Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Passion and Commitment- lessons from a TV show

I just got back from the annual gathering of the Scapers- aka fans of the lamentingly cancelled tv show- Farscape.

Now before you pooh pooh the idea of learning something of lasting value from a tv show, let me explain.

First- if you like SF, SFR, or just love great storytelling- YOU need to go see this show. Rent the DVD’s, borrow them from friends- buy them-whatever, but see it. This show was quite possibly the most inventive and original SF show ever made. It also has a great romance line (a few actually) running through it.

Now I am a certifiable geek girl- no question- but this show impacted my life far more than anything else. For one, I have some wonderful amazing folks in my life whom I never would have known without this show and the annual conventions. Two- the wild storytelling and unique characters influenced my writing in subtle ways. It also influenced how I see the creative world and how much us creative folks have to fight for our dreams.

When asked how Farscape did what it did in terms of creating an amazing and ground breaking show, the answer was passion and commitment.

This passion and commitment came from the top creators and ran down to the stunt people. They wanted to do something amazing. Something unique, special, and unfortunately expensive (the death of the show was due to the high costs). They could have compromised their vision. The show got turned down by Fox- a death kneel for any tv pilot. But they stuck with how they saw it, they fought long and hard to get it made their way. And they created so much passion and commitment from their fans (aka Scapers ;)) that the fans fought long and hard to get it back when it was cancelled prematurely. This fight by the fans lead the a miniseries which allowed the show to reach its envisioned ending.

As writers we need to have that type of passion and commitment to our work. NOTHING can stand in our way. We need to be willing to fight long and hard to get our visions, our worlds to the reading public. If I affect just one person the way Farscape affected the fans, I would count myself successful indeed.

It’s too easy in our field to blame the industry for our lack of success. But the fact is, there are many far more brutal industries about-I look at the folks behind Farscape as an example of a group of people who fought such an industry and for quite a while won the battle.

Never forget publishing is a tough field- but with passion and commitment towards our visions- we will make it.

Have any tv shows influenced your writing?

And you folks who haven’t seen this show- DO SO! Especially if you like SFR- you have no excuse for not seeing this.


  1. Great blog Marie!!! :)

    Books have influenced my writing more than tv shows, but I did religiously watch Angel and I LOVED so much about the writing for that show... :) Maybe I picked up some Joss WHedon pointers? LOL

    Glad you had fun!

    Lisa :)

  2. LOTR had (has) a huge influence on my writing. Also the old classic Ivanhoe. I have not gotten into any of the Josh Whedon shows (I know I should), but really adore Deadwood, the concept, the writing, the acting, etc.

  3. Thanks for the comments Lisa and Claudia :).

    I love Joss's work and LOTR is a huge influence for my life!