'Roadside Picnic' Casts Matthew Goode In A Post-Apocalyptic Future

Edward VKanty

WGN is bringing more original content this season with an adaptation of the 1972 short science fiction novel Roadside Picnic, written by Russian authors Arkady and Boris Strugatskys, and they have just revealed the lead for the series. Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Match Point) will be joining Roadside Picnic as lead protagonist Redrick "Red" Shuhart in the story about what becomes of Earth, following a visit from extraterrestrials.

Roadside Picnic To Follow Matthew Goode In A Post-Apocalyptic World

Red is something of an enigma himself, behaving with both ruthless barbarism one moment and highly sophisticated intelligence the next, but his motivations are never veiled. It's clear that Red's journey to the Zone is made, because he seeks to help his daughter, Marie. Red's daughter is shunned by much of society, because she's considered a child of the Zone.

Many men like Red, termed "Stalkers," venture into the Zone in search of items that might turn a high profit on the black market.

Roadside Picnic will join WGN's fairly recent line up of original programming. Initially, the network was set up to air syndicated shows, but, along with many similar networks, WGN made the move to produce original content. Previously, WGN had developed the horror series Salem and a period piece, Manhattan.Roadside Picnic will join an impressive line-up of original programming.

What Makes Roadside Picnic Out Of This World

Roadside Picnic isn't standing out just for its on-screen talent. The WGN series also brings in a rare talent behind the scenes in the form of its director, Alan Taylor. Having previously directed Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genisys, Taylor brings his vast experience in the fantasy and science fiction genres to bear, as he's slated to direct the Roadside Picnic pilot episode.

While WGN is certainly hedging their bets with some impressive talent, it may still be a gamble to bring Roadside Picnic to television. Science fiction is a hit and miss on television. While there are some shows to have done extremely well, such as the Star Trek franchise and The X-Files, there are other shows that have been far less successful. Among the vast list of failures, many post-apocalyptic themed shows tend to do poorly, though not for a lack of great storytelling. Shows like Revolution, Jericho, and Terra Nova all seemed doomed to fail. Whether or not Roadside Picnic can break the mold remains to be seen.

[Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]