Whatever Happened to Sci-Fi TV?
Even though we are enjoying a new “golden age” of sci-fi movies, the opposite is true about TV viewing these days with scant options available for the science fiction fan.
Coming off the science fiction rich 90’s TV, I am wondering what’s going on to cause this. How did we go from so many great shows to nothing? Are the TV people just not getting the message sent by all the success that science fiction movies are enjoying?
Most of the genre tv shows currently on the air are only marginally science fiction, if at all. Most of them would be more accurately categorized as fantasies, with fairy tale or supernatural subject matter. The same old excuse of “they’re too expensive to make” just doesn’t make it any more. Why was it possible to make them before, and not now?
Most of all why are there no outer space adventure series on TV at this point? Such a glaring oversight is difficult to understand. They finally seemed to wise up, over at Fox, to the fact that we wanted another show like the X-Files and gave us Fringe, but now that that series has been canceled things are really looking bleak for science fiction fans.
Taking a look at next season, it’s easy to see this trend is continuing:
666 Park Ave
This is a supernatural looking series that seems to be based on the same premise as Needful Things which is “be careful what you wish for” with an almost comical title that screams “caution: devil at work.”
The CW continues its pursuit of the super hero genre which they promise will be “darker and edgier than Smallville” (let’s hope it’s not another bait and switch with promises of action , that turns out to be a soap opera) again, strictly speaking, not science fiction. although the show might end up being enjoyable, no super powers, makes it a drama.
Beauty and the Beast
Based on what I know about this show it’s got a 50-50 shot at being an enjoyable fantasy (based on a fairy tale) or it may turn out to be another serialized romance novel type show for the ladies.
A coming of age prequel to the Stephen King classic horror story. I can only wonder WTF made them think this was a good idea? No web site yet.
This may be the one bright spot of the season. it takes place on a post interplanetary war scarred earth, partially terra formed by the aliens,and follows the main character who settles in a border town occupied by both aliens and humans. this show is uniquely ambitious in that it shares “realities” with a online game which mirrors the world portrayed on the tv series. sounds like sci-fi to me showing on the disappointing SYFY channel which, as most fans know, shows very little sci-fi.
This show about the crew of a nuclear sub rebelling against the government and stealing the sub as a result generated a lot of excitement when it was announced, and the opening series of events do look like they might make for an exciting, and entertaining drama, but i find myself wondering what happens after that? they steal the sub, make an island their new country, then what? this looks like it might be an enjoyable dramatic series, but it doesn’t look like it’s science fiction.
This show, anchored by what seems to be a sci-fi concept of technology that went wrong, takes place in an uncivilized post technological future without electricity. the lead character uses a sword to enforce his will a la Book Of Eli and his niece uses a crossbow (more Katniss anyone?) despite it’s premise it looks more like a drama than sci-fi to me.
A “normal” New Jersey suburban family discovers their neighbors are actually aliens from another world, with hilarious results. While sci-fi, it’s actually a sitcom.
Although this looks like it might be a fun series, it looks more like a cross between the Da Vinci Code and the Omen franchise. Starts next year.
So, there you have it. Like I said, looks pretty bleak. How can these tv producers and executives be so clueless, and why after the giddy fun of having all those great 90’s sci-fi shows have they abandoned the genre so completely?
I feel so strongly about this i think science fiction fans should band together and start a letter writing campaign or something of the sort to get the attention of tv executives and hopefully get them to take action. I even went so f ar as to start a petition on change. org. I hope you will join me in signing it and tell all you friends to sign it too. You can find it here: