Let's Make A Sci-Fi

By CBC Podcasts

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Can three comedians create a legit sci-fi show? Comedians Ryan Beil, Maddy Kelly, and Mark Chavez are going to find out. Over eight episodes, they’ll try to write a serious, and seriously nerdy, pilot script. When they run into trouble they’ll consult Hollywood experts who have worked on things like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly and science fiction superstars like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rainn Wilson, Emily VanDerWerff and Neill Blomkamp. And in the final episode, professional actors will read their script, bringing it to life — for better or worse.

Episode Date
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 8 (Part 2): We Made a Sci-Fi
Mark, Maddy, and Ryan listen to the table read of their pilot. They reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what was the most embarrassing. They also pitch each other on what genre they’ll tackle next.
Apr 12, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 8 (Part 1): Progeny
The day is finally here. The sci-fi script is done and ready for all to judge. Introducing: Progeny. Progeny, Episode 1: Kirby, a low level worker aboard a massive generational spaceship containing the last humans in the universe makes contact with a mysterious vessel that claims to be from Earth, sent to bring them back. Featuring performances by Mark Meer (Mass Effect), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Suleka Mathew (Claws), Carly Pope (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin), Ashleigh Ball (My Little Pony), Alessandro Juliani (BattleStar Galactica), Richard Newman (Transformers: Beast Wars), Barbara Pollard, and more.
Apr 12, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 7: Scary Executives (feat. Paul Bae)
Ryan, Mark, and Maddy send their script to an important, scary Hollywood executive for review. Podcaster-turned-TV writer Paul Bae drops by to reassure the comedians that they can survive the feedback process. With only days before actors read their script, executive producer Kerry Appleyard (Orphan Black) gives Ryan, Mark, and Maddy her notes—triggering major rewrites.
Apr 05, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 6: Comedy (feat. Rainn Wilson)
Ryan, Mark, and Maddy write their first draft, but after reading it aloud to each other they worry they’ve strayed galaxies far, far away from their serious goals. Comedy legend Rainn Wilson (Galaxy Quest, Star Trek: Discovery, The Office) helps the comedians find a balance between humour and hard science fiction.
Mar 29, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 5: Social Commentary (feat. Jose Molina)
Before diving into their first draft, the comedians map out the plot of their pilot and try to untangle the deeper messages they want their script to tackle. Screenwriters Jose Molina (Firefly) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) assist, sharing their secrets on writing sci-fi plots with real-world purpose.
Mar 22, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 4: Science (feat. Neil deGrasse Tyson)
The gang has their world and their characters, but is there enough science in the fiction? They pit their concept against all-star experts—astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Bad Astronomer'' Phil Plaitt, and Hollywood science advisor Mika McKinnon (Sharknado) — to determine whether the pilot makes scientific sense. And when the science doesn’t check out, they get the experts to create some that does.
Mar 15, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 3: Characters (feat. Simon Barry)
Ryan, Mark, and Maddy pitch their premise to showrunner Simon Barry (Continuum)—only to be told they have a big problem: they don’t have any characters. They explore what makes a compelling character with screenwriting professor Kat Montagu and fill their generational ship with… generations! They also crystalize their protagonist: Kirby.
Mar 08, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 2: World-Building (feat. Neill Blomkamp + Emily VanDerWerff)
Ryan hosts a sci-fi movie marathon for inspiration. Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) and critic Emily VanDerWerff (Vox) advise on how to create engrossing fictional worlds. The gang develop their universe and even design a spaceship—but is world-building the right place to start?
Feb 28, 2022
Let's Make A Sci-Fi, Episode 1: Take Me Seriously (feat. Jem Garrard + Catherine Winder)
Ryan, Mark, and Maddy talk to producers Catherine Winder (Star Wars) and Jem Garrard (Vagrant Queen) and learn how to identify great story ideas. Then, they pitch each other concepts for their science fiction pilot and land on a winning idea.
Feb 28, 2022
Introducing: Let’s Make A Sci-Fi!
An eight-part adventure through the creative process as three comedians try writing a successful sci-fi pilot— with help from scientific experts and Hollywood screenwriting pros.
Feb 17, 2022