Ron Moore did fantastic things with Battlestar Galactica in his rebooted Syfy series. Will he be able to breathe that kind of magic into a Wild West setting? On network television?
That’s the gamble ABC is taking with the purchase of Moore’s pitch Hangtown, Deadline reports. Moore will produce along with Matt Roberts, one of the writers from the (sadly) failed BSG spinoff Caprica.
Hangtown is a Western that embraces elements of a weekly procedural. It’s set in the titular frontier town during the early 1900s, and will focus on three characters: the town marshal, “a Matt Dillon/Clint Eastwood type who prefers to solve crimes by his instinct,” an East Coast doctor who wants to use “the new field of forensics to solve crimes,” and a young woman writer, “who is trying to sell dime novels to the publishing houses in New York about crime in the Wild West.”
Honestly, it sounds a bit cookie-cutter. This is Ron Moore we’re talking about, though. He took the hard sci-fi of BSG and made it both entertaining and relevant for wide audiences. If he can nail that same balance with Hangtown, ABC could be looking at a good opportunity here.