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Studio President For A Day, Part II

This will be seen as the other end of Part I.

Now that you’ve green lighted the development of shows based on existing SF material, you now have the chance to create something totally original. As President/CEO you get to be the guy with the ideas and won’t have to actually develop the show. And you get to decide if the product is crap or not. Anyway, what would be your ideas for an original SF show for:

1. Neophyte or non SF fans.

2. Lifelong fans of SF.


Let me tackle them in order.

1. For this, I’d probably want a procedural drama, focusing on either a police unit or a SWAT-like group within the police. The stories would focus on the human aspects of crime and society, but would leave a lot of leeway for cool tech and an interesting society. I think a world based on David Brin’s book, The Transparent Society, is rife with cool possibilities. It would have to have action, humor and Joss Whedon writing. For an even more interesting experiment, I’d try to come up with shows that would follow the Japanese Anime model, which is basically a limited run of shows (26 episodes or so) and that’s it. That would give the producers time enough to explore the world without repeating themselves (Enterprise?). Of course, if one of these limited series was terribly successful, it could be expanded with more episodes. New limited series could always be in development and production to replace previous shows. As this would be expensive to do for live action, these would probably have to be animated, either traditional or CGI. In the world of cable TV, you don’t need a huge audience to be successful.

2. This one is a bit more difficult. I’d really like to see a show that would take one of the modern day Space Operas and make it a compelling TV show. Something from Reynolds or Simmons might work. Something that would take a look at humanity in a really big picture way. I’d also like to see something kinda Star Treky, focusing on an interstellar exploration company. The possibilities are endless, especially if you ask real SF writers to come up with ideas for the show.

Any other ideas?

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

3 Comments on Studio President For A Day, Part II

  1. Hmmmm…

    First off, given the rash of recent CGI documentaries like Alien Planet and the Future is Wild, I would do a docu-show where a hardened Jaques Cousteau character would lead a team of explorers to film assorted SF tropes. They could hit alien worlds full of beasties, visit Big Dumb Objects like Rama, explore strange environments like Ringworld or Meskelin, and so on. The beauty is you could visit established SF places (if properly lisenced) or make stuff up.

    Second, the “traditional” space opera works, but I’d add one important change: Whatever war/exploration/search is going on leads the protagonists into a part of the galaxy occupied by really old races. I don’t mean bald toga-wearing Trek elders, but full blown Kardashev Type II races and post-singularity civilizions and supercultures made of Matrioshka brains. Trek was on the verge of this, but every time they hit a new quadrant it was just full of meanies. Same with the Tormented Space portion of Farscape.

    For narrative’s sake, keep the protagonists human, but make the stuff they bump into big and freaky, like something out of John C. Wright’s Golden Age or Robert Reed’s Sister Alice.

    It has been said that if you look at the age of the galaxy it is feasible that it could have been colonized nine billion times by now. Somebody must have evolved past the funny forehead stage by now.

    Lastly, I want a story about what happens after Cthulhu takes over the Earth. All Lovecraftian stuff clings to the gothic. Screw that. The seal has been broken and nasty elder gods have come down and eaten most everyone. They have begun terraforming Earth to resemble thier hellish world. A band of survivors who have managed not to go mad try to stay alive in an increasingly hostile, truly post-apocalyptic world. Sorta like Stephen King’s The Mist, only cranked up to eleven. Floating tentacled thingies patrol the sky. Each week our heroes encounter more horrific scenarios: herds of headless humans kept alive artificially and forced to mate as breeding stock; the grand canyon filled to the brim with a massive throbbing slug; geysers of ichor sprouting up randomly. Throw in some Cenobite-ish guys who were once human but sold our race out to the baddies and now act as wardens or hunting dogs. Start off with twenty or so survivors and start killin’ ’em off. New ones can join, too.

    It’s Galactica/Lost/Survivor rolled into one.

  2. Sorry, that should read “it could have been colonized nine MILLION times.”

  3. For the new fan this is easy – a cross between CSI and Star Trek where an ensemble cast travels the galaxy solving space crimes. Paul Reubens plays the sensitive captain and Jim Varney plays the tough weapons officer with a heart of gold. Oh, don’t forget Tia Carrere as the public relations officer who has unique skills for extracting information from various alien male suspects – wink wink! 😉

    For the lifelong fan – a series remake of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ where Gort is replaced with a bikini-wearing cyborg played by Pamela Anderson. Klaatu, played by Damon Wayons, moves from family to family each week where they all learn an important lesson each week.

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