There have been a ton of amazing TV announcements recently, with Syfy alone announcing adaptations of beloved sci-fi properties such as John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, and Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End. After a long drought, dare we hope that real, honest-to-god science fiction TV is coming back into vogue? Well, get ready to throw some more kindling on the fire, because Kim Stanley Robinson’s acclaimed “Red Mars” trilogy is coming to television.
According to Variety, Spike TV is partnering with Game of Thrones veteran Vince Gerardis to develop a series version of Robinson’s Hugo- and Nebula-winning “Red Mars” trilogy. Robinson’s books explore the settlement and gradual terraforming of Mars. It began in 1993’s Red Mars, then continued in 1994’s Green Mars and 1996’s Blue Mars. The larger story focuses on “egalitarian, sociological, and scientific advances made on Mars, while Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological disaster.” Robinson himself will consult on the series.
In addition to serving as a co-executive producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Vince Gerardis also worked as a producer on ABC’s short-lived FlashForward, the movie Jumper, and Syfy’s TV movie adaptation of Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld way back in 2003. Gerardis told Variety:
There are many homes for large canvas television these days. It inspires me that [Spike TV executive vice president of original series] Sharon [Levy] has offered her network as home for this and provided a canvas for me to bring the world created in these books to the screen,
Levy herself said this of the project:
This series shines a light onto many views of what it means to be human, and asks if can we sustain our humanity under incredible duress. We are thrilled to partner with such an accomplished producer as Vince Gerardis to tell this incredible and thought-provoking story.
It’s early days for Red Mars at this point, so we’re moderating our excitement until we learn who’s going to be writing/directing/showrunning this thing. The biggest question at this point is actually the network. Spike TV isn’t exactly the first name you think of when it comes to quality scripted television, much less science fiction. The network has traditionally been very “bro” focused, airing stereotypically dude-friendly programs such as the Guy’s Choice Awards, MMA events, Bar Rescue, and lots of Cops reruns. However, it’s recently been making a push into original scripted programming, with a King Tut series in the works, and several others. Then again, I’m giving Syfy’s attempts to redeem itself the benefit of the doubt, so I suppose it’s only fair I do the same for Spike.
Let’s just say I won’t be too surprised if they fuck it up, but I’m rooting for them to get it right. Successful sci-fi content on a variety of networks can only help the state of sci-fi TV in general, so keep your fingers crossed for Red Mars.