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Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution

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Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution
Ben 10 Heroes of Evolution

Genre

Action
Thriller
Science fiction
Crime drama

Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution is a spin-off of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, set within the same universe. However, this show is a lot darker and more adult-oriented than the original series. It presents a more realistic take on the Ben 10 Franchise.

Plot Setting

Heroes of Evolution is set in the summer, following the events of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, except with the omission of Ben Tennyson acquiring the new Omnitrix. He still uses the Ultimatrix and goes on various missions and adventures. He develops an association with the Bellwood Police Department (BPD), whose Captain James Rozum, brother of NASA's Colonel Rozum, occasionally consults Ben on crimes that may have to do with him. Gwen Tennyson and Kevin Levin almost always accompany Ben on his escapades but express annoyance at his carefree attitude and occasional rudeness.

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Target Audience/Series Style and Motives


Subjective rant incoming

TL;DR Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution is meant for fans of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien who did not like Omniverse and found it to be a bad idea for the show.

I, as one would expect, am one of those people. The beauty of the franchise to me is that fans from the start could actually grow up with Ben, and as the fans grew, so did the show to match their likes. Other kids would still be kids and could watch the first series, liking it and by the end, want to see Ben 10 take a turn for the better after one long first series. These people who were done with the original would want to see it grow as they did too - it's a ton of episodes to watch and some time would pass as you do it - little kids won't have the patience to sit and binge-watch four seasons in a week, and I doubt their parents would even allow that.

After the kids got older, they'd be interested in something tilted a little more towards the mature end of things, appealing to kids 10 and above. Man of Action and Dwayne McDuffie understood this perfectly and decided that since the fans are growing up with their favorite watch-wielding hero, why not be realistic and make the poor kid grow up? So as opposed to waiting a month for a new season, fans waited several. And the payoff: make it a five-year gap between the original and AF. These 10+ year-olds as well as other kids having watched the original would have increased maturity for a better balance of action and drama. The show was great! Then, the producers thought that the kids may miss the old aliens and the increased chaos and action, so rather than make the show childish, they made it more populated. It still had the same themes people were expecting after growing up another 2 years - now, it had more aliens for them to look forward to. Everything went perfectly, the kids became teens.

And now, the producers thought that teens were the same as adults and childish antics would invoke "old guy nostalgia" of their younger years. The problem was that they were still in their younger years and wanted the show to keep growing. The producers had every single chance to make it grow - the cast, the team, the writers, directors, Man of Action - they blew every chance they had and expected kids to "de-age" because the same thing happened to Ben. All those fans growing with the show only wanted to see it grow more and they dumped every chance they had to make that happen, moving the show back to kids.

The extreme problem with that is Omniverse does not have enough spouting of expository dialogue for these young kids to get what's going on. At first they'd find it light entertainment, but as the series progresses, they'd want to understand it because as we all know, young kids are curious. Except for that to happen, the kids would have to see the original show, which would suit them, as well as Alien Force and Ultimate Alien. Those two shows can only work when the audience grows with the character. The kids can't instantly become fans, making Omniverse pointless. It's a terrible way to introduce kids to Ben 10 after so much has gone on and longtime fans/devotees are expecting more.

And then the vicious cycle begins. These kids go through the first show slowly, become fans of bigger stuff, watch AF/UA to the point where they're older now, expecting better, and then Omniverse can never be appealing even after they're set to understand what's going on - the stories are strong but the execution is WAY too childish to appeal to anyone. Newcomer children won't get it and would have to go back and watch stuff not meant for them just yet. Once it is, they'll hate Omniverse. This huge chunk of fans would just move on from Ben 10. They get the fans to a certain point, and then dump them, get a new set. Every set of fans likes the show up to UA as they grow with it - if they only watch the original and come to OV then it won't make sense to them. They'll wait, grow up, see AF/UA, then hate Omniverse. Rinse and repeat.

Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution is essentially a service to the fans that the producers abandoned. The fans that liked AF/UA and wanted to see it grow and not go down. It's a continuation of UA, but with elements that fans having moved on would appreciate. When the fans lost faith in Ben 10, being teens, they shifted their focuses to PG-13 movies and crime shows, generally speaking. They would likely still appreciate what Ben 10 used to be - this recreates that but adds elements from the other stuff they were watching in the meantime, so they can slide right in and relate with the show and its concept.

The realistic elements are really just the removal of the outlandish silliness even AF/UA had - half-a-second transformations with no science in the science fiction, intentionally saying the names of the aliens even during the first time they transformed (If you think the names were pre-programmed, Azmuth is the galaxy's smartest being and its biggest buzz-kill - do you really think he'd name one of his aliens something like "Humungousaur" and then program that into the galaxy's best piece of technology?), etc. It omits just the elements that moved-on fans would find ridiculous - we still get Ultimates, we still get all the powers the aliens have - it's just described with more logical sense to make it feel as though you were actually experiencing it. Nothing is too overpowered, but it never gets too grounded to reality to be "boring". It feels like the old AF/UA but it just has a few added elements for broader appeal to the even older audiences. 

Rant over

Directing Style

Since this series, like most on the wiki, is written as a transcript, but with further detail, I do take this show as very visually driven and therefore am very specific when it comes to descriptions of environmental elements within the set, camerawork, lighting, music, and alien realism. The last point is demonstrated quite clearly in the respective pages for the aliens, but as for directing, READERS: it's important to remember to pay attention to every note made within the in-parentheses bits of non-dialogue descriptions, and not just the actions being performed. I note things such as:

Shotexample

Visual representation of the example. Read the paragraph below, however.

"The camera follows a ship from behind while it's flying towards the compound, slightly positioned to the left and distanced a little more behind. As it passes the compound, the camera slides left but continues with the speed and path the ship takes, but now zooming through the halls of the compound until it reaches the Plumbers. Since it was still parallel to the ship, the ship is seen stopping outside through a window."

It's quite a bit to keep track of, but mostly since I add in a ton of detail to paint exactly the picture I want in readers' heads. I may continue to provide concept images during the more intricate descriptions, but readers need to actually read - fans of this show have repeatedly highlighted the writing as one of its strengths, and I appreciate that, thus working to put an emphasis there. Newcomers who want to take in from this show what they have heard to be its pros should then know that their target is the writing and because of that, attention to... you guessed it, the writing includes all of it. This isn't like a book, where readers are free to allow their imagination to take control at certain moments. These are screenplays based on a franchise whose roots contain a strong visual aspect among what is ultimately the visually prominent genre of science fiction. The same goes to environmental descriptions - a building is designed a certain way in which scenes such as chases, trackdowns and even casual walks correspond to a sense of location. With that, a more informative section of directing descriptions is below:

The series' realism requires an emphasis on directing and therefore makes use of several elements embracing what is known as setting. Designed this way and heavily dependent on it at times to elaborate and determine the detail present within forthcoming events, the show frequently makes use of methods such as:

  • Real time - This is when the duration of events being depicted takes place at the same rate that the audience is experiencing them. In the series, however, since the time it takes to read something varies as opposed to a fixed set of recorded scenes, the series simply allows the assumption that a segment of events took place at a given period of time, depending on the shift between timestamps. The format is not continuous, however, and runs during specific segments. Episodes will often jump to morning or evening, but the live, scripted events, obviously taking place as they are read, take place in real time and do not jump times. Only timestamps will specify changes in time, or the current time in a specific location, if it's within the same segment of the episode. Because of this, pay attention to the TIMES on the timestamps and not just the location. It may say "6:15 PM" after the previous scene took place at around 5:00 or 4:00. I won't really mention the "night sky" during these sections because I expect you to notice the change in time. If you are confused later on by nighttime activities or "they walk into the night" segments, it's because you didn't read the timestamp fully.
  • Single-shot camerawork and character perspective - One of the advantages of literature over media is that events can be freely described and depicted without a single technical limitation. Single-shot camerawork embraces this and is my term for shots of multiple locations, or transition from location to location, without cutting to different scenes and having the camera observe or move to a new area on-the-spot. This can be looked at from many perspectives when discussing the realism element, but I use single-shot scenes both ways - on Earth, it often follows the style the series 24 uses - the camera isn't placed in areas that characters cannot be. This is usually the case, but here's the thing - while the characters may be human beings, Ben doesn't have to be, and can see things from many more perspectives, given the ability to get to those angles freely. This is a Ben 10 show, and the cleverest way to go about embracing that in directing is to use some very stylish shots during scenes either taking place in space or having the presence of an alien. This is translated to the aliens through quite self-explanatory ways, though it also has the element or being viewed through a perspective possible by the alien being used, or the vehicle being driven. For example, panning aerial shots are actually visible through the eyes of an alien with flight, such as Jetray, but when it comes to a more ground-based alien, such as Swampfire, the camera will stay generally level with the terrain, though it does make exceptions with exactly where the alien is (a higher-up shot can be achieved if the alien walks to a higher ledge, but it's important that this shot will still stay level with a potential or imaginary ledge or platform at that elevation). Similarly, for an alien that's very tall or very short, scenes will shift perspective with higher-up or looking-up shots that all embrace and make use of the surroundings.
  • Tone of setting - This is a big one. As readers know, the series is more gritty, and more realistic. Aside from using just ambient music and serious expressions during creepy scenes, or wide, grand camerawork, string orchestras and chaotic environments for blockbuster action, the series will make note of many characteristic and environmental elements, as well as a visual emphasis describing graphics and similar effects during transitions, to set a specific tone for a scene. Ones that go very in-depth but maintain a sense of simplicity and provide an oddly passive setting are fitting for both casual conversations and surreal environments. Scenes that silence the sound effects but leave music playing usually take place during montages or emotional scenes, or even flashbacks and dreams. Emphasis on even the most "boring" environments are meant to set a very calm, placid and peaceful, "human" tone to them. Scenes that emphasize visual effects are specific about the aliens, and so on. Additional info such as imaginary music (usually followed by actual small bits of music that I compose and upload) will be used, making note of when it stops and/or what scenes synchronize with what musical segments. Camerawork style will also contribute to this, but will remain constrained to the use of character perspective. These mixed together demand creativity and that can automatically set a tone on its own.
  • Long takes - This hasn't been used in the series yet but I plan for it to be used. A long take is a directing style in which a series of multiple events is all taken in one shot, and no cuts or editing are used. The camera can move freely but it all takes place within a single shot. This award-winning scene from HBO's critically acclaimed series True Detective is a six-minute long-taken shootout sequence that serves as a perfect example of one of these.

Characters


Main article: Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution/Characters

Main Characters


The Ultimatrix/Aliens List

Ben Tennyson is 16 years old and still has the Ultimatrix with him. He has access to the same aliens as Ultimate Alien, but the process and appearance of the alien transformations are far more realistic and detailed. The Ultimatrix's voice command system is more computerized - rather than random dialogue being spouted out by Ben's voice, since the Ultimatrix is a piece of technology, it will repeat certain commands depending on how Ben uses it.

Aliens List (order of appearance, exception of Ultimate forms)

Episodes

Main article: Ben 10: Heroes of Evolution/Episodes

Heroes of Evolution so far has 2-3 planned seasons.


Animation/Art Style

The show presents a realistic take on the Ben 10 franchise, so the processes of the characters' abilities are shown in further detail as opposed to a flash of a second. The most prominent example of this is during Ben's transformations - the process is both explained and shown with extensive detail to really illustrate the manipulation of his organs. The full processes are described in each alien's article. Also, the aliens' appearances are more dependent on the real-life object or creature they are based on.

The show's animation style is extremely realistic CGI that does its best to depict real physics. The visuals are designed to be stylistic and elaborate.

Music

I, have composed a crudely executed opening theme to the show, which is a more action-driven orchestral take deriving elements from the Ultimate Alien theme, including an ending melody reminiscent of the alien transformation soundtrack. The theme is playable at the top of this page. Made in the trial of FL Studio 11, I personally believe the composition to be far more ambitious than the final result, but with what I had, this interpretation of the original composition I had in mind hopefully holds up.

The show's score is heavily based on many heard in action thrillers and crime shows, being very suspenseful and relying on synthesizer arpeggios for such scenes and heavy percussion for the action themes, as well as layered orchestral segments either mixed in or entirely featured. More music from the score is likely to be released on the wiki, but for now, the main theme is available for listening.

I plan for Ben's theme to be very quirky, lighthearted and bouncy, and largely different from the rest of the soundtrack, being more electronically influenced and its feel inspired by the music in CBS' The Mentalist. The theme and elemental derivatives are imagined to be heard in the background to the more humorous scenes involving Ben.

Trivia

  • Real-world technology exists and is used in the series - Ben uses a green-themed iPhone, has an Xbox 360 console for Sumo Slammers, and drives a Mazda RX-8 (though this is in fact from the canon) - several vehicles are also branded and mentioned including a Honda Civic and a Toyota Prius. Kevin's car's derivative design resorts to being confirmed as a heavily customized Ford Mustang.
  • Real-world media is also referenced numerous times - in "Authorities", Sherlock Holmes is mentioned, and Kevin mentions both Batman and Walter White, the protagonist of AMC's acclaimed series Breaking Bad. In "The Number Game", Ben mentions YouTube.
  • Several locations in Bellwood are named after cast/crew members in the Ben 10 Franchise - "McDuffie Penitentiary" and "Baker Penitentiary" are named after the late Alien Force/Ultimate Alien showrunner Dwayne McDuffie, and voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, respectively. "Kelley Street" and "Fullerton Street" are named after Ben 10: Alien Swarm actor Ryan Kelley and Alien Force/Ultimate Alien writer, executive producer and spouse of Dwayne McDuffie, Charlotte Fullerton.

MORE INFO COMING SOON ON THE SERIES

ANNOUNCEMENTS!
Ben 10 Heroes of Evolution
"Coin, Bill and Bullet - Part 1" IS OUT!!!!!
It's been SIX MONTHS
and I am so profusely sorry
for keeping you guys waiting so long.
Hopefully it pays off!

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