But in your streams, whatever they may be, stream a little stream of me. The Internet wasn’t exactly forthcoming with its science fiction releases this week, but there are a few options worthy of your time. Maybe this is the week when you finally start building those dinosaur birdhouses you always talked about.
Zombieland & Dark Minions (Amazon Instant)
These two series are one-offs in a big promotion Amazon Instant has that pits 14 pilots against each other, allowing viewers to vote on which ones make it to series. Two of the eight comedies happen to be sci-fi shows, and they both happen to vary wildly in quality. As we’ve covered both shows, it’s mainly worth noting that Zombieland awkwardly lives in the shadow of its feature-length predecessor, with a cast and script that don’t mesh well. Dark Minions, on the other hand, is an amusing stop-motion workplace comedy with a great cast and great jokes, but like Zombieland, it doesn’t leave a lot of room on where to go should it get picked up to series. But having a voice always counts, so watch both shows for free and get your vote in.
This Syfy series — which was first aired on the Canadian Showcase network — focuses on Kiera, a law-woman (Rachel Nichols) from the year 2077 who accidentally gets transported back to 2012 with a group of badass freedom fighters who aim to divert the timeline away from an Orwellian future government. As if that weren’t unrealistic enough, Kiera’s communication device allows her to speak with Alec, a teenage computer geek whose future has major implications. Go big concept or go home, right? It’s quite an enjoyable show, never taking itself too seriously and pushing just enough action around to cover up the holes in the logic. Season 2 will begin on Syfy this June.
Trek Nation (Hulu)
Less a look at the Star Trek universe than an inspiring look at how Gene Roddenberry and his universe-spanning creation have affected people’s lives. Directed by Scott Colthorp and guided by Gene’s son, Eugene Roddenberry, Jr., this documentary is the product of nearly 10 years’ work, and debuted on the Science Channel to positive response. George Lucas is in it, talking about Star Trek‘s influence on him, and no one’s head exploded.
Dark Matters: Twisted But True (Netflix)
The Science Channel also aired this bizarre look at the strange corners of science and history, and it’s unsurprisingly hosted by Fringe’s John Noble. Not quite propaganda and nowhere near objective journalism, it’s an interesting show that will probably be most appreciated by younger viewers who haven’t surrounded themselves by this kind of story all their lives. The Russian Cosmonauts story, no matter how impossible I know it is, still gives me the heebie jeebies.
Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy (Crackle)
This is the oddball out, admittedly, as it’s Eric Idle’s stage oratorio adaptation of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the greatest religious satire of all time. There isn’t so much science as orchestra happening, but the story is a comical exercise in critical thinking, and the musical aspect of it is as astonishing as the original film’s initially misunderstood message. If a Richard Dawkins book feels too heavy for your brain tonight, give this a watch.
I was this close to adding Drop Dead Fred to this list, because that movie is awesome, but now you can just go and watch that anyway. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!