mean that everything gets tossed onto the shoulders of the human characters, and how well or not so well the writers are able to write straightforward human drama.

    That's probably the problem: zombies/Borg give bad writers nowhere to hide. No gimmicks, no technobabble saves, just the merciless glare of humanity under a microscope.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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

    The key difference between zombies and Borg is intelligence. It becomes much harder to survive a zombie horde if they had an intelligent hive mind.
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    Yeah, the Borg are zombies on steroids with that hive mind thing. But it's still crucial that the Borg not have any more individual intelligence than zombies to - that way lies madness!

    TWD
    's zombies sometimes act like there's some intelligence directing them, or at least hive-mind-type behavior. They migrate towards gunshots but not, I guess, towards other loud sounds like thunder or a tree falling in the woods from natural causes? How do they know one is the dinner bell and one isn't? Or is everything the dinner bell to them? I'd like to see how they behave in a thunderstorm. Lots of jumping? :rommie:
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Except zombie stories do have a personal stake, because zombies are specifically going after people, and because they can be the corpses of people who used to matter to the characters. The Borg as originally defined in "Q Who" had no interest in people, only technology, and their drones were grown in incubation vats, not assimilated. In order to give subsequent Borg stories more of a personal stake, the Borg were changed to be more zombie-like than they had originally been, becoming interested in assimilating people and turning them into Borg. In TNG this was a rare process; Picard/Locutus was the only person it was shown to happen to. But in First Contact the zombie analogy was embraced wholeheartedly, with assimilation becoming a routine practice, and Voyager followed that precedent.
     
  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

    The problem with the Borg is that they were presented as completely unstoppable. Then they were stopped every other week or so.
     
  15. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    True, but that didn't necessitate the Queen, so no, zombie-type villains do not need to be given a 'face' to continue to work in stories.

    (A vaguely related argument would be whether or not assimilation was necessary either - in some senses, the Queen is the natural response to the assumption the Borg enslave new minds, rather than have them birthed. An ant-like society of hive mind drones may not have individuality, but they may not be slaves, either - since the decisions of the whole would come organically from that collective, a transhuman one-brain one-vote system... or not.)
     
  16. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Yup, that's always a problem, when you've got an "unstoppable" character/race, and you use them often, you end up de-fanging them by repeatedly beating the "Unstoppable".

    One way around that, IMHO, if you want to use them frequently, is to use a small number frequently, it's OK to beat a few of them often, and then, every once in a while, you throw in a large number, and let the "unstoppable" character/race win that round, to show they actually are a threat.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    It's dangerous to take any analogy too literally, and that applies to this whole "zombie" business here. The decision to create the Queen was another application of the same principle: making the story more personal. The Queen, like Locutus, Hugh, Seven of Nine, etc., gave the Borg a face and a voice, enabled them to be treated on a character level rather than a force-of-nature level. True, there had been prior ST movies with impersonal threats -- V'Ger, the Whale Probe -- but the most successful ones usually had memorable villains like Khan or Chang. (And even V'Ger was given a spokesperson in the Ilia Probe.) Clearly they were going for the same sort of thing, and while I agree that it was a significant reinterpretation and something of an oversimplification of the Borg, it seems to have worked, since FC was the most popular and successful of the TNG movies.


    I've always preferred to interpret the Queen merely as a central processing and decision-making node for the collective consciousness -- sort of like the frontal lobe of the human brain. It's the whole collective doing the thinking and deciding, but the "Queen" unit is the nexus that links and coordinates the whole process, and so to our human eyes it gives the illusion that the Queen is an individual doing all the thinking and deciding.

    The fact that Queens were later established to be replaceable and interchangeable reinforces this notion. Destroy one Queen body, and another takes its place, indicating that the body doesn't house the actual Borg consciousness but is merely a cog in the machine -- a vital cog, but one that can be swapped out.
     
  18. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    By the time the Borg appear in ST Voyager a single ship can seem to stop the collective.
     
  19. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Right, which is by the Borg got so de-fanged. As said in an earlier post, you can't make someone out to be Unstoppable, and then beat them every other week.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Except it's somewhat justified in VGR by giving them an ex-Borg crewmember to give them insights into the Borg's Achilles heels and help upgrade their technology with Borg knowledge.
     

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