By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
If you’re a fan of Battlestar Galactica, whether you liked the finale or hated it, there will be (almost – keep reading) no more. So now what? Will Friday nights now be spent cradling a DVD boxset of Firefly? Now, I offer no guarantees, but here are some upcoming series that may help fill the void – or at least, the SciFi channel (or “SyFy” which I still can’t quite get on board with) hopes they will. After all, if Patton Oswalt is right and it really is the silver age of television, then it can only get better from here.
This is probably the obvious choice – a prequel of sorts to BSG, Caprica is set about 50 years before the current series. Whereas it does tell the story of how humanity created the cylons who would ultimately cause their destruction, it’s been described as a “family science fiction drama.” The early trailer made it look more like a Romeo & Juliet type story about dueling families than what you might expect from the BSG world, but the new trailer that aired during Friday’s finale seems more promising. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to find out; the pilot is premiering on DVD on April 21. Though after that, it’s a wait until 2010 for the actual series to start airing on television.
The third installment in the popular Stargate series, Stargate Universe is set to begin airing on the SciFi channel in October. Described as a “separate entity” rather than a spin-off like Stargate Atlantis, the new series involves a ship that gets stuck in the far reaches of the universe. That actually sounds a little familiar – Voyager, anyone? In any case, it’s supposedly darker than the other two, and also more relationship-based. (Stargate is one of those series that has inspired massive amounts of fan fiction, so I’m not sure if that’s considered a good thing or a bad thing for those writers.)
A preview for this new SciFi channel show aired during the BSG finale as well, which was actually the first I’d heard of it. It was a pretty long trailer for a commercial, and after it was over I still felt like I had no idea what the show was about. Something about FBI agents… and a giant warehouse… and weird stuff? Apparently it’s part X-Files, part Raiders of the Lost Ark, and part Moonlighting, which from what I’ve seen sounds about accurate. Oh, and it features a male “rule-bending” agent and a female “by-the-book” agent, which I guess comes from the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of television writing. Though the female agent is played by Joanne Kelly, who was really hot as the vampire Bianca in the short-lived Dresden Files series. This one will start airing this summer.
Of course, for those of you who don’t want to wait for your new science fiction fix, let me throw out a recommendation if you haven’t already checked it out:
This new show got pretty mixed reviews at the beginning, but after the new episode on Friday night (which, since it overlapped with the 2-hour BSG finale, I watched yesterday on Hulu), I’m completely sold. I think that the show may have suffered from the FOX curse of rearraranging episodes at the beginning (and that worked so well with Firefly), but now it’s hitting its stride. Plus, if you’re missing BSG, you can get your weekly fix of Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on BSG and Agent Ballard on Dollhouse). Also appearing on Friday’s episode was Mark Sheppard – Romo Lampkin on BSG, though you may also remember him as Badger from Firefly – as another FBI agent. I personally rather like Joss Whedon’s tendency to use the same actors over and over, but only because he also tends to pick good actors. I think Eliza Dushku (Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Amy Acker (Fred on Angel) are doing a great job on Dollhouse. (And while I’m on the subject of Joss’s actors, I’ll give a tentative thumbs-up to ABC’s new show Castle that airs on Monday nights, though Nathan Fillion – Mal from Firefly – is definitely the best part.)
So if your Friday nights are now woefully science fiction free, you may want to give Dollhouse a try. Or wait and see what SciFi (SyFy? Hrm.) has in store next… but wait! As I mentioned, BSG isn’t quite over yet, and that’s not just a reference to Caprica. Airing in November is a new TV movie, a “reimagined” version of BSG – from the point of view of the cylons. Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is directed by Edward James Olmos (aka Admiral Adama), who says that it will make fans want to watch the whole series over again. I’m sure the DVD box set will be out just in time.