Sci Fi TV Development Report: Sean Bean in Frankenstein Chronicles, Plus TV Adaptations of From Hell, Jekyll & Hyde, Global Frequency, and More.

By | December 1, 2014

News, updates, and (mostly viable) rumors relating to development of science fiction / fantasy television productions. If you have tips or more info on these or other productions, please pass them along in the comments.

Since my last post two weeks ago, I have noted six more sci fi / fantasy television projects as well as one update on a previously reported project.  Several of these include some pretty big names, so genre TV development is still rolling along quite strong.  If you have heard of any recent announcements I may have missed, be sure to mention them in the comments and include links to relevant articles.

sean-beanFrankenstein Chronicles:  The British ITV has picked up Frankenstein Chronicles–a re-imagining of Mary Shelly’s classic tale, though not to be confused with FOX’s project announced previously–and Game of Thrones alum Sean Bean will star.  He will play Inspector John Marlott who, after finding the corpse of a child that has been assembled from body parts, “discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching, and murder for profit. The rational evidence points first one-way and then another as he contemplates a frightening alternate scenario.”  Six episodes have been ordered and it’s not clear at this point if it is designed to continue beyond that.  Bean most recently played FBI agent Martin Odum in TNT’s Summer series Legends, but it does not appear that show will continue to a second season.

From Hell:  Remaining in 19th Century for the moment, FX is working on a television adaptation of the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell which focused on the investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders.  Apparently this is being targeted as a limited run “event series”.  The well-regarded graphic novel was previous adapted into the 2001 Johnny Depp starring feature film which received a lukewarm reception at the Box Office.

Jekyll & Hide:  And yet another development announcement based on a 19th century horror tale, ITV is working on an adaptation of Robert Louise Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  But their version will change the time frame to 1930’s London when “Hollywood glamor, aerodynamic cars and monster movies” heavily influenced that city and it will focus on Dr. Jekyll’s grandson.  Ten episodes of the “event series” have been ordered with no indication yet on whether it could continue for additional seasons.  It will likely air in late 2015.

Global Frequency:  A television adaptation of this DC comic book series by Warren Ellis is in the works with Farascape’s Rockne S. O’Bannon attached as writer.  According to Comic Book Resources, the series focuses on “The Global Frequency: an independent and covert intelligence organization headed up by the mysterious Miranda Zero, whose purpose is to keep the world safe from secret government projects unknown to the general public.”  A pilot based on the comic was previously produced for the now defunct WB network, though it never went to series.  The CW (which was the merger of The WB and UPN) kept the idea alive for a while, but this appears to be a new attempt to bring the concept to television.

Frequency:  NBC is working on a television adaptation of this 2000 feature film which starred Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid.  According to Hollywood Reporter, the series will be

a character-driven drama in which an NYPD detective connects with his son, 30 years in the future. The two must work together to change the history of tragic events to come while also getting the chance to heal their complicated relationship.

How this concept—which worked fine as a two hour movie—would play out as an ongoing series is not quite clear.  But NBC has agreed to pay a substantial penalty if they pass on the project.

Children of the Machine:  Another option for episodic sci fi might be coming into the picture as a pilot for a series titled Children of the Machine is targeted for release via BitTorrent sometime in 2015.  The show has a Facebook page, but there are not many details availabe this point.  I will post more information on this one as it becomes available.


Westworld:  I previously reported on the Westworld project which has been in development with HBO and the network has now officially picked up it to series.  The television version of the feature film has been described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin” and it has a pretty impressive cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Simon Quartermain, and more.  It will likely make its way to HBO’s schedule during the second half of 2015.

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