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40K TV series - your ideal pilot episode


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#26
Ulfgrim Alvsbane

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That's a fantastic idea, Calyptra.  I can picture something that's part Heavy Metal, part Aeon Flux.  Even that style of art and animation would work for me.


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#27
Arganias

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I think Ciaphus Cain would be a good way to enter into the 40k Universe with broader appeal. A regular guy with a sense of humor and a position to see the bigger picture. Through Cain you can explore nearly every facet of the universe while keeping it grounded in the lore.


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#28
Lephisto

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A TV Series about Inquisition and rogue traders would be cool. I think if Space marines or anything like that would be too hard to do in terms of budget allocated for it.



#29
Praetor of Calth

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I always see people wanting stuff like the "Horus Heresy" being made into a TV show, but I honestly don't think it would the best way to present the franchise. For me "Necromunda" is actually the best setting for a 40k TV show because it actually has the potential to survive in the mainstream.

 

It's a setting that will still be easily identifiable for people new to the setting, it could double as a crime/gang show as well as a 40k show. It can introduce other elements of the setting such as "Religion//Imperial Creed", "Imperial Way of Life" in a much subtler and more relate-able way than superhuman warriors duking it out never could. It also resolves the problem of a 40k TV show having to explain everything at once in the space of a few minutes. You don't need to explain the whole setting in one go to explain why gangs might commit crime/fight, but you sure as hell do to explain who the Emperor/Primarchs and Space Marines are.

 

On top of that there's still loads of potential to bring in wierd and wonderful things from the outsider 40k setting.

 

If you want a 40k TV show, it needs to be one that approaches the market with a sense of subtlety otherwise it would just crash and burn.

 


Edited by Praetor of Calth, 23 November 2017 - 01:35 PM.

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#30
mhacdebhandia

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I think I'd just adapt the Eisenhorn novels.



#31
Cpt_Reaper

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In terms of style, a melding of The Clone Wars and Roghnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles would be my idea.

 

it would follow a platoon of Guardsmen, with a focus on a particular squad. Each season focuses on a new campaign.

 

Season 1: fighting a Ork WAAAGH! as The Main Squad have been promoted from Whiteshields to full Guardsmen.

 

Season 2: The Regiment suffered a lot of losses against the WAAAGH! so is melded with another Regiment, and The Main Squad has to deal with a culture clash as well as the literal clash with the T'au. Explores issues of Humans joining the T'au, and the technological difference between the species (the Guard had better gear than the Orks, now are the primitive species).

 

Season 3: The Regiment is pulled out of the conflict with the T'au to stop the advance of a Tyranid Hive Fleet. The Main Squad must deal with Genestealer Hybrids infiltrating their ranks as well as the Tyranids Fleet proper.

 

Season 4: The Regiment must head home to protect their world from a Black Crusade. They face the horrors of heresy, The Warp and the Inquisition. is the man beside you a heretic? Are you?

 

Throw in an episode here or there featuring Stormtroopers, the Inquisition, Space Marines etc.


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#32
M@verik115

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There are so many arcs that you could do, but I believe a mini series about an Inquisitor/Rogue Trader would be the best fit.
The setting needs to be fairly easy to grasp for the average person and Space Marines (ultra elite, superhuman, space monks in space that still use swords to whack people) will be a hard sell as the average person will not get them unless they dumb them down, and then we wont like it. 

After that you could do a mini series focusing on some guardsmen etc. and slowly introduce the general populace to the setting. 

I have learned in life that the average person is pretty stupid, and as George Carlin says, then you realise that half the people are even stupider than that. 
So to be able to make any venture succeed (especially a scifi series which is already pretty niche in itself) you need to spoon feed everyone.
Only a handful of smart series and movies ever make their investment back. Think about it. 
Which films make the most money? The ones which take advantage of the average persons fairly low intellect and attention span. 

So in summary, for any 40K film/series to even have any hope of making it, it first needs to start with something small and easily grasped by someone who doesn't know that laser don't in fact make a pew pew sound. 


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#33
Calyptra

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*Puts on professional entertainer hat.*

In my opinion and experience, it is always, always, always a terrible idea to assume your audience is stupid. Your audience ALWAYS deserves your compassion and respect.

Some of them may have ludicrous notions about things because they have never encountered them or had cause to think about them before. They say stupid things to me after shows, like "Is that real fire?" That does not necessarily mean they are stupid, and they deserve my compassion and respect.

Some of them were expecting something different. They thought they were getting steak but they were served fish. That will color their experience.

Some of them know exactly what they're looking at, have seen a thousand variations of it before, and have an informed opinion on everything you're doing.

Some of them have never encountered anything remotely like it before, and all of the nuance and technique will be lost on them.

Those groups of people will have wildly different experiences, but it is absolutely possible to make them all happy at the same time.

Children's books are a great example of this (and more relevant than what I do). Great children's books will appeal to adults as well because they don't assume their audience are stupid or take them for granted.

Edited by Calyptra, 22 November 2017 - 06:57 AM.

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#34
b1soul

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@ M@verik115

Regarding Ultramraines, I thought the voice acting was decent and the story was serviceable.

The terrible animation dragged down the whole production. The rest was not great but not bad in and of itself.
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#35
Interrogator-Chaplain Ezra

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Depends entirely on what sort of story I want to tell.

 

If I want to emphasise the grimdark, update Platoon for 40k. Follow some Cadians on a jungle planet, fighting a heretic uprising or something.

 

If I want something a little lighter, remake The Rock, but make the rogue Marines in that movie Astra Militarum or PDF (maybe a heretical cult inside the PDF?), and the SEALs Tempestus Scions. Our two heroes could be an Inquisitor's Acolyte and recidivist who never did anything sufficent to warrant death, servitor-hood, or penal battalion. Oh, and make Alcatraz some old pre-Heresy missile bunker too shielded for orbital attacks, and with Space Marine support being too far away to make it before the heretics launch.

 

Do I want a series? Well, Rogue Traders allows for quite a bit of leniency in terms of story, and would allow for both nobles and scum, and could let us introduce all sorts of elements to the viewer. Maybe he has a savant who can't stop running his mouth ("As you know, Space Marines [insert exposition].") when he sees something interesting.

 

Do I want to dip my toe into more action-filled high-budget hijinks? Inquisition. A team of heroes from a variety of backgrounds, all of them specialists at something or other, set out to Save The Day (And The Galaxy.


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#36
M@verik115

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*Puts on professional entertainer hat.*

In my opinion and experience, it is always, always, always a terrible idea to assume your audience is stupid. Your audience ALWAYS deserves your compassion and respect.

Some of them may have ludicrous notions about things because they have never encountered them or had cause to think about them before. They say stupid things to me after shows, like "Is that real fire?" That does not necessarily mean they are stupid, and they deserve my compassion and respect.

Some of them were expecting something different. They thought they were getting steak but they were served fish. That will color their experience.

Some of them know exactly what they're looking at, have seen a thousand variations of it before, and have an informed opinion on everything you're doing.

Some of them have never encountered anything remotely like it before, and all of the nuance and technique will be lost on them.

Those groups of people will have wildly different experiences, but it is absolutely possible to make them all happy at the same time.

Children's books are a great example of this (and more relevant than what I do). Great children's books will appeal to adults as well because they don't assume their audience are stupid or take them for granted.

Perhaps. I am in business so I always the worst and I am never disappointed lol. 


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#37
Ulfgrim Alvsbane

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In my opinion and experience, it is always, always, always a terrible idea to assume your audience is stupid. Your audience ALWAYS deserves your compassion and respect.

 

“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people...The mistake that is made always runs the other way. Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly" - H.L. Mencken, 1926


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Hatred keeps us crusading, Regret brings us home. Shame always calls us back." - ADB

#38
Xwingt65

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I se

Any 40k series needs to be watchable without knowledge of anything about 40k. This leads me to believe there are only a few options.
Imperial Guard focused, probably on Armageddon fighting orcs. Start with a image of a solar system and a voiceover of the text that all the rulebook have at the start, then shift to a quick thing on Armageddon as you show the ork fleet pouring into the system. Orks are an easy enemy to explain they are big, green and love to fight. Follow a squad of guardsmen.
An inquisition story, main character is a newly recruited acolyte that is being mentored by the Inquisitor who thinks he has finally found a worthy successor. Probably have the acolyte be slightly older, the inquisition tends to recruit people with some special skills. I am thinking a disillusioned guard officer, career going no where because he doesn't have the connections to move up.
Space marines recruits. Lots of chapters recruit from lower tech/ isolated world who know nothing about the wider galaxy. First season is the selection process and initial training ending with their first mission.


You hit the nail on the head. The series would have to appeal to more than just the small 40k fanbase. I think a Gaunts Ghost series would be interesting. Basically Band of Brothers 40k ified
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The 40k fluff explained to an outsider:

Some space elves got really into drugs and sex and a big scary monster got born that ate them.
A space wizard got beaten up by a guy who said he was his friend but wasn't and now he's on a life support machine and people worship him because he was super awesome.
Now there are giant men with rocket launcher machine guns and 4 hearts and are really super awesome who beat up everything.
Also there's a bunch of aliens but they don't really do anything and aren't as cool as the rocket machine gun super men, so who cares?

#39
Ishagu

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Imprial Guard focus would be terrible. As would Marines.

Inquisition would be best. Eisenhorn TV series. It's easy to grasp and unique, a Sci Fi detective.

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#40
deathspectersgt7

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TV series Leave it to Seth, starring Jerry Mathers as Seth.


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#41
Black Cohort

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Imprial Guard focus would be terrible. As would Marines.

Inquisition would be best. Eisenhorn TV series. It's easy to grasp and unique, a Sci Fi detective.


Why would guard be terrible? They are basically a WWII military with lasers, bigger tanks and walkers. Follow a specific squad against an easy to explain enemy like orks.
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#42
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I think orks would not be a good antagonist for a 40k pilot. A central component of the orks is their humor, and if you pull in viewers who want to laugh at ork meks trying to achieve the right amount of dakka, or truck boyz painting their vehicle red so it goes fasta, you will lose those viewers if the rest of the series is about mind bending horror, crushingly oppressive regimes, and the grim darkness of the setting. I’d save the orks for a later episode than the pilot.

#43
Black Cohort

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If you are showing things from the ork's side than humour is important. For the average guardsmen orks are terrifying, they are bigger, stronger and tougher than humans, their tech doesn't make sense and there are endless hordes of orks.
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#44
Calyptra

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In my opinion and experience, it is always, always, always a terrible idea to assume your audience is stupid. Your audience ALWAYS deserves your compassion and respect.

 
“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people...The mistake that is made always runs the other way. Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly" - H.L. Mencken, 1926

How many shows/books/whatever have you enjoyed in which the writer seemed to think you were an idiot?

I think it's important to remember that "the great masses of plain people" includes you. When Mr Carlin talks about "average people" being stupid (and confuses average and median) he's talking about you. I realize you don't think you're dumb, but nobody else does either, so it's not compelling evidence.

I do not think you're dumb.

I think it is pleasant when George Carlin or others invite us to feel superior to other people. I also think it is comfortably dismissive to explain everything happening around us as being because of stupidity. It's easy. It doesn't require thought, or nuance - it's just cause all those other people are morons.

And it fits easily with personal observations. I get asked things constantly that make me want to facepalm so hard I might give myself a concussion, with "Is that real fire?" being the poster child of stupid questions.

But if you think back, I'm reasonably sure you can recall some things you've said and done that, in hindsight, were blisteringly stupid. (One of my other hobbies is lying awake at night remembering mine.) Given that, it's likely that there were a nonzero number of other really stupid things you did that you never realized were stupid.

I do not think you are stupid.

I think the important spectrum here is not how intelligent the audience is, but how informed it is. You have people who know lots of stuff about what you're talking about, and you have people who have no idea what you're talking about because they just got here (and will probably need to be given a reason to care if they're going to stick around).

You can engage with the informed and the uninformed at the same time. Stranger Things does this really well. If you don't get all of the homages and references, it won't prevent you from understanding and enjoying the show.

The difficulty with telling stories set in the 41st millenium to a larger audience isn't that they're stupid, it's that they haven't read a giant pile of worldbuilding rulebooks and codices, and they haven't been given a reason to care. So you have to teach them about the setting, and you have to do it by showing, not telling.
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#45
Sete

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Yeah shows that spoon-feed you it's a no go.
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#46
Ulfgrim Alvsbane

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How many shows/books/whatever have you enjoyed in which the writer seemed to think you were an idiot?

I think it's important to remember that "the great masses of plain people" includes you. When Mr Carlin talks about "average people" being stupid (and confuses average and median) he's talking about you. I realize you don't think you're dumb, but nobody else does either, so it's not compelling evidence.

 

 

It's a fair question, and I'm well aware of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.  I, too, facepalm at the monumental stupidity and mediocrity of the common person.  However, I know I'm not stupid (and I appreciate that your opinion supports that) as I'm verified at a 142 IQ (something like the 99.7th percentile).  I've also got a great deal of common sense and I'm quick to catch a lot of the hidden meanings in entertainment (most of the rest of the audience gives me strange looks when I laugh at certain parts of Shakespeare plays).

 

But I'm not trying to humble-brag.  I'm just pointing out why I'm able to observe the phenomenon from an outside perspective.  And regardless of what you or I may think, or where we agree or disagree, you must concede that nearly all entertainment is geared for the lowest common denominator - not out of respect for the audience but out of a desire for share.  Who could seriously think that anything about most reality television or situation comedy (or tabloid talk shows) is written with respect and compassion for the audience?  No, they want to be able to get a laugh from even the stupidest viewer (or in many cases, usually the stupidest viewer) or allow people to derive some kind of vicarious satisfaction from the lives of celebrities or the staged conflict of equally stupid people.  There's surely a great difference in the intellectual level of The Jerry Springer Show as compared to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and even moreso compared to something like The Daily Show.  It's also clear which is more respectful and compassionate to its audiences - John Stewart or Dennis Miller give you credit for being smart enough to understand them, where Springer hopes you're as stupid and low-class as his "guests", otherwise you'll change the channel.

 

There's a reason why popularity and quality are not equivalent - and it has everything to do with the tastes of the common person.

 

As this bears on the topic at hand, yes, this means a 40K television show would require a considerable amount of exposition and/or narration - it needn't be done in a condescending fashion, but it's always challenging to present entertainment that's otherwise only readily understood by a niche audience.  It's why shows like Max Headroom and Firefly are cancelled early and why Blade Runner is considered a classic, despite its lukewarm performance at the box office in 1982.

 

So, yes, the challenge isn't because the audience is stupid, but you have to consider that a good portion of them actually are, and be prepared to either cater to them or lose them as viewers.  And if you present it in a way that's easily digestible to the common denominator, then the 40K enthusiast and other intelligent viewers may perceive the show as "low-brow" or otherwise find it un-entertaining.


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Hatred keeps us crusading, Regret brings us home. Shame always calls us back." - ADB

#47
Lay

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Who cares about mass appeal if the thread's about our ideal episodes anyway? I'm not a suit.

 

Just give me a show with decent looking CGI that's min/maxes dialogue and action like Samurai Jack. And gore.



#48
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I feel like an Inquisition series makes the most sense due to it having a potentially limited scope (you don't have to worry about dozens of theatres of war or hundred of years). Each season could revolve around a particular investigation of heresy or Xenos influence, potentially with some overarching threat in the background of the series, at least for the first few seasons. As the audience gets more comfortable, you can expand the scope and bring in more and more of the universe season by season.

#49
helterskelter

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Start easy with low cost ideas, pilots are there to win the money so you can shell out on the flashy bits later.
Guard/sisters of battle/demonhosts/lesser demons/eldar of all kinds/inquisition/assassins, maybe ad mech if you're feeling saucy. Tons of play room.
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#50
Brother Sefiel

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Greetings

​As many have already said, inquisition - not least because they can call on pretty much everything else as required.


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