NBCU Tags ‘Halcyon’ for Linear, Web, VR

NBCUniversal International Networks said it has tapped Secret Location to produce 15 episodes of Halcyon, a new short-form scripted series that will be offered on Syfy’s linear channels around the world, on Syfy’s Web sites, and, partially, via the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) platform.  

The programmer said Halcyon’s 15 episodes will alternate between 10 episodes that will be available to view on Syfy linear channels and the Web, and five VR episodes to be distributed through Oculus Rift, “with additional premium and mobile platforms to be announced.”

Viewers who watch only the linear episodes of the series, will have access to “short recaps” of the five VR episodes. Preorders for the Oculus Rift started last month; shipments are expected to start on March 28, with additional distribution at "select retailers" to follow in April. 

Production of Halcyon began in Toronto in February 2016, but Syfy has not announced a premiere date.  

Directed by Benjamin Arfmann (Random Stop) Halcyon is a police procedural series set in 2058 set in a future in which “virtual reality is as ubiquitous as smart phones are today.” The series’ main character, Julie Dover is a detective in the Virtual Reality Crimes Unit who is investigating “the first real-life murder to take place within virtual reality.”

“Syfy is the perfect home for launching this innovative, hybrid linear and virtual reality series,” Steve Patscheck, EVP global programming, NBCU International Networks, said in a statement.  “We look forward to partnering with Secret Location on Halcyon, as Syfy international channels break new ground with the launch of the brand’s first scripted virtual reality series.”

"VR is being exposed to more and more people and with projects like Halcyon, we intend to help this immersive form of entertainment grow," added Secret Location President James Milward.

Halcyon is being produced with financial participation of the Independent Production Fund, a  Canadian private foundation that makes equity investments in original digital drama series.