It is pilot season at Amazon again and time for the viewers to step up and have their voices heard. A couple of times each year, Amazon releases pilots for shows that could potentially join that service’s line of original programming, and it asks viewers to vote on which ones they like most. We should definitely be active in this process, because this is a sign of a network partnering with its viewers instead of just treating them as consumers.
Watch the pilots (here) and give your feedback on whether you would like them to continue on to series. If you don’t like them, that’s fine — let Amazon know that. If you do, let Amazon know that. Other networks (and streaming services) have not made the logical move to bring the viewers into the programming decisions, so #Amazon is ahead of the pack. Your participation is essential though, so take advantage of this opportunity to vote on which shows the network should be airing.
There are five shows that you can vote for in Amazon’s current pilot season: the sci-fi drama Oasis, the dark comedy The Legend of Master Legend, the animated comedy The New V.I.P.’s, the dramedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the buddy comedy Budding Prospects. The first two of those should be of interest to sci-fi and fantasy fans and I have the run down on those below.
Synopsis: Set in the near future, #Oasis tells the story of priest Peter Leigh, who is called to a remote planet where a mysterious multinational company is building the first permanent off-Earth human colony. The planet, Oasis, is humanity’s last chance to escape from Earth’s impending collapse, but it quickly becomes apparent that it may not be as hospitable to humanity as it seem.
Starring: Richard Madden, Anil Kapoor, Antje Traue, Mark Addy
The Skinny: This pilot sets up what could be an epic sci-fi drama about humans colonizing another planet and coming into contact with aliens that they do not understand. It is loosely based on the 2014 Michel Faber novel The Book of Strange New Things and looks like it will tackle religious and social issues with its science fiction premise.
Game of Thrones veteran Richard Madden (who played Rob Stark in that series) stars as a priest who is drafted into service in the colony and may quickly have to deal with a crisis of faith. Fellow GoT alum Mark Addy (who played Robert Baratheon) is also onboard as well as Michael James Shaw (Limitless, Constantine) and an expanded cast that really appear engaged in the project.
The pilot can be rather dense at times and it covers a lot of territory very quickly. It also has a similar feel to Outcasts, which was sadly cancelled after one season in 2011. Oasis shows promise and could develop into a standout sci-fi entry. The pilot only runs one hour, so it is definitely worth your time to give it a look as you cast your vote.
'The Legend Of Master Legend'
Synopsis: The Legend of Master Legend is a dark comedy about the life of Master Legend, a real-life superhero whose mission is the security and safety of the people of Las Vegas. Master Legend juggles the demands of justice with the even more complicated demands of his real family, who don't see him as a hero at all.
Starring: John Hawkes, Dawnn Lewis, Anjelika Washington
The Skinny: This one is not really a sci-fi/fantasy show, but its superhero roots should attract much of the same fanbase. It is loosely based on the real-life Master Legend, who made a go at fighting crime in Las Vegas a while back (Rolling Stone ran a profile on him in 2008). The character is rather down-on-his-luck, but dedicated to doing the right thing, and John Hawkes (with his Geddy Lee looks) does a great job in the lead role.
This one reminds me a bit of the indy film Defendor (which is one of my all-time favorite movies and gave Woody Harrelson one of his best roles), though viewers will likely draw comparison to the better-known Kick-Ass movies (it’s not nearly as violent or over-the-top as those). The pilot can be somewhat of a mixed bag, but it does show potential and I would really like to see more of this one. You can certainly spare the 30-minute run time to give it a look, along with a few minutes to cast your vote.
We Need You!
Definitely watch these two (and possibly the others mentioned above), because we need to participate when the networks give us the chance to share our opinions on what they will air. Viewers previously voted for The Man in the High Castle and that one (heading into its third season later this year) is shaping up to be a sci-fi classic. Also, the reboot of The Tick — upvoted by viewers last year — should be hitting Amazon at some point in the near future.
These are shows that we voted on and Amazon listened, and we have that chance once again. Keep participating and perhaps more of the television networks will get the message and learn that partnering with their viewers is essential to survival in the Peak TV era.
Have you watched either or both of these pilots? Chime in with your comments below.