Premium cable outlet HBO has an epic fantasy show, a show about annoying twenty-somethings trying to make it New York City, and show about Prohibition-era gangsters. One thing they haven’t had, up to this point, is an original science fiction property. That may change soon, however, because the network is developing a series called The Spark, from Oblivion co-writer Karl Gajdusek.
According to Deadline, The Spark takes place in the near future and finds the world in the midst of a new technological and industrial revolution. Into this scenario, the human race receives a signal from a force beyond our solar system, which necessarily complicates things. The plot “centers on the human reaction to a mystery still spiritually and technologically out of reach and follows a female protagonist as she works on the cusp of the Earth’s effort to discover the origin of the signal.”
That sounds like a promising concept. And given the size, scope, and budget HBO has shown a willingness to unleash in recent times with shows like Game of Thrones, they could do some really cool stuff with this set-up. While Oblivion left quite a lot to be desired — it was definitely more style than substance — there is a ton of potential in this idea.
Handling both the writing and executive producing duties on The Spark, Gajdusek is basing the property on what he calls “the five pillars of science fiction: alien contact, artificial intelligence, technological breakthroughs, space exploration/adventure, and origin stories. That’s definitely fertile territory for a genre program like this. What more do you want out of a sci-fi series?
Gajdusek’s last foray into television, Last Resort, was taken to series by ABC. The show didn’t survive beyond its initial season, but hey, how many pilots don’t even make it that far? [And Last Resort was a brilliant show, so he’s worth keeping an eye on. – Ed] He’s also worked with Showtime on Dead Like Me.