YouTube has officially announced the pickup of “Origin,” a sci-fi thriller from the U.K.’s Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind Netflix’s “The Crown.” The 10-episode space-drama series is slated to debut on the YouTube Red subscription service in 2018.
“Origin” is created, written and executive produced by Mika Watkins, a British TV writer whose credits including writing for Sky 1 series “Stan Lee’s Lucky Man” and the BBC’s “Troy: Fall of a City” under David Farr. Watkins is repped by London-based Curtis Brown and Grandview.
In the series, a group of strangers find themselves stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet — but soon realize that one of their fellow passengers is not who they claim to be.
The project brings together partners from the U.S., the U.K. and China. “Origin” is produced by Left Bank Pictures and Midnight Radio, in association with China International Television Corp. and Sony Pictures Television’s international production group. The series is executive produced by Watkins; Left Bank Pictures’ Andy Harries, Rob Bullock, and Suzanne Mackie; and Midnight Radio’s Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg.
“We are excited to be in business with the legendary producers at Left Bank Pictures and Midnight Radio, and talented new writer Mika Watkins,” said Susanne Daniels (pictured above), YouTube’s global head of original content. “Sci-fi and action adventure are huge on YouTube, and our audience will be intrigued by the unexpected plot twists and turns in this bold, studio-quality thriller.”
Left Bank Pictures CEO Andy Harries commented, “Mika is an exceptional new voice and we are excited to bring her first major project to the screen with our friends at YouTube Red.”
Wayne Garvie, Sony Pictures Television’s president of international production, said the studio is continuously looking “at innovative ways of working with partners from around the world.” Regarding “Origin,” he said, “This was a unique opportunity to co-develop a truly original project with our friends at CiTVC, Left Bank Pictures and YouTube.”
Left Bank Pictures, which is majority-owned by Sony Pictures Television, has produced drama series for the BBC, ITV, Sky 1, WGBH and HBO/Cinemax; comedy series for E4; and films for Sony Pictures, EuropaCorp and Optimum Releasing. Midnight Radio, formed in 2014, has created and produced TV series for Netflix, Showtime, History Channel, ABC, CBS, the CW and Fox, including upcoming Netflix series “Everything Sucks!” slated to premiere in early 2018.
YouTube Red, priced at $9.99 per month, provides unlimited, ad-free access to YouTube, streaming music, and YouTube Red original movies and series. It’s currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.
Pictured above: Susanne Daniels, YouTube global head of original content