Don't forget Farscape - wonderfully different sci-fi!
I’ve always been strangely fascinated by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary - amazing how time flies, even when you’re not an agent of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations - it’s the densest and most mythology-rich of all the Star Trek TV shows. Often ambitious and audacious, it won …
Never could quite manage Farscape - Next time its on SyFY...I will try!
Meh. Started well, but the writers didn't know what to do with it, sort of like an Alan Moore comic book arc.
By the second season it's all about frelling in space coupled with yet another version of a war to end all wars. Recovered somewhat in 3rd season, but by then it was too late. I like Ben and Claudia, and the muppets were cool. And I really, really wanted it to succeed, but Hollywood can't seem to handle that.
I always thought
that the end of B5 would have been better if all the first ones got pissed off at the young'uns and went on a rampage destroying them all for being so insolent...
loved all the star treks, there were time continuity issues but what do expect the 1960's idea of tech was laughable, and even seeing TNG stuff it seemed so bulky however as entertainment goes it was fun...
and unless it was a 2 parter like every other good US drama they always fixed it in the space between the final 5 minutes of commercials!.
I had model kits of all the major ships/stations in ST all customized with lighting before it became trendy... only had a couple of B5 though, and they were pretty aweful quality (though I did have most of the good meshes in Lightwave, however the week long rendering for a decent 20 second clip was horrid.
There just does not seem to be any awesome scifi anymore, maybe they could make a few of the current scifi books into some decent series, it all seems to be mystical and non spacey now,
I watched a few TNG series but never got into it. Voyager was just boring, even after the desparate addition of Jerri Ryan in a catsuit, probably due to the fact that almost every character was the same, except minor differences. Paris is strong, loyal, but a hot-headed pilot, that Klingon engineer is storng, loyal, but too short a temper etc etc. There was no meat to the characters or the stories.
DS9 was by far the best, from my POV (not a ST devotee, but generally clued up on what's going on). It had decent comic relief with the Ferengis, it had tension, back-stabbing, long story archs that were interesting.
Still I wouldn't call it defiantly different. For that I'd go with Farscape, or better still Lexx.
...now *there* was a disturbingly strange SF series. Whenever I watched it, I felt like I'd wandered into a cheese nightmare. Great stuff.
What made it weirder was Channel 5 putting it on at 2~3 AM, so I watched it already half asleep, wondering what the hell is going on. I'm not even sure if I dreamt the episode where robot carrots tried to "infiltrate" the president of the USA's body.
That it was the first Trek to openly acknowledge what holodecks would really be used for, although there were a few subtle mentions in TNG
Although the cleaning of them leads to a kind of horror if you really think it through!
Re: I liked
Since they use both projectors and replicators to make the environments, I would assume they'd recycle anything left behind, I don't think Quark could bribe anyone enough to clean up Worf's sweat and blood after a fight session, never mind a holo of Vulcan Love Slave...
Re: I liked
Where do you think the protein rich chicken from the replicator comes from?
Re: I liked
The number of times somebody walked in on another's holodeck program in TNG & voyager always made me wonder why they never seemed to have a decent way of locking the door!
I watch it on permanent repeat - on my 25th watch
This is my favourite show of all time. I watch it over and over again. I leave it a few months or even a couple of years then start at Season 1 again.
Garak was my favourite, but all the main characters (bar possible Julian) were fantastically acted. The attention to detail on the production side made it immersive, and the plot lines were the best in Trek by a long, long margin.
I am currently having a second attempt at watching Enterprise through and I think I might give up in Season 2 again. Everything about it is wrong casting: A Vulcan permanently in a cat suit with bulging cologen lips who is overly emotional, a hound dog captain who's character is totally contradictory, a man in make-up who likes guns but with an actor straight out of a school play etc. The characters are 2d, the plots are terrible, contradictory and boring, and it seems like 7 of them run the ship. I don't know why I am still watching it, but it helps me sleep!
Re: I watch it on permanent repeat - on my 25th watch
Just stop. Enterprise is garbage. Just listen to the theme song. It has words for fucks sake.
Re: I watch it on permanent repeat - on my 25th watch
The problem is, like many American shows, it had great potential, but the network stepped in and canned it just as it was reaching that potential. I would imagine the problems in the initial series were network related as well.
And god only knows what happened with the finale, shafting the whole premiss and even royally p-ing off all the cast
Re: I watch it on permanent repeat - on my 25th watch
Season 1 and 2 of Enterprise are pretty bland, the third is better and the fourth is pretty good.
Manny Cotto took over as showrunner in season four and it shows, unfortunately Rick Berman was back for the final episode, and so, it sucks.
DS9's biggest accomplisments?
Having the lead character hating, not admiring, previous Enterprise captains.
The defining moment of the series? Where Q shows up and challenges Sisko to one of his little "games". They're in a virtual old school "smoker" (boxing match) and Q uses his typical goads and challenges to try to get a reaction, like he did with Picard. Sisko throws a punch and lays the demigod out on the canvas.
Q: "You hit me! Picard never hit me!"
Sisko: "I'm not Picard."
Nothing worth watching now
Seems to me that TNG started about 20 years of classic Sci-Fi with some good shows (DS9, Voyager, SG1, Atlantis) coming along in that period, others were canned just as they seemed to get going (Enterprise, SG:Universe, Terra Nova). It seems we don't have anything now worth watching, how I wish for a new weekly scf-fi fix of DS9 quality.
Thanks for the memories and hopefully it will get the HD makeover that TNG is currently getting.
Re: Nothing worth watching now
I got into continuum which was entertaining - not really real sci fi; but in this world of budget cuts and series cancellations, I don't suppose many companies are prepared to pay the upfront costs for the sets - so sci fi in a modern setting (continuum, fringe etc) is probably what we are stuck with!
Pah, all ST and B5 is bobbins, the best sci fi in last 30 years has to have been the amazing Andromeda. Only kidding.
@Carl Williams: There is a bit of a dearth of "future" sci-fi at the moment, the tendency has been for more dramatic "near now" sci-fi, and for making it with very high production values. Shows have either had to be brilliant (BSG reboot) or long running (Dr Who reboot) to survive. We're missing a current show that has the appeal of an SG-1 though. Here are some current shows to look out for:
Alphas: Sci fi? It's 'Heroes' on the SyFy channel, with a little pseudo science thrown in. Bit too much magic, I wouldn't disagree with anyone who classes this as "fantasy" rather than "sci fi"
Continuum: Canadian time travel, eh? What's that aboot? It's not bad actually, but it's from cable, so only ten episodes a season, but not at the whim of Fox or NBC. I can't quite work out if it is paradoxical that the "good guys" in the future are actually right wing nutters, or if it is designed to appeal to Fox viewers. Hoping the former. Season 2 will be interesting as they delve into some of the paradoxes.
Falling Skies: Americans are loving these end of days kind of shows. This time, aliens invade, and for some reason want our kids to hook up their machines. Crazy.
Fringe: Coming to the end, definitely sci fi, but less believable as the series roll by. JJ Abrams designs shows that grab me for 5 years, I get to the end and the dénouement and think "WTF? What a crock." (see Alias, Lost). He's an evil evil fucker, and I love him for it.
Haven: Another SyFy show that has me asking "is this SF or fantasy?". Precious little science in the show.
Person of Interest: Is this Sci Fi? A computer that can track people around the world and predict if they are going to come to harm, and rings up a team of people to protect them. They don't go into the SF angle much until it's a plot device. JC is a badass.
Revolution: Ridiculous SF that I still watch. In the future, somehow electrons no longer flow, cue fall of civilisation. Some people have amulets that sometimes allow electricity to work. Add to that the dialogue is ropey and the acting (especially the lead character) is awful. I've not heard this getting cancelled yet, but it would not surprise me.
Red dwarf: Hah, still going. Don't like the new episodes though, give me "White Hole" any day.
Walking Dead: SF? Another near now apocalypse show, this time with zombies.
Warehouse 13: zomg, SyFy make some bad shows. I'll watch anything with Saul Rubinek in though.
Having said that, here's the recent sci-fi cancelled list:
Alcatraz - Interesting premise, too slow, cancelled. Could have gone somewhere, but got no viewers.
Dark Angel - I still can't forgive this being cancelled
Defying Gravity - liked it, it had promise, too slow (hence cancelled)
Dollhouse - Whedon lets another one get away
Eleventh Hour (US and UK versions) - both deserved to get canned
Eureka - ran it's course really, tea time SF
Firefly - Cap'n? Shiny.
Flashforward - cool show, but once you've done the flash forward once, what happens next season? Another flash? Please! (hence cancelled).
No Ordinary Family - Modern Family cross X-Men. Huge promise, ratings died on it, so it died.
Terminator: TSC - Good, but bleak. Could have had a third series if they'd tried.
Terra Nova - Can't spend that much per episode for that few viewers, hence cancelled
The Event - Aliens invade! I liked it, I think they were running out of ideas..
V - Hah. The first time I saw one of the lizard men pop out of a human skin, I almost wet myself laughing it was so ridiculous. I'm impressed this got a second series before being cancelled tbh.
If we are going to play that game
I vote for 'A for Andomeda'
Excellent list. I have to agree on "The Sarah Connor Chronicles"; I think it could have developed into something much better, especially considering how it looked like it was set to work its way toward "Salvation," which I think was also a bit under-rated.
As for the new "V," I found it interesting enough to keep watching. I think one of its biggest failings was ABC yanking it from Hulu.
Paris, I don't have anything useful for her.
@ Tom 38
I think you missed
Sanctuary (Amanda Tapping)
Re: @ Tom 38
Nope, considered that one, I was listing current shows and cancelled shows. Sanctuary ended on schedule.
Re: @ Tom 38
You sure ?
Stand out eps (for me)
The tailor's plot to get the Romulans onside for the war against the Dominion.
Quarks trip back in time to Area 51 ;)
For me it was lacking the element of discovery
At least back at the time DS9 just seemed to me like it was more a show about politics than space. So I didn't particularly like it. Of course other people have different tastes, but for me it kinda was the end of StarTrek.
Re: For me it was lacking the element of discovery
Boldly staying put where no one has stayed put before
and today's excuse for not being able to beam out of the dangerous situation is....
B5 was horrible
I like Doctor Who. But it must be your British slant not to see how horrible Babylon 5 actually was in the budget and acting department. And the stories..talk about sheit. I'm not going to waste time 50 posts down defending DS9 if you don't get it. But no one. absolutely no one agrees with you. Cuddle up with your Lexx (similarly sheit) DVD and pretend the bad man who insulted your indefensible position does not exist . GOD DAMN! B5? Are you kidding me?
Re: B5 was horrible
You think Lexx is 'sheit'?? It's genius! You have to be in the right mood though
I actually invented a 5 point rating scale for SciFi called, the B5 scale, where a rating of one is Babylon 5. It's actually that bad of a show that everybody immediately gets it and laughs.
And no one has mentioned...
Earth: Final Conflict
Another Roddenbury creation although produced posthumously.
Androgenous aliens land on earth and provide all sorts of new tech but what are they up to really?
Great premise. Fantastic aliens. Plot fell apart in later seasons unfortunately.
Oh, also wonderful title music.
Re: And no one has mentioned...
Earth:Final Conflict was one of those shows that was just starting to get interesting, then they changed direction and it was all downhill after season 4.
Lexx was one of those series you had to be in the mood for, seasons 1 and 2 were good, 3 was rubbish and was the point at which I stopped watching the show, and from the wikipedia description, season 4 might be worth a look.
I have to just step in and say that, with very few exceptions, this is the most 'civilised' Trek vs B5 conversation I have ever seen!
Normally, by this point, I'd be reading Mom 'jokes' and the occasional death threat.
A pint for all!
DS9 was a welcome diversion from the Star Trek of old, and the Dominion War was a fantastic story arc and really made the series. Without that, DS9 would just be remembered as the odd-series out-okay but nothing special, but the Dominion arc created the opportunity for so many character piece episodes and really showcased the best and worst of the ST universe.
In The Pale Moonlight
Way of the Warrior
The Changing Face of Evil
The Dogs of War/What You Leave Behind (personally I count this a 3-parter so am only counting it as one.
So many other fantastic episodes.
DS9 may have (allegedly) started as a B5 ripoff but, and this is coming from someone who was also a massive B5 fan, it far surpassed that series.
Now if only I could cleanse the memory of Voyager from my mind...
This thread is not finishing until the words "Red Dwarf" have been added to it.
Re: No chance
Yes definitely, Boys From The Dwarf, imagine the paroies,and parodoxes if you put Rimmer up against the cardassians, or Shadows. Mr Morden and his Associates, being screwed over by the twisted hologram, and the Shadows being rendered visible by Lister vomiting curry all over them. Meanwhile Kryten gets into the Vorlon computer systems, and sends a planet killer to Mars or someplace
As a television series, it does not get any better.
My benchmark is SG1 series 4; television series don't get any better than that.
DS9 series 5 and 6 are up there. The final series (7) however had that feel of: Just make it up as you go along, who cares.
Good article. :-)
I didn't enjoy DS9 when it was on the first time round but re-watching it recently am now convinced it provides some of the best storylines (not to mention epic space battles) ever seen on Star Trek. The writing and characterisation are consistently richer than TNG or Voyager, and the length of the various story arcs, and arcs within arcs, while making it more of a commitment, also result in much better pay-offs for regular viewers. Definitely a series that has improved with time, and well worth revisiting as an older viewer.
Happy Birthday DS9, you will always be high up in my sci fi loving list.
Cant believe no one has mentioned Stargate Universe, yes it started off slow and was just getting to the good part before the pulled the plug and then the months of baited breath will it be saved, wont it, will we get a feature film conclusion. It got axed ahead of its time in much in the same way Outcasts (also not mentioned yet) and Terra Nova did.
Personally I liked Terra Nova and was sad to see it go, but i can see why to a point, outcasts was ok, but being just ok isnt enough.
And the Dwarf boys coming back has been the fantastic, yes it never going to be the same as the old days, but by joe it close enough for me to enjoy with smoked kippers.
Coming full circle back to Star Trek, Im looking forward to the new Star Trek film :) Although I do have to agree with this guy a little when when it comes to the Abramsverse part of the last film:
What did other people make of it ?
I wondered if anyone thought of Benjamin Sisko's exit
As his thong song.