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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



Curse your name, Bill Cunningham!

Bill did this thing over at D2DVD where he had folks outline their ideas to revamp an existing property. I didn't do it at the time, but I was thinking about it the other night. I've always known exactly what property I've always wanted to get my hands on.

So I there I was at my pathetic excuse for a job working out what I would do were I the fellow with the TV rights to The Shadow.

I came up with some stuff I really, really like. It's fucking good stuff if I dare say. Stuff inspired by several incarnations of the dark avenger. Some of the old radio show continuity. Some of the flavor of the Howard Chaykin version (which is what started me on the character and sent me looking backward to Kaluta and Gibson). Even a little bit (very little bit) from the Alec Baldwin flick directed by Russell (Duran Duran videos) Mulcahy. But again, I don't own the rights to The Shadow and it's not bloody likely that I ever will.

I've got these ideas that are just too cool to not use, but they are pretty closely tied to a certain hawk-nosed dude with twin automatic pistols. Maybe someday I could find some way to use some of the stuff, but it'll be in something that makes people say "This is a total rip-off of The Shadow."

So here's a piece of it. There are three kinds of episodes. Ones that are all flashback (mostly to the 30's, but there are exceptions), ones in the present and ones with both. There is some bit of an arc, but for the most part episodes are pretty well self contained. In the past, The Shadow is as we knew him to be: Lamont Cranston, wealthy young man-about-town (sorta). Margot's there. Moe is there. Some other of his vast network of folks he's saved in exchange for a certain indebtedness.

In the present, there's a similar network and there is a Shadow out there, but these episodes are told only from the point of view of the modern Shadow's agents. We don't know who this present day avenger might is...yet.

And, oddly, there will occasionally, maybe rarely, episodes set in an era where the Shadow has not been known to operate. The late 50s, the 70s, like that. There is a reason.

There is one agent (of my own devise) who spans them both. In the 30s, the Shadow saved a family from a horrible fate and in return asked what might be considered a steep price. He needed their son. He didn't take him or anything, but this kid was what is today known as an autistic savant. He could speed read the entire New York Times in about five minutes and instantly correlate things from one story to another. He could make obscure connections. So everyday, for five minutes, that what this kid did in the morning. If something popped up, they called the Shadow. Once in a while, the Shadow would call upon him to use this ability more specifically.

Now, in the present, the boy is a decrepit old man who can barely do anything for himself, physical and mental issues, he's mostly Stephen Hawking-ed up. He is cared for a a bevy of hot nurses (and I mean like white vinyl porn nurses (oh, what that's gonna do to my search stats) which is probably the Chaykin influence) paid for by a mysterious benefactor who puts the "connection making skill" to use today, as the old man spends 20 hours a day scouring the internet (9 monitors at a time) for...whatever.

Never gonna get to see it. That's why the name cursing. No. Bill's cool for cats.

Alas, the closest I'll get is likely being namechecked in this Shadow radio episode produced several decades before anyone knew how cool it would be to namecheck me.

©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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