Without A Trace Creator Is Putting Together A Very Weird New Show

For a good chunk of the last decade, TV audiences were glued to their sets watching Anthony LaPaglia and Poppy Montgomery (among others) tracking down missing people on the CBS drama Without a Trace. Creator Hank Steinberg followed that show’s cancellation by taking the high seas in the TNT drama The Last Ship. And now he’s putting together what is undoubtedly his weirdest concept yet for the drama Dawn, which Hulu has ordered to pilot.

See if you can wrap your head around this one. With a plan to be as epic as possible, Dawn will be set in prehistoric times and will center on a tribe of Neanderthals whose existence changes forever once they come across a family of Homo Sapiens. The tribe struggles with survival and carrying on their normal way of life, but that obviously won’t be the easiest thing to do. At this crossroads of progress and species liquidation, the show seeks to explore the answers behind the question of what being a human really means. I’m sensing a cross between Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and the opening sequences in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Dawn not only has Hank Steinberg as a creator, but also writer Ken Nolan, who penned the script for Black Hawk Down as well as the TNT miniseries The Company. (He’s also one of many writers on the next Transformers movie, if that impresses you.) Visual effects master and Maleficent helmer Robert Stromberg has been tapped to take the director’s chair for the pilot.


News of the pilot order also comes with a few early cast members that are already being signed up, and to be expected, the producers are shooting for an international cast to take on this ancient story. Fola Evans-Akingbola, the Death in Paradise actress who was seen on a recent Game of Thrones episode, will be playing someone called Pakalan. Temuera Morrison, best known for playing Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, is playing Wikkanak. Recurring Vikings actor Carl Shaaban will take the role of Buzur and newcomer Matthew Hopkinson will be called Kamak, according to Deadline. Everybody sounds like a weirdo summer camp.

A co-production from Hulu and MGM TV, Dawn is set to go into production on the pilot on May 9 in Ireland, apparently in the same place Vikings is shot. So if you like that action-packed show’s locations, this might be for you. Until we get more news about this project, you can check out our summer TV schedule, where you’ll find the premiere date for Season 3 of Hank Steinberg’s The Last Ship.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.