This Wednesday, SYFY is premiering their new original series, The Ark. The show comes from renown writer and producers Dean Delvin and Jonathan Glassner. Even if you don’t recognize those names, we can guarantee you’ll recognize their work. Delvin and Glassner have worked on some of the most well-known science fiction properties, from The Outer Limits and The Librarians to Stargate and Independence Day.
We had the privilege of seeing the producers when we visited FAN EXPO New Orleans, where they gave a sneak preview of The Ark.
The Making of The Ark
Delvin and Glassner initially met through the Stargate franchise. While Delvin wrote and produced the 1994 film, Glassner was the showrunner for the series Stargate SG-1. It was another few years before they met and began working together. That seamless partnership is what brings us The Ark.
While the show draws inspiration from sci-fi staples like Star Trek and Doctor Who, it takes a different approach. The Ark moves away from the repetitive “alien of the week” model to focus more on drama and character dynamics—a concept Delvin has wanted to bring to life for a long time. “It’s a relationship show,” he says passionately, “that happens to be set in space.”
Success depended on a solid cast, but during the pandemic, the creators were limited to a digital submission process. That gives actors a certain edge, since they can record and re-record their self-tapes before sending in their best take. Even having a second round of auditions via Zoom was a gamble. While Delvin and Glassner were both confident in their young, diverse cast, there was no way to be sure they were in the clear until they made it to set; luckily, everything fell into place.
The Story of The Ark
According to SYFY, “The Ark takes place 100 years in the future when planetary colonization missions have begun as a necessity to help secure the survival of the human race.” The series will follow a group of young adults hand-picked by their mentors to lead the next generation. When a catastrophe interrupts their six-year journey to the closest livable planet, the characters are woken from cryo-sleep to find their ship damaged and their commanders gone. With another year to go, limited supplies, and no leadership, the students will have to step up sooner than they expected.
The concept is similar to The 100 from The CW, based on the book series of the same name by Kass Morgan. (The 100 also features a human colony adrift in space on a space station. Incidentally, their ship is also known as The Ark.) In the same way, SYFY’s The Ark will push the human race to their limits to survive, showcasing both the best and worst of humanity—but Delvin and Glassner describe themselves as optimists. At the end of the day, they hope The Ark will have a positive message and plenty of faith in our future.
The series premieres Wednesday, February 1st on SYFY at 10/9PM CT.