12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Syfy Prepping Alien Drama 'Gateway' From 'Battlestar Galactica' Alum
Syfy is continuing to bring some of the most beloved science fiction properties to television.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour that it is developing Frederik Pohl's award-winning best-seller Gateway as a series.
Josh Pate (ABC's Blood and Oil, USA's Good vs. Evil) and Battlestar Galactica alum David Eick will adapt the source material. Eick will revise Pate's pilot script and serve as showrunner, with both attached to exec produce the Universal Cable Productions entry alongside the De Laurentiis Co.'s Martha De Laurentiis, former Entertainment One Television executive Michael Rosenberg and Lorenzo De Maio. eOne senior vp U.S. scripted development Gerard Bocaccio will oversee the project for the company.
Gateway, which won the prized Hugo and Nebula awards, takes place in a world in which humanity has discovered an asteroid teeming with the long abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race — the Heechee — setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches — or certain death. Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury, but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.
The Syfy deal comes more than a year after eOne and the De Laurentiis Co. (Hannibal) teamed to develop the late Pohl's beloved book. The companies both acquired rights to the 1977 title following a bidding war. Gateway, also known as the Heechee saga, previously was in the works as a film. The book saga also included 1980's Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, Heechee Rendezvous (1984), The Annals of the Heechee (1987) and The Boy Who Would Live Forever: A Novel of Gateway (2004).
"We’re delighted to develop this fascinating First Contact story with long-time partners UCP and Entertainment One. Gateway is thought-provoking and unsettling, raising profound questions about mankind’s possible relationship with alien life,” said Syfy original content exec vp Bill McGoldrick.
Gateway reunites Eick with Syfy following his run on Battlestar Galactica and spinoff Caprica.
For Syfy, Gateway comes as the cabler has put a renewed focus on science fiction fare with series including Childhood's End and The Expanse, both of which bow Dec. 14, as well as The Magicians, Hunters, 12 Monkeys and more. The cabler is also adapting classic novels Brave New World, Hyperion, 3001 and more.
Eick and Pate are repped by WME.