A ton of news has been announced at this years Comic-Con, from new trailers, to toys, comics, and even concerts, but the thing that most excites me is the prospect of great new sci-fi and fantasy TV coming this fall. Here is a list of the most exciting new properties coming out
What it is: If you’re a fan of watching a theme park trying to kill its patrons, then Westworld is going to be the show for you. This show is an adaptation of the film by Michael Crichton (the novelist behind Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain) and is currently being brought to HBO by Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest, The Dark Knight Series). The original film saw a couple of friends go to the Westworld theme park, which is a lifelike recreation of the old west. Think a Colonial Williamsburg sort of place, except populated by androids that really think they are the characters they are playing where you can challenge them to gunfights or visit the local brothel and live what it was like to be a part of the west. Except eventually the machines begin to malfunction and start killing people.
Why we’re excited: At the event, according to io9 Jonathan Nolan said, “he had gotten so obsessed with AI themes in Person of Interest that he decided to do a whole show about it.” Those themes, to me, are the best part of Person of Interest, and Nolan had always been great about playing around with a character’s issues with identity (see Memento, which was based on a short story that he wrote), and purpose (see The Dark Knight Rises). In addition, the stills released look absolutely gorgeous. Though a premiere is not yet set, its believed to be aired late 2015 on HBO.
The Man in the High Castle
What it is: Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, we got to see the pilot of this during Amazon pilot season and it was picked up. It’s an alternate history where the Axis powers won World War II, and the United States has been split up between Japan and Nazi Germany (Known as the Greater Third Reich). The story picks up with both sides pitted in a cold war with Americans on both sides blindly joining the resistance and making their way to the neutral zone, a sort of haven for those who can’t find a real home on either coast.
Why we’re excited: The pilot was AMAZING. The cinematography was fantastic, the plot was quickly paced, but slow enough for you to really get a feel of the world they live in. The story really is all about the setting and seeing how this thought experiment would work. You get to see what it would be like for veterans of the war to have to live under the yoke of their enemies. Some keep fighting, others forget what they were fighting for. It’s also incredibly unsettling and speaks to this idea: could Americans not only accept, but embrace the ideals championed by both these occupiers? In addition, we see Rufus Sewell as a Nazi gestapo officer. Its a role he was born to play. Check out the trailer here. Will premiere on Amazon this fall.
What it is: Another novel adaptation, based on the series of books of the same name by the duo Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham who write under the pen name James S.A. Corey. This series is about in-between period from first leaving earth and settling the solar system to colonizing several planets. It chronicles the lives of several characters as the human race begins to expand outside the solar system and shows how when we move from the bonds of gravity we can create new forms of racism and resentment. Specifically, if the first season follows the first book, Leviathan Wakes, then it will be about a detective named Miller trying to find a woman named Julie Mao and the crew of an ice freighter trying to figure out who is trying to upset the delicate balance of power in the outer planets (the belt and the Jovian System specifically). It starts as a murder mystery and escalates from there.
Why we’re excited: The novels combine the persistent narcissism and nihilism of True Detective with the grand world-building and politicking of Game of Thrones and has the prevalent theme of “Who are we as a people?” and “Why do we hate each other?” The stories are epic reads, full of adventure, epic space battles, realistic physics, politics, and even humor. It’s not just going to be your average joyless story, and the talent both in front of and behind the camera is going to make this a standout show for Syfy. BUT (I capitalize this on purpose) if anyone can screw this up, its Syfy. The writers, however, seem to have been involved heavily and based on reviews of the Comic-Con footage, they haven’t missed the mark.
Ash vs Evil Dead
What it is: Have you seen Evil Dead? No? What about Evil Dead 2? Army of Darkness? No? What about “THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK”? Okay, good.
Why we’re excited: You watched that video above right? In case you didn’t, I’ve got two words for you: BRUCE CAMPBELL. If you’re sick and tired of The Walking Dead, like I am, but you like zombie horror with some humor, this is the show for you. Watch the trailer here. I’m gonna have to get Starz…..
What it is: Not gonna lie. Even for me, being a super comic book nerd…I’ve never really read anything with Jessica Jones that’s memorable. During most of my time reading anything with her in it, she was sidelined taking care of her and Luke Cage’s baby for a good few years in New Avengers post civil war. From what I’ve been able to gather, she is a private detective with super strength. She is another one of the “street level” superheroes that Marvel is pushing out on Netflix.
Why we’re excited: Because Daredevil was amazing. In addition, Krysten Ritter is playing her, and she is fantastic. Also, David Tennant is playing the Purple Man. He’s a super creepy villain, so it’s going to be good. This will also set up the Luke Cage series.