Before Richard Dean Anderson ever went through the Stargate, he was the inventive MacGyver, so gifted at improvising (disarming a bomb with a paperclip was one of his less-absurd exploits) that his character’s name became a verb.
Now, over 30 years later, the creator of the TV show, Lee Zlotoff, wants to give that engineering and problem-solving philosophy another chance on the silver screen, but with a twist. The main character of the show will be female.
Zlotoff has teamed up with several engineering groups including the National Academy of Engineering and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering for the project. From the project’s website:
The competition comes just as the social media campaigns like #ILookLikeAnEngineer are challenging stereotypical assumptions of what an engineer or a scientist looks like.
The five finalists were just announced, and there are some incredible ideas there. The finalists run the gamut:
- A steampunk/historical drama featuring the exploits of a fictionalized Ada Lovelace one of the first computer programmers.
- An action show depicting a woman who invents insanely cool spy gadgets.
- A mystery show with an expert engineering witness who travels the country solving crimes.
- A WW II drama showing a woman on the home front facing down engineering crises as part of the war effort.
- A high school dramedy that’s described as “Glee meets Mean Girls” with some science thrown in.
The five finalists will team up with established Hollywood mentors to craft their pitch into something that could make it to your TV. Stay tuned!