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Summer-Glau.com Forum » General Discussions » General discussion » The growing problem with death in sci-fi movies and TV shows
The growing problem with death in sci-fi movies and TV shows
chrisdvanne_ Post # 1 | Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 - 00:25
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Den of Geek released an article titled : The growing problem with death in science fiction movies and TV shows.

According to the writer, the abuse of apparent death of a character followed by a resurrection has lessened the impact of death in science fiction movies and TV shows.

Quote (Den of Geek)
recently, it seems that the things that once made sci-fi exciting and unpredictable ( i.e. killing a main character) have become the norm. Killing off characters and bringing them back has become more of a cliché, happening countless times in countless television shows.

Quote (Den of Geek)
The main problem is that death in film or television is normally saved for the most crucial, loaded, heartbreaking moments. Most of the time, there's no going back from it. And when it happens, it changes the speed of the programme dramatically, forcing the characters to slow down, take note, and grieve.

What seems to be happening a lot at the moment is that a death in a sci-fi programme serves as a cliffhanger and, before the gear can change, is undone, removing the heartbreaking moments that could define the show.

Quote (Den of Geek)
In the last series of Doctor Who, a particular theme started to occur regularly. Poor old Rory, long suffering fiancé to Amy Pond, kept on dying. He just couldn't help himself. In the space of five episodes, he died, or appeared to die, at least three times. At least. To be honest, I lost count.

In Battlestar Galactica, it seemed to be mandatory that each Cylon character was killed at least fifty times each season. Because of the whole point of the show, the audience knew these men and women would be back, taking the sting out of anyone ever dying.

Can you think of other death/resurrection scenes in sci-fi and do you think the faked death of a character has lowered the dramatic effect on the audience ?

Full article at Den of Geek.


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chrisdvanne_ Post # 2 | Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 - 07:23
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I'm sure that you can think of a sci-fi movie or tv show where a character supposed to be dead is...alive a few episodes later or even a few minures later. Think to Derek in TSCC for example : he was shot in the head, just to come back in final episode, thanks to time travel. I'm not even mentioning parallel universe.

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chrisdvanne_ Post # 3 | Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 - 15:44
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How many times has Cameron's death served as a cliffhanger on TSCC ? You're right, at every end of the season. In the jeep explosion at the end of season 1 and then when she gave hr chip to John Henry at the end of season 2.

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chrisdvanne_ Post # 4 | Friday, 15 Apr 2011 - 00:59
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Can you think of other death/resurrection scenes in sci-fi and do you think the faked death of a character has lowered the dramatic effect on the audience.

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Granite Post # 5 | Friday, 15 Apr 2011 - 10:54
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People are born, live and die ...

But the death fake, IMHO, wrong method for a movie


" It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think... "

" Pain ... It is the healing, purifying scalpel of our souls " - Warhammer 40000 universe.
 
chrisdvanne_ Post # 6 | Friday, 15 Apr 2011 - 11:55
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Quote (Granite)
But the death fake, IMHO, wrong method for a movie

Remember we're talking about scifi movies or tv show; writer should be allowed to kill a character and make him alive later. But it seems that the writers abuse of it lately and it has lost its power on the audience.
On The Vampire Diaries, for example, each character dies two or three times in one season (maybe i exagerate a little) so that when someone dies (human or vampire), we don't believe it anymore. The writers abuse of magic rings and superpowered vampires.


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roxyb Post # 7 | Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 - 11:44
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Derek's death on TSCC lost a lot of impact because they showed a new iteration of him in the next episode. It wasn't really a fake death because the Derek we knew was still dead, but the it made it feel gimmicky. That was really more a problem of over-using time travel on the show. Logic told us that a Derek still existed. Introducing him to us, though... I think that was a mistake. It watered down the loss of the character.
 
chrisdvanne_ Post # 8 | Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 - 15:21
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Quote (roxyb)
That was really more a problem of over-using time travel on the show.

If someone has understood what was going on with time travel and paralell universe on the show, let me know. The writers has us confused with episode 2.08 "Complications" where actuel Jessie and Derek argued Charles Fisher.
Though you must recognize roxyb that Derek's death has taken us by surprise at the time; TSCC did not go through the point where we did not believe for one second someone's death.
Btw, is Jessie dead?


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roxyb Post # 9 | Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 - 20:12
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Quote (michelangelo)
If someone has understood what was going on with time travel and paralell universe on the show, let me know. The writers has us confused with episode 2.08 "Complications" where actuel Jessie and Derek argued Charles Fisher?


New timelines are caused by people jumping back in time and changing what had already happened. Derek created a new timeline by killing Andy Goode. In the timeline Derek came from, Andy Goode lived until at least 2027. But Derek traveled backwards along that timeline to 2007 and killed Andy, thereby altering history: If Andy Goode is dead in 2007, he can't be alive in 2027. So a new timeline — a new future — grows out from the point of the change (the killing of Andy Goode).

One of the differences between those futures concerns Charles Fisher. We know he existed and was a "grey" in both futures (the one Derek came from and the one Jesse came from) because they both knew who he was. But in the future Derek came from, he'd never been kidnapped and tortured by Fisher. In the future Jesse came from, however, he had been kidnapped and tortured by Fisher.

Make sense?

Quote (michelangelo)
Btw, is Jessie dead?


There's no way to know for sure if Derek killed Jesse, but I don't think he did. The close-up on his trigger seemed like an intentional contrast to the close-up we'd previously gotten of Sarah's trigger when she killed Winston in Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep. Her trigger pull was BANG! Derek's was *click*. wink
 
Granite Post # 10 | Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 - 20:28
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Agree - Jessie alive definitely

" It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think... "

" Pain ... It is the healing, purifying scalpel of our souls " - Warhammer 40000 universe.
 
chrisdvanne_ Post # 11 | Thursday, 02 Jun 2011 - 00:15
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Quote (roxyb)
Make sense?


Yes.
Killing Andy Goode was a big move, big enough to change the timeline; but the chaos thery (popularized by the "butterfly effect" metaphor) learns us that every single action from Derek should have bend the timeline. More confusing moments to come wacko

Quote (roxyb)
There's no way to know for sure if Derek killed Jesse, but I don't think he did. The close-up on his trigger seemed like an intentional contrast to the close-up we'd previously gotten of Sarah's trigger when she killed Winston in Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep. Her trigger pull was BANG! Derek's was *click*. wink


Usually, i'm the one who likes to interpret what the writer meant on a movie or tv show by analysing details; kudos for your find but for me it indicates that Josh Friedman does not want to give us the answer, not that she is alive. But i agree with you about the certainty about Winston's death.


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Message edited by michelangelo - Thursday, 02 Jun 2011, 00:15
 
roxyb Post # 12 | Thursday, 02 Jun 2011 - 09:41
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Quote (michelangelo)
Killing Andy Goode was a big move, big enough to change the timeline; but the chaos thery (popularized by the "butterfly effect" metaphor) learns us that every single action from Derek should have bend the timeline. More confusing moments to come


I agree about chaos theory/butterfly effect. Technically, the mere arrival of Derek and his crew could alter the timeline. But for the purpose of telling a larger story, I think they had to keep it simple in TSCC. So only major changes to the past affected the timeline.
 
chrisdvanne_ Post # 13 | Thursday, 02 Jun 2011 - 15:43
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I'm not the only one who is confused apparently; Garret Dillahunt (John Henry) also is as he revealed in an interview to assignmentx :
http://www.assignmentx.com/2011....-part-2

Quote (assignmentx)
AX: Did you ever get confused with the time paradoxes in the storyline?

DILLAHUNT: Ever since the first movie. I was, “Wait, so the guy he sends back is his father. Does he know it?” It’s confusing. And who’s to say what’s right?


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Blazius Post # 14 | Friday, 03 Jun 2011 - 00:14
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At the moment the humans and the machines started using time travel warfare they turned the whole conflict into a Temporal war. Now the problem with a Temporal war is that its almost pointless to achieve victory because the other faction will simply erase this victory creating a new timeline in the process. Even if somebody wins in one timeline there will be another where the other faction wins instead.
I'm sure there is a timeline where John Connor died during the events of Terminator 2 but to keep the integrity of the franchise and avoid making it a untrackable nightmare the producers only introduced the human friendly timeline.


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chrisdvanne_ Post # 15 | Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011 - 13:02
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Game of Thrones is not a scifi show but apparently tv rules don't apply to the show. Saying more would be spoilery.

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Summer-Glau.com Forum » General Discussions » General discussion » The growing problem with death in sci-fi movies and TV shows
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