Did You Love Other Vintage Sci-Fi Shows?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Dr. Smith?

    I could not stand Buck Rogers; the stupid meter used on BSG was turned on high in BR. Gil Gerard stuffing his diet-challenged ass in a spacesuit, or wearing open necked shirts to expose his hairy chest was only part of the disaster. The set decorations looked like something only seen at a sleazy Hugh Hefner party (circa 1979), and Twiki...Lost in Space's Dr. Smith never had moments as annoying as Twiki's.

    I remember being thrilled a LR series was in the works, since the film was fascinating in several ways. Unfortunately, the series lacked the urgency/danger of the film, as the TV Francis was nowhere near as threatening as the film version. When your chief antagonist is watered down, where can the series go from there?

    I thought it dealt with a few big ideas for the era. Perhaps it would have worked as a TV movie, rather than a series.

    Space 1999 still looks great, but the science was crud and the stories went downhill in the second season.

    I would like to see that again.

    All winners...well, Kolchak the Night Stalker was at its best when not ripping its own TV movies set up (no one believes the supernatural element of a crime / Kolchak goes it alone / story buried). R.I.N.G. (A.I. robot) was an example of a novel, unexpected story, with a direct conflict with the government.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Other than TOS?

    Before I found Star Trek in 1970 I knew Lost In Space, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, The Invaders, The Time Tunnel, Land Of The Giants, The Adventures Of Superman, the Flash Gordon serials, Space Ghost, Johnny Quest, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Stingray. After finding Star Trek one by one they all fell off my radar. After TOS only UFO and The Six Million Dollar Man resonated.

    Over the years I've revisited quite a few of them and (at least) moderately revised my opinion.

    Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea - this straddles a line (in the first season) between respectable and absurdity. Season 1 just managed to keep from getting too stupid. It's. a mixed bag in the first season, but there are some solid efforts in there.

    Lost In Space - a lot of fun when I was a kid, but now it's just too goofy. The first season remains okay overall, but it's a definitely slide after the first handful of episodes. The prominence of Smith the clown ruined the show. I also think the show looks better in b&w and the Jupiter II is still damned cool.

    UFO - revisited this recently and except for a couple of dull episodes I still think it's pretty solid, the riot of colours notwithstanding. I still would like to see this revisited respectfully as a new series reboot or a feature film.

    The Six Million Dollar Man - I revisited this about a year ago, the first two seasons anyway, and while not brilliant I was pleasantly surprised how well much of it held up. Steve Austin might well have been one of the last if not the last old-fashioned hero. Today he'd be written full of angst. He was Superman with technological twist. I had hoped the abbreviated show Now And Again could have been a decent SMDM reboot, but it wasn't to be.

    The Adventures Of Superman - yeah, it's dated, but I still love George Reeves as Superman/Clark and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane. First season in b&w is best.

    I'd like to revisit The Time Tunnel and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hell, sometimes the entire show looked like a sleazy Hugh Hefner party.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1W6OlH3ms0[/yt]
     
  4. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original STAR TREK is still my first, true love. My mom remembers me rushing into the living room as a toddler whenever the first few bars of Courage's theme played. But there are a few other vintage shows that I love from that period, both science fiction and not. Here's a few:

    Lost in Space: The first few episodes of the first season and the original pilot showcase such potential that's ultimately wasted as the show degenerated into typical Irwin Allen schluck and the focus was more on the trio of Will, Dr. Smith and the Robot. But those first group of episodes were wonderful stuff.

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: The B&W first season also had potential that's washed away as it becomes a sea monster of the week show. The conflict between Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane is wonderful, which is the kind of conflict I wished Picard and Riker had in TNG.

    The Adventures of Superman: Like Warped9, Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman and Coates as Lois Lane in the first season is the best. Coates remains my favorite Lois Lane because she's much closer to the 1930s/40s version that's an agressive, capable reporter and not just swooning over Superman. And Superman in this season is closer to the social crusader that Shuster/Sigel imagined him to be. And the first season is more of a noir crime drama than science fiction, which is great!

    I Spy: The first half of the first season is great drama and a bit more harder edge on social topics, like drug addiction, than TOS ever was in its more "social commentary" episodes. And Alexandar Scott was a helluv a lot more of a progressive character than Uhura is given credit for being.

    Mission: Impossible: The first three seasons are the best. The first season had some great character bits for a show whose characters were mostly cyphers.

    Space: 1999: It's hokey. The concept nearly ridiculous. However, it's not so much science fiction as it is Lovecraftian horror in space, especially the first season. In fact, S:1999 shows us a universe that's really out to kill us and has more of a cosmological bent than STAR TREK.

    And it goes without saying, love, love The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. In fact, I wished that STAR TREK had more of a bite and consistency that those shows had going for them. I agree with Rod Serling that Trek could sparkle sometimes but be average television at times as well, or as he put it, "inconsistant."

    I only liked one episode of TIME TUNNEL, and that's the Peral Harbor episode. Never could get into LAND OF THE GIANTS. Still have to see UFO.
     
  5. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    I loved the original Battlestar Galactica... and just like with the new "reimagined" Star Trek, I could never bring myself to watch the new BSG, even though Ron Moore, one of the greatest writers in Star Trek history, was the driving force behind it.

    Just like Kirk can never be separated from Shatner in my mind, Adama can never be separated from Lorne Greene... etc. with all the other TOS characters. Reimagined series hold no appeal for me.
     
  6. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Star Trek was my favorite show for so long, nothing came close, but I really like Doctor Who, Tom Baker is my Doctor, and Ultraman. Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Night Stalker, and Night Gallery are also favorites.

    I watched and like both Buck Rodgers and Battlestar Galactica, but they're ten plus years later, I don't think of them the same way.

    BTW, I recently bought the full Outer Limits dvd set and besides being a really good show, I had a really fun time playing spot the Star Trek (or other now famous) actor. I don't have the exact numbers, but I'd say it's 67% that someone from Star Trek is going to be on. I understand the supposed decrease in quality the second season, but I don't agree, I think some of the best are in the second season. But the first season music is superior, and they had many more monsters, so if you need a "bear" to be quality, then the second season did drop off. Also, there's this article which I found interesting: http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/startrekmyths2.htm
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I had dim memories of The Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone. Revisiting them later I found a lot of good stuff there. I didn't care at all for Space: 1999 back in the day, but revisiting it this past year I found quite a bit of Season 1 to be decent enough. Still, Season 2 has maybe one good episode and the rest is...not.
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    THE OUTER LIMITS was revived in 1995 and ran for seven years. It was extremely good, almost without fail. I'm sure it would have been an even bigger hit were it not for the anthology format with no regulars. The audience likes characters they know.
     
  9. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's a diplomatic way of putting it. I loved the "haunted castle in space" atmosphere of the first season of SPACE: 1999. Science didn't matter. This was about mood.

    Then the producers did a BUCK ROGERS and tried to make the second season more adventuresome and "Trek-like." (Pink jackets? Really?) The "action first, forget questions later" convention can be summed up in the segment for Martin Landau in the opening titles: He whips around in his chair, leaps up and fires from the hip before even taking a bead on what it was he was firing at. ("Oh, sorry about that, Carter. You had something to report?") I've read that season two was "punched up" for American audiences, which I find insulting.

    I'd pare season two down to less than an episode. Despite having seen the DVDs just recently, the one outstanding thing I remember is Maya (in a delirium) trying to fly an Eagle inside the hangar bay.
     
  10. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    LOST IN SPACE-The first season had some good episodes, but the rest was too childish to really recommend it.

    I don't hate LIS because competed it with Trek, I hated it because it wasn't very good.

    VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, LAND OF THE GIANTS, TIME TUNNEL: Giants is a very grounded SF show, it almost feels like it could have happened. It also had pretty good FX for the time. Voyage had a few good episodes early on but suffered very quickly after that. Time Tunnel isn't really grounded by any kind of reality and very quickly becomes unbelievable. If there ever was a Temporal Investigations unit in the future, these guys would have been flagged faster than warp drive.

    Classic GALACTICA and BUCK ROGERS: I like Galactica, I just wish it had better stories to tell. If it had 3-4 years to develop it might have gotten better. I understand they were seeking out established scifi writers for season 2, but it never came to pass. Blood and Chrome comes to mind as a GOOD example of how Galactica should've been, not like most of nuBSG or the 1979 version. Buck Rogers: Pure age 9-10 nostalgia is the only reason I can bear it at all, it's not a good show. Season 2 somehow made space feel less mysterious...every planet was an analogy to some ancient human history.


    MAN FROM ATLANTIS:I remember it put me to sleep even back in the 70s.

    LOGAN'S RUN: The only really good script was Harlan Ellison's, which is a must watch. http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/logantv/crypt/index.htm

    OUTER LIMTS: To this day one of the purest science fiction shows ever. It's becoming more out of date in some ways, but its atmospheric, smart, and cool at the same time. Probably too dry for some modern fans though.

    TWILIGHT ZONE: Excellent series, not much I can say that hasn't been said.

    SPACE 1999: A couple of good episodes but this is an example of a show that tried to be like ST circa 1960s and wound up feeling lifeless.

    UFO: Some coolness here, but seems pretty dated today. Some nice scifi equipment. The aliens were kind of uninteresting, they were scarier when we didn't see them. I could mention the obvious that any alien advanced enough to make it to Earth could have wiped the floor with those rockets..

    THE INVADERS: A good show!! Wish it would have lasted longer. X-Files before it's time. Hopeless cause though, probably a downer that kept it from being popular.

    BLAKE'S 7: YES! Cheap but rescued by it's characters. A Star Wars clone with a twist of Star Trek thrown in too. Possibly the best scifi show of the 70s along with Dr Who...

    DR WHO: A mixed bag but very ambitious show...this show had no business having episodes with huge empires, giant robots, hyper advanced civilizations, dinosaurs but dammit they did it anyway. Some of the actors in the 70s raised this above the actual material at times, Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee in particular.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I'm afraid this post is for us older guys (I'm 50), but anyway, long before the Internet I used to love any book or magazine I could get ahold of to document my beloved sci-fi shows.

    FANTASTIC TELEVISION was and still is a great book, and loaded with hundreds of photos (a big deal before the Net came along):

    [​IMG]

    This book even got into near-genre shows I loved like BEWITCHED, and gems from before my time like Julie Newmar (Yeah, Baby!) as a sexy fembot in MY LIVING DOLL.
     
  12. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Does anyone else remember the 1972 TV movie PROBE starring Hugh O'Brien, which became the series SEARCH?

    And obviously the Roddenberry movies were must-see TV for our generation of TOS fans: GENESIS II, PLANET EARTH, THE QUESTOR TAPES, and SPECTRE.

    I liked them all. I was eleven when GENESIS II first aired, and at my sister's wedding reception. I had to go to a bar in the basement (lucky they let me in at that age) to watch it. I don't think any film has opened with a more intriguing first line: "My name is Dylan Hunt, and my story begins the day I died." And the archeologists finding his body in the cavern chamber. So cool.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes! I really liked Search and would love to see the series on DVD.

    I also liked Genesis II at the time and so it would be interesting to see after all these years. I didn't care for Planet Earth as much and I've never seen The Questor Tapes.
     
  14. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see reading this that I am pretty much easy to please and very undemanding as a viewer than most of you guys. I love just about every show you hate. :-)
     
  15. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some of the original Outer Limits eps were amazingly prescient, like "O.B.I.T." Remove the alien-invader angle and it wouldn't even be considered science fiction today.

    Don't forget Mariette Hartley's dual navels.
     
  16. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I won't! :)

    Gene Roddenberry had an extremely well-deserved reputation as a sex maniac (the term Alexander Courage used for him), and I think it's notable that all of GR's productions were infused with sexual themes, to the extent he could get them in without pushback from above. Just look at Susan Oliver's scenes as a woman of color in "The Cage." Hot, hot, hot.

    Then came his made-for-TV movies. GENESIS II and PLANET EARTH both have sexualized S&M themes (Hartley's totalitarian regime disciplines their slaves with little cattle prods, Dylan is auctioned as a slave to the very cruel and dominant "Women of Ruth"...).

    At a cocktail party (if I recall) in THE QUESTOR TAPES, the first thing Questor notices is that "The males appear to be fixated on the epidermal portions of the females."

    Roddenberry wanted Questor to get a girl in the movie, because as an android, "...he could do what he wanted, as often as he wanted, probably for as long as he wanted." Apparently the network said no.

    SPECTRE had a lot of sexy stuff going on, especially for that era of TV.

    This is not even to mention his non-sci-fi film, PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW, where sex was the whole point.

    I guess you'd have to say Irwin Allen was just the opposite.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So did Roddenberry get his last laugh with TNG: The Naked Now?

    I'm only half-joking. From http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/D.C._Fontana:

    Does anybody know who was responsible for the Tasha and Data subplot in that episode?
     
  18. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Loved TZ. Calling this show "iconic" doesn't even begin to do it justice.

    Outer Limits, when it was good, it was very, very good.

    The Invaders. Loved this one too. Real "cold war era" feel to it. Loved how Vincent always seemed on the verge of cracking up. I don't think he even cracked a joke until the second season, when he had help.

    The Immortal. Really liked the pilot film. Haven't seen any of the eps in ages, but as I recall the writing was sub-par due to a labor dispute.

    Time Tunnel and Voyage, started off good but turned into "monster of the week" shows.

    "Night Stalker"-Loved both pilot movies, but the series was too campy by half.
     
  20. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, Time tunnel was not a monster of the week show. They had no monsters whatsoever, but they did get into space aliens and futuristic societies that didn't come off very well. The series got pedestrian. Voyage did embrace monsters, but did so from the very beginning. They just because more frequent and repetitive. I like monsters, so I had little problem with this.