New TV show bridges pop culture, climate change education


The Goldilocks Mission, an upcoming TV series, uses science fiction to explore climate change and environmental solutions. Image: John Geddes

By Jack Armstrong

The creators of a new television series about climate change describe it as a cross between Stranger Things and a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough – and they say they hope it’ll help ease anxiety about the existential threat.

John Geddes and Jackie Eddols are the Toronto-based producers and creators of The Goldilocks Mission, an in-development, independently produced science-fiction series that will focus on real climate issues under the familiar lens of sci-fi.

John Geddes and Jackie Eddols talk to the crowd at a launch event at the Toronto International Film Festival. The producers hosted actors and scientists including former NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James Hansen over video call.


The husband-and-wife duo want to use entertainment to educate young people on climate change and its effects in a more hopeful way.

“We really want to make it an inspirational show,” Eddols said. “We can’t go numb – it’s very daunting and it’s huge and we want to          break it down a bit so it seems a little easier to move forward.”

The series will follow Mia, a young girl who discovers she is a “Star Child” – one of nine children selected from around the universe by a highly intelligent alien civilization.

The Star Children have been chosen to embark on a secret mission to help save Earth from climate change.

In each episode, Mia will visit a new planet that has been devastated by climate change. The story will introduce small, easy-to-understand concepts to the audience, such as the relationship between fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect.

The project’s website features a brief trailer full of sci-fi imagery and dramatic special effects.

A promotional poster from the Goldilocks Mission, an upcoming TV television series that uses science fiction to explore climate change and environmental solutions. Image: John Geddes

“It’s a thrilling edge-of-your-seat experience, but woven through that is very tangible education on climate,” Geddes said.

Geddes said the project is motivated by his children. The couple had an epiphany shortly after they’d had their third child, Goldie, the project’s namesake.

“We just woke up one morning and said, ‘We’ve got to do something with a bit more meaning, a legacy project we can leave behind for our kids, something we can be proud of,’” he said.

Eddols said the target audience is young adults aged 14 to 26, but they want to create a show anyone can watch – whether that’s parents sitting down to watch with their kids or teachers using it as educational material in high schools.

Nailing the science is important, Eddols said.

The project is backed by a board of advisers, including climatologist and former NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James Hansen, astronaut Karen Nyberg and economist Akram Lodhi.

Eddols said they hope to bring a team of climate scientists into the writer’s room.

“We’re going to be leaning on the experts throughout this entire show to help ensure accuracy and ensure that we’re giving the right education,” she said.

Environmentalist and author Ashoke Mohanraj is also on the advisory board.

He has a background in environmental science and has worked with the Canadian government and the United Nations. He’s also written children’s books on environmental issues, looking for creative ways to communicate the climate crisis. 

Mohanraj said his mission boils down to one question: “How do we show people that caring is cool?”

His work on The Goldilocks Mission consists of reviewing content for accuracy and ensuring the project incorporates youth perspectives and themes of climate justice and climate equity.

“John and Jackie aren’t climate experts,” Mohanraj said. “But they’re really doing the effort to get those people to make sure what they put out is accurate and up to date.”

Part of the motivation behind the project is to create climate education that viewers can feel comfortable watching. Eddols recounts feeling anxious when thinking about her children’s future under the effects of climate change.

“I’ve had to turn some documentaries off,” Eddols said. “I’ve gotten more anxiety from reading articles than not.”

Eddols said the story will ease climate anxiety by showcasing a “greener future” through real-world solutions to environmental issues.

This comes in part from companies supporting the project and injecting their green technology into the narrative.

Geddes named habitat restoration, carbon-neutral jet fuel and sustainable clothing as examples.

But the project won’t shy away from the catastrophic effects of climate change. The goal is still to educate.

“We’re firm believers that you can’t solve any problem until you fully understand it,” Eddols said. “We want to give our kids that education, which will turn into resilience and have them focusing on solutions.”

It’s important to target a young audience, Mohanraj said, because they’ll be the generation most affected by climate change in the future. And pop culture is a good way to get an audience’s attention.

Nobody thinks about Interstellar as a climate change movie, he said, but it’s set on a future version of Earth decimated by environmental problems.

“It is first and foremost about great entertainment,” Geddes said. “We want to create an experience where young people can understand and relate to and feel safe, and then the takeaway is, ‘I learned something that I haven’t learned, perhaps in school or elsewhere.’”

The project is crowdfunded through Kickstarter.

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