OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

US Remakes

POSTED BY: DEEPGIRL187
UPDATED: Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:52
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Saturday, October 13, 2007 3:50 PM

DEEPGIRL187


Me being the Doctor Who fan that I am, I decided to look up some of the other shows the actors have been in. Lo and behold do I come across Blackpool and Life On Mars. Both seem like interesting shows that I would like to check out. Unfortunately, I've run into (kind of) two problems.

The first is availability. Neither have been released in the US on DVD (though I do believe that Life On Mars has been shown on BBC America).

The second not-so-much-a-problem (more an annoyance) is the dreaded US remake. Blackpool has already been remade into Viva Laughlin (which to its credit has Principal Wood from Buffy in it), while Life On Mars is slated to be remade sometime next year, I believe.

Why, oh why (I ask redundantly) are the TV gods so boneheaded? Both shows had good actors to begin with; why mess with a good thing? But then, (as one person on the IMDB boards pointed out) if they air the UK version, they get no money. Make their own, and they get plenty (well, in theory at least).

*sigh*

In any case, what are you guys' opinions on the subject?

ETA: And would the BBC please get off their ass and release a Region 1 DVD set for both shows?

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"This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."


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Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:37 PM

REGINAROADIE


It's a wave. For a while, especially after the god-awful US version of COUPLING, the idea of re-making a British series for US TV would be considered suicide. And when the US version of THE OFFICE was being planned, everyone considered it to be a suicide mission. But after a fantastic season 2 when they really came into their own, they realized that if done right, that there can be successful jumps across the pond. Now it just remains to be seen whether or not any of them will actually work, or just die on the vine.

No interest in Blackpool or Viva Laughlin, but I would like to see the original LIFE ON MARS before David E. Kelley gets his hands on it. After seeing John Simm's perfect turn as The Master on DOCTOR WHO, I'd like to see him in the role that made him somewhat famous.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:44 PM

DTUCK


I haven't seen the US revision of Manchild, but, it'd be hard to live up to the original (in which Anthony Stewart Head starred).

A good example, IMO, would be Touching Evil. Jeffrey Donovan was just off-kilter enough as Creegan to make the show really click. Too bad it was axed after only half a season.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007 3:23 AM

DEEPGIRL187


I really like Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice, so it would have been cool to see that.

I think The Office is kind of the exception, not the rule, regarding remakes. US TV studios are simply too lazy (with a few exceptions; Heroes, Pushing Daisies) to put the effort into making an original (or at least interesting) show these days. Easier (and cheaper) to do a remake (from whatever country or time) and hope the unwashed masses are content with what they get.

Not saying that all remakes are horrible, I just don't think the studios want to put a lot of effort into their shows these days. Then again, we did get Chuck and Pushing Daisies this season, so all hope is not lost.

*************************************************

"This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."

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Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:52 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by deepgirl187:
Why, oh why (I ask redundantly) are the TV gods so boneheaded? Both shows had good actors to begin with; why mess with a good thing?



One possible (silly) reason is that UK drama series tend to have fairly short runs - typically 6-13 episodes per ¨season¨. Plus, we crazy Brits sometimes do really zany things like concluding a series while its still successful rather than flogging away at it until it jumps the shark. Life on Mars ran for two series of 8 episodes and then concluded - there's a spin-off called ¨Ashes to Ashes¨ in the works.

In USA terms that's too short for a season and too long for a mini-series. Personally, I think its far better than the endless US seasons that result in horribly padded-out plot arcs, filler episodes and clipshows. Actors can work on several shows at a time and although shows that completely tank sometimes get pulled off-air after a few episodes, usually they get the chance to run for a full season before the decision has to be made.

(Of course, UK TV does the oppsite extreme too - the main soaps run 3+ episodes a week 52 weeks a year...)

Actually, I think remaking ¨Life on Mars¨ is defensible because the fun relies so much on references to 70s UK culture. If you don't know Test Card F from a Watney's Party 7 or why someone might have 'oops for lunch then you'll be needing some background notes.

(P.s. - did you know they even tried to do a US version of Red Dwarf...? The pilot is out there on the internet somewhere...)

Oh, and mentioning US Remakes gives me an excuse to plug Ultraviolet (The 1998 UK mini-series NOT the recent Movie) which was going to be remade for US but wasn't (I really hope the movie was not some mutated descendent of this). Torchwood without the laughs (and better) - more would have been nice, but the story was concluded nicely.

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