Early in 2007, The SciFi Channel aired The Dresden Files, a drama based on the novels of Jim Butcher and produced by Nicolas Cage. Later that same year, the channel completed airing the twelve episodes produced and did not pick up the show for a second season. I consider this to be a tragedy. The Dresden Files was smart, funny, suspenseful, action packed. On the whole, a great time.

The premise of the story is that magic is real, and all the mythical monsters that haunted your childhood and mine, they’re real too. Harry Dresden (played by Paul Blackthorn) is a wizard who is trying to protect the innocent from the magical world all around them. As the hero wizard biz doesn’t pay that well, Harry also takes on cases with supernatural content as a private investigator. Since gigs in the PI biz are hard to come by, he also consults for Lt. Connie Murphy (Valerie Cruz), an attractive, hard-as-nails detective with the Chicago PD. She doesn’t believe in any of the mumbo jumbo that surrounds Harry’s life, and hers.

This is one of the things I truly loved about the series, how it approached the issue of belief. Harry made no bones about being a wizard, painted it on the front door of his office, in fact. Still, he never tried to convince anyone to believe any of it. He astutely determined if a person was open to the idea, and if they weren’t, he made simple excuses for all the weirdness, and people bought it. This is much as it is in life, I have found: Folks believe what they want, and fit the evidence around them to that belief. Harry was “out” as a magical being, but never tried to make anyone accept him as such, and as a result was able to walk in both worlds.

Harry is attended by Hrothbert of Bainbridge (Terrence Mann), an ancient ghost cursed to forever inhabit his own skull, which is currently in Harry’s possession. They have been friends since Harry was a boy, when Harry decided to start calling him “Bob”. Bob trained Harry in the mystic arts, and is an invaluable source of knowledge in Harry’s investigations.

Wait, if that’s not enough for you, Harry is regulated in the magical world by the High Council, a group of wizards and magical beings that enforce the laws of the magical world, and protect it’s secrets. Between the Chicago PD, who are dubious as to his talents and motives, and the Council, who outright don’t like him, Harry has lots of issues with authority.

The tone of the program is set by Raymond Chandler, and Harry is a surrogate Sam Spade. The story is told through witty narration, giving the audience the feeling that they are in on it, and the dialogue is snappy and fun. The city of Chicago is a prominent character in the series, with gorgeous establishing shots and the essence of Chicago still to be heard in the excellent acting.

The good news is that you don’t have to miss it anymore, thanks to DVD and the Internet. Season one is available at your favorite online book and DVD sellers, and if you want to check it out first, it can be seen on those alien-conspiracy-to-rot-your-brain websites for the price of brief commercial interruption.

I strongly recommend that you check it out, and let me know what you think. While you’re at it, if you know any obscure or under viewed SciFi that you really dig, let me know about that too. Maybe I’ll like it so much that I’ll feature it. You never know.