Robert Zemeckis Finds No Place

And SyFy heads to Ringworld

Back in the 1990s, Robert Zemeckis used to produce TV shows, including the Back To The Future 'toon spin-off, Tales From The Crypt and Perversions Of Science. He’s looking to the small screen once again, teaming with Terminator 3/Salvation writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris for No Place.

Adapted from a Top Cow comic book called The Test by Matt Hawkins and Joshua Hale, No Place will document what happens when a swanky, high tech gated community suddenly finds themselves cut off from the rest of reality via something called The Rift.

Only one man knows what has really happened and is in touch with those responsible, so he’ll have to lead his fellow residents beyond the void to learn the truth.

While it seems to be part of a trend at the moment – CBS is busy adapting Stephen King’s small-town-cut-off concept Under The Dome – this one sounds like it could be intriguing, and it’s good to know the US SyFy Channel can still produce high-concept sci-fi as opposed to mad monster movies and “reality” ghost hunting.

In another move toward brand-name sci-fi, the channel is also developing miniseries based on Larry Niven’s Ringworld and Arthur C Clark’s Childhood’s End. Both are classics of the sci-fi genre and should offer some challenging material for the channel to build its dramas around.

Michael Perry is at work on Niven’s tome, adapting the story into four one-hour episodes. The book follows a team of explorers who travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an alien artefact called Ringworld – an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths orbiting a distant star. As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth. It’s not the first time the channel has considered making a Ringworld series; it floated the idea nine years ago, but never went ahead.

As for Childhood’s End, that has Michael DeLuca attached to produce and will bring to the screen Clarke’s tale of a peaceful alien invasion that ends war on the planet - but which marks a key moment in human evolution. Hopefully all three series will make it over here…