Friday, 30 November 2012

Teasers: A&E's BATES MOTEL

Friday, 30 November 2012

A&E's TV prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's seminal Psycho has really sneaked up on me. I was aware Bates Motel was being made, but it had gone so quiet that I'd totally forgotten about it. If you don't already know, this show will tell the story of a younger Norman Bates (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory's Freddie Highmore) and his mother (Up in the Air's Vera Farmiga), in the days before the former famously knifed Janet Leigh to death in a shower.

The network has just released two teasers (embedded above and below) which give a taste of the show's style. It feels inspired by the success of American Horror Story to me—a show that Farmiga's younger sister Taissa starred in, coincidentally.

While the idea of doing a TV prequel to one of cinema's classics doesn't fill me with hope, it's worth remembering that Psycho actually started life as a 1959 suspense novel by Robert Bloch before Hithcock adapted it the following year. So it's not quite as "sacrilegious" as some fans will claim.

Also, I really like the casting choices here. Highmore looks uncannily like how you'd imagine a young Anthony Perkins to be, and this role will definitely shake off the perception of him as a cute child. The showrunner is also Carlton Cuse, who was one of the two key people behind Lost alongside Damon Lindelof—which probably helps explains why Lost's Nestor Carbonnell has a role on the show, too.

Interestingly, in 1987 there was a TV Movie also called Bates Motel that told the pre-Psycho story of serial killer Norman Bates, but I'm sure this new version won't have much else in common.

The 10-episode run of BATES MOTEL will begin sometime in spring 2013 on A&E. A UK broadcaster has yet to be found.