A little more than 15 years ago, finding a science-fiction show on television was typically only possible if you had the Sci-Fi Channel on your cable plan.
But all of that is different today as science-fiction not only dominates cable, but networks and even the premium channels. Science-fiction is everywhere, but what is next for the genre, and who will lead that charge?
If it comes from anywhere, it absolutely will be from a fan. That’s what Rod Roddenberry — son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry — told Reddit readers during a live event Monday. Roddenberry, whose company Roddenberry Entertainment is a partner in Airlock Alpha’s sister site, 1701News, was on Reddit to promote his new 360-degree film “White Room: 02B3.” The film recently became available on mobile platforms like Apple iTunes and Google Play.
Roddenberry, however, found fans were just as interested in not only Star Trek, but some of the other projects released in the 1990s, like “Earth: Final Conflict” and “Andromeda,” some of the original programs covered by Airlock Alpha’s predecessor, SyFy Portal.
Roddenberry called his work on E:FC a “tremendous education, not in filmmaking, but in Hollywood politics.”
“Cast and crew were some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. Each person wanted it to be the next Star Trek in the sense that they wanted the stories to mean something and send out a positive message,” Roddenberry said. “Unfortunately the distributor, Tribune Entertainment, was one of the worst companies I’ve worked with, and I learned a great deal about the nonsense that can happen in the industry.”
Those lessons soured his excitement about working in the industry, Roddenberry said. And some of it effectively began with the recasting of series star Kevin Kilner after the first season — a move Roddenberry disagreed with.
“Unfortunately, there was friction between him and some of the producers,” Roddenberry said. “Kevin is a great guy, and while I love (Kilner’s replacement) Robert Leeshock as well, Kevin was more of a Roddenberry character.”
But how would Roddenberry’s father have liked the other spinoff, Kevin Sorbo’s “Andromeda”?
“He definitely would not have liked how ‘Andromeda’ turned out,” Roddenberry said.
Enough of the past, let’s look at the future. Where does Roddenberry seeing the genre going over the next 50 years?
“First of all, (I) don’t think it’s going to be on traditional TV networks,” Roddenberry said. “I think the next great thing could come out of a fan’s mind. Self-developed by a talented, passionate, young man or (woman). Now-a-days, almost anyone can get content out there, and with computer tech people (who) can do amazing things.”
Look out networks and cable channels: Apparently you have competition — from the very viewers you’re looking to attract.
Check out Roddenberry’s Star Trek-related highlights at our sister site, 1701News, by clicking here.