Thursday, October 1, 2015

It'll be Great On TV, Too, Part 1! Three TV Series Continuations of Movies

                For many movies, they are produced once, people enjoy them, and that’s the end.  A few lucky ones will be so successful that they will enjoy sequels.  But still others will enjoy the rare gift of being continued in a TV series.  Many times the show is adapted to the screen and it’s an adaptation of the same characters and situations, just in a television format (for example: M*A*S*H).  But every once in a while, there are TV series that continue the storyline of the original movie, and this list details three of them.
                Stargate SG-1 was set one year after the original movie.  The movie Stargate was released in 1994 and was a modern-day story about the discovery of a portal (a “stargate”) that could transport people instantly to another portal across the universe to another planet.  A military team is sent to explore the other side of the portal.  In this case, the team discovers that across the universe was a planet populated by a people who may have been the original ancient Egyptians…only in this case, the god Ra was real.  The movie was a box office hit but many criticized the film for its overreliance on special effects.  The TV series premiered in 1997 and reveals that there was a race of aliens named the Goa’uld, who are a parasitic race of aliens that look like snakes.  These Goa’uld pose as rulers for ancient Earth mythologies, including the Egyptian mythology seen in the first film.  Much of the storyline of the first eight seasons had the Stargate crew, along with other alien races battling against the Goa’uld.  The show ultimately lasted 10 full seasons and two office Spin-Off series, Stargate: Universe and Stargate: Atlantis. 
                Indiana Jones in the 1980s was one of the most successful and influential movie series of all time, revolutionizing action movies with its hair-breath escapes and action sequences.  During the production of Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, George Lucas came up with the entire back-story, over 70 episode ideas, of Indiana Jones, from the early 1900s to the late 1930s when the original movies were set.  He was able to sell the concept of the show to ABC and in 1992 the show premiered and instead of proceeding chronologically from Indiana Jones as a young boy to him as a young adult, it flip flopped between boy and young adult, bringing up two separate timelines, bookended by an old Indiana Jones in his 90s introducing the story.  The show in its shorted first season was a huge ratings success, but floundered in the second season and was cancelled, with a high production cost also to blame.  Between 1994 and 1996, the Family Channel produced four TV movies continuing the story of Young Indiana Jones.  When the show was rereleased on DVD, all the episodes were rearranged chronologically from 1908 to 1920, giving a much more streamlined look at Young Indy’s life.
                While there are actually many animated series spinoffs of animated movies, I will focus on Lilo and Stitch as the example, which was a box office success in 2002.  It focused on wild alien experiment 626 (Stitch) who disguises himself as a dog in a Hawaiian family’s home and befriends a young girl (Lilo). The direct-to-DVD movie Stitch! The Movie followed in 2003 to set up the animated series, focusing on finding the other 625 experiments and finding homes for the creatures, along the way battling the alien antagonists from the first movie.  The show lasted 2 seasons and 65 episodes.

                Check out these continuations of TV series, especially if you like the original movies.  While not always in the same quality as the originals, they are nevertheless interesting stories featuring your favorite characters and are worth a look. 

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