Masters of Science Fiction – uneven follow-up to Masters of Horror

MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION, Mick Garris’s follow-up to his Showtime series MASTERS OF HORROR, made its debut on ABC this Saturday. According to Variety’s Brian Lowry, the initital batch of episodes scores as one great, one okay, and two lousy.

Saving the best for last [...] is the quite good “The Discarded,” telling the story of a group of misfits banished into space aboard what amounts to a huge floating prison. The ever-mercurial Harlan Ellison adapted his short story along with Josh Olson, and it showcases the kind of rich, detailed material that packs a surprising amount of character development into an hour, buoyed by John Hurt and Brian Dennehy as two of the misshapen voyagers, with “Desperate Housewives’” James Denton making a cameo appearance.

Lowry laments ABC’s decision to “kiss off” the series by launching it during the summer, apparently afraid that an anthology series, without recurring characters and storylines, could not pull in an audience.

Whatever the business considerations, the best of these hours deserve better than being so unceremoniously shot into space. In that respect, the Ellison story proves strangely prophetic — reflecting a network that didn’t know what to do with an unconventional outcast that didn’t fit neatly into a predetermined mold.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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