Last few years we weren’t exactly overloaded with sci-fi on tv! Most current “sci-fi” series only have sci-fi elements in them. Few exceptions of course with Doctor Who and Defiance, Falling Skies and perhaps Continuum. Fortunately these four tv shows are doing rather well so the next year we get new seasons for all three. Haven, some say it’s just supernatural, some say it does have sci-fi elements, in any case, it had a good run till now and although not (yet) renewed for season five, the fourth season is as steady as the other seasons. Warehouse 13 of course also has a strong relation to sci-fi but season five will be it’s last.
Other current sci-fi (-ish) shows aren’t doing all that well unfortunately. Of course the first one, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, is in bad weather, ratings keep dropping each week although the stories are definitely improving. This one is unfortunately headed for cancellation, although ratings slightly improved in the last two weeks. Revolution is also struggling, after a great start last year Revolution is almost certain to be cancelled. Five episodes in season two hit it’s series low, last episode was up one tenth but still, ratings are very low and won’t survive another mid-season break. I personally think the second season is way better than it’s first but by now too many people stopped watching. Last month Almost Human started in the US, after a decent start with the pilot, the ratings have dropped dramaticly, with a rating now below the 2.0, something I really don’t understand because it’s a fun show with a two great lead characters played by Karl Urban and Michael Ealy.
The Tomorrow People remake, another series with some sci-fi elements, is holding steady at the moment in the ratings and a full season has been ordered by The CW. This has potential as a series as well as a second season. Orphan Black was a surprise hit earlier this year and will be back also next year. Although it definitely has some sci-fi elements in it, it’s more of a drama/thriller I think, but one of my favourites of this year, recommended! Under the Dome got a second season, will be back next year but again, it’s more of a drama with some sci-fi elements in it. On the other side of the pond there are two more series, Misfits, which is in the middle of it’s last series and also the French produced Metal Hurlant Chronicles, which was renewed for season two. There are some new ones in the pipeline but this is it for the moment.
Sci-fi is doing much better on the big screen! About fifteen to twenty movies have been released this year alone which are sci-fi related or flat out real sci-fi flicks! I believe it started with Tom Cruise’sOblivion, one I really liked. It also did rather well in the box-office. Also Iron Man 3, which got mixed reviews but was a big financial hit. Star Trek Into Darkness, a real sci-fi action adventure. Furthermore we got: Elysium; Man of Steel; The Wolverine; Pacific Rim; After Earth (bombed); Riddick; Europa Report; the surprise hit Gravity; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; Snowpiercer; Thor: The Dark World; The Last Days On Mars; The Colony; The World’s End and Ender’s Game. Don’t know if I forgot one or two but this list is quite impressive, been a long time since I paid so many visits to the cinema as I did this year! So it’s a bit of a contradiction, many sci-fi movies and only a handful sci-fi series at the moment. For the most part I think it has to do with budget, it is more expensive to create a sci-fi series and also the kind of stories are quite different than in the cinema, more character driven instead of action and explosions.
Sure hope it will be more balanced next year, a few more sci-fi series, preferably some space oriented series.