Tuesday, January 3, 2006

2006 Predictions: Part I (Aquaman)

In previous postings (“Six and Counting” & “The Lucky Seven”) I spoke about the new SF series and the other ongoing SF series on TV. Fall 2005 introduced 6 new SF series. What is the count now? Two down (Night Stalker and Threshold), one in danger (Surface), and three likely to survive for the sequel (Supernatural, Ghost Whisperer, Invasion). But, except for possibly Supernatural, I am not sure how many seasons they have in them. And, except possibly for Supernatural, none of them have franchise potential like Star Trek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, what will next season bring us? I have gathered together some of the most buzzed projects. I’ll even give them my “forecast” for success, just like a weatherman or psychic…same thing really.

To keep updated on the latest news on them or other possible future SF shows, I would suggest checking out my Upcoming TV Shows page on Scifi 411.

“Aquaville” aka Untitled Al Gough and Miles Millar

The WB has made a pilot commitment and casting has begun. Who knew that Aquaman’s guest apearance on Smallville would lead to his own spin-off? But spin it has. No title yet, but the word “Aquaman” will never be uttered in the series. (It is rumored that the Producers will cut off the hand of any character who dares speak this cursed word). Producers Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville, Spider-Man 2) are creating and executive-producing this action drama series about a twenty something Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. Greg Beeman (Smallville) will be directing the pilot. Alan Ritchson, the actor who played Curry on Smallville, will not play the role for the series. Which is probably for the best. I thought he did find, but I couldn’t see him being the lead for a series. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one.

"He did a wonderful job on the show, but this is going to be a different version of the 'Aquaman' legend," Gough told Variety . The pilot "will be different than what you saw on Smallville. That was our out-of-town trial version."

The casting call is: "Arthur Curry (aka Aquaman): 18-24 years old. Blond or light brown hair, drop dead handsome with an incredible swimmer's body...SERIES REGULAR" Curry will be able to breath underwater and have super-strength underwater, but he is only just beginning to understand his powers. Millar also told Variety that they hope to create "a grounded version of the Aquaman mythology," focusing on an Arthur Curry, who "knows what he wants to do with his life, which is protect the oceans."

Gough and Millar had actually been considering a Lois Lane series. But "this was the first idea where we really thought we had a franchise, where we could see 100 episodes.” Probably for the best, really. I like Erica Durance as Lois Lane, but I just don’t see how a Lois Lane series would work. Lois Lane without Superman, is like Superman without Lex Luthor.

But Clark has krypto freaks to fight every week. What the heck is Aquadude going to fight?

"There's a mystery surrounding the disappearance of (Curry's) mother and the Bermuda Triangle," Gough told Variety. He added that other weird occurrences related to the Triangle will provide many of the plotlines and Curry will be living with his adopted father.

Oh. Well that sounds kind of interesting. Since I recently saw Scifi Channel’s The Triangle mini-series (which was pretty good by the way), the Triangle spin actually sounds interesting.

Anyway, here is the casting call (who would you pick for these roles?):

[RACHEL STARLING - SERIES REGULAR] 18-24 years old. Rachel is a natural beauty with a radiant face and the perfectly toned body of an athlete. She has a sharp mind and a killer sense of humor. But if you look beyond her warm smile, you'll find something haunted about her. A drowning accident as a teenager has scarred her. While enjoying a "Semester at Sea", the boat capsized and she was stuck below deck. Although she blacked out, that last thing she remembers is being pulled free by a mysterious young boy wearing a seahorse necklace. Rachel comes from a well-heeled New York family. Her father was a successful newspaper editor, but he died when she was 14. She took his death very hard and decided to embark on the "Semester at Sea" as a way of getting over her grief. Her relationship with her mother, an award winning Broadway playwright, has remained strained. Her mother is an ultra liberal and doesn't approve of her joining the military. When she was selected to train at the Liberty Key West Naval Air Station, she achieved her dream of becoming a Top Gun, but she also has to face the fear of returning to the same area as her boating accident. Although there is a mutual attraction between Rachel and A.C., their relationship is complicated by the fact that Rachel is secretly engaged to another naval trainee, JESSE HICKS. Rachel finds herself torn between the safety and security that Jesse offers and the danger and mystery that seem to define A.C.

[JESSE HICKS - SERIES REGULAR] 18-24 years old. He's an incredibly good-looking, Top Gun hot shot. Jesse grew up in suburban Texas and was a high school football star. His father is a decorated three star General who is currently serving in Iraq. Jesse never considered any other career; he always knew he was destined to fight for his country. He fell in love with Rachel the very first time he saw her. Defying the rules, they embarked on a passionate affair. Jesse proposed a few weeks before the pilot episode and Rachel accepted his offer. They have to keep their relationship secret or face possible expulsion from the Top Gun program. Highly ambitious and competitive, Jesse is the kind of guy who wins at any cost. He is also reckless and sometimes dangerously aggressive.

[EVA TORRES - SERIES REGULAR] 18-24 years old. A fiery Cuban beauty. Eva hasn't exactly had an easy life. When she was six she fled Cuba with her family on a raft, which sank a hundred miles off the Florida coast in a devastating storm. She was the sole survivor. Although she was rescued, she has struggled to make a life for herself in America and was bounced from foster family to foster family. It was only when she finally turned 18 that she finally felt free. She came down to the Keys for a short break and never left. She manages a local dive shop, "The Old Man and The Sea" and counts A.C. as one of her best friends. Although they are from wildly different backgrounds they both felt an instant connection. Independent, sarcastic, strong-willed, Eva isn't afraid to express her opinion, even when no one's asking for it.

[MCCAFFERY - SERIES REGULAR] Star Name preferred. It's difficult to say how old McCaffery is. If you were to look at him, you'd probably guess 60ish. But you'd be way off. That's because McCaffery is from Atlantis. Since coming to the surface world, McCaffery has led a largely reclusive life as the lighthouse keeper at Atlas Point. He has watched A.C. grow up from afar, but always knew that one day their lives would intersect. This encounter leads to a long lasting friendship. McCaffery takes A.C. under his wing and explains not only his true origin but also his destiny. He is Obi Wan to A.C.'s Luke Skywalker. He is the voice of wisdom and experience who acts as a guide and mentor to the often hotheaded A.C. McCaffery is always bailing A.C. out of trouble and is someone A.C. can turn to when it comes to all things nautical. Having grown up underwater, McCaffery knows all the myths and legends of the ocean. He's also familiar with the creatures, both known and unknown to man, that inhabit the ocean's dark waters. Highly intelligent and fiercely loyal, McCaffery possesses an acerbic wit and doesn't suffer fools lightly.

[TOM CURRY - SERIES REGULAR] Late 30s to early 40s, A.C.'s stepfather. He was born and raised in Chicago but fell in love with Keys while he was a student at the University of Miami. He was an outstanding athlete and was a member of the gold medal winning US Water Polo team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He joined the Coast Guard in 1986 and has made a good career out of it, rising to the rank of Captain. While he was still a rookie Coast Guard his life took a dramatic turn. While out on a routine night patrol he came across three people bobbing in shark-infested waters -- a woman, a baby and an old man. There was no sign of a boat or plane and the water was mirror still. When he got them back to land he discovered they had no ID and nowhere to go. Taking pity on them, Tom took them home. Tom quickly became enchanted with the beautiful woman, ATLANNA, and her baby son ORIN. Within a year Tom and Atlanna were married and Tom adopted her baby son as his own. They renamed the boy ARTHUR. The old man, McCAFFERY, took a job as the Atlas Point Lighthouse keeper, a position he still holds to this day. As Arthur grew up, Atlanna made Tom promise not to tell him about her connection to McCaffery. He reluctantly agreed.

I give this a 90% chance of being picked up. Reason: Smallville is doing great on the WB this season and “Aquaville” could be an excellent companion series. Plus, there is growing positive buzz about this project. Personally I would have gone with a Flash series, but I’ll give the fish whisperer a try.

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