Chiwetel Ejiofor aims to outdo the odd David Bowie in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

The man who fell to earth is a very strange and cynical science fiction novel written by Walter Tevis in 1963 which became a very strange and cynical film by David Bowie in 1976. The story centers on a humanoid alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, who came to earth in search of water for its dying homeworld. He uses his advanced technological knowledge to patent many advances here on earth, making him wealthy enough to build the transport ships he needs, but also attracting the attention of the CIA and FBI. Along the way, he meets a young woman – Betty Jo in the original, Mary-Lou in the Bowie movie, and Justin Falls (Naomie Harris) in this new Showtime adaptation. She introduces him to the joys of television, sex and especially alcohol. Both the novel and the film are surreal and allegorical explorations of alcoholism.

Showtime has adapted the story into a new series in which single mother Justin discovers the newly arrived alien Faraday (Ejiofor). His planet is in the terminal phase of our current crisis, ravaged by nuclear war and environmental collapse. He hopes that his knowledge combined with the resources of the earth can save both planets and his family back home. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the nation’s intelligence agencies have other ideas.

The stellar cast also includes Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager), Jimi Simpson (Psych), and Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw). The 10-episode season debuts on Showtime and Paramount+ on April 24, after appearing on SXSW in March.

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