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

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

  1. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Well, not for nothing what you're asking is almost like asking someone to describe all of star trek for you in a 20 second ad. It really can't be done (which is why few star trek ads do more than what was shown in the trailer above). There are many themes covered in the game, ranging from "what is life" to "how far will you go to save you're species". Mass Effect covers multiple plot threads that spans (easily) over 100 hours of play time, with outcomes changing depending on YOUR choice.

    Trying to get a shmuck on the internet who isn't trained in marketing to develop a pitch that can convince a TV exec is a hopeless cause ;) All one can do is really toss out trailers such as this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBktyyaV9LY&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fresults%3Fsearch_query%3Dtake%2Bearth%2Bback%26oq%3Dtake%2Bearth%2Bback%26aq%3Df%26aqi%3Dg10%26aql%3D%26gs_l%3Dyoutube.3..0l10.606l2367l0l2545l15l15l0l9l9l0l97l458l6l6l0.


    Is that really all that different from this DS9 teaser?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM_uPsLONnk
     
  2. Blamo

    Blamo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mass Effect 1 in 5 mins (heavily condensed)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIfx32iAjzU

    Mass Effect 1 and 2 summary in 5 mins (heavily condensed)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taraGC40m4U

    While the Krogan rebellions make for an interesting backstory to the Krogan (who due to the lasting effects of the war are mostly infertile and on the cusp of extinction), the actual wars themselves wouldn't make for much of a show due to the length of the war and lack of human characters.

    The skirmish between the Turians and the humans would make for a pretty nice mini series. You have humanities first contact with an alien race, the big changes it brings and humanity becoming part of a galactic community. It'd also be a nice gradual introduction to all the many diverse races.

    As for Halo Vs Mass Effect in regards to story through the entire series, I can't say since I haven't played any Halo beyond the first game (whose plot bored me to tears). I can say that Mass Effect 1 has more dialogue, story and drama in the first hour or so then the entire of Halo 1. Not surprising since Mass Effect is an action RPG.

    With regards to the Reapers, they aren't exactly machines. Think of them as cyber space cthulu that reproduce through genocide.
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They do sound a lot like JMS's Thirdspace aliens though. Anyway, we're just carbon-based electrochemical machines. At some stage, provided we survive long enough, our species will probably upgrade to a more durable substrate.

    Ah, a heady mixture of sex and violence. At last, we're cooking. Get HBO on the line...
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  4. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They also turn people into cybernetic zombies by impaling them on large spikes sometimes brainwashing the person into voluntarily impaling themselves on it.
     
  5. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A not too subtle metaphor for anal rape and sexual dependency, even better.
     
  6. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    Temis, try this for size.
    "War Hero Cmdr. Shepard and his elite crew of commandos and (sometimes odd) specialists, travel the galaxy battling conspiracies, both human and alien, corporate corruption, and trying to unravel the mystery of why a once high ranking agent of the galactic government has apparently turned traitor and begun a campaign of genocide against humanity in cooperation with one of the governments most hated foes."
    There is more to it of course, interactions among the somewhat quirky crew and outsiders ranging from organized crime to diplomats (if you can tell the difference;)).
    I have never played Halo, but I know a number of people who like it. It sounds like a very military story. While the Normandy (our heroes requisite "prototype kickass ship" is a military vessel, it is on detached duty and acts as more of a spec ops support ship for an agent and his team.
    Haven't gotten to 3 yet, but the war story there is like the Shadow War. Something that has been built up to over the previous "season" of the story, and is the giant climax to a story that began as a (not simple) manhunt.
    I hope that helps.:)
     
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would suspect that the current incarnation of The Clone Wars effectively occupies the marketing niche that Halo or Mass Effect would strive to occupy as entertainment. Popular as the games were, I doubt that animated versions would ever be nearly as successful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  8. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    Not really sure you could have a Mass effect universe tv series, unless you want
    a grimdark style TV show, no mass relays, entire populations stranded from each other, The tuirans and Quarians starving to death, it would be a pretty bleak future, unless you fast foward 500 years after that..but then that would be a completely different ME universe.
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The mistake everyone appears to be making is in focusing on the plot and background details. As well done as all that is, it's just so much window dressing. What really attracts most people to Mass Effect is the plethora of well written and memorable characters.

    Was Star Trek about a spaceships zipping about, scantily clad women covered in green bodypaint and wibbly balls of light spouting cheezy dialogue...or was it about the core characters? Was Babylon 5 about an ancient battle between the forces of order and chaos, the rise and fall of empires and the sweeping events that changed the shape of a galaxy forever, or was it about the people that lived through it?

    Any show, Mass Effect of otherwise needs a more than just a well written and compelling backdrop, it needs a well written and compelling cast of characters. Now, they could just take the ones from the game a retell the whole story...but that'd probably be a mistake (though I gather it's what the movie is going to do.)

    To my mind, the best bet would be to come up with a new cast of characters and set the story in the two year gap between ME1 & 2. As for the characters...I think it'd be best to stick with the idea of a mixed group, mostly working outside the lines rather than rank and file military. Perhaps even a non-military Cowboy Beebop/Firefly type setup?

    P.S. For those not familiar with ME and still want a well presented primer on the games: this one and this one are probably the best ones around. Massive spoilers for the first two games, needless to say. There are some ME3 ones on the same channel, but they haven't done a full length plot one yet.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but you're ignoring the 30-odd years before all of that just to make your point. There's plenty of time in which to set a TV series.
     
  11. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    I wasn't really ignoring it, I just making I guess a assumption that any series would be after the 'final' piece in Mass effect, I suppose you could have it happen before ME1.
     
  12. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All the bad press ME3 generated will probably kill the movie, (although I never for a moment believed that it would see the light of day anyway) and certainly any hypothetical TV show. What studio would touch something with all this baggage? None would be my guess.

    That said, if by some fluke someone went for it, the best way to sell it would probably be to play up the exploration side of it, rather than the warfare. Humanity reaching for the stars, and all that. The Reapers can, as they did in the game series, come later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  13. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    Can the ending be retconned in any way, shape or form?
     
  14. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    There isn't enough original plot material in the games to make a TV show.
     
  15. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Not only is it possible, it probably will.
     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wait and see. There's a slight chance the game itself will be officially retconned. But as it stands, I'd say no. The endings are all very definite and far reaching. To make any substantive difference the whole thing would have to be redone.

    You know, I thought that about 'The Walking Dead' but they some how managed to squeeze a dozen or so episodes out of, what? Five or six comic book issues? I think they could get a good 3 season out of it. Whether it's three seasons of twenty odd episodes or three seasons of a dozen episodes depends on how they'd want to plot the story.

    Hypothetically-depending on the tone and pace they choose for the show-if they were to do a direct adaptation then the Eden Prime mission could take up a whole episode. The Cerberus plot--starting with Banes and ending with Kahoku's death--could be strung throughout the first season, setting up their larger role later on. New cast members will be introduced gradually like on 'Farscape', with Liara being the last major one at about the fourth or fifth episode. And obviously Ilos and the battle of the Citadel would be the season finale...making Shepard's death the season two premier.

    It's all academic of course since it'd never be done this way and I agree that the movie has little chance of being made (though not because of the "bad press") and even less chance of being any good.
     
  17. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Having avoided all the spoilers I seem to have avoided the bad press too. I fail to see the ending of one of a suite of 3 games (and counting) has any effect on the viability (or not) of making a crossover movie. All the whining about the end of ME3 didn't stop people going out and buying it like all the others.
     
  18. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In its first twenty-four hours, the game sold at least 890,000 copies in North America; in its first four days, it had shipped 3.5 million copies. The "whining" (i.e., legitimate criticism) about the ending didn't start until people had finished the game, obviously.

    The criticism does seem to have had an effect - the game's sales dropped 79.2% globally in its second week, and 51% from that number in its third week. By its second week, the Microsoft Store had put the Xbox 360 version on sale (and it still is); and Wal-Mart Canada put both console versions on sale at $29.83; and so on.

    In short: Asserting that the "whining" didn't have an effect on its sales numbers is inaccurate and misrepresents a simple fact - no one knew what the ending was before it had already sold most of the copies that it has sold in the month it has been out.
     
  19. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    How can you say that unless you compare it with the sales of the first two games?
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yup.

    The trailers focus on the combat and warfare angle of the stories because that's what appeals to your average young male gamer, but a good deal of time in the game, perhaps even the majority, is spent in conversations with hundreds of different characters. That's why Mass Effect 1 is so fondly remembered by gamers even though the combat parts were rather awkward. So there is warfare in the games, but it's only one element of them.

    More than two. You have the Council races (Asari, Salarian, Turian, Human, Volus, Elcor, Hanar, and others), the Terminus Systems (various factions that are independent of Council control), the Krogan, the Batarians, the Quarians, the Geth, the Collectors, and the quasi-terrorist Cerberus organisation. Oh, and the Reapers.

    Expansion, dominance, freedom, survival, old racial hatreds... the usual reasons.

    Why are the Reapers trying to extinguish all advanced organic life? That's the big question that hangs over the series and it's only answered in the final moments, and when you find out you'll probably wish you hadn't. ;)

    Because it's like all the popular sci-fi universe rolled into one. Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and more are all inspirations for various elements of the universe. If you like one or all of those franchises, you'll probably like Mass Effect. It may not be particularly original, but it's a lot of fun and very atmospheric.

    Don't judge the games by the trailers, by their nature they focus on the shallowest elements of the games. For example, ME3 was marketed as a game about taking Earth back, but in a 30-40 hour game you actually only spend about 2 of those on Earth. You probably spend more time on Tuchanka (the Krogan homeworld) than you do on Earth, but they didn't market the game that way because the average Call of Duty player doesn't know what a Tuchanka is.

    "Starring Martin Sheen as the chain-smoking and seemingly all-powerful leader of a morally ambiguous mercenary organisation, and Yvonne Strahovski in a skin-tight catsuit."