BBC commissions near-future SF series "Defying Gravity", to air next month
Rocketeer — Sun, 12/07/2009 - 4:11pm
Jane Tranter, BBC Controller, Fiction has commissioned a 13-episode near-future SF thriller, "Defying Gravity". The series is currently in production in Canada, and is due to air starting next month on CTV, the German channel ProSieben, and BBC Two.
Created by GREY'S ANATOMY's James Parriott and executive produced by DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Michael Edelstein, DEFYING GRAVITY is a sexy, provocative space thriller set in the very near future, following eight astronauts - from five countries including Canada - on a mysterious mission through the solar system.
"DEFYING GRAVITY is a sexy, beautifully shot drama full of mystery, suspense and intrigue," said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. "With a stellar international ensemble cast set against the backdrop of space millions of kilometres from Earth, Jim and Michael have delivered a drama that is truly out of this world."
Jane Tranter, BBC Controller, Fiction, says: "The calibre of the talent involved in this drama series both in front and behind-the-scenes makes Defying Gravity one of the most exciting new series for 2009. Although primarily a human drama, the landscape and context and genre of Defying Gravity give it a very different flavour from other dramas on the BBC."
"DEFYING GRAVITY has been a labour of love from the very beginning," said Creator and Executive Producer, James Parriott. "Part of what made it so was the wonderful collaboration with our partners in Vancouver. I couldn't be more thrilled to see the show getting its ideal on-air home in Canada, the United States, and around the world."
In the two-hour DEFYING GRAVITY series premiere two of the eight novice astronauts onboard mysteriously develop heart ailments only hours after leaving Earth's orbit for Venus and a six-year inter-planetary sojourn aboard the spaceship Antares. Replacing the ill engineer, Ajay Sharma (Zahf Paroo) and Mission Commander Rollie Crane (Ty Olsson), are experienced astronauts Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston) and Ted Shaw (Malik Yoba). Donner's arrival disturbs the ship's geologist Zoe Barnes (Canadian Laura Harris), who is linked to him by a strange dream and a romantic encounter from their early training days.
Although nearly every facet of life on the Antares is broadcast to avid viewers on Earth by documentary producer Paula Morales (Paula Garces), there is also a hidden force that appears to be controlling events from within the spacecraft. With the real purpose of the mission known only to flight director Mike Goss (Andrew Airlie) and a select few, the Antares finally leaves Earth's orbit for the immensity of interstellar space.
In the second hour, some rocky and intriguing developments confront the crew as they learn to adjust to life on board the Antares, now well on its way to Venus. In spite of the libido-suppressing HALOS supposedly worn by everyone on board, pilot Nadia Schilling (Florentine Lahme) continues her seductive designs on Donner. Zoe still hears strange cries, seemingly coming from Storage Pod 4 - which is off limits to most of the crew. After Ted, now spaceship commander, is briefed by his wife, scientist Eve Shaw (Karen LeBlanc), about the true nature of the mission, he enters Pod 4 and is confronted by a frightening maelstrom.
Meanwhile, back at Mission Control, Commander Goss holds a press conference, ostensibly to explain the abrupt removal of Ajay and Rollie from the Antares. Skeptical British reporter Trevor Williams (Peter Howitt) is determined to discover the truth.
Rocketeer comments: Libido-suppressing HALOs?? Oh, puh-leeze :p These are highly-trained professionals we're talking about, you'd hope they could focus on their jobs without artificial assistance. Besides, if Bad Stuff happens faster than you can zip up your fly, you're probably dead anyway ;-)
Hmmm, sounds to me like they need a good copper on board:-