Flashforward, or the Friendship Bracelet of Death

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Last night, Yufang and I watched ABC’s new science fiction drama, Flashforward, or what I lovingly call, “the show about the friendship bracelet of death.” ABC doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to SF, so I’m not expecting a long run of this show even with it starring Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Hikaru Sulu (John Cho). There is, however, a shadowy hobbit (Dominic Monaghan) and a would-be pirate (Jack Davenport) who may bring the fantastic into the mix and save the science fiction that ABC can’t seem to successfully execute.

ABC Cancels Defying Gravity

Okay, so just as I was getting into Defying Gravity, ABC cancels the show according to Ace Showbiz via I09. Obviously, I will be able to see the episodes that won’t air on ABC, but it really grinds my gears when a network pulls the plug on a show before it gets off the ground–well, they did, but you know what I’m saying.

I enjoy watching SF on television, but I’m beginning to develop a tick from good show cancellations. I have to ask myself, should I invest myself in a particular show, knowing that it could get canned half way through the season?

What does this mean for SF show producers? Is there a way to develop a cost effective, low budget, high concept SF show? As we know from reading SF, the science fictional aspect of a story need not be overwhelming–it can be subtle. Can this translate well into a visual media like television, or do we need something visually awesome to let us know that what we are watching is SF?