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April 18 2010

(SPOILER) Tahmoh Up a Creek (Well, a Riverworld) without a Paddle on SyFy Tonight. The Dollhouse alum stars in a new four hour adaptation (and possible "backdoor pilot") of Phillip Jose Farmer's "Riverworld" on the SyFy Channel starting at 7 PM ET tonight (and re-airing tomorrow, starting at 5 PM ET).

I saw an indifferent review of this elsewhere, but one of the affiliated companies has produced some of the higher-quality SciFi/SyFy productions, such as Tin Man, so it may have some potential. (There seems to be only discussion of the basic premise at the link, but I spoiler-tagged to be safe.)

Wouldn't there be issues of this being picked up because of Laura Vandervoort's commitment to V? (Though, jury is still out on V season 2).
Didn't SciFi already try this once?
Quietly burning off all four hours of this on one night means this is going nowhere (series-wise). Of course, I'm 95% positive V won't be back either.
I caught about the third quarter of the first 2-hour part. Some of the acting seemed a little hammy and it just felt...very "Sci-Fi movie of the week". Never read the books, but the concept sounds interesting enough.
I watched the whole thing. I can't say I disagree too much. But then, I'll be honest that a lot of the series I've grown to like recently did not "start" well.

It's interesting, because almost every review I've read brings up Rob Halmi because he keeps producing those movies of the week. Of course I remember he also produced Farscape, so his name attachment doesn't evoke the same antipathy that this project seems to have enjoyed from some critics.

All in all, not great. But as a series it has some potential. From what I've heard about the books, it's very much about putting people we think of in one historical context and making us question or at least see them different ways. If that were put into a series, it could be interesting. Unfortunately, this functions a lot like an origin story and suffers because of excessive exposition and since the charecter's seem to say what they mean all the time, it's a little on the "tin ear" side.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-04-19 04:41 ]
Many years ago, I remember liking To Your Scattered Bodies Go a lot. But the rest of the Riverworld series didn't keep my attention. Even though it's been years, I could go into great detail explaining how tonight's show differs from the books. Some changes were needed for the transfer to TV, but others didn't make much sense--& made the story duller than it should have been. Pretty scenery, though!

I'd bet Tahmoh will be free for any new opportunities that might arise. He & some of the other cast truly did their best with what they had. Here in WhedonWorld, we get spoiled by good writing. Think some of the Dollhouse episodes weren't all that? They could have been far worse.
Unfortunately, this functions a lot like an origin story and suffers because of excessive exposition and since the charecter's seem to say what they mean all the time

I'd bet Tahmoh will be free for any new opportunities that might arise. He & some of the other cast truly did their best with what they had.


Have to agree with both of your statements. The writing for this was very mediocre, although the premise had some possibilities. The writing was simply unimaginative, and I thought the directing was, as well. But it was still a cut above most of the SyFy movies.
And it's got Peter Wingfield with a sword. Yay, Methos! :)
So was it better than the first SciFi version?
I saw about 3 hours of it, sort of off and on while doing things around my apartment. Don't know the source material but have heard about it. I thought Tahmoh made a good effort and I particularly liked the woman who played the Samurai warrior, but it was pretty flat for me.
I tried watching this, but the casting and (most) of the performances by the actors were bad.

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