Last June it was reported that Noah Wyle (ER) had been cast in the lead role of a mysterious new alien invasion TV series co-conceived by Steven Spielberg for TNT. We knew at that time that the series would be scripted by Oscar-nominated Saving Private Ryan scribe, Robert Rodat (who also co-conceived the idea), and it would be set six months after an alien invasion on Earth. Wyle will play, "the leader of a ragtag group of survivors who must fight for their survival and maintain their humanity."
Fast forward six months and more in-depth details have emerged over at Sci Fi Wire about the still untitled Spielberg series. The first major thing is that Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) has joined the cast as a therapist who helps children cope with the trauma of the invasion. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of the series, with the pilot written by Rodat and directed by Carl Franklin (One False Move).
Here's the major information straight from the official press release:
The series opens shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival - all while struggling to maintain their humanity.
Wyle plays Tom Mason, a former college history professor who becomes the reluctant leader of one of the resistance groups. Also starring in the series are Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Anne Glass, a therapist who works with the surviving children to help them cope with the traumatic situation; Drew Roy (Lincoln Heights) as Hal and Maxim Knight (Brothers & Sisters) as Matt, Tom's two sons; Jessy Schram (Crash) as Karen, who is one of the survivors' motorcycle scouts; and Seychelle Gabriel (Weeds) as Lourdes, an orphaned teenager who helps run the group's commissary.
"This series has the potential to be one of the most exciting and provocative shows on television," Wright (TNT Head of Programming) said. "It grabs your heart and mind from the start and doesn't let go. It combines personal human drama with dynamic action to create the kind of series people will be talking about the morning after. We are especially thrilled to be working once again with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, as well as Noah Wyle and the extremely talented cast of veterans and newcomers around him."
With other similarly themed shows like ABC's V and NBC's Day One (amongst others), this Spielberg show is going to have to do a lot to stand out from the crowd. But Spielberg being one of the people behind the idea is certainly not a bad thing - after all, he was responsible for the classic alien movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T., and of course there's his remake of War of the Worlds which is also about an alien invasion.
I'm not all that familiar with Wyle's work, but I liked him as the science teacher in Donnie Darko and in the few episodes of ER I've watched/can remember. Bloodgood I'm not really sold on - she's great looking but she was fairly "blah" in Terminator Salvation.
We won't be seeing the series on the small screen until 2011 but that means we have a year to chew on all the news that comes out about it :) . What do you think about the project so far? Can it stand out from the crowd of invasion shows?