Seems Netflix is putting out a lot of original material lately. Of varying degrees of quality.
Regardless, they are drawing top level talent such as Will Smith and Sam Worthington. He stars in The Titan which I mostly fast-forwarded through yesterday, which is becoming more of a trend with Netflix originals.
First, while idea can’t be copyrighted, anyone with a basis in science fiction recognized the premise of The Titan from Frederik Pohl’s novel Man Plus. Yet there is nothing in the credits to acknowledge this blatant rip off. I recognize Hollywood believes it can take any idea it wants, even to the blatant extent which they ripped Tess Gerritsen off with Gravity (go buy her book as a protest here), but still– they would have been better off making Man Plus. The Titan was kind of a yawner where I really didn’t care about any of the characters.
For those who don’t know either story, basically the idea put forward by Pohl in Man Plus is to genetically enhance a human (although he added in cybernetically enhancing which I didn’t pick up in The Titan, although my fast-forwarding might have missed that) in order to be able to live on another planet. For Man Plus it was Mars. The Titan was, naturally, the moon Titan. Which is interesting in that while researching Area 51: Redemption I learned a lot about it– especially the atmosphere part.
Cool Gus was similarly unimpressed and gives it lying on his belly, no paws up.
I’m not a fan of dissing someone’s writing; I just think this could have been done better. Also, none of the actors seemed particularly into it. Had that “collecting a paycheck” feeling about it. But I imagine it must be hard as an actor to get into a story that doesn’t ring true with you.
On the plus side, after last season’s sort of blah season ender, The Americans is jumping right into it. Some of the best TV out there. And Westworld looms!!!! Cool Gus is wagging his tail. Once or twice.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on April 2, 2018.