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Old November 23 2012, 05:30 PM   #1
Gotham Central
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Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

So its slowly starting to look like Discovery's Science is starting to go after the fan base that SyFy has largely abandoned.

I was actually opposed to this at first. I like Science, and lamented the fact that it was yet another channel moving away from its core concept.

However a hybrid Science channel that actively tries to build bridges between real world science and science fiction could be pretty awesome. Its sort of how back in the golden days of the 90s, the SciFi Channel used to show things like Inside Space and other science fact shows.

Between BBC America and Science actively courting science fiction fans...can we now officially kick SyFy to the curb? Let SyFy become what its wanted to be for awhile now....USA2
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Old November 23 2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
So its slowly starting to look like Discovery's Science is starting to go after the fan base that SyFy has largely abandoned.

I was actually opposed to this at first. I like Science, and lamented the fact that it was yet another channel moving away from its core concept.

However a hybrid Science channel that actively tries to build bridges between real world science and science fiction could be pretty awesome. Its sort of how back in the golden days of the 90s, the SciFi Channel used to show things like Inside Space and other science fact shows.

Between BBC America and Science actively courting science fiction fans...can we now officially kick SyFy to the curb? Let SyFy become what its wanted to be for awhile now....USA2
I've thought for quite some time now, that it would be great for Science Channel to have a few SciFi shows, followed by (Or mixed in during the show) an analysis/discussion of the Science in the show versus real life science.
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Old November 23 2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

The thing is, the shows The Science Channel is picking -- Firefly and Fringe -- rate very, very low on the scientific-plausibility scale. Firefly didn't even figure out until the movie whether it was set in a single star system or a whole galaxy. And the only way to do a "Science of Fringe" feature like they're reportedly going to would be to explain how horribly wrong and nonsensical all the "science" in Fringe actually is.

Granted, there aren't many SFTV shows out there that have anything remotely resembling competent science, but there have been a few. Most of ST:TNG had relatively good science compared to later Trek shows. The Stargate franchise was often pretty good with the science -- SG-1's "Tangent" was one of the best hard-SF stories I've ever seen on TV, and Stargate Universe as a whole had pretty solid science thanks to using SF novelist John Scalzi as a consultant. The first season and a half of Andromeda was a pretty solid hard-SF show, although it went completely off the rails after its developer/showrunner Robert Hewitt Wolfe was let go. The first season or two of Primeval were pretty good with the paleontology, aside from some dramatic license, since that show was basically a spinoff of the Walking With Dinosaurs educational franchise, but again, it's gotten more and more fanciful and conceptually sloppy with each season since.

It's frustrating to me how little good science there is in SFTV and film, since I've always found SF to be a great vehicle for teaching science in an entertaining way. I'd love to see a channel that developed new SF programming that was designed to be plausible and educational. But I won't hold my breath. You can call yourself the Science Channel or the Discovery Channel or the Learning Channel, but the bottom line is that as long as you need to sell ad time to stay in business, you'll put ratings over educational integrity every time. That's why TLC and Discovery have so little on them that qualifies as educational anymore; even the venerable Mythbusters seems to have let the experimental process suffer in the name of simplicity and spectacle lately. And the Science Channel will pick up any show that they think will help them garner ratings, regardless of its educational merit, which is how we got the ludicrous situation of Fringe being passed off as a vehicle for teaching about science.
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Old November 23 2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Oddly, this makes more sense for Science than it did for SyFy - bringing in skiffy viewers potentially enlarges Science's viewership, while SyFy needed to move beyond that base in order to grow.
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Old November 23 2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

But, Christopher, can't yu teach just as well by pointing at how attrocious the Science in a progam is, and then laying out how the real science actually would work. After a Space Battle with view screens, point out what's wrong with the staging of the Space Battle, and how a vew screen would be completely useless in a real space battle...
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Old November 23 2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

^Sure, you can do that, but it's kind of inefficient to start out showing nonsense and then go to the effort to un-teach it. It would work better to insert good science in the shows themselves. There's a wealth of prose science fiction out there that features solid, plausible science and is very educational, but very little mass-media SF has ever tried to follow suit, and that's a missed opportunity.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
So its slowly starting to look like Discovery's Science is starting to go after the fan base that SyFy has largely abandoned.

I was actually opposed to this at first. I like Science, and lamented the fact that it was yet another channel moving away from its core concept.

However a hybrid Science channel that actively tries to build bridges between real world science and science fiction could be pretty awesome. Its sort of how back in the golden days of the 90s, the SciFi Channel used to show things like Inside Space and other science fact shows.

Between BBC America and Science actively courting science fiction fans...can we now officially kick SyFy to the curb? Let SyFy become what its wanted to be for awhile now....USA2
Yeah, I'm really starting to wish I got Science.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

^ Me too.

Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you're beautiful...
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Old November 23 2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Picking up reruns does nohing for me, I can get those on netflix. Does Science have any new scripted series in development? Preferably space opera.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

JD wrote: View Post
Yeah, I'm really starting to wish I got Science.
That's OK, study hard and keep trying, one day you'll get it
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Old November 23 2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The thing is, the shows The Science Channel is picking -- Firefly and Fringe -- rate very, very low on the scientific-plausibility scale. Firefly didn't even figure out until the movie whether it was set in a single star system or a whole galaxy. And the only way to do a "Science of Fringe" feature like they're reportedly going to would be to explain how horribly wrong and nonsensical all the "science" in Fringe actually is.

Granted, there aren't many SFTV shows out there that have anything remotely resembling competent science, but there have been a few. Most of ST:TNG had relatively good science compared to later Trek shows.
I doubt they will attempt to explain how some of the more outlandish Fringe technobabble or "framistats" are "real science". What they will more than likely deal with are the broader concepts presented on the show, like alternate universes and the like -- concepts that do have some basis in real science, or at least real theoretical science.

I would also think that the "science" of ST TNG is no closer to real science than what is seen in Fringe. In fact, of the two, I think Fringe has gotten closer to real science.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Does anyone seriously expect to learn science from fictional TV shows? I would be happy just not to be bored by yet another show about ghost hunting cops or teen vampires.
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Old November 23 2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Does anyone seriously expect to learn science from fictional TV shows? I would be happy just not to be bored by yet another show about ghost hunting cops or teen vampires.
So would I, and though I wouldn't depend on it, yes, you can learn some science from a fictional TV show. The problem is figuring out what is real science or at least real scientific theory, and what is just made up stuff to push the story forward.
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Old November 23 2012, 10:16 PM   #14
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

I'd watch a talk show after a space opera series, like Talking Dead, where the episodes dissected stuff like "why are they using a viewscreen in a space ship?!?" to discuss how the show compared with real science, but I wouldn't demand the real science be in the show all the time. I don't mind sound effects in space, I chalk that up to dramatic license. Ditto for viewscreens, they exist so the audience can follow the action better.
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Old November 23 2012, 10:29 PM   #15
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Picking up reruns does nohing for me, I can get those on netflix. Does Science have any new scripted series in development?
Exactly. Airing reruns of Fringe and Firefly is not at all comparable to what Syfy is doing, that is, they're still in the business of actually making science fiction series (like Defiance, due next year).

It's a bit of a stretch to say the Science Channel is courting sci-fi fans more than Syfy or that Syfy has abandoned them.
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