Mars has been in the news a lot this past year, what with the still-impressive feat of dropping the Curiosity rover on the red planet, as well as all the valuable research it has completed in the time since. Between the proposed reality shows and the private sector attempts to get man to Mars, the dream of putting human bootprints on our ruddy-hued cosmic neighbor are more exciting than ever. And while it will certainly be a while before that dream can become a reality, we can at least live out the fantasy vicariously via a new sci-fi TV project called Red.
Deadline reports that the CW is developing the series from The Mentalist creator/exec producer Bruno Heller and executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi, who also wrote the pilot script. Dealine describes the show as “a neo-Western drama about the first human settlement on Mars and life on this new frontier, centering on the relationships between the town’s female sheriff, a doctor and a criminal.” It’ll be interesting to see if the “neo-Western” element will only be thematic, or if they actual emphasize the low-tech/Western elements like in Firefly — horses and wagons on low-tech worlds, a train robbery, etc.
Bruno Heller is probably best known for creating and exec producing HBO’s lavish Rome, so I’ll be excited to see what he can bring to a science fiction story, especially one that will almost certainly have a much lower budget than Rome. Szentgyorgyi is best known for having a last name that I couldn’t possibly pronounce. I kid, he’s actually a seasoned TV veteran with nearly 15 years of experience on shows such as Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, the short-lived but awesome time-travel series Journeyman, and Tim Minear’s even shorter-lived Drive, which starred Captain Tightpants himself, Nathan Fillion.
While the CW has pretty comfortably cornered the younger demographic with shows such as Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, it’s lately been on something of a science fiction spree. Their remake of the cult British superhero series The Tomorrow People premieres on October 9. The original version premiered in 1973, and it’s been remade several times over the years. This latest version is noteworthy for having Lost’s Jacob, actor Mark Pellegrino, helping fill out the cast of young and pretty people you probably haven’t heard of.
Star-Crossed, the CW’s human/alien spin on Romeo & Juliet, is slated for a mid-season premiere. It follows a romance between a human girl and an alien boy in a world where an extraterrestrial race crashed to Earth some years earlier, and are only slowly integrating with the native humans. Creator Meredith Averill previously worked on The Good Wife and…er, the American remake of Life on Mars. Yikes. Expect this one to work hard to bring in the Twilight fans.
Finally, they’ve got The 100, another midseason replacement. Set a century after a global nuclear war, The 100 envisions a future where the only survivors of that calamity where the people aboard 12 orbiting space stations. With the population still growing aboard the stations, the leadership decides to send 100 juvenile prisoners down to investigate whether earth is habitable again. This one’s got another Lost vet aboard: Henry Ian Cusick, who played Desmond Hume. He’s our constant!
I’d much rather see Red premiere on HBO or FX or AMC, but the CW has managed to have some solid shows over the years mixed in with all the forgettable stuff. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Red is worth the trip.