Verdict on Virtuality

July 7, 2009

Twenty-one 13th Colonists gathered over the weekend to finally screen “Virtuality,” the long-awaited, but ultimately failed, pilot from BSG’s executive producer Ron Moore.

The overall consensus from our group was that though there were more things we liked about the show than we didn’t like, it would never have succeeded as a TV series, and certainly not on the Fox network.

I can see how Virtuality would have created some real difficulties for any network to market properly.  It’s a high-concept sci-fi drama with a mystery element, partly told through a reality show format.  The title itself is rather bland and either says nothing about the show, or gives away the big mystery, depending on what was really going on.

VirtualityLongevity would have been an issue.  When you start out with such a high level of peril (rape and murder and/or suicide) in the first episode, how long can you maintain that peak?   As long as a miniseries perhaps, but not an entire series.  And once the nature or extent of the VR was revealed, what then?   Strangely, few of the characters were truly likeable, and the apparent protagonist disappears (or does he?) at the end of the first episode.

Still, the visuals were terrific, the acting was top-notch and the story was interesting.  It is worth watching if you can get your hands on a copy.

Even though Fox changed the airdate from the outright insulting July 4th slot to June 26th, the ratings for Virtuality were dismal.  There is no chance we will ever find out how far down the rabbit hole we would have been led.

One comment

  1. this might have made for a good miniseries. MIGHT. but it needed some serious work first.

    1. The name was “working title ” quality and that’s a no no esp. on FOX.

    2. as you say , the pilot did too much up front, making it hard to maintain

    3. the premise is flawed. If you’re on a long range deep space mission, you can’t risk people getting killed because of petty reality show bullshit. with some refinement, making it less like “big brother in space” it might have worked.

    even then, it was difficult to watch the whole thing at once. reminded me too much of what I didn’t like about the bad parts Star Trek, and sci fin in general – long winded yapping.

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