Doorways title card
|Created by||George R. R. Martin|
|Directed by||Peter Werner|
Anne Le Guernec
|Country of origin||United States|
Doorways is a proposed science fiction series from writer George R. R. Martin. A pilot was shot in May 1992, starring George Newbern, Anne Le Guernec, Robert Knepper, Kurtwood Smith and Carrie-Anne Moss, but was not picked up, and the project was shelved. In 2010 IDW Publishing began an adaption of the TV pilot into comic book format.
- George Newbern as Dr. Thomas Mason
- Anne Le Guernec as Cat
- Robert Knepper as Thane
- Kurtwood Smith
- Carrie-Anne Moss as Laura
- Max Grodénchik as Roth
Doorways centers on Dr. Thomas Mason and his encounter with a mysterious and feral woman known only as Cat who is being investigated by the police and the FBI. Thomas learns that Cat is from a parallel universe and she is trying to find a 'Door' to escape pursuers from her home. Thomas and Cat eventually locate a 'Door' and land in a new parallel world, all the while being chased by Cat's enemies, the servants of the Dark Lord.
Dr. Thomas Mason
Thomas Mason is a medical doctor who is adept at magic since his father was a stage magician, and at the start of the show serves as an ER doctor. He has a girlfriend and is very content with his life until everything is changed completely when he meets Cat. She brings him with her through a 'Door' to a parallel world where things are similar, but different, to our world.
Cat is a fugitive from a parallel Earth ruled by aliens, who lands on this Earth and is quickly injured. She is taken to hospital where she meets Thomas, but is taken from there to an FBI holding site, where she is rescued by Thomas. The pair hitch-hike to the nearest 'Door' to another parallel world, and escape to an Earth where petrol has disappeared.
George R. R. Martin pitched the concept for 'Doorways' in 1991 to various television networks, and ABC agreed to pick up the show. The pilot was produced with Columbia Pictures. Martin spent much of 1991 redrafting and polishing the pilot script. This process continued until in January 1992 production was given the green light, Anne Le Guernec cast as Cat, but the actor that the production company wanted for Thomas, George Newbern, was in the middle of shooting a movie. After several hundred more auditions it was decided to defer the shooting of the pilot until Newbern became free in May 1992.
The series was originally called 'Doors' (the portals that Tom and Cat travel through are always called 'Doors' never 'Doorways') but this was changed after ABC expressed concern that it may be confused with either the rock band The Doors or the Oliver Stone biopic 'The Doors'.
In August 1992 a rough cut of the show was shown to ABC executives who reacted enthusiastically and ordered six additional scripts for the show. Martin worked on those scripts for the next six months with Michael Cassutt, Ed Zuckerman, Steve De Jarnatt and J. D. Feigelson. In May 1993 ABC announced that they would not be picking up 'Doorways'.
Connection to 'Sliders'
There has been speculation that Sliders was inspired by 'Doorways' in which the main cast also were fugitives fleeing through parallel worlds, while carrying a device that tells them where and when the next Doorway opens. At the time of Sliders' launch, Evelyn C. Leeper noted the similarities to Doorways, and in response to rumors that Sliders creator Tracy Tormé applied for a writing position on the show, Martin clarified in a 1995 post on GEnie that it was Tormé's agent that inquired about the position, and Tormé has denied any connection between the two.
In other media
The first draft of the pilot script appeared in George R. R. Martin's 1200 page GRRM: A RRetrospective in 2003, republished as Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective in 2006.
On August 30, 2010, IDW Publishing announced its forthcoming adaption of 'Doorways' was to be in four parts. When speaking of the parallel worlds, editor Mariah Huehner says "One of the most interesting is a world with no oil. Which is pretty timely.", explaining the plot she says: "It's a dark sci-fi/fantasy, that's not unlike the Twilight Zone in terms of taking an ordinary person and suddenly confronting them with very bizarre events and people. Tom is a total "good" guy, loves his girlfriend, likes his job, and just wants to help people. But when Cat shows up she turns his comfortable world upside down.
George R.R. Martin noted in the first issue of 'Doorways' that artist Stefano Martino has not seen the pilot, and the visual representations of the characters and architecture are totally changed, he goes on to say that in the medium of comics without the constraints of budget there is more creative freedom. Martin says that the comic version "is much cooler than the television show could ever have been."
Issue #1 was released in November 2010. All four issues were collected as a hardcover in July 2011.
- IMDB Entry for Doorways
- Martin, George R.R. (2010). "What if?". George R.R. Martin's Doorways #1. pp. 24–27.
- "Sliders DOC: Origins of Sliders". Dimensionofcontinuity.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Teitelbaum, Sheldon (September 1998). "Doorways: The Story Behind the Celebrated SF Author's Unsold Alternate Universe Pilot". Cinefantastique.
- George R.R. Martin (April 17, 1995). "Doorways". Newsgroup: uk.media.tv.sf.misc. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- IDW Announces 'Doorways'