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Syfy Celebrates 20 Years (For Good Or Ill) This Week In Science Fiction

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Syfy 20th Anniversary Special
Monday night, 9/8c

Like many a science fiction fan, I have mixed feelings when it comes to the network known as Syfy, formerly the Sci Fi Channel. Its current incarnation often caters to the lowest common denominator and seems disinterested — at best — when it comes to actually airing any original science fiction. The fact that Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome premiered as a web series while shows such as Haunted Collector get prime-time real estate sums up the sorry state of Syfy quite nicely. If the network once was a haven for geeks like us, now it’s trying hard to become one of the cool kids and refusing to take our phone calls.

But still, we had a lot of good times with the Sci-Fi Channel, didn’t we? Back before it got the stupid name change and started cluttering its schedule with awful “reality” programming. The Sci-Fi Channel brought us Battlestar Galactica and Farscape and Stargate and even a pair of pretty decent Dune miniseries. I’m thankful for the times when the Sci-Fi Channel actually lived up to that name and celebrated the genre we all love. There was a time when Sci-Fi genuinely did invite us to look upward and share the wonders. It’s just a shame the network was killed so young, only to be replaced by an unconvincing doppelganger that doesn’t seem to have a clue what it wants to be.

At any rate, if you can sit through it without being stirred to anger or dragged down into a deep depression, you can check out Syfy’s anniversary special tonight. Or you could just rewatch Farscape instead.

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Syfy Announces Real Steel-Style Robot Fighting Show

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Whether you liked Hugh Jackman’s robot-boxing flick Real Steel or not, you have to love the core concept: remote-controlled robots beating the ever-loving snot out of each other. It takes the brutal appeal of boxing or MMA fighting but adds the ability to punch your opponent’s head off or rip his arms out of their sockets. We are still not at Real Steel levels of tech, but we just inched a little closer. Syfy has unveiled a new robot-fighting series called Robot Combat League that is, for all intents and purposes, Real Steel: The Reality Show.

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New Defiance Trailer Offers More Explosions and Oddly Shaped Eyes

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Next year, if you weren’t already aware, SyFy will be premiering what could be a revolutionary experiment combining the worlds of gaming and television…but it probably won’t be, given Syfy’s lack of anything revolutionary beyond misspelling. Four years in the making, Defiance aims to combine televised storytelling with the personal experience of playing an MMO game. You can’t tell, but I’m trying really hard not to scoff while saying any of this, though I could be eating these words by April of next year, when the show debuts.

With “Watch the show. Play the game. Change the world,” as its tagline, the show still isn’t selling me based on premise alone, but the trailer actually does a good job of presenting a series that, while caught up in something gimmicky, isn’t going to rely on gimmicks alone. Hang onto your hat, and watch it below.

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Editorial: Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome Could Save Syfy’s Soul

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Hey, Syfy, how’s it going? Yeah, I know, I don’t visit as much as I used to. Sure, I still swing by for Alphas each week, but I know you’re really busy these days, what with all the wrestling and the ghost hunting and the game shows about people bumping into things in the dark. I don’t want to take up too much of your time here, but we need to have a little talk, you and I. It’s about Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. I think it could save your soul.

Look, Sci-Fi…can I call you Sci-Fi, just like in the good old days? No? Fine, “Syfy,” whatever. So here’s the thing. Yesterday your official Twitter feed told us that the incredibly awesome-looking Battlestar Galactica prequel spinoff, Blood and Chrome, was not dead, but would indeed air at some point, in some form. Probably. And while it’s great to hear that Blood and Chrome hasn’t been relegated to the trash bin, I have to ask…what the hell are you thinking, man?

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Syfy Premieres New Digital Series, Nuclear Family, On Xbox 360

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Syfy decided to do something a little different for their latest new digital series, called Nuclear Family. The network has made all 22 episodes of the series available exclusively on the Xbox 360. That’s right, if you’ve got an Xbox, you can watch the whole run back-to-back now via the Syfy Digital app (which up until now has been pretty useless). The digital series won’t be posted to Syfy.com, Hulu, and the like for another two weeks.

Nuclear Family is, as you might guess from the title, set in the aftermath of a mysterious nuclear explosion. Written and directed by Kyla Rankin (The Battle of Shaker Heights), Nuclear Family has cast of familiar faces, including Corin Nemec (Stargate SG-1), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Robocop), and Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue). Here’s the gist of it:

Nuclear Family is about John and Lynn who struggle with their family to survive after a mysterious nuclear explosion occurs. They stay on the move in the woods searching for their son, Grant, who becomes lost amidst the post-apocalyptic chaos. Meanwhile society has disintegrated and is now run by a savage clan called the Berserkers lead by someone who calls himself The Man.

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Hungry Hungry Hippos Vid Parodies Syfy’s Saturday-Night Movies

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The upcoming Battleship movie is like every punchline about Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy given physical form. Rather than actually taking a chance on an original screenplay, the Powers That Be will latch hold of any existing property — any at all. Monopoly. The Ouija board. The Magic friggin’ 8-Ball. Personally, I’m really looking forward to a buddy comedy about two rogue cops named Chutes and Ladders.

This new trend also provides an opportunity for Syfy to refresh their Saturday-night programming line-up. After years of cheesy, low-budget movies based on every possible combination of cryptozoological creatures, mythical monsters, and nasty natural disasters, why not follow Hollywood’s lead and raid the cast-offs of family game night for fodder? The results might look something like this. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Movie.