BLOG Spaceships On The Horizon

I can see spaceships on the horizon. It might take a while but I live in the hope that they’re coming…

With the demise of Fringe the only sci-fi show we really have left is the time travel based show Continuum. There’s Defiance, the new show coming from Sci-Fi, sorry SyFy, later this year and there should be another season for Falling Skies, but really we’re pretty bereft of stuff that doesn’t have swords or fangs in. And spaceship-based TV shows are, at the moment, pretty none existent.

Gone are the days of Star Trek and Stargate taking us to far off planets every week. There’s no sign of far off planets or alien encounters at all on our TVs at the moment. Where are all the spaceships? I’ve lamented their passing many a time. Now we’re shown darker, fantastical, hidden versions of our world today or we’re taken off into lands of fantasy. On the supernatural front it’s all vampires and zombies.

This month’s SFX is being touted as the “Fantasy Issue”, the focus being on the slew of fantasy movies due out this year. The latest SFX also has a pretty big feature on Game Of Thrones. You can look at TV at the moment and see most of the big genre shows are fantasy or supernatural fare, with the odd superhero show thrown in. Grimm, Lost Girl and Once Upon A Time come to mind or True Blood and The Walking Dead. Not that I’m against fantasy or supernatural type shows – some of them are really good – but I would swap one of them for some weekly shiny space battle action. There are often rumours of a remake of this spaceships show or that spaceship show, but little usually comes of it. And I want spaceships dammit!

Cinema has a broader selection, but is still lacking in great outer space action… Superhero adaptations are all the rage at the moment, and these films tend to have their feel planted firmly between sci-fi and fantasy generally, but are thin on the spaceship front. There’s a high number of fantasy and fairy tale adaptations too; just check out this month’s SFX. With the exception of the Star Trek reboot there’s very little in the way of proper space-based sci-fi. Sure we have a steady drip-drip of post apocalyptic or alien invasion sci-fi movies; there’s the odd spaceship seen here and there (usually hanging over a city) but even they seem to be variations on a very similar theme.

Anyone who’s read my blogs will know I miss the spaceships and just recently I’ve starting to wonder – or maybe hope – that Disney’s plans for Star Wars will lead to a resurgence of space-based drama on our TVs. It happened in the late ‘70s. Sci-fi in general has a lot to thank Star Wars for; the landscape of our little genre would look a lot different without it, but loads and loads of spaceships is what I’m really grateful for. After 1977, everybody wanted a Star Wars in their stable and the film led to TV shows like Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica. Star Wars also led to a resurgence of Star Trek; changing the course of a possible reboot TV series and leading to the 1979 motion picture, and the rest of the film series. Which in turn eventually led to the franchise jumping back to our TV screens in 1987. That Star Trek resurgence is one which has pretty much lasted until now.

With Disney announcing plans for another Star Wars trilogy and two stand alone films over the next decade I’m starting to wonder – hope – if people, and TV execs, will fall in love with space and spaceships again.

There is one flaw in my hopes; the prequels didn’t really lead to any increase in spaceship TV shows. Unless you count the Battlestar Galactica remake and maybe Farscape. But still. I can keep my fingers cross and maybe, just maybe, I’ll see spaceships soaring across my TV screen again soon.

So what do you think? Do you want spaceships back on our screens? Which space based show would you have back on our screens? Are there spaceships on our televisual horizon or will we continue to be treated to epic fantasy, supernatural shenanigans and arc heavy serious shows doomed to last only one season? Do you think Star Wars stands a chance of changing the TV show landscape once again?

Help me “Disney Star Wars” franchise. You’re my only hope…

Steven Ellis