After breaking in on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, Bryan Fuller has created some of the most memorable, eccentric shows around, from the delightful Pushing Daisies and the brilliant-against-the-odds Hannibal, to the sadly short-lived Wonderfalls and a Munsters reboot pilot that worked way better than it had any right to (Mockingbird Lane). Now we can add another intriguing bullet point to that resume: High Moon, a pilot Syfy passed on earlier this year, and which has been retrofitted into a 90-minute TV movie due to debut next week. But why wait? You can check out the first three and a half minutes of High Moon up top.
High Moon is based on John Christopher’s 1969 YA novel The Lotus Caves, and it’s set in a future where the moon has been colonized by various countries, primarily as a way to establish mining operations. As you can see in the footage, some of those operations make use of convicts as a labor force, and I’m definitely curious to see where High Moon goes after that floral surprise sends everything pear-shaped. The book provides some likely hints, but we’ll leave that on the underside of this big-ass
If John Christopher’s name sounds familiar, but you’re not sure why, the British writer is best known for his Tripods series, which were adapted into a fondly remembered TV series by the BBC back in the mid 1980s. As for The Lotus Caves, its story has a pair of young boys — as opposed to a pair of inmates — discovering some crazy secrets lurking beneath the surface of the moon. Here’s a snippet from the book’s Amazon synopsis:
There, in a bizarre, cave, Marty and Steve find the unexpected: a world filled with various plants, food, and life…including a man who supposedly went missing more than one hundred years before. The boys think that they’ve found the most wonderful place in the galaxy…but they soon learn that the joy comes with a price. The strange creature that is keeping them alive also wants to control them, and when Marty and Steve decide that they want to leave, the creature might have something else in mind.
I’ve never read The Lotus Caves, but it definitely looks like Fuller’s High Moon took some liberties with the source material. Whether that’s a good thing, we can find out next week. It definitely has the trademark Bryan Fuller quirk dialed up to eleven, from the banter between the two convicts to the strangely retro spacesuit design, and based on this extremely brief look, I’d think High Moon as a series probably would have fit right in with Syfy’s Eureka and Warehouse 13.
But then again, that era of the network seems to be passing. More and more, Syfy is developing serious science fiction, ranging from their Ascension “event series” to their high-profile adaptations of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, John Scalzi’s Ghost Brigades, and Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End. Their “space bounty hunters” series Killjoys may be the closest thing to the Eureka/Warehouse 13-style lighthearted romps that were Syfy’s bread and butter for a while there, but we still know so little about that series it’s hard to get a feel for it at this point.
At any rate, 90 minutes of Bryan Fuller’s High Moon is all we’re going to get, so be sure to set your DVRs for next Monday, when the TV movie will premiere at 9/8c.