Melrose Space. Grey’s Astronomy. Lost … In Space. For a TV show that has yet to air, Defying Gravity has a lot of nicknames. So what’s it really about?
“It plays like a soap opera at times and like an action film at times and then its sci-fi,” explains Defying Gravity star Ron Livingston (Sex In The City, Office Space). “It wasn’t all kissing and it wasn’t all spaceships. There’s kissing and spaceships.”
More simply put, Defying Gravity was created by James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy) and concerns the future adventures of eight astronauts on a six-year mission to explore the nearest planets.
The show will follow them on the mission, while flashing back — a la Lost — to their training.
There’s also a little alien mystery thrown in, plus frequent side trips into the inter-relationships between the crew members.
Livingston likens it to Battlestar Galactica, which eventually became known as much for being a good drama, as a good sci-fi yarn.
“They (the producers) wanted to do a show that could embrace the grand scale — the epic proportions that space gives you,” says Livingston. “But also be about the little mundane things — like how to fix your hair in zero gravity.”
Actress Laura Harris (24, Dead Like Me), who plays the dedicated, flighty scientist Barnes, says she was immediately sold on doing the show.
“It was totally unique and very exciting. The possibilities for plots were infinite.”
Shot in Vancouver, Defying Gravity is a cross-border co-production between ABC and CTV. For The Surrey-raised Harris, it’s a bit of a homecoming, albeit not the first.
Harris, who has been acting since she was five, cut her creative teeth on a bevy of sci-fi vehicles shot in Canada over the years, including The X-Files, Stargate, and The Dead Zone.
“I’m a big lover of the whole sci-fi geek thing, she confesses. “It’s a great genre with no dramatic boundaries. And it’s hard not to love fans who are so passionate about such dynamic storytelling.”
But will Defying Gravity’s mix of soapy drama and sci-fi resonate with the geek elite or just drive them away?
Livingston isn’t worried.
“I don’t think you can pigeonhole people. Sci-fi fans don’t look like the sci-fi fan we imagined 20 years ago. Sci-fi fans now can be a pretty 17-year-old girl.”