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Last year, if I recall correctly, the SciFi channel treated the world to a twisted update/revision/parody of The Wizard of Oz called Tin Man, with Zooey Deschanel as “D.G.” (Dorothy Gale–get it?):

It had its moments, but surely a great part of its success (including the advertising angle in the trailer above) depended on audience awareness of the “original” version—that is, the 1939 Judy Garland movie. Not nearly as many people have read the book(s).

Now it seems SciFi is giving the same “re-imagining” treatment to Alice in Wonderland, according to Maureen Ryan, with Kathy Bates as the Queen of Hearts

Tim Curry will play Dodo, Colm Meaney (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) will play the King of Hearts and Alessandro Juliani (Felix Gaeta on “Battlestar Galactica”) will be the 9 of Clubs….

Among the other actors in the cast are Philip Winchester (“Crusoe”) as Jack of Hearts, Matt Frewer (“Watchmen”) as the White Knight and Andrew Lee Potts (“Primeval”) as “Hatter.”

Some nice casting, but here’s the thing: have enough science-fiction/fantasy fans (people who usually watch this kind of TV) read Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass to appreciate what’s being done here? Assuming it’s done with even as much imagination and wit as Tin Man? Every year I poll students in first-year comp classes and/or British Lit. surveys–how many have read Alice? Usually the maximum number is three or four. A few others will say they have seen the animated movie. Alice is already a classic of fantastic imagination…how much wackier can you make it? Or will they try to sort of “un-wack” it by making everyone metaphorical? Arg.

Will the new version include “Jabberwocky“? I hope so!

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