With FOX unveiling Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor’s much buzzed about first post-BATTLESTAR GALACTICA project tonight at 8PM on FOX, this TV Addict thought now would be as good a time as any to dedicate today’s Top 5 to things you should know about VIRTUALITY.
1. It’s reality TV in space
Recognizing what co-creator Ronald D. Moore calls, “a fundamental interest of people watching other real people or at least what they perceive as real people as opposed to watching fictional programming,” Moore alongside co-creator Michael Taylor cleverly built their series around exactly that; a reality TV show entitled Edge of Never: Life on the Phaeton. Complete with branded crew uniforms, confessionals, not to mention a group of really good looking actors — fans of SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE will be right at home, as the good, bad and ugly from the Phaeton crew’s 10-year mission is ‘broadcast’ back to earth.
2. It will not cause depression
While BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was many things — including by not limited to: Genius, groundbreaking and an emotional roller-coaster — funny it was not. Seriously, outside of the show’s uncharacteristically upbeat swan song, BSG — with its penchant for killing innocents at the press of a button, or the trigger of a finger — was perhaps the bleakest series in the history of television. Which is one trait Moore promises didn’t carry over to VIRTUALITY. “Let’s put it this way,” explains Moore when asked it their might be a little more opportunity for humor in VIRTUALITY, in comparison to the show that eviscerated
millions billions. “There’s definitely more humor. There’s more humor probably in the first ten minutes of VIRTUALITY than there was in the run of BATTLESTAR.”
3. It’s getting rave reviews
Ten out of ten critics agree, VIRTUALITY “boasts an interesting cast,” is “fascinating,” “impressively credentialed and stylish,” “a measured mix of sci-fi, soap and satire that offers new twists on old tropes,” “an observant commentary on our technology-obsessed culture and as a mystery-thriller,” “smartly filmed,” “thoughtful,” “has plenty going for it” and, as USA Today so correctly observed, “better than most of the networks’ summer offerings.”
4. It will leave you wanting more
Particularly since the series was originally conceived as a two-hour pilot, we can pretty much guarantee that fans will be asking, “What happens next?” With Moore being quick to point out on a recent conference call that, “It certainly does not resolve itself in two hours. I mean it sets up for a show, so it’s got some pretty heavy things that go down in it and kind of leaves you going, ‘Whoa! Where is that going?’ by the end of it.”
5. It’s already been cancelled
Okay, so this last point may not be the greatest of advertisements for the show. But in truth, we’re just going to go ahead and say that there is something oddly liberating about knowing full-well ahead of time that there is virtually no chance of FOX breaking our hearts yet again by banishing the series to Friday night, only to swiftly cancel it after thirteen low-rated episodes! That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention there is always that sliver of hope, or as Ron Moore put it, “I think you never say never. They [FOX] haven’t picked it up to date. Their attitude, I think, is kind of wait and see. I think they want to see what the reaction is going to be. What are the critics going to say? Is it going to get word of mouth? Are fans going to gravitate to it or is the science fiction community really going to turn up for it? Is there going to be a certain buzz and excitement? I think right now it doesn’t look like it’s going to series, but I think if enough people watched and enough people got excited about it anything is possible.”