Pilot Watch May 26 2010

There are a number of interesting and active Science Fiction Pilots to keep tabs on even though the major networks made their announcement for fall 2010. Some might be for mid-season. Observe that this is a list based on my preferences, look elsewhere for a complete list.

Unless otherwise stated the shows have been ordered to pilot. Latest update of the show is stated if it’s different from this post’s.

SF or Genre related Pilots

  • Alphas (Syfy) – Superhero drama. Updated July 30, 2010.
  • Changelings (CW) – also known as Betwixt. Supernatural drama. Updated July 2, 2010.
  • Department Zero (ABC) techno-thriller (zombie) pilot expected summer 2010.
  • Ghostworld (ABC) – Supernatural drama pilot expected summer 2010.
  • Three Inches (Syfy) – Superhero drama.

Non Genre Pilots

  • Charlie’s Angeles (ABC) drama pilot expected summer 2010.

Alphas (Syfy) superhero drama

Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Using physical feats and uniquely advanced mental abilities, this unlikely team takes the law into their own hands and uncovers what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.

David Strathairn lands the lead. He plays the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives.

Ryan Cartwright is set to co-star as a member of the team who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. His Alpha ability allows him to “read” wireless transmissions passing through the ether – e-mails, cell phone communications, television signals, etc.

Warren Christie (Happy Town) will play Christian Hicks, a new recruit on the team with a history of psychological problems, drug abuse and an anti-authoritarian streak whose Alpha skill is hyperkinesis – near-perfect dexterity and hand/eye coordination.

Malik Yoba (Defying Gravity, New York Undercover) will play Alphas team member Bill Harken, a former FBI agent from working class roots. Harken’s Alpha skill allows him to intentionally activate a “fight-or-flight mechanism” producing a power surge of adrenaline giving him increased strength, speed and immunity from pain.

Laura Mennell (Watchmen) lays the complicated Alpha team member Nina Theroux. Seductive, intelligent and confident, Nina’s Alpha ability allows her to influence people into doing whatever she wishes but her power can sometimes spin out of control. Her skill also comes with a personal drawback in that she can never be sure if anyone’s feelings for her are real. Nina was the first team member enlisted by Dr. Rosen to whom she remains extremely loyal.

Production is scheduled to begin in Toronto August 2010 and Syfy is reported to look at a 2011 release.

[go back to genre pilots]

Changelings (CW) supernatural drama

Drama about three teenagers who learn of their true, “changeling” nature and their uncertain, intertwined destinies after attending a secret summer rave in the woods. They have finished filming the Pilot. Changed name from Betwixt in May 2010. There are posts tagged Betwixt on this blog.

According to the Futon Critics First Look of the pilot doesn’t have much going for it. their bottom line: “If there’s a show in here, I can’t see it”.


  • Allison Miller as Celine Halstead
  • Austin Butler as Cameron Brower
  • Blair Redford as James “Moth” Motherwell
  • Brandon Jay MacLaren as Steiner
  • David Gallagher as Tim Bleeker
  • Jessy Schram as Morgan Brower
  • Josh Henderson as Nix Uyarak
  • Joshua Bowman as Luke McGill
  • Tessa Thompson as Jenny Morello
  • Chelah Horsdal as Vanessa, Celine’s mother
  • Tyler McClendon as Michael, Celine’s father

[go back to genre pilots]

Department Zero (ABC) techno thriller

It is based on the best-selling Joe Ledger novels by Jonathan Maberry (It should be said that those books are Zombie related – Ove’s comment). Described as is a high-octane techno-thriller, the project centers on the Department of Military Sciences – a special unit that fights enemies armed with cutting-edge technology. [go back to genre pilots]

Ghostworld (ABC) ghost thriller

Written by What About Brian creator Dana Stevens, is about a ghost on the other side who helps an ambitious young female homicide detective solve crimes in the hopes of uncovering clues to his own life and death and centers on the mysterious, intense and sometimes infuriating connection the two feel toward each other. [go back to genre pilots]

Three Inches (Syfy) Superheroes

Syfy has ordered the 90-minute pilot Three Inches from writer Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks) it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development for Syfy. The action-adventure/fantasy will be produced by Fox Television Studios and Executive Producer Bob Cooper, whose Landscape Entertainment is producing. J.J. Jamieson heads up television for Landscape Entertainment. Peyton also serves as executive producer. In Three Inches, professional daydreamer and underachiever, Walter, is struck by lightning, and develops a unique “super” power — the ability to move any object using just his mind… but only a distance of three inches. He’s soon recruited by a covert team of superheroes each gifted with their own extraordinarily ordinary abilities. Together, the unlikely band of heroes proves that “super” is simply a state of mind. [go back to genre pilots]

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