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 SyFy.com (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.