“Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” is the unlikely tag line to this season’s newest television SF hit. This week I finally got around to watching two of the shows I’ve been recording until I could determine whether they are worth watching, Heroes and Brothers and Sisters. Heroes is reminiscent of X-Men except the mutants with super powers are living among us rather than separately in a school. It even has an intentional comic book feel which makes for an entertaining hour. It will never have the serious social commentary of Star Trek or Babylon 5, but that is not its goal.
Heroes starts out with the individual stories of people who find they have super powers, as well as the son of a genetics professor who discovered their existence. Ultimately they get together, and the paths of some of them cross in Las Vegas. It is probably inevitable that the politician and the stripper were among the first to meet. Also in Las Vegas we see the almost-perfect way to cheat and win. Once united, the heroes must prevent a nuclear explosion in Manhattan, but it appears that first they must save the cheerleader.
For those who have missed Heroes, NBC is running a three episode marathon on Sunday night.
The other recorded show I started catching up on, Brothers and Sisters, doesn’t fit into SciFi Friday, but any show staring Rachel Griffiths (Brenda on Six Feet Under) along with Callista Flockhart (Allie McBeal), Sally Fields (Gidget and The Flying Nun before many far more substantial roles), Ron Rifkin (the perfect villain on Alias), and Patricia Wettig (Thirtysomething) is worth mentioning. Ken Olin (Thirtysomething and Alias) is also executive producer.
Despite my irresistable urge to give Rachel Griffiths top billing above, the actual star is Callista Flockhart who plays a right wing television pundit, but do not fear being forced to listen to right wing drivel. Her professional life is only a small part of the show, and she is outnumbered by liberal members of her family. Reviews of the first episode were mediocre as it attempted to introduce several family members, but the show has improved tremendously from there. Perhaps the deciding factor, beyond the cast, which led to me watching rather than deleting these recordings was a review which said this was a show which could have been done for HBO. So far I’d rank it below Studio 60 and The Nine, but it is still among the top new shows of the season.
Newsweek reports on a new battle on Battlestar Galactica. Ron Moore and NBC Universal are fighting over the residuals for the web episodes.
Last week’s SF television highlight was on Doctor Who as Sarah Jane Smith got a chance to see The Doctor once again, and to properly say goodbye to him. Seeing her brief relationship with Rose will also remain a classic moment in Doctor Who history. K-9 Mark III, always the good dog, sacrificed himself but was rebuilt to be ready for the proposed new BBC television show featuring Sarah Jane. Next week, The Cybermen!
Doctor Who has also entered the Guinness Book of World Records. With over 700 episodes since it started in 1963 it is the longest running SF show. There have already been ten versions of the timelord, and The Sun reports we may be getting another. David Tennant is considering leaving after the third season of the remake, despite an offer of one million pounds from the BBC to remain.