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Live-action System Shock show planned for a new streaming site

Who would you cast as Shodan?

As if they weren't busy enough remaking System Shock, Nightdive Studio have announced plans for a live-action web TV series based on Looking Glass's sci-fi FPS. It'd be headed to Binge, an upcoming gaming-focused streaming platform which also has plans for a Driver series. Yeah yeah, but who's gonna play Shodan?

The announcement is vague, simply saying that the show would be "a live-action series based on the critically acclaimed System Shock franchise". That could come out in many different shapes. The producer is Binge's Allan Ungar, who's best known for directing and co-writing that live-action Uncharted fan film with Nathan Fillion. But yeah, seems they are talking System Shock 1 specifically.

"I've always believed that a live-action adaptation of System Shock would be the perfect medium to retell the harrowing story of Citadel station and its rogue AI that subjects the crew to unimaginable horror," Nighdive CEO Stephen Kick said. "We're very excited to see the talented team at Binge bring System Shock to life in horrifyingly real and new ways.

A Protocol Droid in a System Shock 2 screenshot.
SS2's Protocol Droids are terrifyingly helpful, saying things like "I'm afraid I can't help you if you hide" before exploding in your face.

System Shock is set on a space station in the future, where an AI cyberbabe named Shodan has taken over, murdered or mutated the crew, and plots to devastate Earth so she can become a god. She returns in a sequel with her wishes granted (well, in a 'withered psionic monkey paw' way), having become god to a species of angry meat which grows beyond her control. We arrive on a spaceship post-disaster then, through exploration and audiologs, see and hear how her influence and infection spread, how conspiracy and paranoia grew, how terror and horror spread, and then MEAT! IT'S MEAT! SO MUCH MEAT! God, I like System Shock 2 so much.

No word on when the show would arrive. Binge is due to launch in 2022, without subscriptions. Last month, Ubisoft announced that they're doing a Binge show based on Driver, the stunty driving game about an undercover cop. Binge are also planning a show with YouTuber "El Rubius", then their lineup beyond that is basically a mystery.

A System Shock show would be fine and all but I'll be waiting for SS2, when the sexual tension reaches downright dangerous levels. I want to watch an actor's face twist and turn as they agonise over the big question: are you horny enough for Shodan to merge meatspace with cyberspace to make her happy?

Nightdive were, as recently as February, planning to release the System Shock remake in "late summer". Well, it's autumn now, and no date yet. You can still download February's demo from Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store. An 'Enhanced Edition' of System Shock 2 is coming from Nightdive too; check out the jiggly Rumbler they showed off last month.

The impossible sequel, System Shock 3 is ostensibly still in development but sounds all sorts of troubled. Tencent took over from the original developers last year and... that's the last I heard. I have no hope invested in System Shock 3 but, y'know, I would certainly be curious.

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Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice is likely in the sea.

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