There are no shortage of series coming down the pipeline set aboard space ships, but YouTube Originals is hoping its horror based sci-fi drama Origin will stand out among the rest.
Set in the not too distant future, Origin which bows this fall, follows a group of outsiders seeking a clean slate on a colonized planet.
Unfortunately, their chance at a do-over in the form of a new life takes a turn for the worst when they wake up in the midst of their journey after an asteroid collides with the space ship, Origin, and leaves them stranded.
It’s not long after that the passengers left aboard realize that if they want to get out of the terrible situation they’ve just found themselves in, they’ll have to work together in an effort to survive.
It might sound easy enough, but when it turns out that one among them isn’t what they seem to be, surviving will be more difficult than they ever thought possible.
The cast of Origin, which includes Harry Potter alumns Tom Felton and Natalia Tena, Nora Arnezeder, Fraser James, and Sen Mitsuji, along with director Paul W.S. Anderson and showrunner Mika Watkins were all on hand at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 to preview the series.
Check out what you missed from YouTube Original’s Origin panel below!
1. The series is set in the near future, but everyone skirted around giving us an exact date.
It’s quite obvious from the get-go that Origin doesn’t take place in the present day, but when asked to give us a timeframe for the series, Mika Watkins was pretty coy with her answer.
What Watkins did say was that they wanted the series to feel like it was far enough into the future for the technology to make sense, but not so far away that we felt like we were too far off from living in the world they created.
It’s interesting that they didn’t want to disclose when exactly the series takes place, and we’ll be curious to see if the actual time frame ends up being an integral part of the plot.
2. 60 percent of each episode takes place aboard the Origin.
Given that over half of the episode takes place aboard a spaceship, director Paul W.S. Anderson said it was important to create a spacecraft that was fresh and original. So what about the other 40 percent? That’ll be comprised of flashbacks that give viewers a better idea of how each character evolved into the person they are when they boarded the ship.
3. It’s not all sci-fi and horror.
The teaser trailer for Origin may highlight the horror and sci-fi elements of the series, but Anderson stressed during the panel that the show is really about pushing people to the brink.
“At the heart, it’s a series about broken people who want a fresh start but instead of a fresh start, they wake up and they’re alone,” explained Anderson. “These people who wanted a fresh start instead get put in a vice. It squeezes and squeezes them…we as an audience get to see if they crack or not.”
Later, Watkins added that she doesn’t “think Origin is one thing.”
“It’s many different things— I wouldn’t write a space show that was exclusively people on a ship.”
It was the multi-layered aspect of the series that made writing it so much fun. Specifically, Watkins revealed that while it was great to play around in the horror and sci-fi genres, she also enjoyed getting to jump from the past to the present in an effort to elaborate on each character’s story.
3. The cast previewed what we can expect from their characters.
If there’s one thing that’ll suck viewers in to Origin,it’s the intriguing group of characters the producers have assembled, all of whom are incredibly layered. Naturally, the cast couldn’t give too much away with regards of what their characters will be getting up to in the new series, but they did manage to give us a bare bones tease each that’s given us a great idea of who their characters are.
First up, Felton, who plays Logan revealed that his character is “a bit of an American scally-wag.” Later in the panel, series creator Mika Watkins revealed that while Logan starts off as the main antagonist, there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye. Felton specifically also let slip that his character has “a good heart.”
Tena describes Lana as broken, joking that “she only smiles like twice in the whole [first season.]” She might not be the friendliest of the bunch, but there is one particular tool she’s a big fan of. “She really likes guns,” said Tena who added that despite her grizzly demeanor, she’s “good on the inside.”
Mitsuji, who’s character takes center stage in the first episode is perhaps one with the most interesting backstory so far. He plays a japanese gangster living in regret with regards to the things he got up to on earth. “He’s looking to run away from that and reinvent himself,” said Mitsuji.
Arnezeder’s Nora is the group’s resident engineer and boarded the ship as a Siren Company hired hand to work on the Origin. Her decision to board wasn’t made lightly— she left a very sick father behind and it sounds as though she’ll be grappling with that decision as the series progresses.
Finally, Fraser plays a geneticist named Henrie. Prior to the asteroid collision, Henrie was in the midsts of doing tests on DNA in an effort rid the world of fatal diseases like cancer and alzheimers. Prior to boarding the ship, he views the opportunity as a means of getting away from the past and hopefully living happily ever after. “As you know, it never ends like that,” teased Fraser at the panel.
4. Everyone in attendance got an exclusive first look at the first 12 minutes of the opening episode.
As cool as it was to hear the cast and crew talk about the show, perhaps the most exciting part of the panel came when everyone in attendance was treated to the first 12 minutes of the series. During the extended sneak peek, fans were able to get a glimpse of Mitsuji’s character— a japanese gangster living in futuristic Tokyo with an estranged brother in a very different line of work.
As the episode progresses, we get a firsthand look of how he caused his own brother’s death— something we’re sure we’ll see him grappling with up in space.
We also got our first terrifying look of life up in space. We won’t spoil anything for those hoping to tune in, but let’s just say there were quite a few moments that made panel attendees jump in their seats!
YouTube Originals’ Origin premieres later this fall.