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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old October 23 2012, 11:17 PM   #106
Greg Cox
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
Does it matter that TOS

clearly diffentiated between sub-light and faster than light travel and propulsion systems
spoke of the need for artificial gravity
clearly pointed out 'Earth-type' planets as being the focus
reffered to space in 3 dimensions when plotting course
referred to nebulas, black holes (stars), quasars
clearly spelled out the difference between our galaxy and other galaxies
created a beautiful funtional (looking) bridge for each specialty--nav, helm, engineering, science, comm..
showed plauible looking med tech--hypospray, biobeds, hand held med scanners
spoke of the difference between carbon life and possible other types


Yeah, I think it made a huge difference.

Well, TOS is certainly to be applauded for getting all that stuff right. I guess just don't attach as much importance to it when it comes to ranking the shows.

I find TZ and TOS of equal merit, each with their own fair share of classics and clunkers. And, honestly, at the end of the day I don't really care which one had the better science.

When it comes to science fiction, I'm just more interested in the "fiction" part . . . .
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Old October 23 2012, 11:31 PM   #107
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

I love TLZ too and broke my bank buying it on Blu-ray. In my top 10 shows of all time for sure.

I think stories of TLZ are so special that the science element is a non-factor.

In 'Where is Everybody' it matters not that he is actually in a simulator--what matters is the 24 minutes before that and his plight as a lonely confused human being.

Of course the quality of the fiction is paramount--I'm just playing devil's advocate.
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Old October 24 2012, 12:10 AM   #108
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
To this day, I don't think Star Trek: The Original Series and The Twilight Zone have been topped.
Excluding any of the Trek spin-offs, no love for Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica Farscape, Firefly, or The X-Files?

Widening to comedies, I'd also point to Futurama and Red Dwarf, although the latter is a British series and out of bounds of the discussion here.
Oh absolutely (Though I've never had any great love for Red Dwarf, I must give it another try, as my SciFi cmedy taste has likely changed since I've tried it. I did really like what little I've seen of the Cat)

Having said all that, you've forgotten one of the parameters is "Before 1985"
I figured "to this day" opened the floodgates for a broader conversation.
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Old October 24 2012, 12:19 AM   #109
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
Does it matter that TOS

clearly diffentiated between sub-light and faster than light travel and propulsion systems
spoke of the need for artificial gravity
clearly pointed out 'Earth-type' planets as being the focus
reffered to space in 3 dimensions when plotting course
referred to nebulas, black holes (stars), quasars
clearly spelled out the difference between our galaxy and other galaxies
created a beautiful funtional (looking) bridge for each specialty--nav, helm, engineering, science, comm..
showed plauible looking med tech--hypospray, biobeds, hand held med scanners
spoke of the difference between carbon life and possible other types
Many of those strike me as the difference between a series with continuing characters (and sets) and an anthology. Neither series could lay claim to very accurate science, which was in both cases discarded whenever it suited the writers.
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Old October 24 2012, 12:20 AM   #110
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
Yes, the Invaders episode better than 99% of TOS episodes because it's little spacemen and they turn out to be from Earth. it's a twist!

It plays out very logically as well from beginning to end.

Seeing how they land on this planet and find one structure in the middle of nowhere and decide to torment this giant haggered woman.

Roddenberry could never have come up with something that good!
Exactly! Glad you see my point!

Grant wrote: View Post
It is classic, it's a suspense piece and super well-done, but it could never hold up to the kind of scrutiny that virtually every episode of TOS is put thru.

Humans going light years to another world and finding it inhabited by a giant race and then going to her shack and shooting her with their ray guys?

What kind of logic is that.

It's a viseral piece of fantasy TV that is ridiculous in retrospect.
I'll see your logic test and raise you "The Immunity Syndrome," where Enterprise squares off against The Solar System Sized Ameoba OF DOOM!

Compared to that, "the Invaders" is viagra-hard science fiction.


'I Shot an Arrow'--astronauts take off from earth, crash land and ASSUME they're on another world--even though it has the same atmosphere, gravity and landscape as California? And they're in a rocket not a starship that would make them a least think another star system. They think they're on an asteroid--with the same gravity as Earth?
And in response I offer "Wolf in The Fold," where the chief engineer of this wonderful sci-fi series of starring and trekking is possessed by - wait for it - the ghost of freaking Jack the Ripper!


'Where is Everybody' astronaut goes bonkers after 136 hours in isolation? Really? Literally thousands of humans have been in solitary confinement for months and come out sane. An elite astronaut goes bonkers after 6 days? Man they made a poor choice--he sure had the wrong stuff. They even said he had access to entertainment tapes. Shoot, I could survive for a couple of weeks with my Blu-ray collection and no company.
Prisoners in solitary get one hour a day out in the open air. An astronaut in a gemini-sized capsule wouldn't. Who knows how important that one our of outdoors is to someone with no human interaction?

They're great, thought-provoking dramas, but great sci-fi?
I thought the definition of great sci-fi was thought provoking drama in a speculative setting?
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Last edited by Admiral2; October 24 2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old October 24 2012, 01:06 AM   #111
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Grant wrote: View Post
I love TLZ too and broke my bank buying it on Blu-ray. In my top 10 shows of all time for sure.

I think stories of TLZ are so special that the science element is a non-factor.

In 'Where is Everybody' it matters not that he is actually in a simulator--what matters is the 24 minutes before that and his plight as a lonely confused human being.

Of course the quality of the fiction is paramount--I'm just playing devil's advocate.

Understood. And I was just trying to stress that the attention to science isn't necessarily the determining factor when it comes to ranking sf shows.

(A debate which goes back at least as far as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells!)
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Old October 25 2012, 04:55 PM   #112
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Oh, really? The premise of Forbidden Planet begins with "Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space explorers." Simplification? Maybe. Over-simplification? Hardly.
"Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space explorers" is a simplification of Forbidden Planet itself. It's the Maguffin that sparks the main plot of that movie, not the plot itself. If Trek did an episode about "a scientists id terrorizes space explorers while he sleeps" every few weeks, I'd agree. Ancient techology is the hook you're hanging these plots on, and Trek dipped into that well often, but they also loved doing stories about "out of control AI" and "snooty godlike aliens." What matters is what they did with these concepts. Remaking the central plot of Forbidden Planet is not one of the routes they took.


Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Not all of it. Just the moonbase and transport sequences. Everything else was a Trek rehash.
The second year, yes. The first year, no. It was very different from Trek that year. Consciously so.

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Carriers, not battleships. There's a difference.
Not much, at least not for the purposes of this discussion.

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
And Twilight Zone was more fun than both of them.
That's subjective. I find Trek to be overall more fun than Twilight Zone. A bad Star Trek still gives me entertainment. A bad Twilight Zone is just bad.

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
I was talking about the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" with Endora from Bewitched fighting off little astronauts, which had nothing to do with The Fugitive, and was cooler and more imaginative than most of the things Gene and company ever came up with.
Sorry, I thought you meant the Quinn Martin TV series. The Twilight Zone is remembered primarily for the classic episodes, which are indeed classic. However, it also had a HUGE number of flops. For every Invaders or Odyssey of Flight 33, you have a Mighty Casey, or Come Wander with Me, or From Agnes with Love, or What's in the Box. It well deserves its reputation, but people are very happy to forget the (as Serling himself called them) "turkeys." Star Trek deserves the same consideration, but doesn't often get it. Give me Spock's Brain over Mr. Dingle the Strong any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

But, again, it's subjective. I prefer adventure sci-fi. TZ was not that. Apples and oranges, really.
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Old October 25 2012, 06:44 PM   #113
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Mr. Spook wrote: View Post
"Ancient technology disrupts the lives and mission of future space explorers" is a simplification of Forbidden Planet itself. It's the Maguffin that sparks the main plot of that movie, not the plot itself. If Trek did an episode about "a scientists id terrorizes space explorers while he sleeps" every few weeks, I'd agree. Ancient techology is the hook you're hanging these plots on, and Trek dipped into that well often, but they also loved doing stories about "out of control AI" and "snooty godlike aliens." What matters is what they did with these concepts. Remaking the central plot of Forbidden Planet is not one of the routes they took.
Maybe, but even just using the same Maguffin over and over leads one to question the series' suppposed creativity. even the guy who invented the word "maguffin" didn't use the same one constantly.

The second year, yes. The first year, no. It was very different from Trek that year. Consciously so.
Like hell. Turn the moonbase into a starship and what you have is Trek done by the Andersons, both years.



Not much, at least not for the purposes of this discussion.
To someone who actually knows the difference between a carrier and a battleship, saying there's not much of difference between the two is like saying there's no significant difference between a tank and an airplane.



That's subjective. I find Trek to be overall more fun than Twilight Zone. A bad Star Trek still gives me entertainment. A bad Twilight Zone is just bad.
The Twilight Zone is remembered primarily for the classic episodes, which are indeed classic. However, it also had a HUGE number of flops. For every Invaders or Odyssey of Flight 33, you have a Mighty Casey, or Come Wander with Me, or From Agnes with Love, or What's in the Box. It well deserves its reputation, but people are very happy to forget the (as Serling himself called them) "turkeys." Star Trek deserves the same consideration, but doesn't often get it. Give me Spock's Brain over Mr. Dingle the Strong any day of the week and twice on Sundays.But, again, it's subjective. I prefer adventure sci-fi. TZ was not that. Apples and oranges, really.
First, the question in the first post could only generate subjective answers without a poll that included all science fiction TV shows from the year the first one premiered until the year 1985. Since the OP didn't feel like including one, every respondent had to go with personal opinion. I didn't expect everyone to agree with mine, especially not on a Trek board.

Second, since this is a Trek board, I'm sure you'll find plenty of people here willing to overlook trek's clankers. I just don't happen to be one of them, cause I think a show with creators that talk up the fact that it inspired real-life scientists ought to be held to higher standards than one - Twilight Zone - whose creator and principle writer said it was strictly for entertaintment purposes.

Finally, Mister Dingle the Strong is funny and entertaining and is led by a terrific actor, whose main contribution is not flopping around in a mini-dress going "Brain and brain, what is brain?!"

And Red Delicious apples are tastier than oranges...
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Old October 25 2012, 08:35 PM   #114
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

The difference between Trek and many other shows is that I can tolerate the clunkers. Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley make even the most cringeworthy episodes entertaining.
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Old October 25 2012, 10:04 PM   #115
Greg Cox
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Still, the fact that most of us seem to be able to reel off titles and episodes to support our arguments demonstrates just how enduring both shows are. Even the people arguing that TZ had more clunkers know the clunkers by name.

By contrast, I couldn't name five episodes of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA or THE BIONIC WOMAN if my life depended on it . . . .
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Old October 27 2012, 04:07 AM   #116
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

[QUOTE=Admiral2;7148293]
Grant wrote: View Post

And in response I offer "Wolf in The Fold," where the chief engineer of this wonderful sci-fi series of starring and trekking is possessed by - wait for it - the ghost of freaking Jack the Ripper!
It's worth noting that he's not possessed by the ghost of jack the ripper per se, but by the alien that also once posessed the killer(s) known as jack the ripper. I think it's a small detail that makes the idea a little more interesting because it has nothing to do with afterlife and it means aliens were messing around on earth at least as far back as the 1800s..
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Old October 27 2012, 06:53 PM   #117
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

[QUOTE=Mr_Homn;7163188]
Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Grant wrote: View Post

And in response I offer "Wolf in The Fold," where the chief engineer of this wonderful sci-fi series of starring and trekking is possessed by - wait for it - the ghost of freaking Jack the Ripper!
It's worth noting that he's not possessed by the ghost of jack the ripper per se, but by the alien that also once posessed the killer(s) known as jack the ripper. I think it's a small detail that makes the idea a little more interesting because it has nothing to do with afterlife and it means aliens were messing around on earth at least as far back as the 1800s..
Not more interesting, just slightly less silly...
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Old October 27 2012, 07:42 PM   #118
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Not much, at least not for the purposes of this discussion.
To someone who actually knows the difference between a carrier and a battleship, saying there's not much of difference between the two is like saying there's no significant difference between a tank and an airplane.
I think we all know the difference, but old BSG didn't hold to that distinction itself: Pegasus went in to fight the Cylon base-ships on her own, something a r/w carrier would never do. Also, the "fighters" never seemed to have much of a ship-killing role on their own, they just fought each other. The battlestars ended up looking more like a carrier-battleship hybrid than anything else.

Justin

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Old October 29 2012, 04:38 AM   #119
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

I can see my blood pressure won't let me come back to this thread again. Especially ridiculous and galling is some people's dismissal of original Trek, of all things, as bad SF, just a space adventure. I'm glad someone rebutted that with a list of things Trek got right, things they didn't have to worry about to make a space adventure. No one else on TV cared what a galaxy or light-year was, or cared about the astronomy. They didn't have to care, but they did and got it right.
I'm sick of this happening: When slamming a show, people will often hold it up to nitpicky, absolutist standards that they don't hold their favorites up to. One technical mistake does not by itself destroy an SF show's value or credibility as SF, even if it's a big mistake.
Take Sp:99 year one. I also wish that the basic premise of the Moon heading for deep space at warp speed was viable. But once you give them a pass on that one issue, you have a brilliantly conceived SF series which we'd never have had, without that basic premise. And I disagree violently about year one not dealing well with character personalities or human issues. They concentrated on humans' experience of the isolation, disempowerment, desperation, etc, of these people in that bizarre and grim situation. People miss it because it's done subtly and with economy. They don't wallow in personal lives and hobbies and careers like Next Gen, but that's part of what makes Sp:99 yr 1 great. They concentrated on the larger picture.
The mysterious forces and episode endings were intentional. They wanted you to think and imagine in response to them. Anything we encounter out there won't be wrapped up and understood completely in an hour, and there are things we won't ever understand.
Someone said that no TV SF can possibly match any written SF. There are many brilliant SF TV episodes, and much horrible written SF. I agree, though, that great, classic, written SF is the standard TV SF should shoot for.
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Old October 29 2012, 04:20 PM   #120
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Re: Is TOS the best sci-fi TV American series until 1985?

UnknownSample wrote: View Post
I can see my blood pressure won't let me come back to this thread again.
Don't feel bad. I'm starting to feel that way about the whole damn forum. It seems I can't go into any of these boards without being automatically dismissed or ridiculed.

This place is supposed to be fun, but hasn't been for a while.
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