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Five by Five

The CW’s Hunger Games-esque New Show Needs a King, Rightly Chooses Anthony Stewart Head

Geek royalty Anthony Stewart Head has just been cast as fantasy royalty in The Selection, one the several Hunger Games-inspired shows the CW has in the works. Bow before your king.

Best known for playing Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Head more recently donned a crown in the BBC’s dear departed Merlin, where he played the villainous, yet morally complex, King Uther. In The Selection he’ll be the Head King In Charge yet again, playing King Clarkson, whose son has to choose between 25 women competing for his hand in marriage.

Writes blastr, Clarkson is “a seasoned leader who does his best to advise his son to select a bride based not on love, but on the basis of the strongest political alliance. [Sounds very Utherian] Naturally, in the midst of the competition, there are also brewings of a rebellion.” Of course “naturally.” You can’t do a version of The Hunger Games, even if it’s more The Bachelor than Battle Royale, without a rebellion. The Katniss in this equation is America Singer, “a lowly working-class woman” competing for the Prince’s hand.

Head’s casting gets me thinking: He guest starred in an episode of Doctor Who during Ten’s first season. How many Who actors has The CW snapped up at this point? We have Captain Jack and River Song on Arrow and Canton Everett Delaware III on Supernatural (to be fair, Mark Sheppard has popped up on just about every geek show ever). The Carrie Diaries has Martha Jones. Who’s next, CW? Tennant? Gillian? What exactly are you planning here?

(via: blastr)

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  • drgnldy71

    “The Selection” is based off a book by Kiera Cass, the first of a series, “The Elite” the 2nd book in the series is to be released April 23rd. I don’t thinks it’s really a “Hunger Games” esq type story, although comparing it the “The Bachelor” is appropriate.

  • Betty Windsor

    Wait, so is it a different kind of sexism? My brain is exploded. Normally it would be a bunch of burly manly men fighting over a royal female, but this time it’s ladies….but WAIT it’s not a beauty competition….but a combat competition? This seems…..awesome? I’m confused.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I haven’t read the book this is based on, but I think it’s more a beauty competition than a combat competition. Not sure what happens to the losers. Everything I’ve read about it says it’s “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor,” so *shrug*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The dystopian future-competition aspect is I think what’s garnering it the Hunger Games comparisons.

  • Betty Windsor

    Awwww. Darn. That’s lame.

  • Jeri Danielle Murphy

    It’s really nothing like the hunger games at all, and very much like a high-stakes bachelor. The future dystopia genre existed before the hunger games and will exist after it. Although I love the hunger games, I hate the practice of grouping every book in one genre with the most famous book in that genre. Not all high fantasy is lord of the rings. Not all paranormal romance is twilight.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Anthony Stewart Head not Anthony Stewart Heat. Although I can understand how you could make that mistake.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Oy. My editor’s heart made me change it, but not gonna lie, I kinda like Anthony Stewart Heat. Thanks for the heads up. :)

  • Rebecca Pahle

    True. But I think it’s a fair assumption to make that the CW is jumping on the teen dystopia bandwagon because of The Hunger Games’ success. The network’s president even namechecked THG when he announced The Selection. So, while THG isn’t the first or definitive YA dystopian series, I agree, I see no problem with mentioning THG as context.

  • Joe G

    Most. Appropriate. Typo. Ever.

  • Jen Freeman

    Thank you! I’m so irritated by this writer for saying that it’s HG inspired. Its not! Its inspired by its own novel. And you are so right about how dystopian existed before HG (The Handmaids Tale, 1984, etc) and it will for years after. The writer of this article was lazy and should have done their proper research. They just threw HG in there to gain views.

  • Jen Freeman

    I do, because the manner in which its referenced makes it sound like its a direct inspiration, when the new show is based on a separate book series completely unrelated to HG.

  • Holly Dean – Young

    There are hints in the book that there is more to the ‘rebel’ attacks on the palace then we are lead to believe which is obviously what CW have picked up on (slightly relived as this was the bit I really enjoyed in the book and worried it would be left out in the sequel).

  • Psychotronic (Michael F.)

    There’s yet another Doctor Who connection! Actress Sarah Winter of the DW docudrama “An Adventure in Space and Time” has been cast in the pilot.

  • Jason Atkins

    If I remember correctly, this isn’t the original version of the story. They had to rewrite it to make it less like Hunger Games because the network (or someone from legal, or somesuch) wasn’t happy with it as it was.