Hollywood’s longstanding preoccupation with the red planet marches on today, with Variety reporting that Spike TV is bucking tradition to issue a full series order for Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars novel trilogy.
For a channel more associated with sports-related dramas and reality shows, news of Robinson’s sprawling series setting up shop on Spike is somewhat surprising, though by instating genre veteran J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) as screenwriter, there’s no question that the network has issued a fairly resounding vote of confidence today, making Red Mars Spike’s first drama series in close to a decade.
Centering on humanity’s efforts to colonize and terraform our neighbouring planet, Robinson’s highly-regarded trilogy was originally released during the mid-90s – Red Mars (1993), Green Mars (1994) and Blue Mars (1996). It’s been pitched as ‘hard’ sci-fi, doubling down on the realistic dangers and threats that face the first generation of Martians as they begin to plant the figurative – and literal – roots in the sun-kissed soil.
Here’s the official synopsis of the first installment in Robinson’s epic.
For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.
John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic “alchemists, ” Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life…and death.
After first acquiring the rights to Red Mars at the turn of the year, it’s still early days on Spike TV’s ambitious sci-fi series. What we do know is that Game Of Thrones executive producer Vince Gerardis will be involved in the project alongside Straczynski, which will surely begin its casting process as it targets a 2017 premiere.