Before George R.R. Martin created his blockbuster series A Song of Ice and Fire, he was a writer and producer on the TV show Beauty and the Beast , and while Martin hasn't come right out and denounced The CW's developing reboot of the show, he did say the idea makes him "nervous."
In a Sunday evening post at his online journal (which he affectionately calls "Not a Blog"), Martin described a recent reunion dinner he had in California with the cast and crew of the original series (for which he wrote 15 episodes). Conversation at the dinner inevitably turned to the reboot announcement, which Martin says no one involved with the original show really knows anything about.
"All of us had seen the story, in the REPORTER or on the internet," Martin said, "but none of us had been contacted by CBS or CW or any of the folks doing this new version. Just sayin'."
Martin also noted that, for a while at least, the original cast and crew had hoped to return to the world of their series, perhaps for a feature film. That dream has since faded, but that doesn't mean Martin is entirely happy about the idea of someone else taking on the world he helped create:
"And now this. A reboot. Well, okay. I wish them luck, although generally speaking, I am not a fan of reboots. I don't know the writers they have selected, but they seem to have good credentials. I hope they've seen the original series. I hope they love it as much as we do. I hope they keep the fantasy, the whole tunnel world, not just the Beast. I hope they keep Father and Mouse and Jamie and Pascal and all the other characters we peopled the tunnels with. And I hope they keep the poetry: the sonnets, the readings from Shelley and Keats and Kipling, the deep love of books and words and literature that was so much a part of Vincent.
"Most of all, I hope they keep it smart."
Though he's pretty gracious about the whole reboot idea overall, Martin doesn't hide that he's worried about a few of the advertised new elements of the series, most notably the idea that the show will get the CW treatment:
"But I must admit, the announcement makes me nervous. The new version will 'modernize and CW-up' the love story, it says here, as well as adding a 'procedural twist.' I haven't watched enough shows on the CW to know what 'CW-up' really means in this context, but the phrase rings ominously in my ears. And 'modernize?' Uh ... well, set it in 2012, sure ... but part of the appeal of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the timelessness of the underlying love story.
"But we'll see. (Or we won't, this is only a script at this stage, not even a pilot). Maybe this will be another BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, where the reboot is a hundred times better than the original. Or at least a STAR TREK, where the comparative merits of the original show and the new one can be debated."
Well, Martin has weighed in, and it seems like his reaction is much the same as those of many fans of the original series. What do you think? Can we hold out hope that the Beauty and the Beast reboot could be, as Martin puts it, another Battlestar Galactica?