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January 24th, 2012

8 Best Sci-Fi TV Series of 2011

John Noble  photo by Gage Skidmore © Wikimedia Commons

John Noble
photo by Gage Skidmore © Wikimedia Commons

2011 was a good year for sci-fi TV. Most TV show genres are described as fantasy, sci-fi (science fiction) comedy, drama, thriller, or action/adventure. But what does being a “sci-fi” show mean? Dictionary.com defines science fiction as “a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc.”

Here are my top 8 favorite sci-fi television series of 2011.

FRINGE (FOX)
Fridays @ 9:00pm (Fall/Winter)
A mad scientist released from the crazy house, Doctor Walter Bishop (John Noble), helps interpret the weird and unusual science experiments gone wrong. This should be easy for him as most of the weird and unusual events are from experiments he and his partner, Dr. William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), researched years ago. FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is assigned the job of investigating the weird cases and needs Doctor Bishop’s help in solving them. With a wandering mind, Doctor Bishop needs his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) by his side to keep him on task. With alien-type creatures along with weird and unusual happenings, sci-fi fans will enjoy this science fiction TV series shown on FOX on Friday nights. Click here to check out some of Dr. Walter Bishop’s funny quips from season 2.

SANCTUARY (SYFY)
Mondays @ 10:00pm (Spring/Fall/Winter)
Amanda Tapping of Stargate fame portrays Dr. Helen Magnus, a brilliant scientist who keeps tabs on the alien underworld of creatures the public is unaware surrounds them. Together she and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) try to protect these unseen creatures as well as try to unlock the secrets behind their existence on earth. Also working in the Sanctuary is quirky technical wizard Henry Foss (Ryan Robins) who is a computer expert, weapons designer, head security guy and part time werewolf along with a beast known as the “Big Guy” who is one of the domesticated, almost human-like creatures who serves as bodyguard, handyman, and chauffer. Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi), a fast talking con artist, found herself drawn to the Sanctuary while on the run from the Cabal. Read how Sanctuary is filmed using FX Technology by clicking on this link.

WAREHOUSE 13 (SYFY)
Mondays@8:00pm (Summer/Fall/Winter)
When a high level diplomat is taken out on their watch, FBI Agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintlock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) are sent to Warehouse 13 where secret unusual artifacts are housed. Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) keeps track of all the millions of artifacts stored in the warehouse. He tasks his new recruits in tracking down and retrieving artifacts such as Jack the Ripper’s Lantern, Edgar Allen Poe’s Quill Pen and Notebook, and Mata Hari’s stockings that are out in the world creating havoc or are just plain dangerous. (Check out some interesting artifacts that have been recovered and now reside in Warehouse 13.) Eventually computer wizard Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) joins the team. Even Artie has a boss, the mysterious Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder).

TERRA NOVA (FOX)
Mondays @ 9:00pm, Series Premiere Fall 2011
Scientists have discovered a portal to prehistoric Earth in a time when present Earth is dying. The Shannon family is joining the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers on Terra Nova, the name that this prehistoric Earth has been christened. Jim Shannon, (Jason O’Mara) is a devoted father with a checkered past who guides his family – wife Elisabeth (Shelley Conn), and children Josh (Landon Liboiron), Maddy (Naomi Scott) and Zoe (Alana Mansour) – through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. This first colony is led by Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang). The Shannon family will begin to suspect that not everyone on this mission has the same idea of how to best save mankind; in fact, there may be forces intent on destroying this new world before it even begins. In this prehistoric time-traveling adventure series the beloved T-Rex will takes a backseat as the show’s villain and make way for the big bad Carnotaurus which will be brought to life through a combination of CGI and animatronics.

EUREKA (SYFY)
(2006-2012 – only a handful of episodes left to be aired in 2012)
Eureka is a strange little town in the middle of nowhere and you will not be able to find it on a map. It is virtually invisible to the outside world. With a community made up of intellectual geniuses a lot of weird and unusual things happen in Eureka – by products of experiments gone wrong. It is up to Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) to keep things in order.

DOCTOR WHO (BBC AMERICA)
Saturdays @ 9:00pm (Spring/Summer)
Hang on for a wild adventure with The Doctor! The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords who travels through time and space and often revisits history in his time machine the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space). The TARDIS, on the outside, looks like a normal British Police Box. But step inside and get ready to go, ‘Wow!” The Doctor has had many faces as he regenerates when his body nears death. The Doctor and his companions are on a constant adventure of solving problems, righting wrongs and exploring time and space. Doctor Who has two spinoff shows – Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. All of The Doctor’s adventures can be seen on BBC AMERICA and SYFY.

TORCHWOOD: Miracle Day (STARZ)
Fridays @ 10:00pm (Summer)
In this spin off from Doctor Who, Torchwood is a secret band of people led by Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) who, much like the people in the Sanctuary, keep the world safe from alien creatures that roam the planet. In “Miracle Day” nobody can die which results in an overnight population explosion that just can’t be caused by natural events. CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) investigates the global conspiracy theory and is led to the Torchwood team. Captain Jack is supported by his staff which includes Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), and Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman).

STARGATE UNIVERSE (SYFY)
(2009- 2011) Episodes available on SYFY
A Stargate team finds themselves stranded on an ancient spaceship known as the Destiny and lost in space. The team consisting of Colonel Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips), Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), Colonel Everett Young (Louis Ferreira), 1st Lt. Matthew Scott (Brian J. Smith), Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque), Eli Wallace (David Blue), 1st Lt. Tamara Johansen (Alaina Huffman), Master Sgt. Ronald Greer (Jamil Walker Smith), and Camile Wray (Ming-Na) continues to try to decipher and understand the ancient technology on the ship which they really need to know in order to be able to return home. Basic necessities for survival like air, food and water are hard to come by. The show lacked the hook in the beginning by not using the Stargate more and not having an enemy combatant. Stargate Universe has been cancelled.

Read also:

10 Best Reality Game Shows in 2011 

Best Dramedy TV in 2011

The Darker Side of Sci-Fi TV in 2011

 

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January 19th, 2011

“Torchwood” Moves to Starz

John Barrowman Photo by Ellen from New Zealand © Wikimedia Commons

John Barrowman
Photo by Ellen from New Zealand © Wikimedia Commons

As a fan of the sci-fi show Torchwood I have been wondering when it would return to the TV airwaves. According to a report from TV Guide, Torchwood has been picked up by the cable station Starz, moving from its popular BBC America. This is a disappointment to Torchwood fans who don’t have access to the Starz channel. The settings for the show will also be shot mostly in America instead of Britain as it usually is. I wonder if that has anything to do with Starz being an American cable channel versus the British BBC America station.

The new season titled Torchwood: Miracle Day will not air until later this summer, July 1st to be exact with a timeslot TBA. The premise of this season is what would happen if everyone were immortal like lead character Captain Jack? My guess is that the world would become a very crowded place when overnight there’s a population boom and death ceases to exist. Bring in the Torchwood team, including brand new characters.

Torchwood is a spinoff of the ever popular British series Doctor Who. The Torchwood team is comprised of a crack team of alien hunters led by the immortal Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). In season four new characters coming to life are Oswald (Bill Pullman) who is a convicted murderer and pedophile, and Rex (Mekhi Phifer), a cocky CIA agent trying to figure out what Torchwood is all about.

It is unsure whether the newcomers will make it all the way through the season or not as the Torchwood writers are quick to off characters. “The show has always had a high body count because I think it makes the story stronger and more dangerous and more frightening,” Davies said. “You cannot guarantee who will survive, and I think that raises the stakes for everyone.” Although, with everyone being immortal, offing people might be a tricky job.

Despite the announcements, Torchwood has yet to show up in the Starz online lineup of programming as of this date. Past episodes of Torchwood can be viewed on BBC America. (click here)

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