For a depressingly short period of time, it looked like Valentine McKee was headed back to Perfection. Back in 2015, Amazon picked up a Termors reboot streaming series from Blumhouse Productions, and Kevin Bacon was all set to reprise his iconic role from the 1990 science fiction comedy. But for reasons that are still unclear, Amazon tossed the show over to the Syfy channel, which passed on the series entirely, and now all that exists is a pilot episode and a disheartening “what-if” scenario.
Last week, those behind the shelved project appeared at the ATX Television Festival, where they confirmed that the show was officially dead, despite attempts to find a new home on Netflix or another network. Bacon, alongside creator and producer Andrew Miller and the cast, screened clips from its sole finished episode and hosted a script reading with stars P.J. Byrne, Toks Olagundoye, Haley Tju and Emily Tremaine.
Bacon and co. also treated fans with insight on the series, revealing that Valentine McKee’s return was the actor’s idea from the start:
“It’s pretty much the only character I’d ever played in a movie that I ever thought, ‘This would be a fun guy to check out 25 years later,’ just because he was a mess. Finding out what had happened to him post worms would be an interesting journey,”
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Miller also revealed that its entire first season was set to take place within 72 hours, and focused largely on a washed up McKee being tossed back into the action:
“The idea was to extend the mystery and chase after the monsters both above and below the ground… there’s this incredible character who was a nobody in this tiny town, and the idea seemed so fun to thrust him on the national stage, to make this Kevin Bacon character a ’90s heartthrob, and then take it away.
The notion was, ‘What if Perfection was the hottest town in the world for a minute, and then the Graboids don’t come back.’ Val was someone who still imagined himself as that ’90s superstar, even though those days are long gone. We wanted to explore that through his relationship with his daughter, who resented him for not paying attention to the present and for being a drunk and lost in the past.”
Since the release of the original Tremors, the franchise has grown by five sequels, including last year’s mildly received A Cold Day in Hell. The series, however, elected to ignore any event set after (and in the case of The Legend Begins, before) the first movie.
It’s heartbreaking to know that we came so close to seeing Bacon take on the Graboids on a weekly basis, and until another network comes to its senses and brushes the dust of the Tremors series, all we have is a leaked trailer and thoughts of what could have been.