Monday, July 13, 2015

Exciting New Sci-Fi on TV

I'd like to say that sci-fi on TV is seeing a bit of a resurgence, but its possible that I'm biased because its my favorite genre! And I'm not talking soft sci-fi or shows that are really only kind of a little bit sci-fi. I'm talking hard-core ships-in-space and distant-future sci-fi, my favorite kind! There are a number of new shows that I'm very excited to watch, but in saying that, I'm also a little worried about getting attached, since statistic-wise, I'm sure ninety percent of these shows will fail to get a second season, leaving me heartbroken once again. And after Battle Creek, I just don't know if I can take it again!
Nonetheless, here are a few shows that I'm totally getting my geek on for:

Dark Matter
Based on a comic by the same name, I have some hope that out of all the new shows, Dark Matter will be the one to survive, since it was made by some of the same people who produced the very successful Stargate franchise. However, the show was only given a 13 episode run, which seems more and more the thing to do now, which, as a lover of the long 22-ish episode season, I find very disappointing.
So the premise goes that six people wake up on a damaged spaceship with no memories, absolutely no idea who they are and how they got there. From what I've gleaned, it soon becomes apparent that they might be wanted criminals or something, maybe some kind of team of assassins? I guess I could go get the comic to find out, but instead I'll wait until I can enjoy the TV series. I'm hoping that this show promises to have really great character development and a seamless cast who create awesome chemistry on the screen, like we got from Stargate. Out of all the shows, this is probably the one I'm looking forward to most.

The Expanse

This series is being touted as the show we've been waiting for since Battlestar Galactica. Based on the books by James S.A. Corey, the story is set 200 years in the future, when humans have colonized Mars and are mining the moons and asteroid belts. Tension has been simmering between various groups, and a violent war threatens to break out. This show seems to be more political and mystery-based, but most importantly, the characters seem to be more of the focus than the setting of a distant sci-fi future. This show was only given a ten episode run, though the episodes are a full hour each and the people who run Syfy have said its their most ambitious project to date -- apparently the sets are quite expansive, which gives the show a more realistic, gritty feel, as opposed to using greenscreens. I will be interested to see if this series lives up to its hype.

Killjoys
This new series looks like its going to be really fun. Also set in the distant future, the show is based on a trio of bounty hunters who take interplanetary missions, tracking and bagging deadly criminals, while remaining neutral in a war going on around them. Okay, so it sounds kind of dark when I write it like that, but from the previews, it seems like its going to be one of my favorite types of shows, where the darkness is offset by moments of quippy humor, plus I also think the cast of this show looks really great together. This show has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, and out of all of the shows, I think this will be the most likely to fail on the second season front, which probably means I'll love it the most out of all of them. This show also won points with me because of the involvement of Emily Andras who produced Orphan Black, which I really love. Once again, this show only got a ten episode run, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out ratings-wise.


Sense-8

This one is probably not so much technically sci-fi as it is more paranormal. This Netflix original production looks gritty and mind-aching, but in a totally good way. I recently finished watching Daredevil, and Netflix is certainly building a reputation for its programming, not letting a little things like weekly ratings get in its way, instead embracing the internet binge-watching movement. This show is about eight complete strangers around the globe who find themselves with a psychic connection. At first, they can only see or hear what others do, but I believe as the series moves on, they start to influence each other's decisions and actions. This show has far more cultural diversity than any of the other shows offer, which is far more realistic, especially when it comes to sci-fi. I mean this in the regard that one would assume hundreds of years into the future, the separate races and cultures of earth will be far more intermixed than they are now. This show has been flogged as the most promising series since Lost, but since I was never a Lost fan, that wasn't a selling point for me. As a Netflix produced series, it was not surprising that this show again only has a run of 12 episodes (I am starting to worry that we'll see the death of the 22 episode season, or at least get to a point where only the biggest and most popular shows get a full series run). This show also had mixed reviews, and though it looks pretty good, I'm probably not in as much of a hurry to see it.  

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