Universal Media Studios is behind the sci-fi drama, which follows 12 astronauts who are sent on a 10-year journey to find a distant solar system. The explorers pass the time by hooking up to advanced virtual reality modules to explore self-created worlds. But they discover someone has downloaded a computer bug into the system -- and one of them may be the saboteur.NBC passed on the project. “Insiders said was too sci-fi for Peacock tastes,” according to Variety, even though NBC is the network behind “Heroes,” “Bionic Woman” and a new “Knight Rider” series due this autumn. Moore also wrote the SciFi Channel's "Galactica" prequel pilot movie "Caprica," which shoots this spring. If "Virtuality" goes to series, it could air on Fox early next year. Read all of Variety’s story on the matter here.
April 14, 2008, 12:29 a.m. CST
by otm shank
It might be pretty good then.
April 14, 2008, 12:35 a.m. CST
Wrote a whole post and when I clicked post talkback, it sent me to a login page. Anyway, what I originally wrote was that real VR has been a promised technology for years now, and much of the tech is in place. The attitude seems to be that it was something tried and failed 13 years ago. But then a few years ago we started hearing about things like Retinal display technology that now seems to be in permanent beta stage or something because I've heard nothing since. And I keep up with this stuff with google alerts and such. Will VR be like the flying car? Or 3d? Oh wait, 3d is back. Now if we could just get true 3d for games or virtual worlds like Second Life. How can there be so few pushing for this? Does it really feel like 90s history now? Was it too hyped? When the tech bubble burst, did it take VR research down with it? Any show that addresses this even peripherally will have my instant respect.
April 14, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST
Although Fox has it's own track record. Someone fix the Nielson system, fast.
April 14, 2008, 12:40 a.m. CST
This isn't the sequel to VR5? Remember that mid-90's show starring Lori Singer? Was on FOX? WASN'T CANCELLED after four episodes, like most FOX shows? Ringing a bell?<p> Lori Singer? Cute chick with no boobs from Footloose and The Man with One Red Shoe?<p> Anyone? <p>
April 14, 2008, 12:42 a.m. CST
I'm also interested in VR like gotilk. The other interesting aspect about this show is it has a "show within the show" component which will be broadcast online using same actors doing the VR show being sent back to earth to pay for the mission (see the fourth paragraph in the Variety article).
April 14, 2008, 12:43 a.m. CST
by Stereotypical Evil Archer
April 14, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST
Yes Bones I remember Lori Singer fondly and the show (sorta).
April 14, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST
April 14, 2008, 12:45 a.m. CST
Virtuosity? 1995 VR movie about the Russell Crowe AI that escapes and the cops send in one-armed psycho cop Denzel Washington?<p> Pseudo-older-brother to The Matrix? Directed by the Hack who did The Lawnmower Man, ALSO a stupid VR-based movie?<p> Anyone?<p> It's like it's 1996 all over again! Bring on the Flannel shirts and the horny girls with low self-esteem!
April 14, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST
April 14, 2008, 12:47 a.m. CST
The next Battlestar Galactica?
April 14, 2008, 12:48 a.m. CST
by otm shank
That's why NBC passed.
April 14, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST
I don't think anyone is pushing for VR, because most people would not be happy with anything that didn't look like reality...and the computing power it would take to make a reasonable facsimile of reality is too great. And that is just for one person.<p> You add in other users and there is no system in the world vast enough to support all the computations needed to recreate reality. Now if there was a way to hardwire your brain and use information already stored there, then you shut off your outside sensory input--then it could be feasible...<p> But that is decades away and could risk damage to the brain with direct input.<p> Besides, most people are not that savvy and can barely use their computers as it is--the folks that would explore this type of entertainment are limited. Just ask any Best Buy employee.
April 14, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST
Come on Tech has come a long way since the 90s and this is likely to take place some 5-10 years from now maybe even longer. So a virtual world doesnt seem that unlikely. I just hoped that it makes it to a show and not just a tv movie that leaves you hanging.
April 14, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST
Fox: Make us an epic Sci-Fi thing with lots of action! You know, lasers and shit! Ron Moore, et al: Be glad to! Got a few ideas up the ol' sleeve.... (One pilot later) Fox: What the hell is this?! Story arc?! Complex characters?! We said ASPLOSIONS!! And maybe some tits... yes! TITTIES FOR FOX, PLZ KTHXBAI!! Ron Moore, et al: Umm... you do know we did win a Peabody award.... Fox: BLAM! BLAM!! BOOBIES!!!
April 14, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST
But the engine wouldn't be something running on the server end. That processing is done on the client side of things. The only information being sent back and forth from a multiplayer server would be "load world section 1", "load characters a1267, b2343, c3295, a4344, scene=day" etc etc. Just commands sent to each computer running the simulation. Now, with computing moving from the individual machine to the server these days (google apps, etc) this would be something that would fly in the face of many's view of the future of computing. But that's happened how many times already this last decade? That along with the long-rumoured demise of Moore's Law (that never seems to happen) and other predictions.<br> <br> But yes, most people would be unhappy with VR that didn't look real. But take a look at something like the latest engine from Crysis. Pretty close, no cigar yet, but damned nice. The 3d information (interpolated or not) is already there. We're closer than many think, I think.<br> <br> But I think you're also right about the audience. Just for different reasons. Anyone who has tried to get a game working right on a windows system knows that it's not always easy. Most people would rather buy a console and just have it work. That said, I think that head tracking is small enough now, the head mounted displays are tiny as well. Of course, the kind of immersion you mean is WAY off. Brain implants are out there, but they are dangerous and so far away from any kind of commercial, let alone medical application, I predict we'll be waiting for 3 decades or more. But that doesn't stop us from taking a next step. I just hope that Cameron's project (and to a lesser extent, projects like this Fox one)will get the public interested in 3d in the home again. Immersion doesn't have to be perfect. Did you every try the head-tracking 3d "Virtuality" things? Or the Alladin VR at Disneyland? They were impressive for systems that by current standards are archaic. The virtuality system was really primitive graphics but really made you feel like you were in a place. I mean REALLY primitive. It made DOOM 2 look like Crysis. When it comes to immersion, the most important thing is fast head tracking (we're there), followed by good 3d (we are there when it comes to processing, bit there when it comes to display technology, whether it be head mounted, retinally projected or just LCD shutter glasses viewing a traditional display. The graphics are important only for selling the product and improving it once it's already on the market. Once you've actually experienced true immersion, with the ability to look around a place without drag or lag, believe me the graphics are the last thing your mind is thinking about. You're IN. And that's what the overwhelming reaction is. You're in a new place. Once the graphics are improved, great. I think the single biggest hurdle has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with the difficulty people encounter when they try to convey the *experience* of immersion without actually showing people what it feels like.<br> <br> If you have not seen it yet, check out a bit of what the Crysis engine looks like running on a PC at 80FPS.<br> <br> http://tinyurl.com/6le4ns
April 14, 2008, 1:40 a.m. CST
I'm trapped on a ST:TNG Holodeck episode!!!
April 14, 2008, 1:42 a.m. CST
I hope at least some of that made sense.
April 14, 2008, 1:46 a.m. CST
Gee, a crew on a starship has a virtual world recreational deck that malfunctions. Hmmm... heard this before. Fox sucks and so will this. The fact that the idea came from Lloyd Braun says it all. He and Gail Berman are awful and have already given us the piece of shit on ABC called DUEL. The only people watching are them.
April 14, 2008, 2:24 a.m. CST
"too sci fi" when said by NBC, means "too complex, too smart, me no understand, durrrrr." Still remember when I tried to give the borderline-illiterate Heroes a second tryout for Kristen Bell's first episode. A couple minutes into the episode she shoots lightening out of her fingertips and into the side of a shipping container she's walking by. Just for fun. In full view of Gods know how many dock workers and whatnot. Like, we wouldn't guess that a character on this show had powers unless they expositioned it, or if people didn't see anything blow up in the first five minutes they'd get bored and go find something less shitty to watch. Turned that retarded shit off right then and there. Didn't even make it through the cold open. "Not for people who finished high school" should be a disclaimer on that show.
April 14, 2008, 2:42 a.m. CST
by The Outlander
and this show becomes a huge success. Though it does make me think of Sunshine (the movie) and there little virtual reality room.
April 14, 2008, 2:43 a.m. CST
You know it.
April 14, 2008, 2:53 a.m. CST
They might as well ditch the Virtuality title and replace it with, Star Trek: when Holodecks go bad!
April 14, 2008, 3:16 a.m. CST
by the podosphere
You know it won't be that simple, and it will be dark. And you can expect the relationship between the virtual world and the real one to be muddy.
April 14, 2008, 3:16 a.m. CST
by the podosphere
Well, that's what they get for trusting Microsoft to write their software....
April 14, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST
You know they'll cancel your ass within 2 minutes of the show airing, find a better network.<br><br> It's sad that it's "too sci-fi" for some networks though, it seems despite Ron's pedigree no-one wants to do spaceship sci-fi any more. It all has to be set on present day Earth with demons or super powers. Not that I'm knocking the other shows that I enjoy, I just want a bit more spaceship in my sci-fi again, especially now that Star Trek is off the air.
April 14, 2008, 4:09 a.m. CST
they pass on a Ron Moore production but greenlight Knight Rider?<p> fuck NBC. fuck them in their stupid peacock ass.<p>
April 14, 2008, 5:56 a.m. CST
then be cancelled.
April 14, 2008, 5:59 a.m. CST
both fox and nbc are the worst place to start a series on. even worse a sci-fi series. premies sounds terrible.journeyman, shown on nbc produced by fox a double whammy by 2 networks that dont give a fuck. you reap what you sow. so, no, i wont even bother watching
April 14, 2008, 6:25 a.m. CST
April 14, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST
If Fringe takes off, (and given the general reaction of the upcomming X-Files movie it will) next year expect a lot more of this type of programming on all the other networks.
April 14, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST
Now theres a Babe Ruth type call if I ever saw one. I might watch the opener. Does not seem to be a big enough hook on this. This sounds only good enough for a tv movie on Sci-fi channel.
April 14, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST
so it will never be giving a chance to find an audience or to succeed. <p> soon to be replaced by some failed reality show watched by kids and the elderly.
April 14, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
Those Holodeck episodes on ST:TNG always sucked the most; it was effectively and parodically demolished by about 3 minutes of Futurama ("Right-oh, gents, it's another simulation gone mad, so murder and mayhem, standard procedure!")
April 14, 2008, 7:53 a.m. CST
"Lt. Hobbes volunteers to test the army's newest tool, a virtual reality training machine code named "Harsh Realm." Once attached to the machine, Hobbes discovers that the VR world is controlled by the renegade soldier Omar Santiago. While Hobbes body remains in a coma, his mind lives on in the VR world, where he must join forces with an underground force in their attempt to overthrow Santiago." <p>"Sydney Bloom is a beautiful lines-woman working for a local telephone company. Despite this, Sydney lives an almost solitary lives with no one around her but her childhood best friend, Duncan, and a few of her personal computers that she occasionally use to access virtual reality worlds. After accidentally placing her telephone on top of her modem, Sydney finds out that she is capable of accessing VR.5: Virtual Sensory Reality, a virtual reality stage where her subconscious can communicate with other people's subconscious. She then realises that she can change the behaviour of the other person on the other line. Seeking explanations and guidances to her newfound capability, Sydney befriends Dr. Frank Morgan, a professor in Virtual Reality. After failing to convince her of the danger of VR, Dr. Frank Morgan introduced her to a mysterious organisation called the Committee who gives her an offer of employment she can't refuse. It's not too long before both Sydney and Morgan start to realise that they have landed themselves in very hot water by joining this mysterious organisation" <p> To a limited extent VR is already here. People lead entire separate lives in online games. Those same games have goods, services and their own currency. <p> Implanted chip technology is further along than most people think. At least five years ago paralyzed people were manipulating cursors via implanted chip. <p> Now there is a gaming helmet type thing that allows you to control screen actions via "thought". It will be hitting the market in the next few months and runs around $295. <p> Scientists have developed a forced feedback kind of joypad that simulates real contact better than any before. <p> Plus the new "web" internet 2.0 platform is already running between various scientific and educational institutions. A recent article claimed it was fast enough for true vr communication. <p> Some of you seriously underestimate todays technology and where it will be in the next decade. <p> Anyway this show will suck ass. Mainly because the promise of advanced technology used to live out lives during the depression is just plain stupid. Or revist the Nazis. <p> Give us some Lexx strangeness. Give me real science taken to the edge, not rehashed tired old story lines just to fill space and not make the show "too science fiction".
April 14, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST
then you could argue that the awesome Battlestar Galactica is just the changelings from the Dominion in Deep Space Nine Part 2. They look like us!
April 14, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST
google "red dwarf Back to Reality"
April 14, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST
That way I don't have to get invested in 2-3 episodes before they cancel it.
April 14, 2008, 8:59 a.m. CST
International crew of 15-20 sent to Alpha Centauri in a modified asteroid using mass driven acceleration. The trip takes years and they're on their own. One or more persons is a saboteur; one or more countries involved secretly wants the mission to fail. Half of the show is on the ship, half is among the mission team on Earth. Show bible requires consistent and valid [as far as our knowledge allows] physics and engineering ship-side. Voila - show. The holodecks would just lead to gay Robin Hood and Old West episodes.
April 14, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST
by Kentucky Colonel
Now that's what I'm talking about! <p> I was at the mal yesterday with the wife & son (now aged 3 month, 10 days and breastfeeding). We went into Victoria's Secret to get my wife a new bra for her new boobies (from a healthy A cup all the way to a C cup....schwing!). My little guy went nuts for all the boobies he saw in the store. Boobies Boobies Boobies....the kid knows his stuff. I'm all for having more boobies on TV. What could be more lovely or more natural? <p> And to the folks who would find that "offensive"...well...YOU HOMO! <p> Five words: <p> Erin Gray on "Buck Rogers".
April 14, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST
by Judge Briggs
Sunshine wasn't though. Thanks for canceling BSG!!!
April 14, 2008, 10 a.m. CST
That lots of fans are dying to see, and already has a fan base..... :)
April 14, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST
Can't let too much "sci-fi" stuff intrude. <p> Every ep will have a short scene advancing the saboteur "arc" ad nauseum. <p> Maybe Katie Suckoff can be cast as one of the crew who enjoys vituality of being a fighter pilot.
April 14, 2008, 11 a.m. CST
Being on Fox doesn't sound too promising, though. At least they aired all the TERMINATOR episodes, so maybe they're getting better.
April 14, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST
Coaxial isn't doing their fucking jobs.
April 14, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST
I would prefer 2010 meets Patriot Games, but that's just me.
April 14, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST
Fox cancels 'em as fast as they develop 'em.<p>NBC can't seem to hold on to good ones, kills great concepts with lousy writing.<p>SciFi thinks Wrestling is sf. <p>How about, in this age of several hundred channels, some multibillionaire hires a cabal of proven quality sf novelists, sf short story writers, and sf screenwriters, directors.... They produce their own programming, and evaluate other proposals in a Juried process: no CRAP hits the screen. Bill Gates could fund this outta his spare change...
April 14, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST
Voyage to and fro
April 14, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST
Judging from the description, I'm surprised RM is associating himself with this at all. There must be more too it than we've heard so far. FOX will probably cancel it anyway, and NBC will never be forgiven by me for canceling Journeyman, stupid basturds!!
April 14, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST
i had hopes for spike tv doing a series or two. but they seem to like realty tv. which leaves me wondering what the "mens channel" is actually aiming for as a target audience. <p> theres not really a scifi channel in the usa, unless you count BBCAmerica
April 14, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST
In 2005 Joe Haldeman (great science fiction writer - his Forever War would be interesting to see on the big screen) wrote a book titled Old Twentieth that had the same concept. Even closer than The Matrix or 2001 in basic storyline.
April 14, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST
Fox will put it on Sundays at 7 after football. Then when its preempted week after week, they will say no one watched it. Just like the did SAAB and Futurama.
April 14, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST
...Ron Moore doing an entire series based essentially on holodeck misadventures? Come on!
April 14, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST
The Fox network is doing something right by giving us somethings we can really get excited about. Now just don't cancel them! NBC will greenlight trash like Bionic Women and Knight Rider but will pass on this?? Now THAT makes no sense.
April 14, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST
They wake up. <p> It has all been a "virtuality" dream of an autistic child of an astronaut-in-training (who will be a single mother played by Katherine Heigl). <p> I hope this spoils it for everyone. <p> Insert mad laughter. <p> Fade out. <p> <p> <p>
April 14, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST
Die, Cyberjobe, Die!
April 14, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST
A SciFi Original Series, Coming Fall 2008<br><br>It would not surprise me at this point.
April 14, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST
And anything with Moore's name attached has my interest. Could FOX be GASP turning into the creators network? Whedon's Dollhouse and now Moore's Virtuality. I must say, however, that title is pretty lame.
April 14, 2008, 6:40 p.m. CST
Sharks on the horizon me boys!
April 14, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST
FOX has lost much since the days of Space: Above and Beyond, one of the best sc-fi series ever.
April 14, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST
I like FluffyUnbound's idea...A realistic movie about the perils of the first interstellar voyage. No need for the beyond tired conventions of virtual reality gone bad or ye olde space psychos. Seriously, if someone wanted to sabotage a space mission, downloading a virus into the holodeck would have to be the lamest and most pointless way to do it. And, yes, this premise does sound to everyone and their mother exactly like every other episode of Star Trek TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Or was this ripped from one of the dozen of short stories from 80's-era Omni Magazine that dealt with VR in space.
April 14, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST
I'm head over heels for 'Dollhouse,' but as much as I love Battlestar, Moore's name just doesn't mean that much to me yet.<p> I think we can all agree that Generations sucked, and First Contact was okay, and Moore can complain all he wants about studio interference, he's going to get the same making a show for Fox.<p> Once he's got two good shows under his belt (I'll be watching you, Caprica), then I'll start believing the hype.
April 14, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST
...for the cancellation of Firefly. I'm afraid that if I give this a chance and love it as much as the above-mentioned series, Fox will just cancel it and a little part of me will die again.
April 14, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST
2 hr movie.
April 14, 2008, 9:14 p.m. CST
FOX has already canceled this series and pushed ron moore down a flight of stairs. even if this becomes the greatest show ever, fox will still slot it on friday night and have it all but canned by the 2nd commercial break.
April 14, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST
What can you expect from the network that canceled Star Trek?
April 14, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST
yeah, think I'll pass on this one.
April 14, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST
The concept of the virtual reality worlds and the saboteur are a virtual CARBON COPY RIPOFF of the book IDLEWILD By Nick Sagan, the son of scientist Carl Sagan.
April 14, 2008, 10:12 p.m. CST
Except we don't get to wake up in a new solar system, we just wake up at home.
April 14, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST
I'll check out anything from Ron Moore. He knows his dramatic, thought-provoking sci-fi.
April 15, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST
Jesus, Queefer. Get over yourself. You sound like a self-indulgent ass when you use all capitals and say nothing of substance.<p> Stupid and derivative, huh? You mean like science fiction with computers? Fantasy with swords? Horror with ghosts? Chick flicks with sappy endings? Is that what you mean by "derivative"?<p> Good to see you're using those three brain cells left in your head. Keep it up.
April 15, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST
The plot is just a variation of BSG. On a long voyage? Someone is a traitor? Not very original methinks.
April 15, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST
Except, Rotten666, you'd agree BSG doesn't integrate specific virtuals to habitate its sleepers, right? Plus the astronauts aboard the Phaeton (I read an interview) are from Earth, not a distant Earthlike culture, right? Plus these astronauts haven't just faced their species holocaust, right? Plus there's only twelve astronauts, not 40-something thousand, right? Plus they're not aboard a giant battleship leading a rag-tag fleet of civilian vessels, right? Plus there isn't a robotic enemy trying to destroy (or something) the astronauts, right?<p> Thus, taking these salient points into consideration, it's not really a variation of BSG at all, is it?
April 15, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST
It's sad that shows like that and the Bionic Woman are what is considered "sci fi" these days. These shows, and even Heroes, I would call "escapist fantasy" at best..... no science there....
April 16, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST
They'll all be there.
April 17, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST
pretty cool, although, it all depends on how it is handled. Althought, it certainly does sound like a show that is going to be canceled very early in its life, the concept, as the NBC douches felt, is just too sci fi for the masses. Althought, if it is handled correctly maybe the masses will accept.
April 17, 2008, 9:55 p.m. CST
"A Maze of Death", "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", "Lies Inc" and I'm sure there's more that had this idea as at least an element of the overall story.