Salvation (CBS)

Salvation

Salvation (CBS) – Premieres 12th July

Impending doom based drama where an MIT student discovers that an extinction level asteroid is 6 months away from hitting the Earth. After almost missing a lecture from tech billionaire Dariuz Tanz, MIT Student Liam Cole gets a alert from the space mapping software he created about the discovery of the asteroid.

With that news he heads off to tell his lecturer who has contacts within NASA, but when the lecturer doesn’t turn up the next day for his class Liam finds out that his house has been ransacked, the professor is nowhere to be found, and the house is being watched by a shady fella in a blacked out vehicle.

After Liam managed to escape the chap surveilling the house he manages to find Darius Tanz and tells him about the asteroid. This leads Darius taking Liam to meet some government bigwigs with the news only to find that the government already knows about it and has formulated a plan. Unfortunately the plan has one flaw, it needs technology that hasn’t been invented yet.

After the meeting Darius convinces the press secretary Grace to feed him the confidential information about the mission offering his companies resources in return to create everything that’s required within the 6 months before impact. So Grace gets the information to Darius, then he recruits Liam as they begin working on creating the tech.

As a show this is pretty much a by-the-numbers network drama where you could have it going as background noise and still not miss out on any plot developments. It’s watchable enough but nothing you’d go out of your way to view.

4.9/10

Blood Drive (Syfy)

BloodDrive

Blood Drive (Syfy) – Premieres 14th June

B-Movie Grindhouse style goodness set in the post apocalyptic hellscape future of 1999 where to the masses, oil costs $2000 a barrel and food and water are rationed. But a select few are given the chance to escape their predicament by entering a road race where the winner gets $10mil.

The show follows a cop called Arthur, who unlike his colleagues would rather try and find out why a mysterious group of individuals are harvesting blood from the homeless, rather than kicking the crap out of them for trying to get extra water.

After managing to rope his partner into checking out the location given to them, Arthur discovers that it’s the hosting spot for a race where the competitors are tagged with a bomb that activates if they try to flee or come last in a race stage, and that the cars they are driving run on human blood.

He’s then discovered and given the option of either being fed to a car or to team up with Grace, a woman only racing to get the money to get her and her sister a better life. Choosing to race Arthur discover the background of the race organiser Slink, and vows to Grace to help her win so she gets the money and he can arrest Slink.

To top it off, Arthurs partner after escaping the initial discovery of the race, then ends up being duped to the point he has cyborgs wanting to harvest his blood.

The show plays off of the b-movie vibe it creates allowing it to be utterly ridiculous in places, having blood splatter last seen in Ash vs. Evil Dead, and perfecting the use of censorship blocks. It’s a programme that is definitely one for those that enjoyed the Planet Terror or Machete grindhouse films. 

It’s a good entertaining piece of trashy silliness.

6.7/10

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

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The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – Premieres 26th April – Renewed

A drama that is set in a dystopian future, where after an environmental disaster that leads to only a small percentage of the female population being fertile.

During an escalation of subtle governmental changes, the US implements a theocracy, where the religious zealots in power strip women of all rights and leave the women that can carry children as concubines to the elite classes of the new society. While any women that lived their old pre-dictatorship life against the current religious teachings are sent to the toxic areas to work on the clean up condemning them to death.

It follows June who after failing to escape the US after the regime change with her husband and daughter, is condemned to become a concubine to a high ranking commander and his wife to bear them children. While there she finds out about a resistance forming and plots to find a way out so she can find her daughter, while making sure her actions aren’t discovered where if found guilty it would lead to her execution.

The show itself is one that uses it’s slow pace to maximise the bleak and suffocating feel to the proceedings, along with hearing the inner monologue of Jane adds to the desperation. Well worth a watch.

7.0/10

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Return (Netflix)

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Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Return (Netflix) – Premieres 14th April

Revived series where a space worker, Jonah Heston, while working for Gizmonic is lured to the dark side of the moon when he is held captive by Kinga Forrester and is forced to watch B-Movies with his robot friends.

In it, each episode is a full showing of an old B-Movie while Jonah and his buddies do a running commentary of the film making fun of it’s bad script, visual effects and general terribleness.

With it being basically a commentary track to a film there’s a lot of hit and miss jokes thrown in, but the ones that hit do get a laugh.

5.0/10

Dimension 404 (Hulu)

Dimension404

Dimension 404 (Hulu) – Premieres 4th April

From the internet production company that gave us the TV show Rocketjump, Dimension 404 is a series of one off story episodes along vaguely similar lines to old sci-fi shows like The Outer Limits.

Unlike the darker style of The Outer Limits this has more of a dark comedy and absurdist vibe to it all, while playing out as something that would be found on The CW.

It’s a watchable enough bit of TV, though nothing you’d go out of your way to view.

3.8/10

Oasis (Amazon)

Oasis

Oasis (Amazon) – Premieres 17th March – Pilot

Sci-fi set in 2032 where due to the worsening environmental status of Earth, the company USIC has began work on a remote planet to create the first permanent off-world colony.

The show is centered on Peter Leigh, a chaplin who is dealing with the recent death of his wife is asked by the head of the colonies operations to move out there to help the community deal with some recent events. When he gets to the planet Leigh finds that the person that asked him to move there has not been seen in weeks, and that no one was aware of his arrival.

After talking to a couple of the workers Leigh discovers that the community have begun experiencing hallucinations, which are leading to fatal accidents that are stopping the progression of the habitation of the planet.

The programme is ever so slightly reminiscent of the film Ghosts of Mars, in both the premise of hallucinations leading to peoples deaths and with the Carpenter-esque soundtrack. For a pilot it’s a good solid opener that reveals enough to make you wanna keep watching while not giving everything away.

6.1/10

Time After Time (ABC)

TimeAfterTime

Time After Time (ABC) – Premieres 5th March – Cancelled

Sci-fi silliness based on the book and film of the same name, where after Scotland Yard work out that Jack The Ripper is in fact Dr John Stevenson, friend of H.G. Wells, they go to apprehend him while he is at Wells’ house.

Unfortunately for the 18th century police, H.G. has built a working time machine which Stevenson uses to evade capture to travel to 2017 New York. Noting that the machine works, Wells heads off in pursuit where with the help of museum curator Jane Walker and his great great granddaughter they try to catch the Ripper so Wells can bring him back to his own time.

All-in-all it’s a fluffy lightweight bit of sci-fi, and not really something you’d go out of your way to keep watching.

4.7/10