I am thrilled (really) to reveal that today at the San Diego Comicon IDW Comics announced their plans to publish a miniseries and graphic novel of DOORWAYS, the television pilot that I created, wrote, and produced for ABC from 1991 to 1993.
The first issue will be published in November.
— Tom, an emergency room doc at a Los Angeles hospital,
— Cat, a half-feral fugitive from an alternate timeline.
— Thane, the manhound, part human, part animal, part cybernetic, stalking Cat from world to world at the behest of his alien masters.
This first DOORWAYS series will be based on the revised version of my script, not (not not NOT, please note) on the TV show as shot. In other words, the characters as they appear in the comic will not look anything like the actors who portrayed them in 1993, in the version (the bloated two-hour version) of DOORWAYS that was released on video way back when. (This is purely for legal reasons and should not taken as a reflection on the actors, all of whom were terrific, especially Anne Le Guernec, the young French actress who played Cat).
A graphic novel is only as good as its artwork, of course. The art for DOORWAYS will be provided by the amazing Italian artist Stefano Martino (well, born in Italy, but he’s lived in France and is presently in Spain). Fans will know him for his outstanding work on IDW’s DOCTOR WHO comic. I selected Stefano personally from among a dozen candidates, and I love what I have seen of his stuff so far.
Stefano is working directly from my original teleplay, so we have not needed to bring aboard a scriptor as on some of my other recent comic projects. This time around, the writer is me. And doing this as a graphic novel rather than a television show means that we are not straight-jacketed by studio budgets or the state of SFX in 1993… so, for instance, our manhounds no longer need to be guys in rubber suits, and we should be able to have much more fun with the aliens and their technology.
DOORWAYS is the great “might have been” of my career in Hollywood. It was the closest I ever came to getting my own show on the air. Two years of my life went into it, and unsurprisingly, I came to love the characters and their world. Worlds, in this case. When DOORWAYS slammed shut on me, and I had to say goodbye to Tom and Cat and all those stories that would now remain forever untold, it felt as though a part of me had died. But now IDW has opened that door again and I can’t tell you how pleased that makes me.
In the summer of 1991 when I pitched to pitched the concept for a new weekly science fiction series to the suits at ABC, network television had done plenty of space travel and time travel shows , but one of the great tropes of science fiction remained largely untouched — the parallel worlds story. “What if” stories, sideways-in-time tales, worlds where the South won the Civil War, where the Roman Empire never fell, where Pete Best was still drumming for the Beatles… we could do them all, in an action/ adventure framework with some romance and sexual tension and an on-going Fugitive overplot for garnishes.
And if IDW’s new DOORWAYS comic finds an audience, it’s my hope that we will do them all… starting with the first draft of my pilot script, which featured an entirely different alternate world from the shooting script, and then going on to the six never-produced back-up scripts… and then maybe, just maybe, creating brand new original tales (tales NOT written by me, so please don’t get your panties in a twist, ICE & FIRE remains first priority, any new DOORWAYS scripts will be penned by writers I hire and supervise, as with those five other back-up scripts from 1992-93, at least until the SONG is sung) that will take Tom and Cat to worlds we never would have dreamed of doing on a weekly television budget…
The DOORWAYS open in November. Reserve a copy at your favorite comic shop.
(Did someone mention SLIDERS? Slowly I turned… step by step, inch by inch, I… but no, really, don’t do that. That’s a sore spot. One might even say a festering boil.)
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