Surface Invasion Storyline

by Jason the TVaholic on October 31, 2005

in Storylines, TV Talk

Each TV season there seems to be a bunch of shows that are similar. A lot of times they are just pale knockoffs of some hit show from the previous season. This year they are not imitations of past shows really, they are new. In a sort of hasn’t been done recently type of way. This TV season the list includes three alien creature invasions namely, Surface on NBC on Monday night, Invasion on ABC on Wednesday night and Threshold on CBS on Friday night.

Yet Surface and Invasion seem oddly alike in certain ways. Here are the parallels that I have seen so far:

  • Alien creatures that lurk in the water – Surface and Invasion both have these.
  • Alien creatures that light up – Surface and Invasion creatures both glow or light up.
  • A main character tagging one with a tracking device so they can follow it – Surface via GPS satellite tracking and Invasion just like a Park Ranger tracking a gator.
  • People showing up naked after creature encounter – Surface had a crewmember of the submarine that had been taken by a creature wash up on a beach naked and many a person has been found in this way on Invasion.
  • Things dropping out of the sky into the ocean – As I recall this happened in the first episode of both shows.

You could throw in Threshold with a ship or device that lights up over the water but that seems about it.

So how does this happen? This is how the TVaholic envisions it taking place.

It is like there was a bunch of TV writers sitting around in a room trying to come up with a new show idea to pitch to the Networks. The idea of an alien invasion is thrown out. It is noted that this has been done before. The notion of aliens from the deep is put forth. Aliens in the water, could they light up in someway? That is a great idea. Alien creatures from the ocean that light up. The concept of tagging a creature at some point to track and learn more about it is posited. Then the idea of showing up naked after an encounter is thrown out. Also, they should come from above and land in the ocean. This story is really starting to take shape.

What else? Well, how big should they be, big enough to swallow a boat or just a person? Just an individual should be taken at a time. No, they should be large enough to take something large like a submarine. An argument ensues and the group of TV writers breaks into two groups. One for big creatures and one for smaller creatures and they begin again to throw out ideas for their respective show outlines. After a bit a few from each that really don’t like either break off and start talking amongst themselves.

Each group then pitches their idea to a different network. Each network doesn’t really have anything like it on their schedules so they green light the project. That is how you end up with three alien creature invasion shows all in one TV season on three different networks.

Much like when this same group came up with a show about doctors at a Chicago area hospital.

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