ABC is working in a new show Finn & Sawyer about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as private investigators “in a bustling and steampunk New Orleans,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The ABC show is being developed by Jason Richman and David Zabel, who have worked together on Detroit 1-8-7 for the last two years. No word yet on casting or on when it might make it might make it to air.

This twist on Mark Twain’s well known characters might sound like a crazy idea, but I suspect Mr. Twain would have approved. Let’s take a look at his Steampunk credentials:

  • Steam engines pervaded his early life. He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, a railroad town, and at 21 he became a cub steamboat pilot.
  • He was a lover of technology, being awarded several patents himself and investing (and lost) the bulk of his wealth in an early typesetting machine called the Paige compositor.
  • He was a good friend of Steampunk favorite Nikola Tesla. In fact, the picture with this post is of Twain in Tesla’s lab in 1895.
  • His novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court dealt with anachronistic technology, albeit technology from his day in medieval times.
  • He had a lifelong interest in parapsychology, a common theme in Steampunk fiction.
  • As io9 points out, Twain’s novel Tom Sawyer Abroad was a riff on Verne with many of the common Steampunk tropes, such as mad scientists and airships.

Regardless of Twain’s hypothetical feelings on the subject, we’ve already seen Tom Sawyer in Steampunk adventure in the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, although he did not appear in the original original graphic novel.