10 Years and Counting

Bridget Regan, Craig Horner, Tabrett Bethel, and Bruce Spence starred in 'Legend of the Seeker'.
We loved the show so much we fought hard to save it and then bring it back for years. We still remember more than 10 years later.
I haven’t updated this blog in years. I haven’t had the time and energy to keep up with all my old interests. I haven’t lost my passion for science fiction and fantasy, or Legend of the Seeker, but the fan movement gradually faded away.

We all knew that would happen. But 10 years ago I promised someone I would never give up this blog. What I didn’t expect to happen was to hear about the sad news of Terry Goodkind’s passing on September 17, 2020. His family did not reveal the cause of death and we don’t need to know. This has been a terrible, sad year.

Terry was engaged with his fans. His Sword of Truth novels were inventive and daring. Some fans of the books hated Legend of the Seeker because the saga had been toned down for television. I understand why purists feel so passionately about these things, but a TV adaptation doesn’t change one word in the published books. I used to remind Tolkien purists of that when they ranted on the Internet against Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of Lord of the Rings.

I’d still like to see a Legend of the Seeker or Sword of Truth series. But I’ll be honest, I’d rather have a toned down version than another Game of Thrones-style dystopian only-safe-for-cable dark world. That’s kind of swimming against the grain, I know. It’s not like the Seeker’s world is full of sunshine and happiness everywhere you go. But many good TV shows wage the war between good and evil without being totally grim and depressing.

I’m a devoted fan of the Stargate franchise. I’ve followed it ever since the 1994 movie was released (and, yes, I know all about the differences between Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich’s story and the TV franchise Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner built). It’s possible, even human, to love all your cousins equally – even when you haven’t seen them in years.

I really loved Legend of the Seeker. I thought it was great fantasy television entertainment. As syndicated shows went, it was one of the best (in MY humble opinion). Of course, being produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert the show began with an advantage for long-time Hercules and Xena fans like me. Not all the old fans came around and supported the show. But many of us did.

I really hoped we could save the show after it was cancelled. I knew the odds were against us. I encouraged some other old fans to stay in the fight for as long as possible. Of course, once I learned the story of why the Tribune Company stopped broadcasting the show, I knew the cancellation would never be reversed.

Tribune’s bankruptcy hurt a lot of people. It resulted from 2 factors: a greedy leveraged buyout (basically a deal where investors purchase a company with money they borrow against the value of that company) and the Great Recession. As local TV ad revenues dried up, Tribune lost income and fell behind on its debt payments. Tribune controlled 1/3 of the U.S. syndication market. The show was no longer able to make a profit without Tribune’s subscriptions.

SyFy passed on the show after bungling attempts to build an audience for it. And – according to Craig Horner – they were afraid that illegal downloads by foreign fans would kill their profits. Amazingly, those downloads didn’t seem to kill other popular shows. But we fans didn’t have access to SyFy’s books. Maybe they were between a rock and a hard place.

As more production companies turn to streaming shows and movies directly to fans over the Internet, maybe someone will acquire the rights to the books and start a new show. Or maybe some intrepid fans will put together a fan movie. Other franchises inspired similar films. One would hope a similar project could succeed for this fan base.

I would do my best to support such a fan film project. I don’t know what that would entail, but if anyone is working on something, please feel free to let me know. Use the feedback page on my personal Website: https://www.michael-martinez.com/feedback/

Until then, never forget. Never surrender. And may you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy for many years.