The CW's take on Nancy Drew has become a bonafide hit, with the network already developing a potential spinoff series inspired by the mystery-tinged world of the series. The spinoff, titled Tom Swift, is set to have a backdoor pilot in this week's episode of Nancy Drew, with Tian Richards playing a modern-day version of the titular inventor character. Ahead of the backdoor pilot airing, we now know a pretty major actor who will be joining the cast. Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow's Levar Burton has been brought on to voice Barclay, the AI companion and "tough-love mentor" of Tom. The character appears to be an updated version of Bud Barclay, Tom's best friend and sidekick from the comics.
Created by the young genius when Tom was eight years old, Barclay has been by his side ever since — nimbly transferring himself to Tom’s smartwatch, his tablet, his laptop and even the screens of his car to offer astute encouragement and lightning-fast analysis. He’s Tom’s Hype Man, Tom’s confidante, and Tom’s friend — with a surprising depth of emotion and a journey of his own to take.
Tom Swift would follow the “serialized adventures of the billionaire inventor who is thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle, all while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him. Tom’s missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship and the mysteries of the universe yet-unsolved.”
The Tom Swift series will be written and executive produced by Nancy Drew showrunner Melina Hsu Taylor and co-creator Noga Landau, who co-created the series with Empire's Cameron Johnson. The project also hails from Nancy Drew producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
The Tom Swift series first began to be published in 1910, and encompasses more than 100 volumes. The books have been translated into many languages and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. There have been multiple attempts to adapt Tom Swift into live-action, with the only successful adaptation being a 1983 television special, The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour.