To be perfectly honest I’m still reeling from the cancellation of The Sarah Connor Chronicles a few years ago. Finally, a series that propelled a popular movie franchise into the television limelight, introduced science fiction in a personable and family storyline driven way yet still managed to engross sci-fi fans across the world. After two series it was unceremoniously dumped due to ratings not being high enough….ratings which could have probably made the grade had the broadcaster bothered to actually advertise the show correctly and put it in a decent time slot.
I tried Fringe, it was more than a little blah. Doll House was a passing amusement and I wasn’t surprised that it too, after two series and still trying to find its feet, was given the old heave-ho. I was on holiday halfway through Flash Forward and thankfully never got back into it before it too had bore the brunt of the TV axe. And Lost? Well don’t get me started on the six years that I, well, lost. However, with a great depression in the science fiction genre opening up along came V, a remake yet refreshingly original science fiction drama, and also starring my favourite Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell. One season of character development and then a second shortened season of 12 episodes and I thought we were onto a winner. Fast paced, hot action and a shortened story arc so there could be no wafty, pointless, why did I even bother watching that mid season episode that comes with the usual 24 episodes series; I was finally happy. Then The Event appeared starring another favourite, E.R’s Laura Innes, and the story became intriguing and contradictory as you flipped allegiances from humans to aliens, from aliens to humans. Thank the lord. The science fiction genre hole was filled.
That was until once again the TV ratings axe fell. Rather than giving shows time to develop, time to find their place on the schedule, time to actually build a following, it has to be an instant hit or its gone. No time for growth and maturity, no thought to the millions of fans outside of American shores who are clamouring for a decent sci-fi drama. If a show drops for one week by 1% in viewer figures, that’s it. Gone. Deceased. Barred from the schedule.
Of course, shows come and go and everything has its day before making way for newer, better, and more exciting thrills. However, with Terra Nova (a science fiction prehistoric drama which frankly looks chronically awful) and Alcatraz set to step into the gaping hole left by the recent cuts are we yet again to be thrilled for a season and half before being disappointed all over again as the axe starts swinging?