Forget a James Bond movie – television should be 007’s new home

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We’re living in a golden age of prestige television, with TV dramas finding popular acclaim on an international scale, not to mention commercial success. It’s not difficult to imagine a James Bond TV series, with time, reaching similar levels of success as Game of Thrones – one of the most popular and well known intellectual properties in the world, James Bond would certainly garner people’s attentions. 

More than that, though, an ongoing television serial would allow for deeper storytelling than we’ve seen in the Bond franchise so far; one of the things Spectre was criticised for was mishandling the conclusion to an ongoing story arc across the movies – a Bond TV show would allow for a far more successful attempt at an ongoing storyline.

A recent post for Yahoo about a James Bond TV show. Within the article itself, I outline a couple of different concepts for the show, so that’s worth checking out.

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DC’s Legends of the Dark

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With Vandal Savage defeated and the timeline restored, Rip Hunter bids farewell to his team; each returns to their own time, now truly a legend.

But upon Sara Lance’s return to Star City 2016, she’s met by another Englishman in a long coat who wants to assemble a team. His name is John Constantine, petty dabbler in the dark arts, and they’ve met before.

Darkness is rising, and a new team of Legends must rise up to defeat it.

So! DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is a program that I’m quite enjoying; it’s consistently fun and engaging, and they’re doing a really good job of developing each character. Certainly, it’s a lot better than Arrow, but… well, let’s not get into that now.

Anyway, something I thought was quite interesting, back before the series premiered, was that it was being marketed as an anthology series; each year, it’d deal with different themes, and something of a revolving cast of characters.

Which, you know, sparked the imagination somewhat. Currently they’re dealing with time travel – what if, next year, they’re dealing with magic?

DC’s Legends of the Dark

John Constantine is assembling a team of his own. It’s comprised of various different individuals from across the world, each of whom have a magical connection (with one notable exception, of course).

This team won’t be travelling across time, but rather, through different dimensions; they’ll visit fiery hellscapes and cold recesses of the underworld, while at the same time having to contend with new threats breaking through into the mortal world.

Each of these individual threats – such as Circe, Gentleman Ghost and Etrigan, all of whom the team will encounter – are being co-ordinated by a much older, much greater darkness.

Nekron.

Known as the Lord of the Unliving, Nekron is the personification of Death; darkness, before ever there was light. It threatens to break into our plane of existence, and corrupt the very fabric of our existence.

And that cannot be allowed to happen.

Hence this team.

  • Sara Lance, an assassin brought back from the dead – one of the few people resistant to Nekron’s powers over life and death.
  • Nyssa Raatko, one of the foremost members of the League of Assassins, and the last Heir to the Demon – that’s not just a title.
  • Kendra Saunders, reincarnated Hawk Goddess, and wielder of an Nth metal mace, one of the few weapons which can counteract the affects of magic. Given her own experiences with death and reincarnation, she’ll prove to be a valuable member of this team – but in many ways, her connection to death will also be their greatest weakness
  • Vixen, owner of the Anansi totem, and capable of channelling the life force any creature in the Animal Kingdom. Mari has a direct link to Anansi the Trickster God, who at times will be a hindrance more than a help.
  • Zatanna, a friend of Constantine’s – Constantine had known her late father, the magician John Zatara. Though she’s only been practicing magic a short time, it’s clear she has the potential to grow more powerful than any other.
  • Ray Palmer, the ATOM. Despite having no knowledge of magic whatsoever, he was with Kendra when Constantine asked for her help. Insisting on joining the team, Constantine quickly relented – after all, he’s not one to say no to a handsome man.

Across the course of their journey together, they’ll realise they are bound by more than just their mission – death unites them all.

As Nekron commands an army of their fallen friends, family and lovers, this group of seven will confront demons both occult and personal, and have to answer the question as to whether it is worth saving the world, quite literally, at the cost of your soul…

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Repitching the premise of Star Trek: Voyager, and some thoughts on how it might have been better

star trek voyager kate mulgrew poster hd premise improvement better repitch 70 years maquis rewrite fix

So, the question of Star Trek: Voyager and missed potential is one that rears its head whenever the series is referenced; typically, the stand people take is that it should have been more serialised, more of a focus on scarcity, struggles with integrating the crew, etc etc.

Whenever the question arises though, I always think of another possibility: at the beginning of the series, it was said that Voyager was 70 years away from the Alpha Quadrant.

What if each of the seven seasons had taken place across a ten year period?

I’m approaching this purely from a story standpoint – I’m pretty sure it’d be difficult to pitch something like this to a network, or even to keep it on the air, given that it’d be much closer to an anthology show than what we’ve traditionally seen of Trek.

In any case, though, what I’m picturing is sort of akin to DS9’s Children of Time, or Enterprise’s E2, but on a much longer timeframe.

Each series would have a ten year scope, and then within that timeframe, the writers are allowed to position their episodes how they want; the first few episodes might take place within their first couple of months in the Delta Quadrant, but maybe there would be a six month gap between the third and fourth episode. Perhaps you’d have a mini arc as they travel through Vidiian space, where all the episodes are reasonably joined together, before moving swiftly on the next time. Each episode would need to have a stardate title card; “63 years until returning to Earth”, or some such similar.

Across the first two seasons you’d seen Janeway and Chakotay, integrating the Maquis crew; at the same time, though, you’d start to see them getting older and greyer. Perhaps in the third series, they’ve left active duty – they’re not longer Captain and First Officer, but much more elderly ‘honourary admirals’ types. Perhaps they’d die in battle, or simply pass away from old age or disease between seasons – they certainly wouldn’t still be around in the fourth season.

That immediately posits some interesting possibilities to me, in terms of the themes of legacy; who replaces Janeway as Captain? How do they face up to this role? Do the crew accept them as the new Captain, after such a long time being lead by Janeway?

There would, obviously, be some continuity of cast members – Tuvok, I imagine, would stick around for a while, given he’s a Vulcan, and it’d be nice to see Harry Kim rise up through the ranks. Perhaps we’d see Captain Tuvok and First Officer Kim? Obviously, the EMH would be a stalwart as well, and you could easily have Neelix as a long term crewmember. (Or not.)

Depending on how significant a time jump they would want to have between seasons, or even between episodes, it’s possible we could have seen Kes’ life play out in full across the first season; there’s potential there for some really interesting, and I think quite poignant, character development.

star trek voyager time travel janeway harry kim chakotay future's end timeless kate mulgrew garrett wang robert beltran old now admiral janeway

Another interesting potential plotline is the fact that, by the time we reach the fourth season, presumably very few of the crewmembers would have actually been to Earth – the question would arise as to why, exactly, they were risking their lives to a home they’d never known. Maybe you would have a group of the crew splitting off to form their own colony; perhaps, across the forty years so far, something of a proto-federation has grown up through the alliances Voyager has been forced to make.

At the minute now I’m just thinking through the stories we actually saw, and how they might have translated to this sort of series set up – the Krenim and the Year of Hell might offer potential for time travel shenanigans, allowing guest appearances from Janeway, Chakotay and other characters who have long since been abandoned.

Similarly, with the Borg, maybe someone like Tom Paris could be assimilated in one season, and then “rescued” the next season – and in turn being forced to deal with the fact that ten or twenty years have passed since he was last on Voyager, and the ship has changed significantly in that time. Perhaps he’d meet up with elderly Harry Kim, now also an “Admiral”, and reminisce old times.

The question of children would, presumably, come into play at some time or another, and it might be interesting to see Naomi Wildman ascend through the ranks, to eventually reach Captain – in my head, I’m sort of picturing her as the Captain when they reach Earth, though that wouldn’t really work with the 70 year gap. (Not that it’d need to be a hard rule, obviously, they can still find ways to speed things up – I imagine cannibalising and retrofitting the ship would be a significant plot arc across the different seasons.)

That, in any case, is my idea. Obviously, there are flaws; from a logistical point of view, it’d be difficult to sort out aging makeup and whatnot, and we wouldn’t have one nice, easily identifiable Captain for the show.

But, on the flip side, there’s a lot of potential here for something quite different, letting us see a Star Trek series unlike any other; really pushing the limits of Voyager’s format as far as they can possibly go.

What do we all think? I’ve got to say, I’m not wholly convinced by it myself; it might just be a little too out there. But still, it seems like it could be an interesting point of discussion.

This article was recently posted on the Yahoo TV website. It has nearly 200 comments at time of writing, which is slightly insane.

Related:

Bryan Fuller’s Star Trek – Five Things We Might See

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5 potential premises for a Star Wars television show

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I think it’s fair to say that the Star Wars galaxy is a vast one, with a lot of storytelling potential – and I’d love to see it expanded with a Netflix show, no matter what form it may take.

Here, then, are a couple of potential avenues that they might be able to explore…

So, here’s a few ideas for a possible Star Wars Netflix show! It includes a suggestion for a new animated series, a couple of different anthology shows, an Office-style show set on the Death Star, and a Coruscant crime drama.

Of the different ideas, I think the one I’d be most interested in seeing personally is… hmm, actually, which one? I’m fond of the idea of Tales from Maz Kanata’s Castle, as an anthology show featuring a series of vignettes focused on different characters, though admittedly as a commerical idea that might not actually work out. That’s probably why I like it best! If limited to the ones that are actually, like, likely, then I think the space noir Coruscant show is one I’d be interested in seeing.

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Introducing Green Lantern to the Arrowverse

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So, I was thinking about this, because there’s been a few easter eggs and references throughout The Flash (which, by the way, was phenomenal), and a few rumours about the possibly of Diggle in Arrow being revealed to be John Stewart, and then getting a Green Lantern ring.

And then on another website someone posited the question as to how you’d introduce Green Lantern to these shows, if given the chance, and then I ended up writing about it, when I really should have been studying. Thus, I share it with you all…

With Green Lantern, I think you’d have to play a long-term game to get this introduction working, largely because a lot of the elements involved in his character, particularly the aliens, are a bit of a departure from what is currently established. You’d probably weave him in across Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, setting him up as a guest star in each.

I haven’t actually seen the third series of Arrow yet (no spoilers) but generally everyone seems to be indicating that it’s likely we’d meet Hal Jordan in the flashback section of Arrow series 4, because of how the flashback section of series three ended. Good idea. Meet Hal Jordan as a test pilot, before he disappears, and before he gets his ring. You can spend the series (perhaps not all of it) with him and Oliver palling around, learning from each other, and developing the famous friendship of the pair.

Then, over on The Flash, you introduce aliens.

(I’m not really sure how they’re going to do the multiverse, or resolve the cliffhanger, but let’s assume for a moment that at some stage, maybe around the fifth episode, the status quo will be mostly restored.)

You have what appears to be a relatively normal episode. Some sort of powered person, running around, causing chaos, as we’ve become used to. Eventually, though, Barry stops them, and brings this person back to STAR Labs (this is around the middle of the episode we’ll say.) They’re running analysis, and then… “Barry, this isn’t a normal metahuman. This guy… he isn’t even human.” Dun dun duh! We’ve introduced an alien. Cisco responds essentially as you’d expect him to, good opportunity for humour, and so on and so forth.

The alien escapes, and the STAR Labs team can contact General Eiling, or maybe Waller at ARGUS. It’s made pretty clear that they were already aware of aliens, to some extent, but the whole situation is obviously “classified.”

From that point on, Cisco begins to monitor space anomalies, trying to prepare for aliens, and maybe even find more. Eventually, though, he notices that there’s a specific type of anomaly occurring, with a very particular energy signature. This is the Green Lantern Corps, though obviously, he doesn’t know this. Yet.

Around this time, over on The Flash, we’d also introduce a new character working at the Central City Gazette (is that what it’s called?). He’s an artist, going by the name of Kyle Rayner, and he becomes fairly close friends with Iris (and Linda, who we’re reintroducing, because she’s eventually going to meet Wally at some stage). Why is an artist working at a newspaper? He does the cartoons, of course.

Over on Legends of Tomorrow is where we’d introduce the actual Green Lanterns themselves, but not Hal as a Lantern. Not just yet. Again, not 100% sure of the structure of Legends, but if they’re moving through time with each episode, I think it’s easy enough to come up with some sort of reason to have tendrils of Savage’s army doing some sort of work in space. Maybe, perhaps, Savage’s army are being supplied with weapons – weapons that work with the power of fear. Feeding on fear, amplifying it, and being generally quite bad. You wouldn’t have Yellow Lanterns straight up, but this is a very obvious reference to them. It’d also help to tie this into Parallax somewhat, perhaps, but that might not be necessary. At this stage, you’d have one, maybe two, Green Lanterns appear. Possibly Abin Sur, possibly not. Maybe, for budgetary reasons, it’d be easier to go for a human looking person.

green lantern movie oa ryan reynolds arrowverse hal jordan abin sur legends of tomorrow

Anyway, it’s on Legends of Tomorrow where they set up the basic idea of the Green Lanterns existing.

Then! Hal Jordan comes back, in the present day, in Arrow. He interacts with Oliver Queen, as opposed to Arrow, and the two can reminisce, as they do. It’s an opportunity for humour, which is always a good thing. Eventually, however, Oliver will have to dash, because he needs to do something Arrow based. I like the idea, actually, of both Hal and Oliver making awkward excuses to leave, and neither of them really noticing what the other is doing, because they’re both trying to get out – because someone is making trouble in Starling City! Maybe it’d be a nice callback to the earlier Flash episode if it was the same person. That way we, the audience, know that this is an Alien problem. And just at the same time as the return of Hal Jordan…?

So, the Arrow is fighting this super strong fellow, and obviously struggling. And then a green light fills the sky, and green rays of light are shot towards the alien. (Might want to avoid the actual constructs at this stage, to keep the costs down, and simply chalk it up to Hal being relatively inexperienced)

At this stage, Oliver and Hal find out about each other. Maybe they recognise each other, and you can have a callback to the rather amusing scene from the Green Lantern movie about not being able to see cheekbones and whatnot.

You keep Hal in Arrow for another couple of episodes, before eventually, in the middle of a climactic fight… his ring stops working. That’s odd. No-one quite knows why. So they send him over to Central City, where he can work with the STAR Labs team. Cisco is of course over the moon.

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At this stage (I think we’ll have reached around episode 18 of The Flash, ish) we spend some time fleshing out the friendship between Hal and Barry. As Cisco (and Ronnie?) work with Hal to try and fix the ring, establishing some of the lore with regards to hope and willpower and etc, Hal is also a helpful member of the team, perhaps giving them information about some new aliens who are in town.

Here’s where you could take it in a couple of different directions. I’d want to have a big threat here, so maybe we’d bring in Parallax. It’d be nice to really push the shared universe angle, so let’s go for it, and have a Parallax threat that is a problem for both Central and Starling City, meaning we’re watching the Arrow and Flash finales show the same threat being combated in different ways at different times.

And then… I’d kill Hal Jordan. Dead! Never coming back. (Except, you know, leaving it open in such a way that, if we wanted, we could bring him back as Parallax, a few years down the line.)

Hal dies before the Parallax threat is solved, so it’s a massive demoralising moment for the group, because they were really counting on his help with this. Barry and Oliver are both very sad.

This is going to set a couple of things in motion. Obviously, death of a lantern means the ring will choose a new host – and we have two potential hosts lined up already. We’ve got Kyle Rayner, the artist who’d be able to work on some pretty impressive ring constructs… and, potentially, John Stewart Diggle.

So, either of them can become the new Lantern, and they then help save the day from Parallax.

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Or! Actually, I just thought of this now. Diggle can become the Lantern, and help save the day. At the end, the Lantern from Legends of Tomorrow comes along, telling him that he’ll need to come to Oa, and all that jazz.

Diggle isn’t interested. He wants to stay where he is. So he gives up the ring, and it finds its new host – Kyle Rayner. Best of both worlds. We get to have Diggle as a Lantern, and keep him on Arrow.

Kyle goes off to Oa, meaning that he can return again on either show in future, or Legends of Tomorrow, or even a Green Lantern TV show.

And Oliver, inspired by the death of his friend Hal, and perhaps a few quips made at various stages of the series, takes on a new mantle. A slightly different mantle.

That of the Green Arrow.

And thus ends series 4 of Arrow and series 2 of the Flash, ready to take us into the next year… where the world is going to be in a very different place, after the invasion of Parallax. (Which I guess could be a problem, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.)

Any thoughts?

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