MIPCOM 2014, an annual TV and entertainment market held in Cannes, France, ended recently, and a description of the trailer for NBC’s upcoming event series “Aquarius” that was shown there has hit the Net along with some pretty cool sales art and a few more details of what we can expect from the Manson Family “prequel” once it hits the airwaves.
Deadline chatted with exec producer Marty Adelstein and series creator John McNamara, who provided an in-depth look at the show’s development process and how they landed its star, David Duchovny, but what really caught our eye was the aforementioned description plus the following few tidbits:
While conceiving the project, McNamara “thought of this idea of an older cop during the 1960s and how a 45-year-old would see hippies. Then, what if he was paired with a Narc who is 22? That [concept] was three years of thinking for me. Then one day it came to me while I was in my garage: I need the guy who ruined the ‘60s to bring them together: Charles Manson.”
McNamara originally pitched the project as a quintet of novels to Adelstein, who convinced the writer otherwise. “I told John that he’s going to miss the music – it’s such a big part of the era,” said Adelstein.
“Aquarius” starts off by focusing on the early crimes of Manson – attempted murder, rape, arrested robbery – two years from the LaBianca-Tate murders. McNamara’s plan is to have each season cover six months of Manson’s life. “I know that the last season in the last episode will end with Manson in 1983,” he teased.
As for that still unreleased trailer, here’s the skinny: Los Angeles police sergeant Sam Hodiak (Duchovny) receives a phone call from a mother whose daughter is missing, lost in a sea of hippies. We see Hodiak submerging into a drug-infused orgy in the Hollywood Hills, and he wants to get physical. Says Brian Shafe, his undercover cop partner (played by Grey Damon), “I don’t want to be the bait so you can be bashing skulls.” We soon learn that the missing girl took off with a hairy, charismatic guy who strums a guitar.
Below is some artwork from ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the foreign distributor. Look for lots more soon.
It’s 1967, and the era of free love, drug experimentation, and the Vietnam War is in full effect. When the teenage daughter of a respected lawyer goes missing, L.A. Police Sgt. Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny; “Californication,” “The X-Files”) starts asking around. He soon discovers that the hippie kids he’s questioning don’t take kindly to cops, especially one with hair as short as his. Needing the help of someone they will trust, he partners with rebellious undercover cop Brian Shafe, a man who’s more comfortable rolling a joint than patrolling a beat.
It’s not long before they stumble upon a small-time cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his cause. From there, they follow this man’s trail down a rabbit hole of drugs, sex, murder, and cultural revolution. Little could they know, however, the guy they’re hunting will eventually become the killer we now recognize as Charles Manson. He was a lost soul who desperately wanted to get into the music scene of the ’60s until something snapped. This is the show that will explore the cat and mouse game between him and the police that will go on for several seasons, ultimately ending with the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders.
Writer John McNamara (“In Plain Sight”) serves as executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”), David Duchovny, and Melanie Greene. “Aquarius” is a production of ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Productions.