Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Extended Edition

Last week the internet was abuzz when director Peter Jackson– sorry, make that Sir director Peter Jackson– would be directing an episode of Doctor Who next year.

Eh, I guess that's good news. I like Doctor Who, and I'm a big fan of Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings movies (The Hobbit films, not quite so much). But if I was the BBC I'd be a bit wary. 

The story he directs will start out as a two part episode, but halfway through filming Jackson and his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will change their minds and expand it to four. This will result in massive rewrites of the script and extensive reshoots as the actors are called back (at great expense) to film additional scenes. He'll then fire Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi and replace him with an all digital version, played by Andy Serkis in a motion capture suit.

Jackson will also commission a full-sized set of Arcadia City, the capitol of Gallifrey, the Doctor's home world. The enormous outdoor set will cost fifty million dollars to construct, and will be seen onscreen for a total of thirty seconds.

Jackson will then burst into the effects department at the last minute with an idea for the Doctor to ride atop a gigantic Gallifreyan war beast as he leads a charge against an army of Daleks, causing the budget to triple and the finished episode to be completed just minutes before airtime.

Fans also went ballistic when, during the announcement, they noticed a copy of Tolkien's The Silmarillion lying on Jackson's table, complete with certain chapters marked with tabs. Many are convinced this means Jackson's not finished with Middle-earth, and is making plans to film the book.

Eh... I wouldn't hold my breath. First of all, the Tolkien estate owns the film rights to The Silmarillion lock, stock and barrel. Supposedly they're not fans of Jackson's film adaptations, so it's extremely unlikely they'd sell him the rights.

Secondly, have you read The Silmarillion? Actually I should say have you TRIED to read The Silmarillion? Yikes. It makes War And Peace seem like light reading. It's not one epic story like The Lord Of The Rings or The Hobbit. It's a series of shorter tales encompassing the ancient history of Middle-earth. And it's filled with dozens and dozens of hard to pronounce (not to mention remember) names, plus epic stretches of verse. 


It's exactly like trying to read the Bible, but even less fun, if you can imagine such a thing.

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