Never has it been a greater time to be a geek, not just when it comes to movies, as television has also quickly caught on to this trend. However, for science fiction fans, this past year has seen a remarkable resurgence in science fiction on television, thanks to SyFy finally stepping up their game and changing their programming to return to that once glorious channel that produced shows such as “Warehouse 13” and “Battlestar Galactica”.
For me, this change in programming was signaled by the premiere of “12 Monkeys”, and which was quickly followed by other great shows such as “The Expanse”, “Killjoys”, and “Dark Matter”, and others.
Not all of them are “Battlestar Galactica”, but these shows signify that SyFy is back in the business that they know best- science fiction.
For now, let’s take a look at some of my favorite new SyFy shows to hit the airwaves, beginning with “12 Monkeys”.
(Yes, I purposely left out “The Magicians” from this list as of the moment because I haven’t seen it yet, and because it’s more urban fantasy than hardcore science fiction, and that is what I wanted to highlight at the moment. Hopefully, one day, I’ll get to do a review on “The Magicians” in the future).
For now, let’s take a look at these four shows, and see what it brings to the SyFy and sci-fi genre.
WARNING: From here on out, there will be mild spoilers.
I would not be surprised if many of you have heard of this title before, as it was the show is loosely based on the 1995 Terry Guilliam film, “12 Monkeys”, which starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. However, the show takes its characters and premise, and expands it so that the audience gets to know more of this new dystopic future world, and so that it delves deeper into its characters.
The show tells the story of James Cole (Aaron Stanford), a man living in a dystopic plague ridden future who travels back through time to 2015 in order to stop the plague from ever happening.
Along the way, he meets virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull), and together they try to save the world.
Now in its second season, the show managed to delve deeper into the mythology of the show, and the mysterious organization who are the main antagonists in the series.
Full of time travel, paradoxes, mystery, and action, this series keeps one thinking and guessing, right until the very end.
I love time travel as much as I love “Doctor Who”, but when it comes to science fiction, there is nothing better but the thrill of seeing mankind dance around in space ships among the stars, where “The Expanse”, “Dark Matter”, and “Killjoys” are all set.
“The Expanse” is everything that a dark, gritty political thriller and space opera should be. Based on the book series of the same name, the story is set in the Solar System in the future, where things aren’t as glamourous as one would think it would be.
The story follows three different people- Thomas Jane’s Detective Miller, Steven Strait’s James Holden, and Shohreh Aghdashloo’s Chrisjen Avasarala, as they are swept into a conspiracy in which the fate of Mars, the Earth, and Asteroid Belt hang in the balance.
What I loved about this series is that the world that they inhabit, from the slang, to the set design. I haven’t read the novels yet, but I hope that it will be just as amazing as its adaptation. The visual effects of this show, is just stellar (pun intended).
Plus, I am a big sucker for conspiracy thrillers.
“Dark Matter”, a show based on a comic book by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, has dark undertones as well, but in a very different way.
The show follows the crew of a ship, who, after waking up from stasis, discover that they have no memory of who they were and what they were doing.
The crew, along with the ship’s Android (Zoie Palmer), try to figure out who they are and what they are doing. Along the way, they run into old foes and friends, and new and old allies.
This show is good if you like mysteries and space travel, and the concepts that they bring along in the show are very interesting.
My only beef with the show is that sometimes, it takes some time for it to pick up the pace and become really interesting, but when it does, the story becomes captivating.
“Killjoys”, although gritty, is very fun to watch.
The show follows a trio of intergalactic bounty hunters, in a star system called “the J”, which is rife with political tension and strife.
Along the way, in between hunting down targets, the trio ends up getting swept up in all the political troubles, as they, in some direct way, are deeply connected to the events that are unfolding.
What I love about this is how real it feels, almost as real as the vibe that “The Expanse” gives off.
For the second season, it was great to see their world expand and to get to know the mythology of the show. (Plus, “Warehouse 13’s” Aaron Ashmore is on the show!)
That being said, fans of science fiction, and fans of conspiracy thrillers, mysteries, political thrillers, action, and time travel should definitely check out what SyFy has to offer in the genre, as it looks like SyFy is finally back, for good.