(UK)Scifi Tv ahead for 2008


Creative Writer
Cult Spy: 2008 - The Year Ahead

Sunday, January 6 2008, 12:33 GMT
By Ben Rawson-Jones, Cult Editor
Feast your eyes upon Cult Spy's guide to the new and returning shows set to adorn your screens in 2008:


Primeval (Saturday, January 12 - ITV1)

How much top notch CGI does it take to paper over the fissures of some gossamer-thin storylines and ropey acting? Let's hope we don't have to ask that question again as far as Primeval is concerned. The first season was undemanding fun at its best, so now is the time for the writers to come out of the shadows and develop some narrative arcs to engage our brains.

Certainly, the finale to the first season has potentially set the wheels in motion for a very interesting relationship between the two male heroes, with Nick Cutter discovering the better-looking and less wooden Stephen has been with his estranged wife. Something else to watch out for is the amount of clothing former S Clubber Hannah Spearritt is wearing this season. They say the best fantasy shows require the viewers to use their minds, but very little was left to the imagination as far as her nether regions were concerned.

Tim says : This series in my opinion did not have thin, ropey storylines and was comparible to Doctor Who in theme and effect. If anything had lesser storylines, it was Torchwood below!


Torchwood (Wednesday, January 16 - BBC Two)

Captain Jack's back - and it's about time. If the second season opener is anything to go by, this is the wisecracking, fun-loving Jack of old back on our screens. Certainly upping the humour count for its return, it remains to be seen whether the show can win over the sceptics unimpressed by the uneven run of episodes that comprised its opening year.

Alongside several juicy guest stars in the shape of James Marsters, Freema Agyeman and Jim Robinson (better known as actor Alan Dale) there's bound to be plenty more sexual shenanigans to devour. Can Gwen keep doing the dirty on her homely boyfriend Rhys and will anything happen between shady chauffeur Ianto and the libidinous Jack? We can't wait to find out. Fingers crossed for more outrageously crowd-pleasing moments like last season's cyberwoman-pterodactyl face-off.


Prison Break (Monday, January 21 - Sky One)

The mid-season finale in December threw up some interesting questions. Where has Schofield been taken? Can Whistler break out on his own? Has Brad Bellick jumped over to the other side of the fence... and has the entire show jumped the shark?

The third season returns for another run of episodes and will have to quickly grab our attention or face further accusations that the novel premise has become stale. So expect more shocking twists and ridiculous plot contrivances. Just pray that junkie cop Alexander Mahone quits his nervous shaking and returns to his former sleuthing self, dragging T-Bag out of his slumber in the process.


Bionic Woman (TBC - ITV2)

Talented Brit actress Michelle Ryan is back in this new remake of the old US show, but be careful about becoming too attached - it's already been axed in the States! Still, it'll be worth watching to see how Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff fares in a villainous role. Some good old-fashioned bionic handbags could be on the cards!


Ashes To Ashes (TBC - BBC One)

Sam Tyler may be gone, but Gene Hunt is back to bang the 1980s to rights with his usual mix of savage one-liners and fisticuffs in this Life On Mars follow-up. Expect plenty of references to mullets, New Romantics and the good old Rubik's Cube (we fully expect Hunt to be jamming the latter up the jacksie of anyone he wants to beat a confession out of).

It will be fascinating to see how the premise of the show is initially established, given that many felt the adventures of Hunt and co to be taking place in Tyler's mind. Given that he's not around for this show, how will they maneouvre around that? Former Spooks star Keeley Hawes lines up alongside Philip Glenister's legendary Hunt, while sidekicks Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) and Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) also make the trip from 1973.


Lost (TBC - Sky One)

Jack's back - and it's about time he saved Kate from that dirty rat Sawyer. We jest, for the love triangle grew rather stale last season. Fortunately, an absorbing story arc catapulted a supposed rescue mission to the forefront of events last season. However, as Desmond discovered - they are clearly not who they seem.

Flash forwards to the future seem likely to continue, following a brief one in last season showing Jack and Kate off the island. Who else will make the cut though? Other issues in desperate need of a resolution are the identity of this Jacob (he's bound to be crackers) worshipped by The Others, the true nature of the Black Smoke Monster and where the hell the polar bears have disappeared. Surely Hurley couldn't have been that hungry?


Doctor Who (Easter TBC - BBC One)

Catherine Tate's Donna hooks up with The Doctor in a fourth season that is set to feature killer bees, the return of the Ood and a trip to a Pompeii filled with rock monsters. A past monster from the classic series is also brought back in a slightly modified form, as the war-loving, potato-headed Sontarans return to do battle against mankind. We'd rather see them pitched against the Judoon, after the rhino-headed thugs badly plagiarised the Sontaran militarial garb last year.

Rumours persist that the Dalek-creator may also cast his beady third eye upon the Time Lord again, which may be the last thing The Doctor needs as he'll be having to deal with both Martha Jones and Rose Tyler all over again. It'll be fun (or maybe painful) to hear an explanation of how the latter has managed to return from a parallel Earth, supposedly sealed off for all eternity. Perhaps if everyone on the planet holds hands and repeats the name 'Rose Tyler' in a mockney accent then she may magically reappear?


Heroes (TBC - BBC Two)

The initial omens are not too good judging by the initial reaction to the sophomore season across the pond. The cheerleader may have been saved, but what about the entire series? The producers admitted to taking the wrong creative direction with the second volume of episodes entitled 'Generations', but the writers' strike might have worked in its favour by forcing a swift end to that narrative strand.

Expect many familiar faces to return alongside a couple of new heroes, rejoice at being able to call Mr Bennet by his first name of Noah, and shudder when you discover whose father is the fearsome force that the little girl Molly was too scared to even think about in the last season.


24 (TBC)

For a show so intrinsically linked to time, Jack Bauer is ironically running well behind the clock. Fittingly enough, given the woeful scripts of the last season, it's the writers to blame as they're on strike. Let's hope that their crusade has given the 24 scribes more time to plot new storylines rather than rehash old ones. We wonder how Kiefer Sutherland will limber up after his time in prison and whether his vocal performance will still fluctuate between the wild polarities of whispering and shouting.