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Tin Man

Sci Fi Channel promotional poster for the miniseries.
Approx. run time 270 min.
Genre Miniseries
Creator Craig Van Sickle
Steven Long Mitchell
Written by Steven Long Mitchell
Craig Van Sickle
Directed by Nick Willing
Produced by Robert Halmi Jr.
Robert Halmi Sr.
Steven Long Mitchell
Matthew O'Connor
Michael O'Connor
Starring Zooey Deschanel
Neal McDonough
Alan Cumming
Raoul Trujillo
Kathleen Robertson
Richard Dreyfuss
Editing by Allan Lee
Music by Simon Boswell
Country United States
Language English
Original channel Sci-Fi Channel
Original run December 2, 2007 (2007-12-02) – December 4, 2007 (2007-12-04)
No. of episodes 3

Tin Man is a 2007 six-hour miniseries co-produced by RHI Entertainment and Sci Fi Channel original pictures that was broadcast in the United States on the Sci Fi Channel in three parts. The first part aired on December 2, and the remaining two parts airing on the following nights. It was released to DVD on March 11, 2008; the same year it was rebroadcast in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Starring Zooey Deschanel, Neal McDonough, Alan Cumming, Raoul Trujillo, Kathleen Robertson, and Richard Dreyfuss, the miniseries is a reimagining and continuation of the classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with science fiction and additional fantasy elements added. It focuses on the adventures of a small-town waitress named DG who is pulled into a magical realm called the O.Z., ruled by the tyrannical sorceress Azkadellia. Together with her companions Glitch, Raw, and Cain, DG journeys to uncover her lost memories, find her true parents, and foil Azkadellia's plot to trap the O.Z. in eternal darkness.

Costing $20 million to produce, the first part of miniseries was the highest-rated program in its timeslot, with 6.4 million viewers; the miniseries itself would be the highest-rated miniseries of 2007. It was nominated for nine Emmy awards, winning one, and was also nominated for a Critics' Choice Award. Critics gave it mixed reviews, with some praising the acting, soundtrack, and visual effects, while others found it overly grim and bleak.

Contents

Plot

DG (Zooey Deschanel) is a small-town waitress who feels that she does not fit into her Kansas farm life and has visions of a lavender-eyed woman (Anna Galvin) warning her that a storm is coming. Her visions are realized when the sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson), tyrannical ruler of the O.Z. (Outer Zone), sends her Longcoat soldiers through a travel storm to kill DG. Escaping into the travel storm, DG finds herself in the O.Z. where she meets Glitch (Alan Cumming), who had half of his brain removed by Azkadellia, and Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a former law enforcer, or "Tin Man", who had been locked in an iron suit for years as punishment for opposing Azkadellia's rule. The trio next encounters a "viewer" named Raw (Raoul Trujillo). DG receives a magical symbol on her palm and learns that her Kansan parents are androids and that her real mother is the lavender-eyed woman of her visions. Visiting the Mystic Man (Richard Dreyfuss) in Central City and then the Northern Island, the group learns that Glitch was once the advisor to the Queen of the O.Z. and that DG and Azkadellia are both sisters and the Queen's daughters. DG remembers that Azkadellia killed her using dark magic when they were children, but their mother revived her by light magic and gave her secret instructions on how to find the Emerald of the Eclipse, which Azkadellia now seeks. Azkadellia confronts the group with her Longcoats and mobats, capturing DG and Raw. Cain fights the Longcoat captain Zero (Callum Keith Rennie) and learns that his wife and son, whom he thought Zero had killed, are still alive. Zero shoots Cain, sending him falling into a lake of ice.

Glitch rescues and revives Cain, and they journey to Azkadellia's castle to rescue DG. Azkadellia interrogates DG, learning that the Emerald of the Eclipse is protected by the "Gray Gale". The Mystic Man is killed by Azkadellia after advising DG to head south. DG is freed by a small dog who is revealed to be a shapeshifter named Tutor (Blu Mankuma), her childhood teacher who is also nicknamed Toto. DG, Glitch, Raw, and Cain head south with Tutor, not knowing that he is marking their path for Azkadellia's mobats to follow. Along the way DG rediscovers some of her magical abilities by restoring a withered fruit tree in the fields of the Papay, and Cain discovers his wife's grave. More of DG's memories return in the lake country of Finaqua: As children she and Azkadellia were very close, but that changed when DG accidentally released the spirit of an ancient, evil witch (Karin Konoval) from a cave. The sisters' magic would have protected them if they stuck together, but DG fled and the witch possessed Azkadellia. DG realizes that all of the tragedies which have befallen the O.Z. are the result of her mistakes as a child.

The party heads farther south in search of DG's father Ahamo (Ted Whittall). Tutor's treachery is discovered but he is allowed to stay with the group in his canine form. In the Realm of the Unwanted they are led into a trap: Glitch, Raw, and Cain are captured by Zero, but are freed by resistance fighters led by Cain's son Jeb (Andrew Francis). Zero reveals the scope of Azkadellia's plan, which is to use the Emerald of the Eclipse in combination with a machine called the Sun Seeder to lock the O.Z.'s two suns in place behind the moon during an upcoming eclipse, covering the land in permanent darkness. The Sun Seeder had been designed by Glitch during his time as the Queen's advisor, and the removed portion of his brain is being used to control it. Meanwhile, DG meets Ahamo and the two travel by hot air balloon to the hidden mausoleum of the O.Z.'s royal line. DG learns that the Gray Gale is Dorothy Gale, her "greatest great-grandmother" and "the first slipper" to travel to the O.Z. from Earth. She enters Dorothy's tomb, finding herself in a black-and-white representation of her Kansas farm and receiving the Emerald from Dorothy. Azkadellia arrives, capturing both Ahamo and the Emerald and leaving DG trapped in a sarcophagus. DG escapes using magic and is reunited with her friends, and together they infiltrate Azkadellia's fortress as she locks the suns in place. DG clasps hands with Azkadellia, freeing her from the witch's possession just as her companions reverse the Sun Seeder's pulse, destroying the witch. DG and Azkadellia are reunited with their parents as the suns emerge from behind the moon, shedding their light on the O.Z.

Cast

The primary cast of Tin Man. Left to right: Alan Cumming, Zooey Deschanel, Neal McDonough, Raoul Trujillo, and Kathleen Robertson.
  • Alan Cumming as Glitch, the former advisor to the Queen of the O.Z. Under his real name of Ambrose he designed many technological achievements, but when Azkadellia seized power she stole his designs for a Sun Seeder machine and removed half of his brain. The character is based on and analogous to the Scarecrow of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[1]
  • Zooey Deschanel as DG, the primary protagonist of the miniseries. DG finds herself in the O.Z. and learns that she and Azkadellia are sisters and that their mother is the Queen. Rachel Pattee played the young DG in scenes where the character is shown as a child. DG is analogous to Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of the original story.[1]
  • Richard Dreyfuss as The Mystic Man, the former ruler of Central City who has been subjugated by Azkadellia through the influence of her magical vapors and reduced to a stage act. He assists DG by directing her to locations which will stir her memories. The character is analogous to the Wizard of Oz.
  • Anna Galvin as "Lavender Eyes", the Queen of the O.Z. and mother to DG and Azkadellia. At the start of the miniseries she has been usurped by Azkadellia and is being kept in a magical prison.
  • Blu Mankuma as Tutor, DG's former magic teacher and a shapeshifter who can take the form of a small dog. In this canine form he is referred to as Toto, in reference to the dog of the original Oz stories.
  • Neal McDonough as Wyatt Cain, the titular "Tin Man" of the miniseries. A former law enforcer, called a "Tin Man", he was locked in an iron suit as punishment for opposing Azkadellia. His role is analogous to that of the Tin Woodman.
  • Callum Keith Rennie as Zero, the captain of Azkadellia's Longcoat soldiers and the man who imprisoned Cain.
  • Kathleen Robertson as Azkadellia, the primary antagonist of the miniseries. Possessed by an evil witch, she killed her sister DG and overthrew her mother the Queen. Alexia Fast played young Azkadellia in scenes where the character is a child. Azkadellia's role is analogous to that of the Wicked Witch of the West.[1]
  • Raoul Trujillo as Raw, one of a race of telepathic "viewers" who are enslaved by Azkadellia. He joins DG, Glitch, and Cain in their quest to find the Emerald of the Eclipse. Raw is based on and analogous to the Cowardly Lion.[1]
  • Ted Whittall as Ahamo, husband to the Queen and father to DG and Azkadellia. He assists DG in locating the Emerald of the Eclipse. His role is also analogous to the Wizard of Oz.

Production

RHI Entertainment and the Sci Fi Channel spent $20 million in the creation of the Tin Man miniseries, with Robert Halmi, Sr. acting as the lead producer.[2] Sci Fi executive Dave Howe noted that the companies felt such classic stories as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz "deserve[d] to be re-imagined for a new generation."[2] The script used for the creation of Tin Man reimagined The Wizard of Oz by creating new characters and adding elements of science fiction, fantasy, and steampunk to the narrative while making many allusions to the original story.[1][2]

Nick Willing was chosen as the director for the piece. He brought with him his experience in directing the 1999 reimaging of Alice in Wonderland, and noted that it wasn't his intention to have it be The Wizard of Oz. They set out to use the sci-fi elements to completely change the story. As Willing speaks about the character's reflecting on the originals, he notes that, "the witch is now running things, Toto is working for her, and Dorothy doesn't even know she's Dorothy."[2]

Release

Tin Man initially aired in the United States December 2–4, 2007 as a three-part, six-hour miniseries.[2] It aired on in the United Kingdom on Sci Fi's UK channel in three weekly installments beginning May 11, 2008. It was broadcast in two parts in New Zealand from December 9–16, 2008, and in Australia from December 26–27.

It was first released to Region 1 DVD on March 11, 2008, in both a regular release and a 2-2 Collector's edition.[3] It was released to Region 2 DVD in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2008.

A CD soundtrack for the series was also released.

Reception

According to Nielsen Media Research, the first night of the miniseries averaged more than 6.3 million viewers during its timeslot, making it the most-watched telecast in the network's history and the top rated cable miniseries of 2007.[4][5][6] The second part average 4.4 million viewers, and the final part had 5.1 million.[7][8]

Tin Man was a Critics' Choice Award nominee. It was nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards in 2008 including the Outstanding Miniseries category and multiple categories related to films special effects, costuming, editing, and sound editing.[6][9] Of those nominations, it won only one award, for "Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (non-prosthetic)".[10]

Variety called it a "semi-surreal adaptation of The Wizard of Oz stitched together from bits of The Matrix, Blade Runner, and Snow White to create a brooding fantasy that — understandably given the variety of influences — proves a bit of a mess" and whose "look and action sequences don't fully deliver the goods" to the "target audience of fanboys and their imaginary girlfriends."[11] Tom Shales of The Washington Post called Tin Man a "hopeless opus" whose "pacing is largely funereal"; he said Deschanel's portrayal of DG was "saucy and captivating", complimented the "superb, rousing and romantic musical score by Simon Boswell" and characterized the "junky, clunky look" of the special effects as "fitfully spectacular".[12] USA Today gave the film 2½ stars out of 4, comparing its "bleak, violent, unyieldingly unpleasant revisionist outlook" to the network's reimagined Battlestar Galactica; the review concluded: "Ambitious and intriguing though it may be, Tin Man is simply too long, too grim and too determined to impose a Lord of the Rings universe-saving quest on top of a simpler, gentler story."[13]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e White, Cindy (2007-07-02). "Tin Man Previewed". Sci Fi Wire. Sci-Fi Channel. http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=2&id=42220. Retrieved 2008-01-22.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Levin, Gary (2007-11-28). "We're off to see the 'Tin Man' miniseries". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2007-11-28-tin-man_N.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  3. ^ Lambert, David (2007-12-07). "Tin Man (mini-series) - There's No Place Like Home Video: Wizard of Oz Remake Scheduled For DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Tin-Man-Release-Date/8564. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  4. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly. ""Tin Man" is gold for Sci Fi Channel night.". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSN0345332320071204. Retrieved 2007-12-09.  
  5. ^ Sci Fi Follows Tin Man on Record Viewership Road from multichannel.com
  6. ^ a b "RHI Entertainment's 'Tin Man' Earns Nine Emmy Award(R) Nominations from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Fox Business. 2008-07-18. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/media/rhi-entertainments-tin-man-earns-emmy-awardr-nominations-academy-television/. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  7. ^ Sci Fi's "Tin Man" recovers from ratings dent from Reuters
  8. ^ Tin Man finishes off strong, most watched program in Sci Fi history - December 7, 2007 from Entertainment Now
  9. ^ "2008 Primetime Emmy Nomination Summary". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. http://cdn.emmys.tv/awards/2008pte/60thpte_nomssum.php. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  10. ^ Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (2008-09-13). "60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards". Press release. http://cdn.emmys.tv/downloads/2008/CTA08winners_pressrel.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  11. ^ Review of Tin Man from Variety magazine
  12. ^ Sci Fi's Tin Man Plods On the Yellow Brick Road a Washington Post review
  13. ^ If Tin Man only had a lighter tone, less hostility ... from USA Today

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Tin Man was a television fantasy miniseries on the Sci-Fi Channel. The story is continuation of L. Frank Baum's fantasy novel, The Wizard of Oz. It gives the story a science fiction/fantasy steampunk emphasis and gives only allusive references to the original story.

Part 1

Azkadellia: I felt a chill, doctor, and your little freak is going to tell me what it means.

Azkadellia: (about DG) My God. The little bitch has gone to see the wizard.

DG: What are you doing?
Glitch: Up here? Little anklebiters thought it might be funny to keep me hanging around. Loosen that rope and I might have the last laugh! [hopeful look]
DG: [hesitates]
Glitch: C'mon doll, if mom and pop really are on the route to Central City, then you're falling further and further behind.
DG: You know the way?
Glitch: Sure! But it's kinda hard to give directions from up here. Unless you have a better offer?
DG: [loosens rope] What the hell?
Glitch: Hey, you aren't so hot on first glance either, honey! [pause] I-is there a problem?
DG: Oh, um... Your zipper's undone.
Glitch: Oh! Didn't mean to offend! Gotta be careful not to lose your marbles. But, since the sorceress made her medicos take mine... well, you flick the abucus.
DG: Why would they take your brain?
Glitch: Because of what I know. Or used to know. Whatever it was. [pause] Name's Glitch! On account of sometimes my synapses don't fire right. Sometimes my synapses don't fire right.
DG: You just said that.
Glitch: [blank look] Did I? [grin] There you go, Glitching again!
DG: [bemused smile] And here I was thinking this nightmare couldn't get any weirder.
Glitch: This isn't a nightmare. This is the O.Z. Used to be a piece of heaven too. Before Azkadee got her claws into it.
DG: [realization] Azkadellia! Sorceress of darkness!
Glitch: [nod] Mm.
DG: Village raider. Brain thief.

Part 2

DG: You are twisted.
Azkadellia: Why? Because with a little re-wiring I was able to aquire the things I have missed out on for too long? A father's love, a mother's affection.

Azkadellia: Oh DG. My lovely little sister. That was the wrong... answer. Now we do it your way. Remember this: the next time I snuff out your insignificant little life, there will be no one standing by to save you.

DG: Are you clear?
Mystic Man: I've never been clearer. It's all coming back to me now. My troubled childhood, a long life of scholarly pursuit and my brief but glamorous foray in show business. Though that part's a bit hazy.

Tutor: Azkadellia.
Azkadellia: In the flesh. A little older, a lot smarter and most definitely still in charge.
Tutor: Nothing like a bloody coup to win the hearts and minds of the people. What do you want?
Azkadellia: I want the very thing you've dedicated your feeble life to: magic my friend. Those who can't do teach, right? Your freedom in exchange for your help.

Sobbing Little Girl: Help me.
DG: Our mother's not far away. We'll go get her.
Little Girl: (Turning into a hideous old witch) NO. Ohhhhhh, the magic is strong in you. Let go. LET GO!

Part 3

DG: Green really isn't your colour.
Azkadellia: I can see you in marble. Green marble.

Glitch: You know, when I had a brain, I was twice as scared as I am now. Which means, if I had no brain, I'd be four times as brave as I was when I was brainy.

Azkadellia: Do you know how long I have waited to see that look on your face? No phony smile, no brave front, just pure and utter shock. Possibly the only honest gift you ever gave me, Mother.
Lavender Eyes: I am not your mother.
Ahamo: Our daughter is dead.
Azkadellia: Both of your daughters are dead.
Ahamo: DG is dead?

(Customary fluttering gasp from Lavender-Eyes).

Azkadellia: Your royal line ends today in darkness. Permanent darkness.

Azkadellia: Oh look. The Resistance has decided to throw me a fireworks display. Boys and their toys. But nobody's toy compares to mine.

Evil Witch of the Dark: Have the little bitch. I care not. (She realises Azkadellia has the Emerald which she needs) Give me the Emerald. Give it to me. GIVE ME THE EMERALD!

After the Sun Seeder's pulse is reversed the Witch end up melting

DG: She melted.

DG: I'm so glad to be home.

DG: Now that's the O.Z. I remember.







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