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October 6, 2015

Tin Man: Part One

by Kristin Sample, posted Dec 3rd 2007 8:21AM
Tin Man(E01) Like many people, I am a big fan of The Wizard of Oz. For a little warm fuzzy nostalgia, I'll put on the original movie with Judy Garland. I've read Gregory Maguire's The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (and loved that version too). I even own the soundtrack to Wicked (although I've yet to see the show). And who can forget The Wiz?

I guess it was only a matter of time until the Sci-Fi channel added their version to the ever-evolving list of stories about Dorothy and her journey through Oz. Tin Man aired last night on the Sci-Fi channel from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT and will continue tonight and tomorrow night (same channel, same time).

We began last night with D.G., the Midwestern waitress who speeds to work on her motorcycle, has weird dreams, and believes there's something more to life than waiting tables and windy prairies. D.G., unlike the gentler Dorothy, is a little too tough at times. I don't mind her talking back to everyone but I do mind her going after longcoats with a stick when she sees the men beating up Tin Man's family.

D.G. (just like the original Dorothy) meets a host of characters and takes the "old brick path" to Central City to see the wizard. Among her friends is Glitch (played by the amazing Alan Cumming) who is an inventor and member of the queen's inner circle. Azkadellia, the evil sorceress took out half his brain. D.G. also gets help from Cain, a Tin Man (an ex-cop from Central City). Finally, the three save Raw, half-human and half-wolverine, who used to be a "viewer" (a type of psychic that can see the future using his heart). Poor Raw had his second sight stolen by Azkadellia.

As you can see, it's pretty much a slightly different retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic novel. But, Sci-Fi channel has added a few interesting twists. The first is that D.G.'s parents know about the O.Z. (the Outer Zone). Let me rephrase that--not only do they know about the O.Z., they are robots that have been programmed to take care of D.G. until she is old enough to return to the O.Z. In fact, Lavender Eyes (the dethroned queen who visits D.G. in her dreams) is D.G.'s mother. D.G. was smuggled out of the Outer Zone to safety on the Other Side as a baby.

I like this plot variation / twist / whatever you want to call it. It gives "Dorothy" a purpose in Oz. She's not just trying to get home and during her journey happens to kill an evil witch. Now, Dorothy a.k.a. D.G. has a reason to be in this parallel universe. She also has this cool fiery thing on her hand.

The second difference from the beloved original is the Tin Man's involvement. (One only has to look at the title to guess that the tin man will be more than just a guy painted silver singing about looking for a heart and constantly needing a lube.) In Sci-Fi's version, Cain is an embittered ex-police officer whose family was taken from him by Zero and the longcoats. We first meet Cain when D.G. breaks him out of this metal suit he was forced to wear while he watched a constant replay of the dreaded day his wife and child were taken from him. Clearly, this plotline, because of its originality, is the most compelling reason to tune in for the second two nights.

Tin Man, after gruffly agreeing to help, gets D.G. into Central City but leaves to deal with his personal business. The rest of the group go to see the Mystic Man in a sort of vaudeville theatre where he answers questions by getting audience members and himself high on some feel-good perfume. But the fantastic four are not parted for long and the mystic man, after D.G. awakes him out of his coma, makes Cain swear to help D.G. at all costs.

D.G. uses the many stories her robot parents told her to find her mother's home in the Ice Mountain. Raw shows D.G. her past in the mirror and we find out another plot twist: Azkadellia is D.G.'s older sister. And the sorceress tried to kill D.G. (no big surprise there). D.G. was told by her mother where the emerald is but can't remember (of course!). This emerald seems to be pretty important. We don't know exactly what it can do but everyone definitely wants to get their hands on it.

The cliffhanger ending: D.G., Glitch and Raw are captured by Azkadellia after she releases flying monkeys from her chest. (I know there's a funny comment about boobs or cleavage in there somewhere.) Then, Zero shoots Cain in the chest and he plunges into freezing cold water. I'm not sure how they are going to save him from that one.

The Verdict: Tin Man so far has enough of the original story and some interesting new stuff to keep me intrigued. I'll tune in tomorrow to see where they take it. What about you?

Will you tune in for the next two nights to see the conclusion of Tin Man?
Yes.147 (90.2%)
Probably not.16 (9.8%)

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Jason, you kinda responded with the same style you chewed the reviewer out on. Broadcasting your problems onto others I see?

December 04 2007 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the shittiest review I've ever read - it belongs in a high school or poor college newspaper, it's not even really a review, it just tells us what happened and makes short snide remarks in parentheses. I do this when I'm writing an informal e-mail. Who wrote this crap? Anyway, Tin Man is interesting and I'm glad someone did it (I believe it was bound to happen some time). Little things kind of bugged me, but nothing that makes me hate it, it's a pretty well written series for being a sci-fi show. It reminds me of badly put together stephen king movies like the langaliers or the tv version of the shining with that guy from wings, but they don't have a lot of money - i get that. I do like all of the little nods to the original movie (which seems like the primary "source" rather than the original story), not the obvious ones, but the small ones.

December 04 2007 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, it wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it anyway and will watch the rest. My main issues were the music (it sounded very cliche, like I had almost definitely heard it before), the setting (I wanted something a little bit more exotic with brighter colors... basically I wanted it to look like Pushing Daisies at times, but it was never quite that colorful), and the acting, which is a shame because the other Deschanel is such a great actress. Does anyone else think they could have casted the girl who plays Chuck in Pushing Daisies and pulled off the same character, only better? I felt that way.

And no, the double-mention of Pushing Daisies was not intentional. Just sort of happened.

December 04 2007 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This really is bad. DG's acting is just plain awful. The special effects are second rate and cheezy. I was so looking forward to it. I guess it's a case of trying to quild the lily. I'm going to watch the old one now.

December 04 2007 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love The Wizard Of OZ and I loved Return To OZ and I really loved the musical Wicked but this movie TinMan really bugs me its soooooo diferent from the original story (im talking about the book The Wonderful Wizard Of OZ) In the original story there are 4 witches North, South, East and West and this movie only has 1. Where are the Slippers? The whole reason the witch wants Dorithy is because of the Ruby or Silver slippers but in this movie there is none. The Sci fi channel ruined this story. I f i could rate this movie i would give it an "F"

December 04 2007 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this was slow and drawn out. Thank goodness for Tivo so I could zip through some of it. Maybe it's me but I feel like they are trying too hard. I do love Alan Cummings so I will keep watching but I was disappointed. Granted I didn't read any reviews so I didn't know they were bad. I actually was looking forward to this because of some of the actors involved.

December 03 2007 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's just a fun show. Enteraining.
Toto = Tutor. Now that was funny. You wanted the dog? You got him.

December 03 2007 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big D

Huh? This is stunningly bad. Why would anyone here say this is good?

Bad direction. Bad acting (The woman playing DG is a terrible actress). Insipid story. Even lousy music and uneven special effects.

Don't believe me?

1) The wicked witch rips open her bodice and tattoos of flying monkeys jump off her breasts to chase down our heroine.

2) The wizard is called the mystic, a drugged up nut job played by Ricard Dreyfuss.

3) Her parents are androids.

4) During the fight between Cain and Zero the scene is poorly lit, and even out of focus for no explicable reason.

5) When the flying monkeys chase Dorthy there are columns, columns, columns and a great big empty room. Nothing classes up a show more than marble columns.

I am no fan of the original, but this just plain stinks.

December 03 2007 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Big D's comment

If you re-read your comment...1-3 make this the best show ever.

December 25 2007 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the bullet was deflected by his child's toy coy that he put in his vest.

Also, I want to like this more, but I agree with KenMo, Zooey's acting is sort of off putting.

I saw the "Road to the Tin Man" special and one of the things that they emphasized was that by making this a mini-series they were able to spend more time with each of the story lines, but these two hours, at least, felt rushed and cursory.

December 03 2007 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have liked to see a cooler version of the original but this stiry was still kind of interesting.

I think they should have saved the twists until the end even though most were pretty obvious. Would have been neet for the tin man to stay a little dirty until he realized his family was alive or something.

1. What does the G stand for in D.G.?
2. Where's Toto?
3. Wicked Witch of the West is hot. In part two I hear Dorthy throws water on her and her clothes melt.

December 03 2007 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to superrrguy's comment

In the original, Dorothy's last name is Gale. So DG = Dorothy Gale.

I think in the mirror flashback scene there was a dog hiding under something. And in the previews I believe there was a dog.

December 03 2007 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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