In an era where film and TV executives have been repeatedly turning to the world of literature for source material, it appears as though some sci-fi classics are going to have a shot at the small screen. Both Syfy and Spike TV are developing shows based on major sci-fi novels. In the wake of the success of shows like Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, I think this makes a lot of sense, but the stories they have chosen to follow are pretty interesting.
Syfy is putting together a mini-series production of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, a story about an alien invasion that actual leads to something of a utopia on Earth. The series is being penned by Matthew Graham, who has worked on Doctor Who and Life on Mars.
Spike TV has decided to take on Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy in a series that will likely be titled Red Mars after the first book. Robinson will be working as a consultant on the series, and Vince Gerardis, a producer from Game Of Thrones, is in charge of the project.
I’m excited that there will finally be some more quality sci-fi productions hitting the main stream, or at least productions based on famous sci-fi literature. Whether or not these shows will be any good is of course up in the air, but I’m still excited by the prospect. Perhaps this will spark some interest in these sci-fi novels the way that the Game Of Thrones TV show helped to sell more of the novels.
In a way, the process is cyclical, with producers looking to books for material, but then bringing a new audience of readers to the books. If these shows are successful and more producers look to some of the popular or classic adult sci-fi and fantasy series out there, it could actually promote a greater literary audience, in a roundabout sort of way. At the very least, I hope that’s a trend that can start to take off.