BBC to debut Buffy-style internet based thriller

LONDON - The BBC is developing 'Signs of Life', an internet-based drama in the style of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' in conjunction with 'Big Brother' maker Endemol.

'Signs of Life', which is aimed at teenagers, is believed to be the first fully interactive drama to be launched on the internet.

The BBC has invested £800,000 in the project so far through its new-media division. It will launch online in the next few months.

Ashley Highfield, the director of new media and technology at the BBC, said that show recalled the long-running 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' series, which was created by Joss Whedon. Whedon had looked at doing a spin-off supernatural series with the BBC starring Anthony Stewart Head called 'Ripper', based on his character in 'Buffy', but so far this has yet to materialise.

'Signs of Life' will be based in the fictional Suffolk town of Whyte and the BBC is hoping young people's interest in the supernatural will generate interest in storylines based on astrology.

It will join a slew of supernatural dramas currently airing on TV such as ITV2's 'Supernatural' and the Sci-fi Channel's 'Medium'.

The episodes have been filmed as live drama in loosely-framed episodes, allowing viewers to decide how long they want to stay with each episode.

Peter Cowley, director of interactive media at Endemol, said: "There have been a few experiments in educational drama like this before and back in the days of the internet boom there was a drama called Caroline On-line, which some people may remember.

"Obviously that was restricted at the time by the way it could be delivered to people. It also had a vaguely thriller-like plot too and was character-based."


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