This post got me thinking about military science fiction and what I would like to see in a live action show. This hypothetical Band of Brothers in Space doesn’t have to be Starship Troopers: The Series since there are plenty of sources to draw from.
Sure we may eventually get a live action Starship Troopers or Old Man’s War TV show. Maybe Space: Above and Beyond will get rebooted. In the meantime, let’s consider something that draws from various sources but not specifically set in any of them.
My idea is that this hypothetical show is far enough in the future for things to be significantly different, say at least 50 years. Let’s say humanity is at war with aliens. That gets us to questions about xenophobia (like how much like us do you need to be before you’re treated like a person?) and how much of our own differences will we set aside in the face of something truly Other.
A show isn’t going to take place in combat all the time so what’s going on the rest of the time? Depending on how this hypothetical military fills its ranks there may be soldiers of wildly different backgrounds serving together (as shown in the top image from Aliens). When bullets/laser beams/plasma bolts are flying everyone in the same uniform is your friend but back at a safe base there’s going to be some friction between people in the unit. (Maybe it’s because some unit members were grown in tanks and are considered second-class people.)
What sort of society produced these soldiers? Starship Troopers is one of my favorite books and I also like the movie (yes, you can enjoy both). Depending on how long the war has been going on society may be more militarized. Not necessarily to the level of only veterans can vote but a mandatory government service requirement perhaps (not necessarily military, there are plenty of other jobs that need doing). War is often good for business, especially when it’s fought on someone else’s soil, so how about a powerful military-industrial complex with its own agenda? What will people be willing to sacrifice to fight what is considered an existential threat to humanity?
And just for the hell of it let’s throw in a television friendly version of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.
So what would you like in your military science fiction live action show?