Star Trek and American Horror Story actor Zachary Quinto is planning to executive produce and star in a TV series about biohackers. Deadline reports that the hour-long drama Biopunk will be based on a 2011 book of the same name by journalist Marcus Wohlsen, chronicling the work of citizen scientists who subscribe to the movement's DIY ethos. While Wohlsen was writing nonfiction, Deadline’s description makes the show sound like The Fifth Estate crossed with Halt and Catch Fire:
Biopunk chronicles the underground world of bio-hackers — DIY garage scientists seeking to do for biotech what Steve Jobs did for personal computing. These are young and hungry guerilla scientists committed to democratizing DNA the way the internet did for information, with the ambition to build never-before-seen organisms that could solve the thorniest challenges in food, health, energy, and environmental protection. [...] Quinto will play the iconoclastic leader of this movement who can’t wait for the future to get here fast enough.
The series, which will soon be pitched to networks, was created and written by Chase Palmer, the screenwriter behind next year’s remake of Stephen King’s It. Palmer was apparently attracted by the "edgy, activist, kick-down-the-walls subculture of citizen scientists" who work in biohacking. Granted, a lot of the biohackers we’ve met personally have been pretty chill, but the term covers a broad field with a lot of compelling personalities, from DIY geneticists to body modification specialists. Depending on how well it approaches the subject, the series could be either absolutely great, or totally cringeworthy — if and when it debuts at all.