Weirdly enough, it’s been The CW—you know, the melodrama-heavy, teen-centric network—that has been holding it down lately on the science fiction front lately. The results have been mixed, but you have to give them points for trying. Syfy is about to have an original content renaissance, but until then, we’ll take our regular programming where we can get it. Now that we’ve reached the latter stages of the current TV season, networks are thinning the herd, but they’re also announcing new shows for next year. In that spirit, the CW has trimmed a few genre shows, but they’ve also added a couple that we’re interested in checking out.
Let’s start with the current slate of programs. The futuristic Lord of the Flies-inspired drama The 100 will be back for another season. We’re pretty psyched about this one, despite some initial misgivings. When nuclear war renders the surface of the Earth uninhabitable, the human race jumps ship, living in a cobbled-together space station called the Ark. After nearly a century, and multiple generations, they’re digs are falling apart and space is getting tight. In order to see if people can return to our ancestral home, they send down 100 imprisoned juvenile delinquents to test it out, like canaries in a sketchy old mineshaft.
The show started strong and took a bit of a dip. But those who stuck with it for a few more episodes were rewarded with what is quickly becoming a strong addition to our weekly sci-fi viewing. So far the writers have managed to avoid falling into the pit of clichés that we kind of imagined it would, and with a strong central character, we’re on board.
Two of the other genre dramas the CW debuted this season, however, haven’t been this successful, and will not continue to populate the airwaves. Their attempt to remake the cult British series The Tomorrow People, which, much like the X-Men, features a bunch of mutants who have evolved special abilities and powers, has been axed. I watched a couple of episodes, missed a few, and though I always meant to go back—and heard it got pretty good—I never managed to fit it into the schedule. Joining the party on the chopping block is the alien Romeo and Juliet knock off Star-Crossed. It’s about a bunch of travellers from space who come to Earth and try to integrate into our society. Think of it like Alien Nation, but with way more high school. It isn’t very good.
While they’ve cut down a few members of the current crop, the CW has also picked up a few new additions to the family. Chief among their upcoming shows, and the most no-brainer of the bunch, is The Flash. Based on the classic DC Comics title, and an ostensible spin-off of the network’s hit Arrow, this was assumed to be a lock, but has now received the go ahead from the people who authorize that type of thing. The action follows a man named Barry Allen who dresses in a skintight red suit and runs really, really fast. You can imagine how that could come in handy when fighting evil.
The Flash isn’t the only DC title that you will be able to see on the CW this fall. They’ve also picked up the more horror-themed iZombie from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. The story follows a med student named Rose who just so happens to be a zombie. She’s able to camouflage this fact by working in the coroner’s office where she feeds on the brains that she needs in order to continue being un-alive. The kicker is that eating brains like this gives Rose the memories they contained, and the only way to shut up these new voices in her head is to solve their murders.