Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
Tremors was the first horror movie I ever asked my parents to see. Of course, they told me no because I was only five years old at the time. Still, the movie stuck with me, and I have seen every single film in the franchise hundreds of times. I am also the proud owner of the ill-fated Tremors series. While a lot of people think of Tremors as that corny movie with the giant worms, it has a definite cult following, one that has an itch that was never quite scratched. This piece will go in-depth into the Tremors series, that never was, the one we got, the one we almost had, and the one we deserve.
1. What Never Was
Long before Tremors: The Series hit the SyFy network there were talks about another series called Tremors: The Lost Tapes. The latter sounds like it could have been something special that fans of the franchise could have sank their teeth into. The series would have revolved around Val and Earl as monster hunters for hire traveling around the world to fight off baddies in episodes like Val and Earl Meet the Vampire and The Killer Toaster Ovens.
The series was supposed to be a tie-in television series with the second movie in the film franchise, Tremors: Aftershocks. Unfortunately, the idea was scrapped, and the six written episodes were never filmed. Some of the ideas from the original script were carried over into the series that eventually made it to TV which is where Mixmaster came from. I would have loved to see this series come to fruition, and maybe it still could some day.
2. The One We Got
For all of its faults, Tremors: The Series was a fun entry into the Tremors lexicon. The series is set shortly after the events of the third film and takes place almost entirely in Perfection Valley. The setting of the series is only the first of the many mistakes of this series.
The series opens with a new character to the family named Tyler who bought Desert Jack's Graboid adventures from Desert Jack himself. Tyler immediately becomes the sidekick to loner Burt which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. They have also replaced Miguel (R.I.P) with his niece and brought back Mindy (played by the original actress). Eventually, they start bringing in more characters in an attempt to build story arcs, but all they do is double Perfection's population for no apparent reason.
The series would have been much better if they would have stuck with the original idea of monster hunters traveling the world - which one of the best episodes of the only season showed - but unfortunately, they chose to keep most of the action in Perfection which limited what writers could do with the characters and creatures alike.
Though it was an overall disappointment, Tremors: The Series wasn't all bad, and it fits with the tone of the franchise. Being the fan that I am I wish they would have had more time to right the ship with this series as they had some interesting character development plans in the works before the show was canceled. Interestingly enough, the fifth and sixth installments of the movie franchise all but ignore the fact that the series ever happened.
3. The One We Almost Had
We almost had a series that was set to star Kevin freakin' Bacon. That is already infallible. The preview looked to be better quality than the film franchise, even the latest installment, A Cold Day in Hell. Of course, there was going to be a lot to explain away like the fact that the series' de facto star Burt Gummer was nowhere to be seen along with the five sequels that created the Tremors lore. Still, This series looked like a Tremors series done right, and all we got was a lousy trailer.
I don't have any insider knowledge, but my conspiracy theory is that the studio that makes the movies saw how great this series looked and put a kibosh on it before it hurt the films' legacies.
4. The One We All Deserve
There is still a way that true fans of the franchise could still have their cake and eat it too. It would be a way to incorporate all of the ideas of these series that seemed to work as well as the characters that we love for years to come (Fred Ward and Michael Gross are unfortunately not getting any younger.) I think that the future of a Tremors series would be best suited as a cartoon aimed at adults. It would be much less expensive to produce and finding voices for the cartoons would be a lot easier than casting the original crew. Imagine what could be done with an animated series that allowed writers to explore new monsters and new places. Hell, I wouldn't even be that mad if old Mix Master found its way into an episode or two. Though the idea is solid, I have a feeling that this is one dream of mine that will never come to fruition.
The Future of the Franchise
Michael Gross has said that the latest installment of the Tremors series would not be the last, but he wouldn't say any more about what future movies could be about or if he would be involved. While this is good news for those of us who love these subterranean monsters, I'm not entirely sure that the franchise could withstand a slew of campy sequels, especially after the last installment had so many things wrong with it. I, for one, think that the future of this franchise should be a television series and if they won't do the Kevin Bacon vehicle, then they should do an Adult Swim style cartoon for people who hold this franchise near and dear to their heart like me. If you are a fan of the Tremors films but didn't know that a series even existed, I put a link to it below because it is something that every Graboid lover needs to see.