Terra Nova: A time travel drama from Steven Spielberg, the show begins in 2149, when massive environmental damage is killing the earth. In an attempt to change the course of history, a group of settlers goes through a crack in the time-space continuum to prehistoric times where they will try to start over and change the future. The show centers on the Shannon family, who face all the dangers of the prehistoric world, as well as the secrets they bring with them. As far as I could tell, the cast hasn’t been set yet (rumor has it that Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights and Kevin Bacon both turned down the lead)--which doesn’t bode well--but the production team has lots of big names, including Brannon Braga (24, Star Trek: Enterprise) and David Fury (Lost, Buffy). (Fox.)
No Ordinary Family: Heroes is gone, but this show could fill your craving for folks like us who gain extraordinary powers. Michael Chiklis (The Shield) heads up the Powell clan, who are growing apart because of busy lives and diverse interests. In an effort to bring everyone together, they take a family vacation to Brazil and end up crashing into the Amazon River. They survive, but are never the same. Slowly each one discovers unique abilities they never had and must learn to control, find a purpose for, and still keep the family unit strong. (ABC)
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman: If, like me, you wonder if John Crichton (Farscape) could really get sucked down a wormhole into a new galaxy where he finds the love of his life--this is the show for you. The questions the show intends to tackle—is there a Creator?; where do we really come from?; what the hell IS a black hole—sound thought provoking. And though the science is complicated--astrobiology, string theory, quantum mechanics and astrophysics—I trust ole MF to make it understandable. (The Science Channel…natch; summer 2010)
Haven: The only new scripted series on SyFy that I could find, this one comes from the team that did Dead Zone, so it could be good. The show is inspired by a Stephen King short story, but evidently diverges from there. It stars April Rose (Jericho, Brothers and Sisters) as Audrey, an FBI agent on a routine case. She stumbles upon Haven, a small town in Maine whose residents are all cursed in one way or another, but who are able to live normal lives because something in the town suppresses their supernatural afflictions. As these abilities manifest themselves, Audrey helps keep them at bay while uncovering the town’s secrets—and her own secret connections to them. It also stars Eric Balfour, who I always find interesting. (SyFy, July 2010)
Other TV News: Though neither of these is otherworldly, I want to give a shout out to two new shows that include actors from previous scifi/fantasy shows. My fave, Ben Browder of Farscape fame, will be in the new CW show, Hellcats. And CBS has Alex O’Loughlin from Moonlight, who will take the lead in the revamped version of Hawaii Five-O. Also starring in that are Grace Parks from Battlestar Gallactica and Daniel Dae Kim from Lost. Check out both shows this fall.