A New Home for Science-Fiction?
My column before Christmas has hit a bit of a resounding chord with folks. As I suspected, many fans of science-fiction either have, or are losing hope in Syfy ever becoming the home of science-fiction it was when it was known as Scifi.
However, just as the hearts of science-fiction fans were breaking and prospects of good science-fiction on television are sinking to a very low ebb, there is hope appearing on the television dial. The ray of hope is coming from across the pond, from the BBC, in the form of their channel here in the United States, BBC America.
During their Doctor Who marathon that aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day here in the states, the channel announced two programming blocks that fans can enjoy. The first is one they call Supernatural Saturdays, While the official programming block officially starts at 8pm Eastern, you can tune into the channel at 4pm Eastern for two hours of “The X-Files,” following by two hours of “Star Trek the Next Generation.”
At 8pm Eastern, the channel will feature two hours of episodes of their hit show, “Primeval.” In their advertising for future Saturdays, they have shown clips of some of their other shows, including the original version of “Being Human,” which I recommend to anyone interested in the show.
The other programming block will be aired daily, Monday through Friday starting at 3pm eastern. This block will feature the BBC program, “Torchwood,” followed by “The X-Files.” After that, the block ends with an episode of “Doctor Who.”
While the blocks are made up of mostly reruns at this time, it is still a ray of hope in what is becoming a television wasteland where science-fiction seems to be becoming an endangered species, even on the channel founded for airing the genre. As Syfy seems to decline in the genre, BBC America is not only taking up the slack, but is giving fans a place to get their science-fiction needs met.
It looks to me that Syfy now has something it never saw coming, genuine competition for the hearts and minds of fans. It will be interesting to see what happens as the weeks progress.