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TOP TEN TUESDAY SciFi Month Edition: MyTop Ten Sci-Fi tv series – #SciFiMonth

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point, ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here. 

When TV series dealing with SF are mentioned everyone, even people who are not interested in the genre, thinks about Star Trek, which is understandable since it’s the longest-running SF television show and the most known. But there are many other past and present TV shows that are just as good and this is my opportunity to shine the spotlights on them.

Here we go – click on the titles to be directed to the respective Wikipedia pages:

BABYLON 5

This is for me THE science fiction show, the one that set my standards for the genre and the one I will always mention when asked which is my favorite. Some might consider it dated – it ran from 1994 to 1998 – and yet it has weathered time very well: the CGI shows its age, granted, but B5 is not so much about space battles or weird aliens, but rather about people and the way they react to extraordinary events. Its main attraction to me, what keeps it fresh and enjoyable, no matter how many times I rewatch it, comes from the characters’ journeys and the depth of the dialogues. Here is an example, one of my favorite moments from one of my favorite characters:

FARSCAPE

I like to say that where Babylon5 appeals to my mind, Farscape appeals to my emotions: it is the often harrowing journey of a man thrown all the way across the galaxy who finds himself in the company of weird aliens that, slowly but surely, morph from uneasy traveling companions to friends and family.  Farscape is colorful and outlandish, crazy and deep at the same time, and it holds an added bonus: through its fandom I made many friends – some online, some in real life – who have become, like the crew of the living ship Moya, family. And it’s no mean thing…

THE EXPANSE

I came to know this series through the books that inspired it, one of the best space opera sagas I ever encountered: it translated very well to the screen and despite some “growing pains” (yes, SyFy, I’m pointing my accusing finger at you!) is has found a steady following and, hopefully, a spreading audience.  There are some very talented performers giving life to the books’ characters, and here is one amazing example, portraying a character who is not in the books but was created by combining the personalities of several – with great results…

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

I’m doing a series of rewatch posts for this one, so you might want to see what it’s about in my SciFi Month Sunday posts…

FIREFLY

Here is a sad example of the short-sightedness of network executives, who pulled the plug on this show before it had the barest chance of getting its feet wet. Since then, its fandom has remained steady, and the core story has become something of a well-loved theme in the genre, that of a crew of misfits trying to survive in a hostile galaxy. Here is the video for its famous intro theme…

STARGATE UNIVERSE

Another SyFy big mistake in my opinion: this offshoot of the Stargate franchise was darker and more moody than its “big brother” but I liked the theme of this group of people finding themselves on an ancient, but very advanced, ship on a mystery journey across the galaxy,  as personal problems and hidden agendas mingled with their efforts at survival. It also had one of the best soundtracks in the genre, one that was never offered for sale – the latest big oversight in a long series of them 😦   Here is the main theme:

FRINGE

Parallel universes, alternate realities, and a slow-evolving mystery that kept me glued to the screen from start to finish: Fringe is an intriguing mix of science fiction and crime investigation, with some (well, not so few…) touches of horror that make for a very fascinating mix, and supported by intriguing characters – on both universes… Here is a series I might not mind rewatching if I had the time 🙂

SPACE: 1999

This is an older series that ran for only two seasons from 1975 to 1977 (yes, prehistory, I know…) and while often cheesy and unsophisticated, it sported some great sets that were quite advanced for the time the series was shot, particularly where the interiors of the Moon Base were concerned. Granted, it required a huge suspension of disbelief (if, as the inciting incident shows, an explosion occurred on the hidden side of the Moon, our satellite would have been thrown toward Earth, not launched into deep space) but it was fun and, at the time I first watched it, it was the only SF show available, which makes me quite nostalgic…

DEFIANCE

This was an interesting story, showing a post-apocalyptic Earth in the wake of an alien invasion: the extra-terrestrial races looking for a new home on our planet started a terraforming project that wrought havoc on the environment and led to an uneasy coexistence between humans and aliens. The setting reminds me a little of the western frontier, and led to an interesting storyline, which was brought to a hurried close in the third season by the usual incomprehensible decision of SyFy’s executives. If this sounds like a Groundhog Day situation… well, it is, and if I sound not-so-slightly peeved, yes, I am (((SIGH)))

PERSON OF INTEREST

It might not seem that this show could be classified as SF, and the idea of an all-seeing Machine watching over humanity’s deeds is practically a reality – just look at the kind of ads you receive after your internet searches… And yet this Machine, though unseen and unheard, takes on a definite personality which becomes even more pronounced when its evil twin, called Samaritan, tries to take over the world.  Here is the chilling intro sequence where the voice-over warns us about being constantly watched…

34 thoughts on “TOP TEN TUESDAY SciFi Month Edition: MyTop Ten Sci-Fi tv series – #SciFiMonth

  1. I’m right there with you on Babylon 5. I purchased the entire run on DVD many years back and have been slowly rewatching it. I think I might have also recorded the entire run on VHS tapes when it aired. 🙂 Firefly is one I also recall watching until it disappeared. Then bought the DVD’s. Love those. And, I’m so very happy to see Space: 1999 on the list! As a kid I absolutely LOVED that series. I had one of their ships as a toy, had great fun with it. And I’d forgot that theme song. Ouch! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally *burned* my Babylon5 VHS tapes, but just in time for the arrival of the DVDs: one of these days I will do a serious rewatch, even though I know most of the dialogues by heart 😉
      A friend of mine owns a model Eagle as well, and shows it on a bookcase shelf together with other memorabilia: the shows we watched in our youth are the ones that we cherish most…

      Like

  2. I’m not familiar with all of these, but you listed some great ones! I had forgotten all about Fringe, so good! I would add some oldies but goodies: The X Files and Star Trek: the Next Generation😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I took a while to warm up to the shiny CGI of Babylon 5, but what a great show. I loved the whole Stargate universe of stories, movies to TV to TV-movies, too.

    My faves are probably a bit more dated, but they’d be the original V & V: The Final Battle, Misfits of Science, Max Headroom, Alien Nation, Quantum Leap, and Deep Space Nine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I gotta admit, every time I see a Sci-Fi TV list I check for Person of Interest! It’s my all-time favourite show and I’ll never shut up about how dirty CBS did it for cancelling it. I loved the layers they built and how despite being a relatively serious show, there was always a bit of understated humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay for Babylon 5 (definitely THE SF show), The Expanse, (early to mid- 😉 Galactica, Firefly and Stargate 🙂
    I couldn’t really get into Farscape (I watched it all, but won’t be rewatching any time soon), and I don’t thing I’ve ever heard about Defiance, looks interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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