We may be losing a couple of sci-fi shows before too long (both Continuum and Falling Skies have end dates in sight), but don’t worry, we’ve got more on the way. Syfy is developing an absurd slate of new shows and projects, with the likes of the miniseries Ascension kicking off next week and their adaptation of 12 Monkeys travelling back to next month, but they’re not the only ones. USA just picked up an alien abduction project from Gary Dauberman (Annabelle, The Conjuring) called The Terrestrial.
Deadline reports that the series follows a schizophrenic man who has to look into his own dark past for answers after his estranged teenage daughter goes missing. Turns out she was abducted, and as you probably already guessed, it involves aliens. But that’s not all, the hero happens to have his own trouble history with invaders from another world, as ten years ago he was abducted and believes the same gang may be responsible.
This isn’t USA’s first adventure into original scripted science fiction. A few years back they had a decent showing with The 4400, which started off strong but fell off quickly, and they’ve been trying to get back in the game recently. They were working on the World War II alien drama Horizon, and though that didn’t go forward, it certainly sounds like it could have been interesting, at least not your usual fare. The cable network also has Carlton Cuse’s (Lost) alien occupation pilot Colony in the works. For whatever reason, sci-fi seems to be on their mind lately, and we’re not going to argue with that.
This is a definite departure from the character dramas like Suits, Burn Notice, and Royal Pains that have become their standard over the last few years, though they did throw in a curveball with the likes of Psych. It will be interesting to see if genre offerings like The Terrestrial and Colony will be able to find an audience at USA. Then again, TNT did okay with Falling Skies, as did FX with Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. In the end, it will hopefully be the quality of the finished product that determines the ultimate success or failure of these shows, which is how it should be.
With titles like Bloodmonkey, Crawlspace, and Swamp Devil on his resume, Dauberman definitely has the weirdness in his background to pull off something unusual, and given his track record, you have to imagine there will be ample horror elements thrown into The Terrestrial to go along with the sci-fi. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one, and we’ll let you know as soon as we learn more.