The Sci-Fi Channel is not just for geeks anymore. It is now home to some of the best shows on TV, and if you aren’t watching, you are missing out. Here are three of the best scripted shows on the channel for 2008.
Highlighting Galactica (BSG) as the Sci-Fi Channel’s best show may seem like the popular choice, but it is hard to deny the greatness of this war drama. Initially, expectations were not high for this reboot of the original 1970’s series from Glen Larson. With a strong ensemble cast, including Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama, Mary McDonnell as President Roslin, and James Callis as Gaius Baltar, the series has used a grand story to make compelling weekly episodes with social insight that only the best sci-fi can do.
The Sci-Fi Channel is known for its cheesy made for TV movies, but the production values for BSG are very strong. The writing is among the best written for any TV show. The plot revolves around a far away civilization of humans on the run from the Cylon Armada, a robotic enemy which they created and then turned on their masters. On the brink of extinction, matters are complicated by their quest to find a mythical planet called Earth and the prospect that some of their own people are actually Cylons themselves, nearly indistinguishable from other humans. With heaping helpings of love, betrayal, jealously, and deception being served every week, the show manages to advance the story and the characters without confusing or alienating viewers.
2009 will see the final episodes air, and perhaps it will get some long deserved recognition as arguably the best show on television.
Alas, just when a series seems to peak creatively, they are often cancelled. Such seems to be the case with Stargate: Atlantis. Now in its fifth season after spinning off of Stargate: SG-1, the series ends its run in January 2009, much to fans’ chagrin.
The concept is a mix of the original movie premise and a nice touch of earth legend: a military team discovers a stargate to the mythical city of Atlantis, which was actually in another galaxy and part of a network of human civilizations across the universe founded by a group called the Ancients. The Atlantis Expedition has to deal with the evil Wraith, a race that feeds on humans and has its eyes on Earth.
As was the case with SG-1, the strength of the show is in the character development. Joe Flanigan and Amanda Tapping are appealing personas which anchor the show, and as the cast found its stride, and viewers became comfortable with the series structure and storyline, the fan base and viewership grew. Sci-fi show vets Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager) and Jewel Staite (Firefly) have broadened the show’s appeal.
Stargate fans may not have to wait long to get a new fix. Even though Atlantis is nearing its end, a new Stargate series for the Sci-Fi Channel, titled Stargate: Universe, has been announced.
Who says sci-fi can’t be funny? Eureka has been a surprise hit fro the Sci-Fi Channel, and rightfully so. The town of Eureka, hidden in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, is a secret town and home to the country’s greatest minds, who have been relocated there by the U.S. government.
Great writing really elevates the series, and it never takes itself too seriously. Plotlines usually revolve around the town’s resident geniuses making ground-breaking discoveries, which usually create a series of outrageous problems, all while trying to handle everyday personal issues.
Colin Ferguson, who plays Sheriff Jack Carter, provides the show’s moral compass and truly centers the cast. Frances Fisher and Jordan Hinson are strong supporting characters. They make Eureka one of TV’s most enjoyable diversions.
More information on all Sci-Fi Channel shows can be found at http://www.scifi.com