Posts Tagged 'TV Series'

Why are we talking about Netflix yet again? Well the subscription TV Channel is once more the standout centrepiece of Sci-Fi related activity. While we have The Shape of Water (above) securing a stack of Oscar nominations and The Black Panther dominating the box office, Netflix is still the most dynamic force within the genre at the moment.

Take The Cloverfield Paradox as a fully-formed, exclusive case in point. Not only does it provide an origin story to both Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane, its transdimensional setting has set geek minds racing about a potential crossover with the Half-Life universe. Too far fetched? Well, J.J. Abrams is currently engaged with both Portal and Half-Life movie adaptations, while Darren Tratchtenberg – director of 10 Cloverfield Lane – also directed Portal: No Escape. We say, “let the speculation roll!”

Duncan Jones’ Mute has also just been released onto the service. Although not receiving critical recommendations thus far, it has provided a platform for the director to air his desire to bring 2000AD comic book heroes Rogue Trooper and Slane to the screen. While on the topic of retro Sci-Fi, the original Lost in Space was tacky at best and the 1998 film (by Stephen Hopkins) was a deplorable mess, but hope springs eternal on Netflix in the shape of challenging reboots.

The most important and latest update however, is that Alex Garland’s adaptation of Jeff Vander Meer’s Annihilation is already garnering rave reviews in the US. The film, starring Natalie Portman, will be with us on Netflix is just a few weeks’ time. It’s worrying that a potential shortfall in audience will mean the film won’t be receiving a cinematic release in Europe, and that those who are not part of the subscription service will initially miss out. Question is, does the price provide enough value when considering the growth and quality of the shows in question. It’s a resounding ‘yes’ here on Drozbot.

To wrap things up we also have The Expanse season three confirmed to air on SyFy by April 2018, which means we should see it join the previous two seasons on Netflix before the end of the year. All we need now is for The OA, which is currently in production, to join it and we’ll be looking at a monumental year for fans of the genre.

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Twelve Monkeys

It’s 1995 and I’m leaving the cinema with my future wife after watching Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys. The film was a revolutionary experience and, in my opinion, a brilliant piece of time-warping sci-fi that then spilt out onto the streets of London; a meta realisation that all the promotional posters for the film were also the subversive propaganda for the fictional Army of the Twelve Monkeys. A rare and beautiful moment, made all the more so by subsequent research into La Jetée on which the film was based – itself a powerful piece of independent sci-fi oddity.

It’s the moment in time that’s the relevant factor here and, like the film itself, the memory for me represents a fleeting but perfect window into another world. There’s something satisfyingly sweet about the encapsulated experience, a brevity that’s being eroded on a contemporary level by the increasing success of longer, sequential experiences. What I’m talking about here is TV syndication verses movies and, more specifically within that, TV series that are spawned from films. Incredible as this may sound, welcome to 12 Monkeys the TV series.

There’s no doubting that there are plenty of fresh and revised TV series ideas that are both excellent and welcome, and far be it for me to condemn a production that’s yet to begin shooting. However, when the director of the original film calls the necessity of such a series in to question, I can’t help but sympathise. Amazingly, this project isn’t alone among original films being reworked for an audience seemingly fearful of endings. The Truman Show and The Adjustment Bureau have also both been green lit for serialisation which, I have to say, leaves me incredulous rather than hopeful or excited.

Gene Roddenberry once said that, “ninety percent of TV is junk. But, ninety percent of everything is junk.” Looking at the past of sci-fi films made into TV series, only Logan’s Run and, possibly, Alien Nation stand out as credible continuations of under-explored storylines. Maybe that’s just my personal bias. I like endings. I like things that snap shut in a satisfying way, even when dealing with the vagaries of time travel. Which, funnily enough, reminds me of a personal story. It’s 1995 and I’m leaving the cinema…

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