Last night, we got a few of our writers on e-mail to talk about news that Myst, a 1993 adventure game that pioneered such shocking new technologies as the CD-ROM and Quicktime, will become a TV show. We tossed around what we’d like to see in the show and cast it up.
Gabriel: Joining me are our creative director Vanessa Tottle, editor Eden O’Nuallain, and contributor Himura Sachiko. So, they’re making Myst into a TV series, or an interactive series, or some kind of toasty grilled sandwich. What do we each want to see in a Myst TV series?
Vanessa: I want silence. The genre Myst belongs to is different from every other form of gaming because it is about a player’s interior experience. There is no dialogue, there is nothing to shoot with a gun. Now and again, one flips a switch or climbs a staircase. It’s about discovery and making mental connections.
Eden: I’d rather see a Riven TV series.
Sachiko: Everyone plays Myst differently. I liked to go back and forth between the different Ages and treat Myst Island like a home base. Like I progressed a little in every Age, but went home every night to the creepy library on my lonely island.
Gabriel: My biggest fear is that they’ll allow a group dynamic. You know, instead of one person being lost on Myst and its adjoining worlds, it’ll be a bunch of 30 year-olds playing teenagers, wearing fashionable shit, wondering why their cell phones don’t work, and out-bantering each other in the wilds of British Columbia.
THE LEAD ACTOR
Gabriel: Let’s assume they preserve the solo journey. Who do we want to see play our protagonist? I mean, the obvious answer is Robert Redford, but pick someone they could actually get to do it.
Vanessa: Sachiko played Myst like I played Skyrim. Cower in the pubs at night. Someone I don’t like. Adam Driver from Girls. I want a good actor, but I don’t want to identify with him. Any accessible character will make me miss my interior experience. I want to see a jackass who has trouble with life figure out this place in a way I never would. That way I can yell at him. I want to be smarter than the main character.
Eden: This whole idea is really bad, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining: Bruce Campbell.
Vanessa: Wait no! Donald Glover. I officially change my vote to Donald Glover.
Gabriel: Childish Gambino himself…Stephanie Leonidas would be interesting. She already did it in Mirrormask, which was basically Neil Gaiman Jazzpunk Myst. She’s accessible, and could lend the proceedings a little awe and wonder. Ultimately, I’d go with Michelle Ryan, though, because nothing prepares you for Myst like EastEnders and Bionic Woman. Really it’s because I think she’s a good facial actor who could pull off a mostly silent series about discovery. Which we won’t get, but we’re pretending we will. For some reason, I also picture Tim Russ (from Star Trek: Voyager) wandering Myst Island. But, you know, with a tricorder.
Eden: If I have to be serious, Anthony Stewart Head.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Gabriel: Who would we never want to see headline this?
Vanessa: Star Trek? You’re such a nerd. Chris Hemsworth. Eliza Dushku. James Deen.
Eden: Same answer: Bruce Campbell.
Sachiko: Matt Smith.
Gabriel: Yeah, I’m sooo sorry I nerded up our conversation about Myst with Star Trek there. Alexis Bledel for me. OK, let’s cast this thing up, shall we? Atrus the father, and his two sons, Sirrus and Achenar. Sirrus was the thin one with the dastardly facial hair, and Achenar was the jovial, unkempt one. Who plays them? Keep in mind this is probably a budget series. You can use real money on only one of them.
Eden: I like Matt Smith, but I see your point.
Gabriel: I think Vanessa just won with her Guy Pearce-Simon Lane combination, but for me: Atrus is Keith Allen. Sirrus is Lucy Griffiths. It’s a BBC Robin Hood mini-reunion. Achenar is Mark Addy. Yeah, that’s right, I went all the way back to The Full Monty. Save your money so you can hire Tarsem Singh to produce it, just so I can see what he does with the Stoneship Age.
Gabriel: Ideally, how would you have the show end?
Vanessa: Five seasons later, the biggest show ever made, filmed on seven continents, which is the same number of dialogue lines per season. Simon Lane wins an Emmy.
Eden: Canceled after two episodes. Jon Stewart makes a single allusion to it on Daily Show. No one gets it. David Bowie writes three soundtracks for it.
Sachiko: Noah Wyle comes home but he misses all the amazing things he has seen.
Gabriel: Michelle Ryan becomes the protector of a thousand Ages. Bryan Cranston portrays Gehn in a spinoff series that covers the novels.
Vanessa: You finally named someone outside obscure British TV! I’m so proud!
Gabriel: Thank you, Britain couldn’t survive without BBC Wales – am I the only one who cast women?
Sachiko: Jewel Staite!
Vanessa: This was fun.
THE FINAL CASTS
Protagonist – Donald Glover
Atrus – Anthony Stewart Head
Sirrus – Guy Pearce
Achenar – Simon Lane
Protagonist – Anthony Stewart Head
Atrus – David Bowie
Sirrus – Jeffrey Donovan
Achenar – Aidan Turner
Protagonist – Noah Wyle/Jewel Staite
Atrus – Derek Jacobi
Sirrus – Jeremy Davies
Achenar – Jack Black
Protagonist – Michelle Ryan
Atrus – Keith Allen
Sirrus – Lucy Griffiths
Achenar – Mark Addy
Well, that wasn’t a complete disaster. I don’t know what we were thinking, but we hope you enjoy it.