Sci-Fi Drama ‘Debris’ Uses Alien Exploration To Examine The Human Condition, Says Creator

DEBRIS — “You Are Not Alone” Episode: 102 — Pictured: (l-r) Jonathan Tucker as Bryan Beneventi, … [+]

Aliens are coming to mainstream television.

In NBC’s new series Debris, the narrative follows two agents from two different continents who work together to investigate a destroyed alien spacecraft that has mysterious effects on mankind.

What makes this show unique, says one of its stars, Jonathan Tucker, is that, “week to week, a new piece of debris is discovered, and it allows the audience to discover the unique capabilities that this debris has to offer, how it affects people, how it affects the world, and the people who discover it.”

Debris comes from J.H. Wyman, who also created the cult favorite Fringe, another serialized sci-fi drama.

Wyman believes that the genre of sci-fi is has evolved and isn’t just for a small sect of the viewing public, saying, “it’s no longer alternative. It’s no longer something that’s for a certain crowd.”


Creating a narrative that rolls out on a weekly basis and yet still keeps viewers engaged in the age of binge-watching is a bit challenging, says Wyman, but he admits that he gained some knowledge about this aspect from his other sci-fi work. “I think that’s the biggest lesson I learned, is [when you] have a week‑to‑week show that people can come back to, they understand that there’s a plan. And there’s a feeling like there’s this unseen narrator pushing you silently down this road that’s going to amount to something, and something big.”

Wyman is drawn to the sci-fi space because, “There’s a lot of people out there that do the ‘little green men’ thing better than me. I’m not that guy. To me, the best sci‑fi is more about the human condition that it talks about. I’m more of the ‘what does it look like when there are questions that are asked that really shine a light on the human condition?’ I just always find that fascinating.”

He goes on to say that his penchant for wondering about alternate life forms was spurred on at a young age by the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. “After I saw [it], I literally sat on my roof. I was up there trying to find something. I’ve always been fascinated by space, that there’s got to be something more. Maybe there’s a side of me that wishes the world was a little bit more advanced as far as how we all get along and how it all makes sense. So, [this] allows me to examine things that you can’t examine in any other kind of show.”

Wyman believes that when, ‘the visitors’ come, “I think that we’re going to learn more about ourselves than the aliens or the visitors, and that really interests me.”

Given that there are so many entrainment choices right now, Wyman hopes the viewers will tune in and say, “”There’s something different about the show. I don’t know what it is, but….’”

He thinks that Debris speaks to the, “hope and a concept that maybe there’s something out there that we don’t know, and all I can ask for is people sample it and feel it.”

‘Debris’ airs Mondays at 10e/p on NBC.

I’ve worked in news, sports, children’s television, and narrative storytelling for ABC and the Fox Broadcasting company for over 15 years. During this time, I won an Emmy


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