Battlestar Galactica producer Ron Moore is going back to his Star Trek roots for his next project, a "backdoor pilot" for Fox called Virtuality. Moore got his start writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation, which became notorious for its frequent episodes featuring the crew trapped inside a holographic simulation that got out of control. It was a cheap way to do a cowboy episode or a 1920s gangster episode. And now Moore's new show will revolve entirely around the crazed-holodeck storylines.
Says Hollywood Reporter:
[Virtuality] is set aboard the Phaeton, Earth's first starship. It revolves around its crew of 12 astronauts on a 10-year journey to explore a distant solar system. To help them endure the long trip and keep their minds occupied, NASA has equipped the ship with advanced virtual-reality modules, allowing the crew members to assume adventurous identities and go to any place they want. The plan works flawlessly until a mysterious "bug" is found in the system.
"It's very much about what's fantasy and what's reality; what we do to escape our lives and what actually institutes our lives; are these things very different," [Universal] president Katherine Pope said.
Moore didn't actually come up with the idea for the show. It was the brainchild of producer Lloyd Braun, who approached several writers and clicked with Moore's spin on the premise. I'm assuming that it if gets to series, there'll eventually be some added wrinkle in the "virtual reality with a bug" premise — like the VR characters become sentient, or there are aliens in the system — but you never know. Either way, it sounds a bit too "Bride of Chaotica" to me. [Hollywood Reporter, via TV Junior]