The movie is vastly inferior to the show. The film sets up this great idea with amazing potential, and squanders it in favor of a formulaic mismatched-buddy-cops-vs.-drug-dealers action plot. The series takes that amazing potential and runs with it far and fast. The show created a world so rich and believable and immersive that while the series was on the air, there were times when I'd be outside and see a bald man in the distance and actually believe for a moment that it might be a Newcomer. That's how much the series sucked me in. And it used science fiction as a vehicle for social commentary better than any show since Star Trek had done -- and few since have matched it.
Agreed. While there were inconsistencies in the show, I found my mind fighting to reconcile them as the bulk of the series was, as you say, "so rich and believable ". The show had some completely hokey moments-but the levity combined with the attempt at serious world-building made it a delight to watch.