I went into viewing this miniseries hoping I was going to be pleasantly surprised. I’ve been disappointed with most everything coming out of that network since the Dune adaptations several year back.
Too many low-budget horror flicks. Too much formula (like the Stargate spinoffs). Too much putting the laughs into their signature network ads instead of a little bit into Battlestar. Too much playing it safe. Why on earth don’t these people negotiate for a film version of a Hugo or Nebula award-winning story?
It’s been almost seventy years since the original film of The Wizard of Oz so maybe we can say it’s time for a remake.
Like any other form of film fiction, sf depends on two things: writing and acting.
The network got one thing right: they went to a great book. They got another thing right: they had the guts to adapt a story in a clever and possibly controversial way. They cast the title role (don’t ask why the title: I cant’ figure it out, two hours in) and the young woman lead way right. I hope it wasn’t good luck.
If they spent big bucks on Dreyfuss, they should’ve instead picked up Helena Bonham Carter or someone of her caliber for the role of the sorceress. Because some of the acting from the supporting cast is lame, lame, lame. I noticed Gwyneth Walsh in the credits. She played one of the Klingon sisters in Star Trek with enough camp and life to breathe it into the villain. But heaven forbid a network would actually sink a financial investment into a woman actor. Too bad, because this miniseries might have done more than just tread water if they had.
I repeat my question above: why, why, o why don’t these people negotiate for a film version of an award-winning novel? A Canticle for Leibowitz, The Doomsday Book, The Forever War, Man Plus, Startide Rising, Rite of Passage, A Fire Upon The Deep … any number of great novels would make great tv fare. Among sf fans, you have a consensus of good writing in this stuff. Instead they give us 30’s pulp, flavored by 50’s sexism, made up pretty with 90’s special effects.