Spaceships, Please

I’ve spent a lot of time in Hollywood trying to sell various shows.  Everything from a western set in NM in 1840 to contemporary thrillers, to shows about the army’s CID division.  (Yes, I pitched that before NCIS went on the air, but I was a girl and the reaction in the room was “nobody’s interested in the military.  *sigh*).  I’ve also tried very had to sell science fiction shows.  Even had a pilot shot of one of them.

What I ran into over and over and over again was “spaceships don’t sell unless it’s Star Trek.  Only Star Trek can make spaceships work.”  It was received wisdom.  Then Galactica came along to critical reviews and the mantra became.  “Well okay, Galactica worked but that’s because it was a show about real problems and it was a war story.  The spaceships were just incidental.  And anyway spaceships only work in Star Trek and Galactica.”

Now there is a new chance for those of us who love science fiction to have spaceships on our television screens again.  The Expanse is an upcoming show on SyFy based on the best selling novels by James S.A. Corey.  They are terrific space opera — five books now — I’ve read them all, and they were perfect to be translated to film.

And there are spaceships.  Because it’s set in the asteroid belt.  So I’m really, really hoping this show takes off so I will stop hearing.  “Spaceships only work on Star Trek and Galactica.”

My fingers are crossed.

8 Responses to Spaceships, Please

  • Brenda Julian says:

    SyFy must have had a change of heart because they have 2 knew shows this season that feature spaceships. Killjoys and Dark Matter. I really like them both and look forward to seeing The Expanse. And I’m always looking for new books so thanks for the info on The Expanse. I’m gonna check it out!

  • Wolf Lahti says:

    Dark Matters

  • Tim S says:

    Yes, please. A lot of people out there yearn for more episodes of Firefly, and I still remember the amazing series ‘Space: Above and Beyond’ which had one fantastic season before its cancellation. Grumble.

    Syfy is also adapting ‘Childhood’s End’ by Arthur C. Clarke and Dan Simmons novel ‘Hyperion’ – while not set in space per se, there’s bound to be spaceships. And the latter had a fair share of space battles.

    Also, recently Michael Dorn spoke about a new Star Trek series being in the works. The future looks bright (since it’s obviously lit up with lasers and phasers).

  • Georgino Ludwig says:

    there is a lot of nostalgia for some shows, like Firefly. personally I liked Babylon 5 and Fox had a one season show called Space: Above and Beyond. Space to me was far more interesting than Star Trek, even though I love Trek, it presented a more fledgling space faring earth and a war with an alien race. there were many flaws with it but it was not so idealistic.

    the problem at it’s heart as I’ve seen it is that Star Trek has a built in audience. Given the supposed cost, which modern effects programs can lower drastically, it would make sense that a Sci Fi show would make them less likely to give it the go ahead. which is a damned shame as there are so many worthy projects to explore

  • Antonia says:

    Oh my gosh, I hope it takes off and that one of your TV shows gets picked up!

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I clearly have a lot more shows to add to my “catch up” list. I didn’t realize Dark Matter had spaceships.

    I was worried because the trailers for the Expanse seem to be downplaying the space aspect of the series. I watched a long trailer with a friend who hadn’t read the books and she thought it was a show about a post-apocalyptic Earth where everybody has to live underground. I was really hoping for a great CGI shot of a ship approaching Jupiter or Saturn. Ground me (so to speak) in the asteroid belt and out near the gas giants.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    Here’s another weird bit of serendipity or stuff “being in the ether” When I proposed my CID show I event pitched Mark Harmon as the commander of the unit. I had worked with Mark on Reasonable Doubts and I thought he would be perfect. Clearly I was right.

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