(These thoughts follow on from my previous post one remakes.)
Wonder Woman (TV)
I know a TV remake of Wonder Woman is being worked on even as a film project is being contemplated. And I’ve seen the monstrosity of a TV pilot David E. Kelley cooked up. Obviously, Hollywood has some trouble figuring out how to tell Wonder Woman’s story.
Again, as with Superman, I would start with the premise that Wonder Woman is a bit older than we’ve seen her in the past. However old the character is, she should be played by an actor who is in her mid-thirties at least. I know that’s problematic for Hollywood. Woman are supposed to quietly retire from acting at age 30 so male producers can fill the non-motherly roles with the new crop of 20 year old actresses.
Wonder Woman’s back story is important and I would go the Fung Fu / Lost route and have the backstory told in flashbacks that thematically relate to the story of the episode. Maybe these flashbacks could take place during her youth and a younger actress could be cast for these scenes (allowing male Hollywood producers to feel assuaged).
One of the problems I had with Kelley’s TV pilot is that there seemed to be this desire to turn Wonder Woman into “just a regular gal” – lonely and wounded. Blah.
Wonder Woman might be lonely, but she’s never a “just a regular gal.” Wonder Woman is always the most interesting, dynamic, and powerful person in the room. Let that be why she feels alone – set apart – not because she can’t find a man.
It reminds me of Jack’s tattoo on Lost. “He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us.” That’s Wonder Woman in a nutshell.
As for a romantic interest, make sure she’s got a man. An exceptional man. I like the idea of her being old, but looking younger. As I suggested for Superman, I’d have her story start in the 1940s. Steve Trevor was the love of her life then and he’s been long dead. Give her a new love of her life. A scientist/explorer maybe. A modern day Indiana Jones. Maybe they are even thinking about having a family. Maybe they have a son or daughter. It would be interesting to see Wonder Woman in the role of mother. Maybe she has to pretended to disappear to protect her child and some great evil villain arrives on the scene and brings her out of seclusion.
And rather than a new villain every week, I’d suggest a two part season, with 12 episode story arcs, each dealing with a new villain. What villains?
What villains indeed. There are plenty of good Wonder Woman villains to base a series of episodes around. Doctor Psycho, Aires, Veronica Cale, or The Duke of Deception to name a few. And a new series would be a perfect time to introduce new villains.
If you’re a Wonder Woman fan, you have this documentary to look forward to until someone figures out a film or TV version.
Star Trek (TV)
I found J.J. Abrams’ remake of Star Trek to be surprisingly compelling. When I first read of the idea to retell the story from the point of the crew of the Enterprise while they were all still young and at Starfleet Academy, I had visions of “90210 in Space!” While the idea originated in the 80s, fortunately taking the storyline back before the beginning of the original gave the typical origins retelling a fresh take, helped of course, by changing history and creating and alternate timeline for it to play out in.
For a TV remake, which would really be more of a continuation, I have rather different ideas.
First, I would set it in the future – 100 years after the end of Star Trek Voyager. And I would take some lessons from shows like Fringe, and Lost, and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. The Star Trek TV series have always focused on stand alone stories for each episode. Yes there are some long story arcs, especially in Deep Space Nine, but for the most part each episode stands apart.
I would suggest single season story arcs, or depending on how complicated it got, maybe extending it to two seasons. For a first story arc, maybe a massive generation ship arrives from deep space, fleeing a powerful entity that has destroyed its galaxy. An entity that has followed these new aliens to our galaxy and now threatens Star Fleet allies and enemies alike.
Each episode would deal with the main plot and then have a subplot that served a two-fold purpose. Each subplot would focus on a character, or a small team of characters, giving them more depth, while at the same time exploring some interesting problem or question where science (fiction) and morality/ethics/culture intersect – which is what Star Trek was always so good at.
Also, the tradition in Star Trek has always been for the story to center on one story arena, usually a star ship (DS9 being an exception). I think the story should take places in three arenas – a starship and its crew, a colony outpost, and a team assigned to the alien generation ship.
This kind of structure allows for some really interesting and expansive storytelling. It’s also very difficult. It would require an exceptionally talented writing and production team.