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

By David Wharton | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

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.


Person of Interest (CBS, 10/9c) — “The Cold War”

Samaritan shows the extent of its power by erasing crime from New York City for a day in a bold attempt to force the Machine out of hiding.


The 100 (The CW, 9/8c) — “Spacewalker”

Clarke returns to Camp Jaha with troubling news. Meanwhile, Finn struggles with the aftermath of his actions.

American Horror Story (FX, 10/9c) — “Orphans”

Desiree grows suspicious of Maggie. Meanwhile, Pepper exhibits troubling behavior.


The Librarians (TNT, 8/7c) — “And Santa’s Midnight Run”

When the Serpent Brotherhood wants to kill Santa, the Librarians must rescue him and help him accomplish the true, secret purpose of Christmas.