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Old Dec 9 2008, 11:31 PM   #121
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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I'll miss you, I truly will. I had such plans for you. Still, someone does have to make that first one-way trip... Do keep your microphone open, and remember: this is for posterity. Count Rugen will be recording all the details...

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Um, thank you. I'm honestly not sure if that's a compliment or not Those "puppy breaks" really cut into the day, don't they?

Anyway, I just wanted to let y'all know the discussion regarding writing that's in this thread is fascinating. I personally don't watch a lot of TV,, but I do write a lot, so this is interesting. Carry on. . . :-)
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Old Dec 10 2008, 10:43 AM   #122
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How else do you explain it? She WAS a virgin until she came to the Weyr. You would think that someone would have taken it before then, but they didn't. What explanation would you give?
*Sigh* Again:
  • Lessa made herself appear unattractive.
  • For those who wouldn't care how decrepit she looked and would have raped her on general principle, she had her ability to lean.
  • For those who wouldn't care how decrepit she looked, would have raped her on general principle, and were strongwilled enough to have an immunity to leaning, she would need some way to defend herself.

Besides, I didn't just justify the comment based on the events in Dragonflight, I also justified it based on my evaluation of her personality. The Lessa we all know and love (or love to hate) has all the instincts of a hunter/killer -- they are so easy to recognize when you have many of the same instincts yourself.
Pern was lucky to find a hunter/killer with a sense of morality, especially given her backstory of hatred, abuse, and neglect. But in the first ten years she had with her parents, don't you think they would have taught her a trick or three defensively?

Last edited by draconichybrid; Dec 10 2008 at 11:31 AM. Reason: removing erronous last sentance
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Old Dec 10 2008, 11:11 AM   #123
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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As far as we know (unless Anne has stated otherwise or something), Lessa would've inherited Ladyship of Rutha if not for Fax and the unlooked for return of Thread.
If all had gone as before (without the inteference of FAX) one of her brothers would have been the new Lord Holder....I can't remember which later book had this incident but the Lord Holder of Boll (I think) died and it was a big deal that the council bypassed sons and gave the title to his granddaughter and this was years after Lessa was searched. She (Lessa) would probably have gone to the Weyr in any case depending on how badly Benden was treated by Ruatha...
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Old Dec 10 2008, 11:19 AM   #124
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If all had gone as before (without the inteference of FAX) one of her brothers would have been the new Lord Holder....I can't remember which later book had this incident but the Lord Holder of Boll (I think) died and it was a big deal that the council bypassed sons and gave the title to his granddaughter and this was years after Lessa was searched. She (Lessa) would probably have gone to the Weyr in any case depending on how badly Benden was treated by Ruatha...
Do we actually know anything about her brothers?

IIRC, Part of that scene revealed that there was established precedent for a Lady Holder. But you do have a point: as the only Leaner in Pernverse -- and the first woman with the "talk to any dragon" ability since Moretta -- she probably would have gone with F'lar to Benden either way. I thought of this after my last post, so....
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Old Dec 10 2008, 01:20 PM   #125
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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*Sigh* Again:
  • Lessa made herself appear unattractive.
  • For those who wouldn't care how decrepit she looked and would have raped her on general principle, she had her ability to lean.
  • For those who wouldn't care how decrepit she looked, would have raped her on general principle, and were strongwilled enough to have an immunity to leaning, she would need some way to defend herself.
Don't forget her bond with the watchwher, which allowed her to hide out with it whenever she had need of a hideyhole.
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Old Dec 10 2008, 04:29 PM   #126
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Reminds me of that show (can't think of the name) where a small group of people is basically stuck gating from alternate reality to alternate reality. Anyways, in one episode, the major difference was that biologically, gender roles were literally switched -- men got pregnant and women were often the principal breadwinners.

That's Sliders. Not the only episode where gender roles got switched, either. There's the one where women ran everything and men were basically kept inside for breeding. And I agree, the script could be an alternate Pern.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 01:27 AM   #127
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Um, thank you. I'm honestly not sure if that's a compliment or not Those "puppy breaks" really cut into the day, don't they?

Anyway, I just wanted to let y'all know the discussion regarding writing that's in this thread is fascinating. I personally don't watch a lot of TV,, but I do write a lot, so this is interesting. Carry on. . . :-)
Good humor (ergo the Princess Bride references) and a compliment. You will recall you have an open invite to sit in the front row at my Weyr's Impressions and whatever fortuitous accidents take place...so be it.

Re. TV (and other media) I'm a slave to none and I'm always looking for a good tale regardless of the media through which it is told. My home looks like a library and I'm proud of that fact (and the fact that my 10-year-old daughter is reading at college levels).

Still and all, if you want to watch some good TV series here are some of the things on the DVD shelf by my set:

All five seasons of Babylon 5.
All four seasons of The Pretender.
The entire season of The Adventures of Briscoe Country Junior.
The entire season of Firefly.
From the Earth to the Moon.
Victory At Sea.
Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Enjoy.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 01:31 AM   #128
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Still doing on this thread, but I could see potential in what you said here, ED. I like that idea, but rather than telling the events of MHoP as flashbacks, I could see actually starting the series at the point just before Fax's killing F'lon and invasion of Ruatha--to give the audience a sense of what motivates F'lar & Lessa--run that for the first half of the season. Then do a mid-season fast forward 11 Turns to the beginnings of DF to include the parallel events of Renegades with appropriate cast changes and makeup to account for the age changes.

Renegades actually has several events and other POVs going back to DF and running through the rest of the DRoP trilogy until it finally concludes between TWD & AtWoP. Since series TV often has an A-plot and a B-plot storyline in most episodes to break up the action, Renegades (along with the Harper trilogy for DQ and a few weeks for TWD) is almost a ready-made B-plot story for the original DRoP trilogy
I concur. I dashed off what I did rather quickly from memory, so don't get too wedded to the details. After midnight I'm not too keen on looking up timelines in a dozen different books.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 01:50 AM   #129
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Well, for those content to think within the box constructed in Hollywood umpteen years ago this would probably fill the definition of what works. They can make it if they want to, but I don't have to watch it.
Concur. "Based on the book/story by..." is as big of a lie as "The check's in the mail," "This won't hurt a bit," "I won't..." etc...

If I'm going to see "The Dragonriders of Pern" I want to see "The Dragonriders of Pern" as written by the author, or as close of fidelity as possible. The alternative is invariably crap like this script, and the abortion that became Starship Troopers, or the complete hogwash that was made from Tom Clancy's work.

What was done with Lord of the Rings proves that this does not need to happen (LOTR fanatics who want to get hung up on the truly minor changes made to the story given its translation to film need not comment, you'll never be happy anyway). The TV/Hollyweird way is not the only way to approach a story. It is not impossible to bring a book to the screen without mangling it.

The reason that more books aren't translated directly to the screen is the complete unwillingness of most in the business to break their paradigm. This unwillingness is a combination of a lack of imagination, ingrained habit, greed coupled with cheapness, and an outright contempt for the audience. All of this becomes a self-perpetuating cycle that causes loss of the literate part of the audience which drives the focus on the low end of the audience which produces more pap (i.e. "reality" TV, movie sequels and remakes) and in turn drives more of the literate audience away...ad nauseum. Ergo the fact that the media are starting to have serious problems financially...
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Old Dec 11 2008, 07:48 AM   #130
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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Do we actually know anything about her brothers?
Apart from MHoP briefly mentioning they were all older than her? I don't think so.


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Old Dec 11 2008, 08:53 AM   #131
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I wanted to know if we knew their suitabilities -- relative to Lessa -- for Lordship.
I mean, if they were complete ditzes or even merely average, Lessa would win the suitability contest hands down.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 09:54 AM   #132
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Hmm...

It's not Anne's Pern, but as a very AU fanfic appropriate for a wider audience on prime-time Sci-fi channel telly, it's honestly not that bad.

Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 11:09 AM   #133
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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I wanted to know if we knew their suitabilities -- relative to Lessa -- for Lordship.
I mean, if they were complete ditzes or even merely average, Lessa would win the suitability contest hands down.
I doubt that Lessa would have been Lady of Ruatha without Fax's interference (although this may be drifting into a new thread).

As a daughter of one of the oldest and most prestigious Holds on Pern, she would probably have been married to a son thought most likely to hold a major Hold. (Or she would have been found on search, and become a Gold rider anyways.)

I have no doubt that she would have been a Lady (and with quite a bit of influence on her Lord), but it would have been some hold other than Ruatha.

GH
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Old Dec 11 2008, 11:41 AM   #134
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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What was done with Lord of the Rings proves that this does not need to happen (LOTR fanatics who want to get hung up on the truly minor changes made to the story given its translation to film need not comment, you'll never be happy anyway). The TV/Hollyweird way is not the only way to approach a story. It is not impossible to bring a book to the screen without mangling it.
o rly?

The Nitpicker's Guide to the Lord of the Rings. Have fun with that.


Quote:
The reason that more books aren't translated directly to the screen is the complete unwillingness of most in the business to break their paradigm. This unwillingness is a combination of a lack of imagination, ingrained habit, greed coupled with cheapness, and an outright contempt for the audience. All of this becomes a self-perpetuating cycle that causes loss of the literate part of the audience which drives the focus on the low end of the audience which produces more pap (i.e. "reality" TV, movie sequels and remakes) and in turn drives more of the literate audience away...ad nauseum. Ergo the fact that the media are starting to have serious problems financially...
This is just patently untrue.
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Old Dec 11 2008, 07:04 PM   #135
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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The reason that more books aren't translated directly to the screen is the complete unwillingness of most in the business to break their paradigm. This unwillingness is a combination of a lack of imagination, ingrained habit, greed coupled with cheapness, and an outright contempt for the audience. All of this becomes a self-perpetuating cycle that causes loss of the literate part of the audience which drives the focus on the low end of the audience which produces more pap (i.e. "reality" TV, movie sequels and remakes) and in turn drives more of the literate audience away...ad nauseum. Ergo the fact that the media are starting to have serious problems financially...
I have to disagree with you here on several points.

The simple fact is, books and film are two completely seperate media.

Books paint the scenery and action with words, provide you the deep thoughts and motivations of the characters that are impossible to portray in a visual expression, and provide you exposition on the backgrounds to plot elements that simply can't contribute to the pace in film required to hold the audience's attention. Even if a producer were to ask the writer to just transpose the dialogue and descriptive actions to the script, most books would be unfilmable--the dialogue and action is often too short or too long for a viable film, scenes are frequently scattered and disjointed in ways that would kill the pace of the film, and of course, there's no way to display the character's motivation as they're described in a book.

A similar problem exists if you try the reverse of adapting a movie to a novel.
Film is an active, primarily visual media, often with dozens of activities going on all at once, but correorgraphed so that our eyes are led to follow the primary focus of the action--you simply can't take the script and remove the mechanical elements used by the film industry and transpose the dialogue and described action and scenery to the pages of a book. Standard scripts are written so that 1pg is about 1min of film, give or take--so that a 90min movie (2hrs for TV, with commercials) is only going to be about 90pgs of script--try pulling out the script format of extra line spaces, character, camera, and other text that only functions as mechanical instruction to the film-making process, that 90min movie will quickly shrink to maybe 30-45pgs of a book. Books present the action to the reader in a linear fashion, and authors don't do well trying to describe dozens of simultaneous events. In addition, no two people, writing about the same scene in a photograph, are ever going to come up with exactly the same phrasing to decribe the picture--now try multiplying that 24 or 30 pictures per second for 90minutes!

Now, I problably wouldn't agree with Ron Moore about the changes in characters and relationships that he did in the script. But even had he changed nothing about them, the way that DF was written, it'd still be totally impossible to film exactly as Anne wrote it--there just not enough dialogue between people to even justify a single 90min flick, much less an entire season of 22+ 45min episodes. To make even just a one-shot movie, the dragons will be saying things that simply aren't in the book--none of the dragons ever got a voice until the latter third of the book! Description of the environments are skimpy, and we're not really given any sort of solid detail about the people's society until the Harperhall Trilogy and TWD.

The entire book only consists of half-a-dozen locations. There's maybe enough action/dialogue for 15-20min at best at Ruatha, then they pop off to Benden for the Hatching and the first third of the story ends just when it's getting interresting. Pop forward 3Turns for a 10min lecture of R'gul teaching Lessa, and some conversation she has with Manora. Skip forward a few weeks for Ramoth's mating flight, fight off the Lord Holders & suddenly, it's threadfall and after a brief discussion about establishing a new Weyr in the past, it's time to bring the Oldtimers forward! To film it as it's written, the last third of DF would take up most of the last 60min of a 90min movie.

If you were to make a TV series out of that, you've got to give the dragons dialogue before they start speaking, you've got to fill in that 3Turn-hole after Hatching with a dozen episodes, etc--major changes to the story would have to happen!
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Old Dec 11 2008, 11:54 PM   #136
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This is just patently untrue.
So they ran that headline today about the fall season for all the networks tanking today for kicks and giggles?

UA has tanked so badly they're in the hands of Tom Cruise. Other movie production houses have folded over the last several years. More are in trouble.

And those headlines today purporting dire consequences to a strike by SAG were just a lark?

The music industry isn't scrambling because file-sharing is hitting CD sales revenues?

Writers aren't getting screwed left and right, displaced for "unscripted" television, and then getting stiffed for their work in those venues?

Please.
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Old Dec 12 2008, 12:30 AM   #137
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I have to disagree with you here on several points.

The simple fact is, books and film are two completely seperate media.

Books paint the scenery and action with words, provide you the deep thoughts and motivations of the characters that are impossible to portray in a visual expression, and provide you exposition on the backgrounds to plot elements that simply can't contribute to the pace in film required to hold the audience's attention. Even if a producer were to ask the writer to just transpose the dialogue and descriptive actions to the script, most books would be unfilmable--the dialogue and action is often too short or too long for a viable film, scenes are frequently scattered and disjointed in ways that would kill the pace of the film, and of course, there's no way to display the character's motivation as they're described in a book.

A similar problem exists if you try the reverse of adapting a movie to a novel.
Film is an active, primarily visual media, often with dozens of activities going on all at once, but correorgraphed so that our eyes are led to follow the primary focus of the action--you simply can't take the script and remove the mechanical elements used by the film industry and transpose the dialogue and described action and scenery to the pages of a book. Standard scripts are written so that 1pg is about 1min of film, give or take--so that a 90min movie (2hrs for TV, with commercials) is only going to be about 90pgs of script--try pulling out the script format of extra line spaces, character, camera, and other text that only functions as mechanical instruction to the film-making process, that 90min movie will quickly shrink to maybe 30-45pgs of a book. Books present the action to the reader in a linear fashion, and authors don't do well trying to describe dozens of simultaneous events. In addition, no two people, writing about the same scene in a photograph, are ever going to come up with exactly the same phrasing to decribe the picture--now try multiplying that 24 or 30 pictures per second for 90minutes!

Now, I problably wouldn't agree with Ron Moore about the changes in characters and relationships that he did in the script. But even had he changed nothing about them, the way that DF was written, it'd still be totally impossible to film exactly as Anne wrote it--there just not enough dialogue between people to even justify a single 90min flick, much less an entire season of 22+ 45min episodes. To make even just a one-shot movie, the dragons will be saying things that simply aren't in the book--none of the dragons ever got a voice until the latter third of the book! Description of the environments are skimpy, and we're not really given any sort of solid detail about the people's society until the Harperhall Trilogy and TWD.

The entire book only consists of half-a-dozen locations. There's maybe enough action/dialogue for 15-20min at best at Ruatha, then they pop off to Benden for the Hatching and the first third of the story ends just when it's getting interresting. Pop forward 3Turns for a 10min lecture of R'gul teaching Lessa, and some conversation she has with Manora. Skip forward a few weeks for Ramoth's mating flight, fight off the Lord Holders & suddenly, it's threadfall and after a brief discussion about establishing a new Weyr in the past, it's time to bring the Oldtimers forward! To film it as it's written, the last third of DF would take up most of the last 60min of a 90min movie.

If you were to make a TV series out of that, you've got to give the dragons dialogue before they start speaking, you've got to fill in that 3Turn-hole after Hatching with a dozen episodes, etc--major changes to the story would have to happen!
I never said print and film were the same media. I maintained that it is not impossible to translate between the two without butchery.

--

Who says a book whose script doesn't conform to the accepted standard would not be "viable." That was said of LOTR, yet it was done. Your assertion is demonstrably false.

As for displaying motivation, that is what the art of acting is about. For an object lesson of what is achievable by a talented actor I reference Edward James Olmos in his role as Lt. Castillo. Olmos filled volumes with a few spare words, silent glances, and the various inarticulate vocalizations, yet Castillo was probably the most distinct character in that series. Also, books delve into disgorging such motivations descriptively for the very lack of visual accompaniment that would otherwise give valuable clues in its own right. There is a simultaneous shifting of balances that takes place in translation between the two media. Some things that can be communicated with eyes, expression and body-language would demand pages of written description.

Reordering the telling of events is perfectly acceptable to manage pacing. Gross changes to characters, locations and the basic underpinnings of the story universe are unnecessary.

--

Alan Dean Foster proved on numerous occasions in his early career that accurately adapting films to novels is easily done, so your assertion to the contrary is again demonstrably false.

--

You're freely intermixing the separate problems of adapting one book (Dragonflight) to a film, and adapting the Pern series to a television series and in the process confusing the issue.

If you'll reference what I originally suggested, it wasn't making a two-hour film of Dragonflight. It was making Dragonflight the basis of a season's worth of television. If you'll look in the paragraph following that you'll note I suggested incorporating elements of MasterHarper of Pern into the same season. Merging the two fills out a fair number of episodes, but will still leave dead-space. The dead-space could be filled with new stories written within the proper context of Pern that do not violate canon. Several episodes could be consumed with Fax's maneuverings. One could be dedicated to the invasion of Ruatha. Others could fill in Robinton's and Petiron's back-stories. Nip and Tuck's operations might form the basis of others (there are volumes of their activities teased at in a few pages). The three-year gap could be filled with stories that cast greater illumination on Kylara's bed-hopping, R'gul's hide-boundness, and just day-to-day Weyr-life to indoctrinate the audience as well as other incidents that get only a mention here or there in the novels.

All it takes is (a) script-writer(s) intent on honoring the canon to the maximum extent possible, not just the minima necessary for "based upon the work by."

--

There are any number of problems to filming Pern, but a sufficient exercise in imagination can undoubtedly overcome them. We've seen too many things done that "couldn't" be done, and "wouldn't be viable." Yet they have, and are.

Telepathy seems to be a big stumbling block for some, but it doesn't give me pause. Proper manipulation of the artificial characters (the CGI dragons) including their expressions, body-language, and what is focused on in the images (such as the whirl of the eyes), properly played against the actions and words of the actors can convey rather easily that some sort of communication is taking place without even listening in on the telepathy. Properly managing the shots (as to who is looking at whom) in coordination with voice-overs would let the audience "listen in" on such conversations. If you have a shot that is obviously from Mnementh's perspective as he bespeaks F'lar, and you hear the dragon's speaking voice (and you never hear anything other than a rumble or a roar otherwise), and F'lar responds without moving his lips, you know telepathy is taking place. You have to respect your audience's intelligence. They'll get it. They're smarter than you think.

Similarly, if F'nor exchanges meaningful looks with Canth, then turns to F'lar and speaks aloud that Canth has sensed something, you again know some form of communication has taken place.

Doing the job right requires imagination, hard work, and a willingness to look beyond what is accepted and what is "viable" and push the edges of the envelope. If the Wright Brothers had accepted what was common knowledge and what was viable, they'd have built nothing more significant than a bicycle.
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Old Dec 14 2008, 12:10 AM   #138
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

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Novel writing and scriptwriting are two different mediums. A novel writer has no limitations on scenery, or special effects, or much of anything. No matter what they write, it requires their brain, time, and something to write with, be it a pen and paper, or a computer, or typewriter, or whatever. Same real-world cost, no matter if they are writing something indie with a character cast of two, or a generation-spanning space saga with a cast of 300.

Scripts, however, are going to be *produced*.
For a lovely example of this, I suggest watching the extras on the DVD of "Stardust", in which Neil Gaiman (somewhat kidding, but mostly not) apologizes to the set designers, pointing out that it took him about eight seconds to think up a flying pirate ship, and if he'd been in a different mood or writing on a different day it might have been something entirely different. He wrote it on a whim, and now these poor set designers, carpenters, effects people et al had to actually BUILD it.

And gross changes of characters are necessary when, frankly,there are too many of them for network TV. If you are filming a series, you need a couple protagonists. Even Babylon 5, which had a fairly large core cast, kept the focus on one or two, and by virtue of its conceit could bring in occasional one-shots for one-shot plots. It's a space station--people come and go all the time. With Pern, if you start with MHoP (leaving aside the serious problems with the book as a whole) and drag in Robinton and Nip and Tuck (whom I can't even keep track of and I've been reading these books since I was ten) and Fax and then whoops he's dead and here are these dragonriders and now it's all Lessa and F'lar for three years of screen time and then Robinton's back and there's this useless baby who's going to take books and books to grow up into something interesting (even if we fudge hte time and he's magically a teenager when he should be ten) and there are these Lord Holders who are bad guys, only whoops now they're not except that one, and then maybe a couple others but their names are so interchangeable even the author forgets who's who, and then we have the people from the old time come forward and they're heros only now whoops, they're bad guys too, and then we have this random diversion with this whiny bitchy homeless girl and her personality-free suitor and then there's this entire women's lib plot with the Harper Hall complete with Escape From Abuse Scenario and did we mention that 2000 years ago they all came from Earth and are descended from THESE people?

It needs editing. A lot of editing. And it needs a couple protagonists only. The logical choices are Lessa and F'lar, with Menolly as the B-plot.

If you want anything resembling total fidelity, you want a one-shot theatrical film of "Dragonflight." Try to drag in everything written over a span of forty years and make it all fit together when it was written in a near-random order with style and philosophical changes in between and you have a hot mess.

Even Tolkien needed editing for film. And he had a pretty straightforward quest plot. (Just with lots and LOTS of detail.)
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Old Dec 14 2008, 12:24 AM   #139
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Hunh. You really bring up a good point. The LOTR movie(s) have been bandied about quite a bit here, but really, thinking about it - it really would have been fairly easy to put together. Yeah, a lot had to be cut from the books, but the whole plot was a straight, linear subject.

Oh, sure, there were two story-lines (Frodo and Sam, and Aragorn's group. Oh, and Merry and Pippin taking a slight detour.) But it was still linear.

The Pern series - not so much. Each book has different main characters, and even they sometimes change through the book. Not to mention, we have Teh Ebul in one book turning into Teh Gud Guys in the next, while the good guys turn evil. (And what's up with that? The Oldtimers go evil because Mardra is jealous of Lessa's adorableness? Puh-leeze. The poor guys went into culture shock, and no one cared!)

So - these changes of Ron's - to capture the widest audience, were needed. Oh, purists would be sitting there saying, "Oh, no way did it happen like that!" But, if they use the books verbatim, it would be confusing, messy, and most likely boring for those not in the know. And, I'm sorry, but Pern is not as widespread a household word as LOTR or Harry Potter.
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Old Dec 15 2008, 12:19 AM   #140
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For a lovely example of this, I suggest watching the extras on the DVD of "Stardust", in which Neil Gaiman (somewhat kidding, but mostly not) apologizes to the set designers, pointing out that it took him about eight seconds to think up a flying pirate ship, and if he'd been in a different mood or writing on a different day it might have been something entirely different. He wrote it on a whim, and now these poor set designers, carpenters, effects people et al had to actually BUILD it.

And gross changes of characters are necessary when, frankly,there are too many of them for network TV. If you are filming a series, you need a couple protagonists. Even Babylon 5, which had a fairly large core cast, kept the focus on one or two, and by virtue of its conceit could bring in occasional one-shots for one-shot plots. It's a space station--people come and go all the time. With Pern, if you start with MHoP (leaving aside the serious problems with the book as a whole) and drag in Robinton and Nip and Tuck (whom I can't even keep track of and I've been reading these books since I was ten) and Fax and then whoops he's dead and here are these dragonriders and now it's all Lessa and F'lar for three years of screen time and then Robinton's back and there's this useless baby who's going to take books and books to grow up into something interesting (even if we fudge hte time and he's magically a teenager when he should be ten) and there are these Lord Holders who are bad guys, only whoops now they're not except that one, and then maybe a couple others but their names are so interchangeable even the author forgets who's who, and then we have the people from the old time come forward and they're heros only now whoops, they're bad guys too, and then we have this random diversion with this whiny bitchy homeless girl and her personality-free suitor and then there's this entire women's lib plot with the Harper Hall complete with Escape From Abuse Scenario and did we mention that 2000 years ago they all came from Earth and are descended from THESE people?

It needs editing. A lot of editing. And it needs a couple protagonists only. The logical choices are Lessa and F'lar, with Menolly as the B-plot.

If you want anything resembling total fidelity, you want a one-shot theatrical film of "Dragonflight." Try to drag in everything written over a span of forty years and make it all fit together when it was written in a near-random order with style and philosophical changes in between and you have a hot mess.

Even Tolkien needed editing for film. And he had a pretty straightforward quest plot. (Just with lots and LOTS of detail.)
Editing is fine; gross whole-sale revisions are not. Tweaking a minor character like Arwen in LOTR was no big deal--except to fan(atics). Eliminating Boromir and giving his personality traits to Legolas, making him Aragorn's evil twin who is really working for Sauron, and recasting Aragorn as an elf, would do complete violence to the story. Taking an existing example: Starship Troopers.

So if you want to do some smooth-edits on the 40-years of Pern material to get rid of any glaring continuity errors, fine. There aren't really that many of them that are serious or difficult to fix and the worst are in MHoP. Your A-plot (F'lar/Lessa) and your B-plot (Menolly, or the Harperhall/Robinton) already de facto exist. So I fail to see the "difficulty" here.

Carefully managing the major time-jumps in the action (such as from DF to DQ and DQ to WD) can best be handled by placing them at the natural breaking points of the seasons. One-off stories that do not violate and in fact expand upon canon can be inserted where necessary. Using a device such as narration at the beginning of episodes could accomplish minor time-jumps and flashbacks. So could subtitles (such as "20 years ago").

What the project demands is the dedication of a team like Jackson and his writers and what they did for LOTR. (Note: I'm not saying it has to be Jackson and his team, just a unit like them.)
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Old Dec 15 2008, 12:23 AM   #141
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Hunh. You really bring up a good point. The LOTR movie(s) have been bandied about quite a bit here, but really, thinking about it - it really would have been fairly easy to put together. Yeah, a lot had to be cut from the books, but the whole plot was a straight, linear subject.

Oh, sure, there were two story-lines (Frodo and Sam, and Aragorn's group. Oh, and Merry and Pippin taking a slight detour.) But it was still linear.

The Pern series - not so much. Each book has different main characters, and even they sometimes change through the book. Not to mention, we have Teh Ebul in one book turning into Teh Gud Guys in the next, while the good guys turn evil. (And what's up with that? The Oldtimers go evil because Mardra is jealous of Lessa's adorableness? Puh-leeze. The poor guys went into culture shock, and no one cared!)

So - these changes of Ron's - to capture the widest audience, were needed. Oh, purists would be sitting there saying, "Oh, no way did it happen like that!" But, if they use the books verbatim, it would be confusing, messy, and most likely boring for those not in the know. And, I'm sorry, but Pern is not as widespread a household word as LOTR or Harry Potter.
Series like B5 and Pretender had evolving and shifting motivations, alliances and foci. It can be done. It just takes imagination and the right team to make the paradigm shift.
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Old Dec 15 2008, 10:51 AM   #142
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Page 7
Now we see F'lar mounted on bronze Mnementh. Whew, no unnecessary name or color changes. He's wearing a clear visor...not sure what that's made of. And he's holding reins. Reins! And he steers with them.

(Should I mention that reins was in all caps at first, and the leg of the R was mostly missing so it looked like PEINS, which my brain rearranged into another word at first? It was especially bad as the whole phrase was "F'lar pulls the PEINS over..." and I'm thinking he's steering Mnementh with what?!)
Actually, reins is not necessarily going against canon. I'll quote from DQ:

F'nor had mounted Canth. He tightened the fighting straps until they threatened to cut off circulation. ... Then he stretched along Canth's neck and looped the hand straps double around his wrists. Wouldn't do to fall off during this jump between.

This is when F'nor is about to make the jump to the red star.

GH
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Old Dec 15 2008, 12:49 PM   #143
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Actually, reins is not necessarily going against canon. I'll quote from DQ:

F'nor had mounted Canth. He tightened the fighting straps until they threatened to cut off circulation. ... Then he stretched along Canth's neck and looped the hand straps double around his wrists. Wouldn't do to fall off during this jump between.

This is when F'nor is about to make the jump to the red star.

GH
Those are most certainly not reins. The fighting straps are those that connect from his riding belt to the harness (four, I believe) that keep him from falling off or leaning too much to either side. I can't remember exactly what hand straps are, but reins are completely pointless because dragons do not need to be steered like this, telepathy is much better. Not to mention that anything connecting to the dragon's mouth would likely be singed off.
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Old Dec 15 2008, 03:25 PM   #144
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Those are most certainly not reins. The fighting straps are those that connect from his riding belt to the harness (four, I believe) that keep him from falling off or leaning too much to either side. I can't remember exactly what hand straps are, but reins are completely pointless because dragons do not need to be steered like this, telepathy is much better. Not to mention that anything connecting to the dragon's mouth would likely be singed off.
I can agree that they would not put anything in a dragon's mouth, such as a horse's bridle (bit).

And while a dragon might not need reins to control it, having reins/hand straps for the rider could be very beneficial to helping to stay in a stable position on the dragon.

And doesn't AMC have horses? If so, then I imagine that hand straps would be almost identical to reins (but without the bridle/bit in the dragon's mouth). The reins/hand straps would be connected to the riding belt in some manner.

Most people (like me ) would think of the reins and hand straps as interchangable, while the bridle/bit as the part that goes in the mouth (and would be pointless and counter productive on a dragon).

GH
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Old Dec 15 2008, 04:23 PM   #145
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Dragging up B5 yet again--it also helps to go into a story knowing exactly where you want to go with it, that you are writing it for a TV medium, and having "trapdoors" (as JMS dubbed them) through which you could plausibly drop characters when necessary. The only place where this didn't work all that well was Claudia Christian leaving as Ivanova and replacing her with Tracey Scoggins as Captain Lochley (and even then, the most annoying plot eff-up there really was using Lyta as a stand-in for Ivanova with the Byron/telepath plot.) B5 was written by someone who knew what he was writing, where he wanted to go with it, and the time frame in which he wanted things to occur. He was able to roll with the inevitable punches of episodic TV (losing actors, failure to renew, etc).

What they would need to do most of all if they really wanted to stick religiously to the plot is fill in the huge time (and intellectual) gap between Dragonflight and Dragonquest. Given how sloppy DQ ultimately comes off in plot terms, I would dearly love to see Anne's destroyed original draft and see what she had in mind at first. To wit, what the HECK happens with the Oldtimers? It's lousy storytelling to just say "Well, they're all jealous of Lessa's fabulousness and they're all a bunch of jerks anyway and everyone hates them", and it's really hard to do it that way anyway when, unlike a book, you can't use internal character thoughts to cover it. (And using the "As you know, Ploth..." method of infodumping is bad writing.) Show Brekke being Searched and being chosen by Wirenth rather than radomly dropping her into the story. Show why, if she's a queen rider, she takes this cranky, acerbic, pre-teen Mirrim under her wing when it's not actually her job. Don't skip, fill out and clean up the giant gaps and logical failings.

DQ does contain one of the best cinematic possiblities of all, though--the queen fight. The problem now is that the Good Sweet Virginal Girl versus OMIGOD SHE SLEEPS WITH SOMEONE SHE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BITCHSLUTTRAMPWHORE thing is about thrity years out of date as a plot. OMG, Kylara is...sexually agressive? OMG, Brekke is...frail and frigid? Omg. Onoes. Oh...1970s Harlequin novel. Kylara needs better development (again with that time gap, and a much bigger role than "Pretty girl wants Lessa's man!" in DF's background) and Brekke needs an overhaul. If her screen time is devoted to passively being the Southern Weyr doormat and pining for F'nor* until he has to force himself on her for her own good (!), no one's going to care she's in a waking coma. No one's going to notice. Given that a queen fight could make for spectacular visuals, one needs to actually care what happens. If that means combining Brekke with another character or rewriting her (she doesn't have to be Yet Another Spunky Heroine to have a backbone-biggest thing is lose the date rape as that won't fly these days. Hell, make her the proactive one there if you have to. She has a few moments of questioning the order of things--girls on fighting dragons?--so why does she have to turn into a weeping wilting flower about sex? Make the issue of Canth flying Wirenth not about OMG MUST ONLY SLEEP WITH ONE TWU LUV but about "Hey, I'm the one riding the gold dragon here and if he's good enough to catch me and you don't like it, jump in a lake." THEN you have a tragedy when both queens die and Brekke's temporarily incapacitated. Not to mention that would make Mirrim's character a lot more involved and plausible--of course she Impresses a green, look at her role model for paradigm-challenging. Frankly I might even dump the issue of trying to re-Impress Brekke, condense her recovery with her "cry in the night" instead (to dovetail it with Menolly's story more neatly) and make the Hatching climax instead be Mirrim's Impression of Path, and leave Jaxom's at the same time. Make the most unconventional Hatching ever the climax of the F'lar vs Oldtimers plot.

*I almost inserted a "pining for the fjords" thing. I restrained myself.

Now, make Meron (or some similar character) in SERIOUS political league with Kylara (rather than the middle-school "Neener we have fire lizards without your permission, nyah nyah" kind of Keystone Kops krap) , mix in the Oldtimers, and you have a coherent plot and a reason to want to see Kylara get hers big time besides "Ooh, the trollop wants Lessa's man. How dare she defy conventional Western standards of female chastity. The horror." You also can more easily interweave the Oldtimers going bad into the plot.


And if your season 3 or 4 is going to be "The White Dragon"? Jaxom's got to be in there. As a character at least in his pre-teen years, old enough to be interesting and to be involved. Otherwise, if he takes over as #1 protagonist, there are going to be some annoyed viewers.

Really, you could break the whole thing down rather neatly by having it be about Lessa and F'lar to start (with F'nor in there much as the script has him) with a Bad Lord Holder (Meron or someone, doesn't matter who), a gray character (Lytol is a good choice) for a gray-to-good arc and Kylara as a ally-to-villain arc for one season. Use the son plot for Jaxom--maybe have the necessary compromise be this young kid is going to have be the heir be the political-plot culmination. Involve the Oldtimers in this somehow. Then with your next season you can move to a two-tier plot--the adults (Lessa et al, with Brekke brought in) and the teens (Jaxom, Menolly, and Mirrim are obvious choices.) Leave out plot cul-de-sacs like Dragondrums (or "Piemur Walks to Southern Hold. Slowly.") And "Renegades"--too many characters, none very likeable, BIG potential for detours into Xena territory. If necessary condense Toric and Thella or weave them both into a Southern plot. (I'm torn here. It's a female-heavy cast already. On the other hand Thella's the only worthwhile thing in Renegades up until she goes nuts and Jayge skewers her with his Sword of Much Phallic Symbolism.)

If you need a narrator/commentator character, which I don't think you do (and the mentor character is getting to be a trite concept these days) you have Robinton. He's tricky as it's REALLY hard to have a character who's supposed to be that universally adored without backfiring on you. (MHoP has to go.) Though he could make an interesting dramatic foil to Lytol (a dark to light arc) with Robinton having a light (and lite) to gray arc with them meeting in the middle. At Landing.

Oh, and if you manage to pull off a TV series, then you have an excuse for TV movies (or direct to DVDs) of two stand-alones, "Dragonsdawn" and "Moreta". Ddawn would need some condensing, though it would basically be one long series of namechecks with the dragons as the payoff--Sean and Sorka for the A plot all the way, obviously, and you'd need to slip in the founding of Ruatha as well because if you have a series with Lessa the lead, that's what people will want to see. "Moreta" would basically have everything it needed--it's better-written as a single novel than any other Pern book. They *might* want to move things to Benden Weyr, just for the name check again, but otherwise between it and Nerilka you have tight plot, good guys and bad guys with viable motivations, Thread PLUS the pressure of plague, and a tragic herione with a believable love story.

I am putting way too much thought into this.
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Old Dec 15 2008, 05:50 PM   #146
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I think you need to go talk to your buddy George.

Or, I should have my uncle talk to his buddy Steve.
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Old Dec 16 2008, 12:56 PM   #147
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
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Dragging up B5 yet again--it also helps to go into a story knowing exactly where you want to go with it, that you are writing it for a TV medium, and having "trapdoors" (as JMS dubbed them) through which you could plausibly drop characters when necessary. The only place where this didn't work all that well was Claudia Christian leaving as Ivanova and replacing her with Tracey Scoggins as Captain Lochley (and even then, the most annoying plot eff-up there really was using Lyta as a stand-in for Ivanova with the Byron/telepath plot.) B5 was written by someone who knew what he was writing, where he wanted to go with it, and the time frame in which he wanted things to occur. He was able to roll with the inevitable punches of episodic TV (losing actors, failure to renew, etc).

What they would need to do most of all if they really wanted to stick religiously to the plot is fill in the huge time (and intellectual) gap between Dragonflight and Dragonquest. Given how sloppy DQ ultimately comes off in plot terms, I would dearly love to see Anne's destroyed original draft and see what she had in mind at first. To wit, what the HECK happens with the Oldtimers? It's lousy storytelling to just say "Well, they're all jealous of Lessa's fabulousness and they're all a bunch of jerks anyway and everyone hates them", and it's really hard to do it that way anyway when, unlike a book, you can't use internal character thoughts to cover it. (And using the "As you know, Ploth..." method of infodumping is bad writing.) Show Brekke being Searched and being chosen by Wirenth rather than radomly dropping her into the story. Show why, if she's a queen rider, she takes this cranky, acerbic, pre-teen Mirrim under her wing when it's not actually her job. Don't skip, fill out and clean up the giant gaps and logical failings.

DQ does contain one of the best cinematic possiblities of all, though--the queen fight. The problem now is that the Good Sweet Virginal Girl versus OMIGOD SHE SLEEPS WITH SOMEONE SHE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BITCHSLUTTRAMPWHORE thing is about thrity years out of date as a plot. OMG, Kylara is...sexually agressive? OMG, Brekke is...frail and frigid? Omg. Onoes. Oh...1970s Harlequin novel. Kylara needs better development (again with that time gap, and a much bigger role than "Pretty girl wants Lessa's man!" in DF's background) and Brekke needs an overhaul. If her screen time is devoted to passively being the Southern Weyr doormat and pining for F'nor* until he has to force himself on her for her own good (!), no one's going to care she's in a waking coma. No one's going to notice. Given that a queen fight could make for spectacular visuals, one needs to actually care what happens. If that means combining Brekke with another character or rewriting her (she doesn't have to be Yet Another Spunky Heroine to have a backbone-biggest thing is lose the date rape as that won't fly these days. Hell, make her the proactive one there if you have to. She has a few moments of questioning the order of things--girls on fighting dragons?--so why does she have to turn into a weeping wilting flower about sex? Make the issue of Canth flying Wirenth not about OMG MUST ONLY SLEEP WITH ONE TWU LUV but about "Hey, I'm the one riding the gold dragon here and if he's good enough to catch me and you don't like it, jump in a lake." THEN you have a tragedy when both queens die and Brekke's temporarily incapacitated. Not to mention that would make Mirrim's character a lot more involved and plausible--of course she Impresses a green, look at her role model for paradigm-challenging. Frankly I might even dump the issue of trying to re-Impress Brekke, condense her recovery with her "cry in the night" instead (to dovetail it with Menolly's story more neatly) and make the Hatching climax instead be Mirrim's Impression of Path, and leave Jaxom's at the same time. Make the most unconventional Hatching ever the climax of the F'lar vs Oldtimers plot.

*I almost inserted a "pining for the fjords" thing. I restrained myself.


You are putting way to much thought into this. Go to grad school or something. Geez.

Seriously, though, I completely agree with you. If I was going to re-write Dragonquest and many of the characters in it, this is much the way I'd do it. Good job!!

**Oh, and thanks for restraining yourself! (he, he!)**
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Old Dec 16 2008, 01:56 PM   #148
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[QUOTE=Weyrlady;128897]
Quote:



You are putting way to much thought into this. Go to grad school or something. Geez.

Seriously, though, I completely agree with you. If I was going to re-write Dragonquest and many of the characters in it, this is much the way I'd do it. Good job!!

**Oh, and thanks for restraining yourself! (he, he!)**
Heh, sadly, I'm maxed out on degrees (unless someone would like to give me lots of money.) Three is the limit, apparently.
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Old Dec 16 2008, 02:16 PM   #149
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Yeah Three Degrees and the dirty old man... no points for guessing who that is...
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Old Dec 16 2008, 09:09 PM   #150
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I am putting way too much thought into this.
That's what it needs. I agree with most of what you've written for a treatment as it largely coincides with what I would do with minor exceptions.

1) I wouldn't throw out MHoP entirely, just the gross continuity errors.

2) I wouldn't involve Kylara's plot line in conspiring with the Old Timers. Meron, yes, but Kylara, no. Not a real problem, because Meron no doubt did not tell Kylara all of his dealings, and most of those with the Old Timers came about later anyhow. She was just a sex-toy with additional uses to him.

3) I'd be a little bit less concerned about the "out-dated" nature of some of the plot lines. This is a society that has regressed. I think the audience is smart enough to get it. That said, I concur on dispensing with Brekke saying "no" as that would not produce a good audience reaction. With the amount of sexual escapades on TV these days, however, I doubt Kylara needs watering down.

4) I have no problem keeping the re-Impression plot line. We do need to fill episodes after all. Similarly, I would not dump RoP entirely either.

I think there is huge potential in the Old Timers. For the most part, we never see their side of the story in the books and the episodic nature of the endeavor would permit us to see into the other Weyrs and fill out the character of T'ron, Mardra, T'Kul, D'ram, Fanna, and the rest of the Old Timer weyrleaders. Things that had to be written could be shown. Instead of being told of their character, we could see it. I'm all for pulling some of the focus off Benden.

As for narration, it's something I'd use selectively. It's also something I might change. Harking again to B5, think of the opening narration of each season. It changed, as did the narrator. The best was perhaps the third season with Ivanova's narration: "The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed." That was stunningly powerful and very effective as a device and clued people into a major arc of the plot in two short sentences. Similar things could be done with Pern.

Lytol, Robinton, D'ram, F'lar, even Fandarel...all would be be good narrators depending on the point in the story.
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Old Dec 17 2008, 11:25 AM   #151
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I think there is huge potential in the Old Timers. For the most part, we never see their side of the story in the books and the episodic nature of the endeavor would permit us to see into the other Weyrs and fill out the character of T'ron, Mardra, T'Kul, D'ram, Fanna, and the rest of the Old Timer weyrleaders. Things that had to be written could be shown. Instead of being told of their character, we could see it. I'm all for pulling some of the focus off Benden.
I think you've really hit on what some of the differences would be between a movie and a TV series.

In a movie, you would probably need to combine characters (especially T'ron and T'kul so that it would be the same person fighting F'lar both times), and you would probably want to excise some plots (e.g. grubs). In a TV series, you would need more material, so you would not want to combine characters or excise plots, especially since you would be adding plots and sub-plots to "fill" time.

GH
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Old Dec 17 2008, 12:49 PM   #152
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Default Re: Defunct script for Pern TV

(speechless) .............................................. ...........................
.....................................

............ ......................................... .............. ....
.................................................. .
ye gods! I think that I too have some klagh in my throat.. 'supple and sweet'? That just sounds wrong!


But your parodied version did have me in giggles
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Old Dec 18 2008, 04:54 AM   #153
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Klagh Sound like a Klingon drink. For Mr. Moore had done a lot of Star Trek work.

I wanted to comment before. My computer system was having a hiss fit and eyes got tired.
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Old Dec 18 2008, 04:57 AM   #154
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<Sinp>speechless)
ye gods! I think that I too have some klagh in my throat.. 'supple and sweet'? That just sounds wrong! Sound like bloodwine to me.

But your parodied version did have me in giggles
and second there FlameCat.
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Old Dec 21 2008, 07:58 PM   #155
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[QUOTE=Anareth;128901]
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Heh, sadly, I'm maxed out on degrees (unless someone would like to give me lots of money.) Three is the limit, apparently.

At this point in time 3 degrees is the limit, I guess. But in the Ship series, or maybe just in The Ship Who Searched (I haven't read all the books yet, but I've read that one)people have something like quadruple doctorates. Wow! So my point is, maybe in the future we'll be able to earn multiple degrees. Look what we have to look forward to. Would make for an awful lot of initials after the name though, Dr. Anareth.

On the TV show topic, I'll go ahead and admit it, I really admire Anne's work (obviously), but I feel that one of the weaknesses of it is there is little to no in-depth description of the landscape, the people, etc. I'm a very visual person, I need this. Pern's another planet- let's see it. Does it look like Arizona or does it look like Mars? (Admittedly, the photos that I've seen of Mars do look like some parts of AZ) Does the afternoon sun sparkle off the winter snow on the slopes of Benden Weyr? What's it feel like, smell like, and even taste like to go up and hug Canth? Do F'lar's golden eyes smile when he does? I want to see it; take me there!

So, all that having been said, personally I think a TV show is a great idea and although the script here is a liittle. . . ah. . . rough, I agree with what many have said. It's got potential- just no "peins" and Klingon drinks! Adapting a book to the screen can be done, and done well. The story is so there; Anne did her job well (or we wouldn't all be fans, now would we?) It just needs more images, and TV's the medium for it.
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Old Dec 22 2008, 06:00 AM   #156
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With movies, you miss out on the finer details that tv series would pick up on, hence my opinion would be to go for tv as one can always use flashbacks if necessary and more so then in movies which would become disjointed.
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Old Jan 24 2009, 05:30 PM   #157
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Well, due to decidedly "funny smell" in the office where I work, I had some unplanned-on extra time to finish reading this. . .

Thanks again, Cheryl, for offering to share it with all of us! There was a lot of more "interesting" parts of that sctipt, but also parts that were definitely more positive. One part that stands out for me is where F'lar and the other riders talk about the bond between the dragon and their rider. Part of me also likes how the script also made F'nor out to be a LITTLE more of the hero than he is already!

BTW, I can picture F'lar and F'nor doing a lot of things, but "screaming their lungs out" isn't one of them. Impressions are not Pern's version of a high school football game. And, also, when Thrax raised his knife to kill F'nor (and part of me is like, "oh, no!"), wouldn't Canth- oh you know- notice? Or is he too busy sleeping?? Isn't he supposed to looking into people's hearts right then? What's wrong with him? Hopefully, nothing. I want to know what happens next, and Canth and F'nor have to stick around long enough for there to be a "next".

Anyway, overall an enjoyable read. :-)
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Old Jan 30 2009, 09:58 AM   #158
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Well, I finally had time to dive deeply into the scripts! Thank you again for sharing this with us Cheryl! I appreciate a lot
I first read it piece by piece (or rather act by act), but I had difficulties to enjoy it that way. Reading it as a whole is much enjoyable!
And you know what? That is not as serious as I thought it would be. Of course, there are many digressions in here, but I surprised myself not being shocked by any little difference

What buzzes me most is the new personnality of Lytol I can not conceive a lone dragonrider turning against his old Weyrmates. Otherwise, it would mean Lytol always had this bad soul, and then how could he ever have impressed a dragon? I guess I feel to much sympathy for Lytol in the books to accept an evil Lytol in a movie...

Changes in characters background is also troubling sometimes. I don't like seeing Jaxom slaving in the kitchens... How did they plan to make him impress Ruth with such a position anyway? Did they even plan to let him do it ?! Lessa's power is way too developped here. Instead of suggesting people to act by using their natural tendancies, she fully control their bodies and mind! On the other hand, Kylara's personnality fits quite well Love affairs seem to be a major plot in this series too. A little bit too much?

So, all that is weird indeed, but I so would like to read what happen next in this strange alternate Pern

Weyrlady, dragons not interfering with their riders even when in life threatening situations sounds classical to me. Remember when F'lar fight with R'gull? This was a death fight, but none of their dragon dared or wanted to prevent it. They felt distress, fear, hanger but it's like they could not take initiatives in this kind of situation. The worst dragons can do is grunting when their riders are mocked by someone, like a bad tempered Holder. In the scripts, I am sure Canth is not aware of what happen febore F'nor is warned by Lessa. And then there is nothing he can do about it from afar. We might have seen a giant eye whirling red and peering at F'nor during his fight though.
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Old Jan 30 2009, 11:15 AM   #159
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<snip>Remember when F'lar fight with R'gull?<snip>
*cough* Poor R'gul.... I think you mean either T'ron or T'kul...
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Old Jan 31 2009, 09:45 AM   #160
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What buzzes me most is the new personnality of Lytol I can not conceive a lone dragonrider turning against his old Weyrmates. Otherwise, it would mean Lytol always had this bad soul, and then how could he ever have impressed a dragon? I guess I feel to much sympathy for Lytol in the books to accept an evil Lytol in a movie...

Changes in characters background is also troubling sometimes. I don't like seeing Jaxom slaving in the kitchens... How did they plan to make him impress Ruth with such a position anyway?
I didn't have a big problem with the change in Lytol once I thought about it. It's not a stretch to make an ex-dragonrider quite bitter towards those who haven't lost their dragons, and become antagonistic. I think Lytol would have grown over the course of the series into the good character we're familiar with.

As for Jaxom, I think first they'd have to establish him as Ruatha's new lord (which I think would have been by revealing Lessa to be his mother), and then as Ruathan Lord he could visit the Weyr for a hatching and Impress Ruth.
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