Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Video Review: Lost In Oz

Lost In Oz was originally going to be a live-action movie by Tim Burton in 2000. This was later rewritten as a pitch for a TV series written by Trey Callaway(W.I.T.C.H., Supernatural), and some scenes were actually shot for a pilot, but nothing ever became of the project due to budget constraints. However, around 2002, David Hayter picked up the idea to do a similar TV series of the same name, if not based on Burton's idea that at least inspired by it. Hayter has written screenplays for X-Men, Watchmen, and The Scorpion King, as well as being an accomplished voice actor for anime like Fushigi Yuugi and Lupin, plus the voice of Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid. Joel Smith, the producer of the Tim Burton's Lost In Oz(and apparently was involved with another failed TV project titled Trouble In Oz), acted as executive producer on David Hayter's version. A 1-hour unaired pilot was made for it.

In the pilot, a modern day girl named Alex(Melissa George)who ends up in Oz after being chased by a cyclone in her pickup. Once there, she encounters Scarecrow(Colin Egglesfield)who is really an American WWII pilot. Both of them recall that Oz was a movie starring Judy Garland, but find out that it's real. The Good Witch of the South(Lynn Whitfield)tells them they have to free Princess Ozma from the new Wicked Witch of the West(Mia Sara). They're aided by the Patchwork Girl(Sandra Allen)who knew the wicked witch before she became possessed by some evil force. Apparently the Wicked Witch of the West is chosen by some unkown force, and if one is killed another girl is picked to take her place, as Alex finds out when she nearly becomes the Witch herself. In the end, Ozma is freed, while the Witch is banished from Oz by a cyclone, leaving Alex for the moment stranded away from home.

It's worth mentioning that Mia Sara who played the Witch is the mother of Brian Henson's daughter, Brian of whom played Jack Pumpkinhead in Return To Oz. The pilot episode is possibly floating around the net illegally somewhere, or you might be able to find a bootleg DVD at some fan conventions. You can see some screencaptures of it on Melissa George's website.

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