"The third great SF franchise"??

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by RAMA, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Criteria such as

    Longevity
    Cross Media (i.e TV/Film/Books/Comics)
    General Awarness

    The first two I listed are easy, the third is slighlty more subjective and could vary from country to country.
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right ho, although popularity perhaps must figure somewhere -- perhaps as measured by generated revenue. Now we have to decide exactly what to include in SF. Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Star Wars are all fantasy IMO.
     
  3. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I'd definitely say the criteria is difficult to agree on. It's almost like we know it when we see it. Box office is a ok indicator but money alone won't do it. Fandom but also general awareness is important. Longevity is another indicator, but not the true test alone. Pop culture references are a good gauge but but can just show familiarity rather than popularity. Influence.. How a movie affects film-making technically and creatively are also important.

    I'm still thinking Dr Who and Godzilla are the top contenders. Before the recent worldwide reawakening of Dr Who I'd have said Dr Who was more regional and "cult" rather than the third big franchise. Today I see Dr Who bumper stickers every week. Wouldn't have imagined it 12 years ago.
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If there isn't a metric by which to measure a criterion, it's not objective -- although, of course, the choice of criteria is itself subjective and the performance of the measurement can be biased. A majority consensus is the best that can be hoped for. I can't imagine what the criterion is for whether a franchise is SF or not -- percentage of scientific gobbledegook words in the script > 5%? How do we define and agree on which words are scientific gobbledegook anyway?
     
  5. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    There is no "definite" third franchise.

    Star Trek is the most important franchise originating from and primarily based on TV, while Star Wars is the most important franchise orginating from and primarily based on feature films.

    The second most important TV-based franchise is probably Doctor Who, and the second most important feature film-based franchise is probably the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
     
  6. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    ^ It all depends on one's definition of "science fiction". Besides the above, there's also Planet of the Apes, Transformers, Alien/Predator/AvP/Prometheus, Godzilla, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth… etc. LotR can easily be dismissed as Fantasy but what about the rest? And isn't Star Wars also more fantasy than sci-fi?
     
  7. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    My personal favourite 3 are Star Trek , Star Wars, and The Twilight Zone. Although the three biggest and most popular are probably Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who.
     
  8. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I almost never see people in Star Trek t-shirts or wearing Star Trek accessories, likewise for Star Wars. But over the last several years I've seen Doctor Who t-shirts and badges all over the place. And not on the stereotypical geek guys, but on kids, young women, you name it.

    Another measure of impact: Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who have hundreds of licenced tie-in novels and hundreds of nonfiction books each. That can't be said of Babylon 5, Stargate, Firefly, Planet of the Apes, etc.
     
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  9. dahj

    dahj Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most people don't wear their pajamas outdoors ;)
     
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  10. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    it's true that Trek has faded a bit. Sadly.

    I see Star Wars t shirts EVERYWHERE. Even Doctor Who is part of this modern 'geek chic' culture, and it was arguably even more niche and nerdy than Trek at one point.

    Hopefully Discovery can bring Trek's 'sexy' back. If JJ's films couldn't do it, I wonder if anything can
     
  11. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is an interesting discussion to be sure, but I agree with others that it's pretty much Star Trek, Star Wars, and then a huge drop-off into niche obscurity and cult-status if you are talking about true science fiction.

    I'm a sci if fan, and always have been, but the only "recognizable" things about Doctor Who for me are the phone booth and the British guy with the Afro and scarf.

    Avatar was one movie that grossed a butt-load of box office based off of gimmicky 3D fx.

    Marvel and DC isn't sci-fi. Potter isn't sci-fi. Lord of the Rings isn't sci-if. Bond isn't sci-fi. None have the far-reaching, generation-spanning impact that Trek and Wars have had yet (maybe Bond...but that's DEFINITELY not sci-fi). Give them all another 25-35 years and ask me again. But they're still not sci-fi.

    Galactica, Stargate, Babalyon 5 and Firefly are all interesting, but nowhere near "culturally impactful."

    I wouldn't consider War of the Worlds a franchise, just a universal classic story that's been retold a bunch of times.

    I'd argue that the next one in line is probably Twilight Zone or Alien, with Zone getting a slight edge. And, it's still way down the line from The other two. WAY down.
     
  12. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great SF franchise should have the word "Star" in it, so here is the list:
    Star Trek
    Star Wars
    Stargate
     
  13. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    So, what does Google think?

    https://www.google.ca/search?q="star+wars": About 199,000,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="star+trek": About 59,100,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="doctor+who": About 56,700,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="stargate": About 19,500,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="x-files": About 11,600,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="twilight+zone": About 9,310,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="battlestar galactica": About 7,810,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="farscape": About 2,440,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="space 1999": About 574,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="outer+limits": About 553,000 results
    https://www.google.ca/search?q="babylon+5": About 437,000 results
     
  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Stargate was good, but hasn't really had the staying power, or cultural influence of the other two Stars or even Dr. Who. I'd probably say that at their height The X-Files and NuBSG were bigger too. I know I saw a lot more stuff popping up in the media, both genre based and mainstream, about those two that I ever did about Stargate.
     
  15. dahj

    dahj Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When Google starts thinking we'll all be in trouble... :D
     
  16. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I remember reading once that NuBSG only had about two or three million US viewers an episode -- on par with Enterprise, basically. It just got a lot more media attention than most shows with that kind of audience. There were arguments that it was one of the first shows to have a huge, unmeasured audience through Tivo and whatnot, but even if you double the audience, you've got fewer people than the average UK audience for Doctor Who -- in a country with about a fifth as many people.

    I can't help but think that Stargate may have been the SF equivalent of Wings. That was a popular sitcom with pretty good ratings, lasted for years, and made no cultural impact at all. X-Files was really big, too, but it outstayed its welcome and I know I wasn't the only former fan who would have ended it earlier.

    Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who are the big three. Longevity, audience (we don't all live in the USA), books, comics, cultural impact. Nothing else compares.
     
  17. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I certainly agree that Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who are the "bigs" in this conversation, I would also throw Highlander into the mix of the "also rans".... Love it or hate it, the franchise has five movies (of varying quality), a cartoon, an anime and a pretty successful TV show run.. It's never been more than just slightly above "cult" status, but most people I know are at least familiar with it and have fond memories of the first movie.
     
  18. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    ^ And a second (spin-off) TV series.
     
  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A brand new Highlander comic series just launched on Wednesday.
    I had honestly assumed it's numbers were a lot better than that. But I was mainly talking about the fact that it got a lot of talk while it was on the air, and even in the years since it ended shows like Big Bang Theory will still throw in the occaisional "what the frack" and stuff like that.
    I have to admit, I'm actually a little surprised there wasn't more cultural impact from Stargate.Even while it was on the air I rarely saw articles on Stargate, and I don't think I've ever seen a reference to things like Gao'uld or Jaffa outside of the franchise.
    Yeah, I think DW would probably be number three. I work at Wal-Mart and I've been amazed how often I've seen people wearing DW clothes. Sadly, I think I've only seen people wearing Star Trek clothes a couple of times in the 9 years I've worked there.
     
  20. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ I forgot about the comic.. And now a new one.. I'll have to check that out!

    There was also a Highlander card game, but I never got into that...