Monday, July 30, 2007

The Sci-Fi Anthology Revived?

This past Saturday night, I was flipping through the channels looking for something to numb my brain... America’s Got Talent... America’s Funniest Home Videos... Then, suddenly, a commercial for an upcoming series caught me half-conscious. I wouldn’t have even paid it any of my waning attention were it not for John Locke’s (a.k.a. actor Terry O'Quinn’s) familiar cranium filling the screen. Thinking it was something Lost-related, I instantly snapped out of my coma. Various sci-fi-esque images followed. Shots of Cancer Man (from the X-Files) and Anne Heche. Another shot of John Locke. Something about the greatest sci-fi writers of all time. Stephen Hawking narrating. Then finally the title: Masters of Science Fiction.

I wanted to grab the delightfully surprising teaser and hold it in my hands, but, alas, it was gone as fast as it had appeared. I almost wasn’t sure if I had heard correctly: the return of the sci-fi anthology show? Could it be true? In this summer of throwaway, reality shows and American Idol voting competition clones, nothing would be more welcome. Finally, some relief from glorified prime time soap operas and comedy-less sitcoms.

Just to put this in context, I ate, slept, and breathed The Twilight Zone as a child. Other shows made their stabs at the sci-fi anthology (i.e. The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, The New Twilight Zone, The New Outer Limits, The New, New Twilight Zone, and maybe even Tales from the Crypt if we want to get really broad), but none achieved the same style, chills, gravitas, and stark sci-fi speculation of the original Rod Serling show. For at least the last ten years, the sci-fi anthology show has been pretty much extinct, especially on network television.

What a surprise then to find that ABC is making a move to bring it back. And not just with some promised thrills and chills, but with a bona fide sci-fi pedigree and some real star power to back it up. Just for the first episode, writing credits include John Kessel (Nebula Award winner), Hollywood Blacklist writer Howard Fast, sci-fi founding father Robert Heinlein, and Harlan Ellison (seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate). I don't even know what that last title means but it sounds tantamount to something like "I'm-the-real-deal-in your-face-king of science-fiction-and-I-will-blow-your-mind-into-next-millenium." Starring will be Sam Waterston, Anne Heche, Terry O’Quinn, Malcolm McDowell, and John Hurt among others. Honestly, this probably has more potential than any anthology that has been released since the Twilight Zone update that aired briefly in the 80s.

I don’t know much more about this series other than what I discovered on the ABC website, which I recommend you check out here. But I can assure you that, come 10 pm next Saturday night, I will be tuned into ABC to give this potential beauty a chance. What do you all think? Is this the start of something good? Am I the only one out there who craves my sci-fi dark and thoughtful? Check out the website and give us your take…


  1. Man that does sound exciting. I didn't grow up on Twilight Zone, that was a bit before my time. I got the movie version. I grew up, oddly enough, on Doctor Who and 80's cartoons. I just spent the last few weeks gorging myself on Doctor Who. I've been able to watch the latest season online, watched all of Torchwood and now I'm updating my Netflix queue with anything I can from the original runs of the show. I've even considered writing some stories for it, maybe getting lucky and either drawing or finding a more talented artist to draw up a comic book - not an adaptation but more of a Tales of the Tardis type, stories of the Time Lords before the Doctor, et cetera.

    Anway, I love science fiction and more than mostly poorly done Sci-Fi channel shows, I love the books. Asimov, Clark, Heinlein, Herbert. Thanks for the plug on this as I would have missed it.

  2. Looks great. I hope it comes to New Zealand. I will be on the lookout for it.


  3. knicksgrl0917, you're an idiot. Find a real way to advertise. I have some friends in Cali. Maybe they'll break your fingers for me so you can't desecrate my blog anymore. Get lost!


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