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REVAMP — GOOD IDEA OR BAD?
the Star Trader Forum
new series of Captain Scarlet, good or bad? Well, good of course!
What else could it be?!
A shocking mess is what it could be, if handled incorrectly. I'm inclined
to trust Gerry's experience and deft touch to get the program right, but
I'm reminded of certain instances in which the best assumptions proved to
be completely wrong.
instance, around ten years ago, Gerry commented that in any likely
reworking of Thunderbirds, Lady Penelope and Parker would have to
be dropped, as they were an outmoded idea that he was confident would not
go down well with a modern audience... Then the re-release of 1992 onward
returned the fascinating statistic that they were the most popular
characters! (I don't remember where I read that but it's stuck in my
Complete Captain Scarlet
book features some material from the CGI test video, and it looks pretty
good — but the question raised in a topic below is valid, would the
magic be there? My impression is possibly not. My suggestion — use CGI
as a supplement to conventional, albeit refined, Supermarionation
techniques. YES, the *puppets* can now smile, walk, run and jump, the
machines can do manoeuvres they could never do before, but the combination
of technologies would allow retention of the original brand of magic as
book provides a valuable glimpse of something that didn't really strike me
until I worked through the volume: the sheer magnitude of the artistry of
the sculptors and builders. They made a believable world in miniature that
is almost more realistic than one can credit, even 35 years later. This is
too much to toss aside in the interests of a pure CGI reworking.
what about design? Gerry once said "Thunderbirds is really
just a name and a concept." He was quite incorrect, I believe, Thunderbirds
is an institution and part of modern culture, and if the makers of
the new movie mess with it at more than a detail level it will be, I am
sure, a disaster. Captain Scarlet has not entered the culture to
quite the same extent, but it's still a fantastic product and a suite of
designs, characters and personalities that transcend the "name and
concept" level approach.
would of course opt for a close-to-the-original remake, enhanced with
modern computers and com systems, a modern detail take on hardware and
science, up to date tech-speak — but it really doesn't need much more
than that. Stephen Begg's reworked SPV used in the test clip is an
interesting design, but — and this is a case in point — it does not
serve the specification of the vehicle any better, in fact it serves it
less well, than Derek Meddings' original design, and that's a backward
step in credibility. In essence it is merely a variation on a theme,
produced for its own sake — and that is not a good basis on which
to proceed, with anything.
would hope the new series would be the original in a mildly revamped form
that allows the introduction of CGI magic, but not at the cost of the
magic that was uniquely the Anderson creation and province.
thanks for your thoughts,
22 Sep 2002