Good Science Fiction on Television

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xander
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Good Science Fiction on Television

Postby xander » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:26 pm

In another thread, science fiction on television was brought up. Specifically, trickfred was bemoaning the lack of good science fiction on television right now (the implication being that there was good sf on TV in past). In response, I stated that there has never been a "Golden Age" of television science fiction, in that there has never been a time in which there have been more than one or two good shows on the air. Furthermore, there are only a handfull of good shows that have ever aired (again, my opinion).

A quick list of the best science fiction that has shown on television might include the following:

Babylon 5
Blake's 7
Doctor Who (the original series, or the new one -- is it fantasy)
Farscape
Firefly
Red Dwarf (can this be considered sf?)
Star Gate: SG1
Star Trek (excluding, in my opinion, Voyager and Enterprise)

I know that this list is incomplete -- it is all that I can think of at the moment, and includes only those series that I have seen enough of to feel comfortable commenting upon. Based on other people's postings, I should probably also include Battlestar Galactica (the new series -- I can't stand the original), but, having not seen it, I can't really comment.

So, questions for discussion:
- What good sf has been on television? What makes it good?
- Is there a paucity of good sf on TV? Why?
- What defines sf? What distinguishes it from comedy or fantasy? Do those distinctions really exist and/or matter?
- And, of course, given that these are the IV boards, anything else that is peripherally connected to this issue, so long as we don't get too far from the topic :)

xander
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Re: Good Science Fiction on Television

Postby NeoThermic » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:28 pm

xander wrote:- And, of course, given that these are the IV boards, anything else that is peripherally connected to this issue, so long as we don't get too far from the topic :)

xander


How about some statiscial commentary based upon the length of a post on each of the IV forums, leading to discussion over the effectivness of the discussions we have on here? :P

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Postby Babylon5 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:42 pm

I'm on that list.
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Postby xander » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:07 pm

Babylon5 wrote:I'm on that list.

No, there is no space in your name. :P

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Postby SuVir » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:18 pm

futurama?
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Postby xander » Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:50 pm

SuVir wrote:futurama?
Agreed. Futurama was a great show. Though I would ask the same question with Futurama that I asked with Red Dwarf: is it really science fiction, or is it an animated comedy that happens to use sf as a setting? Is Alf sf? How about Third Rock from the Sun? Mork and Mindy?

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Postby Babylon5 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:05 pm

xander wrote:
Babylon5 wrote:I'm on that list.

No, there is no space in your name. :P

xander


Ooh, get you :P

Cowboy Bebop was highly amusing aswell.
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Postby Psycho » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:50 pm

I've seen a couple of the new Battlestar Galactica episodes, and they were pretty cool! I definitly want to get hold of all the episodes, I hope they will release them on DVD soon (I think it will be a couple monthsm, for Europe anyways).
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Postby LtWaldo » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:11 am

Psycho wrote:I've seen a couple of the new Battlestar Galactica episodes, and they were pretty cool! I definitly want to get hold of all the episodes, I hope they will release them on DVD soon (I think it will be a couple monthsm, for Europe anyways).


Bittorrent is your friend. Not that I would EVER do anything like that. :wink:
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Postby ScareyedHawk » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:13 am

I found Waldo.
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Postby LtWaldo » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:16 am

I have seen every single episode of Star Trek (except Enterprise), Firefly, Farscape, Stargate: SG1 & Atlantis, BSG.

I want to see more Doctor Who - I;ve only seen one episode and didn't know any of the character backstory, so I couldn't get any of the inside jokes that are the best things about a story.

I love how the fans made enough noise for them to create a Farscape "movie" after it got cancelled to finish off the story. I liked ST: Voyager, altho it definately did not have the wonderfullness of TNG. I would rank ST series in this order (excluding the original) -- TNG > Voyager > DS9 > Enterprise. Any other trekkies wanna comment?
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Postby trickfred » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:23 am

LtWaldo wrote:
Psycho wrote:I've seen a couple of the new Battlestar Galactica episodes, and they were pretty cool! I definitly want to get hold of all the episodes, I hope they will release them on DVD soon (I think it will be a couple monthsm, for Europe anyways).


Bittorrent is your friend. Not that I would EVER do anything like that. :wink:


Since noone in Canada was airing BSG when it was first released, I felt no guilt whatsoever about torrenting the UK episodes. In this day and age, there's no real reason to stagger the release of an English-language show across English-speaking countries, other than 'We have it exclusively!' claims, which just don't impress anyone having a computer, an IQ higher than 90, and a broadband connection anymore.

The Eccleston Who episodes were brodcast here within days of the UK airings, but as of yet, the Tennant episodes are nowhere in sight. Solution: fire up BitComet. If CBC doesn't want to provide me with the shows I want to watch, I'll get them elsewhere (and if there's any question of proper compensation - the wife is foaming at the mouth to fork out cash for the Tennant DVDs already, and the Eccleston DVDs were ridiculously overpriced here - and I leave the room/press mute when commercials are on, the once a month I'll watch non-movie TV, so no money made from me there).
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Postby shinygerbil » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:38 am

trickfred wrote:...an IQ higher than 90...


You're being generous. My mother - who is (just) less than 40 years old and quite intelligent - used to ask me every time I told her to click on something: "which button?"

I guess she could have used a Mac fine ;) I'm told she is better now, she can check mail and use the internet..
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Postby trickfred » Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:53 am

shinygerbil wrote:
trickfred wrote:...an IQ higher than 90...


You're being generous. My mother - who is (just) less than 40 years old and quite intelligent - used to ask me every time I told her to click on something: "which button?"

I guess she could have used a Mac fine ;) I'm told she is better now, she can check mail and use the internet..


I've noticed a surprising amount (really, any at all surprises me) of smart people a generation or two older than me that are just a bit intimidated by computers - could this have been your mom's case? I've observed that usually once those sort of people (smart, but intimidated) figure out that they're not going to make it explode by clicking the wrong thing, they're good to go. :D
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Postby xander » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:03 am

Well, I would have to point out that it is not a question of intelligence, but a question of experience. If you were told to sit down at a typewriter and bang out these posts, how many errors would there be? Compare that to my great-grandmother (who was a court stenographer), and you would look pretty stupid. However, if she were still alive, I would bet that she couldn't figure out this internet thing to save her life. For a more extreme example, I would be that you couldn't survive a month, let alone 60 years, as a hunter/gatherer. You would be pretty stupid by !Kung or Shoshone standards.

Most of us on this board have grown up with computers, or had access to them at a young age. We are familier with them, and are comfortable using them. Most of us did not grow up with slide rules, or ox drawn plows, and would not know how to use them. This says nothing about our intelligence, only the experiences that we had during our formative years.

xander

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