Sci-fi is now back in vogue — what with Star Trek: Discovery, The Orville, and more pulling in big numbers, it was only a matter of time before more services were going to get a series of their own. YouTube Red is joining the bandwagon with their purchase of a new sci-fi thriller, Origin.
Origin comes from Left Bank Pictures, the same minds behind the Netflix historical drama hit, The Crown. However, don’t expect polite, passive-aggressive British royalty on this show. The series follows a group of strangers are stranded on a spacecraft that’s going to a distant planet, though how exactly they get stuck remains a mystery. One of these passengers, of course, is hiding something, and might even be involved with whatever is happening to everyone. Mika Watkins will serve as the series creator, writer and executive director, but there is no cast currently signed up to the series.
“We are excited to be in business with the legendary producers at Left Bank Pictures and Midnight Radio, and talented new writer, Mika Watkins,” says Susanne Daniels, YouTube Global Head of Original Content, in a statement. “Sci-fi and action adventure are huge on YouTube, and our audience will be intrigued by the unexpected plot twists and turns in this bold, studio-quality thriller.”
You’ll forgive my skepticism about the show. The premise reminds me of the recently cancelled sci-fi show Dark Matter, which is particularly upsetting given the good will that show built up. Watkins doesn’t have the most internationally successful track record, with shows like Lee’s Lucky Man, Troy: Fall of a City, and Dixi. As a platform, YouTube Red is mostly known for forgettable shows from platform heavyweights, and has been struggling to grab a solid foothold in the streaming service market. Is integrating more professionally-made, less self-referential content the key to making YouTube Red competitive? Well, we’ll just have to see once the show gets off the road.
Origin currently has no set airdate.