February 16, 2020 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Before the Sci-Fi Channel (these days "Syfy" because we're all dumber now) officially launched, they aired a good amount of vaguely weird video and shimmery audio along with a launch timer. The last hour and twenty minutes of it are preserved on YouTube. Here's some of it without the timer. Also, here's a collection of 125 FTL Newsfeeds, the weird fake future newscast Sci-Fi aired that served both as mood setter and experiment in serialized storytelling. Here's a bunch of bumpers from 1990/2000. And the bumps from their short-lived "Sci-Fi World" block, featuring the song Funkytown.

Some of these clips featured back in a post I made in 2017 about Mystery From Beyond the Other Dominion, but kind of got buried in the reminiscing about that weird show and its kooky host. It feels like enough time has passed to give these links their own chance to shine.
posted by JHarris (12 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
YES! I remember this very strongly. We had one of the giant dish satellites at the time (the kind you had to keep telling your kids not to climb on) and I was obsessed with this weird repeating message on whatever satellite and channel it was on, G3 05 or whatever.

Didn't it have some weird voice over stuff? Like "we're coming for you, Fay Wraye" and a bunch of other names of actors from sci fi?

Thanks for this, a fun memory!
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 1:58 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]

I also remember this very strongly! My parents had friends with a satellite dish and I'd go to their house to watch this. I was completely obsessed too, and I remember my mother thinking it was very strange and expressing some concern... maybe about subliminal messages?

I don't remember the voice overs, Star Stuff, but you might be right!

I'm going to watch this tonight! Thanks!
posted by jpziller at 2:42 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]

For those wanting to fight the dumbering, it was renamed Syfy because "Sci-fi channel" was deemed (by their lawyers to be) too generic, which meant it couldn't be trademarked, which made the channel worthless as a brand. It's annoying to be reminded we live under the yoke of capitalism, but alas, we do.
posted by fragmede at 2:58 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]

ha ha yes because The History Channel isn't too generic
posted by JHarris at 3:12 PM on February 16 [5 favorites]

If only a channel everin time
that ran Max Headroom and MST3K.
posted by leonard horner at 5:18 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Travel Channel is generic as well but I guess it beats Endless Marathons of Bullshit Supernatural Reality Shows.
posted by Ber at 5:30 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]

Oh wow, thank you! I have had a vague memory of those FTL Newsfeeds for years and years but have never been able to find them. Looking forward to poking around in those clips.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 8:12 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]

I may have a videotape with 8 hours of the scifi preview. (Somewhere. Maybe. If it wasn't in the storage unit that got water damage.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:30 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]

This discussion of the Sci-Fi Channel of that era reminded me their first original series was Dr. Franklin Ruehl's show Mysteries From Beyond The Other Dominion. Roll Tape!
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:15 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]

ErisLordFreedom, gosh, I'd love it if you could find and upload that someday.
posted by JHarris at 1:53 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

... Mysteries From Beyond The Other Dominion

Better than a slap in the belly with a wet trout!
posted by hoborg at 12:00 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]

I am so here for this
posted by windykites at 9:01 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]

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