Where is the Banzai Institute TV series?


Filmmaker W.D. Richter revealed the possibility of a new Buckaroo Banzai TV series in an interview appearing in the February 2002 issue of Starlog magazine #295. (You can find the sStarlog issue on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/starlog_magazine-295

Richter, who directed the 1984 docudrama The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension, said on page 65 that he and Mac Rauch are currently "pitching a different kind of TV show. The original one had to be more traditional for the networks because they had conceived it as a mini-version of the movie: an action-adventure thing that ties itself up every night. We're more interested in something that's a little more free-form, like a program emanating from the Banzai Institute that could be a variety show - with serious guests coming on to talk about interesting issues, crazy rock bands, third-world music, magicians, anything that the culture had that was interesting. And we could go backstage. We could break that wall and go into the control room where there's a monitor hooked into the World Watch One. We could get involved, tangentially at least, with what's happening say, in Tibet on a particular evening when Reno is not available for the show or Buckaroo is off doing something else. And suddenly, the airwaves are seized and there's a World Crime League transmission on - they've just wiped Buckaroo's show off the air and Hanoi Can is speaking to you, and we can go into his world."

"We want to do something that freer in form so that the burden of having a self-contained, very clever episode every week - one that has special effects and would probably be too costly to produce - is lifted. Instead, you would get a much more exciting, anything-can-happen kind of world with a simple structure: There's a TV show to get out every week, but it's almost impossible to do it, because Buckaroo has so many other responsibilities, and the world won't let him alone. The Sci-Fi FI Channel is interested, but I don't know how interested."

Richter also revealed that Earl Mac Rauch is currently developing further adventures of Buckaroo Banzai to be published in novel form by Pocket Books, although he did not give any timetable for publication.

The article in Starlog magazine delves behind the scenes of the bestselling MGM Home Video DVD and features extensive coverage of the docudrama itself as well as the failure of the original studio marketing campaign for the film. Also covered in the Starlog article is Buckaroo Banzai: Ancient Secrets and New Mysteries, an earlier Banzai series concept developed for Fox TV.

You can also download the Starlog issue #295 here.


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