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A Sci-Fi Channel miniseries re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz.DG is a rebel teen about to break loose played by Zooey Deschanel. The Scarecrow is a lobotomized ex-genius played by Alan Cumming. The Tin Man himself is a disheartened ex-policeman, and the Cowardly Lion is a psychic Cat-Man. The flying monkeys are tattoos on the Wicked Witch's cleavage that come to life, the Poppy Field is actually the hunting ground of fearsome plant-animal things, and Auntie Em and Uncle Henry are not quite normal muggles. Finally, the Wicked Witch is Azkadelia, a powerful and dangerous tyrant and witch.As for the rest, Toto is a were-terrier who tutored DG and her sister in magic. The Wizard is split across 2 characters, one of whom is DG's real father, and the other of whom is a showman/oracle addicted to happiness-inducing vapors. And that's not even all of the surprises!It's The Wizard of Oz saturated with Rule of Cool and Darker and Edgier.It was followed by a Spiritual Successor, Alice.More recently, the director also did Neverland.The series now has a Shout Out page.
Chekhov's Gag The first thing Glitch says to Cain in part one: "I have a proper name, and when I remember it I will tell you." The first thing he says to Cain after he's reunited with his brain in part three? "My name isn't Glitch. It's Ambrose."
Chekhov's Gun: The toy horse, the princess nursery rhyme. Cain's straight razor.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Amusing subversion when Jeb captures Zero and prepares to interrogate him. Jeb gets behind Zero and takes hold of his fingers. The next thing we hear is some ominous metallic clinking. Zero can't see what's happening and starts to panic. Just when Zero is on the verge of crying like a little girl, Jeb reveals that he's been clinking together a pair of spoons.
Doomsday Device: Azkadelia plans on using a device that would extend the growing seasons in reverse and halt the moons before suns during an eclipse, casting the world in darkness and allowing the spirit of the Wicked Witch to have full power.
May actually be a bit of Fridge Brilliance there. She reacts so casually to all the weirdness going on because of her subconscious recollection of her childhood in Oz.
Eldritch Abomination: While one would assume that the witch possessing Azkadelia was the original Wicked Witch, the "Ancient writing" in the cave and her title as "Witch of the Dark" would somewhat imply this.
Enemy Within: Azkadelia has the spirit of the ancient Witch of the Dark inside her and pushing many of her actions.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Azkadelia seems to genuinely care for her flying monkies, particularly Xora. She is devastated when Xora is killed.
Even Evil Has Standards: Azkadelia seems to have them. She stops Zero from torturing G.G. for information because she wanted to first try gently coercing it out of her. When that fails, she let's Zero have his way.
Zero: We can pry those numbers out of her. Azkadelia: Zero, she's my sister.
Also Played Straight with the fantasyland's name. It's called the "O.Z." because it's short for "Outer Zone"—which is where the name "Oz" comes from.
Gambit Roulette: The Queen's and Ahamo's scheme. The Queen essentially fakes DG's death, then "banishes" her beloved, Earthling husband so that the Witch won't think to look for him in Oz. Then, run like hell under the cover of night, block DG's memories with a limited-duration spell that would wear off at early adulthood, and send the little Princess off with the Muggle Foster Parents, who have codewords and clues programmed into them, so that she could find a few scattered allies (Father Vu, The Mystic Man, and Ahamo) and messages (the Ice Palace, Finaqua), then find her and/or Ahamo. Where her plot seemed to hit a snag was that she likely planned on being able to hold out against The Witch until DG came back.
Hijacked by Ganon: The conclusion of reveals that Princess Azkadellia is actually a descendent of Dorothy Gale who was possessed by the spirit of the original Wicked Witch as a child. D.G. (who's actually Azkadellia's sister) frees her from the Witch's influence in the last episode's final act, and she reverts to her original personality.
Hollywood Genetics: While both her father and mother have blue eyes, the actress cast for young Azkadelia has brown eyes, which is genetically impossible.
Hope Spot: DG manages to guide a rat to the control wheel for the cell doors using bits of her food, but it opens the wrong door...
Identity Amnesia: Glitch. Although occasionally his memory seems to come and go whenever convenient for the plot. To the point where I'm not really sure how much he actually needed his brain to know stuff.
Young Azkadelia strangled DG right there in her room, and the Queen saw her walking out! Instead of wasting all that time hiding DG after bringing her back to life, she could've just have apprehended the young Azkadelia right then and there and prevented this whole mess from ever happening.
Why did the Queen send DG on a quest for the Emerald, effectively leading Azkadelia straight to it? She COULD have kept it's location secret until the eclipse was over. Azkadelia's plans would have been foiled, and she never would have been a threat in the first place.
I Never Said It Was Poison: Azkadelia puts D.G. in a hologram of her Kansas home with the people who raised D.G. to try and get information out of her by making her think it was all a dream. The slip up is when the father asked about the Queen whispering in her ear, which isn't something D.G. said happened.
MacGuffin Delivery Service : Azkadelia has spent years unsuccessfully searching for the Emerald of the Eclipse, which she needs to bring her plan to plunge the O.Z. into eternal darkness to fruition. Enter DG and friends, who decide that they have to find the Emerald to stop her. Not one of them suggests that they can foil Azkadelia's plot by just sitting down and twiddling their thumbs until the eclipse has passed.
Mathematician's Answer: The Mystic Man's "Or-Not" theory is this and a means of passing on information by stating, "You should go north. Or not."
Mind Probe: The Witch's favorite method of info gathering.
Must Make Amends: DG is already motivated to take down her evil sister, but then sees a vision in a cave revealing that, as a small child, she accidentally freed the witch possessing Azkedelia; and then abandoned Azkedelia to be possessed by said witch.
Mythology Gag: The series is loaded with them. Many references to the 1939 movie, several to Wicked, and too many to count for classic books. Justified Trope with the books, as it uses a few continuity elements from Baum's Oz in the Backstory.
Omnicidal Maniac: Azkadelia's master plan is to destroy the sun over the planet that she already rules, leading one to ask why? Unless she hates being the ruler of such a Wretched Hive, or maybe she just wants complete revenge on all life, we'll never know. Her plan comes down to destroying all that she owns.
Though remember that she's not exactly steering her own ship. The entity possessing her is The Witch of the Dark, and causing The Night That Never Ends would presumably be its ideal environment. Whether killing every other living thing in the O.Z. was a secondary goal or merely a bi-product isn't clear.
Pimped-Out Dress: Most of Azkadellia's wardrobe. She even has a pimped out nightie.
Ping Pong Naïveté: How stupid, forgetful, and naive Glitch is relies solely on Rule of Funny and moving the plot further. At times he seems to remember a surprising amount of the past, including his own. He is missing half his brain, so it's probably justified.
Pocket Protector: Cain survives a bullet to the chest because it hit his son's toy horse.
Power of Love: Sisterly love is what allows the princesses to draw on their light magic.
Sdrawkcab Name: DG's dad is named Ahamo. The original Wizard was from Omaha.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Witch of the Dark, an ancient evil crone sealed away by ancient forces of good.
Shout-Out: Too many to list, but plenty of reference to the famous 1939 movie and even more for the book series.
D.G. calls her robotic dad "Popsicle" in one scene, just as Galinda does in the musical version of Wicked.
Shown Their Work: Cheesy as it was, the series writers did their homework, including:
The backstory that Dorothy moved to Oz for keeps (the 6th book). DG's story is a hybrid of Dorothy's and Tip/Ozma's (sans the genderbender angle).
They gave Glitch the exact same job the original Scarecrow took up in the 14th book. The Witch is closer to Greg Maguire's depiction of Kumbricia, Mother of Witches, than she is to the "classic" Wicked Witches.
The depiction of Central City is also straight out of Maguire. The original Wizard was from Omaha, which is a clue to Ahamo's identity.
Tragic Monster: Played with. After the reveal, you'll feel really sorry for Azkadelia; and hate the witch that much more.
The Unfavorite: Avoided. It's the Demonic Possession of the original Wicked Witch that made Azkadelia feel neglected and hate DG. So much so that she had her mother imprisoned, her father made a hunted man, and DG's robot parents reprogrammed to love her instead.
Unobtainium: Or to be more specific, Moritanium (big M, little t, number 216 on the OZian periodic table), which besides its strength can be used to conduct magical energy.
Word Salad Title: You would assume that a miniseries named Tin Man would have the Tin Man as the main character, or would at least center on a plot involving him. Likely functions under the Rule of Cool, as with enough series out there.
The actual reason was that Long-Mitchell & Van Sickle's original idea was a cop show about the Emerald City police force. It mutated into a more "standard" adaptation, but they couldn't come up with a better title than the one they had before deadline.