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TV Classics We'd Like To See On the Silver Screen

January 17th, 2008 1:37pm EST
AirwolfHoping to exploit rabid fans of a long-lost cult classic? Feeling the need to pump some more revenue out of a long-dead television juggernaut? Fresh out of any and all original film ideas? Look no further!

Film adaptations of former (and occasionally current) TV series have been popular for years - and why not? It makes perfect sense to create a film adaptation of a beloved series. They each have a built-in fan base just waiting to be exploited.

These films usually vary widely. They can be a continuation of the narrative established in the series or they can keep the concept but start anew. They can maintain the same tone of the original series or change it drastically. Finally, the overall quality can be great (most "Star Trek" films), terrible ("Lost in Space" - What did we ever do to you Gary Oldman?) or anywhere in between.

Now with the latest "Star Trek" film in production (starring Zachary Quinto as Spock and Chris Pine as Captain Kirk), as well as "Sex And The City: The Movie" on its way, we came up with a a few ideas for film adaptations of shows that truly deserve it. None of the following shows have ever been adapted before, and they are not scheduled to be produced anytime in the near future. But they should be. They really should be.

"Space: Above and Beyond" (1995-1996)

Space: Above and BeyondThis sci-fi war drama was one of the best shows produced in the 1990s, and so of course it was canceled after one season on Fox (big surprise). Set in the mid-21st century, the series chronicled a united earth that was suddenly thrust into a massive, intergalactic war. Said war started after an off-world colony was attacked and destroyed by an alien species known as the Chigs. The series focused on the adventures of a group of young military recruits who suddenly found themselves thrust into the conflict.

What was particularly noteworthy was how the series blended the war storyline together with political issues that divided and threatened to tear the people of earth apart. These conflicts, such as the ethics of artificially creating life (both human and A.I.) and the subsequent rights that those beings are entitled to, are certainly as relevant, if not more so, today.

While the creators were able to provide a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the first and only season, there are still so many more stories to tell. The film adaptation could either follow the surviving characters in the future or focus on a group of entirely new individuals. The first option is the most intriguing. It would be very interesting to see what has become of West (Morgan Weisser) and Hawkes (Rodney Rowland) 10 years or so after the series finale. Would earth still be at war with the Chigs? Have the InVitros achieved equality? Could there be a new enemy on the horizon? A feature film (or several) would be a very exciting and satisfying way to answer these questions.



"Nightmare Café" (1992)

Robert EnglundThis extremely short-lived series starred Robert Englund, so that is reason enough to love it. Oh, and the concept was pretty nifty too. The café in question was a supernatural dive with the ability to appear anywhere on earth, even in space! Englund portrayed Blackie, the mysterious proprietor of the establishment. In its brief run the series dealt with death, the consequences of mistakes made in life, and second chances. The two other main characters (one of whom was played by Jack Coleman of "Heroes" fame) died in the pilot episode, only to find themselves mysteriously in Blackie's employ at the eatery. Hey, it's hard to find decent help.

The concept of the series was fascinating, and with the dearth of quality supernatural fare at the cinema these days, a "Nightmare Café" film would be quite welcome. The basic concept should remain unchanged, and Englund's presence is a must, but the other leads can be recast. Actually, check that. It would be pretty cool if Jack Coleman came back as well. He'll have to leave his horn-rimmed glasses on the set of "Heroes" though.



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