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View Full Version : The Best Science Fiction Television Shows of All Time



SkepticJ
2006-Jan-19, 05:16 AM
No grouping in this one.

Star Trek:TNG
Firefly
Outlaw Star(technically sci/fantasy: because it has limited use of magic)
Quantum Leap
Gundam Wing
Macross Plus
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Battlestar Galactica
Star Gate SG:1

Launch window
2006-Jan-19, 08:52 AM
there were a few old threads on this

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=5831
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=190956

seems a lot of people like Babylon5, Stargate, Firefly, StarTrek

ToSeek
2006-Jan-19, 03:18 PM
Star Trek
Firefly
Doctor Who
Blake's 7
Battlestar Galactica (the new version)

redshifter
2006-Jan-19, 10:22 PM
Babylon 5
I got a kick out of Farscape as well (puts on flamesuit)

V-GER
2006-Jan-19, 10:38 PM
Star Trek, all versions but mainly TNG
Firefly
Andromeda(seasons 1-3)

and

Smallville(yes, Smallville...)

Ozymandias
2006-Jan-19, 11:48 PM
Battlestar Galactica (new one), The Twilight Zone (first one), Babylon Five, TNG, Firefly, The Outer Limits (old one), Stargate SG1...

DukePaul
2006-Jan-20, 01:50 AM
When I was a kid in the late 60's living in a small Southern town there was a local TV station that had a guy dress up in a spoofy space outfit whose name was VMAN. On Friday night at 7:00 he showed old B/W scifi movies like 20 Million Miles to Earth or Earth vs the Flying Saucers and you could not drag me away from the TV. That guy probably hated doing that show but I loved those old movies.

Inferno
2006-Jan-20, 02:46 AM
Sliders - seasons 1 to 3

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Jan-20, 03:06 AM
What am I going to say? Hmm...

Firefly!

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-21, 03:43 AM
1. Firefly
2. DS9, B5
3. Next Gen
4. Space Above and Beyond
5. Battlestar Galactica (79)
6. Andromeda (Rev Bem seasons)
7. Buck Rogers (1st season)
8. Doctor Who
9. Stargate
10. Buck Rogers (50)
11. Flash Gordon (50)
12. Earth Final Conflict (seasons 1 and 2)
13. Futurama

jrkeller
2006-Jan-21, 06:06 PM
When I was a kid in the late 60's living in a small Southern town there was a local TV station that had a guy dress up in a spoofy space outfit whose name was VMAN. On Friday night at 7:00 he showed old B/W scifi movies like 20 Million Miles to Earth or Earth vs the Flying Saucers and you could not drag me away from the TV. That guy probably hated doing that show but I loved those old movies.

We had a guy like that in the Detroit area, except that he was a Vampire named Sir Graves Ghastley. He was on about 15 years. He's in his 90's now, but he still has a loyal fan base.

jrkeller
2006-Jan-21, 06:09 PM
Shows I like

Babylon 5
Battlestar Galatica the new one
Doctor Who
Firefly
Stargate

Lord Jubjub
2006-Jan-28, 04:13 AM
hmnmm

B5
TNG--middle seasons only
DS9--later seasons
Dr. Who--from the Tom Baker episodes on
SG1--on and off, depending on how they eventually defeated the G'ould of the Day.
Earth-Final Conflict--The early seasons only. Really started getting into lesbian fetishes (I'm a guy, OK?) in the last season or so.

Van Rijn
2006-Jan-28, 09:57 AM
Well, in no particular order (since I like them for different reasons):

Star Trek (with honorable mention to ST:DS9 and ST:TNG)
Babylon 5
Blake's Seven
SG 1
New BSG
Star Cops (way too short, but about the only successful science fiction mystery series ever done-science fiction mystery is incredibly hard to do right)

I haven't seen all the episodes, but I think Planetes (anime series) will make the list. It has some silly bits, but is the best video science fiction representation of life in space in the relatively near term that I've seen. No magic space drives or gravity generators, though they do make spacecraft and space stations way too roomy. The subject is very different, but in some ways it reminds me of Star Cops.

There are other series that I liked a lot, but I'm not quite ready to put on my "best" list.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-28, 03:21 PM
Earth-Final Conflict--The early seasons only. Really started getting into lesbian fetishes (I'm a guy, OK?) in the last season or so.

Your the only other poster besides me who listed that show. Once they killed off the male lead it went downhill fast though. The last good episode was when they took the worm out of Sandoval's head then had to put it back in.



Star Cops[/I] (way too short, but about the only successful science fiction mystery series ever done-science fiction mystery is incredibly hard to do right)


Read The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton stories by Larry Nivin.

Van Rijn
2006-Jan-29, 12:19 AM
Your the only other poster besides me who listed that show. Once they killed off the male lead it went downhill fast though. The last good episode was when they took the worm out of Sandoval's head then had to put it back in.

Earth Final Conflict had some interesting ideas. It looked like they were trying to develop the story like B5 - present lots of questions and let the answers unfold later. Apparently, though, their ratings were getting too low so that all went out the window. It's possible it could have become a good series, but it never had the chance to get there.



Read The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton stories by Larry Nivin.

I have. Good stories. Niven talked about the problems of science fiction mystery (you have to lay out the possibilities early in the story, you can't solve a locked room mystery by introducing a transporter at the end - that's a cheat). I should have been clearer: Star Cops is the only decent science fiction mystery series on TV.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-29, 01:31 AM
I should have been clearer: Star Cops is the only decent science fiction mystery series on TV.

You were. I knew you meant TV series. I was just mentioning the Niven stuff in case you hadn't read them.

Charly
2006-Jan-29, 11:29 PM
Babylon 5 is the clear best series of all time, no doubts at all whatsoever.

the reason is simple:

The majority of the story was planned out before the first episode aired.

The end of the story was already known, and what we saw on screen was a natural progression. Okay the 5th series was a bit padded at times, but taken as a whole, no series comes close.

Newer series, like BSG which is has been amazingly solid so far, seem to run out of steam, as the writers dont always seem to know where their story is going, or how long they have to tell it.

Take Lost as an example. Do the writers really know whats going on? It seems as any explanation will end up being a let down. But rumours are that it just being made up as they go along anyway. It may end up just like X-files.

Metricyard
2006-Jan-30, 04:45 PM
Babylon 5 is the clear best series of all time, no doubts at all whatsoever.

the reason is simple:

The majority of the story was planned out before the first episode aired.

The end of the story was already known, and what we saw on screen was a natural progression. Okay the 5th series was a bit padded at times, but taken as a whole, no series comes close.

Totally agree. B5 as a whole was a very well written series.

StarTrek:TNG wasn't bad. Actually, they did have some very good episodes.
(Darmok, Inner Light)

DS9 Wasn't too shabby either. Except for the finale. What a letdown.

Voyager never caught my interest.

Enterprise had potential, but lost it with the old, lets travel back in time to stop the alien nazis from taking over Earth. And did we really need to have the Borg show up again? Of course, the scene where they cut Florida in half was pretty cool.

Never seen the new Battlestar Galactica because I've sworn off television. Felt it was time to interact with the real world instead of getting stuck in front of the tube 10 hours a day. Of course, I'm stuck in front of the computer most of the time.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-31, 03:06 AM
Babylon 5 is the clear best series of all time, no doubts at all whatsoever.

the reason is simple:

The majority of the story was planned out before the first episode aired.



A lot of the first shows were boring though. I didn't always watch when at the same time I never missed a DS9 episode. Firefly is the best. What little we have of it.

I will agree the last episode of DS9 wasn't that great. I just hated the whole Vic thing. Ditto on Quarks brother becoming the new Nagus and making the Ferengi a copy of the Federation.

Grand_Lunar
2006-Jan-31, 04:26 AM
My choices:

Star Trek: TNG
Battlestar Galactica (old series)
Sea Quest
Doctor Who
Quantum Leap
The Time Tunnel

Does MST3K count as sci-fi?

The Incredible Bloke
2006-Jan-31, 05:09 AM
Never seen the new Battlestar Galactica because I've sworn off television. Felt it was time to interact with the real world instead of getting stuck in front of the tube 10 hours a day. Of course, I'm stuck in front of the computer most of the time.

Ordinarily I would recommend that you check it out, but in this case I say yes get out into the sunshine!:)

redshifter
2006-Jan-31, 10:38 PM
Does MST3K count as sci-fi?

If so, it definitely belongs on a 'best SF shows of all time' list! I wish the SF channel would bring it back!

eburacum45
2006-Feb-01, 08:33 AM
I'd like to second Star Cops too. If it were remade with a decent special effects budget and a slightly wider scope it would be great.
The first TV show which depicted the effects of microgravity in a realistic way, as I remember.

gethen
2006-Feb-01, 03:02 PM
What am I going to say? Hmm...

Firefly!

Ditto. I can't really think of any other tv series that I would rearrange my schedule to watch. Although, I was enjoying Rome during the two months we had free HBO.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-01, 04:10 PM
Firefly is definitely up there, though I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare it with programs that had to keep their standards up for many seasons of episodes.

Moose
2006-Feb-01, 04:28 PM
I dunno. Firefly felt dialed in right from the pilot. The real pilot I mean. Most shows take two or three seasons for the actors to settle into their characters and for the writers to iron out the 'verse. I can't even imagine room for improvement had Fox not bungled the marketing "as completely as [they] have"? (Sometimes I think The Operative had the right idea.)

Heck, even Bab 5 took a full season to place itself.

Doodler
2006-Feb-01, 07:18 PM
I dunno. Firefly felt dialed in right from the pilot. The real pilot I mean. Most shows take two or three seasons for the actors to settle into their characters and for the writers to iron out the 'verse. I can't even imagine room for improvement had Fox not bungled the marketing "as completely as [they] have"? (Sometimes I think The Operative had the right idea.)

Heck, even Bab 5 took a full season to place itself.

And for all its greatness, had to fight tooth and nail for survival all the way to the end.

For my own list:

Babylon 5
Space: Above and Beyond
Star Trek TNG: Seasons 4-7
Star Trek DS9: Seasons 2-5

I liked some aspects of Earth: The Final Conflict. I think Earth 2 took an interesting idea and shot it straight to heck. Seaquest earns an honorable mention, despite some glaring issues. I've only ever seen one episode of Firefly and I've never seen an entire episode of the new BSG.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-01, 09:20 PM
I dunno. Firefly felt dialed in right from the pilot. The real pilot I mean. Most shows take two or three seasons for the actors to settle into their characters and for the writers to iron out the 'verse.

On the other hand, classic Trek peaked in the first season and went downhill from there. I'm not sure why later series were plagued with this ironing-out problem.


I can't even imagine room for improvement had Fox not bungled the marketing "as completely as [they] have"? (Sometimes I think The Operative had the right idea.)

I do agree with that.

Romanus
2006-Feb-04, 07:55 AM
My faves are:

Star Trek (TOS and TNG)
The Twilight Zone (though that's stretching it)
*one* episode of Perversions of Science
The Outer Limits
The X-Files
Sliders

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-04, 05:50 PM
Firefly is definitely up there, though I'm not sure it's entirely fair to compare it with programs that had to keep their standards up for many seasons of episodes.

We can only guess how it would have done later on. All we can do is compare the first 14 Episodes of Firefly to the first 14 of any other series. Firefly wins.

turbo-1
2006-Feb-04, 06:40 PM
Babylon 5 for sure. Characters had failings and faults as well as virtues, and they operated under some pretty complex motivations, some of which took many episodes to be revealed.

V-GER
2006-Feb-06, 11:08 PM
Babylon 5 for sure. Characters had failings and faults as well as virtues, and they operated under some pretty complex motivations, some of which took many episodes to be revealed.

I'm not a big fan of B5 but I agree with the last sentence, some plot twists took me completely by surprise.

Roy Batty
2006-Feb-06, 11:40 PM
I'm not a big fan of B5 but I agree with the last sentence, some plot twists took me completely by surprise.
Yeah, Lyta: 'pleased to meet you Mr Garibaldi'
Ok, maybe not so much of an unexpected twist but still sends a shiver up me spine ;)

V-GER
2006-Feb-07, 12:51 AM
Yeah, Lyta: 'pleased to meet you Mr Garibaldi'
Ok, maybe not so much of an unexpected twist but still sends a shiver up me spine ;)

Anything with Garibaldi sent a shiver up my spine. I hated that guy, lousy drunk...

turbo-1
2006-Feb-07, 12:59 AM
Yeah, Lyta: 'pleased to meet you Mr Garibaldi'
Ok, maybe not so much of an unexpected twist but still sends a shiver up me spine ;)That was a good one. There were many other nuggets laden throughout the series, when (if you had been paying attention all along) you would get big "Aha" moments from a single line. The series was well-planned and well-crafted, and it held together well. This is in stark contrast to the original Star Trek, which was "Gunsmoke" set in space with no Miss Kitty to keep tight reins on Marshall Dillon. Watch the old TV westerns and see the similarities - expendable anonymous characters predictably killed off to support the story for that episode, etc. Heaven help previously-unknown male crew members who beamed down to an innocent-looking planet with Jim. The busty female ensign might survive but the male guys were stacked up like cord-wood.

Roy Batty
2006-Feb-07, 01:17 AM
Anything with Garibaldi sent a shiver up my spine. I hated that guy, lousy drunk...
A bit harsh IMHO. I thought the whole alcoholic angle was done rather well.


The busty female ensign might survive but the male guys were stacked up like cord-wood.
LOL! especially if they had red uniforms ;)

Disinfo Agent
2006-Feb-07, 12:58 PM
I agree with many of the titles already mentioned. I would just like to:

- agree that Babylon 5 should not be missed (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=14157);

- second The Twilight Zone. Some episodes were science fiction;

- add my vote for Battlestar Galactica (79);

- add two more names: Space: 1999 and V.

mid
2006-Feb-07, 02:55 PM
No love for the admittedly very short Ultraviolet? I thought it was wonderful, and an obvious precursor to the slightly-less SF Spooks.

Roy Batty
2006-Feb-07, 03:01 PM
Oh yes Ultraviolet was pretty good! I have the DVD set:)

worzel
2006-Feb-07, 03:17 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned Invasion. Is that not sci-fi, or am I the only one who likes it?

Gildamere
2006-Feb-08, 12:05 AM
No love for the admittedly very short Ultraviolet? I thought it was wonderful, and an obvious precursor to the slightly-less SF Spooks.

I absolutely love Ultraviolet. Best SF/Mystery series there is.


******SPOILER*******







Although I don'T see how they could have continued that level of suspense with the last episode revealing the true motivations of the Code V. I especially liked the ambivalent atmosphere surrounding the Code V, which was in that last episode revealed to be evil with the whole nuclear winter thing. From then on it would have been the old good/bad division which pales in comparison to how the Code V were introduced in the first place. Until that last episode there was the possibility that the Code V really wanted peace and were just stigmatized because of superstition and unjustly hunted down by that Special Department (the name escapes me right now). In the end it was back to that clicheed good/bad situation and that's why Joe Ahearne decided not to go on with a second season. A wise decision which makes the six episodes even more precious from my point of view.







******SPOILER ENDS******