The recent news of not one, but two spin off TV series based on characters from Silence of the Lambs got me thinking about all those other TV spin offs based on movies.
There have been some successes, Buffy was an average movie but a legendary series, and whilst I wasn’t a fan, Stargate managed 10 seasons and numerous spin-offs. However, not all are as lucky…
Blade The Series - All the elements are there for the concept to translate to the small screen, but from casting, to scripting (David S Goyer wrote some) the series was dead in the water as soon as it came out of the coffin.
My Big Fat Greek Life was a short lived series based on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, after the surprise hit grossed over $250m a TV version was put together. Sadly nobody tuned in.
Midnight Run - I featured this a couple of months ago when I watched the film as part of our regular feature; The Sunday Afternoon Movie. Three TV Movies were produced in the hope that a full-length series would be commissioned, it wasn’t.
Nightmare on Elm Street aka Freddy’s Nightmares. The movie franchise had already begun to decline, and Freddy had been reduced to a feeble cartoonish villain. The series lasted 2 years and 44 episodes, a few were better than some of the later sequels but it was still an uninspired mess.
Lock Stock - After Guy Ritchie’s film hit it big, Channel 4 were the quickest off the mark to throw together a TV spin off. Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn produced the show and Ritchie even directed the pilot.
Ralph Brown was the local kingpin, and sadly that is the nicest thing I can say about it.
Cruel Intentions aka Manchester Prep - This was due to be a TV series based on the 1999 hit movie, however it was shut down after just 3 episodes were made (and never aired).
The 3 episodes were stitched together and released as Cruel Intentions 2.
Tremors – Based on the cult classic monster movie, this TV series was doomed from the start. Original star Michael Gross reprises his role as Burt Gummer and the show is set in the town of Perfection.
This time other strange creatures infest the town, Graboid El Blanco (giant worm) is hardly used and the monster of the week format wears thin after episode 3.
Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles - If you look past the first few episodes this was actually quite a reasonable series. T3 killed had Sarah Connor die off camera, however the TV series is very much set in an alternative time line.
Strangely Shirley Manson from Garbage plays the central villain in season 2, which simply doesn’t work. Some weak scripting and terrible CGI in places makes it a low rent mess, void of everything that made the franchise a classic. That said actress Summer Glau is catnip to us geeks, and she makes the series just about watchable.
Join us next week for part 2,Pin It