“Alphas,” a nicely written and serious-minded “real world” take on “X-Men,” is no more.
The show has been canceled by The Channel Formerly Known as Sci-Fi, according to news reports. It will not return for a third season.
“Alphas” was an intelligent and well-written show about a scientist (the Professor X type, played by David Straithairn), who works with the government to assemble a group of people with mutant powers, including Bill, a cop with super strength (played with nice gruffness by Malik Yoba), a young autistic man, Gary (played to perfection by Ryan Cartwright) who can read read electronic signals in the air, Nina (the seductive Laura Mennell), who has the ability to emotionally “push” people and bend them to their will, and others.
Each episode played on a number of levels: The Alphas would investigate crimes or acts of terrorism committed by other Alphas, including some who belonged to a renegade group led by a seemingly immortal Magneto-type charismatic leader. They also reached out to other Alphas, including some played by fan favorites like Summer Glau (“Firefly”) and Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”).
The show also built in clever and absorbing character stories, including Gary’s socialization and Nina’s fall from grace and tragic backstory.
To nobody’s surprise, TV can be an ultimately heartbreaking place to discover favorite science fiction and fantasy storylines and characters. It’s always been the case, but the last few years have seen brutal ends – and misguided handling when they were airing – of some really good shows.
It goes without saying that there’s little remaining on SyFy I’ll watch. The channel has increasingly concentrated on “reality” shows and competitions and, inexplicably, wrestling.
We’ll miss “Alphas.”