Rediscovering a Classic: Tin Man
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!