Community Almost Made A Back To The Future-Themed Episode

CommunityEvery time a show you love is cancelled, you can’t help but spent at least a little time dwelling on the episodes, storylines, and adventures you missed out on. We lost a number of promising sci-fi shows recently as the TV season came to a close and the networks trimmed those programs that didn’t quite live up to expectations, like Almost Human, Believe, Revolution (oddly enough, all three of those featured J.J. Abrams as part of their creative teams), and The Tomorrow People. NBC also finally axed their embattled sitcom Community after years on the brink, and while it isn’t exactly science fiction, it always had an affinity for the genre, and even garnered a Nebula Award nomination. Now we’re left wondering what could have been, including what sounds like an incredible Back to the Future-themed episode we’re hearing about.

Cast member Donald Glover, who actually left the critically-acclaimed show in the midst of the final season, had long pushed for a BTTF episode, though time and circumstances conspired to keep it on the drawing board. Though the concept was in place, the writers had a difficult time cracking the logistics of the episode. Still, these are the same people who delivered zombie apocalypse that no one remembers, multiple timelines, and Chevy Chase dressed up like Beastmaster, so I have faith they could have come up with a solution given the proper resources.

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Sci-Fi Cancellation Watch: What’s Alive, What’s Dead, And What’s Brand New

upfronts-2014The five major broadcast networks are set to deliver their “upfronts” in New York this week, an annual event where the networks get to show off their new fall and mid-season series to advertisers and press. We get to find out which shows will survive another season, which won’t, and what new things we’ll be watching later this year. And because we here at GFR love making your life easier, we’ve broken down the genre-related canceled/renewed/brand new announcements by network. If you need a sign to protest the death of Almost Human, you can have some of our posterboard.

While GFR’s primary focus is on science fiction, we’re including news about a few noteworthy shows that don’t fit within that genre, but which will likely be of interest to many of you. Let’s get to it!

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NBC Cancels Revolution, Believe, And Community

revolutionIt’s always disappointing when promising sci-fi TV shows don’t get the chance to mature and get axed too soon, but it’s that time of year. Fox announced that they won’t be bringing back J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman’s futuristic police drama Almost Human, and yesterday we talked about The CW cancelling The Tomorrow People and Star-Crossed (okay, we’re not too broken up about that last one). NBC was feeling a little bit left out—they wanted to cancel some sci-fi shows, too—and they’ve gotten in the fun, announcing that they’ve given the axe to both Revolution and Believe. They also cancelled Community well short of the Six-Seasons-And-A-Movie goal, and while we’re sad about that, it doesn’t exactly fall into our wheelhouse (if you want, read what our lovely older sibling Cinema Blend has to say on the matter).

Neither of these cancellations come as much as a surprise, neither one ever lived up to their inherent potential, but it’s still sad to see them go. Though it debuted with strong ratings, and was in fact NBC’s biggest freshman hit in years, Revolution was erratic at best. At times it could be a really fun, unique take on the post-apocalyptic set up, but it never managed to find itself. It squandered all of the things it did well, and, far too often, followed threads and story lines that never amounted to much.

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Doctor Who-ish Inspector Spacetime Becoming A Movie With An Actual Doctor

inspector spacetimeFans of the NBC sitcom Community are familiar with the show’s catchprase/goal of “Six Seasons and a Movie.” The series is currently in its fifth season — which is worlds better than last year due to the return of its creator Dan Harmon — but it doesn’t seem like an actual Community film will ever get made. But if they changed that to “Six Seasons and a Spinoff,” it might make more sense, as the popular Doctor Who-spoofing Inspector Spacetime (Travis Richey) is getting his own movie! And it will feature appearances from the Seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, as well as Star Trek alums Robert Picardo and Chase Masterson, and The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik. I don’t see how this movie can get made without Danny Pudi getting involved, so make this happen, Internet!

While the producers (including former Marvel development director Golan Ramras) ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last year to try and raise funding for a second season of their Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, they’re headed back to crowdfunding with IndieGogo to get the pre-production off the ground for what is now being called Untitled Motion Picture About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time. Those interested can donate money here. The switch to a feature was made once the awesome guest stars all signed on, and the producers figured that they could probably attract bigger investors with a film rather than a web series. Smart guys.

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Big Bang Theory And Community Are Packed With Sci-Fi Cameos: Today In Science & Science Fiction

Tonight’s a big one for sci-fi-related cameos. On CBS’ Big Bang Theory, not one but two Star Wars celebs will be visiting the show’s geeky realm. Tonight’s episode, “The Convention Conundrum,” has Sheldon annoyed that he couldn’t get tickets to next summer’s Comic-Con. Rather than just pouting about it, he decides to create his own convention, and somehow both Princess Leia and the voice of Darth Vader get involved. James Earl Jones will be playing himself, with Sheldon approaching the actor at a restaurant and winding up having crazy night with him. Here’s a clip.

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2014 Midseason TV Premiere Guide: What’s Coming Back When?

AhumanWe’re in the midst of the holiday doldrums when it comes to TV, so unless you’ve had a serious craving for Christmas specials or the odd marathon, your choices have been limited. (Then again, I’m sure a lot of you have been like me — using the barren TV landscape as an excuse to binge-watch stuff on Netflix.) Thankfully, the winter break is about to be broken, with shows returning or premiering beginning next week. So settle into the comfy chair and pull up that DVR menu, it’s time to schedule the next few months of TV sci-fi.

Thursday, January 2

Community (NBC, 8/7c)
Okay, okay, so Community isn’t really science fiction. But it is hilarious, and since creator Dan Harmon has returned to the show, we can now recommend it again in good conscience. Besides, it’s delved into alternate realities and was nominated for a Hugo, so that puts it right inside our wheelhouse.

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