I’ve been in the mood for science fiction since the start of the year. Early on I started rewatching Deep Space Nine, although I put it on pause once I finished Season 3. I’ve read a couple sci-fi books and comics, and seen a few sci-fi movies here and there. I can’t complain, it’s been a good sci-fi year for me, but I find myself still wanting more.
Part of that is because I was writing a new sci-fi short story about the crew of a starship, and I’ve been wanting to stay in that frame of mind to feed my imagination. The story is more space opera than hard science, living somewhere in between Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly, which I’ve found is a fun area to be in, but a hard one to find inspiration for. What I’m craving are stories about a ship and its crew, in the mold of Firefly/Serenity, but I can’t seem to find a whole lot. Some, but not much. Thankfully we live in a rich sci-fi media time, so I have been watching some stuff to feed my desires.
I’ve seen the first three episodes of Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot and although I liked what I saw, they left me wanting. The designs are awesome, and I like what they’re doing with the Robot so far, but it’s felt more like survivalist fiction than anything else and that’s making my interest wane quickly. I read the episode synopses for the rest of the season, so I know things change towards the end, which might help me to stick with it to see where we go from here in Season 2.
The second show I’ve been watching is Dark Matter, originally on SyFy and now on Netflix, about six people that wake up from stasis inside a starship with no memories then find out they are all wanted criminals. I watched the first season a couple years ago and liked it, and have gone back to it now that there’s three seasons worth of episodes. Dark Matter is the one show scratching my ship-and-a-crew itch, as the crewmembers of the Raza fly around the galaxy trying to figure out who they are while trying to keep the ship fueled up and their past from catching up. I kinda wish they had stretched out the part where the crew had no idea who they were pre-stasis, but the writers do a good job of revealing the mystery at the right pace to keep you hooked.
Lastly, I’ve gone back to Deep Space Nine here and there in between episodes of the other shows. The fourth season of DS9 is such a different beast that it’s almost a different show from before. This is the season after The Next Generation ended, when DS9 became the Star Trek flagship, and it shows in the increased scope in the story. We have Worf joining the crew, the Klingons becoming central players in the DS9 saga, and lots more large-scale events happening on a small-screen budget (which means lots of off-screen action). It kicks DS9 up a notch, but it takes a bit to get used to and for the show to find its rhythm again between pivotal events and small character-building stories.
There are two shows that I know I’m missing out on in terms of good sci-fi on TV, Star Wars Rebels and The Expanse, both of which I’d like to watch, but neither of which is easily accessible for streaming with the options I have available now, so I keep waiting.
Is there any other show I should be checking out? Let me know.