I respectfully disagree with both of these points. First, this has been tried already - G2 had Journey to One, and it failed. Now you can argue that JtO wasn’t a good attempt at TV, but it was still an attempt to fit Bionicle into the TV medium. Also, consider the Hero Factory TV series, which is yet another attempt to place constraction on the small screen. Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Second, TV is a very hard medium to do in-depth storytelling in the way Bionicle does with the mystery, especially for a children’s franchise. The closest TV show comparison I would give to Bionicle isn’t Ninjago, it’s more like LOST or the Mentalist. Both of those shows have a driving mystery behind them - Ninjago had no mystery. Also, a reminder that LOST struggled past season 2 and that the Mentalist was held together by the characters charm more than the mystery.
Okoto had a little bit of mystery going on - the dark world, the mysterious planets the Toa came from, the ancient city and what happened to Ekimu, but it was all too on the surface and forced. The thing about 2001 was that we were in the unknown without knowing that we were in the unknown. The unknown was subtle instead of blatant. Bionicle’s essence, or part of it, was making the fans work for clarity, and that can’t be accomplished on TV. The camera keeps rolling, bringing you to the solution faster than your brain can process the problem.
No, Bionicle is primarily a gaming and reading medium. When you read, you control the pace of reveal, and same deal when you’re playing a game. You’re exploring the unknown - the mystery, finding the answers - at your pace.
Coincidentally, this is what Lego does well. Lego Universe - failed due to money, but awesome game. Chima Online - yes. Hero Factory Breakout game - boom. Glatorian Arena - check. And of course, the eye of the storm, the golden cheesecake, the Mata Nui Online Game.
The other thing that was really good was the novels - back in the early ‘00s, Harry Potter was a thing and novels were all the rage. Also back in that time there was a huge push to get children to read for some reason, and Bionicle took advantage of that. While I think novels would be essential hardware for a Bionicle return, getting good money off of them would require a serious push not only of Bionicle, but to get kids reading them again. Either that, or the books would have to be longer to appeal to the older fanbase.
So I think the best way to Bring Bionicle Back is not a TV show, nor a book set. The best way to do it is a game. Making it a game doesn’t mean lack of mass appeal - Fortnite exists. And I mean, check out the setup - all that TV show stuff has gotten us nowhere, but we have a cool looking game and boom! Press coverage.
This isn’t pop culture frustration at all - instead, it is a prime intersection between Bionicle and our current culture that we need to take advantage of. It is a direction. I think the frustration comes not from medium, but from the fact that we don’t have a mystery any more.
I mean, our last mystery was resolved in a huge giant robot, and the cat’s out of the bag. We can’t go back - if we want to reboot the franchise, we need another grand mystery like giant robot was. But the problem is, it can’t be a giant robot - it has to be something else, and it has to be just as cool and executed just as well. So folks, what could be that?
We can’t confirm or deny what it is here, though, because the Internet will find it and it will be a big spoiler. See the frustration? We want a mystery but you can’t design a mystery publicly because then it won’t be a mystery anymore and the story will be ruined but if you don’t design the mystery all we get are bad stories with no mystery. Argh paradox! So frustrating.