What Does a Group of Gay Australian Sci-Fi Fans have to do with Austin?
Which is more difficult socially, coming out as gay to your friends or family or telling them you’re a Sci-fi fan?
Tough question isn’t it? This very conundrum inspired a new Australian TV series soon to air on ABC (the Australian version) called "Outland."
6-part "Outland" centers on five gay and lesbian characters who form a SF fan club and soon find out that it’s a lot harder to be a SF fan than to come out. The show was written and created by John Richards and Adam Richard follows the fan club’s often shambolic club meetings as their conflicting characters class.
"Outland" features Christine Anu as Rae, Ben Gerrard as Toby, Paul Ireland as Andy, Adam Richard as Fab and Toby Truslove as Max.
John Richards describes the show as a cross between “Spaced” and “The Book Club” while PR gurus see it as the gay “Big Bang Theory.”
What’s it got to do with Austin you ask?
Well, the show began as a $500 (Aussie dollars) pilot and debuted at the Austin OUTer gay and lesbian science fiction fantasy festival last November. The annual festival is the world’s first and only gay and lesbian SF festival. The reaction to the pilot was such that ABC in Australia commissioned a series.
Richards maintains there’s plenty for gay and straight, SF and non-SF fans alike as the theme of the show, while filled with SF references, is about people finding somewhere they belong; a desire important to most of us.
With international broadcasting rights being negotiated over, "Outland" could be coming to a cable channel near you soon.
Much of the information here comes courtesy of the print edition of SFX magazine’s February 2011 edition.
Photo courtesy of GirlyGamer.com.au.