Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

Oh Syfy, you’ve managed to go and do it again haven’t you? Broken my heart but this time it’s for the last time (unless you team up with Ronald D. Moore again).

Caprica and Stargate: Universe were cancelled because there weren’t enough people watching them, and now Eureka got the chop because even though there were plenty of people watching it’s an expensive show to make. And from what I’ve read the team behind Eureka didn’t feel that they could keep the quality with the cuts. Kudos to the Eureka team for making that tough decision. Yes, I want more Eureka but I don’t want a poor imitation. Less funny, less quirky with wobbly sets.

Unlike the unceremonious cancellation of Caprica and SG:U at least Eureka is getting a long swan song. We still have 4-5 episodes of the fourth season, then a holiday special and the fifth and final season next year (currently being film). Syfy have even green lit an extra episode of the fifth season to allow the writers to tie things up. That is much better than the shoddy treatment of Caprica. Yes, I’m still bitter. I will always be bitter.

I was late to Eureka, and it was the delicious casting of James Callias that sucked me in. But as soon as I started to watch the back seasons I was sold. Loved the premise. Loved the cast. Loved the quirky humor and pro-science messaging. (It will be one of the few shows I’ll let the Cylons watch when they are old enough.)

I’m not sure if there is much that can be done to “save Eureka” but I’ll be making sure that I watch it live, and tweet/blog about it so the powers that be see that there is a huge fan base that are pissed. That there are Syfy fans that aren’t interested in ghosting and monster hunting “reality” shows, and most of all I will try not to get as invested in new Syfy as I don’t think I can take any more disappointment.

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Before I launch into my sci-fi analogy (and it’s a good one) some housekeeping… I’m back from London and therefore done with exams and my degree (go me!) but I’m rocking a hideous case of jet lag and exam fatigue that I cannot shake. It’s been a week since I returned and I can’t stop waking up at 5am thinking that I have to go cram Aeschylus or Pliny’s letters. I guess the programming is going to take a while to shake, and it probably doesn’t help that my sinuses are horribly congested thanks to seasonal allergies. So when I wake up at 4 or 5am I start sneezing I can’t get back to sleep. Ugh.

Right, Deanna Troi. Deanna is obviously everyone’s favorite empath who managed to blag her way onto a position on the bridge of the Enterprise, and then exercised squatters’ rights.  Sadly, I have not developed empathic powers and blagged my way into a job with NASA, nor have I discovered the joy of big hair or outfits comprised of shiny Lycra and court shoes.

There is an episode in the second season of TNG where Deanna is impregnated by a mysterious alien entity and she goes through an accelerated pregnancy well that’s me but minus the alien involvement.

Yup, I’m pregnant. But not just pregnant pregnant but PREGNANT PREGNANT; I’m incubating twins so I really am going through the whole rapid expansion. Seriously, it’s insane and I feel like I’m in a sci-fi episode but in a good way rather than a creepy Splice way. I’m only 16 weeks yet I look like I am +20. It makes total sense given that the internal real estate has to expand to house two growing entities. I am just going with it,  accepting that I can only wear pants or skirts with elasticated waist bands and that I have to take it super easy. It would appear that the second trimester surge of energy only lasted 3 weeks for me but it got me through my revision and exams so I can’t complain.

It has been a long journey to get to this point, and I’ve been under the only functioning (self-imposed) super injunction so it’s going to be nice to be able to blog about this, and now I’m done with my degree I actually have the capacity to blog about a lot of other things as well (for instance my alternative ending to Battlestar Galactica) so it going to be a fun summer.

I lost most of last week to a bunch of doctors appointments. Between that and the up coming holidays I am starting to get behind in my school work so I am not a happy bunny. Throw in the news that Syfy has just canceled Stargate Universe apparently out of the blue as it wasn’t on the bubble then I am about as far removed from a joyous rabbit as you can get.

Seriously, what is up with Syfy at the moment? I feel like they are trying to remove the “space” element from their sci-fi rosta. First we loose Caprica and now SGU. Both shows explored dark themes with strong casts. And, SGU had Hamish MacBeth in space! He’s like the Scottish Eddie Olmos.  Are they only keeping shows where you can do fun holiday episodes? I love EUReKA as much as the next nerd who dreams of drinking lattes in Cafe Diem but I want drama like the Greeks invented. Conflict. People being haunted by the furies. Gender reversal. Individual vs. state.  And on that note I better get back to re-reading Antigone otherwise I will never catch-up.

Stargate Universe is SyFy’s latest offering in the Stargate franchise,  it is a blend of Star Trek: Voyager, Battlestar Galactica & Lost in Space. The drama is centered around a group of refuges from the ill named Icarus project who find themselves stranded on a spaceship built by the Ancients. The group ended up on the spaceship ‘Destiny’ because they were fleeing an attack which may or may not have been triggered by them trying to switch on the Icarus project stargate in the first place, and when they did manage to boot up the stargate they ended up there. One of their many problems is that the Ancient’s ship is so ancient that it is not functioning properly, they can’t figure out how to get life support working and they are many light years away from Earth. But, if they only have a day of air left then that last point is moot.

It’s fraught and tense, plus there is a devious scientist (Hamish Macbeth himself Robert Carlyle) who is harboring many secrets and may have done this all on purpose. The opening sequences of the refuges being flung through the Stargate reminded me of the brutality of Battlestar Galactica episode ’33’ though it didn’t quite keep up the intensity through out. Overall I quite liked it, though I do realize that I am easy to please, and we’ll see how it develops over the next few weeks.

Alex and I are off for our anniversary dinner tonight, and it got me thinking about one of the fundamental building blocks of our relationship – a mutual appreciation of science fiction. Star Wars, The X-Files and Star Trek were the ground zero from which our relationship was built. Our early years together were a high point in sci-fi. The X-Files had not yet started to disappoint, Star Trek franchises and films were being churned out at an alarming rate (and the days of the dude in the skirt on TNG were behind us), Star Wars was being re-released in cinemas and rumors of Episodes I-III were rampant, and then there was The Matrix. Oh my word The Matrix rocked our worlds. We consumed EVERYTHING apart from Babylon Five.

As our relationship evolved so has our tastes in sci-fi. In a post-Enterprise world quality beats quantity, and we like our sci-fi dark. Instead of the cheerfulness of TNG crew in their pristine ship we have the beaten and broken Battlestar Galactica (it’s tragedy in its purest form and the Greeks would have loved it).

So this is it, the major sci-fi tv series and films we’ve watched over the last fourteen years (vaguely chronologically):

  • Original StarWars trilogy  (VHS vanilla versions before Lucas started fiddling with them)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (seasons 1-7 on VHS)
  • Star Trek: Voyager (seasons 1-6 on VHS)
  • The X-Files (season 1-9 combo of TV, VHS & DVD)
  • Star Trek: Generations (DVD)
  • Star Trek: First Contact (theatrical, VHS & DVD)
  • Special Edition of the original StarWars trilogy (theatrical, & VHS)
  • Star Trek: Insurrection (theatrical)
  • The X-Files: Fight The Future (theatrical, VHS & DVD)
  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
  • The Matrix (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgement Day (re-watched on DVD -before we saw 3)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (theatrical)
  • Star Trek: Enterprise (seasons 1-4 on TV)
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (theatrical)
  • Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Matrix:  Reloaded (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Matrix: Revolutions (theatrical & DVD)
  • 2004 re-release of original StarWars trilogy (DVD)
  • Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (theatrical & DVD)
  • Battlestar Galactica (mini-series, seasons 1-4 on a combo of TV & DVD)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (re-watched seasons 1-5 on DVD)
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • The X-Files: I Want To Believe (theatrical)
  • Dollhouse (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • Fringe (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • Star Trek (theatrical re-boot of franchise)
  • Terminator Salvation (theatrical)
  • Caprica (pilot on DVD)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (re-watching season 1 on DVD)

This list is not exhaustive, it misses the shows that we don’t watch together (I haven’t managed to convert Alex to Supernatural yet) and I am sure I’ve missed lots of films that aren’t part of franchises but you get the message. It’s a marriage made in nerdiness.

The crew of the Enterprise NX-01 have always been rougher around the edges than their successors, but T’Pol’s experimentation with sex & drugs (superbly portrayed by Jolene Blalock – will she get a nod from Emmys or Globes?), Archer stealing technology and their current fragile state as they limp towards the show down with the Xindi. I loved the way they had to physically haul the doors open/closed and now they resemble Red Dwarf.

But, I hate it when Star Trek dabble in the temporal paradox episodes – they are generally disappointing (remember Kes leaping about in time on Voyager, none of those hook ups came to fruition) and I just know I will end up hollering at the telly. As far as I am concerned if they fail to make to the same mistake then their future selves will cease to exist, full stop.

Scott Bakula should know better, he was in Quantum Leap after all.

Cinescape is reporting that Peter Weir’s next project may be William Gibson’s latest book Pattern Recognition.

Alex and I started reading him whilst we were at university (and even spent hours queuing when he came into town to do a book signing), not sure how we discovered him ….probably killing time in a bookshop instead of being in lectures. I am always amazed at how over looked by mainstream SciFi fans he is, maybe it’s because he doesn’t make things easy for the reader – he makes you work but they are so well written it is worth the effort.

Just in case, you ever wondered about my moniker check out his book titles 🙂