Should The Corpses of Dead SciFi Shows Be Revived?
The new blog, IO9, recently posted a poll that asked Which dead Sci Fi show should breathe again? The usual suspects are there: Farcscape, Quantum Leap, Firefly, along with others.
But this question got me thinking: Don’t we, as science fiction fans, continually rail against Hollywood and the TV studios for their lack of imagination and propensity to resurrect or re-make old shows? (Why yes, yes we do.) But here comes Gawker’s shiny new SF site that wants the networks to somehow resurrect an old SF show from the trash heap of discarded shows. And well over 100 people agree that it’s, at least, a decent idea. Just look at everyone who says “But what about show X?” Isn’t this sending the wrong message? There are plenty of science fiction stories that should get some sort of treatment on either the small screen or big screen. I think a better question would have been “What science fiction story or novel would you like to see made into a series?” Of course, one possible answer could be “None, I’d like to see something completely new!” Why re-animate when you can innovate?
I’ll tell you why…
The same thing happens in the video game industry. Gamers continually harp on the developers for churning out sequel after sequel, or media tie-in games, instead of creating something new. Of course, when something truly interesting and new comes along, Psychonauts or Good vs. Evil, it usually fails to sell well. The same thing happens in TV and Hollywood where sequels are the rage and a successful TV series will spawn numerous copy cats that try to mimic it’s success. But people speak loudest with their wallets or eyeballs, and the message that the media companies get is that ‘new’ rarely works, while regurgitation is a cash cow. That’s why we get remakes of old TV shows. I’m not saying the remakes are going to be crap. I’m saying that while we as SF fans say we want something new, the networks receive a different message. Of course, SF fans are a very small subset of the overall viewing public. It’s hard for us to get the Sci Fi Channel to even show real science fiction, let alone persuade a big network to try something new. Unless something new comes along that turns into a monster hit, and a network is willing to risk it, I’d say we’re stuck with remakes.
But let’s end on a positive note, and send a message, no matter how small, of our own. What science fiction story would you like to see on TV? We’ve said before that Singularity by Bill DeSmedt would make an awesome Sci Fi Channel original movie. I know there are others, let’s hear ‘em! (And yes, George R.R. Martin is working with HBO to turn his Song of Ice and Fire into a series, so no need to mention that. Unless, of course, HBO dumps it.)
Filed under: TV
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