Generally, a network will cancel a TV show that does poorly in the ratings. If there are no viewers, then there’s no way to get enough ad revenue to continue airing it. The occasional prestige, critical darling sort of show aside, networks rarely cancel anything that is doing well.
That would be why it was a surprise to fans when the Sci-Fi Channel canceled Farscape after four seasons. At the time, the show was the network’s biggest hit. It was also the most expensive, and it showed on the screen.
One of my favorite sci-fi space operas is Farscape. A co-production of Australian television, the Sci-Fi Channel before it became Sy-Fy, Halmark, and the Jim Henson company, the show was about human astronaut John Crighton, who, due to a weird accident, got blasted through a wormhole to the other side of the universe. He was subsequently picked up by a living ship that had been acting as a prison vessel and was forced to get along with the various aliens onboard who were escaping their own prison sentences.
Sci-Fi canceled Farscape just before the fourth season started airing. Which was a little odd since it was, at the time, one of the network’s highest rated shows, but it was also one of its most expensive shows. Various backers came up with funding for a three hour mini-series to wrap up the story (which is a good thing, because without The Peacekeeper Wars, the whole thing ends on a real downer of a cliffhanger).
Gabbing Geek has been kind enough to give me space to spout off my highly ignorable ideas. To that end, I usually do various weekly columns. Tuesdays there’s something about a comic book character who died. Wednesday is TV reviews for non-geek TV. Thursday is the misplaced heroes series. Fridays, ending very soon, is the recap of all the stuff Jonathan Hickman has been doing with various Avengers titles leading up to the new Secret Wars, mostly so Jimmy’s head doesn’t explode. And, sporadically, there’s the Discworld read-along.
So, I am thinking, with the Secret Wars thing ending soon, I should do something else along the lines of a revisit to something I enjoyed in the past. Let’s let the Gabbing Geek loyal readers (both of them) help me decide what to do next with this handy poll:
This could be fun. Or it may not be. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Most superheroes at some point deal with aliens. Heck, many of them are aliens. I’m looking at you, Superman. The same holds true for science fiction that goes into space in any way, shape, or form. In fact, space-based sci-fi that completely omits aliens might be more noteworthy than the ones that include them. Aliens have a tendency to be silly at times when they aren’t handled right, and it is way too easy to not handle them right. Glue a forehead ridge on an actor, give him a couple of odd quirks, and then call it a day.
Aliens in fiction offer too much of an opportunity to really stretch a creator’s creativity. It is easy to see why so many would look down on aliens, so let’s consider some of the more successful attempts to create otherworldly races and cultures.