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Human Target: He Could Be Anybody


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#1

Twilight Man

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Posted Mar 11, 2009 @ 12:46 PM

This is a thread for the two shows about a D-list DC superhero called The Human Target.

Long story short, Christopher Chance is a mysterious freelancer who offers a unique form of security for hire: He puts on a latex mask and assumes the identities of people in danger, becoming the "human target" on behalf of his clients.

Back in the 70's, he was the "back-up" story (the last 10 pages of the comic) behind Batman in Detective Comics.

In the early 80's, he finally got his big break when they made a live-action TV show about him.
Unfortunately, they cast none other than Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl!!!!!) to portray him.
Not until David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury has there been a more silly idea in comic adaptation history.

(Isn't YouTube great, you can even find this old TV show on it. Wow, Rick Springfield fights David Carridine......... and he wins!!!!)

That was then, this is now.

After spending several years lost in limbo (Vertigo Comics, actually), The Human Target is getting a second chance.

Mark Valley (Boston Legal) is going to portray Chance.
Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach!!!!!) is going to be Chance's information gatherer, who keeps his ear to the ground.
Chi McBride (Emerson Cod from Pushing Daisies) is Chance's business partner and friend.

(You're going to pretend to be who now. Aw Hell No!!)

The Human Target is back, and this time, he could be anybody.

[removed the "The" from the show title, as it's not included. --Barnes]

Edited by TWoP Barnes, Jan 7, 2010 @ 10:37 PM.


#2

Paul O Regan

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Posted Mar 11, 2009 @ 2:45 PM

Cautiously optimistic about this.

I hope it at least gets Vertigo to put out trades of the rest of the Milligan series.

#3

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Posted Mar 11, 2009 @ 6:28 PM

I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I was actually a bit of a fan of the original show. Granted, it came out when I was a teenager, and I've always been a bit of a comic book geek, and at the time I'd watch anything based on a comic book. (I wasn't cured of that little problem 'til I saw the pilot for Nightman.)

I acutally heard about this a couple of days ago. I'm not really familiar with Mark Valley, but with Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley in the cast, I'm definitely interested.

(And I'm not sure if I'm dreading or looking forward to the inevitable Rick Springfield cameo.)

#4

Twilight Man

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Posted Mar 27, 2009 @ 6:31 PM

Thanks for putting "The Human Target" in your latest Twop 10.

Twop 10 Most Promising-Sounding Pilots

#5

Twilight Man

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Posted May 16, 2009 @ 3:05 PM

Fox has picked up "Human Target".

#6

Trini Girl

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Posted May 18, 2009 @ 6:41 PM

Show synopsis from Fox:

HUMAN TARGET

It takes a brave, selfless man to make himself a "human target" in order to save the lives of those in danger. Based on the popular DC Comics graphic novel, HUMAN TARGET is a full-throttle action drama centered on CHRISTOPHER CHANCE (Mark Valley, FRINGE), a unique private contractor/security guard hired to protect. Call him what you like, because for Chance, it's about one thing only: saving his clients' lives. When there is an unusual or imminent threat that can't be solved through "normal" means of protection, Chance is hired to completely integrate himself into his clients' lives to become the human target.
<...>
During each job, Chance, assisted by his business partner WINSTON (Chi McBride, "Pushing Daisies") and hired gun GUERRERO (Jackie Earle Haley, "Watchmen"), puts himself directly in the line of fire as he races against time to save his client, while unraveling the truth behind the mission. With every new danger, Chance's dark history will also unravel. Does anyone know who Christopher Chance really is, or what secrets lay buried in his past? What would make a man willingly become a HUMAN TARGET?


Trailer and previews.

#7

caper24

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Posted May 18, 2009 @ 9:10 PM

I never got a chance to see the original series, which I thought was a fun idea. I'm a long-time comics fan, so I was familiar with Christopher Chance from old backups in Detective Comics.

The Vertigo revamp got a lot of acclaim. I'm looking forward to this. Glad it's on FOX so that I'm guaranteed a chance to see it.

#8

Trini Girl

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Posted May 19, 2009 @ 1:22 AM

It seems interesting and the trailer makes it look really exciting, but then I think that these types of shows have a limited lifespan. Also, looks like Fox found the next cocky action hero to replace Michael Scofield.

#9

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Posted May 24, 2009 @ 8:18 AM

I'm wondering, though, what the point of licensing the character is if they're not going to be emphasizing the central conceit - that he doesn't just become someone close to the client, he actually becomes the client. Sure, this Chance is still a super-bodyguard, but he's not really the Human Target - more the Human Last-Minute-Shield.

#10

cooliehawk

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Posted May 24, 2009 @ 12:44 PM

Wouldn't that mean Mark Valley dressing up as Tricia Helfer?

#11

Cornballer

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Posted May 24, 2009 @ 4:33 PM

Spoiler-Free take on the pilot based off the script and trailer...

They clearly put a lot of money in this (many experienced actors in the cast, plus McG helming the pilot and a ton of visual effects), but...the script and trailer sort of suggest House meets Burn Notice, without the dark/snarky edge that makes those shows work.

Fox seems to put a lot of emphasis on House-type shows revolving around the premise of "Your dark secret will KILL you!" You've got Lie to Me returning, along with the reincarnation-themed Past Life. All of these are variations on the CBS procedural model with slightly smaller casts, but the same structure -- crime-of-the-week, visual gimmick, sardonic protagonist (well, Past Life has Richard Schiff, who's not visible much in the trailer, but he's doubtless going to have that Ziegler snark).

Thing is, the Vertigo version of Human Target would make a GREAT TV series. Peter Milligan and his artists really made a complex, effed-up Christopher Chance, who at this point does a better job of living other people's lives than they do. But he's so warped from years of taking on other identities that he has very little of his own. And every case deals with some twisted aspect of the human psyche that really makes you think, and often not realize what's going on until it's too late.

At least based on the pilot, the TV version feels like "how to be a bodyguard." It's just a series of fun facts as to how to flush out an assassin, combined with "Wow! Look at all the cool stuff Chance can do!" They don't even have the disguises! There is still potential to really get into Chance's psyche and tell the kind of emotionally-complex-but-action-packed tales that distinguished the comic, but based on the pilot, this feels like what is becoming a standard Fox procedural. It could get an audience, but it wouldn't take that much to embrace the source material. I hope they go that route, otherwise this is a pale mix of standard procedural with James Bond.

Just my two cents.

#12

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Posted May 24, 2009 @ 9:14 PM

I'll watch it. Mark Valley is an interesting choice...he reminds me of Colin Ferguson with no sense of humor. Maybe that's what they're going for?

#13

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Posted May 25, 2009 @ 4:14 AM

Wouldn't that mean Mark Valley dressing up as Tricia Helfer?


Granted, that would be difficult... :) But I'd gloss over that if it were only limited to female clients. From what I read from the press releases, it's applied across the board. He doesn't disguise himself as the target, just poses as someone close.

#14

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Posted May 26, 2009 @ 5:04 PM

So as to be right on hand in his faux-close associate role when the target ends up biting a sniper bullet? Seems like it would be a lot less effective protection than taking the target's place from the point of view of his employers.

I can't imagine how it would have a feasible explanation, but I for one would fall out if we got a scene of Mark dressing up as Tricia Helfer and then with a final face-obscuring toss of the hair it actually IS Helfer standing in front of the mirror.

#15

Trini Girl

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 10:25 PM

The Futon Critic's first look at The Human Target. Spoilers for the pilot.

#16

caitlin claire

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Posted Jul 26, 2009 @ 11:28 AM

I hadn't even heard of this show (or the comic) but now that I know Bear McCreary is scoring it? I'm totally in.

#17

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Posted Jul 26, 2009 @ 11:52 AM

Mark Valley is an interesting choice...he reminds me of Colin Ferguson with no sense of humor.


I'm not feeling Mark Valley either. At least Rick Springfield was charismatic.

I'll watch the pilot and see how it goes.

#18

Trini Girl

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Posted Jul 31, 2009 @ 1:02 AM

Some more info on the show from the cast and writers/producers from Comic-Con.

#19

OLynn

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Posted Sep 15, 2009 @ 6:43 PM

I just watched the series trailer and you know, this actually looks good. And Tricia Helfer, how can you go wrong? So I'm in. But Bear McCreary too, yeah, totally in.

#20

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Posted Sep 15, 2009 @ 6:59 PM

That Vertigo series looks phenomenal. I dunno about the show, but I really want to read this.

#21

Trini Girl

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Posted Nov 24, 2009 @ 10:01 PM

And we have a premiere date: Wednesday January 20th at 9pm, with some type of preview show the previous Sunday at 8pm. Via The Futon Critic.

#22

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Posted Nov 24, 2009 @ 10:38 PM

Just by the by, I think the Rick Springfield show was from the early 90's, not the 80's. I watched it too.

I'm going to give this a try, but I also think it's questionable for them to abandon the central conceit.. it's like making a Superman series where Clark Kent is a fireman or something, instead of having superpowers. I guess they don't want to deprive their leading man of screen time, but given all the face-changing in the original (not to mention the Mission Impossible movies), it's not like the technology doesn't exist.

They could even do a Quantum Leap-type thing where we actually see Valley, but it's established that the other characters see and hear him differently (although, admittedly, that would be a bit of a stretch, given this show's slightly more down-to-Earth premise).

#23

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Posted Dec 2, 2009 @ 3:23 AM

I'm glad this show will be grounded in reality as opposed to the original comic book concept. As a long-suffering viewer of Stargate Universe, I've had it with the whole body-swapping thing, which is handled quite poorly on that show, imo.

I started seeing the promos for this show last week and it looks interesting. It does seem to have elements of Burn Notice, which might be a good thing as long as it's not a total rip-off. Mark Valley is an okay actor, but Jackie Earle Haley and Chi McBride are interesting actors, so they should be a good supporting cast. It's written and produced by Jonathan Steinberg, the guy who did Jericho, so I'm pretty confident that I will like this. If not, at least I'll have Bear McCreary's terrific score to listen to.

It seems that Fox is really hyping Tricia Helfer's appearance as if she was a regular cast member, but she's only in the pilot, if I am not mistaken. I guess they really want to cash in on her BSG fame, the same way Burn Notice did.

#24

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Posted Dec 11, 2009 @ 6:40 PM

Maybe they'll work All Along the Watchtower into this one, too.

Is anyone on the board particularly well-versed in the history of the character from the comics? Are there any interesting threads from Chance's backstory that might be explored on the show? Does he have the standard "Rogues Gallery" of villains?

Edited by Atropos, Jan 3, 2010 @ 2:55 PM.


#25

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Posted Jan 5, 2010 @ 2:12 PM

Here's the Toon bio. In his stint in 70's Action/Detective Comics, I vaguely remember a non-descript helper, a cross between Batman's Alfred and James Bond's Q. But, each story seemed stand-alone. He really could have used a nemesis.

No one's mentioning 2004's Keen Eddie! Mark as an American cop assigned to London! Culture shock! Whacky British accents! Sienna Miller!

#26

Fukui San

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Posted Jan 5, 2010 @ 2:50 PM

I was a fan of the Vertigo series. The first mini was incredible, it kinda petered out into just pretty good. It then ended on a high note.

I have little idea how the TV series will turn out.

#27

Twilight Man

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Posted Jan 5, 2010 @ 5:05 PM

Naturally, DC Comics is bringing back the Human Target for a six issue mini series.

#28

Trini Girl

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Posted Jan 7, 2010 @ 4:12 PM

Fox loses football lead-in for 24 and Human Target premieres. And a few more features have been added to the official website.

(I'm going to ask the mods to take the "The" out of the thread title.)

Edited by Trini Girl, Jan 7, 2010 @ 4:15 PM.


#29

cooliehawk

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Posted Jan 7, 2010 @ 6:12 PM

deleted by poster

Edited by cooliehawk, Jan 7, 2010 @ 6:13 PM.


#30

Paul O Regan

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Posted Jan 8, 2010 @ 2:59 PM

(I'm going to ask the mods to take the "The" out of the thread title.)

Should this topic be moved to Drama too, as it's not really a sci-fi show? (The Action Adventure part of the forum title always confuses me.)

I'll definitely check out the pilot. Loved Chi McBride since Boston Public.