TV in Fall: Face Peeling and More….

by Irma Arkus

The question of what fall will bring is on the minds of sci-fi and fantasy lovers, who feel somewhat abandoned by recent slew of show cancellations and endings to beloved TV series. While I myself lament a few losses (Terminator, BSG…), I also look forward to what is to come, and would like to remind you and me, what to watch for the next few months.


Spruced up and ready to go for another shot, this one is a remake of a well remembered cheapy TV classic. Remembered for: lizard aliens who pretend to look like humans, and occasionally show their true face (of evil?) by having the faux epidermis scratched off.

While this held wonderfully decades ago, I was surprised that the remake held onto the face peeling bit. Aside from that, “V” looks promising, and taps into some of Joss Whedon favorite cast.

Morena Baccarin appears as Anna, the leading voice of visitors from another planet who bring peace, technological superiority and friendship to Earth…or so we think. Quickly they turn from fun-loving humans, into lizards who just like eating humans…or something of that nature.

Alan Tudyk also joins the cast as Dale Maddox. We’re not quite sure what Dale does yet, but I am going to throw a guess and have him join the resistance…

The intriguing bit about V is of course the socio-political nature of the show. Benevolent aliens quickly dissolve the rights and freedoms of humans in order to enact laws and order that would “benefit us all.” In reality though, the democratic society quickly descends into a paramilitary hell-hole, where fascist adulation of supreme alien leadership takes central stage.

It is this political nature of the 80s V that is the most attractive part of the upcoming series, as it directly applies to variety of recently enacted laws that could be called nothing but a power grab by Western governments. From Patriot Act in the US, to the abolishment of kitchen knives and rise of surveillance society in UK, continuous stripping of civil rights and freedoms is worrisome.

The show is currently on some crazy fortnight break, but is expected to premiere with its gloriously sleek pilot episode on Nov. 3rd.

Speaking of Joss Whedon however…


Is coming back…and…Summer Glau is joining its cast.

While Alan Tudyk has wrapped up a slow paced season of Echo’s schizophrenic existence with a bang, allowing for threads of her actual personality and memories to start flooding through, while at the same time destroying the primary source of her memories. He literally took the hard-drive containing her memories and persona and destroyed it…

But now Summer Glau, the prima ballerina who is known for her role in Firefly/Serenity as well as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, will join Dollhouse as someone related to Echo’s past.

While the added bonus of Glau makes the Whedon universe come full circle, at least when it comes to casting that is, the show itself has not received as much critical or audience support as expected. Fox is merciless, and Whedon’s ratings were less than anticipated, resulting in “slash the cash” move by the network.

So, do expect even less of Dollhouse.

“Flash Forward”

Robert J. Sawyer’s acclaimed novel, Flash Forward, is getting the series treatment.

Being a huge fan of Sawyer’s work, I am delighted that his work is finally getting some much needed Hollywood attention, as his writing does lend itself to screen.

Flash Forward describes the events surrounding the moments after the Large Hadron Collider-like particle accelerator starts to function. For a few minutes, there is an exchange in time/space, and everyone on Earth experiences life in near future for few precious moments.

Outcomes of life-changing decisions are revealed, deaths are known, glimpses of that day’s newspapers and insight into the events and lives of others allow for a detective-like investigation of what future actually may bring.

Joseph Fiennes is headlining, and is joined by John Cho, Jack Davenport, Courtney B. Vance and Sonya Walger.

The casting is superb, and the writers describe the scripts as Lost-like, and will premiere on Sep. 24th.

“The Vampire Diaries”

This show attempts to bring young Twilight fans, and older vampires together for a one-bite-fits-all in a high school setting.

Elena, a 17-year old recovering from the loss of her parents, enters a new high-school only to find that her newfound crush, Stefan Salvatore, is actually a 150-year old Vampire. While Stefan is obviously a worthy candidate for dating, his brother Damon is a blood-thirsty, no-good vampire, who not only desires Elena, but wants to suck her blood too.

I am certain that the show will not supplant my love of True Blood, it is sure to gain a following in the preteen to 35 bracket.

The Vampire Diaries premiers mere days from now, on Sep. 10th.


Aside from these gems, be sure to pay attention this fall to “Supernatural.”

The show that initially pandered to cliches has risen to new heights in its last, fourth season. While initially the show drew a pretty strong division between good/evil, after a while, the writers had to approach the subject of good vs. evil a bit more tacktfully, resulting in an amazing storyline development. “Supernatural” last year tackled not only some naughty demons, but some rather villanous angels as well, opening the show to a new, more intelligent storytelling, and introducing far more captivating characters.

Now, the fifth season promises to go where no other show went before. The impossibly handsome duo Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki deliver the goods, and
the writing just keeps on getting better and better…