Rediscovering a Classic: Tin Man

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by Marianne Paluso (@Marianne_P81)

Can’t get  enough of Oz and are looking for another interpretation of L. Frank  Baum’s classic stories beyond Oz the Great  and Powerful, Return to  Oz, and even  the Broadway hit Wicked? If so,  SyFy Channel’s miniseries Tin Man will serve  that need perfectly. Produced in 2007, this Wizard of  Oz adaptation  takes the basic characters and plot line and moves far beyond the yellow  brick road, creating a rich, beautiful, and compelling steampunk fairy  tale sure to enchant many an Oz lover.

The story  follows a young girl named D.G. (New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel)  and her journey of self-discovery to unlock her memories of the land  she forgot: the O.Z., no longer a peaceful paradise since the evil sorceress  Azkadelia (Kathleen Robertson) has seized power. Just as in the original  text, D.G. meets three companions along the way: the literally brainless  Glitch (vastly underrated Alan Cumming), the lion-like creature Raw  (Raoul Trujillo) who has telepathic abilities, and Wyatt Cain, a former  Tin Man, or policeman, of the O.Z. who is grieving over the family that  was taken away from him (the wonderful Neal McDonough). To give away  more of the plot would be a disservice as the story goes off in many  creative and riveting directions that first time viewers should not  be spoiled by. Let me just say that finding the Wizard, or Mystic Man  (legendary Richard Dryfuss), is not even the half way mark of the series.  There are many adventures that our heroes go through as they try to  save each other and their homeland from permanent darkness.

Tin Man succeeds  on many levels. Not only are we treated to a fresh and original re-imagining  of the Oz story, but there are enough references that will satisfy fans  of the beloved musical. The entrance sign to D.G.’s family farm is marked  39 (the year MGM’s The Wizard of OZ was released), the source of power  Azkadelia seeks is an elusive emerald, we hear the line “It was  clever of you to get those trees to throw apples at us”, and familiar  images of a brick road, a hot air balloon, and ruby slippers all make  appearances. As far as the new additions to the story, they only add  to the beauty and fairy tale quality of the series. Moreover, just as  in the original story, all of our protagonists already possess what  they seem to lack: a brain, a heart, courage, and a home they truly  belong in.

If you are  fan of the many Oz films and books, or simply inspired reinterpretations  of classic stories, then SyFy’s miniseries is the perfect treat for  you. Tin Man truly re-imagines The Wizard  of Oz as a young  adult, modern fairy tale and is absolutely fantastic!


    3 Comments

  1. CailinMarch 15th, 2013 at 10:02 am

    So glad to see this miniseries being praised – it was highly underrated when it aired and it’s one of my favorites (and I say that as someone who doesn’t even like “The Wizard Of Oz”)!

  2. AnnMarch 15th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Very good miniseries. However, I enjoyed Alice with the excellent Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter even more. It was more syfy/fantasy based with lots of techy stuff and psychadelic. Lots of fun.

  3. NerditaMarch 15th, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    When I went to see the new Oz movie I totally got a craving to watch Tin Man again! Tis a dvd purchase I have never regretted-the slow realization of the backstory by the main character as she recovers her Oz memories is very well done and the acting is fantastic.

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