At least that is what the Show’s producer Dave Barskey said in a tweet about a week ago. If this is the case it is yet another blow to quality writing and yet another indicator that this country is becoming more and more inclined to go for the cheap and easy rather than the quality that requires work, and perhaps a bit more capital than one would like to spend, even though the reward is greater down the line. Impatience and the lowest common denominator seem to be the characteristics dominating our entertainment industries. A very good example is the BBC produced Top gear versus the one on the History Channel, an offshoot of Discovery. In the BBC version the writing and editing are easily recognized as that done by people who place their work far above their paycheck, in the American version it is difficult to find a passing grade where the writing, the acting, the photography or anything else for that matter. It comes across as the sort of paper I would have been hard pressed to give a C grade to when I was teaching english.
It is ever the way with American television. When the creator of Babylon 5 was working on his sequel show, Crusade, the folks at the sci-fi channel told him they wanted more sex and violence put into the scripts, in spite of the fact that his previous show had won several awards by not doing that. He refused and they canceled it. When Ann McCaffrey’s Pern novels were being optioned for theatrical release the people in Hollywood got very excited about converting her nebula award-winning work into essentially a sci-fi version of 90210. Thankfully Mrs. McCaffery rejected their ideas.
When Peter Jackson was filming the Lord of the Rings movies he was almost constantly hammered with Hollywood types complaining that he was going to create the biggest money loser of all time because of his “insane obsession” with faithfulness to Tolkien’s plot and characterizations. It did not turn out as they predicted, did it. Hollywood nor any in the entertainment industry seem to be able to learn from example though. The list of projects that have been ruined by adherence to the lowest common denominator philosophy re far, far longer than those who have been able to avoid it. It appears that the Discovery Channel has become another victim. Sad. I will miss what used to be there. Thank God for DVDs.