EXCLUSIVE: The 1980s sci-fi TV series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future is coming back from the past, with original co-creator Gary Goddard among those behind a reboot plan for the Canada-U.S. space drama that spanned 22 episodes in syndication. The new series is titled Phoenix Rising and is in active development from Goddard’s Goddard Film Group and ex-Syfy execs Thomas Vitale and Craig Engler’s newly formed Planet X Productions.
Vitale worked at Syfy and Chiller for 22 years running the networks’ programming departments. Engler co-created and executive produced the Syfy series Z Nation, which returns for Season 3 in the fall. The Phoenix Rising pilot episode was penned by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, whose sci-fi cred includes writing for TV’s Star Trek: Enterprise. They also created and wrote last year’s Primeval spinoff series Primeval: New World. (Check out the Phoenix Rising teaser below.)
The plan is to raise awareness for Phoenix Rising this week at Comic-Con. Goddard Film Group partners Roger Lay Jr and Eric Carnagey are also exec producing. Todd Masters’ MastersFX will create the effects for the new series.
The original Captain Power, which starred Tim Dunigan as Capt. Jonathan Power and Peter MacNeill as Maj. Hawk Masterson, was set on Earth in the year 2147 and the aftermath of the Metal Wars, a global confrontation between humans and machines. It was one of the first series to incorporate CGI characters with live-action performers, and the Mattel toy line interacted with the visuals featured within each episode. It aired in 200 domestic North American TV markets and 46 international territories in 1987-88, and counted J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, The Changling) among its writers.
Phoenix Rising picks up 15 years after humanity has lost a devastating war against an artificial intelligence called Overmind. Jonathan Power, the son of the man who caused that war, learns the truth about his father and discovers a new type of battle armor that will enable a small, mismatched team of soldiers and civilians to fight the Bionic armies of the New Order. Dunigan will return in a new role.
Goddard called the original Captain Power a landmark program – “a sci-fi series that was ahead of its time.” Added Vitale and Engler: “As fans of both science fiction and the Captain Power series, we’re excited to help re-imagine this iconic TV show for today’s viewers. Although the surprisingly dark themes, serialized storytelling and shocking character deaths featured within the series were well ahead of their time in 1987, they’re exactly the kind of story elements a modern viewing audience craves.”