Good news everybody! A utopia on Mars is possible. Or at least it is on Spike TV for a full season.
Spike TV, the cable network that has gone through several programming iterations as it evolved to find its niche, is going full-force into scripted programming. It has now nabbed Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel Red Mars for a television adaptation with a full-season order.
Red Mars is from Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, which is made up of—you guessed it—three novels (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) chronicling the struggles that humanity faces as it attempts to build a utopian civilization on our sister planet 140 million miles (on average) away. Throughout the novels, humankind deals with the difficulties of greedy transnational corporations (or “transnats”), a world war back on Earth, and of course, terraforming a whole dang planet.
The television adaptation is set to be executive produced by J. Michael Straczynski (whose credits include Sense8, Babylon 5, and Changeling) as well Emmy Award-winner Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones, Flash Forward). Combine these heavy-hitting television writers with the original award-winning content from the Mars Trilogy — it won the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award (NBD) — and it sounds like what we’ve got one helluva space drama.
The order for “Red Mars” comes on the heels of Spike’s premiere of another one of its original scripted shows, “Tut,” which debuted in July. The big difference between “Tut” and “Red Mars” however, is that the former was a three-part “event” series, whereas the latter is Spike’s first full scripted series order in nine years. (We could’ve gone to Mars and back in that time.)
Set for a 2017 debut, “Red Mars” will go into production next summer. Production on a real spacecraft to take us all to Mars is still TBD.
What do you think about Spike adapting Red Mars for television? Does it make you want to not live on this planet anymore in a good way, or a bad way? Let us know in the comments section below!