The Two Sides of SyFy’s Riverworld

Based on the books by Jose Philip Farmer, Riverworld is a mini-series due to air on SyFy next spring, starring Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse‘s Tahmoh Penikett, who apparently is determined to be typecast  into only nerdy series. Here’s the official synopsis from producer RHI Entertainment:

Matt, an American journalist, and his fianc?e, Jessie, are killed
in an explosion, but reawaken in a very unusual afterlife–a mysterious
planet with an endless river terrain. Everyone who has ever lived on
Earth has been resurrected simultaneously in this strange new world.
Determined to find Jessie, Matt joins forces with an intrepid crew
including a 13th century female warrior and Riverboat captain Mark
Twain. Embarking upriver, their adventure begins, all the while tracked
by the watchful eye of a mysterious alien force.

My brain exploded immediately after reading that. I mean, the idea of everyone on Earth getting resurrected next to some mythic-sized river is pretty cool, but then having the lead hook up with Mark fucking Twain? Sweet zombie Jesus, just typing that makes me want to punch babies. If any of you Topless Roboteers have read the books and can talk me down from declaring this thing a mess prematurely, now would be the time to do so. Although I should warn you there is nothing you can say that will make that dude horrible Samuel Clemens impression all right.