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Directed by: Peter Berg
Script by: Michael Taylor, Ronald Moore
Status: TV pilot aired as a TV movie June 26, 2009 (Fox TV)
Runtime: 120 min
Production Studio: Universal Media Studios for FOX
Country: USA, Canada
Co-Stars: : Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kerry Bishe, Joy Bryant, Clea Duvall, Sienna Guillory
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DVD & Blue-ray Release: DVD Region 1 (2009)
Role: Dr Roger Fallon
He is the ship’s onboard psychologist and reality show producer, whose simultaneous roles are in direct conflict. The action aboard the Phaeton is being broadcast back on Earth as the most popular reality show of all time, The Edge of Never, being seen by billions every week, a necessity as the expedition is being funded in part by the show, but this doesn’t stop the crew from resenting him. This is complicated by the fact that Roger’s wife is having a virtual affair with the ship’s captain.
Plot: The crew of the Phaeton is approaching the go/no-go point of their epic 10-year journey through outer space. With the fate of Earth in their hands, the pressure is intense. The best bet for helping the crew members maintain their sanity is the cutting-edge virtual reality technology installed on the ship. It's the perfect stress-reliever until they realize a glitch in the system has unleashed a virus on to the ship. Tensions mount as the crew decides how to contain the virus and complete their mission. Meanwhile, their lives are being taped for a reality show back on Earth
Trivia & Facts:
- Virtuality was filmed as a pilot but aired as a movie when Fox failed to pick up the series.
- On Friday June 26, 2009 Jessica Blank, wife of actor Erik Jensen who portrayed Dr. Jules Braun, posted a call to action on her husband's to watch the movie and write in support of more episodes.
- Had Virtuality gone to series, the show-within-the-show, Edge of Never: Life on the Phaeton, would have run as an online companion.
- The name of the ship, Phaeton, is a nod to the movie's message of people recklessly trying to go too far and suffering the consequences for it: in Greek mythology, Phaeton was son of Apollo, god of the sun. An arrogant boy, he took his father's chariot out for a joyride but drove it too close to the ground, setting in fire everything in his path. As a punishment, Zeus himself burnt him with a lighting bolt.
Film Location: Bridge Studios in Burmaby, British Columbia, Canada
Quotes from the film:
Commander Frank Pike: I don't think it's real, and it's a game.
That’s a fascinating piece of character development for a wonderfully complicated character, brought to life in fine form by James D’Arcy, who is perhaps the standout performer in the film.
Scripted drama commenting on the unreality of reality television is nothing new, but putting it in this context - and then stirring the pot wit mystery involving the virtual reality system appearing to malfunction - makes it feel fresh - there's enough of promise there that I wish I could see more --- The Star-Leger, Alan Sepinwall