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Television: Sci-fi dramas are landing on a planet near youThree of Fox’s five new dramas — “Night Visions,” “Freakylinks,” “Dark Angel,” — have sci-fi themes, and an “X-Files” spinoff, “The Lone Gunmen,” is expected to premiere in January. There’s the NBC summer series, “Mysterious Ways,” described by producers as “Touched By An Angel” meets “The X-Files,” which moves to the Pax network on Aug. 22. Over at the WB, “Roswell” — the drama about teen extraterrestrials hiding out in a New Mexico town — only survived when producers promised network executives that the show’s second season would be less about high school and more about alien adventures.
And while writers and stars of these shows will tell you that they never would attempt to imitate “The X-Files,” they admit that all sci-fi shows in the near future will be judged against it.
“I think ‘The X-Files’ created a litmus test for all sci-fi shows,” said “Roswell” star Jason Behr. “Because that show is in its last season and some key people are not going to be involved anymore, everyone wants to fill that void.”[…]
Colin Hanks, who co-stars in “Roswell,” said good sci-fi TV must be grounded in realistic heroes and stories. “It isn’t just about spaceships,” he said. “‘X-Files’ gave sci-fi a human quality. Most of the other science-fiction shows relied on the science fiction too much. Ultimately, I don’t think people want something that is totally, completely 100-percent not possible.”