BBC America has always been a strong contender in the genre department and they’re about to up the ante. The network is already responsible for giving us stateside releases of popular British shows such as “Doctor Who” and “Being Human” along with re-airing popular entries such as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In a show of their continued support for genre programming, the network is teaming up with Clerkenwell Films, the producers of the highly popular UK series “Misfits,” to develop two new genre series, “Wired” and “The Dead Beat.”
“Wired” will take place in a parallel reality that seems just like ours except there will be “Syns” (Synthetic Organisms) walking around that are identical to actual human beings. While very little information has been released thus far, this premise sounds a lot like the movie “Surrogates” from 2009 which starred Bruce Willis. It will be interesting to see if “Wired” takes the concept further than Willis’ movie. Should it succeed in getting a series order there will be ample time to explore all the implications of such technology.
The second series, “The Dead Beat,” also bears some resemblance to a previous offering. The show is about a pair of cops, one alive and one dead, who use leads from the world of the deceased to help solve crimes. This premise sounds a bit like the past British series “Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)” which originally aired from 1969-1970 and was then remade (reanimated?) in 2000 with new actors in the title roles.
Even though both of these projects sound a little like remakes, the fact that they’re being spearheaded by BBC America gives me hope that they’ll find an originality in the concepts to make them successful. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re also being developed by the same people who make “Misfits” which has turned the superhero trope on its head and gone places no one expected.