NEW YORK — YouTube is continuing its leave-no-screenplay-unmade strategy, and the website's latest Original offering is a sci-fi series called "Origin." Space.com got a look at the trailer and some previously unseen footage Oct. 4 at New York Comic Con.
The premise is very familiar: A diverse group of people sets off from Earth to start fresh on another planet, each of them leaving behind a dark past of some sort. When they're mysteriously awakened from stasis before the long journey is complete, they realize almost everyone is gone … and something is killing the few people left. [Biggest Space Movies to Watch in 2018]
Every writer is influenced by the work of others, but the influences here are obvious, and the plot shown in the trailer and the footage unveiled so far feel like a checklist of clichés:
Crew wakes up on giant ship, and everyone else has disappeared — CHECK (see "Dark Matter").
Crew was on said ship because they were part of huge expedition leaving Earth — CHECK (see "Lost in Space").
Creature that somehow got on board appears to have killed many of the other crewmembers — CHECK (see "Alien").
Logan (Tom Felton) is a petty criminal back on Earth who sees a chance at a new life by getting himself aboard the spaceship. Lana (Natalia Tena) is a U.S. Special Forces operative suffering from PTSD. Joining those two are Sen Mitsuji, who plays a member of the yakuza named Shun and Philipp Christopher, who plays Baum Arndt. During the panel, he said his character was "kind of the outcast antagonist of the bunch and not the nicest fella."
The teaser trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con International this summer, but the gathered crowd at New York Comic Con was treated to a panel with the cast, the brand-new trailer and about 15 minutes of new footage.
The series stars Felton and Tena (both "Harry Potter" alumni), with director Paul W.S. Anderson ("Event Horizon," "AVP: Alien vs. Predator") and writer Mika Watkins. YouTube evidently thinks this young, little-known British writer has something to offer.
The production team includes Jeff Pinkner ("Lost," "Alias") and Scott Rosenberg (writer of "Con Air" and the "Gone in Sixty Seconds" remake).
There's no denying that the film's quality looks great, and the production values are obviously high. It just remains to be seen if Watkins, Anderson and the rest of the team can bring something fresh to an already tried-and-tested genre.
All 10 episodes of "Origin" will be released on YouTube Premium on Nov. 14.