Showtime has released the first look at Star Trek’s Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet’s take on the iconic Walter Tevis novel is here, giving us a glimpse at Chiwetel Ejiofor’s arrival on Earth—and his alien struggle to find a way to fit into a changing human society.
The new series, first pitched for Hulu, and then CBS All Access (now Paramount+), and now instead landing on Showtime, follows Ejiofor not as the novel’s—nor David Bowie’s character in the 1976 film, directed by Nicolas Roeg—extra-terrestrial protagonist, Thomas Jerome Newton, but a being known as Faraday, who is from the same species but crucially not the first member of said species to arrive on Earth. Or fall, perhaps.
The teaser has a few hints of the show’s approach to trippy, celestially-tinged views in flashes and ominous weather events, but largely focuses on Faraday’s first encounters with Harris’ character, an as-yet-unnamed human society, as the two grapple with the prospect of making first contact with an alien species. Although we still don’t know much about what plans Kurtzman and Lumet—who are currently both working together on the Star Trek: Discovery spinoff series Strange New Worlds, focusing on pre-Kirk Enterprise captain Chris Pike—have for the show, and following particularly in the footsteps of Roeg’s adaptation, the duo recently told Entertainment Weekly that the new series will trend less to the melancholic tone of the book and the film.
“[The book and film are] about this extraordinary loneliness, and how human loneliness can ultimately destroy you. I loved that feeling in the work that had been made, [but] it was not the story that I wanted to tell, and it was not the story that Jenny wanted to tell,” Kurtzman said to EW. “We were interested in integrating that loneliness, but I think we wanted to tell a story that’s ultimately much more uplifting.”
I believe in human beings, and I wanted to write about human beings pulling it out, stepping up, and making it through. Because we’re pretty cool species,” Lumet added. “And I believe that if a spaceman came to Earth, he would see all our shenanigans and he would say, ‘Wait a minute, you guys are capable of some really beautiful stuff.’”
The Man Who Fell to Earth is expected to hit Showtime in Spring.
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