TV Watchtower: When Sci-Fi TV Shows Fall Beneath The Guillotine

By Tiffany Vogt at Airlock Alpha

While shows like “Dollhouse,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Stargate SG-1,” and “Stargate: Atlantis” and even “Lost” are given the opportunity to conclude their series with some semblance of a storyline wrap-up, more frequently networks just unceremoniously yank sci-fi shows off the air without the dignity of a proper send-off or good-bye – “Firefly” being perhaps one of the more glaring examples.

With Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” airing its final episode last month, this is a perfect time to analyze how sci-fi shows are treated by the networks when their time has come. Fortunately, with “Dollhouse,” Joss was given advance notice that Fox was not going to pick up the back nine episodes of the second season, and it allowed him the opportunity to wrap up the series.

That was unlike when Fox abruptly canceled “Firefly” a mere eight years before, which ended with Fox airing “Firefly’s” two-hour pilot as its swan song, a maneuver that still has fans scratching their heads in bewilderment. I mean who airs the two-hour pilot after a show has been canceled? It’s like rubbing it in the fans’ faces that a terrific show was forever gone.

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Will Steven Spielberg Save Science Fiction Television?

By Meredith Woerner at io9

Spielberg is ready to redeem the struggling genre of science fiction on television. His third genre TV show, Nine Lives, might be airing on NBC, and we think Spielberg could be the TV savior we’ve been hoping for.

Spielberg created Nine Lives for the Syfy Channel but it never saw the light of day. The 12-hour miniseries brings back Spielberg’s collaborator Les Bohem, who was a writer on Taken. The series was supposed to be centered on people who seek out near-death situations in order to reunite with dead loved ones. But the project never happened.

But the trades are now reporting that NBC is interested in bringing back this series, if Bohem updates the script.

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New trailer for Doctor Who highlights Matt Smith’s Time Lord

by Patrick Lee at Sci Fi Wire

BBC America has posted a teaser trailer for the upcoming new episodes of Doctor Who, featuring Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor and Karen Gillan as his new companion, which you can view below.

It’s not a series of clips from the episodes, but rather a kind of homage to past episodes and, especially, villains, such as the stone angels from the 2007 episode “Blink,” which happens to have been written by Steven Moffat, Doctor Who‘s new show runner.

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From Vicki to Zoe: The Evolution of Robot Daughters on Television

Teresa Jusino at Tor
On Caprica, Zoe Graystone has become infinitely more compelling now that she exists only as an avatar. While we recognize Daniel and Amanda Graystone’s pain having lost their only daughter, we can’t help but be more fascinated by Avatar Zoe, who experiences life for the first time, despite memories that tell her otherwise, in the body of a seven-foot robot. Zoe is a well-written character and benefits from an intelligent performance by Alessandra Torresani. However, both the writers of Caprica and Ms. Torresani owe a great debt to another jewel in the science-fiction television crown.

I refer, of course, to Small Wonder.

Caprica wasn’t the first sci-fi show to center around a family with a robot daughter, and there are several similarities between it and its 1980s predecessor.

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I think Sci Fi shows are always judged more harshly than normal shows, and less well handled by the network (at least at Fox). Any show will fail if you don’t market it well or to the right audience, or if you change the time slot often, or the day of the week it’s on. I hope that with all of the sci fi movies doing so well lately it will give sci fi shows more opportunity.

What do you think of the Doctor Who trailer? Are you a fan of Caprica?