Not much information is available about the cancellation of the Pern show, but what there is can be found at SF Wire.
LOCATED after following a link from www.annemccaffery.org
Former DS9 writer Ronald D. Moore had left the WB series
'Roswell' to develop 'Dragonriders of Pern', based on the
well-known series of novels by Anne McCaffrey. A pilot
script already existed, featuring well-known characters
such as Lessa, Jaxom, F'Lar and F'Nor. Though no casting
announcements had yet been made, a lot of work had
already been done on the series, and last month the series
was still scheduled to start shooting in late March or early
April. Unfortunately, now production has been halted over
what insiders called 'creative differences', according to
This makes the 2nd time the series has been attempted and
failed to even get off the ground. Were I an executive in a
television company, that would raise red flags for me should anyone
bring the pilot to my desk.
This does not bode well for the dragonriders series, and for SF
in general. More than likely some enterprising independent will
have to make a "sleeper hit" with a homegrown film before we can
see Mnemoth take to the air over Ruatha Weyr.
Reality is not only stranger than we think, it's stranger than we CAN think!
Big surprise. Not that it can't be done, but there are quite a few logistical problems about this world and its people that makes a TV show just... seem like a bad idea.
Remember that movie last summer, Dungeons and Dragons? Did it measure up to what you expected/wanted it to be? I suspect something like that feeling times five is what we'll experience if this project ever does get off the ground, special effects aside. You just can't replace what's in your head, and the depth of a book, with an hour-a-week. Nor should you try, IMNSHO.
"We use them for divine retribution."
While it is true that no movie produced from a science fiction classic will perfectly mirror the personal images that everyone has in their heads, it can produce a beautiful and realistic work so full of detail and emotion that people will immerse themselves within it and accept it. Bringing a SF classic to life is no mean feat; just listen to all the furor over both attempts to bring "Dune" to the main screen. On one hand you have the purists who want the movie to be true to the novel. And on the other hand you have movie executives who seem to have forgotten that the purpose of movies is entertainment (else no money flows into their coffers.) The director and cast are caught between a rock and a hard place. And this assumes that the story can shown on the screen in the first place - not every written work can.
While I would personally LOVE to see such a series, I want to see it done well. If they can't bring the story to life properly then they should leave it alone. I'd rather keep my personal image of Lessa close to my heart than watch Brittney Spears be cast in the role and have a dance number in every show. (Horrors!)
I still say I cannot see taking a book and breaking it down into a weekly series that runs for what, 12 weeks? Nothing like it has ever been done; I suspect the reason being that mostly it just doesn't change formats well.
As a series of movies I can see this happening with a modicum of success. As a "made for TV mini-series" I'd even give it a chance. As something to compete against "Friends" each week? Not bloody likely.
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