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SciFi And NBC SF News

Today we get two frightening pieces of news about upcoming series on SciFi and NBC.

First, SciFi News Wire has a small blurb about actor Paul Blackthorne who will be playing Harry Dresden in the upcoming SciFi series, The Dresden Files. Paul talks about how he developed Harry Dresden as an onscreen character:

So I went about creating a character in the same way as I would whether people were aware or not. Obviously, Jim Butcher gave me a considerable push-off in the world and the character that he created. I just took it beyond there with regard to the scripts. When the scripts came in, the character further developed in my mind.

So instead of using Butcher’s characterization of Harry, he used Butcher as a starting point to create his own. This doesn’t bode well. Additionally, Blackthorne doesn’t look like what I thought Harry would look like. Blackthorne looks too frail to take the beatings that Dresden takes. And in the trailers I’ve seen, Blackthorne’s character seems somehow smarmy, which Harry definitely isn’t. I’m wondering how much of the books they will follow. I can’t see them doing a book a week as they will run out of story in about 8 weeks. This suggests they will have to create their own stories, and that The Dresden Files will be based on Butcher’s books, as opposed to being a serialized version (which they should do). Which is too bad, since much of the enjoyment from the books comes from Butcher’s writing and Harry’s observations about the situations he finds himself in. Still, I’ll give it a chance, which is more a testament to Butcher’s writing ability than of faith in SciFi’s ability to successfully adapt a novel series for TV.

Second, and in the WTF department, NBC is moving forward on a new SF series pilot, called Journeyman. Its about a man who travels in time to fix the lives of people in trouble. I think I saw that show before, when it was called Quantum Leap. No word on whether Scott Bakula or Dean Stockwell are interested. Seriously, what the hell? Is NBC so bereft of ideas for SF shows that they have to re-hash one of their own properties? For the love of fall things SF, call a real SF author and come up with something new! Please.

We know return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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

6 Comments on SciFi And NBC SF News

  1. John Joseph Adams // January 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm //

    Don’t get your hopes up about The Dresden Files:

    And yeah, he *is* smarmy.


  2. Jim Butcher said at Dragon*Con in september that *he* likes what he’s seen of the series. That’s good enough for me, at least until I see it.

  3. While I am usually quick to jump on the I hate SCI FI Channel bandwagon (as crowded as it is), I also have to admit that they’ve been making some positive changes in their programming in the past couple of years: BSG, Doctor Who, Eureka, The Lost Room, Dead Like Me are all steps in the right direction. We have to give them credit for that, even though, yes, they are mostly purchased properties. Still…

    That said, they also have a penchant for tarnishing their track record with muck: Mansquito? Canceling SG-1? And – god help us all – Wrestling?!?!

    With The Dresden Files, I want to keep an open mind. It was on this very blog we dissed the new BSG without ever seeing a frame. Now we’re fanboys. But reading the John Joseph Adams review…Yikes! Ummm, is it to late to claim I want to read the books first?

  4. Yes, the SciFi Channel has always been a mixed bag and a mixed blessing. I’m still annoyed they stopped showing old episodes of Science Fiction Theatre.

  5. John Joseph Adams // January 12, 2007 at 7:23 am //

    Your mileage may vary, of course. Keep in mind that I hated Doctor Who and didn’t like Heroes, though everyone else seems to.

    Looking back at my Heroes review, I think it’s unfair that I gave it only one star, since that’s what I gave The Dresden Files; Heroes is certainly a better show (though I still don’t like it).

    Perhaps what’s so disappointing to me about so many of these shows is that I do desperately *want* to like them, yet the networks keep making it impossible for me to do so.

  6. Mike Timonin // January 13, 2007 at 1:51 pm //

    Hmmm. Now, I’ve only read the first book in the series – my library seems not to stock them well – but my impression of Dresden was somewhat a little stockier, and certainly a little bigger across the shoulders. Blackthorne is too whispy. Perhaps, if the show makes it to DVD, and the DVDs make it to Netflix, I will watch it.

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