BBC America Developing New Drama About Synthetic Organisms

By David Wharton | Published

BBC America has been heavily promoting its Saturday-night programming block over the past year, offering a line-up of shows such as Doctor Who, Bedlam, Being Human, and The Fades. Now they’re looking to add two more series to the increasingly inaccurately named “Supernatural Saturdays.” (I suppose “Supernatural/Sci-Fi Saturdays” is a bit of a mouthful.) Most of interest to us is a science fiction drama called Wired, which sounds like a cross between Caprica and the movie Surrogates.

Here’s the Wired premise, courtesy of the BBC America press release:

Wired takes place in a world that looks exactly like today, except for one thing: this is a world with ‘Syns’ (‘Synthetic Organisms’), exact replicas of human beings and the newest luxury accessory money can buy. Wired explores our evolving relationship with technology, the boundaries of society’s values and moralities, our hypocrisies and contradictions — holding up a mirror to who we are today and what we might become.

When I first read that, it sounded very much like Surrogates — I was envisioning a world where rich people could download themselves into impossibly hot robot bodies before heading out on the town. Upon further perusal, however, it’s not clear whether these “syns” are fancy robotic skinsuits or just standard androids that are trendy to own. Either possibility lends itself to plenty of narrative possibilities, so I guess we’ll just have to wait to hear more about Wired as it develops. Plenty of other shows have explored the moral and ethical conundrums that come from tinkering with artificial life, but with that technology believably on our own horizon, it’s never been a more timely subject matter.

The second series, The Dead Beat is a bit outside GFR’s standard beat, but I imagine we’ve got quite a few crossover fans of urban fantasy amongst our readership, so here’s the lowdown on that show.

In The Dead Beat, two cops, one dead and one alive, become a reluctant team, working from leads in the world of the dead to track down killers in the world of the living. Subverting the crime genre, The Dead Beat brings a whole new meaning to cold cases, underworld informants, dead leads and buried evidence.