A new science-fiction program is coming to Fox:
Fox has given the green light to “Virtuality,” a two-hour back-door pilot from “Battlestar Galactica” mastermind Ronald D. Moore.
The sci-fi project, from Universal Media Studios and producers Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, 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.
Jonah Goldberg worries that this show sounds like the dreadful holodeck epsiodes from Star Trek. Perhaps, but I’ll withhold judgement. Moore did a good job on Galactica. He also worries that Fox cannot be trusted to shepherd a good science-fiction program, recalling Firefly. He has a point there.
It occurs to me that if you want to strand people in virtual reality (I’m speculating here), a better concept might be an all-virtual ship like the Field Circus from Charles Stross’s Accelerando. The Field Circus was a coke-can-sized starship carrying the uploaded minds of its crew in a virtual environment.