Canada’s Vision TV network is starting up a new strand, ‘I Prophecy: The Future Revealed,’ exploring possible future scenarios, from cyborgs to flying cars. Halifax-based Arcadia Entertainment is best known for ocean documentaries, but president John Wesley Chisholm details how he went from oceans to utopias and produced the first episode of ‘I Prophecy,’ entitled Dude Where’s My Flying Car.
How did you get involved with this strand?
We’ve been working with Vision since we started and about three years ago we did a series on Freemasonry on which Vision was the Canadian partner. We had a good time doing it and we were looking for other opportunities. When they came up with the ‘Prophecy’ series, we probably pitched a half dozen show ideas and they picked four and we started working on them in 2008. [The first,] Dude Where’s My Flying Car was particularly fun.
Was this a stretch from ocean-related topics, which is your specialty?
For years we have been all about oceans and ocean technology series, the thing that we built the company around. In the last couple of years we’ve been reverse engineering. We figured that we really had a legitimate special knowledge and just started to apply that to our development. That’s what got us into the Freemasonry series because we’re deeply into the Freemasonry here. When [Vision] wanted ‘Prophecy’ stories for the strand, we put forward ideas on things we had a special interest in and the idea of looking at how people in the past imagined technology of the future; that seemed a really logical choice for us. We’re very into the Popular Mechanics-type magazines and things like that. We had some connections and we were able to pursue that.
And the other three pitches?
There’s Superflood which connects with our ocean stuff. Then there’s Utopia. The idea of taking Sir Thomas More’s book Utopia and trying to figure out if anyone had found a perfect world – that was one of the ideas that we started the company with seven years ago and it never got any traction from any pitches but as an episode for this strand, it made perfect sense. Apocalypse 2060 was an end of the world documentary. Isaac Newton, who we’d come across in our Masonic research, had predicted the end of the world and his prediction was much later than the people who study these Mayan calendars and say that the world is going to end in 2012. We thought, ‘That buys us another 40 years, so we should go with the Newton.’
The ‘I Prophecy: The Future Revealed’ premieres on Tuesday January 27 on Vision TV in Canada.