blog post #61 by Science Fiction Author Clara Bush
Back in the 1990s, when our family first got Dish, I was a huge fan of the SyFy channel. Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and Firefly provided me with a regular dose of sci-fi to satisfy my craving for the genre.
Then something happened to the Sci Fi Channel. They became SyFy and they went all reality. Up until recently, it was hard to find anything other than reality junk (and junk is being polite) on SyFy.
Over the past five to ten years, when I punched in the numbers on my remote for the SyFy channel, there would be nothing but real people doing fake things to look real.
What happened to my go-to-escape-from-reality channel?
Me, not a fan of anything remotely reality. And I venture to say that not many SyFy lovers are enthusiasts of reality TV.
My husband is a big, big fan of The Voice, and it’s a good show that gives singers an opportunity they would not have otherwise. As for me, my heart breaks for those singers who get voted off. It’s like a writer getting her tenth rejection email in a day. Can’t watch it. Too real. Same for me with Face Off, though I do enjoy the monsters.
But things are looking up for us SyFyers. Over the last couple of years, the channel added Haven, Helix, Defiance, and Dominion. Of those, I watch Haven. The few times I watched Helix, I was impressed.
The problem, other channels jumped on the popularity of off-beat, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, scripted dramas and offered series like The 100, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Grimm and summer favorites like Falling Skies, Under the Dome and Extant.
We now have choices and the SyFy channel has competition.
The reason I was unable to follow Helix—there were too many scheduling conflicts.
The Big Five
It is inspired by the real-life Project Orion that existed under the administration of President John F. Kennedy. In an alternate version of reality—in 1963—President Kennedy and the U.S. government, launch a covert space mission. They fear the Cold War will become not so cold and destroy earth.
Six hundred men, women and children are sent into space on a century-long voyage aboard the Ascension, a massive, self-sustaining generation ship. (A generation ship is an interstellar ark starship that travels space and is home to generations of descendants.) Their mission is to populate a new world, known as Proxima, and assure the survival of mankind. When the travelers are nearly 50 years into their journey—point of no return—the murder of a young woman aboard their starship—the first homicide since their departure—causes them to question the true nature of their mission.
Time Traveller James Cole travels from the year 2043 to present day in order to stop the release of a deadly virus by the cryptic organization known as Army of the Twelve Monkeys. In Cole’s original timeline, the virus killed 93.6% of the world’s population.
4. The Expanse is a ten expisode series with no launch date for release.
A Philadelphia cop’s search for his missing wife leads him to the discovery of a secret government unit. The objective of the unit is to hunt a group of terrorists who may not be from this world. Based on Whitley Strieber’s book, Alien Hunter.
McGoldrick, what are you thinking? Could we please imagine greater? It’s not rocket science.
(For more on what The CW is doing right check out: Monday Morning Critic: ‘The 100′ and What The CW is Doing Right | http://screencrush.com/monday-morning-critic-the-100/?trackback=tsmclip
Monday Morning Critic: ‘The 100′ and What The CW is Doing Right
by Ryan McGee)
1. A Wyso/Danny ring handcrafted by my Native American friend, Neal Paquin of Santa Fe, NM, especially designed for my first novella, Wyso and the Other Creepy Kids on Gerard Street. (Picture to be posted some time. I need an attractive finger. Eddie, my cat, won’t cooperate. Neither will Cassidy, Sunny, Stella, or Apple (the last two are dogs). And I’m not much on selfies, especially, a selfie of one of my fingers.
2. A $20 gift certificate to Amazon via email.
3. My opinion of the first twenty pages of your novel or novella. (Not that my opinion is worth anything, but it is someone else’s opinion. Something I look for every chance I get. Just thought you might be looking also.)
The Science Fiction Reality blog is a little science, a little fiction, a little about writing, a little real, and a lot of weird.
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J. Marin says
I LOVE a good Sci Fi mini series, almost more than an actual full blown multi-season series. A Mini usually has better acting, better graphics, and the story is well developed (hopefully/usually).. as apposed to a series full of fluff and nonsense episodes. That being said, I am excited to watch Ascension.. hoping it is a sexy Sci Fi “mad-men,” (as apposed to campy 1960s doo-wap). Also, Childhood’s End sounds awesome! How can you go wrong with Alien Overlords?! I guess we will have to see 🙂 Thanks, Clara, for the handy lineup
Clara Bush says
Gosh two comments from you today. How lucky am I? Your name goes into the magic jar twice. Thank you for commenting. I love hearing from you.
And you are right a Sci Fi mini series is hard to beat. I am just so glad the SyFy channel seems to be re-establishing their roots. I’ll take mini-series or full-blown series as long as it’s sci fi, edgy, creative, characters to love, good acting, great special effects, a thought-provoking story…
I abhor reality TV Shows. I couldn’t agree with you more, I have enough reality in my life
Sorry, I hit submit too soon. As I was saying…
I abhor reality TV Shows. I couldn’t agree with you more, I have enough reality in my life. I like to watch Sci Fi in order to escape. Face off is a fun show, and I enjoy the creativity involved, but the drama of it and they way they portray some people by highlighting their worst moments makes me queasy. I once met an ex-fashion designer who was on project runway and was booted off early. She explained how she gave up fashion design after being on the show and they way they portrayed her. Then, after they show in her post – series interviews they continued to slate her in a way she felt completely defeated. So she gave up her dream. Its can be too heart breaking.
As for your line- up, I would love to watch more sci-fi, I was always happy the channel existed. It feels like a channel for me. It would be nice if they rebranded as the channel that develops long story arcs and series instead of short, low budget one offs that always leave you hungry for more and; at the same time, somewhat unimpressed. Ascension definitely has my vote. I love Tricia Helfer and thinks she is so incredibly sexy. I’ve also always loved stories set around escaping the eventual demise of Earth and relocating to another planet. I imagine this is because I see this as an inevitable part of our future. (But not our reality… yet, so still not reality tv… yet hehe).
I am intrigued by The Expanse… I am pretty interested in seeing what this “utopia” looks like that is created.
I have to say, Hunters sounds right up your alley.
Thank you for the information, I always am interested in seeing a line up of new and exciting shows and it looks like this one was hand picked for me!
Clara Bush says
DilloKid, Thank you for joining us. Your name just went into the magic jar.
It’s so great to find someone else who hates reality tv. I’m sorry for the experience your friend encountered in her Project Runway drama. Mainly, because she gave up her dream.
Dreams—good ones—are hard to hold on to. Life gets in the way. So hold tight. Hold tight, my DilloFriend.
Jenny Lopez says
Wow, TV showing real stories???? You mean no more Honey Booboo? Wow I just don’t know…. These actually all sound like promising series. I am with you though. It is hard to take it when a series that you just became addicted to is put on the chopping block.
I will probably wait to see if they stick so I don’t feel like I am left hanging. A couple years back I was on a focus group talking about Sci-Fi(I refuse to use the new name). Everyone on the group hated the direction the were taking. There was a cooking show they tried to get us to like. It would have been cool on a different network but if I wanted that I would be looking at a reality channel. I am hoping your new line-up means we are turning a corner.
Clara Bush says
Hi Jenny- thank you for commenting. And such a great comment. I’m like you, if we want cooking or reality we’ll go to a channel that offers cooking or reality.
I go to the Sci Fi channel to escape and I am hopeful this new line up offers us that and more.
Get back to your old roots Sci Fi, we’re here waiting.
Fun, Jenny. Thanks. I just put your name in the magic jar. Good luck!