Wednesday, 8 January 2014

io9's Ultimate Guide to 2014's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV

Much excitement for the year ahead in TV Land; truly we are living in a Golden Age of small screen plenty!

The shows, new and returning, I'm most looking forward to:

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.



Admittedly, this took some time to get going, and the much-publicised tie-in with Thor 2 was little more than a throw away scene, but the mid-season cliffhanger has certainly set up exciting possibilities for the second half of the season so I'm keen to stick with the show. And it has the brothers Whedon at the helm, which gives me confidence that my hopes won't be dashed.

Sleepy Hollow



I'm loving this show; it's truly as bonkers as you'd expect a show in which the headless horseman is actually Death of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be. But for the love of God, please give Ichabod a change of wardrobe!

The Walking Dead




Without a doubt my most anticipated series return for the year. The mid-season finale was an outstanding, gut-wrenching, tour de force and I am desperate to discover what's happened to the surviving characters.

Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey



A follow-up to Carl Sagan's 1980 series Cosmos, this will hopefully prove to be both entertaining and informative. FOX has this to say about the show:
More than three decades after the debut of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” Carl Sagan’s stunning and iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY sets off on a new voyage for the stars. Seth MacFarlane (FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD) and Sagan’s original creative collaborators – writer/executive producer Ann Druyan and astronomer Steven Soter – have teamed to conceive a 13-part docu-series that will serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series.

Game of Thrones




Almost, but just not quite, as anticipated as The Walking Dead, I'm still extremely keen to see the next season in this awesome series, especially if the promise of more White Walker action is fulfilled. But on the other hand, I've now read the first book in the series (my review is in Goodreads), so I'm all in a quandry as to whether I should continue to read and get ahead of the show or save all the surprises that are store.

Under The Dome




Easily the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel to come out in years, but a large part of me wishes they'd've stuck to a single season and wrapped everything up. Still, could well be entertaining to see another season of fishbowl antics.

Penny Dreadful

Some of literature's most famously terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula. become embroiled in Victorian London. 

Awesome sounding premise, excellent cast, and Sam Mendes. I'm in!

Believe



Sounds quite intriguing, but the real draw card is .

The Strain



At last the universe will be set-to-rights with vampires once again being depicted as monstrous, bloodthirsty creatures of terror and nightmare. Begone ye lustful, sex-crazed pretender of recent shows, and may all vegetarian vampires wither into sparkly dust, for with The Strain, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan shall show us what a true vampire is!

The Leftovers



Love the premise for this series which takes place after "The Rapture" has taken the Chosen from Earth (presumably off to Heaven, although whether the event is the Biblical rapture remains a mystery) leaving those left behind to try to move on with their lives.

Having not read the novel of the same name by , I've no idea what form the story takes, but personally I'm hoping for something along the lines of an apocalyptic and vengeful punishing of the wicked type End of Days scenario with Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death, an appearance by the Antichrist and all the plagues & destruction portrayed in the most fantastical interpretations of Revelations. Or at the very least, an intriguing look at the realities of living in a time when the prevailing world view is that God exists, He's taken all the Faithful up to Heaven and those left behind must therefore be irredeemably doomed.

However, caution is advised as is co-creator of the series along with Perrotta. For those not keeping score, Lindeloff's writing credits include Cowboys & Aliens, Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z! Seriously, how is this guy still working as a script writer after churning out that list of turkeys?

The Last Ship



The crew on a naval destroyer are among the last remaining survivors on Earth after a pandemic wipes out most of humanity. The premise gives the series scope for storytelling on a global scale as we witness the demise of most of the human race after which the crew must embark on a search for provisions, fuel and other survivors, as well as the personal, human stories of the crew themselves dealing with the loss of family and friends and trying to come to terms with the fact that they may be the only humans left on the planet. If handled correctly, this could make for very compelling TV. And, it has in it - if we get anything like another Jayne Cobb from him, I'm sold.

Crossbones



Basically, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Series, but without the curses, sea monsters and other magical elements. And in the place of Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, we get as Blackbeard (though, perhaps understandably, not as the lead). Could well turn out to a surprisingly good series, but I'll hold off on any genuine judgements until some more details surface. And on the negative side, this effort loses points for claiming to be the True Legend of Blackbeard yet still casting impossibly good looking actors with perfect teeth to play characters existing in a time when the concept of personal hygiene was largely non-existent.

Gotham



This is not the helmed Gotham that tells the tale of a cop discovering a magical realm existing within present day New York, rather this is the series that will focus on the exploits of a young Jim Gordon as he hits the streets of DC's neo-Gothic New York stand-in to investigate the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne (hence the casting of a 10-year-old Bruce Wayne). For me, though, this is firmly on the "must avoid at all costs" list as it brings to mind all-too-painful memories of the last attempt to realise a show-based-on-Batman-that-doesn't-feature-Batman, the pitiful Birds of Prey.

See the full list on io9 @ The Ultimate Guide to 2014's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV