Futures, alternate presents, whatever. This is actually about TV shows.
There are three new SciFi shows going on right now (well, possibly more, but three I’m following). So, I thought I’d write up some mini-summaries for them. here goes.
Premise: Six people and one android wake up on a spaceship. They don’t know who they are, or how they got there.
Pros: Interesting premise, decent production values.
Cons: A lot of very obvious tropes, some low-effort, Zoie Palmer.
I don’t know when Canada started making decent SciFi, but hey. This is basically a fun show. Starts out with a lot of questions, and they seem to be answering them at a decent pace while adding new ones without being too irritating. However, there is a bit of the whole People Hiding Secrets From Everyone thing going on.
Also, four episodes in, and they already had a zombie episode. Seriously, guys?
And… look, I know Zoie Palmer can act. She acts in Lost Girl. But if anyone thinks she’s boring in that, you’re going to hate her in this.
Premise: Bounty Hunters in space!!!
Pros: Michelle Lovretta
Cons: SyFy (ugh)
Michelle Lovretta means this show will be well-written, and will have strong female characters (interesting that this show and dark Matter have a Lost Girl connection). The feel of this show is very good. However, SyFy is involved which means a lot of time they’ll put in as little effort as humanly possible.
That’s right. The channel that changed it’s name form “SciFi” to “SyFy” in order to “appeal to women”. The channel that cancelled it’s most successful and highest-rated show ever because “nobody was watching” and used the money saved to produce the absolute worst “scifi” movies ever made.
Let me put it this way, while trying to avoid spoilers. The last episode of Killjoys took place on a starship, and was clearly being filmed in a warehouse. Then there was something happening to people that required extreme special effects to show. So, the first time it happened you got to see it. Every time after that it was happening under clothing. Without affecting the clothing.
Still, as I mentioned, the general atmosphere is good. There are some shades of Firefly in there, and most the acting is good.
Premise: In the near-future/alternate present, realistic and affordable human-like androids (or Synths) are a reality, with all the social impacts this presents.
Pros: British drama. Watch it.
Cons: I got nothing.
Ok, so we have Jen from The IT Crowd, Original Phillip form Spy, Merlin from Merlin, William Hurt and Gemma Chan, all in a very well-written drama.
This is not SciFi-for-the-sake-of-SciFi (you listening, SyFy? Ugh). This is a good story about people and society, which uses SciFi as it’s medium. The concept is not exactly new – it’s about Humanity adapting to a new reality, and in a way it’s the good ol’ Frankenstein thing. To paraphrase one of the characters on the show, what’s the point of learning any skill when a synth can be taught to do it flawlessly in about 5 minutes? and, to paraphrase Futurama, why have actual relationships with people when you can get an android that looks like Gemma Chan who obeys your every command and comes with an Adult Mode?
…and what happens to society when these automatons have the potential for real intelligence, and real emotions?
This is, by far, my favourite out of the three. I’m not saying it doesn’t have some down-sides or… uncomfortable moments (some of the ones where you want to yell at the characters for being idiots) but it’s well-written and executed drama. It’s moving along at a very good pace, and while questions are being answered there are more revelations which raise more questions. Some of which I am really looking forward to discover the answers to.
So, that’s it. For some reason I feel the need to write a summary of the summaries, but I’ll just leave it at that. Maybe I’ll go watch Season 3 of Orphan Black…