Variety reports that Skybound Entertainment has optioned Frederik Pohl’s 1977 novel Gateway with an eye toward developing it as a television series.
The first novel in Pohl’s Heechee Saga centers on Robinette Stetley Broadhead, a desperate and frightened shale miner aboard the Heechee space station known as Gateway. From there, humans use misunderstood Heechee cruisers to explore unknown destinations. As no one can decipher the intricacies of the Heechee technology, flying on these ships is a lucrative, but dangerous gamble. In need of cash, Broadhead agrees to go on a number of expeditions with various — possibly deadly — results.
Thanks to its dense worldbuilding and surprisingly gripping storyline, the book won several science fiction awards, including the 1977 Nebula and the 1978 Hugo for Best Novel. It was adapted into a video game in 1982 and nearly became a television series in 2015 with Battlestar Galactica‘s David Eick at the helm.
Pohl continued to write novels in the Heechee Saga intermittently until 2004. The deal with Skybound will allow them to use characters and concepts from those five other books as well as Gateway. That’s definitely enough material to build an Expanse-esque series around. Broadhead recurs in at least three of the novels, giving the proposed television show a central character. It’s treatment of space travel, time-dilation and unknowable alien technology also puts it in a different, um, space from The Expanse and other programs about spacefaring.
For the moment, though, it is unclear how quickly Skybound intends to produce a Gateway series. I, for one, cannot wait.