Science fiction and television don’t seem to be getting along very well lately. For every long running series like Doctor Who, there’s a half-dozen series killed before their time, ala Firefly.
It’s somewhat understandable. Scifi series cost more to make than a sitcom or yet another reality TV show. They may not appeal to people who have a limited view of what science fiction is or how it relates to them. And people may not have time for another show, and they may be confused if they miss a few episodes.
Even knowing the seemingly inevitable fate of scifi shows, I tend to watch them anyway. This is probably a mistake. Last year, ABC had an amazing series on called FlashForward. I adored it, liked it from the very first episode (and I normally take a few episodes to acclimate myself to a show), loved the way it made you wonder whether or not you could change the future once you knew what it was going to be.
It was, of course, cancelled after its first season. It ended on a cliffhanger and I will never know what happened.
The last scifi series I picked up, Warehouse 13, is now on its third season, but it is on SyFy and that is, arguably, the safest place for a scifi series to be.
When was the last time a network scifi series made it to any great length? I think it might actually be something like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine back in the early 2000s. People ask me why I don’t watch TV and the answer, for me, at least, is that there’s nothing worth watching. I don’t mind the odd sitcom or something like the Simpsons, but I rarely find anything that pulls me in and gives me a reason to come back week after week.
My husband and I have recently started watching a new science fiction show on TNT called Falling Skies. It took a few episodes to get into, but it’s got me hooked now. Hopefully it will get renewed; there’s some hope, since it’s not on a broadcast network. There’s another new series starting on FOX in September called Terra Nova – people from the future (having destroyed the planet) go back in time and, from what I gathered from the previews, get eaten by dinosaurs. Which, really, I like dinosaurs and I like science fiction so this show interests me (do we not care about disruptions to the timeline?) but FOX has a notoriously bad reputation for cancelling shows early on, so I don’t know if it’s worth my time.
What scifi shows have you in their grasp right now, Squiders? Have you been watching Falling Skies? Looking forward to Terra Nova? (There’s also a fantasy/detective show coming out called Grimm that I somewhat have my eye on.) Why do you think scifi can’t get a decent hold on non-cable television?