SciFi Channel’s Riverworld

pythor writes, Did anyone take in the new SciFi movie? I haven’t read the books to compare it with, but I was entertained, anyway… Can anyone tell if this does the book series justice? I might just have to pick it up foley saw the movie as well, but pythor submitted first.

9 replies on “SciFi Channel’s Riverworld

  1. jbrecken says:

    Not too horrible
    It’s been quite some time since I read the books, but it seemed to me that they managed to get most of the important details right.

    The strongest diversion from the books was that the grailstones flared fire instead of lightning, which also meant that they couldn’t use them to power the riverboat.

  2. vanyel says:

    So many *good* sci fi shows…
    …and we get stuck with this? It committed all the worst sins of bad filmmaking: bad guys that can’t see the good guys climbing down the cliff, good guys stomping around on the boat and no one notices, guards carefully not being present when the good guy sneaks into the hold, not hearing the good guys talking, not to mention the “I can’t hear you” rabble rousing and then carefully having their backs to the doors when the good guys are ready to make their escape. Or tiny sails on a huge boat that would barely weather vane it, much less power it. The pilot barely able to steer the rudder like turning the wheel really hard will push the boat off the rocks, and then when they finally get the engine started, not only does it become easy to steer (what, it had power steering?), but the narrow river suddenly becomes a lake. I could go on and on, but this would turn into MST3K. One episode of Farscape is better than an entire season of this drek.

    • Foeclan says:

      Re: So many *good* sci fi shows…

      Or tiny sails on a huge boat that would barely weather vane it, much less power it. The pilot barely able to steer the rudder like turning the wheel really hard will push the boat off the rocks, and then when they finally get the engine started, not only does it become easy to steer (what, it had power steering?), but the narrow river suddenly becomes a lake.

      To be fair, it would be easier to steer while under your own power. Try turning a sled in the snow while it’s moving vs. when it’s sitting still. And they passed through a narrow stretch of the river, and ended up in a wider expanse.

      Of course, I agree with all the other points. Stealth wasn’t exactly that guy’s strong suit. The only thing that really bothered me about it, though, is that it was presented as a movie, whereas this felt more like a pilot episode to a series. There’s no resolution of any of the interesting plot elements they bring up. I’m told by someone I watched it with that they pretty much tossed the book out the window for most of it.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: So many *good* sci fi shows…

        To be fair, it would be easier to steer while under your own power…

        It would be easier to steer the boat (i.e. make it go where you want), but it would not be easier to turn the steering wheel (rudder). It would probably be harder, as you’re pushing the rudder against the current then.

        …The only thing that really bothered me about it, though, is that it was presented as a movie, whereas this felt more like a pilot episode to a series. There’s no resolution of any of the interesting plot elements they bring up…

        Yes, if I actually liked it, I’d be pretty ticked if there weren’t going to be any followups — this was clearly an intro to a much larger story.

        Did anyone else say “uh oh, he took the red pill” when he burst out of the submerged bubble?

  3. mbourgon says:

    Two comments

    1. The RDF export only shows this as: “SciFi Channel’s”
    2. Actually decent. Good acting, a few typical conventions that I was willing to give them (aka the sneaking around bit that caffeine-boy got upset about), well paced, good villains, non-cheesy dialog (on the whole), and it looks like there will be a sequel. I think it was moved due to the Challenger incident, fwiw. A-, overall, IMHO.
    • Dave says:

      Re: Two comments

      The RDF export only shows this as: “SciFi Channel’s”

      Should be fixed. As I read them, RDF should permit HTML tags (like the B tag) in entity titles, but some parsers just don’t handle that too well. I’ll just strip the tags for the time being.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Two comments

      2. Actually decent. Good acting

      I will give them credit for good acting and dialogue. And for the most part, the special effects were good, save for the boat launch.

  4. mobyfubar says:

    I’ve seen worse
    Yeah, there was a lot of stormtrooper syndrome going on, about average for TV. The part that disappointed me was the absence of Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton. I found him much more interesting as a character than the astronaut.

    Any word whether this is likely to become a series? The setting has a lot of potential.

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: I’ve seen worse

      Any word whether this is likely to become a series? The setting has a lot of potential.

      I remember, a year or two ago, that this was supposed to be one of their miniseries “events”. My assumption is that if the numbers were strong enough (which doesn’t make sense – that assumes that people only watch it for the name recognition… so if it sucked, they’d make a sequel anyways, which would have 0 draw) they’ll do another. Nice CG work on the boat, btw.

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