Amazon Studios are “nearing a deal” to develop a TV series based on Mass Effect, according to a recent Deadline report. Excellent stuff. I’m all for it! If Mass Effect were to be adapted into anything, I’d much rather it be a potentially long-running series rather than a film so it has enough time to establish its excellent sci-fi setting. However, we need to talk about what story Amazon could potentially take from the games. To me, it seems likely they’d follow the trilogy, which I reckon is the right move. But I don’t think we need to see more of Shepard’s side of things, you know? They should put Liara front-and-centre instead.
Deadline claim that Mass Effect is one of Amazon’s “newest hopefuls”, as the company look to “invest in fantasy genres of all kinds”. That’s about all they say though, so take this info with a pinch of salt.
Having said that, it’s fun to think about what could be. My first thought is that a Mass Effect TV show would follow the trilogy because it’s epic and exciting and takes you through the origin of a galaxy-spanning threat (and let’s face it, Andromeda just wasn’t as interesting). Also I feel like that’s what tends to happen with adaptations, they take the origins of something and make it easy to watch (similar to what’s happening with the Uncharted film, I suppose).
But a key issue here is that they’d have to choose a Commander Shepard. And so help me if I have to watch another stubbly bloke save the universe. However, if they did go the DudeShep route, they could at least soften the blow by making Liara the main character.
Folks who’ve played the games have already seen Shep in control, and sci-fi like this so rarely puts aliens in the leading roles. And Liara would work perfectly! She’s an archaeologist that’s studied the protheans, which would be an excellent way to teach new watchers about the lore. On top of that, in the first game her own mum is an antagonist – now that’s the sort of drama that works for TV.
I always find it interesting to see stories play out from multiple perspectives, and this could be a great way of seeing what Liara was up to in-between games too. She plays a pivotal role in recovering Shep’s body, gets up to all sorts of cool secret stuff working as an information broker, and even ends up working as a scientist on Mars ahead of ME3. Liara taking the lead would be a great way of following the trilogy’s fab plotline, but exploring more of what she got up to while we were galavanting around as a space cop.
But hey, Amazon might not actually be making a Mass Effect series, at the moment it’s very much a rumour. I’d be okay with that too, I like Mass Effect being video games. Plus, if I really wanted to watch Mass Effect-like sci-fi on the telly, I still have The Expanse.
It’s a nice opportunity to chat about what we’d like to see though. So reader, if Amazon do make a Mass Effect series, what would you like to see in it?