– by Daryll Benjamin –
It was 1992 and wee old Daryll was trying to get his head together. Sophomore in High School and dealing with all the awkwardness that an insecure blerd has to deal with. I remember staying up late one Friday Night/Saturday Morning to catch Night Flight on FOX 5NY, which was this fantasy/science fiction/horror/music anthology show. During the course of the show, I saw a commercial for a new cable channel that had a lot of the things I liked. In the 30 second commercial I saw spaceships, blood, creatures and magic. Folks, this was my first exposure to The Sci-Fi Channel.
A place where I have shows like Forever Knight alongside Nightmare on Elm Street movies? Sign Me Up! A place where I can be in a Dystopian future one minute and in sword & magic past the next. Over the course of 25 years, I have seen many of my geeky favorites end up on The Sci-Fi — now SyFy — Channel and have been introduced to a multitude of new things. So, after being exposed to a lot of programming over the years, picking the best 25 things I have seen on SyFy is going to be nerve-wracking. Deciding who and what makes my list is going to be even more crazier than previous lists but I think I got a solid 25 things that are a testament to my love for the channel.
Here I go Folks! My Geeky 25 (and of course I am going to cheat but you’ll see why):
25) Mission Genesis – 6 young teens with specific skills wake up on a spaceship prematurely. With them, they hold the responsibility for humanity’s future in their hands. Sounds like 3 different shows here but little did I know back then I was being prepped for a couple of my favorites through this.
24) Sliders – First case of a show I liked on network TV (FOX) getting picked up by Sci-Fi to finish its run. Wormholes and alternate earths are in vogue right now and this was the beginning. I just wish the final season was better.
23) Tripping the Rift – Take South Park. Mash it up with Star Trek and then cross it with Aeon Flux and you get this raunchy animated space series.
22) The Triangle – Secrets abound get revealed as a group enters the Bermuda Triangle to try and save the world in this miniseries.
21) Monster – GREAT anime series featuring a doctor trying to stop a serial killer before he/she strikes again. The problem? Everyone thinks HE is the serial killer.
20) Childhood’s End – Imagine one day, aliens arrive on Earth promising to cure society of all its ills. All you have to do is listen. Would the world accept? And what exactly is the price for saying yes . . . or no?
19) Defiance – In the future, the Earth has come off of being enslaved by an alien race. However, with the defeat of the overlords, Earth has now becomes home for a variety of aliens besides humanity. And the Town of Defiance is the hub where they interact.
18) Haven – Welcome to the quiet town of Haven, Where various citizens have been “cursed” with powers and the battle of good vs evil continues. This is what a young FBI agent has to come face to face with. Based on a Stephen King story.
17) Sanctuary – What protects humanity from creatures of myth? Or better yet the creatures from humanity? Say hello to Sanctuary and as one profiler will learn, there’s a lot that goes into this job.
16) Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars – Just like with Sliders before, Farscape came over to SyFy to finish up its run. Human astronaut finds himself immersed in a very alien conflict. This was Buck Rogers meets The Muppet Show and Peacekeeper Wars ended the series with a bang.
15) Alice – Alice thought she was free but has to return through The Looking Glass and finds things have gone very dark. A very different interpretation of Wonderland than what you’d expect.
14) Ascension – In the 60’s, the hope of humanity, some of America’s best and brightest were launched on a 100 year trek to Proxima Centuari to establish a settlement. However with the death of a young woman 51 years into the journey, secrets and lies start to be exposed.
13) Continuum – Imagine being an officer in the future where several criminals have leaped back in time and you are caught up in their wake. No easy way home and not knowing if your home is still there, can you stop them from radically changing the future?
12) Killjoys – Outer Space warrant officers/bounty hunters/peacekeepers run afoul of a galactic conspiracy as they try to protect their planet. As the seasons go forward, each member of the team’s past are explored and the conspiracy goes deeper and gets weirder.
11) Tin Man – This preceded Alice by 2 years but it the same premise. Dorothy returns to Oz after 10 years and finds it is a magical steampunk nightmare. I was definitely not ready for this.
10) The Expanse – Conflicts between Earth, Mars and miner colonies are about to explode in everyone’s faces. Why? Well it has to do with a missing woman and a weird space minerals and some “experiments”. Political intrigue along with a great cast propel this along. But it seems like a live action version of.
9) Mobile Suit Gundam 00 – Those who know me, know how much I love anime specifically mecha ones and chief among them are the Gundam series. In this iteration, the group Celestial Being tries to carry out tasks to head off conflicts/wars in their Gundams. No matter who they make enemies of in the process.
8) Doctor Who – Now a lot of you are wondering if I’m a Whovian, why do I have it so low? Well Sci-Fi had it for the 9th (Eccleston) and half of the 10th (Tennant) runs before it moved to BBC America. But that was long enough for my time travel love to return.
7) Lost Girl – A wandering woman comes across an ancient battle of light and dark as myths come to life in the modern day. Sexy. Groundbreaking. Kick booty fun. A lot of the themes from this series I followed with showrunner Emily Andreas into her new, current series Wynonna Earp.
6) Stargate SG-1 – This was the follow-up to the hit movie. The series, started over on Showtime and after it s 5th season moved over to SyFy for another 5 seasons. The space wormhole jumping adventure grew and spawned Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, becoming a cornerstone for the channel’s Friday Nights. And also provided a blueprint of success for other shows to come
5) The Lost Room – Imagine having a key that could open any door to any place in the world that walking through would transport you there in the blink of an eye. This miniseries was like Quantum Leap meeting the Star Trek teleported. Sounds fun right but great power usually has a high price.
4) Dark Matter – Regular readers here at CBU already know how I feel about Dark Matter and its crew of scoundrels and never do wells already. It would take some pretty great shows to surpass this and just my luck, I got 3 that could.
3) Warehouse 13 – I was a fan of Friday The 13th: The Series for years where 2 cousins had to collect cursed antiques before they did damage. Warehouse 13 is the spiritual successor to that with a twist: there’s been a warehouse since time has been recorded and most of the artifacts had a historical connection which intrigued the blerd in me.
2) Eureka – Welcome to the smartest little town in America. A town where genius of all types are innovative every wee . . . and sometimes putting the world in danger at the same ratio. A mixture of science, fun and slapstick every week, I could count on this one to give me consistent laughs every week.
1) Battlestar Galactica – Simply one the best science fiction shows that I’ve seen over the last 25 years. I hold this remake of the 70’s show right up there with Star Trek TNG, Stak Trek DS9 and Babylon 5. Survival of the fittest in the technological sense as the children of men (Cylons) come home with subterfuge (they now had models that could pass for human immersed on each planet) and a massive coordinated strike that wipes out most of humanity. It’s lone survivors head to the stars in an interspace caravan to find the fabled lost planet of prophecy (Earth)….with Cylons on their heels each step of the way. This set my standards for sci-fi high as its suspenseful storytelling week after week won this initial naysayer over BIG TIME.
25ish Shows For 25 Slots in Daryll’s Blerdy Heart. Thanks For Reading Folks!
Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!