Television & Film

Amazon Finds An OASIS With a Strange Book

This spring, Amazon will be testing its faith in a new pilot, Oasis, based on Michel Faber’s The Book Of Strange New Things. It will star Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), Anil Kapoor (Slum Dog Millionaire), and Haley Joel Osment (Sixth Sense).

Last April Amazon announced they were in final talks to join in the sci-fi TV series, Oasis. The project had Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland) directing, Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies) writing, Left Bank Pictures producing, and iconic musician Brian Eno providing the music and soundscape.

The story follows Pastor Peter Leigh (Madden) who leaves Earth and his wife, Beatrice, to be a missionary to the native population of a distant planet called Oasis. The Oasans call his Bible “The Book of Strange Things.” During his time in the new colony, Peter makes discoveries that not only test his faith but also life as we know it. He becomes distraught as he hears of disasters at home and the slow faltering of his wife’s faith, a rock in their relationship. At the same time, Peter becomes immersed in the life on Oasis, the seemingly friendly indigenous residents, their struggles with illness and a hunger for his teaching, and the odd relationship with his strange employer, an enigmatic corporation only known as USIC. This epic story is described as Heart Of Darkness in space, but with a heart-wrenching love story of a husband and wife separated by the universe.

The Book Of Strange New Things is the sixth novel from Dutch author Faber and first published in the United States in October 2014. Several reviewers critically praised the book. The Guardian stated this about the book:

This is a big novel – partly because it has to construct and explain its unhomely setting, partly because it has such a lot of religious, linguistic, philosophical and political freight to deliver – but the reader is pulled through it at some pace by the Gothic sense of anxiety that pervades and taints every element.

Madden has recently been in Medici: Masters of Florence and Cinderella. He also played Robb Stark, King of the North in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Kapoor will play Vikram Danesh, the authoritative head of the base on Oasis. He has been in over 150 films, including Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, opposite Tom Cruise. He is also known for his role as President of the fictional Republic of Kamistan on 24.

Osment’s character, Sy, is the chief botanist in the colony and a former marijuana grower. Known for roles as a young actor in films such as Pay It Forward and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Osment has found himself choosing more unorthodox projects such as Alpha House, The Spoils of Babylon, and The Spoils Before Dying. Recently he appeared in Yoga Hosers from Kevin Smith.

The first season will likely be 10 episodes with the intention of becoming a returning season.

Look for the pilot to be released on March 17 in the United State, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Japan.


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