Introduction to Pern

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              · DragonCon 1999 Pictures
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Pern TV/Movie News

At DragonCon this year, Anne reportedly told folks that there is currently a movie deal in the works.  Nothing's been signed yet, and of course past signed deals have fallen though, but it's hopeful that there's still interest in the project.  And while Anne couldn't name any names, she said that an Oscar-winning director/producer (I'm not clear on which or if it's both) is interested in the project -- and it's someone that has read the books!

Right before they started filming the pilot, the WB pulled the plug on the whole show.  They had "creative differences" with Ron Moore who was writing the scripts.  Apparently they wanted the dialogue re-written to sound more like Xena or Buffy, and Ron refused.  Although we're all greatly disappointed that Pern won't come to pass on TV this fall, full marks should go to Ron for standing true to Pern.
Here's some links to web articles about the show, some before and some after the cancellation:
WB interview with Ron Moore, circa 3/01
3/31/01 Trek Today article
4/5/01 Scifi-wire article
4/7/01 Ambit's NewsByte (scroll down to find it)
4/9/01 Scifispace article (no longer available)

I've chatted with someone in the KTL (Anne's chatroom) who got a chance to visit the some of the sets in New Mexico before the production was halted, and it sounds as if they were beautiful and very well done!  Ruatha was set in a sandstone canyon and had a shuttle door for the grand entrance.  There was also a Weyr with hatching sands that fit the chatters image from the books.  A shame that the WB pulled out over something so goofy as the dialogue.

The pilot is being created now!  The potential actors strike this summer could delay release of the show, but otherwise it seems to be all systems go for Fall 2001.  I've heard there is a station in the UK expressing interest in the show, so with luck perhaps it will make there this year too!
Here's some links for some of the great news:
1/18/01 Scifi-wire article
2/7/01 Scifi-wire article
2/16/01 Scifi-wire article

Two big pieces of news concerning the show, rumors confirmed by both Alec and Anne herself!  First of all they have a script writer now, Ronald D. Moore;  he's done some of the best Star Trek: Next Gen and Deep Space Nine episodes, among other things.  Best of all, Anne mentioned in chat that he approached them, which means he's really interested in the project!!

Second piece of the news is that the WB network in the US is seriously considering picking up the show.  To show the Powers That Be at WB just what a great idea the Pern TV Show is, please help us to flood their message board saying how much you're looking forward to seeing the show!  Think of yourselves as lobbyists for the "Bring Pern to Television" campaign, and get to work lobbying the WB!  You need not live in the US to help out and benefit from this; the show's producers really need to partner up with a big network/studio if the show is going to be made at all, and this looks like our best shot!  So go flood their message board and then tell all your friends and have them do the same!

For more details on the confirmed rumor, and to join in discussion about it, visit the topic on Anne's own message board.

According to Alec Johnson (Anne's eldest son and webmaster of her new site) we should be hearing something from ZyntroPICS soon concerning Pern merchandise.  Although the website still hasn't been updated, they have a message board associated with it, and occasionally the producers will drop in and answer a few questions.  In a 10/4 posting they said they plan to get the site updated within a week.  I'll be keeping an eye out for the update and will post here if and when it's done.

The latest news is not very encouraging...

Alliance-Atlantis is reportedly no longer partnering with ZyntroPICS to produce the show, and the all the development work the put into it over the last few years will likely be scrapped (copyright issues, of course).  The information on the website they made, found at both and, is therefore out-of-date and should not be considered a reliable news source by anyone.

ZyntroPICS is supposed to have found a new company to partner with (I haven't heard any names though) and the show is supposed to be proceeding.  As should be obvious by now, a Fall 2000 release isn't going to happen, but they are projecting to be broadcast ready for Fall 2001.  There is a new website you should go to for information,, although very little work has been put into it as of yet.

Things are now looking bad for a Fall 2000 release.  Read the details for yourself at the Scifi channel's website.

According to the timeline on their website, the show was supposed to begin casting in November, 1999.  Someone in recently queried them how things were going and the reply said that they haven't in fact done the casting yet and are very behind.   However, they still expect to be ready to release the show in Fall 2000.

I learned lots of details about the TV series while I was at DragonCon99, and I've summarize my notes for you.   While everything I learned there, and everything posted on the official Pern TV site indicates that the show is planned for Fall 2000, a recent article on the Sci-fi Channel and one at Cinescape site say the release date isn't until 2001.  Their source is the president of Atlantis-Alliance, which seems pretty reliable.  On the other hand, you wouldn't think the official show website would state the earlier date unless they were sure of it.   I do not know which is the truth, and while I'm certainly hopeful that the earlier date is right, I've heard other rumors concerning production problems that make the later date more likely.  There is also another short article on the Sci-fi Channel site, with a brief summary of the show.
Update:  A friend queried the TV folk about this confusion over the release date.  They said that they do still hope to have the show ready for Fall 2000 in America, but that the international release may be delayed a year.

This show is being produced by Atlantis-Alliance Productions, and is due to hit the small screen in  2000 or 2001, airing around the globe on (most likely) Friday nights (stations to be determined).  Anne is involved with the production and script-writing, so fans have some hope about the quality of the program.  Dragons will be done as a mixture of computer graphics and animitronics.  Anne has some more details on her own site.   It is said to be based on Dragonflight, Renegades, and All the Weyrs.  Known included characters are Fax, Lessa, F'lar, and Robinton.  26 episodes are slated at this point, and the pilot episode will be 2 hours long. 

The release date was pushed back from Fall 1999, reportedly so that the desired scriptwriter would be available. 


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