We need more spaceships.
Not in real life, although I'd be up for it. No, we need more spaceships on TV. For as long as I can remember there have been shows about hardy humans on elegant crafts slipping through the icy vastness of space, encountering alien races and dealing with scientific dilemmas while revealing something about the human condition, especially the human condition of crewmen in red shirts.
But not this stardate. There are no Star Trek series on the air right now. No funky time travel shows. No alternate dimension realities. No black holes. "Stargate Atlantis" remains, but SG1 has just been shut down. Instead we have a plentitude of normal-situations-with-one-sf-element shows such as "The 4400" and "Eureka," with just "Battlestar Galactica" and "Dr. Who" to sustain we proud space opera freaks. Where are the gadgets? Where are our alien invasions? Where are our defiant captains, charging through the galaxies chin-first to bring American values to the rubbery bug-eyed monsters? Where are our ray guns?
We are living in the future that science-fiction once predicted, and it seems a shame that the only aliens on the tube are Kang and Kodos on the annual Simpsons Halloween special. Here then are my suggestions for addressing this shameful inbalance. Engage!
"The Dukes of NASA"
Lowered funding forced the space administration to relax a few of those stodgy old restrictions on the astronaut training program, so meet Zeke and Tommy Duke, the good ol' boy cousins who pilot Space Shuttle Jefferson. They spend their days hot-dogging around wireless network satellites, using the Remote Manipulator System to open beers, and avoiding the stupid and corrupt security officers who work for the evil Flight Director Hogg. Yee haa! Over.
"Star Trek: Desk Captains"
Every other Trek series has focused on what's going on out there. But what about the people who make it all happen? Who writes the regulations for the starship captains to ignore? Who builds more non-hero ships to get destroyed by the Borg before the Enterprise shows up? This is the Federation. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the dialogue-heavy show focuses on the problems a system-wide government faces each day such as getting aid to underdeveloped planets, regulating fair and equitable trade between a thousand different races, and appeasing a foreign dignitary after Kirk shoots one of his people in the face with a hastily cobbled together bazooka.
"The Spacy Life"
Wacky dilettantes Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, together in a small pink spaceship bouncing between the stars. They'll, I don't know, move rock in human slave mines or try to plot orbital vectors or something. I don't really care, I just want them off the Earth. Pack in Britney and K-Fed, too.
"Space: 1999: 2006"
Just as the new Battlestar Galactica took the original concept and re-imagined it into an exciting and profitable franchise, this new offering takes the story from the 70's TV show Space 1999 and brings it into the now. Just like before, a nuclear explosion on the other side of the moon will send Moonbase Alpha hurtling into space where the crew will encounter bizarre spandex-wearing alien races and incredibly coincidental situations. Only to jazz it up a bit, the explosion also destroyed the Earth, I guess, and the lack of adequate climate control means they have to sponge bathe themselves in slow motion a lot. Oh, and the crew is made up entirely of supermodels. I mentioned that, right?
When they aren't performing mindless, repetitive tasks, these six fun-loving robots live together in a futuristic Manhattan apartment. See the zany hijinks as BethanyBot finally relents and interfaces with Jo-E-12, only to discover too late that their primary docking couples aren't complementary. Yow!
"Big Brother: ISS"
You won't believe what happens when we cram six very different people into the International Space Station! Watch as the hot chick, the religious freak, the jock, the gay guy, the married woman, and the token minority all learn to coexist in incredibly cramped quarters surrounded by the most hostile environment known to man. They'll have to complete various exciting tasks designed to just barely sustain their lives and each week the audience can choose to vote one of them out of the airlock. Watch the first episode as the hot chick shows everyone what microgravity does to her implants! Thursday nights at 9, right after Survivor: Ganymede.
Crubbs and Tocket are space cops with attitude. Every week you'll see them in their Armani spacesuits and BMW starship, cracking another interplanetary smuggling ring or alien prostitution scam, but you'll also see them live and love as only space cops can. Which, I'm guessing, includes a lot of product placement.
"Star Wars Kid Dance Party"
Right, like someone didn't sign him to a contract. His Google rankings were through the roof, baby!
This exciting new show will feature multi-layered characters with real problems, scripts that are both funny and deeply moving with original and unexpected plot twists that break all the cliches, mind-blowing special effects, and a compelling story arc that quickly attracts extremely devoted fans. Ground-breaking and critically acclaimed, it will be cancelled after 10 episodes. Friday night, on FOX!
This fall, look to the stars! Or at least just think about the Hilton-Richie idea, OK?