What if a 'Mass Effect' TV series were made?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by jefferiestubes8, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    There was some mention in 2011 of a feature film development deal for Bioware with the Mass Effect franchise.
    What if they decided to go with a TV series instead. An article on Kotaku today got me thinking.
    Story-wise & plot
    Why Mass Effect 2 Was My Favorite Mass Effect
    Okay so we are talking about a TV series here not an episodic videogame.

    Since the Mass Effect franchise has already spawned 3 successful videogames, a handful of comic book series and created an amazing universe let's discuss the possibility of turning this into a TV series set in that universe rather than an action-sci-fi feature film.
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even with green screen and CGI used up the wazoo, wouldn't the cost of live action be enormous? An animated series would probably be more viable.
     
  3. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    No more so than any other series with an ensemble cast.

    If I were making a Mass Effect TV series, though, I'd set it up to be a one-off mini-series (not a 4-hour one, but one of the old Shogun-style 10-hour jobs). Unless it's got "Star Trek" in the title, space-based TV series generally have a very short life expectancy. (nuBSG being an anomaly; Doctor Who doesn't count because it's earth-based primarily these days which is probably why it's still on the air). If the first mini-series is a success, then more can be made. Basically the British model (like UK viewers saw in the 1960s with the four or five Pathfinders mini-series and A for Andromeda and Quatermass and their sequels).

    Alex
     
  4. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nah, they're better off making it a wholly CGI cartoon along the lines of the Green Lantern show that's on or the upcoming Cyborg 009 reboot/adaptation. Considering how some of the designs in the 2D ME anime turned out, going all CGI would be a good way to maintain consistency with the look established in the games.

    The only problems are figuring out who'd want to do this now, in the aftermath of the ME3 ending, and figuring out a way to ensure that whoever ended up broadcasting it would actually advertise the damn thing. Cartoon Network has a bad habit of not advertising shows they air for some retarded reason.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know anything about Mass Effect, so I consider myself a good stand-in for the audience this show will need to win over in order to be successful. :D

    So from what I gather we have is: outer space, warfare, two sides fighting - why are they fighting? Who are the main characters and why do we care if they win or lose? And can you summarize that convincingly in a 30 second ad?
     
  6. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Those questions depend on when in the ME timeline the story takes place. Bioware created a fairly extensive background universe for Mass Effect, so a show could easily take place at any time before the events of the final game.
     
  7. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think thios guy did a good job of doing it in a two and a half minute video a least in the area of who the bad guys are and why they should be stoped.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NskPisr26EQ[/yt]
     
  8. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not really getting the bad guys' motivation. Is it really only because they don't like carbon-based life forms?

    Is the Mass Effect universe more interesting and diverse than the Halo universe, and why would it be likely to attract higher ratings over its lifetime?
     
  9. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I haven't played Mass Effect... But I have seen most trailers, and read about it. And I fail to see why it proclaimed as such a great Sci-Fi universe.
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's an intriguing video, but all I get from it is "bad guys on their way to kill all of ya's, so fight back." Basically, Blood & Chrome, right?

    If SyFy didn't greenlight Blood & Chrome, then why would anyone greenlight Mass Effect? What I'm looking for is some twist to the story that elevates it above the usual us-vs-them, even if it's only hinted at in the preview.

    nuBSG did this by telling us the Cylons "have a Plan." They weren't just faceless villains but rather creatures whose rationale we would come to understand, maybe even sympathize with. Okay, that turned out to be a fraud, but it did its job at the time.
     
  11. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm currently in the middle of yet another ME2 playthrough and that Kotaku article pretty much 100% mirrors my feelings about the game. I love the game's leisurely pace and episodic nature. It's nice to be able to cruise around the galaxy during a time of relative peace and not feel pressured by Reapers blowing shit up everywhere. That peacetime setting also lends a much greater variety to the missions compared to ME3's WAR!!!!! theme. Aside from Horizon and the Collector ship, you're free to do stuff whenever you want in whatever order you choose. And because the missions are all fairly short, I always feel compelled to do just ONE more before going to bed each night. :)
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What you're describing is fun when you're playing a game and actively participating. That's very different from what's fun when you're only an observer and not a participant. There needs to be "hooks" to a story to keep a passive audience engaged, stuff like "so what's the deal with the Cylons?"
     
  13. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's why I see any Mass Effect series being set during one of the other conflicts in the lead up to the game trilogy. That way there's a clear focus for how the story would unfold and there could be all sorts of commentary. The Rachni War/Krogan Rebellion would be good fodder for that, since there's a lot of politics involved and room for morally ambiguous material.
     
  14. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What's interesting about the The Rachni War/Krogan Rebellion? If it's like DS9's Dominion War, that's a point in its favor.
     
  15. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Krogan rebellions - however, I'm not much the wiser for reading that nor am I motivated to invest my time and money in playing the game(s) or reading the tie-in novels.
     
  16. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's just some background fluff to flesh out the universe. It was never intended to get anyone interested in Mass Effect.
     
  17. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Anything before the First Contact War (i.e. the Rachni Wars and the Krogan Rebellions) would be immediately out because that all took place before humanity arrived on the galactic stage. Even the First Contact War wouldn't make for a terribly good basis for a TV series because it wasn't so much a war as it was a brief scuffle that only lasted a couple of months. The First Contact War could work as the subject of a telemovie or miniseries, though.
     
  18. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, you need some humans (or human-like aliens) with understandable motivation and character interaction to keep viewers interested. Hardly anyone's going to keep tuning in to see a bunch of frogs and shrimp slugging it out.
     
  19. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's no problem with that since we've got the Asari.
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I clicked on the link and found this:

    That sounds about as exciting as George Lucas' blather about taxes and trade routes. Of course, Game of Thrones might sound like that, too, if summarized into a boring generic paragraph, so I'm still trying to figure out if there's a story here on par with what Game of Thrones has been delivering, or even the potential of one being created.

    I'm still waiting for someone to step up and take the role of showrunner/advocate, who has cornered a SyFy exec in the elevator between taking pitches for Vampire Paramedic and Teenage Mutant Werewolf PI. Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi! If your pitch doesn't succeed, we'll just get more of that dreck. How do you change the soulless suit's mind in 20 seconds or less?