cover art for SFF17: American Gods, Lucifer, Lance Reddick & Seth Gabel (Fringe)

Sci Fi Fidelity

SFF17: American Gods, Lucifer, Lance Reddick & Seth Gabel (Fringe)

Season 2

Last month we talked about classic sci-fi we somehow missed out on, and this month we're discussing some more obscure offerings that might have escaped your notice over the years. See if you agree whether these under-recognized classics deserve more attention!

Show topics this month include American Gods, which began its run on April 30, 2017 on Starz, and Lucifer, which just began the back half of its second season on May 1, 2017 on Fox.

And our interview segment gets nostalgic as well as we speak with two actors from the much beloved Fringe: Lance Reddick and Seth Gabel, who talk about their time on the show and what they're currently working on. Guest interviewer: Darrell Darnell

Timecodes: Shows You Missed - 3:19 American Gods - 28:20 Lucifer - 38:44 Fringe Interviews - 49:07

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  • 34. SFF100: Best Podcast Memories

    When the Sci Fi Fidelity podcast began in the fall of 2016, Den of Geek was just over half its current age and podcasts were experiencing a surge in popularity. As a result we dove into our analysis of science fiction and supernatural television shows with fervor and were able to introduce listeners to the unsung heroes of the genre TV field through thoughtful reviews, insightful interviews, and discussions of our favorite aspects of this corner of the entertainment world. Alas, the journey comes to an end just shy of the podcast’s fourth anniversary as we move the discussion to our video outlets, but we wanted to take some time to look back at the best moments from our hundred-episode run.We immediately found ourselves recalling some of our more memorable interviews, including Dave's solo chat with Christian Kane of The Librarians, the one with William B. Davis during The X-Files revival in January of 2018, and when we spoke with Battlestar Galactica and Lucifer star Tricia Helfer almost exactly a year later. It was difficult to choose our favorite show topics, but we had to go with two of our most downloaded episodes: our reviews of A Discovery of Witches and The Umbrella Academy, both in February of 2019.We end our retrospective with a remembrance for our favorite discussion topic — our very first one called “Spaceship Characters” from the January 2017 episode. We then turn it over to our listeners who took the time to share their own favorite moments from the past four years of Sci Fi Fidelity. Thank you to everyone who listened and participated!
  • 33. SFF99: Motherland: Fort Salem

    We went into our viewing of Motherland: Fort Salem with some skepticism before choosing it as a topic for the podcast, but the show exceeded our expectations. Far from having the cheesy humor, aggressive feminism, or underdeveloped mythology that the series easily could have fallen prey to, we found the story to be deeply engaging, the premise to be wholly unique, and the characters to be immediately magnetic. With the podcast coming to an end with episode 100 next week, we were happy this was the final show topic of our run.
  • 32. SFF98: Tales from the Loop Interview

    Tales from the Loop is an unusual sort of sci-fi anthology show in that each separate story is united by a common pastoral setting and a dominant central family. This is no doubt in part because the series takes its inspiration from a series of unrelated but commonly themed paintings by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, which combine scenes of everyday life with a normalized science fiction sensibility. When we spoke to showrunner Nathaniel Halpern and actor Paul Schneider, they both emphasized this subtle style of storytelling as the hallmark of the show.When we spoke to Halpern, it was well before Tales from the Loop dropped on Amazon on April 3, 2020, so we were still getting a sense for what the show was about and how the paintings inspired him. Schneider joined us later after we had seen a few episodes, and he told us about his character George Willard, the son of the Loop’s founder with whom he has a strained relationship.
  • 31. SFF97: Amazing Stories

    Does the Apple TV+ version of Amazing Stories, which still has Steven Spielberg’s name attached to it, live up to the more optimistic vision of the stories we’ve come to expect from the 80s original? As we break down the first two episode of the series, “The Cellar” and “The Heat,” the answer becomes clear that the positive messaging is intact even if the intended audience might skew a bit younger. Both stories have minor narrative flaws that wouldn’t have bothered us in the least back when the original Amazing Stories aired. Remember, this is the show that had a World War II cartoonist draw landing gear on a crippled bomber!We approached Amazing Stories the same way we would any other show that’s outside our normal wheelhouse by judging it by what it intends to be rather than what we want it to be. The episodes we watched were enjoyable from start to finish despite their shortcomings, and they were both fit with the feel of the original series, which should be counted as a success. Plus the great thing about an anthology series is that each episode can be a fresh story with its own merits.
  • 30. SFF96: Devs

    It’s not surprising that Alex Garland, who is known for films like Ex Machina and Annihilation, is the creator behind Devs, a series on Hulu that features his trademark obsessed tech guru that has let his own invention become way too powerful. In this case, the world is one in which predictive algorithms have become so sophisticated in their ability to anticipate future actions that free will is disproven and fate is set. This is perfect fodder for the podcast, which loves to explore the nature of time and the ability to change the future or glimpse the past.As usual with the podcast, we take a look at the first two episodes of Devs to discuss the premise and characters that make up the cast of the show. We note that the premiere really sets up the overall mystery through the eyes of Sergei, a new recruit to the Research and Development division (known as Devs) of the tech corporation called Amaya who vanishes under mysterious circumstances. But really Devs is about Lily, Sergei’s girlfriend who is understandably suspicious about the disappearance of the man she loves.The spoiler zone of the podcast goes deeper into other episodes of Devs that have aired so far, specifically exploring the bombshell advancements inside Devs, but we also share our admiration for Lily’s daring plan to gather evidence. We admit that we were fooled by her subterfuge just as much as those at Amaya, and although there's evidence her life is in danger, we’re hoping that the introduction of the multiverse theory will allow her to change her fate.
  • 29. SFF95: Groundhog Day Episodes

    In these days of coronavirus quarantine, one day can feel exactly like the next, and it reminded us of the many repeating days that appear in time loop episodes of some current and classic TV shows. Bill Murray in Groundhog Day may have set the standard for this formula in cinema, but imitators on the small screen have taken the idea to new creative levels even as they emulate certain familiar aspects that have become the norm for episodes of this type.For example, usually only one or two characters notice that a specific period of time is repeating, and they typically have a very difficult time convincing those around them that this has all happened before if they even try. Assuming there is a scientific or magical cause for the loop, there usually is a singular solution that the aware characters must find to break out of the cycle. Often, the show in question is able to use the Groundhog Day scenario to force growth on the trapped characters that they would not have otherwise been able to achieve.As usual with our discussion topics, the listeners contribute their own favorites including examples from several spin-offs of the Star Trek franchise, magical loops in fantasy series like Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many more. The Groundhog Day episode has become a genre television standard that usually produces more enjoyment than the average bottle episode.
  • 28. SFF94: Cosmos: Possible Worlds Interview

    Cosmos has been around since 1980, and the optimistic tone of both the late Carl Sagan’s show and the current iteration hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson has been the hallmark of the series. In its effort to make science more accessible and more inspirational to the average viewer, Cosmos: Possible Worlds has taken us on powerful visual journeys through space and time, and much of the credit for the impact of the show’s message must go to writer and executive producer Ann Druyan and the always relatable host Neil deGrasse Tyson, who spoke to us before the March 9th premiere on Nat Geo.In the podcast, Druyan and Tyson share some of the topics the new season of Cosmos: Possible Worlds will explore and appreciate along with our hosts the attention to detail that goes into the design of this science show.
  • 27. SFF93: Outlander Season 5

    Outlander is long overdue for a discussion on Sci Fi Fidelity even though some might argue it’s more of a historical drama than a science fiction offering. However, we couldn’t resist sparing the time to admire the time travel implications of the first few episodes of season 5 which has main character Claire increasingly dismissive of any consequences her life-saving measures might have on history as we know it. For that reason alone, it deserves an episode of the podcast, but we also acknowledge the success of the show given how long it has lasted and found a sizable fandom on Starz.Before we dive deep into the first two episodes, as is our wont, we take some time to look back at the story that has led Outlander across two decades and as many continents. Claire Randall’s time as a World War II surgical nurse has served her well over the seasons, and her relationship with highlander Jamie Fraser has stood the test of time and periods of separation. In fact, it’s the passage of time that led to their daughter Brianna being born, which has been a key part of their relationship and a central part of season 5 thus far.There’s not much of a spoiler zone in this edition of the podcast since only three episodes of Outlander had aired at the time of recording, and the third one was a bottle episode that wasn’t all that enjoyable. Nevertheless, we have high hopes for more intrigue and adventure to come for the series, which has become fan phenomenon from one of our favorite showrunners, Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore.
  • 26. SFF92: Locke & Key

    There was much anticipation for the arrival of Locke & Key on Netflix once the trailer hit the scene, and although the adaptation was not without its flaws, we enjoyed the magical, gothic feel of the spooky Key House and the similarly creepy powers the keys bestowed upon the Locke family. The young protagonists were immediately charming, and the complexity of their evolution throughout the series made for an enjoyable narrative even without the fantastical elements.As always, we discuss the first two episodes at the start of the podcast, covering both the premise and our thoughts on the main characters we’re introduced to. We also acknowledge the graphic novel origins of Locke & Key and how Joe Hill’s story differs between page and screen. The discussion takes note of the balance between the central mystery of the keys, their origins, and those who seek them out and the social lives of the Locke family.Of course, part of the conversation has to be centered on the keys themselves and what they do,and once we dive into the spoiler zone, a more in-depth breakdown of the various keys is undertaken. There is undoubtedly plenty to parse about the twist ending as well, and we take the time to speculate about where season 2 might be headed given some background we uncovered from the comic.