We’ve said many times now that we’re in a certified science fiction TV renaissance, with Syfy developing hugely promising shows like The Expanse and Ascension, Amazon is turning Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle into a pilot, and HBO is getting into the game with adaptations of both Westworld and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. Well, apparently NBC has decided they want a piece of the action, because they’ve announced they’re turning a Dennis Quaid science fiction movie into an ongoing series.
Yeah, no, not that one. I’d totally watch a show based on Enemy Mine, as it’s one of my favorite underrated sci-fi flicks of all time. No, it isn’t Innerspace either. The Day After Tomorrow? Don’t be silly. It’s Frequency!
Remember Frequency? The one where Jim Caviezel played a cop who finds himself able to communicate with his dead firefighter father (Quaid) in the past, via ham radio? Because aurora borealis? Yeah, that’s the one.
So, how exactly does one turn the self-contained story of Frequency into an ongoing series narrative? Obviously, the notion of being able to communicate with your now-deceased loved ones is emotionally powerful, but I’m not sure how eager I’d be to watch two guys just yakking on a ham radio for 22 episodes a season. Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter describes the project:
NBC’s Frequency is described as a character-driven drama in which an NYPD detective connects with his son, 30 years in the future. The two must work together to change the history of tragic events to come while also getting the chance to heal their complicated relationship.
Okay, so it sounds like there could be some sort of Quantum Leap-style “setting right what once went wrong action going on. The movie involved Caviezel’s character saving his father’s life from the fire he originally died in, and the two then partnered up to stop a killer in both of their time frames. I could see the NBC show using the murderer story as a season-long arc, something the father and son continuously try to crack in between keeping small children from being flattened by city buses or whatever.
As for the inevitable paradoxes you would think would result from helping your dead father change your own timeline, in the movie cop John Sullivan (Caviezel) would retain two sets of memories when history was altered, so I would imagine they’ll probably still with that approach.
THR says that NBC has given a script-plus-penalty commitment to the Frequency adaptation, with Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver writing the teleplay. Before his Supernatural stint, Carver worked on Syfy’s Being Human, and he’s still trying to get a Supernatural spinoff series up and running on The CW.
Frequency isn’t the only science fiction movie headed to the small screen of late. CBS is developing the brain-bending 2011 Bradley Cooper Limitless into a series, Fox has a Minority Report show in the works, and Syfy’s barrage of upcoming sci-fi includes a 12 Monkeys series.