Which Sci-Fi shows have aged the best?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by DarthTom, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I never new the back story on that. It's amazing they could crank out such bad stories but have this gem hidden in the rubble. Yes, the Starbuck episode with the Cylon re-named 'Cy,' by Starbuck was the original BSG's best episode.

    Anyone who hasn't seen it should.

    BTW, Wiki has this interesting tidbit about a sequel to that episode that was never made:

     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I didn't know about "The Wheel of Fire". I'm immediately made to wonder how much that storyline influenced nuBSG's handling of Starbuck, because there seem to be obvious parallels.
     
  3. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Funny that some cite Space:1999's bell-bottoms as aging the series, but in reality, the bell-bottom look made a temporary comeback in the real 1990's--the early 90s as the 70's was in vogue again. This was seen in the new appreciation/marketing of Blaxploitation movies, Dazed and Confused, Tarantino's early films feeding off of 70's references, a golden age for 70s music reissues and compilations released, and later that decade, That 70s Show's debut on TV. So with that said, one could argue that Space 1999's bellbottoms were just predicting the retro 70's movement that would happen of the 90's.

    On the other hand, Battlestar Galactica--set in the far future--was awful the first time out, with forced "sci-fi" terms not even used in the worst of 1950's kiddie sci-fi (Rocky Jones, Space Patrol, etc.). Then, there's the disco/prostitute imagery obsession that looked like the kind of cheap trappings found at Hugh Hefner parties of the same period. You can aim this criticism at Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, too.

    Lost in Space ages better than some would think, only because so many of its episodes were set on barren planet sets, so what little technical design appeared, it was limited to the Jupiter 2, which is more hit and miss than total miss as a design.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation - one of the biggest, design mistakes which were dated right out of the gates:the early Phasers, which looked like the kind of endlessly cloned "futuristic" designs seen at schools like Art Center, and as much as TNG tried to separate/advance the design from TOS-TV/TOS movies, the Phasers were nothing more than a glorified appliance. It s no wonder its unofficial nickname was the Dust Buster.
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    I think the strongest argument for how well TOS' look aged was the 1701 and Defiant's appearances on DS9 and Enterprise, respecitvely. Using then-modern cameras/lighting, the TOS set designs were honestly beautiful, and did not seem out of place or dated on series with 1990s/2000s production design.

    I'm not sure if the DS9 or ENT interiors will hold up that well some 30-40 years from now.
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek TOS.

    It's really remarkable that Paramount is going to release a mega-expensive movie this summer in which most of the visual design is identifiably based on costumes, sets and overall art design originated for a television series in 1964-68.

    Trekkies who obsess over the ways in which the thing has been changed tend to overlook how amazingly similar everything actually is, given that the original is half a century old and the movie designers clearly aren't embracing that look for its "retro" appeal. The essential design concepts are that strong.
     
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Those are fairly minor in the realm of world building, in terms of that, I think the original show did a better job of making a believable space culture compared to nubsg.

    RAMA
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That's an interesting point, although in that case bell-bottoms were probably one of the few things that Space: 1999 got right about the 90's. :lol:
     
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

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    Fixating on fashion as a reason something is dated is redundant. Fashion by definition is dated.

    Paul McCartney's song "Vintage Clothes" is spot on

    Meaning what is the current fashion will soon be dated. Than come back into fashion. Its cyclical.

    I think it depends on when we are born. But also the stage of our lives we are in. I was born in 1978. Growing up in the 80s and early 90s I thought everything from the 70s looked ancient and odd. The hair styles in Star Wars and BSG etc. But now as I am older I see difference in time from the 70s and 80s is no different than 2000s to the 2010s. More importantly I see teens with hair almost exactly like Luke's in ANH every single day.

    Another factor is picture quality. Seeing stuff from the 70s as a kid, the picture quality of tv shows and movies from that era was usually awful. Seeing them on cable the colors were washed out and no details, and pan and scanned. I use to assume this is how everything originally looked in the 70s. It was not until DVD and proper restorations that I realized I had been seeing badly made transfers. Plus copies that had worn out after multiple reairings.
     
  9. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree. Space:1999 story and production design are still brilliant, even though it was produced in the '70s.
     
  10. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree.:vulcan:

    Agree.:vulcan:

    Agree. The Jupiter 2 sets[both upper and lower decks] are still an impressive setting for a series.:techman:
     
  11. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually I think the UN-aired pilot for Lost in Space in some respects is more impressive than some of the later episodes - discounting that you'd think they'd envision that TV cameras wouldn't miniaturize.

    Lost in Space pilot
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Why shiouldn't the guy live in the past if everything is coming back? :)
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I'll agree. Think about all that happened in that single hour (plus a few minutes). The launch, the meteor shower, the plummet into the atmosphere, the crash, the evacuation of the ship, the sea storm, and we end with a cliffhanger implying a possible hostile "first encounter". That thing was a roller-coaster ride almost worthy of Indiana Jones!

    And at least the ship, originally designated the Gemini XII, made more sense. There was only that single "flight deck", no "impossible to fit" lower level. At least that version theoretically had room for an "engine" and a ground vehicle "kit".

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  14. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would say that Quantum Leap has aged well, but it's kind of a cheat given that it's a show almost always set in the past. There are a couple of episodes where we see more of the future, and it doesn't play too well today; but overall, I think the series will hold up indefinitely.

    Sliders season one and two have also held up pretty good; but there's some really dated technology that pops up from time to time (like the big CRT monitors for computers they frequently use), and that pulls you out of the show for a minute (or at least it does me).

    However, I believe that one which is going to hold up incredibly well is Farscape. The only part that could ever date it are the pop culture references; but the beauty is that future audiences will just instead identify with the aliens who find it confusing. I believe that the high production values and great story will only lead Farscape to become more appreciated as the years go by.
     
  15. USS Kongo

    USS Kongo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. Farscape is well-written, well-acted and has great production values. It should only garner more fans as time goes by.

    Another series that also holds up extremely well is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I rewatched a couple of seasons for the first time in about twelve years, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was overall.

    Sean
     
  16. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Firefly ought to age pretty well. The Western motif will never seem more out of touch later as opposed to now, and none of the computer displays look liked anything we currently or previously have.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I dunno... I think as America's population continues to grow more diverse, audiences will look more askance on a supposedly hybrid Chinese/Western culture that doesn't seem to have any actual Asian people in it.
     
  18. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    The station is alien, so I think it will hold up.

    The NX-01 has a kind of utilitarian look that I think will age well.
     
  19. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that there are two things that can date a show. The first is the overall design, and in many cases, there is really no getting around it. Buck Rogers, "early" episodes of TNG, TOS and many others all "look" dated. The other thing that dates a show is dialogue and references that try to look "hip" at the time of production. Disco references in seventies shows, or the classic "hippy Eden" episode of TOS are examples of this.

    For me, what makes a show stand up after time is not its appearance, but the actual content therein. In that respect much of the various incarnations of Trek really hold up, as does a show like Farscape--which is set in a specific earth period anyway. For me, shows like Buck Rogers were dated less than a decade after they aired.

    One thing that holds up quite well over the last fifty years is the design of the actual starships or bases in many programs. The Enterprise is an iconic design as is the Battlestar Galactica or even Moonbase Alpha. I really admire the design work in many of these shows.
     
  20. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The other thing that can badly date a show are decidedly retrograde attitudes about cultural/social issues. Shows with conservative cultural attitudes tend to look backwards for more modern audiences.

    Socieities generally tend to become more permissive and accepting over time...so shows that touch on those issues in a negative way will look out of date faster. For instance, TOS' attitudes towards racial integration was much more liberal and optimistic than American culture of the mid 60s. As a result, its attitudes on race look rather unremarkable to a modern audience and make it look less dated. Conversely, the rampant sexism in Lost in Space REALLY dates that show badly. The women, despite supposedly being briliant scientists and explorers in their own right are frequently left at home doing dishes, folding laundry and making dinner while the men folk go off and have adventures. Lost in Space actually feels more like a 50s show when it comes to its attitudes towards women.

    Star Trek also has some problems in terms of attitudes toward women, but it gets some credit for trying to break out of its 60s box. Where TOS really falls short is its bizarre...almost luddite attitudes towards computers. TOS has a near hysterical paranoia about computers and mechanization that seems odd to a 21st century audience that walks around with computers in their pockets. Now compare this to say Lost in Space, where the Robot was a valued and trusted member of the family. A better example can be found in comparing an episode of Star Trek with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The first season of Voyage featured an episode called "The Human Computer" where the US government fits the SeaView with an advanced computer capabable of running the ship and doing all of the things that the human crew could do. At a basic level, its very similar to the TOS episode "The Ultimate Computer." The difference in tone between the episodes is that where as TOS has a paranoid fear of coputers running wild, the Voyage episode never has invokes fear of the computer. In fact that worrying part of the episode was that it would be stolen and used by the soviets.