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: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    So S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to be an X-Files rip-off? :confused:
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Or maybe Weird Desk was less like The X-Files than some people have prematurely assumed based on a couple of sentences.
     
  3. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    They're probably both (Weird Desk and S.H.I.E.L.D., I mean) procedural shows with genre elements.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I guess I was expecting more of a James Bond or superhero (or both) type of show.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Well, look beyond the X-Files comparison and listen to what the description for Weird Desk actually said:

    So we're not talking Mulder & Scully in the basement here. We're talking a powerful, top-secret organization handling cases even the CIA and NSA can't handle, including everything from the supernatural to the alien. That sounds quite a lot like SHIELD to me. (Or like the Men in Black crossed with Section 31.)
     
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    And, except maybe for the "above the president" part, sounds exactly like X-Files, who dealt with the paranormal and the extraterrestrial. S.H.I.E.L.D. was always a James Bond type of deal, and since this is a spin-off of the recent Avengers movie, superheroes are a reasonable expectation.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    No, to me it sounds like the opposite of The X-Files. Mulder & Scully were on the outside of the vast overarching government conspiracy that knew about all this stuff, and they were trying to unearth all these secrets that they were shut out of knowing. Weird Desk would be about the characters who are the vast overarching government conspiracy. So they're on opposite sides of the veil of secrecy. In that sense it's more like Warehouse 13 -- a show about the people behind the secret government conspiracy. Or at least like Fringe, where the investigators are fully backed by the government rather than having it work against them as with Mulder & Scully.


    Yes, and superpowers are essentially a paranormal phenomenon, often rooted in supernatural abilities, weird science, or extraterrestrial influence. So yes, there is a lot of overlap in the concept, even if there are differences in style.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Wasn't the "X-Files" a secret section of the FBI or CIA or something?

    And yet "paranormal" has a certain specific meaning in its typical usage, which includes neither superheroes nor James Bond. It's not a word that a network press release would include to describe either.
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    On the show, the "X-Files" were simply the unsolved case files of the FBI. I don't think there was anything secret about it (at least, any more secret than anything else the FBI does).
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Oh, okay. But it was part of the FBI. That's what I thought.
     
  11. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I think what Christopher was saying is that the XFiles they were solving were often causing them to go up against the Gov't covering stuff up, whih is the opposite of SHIELD who would be doing top secret stuff and doing the covering up
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Oh, come on, plenty of superheroes/villains cross over into the paranormal: Dr. Strange, Blade, Werewolf by Night, Madame Web, you name it. Heck, Thor is an actual deity, at least in the comics. Okay, in the movies he's an alien, but that's one of the areas Weird Desk would've covered as well. Superheroes are not a single genre; they're broad enough to incorporate all sorts of genres from high fantasy to science fiction to gritty noir realism. Of course the SHIELD show is going to have episodes involving paranormal threats, episodes involving alien threats, episodes involving weird science, you name it. It's all going to be in there because it's all part of the Marvel Universe.


    Yes, of course. Mulder & Scully did work for the FBI, but they were lower-echelon people kept in the dark about the big conspiracy that other branches of the government were involved with. They were trying to expose the secrets others in the government were keeping. They weren't keeping the secrets themselves.

    The "Weird Desk" organization -- above the President, handed cases too big for the CIA -- sounds like it's at the top of the secret-keeping pyramid. It's a completely opposite power dynamic from The X-Files. It's closer to Warehouse 13. And obviously similar to SHIELD, which is about an ultra-powerful top-secret agency that's apparently above the authority of any single government (in the movie it seemed to answer to a global council) and handles the cases nobody else can handle.
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Speaking of shows that remind you of the X-Files...

    Sounds like the topic could be cool, but I liked Weird Desk's nerd guy/ass-kicking gal combo more than what this sounds like, which I hope won't be Ms. Strait Laced Prig vs Smartass Punk. Unless they want to break out of the format and gasp not expect them to have any romantic chemistry...if the hacktivist is played by a really deft actor like Jimmi Simpson, I guess it wouldn't be too bad...
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    X-Files meets the Matrix, brught to you by the hippest references circa 1999.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    It's worth pointing out that these glib comparisons to old shows are just part of the TV-pitch vocabulary, a shorthand for conveying the genre the show belongs to, and shouldn't be taken as a literal indication that the creators intend to copy the specifics of the shows being referenced. For instance, Gene Roddenberry pitched Star Trek as "Wagon Train to the stars," because Wagon Train was a successful television show that had the kind of format and tone he wanted to emulate, and saying that was a quick-and-dirty way of conveying that to the network execs because they'd know what kind of show it had been. But ST was a very, very different show from Wagon Train.

    So let's try not to be so quick to accuse people of unoriginality based on the pitch shorthands they use.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Ah, I see. I'm just thinking of government agency investigating spooky stuff versus spy organization dealing with SMERSH or something.

    Blade and Jack Russell aren't superheroes. I don't know who Madame Web is. Just because a character appears in a comic book doesn't make them a superhero. There's a world of difference between a concept inspired by James Bond and a concept inspired by Carl Kolchak. I highly doubt that SHIELD will be a "paranormal" series.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    You're arguing against yourself. The fact that not everything in the Marvel Universe is superhero-related is exactly the point. SHIELD is obviously not a "superhero" series specifically. We've been explicitly told that the show will stand largely apart from the movies, and not one of the characters established so far is a superhero of any sort, or even a previously established comics character. It is not a superhero show. It's a show about government agents dealing with security threats that would arise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- a universe that we already know includes a mix of alien and supernatural phenomena as well as all sorts of advanced weird science. So it stands to reason that SHIELD will face a variety of non-superhero-related crises which will surely arise from a mix of technological, paranormal, and extraterrestrial causes. The similarities to Weird Desk are obvious. No, of course they're not exactly alike, but the point is that they're similar enough in genre and approach that ABC felt they might compete for viewers.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    True, but it's not just the pitches that are corny and outmoded. Reading about a "hactivist" character set off a red alert in my brain, envisioning some cliche come to life with greezy hair, pimples and pizza boxes in the corner. And of course, zero social skills. I would love it if he were totally contrary to type, maybe he has fantastic fashion sense and votes Republican? Anything to be fresh and different.
     
  19. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Some SyFy news... Top contenders for pickups, nothing in space...

     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^^ That doesn't sound promising for RHW. :(

    So they're taking advantage of the success of Avengers, an over-the-top superhero action movie, by spinning off a shadowy, creepy spook show? Even if there are no superheroes involved-- which is odd enough-- SHIELD is still James Bond on crack. There may be alien invaders popping up, but it will likely be more like Independence Day than Paranormal Activity.
     

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