The SyFy Channel, best known these days as that channel with the ghost shows, is getting back down to the business of doing what it was originally created to do: putting science fiction on television… sort of. They’ve just announced three new shows going into production, and one of them is actual science fiction. The other two are, predictably, about ghosts.
Ghostly encounters, in a sense, represent everything that science fiction is against, but at least they’ve mixed in some sci-fi with them. The new ghost shows are called Seeing Things and Ghost Projekt, if you care. What we’re really interested in is the third as of yet untitled show, which is about a ship called Starship Defender.
According to the press release they sent our way today, the show is exactly what you’d hope. Better still, there aren’t any ghosts in it (we think). Here’s the official plot synopsis:
After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order.
This is an unusually ambitious kind of project for the modern SyFy Channel. Long gone is the network that invested in risky, outer space programming like Farscape or Battlestar Galactica. These days when they bother with science fiction at all, it normally sticks to a very specific formula, embodied by shows like Eureka or Warehouse 13. Simply put, usually their sci-fi programming takes place in the modern world and just has normal people running around interacting with cheap special effects. Since those shows take place in the modern world, they don’t need elaborate sets or, for that matter all that much imagination to make them happen.
This new show will be, by definition, different.
No word yet on when Starship Defender’s series will debut, it’s still in early production stages. They don’t even have a title for it yet, after all. But it’s being executive produced by Robert H. Wolfe, who once worked as a producer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (the same origin as BSG’s Ron Moore) and executive produced Andromeda. More recently he was the exec producer of The Dresden Files.