Search and Destroy the previous generation of sci-fi tv shows (Farscape, Lexx, Andromeda, StarGate SG1, Babylon 5, Space Precinct, various Star Trek shows and more)

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To be honest it's extremely unlikely I'll ever watch any of these, I was just curious what you guys would say about these because most of them were either impenetrable or unappealing to me when they were on.

I know the newer version of Battlestar Gallactica and Firefly were popular but those shows are very different to the slightly older ones, which seem to have died out, but why did they die out? I would have thought that they'd multiply in this era.

I've recently heard some people saying Farscape was really good and I was shocked because I just assumed it would be awful.

Lexx was easily the most intriguing of all these for me, it just looked incredibly strange, minimal and un-commercial.

I used to watch Space Precinct and I didn't like it.

Was Andromeda by the same makers of Jason X (the comedy Friday 13th in space)? It seemed to have a lot of the same cast.

I watched a lot of Star Trek as a kid and I just didn't get it but I liked Data, I assumed I'd never be smart enough to understand it but several years later the episodes I saw had the oldest, most cliched science fiction plots and really bad acting.

Babylon 5 seems to have a really mixed reception, I know a lot of people have strong feelings about Stratzynski.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 14 December 2014 23:29 (five years ago) link

Love Babylon 5, to death - really good detailled storyline. It suffered a little for the limited Amiga-farm tech of the day, and some of the early series acting was a bit wooden but it really hit its stride and has some brilliant moments of payoff.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00 (five years ago) link

I used to really enjoy the odd episode of Farscape I caught, it had a cool aesthetic and never seemed to take itself too seriously. Might try and work my way through the whole thing one day. Lexx was fairly entertaining in a stoner-type way, and like you say seemed to be trying something different.

I like the original Star Trek, but TNG was always a bit po-faced for me, though it had the odd nice idea. I think TV and film rarely excel at the kind of hard-ish SF it was going for, TBH, give me an Iain M Banks or Kim Stanley Robinson novel any day.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Monday, 15 December 2014 00:03 (five years ago) link

Always found the idea of tackling Bab 5 a little too daunting to attempt.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Monday, 15 December 2014 00:03 (five years ago) link

Lol @ worrying about not being smart enough to watch star trek

Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014 00:18 (five years ago) link

It is kinda epic in scope yeah - 5 long seasons, and the story arc was prewritten for the lot, so it rewards marathon viewings or loads of dedication, ya. I used to spend long swathes of weekend getting st0ned and watching huge chunks of it.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Monday, 15 December 2014 00:19 (five years ago) link

Lol @ worrying about not being smart enough to watch star trek

― Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014

Yeah I was pretty young. I felt similar about X-Men, but people don't understand that for different reasons.

So it was kind of a shock to later find out how hokey Star Trek could be.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 01:19 (five years ago) link

i hadn't really watched it in years anyway but i feel the moment that ruined star trek for me—tng esp—was when i had a roommate who was watching it straight through and it struck me just how much of the time-filling writing/acting in every single episode was one guy giving another guy orders for where to steer the ship

j., Monday, 15 December 2014 01:32 (five years ago) link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra_2525

Anyone seen this?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 02:30 (five years ago) link

well the second question to ask is obviously, when they wake her up in the future what are her breasts like, was science able to save them

j., Monday, 15 December 2014 02:36 (five years ago) link

omg

Production notes

Cast member Gina Torres performed the show's theme song, which is based on Zager and Evans' 1969 hit "In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)", albeit with altered lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YJUis0NNQs

j., Monday, 15 December 2014 02:38 (five years ago) link

Been reading up about Lexx, it really does sound weird. The cast and crew were from Canada and Germany and was partly funded by channel 5 (UK).
Story is stretched over thousands of years, across different planets.

It starts with a series of films and some DVD versions are censored of sex and violence (booooo!).

There's a musical episode. That sounds offputting, I don't mind musicals but when tv series do it, it often seems a bit too subconscious of the absurdity of it, or something, I don't know quite how to put it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 02:50 (five years ago) link

Selfconscious not subconscious.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 02:52 (five years ago) link

In brief: Star Trek OST is amazing just for the art design and the earnest naivete of the whole endeavor. TNG has its moments but is basically an office-in-space and also suffers from bland design. BSG reboot's first two seasons are incredible. Everything else cited is stuff I was never able to bear for a single episode.

Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014 02:56 (five years ago) link

bland design??? i would kill to work in an office with that soothing color scheme, that perfect soft lighting, those autumnal-colored touchscreen interfaces.

adam, Monday, 15 December 2014 03:47 (five years ago) link

Those fully functional androids.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 December 2014 03:59 (five years ago) link

iirc Lexx featured Dieter Laser, aka the mad "scientist" from The Human Centipede.

Simon H., Monday, 15 December 2014 04:07 (five years ago) link

I know the newer version of Battlestar Gallactica and Firefly were popular but those shows are very different to the slightly older ones, which seem to have died out, but why did they die out? I would have thought that they'd multiply in this era.

Yeah, it does seem like an unfilled niche at the moment. I'd watch a Trek ripoff.

jmm, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:11 (five years ago) link

I'd love a better-tech/better CGI remake of B5 but sadly (and rather strangely) a very large chunk of the cast have died unexpectedly in the last 10 years.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Monday, 15 December 2014 04:38 (five years ago) link

Or perhaps expectedly in the case of Jeff Conaway, but well anyway.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Monday, 15 December 2014 04:39 (five years ago) link

DS9 was the bomb just because of Sisko, also it clearly got rehashed in a lot of ways for re-BSG. Will ride for life w/Picard and Sisko, cheesiness be damned.
I was always curious about Babylon 5, but was too lazy to start. Same goes with all the Sci-Fi channel stuff like Farscape/Lexx/Stargate eventually. Most of them seemed pretty half-hearted compared to the all-in attitudes and budget of Star Trek.
I often wonder how it is for young people to watch TNG/DS9 for the first time today; the ILX thread indicates there are still people doing this which is nice.

Nhex, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:46 (five years ago) link

BTW that Cleopatra 2525 theme song had me ROLLING

Nhex, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:47 (five years ago) link

TNG/DS9 only, probably my two favorite shows ever. Tried all the others but couldn't get in them.

Jeff, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:48 (five years ago) link

Doesn't apply to all, but I do have trouble getting into shows with a gritty, ragtag crew based in a dystopian future.

Jeff, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:50 (five years ago) link

lexx had some kinda magic for the lowest budget cgi space panto.
4 season garbage, save for the tearjerker at the end ;_;

massaman gai, Monday, 15 December 2014 04:52 (five years ago) link

TNG is top-tier comfort viewing for me. I realized not long ago that it's at least in part due to the ambient Enterprise noise. Soothing.

I keep meaning to check some of these others out. I finally properly watched a bit of OG Star Trek a few years back, and it was okay and not as hokey/bad as I figured it would be. I dig most of the movies. I've been slowly (like over an expanse of time roughly equivalent to the length of time it originally aired) working my way through TNG front to back and will probably start DS9 when that's done. And Farscape, someday.

Straczynski has shit out some poor comics over the years so I'm not terribly inclined to check out Babylon 5. And the stuff I've heard about the end stretch of BSG doesn't particularly entice me, either.

Mr. Bojangus (Old Lunch), Monday, 15 December 2014 05:30 (five years ago) link

Honestly, BSG's not as bad as people say, largely typical internet age griping about a (badly excuted) long-planned series ending (see also: Lost). And even if it was, it's still worth it to watch the first 2.5 seasons and ignore the rest if you really felt the need to

Nhex, Monday, 15 December 2014 06:11 (five years ago) link

Deep Space 9 is probably the best long-running sci-fi series I've ever seen... The Next Generation is almost as good, but it suffers from the fact that it had a rather forced status quo, so the characters never seem to learn anything, and it tends to repeat similar kind of one-show episodes where the Enterprise encounters the Weird Space Phenomenon of the Week. (There were some longer arc though, mostly the ones involving Q, the Borg, and Klingon politics.)

DS9 starts kinda like TNG, the first season is mostly one-shot stories, but by the second season they start adding longer arcs that last until the very end of the show. The series starts when the Cardassian occupiers have just left Bajor, and later on a huge war arc kicks in, so you get loads of well-written, well-acted episodes that deal with the ambivalencies and moral dilemmas of war, colonialism, politics, terrorism, etc, in ways most sci-fi series don't. If only they hadn't added a rather stupid and pointlessly Manichean supernatural subplot (which also goes on until the very last episode), DS9 would've been pretty much a perfect series. Though thankfully the supernatural stuff didn't completely overwhelm the main plot, as it did in the new Battlestar Galactica.

Years ago I tried to watch Babylon 5 and got as far as the end of first season, but I was kinda turned off by the second-rate actors. Though to be fair the acting is often the weakest link in sci-fi series in general... I guess the Star Trek shows benefit from their larger budgets in that they don't have to spend most of the money on special effects and set design, they can also afford to hire decent actors. IMO that's certainly the thing that elevates TNG and DS9 above their contemporaries, they both had well-rounded ensemble casts that played nicely against each other, so they were able to devote whole episodes to character interaction alone. BSG had mostly good actors too, but they screwed things up in the writing department.

Tuomas, Monday, 15 December 2014 10:25 (five years ago) link

Babylon 5 has been getting a bit of praise lately as the godfather of long form TV, but actually I can't think of any TV that does that as well as it - even stuff like The Wire or Lost, there's a sense that at the end of the season the writers think "Okay we did well there, where can we take these plots from here?" - in B5 the main series villains turn up in the 5th episode in passing, and don't really start to emerge until middle of the 2nd series - rewatching it now, the amount of stuff clearly planted for long-term payoff is amazing.

It's also hokey as fuck in places of course - a few B-plots where you can imagine JMS going through and taking out comedy sound effects.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 15 December 2014 10:29 (five years ago) link

hah, xpost - though DS9 does suffer from the fact that the Ferengi are walking comedy sound effects.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 15 December 2014 10:31 (five years ago) link

First couple of seasons of Sliders are really gd fun

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Monday, 15 December 2014 10:33 (five years ago) link

I also tried to watch Voyager for a couple of seasons, but it felt too much like a B-rate TNG: one-shot stories about weird space encounters with worse actors. From what I've gathered it doesn't manage to raise the quality later on like DS9 did?

(xpost)

Tuomas, Monday, 15 December 2014 10:34 (five years ago) link

hah, xpost - though DS9 does suffer from the fact that the Ferengi are walking comedy sound effects.

I don't really agree with this, or at the least they're much better better in DS9 than in TNG... Once you accept the fact that the Ferengi are lighter side of the show who get a comedy episode of their own once per season (some of which are actually quite funny), you should be able to appreciate the effort the writers put into making them much more rounded than the crass caricatures Ferengi were in TNG. All the three main Ferengi characters (Quark, Rom, and Nog) get good characters arcs and even some touching emotional moments... I wouldn't have thought a Ferengi could bring tears to my eyes, but that happened in the episode where Nog confronts Sisko on his unwillingness to recommend Nog to Starfleet Academy.

Tuomas, Monday, 15 December 2014 10:42 (five years ago) link

Season Four of Voyager (the season where they first introduced Seven of Nine) has a couple of really good two-part stories - 'Year of Hell' and 'The Killing Game' - but the last two seasons are just as dire as the first three.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Monday, 15 December 2014 10:55 (five years ago) link

Agree with Tuomos. The latter part of the series is so dark, the comedy eps, including the Ferengi ones are a nice change up. Also love Take Me Out to the Holosuite for that reason.

Jeff, Monday, 15 December 2014 12:08 (five years ago) link

Yeah, Take Me Out to the Holosuite is the rare case where that scourge of American TV series, the dreaded Baseball Episode, actually works, even for someone like me who knows practically nothing about the sport. And I like how the episode, which takes place in the middle of a heavy war arc, doesn't just provide a bit of relief to the viewers but clearly does that to the protagonists too.

Tuomas, Monday, 15 December 2014 12:16 (five years ago) link

As unmpressed as I've generally been by JMS's writing, I have huge respect for how he ran Babylon 5 based on stuff I've read. All TV showrunners should familiarize themselves with his methodology.

Mr. Bojangus (Old Lunch), Monday, 15 December 2014 12:30 (five years ago) link

I watched a bit of Lexx in what was probably my last burst of idle late ;ate TV viewing many years ago. All descriptions upthread otm - stoner low budget panto etc. Pleasantly imaginative, a kind of 'fuck it why not' attitude that I enjoyed. Also have a soft spot for that international co-production vibe - it didn't look American or English, just sort of… wrong.

I'd miss lots of episodes or have them on in the background while reading, so I mostly remember often being very very confused about what was going on, but there was enough camp strangeness (+ ok, eva habermann) to keep me coming back.

It recently crossed my mind to find it and watch it, but time, time, time.

woof, Monday, 15 December 2014 12:47 (five years ago) link

Yeah, I should also point out for reference that his comics writing is Terrible - even the stuff which shares tone with B5, he hits it on the latter and misses wildly on the former.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 15 December 2014 13:03 (five years ago) link

His Amazing Spider-Man run had some good stuff in it, but was often derailed by editorial decisions

Nhex, Monday, 15 December 2014 13:11 (five years ago) link

Straczynski's Thor was pretty good, or at least it established an interesting new setting and did some changes to the characters that opened them up for fresh new stories. Though for all his reputation as a super long-term plotter, Straczynski left Thor with most of his plot threads remaining unresolved, and it was left to Kieron Gillen to tie them up. And AFAIK some of them were never really resolved, like wtf was Loki's masterplan that led to The Siege supposed to be?

Tuomas, Monday, 15 December 2014 13:56 (five years ago) link

ha, exactly!

Nhex, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:11 (five years ago) link

bland design??? i would kill to work in an office with that soothing color scheme, that perfect soft lighting, those autumnal-colored touchscreen interfaces.

otm - I find it really calming to watch. There's some thread w/ a huge transcript of an IM conversation about TNG that calls its Enterprise a space volvo or similar, often comes back to me while watching.

woof, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:12 (five years ago) link

I think I must be missing something, because I find the writing and acting in the BSG reboot so bad that I can't find the energy to sit through it. Any Star Trek is preferable I find. I like the plot and the ideas in the BSG well enough, they're just executed so poorly. The doctor character with a Cylon in his brain, who's supposed to be creepy and ambiguous, just comes across like Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen. The admiral who's supposed to be making tough, gritty decisions in the thick of it comes across like an irritated electronics shop manager.

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:15 (five years ago) link

& it is sort of odd how this stuff has died out - space taken by things that are more film or comic-related maybe, or more urban or near-future earth stuff? Like Dark Angel or something turned out to have stronger pop-DNA.

woof, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:19 (five years ago) link

xp

What these 'previous generation' of sci fi shows had going for them is they weren't trying to be The Wire or The Sopranos, they were just happily ticking along within their accepted conventions and making a decent enough job of it. In most Star Treks, the Serious Issues under discussion take place in a comfortingly static world where everything sooner or later resolves itself - tacitly, they only ever claim to be like, 'interesting' and 'thought-provoking', rarely if ever claim to be 'essential'

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:21 (five years ago) link

xp to woof I have a vague theory that stuff like Star Trek DS9 and TNG occupy a kind of middle ground, and since their day, TV has gone off either in the direction of HBO super serious high quality drama fare, or in the direction of bargain basement cheap reality tat like that show about the Duck people in the swamp

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 14:23 (five years ago) link

Against your theory I place "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (from a few years ago) and "Continuum" (currently airing) -- neither of which is a space-ensemble show, but both of which definitely occupy that middle space where they are laboring (and succeeding!) to be something other than total shit, but which also don't aspire to be seen as "quality TV"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 15 December 2014 14:31 (five years ago) link

And as such, they're both better than e.g. the rebooted BSG; all three are about equally hokey, but BSG (at least the first six episodes, which are all I watched) was so painful in its insistence on its non-hokiness...

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 15 December 2014 14:32 (five years ago) link

(Another little thing. Not contradicting President Keyes point, but on X files fandom. I wasn't old enough to be involved in the X-Files when it was first broadcast. I used to read Fortean Times and stuff on train journeys a kid, and was vaguely aware that there were people who were really into it, on something called 'the internet'. I watched it all recently and I can totally see how Mulder and Scully's relationship, their secretive burrowing around together in the fringes and margins, and you as the viewer allowed to join in, creates this really compelling subversive thing and why people were so, so into it as 'Fans' ... as opposed to the earlier, optimistic, bright, open, and inclusive world of the 60s Star Trek)

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:14 (five years ago) link

I was going to talk about this in the comics thread but it might fit here. There are some older comic creators complaining about cosplayers, tv/movie media guests ruining comic conventions.
I have little sympathy for their complaints about cosplayers (often sexist) but I think there probably is some grounds for complaining about some of the tv/movie stuff.

I've heard that some of the tv/movie guests are pushing out some of the comic creators despite the enormity of these conventions. Some have talked about comics people being priced out of some events. As if they're getting pushed out their own party by rich people.

I think it's the content of the tv shows and movies that angers people, they aren't seen as cult enough or relevant enough to deserve the support of this crowd, but isn't the crowd changing? I've been surprised by what tv shows and movies get promoted at Comicon.
SF tv shows have shared the same space as comic stores for decades and I think they felt there was some mutual support benefits from the association. Horror films, genre books, table top fantasy games, culty stuff in general.

Does any of this really matter? Maybe Comicon will turn into Moviecon but there are so many other conventions that maybe that convention can be safely abandoned.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:17 (five years ago) link

Can certainly imagine people who work in TV being really good at pushing into places and networking and promoting themselves, more so than people who write comics

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:21 (five years ago) link

Wd be interested to hear more about their complaints about cosplayers, that's a phenomena I have no contact with whatsoever (though I'm sure it happens in the UK too)

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:46 (five years ago) link

conventions are horrible

Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:56 (five years ago) link

at least in their current massive cross-promotional platform incarnation

I used to like them as a kid when it was just about digging through piles of back issues and chance meetings w random comics celebrities

Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:57 (five years ago) link

Never been to a comic convention, but I have been to a Star Trek one. The worst thing about them is that they are insanely expensive for what you get.

Jeff, Monday, 15 December 2014 16:59 (five years ago) link

The soothingness of TNG is kind of incredible to look back on. The main crew members are all so level. There's absolutely no chance of their ever letting you down. Even when conflicts arise, there tend to be legitimate moral considerations on either side. You seldom see anyone acting selfishly or capriciously. Within the confines of this very sedate understanding of human nature, it's about as rich and persuasive a show as I can imagine.

jmm, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:03 (five years ago) link

Wd be interested to hear more about their complaints about cosplayers, that's a phenomena I have no contact with whatsoever (though I'm sure it happens in the UK too)

― cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014

It's not that different from the sexist gamergate shit. You might not want to read it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:04 (five years ago) link

I guess what other people find soothing about TNG I find boring

Οὖτις, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:05 (five years ago) link

i hadn't really watched it in years anyway but i feel the moment that ruined star trek for me—tng esp—was when i had a roommate who was watching it straight through and it struck me just how much of the time-filling writing/acting in every single episode was one guy giving another guy orders for where to steer the ship

― j., Monday, December 15, 2014 1:32 AM (15 hours ago)

reminds me of this, from a roger ebert review of a latter-day trek film:

I've also had it with the force shield that protects the Enterprise. The power on this thing is always going down. In movie after movie after movie I have to sit through sequences during which the captain is tersely informed that the front shield is down to 60 percent, or the back shield is down to 10 percent, or the side shield is leaking energy, and the captain tersely orders that power be shifted from the back to the sides or all put in the front, or whatever, and I'm thinking, life is too short to sit through 10 movies in which the power is shifted around on these shields. The shields have been losing power for decades now, and here it is the Second Generation of Star Trek, and they still haven't fixed them. Maybe they should get new batteries.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 15 December 2014 17:18 (five years ago) link

'Soothing & comforting & boring all at once' may be what marks out 'genre' shows aimed at 'fans', dunno?

cardamon, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:32 (five years ago) link

i think with the NAVIGATION SCENELETS what really irked me is, look, it's in the nature of television that episodes will repeat whatever dramatic and expository and structuring formulas they happen upon that seem like effective ways of maintaining a well-working, watchable show. that's why you get quotidian filler moments in police procedurals where the cops review the scene, where they replay the scene to their lieutenants, where they soothe victims' family members. that's why you get legal drama filler where the lawyers have to do bail hearings. of course, these kinds of things often provide opportunities for variation. but on TNG especially, with the formality of the quasi-military discipline of the federation behind things, it seemed like too many of these scenelets were waaaaaaay too thin, puffed up with little more than the pomp of giving-and-obeying-orders. ceremoniousness for the sake of ceremoniousness.

j., Monday, 15 December 2014 17:46 (five years ago) link

Thinking about BSG, I agree that it wasn't always as psychologically profound as it wanted to be, but I thought Crashdown's transformation on Kobol was pretty fantastic, where you could see how a series of increasingly desperate actions were actually coming from a feeling of horrible guilt that he deflects onto others. You'd never see anything remotely like that in TNG.

jmm, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:49 (five years ago) link

haha i always loved it when ebert got cranky about stuff like that

slam dunk, Monday, 15 December 2014 22:01 (five years ago) link

Years ago I tried to watch Babylon 5 and got as far as the end of first season, but I was kinda turned off by the second-rate actors.

every time I have showed someone B5 I've stressed that they have to be very forgiving with the first half of S1. The pilot was SHITE, and the 1st season a little slow to get going.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Monday, 15 December 2014 22:19 (five years ago) link

I imagine that the jokes made about Babylon 5 in Spaced and Big Bang Theory are based on a lot of people being divided on the show?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 December 2014 22:31 (five years ago) link

I am suprised BBT even has the remotest amount of actual cred to mention B5 in the first place, tbh.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:51 (five years ago) link

Going back a ways, has anyone watched Space 1999 anytime recently? I loved it when it was first on, when I was maybe 9 or so, but I haven't seen it since. No idea how it holds up. I imagine it's not very good.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 01:18 (five years ago) link

I feel like we're still waiting for the great post-trek sci fi series. like BSG had incredible stuff but blew a lot of its potential in pursuit of such tedious bullshit, and for all the great acting on the show there was a lot of straining for great acting from mediocre talents.

idk I think in some ways my ideal sci fi series would involve characters like the desperate and grounded regular blue collar types who were in the first 'alien' movie and not admirals or hotshot fighter pilots or multicolored aliens or hyper intelligent cyborgs or w/e.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 01:45 (five years ago) link

as others have said, it's a good time for a proper new Trek series. apparently Bryan Fuller has tried to get one off the ground several times - that would be amazing.

Simon H., Tuesday, 16 December 2014 01:51 (five years ago) link

It's a bit of a tough question what to do with a Trek series at this point. Space exploration has been done three times. They've done a space station. They've done a ship lost in space. A series focusing on Starfleet Academy or on Federation government might be fun, but that would mean departing from the convention of an ensemble cast of bridge officers.

jmm, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 02:02 (five years ago) link

Plz no starfleet.

Jeff, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 03:32 (five years ago) link

A series based on the destiny trilogy books would be awesome.

Jeff, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 03:34 (five years ago) link

Wld watch a trek where our POV was not the federation

cardamon, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 14:15 (five years ago) link

My dream SF show would be an HBO adaptation of the Culture novels.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 14:31 (five years ago) link

Going back to the comic conventions discussion, you should know that TV shows like Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies were on the circuit when they were on.

TAKING SIDES: HUMANS VS. GUACAMOLEEE (Leee), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 18:43 (five years ago) link

I wonder if there's any contingent of Homeland fans who consider it a prequel to Pushing Daisies

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 18:53 (five years ago) link

Something weird about TNG was that they shot it all on film, but they used video lighting (limited shadows/shades, everything equally bright) for most of the episodes. I guess it didn't matter with shitty 1980s TV sets.

I would like a space exploration show that used realistic physics i.e. no warp drive, no wormholes. They get to the next star system and they're in a different century.

poxy fülvous (abanana), Friday, 26 December 2014 02:04 (five years ago) link

A new ST show with a non-Federation focus would be cool, yeah. They did try that a bit in DS9, with Kira and Odo and Quark all being non-Starfleet and from outside the Federation... But by the Dominion war arc Kira and Odo were pretty much doing the same things as the Starfleet characters, only Quark remained a true outsider. I did love Quark's occasional anti-Federation rants, a new series should have a viewpoint like that, with the Federation not automatically being accepted as an all-benevolent organization. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the utopianism in TNG, but that aspect has already been done, so a non-utopian ST series could be fun.

Tuomas, Friday, 26 December 2014 16:18 (five years ago) link

I'd like to see a series set at starfleet command concerned with political machinations, house of cards style. An outwardly utopian culty org like the Feds are gonna have a seedy underbelly rife with greed and corruption.

DISMISSED AS CHANCE (NotEnough), Friday, 26 December 2014 18:22 (five years ago) link

That's basically what DS9 grew to be, although not to the level of venal self-interested levels that are common in today's political dramas.

Baruch Olbermann (Leee), Saturday, 27 December 2014 00:03 (five years ago) link

I chuckled when Section 31 got a nod in Into Darkness

Nhex, Saturday, 27 December 2014 05:02 (five years ago) link

This probably isn't a fair criticism but whenever I watched Deadwood intermittently without knowing the backstory I still found it brilliant and fascinating.
But whenever I watch modern Battlestar Gallactica in the same manner it's a complete slog. I've watched over half the show out of order with my sister (who loves it, she has watched it all many times). I guess sometimes some things really do need to be seen from the start; but not finding it at all enjoyable makes me sure I'll probably never watch it from the start.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 27 December 2014 20:27 (five years ago) link

Nicki Clyne is super gorgeous though. Seems she hasn't been on film or tv for 4 years.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 27 December 2014 20:54 (five years ago) link

I asked my friend who watches all this stuff and he recommended "Dominion".

los blue jeans, Sunday, 28 December 2014 00:20 (five years ago) link

xp she's great "subbing" for Neko Case in "The Laws Have Changed" video

Nhex, Sunday, 28 December 2014 06:38 (five years ago) link

Not certain your friend has a great grasp of 'previous' there. Or 'sci-fi' for that matter.

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 28 December 2014 08:06 (five years ago) link

I suppose I'm going to be the only stan for this show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_Above_and_Beyond

Straight-up military sci-fi from the mid-90s - actually predated the Starship Troopers movie. Has aged pretty well.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 28 December 2014 08:35 (five years ago) link

Another obscure one is the War Of The Worlds TV series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Worlds_(TV_series)

In practice the episodes were mostly OK - basically a redo of The Invaders. However a new creative team was brought in for the second season. Half of the characters were killed and the action jumped years ahead into a bonkers Mad Max body-swapping dystopic future that Makes No Sense at all. Totally dumb and totally awesome!

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 28 December 2014 08:40 (five years ago) link

xp she's great "subbing" for Neko Case in "The Laws Have Changed" video

― Nhex, Sunday, 28 December 2014

I can't find it. All I can see is New Pornographers.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 28 December 2014 19:34 (five years ago) link

that's the right video. neko's the singer for TNP. well, usually!

Nhex, Sunday, 28 December 2014 22:53 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

I've started on Babylon 5, and even though it definitely has the typical rough first-season edges, a couple of the episodes are pretty great (Tomalak I mean G'Kar singing a Broadway tune!), which is better than DS9 managed.

Chard Michaels (Leee), Monday, 19 February 2018 09:32 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Satire of American Beauty in an episode of Lexx?
http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/articles/lexx-at-ten/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 17 June 2018 16:23 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I maintain that the Replicators stuff in Stargate SG-1 is some genuinely good SF for a cheesy TV show. Well thought through and actually frightening, unlike the Borg. The origin story is really good as well, although it might be pinched from some old short story. The Replicator planet is less credible but kind of haunting and weird IIRC.

never knowingly otm (Noel Emits), Sunday, 12 January 2020 10:32 (two weeks ago) link

Been thinking a while about a difficult to pinpoint aesthetic change in sff and I wonder if its crucial in its gaining wider cultural acceptance. Did there used to be more ugly, dorky and twee stuff? Dorky is hard to define. Plenty of sff today looks ugly in a bland way and I'd argue amateurish cgi and photoshopped covers are worse than anything in the past, but most of that is from small presses.

I was watching some episodes of Prisoners Of Gravity (an 80s-90s Canadian interview show) and it was just so dorky in a way I cant imagine such a thing being today (but if there was such a thing today, I think more authors would be embarrassed to show their cover art).

If Game Of Thrones was on tv in the 90s, Jon Snow would have had a furry wisecracking sidekick called Queequar and there would have been more scenes of people laughing (especially men with beards) and dancing around a fire to quaintly merry music (all 80s-90s films set in medieval Europe have these scenes, I'm sure you could make a long compilation of them).

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, January 12, 2020 12:51 PM (two hours ago)

I know it's bad form to post the same thing in multiple threads but I thought this might be more relevant to this thread. Fantasy equivalents being Xena and Hercules. And a lot of these shows were uncool in a way that is difficult for me to define, probably why I never watched most of them. I guess my idea of cool sff needs to have a certain measure of prettiness (which Marvel movies fail, but perhaps not as badly as some of these shows).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 12 January 2020 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

I bought the book Lost Transmissions this week and it includes an essay by Charlie Jane Anders about an obscure 90s show called Space Island One which she thought was genius. Had scripts by Stephen Baxter and Diane Duane.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 12 January 2020 16:11 (two weeks ago) link

I guess the type of show we're talking about here is tailored to an audience of 'fans', unlike yr prestige TV shows which are supposed to be 'what everyone is watching' and talking about?

Never changed username before (cardamon), Sunday, 12 January 2020 23:43 (two weeks ago) link

If Game Of Thrones was on tv in the 90s, Jon Snow would have had a furry wisecracking sidekick called Queequar and there would have been more scenes of people laughing (especially men with beards) and dancing around a fire to quaintly merry music (all 80s-90s films set in medieval Europe have these scenes, I'm sure you could make a long compilation of them).

This is basically The Witcher

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Monday, 13 January 2020 14:25 (two weeks ago) link

Haha, I only seen the first episode.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 17 January 2020 18:48 (one week ago) link


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