io9’s Charlie Jane Anders tells us about some s-f pilots:
by Charlie Jane Anders
Genre television is thriving on cable, with shows like Walking Dead and Game of Thrones making waves, but it’s struggling on the networks. Could 2013 be the year that science fiction and fantasy TV strikes back? We got an early look at seven scripts for pilots that are currently filming, or just filmed. Here’s what we found.
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Just like last year, we got hold of some script pages for these show’s pilots that were released for casting calls. These pages appear to come from the actual pilot scripts, and include large chunks of them.
As usual, though, some disclaimers are in order. First of all, it’s possible (but not likely) these pages aren’t from the actual pilot script. They may be from an early draft, and in any case the final pilot may differ dramatically from what’s in these pages. We’re not making any sweeping judgments about these shows based on these pages, and this is not a “review” or anything. We’re also not going to include any huge plot spoilers below. Just give a general impression of the show’s format and characters, and vague first impressions. You can judge how close we came last year.
With that out of the way, here we go…
Super Clyde (CBS):
In a nutshell: We’ve been covering this show because it’s ostensibly about superheroes — but really, it’s just about a guy who comes into money and decides to help people. Clyde’s eccentric Uncle Bill invented Silly Putty and used his fortune to help random people. Clyde is an agoraphobic misfit who works in a fast food restaurant, and even after he comes into a fortune he keeps working there. He finds out about how his Uncle Bill used to help people in secret, sort of like a superhero, and decides to follow suit.
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Memorable characters: Clyde (Rupert Grint) is a cute misfit who has a heart of gold. His siblings, Duke and Faith, are both sort of obnoxious in different ways, and they take advantage of all the opportunities to be ridiculous that money accords. But really the standout character is Randolph (Stephen Fry), the family butler who is the Alfred to Clyde’s Batman. He’s wacky and kindly, and provides counseling Clyde with “the Doctor,” a sort of puppet he’s drawn on his hand. He’s the “farting bedpost”-playing glue that holds the whole thing together.
Why it could be your new crack: It’s a silly, occasionally witty take on superhero tropes, in which money is literally a superpower, instead of simply giving you superpowers in the case of Batman and so many others. Plus Stephen Fry as Alfred.
In a nutshell: Based on the young-adult novel by Lauren Oliver, this series takes place in a future dystopia where love has been classified as a disease. And on your 18th birthday, you receive the cure — an operation that makes you incapable of falling in love. Young Lena (Emma Roberts) is due to receive the cure soon, but she meets a young man named Alex who secretly hasn’t had the cure at all. There’s a resistance against the oppressive order, and they are plotting to find an antidote to the cure and free people from the evil anti-love establishment. Meanwhile, the ambitious Senator Hargrove (Michael Michele) wants to be president — but to win, she may have to support curtailing civil rights further, with random searches and more government surveillance. Besides Lena, a few other young people struggle with their impending surgeries.