Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Legend of the Seeker Canceled

Legend of the Seeker, Sam Raimi's (Spider-Man, Evil Dead) syndicated fantasy show, based on the Terry Goodkind novels, has been canceled after its second season. I am partially to blame: I really liked Legend of the Seeker, though it was not without its faults, and I failed to push it as hard as I should have.

In my defense, it was from ABC, and they did the same thing they always do: Moved it around constantly, so you could never find it. Legend of the Seeker started playing locally on either Saturday or Sunday afternoons. I saw it scheduled there for several weeks, but didn't catch it every time. I began watching it regularly late nights, again on either Saturday or Sunday, and eventually on Sundays only. At first, it was a late-night recast, but it was soon removed from the afternoon schedule altogether, which - though it didn't bother me, seeing as how I could never figure out when, exactly, it aired - I knew wasn't a good sign. Still, it not only ran in the late-night slot for the last couple of years, they started running the new episode around 1-2a, and re-airing the previous week's episode at 4am. Again, I appreciated it, but knew it wasn't good.

Live with Regis and Kelly promoted it heavily, and Hulu ran an extended set until very recently - again, although it was a syndicated show, Legend of the Seeker was filmed by ABC Studios - but I saw almost nothing about it on the blogs, or online in general, beyond the initial announcements. From the comments its cancellation has generated elsewhere online, it apparently did have the cult following it deserved but, again, I wasn't even aware of these folks - or that LotS was in danger of being canceled in the first place - and I definitely consider myself a fan!

But, again, I'm a fair-minded, even-handed, kind of guy and I'd be remiss not to mention Legend of the Seeker's one, fatal, flaw - and fans aren't going to like hearing it anymore than I like saying it, but if you watch it with a hairy eyeball, you'll be forced to agree: Bruce Spence.

Sorry, but Al Gore is less wooden.

Spence absolutely looks the part, and he had his moments throughout the series, but he is just... he is not good. And though he seemed to be growing into the role, I prefer to remember him only as he appeared in the Mad Max flicks.

Still, a tongue-waggingly beautiful cast was only the most obvious of LotS' strengths. The SFX were damn good - they were better than a lot of movies' special effects! - the sets were fantastic, the cinematography excellent; visually-speaking, Legend of the Seeker will be returned to by fans and creators, alike, time and again for "reference." It was also an incredibly detailed, and strikingly original, fantasy world; in fact, now that it's over, I'm definitely going to pick-up Goodkind's novels to keep the story going. And going it is: The Sword of Truth series spans a whopping 11 books, so far!

Whatever the fate of the Legend of the Seeker TV show, I expect Dark Horse, IDW, or a similar house, to pick it up and hopefully make good with it in sequential art form. I figure a painted interior - actually, I'd be shocked if it isn't (though I'm sure any talent could do it justice, Legend of the Seeker will be known for its visuals, which can only be captured in a natural color, or mixed, medium) - with none other than Terry Goodkind at the keyboard. I'd be a little surprised to see an ongoing series; a series of mini-series or graphic novels is what I expect.

Goodkind should also be tapped for the inevitable pen & paper RPG, though probably only as a creative consultant/executive producer; I guarantee a (probably yet uncollected) team of fan-fic diehards out there already have a handle on bringing the concepts to the tabletop. That is where the industry is headed, after all - and always should have been. It just remains to be seen if the larger companies are going to look beyond their stuffy, overpriced boxes for that outside (not necessarily freelance) talent; if these independent, wannabe designers are going to start seeking-out and culling their own collectives; or one, or more, of the aforementioned comics groups are going to swing their considerable licensing heft back in the direction of the old-school RPG.

Also a good idea? Hello, SyFy movie. (But I don't necessarily expect that; the comic book series [of mini-series, probably] I'd make book on.) RIP, Legend of the Seeker; long live Legend of the Seeker!

© C Harris Lynn, 2010
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ManoDogs said...

Fans have not given-up on LotS yet, as evidenced by this YouTube video, which lists all of the major communication points in an attempt to spark a write-in campaign to save the show.

Technically, Legend of the Seeker has not yet been declared "officially" canceled.

Anonymous said...

He's definitly missing something Zedd of the books has. They all are. Cara is getting better.