Wow.  Tuesday I mentioned that Playback article detailing some of the projects Vanessa Piazza and I have in development, among them a sci-fi series called TimEscape.  Well, yesterday fans, clearly impatient for another rollicking sci-fi show, got the ball rolling by establishing a TimEscapeHQ twitter account.  It’s early, as several pieces still have to fall into place, but who’s going to argue with almost 500 followers in less than 24 hours?

So, if you love Stargate and Dark Matter (and, for that matter, other fun character-driven sci-fi adventure like Farscape, Firefly, and Cowboy Bebop to name a few), click on the link (or visit @timescape_hq) and give them a follow.   Get the early scoop on what will no doubt become your new favorite sci-fi show!

I’ve already mentioned the things that I think make for a great science fiction series: action, adventure, humor, twists, turns, surprises, a compelling character-driven story, a sense of friendship and family.  But I’d like to know what draws YOU to sci-fi.  Especially fans of Stargate and Dark Matter.  What was it that you loved most about those particular shows?

Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!


Now, on to the Stargate: SG-1 Greatest Episode Tournament!

Ripple Effect’s close shave victory over Foothold (51%-49%) closed out the first round of our Stargate: SG-1 Greatest Episode Tournament.  The initial field of 16 has been halved and starting tomorrow, the Elite Eight will face off in Quarter Final action.  The advancing episodes have been re-ranked based on total votes received in first round action.  So THESE are your second round match-ups…

#1 Window of Opportunity vs #8 Moebius Part 2

They’re two of SG-1’s most humorous episodes, yet both invariably deliver an emotional punch as well.  Can Moebius spring the upset on the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is WoO?

#2 The Fifth Race vs #7 Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect has its hands full taking on another big first round winner in The Fifth Race.  But do a roomful of Carters and underwear Cam have the fallatus to take down the Asgard?

#3 Lost City Part 2 vs # 6 Heroes Part 2

It’s a battle of the Part 2’s, both written by Robert C. Cooper and both hugely important episodes in the Stargate: SG-1 canon.

#4  The Pegasus Project vs #5 Children of the Gods

On the strength of a solid upset victory over favored Abyss, The Pegasus Project sets its sights on the pilot that started it all: Children of the Gods (both written by Brad Wright).  This one may well go down to the wire.

So, place your bets!  Who will be in our Final Four?

And who’s up for a Final Four rewatch?

27 thoughts on “Fan Support! A Sci-Fi Survey! And the SG-1 Elite Eight!

  1. For my sci-fi preferences, I much prefer shows that, as you mention, offer a sense of family, or at least community in that the characters care for each other. If i don’t care about the characters or feel invested in them and their relationships with each other, I’m out.

    Also, I really like a sense of hope – for example in Dark Matter, for all its dystopic setting, gives a sense of hope that people can become more than their programming, that they can overcome an unfortunate past and look to a better future.

    Final Four SG1 Rewatch? I have my DVDs at the ready!

  2. Dark Matter became my Favorite SyFy series mostly because of the characters and there interaction from real emotions of caring, love, hate, and truly the awesome perfect amount of humor! Not to mention the special effects were Great as were the wardrobe! I for one am looking forward to this new series as I’m hoping for more of that type of a show again. I know casting and script are what pulls it all together so we shall see!!

  3. What i liked about Stargate was the conviction and overcoming of obstacles as a team (family). Also doing the right thing takes precedence over the spoils! Dark Matter it was the twist and turns that kept your head spinning in a good way. Also it showed that if we leave our past behind we can be better people!

  4. What draws me in to sci-fi (apart from everything mentioned in the article!):

    that sense of a wider canvass, giving us much needed perspective on our smaller ‘Earth’ problems.
    flawed humans trying to set aside our differences and prejudices to be very the best of us
    watching relationships between, on paper, very different, almost opposing characters / species grow and develop into profound friendship or closer

    I think the best sci-fi, at it’s heart, is always about hope. Hope that, whatever the obstacles, we can be better, do better, individually and as a species, than we ever have before.

    Stargate was brilliant at all of the above.

  5. Nice ! I hope that TimEscape airs soon. As for what I liked about Stargate….the writing, the characters and a healthy balance between drama and humor.

  6. In regards to what draws me to shows, especially what drew me to Stargate and Dark Matter for me the most important thing is interesting characters that I either care about or develop some sort of connection to. Other then that things I look for is some sense of humour, it does need to be obvious straight out comedy as often I don’t enjoy that but some situation appropriate jokes something that shows that even though the characters take the world seriously the writers and creators don’t take it overly seriously if that makes sense (Stargate was really good at that) An interesting premise and a compelling story never hurt either

  7. For me, there has to be a well built universe, with writers not forgetting what they did previous seasons. Good characters because even if the story is amazing, badly impersonated characters or just plain bad will not make me keep watching. To me, it was well done in the Stargate universe!

  8. You’ve already mentioned all the things that draw me to sci-fi: action, adventure, humor, twists, turns, surprises, a compelling character-driven story, a sense of friendship and family. What first grabbed me about Stargate were the mythology and the gripping stories. Dark Matter was exciting right from the start and just and had a captivating premise. But what made me keep watching the shows and becoming a fan were the characters and their relationships, well, just the feeling of family.

  9. Both shows are amazing! If I had to choose one moment, I’d say Three saving Five after she was kidnapped. Their relationship changed so much…and it was wonderful to watch!

  10. Anyone here listed, as you perfectly did, what makes a perfect sci-fi series, adventures, action, sense of family (I really prefer a crew whose members are family and can trust each other, over a crew full of traitors and lies just for the sake of twists). The one thing that nobody mentioned (or I missed, probably) is mystery, investigations, which personally makes the very best sci-fi IMHO! I mean, investigating the sense of life (SGU), mythology and Alterans’ mystery (SG-1 and SGA) keeps the watchers really on suspence, begging for more (at least if they’re like me!)

  11. How do I vote?!

    I love character-driven stories. If there aren’t characters I can like or at least feel some sympathy for, I will drop the story after a few chapters. Or one book. Or a few episodes. I’m pretty tolerant.. There needs to be some overarching storyline that holds my interest as well. A good antihero is a big draw for me.

  12. OK my choices:
    The link doen’t work I don’t know why…
    1 vs 8 = 1 Windows of opportunity wins;
    2 vs 7 = 7 Ripple effect;
    3 vs 6 = 3 Lost city part 2;
    4 vs 5 = 4 The Pegasus project

  13. Sci-fi shows that I like have some or all of the following components (doesn’t have to have everything in one show):
    Character-driven, interesting group dynamic, time travel, interstellar space stuff, extraterrestrial stuff, adventures, actions, mysterious, unpredictability, futuristic, involve different worlds, cool technologies, humor. XD

  14. What draws me to sci-fi is the mix of true and not real. But even more than that is like Stargate draws me into larger concepts. It makes me imagine if somewhere somebody has discovered space stuff that is kept in secret. It makes me want to learn more physics and theoretical stuff. It is so much fun and excites me. Allows me to believe in something more.

  15. Oh man, so many good answers. My main list-topper is probably humor and banter and a little trash-talking to cover up that soft-hearted family feels vibe our sci-fi crew always wants to gloss over, but can we talk about the REAL awesome of sci-fi? That dirty little guilty pleasure everyone’s so keen to hate on? I’m all about the TROPES you guys. Give me accidental time travel, and parallel universes, clones and pending apocalypses, give me Groundhog Days for DAYS (winking at you, All The Time In The World, you beautiful creature you) and I’m a happy little weirdo. I don’t understand why people hate on tropes, they are fundamental, classic sci-fi gold and I will always be excited to see a fresh take on any of them.

  16. I loved the Stargate Series. I enjoyed the different scenarios that the team faced week to week. So many episodes need to be expanded on. The team had chemistry. Hope to see more shows for a future return.

  17. Such hard choices. I love them all! I’m definitely in for a rewatch.

    Can’t wait for TimEscape to become a reality!!! I’m eager for more of your great writing. I’d love to see you cast some of the people that we grew to love through the SG franchise, including peripheral players. Familiar faces in a show that isn’t afraid to work real emotions into the scripts draw me in. Ship, angst, silliness… the full range lend credibility and relatability to the characters and prompt engagement with the show.

  18. What I like about Stargate and especially Dark Matter is that (in no specific order):

    1) they happen in interesting worlds (sense of wonder),
    2) they have characters I can care about (real persons),
    3) they have plots that make sense (driven by characters),
    4) they are fun without being comedies (middle way approach).

    Especially Dark Matter is a series where characters work, plot is interesting, the world is enchanting, the tone is perfect, and not even one episode is wasted (there are few bad episodes in Stargate).

    I would also mention Midnight Texas as evidence of how interesting characters can be enough to make a series great even if the plot is not very original or elaborate.

  19. I originally liked Stargate because it took elements of history and mythology and made them real. I liked how the beginning episodes took an interesting look of what ancient culture would be like if they existed today but in isolation. But I fell in love with it because of the characters, especially a strong female as one of the lead characters, and smart people excelling in their fields. Also the interjected humor was important for me, and the realistic attitude grounding it to earth instead of just flying around in space the whole time. I didn’t like Atlantis as much because it had less of a connection to earth. I think taking an idea that would be plausible and then tweaking it to be just enough outside the realm of reality that it becomes science fiction is what I like.

  20. For me the most important aspects of any show are:
    – a sense of family
    – diverse characters (not too many people like me: heterosexual, white, quickly aging, males!!)
    – progression in characters’ characters
    – a sense that the creator has an ending in mind
    – a dense story that is accessible to casual viewers too
    – That it be called Dark Matter!

  21. Everyone has made comments that resonate with me. Humor and a good ensemble cast are critical as well as an interesting 3-dimensional villain. I particularly enjoyed Atlantis due to the Wraith. After Common Ground they became complex; not completely evil. I feel the antagonist is very important to keep me interested. I value all characters who are realistic facing obstacles and exploring intriguing subjects where I felt I was alone for the ride. SG1 had that as did Dark Matter. SGU failed for me because the characters weren’t likeable and there was a lack of humor. Casting is critical and, again, SGU failed in this for me. Robert Carlyle was the only saving grace. LDP had potential but wasn’t used properly. I could have loved this show and I wanted to but it just was missing important elements.

  22. Dark matter was best sci fi show in the last twenty years. Very very disappointed when it was cancelled. Major network error.

  23. Sg1 had feasible scientific, historical truths…plus made fun of itself… I miss it

  24. Sci-fi and fantasy are my preferred genres, because they include elements unseen in real life including starfarring and magic. However, too much of magic or technology could ruin otherwise great fantasy. I like when both obstacles and solutions to them are somewhat predictable, yet there are ways you normally wouldn’t think of, because they don’t exist. Such as the cold boxes, the crew of Destiny has stayed in since Stargate Unniverse was cancelled (probably best sci-fi I can think of).

    As I mentioned, too much of non-existing elements may ruin such shows. By that I mean superheroes, who are literally unkillable by conventional weapons. Unfortunately, the writers are naturally drawn to assault rifles and such, which creates dozens of scenes defying both logic and standard military strategy. If dozen bullets isn’t enough to at least visibly injure a foe, perhaps, another dozen will be of no avail too. Withdrawal is intuitive, then. This is major reason why I prefer shows, where most conflict goes sideways or main heroes keep losing.

    Good example of sideways-developing plot is Dark Matter. The Gifted and probably Battlestar Galactica are ones, where most conflicts result in loss of the main heroes.

  25. All the things you mention above are why your shows are among my favourites especially SG-1. What I most like about SG-1 and Atlantis is a theory about Earths distant forgotten past.

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