Women in SciFy: They Key to Salvation or The Start of Damnation

SPOILER ALERT: Some of these summaries may contain spoilers for the series mentioned in this article.

If you have been up to date with all of SyFy’s show lineup, you know that female saviors have been making a comeback in recent years since their second rebranding in 2017. The first rebranding happened in 2009, and that turned out to be a failure. Deadline interviewed Chris McCumber, president of NBCUniversal in regard to this rebranding effort. He said, “As the only television network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we’re building the ultimate universe for this passionate community to call home”. It's easy to remember the Golden Age of movies like Sharknado, but now, the overruling thematic of science is more present  After it’s new makeover, SyFy brings us strong shows like The Magicians, The Killjoys, The Deadly Class (with the lovely Lana Condor a.k.a Lara Jean in To All the Boys I Loved), Z Nation, Wynonna Earp, and Van Helsing. McCumber has only been president for a little over a year, but, we can already see the change on the 25-year-old TV channel.

But, often enough, these shows like to play with the thematic of saviors of humanities or the keys to damnation. Shows such as Z Nation, Wynonna Earp, and Van Helsing tend to put the woman in very tight situations with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Post-apocalyptic realities have been a big hype in fiction, be it on TV shows or literature, and a place where writers and creators are not afraid to let women be their own leaders with flaws and all. Something noticeable in these shows is the dark overtone to their stories, and how they thrive in these [mis]adventures.

Let’s take Lt. Roberta Warren, from the hit zombie show, Z Nation. Throughout the first 5 seasons, she is the leader, the mother figure, the older sister, and then, at the end of the fourth season, she becomes the key into what appears to be the salvation of humankind only for her role to be flipped in the most crucial moment. Throughout the duration of the series, the weight of transporting the cure falls on the shoulders of her and her band of misfits. But, not only is this pushed onto her, but she also has to carry the mission to stop ‘Black Rainbow’, another means to end what is left of the human race. For Warren, saving the human race was always the main goal, only to have been tricked into believing this since it came second nature to her.

Unfortunately, SyFy decided not to renew Z Nation for a sixth season, and left us with an ambiguous, open ending. Though, the world of Z Nation doesn’t stop there; producer, David Michael Latt announced, alongside with the cancelation of the show, that a spinoff was in the making for Netflix called, Black Summer. And, if you are a loyal fan of this series, it’s some really exciting news. Black Summer is available as a Netflix Original to watch since April 11. Be warned, even though Black Summer is something we become familiar in Z Nation, only that this new zombie show does not tie in with the Z Nation narrative.

Now, shifting our gaze to the vampire show, Van Helsing. We find Vanessa fighting for her life through a vampire infested world. The two current seasons sends us past a tension-packed life of a mother going through a world not knowing what happened to her daughter after waking up from a coma and finding out that her blood might carry the cure to whatever vampiric virus had rampaged through the world. Time after time she is pushed to throw herself headfirst to find the answers to her dark past, and her newfound abilities. The more she digs, the more secrets and questions about herself keep popping up. Big sacrifices are made for her, but no matter what her part as the key to saving humankind is never dropped and if she meets her demise, humanity would too. Though her mind is set towards the good for everyone, there’s undeniably a darkness within her that sets her apart from her sister. Will she turn to the dark or will she save what’s left of humanity?

Now, for Wynnona Earp, a Western sci-fi show. This series doesn’t really revolve around technology, a factor that makes it the principal thematic for Science Fiction. Wynonna hunts down the souls of ‘revenants’ that escape from Hell for revenge since her great-great-grandfather had been the sheriff that once in a life had put these criminals down with his 16-inch barrel gun “Peacemaker”. Her family had been carrying this duty for generations until her father and older sister suffered under the hands of escaped ‘revenants’. Again, this supernatural duty falls upon a woman to either safe of damned her and her loved ones. Its the fourth season was announced to come out this year after an epic cliffhanger of its third season’s finale. Now, we can only guess if damnation will fall on Ghost River Triangle, and Wynonna’s hometown of Purgatory or if our heroine will be the key to the salvation from the dark forces from Hell.

The truth lies deep within them and their fates are never set in stone, but, apocalypses don’t wait for anyone, not even for our dark heroines. Again, women are put in a tight spot with humanity as their audience and their fight against evil will make or break them. SyFy’s new approach to its shows has made a huge difference when it comes to female roles. Be it mythology or religious books, women have always been put to be the bringer of evil. For example; Lilith, Pandora, Eve, you name it. SyFy is opening a line in the narrative for the female character in science fiction to redeem themselves and save humanity, even if it means sacrificing themselves. Will their missions end in fairytale or disaster?