Happy New Year, readers!
And with the new year come new seasons of some of my favorite geeky TV shows, along with some new series to keep us busy.
It starts Jan. 6 on Syfy with the fourth season of “Merlin,” one of my favorite light-hearted finds of the last few years. It’s the story of Merlin when he’s a boy just starting to master his powers while keeping them secret. Uther Pendragon is still alive, and he has outlawed sorcery. So Merlin works as young Arthur’s bumbling servant.
I must say, that dynamic is getting kind of old, so I hope the new season finally shakes that up a bit as poor, misguided Morgana becomes an even bigger threat to the kingdom.
Still, it’s been a fun take on the old legends, making Guinevere a fellow castle servant and working in the various knights and other characters who will become important when Arthur becomes king.
Entertainment Weekly has a look at the first several minutes of the premiere, with an intro by stars Bradley James (Arthur) and Colin Mogan (Merlin).
It’s not a show I watched, but I know several fans of the first season of “Face-Off,” the special effects makeup competition show. It returns to Syfy Jan. 11.
On Jan. 14, BBC American debuts “The Fades,” in which a teenager becomes a reluctant hero and must help fend off a coming apocalypse he sees in his dreams. He also sees the spirits of the dead, and one Fade gets particularly nasty. Could be good.
Jan. 16 sees the season premiere of “Being Human,” along with the U.S. premiere of the Canadian show “Lost Girl,” both on Syfy.
I think the U.S. version of “Being Human” (originally a British show) made a fine name for itself. I never saw the original, so I had no preconceived notions of what it should be. The basic premise (a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf share a Boston townhouse) sounds like the set-up for a joke, but this was drama pretty much all the way.
For fans of the original, BBC America’s website lists the next season as “coming soon.”
“Lost Girl” is about a woman named Bo who discovers she’s a succubus and must reconcile her life in the human world with that of the Fae, an intriguing-sounding mix of magical creatures drawn from several world mythologies. In the first season, she befriends a human and tries to find out more about her origins and her place among the Fae.
The premise sounds far more interesting that this clip implies, so I’ll definitely give it a shot.
On Jan. 27, Starz brings back Spartacus in “Spartacus: Vengeance,” with Liam McIntyre taking over for the late Andy Whitfield. Whitfield did a great job and will be hard to replace, but McIntyre at least looks the part well so far, though his voice lacks Whitfield’s gravitas.
In the new season, Spartacus is leading a slave revolt as the armies of Rome are intent to destroy him and his growing army. Many characters return (wasn’t expecting Lucretia — Lucy Lawless — but it wouldn’t be the same without her), and new ones join the fight. If you can stand the blood (usually I can’t, but I liked the first season, not as much with the prequel “Gods of the Arena”), there should be more good drama in there. (Warning, the trailer’s a bit NSFW.)
Throw in new episodes of Fox’s “Fringe” (which has been a bit too hit-or-miss this season — Jan. 13), ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” (a real delight — Jan. 8) and NBC’s “Grimm” (getting better as it establishes its mythology, but a bit slow — Jan. 13), and you’ve got a great new year coming.