This week on the podcast, the Gabbing Geeks celebrated Watson’s 40th birthday by having Jenny use a faulty mic, so it sounded like Watson was senile and talking to voices in his head. That was amusing as technical errors went.
But then they pitched some revamped old projects, like the Munsters and Flash Gordon, despite some attempts to actually revamp both of them as Mockingbird Lane (look it up) and an awful Scy-Fy channel show, also known as any Scy-Fy channel show that wasn’t Farscape or BSG.
I have an idea of my own for this.
My own idea is something along the lines of the 1956 science fiction classic Forbidden Planet. Besides being a well-produced, fairly big budget example of 50s sci-fi, and besides the fact it features Leslie Nielsen in a dramatic role and the first appearance of Robby the Robot, popular science fiction character and inspiration for the robot from Lost in Space, the movie is best known for being a science fiction revamp of William Shakespeare’s final solo effort, The Tempest.
So, here’s my pitch: let’s do a series of movies that are sci-fi revamps of other plays by Shakespeare. Ditch the original scripts, but use the themes and make something of them.
Now, I am (obviously) a big Shakespeare fan, but I will readily admit that not all of his plays are, in fact, good. Some plays, like the three-part Henry VI plays and a couple of the early comedies are not very good. But we can do some of them quite easily.
A Hamlet where a young man in space finds a hologram of his father, bemoaning that his brother, the young man’s uncle, has poisoned him and he had just enough time to make the message before dying. Our hero is a nerdy nebbish, not a man of action, so how does he go about bringing his new step-dad to justice?
An Othello where an alien of a warrior race marries a human woman and has to deal with lies planted into his head about her faithfulness by a “trusted” advisor.
An epic story covering Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V where a space prince rises from disreputable thug to great leader.
As You Like It, where a peaceful forest planet offers visitors a chance to contemplate who they are and come to a gentle peace with themselves and their surroundings.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is practically science fiction already.
There’s plenty of room for this sort of a project, and it could be a lot of fun.