One of the great things about sci-fi/fantasy is that there seems to be unlimited opportunities to single out a small group of people and empower them in peculiar and problematic ways.
|● Midnighters series|
Take, for example, the Midnighters YA trilogy by Scott Westerfield. The setup for those three books--The Secret Hour (2004), Touching Darkness (2005), and Blue Noon (2006)--is that a select few, born exactly at the stroke of midnight, have access to the secret 25th hour of the day when everything else is still. Everything, that is, but dark creatures that haunt the shadows, and the Midnighters themselves, all of whom have different abilities. The uneasy status quo is shaken up by the emergence of a teenage girl with a hidden power the dark creatures fear, and seek to destroy (naturally).
An adaptation of this setup might easily have have been done in a familiar way by someone working from the Secret Circle toolkit, totally missing out on ways to make it eerily great (imagine a teen version of Dark City informing the still 25th hour). But some measure of hope may be drawn from the involvement of Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz, who, as the creators of Chuck, not only reinvented the sci-fi spy drama and infused it with wit (rather than one-liners) but then had the audacity to grow and evolve their hero, learning from his experiences rather than being trapped in reset button hell for five years. Can we count on a Fedak-Schwartz version of Midnighters having bright eyes and a cocky grin as well?
On this outing Fedak is writing the pilot, for which Fox has given script commitment, and Schwartz is producing with Fedak and Stephanie Savage. When will we see it? "Well, TV moves faster than publishing," says author Westerfield in his blog. "So if things work out, we could be seeing an actual Midnighters show a year from now, along with the other new shows of 2013." Westerfield won't be involved in the series if it sells, but he promises to be "snarking from the sidelines, at least."
Interestingly, the same blog post notes that there was a previous attempt to adapt the trilogy five years ago for the CW from an ex-Charmed producer, but with the stipulation that the high-school-aged characters be aged up to around 25. Westerfield thought that was a pretty dumb idea (there's not a lot of tension involved in a 26-year-old getting away with staying up on a school night), but the project evaporated before he and the fans could get too riled up.
These days, there's perhaps even less worry about good-looking teens getting up to supernatural mischief than there was back in the Aughts. (Maybe today if they were making Supernatural they'd just go ahead and cast Colin Ford.)
Westerfield is keeping a watchful eye from the sidelines. "Hopefully, there will be no aging up of Dess, Rex, Jonathan, Melissa, and Jessica in this version either," he says. "Because 25-year-olds sneaking out at midnight--not magical."
|Tags: Scott Westerfield, Midnighters, Chris Fedak, Josh Schwartz|
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