Sunday, January 2, 2011
Top 100 Science Fiction TV Series, Part 1: 100-76
(96) Project UFO - Another childhood favorite that I'd love to see again. This series followed two Air Force officers who investigated UFO sightings for Project Blue Book. Some were debunked, some were unexplained, and some were shown to be real to the audience, if not the officers. I'd love to see how it holds up.
(93) ALF - This is one of those shows I think of as a sitcom first, a Muppet-style show that makes me smile second, and an SF show last. But ALF is an alien, and he looks more alien than Robin Williams.
(89) Space Academy - Another cool Saturday morning live action show, this time by Filmation. This one had an academy built into an asteroid, a nifty little robot,cool spaceships and Jonathan Harris. I also seem to recall an officer guy who was blue.
(87) Andromeda - A great first season places this show in the Top 100. DS9's Robert Hewitt Wolfe took Gene Roddenberry's "Genesis II" concept and wrapped it in a Star Trek style universe, and the result was a show that I thought it was better than the actual Star Trek show currently on the air.
Then it started going downhill in the second season and I bailed. Rich kept watching and said it never got better, only worse. I caught a fifth season episode and hated it. So because of one excellent season, it makes the top 100; for four lousy ones, this is as high as it gets.
(86) Sliders - Another series that started out with an excellent premise and then lost its way. I LOVE the concept of parallel worlds and alternate histories, and this show got off to a great start exploring them in its first two seasons. Then it devolved into a rip-off-the-hot-movie-of-the-week series and I started losing interest. Then they broke the laws of physics on a world where time ran backwards, causing the world to most likely destroy itself, but they were able to slide out in time so ho-hum, all's well and good, bummer about your Earth dying. Maybe it'll be all right now that we're gone. That was the final straw with me and I bailed. Rich stuck with it and says it had some good episodes and some amazing twists left in it, but from what he told me, a lot of it sounded like a mess.
(85) Space: 1999 -
If I had been making this list when I was 10, this show would have been at #2. (Then again, the list probably wouldn't have been able to stretch much longer than 10 shows at that age, either.) Jerry Anderson's epic space adventure of Moonbase Alpha, built on Earth's Moon and blown out of Earth's orbit, sent traveling across the Universe encountering all kinds of strange aliens. Getting to rewatch it as an adult, the science really doesn't hold up very well, but the designs of Alpha and all their hardware do.
(82) Earth: Final Conflict - The first season of this show was fantastic. The Taelons have come to Earth, claiming to be our Companions, their only desire being to help guide us. During the first season we find out their true agenda-- they're a dying race, and need to merge with the human race to survive. Battle lines are drawn, and in a shocking move the lead is actually killed at the end of season one, creating a series where no one is safe...
...And then Season Two premiered and they threw all that out the window to turn it into a mindless action show.
The fact that any character could (and often did) die at any time would have provided great drama... had any of the characters died for the point of advancing the story. Instead, it seemed that every death was only done to get an actor off the show.
Coming tomorrow-- Part 2: Shows 75 - 51!