New JPL-based TV show?

Robby Stephenson at Periapsis notes a new TV show that’s shooting right now: Beyond. A pathogen-infected meteor heads for planet earth, and scientists at Jet Propulsion Laboratory fight it off. He follows scuttlebutt in Variety, Futon Critic and My Entertainment World (March 8 Audition/Casting notes: JPL-based roles include Telemetry, Software, Communication, Navigation, Astrophysicist. Of the JPL-based technical roles, they’re only looking to cast one female. Hmmf.)

(About earth-bound meteors. At last year’s Planetary Society CometSmash party, there was a presentation about an asteroid that might come within close range to our planet in 2029. Maybe the show is based –in part–on this?)

Stephenson works on the lab; here are some of his comments:

Let’s hope that they actually do some on-location shooting at JPL. That’d be cool. Some coworkers and I have been trying to come up with some engaging dialog. First, it’s a trifle worrisome that all these descriptions mention scientists and not engineers. Does Fox realize the difference? It’s critical! Second, we’re hoping that Beyond will introduce Cog E into the national lexicon. Personally, I’m just waiting to hear what kind of technical jokes get stuck in the script.

Yeah, well, after all the space science that’s being gutted in the federal budget, I think that a solid ensemble show about matters in the unmanned space program might—might—help with funding.

UPDATE: Spoke to Doc M about this. “A show? About JPL? How will they make that interesting?” Obviously he’s overlooking those cool NASA-TV live high-five events, such as Mars Rover landings, Titan Mission probes, CometSmashes and Orbit Insertions. But then again, Doc M is there day to day. To help explain Robby’s funny, above: Cog-E is Cognizant Engineer, the person in charge of the team developing an instrument or subsystem. Re: JPL-speak becoming part of the national consciousness, Doc M says, “I would not want English to go there.” (too many TLAs FLAs and FLAs.)

6 responses to “New JPL-based TV show?”

  1. Jon

    they’re filming at cal poly pomona at the sci-fi looking pointy building that was in gattaca. I saw the crews and fake nasa/jpl sign today.

  2. Susan A. Kitchens

    cool. Thanks for the new news. (never saw gattaca). But google’s got lots for cal+poly+pomona+pointy

  3. DARKEN

    was onsite during filming at Cal Poly, everything seems pretty good and is comming together nicely. should be a great pilot and i look forward to the end result.

  4. Susan A. Kitchens

    Cool! Do you have any pictures? Know anyone else who was there who took pics? That’d be great for flickr.

  5. Luke

    I could take some photos of the set if anyone’s interested. They’ve been shooting every weekend.

  6. Susan A. Kitchens

    You take ’em and link ’em, I’ll call attention to ’em! Plus it’s good to know that they’re shooting still, and *when* they’re shooting.