The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1963 science fiction novel by Walter Tevis, later on adapted to the 1976 film famously starring David Bowie, the 1987 television adaptation and now, to an upcoming television series. The original story follows a humanoid alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, landing on Earth and seeking a way to ferry his people to Earth from his home planet Anthea, which is suffering from a severe drought. The upcoming series of the same title will now center around a new alien arriving on Earth at a turning point in human evolution.
The new alien, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, must confront his own past to determine the planet’s future. He will do so with the help of Thomas Jerome Newton, whose story ended with him succumbing to his newly discovered appetite for earthly pleasures like alcohol and eventually becoming blind due to FBI doing X-Ray of his skull through his eyes.
After the premiere showing today at SXSW, Showtime posted the introductory 5 minutes of the series online. In the clip, Ejiofor’s new alien is holding some seemingly important speech in which he is describing his arrival on Earth and his motivations, struggles and goals surrounding it.
The speech is presumably taken as metaphorical by the audience, as it also touches upon our roles as human beings on the planet, our need to adapt to our surroundings, how we relate to each other, the struggles of fitting in and the burden of change.
The series is adapted for television by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, which already worked together in Star Trek: Discovery and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Kurtzman also created and wrote for other high-profile sci-fi shows such as Fringe and Alias.
Alongside Ejiofor, The Man Who Fell to Earth also stars Naomie Harris, Jimmi Simpson, Rob Delaney, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew, Clarke Peters, and Bill Nighy.
The Man Who Fell to Earth will premiere on April 24.
You can watch the five-minute clip below: