after Galactica: what to watch next?

somewhat inspired by Mark’s list of games, movies, and anime he intends to watch next, I wanted to list some of the upcoming (and older) series on television that I am going to sample to try and replace the gaping void that Batttlestar Galactica’s ride off into the sunset (literally) has left behind. In no particular order:

  • Stargate: Universe. This takes the Stargate franchise into a fresh direction, into the unexplored universe far beyond the scope of the previous series (SG1 and Atlantis). The plot premise sounds like a cross between Quantum Leap and Star Trek Voyager – but wit the Stargate writers, the extreme suckage and wasted potential of ST:VOY will hopefully be avoided. This is,however, the Stargate franchise, so expecting the series to take actual risks or bold storylines is probably wishful thinking indeed. Unlike BSG, Stargate plays it safe – characters never die, there are never any major changes to the status quo, and the series prefers technobabble exposition to simple character interaction (a failing it has inherited, though to far less degree, from the Star Trek-ification of science fiction).
  • Caprica. This prequel series to BSG is styled as a soap opera/drama rather than an action and adventure series. Still, it will be interesting to see how they respect/extend/desecrate the BSG canon. One thing that worries me off the bat is the insinuation that we will be seeing humaniform cylons instead of toasters. Still, with Ron Moore aboard as a producer, hopefully they will avoid the temptation.
  • Chuck. I caught an episode of this engaging series on a recent United flight and I found myself intrigued. I barely know what it’s about apart from what I inferred from the episode, but Chuck appears to be an ordinary schmoe who somehow has some super classified database implanted in his brain, neccessitating protection by the CIA and involvement in all sorts of silly capers with foreign agents who are trying to learn his (protected) identity. In teh meantime he works at a Best Buy (suitably modified for trademark purposes). This is funnier than it sounds,but it also had some honest emotion too. A major appeal was seeing Adam Baldwin (Jayne from Firefly) playing major supporting role.
  • Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. I know this series is rumored for cancellation, but it’s got Summer Glau.
  • Warehouse 13. This is probably the most anticipated show on my list. The basic idea is to try and mix X-Files with Raiders of the Lost Ark, with two (FBI?) agents assigned to Warehouse 13, a desert government facility where all manner of supernatural objects are stored (think the big warehouse where they stored the Ark in Raiders). The agents are tasked with going off around the world and retrieving more of these objects. The previews suggest that the agents are a lot more interesting, personality wise, than Sculder or Mully ((I mean, they were both deadpan and taciturn. Even Scully’s supposed cynicism about the paranormal became hollow by the end of the first couple of seasons. The only characters with any genuine warmth were the Lone Gunmen)).

I’ll take this moment to ridicule SciFi Channel’s universally-panned name change to (or, as I like to think of it, Siffy). Then again, despite being home to 3 of the 5 series listed above, there’s barely any science fiction on the channel anymore. Most of the time they are showing bad horror flicks like Anaconda or whatnot.

7 thoughts on “after Galactica: what to watch next?”

  1. Going by the ads they showed during the BSG finale, it looked to me like Caprica is a one-off direct-to-DVD movie.

    They’re also supposed to be done one called the The Plan, probably after they figure out what the heck the plan was supposed to be (grumble, grumble, grumble).

    I was not impressed with the finale; it turned the whole series into a remake of HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy told from the perspective of the telephone sanitizers on the Golgafrinchan B Ark with the Cylons playing the part of the giant space goat…

  2. i could be wrong but I was under the impression that Caprica will air in 2011, production starting early next year (there was something to do with eth writers’ strike last year that helped push it to the top of the stack)

    i really enjoyed the finale, but have a lot of things to say about it. Maybe best to break it up into a retrospective series of posts…

  3. A little clarifying on Caprica: As it is, it’s a standalone movie — like Battlestar Galactica was to begin with. If the ratings are there for the pilot/movie, it will be a series. Also, last I heard, it does feature at least one skinjob. Hopefully that’s supposed to make us go “Huh?”

  4. I’ve found “Dollhouse”, the latest Eliza Dushku vehicle, pretty good so far. Premise: some underground group has developed technology to erase and implant memories and personalities into people, and are using it to program people to order for money. Only 6 episodes have aired so far, so you aren’t very far behind.

    “Kings” is more than a bit heavy handed, being a retelling of King David (of David & Goliath biblical fame) set in alternate reality modern times, but it’s kept my interest so far. (3 hours aired so far).

    “Better Off Ted”‘s first episode was amusing, have to watch the second. A 30 minute comedy. Ted is the manager of an R&D group inside a monstrous corporation. So far, there’s effectively one soft of fleshed out character, Ted, and everyone else are basically props for his monologue. We’ll see if the writers can get this show going.

    Oh! You might want to check out “Saving Grace” on TNT. It’s probably TNT’s most ambitious original show. Grace is a hard drinking, hard loving, hard living cop, haunted by the Oklahoma City bombing and an angel.

    Nathon Fillion’s latest gig is “Castle”, which has also kept my interest in through the first three episodes. Another police procedural show with a twist, in this case, Fillion is Richard Castle, a mystery writer, who attaches himself to a police officer he meets in the first episode, as “research”.

  5. I also suggest:

    Kings, which transposes Old Testament epics to the modern world. A bit soap-opera-y so far, but still engrossing.

    Fringe. Not great, but decent enough. Think X-Files for the 21st century.

    Sueprnatural has a nice apocalyptic pall hanging on it this season.

  6. Anachronda—I’m glad someone mentioned the B Ark connection. It hadn’t occurred to me when I gave my first impressions of the finale (though I did mention the Magratheans when snarking a little about how the first “Earth” was supposedly the one where all the constellations lined up with the Tomb of Athena map—so where are we now? Another Earth with the same constellations?).

    But yeah, in retrospect it’s painfully obvious, so much so that it can’t have gone unnoticed by the writers.

    Heh… once upon a time, my company expanded to the size where it took over an adjacent building across the parking lot, part of the same complex with the same architecture, but a separate building nonetheless. We put all our Sales and Marketing people in there, while all the engineers stayed in the first building. You can imagine how long it took us to start referring to the other building as the “B Ark”…

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