Children of Men is one of the best science fiction movies of all time, a hugely underrated classic that brilliantly brings to life a bleak world where humanity can no longer have children. The root cause of that global infertility isn’t really the point of director Alfonso Cuaron’s film; instead, it’s about how mankind responds to a world without a future, and how the smallest glimmer of hope could change that. Now a new Lifetime series is looking to tackle the same sort of premise, but with a larger scope. Check out the trailer for Lifetime’s The Lottery above.
Just as in Children of Men, The Lottery is set in a dystopian future where women have lost the ability to bear children, but no one is sure why. With our species facing its own looming extinction, a scientist named Dr. Alison Lennon (Planet Terror’s Marley Shelton) makes a breakthrough: she and her team successfully fertilize 100 embryos. Before they have much time to celebrate, the U.S. Fertility Commission, headed by Director Darius Hayes (Homeland’s Martin Donovan), swoops in and seizes the embryos. Now it’s up to the President (Magic City’s Yul Vasquez) to decide what to do with the embryos which could literally save the species. Eventually the President is convinced that the best course of action is to hold a national lottery to determine the women who will get to carry the embryos to term.
The Lottery’s infertility concept isn’t the only tie it has to Children of Men. The show was actually created and written by Timothy J. Sexton, one of the screenwriters behind — you guessed it — Children of Men. Thanks to the quality of that film, Sexton is in the unenviable position of competing with his own prior work. On the other hand, it’s intriguing to see a writer returning to a subject he’s already explored successfully once before. Hopefully he truly has more to say on the subject. Given that there were multiple credited writers on Children of Men, there’s no telling how much of his story contributions made it to the final film.
I’m not typically anywhere near Lifetime’s target demographic, but I may tune in just out of curiosity to see how the show’s take on the material compares to that of Children of Men.
The Lottery also stars Athena Karkanis (Low Winter Sun) as the President’s Chief of Staff, Shelley Conn as the First Lady, Michael Graziadei as the alcoholic father of one of the last children born before the infertility crisis, and David Alpay as Alison’s lab assistant James. Sexton also serves as executive producer alongside Rick Eid (Hostages) and Dawn Olmstead (Prison Break). Danny Cannon (CSI) directed the pilot.
The Lottery will premiere Sunday, July 20 at 10/9c on Lifetime.