If you're in the market for a new science-fiction thriller set in space, then you may want to check out The Ark. This newest offering from SYFY is a 12-episode weekly series starring Christie Burke (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, The Sandman), and Reece Ritchie (10,000 BC) among others.
The show is developed Dean Devlin and Johnathan Glassner. Dean is best known for co-writing films like Independence Day while Johnathan was the creator of Stargate: SG-1.
But as with most new shows and movies these days, it's all too likely that a production will be based on a book. Does The Ark follow this common trend? All signs point to yes, but the results are a tad murky. Let's break it down.
Is 'The Ark' on Syfy based on a book?
The Ark is set 100 years in the future after the Earth has become uninhabitable for humans. Planetary colonization missions have begun taking place, wherein a group of thousands boards a space-faring vessel known as the Ark One in the hopes of finding another planet on which mankind can survive. En route to another planet, however, the ship suffers a catastrophic incident that kills most of the people onboard. The remaining survivors must work together to complete the mission while staying alive.
The series' premise seems to take plenty of cues from the similarly titled Ark, a 2009 science-fiction novel that is actually part of a series written by award-winning author Stephen Baxter. In the Ark book, a group of 80 people who board the Ark One to find a new habitable planet after Earth is decimated by a flood detailed in a previous book. The novel focuses more on the construction of the Ark One along with its subsequent launch into space. Meanwhile, the show is already set in space.
Given all the similarities between The Ark on Syfy and the Ark novel, it stands to reason that the former is based on the latter. However, the confusion comes from the marketing for the show. No official outlets or trailers make an attempt to explicitly state that The Ark is based on Stephen Baxter's novel. The parallels are impossible to ignore, but it's certainly odd to see no one talking about how one so very clearly inspired the other.
With the first episode set to premiere tonight, viewers who also happen to be avid readers will be able to draw more conclusions to see how the series lines up with the original book. For all intents and purposes, the show is likely based on the book, but the lack of any official confirmation is certainly head-scratching, to say the least.
The Ark premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY. New episodes stream on Peacock on the day after they air.