Virtuality Series Still Possible Says Moore
For the last few years Ron D. Moore has been on a personal mission to try and redefine the play book for making good televised science fiction, and as he has often said, it isn’t for everybody. So if you like space opera the popcorn is in the next isle. Indeed his popcorn is in the next isle crack has made Moore one of the more controversial figures working in television, and his new project Virtuality looks like it could be as controversial as his re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, if not more so.
Virtuality has had somewhat of a bumpy ride with Fox Network. It was announced last year as a backdoor pilot for a proposed television series, yet now Fox who plan to show it on 26 June are billing it as a movie of the week. In a recent interview for SciFi Wire Moore revealed that he is still hopeful for the pilot to go to a series.
When asked what Fox Networks initial reaction was to Virtuality, Moore revealed that they were unsure on how to market it.
“Well, [Fox entertainment president] Kevin Reilly’s first response was, ‘I love it, and if this was a movie, I’d put it straight to DVD right now and release it, and it’d do big business. It’s a great movie. But as a pilot, I’m not sure.’ He wanted to tinker around with it a little bit, and we played with variations on it, until we all got to a version we were happy with, and that was the version that Kevin took up the line to the rest of the people at Fox.
“Ultimately I think the communal reaction was that they were impressed by the production value of the show, they were challenged by the story material, and they just didn’t know if it was going to work on the Fox network or not. They haven’t officially said, ‘That’s it. It’s over.’ You never know how these things turn out, but at the moment I think Fox’s attitude is probably wait and see.”
When asked if he’d changed anything about the pilots storyline to play it as a stand alone film, Moore said that he’d always thought of it as a pilot for a series, and said he kept it as it was originally intended to play.
As to possible story-lines should it go to series. Moore revealed that there are a number of possible ways for it to go.
“I think they would be extensions of what you see in the pilot. We would be following all of those storylines. The green-eyed man [Jimmi Simpson] is obviously a big player, and what’s his connection to what’s happening in the virtual world? Is there a connection between him and events in the real world? The biggest mystery of all is ‘Well, what happened to Pike [Coster-Waldau]?’ What did Pike see in his vision? Did he have a foreboding? Did he know what was going happen to him in that airlock? Is that part of what he saw in his vision? Did he start believing in the reality of anything that was happening?
“I think some of the fundamental questions on the show go to things like ‘What is real? What is not real in this story? What is manipulation? What is not manipulation?’ If we went to series we would continue to explore that, and we’d play different characters starting to unravel different mysteries. What are they telling them from Earth, and is that true? Are they just being paranoid? Is somebody aboard manipulating their messages, the virtual reality? There are a lot of mysteries and certain interesting things that were set up that we would continue to play if the show went to series.”
The story centres a ship called the Phaeton, which is on a 10-year mission, and opens the door for the crew to use virtual reality modules. Those modules seem to be similar to the ones used in the series finale of the American version of Life On Mars.
The downside is stuff happens to the virtuality system, and all hell breaks loose. The real twist of Virtuality is the fact that all events aboard the Phaeton are being broadcast to televisions on earth as part of a bizarre Big Brother tie – in.
During the interview SciFi Wire also asked Ron Moore for an update about his proposed prequel script for the Thing, and he confirmed that he was no longer involved.
“It’s the feature world, baby. I’m off. I’ve done my draft. They brought in another writer. And we’ll see what happens. I wish them well. It’s a great universe and a great homage to Carpenter’s version of The Thing, and I look forward to seeing it.”