Science Fiction TV reviews

[Hercules]
Hercules/Earth:Final Conflict
crossover episode shock?
Herc shows off his skrill.

Part of my Science Fiction consumption includes TV; here are my ratings.

These include those currently airing, and also on-video blasts-from-the-past.

(SF films have a separate listing.)

 

SF TV shows, recently viewed
24 Nov 2016 Orphan Black season 3 great stuff
1 Oct 2016 The Expanse season 1 mind candy
17 Sept 2016 Childhood’s End mini-series mind candy
16 Aug 2016 Grimm season 4 worth watching
24 May 2016 Arrow season 3 worth watching
05 Dec 2015 Dr Who new season 9 great stuff
30 Jun 2015 Continuum season 3 worth watching
08 Mar 2015 Arrow season 2 worth watching
05 Oct 2014 Warehouse 13 season 5 mind candy
15 Sep 2013 Once Upon a Time season 2 great stuff

 

[Dalek]
Dr Who #1
1. Unmissable
[Support B5]

Babylon 5 • why don’t most people realise how great this is? Not only does it have a plot, but that plot unfolds intelligently, surprisingly, and enjoyably!

Doctor Who#1 William Hartnell (1963-66) • #2 Patrick Troughton (1966-69)

Farscape • seasons 3-5

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy • 1978 • theRADIO series, of course. By Douglas Adams. Starring PeterJones as The Book.

The Prisoner • 1967-68

The X Files • (Not that Ibelieve in the paranormal) ... early seasons: the later ones went downhill ...


 

[Rimmer]
Rimmer from Red Dwarf

2. Great stuff
[Clangers]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Clangers • 1969-1974 • knitted pink whistling puppets, plus Blue String pudding, the Iron Chicken, the Soup Dragon, and the Froglets.
Dark Skies • 1997 • paranoid conspiracy theory of alien invasion.
Doctor Who#3 Jon Pertwee (1970-74) • #9 Christopher Ecclestone (2005) • #10 David Tennant (2006)
Dollhouse
Farscape • season 2
Firefly
The Flipside of Dominick Hyde • 1980 • and the sequel Another Flip for Dominick • 1982
The Giftie • a one-off play • two researchers duplicate themselves, but who is real and who is the copy?
Lexx • The Dark Zone Stories • season 1: 1996 • surreal techno-grunge
Neverwhere • 1996 • Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy, set in the London Underground
Once Upon a Time • 2011
The One Game
Orphan Black • seasons 1-3 • 2013-5 • send in the clones
Red Dwarf I–VI • 1988-1993 • a comedy SF series that really is funny, and SFnal!
Sapphire and Steel • 1979-1982 • 6 Adventures of the time-travelling agents • Joanna Lumley as Sapphire, David MacCullum as Steel
Star Cops • 1987 • 9 episodes
Star Trek: Next Generation
The 10th Kingdom • 1999 • fairy tales are true
The Water Margin“Robin Hood in China”: hero-outlaws fight a corrupt government.
X-Men • animation • some of the mutant superheroes have interestingly complex characters


 

[Ivor]
Ivor the Engine

 

[Noggin]
Noggin the Nog



3. Worth watching
[Avon]

Andromeda, season 1, 2
Angelbrooding vampires
Arrow, season 1, 2, 3
Babylon 5 films
Battlestar Galacticathe re-imagining
Blake’s 7 • 1978-81
Century Falls • 1993
Children of Dune • 2002
Continuum • 2012
Dark Angel escaped teenage mutant super-soldiers
Doctor Who • early #4 Tom Baker (1974-81) and #7 Sylvester McCoy (1987-89)
Dune • 2000
Earth: Final Conflict • season 1
Eureka • seasons 1–4
Farscape • season 1
FlashForward • 2009
Futurama
Grimm • seasons 1–4
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy • 1981 • the TV series
Ivor the Engineof course it’s SF: it’s got a dragon in it!
Noggin the Nog of course it’s SF: it’s got a talking bird in it!
Roswell [High] • 2000-02 • teenage aliens
The Sarah Connor Chronicles • 2007
Shoebox Zoo • 2004-5
Sliders lost in parallel space
Space Precinct • 1995 • Gerry Anderson’s Cops in Space series
Stargate SG1/Atlantis/Universe
Star Trek: Deep Space 9
Third Rock from the Sun • 1996 • Comedy as four aliens take on human form to research us. "Why did I have to be the woman?" "Because you lost." [Thunderbirds FAB]
Thunderbirds • 1965 • Gerry Anderson’s puppet International Rescue Service • longer episodes allowed more complex plots, and the model equipment often looked realistically ‘used’: battered and grubby (no, Star Wars wasn’t the first to do this). • "F.A.B., Scott!" • Like all Anderson shows, the covert organisation is remarkably lightly staffed: what happens if someone gets sick, goes on holiday, wants to leave, or even just wants to sleep? and where are all the maintenance and ground crews?
Timeslip • 1970 • Liz and Simon slip back to a WWII incident, then forward to The Icebox , an Antarctic research station, then forward to a different future in The Burn Up , where planetary engineering is destroying the climate, then back to the present to discover a clone conspiracy. They meet various versions of themselves, of their parents, and of Commander Traynor, sort out what’s happening, and eventually save the day.
The Tribe • season 1: 1999 • children surviving in a post-apocalyptic world
Twin Peaks watch for the surrealistic sub-plots
Ultraviolet • 1998 • hunting urban vampires
The Uninvited • 1997 • aliens secretly taking over the world (or at least East Anglia)
VR5 • 1997 • Virtual Reality conspiracies
Warehouse 13 • seasons 2, 3 • 2010-2011
Xena: Warrior Princess


 

[Destiny Angel]
Destiny Angel from Captain Scarlet

4. Mind candy -- watch if nothing better to do

The 4400
A for Andromeda • 2006
Andromeda , seasons 3, 4
Batman • 1966-69 • "Holy weird camera angles, Batman!"
Beauty and the Beast : Vincent (Ron Perlman) is a mutant living under New York, and Catherine (Linda Hamilton) is his friend above.
Captain Scarlet • 1967 • Gerry Anderson’s Spectrum versus the Mysterons puppet adventures, led by the indestructible Captain • "This is the voice of the Mysterons" • morally ambiguous: we blow them up in an unprovoked attack, then get upset when they strike back • "Spectrum is Green"
The Champions • 1968-69 • three UN Nemesis agents are given superpowers by Himalayan gurus, and become "the Champions of Law, Order, and Justice".
Charmed • seasons 1-7 • The Halliwell sisters have the Power of Three
Childhood’s End • 2015 mini-series
Cleopatra 2525"in the year 2525..."
Dark Season • 1991 • early RTD
Doctor Who • Late #4 Tom Baker (1974-81) and #5 Peter Davison (1982-84)
The Expanse • season 1
First Wave • season 1 • the alien invasion predicted by Nostradamus
Invasion • 2006 • a hurricane results in alien hybrids
Lexx • season 2 • more grunge, less surrealism
Medium • 2004-10 • psychic crimebusting
Moonbase 3 • 1973 • 6 episodes
Mork and Mindy • 1978-80
The New Adventures of Superman • aka Lois and Clarke (presumably the BBC thought we Brits wouldn’t know who they were?) • the emphasis is on the relationship, rather than the super-hero
Oktober • 1998
The Others • 2000
Prey • 1998 • homo dominant battles homo sapiens
Red Dwarf VIII • 1999 • better than season VII, certainly, but not up to the earlier standards
Sanctuary • 2008-9 • the TV version of the Webisodes
Seaquest 2032 • third season • genius kid has become an ordinary crew member, and the plots are less cloying
Seven Days the Backstep project
Space: Above and Beyond
Space Odyssey -- Voyage to the Planets • 2004 • "Walking with Astronauts"
Star Trek: Voyager some episodes try to raise tension by offering a quick way home, but you know it just can’t happen
Stingray • 1964 • Gerry Anderson’s undersea puppet adventures • "Anything could happen in the next half hour"
Strange • 2003 • a defrocked priest fights demons
Warehouse 13 • 2009 • season 1
Wilderness • 1996 • librarian werewolf


 

[Space 1999]
action shot from Space 1999

5. Waste of time ...though knowing that doesn’t always stop me

The Bionic Woman • 2007 • dull reimagining
Crusade • 1998 • such a disappointment after Babylon 5
Dinotopia • 2002 • humans and dinos in perfect harmony
Doctor Who #6 Colin Baker (1984-86)
Fireball XL5 • 1962 • good in its day, but badly dated
Invasion: Earth • 1998
Red Dwarf VII • 1996 • the eagerly awaited return, but what a bitter disappointment!
Seaquest DSV • seasons 1 and 2 • genius kid, dolphin, super-submarine. [ITV (Anglia region) showed the first half of season 1 ... long pause ... the first half of season 3 ... shorter pause ... the last half of season 1. Then season 2. Continuity? We don’t need no steenkin’ continuity!]
Space 1999 • 1975 • Gerry Anderson would have us believe an explosion on the moon blows it out of orbit [on 13 September 1999, fortunately after the 11 August 1999 total eclipse of the sun ], which incredible event occurs without destroying Moon Base Alpha • the moon then behaves as a spaceship, travelling round the galaxy, having various alien adventures.
Star Trek: The Original Series • 1966-69 • some from the end of series 3
Star Trek: The animated series
Taken • 2002
Time Trax a cop from a future parallel world comes to our time, to fight time travelling criminals
The Tomorrow People • 1973-79 • a few children ‘break out’ with psi powers, which make them telepathic and let them ‘jaunt’ (teleport).
U.F.O. • 1970 • Gerry Anderson’s move into live action (with all the obvious jokes): it is 1980, and (surprisingly humanoid) aliens are stealing human organs for their own use. Early conspiracy stuff: SHADO, fighting the aliens, is a covert organisation • but how do they keep Moonbase secret?
Walking with Dinosaurs • 1999 • "educate, inform and entertain" -- not

 

Have the old ones just not stood the test of time, or were they really that bad first time around?

 

[Joe 90]
Joe 90

6. Unfinishable ... even I won’t watch them

Adam Adamant Lives! • 1966-67 • an Edwardian adventurer, frozen in 1902, thaws out in swinging 1960s London • now in the 1990s even the ‘modern’ scenes look like costume drama, and the plots and dialogue are cringe-making
Battlestar Galactica the original version
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Crime Traveller • 1997 • A detective and a research scientist use a time machine to solve crimes before they happen. But the plotting itself is criminal (best bit: the scientist drives to the time machine, parks her car, travels back a few hours, gets in her car , and drives away!)
Doomwatch • 1970-72
Early Edition • 1997 • The protagonist gets tomorrow’s newspaper, and can prevent the tragedies. Great premiss, cloying realisation.
Fringe , season 1 • 2008
Hex • 2004 • "British Buffy" flops
Joe 90 • 1968 • just what would the Social Services say today?
Land of the Giants most of the SFX were done with camera angles.
The Last Train • 1999 • a bunch of passengers get frozen and survive a meteor impact, then bore us to death
Lost in Space I would have spaced Dr Zachary Smith in episode 1. Bill Mumy (Will Robinson) grew up to play Lenier in the infinitely superior Babylon 5 .
Outcasts • 2011
Supercar • 1961
The Time Tunnel
The Visitor • 1997? • A pilot lost in the Bermuda Triangle in 1944 is returned today, with some mysterious mission to complete, possibly that of enacting every cliché in the book.