Yesterday, the network once known as SciFi (pronounced like sci-fi) became the network currently known as Syfy (still pronounced like sci-fi). Is it no longer a sci-fi based network? Well, no, it probably is. They, technically speaking now don't necessarily have to be, but they launched the new name the same day they launched a new series, Warehouse 13, which is most definitely a new sci-fi show for Syfy.
The easiest way to explain Warehouse 13 – to those who used to watch SciFi anyway – is to cross Sanctuary with Eureka. Imagine, if you will, that all those cool toys the folks on Eureka make in Eureka ended up in the sanctuary on Sanctuary. Said new sanctuary could be Warehouse 13's Warehouse 13.
No? Too goofy? Okay then, how about this – Warehouse 13 features some Secret Service agents who have been assigned to watch over the vast quantities of miraculous, magical, and altogether dangerous doodads that have been collected for over a century in Warehouse 13. You know, fun stuff like Pandora's Box (now empty), and Aladdin's Lamp (wish for something impossible and you get a ferret… seriously). The Secret Service agents get all sorts of fun toys to play with, stuff discovered by the greatest scientific minds ever – things like Philo T. Farnsworth's two-way video walkie-talkie, and a stun gun made by Nikola Tesla (who, of course, is a reappearing character on Sanctuary).
So, Warehouse 13 is essentially the exact sort of show that the SciFi Network used to make, and which one can only assume the Syfy Network will continue to make. One doesn't have to have watched Warehouse 13 to figure that out though, one only needs to have seen some of the truly swell and fun promos that Syfy used to help launch the change (and their new "Imagine Greater" tag). The various promos featured characters from SciFi shows which will now be on Syfy and upcoming shows like Caprica (which takes place in the Battlestar Galactica universe before the events on that show) and Stargate Universe (the next series in the Stargate franchise, the last two series of which of course aired – at least partially – on SciFi).
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but would the bloom come off if we called it a roze?
In the case of Syfy, I can't imagine that it will. Warehouse 13 wasn't by any means perfect – in addition to other issues, the level of seriousness vs. goofiness seemed uneasy at times last night – but it was definitely an enjoyable two-hour experience. And, who doesn't like Saul Rubinek (as long as he's not Sol Roobinek, I guess, but maybe even then he'd be enjoyable).
In recent years SciFi was a strong cable network, and the new Syfy seems to be playing to SciFi's sci-fi strengths, so there's no reason to think that Syfy won't be everything SciFi was (and possibly more) in the near future. The rebranding though may just allow them to expand beyond the niche they've been so successful in. Is that a good idea? Maybe. All I know is that I don't want them to stop making those incredibly bad original movies.
Want to know more about the new Syfy? Here, check out their "House of Imagination."