April 2003

April 2003

Cinescape

Pages 42 – 45

How cold is space?

With Firefly and Farscape no longer roaming the stars, is the space-exploration sub-genre in trouble?

Firefly gone, Farscape zapped.

Odyssey 5 grounded. Could Enterprise be next? That concern was enhanced over the holidays, as Star Trek: Nemesis had the weakest domestic box-office opening of all four Next Generation films.

What’s behind this apparent downturn in interstellar space travel? Competitive pressures from superhero and fantasy projects such as Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings may play a role. So might the sheer numbers of series that were on the air in fall of 2002 – at least five shows which featured space travel as a theme were airing concurrently. UPN’s overall network viewership is down – including Enterprise, something observers link to UPN’s marketing strategy.

“UPN as a network is struggling to figure out a way to nail down their identity,