The Nancy Drew spin-off with a gay and Black male lead is on the way!
The CW has ordered the Tom Swift show for straight-to-series, according to Deadline! Last October, we learned that the classic book series Tom Swift would be getting its own series. The show will be a spin-off of The CW’s Nancy Drew series. Only while Nancy drew is a supernatural-based mystery show, Tom Swift will be sci-fi in nature.
The series will follow its titular lead Tom Swift, a Black, gay, billionaire, after the sudden disappearance of his father. While on a road trip to find his dad and uncover the secrets of a sci-fi conspiracy, Swift has to deal with an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him.
But even better, we’ve already seen Tom Swift in action. After it was first reported that actor Tian Richards would play the character, potential fans got to first see him in the Nancy Drew episode “The Celestial Visitor.” In it, Richards’ Swift and Nancy Drew, played by Kennedy McMann, crossed paths and butted heads on what was causing a new mystery, sci-fi beginnings or supernatural origins. In addition, LeVar Burton voiced Tom Swift’s AI companion Barclay.
— Tom Swift (@CWTomSwift) August 30, 2021
When talking about the series to TVLine, Richards noted how exciting it is to create representation in a tv adaption of a popular book series.
“The original Tom Swift was great for his time and what he represented,” Richards said. “At the time, that was the face of young boys, All-American kids full of possibilities. But in 2021, that can look so different. It can look like someone like me — a Black guy who is chocolate, who is queer, who is all those things that we’re told aren’t the normal or the status quo.”
“We’re going to dive into so many sectors of identity,” he added. “We’re going to talk about Blackness — and a different kind of Blackness than we’re used to seeing, which is the Black elite, the 1 percent, the billionaires.
“We’re also going to talk about a queer boy’s journey into becoming a queer man,” Richards continued. “Not only self-acceptance, but acceptance as a whole, having the community and people around you. We also don’t shy away from the STEM world. You’ll see all the amazing gadgets and science, so it’ll also be deeply informative. You want to see the action along with the representation, and we tackle both things head on.”
Again, The CW has given the show a straight-to-series order for the 2021-2022 season. This is after the project was in contention earlier this year. In May, The CW initially decided to give series orders to only two of its six 2021 pilots, Naomi and All American: Homecoming. But now, the series will have its day in the light.
To help drive that forward, Co-creators Melinda Hsu Taylor, Noga Landau and Cameron Johnson will executive produce the series. They’ll be joined by Nancy Drew co-creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage under their Fake Empire banner. Lis Rowinski will also join the team of executive producers.