Fan Recovers Pilot of Canceled S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series

Stalkers, vodka, and anomalies of the Zone

Long-time fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series may remember that long before the sequel that was announced in May 2018, there was another attempt to make S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. That game was announced back in 2010 and canceled just two years after, but GSC Game World, the company behind the franchise, was planning on expanding it to other media. That plans included a canceled Russian TV show.

The project was killed even before the pilot was released. But it was shot and thanks to the series’ director Gleb Skorobogatov some of its footage was released online in his blog. One of the fans had enough dedication to find all the clips available and reassemble them into something that resembles the first (and only) episode of the canceled TV show.

You can watch 12 minutes of every S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fan’s fever dream below:

Here’s a recap of the video for those who speak Russian memes, but not the actual Russian:

Opening

The episode opens with two military guys, Major and Kharchenko, transporting prisoners through a wild area of the Zone. Almost immediately they find themselves under the fire from a hunter played by a famous Russian actor Gosha Kutsenko. The next clip shows our protagonists (or are they?) alive and well, the group then decides to make a stop in a night forest due to the engine’s failure, while one other character tries to buy vodka in a plastic bottle.

Kitchen scene

The next scene is a conversation between a cook and Kharchenko, the two have a chit-chat about a sudden nature of the Zone’s explosions, and then Kharchenko convinces the cook to give him a radioactive "bullet" to fix the engine and get to his destination.

Mutants and anomalies

The episode then makes a big time skip. The character (the one who tried to buy vodka) got trapped in catacombs and presumably was affected by a powerful anomaly. One of the "prisoners" finds him there and after a chilly conversation about the "Vodka guy’s" childhood, they proceed to Papa Carlo’s place.

After a quick stop, they continue their journey and meet a mutant, who looks like a cute puppy: the prisoner tries to pet it, but the Vodka guy immediately shoots the creature. The next scene is just more meaningless talk between the two and a little lore about stalkers: the Vodka guy says that all of them are different, some want to find artifacts, others shoot you without a clear reason.

The video ends with our two guys under the attack of an electric mutant.

Why the show was canceled

It’s really hard to make sense out of these clips without missing footage. But even if the full pilot was released online, chances are that it still would be a mess. A reaction of GSC Game World Sergiy Grygorovych clearly points that the pilot was not good at all, and the show was canceled because of that.

"When S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was in development, we wanted to expand the brand in different directions. And we’ve decided to make a pilot of a TV show and see how it would look like: what works, and what doesn’t. Because we don’t have any experience in that field and it’s not Hollywood, we can’t hire a team that knows how to pull it off. Because of that we had to try: to accept this challenge and look what we can do. So we did, and we’ve seen the result, and I didn’t like it too much, In fact, I very much disliked the result. So when the time came to close the project and close the company completely, I knew that even if didn’t close [the company], I would’ve canceled the TV show for sure, because we just couldn’t pull it off".

To finish this wild nostalgic trip, let’s watch a trailer of the canceled TV show. Thankfully, it has subtitles:

The rebooted version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was announced in May 2018. The game doesn’t have a release date and we are not sure when we’ll the first footage of it.

GSC Game World recently answered many questions about the upcoming game. You can read it here: