Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Whither SF A/V, or The King Is Dead, Long Live...?

Lately, flipping through TV channels in search of SF, I have come to realize that SF on TV and movies is at a crossroads. For the first time in my lifetime, at least, the two great names of SF film are silent. The last Star Wars movie has come and passed, and while I keep hearing rumors about the television series, I haven't seen anything yet...and I think the oddsmakers are predicting three episodes[1], tops.

Meanwhile, Star Trek is taking a well-deserved[2] break from television entirely. After the disappointment of Enterprise--which, by all accounts, certainly improved in its fourth season, but there's definitely a taste of "a day late and a dollar short" in the air.

Firefly and Serenity are out and done, and it's clear that Joss Whedon is moving on; he's also done with Buffy and Angel; though he does have a few films in the works, including Wonder Woman, he's moving on, not back.

Check out Meanwhile, The Comics Podcast by Dave Belmore and SFB founder T Campbell for the latest on comics movies; suffice it to say, there's a lot in the pipeline, but there's not much actually out now.

So what's left? Well, Battlestar Galactica, which I'm told by reliable sources is an excellent show: apparently it is good for all the same reasons Babylon 5 was, with higher production values. Then there's Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Now, don't get me wrong, I've given both of those shows a fair watch, and while I agree that they have potential, they never hooked me. Plus, SG-1 has been on...what, ten years now? And
how many times have they changed foes? Enough's enough.

Then there's the networks. Lost seems to have some subliminal message in its broadcasts, but I wouldn't be surprised if Surface, Threshold and Invasion don't get
renewed. It's obvious they were picked up on the heels of Lost, and we all know that rarely works.

(However, if you're looking for a show that isn't quite SF but is still excellent and worth watching, allow me to plug Veronica Mars. If you like the Whedon oeuvre, you'll like VM.)

But that's about it: three Sci-Fi Channel shows[3], one network sort-of show, a few cheap imitators. The field is actually pretty wide open, with no huge behemoth to scare off potential investors or networks. There's no sense that Star Trek is a non-repeating phenomenon, and there's little chance of confusing anything with Star Wars anymore.

So, what's next?

Scanning the IMDb for Upcoming Movies gives a few smaller SF flicks such as Night Watch[4], so maybe one of those will have a chance to break out and become big. I don't know what's coming up for the 2006-2007 television season, but with the first wave of Lost imitators out of the way, maybe we can get some real, original SF on TV. Just don't put it on FOX. Their track record is beyond awful. I don't know what's coming up. But I'm looking forward to it.

Time for the Succession Wars.

[1] Especially if George Lucas writes the romantic dialogue...
[2] Read: "desperately needed."
[3] Not to say that's bad, but it's a self-selecting audience that way.
[4] Not based on a Pratchett book.

Friday, January 06, 2006


The New Year is a good time for making plans for the future. It is also a good time for introspection and examination of things past.

Bold new directions; thoughtful essays — these are the stuff of which "End-of-Year" and "Start-of-Year" posts are made.

Unfortunately for you, what you're getting, instead, is something so utterly brain-devouring that I find myself compelled to get it out of my head and into yours at once, lest it burst forth from my skull like some tiny alien Athena:

Lesbian Dalek Bondage Porn.


(Now that the lawyers have descended, it can be found in the nooks and crannies of the internet; but that's only to be expected, of course)