How science fictional will AMC's 1950s drama Area 51 be?

With AMC dropping its mystery drama The Killing and Breaking Bad wrapping at the end of this season, the cable channel is looking for a new television hit. It looks like they're putting their money on Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and Area 51, a series about the mysterious military base set in the 1950s and 1960s. We're sure to see some mad science being done in the top secret base, but will we also get hints of alien activity?

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Area 51 is already in production. The series is based on journalist Annie Jacobsen's book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. Jacobsen's work is not science fiction, and in fact claims that the object of the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident was, in fact, a Soviet flying disc, which is a big strike against aliens or their remains popping up.

Still, we should at least get some strange, possibly fictional, Cold War-era science out of the series. The accuracy of Jacobsen's book has been called into question, especially in her account of the Roswell crash. Most strikingly, she claims that the Soviet plane was manned by child-sized pilots biologically manipulated by Josef Mengele at Stalin's behest. Will that detail, and other bits of mad science, make it into the show? With all the ratings success AMC has had with The Walking Dead, I'd be surprised if they shy away from a science fictional account of those decades at Area 51.

AMC Developing 'Area 51' Drama With 'Walking Dead' EP [THR via Blastr]