Saturday, June 29, 2013
A STAR LOST IS REBORN?
The Starlost, an NBC/CTV co-production from 1973-74 was a noble effort to make a 'space' series on video tape, utilizing the benefits of chroma-key and the lower production costs of producing such a series in Canada. We were not talking about remakes, exactly, but the fact that my friend brought it up was interesting -- combined with the fact that he barely remembers the 16-episode original show.
Four years ago I picked-up the DVD set of The Starlost and watched it again for the first time in years, I think of the series now as a noble failure; or, a good try but not quite there. There are some good episodes but most are okay or just plain bland.
Fine, when I watch current SF television shows I almost always react with, "what the (heck)?" To be truthful, The Starlost is not bad on those terms.
Not too many things whip me with narcolepsy faster than too-many-special-effects. Remember, only geeks like special effects over 'story'. As a matter of fact, many of them won't watch a series if there are no spaceships (of today's kewl special effects) even if it is branded as "science fiction".
I've noticed on the Web that a few comments have said "remake this series!" (with the advanced video technology we now possess). The principle is the same as the '70s effort but digital matting has made the effects process seamless; plus now we have CGI, something that was in its infancy forty years ago.
Just technical matters, of course. Technology hasn't helped or solved the great riddle of script-writing, and the all too precious story department is what would potentially separate a Starlost remake from the original, even more than 'imaging', as far as I'm concerned. (Some 'name' writers worked on the first tales of the Ark, but there were terrible time pressures caused by a late 'green-light' in turn furnishing a compressed pre-production schedule, which did not help the matter of finding shootable scripts.)
If a reboot were to be announced my first thought would be: "Why am I expecting to see more effects-laden crap?"