Syfy's new futuristic show Defiance, in which a Chief Lawkeeper is tasked with protecting his hometown from the fallout of an intergalactic war, premieres next week, and you can already watch the first 14 minutes of the show online. But Syfy isn't stopping there, and the network is already lining up a multitude of shows that could be coming to the channel in the not-too-distant future.
First of all, there are couple of shows that have been in development at Syfy for a while. The first is a TV series based on the 2010 "end of times" movie Legion, in which Paul Bettany played a rogue angel protecting a group of humans from the ecclesiastical apocalypse. Legion was hardly a hit in theaters, earning less than $68 million at the worldwide box office and a very poor critical reception, but a TV reboot might work if done well. There's also a reboot of classic British space opera Blake's 7 in development, which was confirmed a couple of days ago when Syfy ordered a 13-episode run.
Then there's High Moon, from Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, which is set in the future and on the Moon, in a series of colonies built by various countries in order to mine the Moon's resources, and uncover a new form of life. The discovery of this new life form, and the ensuing chaos as the colonists try to learn more about it, are described as "humorously thrilling," which sounds about right considering Fuller's trademark blend of comedy and drama. Syfy has ordered a pilot episode of High Moon, with Pushing Daisies writer Jim Danger Gray penning the script.
In fact, Syfy seem to be very keen on bringing space down to Earth, considering the shows currently in development for the channel. Here's the round-up of the latest titles and synopses:
Orion - The titular character of this show is a female relic hunter who quests not only for space artifacts, but for clues to her own past. When humanity becomes embroiled in a war with a powerful alien race, Orion has to choose whether to be selfish and survive, or to risk her life finding the long lost artifacts that could be the key to humanity's freedom. Think Mass Effect meets Tomb Raider, only in a TV show format.
Sojourn - A space detective show in which the first ever sleuth to venture beyond Earth's stratosphere is assigned to solve a murder onboard a spaceship that left Earth 50 years ago in search of a new planet to colonize. The detective quickly begins to suspect that the latest crime was committed by a conspiracy of people trying to cover up an ugly secret dating back to the ship's launch. Written by Phil Levens (Smallville). Best case scenario: Twin Peaks in space.
Clandestine - With The Walking Dead's Gale Ann Hurd attached as executive producer, this show is about a group of bandits who are attacked, nearly destroyed and left for dead by a galactic force called "the Coalition." The survivors take refuge in an abandoned Coalition ship, which they repair and take over in order to carry on their criminal ways under the guise of being Coalition officers. Possible comparisons to Firefly.
Infinity - The government sends a young billionaire industrialist, the only person on Earth with a spaceship capable of interstellar travel, to intercept an alien armada that has been spotted on the outskirts of our solar system. A team is sent out but negotiations don't go well, and the ensuing firefight flings the spaceship through a wormhole and into the far reaches of space. The crew of the ship are forced to journey back to Earth the long way, encountering new planets and species along the way. Written by Lost's Javier Grillo-Marxuach, this show sounds like The Sirens of Titan crossed with Red Dwarf.
Silver Shields - Finally, a show set on a planet, even if it's not necessarily our one. Written and produced by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Silver Shields is about a farm boy whose father is assassinated, inspiring the kid to journey to the city in order to sign up as a member of the local police force, and to find out why his father was murdered. Unfortunately, the country life has left him ill-prepared for the city of Pont Royal, which is filled with orcs and other weird creatures. Basically, Due South.
Shelter - This show has Deep Impact's Bruce Joel Rubin as its lead writer and executive producer, and it looks like Rubin isn't quite done with massive meteorites yet. The plot revolves around the lives of 30,000 humans who are forced to live underground in a government-funded shelter to keep the species alive, after an enormous piece of space rock begins heading for Earth. The intended Utopia quickly begins to fall apart, and the survivors start to uncover secrets about the catastrophe and their own purpose. The set-up will be familiar for anyone who's seen Deep Impact, so imagine a sequel to a version of that film in which the giant waves didn't recede.
And for non-scripted:
Joe Rogan Questions Everything (premieres Tuesday, July 16 at 9pm)- Life-long unexplained paranormal mystery-addict Joe Rogan ventures into unknown worlds and untapped territories to search for answers to life’s most startling theories. Having explored these questions for years on his podcast, Joe now takes his journey to the next level, traveling the country and knocking on any door necessary to find the truth. In his own unique and inquisitive style, Joe will stop at nothing to quench his curiosity for the unknown.
Cosworld (premieres Tuesday, August 27 at 10pm) – a tantalizing six-episode docuseries that lifts the veil on the imaginative world of cosplay competition. The series follows some of the hottest cosplay stars as they make a splash at comic book conventions around the country. The show dives deep into their lives, following their process as they create extravagant and visually arresting costumes each week. These individuals will constantly defy odds and race against the clock to transform themselves into amazing fictional characters that push the boundaries between fantasy and reality, all in hopes of impressing the convention judges to win a cash prize and the chance to become a cosplay legend.
Fandemonium (Premieres Fall 2013) – a six-part docuseries that celebrates the incredibly unique, often misunderstood, and infinitely fascinating fan girl and fan boy culture. Living together in an LA apartment complex, a tight-knit group of pop culture-obsessed fans continue to find their place in the world and flourish, thanks to their passions and personalities. Whether it’s being first in line for the latest blockbuster, making a lasting impression upon getting the chance to meet their heroes, or just figuring out how to balance their passions with making a living.
Nine potential, three actuals shows, all varying distances away from getting into Syfy's programming schedules, but which of the shows sounds the most promising?