It’s hard to believe that, nearly a decade after Farscape wrapped its run, series creator Rockne S. O’Bannon is about to return to the airwaves with not one, but two new shows. We won’t get to see Syfy’s Defiance until April 15th, but his metafictional thriller Cult is set to debut next Tuesday, February 19th, at 9/8c on The CW. But to hell with waiting: you can watch the first episode online right this very minute.
Even if you’ve seen the series’ trippy advertisements, you could be forgiven for not knowing what the hell the show is all about. Here’s the official synopsis:
Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton has learned to laugh off his brother Nate’s relentless string of obsessions, especially his latest rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him. However, when his brother mysteriously disappears, Jeff takes Nate’s paranoia seriously, and in the process uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show “Cult” and its rabid fans.
So, it’s basically a show about a show within a show that seems to be bleeding through into reality in dangerous and mysterious ways. It looks to be a fun exercise in metafiction, and its snake-swallowing-its-tail concept should be perfect for commenting on or satirizing the ways we as fans interact with the shows and creative talents we idolize and obsess over. Given we live in an era where storytelling has become ever more interactive, and fame is considered a goal in and of itself, there should be no shortage of grist for Cult’s mill, and I can’t wait to see where O’Bannon takes us.
Cult’s bizarre concept definitely has me intrigued, and the fact that it’s O’Bannon just doubles that interest. The Farscape creator is definitely no stranger to trying crazy things on screen — Farscape was a show that was deeply, unapologetically weird in the very best of ways, so I’m hoping Cult will live up to my expectations. Fingers crossed, people!