NBC Planning Robinson Crusoe Series

Several centuries before the likes of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sayid and so on there was another famous castaway stranded on a remote island.

Now, NBC is cashing in on the “Survivor”/”Lost” phenomenon by ordering 13 episodes of “Robinson Crusoe,” a drama series based on Daniel Defoe’s classic novel.

The 17th century setting of the book will remain intact but will have a contemporary feel and deal with such issues as race relations. Crusoe and loyal servant Friday will still deal with marauding militias, hungry cannibals, wild cats, starvation and apocalyptic lightning storms.

New elements however will include additional characters and Crusoe’s MacGyver-esque ability to make tools out of everyday objects. Australia is being eyed as a shooting location, and either an Australian or British actor is being sought for the title role.

If no actor’s strike takes place this Summer, a Fall airdate is being targeted. If one does happen, a mid-season start is likely.