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I'm looking forward to this one. For those who don't know the book, it's kinda like "Abyss", as directed by Roland Emmerich. 😁 

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Diverse International Cast for Big-Budget Euro Series ‘The Swarm’ (Exclusive)

Cécile de France ('The New Pope'), Sharon Duncan-Brewster ('Sex Education'), Takuya Kimura ('2046), Lydia Wilson ('Flack'), and German star Barbara Sukowa ('Hannah Arendt') are among the ensemble cast for the environmental thriller series based on the Frank Schätzing bestseller.

BY SCOTT ROXBOROUGH

JUNE 16, 2021 12:00AM

The Swarm, the big-budget series based on the Frank Schätzing bestseller, has signed up a global cast of stars and up-and-comers for the 8-part environmental thriller.

European actors, including Cécile de France (The New Pope), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education), Jack Greenlees (Star Wars – The Last Jedi), Lydia Wilson (Flack), Krista Kosonen (Blade Runner 2049), Alexander Karim (Dying of the Light), Leonie Benesch (Babylon Berlin), and German star Barbara Sukowa (Hannah Arendt) will join the likes of Japan’s Takuya Kimura (I Came With the Rain) and Takehiro Hiera (Giri/Haji), Americans Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Game of Thrones) and Dutch Johnson (Veep), and Canadian Joshua Odjick (Unsettled) for the series, which has begun shooting in Italy.

Game of Thrones producer Frank Doelger, who is executive producing The Swarm through Intaglio Films (a joint venture between German outfits Beta Cinema and ZDF Enterprises), together with Eric Welbers of Germany’s ndF IP, said one of the prime challenges in setting up the adaptation of Schätzing’s 2004 novel was “to reimagine the characters to reflect the increasing diversity of the scientific community. This allowed us to put together a cast which I believe would have been unimaginable in 2004 when the novel was written.”

[...] 

Schätzing’s novel, which has been translated into 27 languages worldwide, chronicles the struggle of humankind against an unknown swarm intelligence that lives in the depths of the sea. When humanity’s pollution and wanton exploitation of the seas disturb this mysterious collective, it strikes back, threatening all human life on earth. The fate of the world rests in the hands of a small group of scientists.

Doelger and Schätzing adapted the novel for the screen. Steven Lally (Strike Back) and Marissa Lestrade (Deep State) penned the screenplay as well as Chris Lunt and Michel A. Walker. Polar and deep-sea researcher Professor Antje Boetius of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research and Dr. Jon Copley of the University of Southampton, United Kingdom act as scientific advisors on the series.

[...] 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/frank-schatzing-the-swarm-cast-1234967942/

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:02 AM, BansheeOne said:

I'm looking forward to this one. For those who don't know the book, it's kinda like "Abyss", as directed by Roland Emmerich. 😁 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/frank-schatzing-the-swarm-cast-1234967942/

The Swarm? The 'hive intelligence' that challenged humanity?
Sorry, but my casual reading of the 'gist' of this novel (sorry, wiki!) led me to conclude that environmental apocalypse science fiction by Germans is almost as intolerable as German WW2 fiction---The whole idea that USian religious people feeling there being another sentient life form on the planet was an affront to God and his 'true believers' made me shake my head. Clearly, this Kraut clearly knows very little about the US, religion and people of faith.

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Again, this is "Abyss" by Roland Emmerich, a melange of every maritime disaster/monster/sci-fi movie you've ever seen, written by someone who loves his action as much as his science. I like to call Frank Schätzing the probable result of a coke-and-booze-driven genesplicing party involving Michael Crichton, William Gibson and Stephan King back in the 70s.

His enthusiasm tends to border on parody; in "The Swarm", you have soldiers and scientists admonish each other that they are not some competing movie stereotypes, then proceed to act exactly like those. People will miss their ringing phones trying to warn them of impending disaster, and will trip running from the tsunami to the saving helicopter, which will then escape by an aerodynamically impossible maneuver.

You have a Canadian whalewatcher who everyone thinks is a local Indian, but really just wants to forget his true Inuit background while facing off with a former employee-turned-activist who is white, but self-identifying as an Indian. You have a female Asian-American general who is barking mad in the finest tradition of one Jack D. Ripper. You have an LHA fitted with lockout capabilities for high-speed minisubs and an entire secret section of rooms hidden from the uninitiated crew. You have bloodthirsty sharks and whales, and exploding bioweapon lobsters. And I cannot wait for them giving it the millenial Hollywood treatment to crank it up from 11 to 12! 😁 

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I found it entertainning to read, for what it was. Basically, a hopping "Pick me! Pick me!" donkey trying to register as the next Hollywood blockbuster script. That coke-and-booze gene experiment is going to make some ca$$h.

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On 6/18/2021 at 3:02 AM, BansheeOne said:

Again, this is "Abyss" by Roland Emmerich, a melange of every maritime disaster/monster/sci-fi movie you've ever seen, written by someone who loves his action as much as his science. I like to call Frank Schätzing the probable result of a coke-and-booze-driven genesplicing party involving Michael Crichton, William Gibson and Stephan King back in the 70s.

His enthusiasm tends to border on parody; in "The Swarm", you have soldiers and scientists admonish each other that they are not some competing movie stereotypes, then proceed to act exactly like those. People will miss their ringing phones trying to warn them of impending disaster, and will trip running from the tsunami to the saving helicopter, which will then escape by an aerodynamically impossible maneuver.

You have a Canadian whalewatcher who everyone thinks is a local Indian, but really just wants to forget his true Inuit background while facing off with a former employee-turned-activist who is white, but self-identifying as an Indian. You have a female Asian-American general who is barking mad in the finest tradition of one Jack D. Ripper. You have an LHA fitted with lockout capabilities for high-speed minisubs and an entire secret section of rooms hidden from the uninitiated crew. You have bloodthirsty sharks and whales, and exploding bioweapon lobsters. And I cannot wait for them giving it the millenial Hollywood treatment to crank it up from 11 to 12! 😁 

SO sheer cliche land? I'll pass

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7 hours ago, NickM said:

SO sheer cliche land? I'll pass

If you frame the book's description by pointing out that many characters are clearly distinguishable archetypes, that it's a science-fiction thriller with its genre-typical mix of suspense building and suspense relieving action scenes, then yes, it's a chlichée fest. Then again, it also has commendable elements.

 

Spoiler alert.

I found the way how the deep-sea hive mind was described innovative, and I was very satisfied that the book ends without a clear resolution of the problem. The whole struggle of the scientists is to communicate to a very, very alien mind without a magic translation machine that the pest it's trying to get rid of is also intelligent, and can we have a suspense of hostilities and talk, please?

But the fundamental and massive problem still remains unsolved, that the deep sea hive mind thinks in radically different ways and that we don't speak each other's language. So, that bit is about as close to Solaris than it is miles away from Independence Day.

 

 

The novel is, what, 700? 900? pages long and they will have to cut substantial parts to make it a vialbe treatment for TV, even if it's going to be "big budget". The end result will depend very much on what they are going to cut out in the adaptation. If they cut mostly the trite stuff it could actually be decent.

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  • 2 months later...

So Im in two minds to link this one, because tastes vary. But in 1989 I remember this being on TV, it was shown nationally and produced by the Southern TV stable which did some interesting drama's at the time.  Its a drama set in the Portsmouth and Southampton area in England during a cold war crisis. Thus far its rather like the preamble to 'The Day After'. Where this differs is the direction it goes in. During the transition to war, the British Government was expected to put regional commisioners in control to deal with the after effects of a nuclear strike. This deals with that process, and the fairly extensive powers they may have been given to deal with potential problems. Some of this is discussed in Threads and even The War Game, but that was dealing primarily with nuclear response, not the conventional conflict that led up to it.

It perhaps is a little overdone, and im not giving anything away by saying there is ultimately no nuclear war. And the timing was unfortunate, because as this was originally on tv, I seem to recall Eastern Europe was falling to bits. But its an interesting piece of cold war  drama, and worth it for the cultural references. And I figure I may as well flag it up before someobody wises up and takes it down again.

Here is the first episode, you can probably find the others yourselves.

 

I notice ITV's Deightons 'Game Set and Match' adaptation starring Ian Holm is also up on youtube. The 'Game' part is well worth watching, but I wouldnt recommend the other segments unless you like seeing a lot of Cold War Berlin.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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  • 3 weeks later...
15 hours ago, Soren Ras said:

Every franchise that gets put through the reboot wringer these days is ruined by pandering to identity politics bullshit.

Delenn => lesbian

Sheridan => trans

Garibaldi => furry

Ivanova => bi

 

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3 hours ago, Ivanhoe said:

Delenn => lesbian

Sheridan => trans

Garibaldi => furry

Ivanova => bi

 

Ivanova was bi in the original series.  Her successor was bi or lesbian.  Two of the male characters went undercover as a married gay couple.

 

I don't think a reboot is a good idea because that story was already told.  A continuation might be interesting, but several of the actors have died over the years.  I think most of the regular cast, actually:  Vir, Molari, G'Kar, Garibaldi, Delenn,  Zack, the doctor . . .

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5 hours ago, Ivanhoe said:

Delenn => lesbian

Sheridan => trans

Garibaldi => furry

Ivanova => bi

 

i'm more concered JMS will turn out to be a Weinstein feminist like Joss Whedon and tries to 'deflect' by being overly woke.

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2 hours ago, R011 said:

Ivanova was bi in the original series.  Her successor was bi or lesbian.  Two of the male characters went undercover as a married gay couple.

 

I don't think a reboot is a good idea because that story was already told.  A continuation might be interesting, but several of the actors have died over the years.  I think most of the regular cast, actually:  Vir, Molari, G'Kar, Garibaldi, Delenn,  Zack, the doctor . . .

Happily Mollari (Pete Jurasik) is still among the living but he's getting 'up there' too.

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3 hours ago, NickM said:

Happily Mollari (Pete Jurasik) is still among the living but he's getting 'up there' too.

So he is!  He's not even that old - 71.  He was great as Sid the Snitch in Hill Street Blues too.

 

Captain Sinclair (Michael O'Hare) is also no longer with us.  He had to leave after the first season due to illness.

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6 hours ago, R011 said:

Ivanova was bi in the original series.  Her successor was bi or lesbian.  Two of the male characters went undercover as a married gay couple.

 

I don't think a reboot is a good idea because that story was already told.  A continuation might be interesting, but several of the actors have died over the years.  I think most of the regular cast, actually:  Vir, Molari, G'Kar, Garibaldi, Delenn,  Zack, the doctor . . .

This, essentially. The new "Battlestar Galactica" was such a success because it took a borderline campy 70s original and turned it into a mostly well-told gritty narration of existential concepts with modern special effects. The effects of B5 might be imperfect by current standards, but the narration hardly needs improving, even with a view to fashionable progressive norms. In fact if it hadn't been made in the 90s but would be now in the exact same way, right-wingers would probably blast it as more SJW propaganda, as anti-Trump for the whole fascist-president-colluding-with-the-Shadows thing, vaccination propaganda for the Drafa Plague episode, communist propagaganda for Delenn bringing in the Minbari worker class to dominate the Grey Council (not to speak of her changing if not her gender, then her racial identity), etc.

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2 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

This, essentially. The new "Battlestar Galactica" was such a success because it took a borderline campy 70s original and turned it into a mostly well-told gritty narration of existential concepts with modern special effects. The effects of B5 might be imperfect by current standards, but the narration hardly needs improving, even with a view to fashionable progressive norms. In fact if it hadn't been made in the 90s but would be now in the exact same way, right-wingers would probably blast it as more SJW propaganda, as anti-Trump for the whole fascist-president-colluding-with-the-Shadows thing, vaccination propaganda for the Drafa Plague episode, communist propagaganda for Delenn bringing in the Minbari worker class to dominate the Grey Council (not to speak of her changing if not her gender, then her racial identity), etc.

You're probably right about fictional President Clark being compared to real President Trump if this were done today, and you'd likely be right.  Indeed, you can find people on line claiming that JMS was prescient and that Trump was a horrible fascist dictator just like the guy in B5 just as the same comparison was being made with Bush before Trump.  The rest, I think, is a bit of a stretch

 

Still, the treatment of LGBT people and women was quite progressive for TV in the nineties if commonplace now..

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8 minutes ago, R011 said:

You're probably right about fictional President Clark being compared to real President Trump if this were done today, and you'd likely be right.  Indeed, you can find people on line claiming that JMS was prescient and that Trump was a horrible fascist dictator just like the guy in B5 just as the same comparison was being made with Bush before Trump.  The rest, I think, is a bit of a stretch

 

Still, the treatment of LGBT people and women was quite progressive for TV in the nineties if commonplace now..

Interesting statement that in the U.S. can be taken in opposite directions.

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41 minutes ago, R011 said:

You're probably right about fictional President Clark being compared to real President Trump if this were done today, and you'd likely be right.  Indeed, you can find people on line claiming that JMS was prescient and that Trump was a horrible fascist dictator just like the guy in B5 just as the same comparison was being made with Bush before Trump.  The rest, I think, is a bit of a stretch

 

Still, the treatment of LGBT people and women was quite progressive for TV in the nineties if commonplace now..

I don't know, there were folks condemning "Mad Max: Fury Road" for being SJW garbage promoting strong women running things and putting men in their place. They must have really hated "Beyond Thunderdome", or for that matter "Aliens" and "Terminator: Judgement Day", too, but somehow I never heard about that. People get worked up over the most niggardly things running counter to their contemporary political conceptions which were actually done the exact same way in the supposedly "good old times".

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8 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

I don't know, there were folks condemning "Mad Max: Fury Road" for being SJW garbage promoting strong women running things and putting men in their place. They must have really hated "Beyond Thunderdome", or for that matter "Aliens" and "Terminator: Judgement Day", too, but somehow I never heard about that. People get worked up over the most niggardly things running counter to their contemporary political conceptions which were actually done the exact same way in the supposedly "good old times".

I sure there were just as there are SJW whining about whatever the popular issue of the day happens to be.  It's the internet and noisy trolls abound who represent no one but a few fellow neckbeards in mom's basement.

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