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One of the more intriguing sounding pilots in development, to those of us who love anything to do with self-aware humanoid robots (see Battlestar Galactica), is Michael McDonald’s Beautiful People for NBC. In truth, aside from the vague Cylon-esque parallel when factoring in the civil rights scenario, Beautiful People sounds more like a drama than it does a science fiction series. All the same, there’s so much potential for a story like this.
From what we know of the project, Beautiful People is set in the near future, in a world where human-like robots exist. These “Mechanicals,” as they’re called, are treated like second-class citizens, but that may be about to change. No, they don’t “have a plan,” (or if they do, we haven’t heard about it yet), but this bit of casting news does suggest that some people might be of the mindset that Mechanicals deserve the same rights as humans.
According to Deadline, British actor James Murray (Chaos) has been cast in the show, along with Patrick Heusinger (Royal Pains). Murray plays the son of a wealthy woman named Lydia, whose late husband founded the firm that makes Mechanicals. By Deadline’s wording, it’s unclear if the deceased is actually Murray’s character’s biological father. Regardless, he’s grown up with a privileged life but, having gone on to become a successful attorney, he publicly suggests the idea of Mechanicals having civil rights. Is a revolution in the works?
Meanwhile, Heusinger plays a Mechanical who is deemed “defective” over his grief at the loss of one of his daughters, who died in a car accident. Emotions are apparently forbidden for Mechanicals. I suppose that means they can reproduce? Interesting...
The whole thing sounds interesting, but being a BSG-geek and a drama addict, this one sounds like it could be a winner, assuming NBC picks it up and knows how to handle it.