6 Awesome Science Fiction Shows That Ended Too Soon
Science fiction television; we hardly knew ye.
In a summer of sub-par television programming, Under the Dome stood out, and TV execs have responded to the fairly decent ratings. In July, CBS announced that they would be renewing the science fiction series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name by ordering a thirteen-episode second season set to air summer 2014. Unfortunately, in the world of science fiction / fantasy television, renewals are few and far between. Executives typically cite low ratings and high production cost as the reason for cancelling the shows. Why bother with innovative, well-written Scifi shows when they can just put a Snooki wannabe on screen for an hour every week?
Here are six memorable shows that, to the dismay of many, were cut too short:
6. Caprica (2009)
Lasting only one season, this prequel to Battlestar Galactica fell victim to the dreaded ratings meter. The show primarily follows two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, living on the pre-apocalyptic colony of Caprica. Following a terrorist attack that claims the lives of both their daughters, the two families struggle to deal with their loss, and we see how Daniel Graystone’s obsession eventually leads to the creation of “skin job” cylons. Set a little over 50 years before Battlestar Galactica, fans got a glimpse of twelve independent colonies riddled with religious tension. The show was definitely not its predecessor, but was relatively well written and fans of Galactica appeared excited by the prequel, however a small group of loyal fans just isn’t enough these day. Once the show was officially cancelled creators attempted to wrap of the show with a thrown together epilogue, but this show needed more time to properly wrap up the plot lines.
5. Farscape (1999-2003)
Of all the shows on this list, Farscape, had the longest run, but in my opinion it was not long enough. The Australian-American series blends live actors with puppetry provided by the Jim Henson Company. Yes, that Jim Henson. The series focuses on an American astronaut, John Crichton (Ben Bowder), who finds himself on aboard an alien starship when a failed flight test sends him through a wormhole. As a new member of Moya, the living Leviathan ship, Crichton encounters several fugitive aliens portrayed by actors and puppets alike. The series quickly gained a loyal following of fans, whose uproar at the abrupt cancellation in 2007 led to a three episode miniseries entitled Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars and a comic book series. One thing is for certain, any Farscape fan would tell you that they would love for the series to return.
4. Dollhouse (2009-2010)
No one has felt the sting of cancellation more than Joss Whedon. For those of us who are loyal fans to the science fiction genre will tell you that Whedon consistently produces quality series that are recognized by fans, but not widely accepted enough to continue more than a few seasons. Dollhouse is one such series. Centered around an underground cooperation that hires out “Dolls” to wealthy clients, Dollhouse follows Echo, a doll who is frequently downloaded with different personalities and skills. However, Echo (Eliza Dushku) seems to be slightly more self-aware than her fellow dolls and throughout the series we see her continue to gain awareness. The show takes on several controversial topics and plays off the big brother paranoia that plagues modern America. Dollhouse, is definitely a show that had at least another good season to offer.
3. SGU Stargate Universe (2009-2011)
Disclaimer: Please pardon my overt and probably overwhelming adoration for this series. The Stargate franchise is my most favorite universe!
Like its predecessors, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate Universe is all about the stargate. Only this time our wormhole travelers find themselves stranded on a ship after an attack on Earth’s off world base is attacked forcing a rag-tag group of military and civilians through the gate. Without the necessary power to return to Earth, which is now billions of light-years away, the crew does their best to adjust to their new home. The first season drags a bit, but by the second season the show starts to finds its rhythm, and just when the plot finally gets addicting, the show is cancelled. Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t care if they brought back Universe, or created a new Stargate spin-off, but I would really like to take another trip through the gate!
2. Jericho (2006-2008)
When a mushroom cloud is seen over Denver, CO, the entire town of Jericho, KS is left trying to figure out how to survive in an immediately different America. The nuclear attack on several major US cities is followed by an electromagnetic pulse that renders Jericho and other towns like it without electricity. The series is mostly about the residents of Jericho attempting to survive and adapt, but a healthy amount of government conspiracy makes the show even more intriguing. The show was initially cancelled after one season, but like Farscape, fans rallied and a shorter second season was released to wrap up some open plot lines. Wrapped up or not, Jericho had the potential to grow into an large phenomena.
1. Firefly (2002-2003)
Of all the Science fiction shows ever cancelled, Firefly, is probably regarded as the most disappointing cancellation. After only one season the show fell victim to to the Whedon curse and was cut from the Fox lineup. The show follows the crew of Serenity, a firefly-class spaceship captained by Mal (Nathan Fillion) and his first mate Zoe (Gina Torres) as they journey through space trying to stay out of reach of the ruling government, the Alliance. The crew navigates dangerous encounters on outlying planets and dodges the cannibalistic Reavers. However, at this heart of this show is a family comprised of lovable independent characters. A movie, Serenity, followed the cancellation of Firefly, but for many this will always be the show that got away.
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