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Old October 23 2012, 04:01 PM   #92
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Star Trek is good, but let's be honest: All it really is is Gene Roddenberry trying to redo "Forbidden Planet" over and over again every friggin' week.
This is a bold oversimplification. Yes, a great deal of the concept of Trek was inspired by Forbidden Planet, but to say it "remade" the film every week is absurd. By this standard Space:1999 remade 2001 every week and Battlestar Galactica remade Star Wars every week. It's just as untrue and does them all a disservice. All of these shows used a familiar and successful film as the jumping off point to create their own stories, both good and bad. Your enjoyment of each series depends on what you're looking for. If your thing is "big honking battleships," BSG will be your favorite show.

TV science fiction is never as good as true, literary sci-fi. Trek wasn't amazing science fiction, but it was good at taking sci-fi from the kiddie pool and bringing it into the adult table without talking down to people. The Outer Limits, by comparison, would spend huge chunks of each episode explaining theories and technology, before tossing in a monster. Star Trek would spend less time on the tech and more on the adventure. The ideas were present in both programs, but Trek's presentation was an easier pill to swallow. It was more fun.

1999, in its first year, was concept oriented with plot and characterization taking the back seat. It emphasized mood and atmosphere and often left things unexplained. It was a great show to watch at 2am, it was so damned weird. But the SFX were the main showcase there. In the second year, it went to Saturday Morning Cartoon Land. I still loved it, but with the lazy area of my brain, the same part I use to watch Irwin Allen's TV shows.

BSG wasn't interested in sci-fi concepts beyond the premise of killer robots and space battles. It was more "Wagon Train to the stars" than Trek ever was. It was a space western before Firefly took it too literally. Critics (the kinder critics anyway) called it Battlestar Ponderosa, and they were right. Yet, when it was at its best, it tackled larger themes (faith, mans place in the universe) and had some amazing episodes of high adventure. The two parters were easily the best, most epic shows, but the final episode, the single part "The Hand of God" was one of the finest episodes of the series. The original BSG had a great deal of potential that was just starting to be fulfilled before ABC pulled the plug.

The Invaders was at its best in the first season, when they were trying to terrify the audience. It was a great, moody sci-fi take on The Fugitive. The second season slipped out of that and into adventure, but it was a dead end concept. Fun and adult, but not in Trek's class.
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