Jump to content


- - - - -

Master List of Lovecraftian TV shows


  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_squashua_*

Guest_squashua_*
  • Guest

Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:29 PM

This forum has done movies to death, but television... hah!

In the interest of drumming up chat ideas, let's list some of the more Lovecraft-inspired TV shows (single episodes count).

I'd say I would like to avoid generally "silly-at-most-times" shows like "Buffy" or "Dresden Files" (though certain episodes might qualify, the series as a whole can be rather goofy), but that might turn into a fist-fight debate over the qualifications of "Dr. Who".

I'll start with a few as I'd prefer to see them listed:

Lost

With an unseen monster, psychic phenomena, "ghosts", "magic number" formulas, insane asylums, suspected time travel, and a long hinted-at lost civilization, as well as corporate conspiracies and hippie-attuned scientific experiments, Lost is pretty much a pseudo-science dream come true.

X-Files

Aliens? Check. Government conspiracy? Check. Ghosts? Check. The classic "FBI investigates the unacceptable unexplained" TV show. Though featuring more emphasis on "explainable" and "realistic" attempts at classic aliens than some might prefer.

Fringe

Still early to call, in this reality, fringe science (such as that present in "The Reanimator" and "Whisperer in the Darkness") is real, including reading the minds of the living and recently deceased, bionic replacement, nanobot infestations, and cloning. Focus is apparently primarily on the technological singularity, and it is hinted that something (probably a corporation or cabal, rather than an alien or otherworldly presence) is using the earth as a petri dish.

Threshold

An alien broadcast infection takes hold of the human race and begins to spread, as a "crack team" of scientists fight it with the government's backing. Many concepts in these episodes, including dream communication and infection through a vast variety of means, are ripe for exploitation, if one focuses on the horrific pan-dimensional alien aspect and ignores the semi-hokiness of the response team itself.


Log in to remove this video.

#2 MrCarcosa

MrCarcosa

    Keeper of the Silver Gate

  • Old Patron
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts

Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:57 PM

At the risk of starting a fight about Dr. Who, there are a few old Tom Baker episodes that just scream Lovecraft. I'm especially thinking of "The Seeds of Doom" (Antarctic research station finds black rocks in the ice that open into seedpods that turn people into giant tentacle plants), "The Pyramids of Mars" (Ancient trapped Egyptian god, cultists--Nyarlothotep, Dereleth style),
and "The Talons of Weng Chiang" (Gaslight! Intrigue and the Oriental tongs in 1890's London! Ancient Evil and giant rats!)

#3 Tigger_MK4

Tigger_MK4

    Greater Servitor

  • Old Patron
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,381 posts

Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:18 PM

There was a programme called Rough Magick, I think, that was made by ITV...according to my websearches, ironically available on DVD in the USA but not in the UK....

Had the guy that played Avon in Blakes 7 in it.

#4 Guest_squashua_*

Guest_squashua_*
  • Guest

Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:54 PM

At the risk of starting a fight about Dr. Who, there are a few old Tom Baker episodes that just scream Lovecraft. I'm especially thinking of "The Seeds of Doom" (Antarctic research station finds black rocks in the ice that open into seedpods that turn people into giant tentacle plants), "The Pyramids of Mars" (Ancient trapped Egyptian god, cultists--Nyarlothotep, Dereleth style),
and "The Talons of Weng Chiang" (Gaslight! Intrigue and the Oriental tongs in 1890's London! Ancient Evil and giant rats!)


That's what I'm trying to say; there are certainly some episodes that are spot-on Lovecraftian, but overall... no.

#5 the_gneech

the_gneech

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 207 posts

Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:32 PM

There are episodes of the new series that scream Lovecraft too ... check out the Ood sometime. :) But yeah, "Seeds of Doom" was practically "Lovecraft meets the Thing From Another Planet."

"The Real Ghostbusters" had a few Lovecraft-inspired episodes, including "Collect Call of Cthulhu." There was at least one Justice League episode (fairly recent) that had all sorts of Lovecraftian nasties running around in it.

Outside the realm of animation, there were a few Lovecraftian moments in the original "Star Trek" ... I'm particularly thinking of the Kelvans, aliens from Andromeda that took on human forms and would "distill" people into a powdery polyhedron ("essential saltes," anyone?), as well as Sylvia and Korob, alien illusionists who looked a bit like tentacled stickbugs in their natural form. The mind-controlling jellyfish things from "Operation: Annihilate" were very creepy and Lovecrafty in their own way, as well.

-The Gneech 8)
gneech.com -- My writing, comics, and art, including Suburban Jungle, NeverNever, and the Brigid & Greg Fictionlets

#6 BleedingHeart

BleedingHeart

    Keeper of the Silver Gate

  • Old Patron
  • PipPip
  • 67 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:14 AM

What about Torchwood - never actually seen it myself, but the promos on BBC America make it look pretty similar to the X-files

#7 CharlesDexterWard

CharlesDexterWard

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 03:00 AM

What about Torchwood - never actually seen it myself, but the promos on BBC America make it look pretty similar to the X-files


But with lots of sex!
"He stumbled on things no mortal ought ever to know, and reached back through the years as no one ever should reach; and something came out of those years to engulf him." - H. P. Lovecraft, 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward'

#8 synthboy

synthboy

    Breakfast Clubber

  • Patron
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 619 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 04:23 AM

What about Torchwood - never actually seen it myself, but the promos on BBC America make it look pretty similar to the X-files


But with lots of sex!


Yeah. Check out the Dead Ringers spoof on YouTube.

And on thread, I found this list. Night Gallery looks like it might be fun in a cheesy sort of way.

#9 Skyman

Skyman

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:08 AM

Ok these might not be as obvious


Medium...see/talk to dead people. Family line is tainted. Reason why are vague and mysterious.

Heroes...more people with a vague tainted blood line and a scientist trying to find out the secrets

Sanctuary...when an episode has a tentacle whip out of a boys belly to drill a hole in some poor saps head and we're introduced to a menagerie of beasties...ok not exactly Lovecraft but I thought I'd mention it
I have Social Dystrophy

#10 Tigger_MK4

Tigger_MK4

    Greater Servitor

  • Old Patron
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,381 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:20 AM

What about Torchwood - never actually seen it myself, but the promos on BBC America make it look pretty similar to the X-files


But with lots of sex!


Torchwood is ok, but I think that even after 2 series they're struggling to hit the right note. The cast of actors are decent, but the programme seems stuck in a bit of a no-mans land between childrens and adult entertainment.

Also , the LBG themes in it are laid on a bit heavy handedly in the first series. The second series is better. The main problem with the third series is that
spoilers !! -

it'll have Mickey in it.


To be honest, although I think its worth a watch (with suitable expectations that its ok but notthing to rave about ) , I don't think its got any real Lovecraftian bits, except maybe the end of series one episode.

#11 Dr_Locrian

Dr_Locrian

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 668 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:26 PM

I'm not really sure if it's Lovecraftian enough, but Supernatural is an ideal model for a Route 66 style game campaign. I cannot emphasize enough how perfect many episodes are for modelling scenarios, and the slightly immature tone that creeps in reminds me very much of around-the-table RPG banter.

But the "power level" is very much based on the model of ordinary people fighting the darkness using secret knowledge passed around by a group of hunters.

It only lasted half a season, but Invasion was a really, really good update of your basic Body Snatchers style alien invasion, very creepy and could easily be adapted to Lovecraft.

As an aside, has anyone ever written a screenplay or pitched a series based on Delta Green? I've long thought that it just screams for adaptation, and networks are always shopping around for X-Files style investigative sci-fi.

#12 Guest_squashua_*

Guest_squashua_*
  • Guest

Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:41 PM

As an aside, has anyone ever written a screenplay or pitched a series based on Delta Green?


This is the precise avenue where "The Bionic Woman" had potential. Most notably, the big CDC episode.

#13 Mr_Lin

Mr_Lin

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,678 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:47 PM

As an aside, has anyone ever written a screenplay or pitched a series based on Delta Green? I've long thought that it just screams for adaptation, and networks are always shopping around for X-Files style investigative sci-fi.


Tigger_MK4 has already mentioned it but Rough Magick seems to be very much in that vein.
Vot is point?

#14 North73

North73

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 236 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:45 PM

Quatermass and the Pit, my friends...really, genuinely upsetting.

It was B&W 1958 TV before it was a film. And the better for it.
Good old BBC!

http://en.wikipedia....ass_and_the_pit

Other Nigel Kneale stuff is well worth seeking out too...

#15 RdphCarter

RdphCarter

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 335 posts

Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:57 PM

http://en.wikipedia....ers_(TV_series)
Deane P. Goodwin
Goodwin's Painting Service
http://minipainter.netfirms.com

#16 Guest_squashua_*

Guest_squashua_*
  • Guest

Posted 19 September 2008 - 09:08 PM

http://en.wikipedia....ers_(TV_series)


I didn't get enough from that Wikipedia entry for a good enough idea.

#17 MrYog

MrYog

    Master

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:24 AM

As an aside, has anyone ever written a screenplay or pitched a series based on Delta Green? I've long thought that it just screams for adaptation, and networks are always shopping around for X-Files style investigative sci-fi.

Dark Skies.

#18 Sephira

Sephira

    Master

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 45 posts

Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:29 AM

I was really hoping the island in LOST was in the Antarctica, ala Pim's voyages.

I think Carnivale has the right sort of tone to it.

#19 North73

North73

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 236 posts

Posted 20 September 2008 - 01:45 AM

Children of the Stones is great, despite (maybe because of) being a 70s British kids drama
http://en.wikipedia....n_of_the_stones

You can watch it all on youtube!
http://jp.youtube.co...h?v=G9NJ5PXGv2w

#20 sglancy12

sglancy12

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 20 September 2008 - 02:19 AM

Children of the Stones is great, despite (maybe because of) being a 70s British kids drama


Wow... that one is a bit of a hidden gem. If you want to get a good idea how Temphill in the Severn Valley works (with it's inescapable angles) check out Children of the Stones...

... Plus creepy village actually built at the epicenter of a titanic series of stone circles. You can't fake that part. That's a real village in the UK!

And why has nobody mentioned the original Night Stalker and Night Strangler movies? Or Kolchak: The Night Stalker? Okay, you can see the zippers on the monsters, but there were some great moments. Such as when Kolchak is interviewing girls in a massage palor while trying to find a modern day Jack the Ripper.

Girl: "Why are you wearing sneakers with a suit?"

Kolchak: "Well, um... in my line of work, I do alot of running."

Not to mention that the episode with the invisible alien that sucks the bone marrow out of people has some government agents sneaking around the edges making the evidence go away AND the name of the episode is "They Have Been, They Are and They Will Be."

Not alot of doubt where they cribbed that from.

How about "Strange World?" Our hero, working for USAMRIID is consulting on crimes using extremely advanced science. It was pretty much "Fringe" only without the ridiculous conflicts built in between the characters. I enjoyed it alot. My favorite moment in "Strange World" was when the discover that some one is cloning human body parts for organ replacement. And where do they find this beating but disembodied human heart? In a jar in a lab? NO. They find it when they give an ultrasound to the woman who's being going to a fertility clinic of last resort. She was willing to put up will all kinds of pain and discomfort if it meant she could have a bady. When they run the ultrasound it isn't the bad she can feel kicking... it's the beating human heart.

THAT completely squicked me.

Or what about "Ultraviolet?" The Brit TV series, not the crappy movie. It's UK government agents vrs. Vampires, but at least the vampires are something new. Not one fang to be found among them... and why not? Fangs are not in the folklore. THat's Bram Stoker's b.s. It may not be Lovecraftian, but its a good look at how a police proceedural would be impacted by the supernatural.

Or even "Millenium?" The first two seasons are gold. The last season is poop. The slow build from Serial-Killer-of-the-Week to "Holy Crap! evil exists as a force outside of man!" was very well done, in my opinion. And who doesn't love a series with Lance Henriksen and Terry O'Quinn?

Plus, it had a couple epsiodes where south american Nazis are fighting the Millenium Group over a peice of the True Cross. Come on... you can't beat that with a stick.
A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing