I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tales From the Darkside by Joe Hill, Illustrations by Charles Paul Wilson III

At one point Joe Hill was approached by a producer named Mitchell Galin to write an episode of a reboot of the TV show "Tales From the Darkside".  He was quite thrilled as he loved the show, especially the episode "Word Processor of the Gods" which was based on a short story of his dad's. He decided that the plot of that story which is about a man whose typewriter can change reality was a great idea and he would write a storyline that would have time warping "Darkside Events".  Lives would be forever changed and destroyed and recreated by these weird events.  Over the course of the season, it would become evident these events would be caused by a crippled psychic with a microprocessor in his brain which has given his rabid Id the powers of a god.  Over time those who had been affected by these events would join together to try to fix things.  He was hired to only write one half hour episode but ended up writing two half-hour episodes and one-hour long episode. He also wrote a Bible for three seasons.  The first two episodes "A Window Opens" and "Sleepwalker" were filmed in the spring of 2015 and when they were test screened the audience loved it. The CW, however, did not and the show never made it to the air.  Hill created a comic out of the screenplay he wrote and that was that until now when he decided to publish the scripts in illustrated book form.

In the first story "A Window Opens", Joss is texting on her phone and almost hits a homeless looking guy who is really Newman the cause of the Darkside Events.  He tries to talk to her and help her, but she won't listen.  She ran over a mailbox and goes to the new owners of the house to apologize and see what she can do to make up for it.  Rob and Gloria tell her they need a babysitter for their kids and if she knew anyone who could hook up their internet that would be great. Joss's boyfriend Carter is a computer whizz and agrees to do it with plans of making out with her afterward.  The kids, Ward and Pam are addicted to their iPads that can do magical things and they are set on making the night a fun one for them and a terrifying one for the babysitters that they may not survive.

In "The Sleepwalker" Ziggy is a lifeguard at a nice indoor pool. He and his friend are horsing around and accidentally knock Madeline into the pool while she is taking photos so her camera and phone get soaked. Ziggy promises to fix them and the two reminiscences over the project they worked on at school that year.  The two of them run in different circles, but both have fond memories of that time together. Ziggy goes back up to the lifeguard stand and falls asleep.  Meanwhile, an older woman who has just recovered from triple bypass surgery insists to her husband that she is going to do more laps and that she will be along shortly. It isn't long, however, until she begins to have chest pains and flounder in the water.  An old man in the water notices her and yells for help which wakes Ziggy up and he jumps in and tries to save her, but she dies.  Then Newman shows up and a Darkside Event happens and things get much worse.

The last one, "Black Box" is about Newman and his story and how he came to be from childhood to adulthood and how these Darkside Events happened in the first place.  The dialogue in the first episode is at times a bit cheesy which is probably intentional.  It's still a good story. I really liked "The Sleeper" as Ziggy was a character who tries to redeem himself.  "The Box" is also really good and would have been interesting to see as plans had been made to have Neil Gaiman to act as one of the characters which would have been worth seeing.  With the illustrations and the detailed descriptions setting the scene, you can really picture it in your head like a TV show.  It's a shame this never made it to the screen as it would have been really cool to watch.  

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Darkside-Scripts-Hill-2016-11-22/dp/B01MZ3QH04/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494246900&sr=1-2&keywords=tales+from+the+darkside+script+book


No comments:

Post a Comment