Syfy UK has picked up the rights to Halcyon (not to be confused with the similarly titled ITV period drama), a new hyrbid scripted and VR series that was initially ordered by Syfy’s international channels division earlier this year.
Set to launch online from September 22nd, the series is a 15 episode police procedural that consists of ten linear episodes (available on international Syfy channels and websites) and 5 VR episodes (available on the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR). The story-line alternates between linear and VR episodes, with short recaps of each of the 5 episodes being made available for those only watching the linear run.
Halcyon is set 2040 and follows Blake Creighton the CEO of the world’s leading Virtual Reality company; Halcyon. Having cornered the market on VR, Halcyon has discarded the VR headset and allowed users to access the virtual space using neurological implants that manipulate the senses to create a virtual world. When Creighton is found dead, presumed murdered, Detective Jules Dover and her partner, Asha, must consider if this could be the world’s first virtual crime.
The cast of the hybrid series is being led by Michael Therriault (Reign) as Blake Creighton; and also includes Lisa Marcos (Lost Girl) as Detective Jules Dover; and Harveen Sandhu as Asha. Halcyon was created and produced by Secret Location with the financial participation of the Independent Production Fund and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. A special broadcast of episode one will also air on Syfy UK on Monday September 26th at 8:55pm.
This is not the first time that Syfy and NBCU’s international channel’s division have toyed with extending a scripted series beyond a traditional linear scripted series. Previously, the company made a big swing on Defiance; a hybrid scripted drama and MMO game. Budgeted at more than $100 million, events in the scripted series were supposed to impact the game, and vice versa. Though there were high hopes, ratings for the series were not stellar, and the game did not sell as well as hoped, prompting Syfy to cancel the project in 2015.