Make a Jurassic Park TV Spin-Off Series
Jurassic Park had enormous potential when the first movie was released in 1993, but since then, NBC Universal has failed to do anything particularly compelling with the franchise. The 2nd and 3rd movies did little to appeal to fans of Crichton's novels, and the rumored 4th film has been in development limbo for more than a decade.
With NBC's failing viewership ratings and the growing need for unique television series, this seems like a perfect time to grow the Jurassic Park license into a media juggernaut. Not to mention, 2013 also marks the 20th Anniversary of the original film, making it even more appropriate to revisit the franchise in the coming year. Jurassic Park already has a strong premise and a cult following of long-time fans, giving it a significant edge against the competition, and with the recent popularity of gritty dramas like Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park is a series that could translate to network airing while maintaining the mature themes of its recent TV contemporaries.
Our concept is simple.
NBC launches a new Science Fiction Drama for Fall 2013 entitled The Muldoon Directive, a spin-off of the original Jurassic Park story that sticks closer to Crichton's novel than the movies, thus separating it and giving it a unique identity akin to a "reboot". In the show's pilot, final events from Isla Nublar are recapped from the perspective of Robert Muldoon, but it's left unclear whether he was killed by raptors or simply MIA (similar to the contradiction between Crichton's novel and the movie). Either way, an emergency protocol is set in motion because Muldoon can no longer authenticate to the security network he helped set up at Hammond's park. Unknown to John Hammond himself, Muldoon had a containment plan ready in the event of a critical security break on the island, and a privatized task force is assembled in his absence, using funds syphoned through Muldoon's security division of Hammond's now-compromised corporation. The new leader of the task force is also instructed to operate under the name Muldoon, as Robert had established quiet connections with global agencies to protect against an outbreak of unregulated genetic trade or dinosaur-related incidents. The TV pilot could conclude with the team discovering the first of numerous possible cases involving dinosaur activity on the mainland. The show itself would center on Muldoon's team tracking down blackmarket embryos, genetic experimentation, corporate espionage, and actual dinosaur encounters (which would be limited to make them more critical and compelling based on rarity, and this would also prevent cheapening of the dino dynamic). This would also be an edgy way of expanding the story with actual science and investigative elements, something Crichton himself might appreciate. It might even appeal to the investigative drama fans that seem so prevalent in television viewership.
This concept would be benefitial in a variety of ways. First, naming it "Muldoon Directive" instead of having Jurassic Park in the title would still clue in all existing fans but would not alienate newcomers. NBC would be treating its audience with respect and ingtelligence, allowing them to make the connections for themselves. It also means that events wouldn't need to take place in a park (or otherwise be inaccurately set outside of a park despite the show's name, much like Resident Evil or other such franchises). Second, the possibilities of a foundation plot like this would be endless. Like The X-Files with its aliens, hundreds of episodes could be built around the threat of dinosaur-related incidents without actually showing dinosaurs all of the time. And third, a team dynamic could lend itself to human drama that would drive series viewership. After all, it's easy to get lost in the interpersonal stories of The Walking Dead and totally forget that the show involves zombies. The same was true for Battlestar Galactica, which operated as a realistic military/religious/societal commentary as much as it did a space opera. And lastly, because Jurassic Park takes place in present day, settings would remain both familiar and relatively easy to film, unlike a majority of science fiction that requires sweeping set pieces and intricate costuming to create a particular "look" for the series.
There are many other reasons we could list for wanting a Jurassic Park television series, but above all else, we just need more interesting, non-formulaic material in our entertainment media. NBC Universal would stand to make a killing off the series if it were done correctly, and just consider all of the extended merchandise that could be released as cross-promotion. Comic books, video games, novelizations, toys, apparel, and other collectibles could tie into the new series. The possibilities really would be endless.
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