I thought this might deserve its own discussion.
Has there ever been a detailed analysis of what was added to the novelized versions of the animated series of Star Trek? I haven't gotten the chance to read them and I would love to hear how the stories were expanded upon, since the show was only a half an hour.
They're a lot better than some of the TOS novels, many of the TNG novels, and they have something that the vast majority of other Star Trek novels lack - humor.
Why does it seem that much of post-1980's sci-fi is so bleak and humorless? I ask this as a ST:TOS fan. You could see the beginnings of this trend in ST:TNG with the characters taking themselves oh-so-seriously, but at least there was the occasional glint of humor or an appearance from Q to deflate their pomposity.
Compare the new Battlestar Galactica with the original. I can enjoy something that is "dark," but there's no need to be humorless. Doctor Who has its dark and serious moments, but it's equally funny. Firefly certainly got dark, but the humor was there too. Why is it missing in some other shows?
Are we seeing the work of former fanboys who were a bit too obsessed as adolescents, cringed at every comical robot or cute Ewok, and grimly vowed that if they
ever made sci-fi, things would be different? Could they never lighten up?
I guess humorless sci-fi must appeal to some people, but I'm not one who would keep coming back for that. "Realism" is just fine, even "grittiness" (whatever that really is), but with no levity it's not even realistic because humor is part of human nature.
Yea, I fully enjoyed NuBSG, but, that is a reason I'm in no hurry to rewatch it. Charlie Jade went far darker/longer with Rena's Arc (Amongst others) then some of NuBSG's darkest moments, but, you Had 01 Boxer adding humor, so although intense, didn't linger and fester.
Torchwood: Children Of The Earth, also is pretty humorless. It was an awesomely intense week when it first aired. With Much of ScFi, I would watch a 5 hour story over a day or two, but Children of Earth, I don't think I could watch more than an episode a day on a rewatch, and likely would spread some of it out even more.
But, there's been lots that has Humor...Stargate (SG1 and Atlantis), DS9, Farscape, Babylon 5, Fire Fly, Andromeda, most of the current SyFy shows... I think Falling Skies has kept a good balance of Humor, Terra Nova kept a good bit of humor. Even The Walking Dead has it's one liners and it has gone pretty dark.
But, yea, I agree, if you go overboard on the "Realism" and "Grittiness" to where you actively prevent all humor or fun or hope for seasons at a time it becomes very heavy. I think this does become unrealistic, because even in War, soldiers play soccer, throw frisbees, play cards at times.
That heaviness decreases my rewatch Drive. I'm working up to giving SGU another chance (I did really enjoy the last half Season, and most of the first half season 2 as well)