Instead of focusing on the potential dearth of new shows to offer us sci-fi thrills, we're turning our attention to the shows that don't call themselves sci-fi, but kinda are. Here're some of our favorites.
We admit it; we think that this show is already sci-fi. We've had to resort to trusting the writers - and Polite Dissent's Dr. Scott - that everything they mention on the show is real, because our knowledge of medical science is practically non-existent. But House offers everything we want in a television show: snark, soap opera and screwed-up characters. It's only one small step for man away from being Battlestar Galactica! And that's before you get to the illnesses of the week and the curious, convoluted explanations behind them. Science fiction-ish, at least.
Put aside the same-quasi science that House employs (Seriously, they could be making up everything on this show and we wouldn't know) and there's still a compelling reason why this show should be classified as sci-fi: They have their own holodeck. We'll let Slate explain it:
Angela is responsible for designing the single goofiest piece of faux-scientific technology I've seen on TV: a 3D hologram program that projects not only the revolving image of a reconstructed victim, but the likely scenarios of the killing, onto an ultra-groovy light table in the soaringly modern digs of the Jeffersonian Institution. Why these renderings can't be done on a regular computer screen, or sketched on a cocktail napkin, is never clear, but they look cool as hell.
Yes. Yes, they do... And that one piece of equipment - combined with the ridiculous inventions and experiments occasionally carried out in the name of science, and wholescale embrace of nerditry in general - is enough for us to claim this as Stealth Sci-Fi.
It's not enough that mathematical genius Charlie Eppes does work for NASA, or that characters disappear because they're going off to spend six months on a space station? Okay, maybe not - although, really, writing someone out because they're going to spend time on a space station is pretty awesome - but what other show employs real mathematicians to work out the complex number-crunching necessary to explain each episode's deus ex chalkboard? It may not be sexy, it may not have time-travel or giant monsters attacking Rob Morrow, but still; we're calling this one some kind of science fiction.
With nuclear bombs, weaponized viruses, computer hackers taking down the country's infrastructure and whatever else Jack Bauer finds himself involved in on an annual basis, 24's world is definitely a parallel Earth with more than its fair share of super-science going on. Add to that the seemingly superhuman Bauer himself - a man who can shake off a heroin addiction by will power alone, and who isn't afraid to bite out a man's jugular vein if necessary - and we're convinced that this show is at least as sci-fi as Jericho... and also needs to crossover with Fringe immediately.
Everytime someone talks about "molecular gastronomy," it's clear that Bravo's foodie companion to Project Runway has some hidden roots in science fiction. Admittedly, very hidden, but we all know it's there. Plus, come on. Padma's definitely a Terminator. You can see it in her cold, steely stare whenever she tells someone to pack their knives and leave.