Battlestar Galactica is over, and it’s not the first of its kind–i.e. a great show–that has come to a grinding halt, leaving fans with nothing to fill the void. Oh, sure, when BSG ended we had loads of science fiction shows: Dollhouse, Fringe, Knight Rider, Life On Mars, Kings, Primeval, and a whole bunch of other shows either debuting or continuing in 2009. Hell, half of the shows mentioned were cancelled this year, leaving slim pickings in the science fiction department (and I use that term quite loosely to talk about television). Often the same thing happens within literature, with great series coming to an end, and few good replacements left in the mix (of course, this is far more common in fantasy than in science fiction–think Harry Potter and the void it left).
What are we science fiction fans supposed to do? An even greater question is: What are we picky science fiction fans supposed to do? I never liked Dollhouse, and most of the other shows either lacked that spine-tingling anticipation garnering effect that BSG so easily produced or were downright terrible, which explains why a lot of them are no longer on the air. Do we just wait for the next big thing? And how are we to survive in the interim?
I’ve found that a great way to survive is to start watching reruns. After all, sometimes it’s a good idea to go back to a show you liked so many years ago as a refresher. A truly good show is re-watchable, and if said show is particularly amazing, re-watching will create a whole new experience. Of course, if you’re as picky as I am, that means you’ll re-watch the same show over and over and over again, because it can sometimes take five or six years for something worthwhile to come along. The last time I religiously watched television was during the fourth season of BSG (because I got into the series quite late). Still, watching reruns is a great way to keep your brain entertained while searching for something new to replace the void. I don’t know how well this works for books, though. I have reread 1984 a handful of times, but that was more for my own curiosity than anything else.
But reruns are a temporary fix for science fiction withdrawals. Inevitably science fiction fans have to find something to truly fill that void. Personally, this is a problem for me primarily because I am too picky. I don’t like most television shows, and getting my science fiction fix, especially in the ridiculous market we have now where channels that are supposed to play science fiction play something else, is next to impossible. Perhaps BSG is a fluke, or perhaps brilliant shows only come along once every few years. I find that the only way I can survive is to go on a science fiction movie binge; I fill my brain with Total Recall and I, Robot, and Sliders too. Sometimes I have to go outside of the genre to get the storytelling that I so desire–Band of Brothers, for example, is particularly good. Survival, it seems, depends on trying to keep yourself occupied with things you already love until such time as something new can come along to fill the space with shiny things.
How do you survive? What do you do to fill the void? Do you have a few tricks up your sleeve? Let me know in the comments!