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Page to Screen: What is the Wayward Pines? (No Spoilers)
What is this?
This mystery/thriller television show on Fox this summer (premiers May 14th, 2015) is based on a book series by Blake Crouch, starting with the first title, Pines. A man wakes up with selective amnesia inside of a town where he was sent to find two missing Secret Service agents. However, much of the town is incredibly strange and nothing is as it seems.
It's very difficult to discuss the story much past that but the book delivers revelations after revelations, providing a constant array of clues that should be excellent for the pacing of a television show.
Some have compared it to the likes of Twin Peaks, Lost, The Prisoner, Dark Skies, and so forth. Keep in mind, this is more of a unique story than one that closely mirrors a pre-existing one. There is no single grand twist that ties everything together, but rather layers upon layers accented with misdirection and falsified information. It's not a story that's easy to pick up and understand in mere moments.
When you say M. Night Shyamalan...
Yes, I know exactly what you're thinking but don't click away simply because you see his name is attached to this project. Yes, he's had a terrible track record for quite a while, but there are some things to consider.
1) He's producing this film, and aside from the pilot, he's not writing for any of the episodes
2) This is a show based on a book series that's already laden with backstory. The story is already there and it's being adapted. I know you're thinking of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but remember again that Shyamalan is only producing, not writing or directing.
3) Shyamalan's name used to actually mean something, which admittedly is my weakest point
I'm taking his name attached to this project with a grain of salt regardless but since the source material is so good, I'm going to watch some of it regardless.
Why this looks good
I've already discussed the setting and how the story presents itself with bits of and pieces of revelation. Consider the cast. Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis, and so on and so forth. It's a strong lineup and even if you don't recognize the names, you'll recognize the faces.
There's all that, and then the book. Personally, I haven't read it (although at the time of this writing I'm currently listening to the audiobooks) but my wife has and frequently discussed the developments as she went along. Needless to say we'll both we watching it from the beginning, and there's at least a couple of early screenings that have people hopeful.
It's the summer which you'll realize is the time of the summer blockbuster, scores of expensive, high action films such as the second Avengers film. Television usually suffers during this time, cranking out shows that aren't expected to do much or perform well. Maybe you'll want something that requires you to think and Wayward Pines will (hopefully) keep you at the edge of your seat.
I plan on publishing recaps for each of the 10 episodes on the Friday afterwards or until I lose my interest, but I'll tell you if that happens, if ever. Fingers crossed!
Do you plan on watching Wayward Pines on Fox?
This series recap of the episodes will primarily focus on the adaptation process of itself, such as the changes from the book page to television screen, actors' performances in regards to their character in the book, visualizing what the book only describes, and so on and so forth. It will be very similar to my Page to Screen section, where I discuss movies based on books.
While this may seem obvious, the recap pages are filled with spoilers so while this page is spoiler free, these episode links are definitely not. You've been warned.
However, if you're late to the party and want to start where the show is currently airing and have no reliable means to watch the previously aired episodes, you can use the recap pages to catch up on what's happening.
- Episode 1: When Paradise is Home
- Episode 2: Do not Discuss Your Life Before
- Episode 3: Our Town, Our Law
- Episode 4: One of Our Senior Realtors Has Chosen to Retire
- Episode 5: The Truth
- Episode 6: Choices
- Episode 7: Betrayal
- Episode 8: The Friendliest Place on Earth
- Episode 9: A Reckoning
- Episode 10: Cycle
I'll be doing an overall Page to Screen in a bit, pending 7/27/2015.