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Best Sci Fi Currently On Television?

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the what-do-you-think-kids? dept.

Television 489

A few months ago a friend recommended Farscape, and I started watching. The first season was flat, but the current season is absolutely amazing. So I started watching Lexx just because I had hope in TV sci fi. (I blame Voyager) I'll run a poll on this later, but I'd like to just throw this out: what is the best sci fi on TV? What do people like? Why? I like Farscape because the plot this season has been really interesting (and I even dig the device where the split the main char so they could have silly episodes interspersed with serious ones) and Lexx... well Lexx is just seriously bizarre: I love the wacky humor and terrible B effects. (thanks to everyone in Germany that recommended it. Wow! You werent kidding). Are there any other nuggets of joy out there that I'm missing? The scary thing is that the Sci-Fi channel has finally edged out Comedy Central and Cartoon Network on my Tivo for disk space.

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489 comments

LEXX is great! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2109624)

Keep on watching LEXX. It gets better and better.

What I like the most about are the bizarre plots and heavy sexual (vanilla, homo and bestiality) innuendo.

LEXX is definitely not classical mainstream sci-fi. It's more like a mixture of old sci-fi (flying around in the space, organic ships etc.) with underground sci-fi (S/M, questionable ethics).

Clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2109627)

that would have to be Fox news.

(Although perhaps it is better described as comedy. It's a bit hard to pin down.)

Forget about the Special FX... (3, Funny)

MrEfficient (82395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110909)

The most important reason to watch Lexx is Xenia Seeburg. She is absolutely amazing. Shame on you for not mentioning her.

Best SciFi on TV? (1)

johndill (86018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111636)

Hmmmm. I think that Farscape is still hte best thing on. It might have lost a step this year, but the pop-culture references and the clever homage to other ScIFi really makes it worth watching. (Yo! DRD Pike!)

Stargate (1)

jhittner (66567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111773)

This is the last season of SG-1, and some of the new episodes are really good. It comes on showtime on friday nights at 12

Re:Stargate (1)

kperrier (115199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117433)

I just wish it was on at a reasonable time. If this is the last season, will Sci-Fi be picking it up for syndication?

Kent

Re:Stargate (0)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156466)

Fox already plays Stargate in syndication. Used to be Sunday @ 12:30, as well as throughtout the day Sunday (like 5 or 6PM) but now it only seesm to be on @ 11 AM. Also Fox is a few seasons behind Showtime...

10pm, you're getting wrong feed (3, Informative)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156450)

Stargate SG-1 airs at 10 PM on the east and west coast feeds. Since my cable provider normally uses the east-coast feeds, I get it at 8 PM.

If you're seeing it at midnight, you're either on a tape delay or in the CTZ but getting the west coast feed for some reason. Either way, you should complain to your cable provider.

(If I had to guess, this is to "protect the children" from the nudity and sexual situations in their late-night programming. Heaven forbid we expect parents to monitor what their children are watching on TV in the late evening.)

ST:TNG (1)

NeoTomba (462540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2113515)

Where I am, the local UPN affiliate shows Star Trek: The NExt Generation every day at 6PM and then again at 10PM.

Not current, but still one of the best damn shows on television. Plus, they're showing the series in order, and the 6PM run recently started from the beginning. The first season is great (and Riker has no beard!)

-NeoTomba

lucky bastard (0)

BassGuy23 (308297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121299)

TNG used to be on our NBC affiliate every day at 4PM. That rocked. It was in order, and on a strong signal. About 3 years ago, they inexplicably dropped it from their lineup, and there was no TNG here for a long time. Now, TNG is on at 6 PM here, on our WB affiliate, but the signal is so weak, the cable company (AT&T) can't pick it up too well. Compound that with the fact that I'm usually at work and the VCR picture quality is nearly unwatchable from that chennel (our cable really blows). Satellite's not an option (no southern sky) and the cable company's got a monoppoly here. And we're too far from town to pick up any stations well. It's very frustrating. I'm just holding out for the DVD's.

Re:ST:TNG (2)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156452)

I have to disagree with you. I really didn't like the first season very much. The second season would have been alright if Pulaski died or something. I can't believe how bad that woman could act. I think they used her in the show just because they knew nobody would want her to stay once Crusher came back. Starting with the 3rd season, I think ST:TNG really took off. The characters had really developed and the writing was great. Not that all the episodes were good, but the good ones were good. My biggest issue with Voyager is the writing sucks. Nevermind the shitty computer generated special effects. You can predict the end within the first 5 minutes. And the characters were really shallow up to the last season. Granted on ST:TNG you knew Picard wasn't _REALLY_ going to die, but you weren't sure how he was going to be saved.

Anyway I'm ranting.

Babylon 5 for reruns, and a few other goods ones (1)

Nexis (125285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2115502)

Well Babylon 5 is definitely the best of the scifi and is doing reruns on the sci-fi channel (but you really should catch it starting at the first episode since the stories follow and arc). There's also a new Rangers series coming out next year with a movie coming out near the end of this summer I think. Something definitely to check out.

Other good shows to check out would be Stargate-SG1 and Earth: Final Conflict (it's gone downhill for awhile, but it still good compared to the other crap out there).

Farscape is decent as a show and probably sci-fi channels best original series. I just hate Lexx myself (maybe if you like a "comedy" type scifi show that it's so bad you can laugh at it you'll like it).

Andromeda is a questionable show and I'm still unsure about recommending it. Most of the episodes have been rather bad but it has some good ones here and there. Hopefully it'll turn into an ok show.

Bad SciFi? (1)

humming (24596) | more than 12 years ago | (#2116108)

I can't remember I've seen a really bad SciFi show in a long time. But perhaps I'm just glad that I can watch some SciFi other than Star Trek that makes me pretty happy.

Living in Sweden, we are a couple of seasons (atleast) back in most of the shows, and I gather most shows doesn't show up here at all.

Best SciFi show ever must have been Babylon 5, but I gather there will be hundreds of other fan posts explaining to Star Trek buffs why B5 is a better show. (Two words; character development)

I enjoy Farscape, although I've only seen the second season. It's the best show which are still running currently. Lexx is another great show, if one can get past the cheezy effects and acting. There are great humour there though.

Recent shows that has stopped running but are still pretty good, imho, are; Earth 2 and Space and Beyond (I _know_. Noone liked that show)

I hope someone mentions 'V' too. Just out on DVD people! :)
Knight Rider must be classified as SciFi too. ;)

define scifi (1)

SonofRage (89772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2116497)

Well, depending on how you want to define SciFi, you can make the argument for Buffy the Vampire Slayer being the best SciFi show on tv right now.

Re:define scifi (1)

suzander (356856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114461)

Regardless of how it's defined, Buffy is one of the best shows on TV. Angel is good, too.

Re:define scifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2136133)

You'd have to define "best" very creatively to make an argument for Buffy the Vampire Slayer being the best anything.

Re:define scifi (1)

annenk38 (163418) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156409)

Sci-fi is by and large a misnomer. There's far more surrealism in shows commonly considered "sci-fi" than anything else. Rod Serling is probably the greatest creator of sci-fi on television, but you can hardly call it "science fiction". Now, if there's any show that imitates Twilight Zone the best -- it's The Outer Limits.

Lexx and Stargate (1)

Kanon (152815) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119356)

I'm a big fan of Lexx and Stargate SG1. I can't wait for season 4 of Lexx where they encounter Earth of our time :)

Re:Lexx and Stargate (1)

spanky555 (148893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127046)

I can't wait for season 4 of Lexx where they encounter Earth of our time
??? Aren't they running that right now on Sci-fi channel? Or are you talking about the DVD release?

Re:Lexx and Stargate (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127666)

You're not that big of a fan then, since season 4 started broadcasting in the US markets 3 weeks ago.

Don't Panic (1)

bartjan (197895) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121189)

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy , which is broadcasted by the BBC these weeks :)

Re:Don't Panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156274)

Would you please record them, sample them and put on Gnutella...

That should earn the he geek culture achievement medal of the year.

Futurama (5, Interesting)

floppy ears (470810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121295)

Futurama is the best SF on tv today. Since it's a cartoon, they can do absolutely anything. Plus, aside from The Simpsons, it's probably the funniest show on the air. Sure, it's not pure SF, but they routinely address topics that the lamer SF shows are afraid to touch.

CSI (0)

nuhonda (256188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121298)

while not really sci-fi, i gotta say i really dig CSI. sure it's a little cheesey, but for once, they made a show that has some real science in it.

I'm coming out: I watch Andromeda (5, Funny)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122774)

As a science fiction snob, I should never ever watch this show, let alone admit it, but the only episodic television show I watch is Andromeda [andromedatv.com]. Even worse, it's pretty much just because Lexa Doig [lexaonline.com] is so hot. (For those who don't know, she plays the avatar of a massively powerful warship, so she's not even playing someone real, and yet that's part of the appeal. Psychoanalyze me now!)

I'm going to science fiction hell for sure.

For non-episodic science fiction shorts, I try to check out Exposure [scifi.com] . It's a mixed bag, but usually has something worth watching every show.

Re:I'm coming out: I watch Andromeda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2141747)

The hot injectable in Hollywood these days must be Botox. Between Andromeda, Dark Angel, (and another show which showed up briefly on UPN, don't recall the name), is there a hot sci fi babe who hasn't had botox injections?

Farscape. No... lexx. No... (5, Informative)

rde (17364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123162)

Since B5 ended (am I the only one worried about the Rangers?) there've been three series that are not just good; they're great.
Lexx is great. Stargate has gone from okay to excellent. But far away ahead of them all is Farscape.
I don't know how much you Americans have seen, but I've been watching it on DVD and I'v seen up to about half way through the second series. It's taken a fairly old plot (old before Voyager used it) and the traditional format (individual episodes, occasionally two- or three-parters, the rare reference to previous plots), but managed to be truly excellent.
The reason it's so good? IMO, it's because it avoids cliches. On several occasions (I still haven't learnt), I've groaned as ten minutes into an episode it looks like it's going to be one of those ridiculous Trek episodes that make us all cringe. But I've invariably had to apologise (mentally, anyway) to the producers by the end of the episode.

It may not have all the strongest plot lines, but it avoids cliche. And that's a rare and wonderful thing.

Re:Farscape. No... lexx. No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156287)

Absolutely right! Farscape takes hackneyed Sci Fi cliches and turns them 180 degrees around, and inside out, taking the show in new and unexpected directions. Farscape is far and away the freshest and best written science fiction show out there. Lexx is deeply weird, but interesting to watch. Babylon 5 was great, but after watching every episode 2-3 times I need a rest until J.M.S. is given a chance to produce a new series. Star Trek, of whatever generation, always seemed to swing between the occasional brilliant episode, and a lot of mediocre and predictable episodes.

BTW, someone did the Farscape-style plot long before Voyager attempted it (badly): Blake's 7 (another wonderful forgotten BBC sci fi series) was very similar in many ways to Farscape. They both are premised on a bunch of escaped prisoners (with the usual problems of mismatched personality types) riding around the galaxy in a stolen space ship.

I'd like to think that Farscape is what Blake's 7 might have been, if Blake's 7 had had the budget and the special effects technology which Farscape has.

Stargate SG-1 (1)

ASaidi (105261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2126765)

Stargate SG-1 is great! It is a continuation of the movie Stargate, but they explore numerous worlds and have well developed characters. Stargate Website [stargatesg-1.com]

The current season is shown on Showtime and the previous season on FOX.

Re:Stargate SG-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156267)

The contents of the damn site you mentioned is only accessible inside the USA (ie try selecting episodes from the schedule) What w*nkers showtime must be to make an internet site, then limit its content

Sci Fi TV (1)

Warin (200873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127225)

I may be the only person to admit it, but I genuinely hope that Enterprise doesn't stink and that I can enjoy it.

I for one like Scott Bakula, and think that if he does it right he could be a decent captain. But I suppose we wont really know until this fall. Perhaps Berman wont curse this show like he did Voyager. Maybe the Great Brd will reach out from the grave and infuse Enterprise with something more than Berman gave Voyager. And here's hoping that the Borg never turn up! I am all for a show that gives us more Tellarites, Andorians, and Orions, and less Borg and Holodeck fantasy.

Thank heavens for Space. At least not having an UPN affiliate won't mean htat I have to wait a year for Enterprise.

Re:Sci Fi TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2146591)

My last one didnt take. Yes I agree with you totally. However, Enterprise will have the same directors, producers, and writers as Voyager. Prepare for crap.

Re:Sci Fi TV (1)

naked code (199039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156302)

Berman was also invloved with DS9 which was the best of all the series, but he blew it with Voyager and it's PC cursed banality. Maybe 3rd times a charm. We can only hope.

Re:Sci Fi TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156445)

I totally agree with you. However, the show will have the same directors, producers and writers. Prepare for crap.

By Far The Best: Baywatch (2, Funny)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127427)

I don't know what kind of futuristic world it is where all the babes look like that, but I wanna go there =)

What do I suggest? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2127457)

Turn the television off and go outside for a change, you pasty fucking nerds.

I love Sci FI, but... (2, Insightful)

Faizdog (243703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127466)

The unfortunate problem with Sci Fi is that rarely anyone besides us "geeks and/or nerds" seem to like it. If I'm sitting around with a buncha friends, and we are channel surfing, if I see a cool show like say Star Trek TNG (in my opinion the best Star Trek), they won't even consider watching it.

There is some sort of stigma attached with Sci Fi that mainstream people just don't seem to like it. Sure there are exceptions (most prominent one being X-Files when it was good), but many people just don't want anything to do with Sci Fi.

That being said, I really love Sci Fi. Some of my favs are Star Trek, and old stuff like Quantum Leap, that rocked. Maybe that's why I'm actually looking forward to the new Star Trek with Scott Bakula. It's got a really interesting premise, and if they can just do it right, it has the potential to be awesome.

Easy. Babylon 5. (5, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127667)

Babylon 5 re-runs have just come to an end in Canada, except for a 5 hour "viewers choice" marathon tomorrow starting at 1pm est.

B5 was by far the best sci-fi on TV for several reasons.

The effects: The budget per episode for B5 was a tenth of what ST:TNG cost, and by the time B5 reached the 5th season the effects were just stunning. Quite possibly the best space battles ever in a sci-fi show.

The story: While you could watch most B5 episodes as a seperate entity, the dedicated viewer was rewarded by one of the best stories I've seen in any medium. I won't even try and encapsulate it here, but it ranged from great comedy (some of the Londo/G'Kar scenes, plus various comments from other characters, particularly Ivanova.) to tragedy (no spoilers here. Suffice to say the show has it's fair share of tragedy.) Unlike shows like Voyager or Next Gen, B5 started a story, and ran it to it's conclusion. There were changes from the creators vision along the way (JMS is a genius!) for various reasons, but the description "a novel for television" was used, and fairly so.

Characters: No annoying robots or cute kids. Every character was believeable. Every character had flaws. The characters evolved. B5 could and should be used as a teaching piece on character development. Another thing I liked was the fact that you never felt any character was indispensible. In TNG, you know damn well Picard, Riker etc... aren't going to snuff it. In B5 I always felt like no character had a free pass. That added immeasurably to the show.

Realism: Unlike the shiny happy universe of Star Trek, B5 had real problems. Homeless people aboard the station for example. JMS (I won't even attempt to spell his surname) made a believable universe by including such elements.

The music: The show was great, but Christopher Franke's (ex of Tangerine Dream) music moved the show up a level. There are scenes which just rip your heart out, the music is so poignant. (Again, no spoilers.)

The alien races: While most were humanoid (not all) I think the aliens designed for B5 were FAR better than the blindingly obvious "human under makeup" aliens of Trek. The Pak'Mara for example looked amazing, and while the main players are the standard "human under makeup", the diversity of the portrayed alien cultures was amazing. Oh, and not all of them breathed oxygen. The station has section for non oxygen breathers.

For all your B5 needs, go check out The Lurkers Guide [midwinter.com].

In closing, Babylon 5 is the best sci-fi there has ever been on TV. I look forward to the new "Legends of the Rangers" but I can't see, in all honesty, how it can possibly live up to Babylon 5 itself.

Besides, you have to love a show that blasts a teddy bear into space:)

Lexx (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127736)

I like Lexx. Why?

- It happens to so stupidly far in the future
- the sexual innendoes .. man, the show should be required viewing for middle school kids in order to bolster social tolerance!
- its funny

just my two cents .. btw, I believe Lexx was created by Canadians. Can anyone confirm this?

Re:Lexx (2, Informative)

Pope (17780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156331)

Lexx is a co-production between Canada and Germany. A lot of the FX for the show are done right here in Toronto by CORE Digital. I got to see a Lexx on their internal reel 3 months before it hit the air. :)

Stargate SG-1 (5, Informative)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127779)

Stargate SG-1, based on the movie Stargate is original programming on Showtime [stargatesg1.com], and syndicated [stargate-sg1.com] a year later. The new Outer Limits followed the same approach.

The movie and early episodes were occasionally painful to watch as a writer tried to include some pseudoscientific nonsense, but they seem to have put that past them.

The benefits of Stargate SG-1?

  • Excellent continuity, but with a good mix of new material. A welcome change from Star Trek, which alternates between total amnesia and years-long story arcs.
  • Solid backstory. They have a USAF advisor to make sure the military procedures make sense - and even had a brief appearance by an USAF general on active duty. They do enough research into ancient cultures that watching the History Channel is surreal - all of the names are familiar.
  • Sane technology. A lot of bad SF lets the technology dominate the story. Stargate SG-1 generally uses standard (or near standard) contemporary technology. Alien tech is rarely used by the SG teams, and aliens generally only use a handful of devices. No sudden solution to the problem by generating an inverse tachyon pulse or other crap like that.
  • Strong characters. There's only a half-dozen major characters, each with well-defined roles (the four members of the team, General Hammond, and the doctor.) There's maybe a dozen recurring minor characters, each well-defined. There's no sense of having seen the same character a dozen times before, only with a slightly different forehead.
  • Most importantly, a good sense of humor. Some of the episodes are deliberately over the top (Urgo), but there are also a lot of serious episodes with extremely funny, but totally natural, sequences. (E.g., the alien who constructed a new stargate in Sam's basement with hundreds of pounds of titanium(?), 7 100kW lamps,... and her toaster.)

The Invisible Man (5, Informative)

tentac1e (62936) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130371)

The people behind the Sci-Fi channel are quite brilliant. It isn't just because of their original programming, but the fact that they understand most people would rather watch first run episodes of network television rather than original Sci-Fi programming.

As part of Sci-Fi's strategy, they run the "Summer of SciFi." Sci-Fi waits until summer to roll out the new season of its original programming. My favorite night of TV programming has to be the Friday Sci-fi lineup.

A lot has already been said about Farscape, which I must admit is probably one of the most creative shows on television (and probably my favorite), probably one of the most underrated shows is The Invisible Man. A lot of people seem to be put off by the gimmicky concept of the show, but they don't realize the great writing that they're missing.

In case you haven't heard about the show, the premise is that the main character is a thief who exchanged a life in jail for a government experiment. Now he has a gland in his head that lets him go invisible, but if he goes invisible too long without a shot, he goes nuts. It seems pretty cliche, and has already had episodes with the typical "main character gets amnesia" and "same story from 3 points of view." It's not really the stories, which do sometimes shine, that make it great.

The people behind the Invisible Man know how to write funny, entertaining characters. The two main characters, the wisecracking Darrian Fox and his happless partner Hobbes, have a great charisma. There have been times that the characters have played off each other so well I couldn't help but laugh.

Particularly witty about the show is the fact the main character has trouble suspending disbelief. In one episode, he told a recurring villian just how contrived his schemes really are. Sure, other shows could try the same device and come off as trying to be too hip for their own good, but the dialogue combined with the comic delivery was just perfect.

Speaking of the deliverly, all the actors on the show are quite convincing for their character. Ben Paul Victor's portrayal of Bobby Hobbes has turned a potentially annoying sidekick into an impressive supporting actor.

The Invisible Man isn't going to win awards anytime soon, but the effort the people behind the show put into it is commendable. The show doesn't require a whole lot of brainpower, but that really works in its favor. It is the perfect carefree show to kick off a weekend.

Best Sci-Fi (2, Insightful)

Fixer (35500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132870)

I haven't seen television since Feburary, but last I checked, they had re-runs of Babylon-5 on. I'd say, in order, Babylon-5, Farscape, original Star Trek re-runs and StarGate SG-1 are the best scifi on American televsion today.

Andromeda (2, Funny)

Octal (310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132871)

I'm personally a big fan of Andromeda, although I do also enjoy Earth: Final Conflict and Stargate SG-1. I'm not holding out much hope for Star Trek: Continuity Error, though.

(<sarcasm>Cable? What the hell is cable?</sarcasm>)

New or old? (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133234)

The best is still Quantum Leap. Even though I'm a guy I find Sam (Scott Bakula) sexy. Even more because on the show he's got like 7 doctorate degrees or something.

The more I watched it, the more I liked to nit-pick at the science of it, but that is only half the show.

It's the only show with science, drama, and a revolving storyline that changes from week to week. I know that Star Trek has some hidden metaphores and the first interracial kiss on television, but not enough of the show was really dedicated to the human condition.

Hands down, Quantum Leap. In fact, you'll see me in front of the TV everyday at four o'clock watching sci-fi.

---
Someone told me 'Frasier' is the favorite Scientologist show on TV
---

Since you didn't specify NEW Sci-Fi (2, Interesting)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134739)

I'd have to vote for Doctor Who. Doctor Who is the greatest Sci-Fi series in the history of Sci-Fi.

Just find a PBS station that shows re-runs, or see if BBC America is still airing their early morning episodes, and kick back and enjoy.

Re:Since you didn't specify NEW Sci-Fi (1)

spanky555 (148893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2116104)

Unfortunately, even with having Tivo set to Season Pass on Doctor Who results in rather sporadic viewing of Doctor Who where I'm at(Denver Metro area). Some weeks, they show 2 parts (out of the usual 4), and then other weeks they don't show any at all, or REPEAT the same 2 parts from the week before. Weird. Where I grew up at (Central PA), it was like clockwork during my high school years. Always the same time, same day, and they showed all four parts together...unless they were doing a fund raising marathon, in which case they would split the show in two, and beg in between for about a half an hour.

Voyager was great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2136424)

I don't know what you are talking about, blame Voyager? Voyager was the best thing on TV..

Re:Voyager was great! (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121296)

Voyager was a great show. Not quite as good as Doctor Who, but it was damn good.

I really hate that Voyager ended. That show had at least 3 or 4 more good seasons left in it, damnit!

Re:Voyager was great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156458)

The feeling I always got when watching Voyager was: tired.

Always the same problems with dilithium, getting trapped in the same friggin' caves and the same personal problems rehashed from time to time.

Not to mention the absurd final episode which completely ruined the future of the StarTrek universe.

Re:Voyager was great! (1)

naked code (199039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156288)

absolutely right. worst ending of all the various Start Trek series. They don't get it right with the new one, I'll be relegated to watching DS9 reruns.

Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (2, Informative)

Triode (127874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2136426)

Ahead of its time then... a little lamish on the effects by todays standards, but it was great. As I have no cable I have no idea what is on now... Does anyone really watch Cable?? I thought all these /. people were DVDers...

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (1)

spanky555 (148893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130642)

I didn't USE to watch cable (much)...until I got a Tivo. Now I can use Tivo to glean all the good stuff, even if I'd never be awake or home during a show...and skip the crap (commercials).

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (1)

TimeHorse (6545) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134280)

I agree. I think if there is another one of the Sci Fi polls with blah blah blah Star Wars blah blah blah Star Trek blah blah blah X-Files without even a MENTION of the 26-year Sci-Fi series that PREDATES them all, I'm going to be sick. Now don't get me wrong, I like Farscape and I like Babylon 5 and I even like the Secret Adventures of Jules Verne which Sci Fi cancelled -- though it's still being produced. Of course, Doctor Who IS available on DVD -- at least in the U.K and Australia, and in the U.S. next month. So why not we show some support for the good Doctor and get him on this poll to show all these young'ins what are only interested in the glitsy, $100k budget Sci Fi what some REAL television is about. :)

Devo Andare,

Jeffrey.

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (3, Informative)

SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156276)

Agreed 100%. Although Doctor Who had B-grade special effects, the thing that made the show work was the intelligent and witty writing. When you have that, you can live without the big budgets. But without it, all the effects in the world won't do any good.

Speaking of British sci-fi, I'd also like to mention Blake's 7 and Red Dwarf. I especially tip my hat to the latter. The humor will have you doubled over with laughter.

On the American scene, Stargate SG-1 is still doing quite well, although I was a little disappointed with last Friday's episode. The Outer Limits is also an interesting show to watch. Psi Factor was also good when it first came on the air, back when it was divided into short stories. I haven't seen it much in the last few years, though.

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (1)

D'Arque Bishop (84624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156418)

I agree. I think if there is another one of the Sci Fi polls with blah blah blah Star Wars blah blah blah Star Trek blah blah blah X-Files without even a MENTION of the 26-year Sci-Fi series that PREDATES them all, I'm going to be sick. Now don't get me wrong, I like Farscape and I like Babylon 5 and I even like the Secret Adventures of Jules Verne which Sci Fi cancelled -- though it's still being produced. Of course, Doctor Who IS available on DVD -- at least in the U.K and Australia, and in the U.S. next month. So why not we show some support for the good Doctor and get him on this poll to show all these young'ins what are only interested in the glitsy, $100k budget Sci Fi what some REAL television is about. :)

And even now Doctor Who isn't dead. Big Finish [doctorwho.co.uk] has a license from the BBC to create original Doctor Who audio adventures on CD (which have been very well received), the BBC is still churning out original books at a rate of at least one a month, and recently the BBC did an online story featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace on their homepage [bbc.co.uk]. (/. story on it here [slashdot.org].) About 99% of those polled on the BBC page think that Doctor Who should come back, as well.

I agree, it's sad that people ignore old classics like Doctor Who in favor of the new stuff out... I for one am glad the Doctor is still out there in one form or another. :)

Just my $.02...

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2146592)

Those of us who live in Maryland are lucky... Maryland Public Television still shows Dr. Who on Saturday nights.

During fundraisers, MPT often will say "This is how much money we need to keep The Doctor for another six months. Once we get this much, we wil shut up and show an uninterrupted marathon of Dr. Who."

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156272)

Dr. Who, along with all Star Treks since the original, and anything on SciFi channel is for limp wristed pansies. La Femme Nikita and X-Files seasons 3 & 4 are for the hardcore.

Re:Too bad Dr. Who is not on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156481)

Indeed. Dr Who was great. I miss the TV shows, and I miss McCoy.. although McGann was a decent change..

I discovered Dr Who when I was seven (late 70s), one saturday morning flipping through the channels and stopping on this weird sci fi show on PBS.. needless to say, I was hooked.

SciFi Channel (0, Offtopic)

gbender (398200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2136656)

Speaking of SciFi...back to the future 3 is on SciFi channel right now. Hell Yeah.

disk space? (2)

klund (53347) | more than 12 years ago | (#2137451)

The scary thing is that the Sci-Fi channel has finally edged out Comedy Central and Cartoon Network on my Tivo for disk space.

You have limited disk space on your TiVo?

Some weak hacker you are!

Angel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2138071)

Witty humor.
Charisma Carpenter's tits.
Supernatural violence.
Charisma Carpenter's ass.
Evil lawyers and the occult.
Charisma Carpenter's blowjob lips.

It's a good show.
I'm typing with one hand right now.

Re:Angel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2110490)

...and you guys wonder why women stay away from slashdot!

Re:Angel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156472)

No, it's quite obvious.

A/S/L ?

Babylon 5 (1)

ltning (143862) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138698)

I know I know.. It's not on 'now' (except SciFi US), but it's still _the_ scifi show. It's got a really well-thought out universe and plot, the story goes well beyond the start and the end of the series as such, the actors are great, and.. well.. I think a lot of people would benefit from watching it ;)

What I usually say to ST fans who claim B5 is crap and has no story and is a soap opera like anything else is: Can you, after seeing the entire ST:TNG series (all seasons), then see one episode and pinpoint it to a specific point in the story? Usually not. With B5, I could do that pretty accurately; a good indication that to B5, there is a story, to ST, there is (almost) no story.

And to piss ya folks off even more: ST is entertainment. B5 is brainfood. ;)

Space, Above and Beyond (2)

andyh1978 (173377) | more than 12 years ago | (#2142979)

I have no idea if this is showing on any channels right now, but I liked it.

Was probably because I started watching it after playing some of the Wing Commander games; there's a lot of similarities, but anyway it's a nice bit of fun sci-fi in its own right.

Re:Space, Above and Beyond (2)

Falsch Freiheit (7780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156476)

SciFi channel shows repeats Wednesday during the day. I already saw all 23 episodes or so when it was first airing on whatever network that was back in 1995. Still worth watching when sitting around at home unemployed and you want to avoid writing the next cover letter for an hour, though.

Mobile Suit Gundam and 08th MS Team (not M$) (1, Interesting)

SSJ_Ramon (226740) | more than 12 years ago | (#2142980)

These two series are currently being aired on Cartoon Network. They're great. MS Gundam (the original) is old-school goodness and 08th MS Team is very nicely done. These ain't politically correct. Characters develop, characters even die, and they don't bother with brain-damaged pep talks afterwards. I do understand that anime is not universally appreciated here at /. but these really are legitimate sci-fi stories. Just thought I'd bring 'em up.

My vote is for... (1)

Arminius (84868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2149530)

Farscape. But what I will be real interested in seeing the new series Star Trek: Enterprise.

Re:My vote is for... (1)

Catskul (323619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127428)

I miss Star Trek: The next generation. It was truely amazing to see what sci-fi can be with a budget like theirs.

C-SPAN and Court TV (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156270)

Obviously the most entertaining, if not a bit far fetched, Sci-Fi on TV is C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 (especially during tech related hearings) with Court TV running a distant third.

Cops is great fiction, but lacks the level of science required to be called Science Fiction.

Witchblade (1)

ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156295)

Witchblade on TSN (i think?) is pretty damn good. Took me a few episodes to get into it (afterall, her costume was much more..ahem, revealing....in the comic), but I really dig it. If you haven't seen it, it's on tuesday nights.

Ahem.. Blake's 7? (2, Informative)

Kayax (448395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156297)

Somebody else has already brought up the other shows I was going to talk about (Andromeda, Dr. Who, Red Dwarf)... but where's Blake's 7? [horizon.org.uk]

Unfortunately it wasn't particuarly popular, but it did run for 4 seasons on the BBC. I think that the character development was quite good, especially in the first half of the show. The characters were usually out for themselves first and for the group sort-of when it was convienent. Plus no ridiculous pseudo-philosophical problems.

The overall story line was very believable too -- a group of unlikely outlaws rebelling against an tyrannical Federation -- and not any of the silly utopian nonsense you get with ST: The Marxist Generation. And major characters would often die, making it more realistic.

Of course the series did have its downfalls. Towards the end it seemed they ran out of stories and the episodes got pretty silly. Plus they suffered from the typical BBC attention to special effects. On most occaisons you couldn't see the strings on their models..

There is no good Sci Fi on TV (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156301)

Go on and mod me down. I have a +1 (reminding me of D&D) and I'm not using it.

I read Science Fiction constantly, particularly hard SF from the likes of Larry Niven, or military SF (David Drake, David Weber). I've watched the recent star trek series'. I've seen all the supposedly great new shows on SciFi.

And I yawn. Boring.

X Files used to have its moments (although my favorite X files moment was the episode that involved Sculley and a tatooo. Yum)
There were a couple of times Babylon 5 was mildly interesting.
ST:TNG was utterly predictable. Voyager was just unwatchable.
Blake's 7, Red Dwarf and Dr. Who are all shown on PBS affliates around here. Dr. Who proves it's possible to make an entire TV show out of cardboard, but I don't think it's very good.

Sad thing is, I keep trying to watch, hoping I'll find something great. Nothing is out there that's as compelling as the stuff I can check out at the library.

OK, so what, in my opinion, is the best SF show on TV?

Futurama.

"Bite my shiny metal ass!"

Easy: MST3K (1)

spanky555 (148893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156304)

Easily the best show on TV, period. Not always sci-fi, but most of the movies they watch are sci-fi. You'd never get to see most of those movies on TV if they weren't put into this context.

The funniest part about this show, is that I have a hunch the idea was hatched by stoners sitting around making comments about bad movies...because they say a lot of the same type of stuff my friends and I would say when watching bad movies.

Babylon 5,Quantum Leap and Star Trek TNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156310)

I started watching babylon 5 when it first started airing on TV and I still watch it when I get a chance (I work 4 days out of the week till 7:30) Babylon 5 is the only Sci Fi Tv show I've seen that has maintained the same plot for it's whole 5 year season. At the same time babylon 5 is almost beleivable. The characters are real people and the show's computer effects and portrayals of how things would really happen are very well done, compared to some other shows that leave you saying to yourself "that couldn't happen". Sci Fi should be a convegence of Science And Imagination.

Interzone -- Best Sci Fci Currently on Television (5, Insightful)

GGardner (97375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156320)

Right now, a copy of Interzone magazine ( http://www.sfsite.com/interzone ) is sitting atop my television, making it far and away the best SF on my television.

Most SF fans know that many of the most interesting genre movies are derived from short stories (i.e Blade Runner, The Minority Report, even A.I.). What a lot of people don't know is that these short stories often first appeared in SF magazines. Magazines such as Interzone, Asimov's, and F&SF aren't in good financial health right now, even though they are the nursery for a lot of SF writers.

A yearly subscription to most of these costs less than on month's cable bill, but gives a lot more entertainment, and helps to ensure the future of SF writers.

End of pledge break -- now back to our regularly scheduled Microsoft bashing

Babylon 5 (1)

tjnit (160507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156322)

I would have to go for Babylon 5. I can't wait to see the new movies later this year.

I can't believe no one... (1)

Reverend Raven (135361) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156323)

Has not mentioned the best form of Science Fiction on television....Mystery Science Theater 3000. But no, my precious MST3K was killed by Sci-Fi (3 days from now, it'll be two years) to give Fartscape and First Wave, what they define as "hard sci-fi", a better place on television. Despite having a very low budget and costing next to nothing to make, despite having an audience without ANY promotion or advertising, and despite the fact that it should have been in it's prime time line up, it was shuffled to the Sunday 11:00 PM EST timeslot. It's so not fair. ;)

My picks (1)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156404)

The best Sci Fi on TV right now is clearly all the repeat runs of Star Trek, ST Next Generation and ST Voyager. And let's not forget the occasional Superstation presentation of Stallone in "Judge Dredd" [movieweb.com].... a stunning cinematic masterpiece, with Rob Schneider playing a wonderfully refreshing role as comic relief.

The best sci fi not on TV right now is Robotech. Episodes can be found on Gnutella and Hotline, and are also available on DVD from the Robotech website, Robotech.com [robotech.com].

The Outer Limits (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156423)

IMHO, it's the best SciFi around these days.

Before that, it was Sliders (though only the shows that had the original cast, and before they just started ripping off movie plots). I know on /. it's heresy to say this, but I find all the Star Trek derivatives to be completely unwatchable dreck. First Wave had me for a little while, but then they had to go and add Traci Lords [imdb.com] to the cast as a cheap ratings ploy that reminded me of the "addition" of Kari Wuhrer [imdb.com] to the Sliders cast. Like a pair of tits is going to keep me from noticing the show's getting hokey? I couldn't even bear the LEXX commercials. Farscape never really got its hooks into me.

I've always been a huge fan of the Twilight Zone, and other shows of that particular genre of sci-fi, and The Outer Limits [theouterlimits.com] has taken up the thread quite admirably, with decent effects, familiar stars, and, oh yeah, interesting plots. They did an adaption of Larry Niven's "Inconstant Moon [theouterlimits.com]"-- a great story I had wanted to see on screen since I first read it. I'm still hoping they'll someday find a way to squeeze "Flash Crowd [tuxedo.org]" into an hour.)

The only time I really watch the SciFi Channel anymore is when they have one of those all-day Twilight Zone marathons, a good movie, or The Outer Limits.

~Philly

Babylon 5, The tribe and SG-1... (1)

penwing (512463) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156446)

have to be the best. I only just got into The Tribe (A World without adults). I got into B5 right at the end of it's run 8-( and SG-1 was only recently added to my list of viewables 8-).

Why I like Farscape... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2156455)

I do not feel very much like writing another small essay on Farscape, so I'll post something that I wrote for another thread, "What is the big deal about Farscape?" from the TrekBBS" (http://trekbbs.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/003035.html [trekbbs.com]) "Well, one of the things that keeps me glued to farscape is the fact that originality is not lacking. Every time I watch it, I try and look for the trademark scifi twists, and turns, and results, but they are not there! Farscape has, for three seasons, kept me amazed and wondering. Not only this, but the relationships between the characters feel so real that I can almost feel like I've been with them for the entire run. And few of them follow the stereotypical styles. They all have so many layers to them, and that is what makes them special. As for the muppets: They are wonderful, and again, make it unique. I always hear people complaining about trek's lack of "Realistic" aliens, with more than a simple bit of makeup. Well, this is how they solved the problem. The muppets do a perfect job with this, by giving you realistic and original aliens, and the scripts give you aliens who you can love or hate with passion. In a related matter, the costume and set design are (or should be) award winning. They generate a very deep, involving atmosphere that pulls you in and makes you watch in awe. The costumes are so amazingly detailed and original that you often see things you would have never expected. The music is another element of the show that really is quite good. While the show does use a lot of stock music, SubVision also composes more for certain episodes where necessary, generating a great, unique feel. There still is one problem that exists, though: The Arc makes it hard for casual viewers to follow. But don't fret! The farscape cast and crew put together yet another little "utility" that will help many. "Farscape: Undressed" This was a one hour special giving an overview of what happened throughout the first two seasons. It was VERY helpful to many I know who wanted to learn more, but didn't have the tapes. The show gave you a run down of all of the characters, their relationships, and their major encounters and developments, which really helped out quite a bit. Even to the hardcore viewer, it helped remember a few bits which may have faded out. This is why I, Sanfam, Like farscape. :-)" --END--

Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers (1)

Chris Y Taylor (455585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156474)

Erin Gray was hot. ( http://www.buck-rogers.com/film_and_series/gallery _wilma.htm )

I guess my age is starting to show, isn't it.

Some SciFi... (3, Insightful)

Falsch Freiheit (7780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156486)

  • Farscape; already mentioned by CmdrTaco, but this one is probably the best out there right now; and the muppets are done quite well.
  • Lexx; sucks, but seems to have improved a bit this season
  • Outer Limits; SciFi carries this, but it used to also show on CBS and Showtime. I think SciFi's run is ending. Individual 1-hour long stories that aren't connected. (okay, sometimes they're connected, and references to other episodes sometimes pop up) Quite good, sort of a "Twilight Zone" feel.
  • Earth: Final Conflict; been watching this on our local FOX affiliate. Quite good, actually. SciFi is starting a run of this from the beginning on Monday; I'll be watching, as I missed the beginning of the series.
  • Andromeda; this and EFC above are both based on ideas from Gene Roddenberry. Think "300 years after the Federation from Star Trek has fallen", except with enough things changed that it doesn't quite look like Star Trek and with a single ship that survived from that era (trapped next to a black hole) and her crew trying to rebuild the "Commonwealth". If only it didn't involve Kevin Sorbo...
  • Exposure; on SciFi, it's just independent short films; some are *very* well done.
  • Stargate SG-1; also playing on my local FOX affiliate, but originally from Showtime (new episodes are on Showtime, year later or so they end up on FOX); haven't been new episodes this summer, but this show is surprisingly good. *Far* better than the movie it's based on, except the special effects budget is smaller. Looking at the Showtime listing, they're still doing new ones, so I fully expect to see new-to-me ones on FOX starting again in the fall.
  • The Chronicle; just started on SciFi on Saturday nights; basic premise is they're the National Enquirer and all the stories (Zombie Maggots from Outer Space eat dog-girl's brain!) are real. Worth programming the VCR for; not worth staying home on Saturday night for.

In fact, there's so much SciFi on TV these days that I can't keep up. There's also a "Witchblade" show on TNT (more Fantasy than SciFi) that's not bad. "Now and Again" is starting on SciFi on Monday; cancelled show from one of the major networks that I never saw, but I'm sure I'll check out a few episodes.

Re:Some SciFi... (1)

jhittner (66567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156292)

The new stargate shows are playing now... There have been some very good ones this season

syndicated Stargate new season: Sept 11 (2)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156374)

The syndicated [stargate-sg1.com] Stargate season starts on September 11th. This is the fourth season, the fifth season started on Showtime over a month ago.

No final decision has been made yet whether Showtime will pick up a 6th season.

Red Dwarf (5, Interesting)

D_Gr8_BoB (136268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156488)

In my opinion, the best sci-fi show still in production is Red Dwarf [reddwarf.co.uk]. It's easily one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, and while the recent seasons (7-8) haven't been nearly as good as the show was at its peak (seasons 1-4), it's still very much worth watching.

Those of you in the UK can look forward to a new season soon, and most of us in the US can catch reruns of the first 8 seasons on our local PBS station [pbs.org].

Tv Media (1, Offtopic)

Faizdog (243703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156501)

The best Science Fiction on TV is how the Media manages to overlook important science related issues such as MS practices, Dimitri in Jail, and tries to pass of fiction as fact, and gets away with it.

Re:Tv Media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2118526)

Funny how everyone's been joking about putting spammers behind bars for years, and now when one has been (after all, that's what poor little Dmitry is), and is now taking it up the ass in jail, you script kiddies are crying your little eyes out.

What about Buffy and Friends? (5, Interesting)

TheHaas (13095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156502)

I've waxed and waned on the SciFi channel - they have series that start good, but I just can't get into them. I do agree that Farscape is a lot better now than in the first seaon.

And, though it technically isn't SciFi (more horror) what about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and it's spin-of "Angel". Though I'm worred what UPN will do to it, Buffy has been the best written and the best acted show on TV, and Angel isn't far behind. The characters in those shows laugh, cry, and hurt. And, though it gets silly once in a while, it knows it's silly and just laughs at itself.

Buffy is definitely the most "junvenile" of the two, though the themes it has discussed (sexuality, loss of a loved one) are biggies and they give it the weight that those themes deserve. Angel is more of an adult-oriented, with more of a Batman: The Animated Serie feel to it.

Try it - you may like it!

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