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In Memory of Cancelled SyFy TV Drama Shows
What is the SyFy Channel?
For those who do not know, the SyFy channel is an American Cable channel. The network was once spelt "Sci-Fi" but changed to SyFy in July of 2009. The SyFy channel showed many science fiction, fantasy and paranormal programmes including the ever-popular StarGate, The Twilight Zone, Wonder Woman and Star Trek.
As young child, I remembered our family television usually being on the SyFy channel (when I didn't have it on Animal Planet or Nicklelodeon). My mother and my aunt loved watching the shows on the SyFy channel but unfortunately, the majority of those programmes that I had grown to love, no longer airs on television. Luckily, they are now on DVD.
To preserve the memory of those cancelled shows, I've decided to publish a Hub about them. In this Hub, I've only included 4 of those wonderful shows but there are many more I wish I could write about - too many, in fact. I hope you find it interesting and will want to check out some of the shows as well.
In advanced, I must apologise for the bias that may be evident in this Hub, as I do favour some shows over others.
Purchase Xena on DVD
Xena: Warrior Princess
I must start with this show because it is my favourite (currently I am collecting the DVDs). This fantasy series was aired in 1995 and ended in 2001. The series starred Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless as the butt-kicking warrior woman, Xena.
Xena's character was originally introduced in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (another SyFy show). Xena was a ruthless warlord with an intense blood lust but after crossing paths with Hercules, she decides to make a change for the better - that was before she had her own show.
Xena establishes herself as a hero in her own show, making up for her past sins by travelling the country side with her sidekick, Gabrielle (played by Renee O'Connor) and fighting for justice in the process. Xena struggles internally against her dark side on a daily basis and sometimes even reverts to that dark side, making for an interesting plot in every episode.
For those interested in Greek Mythology as I am, this series may appeal to you. It is set primarily in ancient Greece where Xena tends to interact with several gods and goddesses, especially Ares (played by Kevin Smith), who has a 'thing' for her. There are also many historical figures and events addressed (Julian Caesar is a recurring character and Helen of Troy was starred in one or two episodes).
Xena has some serious action-packed episodes but in every season there is a modern-day spoof and several comedy episodes, which I love to re-watch.
I was not aware of one touchy detail but I recently discovered that Xena also appeals as a cult series to the Lesbian community. The girl-power action and supposed relationship between Xena and her sidekick apparently raises interest in that community - although it wasn't originally intended. Honestly, I never noticed - feel free to call me naïve or blind. I just watch the show for the awesome plot and action scenes (I love action).
Fun fact: My puppy's name is Xena.
Hercules on DVD
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Like Xena, Hercules was filmed in New Zealand (and in the United states). It aired in 1995 and ended in 1999. It also has 6 seasons starring Kevin Sorbo as Greek legend Hercules and his sidekick Iolaus (played by Michael Hurst).
Personally, after seeing Xena, I pushed dear old Hercules to the side. Many people who love Hercules, love Xena and vice versa. The difference between the two shows is: Xena focuses more on human interaction and internal struggle while Hercules is all about the monsters and the gods and all that.
Since this began in 1995, the monster effects are horrible and the creatures appear to be made of rubber. The phoniness of it irks me a bit but if you like the monster fantasy, you'll like Hercules. To be fair, Xena's effects aren't all that fantastic either. The fighting choreography and effects are better than that of Hercules but when there are special effects, they aren't that great either. Also, there are some obvious filming mistakes that you may or may not notice - I actually like catching the mistakes; it's fun!
Another fact I found out is that many people liked watching Hercules just to look at Kevin Sorbo. Apparently, he was a celebrity heartthrob for quite a while. Good for you, Mr. Sorbo!
Fun Fact: Hercules and Iolaus appear a few times in the Xena series.
Excerpts from Beastmaster
This series only had 3 seasons airing from 1999 to 2002. I always found this show interesting. It is actually a Canadian television series and was based on the MGM movie "The Beastmaster" (1982).
Though I know I used to enjoy watching this show, I don't remember much about it but I can tell you this: it starred Daniel Goddard, playing the lead role of Dar, the last survivor of his tribe. Dar's goal is to find his lost loved one, Kyra (played by Natalie Mendoza). As Dar travels the lands looking for his loved one, he protects oppressed animals and gets into fights - at least that's what I saw through my childish eyes.
This is also a fantasy series and has a lot of sorcery and imaginary creatures involved. The beastmaster, Dar, can communicate with animals and he actually carries around two adorable ferrets in a pack.
Fun Fact: Because of the beastmaster, when I was a little older, I had a ferret as a pet.
Watch the Battlestar Galactica Trailer
Battlestar Galactica (BSG)
Now THIS is an interesting series and it's actually science fiction as opposed to fantasy as all my other favourites were. This is a newer series, originally airing in 2005 with its season finale in 2009 (a total of 4 seasons).
BSG is described as a "military science fiction drama" and drama it certainly has. I started watching this show last year after it stopped airing on television. I watch it online (CastTV.com). I was surprised by how much was involved in this series when I first started watching it.
Basically BSG is set in the galaxy somewhere. Humans live on the Twelve Colonies (different planets) and they are in search of the 13th colony, Earth. Meanwhile, the humans are in a constant battle against the Cylons, a cybermetic race originally created by humans. The Cylons evolved to look just like humans and even act and possess the emotions of humans.
The only thing that really separates Cylons from humans is the Cylons' ability to be re-birthed in another copy of themselves when they die.
Even though this television series ended in 2009, in this year (2010) it no longer shows on TV. However, there is now a spin-off called "Caprica" which airs on the SyFy channel. I have not watched any episodes of Caprica but I intend to at some point. Hopefully it's as good as BSG.
Fun Fact: Lucy Lawless (the actress who plays the role of Xena) is a recurring character in the BSG series.
I hope you're now interested in at least one of these shows. Thanks for reading!
You can purchase single episodes on Amazon
If you're not sure whether you would like any of these shows or not, it's a good idea to purchase one episode (digitally) and watch it. That's what I did... and why I'm hooked on Xena and BSG. You can also purchase these episodes on iTunes.
You will see that I've included "Caprica" in my listing below, although it is not a cancelled SyFy TV show. Beastmaster is not available for digital purchase, so I allowed Caprica to take its place.