Wizard of Oz, the medical drama


I wanted to do a story about a person making a road trip across country to see Miss Cleo, and picking up 3 like-minded people along the way.

The pitch:

A: “OK, so you know how the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” needed a heart or whatever?”

B: “Yeah?”

A: “So dig this—we could turn that movie into a medical drama where he’s a dude who literally needs a heart transplant to live. And the all-powerful Wizard could be, like, the HMO provider.”



I hope in one episode they drop a House, M.D. on the Wicked Witch of the East.


This is why the public domain is so great. It allows people to use well-known elements in new ways, whether they are good or bad.

The thing that surprises me is that no one has really attempted to just do a straight-up non-ironic, non-sequel, non-prequel, non-“reimagined” version of The Wizard of Oz in nearly 75 years. If nothing else it would have been an interesting to see all the characters realized using modern-day special effects.

(I’m not suggesting a modern take on the book would actually be as good as the original, mind you, but that never stopped Hollywood before.)

There are 9 gazillion official sequels already written (good ones by Baum and some treacly ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson), plus a lot of other related and overlap books by Baum. I think “Queen Zixi of Ix” or his Santa Claus are due for good movie versions.

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That’s a good point, but even the 1939 MGM production was a reimagining of the book (and arguably the elements specific to that re-interpretation would be under copyright to MGM). To me, the biggest change is that Dorothy in the movie is generally in need of rescue, while in the book she’s responsible for rescuing her friends. My take on the book is that it’s pretty episodic, so it would probably work better as a long-form television production instead of remade for the big screen anyway.

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They kind of tried a mish-mash of elements from the sequels in that Return to Oz movie back in the 80s, but for some reason they opted not to include any characters (other than Dorothy) that audiences were actually familiar with. Gregory Maguire also dipped into that expanded universe quite a bit for his novel Wicked (which was later adapted into a musical of its own).

ruby slippers? how can the movie be a proper allegory about bimetalism if they aren’t silver?

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Reality seems to be out-onioning The Onion

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Look no further than the poster for the answer to that question. Imagine trying to convince a movie studio to drop $2 million (in 1939 dollars) on a visual effects extravaganza only to have the central MacGuffin be devoid of color.


If only I could stop this project.

Did you try clicking your heels three times?


A drama featuring a main female character whose life is not defined by romance, being friends with three men, who fix their own damn problems when the system fails them? Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be as silly as people want it to be. Also it’s being produced by the folks (one a lady!) who brought Elementary— one of the most notably diverse and socially conscious new dramas on television. I can’t not be interested.


Hasn’t Scrubs already been here?

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Tik-Tok. I want Tik-Tok, Ruggedo King of the Nomes, and that cool puzzle room in Ev with the transformed royal family. Billina and Professor Wogglebug! OMG, major geek leak.


What are they going to be treating people for, Monkeys flying out of their butts?

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But wouldn’t the Tin Man learn that the humbug Wizard/HMO not only couldn’t really give him a heart, but that he had a better one than most people already? Wasn’t that the point about the lack of heart/brains/courage in the original?

If this adaptation follows the novel rather than the 1939 film then the Wizard basically appeases everybody by prescribing a bunch of placebos.