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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TV Watch: Virtuality

Virtuality began life as a TV pilot from some of the same crew as Battlestar but ended up as merely a movie, a show that wasn't picked up and something of a tease.

The show follows the crew of the Phaeton, mankind's first interstellar ship, on a mission to find intelligent life around Epsilon Eridani. The show's title refers to the dual nature of the crew also taking part in a reality TV show as well as having access to "virt mods" for virtual reality. Without moving into the realm of spoilers, nothing is quite right on either side of that fence.

There's a lot going on, even for a television pilot gone movie. You have the backdrop of ecological disaster, making the 10 year voyage to the stars critical for the planet. There's a lot of infighting surround the reality show itself, the bizarre problems in virtual reality and the interactions between the twelve person crew.

With so much at work here, and so much of it working quite well - it baffles me how this show didn't at least get a shot. If you look back about a year, you see Fox sticking with the more generic shows (I reallly like both Fringe and Dollhouse, don't ge me wrong) - and ditching the more unique ones ... namely this show and Boldly Going Nowhere. From those I've talked to who have seen the Boldly pilot, it's completely hilarious. And nearly impossible to see.

If anything, Virtuality reminds me a lot of Odyssey Five, a character driven show with some unique sci fi twists and mysteries to it.

At least you can still watch Virtuality on Hulu, which I highly recommend. Still, I would imagine someone could possibly find a copy somehow...

Cancel that order. The video was pulled off Hulu. Now that is a tease.


sterno said...

If you've not seen it, I'd give Defying Gravity a shot. Premise is somewhat similar, and so far I'm liking it. It's up on Hulu.

Josh said...

Yeah - Jason had mentioned it. May have to forego my "won't watch Hulu if I can't do it from my TV" ban for it.