Television producer Ron Moore is a busy guy these days. Not to say he hasn’t been busy in the past – I mean, this is a guy who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1988-1994, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from 1994-1999, and the awesome reboot of Battlestar Galactica from 2004-2009. But since BSG ended three years ago, we haven’t heard much from him.
Well, it looks like 2013 might be his year for a comeback – that is, IF HE DOES IT RIGHT.
Ron Moore has decided to take on two huge projects – one for which fans have been waiting for twenty years, and one that fans were like, “HUH???” when they heard the news. Both could make or break his career. Here’s why:
First on the list is Outlander. Outlander is a series of books written by Diana Gabaldon starting back in 1991 that can only be described as romance/historical fiction/time travel. They’re about a Scottish woman during WWII who accidently steps through a ruin of standing stones and ends up traveling back through time to Scotland in the year 1743. Because of these magical stones, she’s able to go back and forth between the two worlds. Romantic hijinks ensue.
Fans of these books are very devoted to these characters, and they’ve wanted at the very least a movie to be made, if not a series of movies based on the seven (so far) books. But because of the success of book series-to-television shows like True Blood and Game of Thrones, they’re going to get a whole series. Which actually makes more sense, since there’s so much material to get through (seriously, each book is about 1000 pages).
Of course the curse of turning such a beloved series into a TV show is getting the damn thing right. We’re talking casting, story-telling, cinematography – the people who know these books inside out already have set expectations in their heads, and if Ron Moore changes it just a little, there’s going to be hell to pay.
But if he takes his time and gets the look and pacing just right, the show could be awesome. I’ve read the first three books, and they’re great. The show will be on Starz network (which means they won’t have to water it down for prime time TV), and it will be a great opportunity to get something completely original on TV again. I think it could gain a whole new following of fans. But it all lies in Ron Moore’s hands. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
His other project is, well, questionable, and I’m still having a hard time coming to terms with it. For Mr. Moore has signed on to turn one of my favorite movies of 2001 – A Knight’s Tale – into a TV show.
A FREAKING KNIGHT’S TALE.
Although the movie wasn’t a huge hit – critically or financially – it scored a hit in my heart (haha). It stars Heath Ledger (R.I.P.…weep…sob) and a handful of other relatively unknowns at the time (like Alan Tudyk, Mark Addy, Paul Bettany, and Shannyn Sossamon). It follows the tale of a squire (Ledger) named Will Thatcher who impersonates a Knight, which allows him to compete in such medieval sporting events like sword-fighting and jousting. He starts winning all the events and gains a huge following (as Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein), not to mention the love of a princess, and finally learns to “change his stars”.
Anyway, it’s great movie and just loads of fun to watch. But in all honesty, I can’t imagine it as a TV show. For one thing, you’re going to have completely different actors play these characters that are so awesome in the movie. Who will be as knightly as Heath Ledger? Who will be as funny as Alan Tudyk? Who will be as enchanting as Shannyn Sossamon? These are big shoes to fill.
How the hell are they going to do this???*
*Side note: I just remembered that they also turned an old Heath Ledger movie – 10 Things I Hate About You – into a TV show for ABC Family a few years ago. What’s with people turning Heath Ledger movies into TV shows?? What’s next, Brokeback Mountain: The Dramatic Series?
As you can see, I have issues. Also, this show is going to be on ABC. There’s nothing wrong with ABC, but ABC = MAINSTREAM, and sometimes mainstream is just too mainstream for me. The reason for this is most likely due to the success of fantasy TV series Once Upon a Time. Now, I like Once Upon a Time. I love fairy tales, and this show is full of fairy tale surprises. It’s also written by Jane Espenson, who has worked on a number of my favorite TV shows. However, I still feel that it doesn’t get down to the nitty-gritty like I want it to. They have to write for the general audience, which means a lot of things are, well, blah.
The movie version of A Knight’s Tale had a soundtrack filled with classic rock songs ranging from David Bowie to Queen, and apparently the TV show is going to do the same. Which makes me think…oh my God, are they going to turn this into GLEE???
Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. The show might not even get picked up. Or if it does, I might end up loving it. Who knows?
It’s all in Ron Moore’s (hopefully) capable hands.