Sci-Fi TV Shows that you're pretty sure only you watched.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dale Sams, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Phantom 2040 was written mostly by prolific trek novelists Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens who are responsible for a lot of Primeval New-World.

    Everything is connected.

    Galoping Galaxies!
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Like the earlier The Legend of Prince Valiant from the same production company, Phantom 2040 was a very smart, well-written, well-acted show that suffered from utterly horrible animation, which was a terrible shame. Also, while some might enjoy the character designs that were done by Peter Chung (most famous for Aeon Flux), I hated them.

    I always found it a mildly interesting convergence that the lead characters of Phantom 2040, Spider-Man Unlimited, and Batman Beyond, all of which came out within a few years of each other, all had high-tech, cyberpunkish costumes that could make their wearers virtually invisible.
     
  3. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yup, mentioned that earlier in the thread.

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=7606753&postcount=30

    They are working on "Phoenix Rising", the Captain Power remake. Also a series I mentioned.

    RAMA
     
  4. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The animation is not polished, it's true, but American Animation had yet to improve to the levels of the 2000s . I do still think they tried to do some unusual angles and persepctives, and some of the design elements were really forward thinking...stuff not seen on run of the mill future based American cartoons, or often in live action either.

    Of all those shows you mention, it's the Phantom as the "Ghost Who Walks" who seems most appropriate with cloaking technology. :techman:
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, that is so very, very untrue. Prince Valiant and Phantom 2040 looked terrible in comparison to the other animated shows that were on at the same time, such as Batman: The Animated Series and Gargoyles (or just about anything from Warner Bros. and Disney). Even X-Men and the early seasons of The Simpsons, from the generally execrable Akom Studios, didn't look as sloppy and crude as the animation in Valiant and Phantom -- although the syndicated season of ExoSquad, which was also Akom, looked nearly as bad. There was a wide range of animation qualities in '90s television, ranging from near-feature-quality to utterly awful. And the Hearst shows were just about at the bottom of the barrel.


    Sure, the problem wasn't with the designs (aside from my distaste for Peter Chung's character design style) but with the execution. The way US animation has worked for the past 2-3 decades is that the designs, storyboards, layouts, and sometimes key character poses are done by the production team in America, and then it's shipped (or, these days, e-mailed) overseas to an Asian studio that does the actual frame-by-frame animation, which is then shipped back to the US for editing and post-production -- and sent back for reshoots in the event of errors, which is far more easily done today than when everything had to be physically shipped. So there's not necessarily a correlation between the quality of the design and composition and the quality of the final animation. Depending on which animation studio you end up with, they can elevate the material or drag it down. There was nothing wrong with the US production of Valiant and Phantom, but the animation itself was of far lower quality than everything else.
     
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd still say the animation of the 90s was not as consistently good as equivalent type shows of the 2000s across the board. I was actually not a huge fan of the Batman stylization, I didnt want to see the heroes looking bloated and smooth and unfortunately they carried that over to Superman and then to a slightly lesser extent to JL. The stories usually made up for it.

    I'm still on board with you saying Phantom's animation was not great but I chalk it up more to inconsistency rather than general animation. I find it adequate and slightly less annoying than Batman's style.

    RAMA
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Consistently? No, there were a number of different overseas studios that work was subcontracted out to, often by the same show. So a given series would have different levels of quality depending on which studio did the work. But the really good studios like TMS and Spectrum did amazing work.

    The difference today is that animation is digital now so it's easier to make corrections and reshoots and otherwise ensure quality control. Another key factor is that we no longer have 65-episode seasons stripped in daily syndication, so production isn't as rushed and doesn't have to be farmed out to as many studios. That means a show can stick with the same overseas animators throughout a season and maintain a more consistent level of work.


    But again, you're not talking about animation there, you're talking about design. When I say that Prince Valiant and Phantom 2040 were badly animated, I'm talking about the technical skill with which the actual animation -- the process of drawing, painting, and shooting the sequential cels and the backgrounds they were placed over -- was done. For instance, there would often be shots in Prince Valiant where the ink and paint process was inconsistently done from one cel to the next, so the color of a character's sleeve would change as their arm moved, or a shadow on the side of their face would blink in and out as they talked. Or there would be errors in the drawing process so that a body part would disappear, or the cels would be misaligned so that smoke from a chimney would be coming from the middle of the chimney instead of the top. I'm talking about sloppiness and errors in the execution, the actual physical process of creating the animated images frame by frame, drawing by drawing. You're talking about design, which is an entirely different aspect of the process done at a much earlier stage by different people on a different continent.
     
  8. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Rewatching VR5 now, I have all of them plus 3 I've never seen. Wow, its amazing what a difference 18 years makes...I considered VR5 part of the new crop of 90s shows that changed the way later tv was made...serialized, glossy photography, quicker edits...but without a transfer to HD, the show loses its glossiness. When did the grunge thing wind up looking so dated?

    Still, while the mysterious part of the show could have had a creepier edge the story holds up pretty well. VR didn't become big in the way everyone thought, but the second wave of VR seems to be picking up. Even Second Life looks better than the non VR5 VR from this series. I think a remake is in order.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    1987. :rommie:
     
  10. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And now, after over 300 posts, I can make no other conclusion. It's a fact: No one but me has ever seen Marine Boy.
     
  11. Blamo

    Blamo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Code Name Eternity
     

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