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
WB interview with Ron Moore,
3/31/01 Trek Today
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:
2/7/01 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 perncom.com
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
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 pern.net and pern.com,
is therefore out-of-date and should not be considered a reliable news source by
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, perncom.com,
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
According to the timeline on their website, the show was supposed to begin casting in
November, 1999. Someone in alt.fan.pern 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
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
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
The release date was pushed back from Fall 1999, reportedly
so that the desired scriptwriter would be available.