What is it?
“Incursion follows a squad of soldiers caught in a war against a hostile alien race. Each season the battle will be fought on a new, exotic planet as humanity punches deeper into enemy territory.”
Why should we care?
Steven S. DeKnight is one of the primary reasons anybody knows about Starz as anything other than “one of those channels I flip past on the way to the networks I actually watch.” His epic and bloody take on the legend of Spartacus became one of the best TV surprises in a long time, managing to be much more than just a guilty pleasure packed to the rim with sex and violence (even though it was totally packed to the rim with sex and violence). We haven’t really seen a straight-up military science fiction series in ages — the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Morgan and Wong’s underrated Space: Above and Beyond way back in the mid ’90s, and B5 to some degree. The notion of setting each season on a different alien world could be amazing, an inherent excuse to regularly shake things up and pit its characters against new hardships. DeKnight has cited James Cameron’s Aliens and the character of Ellen Ripley as major influences, and if done right, Incursion could essentially be the Starship Troopers movie Heinlein fans have been dreaming of for decades — except it doesn’t have to wrap up the war in two hours’ time.
Should we get our hopes up?
On the one hand, I’d like to say “absolutely,” just on the strength of DeKnight’s involvement. He’s a veteran of science fiction and fantasy television, having earned his bona fides under Joss Whedon’s banner on Buffy the Vampire, Angel, and Dollhouse. With Spartacus, he proved he can craft action sequences with the best of them, but also knows that those battles won’t mean anything if you don’t care about the characters.
The only potential problem is that there simply hasn’t been much news about Incursion in a while now, so it’s hard to know if the project is stalled or just chugging along until there’s a reason to give the world an update. This past January Deadline reported that Incursion was indeed still alive and well, but that it had been back-burnered a bit while Starz was focusing on shows like Da Vinci’s Demons and Black Sails. IMDb Pro has Incursion tentatively listed for a 2017 target date, but hopefully we won’t have to wait that long.