Apparently back on the “classy” side of the ongoing cycle that sees it careening wildly between Arthur C. Clarke books and shows about ghosts and the doughy men that hunt them, Syfy is teaming up with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for an adaptation of one of the classic novels of syence fyction: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Currently planned as a miniseries, the adaptation is being written by Les Bohem and produced by Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, the team that won the network an Emmy back in 2003.
Huxley’s novel, published in 1932, takes readers on a tour through a stratified, eugenically modified society where individual expression has been sacrificed in the name of global happiness. That social order is marginally disturbed, however, when a “savage” from outside the controlling World State is brought into contact with its people by disaffected psychologist Bernard (famously played by Peter Gallagher and the twin caterpillars who live above his eyes in NBC’s 1998 adaptation of the novel). One of the landmark novels of dystopian fiction, Brave New World poses bold questions on the nature of human purpose, happiness, and order, as seen through the clarifying lens of speculative fiction. It also contains enough casual sex that people describing it need to use descriptors when they want to refer to a specific orgy, which should play pretty well to Syfy’s late-night crowd.
Bohem, Frank, and Falvey previously worked with Syfy, then known by the nonsense moniker “Sci-Fi Channel,” in 2002, when they created the critically lauded alien abduction drama Taken. Debuting at roughly the same time as the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, Amblin’s series was a considerable boon to the network’s critical reputation, winning both the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries as well as several fictitious awards for being the most plausible, least ridiculous show or movie to ever carry that title.
Besides Brave New World, Syfy is also continuing production on its adaptation of classic sci-fi novel Childhood’s End, and recently announced a series pick-up for Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Metaphorical meteorologists speculate that all these literary projects should give the network enough cover to weather roughly two to three more Sharknados of mockery and critical condescension, although readers are cautioned that snark prediction has never been much of an exact syence.