Friday, January 18, 2013
Is it the End of Line for Tron: Uprising on Disney XD?
I've been hearing rumors about this around the 'net for weeks now and while nothing official has been released as of yet, here's the bad news: Tron: Uprising, the Tron sequel/Tron: Legacy prequel, is probably going to be cancelled on Disney XD.
I've been in denial about this news, even though the writing on was on the figurative wall for some time. When you've seen as many short-lived horror and sci-fi TV shows as I have, you learn to recognize the warning signs: Between the inconsistent showings of episodes in the fall, poor marketing and the recent placement of the show on the 12 a.m. EST slot on Monday mornings, it was pretty obvious that Disney XD management had decided to burn through the first season of Tron: Uprising episodes it had commissioned. This isn't the first time that a TV network has tried so hard to kill off a show it has selected to air, but the fact that the Tron franchise is Disney's baby makes Uprising's likely cancellation even more depressing. After all, you'd think that Disney would show more support behind Uprising with the development of Tron 3 in the movie development pipeline, right?
I think that Tron: Uprising has been an amazing show. It explores areas of the Tron universe in ways that the films never did; its central world of the Grid is like our world and yet so different, adhering to its own unique logic. Running parallel to the logic of the Grid are the programs, individuals who look and behave like humans and yet can be (re)programmed and behave like androids. The voice cast does an excellent job at bringing these computerized characters to life and provides the emotional grounding that add depth to the show's well-written story arcs. (Judging from their line readings, I could particularly tell that Lance Henriksen and Paul Reubens relished their respective villainous roles of General Tessler and Pavel.) Furthermore, Uprising rivals Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the area of quality CG animation--if you're not watching Uprising on anything other than a high-definition TV, you're really missing something beautiful. With so much that it has to offer, I would hate to see this series end so soon.
To be sure, producer Edward Kitsis recently told IGN that even though he is uncertain about the future of Tron: Uprising, he is still encouraging viewers to keep watching the show's remaining two episodes. That's what I plan to do, and hopefully other sci-fi fans will do the same. Even if it is cancelled, I hope that Disney XD's blatant mishandling of Uprising is not an indication of what Tron 3 will be like--or, for that matter, what Disney will do with its other sci-fi franchise, Star Wars.