I am a SF addict. There, I said it. I’m not sure when it began because I remember turning my nose up when my parents were watching Star Trek and saying it was boring. BORING! Who knew that my life would become one that was obsessed with finding the next awe-inspiring SF joy ride? Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in some great television SF, and yes, there has been some great stuff. You may not have noticed it because broadcasters these days like to cancel a series before it’s even had a chance to get going, but that’s another long and drawn out argument that I won’t get into – yet. So, without further ado, here’s a few SF series that, if you haven’t watched them yet, should rocket to the top of your viewing list. And, with them being complete, you can turn off your phone, shut the curtains, say goodbye to your friends for a weekend and indulge in SF overload.
The remake of V may have been short-lived, but it was pretty epic. It seems like it was years ago that this series made a return to our screens with Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) at its helm, but it was just 2009. Unfortunately, if you blinked, you may have missed V as it only had two short seasons and a tiny 22 total episodes.
The premise of V is pretty simple; alien lizard race donning human skins arrive at Earth with the message of ‘We are of peace, always’. As it turns out, peace? Not so much. With the world in awe of the latest arrivals, who quickly start disseminating medical and energy technology, most people pay little attention to the alien’s real reason for being on Earth; the annihilation of humankind. Thus, an unlikely team of a Catholic priest, an FBI agent and a Visitor deserter start to ask questions and uncover the real truth.
But what’s so great about this series? Well, apart from Anna (Morena Baccarin) playing the Queen Visitor and dissecting people with the flick of her lizard tongue, the care to differentiate the aliens is pretty good. They may look like humans, but they’re not. Anna can give ‘bliss’ to her legions, she only needs to mate with just one male to produce thousands of eggs; their society is entirely hierarchical with one leader; Anna.
On the surface, the story with Elizabeth Mitchell’s character, Erica Evans, is also compelling, especially because her son becomes entwined in an unlikely love story with Anna’s daughter Lisa. There are welcome twists, surprises, and a blurring of the lines between right and wrong. All in all, it’s a very good series that captures the imagination and was cut way too short.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Oh, how I miss Terminator; The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I have to admit, I like the Terminator movies, but I’m not a die-hard fan, and so to fall completely in love with this series was a surprise. Like V, it was cut short and only last for two seasons from 2008, but the second season lasted a little longer so we got a whole 31 episodes.
In an interesting twist to the story, The Sarah Connor Chronicles sees a terminator sent from the future, not to kill John Connor, but to protect him and stop Skynet from ever being built. The cast here are pretty awesome, including Lena Headley (now in Game of Thrones), Summer Glau and Thomas Dekker.
There were several aspects that rocked in TSCC, one being that the storytelling was innovative and interesting. The format wasn’t always the same for every episode, often told from someone else’s point of view or in a completely different style to the one that had come before. Like all good SF, though it was set to a science background, the story was ultimately one of relationships and love, alongside all the tech, explosions and robots that we know and love. Also, the addition of Shirley Manson (lead singer of Garbage) was pretty epic. I don’t want spoilers – but she was an awesome character.
Whilst season one could be considered slow, I thought it was just right in setting up the story and development the relationships that are needed to understand why people will actually risk their lives to save one another. With the gate pretty much being closed on the series during season two, the latter half is immensely fast paced and thrilling. There’s a great twist at the end, and they’ve left the door open for more though, with all the actors having moved on, it’s unlikely this’ll ever happen.
So, I could waffle on about SF series forever, so for now, there’s Part I; V and TSCC. Next week I’ll take a look at another two series you shouldn’t miss, and believe me, they’re goodies!
Image Source: V – Sharetv.org, TSCC – FanPop.com