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New Babylon Five Steam Punk Style
September 21, 2012 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Bruce Boxleitner thinks he can sell a Steam Punk Saga to the Networks Lantern City exists in a parallel universe where the Victorians survived and the style of that period permeates their milieu. The site is not very old and Boxleitner has put some money behind this along with Trevor Crafts co producer he worked with Boxleitner on Smokewooda TV comedy pilot "It's Parks and Recreation Meets Tombstone."

Matthew James Daley has the title of writer for the show no profile on the IMDB. He is in the forums over at Lantern City. The creators of the show have asked for fan participation either by submitting props and costumes for consideration and ideas for fleshing out the world.

Back story is a bit thin we have Terrans transported to Lantern City (the Outsiders) the Greymen Empire the Working Class who are starved and abused kept in a state of despair. Finally the Underground escapees of Lantern City who are ploting revolution even as they live in the anarchy under the city.

I think you can see B5 in the mix of character classes it makes for subplots galore as it moves along an arc of succession and rebellion. Nothing on casting but we can assume Boxleitner will be playing a lead role in one of the factions.

This could be timed just right with the success of Game of Thrones. Not sure if it is serious sci fi or a more campy angle.
posted by pdxpogo (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
What do you call vaporware in television?
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:37 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


STILL more likely then that Diamond Age adapatation actually happening
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I believe they call it Phase II syndrome in the industry, TwelveTwo.
posted by mediocre at 2:44 PM on September 21, 2012


You know what I'm waiting for? Carnivalpunk. Ladies with pomps, lead makeup, and hoop skirts. Men with riding coats and tricorns. Slashed-sleeve shirts. Big cheese-wheel collars. Venetian masks! Everything has sequins and lasers! And travels through time on the matrix!
posted by Nomyte at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


What do you call vaporware in television?

Steampunked?
posted by srboisvert at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Development Hell," I thought.
posted by jquinby at 2:47 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reise has a following on the web but it is definitely done on the cheap. The steam punk is incidental.
posted by pdxpogo at 2:47 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Needs more art to show what the setting and characters looks like. It's a visual media, you gotta sell it visually.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:48 PM on September 21, 2012


Anything for Brucey. Even giving in to the stempunk tides.
posted by Mizu at 2:49 PM on September 21, 2012


Nomyte - You obviously don't live in Portland.
posted by mediocre at 2:49 PM on September 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, if anybody can pull this off, it's Bruce Boxleitner
posted by Flashman at 2:59 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


What do you call vaporware in television?

The Amazing Screw-On Head
posted by Apocryphon at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I attended a panel that Bruce and Trevor and a few other creators presented at Dragon*Con earlier this month (All part of my girlfriend's successful plan to stalk Boxleitner throughout the convention).

To answer pdxpogo's concern as to whether they're going for serious or campy, the bits of plot that they were able to hint at seemed to me to indicate a more serious tone to the story: they described the kernel of the story to be "what lengths would a person go to to be with someone that they loved." To that end the steampunk elements merely serve as a backdrop to make the production unique and marketable. They also talked about making sure that it wasn't just gears and brass tubing slapped on at random, that the prop and set design had to follow the internally consistent rules that the writer had established for how the technology was supposed to work.

The crowdsourcing of prop design leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I see a celebrity who guests at fan conventions on a regular basis trying to get a fan community full of creative talent the visibility that he thinks they deserve. On the other hand, I have strong feelings about spec work and design contests, and I don't think I'm alone in the concerns about whether the creators of these designs are going to be properly compensated.

After the panel, there was a line to have the Lantern City creators all autograph a Lantern City poster, and I could overhear some steampunks in the line behind me looking up the show's website on their smartphone, and being concerned about the production company retaining all marketing rights to submitted designs that appear on the show.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, especially if the project gets picked up by one of the big cable channels like they're hoping for.
posted by radwolf76 at 3:23 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, the way they pick TV shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that one show to the people who pick shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're want to make more shows. Some get chosen and become television programs. Some don't, become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:42 PM on September 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Needs more art to show what the setting and characters looks like.

That's for all you creative people out there to supply. Because otherwise it's expensive to hire designers and who knows if they are any good. Just bring in the good ideas, that's the best way.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:47 PM on September 21, 2012


You know what I'm waiting for? Carnivalpunk.
Everything has sequins and lasers! And travels through time on the matrix!


All powered by magnets.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:03 PM on September 21, 2012


Needs more Zeppelin
posted by meehawl at 4:13 PM on September 21, 2012


Bruce can help you if you have a box that's too heavy.
posted by scruss at 4:35 PM on September 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sounds cool and I would watch it, but know it doesn't have a prayer of survival.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:51 PM on September 21, 2012


Why is Bruce of interest? Does he have any credentials beyond having been cast as a space station commander in B5? Is he plumping to be the next William Shatner?
posted by sneebler at 4:52 PM on September 21, 2012


Bruce was in Tron. Hell, Bruce IS Tron.
He was also the Scarecrow.

And, Transmorphers 2.
Which I watched.

I suspect Bruce does love Sci Fi, and a regular pay cheque.
posted by Mezentian at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The quintessential Boxleitner series. Because mustachioed Bruce is the best Bruce.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:12 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is he plumping to be the next William Shatner?

Speaking of Shatner and steampunk, why isn't Barbary Coast more of a thing? Shatner + Wild Wild West + Maverick + Mission: Impossible should = gold, shouldn't it? Yet I'd never heard of it until recently and as far as I know it's never been re-released on any format.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:27 PM on September 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


a parallel universe where the Victorians survived

Um, they did?
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on September 21, 2012


Weren't the Victorians wiped out at Pompeii? Or maybe that was the Rosicrucians.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:07 PM on September 21, 2012


If you're not careful about washing and inspecting antiques you can end up with a bad case of Victorians.
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


/recites list of horrible things.
/asks self what act was called.

THE VICTORIANS!
posted by Artw at 6:11 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is an accurate description of The Crimson Petal And The White.
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd follow Captain Sheridan into the gates of hell. Steampunk it is.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:40 PM on September 21, 2012


Here are the terms & conditions for the community collaborators who wish to submit their designs. To me, it looks like the sort of thing that it'd be wise to have an intellectual property lawyer review prior to making any submissions into their design contest.

In one spot it looks like you're agreeing to waive the right to any claims against them to anything that even looks like material you've submitted to the contest, and then two paragraphs down, they're saying that they won't retain rights to your work and will only be able to "use the work for display purposes in the production of the show and related media." (What kinds of related media? Exclusive toy and or prop replica licensing deals? It doesn't say.)

I can understand why some makers have reservations about it. It boils down to trust, which is more difficult to give when the other side has more expensive lawyers than you.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:47 PM on September 21, 2012


I found some Barbary Coast on YouTube, and it looks awful.
Still: Doug McClure? That's quality you can trust.
posted by Mezentian at 9:33 PM on September 21, 2012


The crowd-sourced TV thing was done, to some extent, with Bar Karma, though not with costumes. Apparently I was the only one that liked that show.
posted by lordrunningclam at 7:44 AM on September 22, 2012


a parallel universe where the Victorians survived

Um, they did?


That was my initial reaction as well, but then I realized that my own great-grandparents were Victorians and every one of them is now dead.

And I have not seen Barbary Coast since I was a kid, but even then it was pretty unmemorable.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:11 AM on September 22, 2012


The Victorian era by definition was the reign of Queen Victoria. So if they had just replaced failing bits of her Her Majesty with clanking, coal-fired cybernetic prostheses, including a Babbage Engine for a brain when that finally went, not only would the Victorians have survived to this day but they'd have a genuinely cyberpunk monarch into the bargain.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:34 AM on September 22, 2012


Is that Kevin McDonald from The Kids In The Hall?
posted by MikeMc at 9:37 AM on September 22, 2012


Whoops.

they'd have a genuinely cybersteampunk monarch into the bargain.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:46 AM on September 22, 2012


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