Summer Sci-Fi Viewer’s Guide (2012)
The broadcast network shows are headed off the air this month, which used to mean a dearth of sci-fi on the airwaves. But nowadays the summer is one of the best times of the year for genre viewing, thanks to cable. Here’s what to watch in science fiction and fantasy this summer!
HBO has two fantasy offerings, with basic cable channels TNT and MTV chipping in original series, as well. A brand new sci-fi show kicks off in Canada … but the summer stronghold remains Syfy Channel, which is bringing back four original scripted shows.
GAME OF THRONES
HBO, Sundays at 9/8c (Now Airing)
Only three episodes remain, but one of the best shows on television is certainly worth a mention to kick-off summer viewing. In its second season, no fewer than five different powers from all over Westeros vie for the Iron Throne following the death of the former king and the illegitimacy of his heir. With new characters, tenuous alliances, and cutting betrayals, the game has never been more dangerous … or more fun to watch.
Syfy, Mondays at 9/8c (Now Airing)
We’re counting down to the final episodes of Eureka‘s swan song, the current fifth and final season (14 episodes). The town and its relationships have been turned upside down by the Astraeus mission and the return of her crew. This was a show that helped the SCI FI Channel reinvent itself — funny, quirky, set on present-day Earth and more accessible to casual viewers than the more traditional fare of operatic, arc-based, and mythology-heavy science fiction. The finale airs July 16.
Showcase (Canada), Sundays at 9/8c (Starts May 27)
The first brand new series premiere of the summer season is Canada’s Continuum, which stars Rachel Nichols (Alias) and a host of familiar actors from other Vancouver-based shows — Lexa Doig, Jennifer Spence, Tony Amendola, Roger Cross, and Brian Markinson to name a few. Nichols plays a CPS Protector from the year 2077 who travels back in time to catch a group of fanatical terrorists (also from the future). Read more here.
Continuum is only airing on Canada’s premium cable network Showcase, but we’re hoping for a U.S. pick-up (or online distribution) some time soon.
MTV, Mondays at 10/9c (Starts June 3)
MTV’s first foray into fantasy programming is a dramatic, Twilight-esque story of (you guessed it!) a teenage boy who discovers that he is a werewolf. Scott McCall is now caught in a war between werewolves and hunters, while also trying to win the affections of the girl he loves. In the show’s second season, says MTV, “a new member of the Argent family arrives in Beacon Hills and Scott and Allison are forced to continue their blossoming romance in secret. At the same time, Derek Hale, obsessed with gaining strength as a new Alpha, begins recruiting for his pack, including newly-bitten Jackson. While Derek’s final goal includes bringing Scott into his fold, the Argents have begun molding Allison into a skilled werewolf hunter.” (Look for the season premiere at a special time, Sunday, June 3, following the MTV Movie Awards.)
HBO, Sundays at 9/8c (Starts June 10)
The wait is almost over for the fifth season of HBO’s hit vampire drama, starring Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse. Season Five will have 12 new episodes.
TNT, Sundays at 9/8c (Starts June 17)
Aliens have invaded Earth and turned our children into harnessed slaves, but as Season One concluded, the 2nd Mass and the rest of the resistance have rescued one of their own and finally started winning a few victories against the enemy. But now Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) has voluntarily been taken aboard an alien ship. What does the future hold for Tom, his family, and the fight for the survival of the human race?
Syfy, Mondays at 9/8c (Starts July 23)
Now in its second season, Alphas promises to help Syfy Channel with another powerhouse Monday night line-up. This year a new alpha joins Dr. Rosen’s special ops team: Kat (Erin Way), who has the ability to take on other alphas’ powers for a short time. But the experience leaves her with memory loss, making it hard for her to build relationships. Look for things to stay interesting as Bill, Nina, Gary, Rachel, and Cameron seek out people with extraordinary abilities — including a group of criminal Alphas released from the Binghamton facility at the end of Season One. The season will have 13 episodes.
Syfy, Mondays at 10/9c (Starts July 23)
Syfy’s biggest hit is back this summer for its fourth season, tracking supernatural artifacts to keep the world safe from them and those who would use them for their own gain. Following the catastrophic events of last season’s finale, this year the team struggles to come to terms with the destruction of the Warehouse and the tragic loss of several friends. Sam Huntington (Syfy’s Being Human) is on the guest roster.
Fans return to the sleepy Maine town for Season Three (premiere date still to be announced). Here’s how Syfy teases the new run of 13 episodes: “Season Three of Haven picks up immediately following the events of the gripping Season Two finale where Nathan (Lucas Bryant) was warned against pursuing a romantic relationship with Audrey (Emily Rose); Duke (Eric Balfour) learned his family legacy was to kill Haven citizens with troubles; Audrey went missing, and Nathan and Duke engaged in a seemingly deadly argument.”
Syfy didn’t include Haven in this week’s press release on summer programming, indicating that they may be holding the new season until the fall (perhaps to replace Sanctuary on the schedule).
12 months ago