Rumours have once more begun to circulate about the possible shadowy origins of Ron Moore’s new science-fiction show Virtuality, with claims that the story is too close to that of a recently published novel to be coincidence.
Old Twentieth, written by Joe Haldeman (The Forever War) and published in 2005, tells the story of a starship that embarks on a long voyage, with a virtual reality system to keep the crew entertained. It’s all going well for the ship, the Aspera, until something goes wrong with the system. Sound familiar? It should do, as it’s the central plot of the upcoming pilot from Moore, directed by Peter Berg and starring a number of big names.
“It does look disappointingly similar to Old Twentieth,” Haldeman wrote on his blog earlier this year, when the initial furore erupted (albeit in a contained sense). “I thought the book had real movie possibilities, but it doesn’t have a chance now. People will think it was ripped off from the TV series. There ain’t no fucking justice, as Moses said. Then God dropped Charlton Heston on him from a great height.”
Last year, regular viewers of science fiction may remember that there was a large amount of fuss surrounding New Amsterdam, the plot of which was essentially ripped off from Forever by Pete Hamill. Interestingly, that show starred Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the lead role, who is also assuming the front runner position in Virtuality.
If the show was directly inspired by Haldeman’s novel, then this is a particularly poor show on the part of Moore to not even contact the author, let alone credit him for his own original thought. We had come to expect more, to be honest. This story originally came through SyFy Portal.