Fans of George R.R. Martin are, if not comfortable with, at least fully aware of the author’s slow progress in getting projects brought to completion, such as the latest Song of Ice and Fire novel The Winds of Winter. Thus, few things should strike fear in his fans’ hearts more than news that he’s now developing a brand new TV show. On the plus side, it’s for HBO and he won’t be too heavily involved.
Martin’s new project is a sci-fi drama called Captain Cosmos, and it will take place in 1949, as TV is just starting to become a more popular form of entertainment. The story will center on a science fiction writer who spends his days writing stories for a series that no other authors would dream of writing. Unfortunately, that’s the only description revealed by EW, so we’re not quite sure what the tone will be, or how much the episodes will feature the stories the guy is writing. Still, it’s an interesting bare-bones premise.
Martin, who has an overall deal with HBO, will presumably be executive producing Captain Cosmos, and the pilot is being written by Michael Cassutt, a longtime veteran of sci-fi television. Currently a co-executive producer and writer on Syfy’s Z Nation, Cassutt had an early career that saw him writing episodes of Misfits of Science, The Twilight Zone and Max Headroom. He later got into the writer/producer game with Eerie, Indiana and The Outer Limits, and he also penned episodes of Farscape, Andromeda and Stargate SG-1, among others. (Also, Beverly Hills, 90210, but that’s not the most relevant example here.)
Though it’s still in the development stages and its future as a series is uncertain, Captain Cosmos still marks another example of HBO’s recent shift towards genre programming. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Westworld is one of our most anticipated series of the year, and we’re nearly as amped up about David Fincher’s ported version of the oddball U.K. mystery Utopia, as well as Nolan’s proposed adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s beloved Foundation series. There are indeed good days ahead for HBO viewers who want something outside the normal comedy/drama output.
Martin is currently in no-bullshit mode in getting Winds of Winter finished, claiming in the EW article that he plans on getting wrapping it up in 2016, before Season 6 gets underway. He recently stated he won’t be writing any Season 6 episodes, due to plowing ahead on the novel. Fans will be excited to know he also came up with a huge twist for a character that he hadn’t considered before, so start theorizing.
As a final sidenote, Captain Cosmos is a fictional character in Fallout 3 and its sequel. I’m already anticipating the potential mash-up videos.