EVE on TV: How It Should Be

 

“It happened 20,000 years in the future, and it’s based on a true story.”

That’s the brilliant tagline for the EVE television series announced at the end of Fanfest 2013. In partnering up with “2 Guns” and “Contraband” director Baltasar Kormákur, CCP hopes to tell the stories of New Eden on the small screen. How the series will be done hasn’t been announced yet, but given the fairly recent success of other projects there is a clear formula to follow. Shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Games of Thrones,” and “The Walking Dead” became massively successful by having characters you cared about, a compelling narrative, and an interesting environment. All things which EVE Online has in spades.

Dark Horse Comics recently began digitally publishing their “EVE: True Stories” comic, where they retell classic stories. While impressive in its own right, the comic format wouldn’t translate well to television. I’ve long maintained that the most interesting EVE story is your own, and hopping around different sets of characters and stories wouldn’t be very compelling television. The new series should view the stories and events of New Eden through the eyes of several characters, like some sort of nerd version of “Forrest Gump.”

Growing up, one of my favorite shows was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I tried rewatching it recently and couldn’t bring myself to finish watching the series. The stand-alone element couldn’t keep me hooked, and the character development was sparse. The show did a great job showcasing the space environment, but the lack of an overall narrative or an extended plot arc couldn’t keep me hooked. Every player in EVE has their own unique journey to get where they are, and the new show should do its best to capture that.

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Painting an accurate picture of New Eden is going to be challenging. My advice would be to go the same route “The Wire” did to portray the city of Baltimore. Start off with your basic elements; “The Wire” did this by heavily concentrating on the police with their internal political problems and the streets of Baltimore with its drug problem. As the series went on, it gradually expanded to include the failures of the school system, politicians, unions, and the homeless. By the end of the series you saw a compelling portrayal of a large American city.

Stories that don’t have mass appeal in EVE can certainly be captivating to a television audience. An Industrial moving cargo it picked up from a courier contract in Jita and later getting blown up isn’t news worthy to EVE players. But with the right narrative that seemingly non-event could be riveting. Imagine that the contract was issued by a shell corporation, run by a group of pirates, who put tracking devices in their cargo and use it to track down and capture vulnerable ships? Nobody is going to care if it’s some random story, but if it involves likeable, well-established characters, they’re going to care. Would anyone have cared about the Red Wedding if it happened to characters that were just introduced in the previous episode?

There are some interesting things they can incorporate from EVE lore, as well. Imagine an episode where the main characters get a distress call, and when they finally arrive they find several escape pods in the middle of a massive debris field where a large battle took place. A flashback episode takes place and we’re introduced to the Sanshas, who are kind of like a Borg/Reaver hybrid. They board the damaged ships, capturing the crews, and using implants turn the crews into their slaves. You’ve now introduced a hostile group, and with the other various races and corporations there are endless routes to go with the story.

If done right, the EVE television series could be some of the most fascinating television ever made. The characters, the overall story, and the entire EVE universe can provide infinite amount of possibilities of where to go. Of all the various side projects CCP has done over the years, this is the one that has me the most excited.

Assuming, of course, that it actually gets made.

Tags: comic, hvac, true stories, tv

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HVAC Repairman

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