Friday, 16 September 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #805: Television Reboots Sci-Fi & Fantasy


Duncan Jones' sci-fi thriller
Source Code is being developed as a television series.

If you haven't seen it,
Source Code is about an Air Force pilot trying to stop a terrorist by reliving the last 8 minutes of the life of one of the terrorist's recent victims through a fancy machine code-named "Source Code."

Let's look at the pros & cons of this idea...


1. PREMISE: It's a very catchy premise, and has a lot of possibilities, putting a sci-fi twist on the traditional procedural.


1. PREMISE: It was actually sort of done with Quantum Leap back in the 90s. If you don't remember that show Scott Bakula played a time traveler who assumes the identity of people in history in order to "make right" something that had gone wrong, with the help of a hologram of his friend Al, played by Dean Stockwell, and an unseen supercomputer named Ziggy. People will start making comparisons even before the show is made, like what I'm doing right now.

2. STORY: The premise runs the very serious risk of becoming repetitive unless some serious calories are burned by the people running it. In fact, the original film was based on the tenet of the same 8 minutes repeating over and over again.

3. SOURCE CODE SOURCE MATERIAL: The original film did okay, but it wasn't really the sort of blockbuster that embeds itself into the pop-culture zeitgeist, and make the audience crave further adventures. It might, in time, become a more widespread cult favorite, but it seems that the people pushing for the show don't want to wait.


The CW Network is looking to reboot the 80s romantic fantasy adventure Beauty & The Beast. If you don't remember that particular nugget it was about a New York District Attorney named Catherine played by
Terminator star Linda Hamilton who wins the love of a burly monster with a heart of gold named Vincent (Ron Perlman) who lives in a subterranean community and acts as her guardian angel rescuing her from any and all threats.

Let's look at the pros and cons of this idea...


1. FAN BASE: The show does have a dedicated fan-base who would gleefully use the internet to spread the word that their beloved show had been reborn.

2. GENRE: Fantasy and stories with fantastical elements are very "in" on television these days. The audience and the networks may have given up on outer space, but it's never been better for magic and monsters.


1. FAN BASE: While the show has a fan base, it's a comparatively small fan-base. Even during its original run on CBS, it never went higher than its first season peak at #49 in the ratings, and went downhill from there.

2. REPETITION: You have to be very careful when building a series around a love story to accept the fact that repetition is a very possible and probable pit you can fall into. Things can become formulaic and comfortable, and very quickly become very, very boring. A lot of work will have to be done to avoid having every episode be about Vincent swooning over Catherine, Catherine's latest case puts her in danger, and Vincent swooping in for the rescue.

Can both series work?

Well, there's a lot of risk involved, but also the potential for reward, so we will have to see if anything comes to fruition.

1 comment:

  1. At this pace we will get that tv series reboot of ZARDOZ. Have Zac Efron as ZED, what woman would not want to see him in a red diaper. maybe Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez as Conseula.