Anytime I hear word of a new science fiction property in the works, I inevitably get a little buzz of excitement. I can’t help revelling in the potential for each new science fiction story, even though my hardened cynicism knows perfectly well that Sturgeon’s Law is still in effect, so every new show or movie is far more likely to be disappointing than it is to be good. But even with all that enthusiasm, there are certain warning signs that remind me to temper my expectations, such as the property in question being developed by Syfy or Fox. Add to that list the involvement of Brett Ratner, which decreases my interest in the new time travel series Tomorrow by at least 72%.
Deadline reports that Ratner is partnering with Law & Order/Castle producer Barry Schindel and Georgeville Television to development the time travel series for ABC. That last detail is good news if Tomorrow actually turns out well, because ABC has a better history of allowing genre shows to find their footing than, say, Fox. I’m sure they’re also eager to recapture some of that old Lost magic. If ABC likes the script for Tomorrow, the series will get a 13-episode commitment from the network. Assuming things get that far, Ratner will be directing the pilot and Schindel will serve as showrunner.
Tomorrow is described as “a high-concept law enforcement procedural about an FBI agent who gets trapped in a time travel scenario.” That suggests shades of several “unwilling time traveler“ series we’ve seen before, such as Quantum Leap and Journeyman. Given Schindel’s background, we can probably expect the show to stick to a “adventure of the week” format rather than a heavily serialized storyline, although I’m sure they’ll have the ongoing narrative of the FBI agent trying to get the hell off the time travel treadmill.
Georgeville Television has emerged as a major force in science fiction television in recent months. In addition to Tomorrow, they’re also behind Syfy’s Blake’s 7 reboot, Chris Carter’s new sci-fi project The After, and two separate projects from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski: a pandemic thriller for ABC and a series called Sense8 that he’s collaborating on with the Wachowskis.