Will 13 be the lucky number for The CW and DC Comics? No, that’s not the number of DC shows the network will wind up broadcasting (although with four presently and a fifth on the way, they’re almost halfway there). But the network is developing a series called ‘Project 13’ based on the DC characters Traci 13 and her father Terrance, known as Doctor Thirteen/Dr. 13 the Ghost Breaker. Actor/director Elizabeth Banks is on board as executive producer.
“The one-hour drama would center on Traci, a twenty-something forensic scientist and believer in the paranormal who discovers her own hidden extra-sensory abilities when she joins her estranged, skeptic father to investigate mysterious cases of the paranormal and unexplained phenomena.”
Joining Banks as executive producer will be Daegan Fryklind, who will also serve as writer. Max Handelman will also produce through his Brownstones Productions company in association with Warner Bros. Television. This is a huge departure, as Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim and their partners have spearheaded the existing DC shows. That means that very likely this show will exist in its own bubble, unconnected to the Arrowverse.
Banks has some superhero experience under her belt after appearing as Rita Repulsa in ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’. In 2015, she jumped into the world of directing, taking the reigns of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’, after she’d acted in and produced the first. She has also been tapped to direct the big screen reboot of ‘Charlie’s Angels’. As a producer, she actually has several TV projects in the works.
In the comics, Terrance’s name is sometimes spelled Terrence and writers seemed to alternate between the spellings “Doctor Thirteen” and “Dr. 13.” He first appeared in 1951, as a paranormal investigator, debunking claims of magic and the supernatural. He was often accompanied on his adventures by his wife, sometimes named Maria, sometimes Marie.
His daughter sorceress Traci first appeared in 2003, going by the name Girl 13 as a supporting character in the ‘Superman’ books. Superboy developed a crush on her, but she eventually wound up dating Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle. After he joined the Teen Titans, she would also hang out with them and often use her magic to help them on missions. Perhaps in a nod to the fact that her parents names were constantly misspelled, in the maxiseries ’52’ she was referred to as Terri 13. Most recently, Traci has been revealed as a lesbian and in a relationship with Natasha Irons, the niece of Steel, who also sometimes dons armor and fights crime, herself.
Traci seems to be undergoing a surge in popularity. She was recently shown in a cameo in the animated movie ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract’ as the woman who runs a soup kitchen that Jaime volunteers at. She doesn’t display any magical powers, but her t-shirt bears a 13 logo. She will be included in next year’s ‘Young Justice’ Season 3, to be offered on the unnamed DC streaming service. On ‘YJ’, she will use the codename ‘Thirteen’ and will join alongside Arrowette and Spoiler, shown above.
The CW is also developing another supernaturally-themed comic book adaptation, ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ based on Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch. That show, like ‘Riverdale’ is a dark, modern spin on the classic character. It’s unclear how alike ‘Project 13’ and ‘Sabrina’ may turn out. If The CW picks up one, does it mean they’ll pass on the other?
Does this sound like an intriguing series? Are you interested in seeing another DC series on The CW?