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.
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?