With the upcoming J.H. Wyman/Bad Robot series Almost Human coming to Fox in November, our robotic brethren will have a notable place on prime-time network TV, so maybe they won’t yet rise up as one and dominate the human race. Luckily, NBC is also adding some artificial intelligence to their arguably naturally intelligent evening schedule, as a pilot for the Universal TV project Tin Man has been picked up by the peacock network. (Don’t worry. This isn’t a Wizard of Oz spinoff like all those others.) Its screenwriter is Ehren Kruger, who should know a little something about robots himself, as he’s scripted each of the films in the Transformers franchise. Not a bad combination right? I’m assuming someone out there loves the Transformers franchise for its dialogue and story beats.
Tin Man, which really needs a name change if it wants to uphold some kind of a distinction from its heartless namesake, will be a psychological crime thriller taking place in the near future. (Natch.) A robot is accused of first-degree murder, but instead of being a good robot and giving itself up, it runs away and becomes a fugitive. For it is no mere metal man; it may hold the secret to the future of human evolution. The other main character noted is a young female public defender who is made to take the robot’s case. The fact that this is called a psychological thriller and not a courtroom drama makes me wonder where all the psychology comes from, since one of the main characters doesn’t figure into it. Also, it sounds like the show takes place after all the exciting stuff happens. But hey, we’re not trying to step on any metal toes.
Aside from the Transformers films, Kruger is also responsible for Scream 3, which is the worst in the Scream franchise, and The Ring Two, one of the worst horror sequels ever, though he also wrote The Ring, one of the best horrors of the 21st century. He also has the infamously terrible Reindeer Games and The Brothers Grimm, the only Terry Gilliam movie that I refuse to believe is a Terry Gilliam movie. I’m not listing all this just to be a jerk. I’m honestly wondering if Kruger can write something with a fully functional plot that can excite people without the need for spectacle. Again, this is only getting a pilot order, so there’s no need to worry about multi-season arcs just yet.
You’ll probably see Transformers: Age of Extinction in theaters next June before we get to see anything that becomes of this pilot. Unless they want to try for a summer event series, or whatever they’re calling them now. But in the meantime, check out some of the things Kruger and Bay got wrong in the video below.