My Life Measured in Sci-Fi

There’s a part of the movie, The Big Kahuna, about how this guy can trace his life through the dogs he’s owned. I recently realized I can trace many years of my life through the shows I’ve watched on the Syfy channel. That’s not as strange as it may sound. After all, pop culture is part of what binds us as a society – the references we all know and have in common. So here it goes – nearly two decades of my life as charted through the Syfy channel:

 

1992    I remember when the Syfy channel (originally the Sci-Fi Channel until 2009) first became available in my area. I was so excited to see an entire channel dedicated to the genre. When I started watching it, however, my initial reaction was disappointment. They seemed to play ancient B-movies, which were fine for a mindless viewing or two, but not enough to hold my attention. Fortunately, the channel’s offerings improved over time.

1992-1996    Before there was the Vampire Diaries, there was Forever Knight. It may have come out in 1989 (just in Canada?), but I started following it in the 90’s. LaCroix had some of the best monologues, so that you were never sure whether to love him or hate him, and the show threw in little surprise bits of humor when you least expected them.

1992-1998    Highlander: The Series, which followed the immortal Duncan MacLeod, had a good long run, didn’t it? Then again, what woman could resist seeing actor/dancer/model, Adrian Paul, flexing those muscles, especially with his shirt off?

1995-1996   Sadly, Space Above and Beyond had a very brief lifespan. I actually enjoyed the show very much (personally, I preferred it over Battlestar Galactica). The ongoing war gave the plot that constant edge of danger, and that was the first show I’d seen with a lead character who’d been “born” In Vitro – disparagingly called a “nipple-neck” because of the navel on the back of his neck. Space Above and Beyond starred actor James Morrison, who later appeared in the 2001 sci-fi movie, The One, starring Jet Li.

1997-2007  I started watching Stargate SG-1 at the get-go in 1997 and thought it was awesome. I loved when they worked in the term “MacGyver it” as a nod to Richard Dean Anderson (who played MacGyver starting in 1985). Unfortunately, too many cast changes eventually lost me.

Overlapping this, I was a devoted fan of Farscape, which had a good run from 1999 to 2003. I loved following the adventures of John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, D’Argo, and Pilot. And do you realize there was a whole character that didn’t require an actor? The ship, Moya! My favorite villain was Scorpius. I thought the mini-series Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars was good, but not terribly memorable in the long run.

2004-2009    I hopped onboard with Stargate Atlantis as soon as it came out in 2004, and I loved and followed the show right up to the end. Did they have to blow up Dr. Beckett in season three, though? Seriously? I know they brought him back as a clone (through the whole Michael’s laboratory thing), but that was still a shocker. Then they killed off Dr. Weir and replaced her with Carter and then Woolsey. There was a whole lot of cast turnover there, too.

2011    Face Off was the first reality show I’ve watched on the Syfy channel and definitely the most unique reality show I’ve seen in general. I have total respect for the artistry that goes into makeup special effects and a new appreciation for all the T.V. and movie aliens I’ve seen over the years. I also applaud the actors who wear those getups. I hear they’re already casting for season two.

At the same time that I watched Face Off, I also followed Being Human – a paranormal series whose premise sounds like a joke: “So a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost walk into a house…” The show wound up being a guilty pleasure for me. It’s too much of a soap opera to be really good, but it’s certainly intriguing enough to sucker me in every week. I always have to find out what’s next. Personally, I think Josh’s angst-ridden, high-anxiety werewolf character is the most interesting, but for some reason the writers keep focusing on Aidan and the vampires more. The whole “Dutch” vampire thing is kind of odd. Are these like undead, psychopathic Amish? I’m not saying I don’t like them as villains. I just need to see more before I make up my mind. Admittedly, I’ll probably be watching the next season.

Other than that, I wonder what sci-fi shows will accompany me over the next decade or the one after. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

2 responses to “My Life Measured in Sci-Fi

  1. Wow! Can you believe how much time has gone by since these shows began? I agree with you on some of them and not so much on others. I liked the Stargate series. And I’ve seen Face Off and agree with you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Ruth. You’re right – time flies here on Earth. Or does it? Be sure to check out my next blog on that very topic.

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