You may know that Ron Perlman was a beast long before he donned the horns and red skin of Hellboy, and that Linda Hamilton was certainly a beauty before she became the iconic Sarah Connor in the Terminator films, but did you know that one of the people at the reins of their rise to fame in the Beauty and the Beast TV series on CBS was George R.R. Martin?
That’s right — before penning the slaughter of entire families in his A Song of Ice and Fire books, which were adapted into HBO’s Game of Thrones, Martin was juggling a delicate love story during an era where violence on television was limited to fake bullet wounds and energetic shoving matches.
In an extensive interview with Rolling Stone, the author laughs at the limitations CBS placed on the story and character development with Beauty and the Beast. While Martin wanted the Beast to kill and be true to his monstrous reputation, the network needed the character to remain likable and free from too much moral scrutiny. The series that resulted seems far from what Martin originally had in mind, but his place as one of the primary writers in the program’s three-season run (1987-1990) means that he is nothing if not flexible.
Beauty and the Beast was revived in 2012 for the CW Network starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan. Portraying the original personality extremes that George R.R. Martin envisioned, this latest incarnation of the Beast is one whose violent tendencies are not so easily suppressed.
The original 3-season run is available now on DVD: Beauty and the Beast – The Complete Series.