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Turning a podcast into a TV series isn't something that happens very often, no matter how popular the source material might be, but the horror-tinged Lore managed to make that transition a successful one for Amazon, where Season 1 is now available to stream. But viewers will quickly notice that not only has Lore expanded the central podcast concept, but it also looks like nothing else on TV right now. And when producer Gale Anne Hurd recently spoke to CinemaBlend about Season 1, I asked about Lore's unique formatting. Here's what she told me.
I think the important thing is to put aside how people have told these stories on screen in the past. And because we really did want to bring Aaron Mahnke's Lore podcast to life, we needed a different toolkit, and that toolkit not only involves a scripted portion, but also animation and archival footage, and of course his fantastic voiceover. You just can't imagine a Lore television show without his familiar voice, Chad Lawson's great underscore, and yet to have the opportunity to make a horror show that's even more frightening than the zombie apocalypse, because it really did happen, is an opportunity that I feel blessed to have had.
Let's take a second to appreciate that Gale Anne Hurd, who is one of the producers behind The Walking Dead, pointed out that Lore's tales are inherently more frightening than the travails of Rick Grimes & Co. Because, after all, the cursed doll and werewolf stories being told in Amazon's new docu-drama are inspired by some truly disturbing real-life events, while zombies still haven't come into existence...yet. Seriously, though, none of The Walking Dead's villains are as plainly unsettling as the icepick lobotomy creator Dr. Walter Freeman. Anytime I hear about that guy, it gives me a case of the willies.
Now, back to the formatting. As viewers learned almost immediately upon watching Lore, this is a show that can't just be laid out in ways that other mildly similar series have done in the past. It's got some true crime elements and archival footage involved, but there's no way it could resemble anything like Making a Murderer or The Keepers. (Although if Amazon wanted to build on that by bringing Serial to the small screen, that'd be cool with us.) Also, it's a voiceover-led anthology along the lines of Beyond Belief and The Twilight Zone, but with a more sincere approach to the star-heavy dramatizations, as well as showcasing only true stories. And the animated segments are like something from a Neil Gaiman daydream, as opposed to any more traditional TV animation projects like Family Guy or DuckTales. (Woo-oo!)
Upon watching, fans might think that Amazon would have been a tad skeptical about bringing to life a new TV show in this manner, but Gale Anne Hurd says the studio had zero issues with trying out something new. In her words:
The remarkable thing is how quickly and immediately [Amazon] embraced the hybrid nature of this. A lot of companies are loathe to do anything brand-new; they want to stick with the tried and true, if it's going to be in the non-fiction world, stick to talking heads and archival footage. Or if it's going to be dramatic, have it all scripted. The fact that this is a hybrid and breaking new ground was something they completely embraced and encouraged.
I certainly hope that this hybrid format gets utilized more in the future, though hopefully only by projects that can do it properly, like Lore does. (As much as I like CBS' timeline-swapping Me, Myself & I, for instance, I cannot grasp why the show includes talking-head moments on top of the overall narration.) As well, I hope that audiences show Lore's unique concept enough love to get even more seasons secured for the future. After all, the Lore podcast has 70 episodes and counting, with lots more dark moments in history to draw inspiration from, so there's more than enough material to draw from.
For fans of all things historically creepy, Lore Season 1 is available to stream right now on Amazon for applicable subscribers. And, of course, Aaron Mahnke's Lore podcast can be heard on just about every podcast app and/or website. Check out what Gale Anne Hurd told us about The Walking Dead Season 8, and what she thinks about The Punisher's standalone series, too. To see when some of Amazon's other new shows will be arriving, as well as most other new shows, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.