A while back Mark asked what were some of our favorite sci-fi shows and movies. Now that I have more than five minutes to rub together thought I’d expound on my thoughts a bit… Keep in mind this list is purely subjective, based on my own tastes, (and I’ll watch nearly anything) so don’t shoot the messenger.
These are in no certain order…
FIREFLY – space western. Great cast chemistry, wonderful stories, well told. Only 13 eps before FOX canceled it, so not much of a time investment, but worth every minute. Followed by the movie SERENITY, which helps finish the story.
COWBOY BEBOP – anime. If you like FIREFLY, give this one a try. It’s a Japanese animated series about a crew of misfit bounty hunters trying to make a living. Well told, a lot of fun, and hands down the best anime out there. I have friends that keep trying to get me into the genre, unfortunately I started with these two seasons, and everything else pales in comparison.
QUANTUM LEAP – time travel. Already professed my love for this one, about a time traveling scientist who takes over peoples bodies in order to change history for the better. Five seasons of amazing, feel-good storytelling.
STAR TREK – Obviously, this is the 800lb gorilla of sci-fi shows. 6 series, 11 movies, and 45 years worth of material, rivaled only by Doctor Who in it’s enormity. Yes, well worth investing the time in, but be warned in advance, there’s a lot here. Breaking it down, the 11 movies average out to be pretty good, with WRATH OF KHAN, SEARCH FOR SPOCK, VOYAGE HOME making a proper trilogy, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, FIRST CONTACT, NEMESIS and the new “reboot” STAR TREK being above board awesome.
Original Star Trek’s three seasons are dated, but such 60s fun. So much of traditional sic-fi came from here. Available on DVD in a “best of” format as well as series so you can sample before deciding to get into the show. If you like it, don’t miss the 22 episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, just as well done as the live action.
Star Trek: The Next Generation moved forward 80 years into the future, and continued the awe-inpisring concepts with great storytelling. Clunky first season followed by gold for six more.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine may be my favorite of all the shows. It’s seven seasons were darker and edgier while still Trek, this storytelling just got more involved as the series went on, and then they threw a war!
Star Trek: Voyager a lost in space premise doesn’t diminish the storytelling, but IMO the franchise starts to feel a little worn at this point. Still Trek, but becoming standard Trek. It picks up in the fourth season of it’s seven.
Star Trek: Enterprise goes back to the beginning, set about 100 years before Kirk and Spock in the original series. A fresh start with some intriguing stories, but they managed to standard it up before it was over four seasons later. Too bad too, the show showed so much promise. Again, not that any of these series are bad.
LEGEND – western. A failed 13 episode experiment from UPN that brought Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) and John DeLancie (Next Generation, Miracle Day) together for inspired genius. Tough to find, NOT on DVD or
NETFLIX, Anderson plays Earnest Pratt, a old west pulp novelist whom everyone thinks is really his fictional hero Legend. DeLancie is a warped Hungarian, Tesla-inspired inventor who can build whatever Pratt can write about. FUN.
STARGATE SG-1 – And speaking of Richard Dean Anderson, here he takes over for Kurt Russell from the movie STARGATE as Col. Jack O’Neal, leading a team of explorers through the stargate and fighting aliens. Just recently watched all 10 seasons and found the show to be solid, week after week enjoyable. Yes, it’s an investment, but a good one. Followed by Stargate Atlantis (I’m in the middle of season 2 of 5) and Stargate Universe (2 seasons, haven’t watched yet).
THE X-FILES – So many imitators later, but this one is still the best. Nine seasons of spooky goings on (with seven being really good).
DOLLHOUSE – After FOX canceled FIREFLY, Joss Wheadon created this show (which they canceled after two seasons) about mind wipes and implanted memories. Amazingly deep.
The ALMOST greats…
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – the original is cheesy fun, but that may be the fog of nostalgic memory. The darker remake (BSG) started off soooo strong the first season and a half. It wained in the third and fourth seasons, and ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but man it was good for a while.
THE FLASH – superhero. Moments of inspired genius, mostly good fun, a few clunkers, the one season about DC’s speedster is dated by even the 90’s when it came out, but still good fun.
LOST – Keith would kill me if I didn’t mention this time traveling twist-a-plot, which was hands down phenomenal the first two seasons, then became a victim of it’s own warped plots and lost it’s way for a lackluster (and predictable) finale six seasons later.
FALLING SKIES – invasion. There hasn’t been a show like Falling Skies on since V, but this tale of invaders taking over the planet has a unique twist. The invasion has already happened, and we lost. This is the story of the survivors trying to regroup and fight back. Compelling so far.
I have hopes for TERRA NOVA… Maybe…
There are more of course, (and now that I’ve typed a book I think I’ll post this on the blog! lol) next time I’ll mention movies you must watch…