Syfy turning Hugo-winning first contact novel Gateway into TV series

Contributed by
Aug 14, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT (Updated)

The network has been digging deep into the annals of science fiction literature in recent years, and now Syfy is bringing another classic to the small screen.

Syfy (Parent company of Blastr -Ed.) has announced plans to develop Frederik Pohl’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning novel Gateway into a new scripted series. The story will follow humanity’s first encounter with a mysterious, ancient alien civilization. David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) are set to produce, with Eick attached as showrunner.

Here’s the pitch: In Gateway, humanity discovers an asteroid teeming with the long-abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race -- the Heechee -- setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches -- or certain death.  Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.

The network’s VP of original content, Bill McGoldrick, described the series as “thought-provoking and unsettling,” noting that it will raise “profound questions about mankind’s possible relationship with alien life.” Dawn Olmstead, Universal Cable Productions’ VP of development, called Gateway a “science-fiction marvel weaving a great story of humanity and love.”

Pohl’s novel was originally published in 1977 and marks yet another space-set addition to the schedule for Syfy. The network is already airing Dark Matter and Killjoys (which is surprisingly great) and has ambitious original The Expanse currently in development.