Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had good news about a new Stargate or Firefly TV series? Hell, even mentioning those words is enough to whip many a fan up into a frenzy of foaming, twitching anticipation. Sadly, the closest we’re going to get to those anytime soon are the Stargate reboot trilogy and the Serenity comic series. But we do have a small consolation prize for the devoted, in the form of a new web series that’s chockablock with actors from Stargate: Atlantis and Firefly (okay, only one from the latter, but Jewel Staite is adorable and thus counts as several people). Welcome to the State of Syn, a new web series that just signed a deal to premiere the rest of its episodes on Hulu. Check out the first episode below.
The web series stars SGA/Firefly actress Jewel Staite as Annika Drake, a synthetic with the ability to hack the shit out of things. Computer hack, not “Lizzy Borden took an ax” hack. Although I would totally watch a Lizzy Borden show starring Jewel Staite. We could call it Staite of Syn, amirite? Eh? Nobody? Never mind then.
Staite played perky engineer Kaylee in Firefly and its Serenity movie spin-off, as well as appearing in Atlantis as Dr. Jennifer Keller. Also along for the ride in State of Syn are Atlantis vets David Hewlett (Rodney McKay) and Rainbow Francks (Aiden Ford), with Torri Higginson (Elizabeth Weir) handling the show’s opening narration.
Syn is set in a Blade Runner-esque future where all the usual dystopian bullet-points have been checked off: corporations have replaced governments, the rich and the poor are segregated, and people are generally carrying on cranky. So far three of the five-minute episodes are up on YouTube, but I’m guessing the new Hulu deal means they’ll hold off on posting the rest until they can all go up on Hulu. That’s set to happen on Saturday, January 18.
Also worth noting, the show also has a Google Glass app/game due out after the Hulu premiere. According to Variety, the game:
…puts the player in the role of a “white hat” hacker who must reclaim the identities of active operatives compromised in a cyberattack perpetrated by an unknown superpower. The app will use Google Glass’s gyroscopic head gesture control — letting users play the game using their eyes, by looking at objects in the scene.
That’s pretty damn cool in theory, but since Google Glass is still in an invite-only closed beta, it doesn’t seem like a marketing strategy that’s going to reach many people. The game will, however, be available for tablets and smartphones at some point down the line.
In the meantime you can watch the second and third episodes of State of Syn below. It’s a weird mixture of animation and still photography that’s frankly kind of off-putting until you get used to it. They’re obviously going for a graphic novel approach, but it reminds me more of the “motion comics” thing that never really struck me as particularly effective. I’m presuming that was a choice made at least partly to keep the budget down. Hopefully the story and the actors will be enough to keep fans watching. Or maybe Hulu will throw them enough money to go buy an actual video camera and some greenscreens.