Hard Science Fiction Web Series Deep Six Coming in May

Deep Six on the set. Credit: Kim Sakamoto.

Alone, stranded 11.9 light years from Earth in the Tau Ceti system after an accident, Deep Six chronicles the lives of 250 intrepid astronauts and their military escorts on a perilous deep space mission trying to establish humanity’s first outpost outside of our own system, only to experience a hostile first encounter.

Exoplanet Tau Ceti F had been discovered two centuries earlier and is now known as Siku. It has a rocky moon where a human outpost has been setup and which sees much of the action when the cast characters aren’t in their spacecraft. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey, the show revels in combining real hard science with the unfolding drama besetting the cast. The nine-part digital sci-fi web series is a creation of awarding winning writers Davin Lengyel and Mika Collins.

Relative size of the two potential habitable exoplanet candidates around Tau Ceti (HD 10700) compared to Earth. Planet sizes were estimated with a mass-radius relationship.
Relative size of the two potential habitable exoplanet candidates around Tau Ceti (HD 10700) compared to Earth. Planet sizes were estimated with a mass-radius relationship. Credit: Planetary Habitability Laboratory.

Deep Six – Hard Science Fiction

As explained by Davin Lengyel in his introductory video, Deep Six wants to combine compelling drama with real science to create a hard science fiction series. To that end, the show has brought onboard renowned astrophysics Dr. Jaymie Matthews as a scientific consultant. Matthews is a professor at the University of British Columbia and mission scientist of Canada’s first space telescope, the MOST satellite. According to Lengyel, the “MOST satellite has monitored the Tau Ceti planetary system where the action of DEEP SIX is set.”

Scientific consultant Jaymie Matthews and co-creator Davin Lengyel on the set of Deep Six.
Scientific consultant Jaymie Matthews and co-creator Davin Lengyel on the set of Deep Six. Credit: Kim Sakamoto.

Matthews does keep busy in the scientific community as he is on the science teams for NEOSSat, a Canadian asteroid-hunting mission, the BRITE Constellation, a Canadian-Austrian-Polish mission to study the brightest stars in the night sky, a co-investigator for the French CoRoT satellite, and he’s also part of the Asteroseismic Science Consortium for NASA’s Kepler mission hunting for alien Earths. For his work Matthews was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. I think it can be safely said that he brings scientific clout to the project.

Matthews said of the show, “the human drama depicted on screen in DEEP SIX is all the more real because it takes place against a real backdrop, even if that backdrop is 12 light years away from Earth and nearly two centuries in the future.”

Also providing some expertise to the series is historian and author Robert Godwin.

According to Lengyel the series will use practical FX miniatures, full size constructed sets and the use of rear projection, similar to what was used on 2001: A Space Odyssey. And while Deep Six uses techniques similar to those used in  2001, they have the benefit of 50 years of technological cinematic advances.

Filming in Toronto and Adding Some Star Power

In a nondescript area west of downtown Toronto, Deep Six has just wrapped up studio filming. The crew and cast will now head to Arizona to finish filming, thanks in part to a successful Indiegogo campaign.

It’s been a crazy few months for the crew and cast. With a small budget everything has to be done quickly. Set building began November 1st and filming started January 6th. Most of the filming is now complete except for some backstory in Arizona. Editing will being next week and the show is scheduled to begin airing online May 1!

To make the show happen Deep Six received an undisclosed amount of funding from the Independent Production Fund and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The cast includes special guest and Battlestar Galactica series regular Tahmoh Penikett,  Orphan Black regular Kristian Bruun and series lead Michelle Morgan from Heartland.

Other cast members include Mika Collins, Katherine Gauthier, Jonathan Whittaker, Ginger Busch, Scott Yamamura, Andy Hull, Dwain Murphy, Chris Ratz, and Olunike Adeliyi.

Deep Six, a science fiction based on the lives of the first deep space station.
Deep Six set and some of the veteran stars. Credit: Kim Sakamoto.

Marketing Awareness on Indiegogo

Deep Six didn’t need to do an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, but they did it anyway, why?

They set a reasonable goal of $10,000, which they’ve met, which would provide enough money to head to Arizona to fill in some of the backstory. At the same time the campaign brings awareness to the production and builds a loyal fan base by giving something back for that feeling of inclusion. It works. I loved the concept of the series and signed up. In one of the episodes I’ll have the opportunity to name one of the ships. I won’t reveal what I have in mind, but I love the idea of being a part of the show, even if it’s in this small way.

And the campaign also has a personal meaning for Lengyel. It was in Yuma, Arizona when a six year old Lengyel and his father came across the set build for the Star Wars Jabba The Hut’s compound which sparked Lengyel ‘s love affair with science fiction and inspired him to write the first episode of what would become Deep Six.

In February 1982 while vacationing in Yuma Arizona Lengyel and his father stumble across this Star Wars set under construction. Credit: Davin Lengyel.

Lengyel has had success crowdfunding previously. According to Deep Six Publicist Kim Sakamoto, Lengyel’s company “Space Mop have also been highly successful in the crowdfunding space, most recently spearheading the record-breaking Code 8 campaign that raised $1.7 Million US for Jeff Chan, Robbie and Stephen Amell’s dystopian film, set to go to camera in 2017.”

The Indiegogo campaign still has five days left and some new perks have been added for their Stretch Goals which include;

  • $15,000.00 – Virtual Reality and 360 Degree Shooting of all our sets with Eggplant Picture & Sound.
  • $20,000.00 – Storage space to store every salvageable item from the set of Deep Six! Hurry and help us Save Our Sets for future use and collector significance.

Getting Picked Up and Filming Season 2

The hope for Lengyel, Collins, the cast and crew is that a network picks up the series. Whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, Crave, SyFy etc., it doesn’t matter. If the shows gets picked up there might be a second season with a much bigger budget. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lengyel and Collins have imagined.

You can follow the progress of the show through their Facebook page, on Twitter and Instagram.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceRef Canada Interactive Inc, CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef U.S., advisor and co-founder of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, and director and co-founder of MaxQ Accelerator Inc. Previously he was the founder of Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine which he sold.