by Nalini Haynes
Not so long ago, the SciFi channel (pay TV in the USA) changed its name to Syfy, (pronounced ‘siffy’). Syfy is distancing itself from its sci fi background in its attempts to change its audience. Last year Syfy cancelled Caprica, the gritty Battlestar Galactica prequel. Ok, in my opinion Caprica was not consistent with Battlestar Galatica, but as a stand-alone series I was enjoying its gritty flavour, its sci-fi-ness (as opposed to paranormal drama) and difference from everything else out there. A few months later Syfy cancelled Stargate Universe although, based on my Google search, this tiny weeny fact seems to have been omitted from the Syfy website. However, if you Google Syfy and Stargate Universe, you will find lots of other websites are ranting about Syfy, its cancellations and its alienation of what had previously been a loyal audience.
Beware. Alienate your client base at your own peril. And lose those lovely DVD sales from the cancellation of the series too!
Dark Matter has reviewed Stargate Universe, written in the hope that MGM, makers of Stargate, will continue making Stargate and will sell it to another network. Joseph Mallozzi, a Stargate writer, has hopes for more from the Stargate franchise but also has concerns that the longer it takes to get the green light, the harder it will be to move forward. It also is becoming less likely that he will be involved.
Oh yes, and one other thing – the Syfy website advertises a 10 part internet series called Riese: Kingdom Falling. Which is not available to internet viewers in Australia. Charming.
UPDATE: Two years later, Syfy has ensured Riese is still blocked to Australian viewers. Seriously? I’m about ready to go on an anti-establishment rant about the whys and wherefores of pirating. The trailer is on YouTube (below), available even to Aussies.
This article was previously published in Dark Matter issue 3, April 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date. UPDATE: Syfy continues to screw around with much-loved series, utterly confounding the masses of followers.