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Ascension Is Not Getting A Full Series Order From Syfy, Here’s Why

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AscensionSyfy has been in the process of redefining itself as a network and reestablishing a commitment to producing original content instead of the glut of schlocky creature features, reality shows, and professional wrestling. Some of their attempts have fared pretty well: 12 Monkeys is decent, Helix seems to have found an audience, as has Z Nation. Others, not as much. One project they had high hopes for, Ascension, didn’t hit quite like they hoped late last year, and it will not move forward as a series.

The network first ordered Ascension as an event series, which I always used to call a miniseries as a kid, their first such endeavor in six years. While it was intended to be a limited thing initially, they always had an eye on turning it into something bigger, working it into an ongoing series, much like they did with Battlestar Galactica years ago. According to Deadline, however, that is not going to happen.

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Syfy’s Ascension Left Us Wanting More (In Good And Bad Ways)

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AscensionAscension was a big deal for Syfy. It was the vanguard of their stated goals to return to the business of crafting serious science fiction, rather than focusing on paranormal “reality” shows and lighter-hearted fare such as Eureka and Warehouse 13. Well, now we’ve seen all three nights of the epic mini-series. Was it worth the wait? Did it maintain the excitement we’ve built up for future Syfy productions such as The Expanse and Childhood’s End?

Yes and no. Over the course of its three-night run, Ascension enthralled, frustrated, jumped the shark, recovered its footing, and then slammed headfirst into an abrupt climax that simultaneously has us eager to see the story continued and also kind of miffed at how little actual closure it provided.

If you haven’t finished watching Ascension yet, click away — If you haven’t finished watching Ascension yet, click away — there be spoilers here!

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Ascension Post-Game: Night One Delivers Thrills And A Huge Climax

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ascensionTonight, Syfy took to the stars for the first installment of the twisty space thriller Ascension, the network’s first miniseries in quite a few years. The bad news? This isn’t going to become the next Battlestar Galactica. The good news? It’s telling a good enough story that it doesn’t need to. Mostly. For now.

If you sat out night one of Ascension, stop reading now as there are huge SPOILERS below.

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Ascension Kicks Off Syfy’s Return To Serious Science Fiction: This Week’s TV Picks

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Syfy’s Ascension imagines that, in the year 1963, the United States launched a top-secret space mission — a 100-year voyage aboard a “generation ship” designed to establish mankind’s first colony in a distant star system. Society has evolved aboard the ship into a weird echo of ‘Sixties culture — think Mad Men, not hippies — but has also stratified sharply along class lines. As the ship reaches the halfway point of its trip, the passengers and crew are rocked by a murder, the first ever to occur during the mission, which throws the true nature of the Ascension project into question.

Ascension is the vanguard of Syfy’s attempts to redirect their focus toward serious, ambitious science fiction programming and a stated goal of competing on the same level as HBO, AMC, and Netflix. While we were initially skeptical, Syfy just keeps putting its money where its mouth is, following Ascension up with crazy-exciting projects such as The Expanse, Ghost Brigades, and Childhood’s End. Hell, I’m even looking forward to the 12 Monkeys show, as surprised as I am to find myself admitting that. We’re actually excited about Syfy’s future for the first time in ages, so hopefully Ascension will prove to be a bold step forward for the network, and a promising sing of things to come.

Ascension will air in three parts: Monday – Wednesday at 9/8c on Syfy.

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Time Loops, Martians, And Groot: Here’s The Sci-Fi We’re Most Thankful For in 2014

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Here in the States most of us are winding down a day spent eating too much, drinking too much, and likely experiencing more than a little family-related drama. Far be it from us here at GFR to play humbugs, so, as we’ve done in previous years, we sat down to ponder what science fiction developments we were most thankful for this year. So before you collapse back into a turkey-induced coma, take a moment to look back at the things that put the biggest smiles on our faces in 2014. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

EdgeEverything About Edge of Tomorrow
How is it that a movie involving an alien invasion and a weird form of time travel joined forces with polarizing megastar Tom Cruise and became one of the year’s most guiltlessly enjoyable movies? Whether the credit for the sci-fi magic goes to director Doug Liman, screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth and Christopher McQuarrie, or even Cruise and co-star Emily Blunt, the film’s sense of sheer fun and darkly comedic whimsy are undeniable.

Based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow could have easily crumbled beneath the weight of its time-looping narrative, but manages to steer clear of weary repetition. By sticking Cruise back into a learning recruit role instead of having him start the film as the almighty hero, Edge of Tomorrow gives its lead one of the weirdest character arcs in all of fiction, which can’t be derailed by the likes of co-stars Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson. By far the airiest, funniest, and most exciting blockbuster of the year, Edge of Tomorrow is arguably the only must-see tentpole film of the year for sci-fi fans. (That’s right, Godzilla and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I said it.) – Nick

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Sci-Fi Author David Brin Explains The Real Science Behind Syfy’s Ascension

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With the announcement that Interstellar’s Jonathan Nolan is developing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation into a potential series for HBO, I was discussing with friends about how we seem to be in the middle of a genuine science fiction TV renaissance. Amazingly, the network by far leading the pack right now is Syfy, which seems bound and determined to not only turn over a new leaf, but to replant the entire forest. The first vanguard of that renewed commitment to actually making science fiction is their upcoming six-part mini-series Ascension, which is set to premiere December 15. One thing you might not know about Ascension is that noted astrophysicist/SF author David Brin served as a consultant on the show, and he discusses the real science behind Ascension’s science fiction in a new featurette you can watch below.

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