Fans of ‘Babylon 5‘ have long awaited for its creator, J. Straczynski (‘Thor‘), to become involved in a new science fiction show. Well it would appear that wait is finally over. With the blessing for a full season run from Netflix, it looks like Straczynski, in conjunction with the Wachowski siblings (‘The Matrix’, ‘Jupiter Ascending‘,‘Cloud Atlas’), are ready to tackle their newest creation, ‘Sense8’.
The title for the show ‘Sense8’ came as a play on the word “sensate” by Lana Wachowski. While “sensate” means being aware, Wachowski combined the word with the fact that there are 8 leading characters in the series. Witty. The show itself has been greenlit for a 10 episode first season.
‘Sense8’ will be following 8 individuals from around the whole who suddenly have developed the ability to telepathically speak with one another. With this new found ability how will they use it? How will humanity and the world’s governments react to them when their new abilities are revealed to the world?
While the concept is pretty simplistic, the idea it sprung from is a bit more profound. As Straczynski explains:
“We started out at one point talking about how evolution involves creating ever greater circles of empathy: You belong to your family, then you belong to your tribe, then two tribes link up and now you have empathy for your people on this side of the river, and you’re against the people on the other side of the river … on and on through villages, cities, states and nations. One day we’ll hit the planetary level but we’re not there yet. So what if a more literal form of empathy could be triggered in eight individuals around the planet, in India, the U.S., London, Mumbai, Nairobi and elsewhere, who suddenly became mentally aware of each other, able to communicate as directly as if they were in the same room. How would they react? What would they do? To what degree could they accept each other? What does it mean? And what would the world think about people with this ability? Would they embrace it, or hunt them down as threats to our own evolution? How would they survive? It would give us a perfect platform to do a show that was loaded with action, big ideas, some amazing stunts that no one’s done before, and play to a planetary audience.”
There’s a lot of potential for political drama, espionage, medical experimentation, and a slew of other science fiction sub-genres that can be thrown into the mix here.
When Straczynski and the Wachowskis sat down to plot out the first episode they were 3 episodes in with a story arc for a full season before they gave it a rest. Their excitement was contagious and nearly instant as well, which was clear from how quickly they had a buyer. Their initial sit down with Netflix started at 10am, broke for lunch, and upon returning to the office, Netflix skipped the next few days of being pitched at and made an offer on the spot. They must have had a really good presentation if 2 hours into the first studio meeting they reached out to had an offer on the table for a full season.
The film itself is going to be shot like a 10-hour film, running straight through. They plan on beginning early in 2014 and having the full first season prepared for a Fall release. Ambitious? Possibly. However, the creative talent attached to this so far lends weight to their plans.
Personally I am dying to find out more about the project as details come out. The collaboration has been ten years in the making when the Wachowskis met Straczynski at the cast and crew screening of ‘The Matrix Revolutions’.
Are you looking forward to this team up of science fiction masters? Want to know more about the show as details emerge? Share your thoughts!