When the Sci-Fi Channel announces it's making two new TV movies and neither of them is science fiction, what does it say about the genre on television? Add to that the fact that they both sound hideous:

Ba'al [is] about a rogue Smithsonian archaeologist, dying of cancer, who will stop at nothing to retrieve the ancient amulets of the storm god Ba'al, which could cure him or make him a god ... Riddles of the Sphinx stars Dina Meyer (the Saw franchise) and Lochlyn Munro (Deck the Halls) in a story about a father and daughter who find themselves in a series of battles of mind and body with the deadly Sphinx as they attempt to decode seven riddles in an effort to save humankind.


I'd rather watch Stargate: Peoria than either of those films. Reading plot descriptions like that makes me feel as though the Sci-Fi Channel is actively on a mission to destroy science fiction. Or rather, that they don't have a clear sense of what makes good science fiction. I know these TV movies have to be easy to throw together. But how hard would it be to do something along the lines of ABC's recent Masters of Science Fiction series, which managed to be cheap and science fictional?

A Paranormal Day At Sci-Fi [Hollywood Reporter] [Image by Getty Images]