Despite billions to be made from science fiction at the box office and the bestseller list, in recent times, similar themed shows have struggled to find their place on television in recent times. While this has been something of a problem in the past – one need only look how FOX killed Firefly, on a network than managed to squeeze in three interchangeable Seth MacFarlane cartoons in between hours of American Idol and its imitators – but a when shows like Terra Nova or The Event barely last a season, and even popular shows like Fringe are having issues avoiding the axe. An attempt to change this comes from a likely source.
In spite of both an unfortunate name change and a questionable shift in focus to reality shows, wrestling and the paranormal for their programming, SyFy remains one of the best places to get your sci-fi fix on television. Home to both reruns of classics from MST3000 to The Outer Limits, and the origin point for shows from Stargate to Battlestar Gallactica, and even their string of network produced B-Movies, from Sharktopus to Space Twister are good for some cinematic ham and cheese. When one considers that past, it makes sense that some of the announced shows for the channel look to take television science fiction to bold new places in the next few years, and include the following:
In what looks to be one of the most daring, and unique tie-ins in recent memory, Defiance takes place in the future, after a brutal war for control of planet Earth between humanity and alien refugees ended in an uneasy cease fire, lest the war make the planet unusable for either side. In the midst of this, we follow the lives of two groups who set out to make a place for themselves in the new world: a group of settlers in St. Louis on the TV show, and millions of players on the MMO game, and events and actions in either setting will effect the other.
Needless to say, nothing quite like this has been attempted before, and the method of cross platform connectivity is groundbreaking and fascinating to say the least. Toss in that it is shaping up to be a solid space western, one part Firefly, one part Blade Runner, one part Fallout, and it certainly already turned a few heads, mine included.
From the minds behind both Deep Space Nine and Andromeda, this space opera aftermath of an intergalactic war between humans and transhumans, the starship Defender, populated by a combustible mix of former enemies, is sent on a seemingly simple goodwill mission, which turns into a fight for their lives and for the safety of the Universe at large. Solid concept, and has some great talent behind it.
Based off of John Christopher’s novel The Lotus Caves, this hopeful series will follow a future where the moon has been settled by a number of nations over competition over land, resources, and most recently, alien life and artifacts. As a fan of both any media to follow lunar colonization, and having been a big fan of the late John Christopher’s work as a boy, and having reread some of his stories when he passed away in February, I look forward to seeing this.
Based of the comic character of the same name from DC Comics, it follows our titular hero, a washed up athelete from the future who, upon traveling to the modern day, and using future tech, becomes a superhero, Booster Gold. Don’t expect him to do it for truth and justice though, and the only American way he fights for is capitalism, as he fights crime for fame and fortune. The character itself is one of DC’s better minor heroes, has tons of potential, and unlike a series revolving around one of the main staples of the DC Universe, has more flexibility for the writers and producers. Hope this prospect is gold!
Follows the people of Los Angeles when, in a split second, much of modern technology ceases to function, and in its place, magic and other fantasy elements take its place, as the modern world gets flipped upside down. Sharing many elements with SM Sterling’s Emberverse series, hopefully this will pan out – in something other than a lawsuit that it.
One Mile Stright Down
When a powerful earthquake hits California and opens up a chasm bigger than the Grand Canyon, it reveals an enormous hidden ocean lying deep beneath the earth’s crust. Billionaire adventurer James Exeter works with the government to take an advanced nuclear submarine down to explore it and discovers more than he ever could have imagined. As an Aquapunk junkie, I’m all in for this.
As a whole, I’m excited about this upcoming tide of intriging and interesting shows set to air on SyFy. Between the rumored return of Toonami and this, it seems television is working to pull itself out of the gutter, and the folks running the networks seem to have finally pulled thier heads from thier asses. Next thing we know, the History Channel will start airing history-based programming again, or MTV might trade crappy reality shows for music videos.
One can hope anyway. At the very least, it looks like we will get some solid science fiction television soon, and I am looking forward to it.