Syfy has been pushing into some ambitious content lately, from series like the exceptionally creepy Channel Zero to the kickass fem heroine Wynnona Earp to the dark, noir world of The Expanse. Now, it will play host to an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein‘s 1961 classic science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land, which will be co-produced by Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions. In a way, it seems odd that it’s taken this long for Syfy to delve into the story as a series, since Syfy might not even exist without the popularity of Heinlein’s work.
Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of a human — Valentine Michael Smith — who was born and raised on Mars but returns to Earth in his early adulthood. Smith explores the world and ends up transforming it, using a lot of touchstones of the era in which Heinlein created the story (that being ideas of hippie communes and free love and more). It’s all about love and peace, man.
Paramount TV President Amy Powell said of the series,
“Paramount TV is excited to have the opportunity to adapt Robert Heinlein’s seminal work of science fiction. This novel has resonated with me since college and there’s a reason it has continued to find new fans for over forty years. Syfy’s understanding of imaginative and futuristic programming is unmatched, making them an ideal partner for this series.”
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chair Bonnie Hammer added in a statement,
“From my point of view, ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ isn’t just a science fiction masterpiece…it also happens to be one of my favorite books ever! The story is timeless and resonates more than ever in today’s world. As a fan, I can’t wait to see it come to life as a world-class television event.”
So Heinlein fans, have our say — are you excited for this, or wary? Perhaps cautious optimism is warranted? I grok. But it could be great! And now … start your fan casting.