Ghosted (FOX)

Ghosted

Ghosted (FOX) – Premieres 1st October 

Sci-fi comedy where after an agent for the Underground Bureau is abducted, his last communication urges them to recruit two civilians to work on his disappearance. Max, a former Stanford professor who worked on the multiverse theory and claims his wife was abducted by aliens, and Leroy, a mall cop who lost his job at the LAPD after his partner was killed.

Together Max and Leroy are challenged by the Bureau for a one off mission to track down and bring back the missing agent, and in return they get their old jobs back.

This leads to the pair finding the agent but witness him being transported onto a UFO. When reporting their findings they decide to stay on at the agency to uncover what really is going on, and find out that the bureau is monitoring a group of former abductees that includes Maxs wife.

As comedy most of the jokes miss the mark, and it’s a bit of a slog to get though.

1.7/10

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Star Trek Discovery (CBS)

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Star Trek Discovery (CBS) – Premieres 24th September 

Set 10 years before the original series set off on its five year mission, this focuses on First Officer Michael Burnham (Ms), a human raised as a Vulcan by Spocks father after the Klingons had killed her parents.

During a routine mission to investigate a damaged satellite on the edge of the Federations border, the USS Shenzhou discovers an obscured object. As Burnham investigates the anomaly she is attacked by a Klingon, and as she escapes, kills it.

This leads to a Klingon craft revealing itself to the starship where the the leader of the ship T’Kuvma who is trying to unite the 24 houses of the Klingons, uses the opportunity to get the houses together by taking on the Federation.

For a Star Trek tv show this has a more polished look that previous series, and looks to veer away from the usual story of the week structure. It’s an entertaining bit of telly.

6.6/10

The Orville (FOX)

TheOrville

The Orville (FOX) – Premieres 10th September 

Sci-fi with the occasional comedy bit thrown in shenanigans, where a year after finding his wife having an affair with an alien, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer is finally given his own starship to captain. Only to find out that the first officer that’s been allocated to the ship is his ex-wife.

The show is like a Star Trek Continues version of Star Trek: The Next Generation where along with the usual Sci-fi setups there are quite a few poor jokes thrown in seemingly as an afterthought.

That said, it isn’t that bad. Though it’s not something you’d ever go out of your way to watch.

3.2/10

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 – Cancelled

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