Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Female-Driven Fantasy and Sci-Fi TV: Its Growing Power
The more studios and production companies bank on the power of women to keep us glued to our screens, the more interesting and complex roles for women there are for us to watch. Two recent series, "A Discovery of Witches" and "His Dark Materials" are both produced by Bad Wolf, based in Wales. Their female heroes are incredible to watch, but not at the expense of great male leads as well. Together, these two shows encompass the genres of supernatural fantasy romance and high fantasy with sci-fi elements. If this production company’s first two series continue to be successful enough, they presumably will go on to make more series with similarly empowered female characters. This is how progress goes on, but the question is – will big Hollywood studios follow suit? In retrospect, we have heard that a director such as Joss Whedon, who created the empowered vampire slayer Buffy, was not as female-friendly as he appeared to be. Will the television industry continue to make strides for female characters and let them be the focus of big fantasy and sci-fi series?
Other series to comment on include The Witcher, which has shifted more focus in its second series onto Geralt’s adopted daughter, and The Foundation, which placed women at the forefront of its plot.
The Missing Fantasy Book to Film Adaptations
Why do some great fantasy/sci-fi series, great children’s or young adult novels, get launched into the film world only to fall flat and disappoint fans? There was one film made of A Series of Unfortunate Events (with Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep). One film of The Golden Compass (with Daniel Craig). One film of the City of Bones, and then a reboot into a TV series. All of these films arguably had great elements, some well-known actors, and were adapting a charming, exciting story, something that should be great on film. What went wrong? Did the movies just not sell enough at the box office? Did the filmmakers not see it as worth their time and money to make a follow-up sequel? Fans will always be disappointed when this happens – even if the movie did not live up to the book in some ways, they still want to see their beloved stories onscreen. There are still so many fantasy novel series out there that readers would love to see made into movies, but that never happen. Tamora Pierce is a major one – medieval fantasy has become a massive hit with Game of Thrones, so why wouldn’t her books make great films? What about Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies or Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series: wouldn’t these make timely adaptations to follow on from the success of the Hunger Games and Divergent? Perhaps certain writers need more support from their fans if they really want some film studio to get behind it. Arguably, young readers have had more power to catapult a book series and subsequent movie adaptations to success in recent years, so this is a relevant issue.