Thursday, 14 February 2008

SF on TV - Feb 08

With the writer's strike in full swing there has been something of a decline in good Science Fiction TV of late, even with the issue coming close to resolution it will probably still be some time before top shows return to UK television screens. However some shows have managed to break through and there are a few home grown titles on the air too. I'll try not to be too lengthy but here's a breakdown of what's available at the moment.

Torchwood - Series 2

What is it: A Doctor Who spin off featuring Jack Harkness and a team of operatives in Cardiff solving alien-based mysteries.
What makes it SF: When there aren't aliens to deal with a rift in time and space can churn out things from past or future keeping most episodes clearly within Sci-Fi realms.
Why should I watch it: It's improved on the good, but lackluster, series one with a good selection of guest stars and more of a big picture for the series, with Jack's past in play to.
When's it on: Wednesdays BBC2 - 9pm, additional showings at other dates and on BBC3. The fifth episode has aired at the time of posting.

Lost - Series 4

What is it: A drama surrounding the survivors of a plane crash who live on an island full of mysteries and dangers.
What makes it SF: While not strictly a SF program, there are enough smoke monsters, sonic defense towers, mysterious bunkers and "Others" to earn it a place here.
Why should I watch it: If you haven't seen previous series' you probably shouldn't!
When's it on: Sundays Scum...sory Sky One - 9pm. The second episode has aired at the time of posting.

Blade: The Series

What is it: A TV series featuring comic book character Blade, a super-enhanced vampire hunting human.
What makes it SF: The Blade series treats vampires, not as demonic creatures but as "different" humans, which essentially makes it a SF production.
Why should I watch it: Dunno really, if you like vampires it's ok I guess, but I wasn't overly impressed
When's it on: Mondays Virgin 1 - 10pm. About four episodes have aired at the time of posting.

Ashes to Ashes

What is it: A follow on from hit series Life on Mars set in the early eighties, but featuring many characters from the original series.
What makes it SF: Though the nature of it is left unclear the series seems to imply time travel (SF territory) caused by injury or death is a possibility for the events seen in the show
Why should I watch it: Great performances by the returning cast and an interesting dynamic with the new character, who has studied Sam Tyler's "delusions" and now finds herself in them
When's it on: Thursdays BBC1 - 9pm. The first episode has aired at the time of posting

Phoo Action

What is it: A wacky comedy from the mind of Tank Girl/Gorillaz creator showing the tale of a future London ravaged by mutant criminals
What makes it SF: There are mutants, and possibly aliens enough to qualify it as SF as well as comedy.
Why should I watch it: The outrageous characters, including one with a basketball for a head should never work on screen, but they do and make for hilarious viewing
When's it on: Tuesdays BBC3 - 9pm. The first episode has aired at the time of posting.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

What is it: A TV spin off of the famous terminator films, this series details the years after T2 when Sarah fights to keep her son safe from future menaces.
What makes it SF: The story heralds a war between man and machines that is doomed to happen in the future and about those who travel back in time to try and alter it's course
Why should I watch it: It's a continuation of the epic Terminator franchise, and fills in part of the story previously unseen.
When's it on: It starts on February the 21st.

The BBC shows will be available for a limited time after airing on iPlayer, other shows may be available online too, but check your sources.

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