Happy 80th Birthday, Lee Majors!

The Six Million Dollar Man himself celebrates his 80th birthday today!

It’s been a bit since I saw him pop up anywhere. He looked great from the photos I saw from the set of Fuller House where he along with Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner guest-starred last year. They both still look great, and I hope I have half his energy when I’m his age.

Also? I fervently maintain that Lee Majors has the manliest running stride in the history of running men. Fight me.

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Geek Fact: When I was a kid, I so wanted a jacket like the one in this pic.

Geek Fact 2: I kinda still do.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Majors!

Today is National Film Score Day!

Who knew?

Not me. At least, not until I read about it thanks to one of my Facebook friends. As odd days of observance go, this one isn’t too shabby at all.

What are we talking about? According to the National Day Calendar website, National Film Score Day “recognizes the musical masterpieces called “Film Scores” and, more specifically, the very talented composers who create them.”

Sweet!

Though it’s been a while since I’ve written on the subject, those of you who spend any time here likely know that I’m a huge fan of film and TV music and love listening to it apart from the production for which it was created. It’s also my habit to listen to such music when I’m writing, as it always helps to set the “right mood” for the project-in-progress.

A well-crafted film score is a thing of beauty. The first album I ever bought with my own money was the vinyl 2-record LP score for the original Star Wars in 1977.

Since then, my library has continued to grow not just with music from newer film television and productions but also “expanded” or “complete” editions of scores from days gone by which were only made available in truncated form due to the limitations of the medium (LP records, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, and even CDs once they took over). Thanks to companies like La-La Land Records and Intrada I’ve been able to enjoy updated, expanded, and remastered versions of scores of older films, and in some cases it’s like hearing the music for the first time EVEN THOUGH I know every note by heart.

STTMP-SoundtrackCoverWhat are some of my favorites? Well, some obvious suspects are the various Star Trek films, in particular Jerry Goldsmith’s The Motion Picture, The Final Frontier, and First Contact, James Horner’s The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock, and Michael Giacchino’s music for all three of the reboot films. Everything John Williams has ever done for the Star Wars saga goes on the list, too, but I also must give props to Michael Giacchino for Rogue One and John Powell for Solo. 

Superman-ScoreJerry Goldsmith is well represented in my library, including personal favorites Planet of the Apes (1968), Rambo: First Blood, Part II (yes, really), Alien, Total Recall, L.A. Confidential, Outland, and 1999’s The Mummy. James Horner also had a lot going on beyond his Star Trek work, and I especially dig Aliens, Apollo 13, Sneakers, Glory, The RocketeerCommando, and Titanic (that’s right; I said it). And you can’t have a film score collection without stuff by John Williams, including stuff by John Williams that’s not Star Wars, which is good because I absolutely love the music he created for Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and…of course…Superman.

My taste in film music runs the gamut from Pirates of the Caribbean to The American President, Die Hard, or The Incredibles, or from The Shawshank Redemption to Gladiator, The Martian, or Black Hawk Down. Bill Conti’s The Right Stuff is wondrous. Old-school offerings like The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven or The Day the Earth Stood Still are in there, too. The truth is that I’m all over the map with this kind of thing. I hear it while watching the film and know I just have to have it without everybody yakking over it or everything blowing up around it.

TV’s the same way. Yes, Star Trek gets a lot of play around here (occupational hazard, you know), but what about Lost In Space or Mission: Impossible or Alien Nation? Battlestar Galactica? Hell, even seaQuest is in there.

I could do this all day, people.

So, Happy “National Film Score Day.” I think it’s time to stick a little of that action in my ears while I continue to write.

A Superman “mystery?”

I don’t typically advertise when I’m away on vacation, preferring instead to surprise readers after I’m back and let you know that HEY! I was on vacation last week.

So, HEY! I was on vacation last week.

It was an epic road trip in which Clan Ward joined forces with two other families with whom we’ve become good friends since our move to Ward Manor 2.0 in 2014. Our kids all go to the same schools, participate in the neighborhood swim team and other local activities, and my wife along with one of the other wives actually works for the third wife, so we find ourselves together in all sorts of weather and circumstances. 😀

This time, it was a 2,100-or so mile excursion: first to Nashville, Tennessee, where we spent mine and Michi’s 28th anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day. Followed by a jaunt to Destin, Florida for a few days lounging on the beach, checking out local sites, and eating all manner of things plundered from the ocean that was RIGHT THERE. The last couple of days were spent in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the historic Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa, located right in the heart of the action directly across the street from Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Row, and all sorts of local coolness.

This past Saturday afternoon, as Michi and the girls were availing themselves of the hotel’s embedded Starbucks cafe when the barista started making small talk, which brings us to the reason for this latest blog posting and its title. As she prepared the girls’ triple latte double caff whatevers, the barista pointed to a building across the street and casually mentioned that, “They used it for the Daily Planet building in the old Superman TV series.”

Continue reading “A Superman “mystery?””

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Planet of the Apes!

Yep, it’s time for another walk down Nostalgia Lane that you didn’t ask for and probably don’t need. Since that’s the running theme of this entire blog thing of mine, we can at least agree I’m consistent.

Back at the beginning of the year, I decided that I would offer up an irregularly-recurring feature that I’d use to revisit favorite movie and TV tie-in books. After taking a fond look back at novels based on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman and knowing that I wanted to avoid talking too much about Star Trek novels (at least right away), it seems obvious to me that the next old-timey series deserving of some love is Planet of the Apes!

As is true of Star Trek and the “Bionic shows,” Planet of the Apes was another series (of movies and television shows, in this case) that I came to love very early on. Though I never saw any of the original five films in theaters, I did watch both of the subsequent television series as best I could during their original broadcasts in 1974-75. Just as I was learning about books based on the other two franchises around this time, so too did I discover the same was true of Apes.

First I found a copy of Pierre Boulle‘s original 1963 novel at the library, after which I found a paperback of Jerry Pournelle’s novelization of Escape from the Planet of the Apes occupying space on a department store book rack. Unlike the Star Trek novels and episode adaptations which seemed to be everywhere, tracking down the books tying into the other Apes films would prove to be much more challenging.

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(Left: the cover that seemed to dominate re-issues of the original novel throughout the 1970s and into the early 80s. Right: The cover on the edition I own.)

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Planet of the Apes!”

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman!

A while back, I mentioned that I might be doing an irregularly-recurring feature here in the blogspace, in which I’ll revisit favorite movie and TV tie-in books. As I mentioned in that introductory post, I’ll probably avoid talking about Star Trek novels and such to a large degree, as they already get a lot of attention in these parts (occupational hazard, you know).

This means I’ve got more room for other books and series, from childhood favorites to newer offerings. The former category is likely to get more play early on because the tie-in books of my youth filled a void that nowadays is largely addressed by the easy access to favorite TV shows and movies which did not exist in those days. With that in mind, I knew from the jump that I’d likely start with one of two other fondly remembered “franchises,” and after a coin toss I decided to go with the novelized adventures of Steve Austin, astronaut; a man barely alive and how they rebuilt him and made him better stronger, faster, etc.

For those who don’t know, the television series The Six Million Dollar Man began life as a 1973 TV movie which was broadly adapted from the author Martin Caidin’s novel Cyborg, which was published the previous year. The movie hits most of the wickets laid out in the book, but Steve Austin – the test pilot who suffers ghastly injuries during a flight accident and later “rebuilt” using cybernetic components – is presented as a rather more likable character than his prose counterpart. For this first TV outing, there are also a few changes to Austin’s abilities and the depictions of his bionics, many of which would be tweaked by the time the television series came along.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman!”

Happy 52nd Birthday, “Arena!”

On January 19th, 1967, Captain James T. Kirk faced off against a formidable foe. Trapped on a barren planetoid, he has no choice but to find some way to defeat his enemy in a battle for the ages.

I have many favorite episodes of the original Star Trek series, but “Arena,” the 18th episode of the show’s first season, is at the top of my list. When I was a kid, the draw was Captain Kirk being a badass, facing off against a scary enemy that’s as cunning as he is while outmatching him in strength and ferocity. As I grew older and started to see the different layers baked into various episodes, I gained a new appreciation for this particular story.

Written by Gene L. Coon, one of the original series’ tragically underappreciated contributors, “Arena” is also based on a short story written by Frederic Brown. It’s a prime example of what’s become a classic Star Trek trope, with our heroes encountering something mysterious, misunderstood, and perhaps dangerous only to learn something new about themselves while discovering the truth. The episode opens with a terrific action sequence and proceeds from there as Kirk turns almost obsessive in his desire to hunt down the alien ship which has just destroyed a Federation colony. The pursuit runs the Enterprise afoul of a previously unknown and very powerful alien race, the Metrons, who don’t like this confrontation that’s now on their doorstep. In response, they deposit Kirk and the captain of the alien ship, a reptilian Gorn, on the surface of a small planet and force them to fight one another to the death:

METRON: We are the Metrons. You are one of two crafts which have come into our space on a mission of violence. This is not permissible. Yet we have analyzed you and have learned that your violent tendencies are inherent. So be it. We will control them. We will resolve your conflict in the way most suited to your limited mentalities. Captain James Kirk.

KIRK: This is Kirk. 

METRON: We have prepared a planet with a suitable atmosphere. You will be taken there, as will the Captain of the Gorn ship which you have been pursuing. There you will settle your dispute.

KIRK: I don’t understand.

METRON: You will be provided with a recording-translating device, in hopes that a chronicle of this contest will serve to dissuade others of your kind from entering our system, but you will not be permitted to communicate with your ship. You will each be totally alone.

KIRK: What makes you think you can interfere with–

METRON: It is you who are interfering. We are simply putting a stop to it. The place we have prepared for you contains sufficient elements for either of you to construct weapons lethal enough to destroy the other, which seems to be your intention. The winner of the contest will be permitted to go his way unharmed. The loser, along with his ship, shall be destroyed in the interests of peace. The contest will be one of ingenuity against ingenuity, brute strength against brute strength. The results will be final. 

Oh, it’s on now.

Pretty much everyone knows how this story ends, with Kirk figuring out how to rig a crude bamboo cannon while fashioning gunpowder from the “sufficient elements” provided by the Metrons. He blasts the Gorn but doesn’t kill him, and at the last moment decides to spare the alien captain’s life. This is enough to impress the Metron and spare the crews of both ships:

METRON: By sparing your helpless enemy who surely would have destroyed you, you demonstrated the advanced trait of mercy, something we hardly expected. We feel there may be hope for your kind. Therefore, you will not be destroyed. It would not be civilized.

KIRK: What happened to the Gorn? 

GORN: I sent him back to his ship. If you like, I shall destroy him for you.

KIRK: No. That won’t be necessary. We can talk. Maybe reach an agreement.

METRON: Very good, Captain. There is hope for you. Perhaps in several thousand years, your people and mine shall meet to reach an agreement. You are still half savage, but there is hope. We will contact you when we are ready.

So, Kirk has that going for him, which is nice.

Yes, you can tell me that by modern production standards, “Arena” – like much of the series itself – looks hopelessly dated, but I don’t care. The strength of the story carries the day, here, triumphing over skimpy budgets and the limitations in costuming, prosthetic make-up, and physical and visual effects of the era in which it was made. I still love this episode, and it’s one of the those I list off whenever somebody is new to the show and wants to see what makes it tick. In so many ways, it is quintessentially Star Trek.

KIRK: We’re a most promising species, Mister Spock, as predators go. Did you know that?

SPOCK: I’ve frequently had my doubts. 

KIRK: I don’t. Not anymore. And maybe in a thousand years or so, we’ll be able to prove it. Never mind, Mister Spock. It doesn’t make much sense to me either. Take us back to where we’re supposed to be, Mister Sulu. Warp factor one.

SULU: Warp factor one.

SPOCK: A thousand years, Captain?

KIRK: Well, that gives us a little time.

The Shield series ended 10 years ago today, and I’m ready to watch it all over again.

Holy crap. Really?

Yep. Tonight marks 10 years since the finale to one of my all-time favorite TV shows knocked me on my butt: The Shield.

For those who don’t know (and what the hell is THAT about?), The Shield was a police drama which ran for seven seasons on FX. Created by Shawn Ryan (The Unit, Timeless, the rebooted S.W.A.T.), it starred Michael Chiklis as police detective Vic Mackey. A corrupt cop who didn’t start out that way, Mackey did everything with an attitude of “the ends justify the means,” which led him from being effective if not orthodox toward the dark side, and we get to watch his high swan dive toward oblivion as his actions destroy or assist in destroying pretty much everything and everyone around him.

The Shield was absolutely stuffed to overflowing with all manner of riveting performances delivered by talented actors. Filling out Mackey’s strike team were Walton Goggins, Kenny Johnson, and David Rees Snell, all of whom were rock solid in their respective roles. The rest of the main cast – Benito Martinez, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes, Catherine Dent, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, and Michael Jace – was just as stellar.

Likewise, a number of familiar faces and up-and-comers provided strong supporting turns in recurring or guest star roles: Forest Whitaker, Glenn Close, Reed Diamond, Anthony Anderson, Laurie Holden, and Michael Pena to name just a few from a very long list. The series was filmed in a very immersive, “you are right there in the shit” style, with handheld cameras looking over characters’ shoulders, around corners, through doorways or over the hoods of cars…whatever made it feel like you the viewer were embedded with Mackey and the gang. Way, way more often than not, the writing was tight and gripping, and I quit counting the number of times I sat there watching an episode and thinking, “Daaaaaaaaaaaayum. They really went there?”

When the series premiered, I watched it with curiosity because I’ve always been a Chiklis fan and the strength of the main cast was enough to make me give the show a look. Even before the first hour was up, I was adding it to my TiVo recording schedule (remember those?) but then we get to the episode’s last scene and it just smacks you right in the mouth. From that instant, I knew I was in for the long haul. If you’ve not seen it, I won’t even hint at a spoiler. Just watch the first episode. Trust me.

Vic Mackey is a role Chiklis seemed born to play, and despite the indefensible deeds he committed as the series progressed–many of which he and his “strike team” of fellow detectives were able to pull off without being caught–part of us still wondered if he might get away with it all in the end. We watched with horrified fascination as Mackey and his team kept finding ways to compartmentalize and justify their actions while still holding on to lingering shreds of morality and decency as they pursue criminals. Then, as everything inevitably started to come apart, we wondered if Mackey and the others might somehow pull off an unlikely miracle and escape unscathed.

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If you watched the show, you know he didn’t get away “clean,” and his team fared rather worse than he did. With his professional and personal life crumbling around him, Mackey goes to the feds and cuts a deal. He secures employment with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency as well as a plea bargain which grants him immunity from all his past sins. In exchange, he must offer up a full confession of everything he and the strike team have ever done, as well as secure the bust of a major drug dealer.

The scene in the series’ penultimate episode, in which Mackey offers this confession is perhaps my very favorite in the series’ entire run. It’s all Chiklis for nearly a full minute of deafening silence as we watch him gather his thoughts and collect himself before starting to lay it all out, with I.C.E. agent Olivia Murray growing increasingly horrified with every passing second. For whatever the hell my opinion is worth, this single scene should’ve been enough to nab Chiklis an Emmy. That he wasn’t even nominated the year this originally aired is a fucking crime.

(And remember, we haven’t even gotten to the finale, at this point.)

I.C.E., now properly horrified at everything for which they’ve just given Mackey a free pass, force him to serve out his 3-year employment contract by manning a desk, writing endless, boring reports. Any failure to abide by the conditions of his agreement nullifies his immunity deal, and he can then be prosecuted for his past crimes. For a man used to all-but unlimited power as the leader of an elite police unit, this is a fate worse than death for Mackey, made all the worse by his status as a complete outcast from his former police department and the disappearance of his wife and kids into the federal Witness Protection Program. The final scene of The Shield, which takes place after his first day of work at I.C.E., very heavily implies that Mackey might not be keen on keeping up his end of the bargain for the ensuing three years….

And scene.

Ten years later, I still consider The Shield‘s series finale one of the best endings to any show, ever. The entire series is unfailingly rewatchable, which is good since it’s about to be released on Blu-ray in December (hint, for anyone holiday shopping for me.). With the new fad of reviving older shows, one has to ask if a return to the world of The Shield might be in the cards. Series creator Shawn Ryan is on record as saying he’s happy with where things ended, but he’s not opposed to reopening that box provided he can come up with something that makes the effort worthwhile. While I totally respect his position with leaving things be, if he ever does decide to scratch that itch, I will totally be there.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something that’s not at all your typical “cop show,” then I cannot recommend The Shield highly enough.

Happy 40th Anniversary to the Star Wars Holiday Special!

In the annals of television history, there have been those rare occasions when something has been conceived, developed, produced, and aired without anyone along the way thinking better of the whole thing. KISS Meets the Phantom of the ParkSupertrain. Cop Rock. Legends of the Superheroes. That Lebron James thing. Galactica 1980. The Tuesday Night Book Club. You get the idea.

No such list is complete without the Star Wars Holiday Special on it, if not capping it.

Sorry, fellow Star Wars fans. We have to own this one.

It was on Friday, November 17, 1978 that this singular entry in the Star Wars mythos premiered to audiences tuning into CBS that evening. For those of us who saw Star Wars first-run in theaters, this was a highly anticipated moment. I begged and pleaded for my parents to let me watch it on “the big TV” in the living room rather than the dinky one they let me have in my bedroom. There I was, lying on the living room floor, all of 11 years old, while my mother read a book and my father managed to avoid voicing his contempt at all things space-y or science fiction-y, ready to behold an all-new adventure from that galaxy far, far away….

In hindsight, weed would’ve helped.

Following the events of the original Star Wars film (yeah, yeah. “Episode IV: New Hope“), Han Solo and Chewbacca are cruising back to Chewie’s home planet so he can be with his family to celebrate “Life Day,” but they’re being chased by the Galactic Empire who of course is still pissed about that whole Death Star thing and is hunting anyone connected to the Rebel Alliance.

Sounds good, right?

One has to wonder what would have happened if social media had existed that evening, with millions of Star Wars fans live-tweeting or posting reaction videos on YouTube. I think it’s a safe bet that the entire internet would’ve melted to slag before this thing’s first commercial break. Part Star Wars and part variety show, it succeeds at being neither, yet does so in a manner from which it’s impossible to look away. It is a glorious dumpster fire, if in fact one can use such a term in a complimentary fashion.

As it unspools to our ever-increasing horror, we catch up with pretty much everyone who survived the events of the first film, and we also meet a few new characters. Some, like Boba Fett – introduced as he is in a kind of Heavy Metal -like diversion into animation for reasons that I firmly believe are firmly rooted in mood-altering substances – would go on to make numerous appearances and contributions to Star Wars lore. Others, like Bea Arthur’s Ackmena (a personal favorite) and Harvey Korman’s Krelman, are perhaps best left in the trash compactor of Star Wars history. We do get to see Chewie’s home planet and his family, though even that can’t escape ridicule thanks to the names given to Chewie’s father and son: Itchy and Lumpy.

They’re Wookiees, 1970s TV execs. Not dwarves.

The decision to make it a sort of variety show/musical hybrid means calling upon a literal all-star cast of entertainers of the day. Along with the aforementioned Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, and the band Jefferson Starship are on hand trying to lend an air of dignity and much-needed humor to the proceedings. The music segments are like acid trips (or antacid trips, as the case may be) and watching Korman struggle to find the funny in the material he’s given is painful. Only Bea Arthur comes out relatively unscathed, because Bea Arthur could do no wrong (Fight me). If the entire thing had been delivered with the same tone and sensibility – and maybe add some Muppets or strippers or something – those of us who watched it during its original broadcast would likely still have scars, but they might not be so deep and lingering.

And yet, I admit to having something of a soft spot for it. When I was 11 and Star Wars was everywhere and everything, as I read the monthly comic from Marvel or the novelization or Splinter of the Mind’s Eye over and over again, this helped scratch the Star Wars itch, even in an admittedly inept way.

Derided by critics and fans alike, the Star Wars Holiday Special has nevertheless achieved a weird flavor of cult-like status. How they convinced the main Star Wars cast to participate in this has to rank as one of the most epic cocktail party “They had embarrassing photos of me” stories ever. It was never broadcast after its single airing and has never been officially released on home video in any format. You can find links to it here and there, though, and the best April Fool’s gag ever would be for the whole thing to receive a total remastering for 4K Blu-ray.

George Lucas has fervently denied having any connection to its production, and cast members like Harrison Ford insist they’ve never seen it. Carrie Fisher, in her usual style, seemed to take the whole thing in stride, joking in an interview with The New York Times that she made Lucas give her a copy of the special so that she could have something to play at parties when she wanted everyone to leave. Damn, I miss her.

For better or worse, the Star Wars Holiday Special is a thing that exists, and it’s now 40 years old. I’m gonna go and cry in my blue milk, now.

Happy Life Day, Wookiees!

Happy 30th anniversary to War of the Worlds….the TV series?

In 1953, Earth experienced a war of the worlds. Common bacteria stopped the aliens, but it didn’t kill them. Instead, the aliens lapsed into a state of deep hibernation. Now the aliens have been resurrected, more terrifying than before. In 1953, the aliens started taking over the world; today, they’re taking over our bodies….”

The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells’ classic 19th century novel of Earth’s invasion by aliens from Mars, remains one of the most influential works of science fiction literature. It’s been adapted numerous times and has spawned several sequels, prequels, and re-imaginings over the course of the 120+ years since its original publication. The 1953 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds is widely considered to be one of the most popular and fondly remembered interpretations of Wells’ seminal work.

The film’s producer, the legendary George Pal, had attempted to launch a television sequel to the movie back in the early 1970s. That effort stalled early in its development, and the idea was not revisited until the late 1980s. Paramount Pictures’ television arm, at the time enjoying much success in the relatively new first-run TV syndication arena with Star Trek: The Next Generation, decided to try expanding its offerings and a new interpretation of The War of the Worlds was greenlit.

Continue reading “Happy 30th anniversary to War of the Worlds….the TV series?”

A 24 prequel on the way?

So, last night I was perusing my Facebook feed, I happened across this news item from The Hollywood Reporter:

’24’ Prequel From Original Series Creators Eyed at Fox

Okay. You’ve got my attention.

Those of you who’ve been around here for a while know that I’m a huge fan of all things 24. I watched every episode of every season from the beginning, read all the spin-off novels and comics, hung on for even the craziest plot twists, double agents, double blinds, and double crosses through eight seasons (and a special TV movie) and then came running back when they announced and broadcast follow-ups like 24: Live Another Day and 24: Legacy.

The former left me wanting for more things Jack Bauer, while the latter succeeded in scratching an itch but offering only temporary relief. Though I was perfectly fine with focusing on a new set of characters in the 24 “universe,” I thought Legacy fell into too many of the same traps that plagued some seasons of the original show. That said, if the Powers That Be opted to revisit that setup in some future installment, I’d check it out.

In between Live Another Day and Legacy, a couple of buds and I were able to scratch said itch in our own fashion. James Swallow gave us Deadline, the first of two novels set between the series’ eighth season and LAD, and David Mack followed him with Rogue, set a couple of years after Jim’s book.

Then I had to go and screw up the whole formula by writing Trial By Fire, a prequel to the series itself and set in 1994. Whoops.

But hey! Prequel.

The idea of setting stories before the events of the original television series isn’t really a new notion. While the show was still in production, publisher Harper Collins gave us a total of eleven Jack Bauer literary adventures under the umbrella title 24: Declassified, and comics publisher IDW also had a couple of “prequel stories” during its run with the license. However, those efforts – as is the case with most novel and comics tie-ins – were charged with remaining faithful to the events of the series as shown onscreen. The people who do TV don’t always – or even ever – have to follow such “rules.”

The Hollywood Reporter‘s story is light on detail, but the involvement of the original show’s creators is a big plus for me. Of course, it also raises some questions: Is their intention to actually make a prequel, with a younger version of the character we already know, caught up in events set prior to those of the series? This would require it to be a “period piece” of sorts, set somewhere in the late 1980s-1990s timeframe.

(Wait. Hold up. Let’s just pause a moment to consider the impact of a statement like “Period piece, set in the late 1980s-1990s.” Damn, I’m getting old.)

On the other hand, maybe they’re thinking it’s a prequel but also a reboot, similar to what’s being (and been) done with the Jack Ryan character, or even James Bond. This approach would allow the series creators to free themselves of the show’s “canon” and set the show in the “present,” which of course would let them continue making use of current (and somewhat future-esque) technology within the storytelling framework. Besides, don’t we already know what a Jack Bauer/24 series set in the 1990s would be like?

We kid. We kid.

Now, while I’d likely at least give a reboot show a chance, I’m hoping they go the other route and do something that ties into the original 24 chronology. In fact, last night I started thinking about potential storylines that could serve both as a flashback/prequel and a way to resolve Jack Bauer’s arc, which left us hanging at the end of Live Another Day. Plus, I also want to see more Chloe O’Brian, and hey! Tony Almeida is still out there, somewhere.

Who knows that these guys will do?

(No, they won’t be using anything established in Trial By Fire or any other prequel novel or comic. The likelihood of something like that is hovering right on that decimal point between “0.0,” all right?)

Anyway, I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see what develops. Like Star Trek and certain other media properties and even though it may have stumbled every so often, I’m always up for more 24.