Author Topic: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters  (Read 54996 times)

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Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #210 on: August 22, 2011, 10:56:11 PM »
I'm a movie centric person, but only half my list was movie folks. Sci-fi is one of the few genres where I'm actually fairly well spread over the various mediums, so my list gets around. I think when it comes to movies, though, while I can think of a ton of sci-fi movies I hold close to my heart, a lot of them I love more to the concepts and aesthetics and general nature of the story than the characters within (not that I don't love the characters to, they're just... not the primary focus, I guess is a way to put it).

I also had Lister on my, uh, list. I didn't have Rimmer, though I did put brief thought into including Ace Rimmer (what a guy!). I love Lister because he seems like the perfect, enjoyable everyman (enjoyable from a distance, at least; to have to live with him would drive anyone quite mad in a matter of minutes). He's just clever enough to get by in any situation and still seems to enjoy what space has to offer. Even if he really just wants to get back home to Fiji.

Also, I rather enjoyed the Back to Earth specials. It's been a while, but I'd definitely peg it above the last series, and it had enough funny moments (loved the Enhance parody scene) to get by. The general Blade Runner spoof was pretty sweet too. Still, I remember years and years ago, when I was looking forward to the movie. Saw the news and the makeup tests, and for far too long I wouldn't let go of the delusion that it was still coming...


Offline D.B. Barnes

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #211 on: August 22, 2011, 10:57:28 PM »
Just about half my list has shown up in both the TV and film mediums (some in all three including literary.)

I would agree that TV characters have an advantage due to the fact that you can develop more of a relationship with them. I wonder if characters like Kenobi suffered (and Vader/Anakin might suffer) due to their substandard prequel manifestations.
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Watchman

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #212 on: August 22, 2011, 11:50:58 PM »
Good points.

Regarding relationships with television characters, I'm reminded of this friend I had in high school who was a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. One day he makes a crack about "Dixon Hill" in a Patrick Stewart voice. I'm like... "I gather this has something to do with Star Trek, but who the hell is Dixon Hill?!" He explains to me that it's Picard's favorite (fictional) author. I had to remind him "I don't watch the show, you can't expect me to know that."  :D

It's funny, though, it occurred to me that TV fans have a similar relationship to their material as cult movie fans when it comes to accumulating trivia & minutia. I like to revisit particular worlds, but I'd rather watch a film multiple times & pick up new things on subsequent viewings than devote myself to an ongoing drama. I suppose cult movie fans make their own relationships. (I also hate hate hate commercials, but DVD & streaming video make these more avoidable.)

My only minor disagreement would be that I don't think intellectual or cerebral sci-fi films are necessarily an exception; only if one is going by Hollywood standards, in which case, yes, the most popular sci-fi films tend to be sci-fi/action hybrids (I love the term "thinking man's action movie").

I suppose the compromise between TV shows & films are miniseries. Or, perhaps, radio shows. I've been meaning to listen to Orson Welles' original radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #213 on: August 23, 2011, 12:06:07 AM »
I suppose the compromise between TV shows & films are miniseries. Or, perhaps, radio shows. I've been meaning to listen to Orson Welles' original radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.

That's a good time right there. I downloaded the broadcast on MP3 off Amazon for 99 cents, then burnt it onto a CD. Me and Tyrant listen to it as a Halloween tradition with the lights turned down low.


Offline gojikranz

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #214 on: August 23, 2011, 01:08:45 AM »
i woulda had some B5 characters on mine if i had been paying attention.

b5 starts a bit slow but season 3-4 are, i think, some of the greatest sci fi television or just television period.
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #215 on: August 23, 2011, 03:15:19 AM »
b5 starts a bit slow but season 3-4 are, i think, some of the greatest sci fi television or just television period.

What I've said to people who I've talked to is similar, but a bit different: I think that Babylon 5 is probably the best SciFi that's been filmed (whether on TV or in movies).  The depth of the characters, the depth of the story, and the follow through are all exceptional.  [That is especially true if one mentally shuffles seasons 4+5 together... since Straczynski was told that the show would be dead after season 4 by the network, he had to cram the conclusion to the Earth war all into that one season, and eliminate the Psy war.  He intended them to overlap, just as the Shadow war and Earth wars overlapped.  Instead the fifth season has an almost 'tacked-on' feel, though I'm sure it would not have, had he been given the five years initially programmed for the one, massive, highly-interwoven story.]

The only problem I have with re-watching it (the next time will be my fourth I think) is consciously setting aside roughly 90 hours for one story.  ;D

It is, actually, the only science fiction that originated in an audio-visual medium where I have cared enough about the story to actually read books derived from it (the excellent - but roughly War and Peace-length - trilogy explaining what happened to Sheridan's son, Londo and G'Kar that was outlined by Straczynski and written by Peter David.  [One of the few writers to be allowed to script an episode of the TV series (the one dealing with Londo's wives), and whose run on the comic The Hulk was often extraordinary.  But I digress...  ;)  [And, yes, for those in the know, that last line was deliberate.]])

I liked Christopher Franke's music for the series, some of it independent of the series (i.e. some works out of context).  And for me, the fact that they were the first to try to go with all-computer effects, and pulled it off as well as they did, was remarkable in those days, when everyone else was still 'playing with toys'. ;)

Oh, and this from Wikipedia, for those comparing B5 to DS9 (keep in mind: DS9 was still my favorite Star Trek series... possibly for this reason):
Quote
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine controversy
The pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) aired just weeks before the debut of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski indicated that Paramount Television was aware of his concept as early as 1989,[57] when he attempted to sell the show to the studio, and provided them with the series bible, pilot script, artwork, lengthy character background histories, and plot synopses for 22 episodes "or so planned episodes taken from the overall course of the planned series".[58][59] Paramount passed on Babylon 5, but later announced Deep Space Nine was in development after Warner Bros. announced its plans for Babylon 5. Straczynski has stated on numerous occasions that, even though he's confident that Deep Space Nine producer/creators Rick Berman and Michael Piller did not see this material, he thinks Paramount may have used his bible and scripts to steer development of Deep Space Nine.[60][61]


It's funny, my brother and I were discussing TV vs. Film a while back (I came down heavily on the side of TV, as the ability to develop relationships between characters, and between characters and their environments can happen in a more believable fashion, not being crammed into usually a 90-120 minute timespan).  But I do acknowledge and appreciate the occasional remarkable film that has a believable progression during its time-frame.  [I don't know if anyone saw my photos of my film collection elsewhere in the forum, but they were not all RiffTrax'ed films.]

I agree with Imrahil: most so-called film SciFi tends to be
loud and explosiony and dumb
and - dare I say it - rarely actually SciFi, usually what calls itself SciFi in film and on TV tends to be 'Fantasy' or 'Action' in Space... that's not the same thing.


Well, as anyone that knows me knows, the fact that this post is as long as it is (and that some sentences never QUITE seem to end, with multiple detours before their conclusion ;) ), I'm waaaaaaay past my capacity and should've already been in bed trying to sleep.  [It's ~6:15am now.]  So I'm outta' here.
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anais.jude

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #216 on: August 23, 2011, 05:38:35 AM »
I actually think the movies vs TV angle has to do with what movies are considered iconic in the sci-fi genre. Take those movies and think about the characters you would spend HOURS defending and anaylsing. In my mind, there as much substance to the movie characters as to some of their TV counter-parts.

Also, Star Trek is movies more than TV amongs the general populace, I would say.


Watchman

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #217 on: August 23, 2011, 07:44:34 AM »
I actually think the movies vs TV angle has to do with what movies are considered iconic in the sci-fi genre. Take those movies and think about the characters you would spend HOURS defending and anaylsing. In my mind, there as much substance to the movie characters as to some of their TV counter-parts.

Also, Star Trek is movies more than TV amongs the general populace, I would say.

Really? I wouldn't.  I mean, I guess the general populace under 20 might only know about the recent movie, but even that has made clear its roots in TV.

I think Anais might have meant comparing the OS movies to the OS shows & the TNG movies to the TNG shows; at least that's what sprang to my mind. I don't immediately think of Star Trek 2009* because these reboot incarnations have no televised antecedents (unless you count Old Spock [I almost typed Old Spice], but that's a debate I'm steering clear of).

Let's put it this way... I think pre-Abrams Star Trek movies are more likely to be a gateway to the show than vice versa. At least in my own personal experience as a film guy, the Borg as presented in First Contact I found such an interesting concept that I tracked down & watched the TNG episodes that dealt with the Borg. Similarly, The Wrath of Khan inspired me to watch "Space Seed".

*=(I must say, the most irritating thing about these remakes, reboots, "reinterpretations", sequels, etc, is that you can't simply say the title. You have to add the year or the director's name to specify whether you're talking about the original or the remake.)


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #218 on: August 23, 2011, 09:24:31 AM »
in response to your footnote: That's because they appropriate the fucking title of the previous franchise without a distinguishing mark. It's irritating.

Yeah, I mean, the prequel to "the Thing" is called "the Thing"?  Not "the Thing Lives" or "the Thing from Another World" or god forbid: "the Thing: Origins"?


anais.jude

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #219 on: August 23, 2011, 09:38:02 AM »
That is exactly what I mean Katonic.


My absolute first introduction to Star Trek (outside of clips in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) is watching Search for Spock. Then I watched Generations and First Contact. A part of me always wanted to watch the show, but I need to watch things in order and at the time (I was in high school, so 97 and 98) it was pretty hard to get entire seasons of a TV show. Then when they released the seasons on DVD, Star Trek was always really expensive. I tried renting the original via Netflix, but the order was really off from my research. Now that they are on instant watch, I can finally enjoy them


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #220 on: August 23, 2011, 09:49:02 AM »
in response to your footnote: That's because they appropriate the fucking title of the previous franchise without a distinguishing mark. It's irritating.

Yeah, I mean, the prequel to "the Thing" is called "the Thing"?  Not "the Thing Lives" or "the Thing from Another World" or god forbid: "the Thing: Origins"?

Makes it all the more irritating when they insist it's not a remake, and then do it like that. I'm sure they're not the only example for something like that, either.


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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #221 on: August 23, 2011, 09:52:46 AM »
I am not looking forward to next.  I mean at least the first Star Trek movie was called Star Trek the motion Picture so the 2009 movie was the first movie named Star Trek,but come next summer there will be two movies named Star Trek 2.


anais.jude

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #222 on: August 23, 2011, 10:19:59 AM »
I am not looking forward to next.  I mean at least the first Star Trek movie was called Star Trek the motion Picture so the 2009 movie was the first movie named Star Trek,but come next summer there will be two movies named Star Trek 2.

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Lens Flare




Offline LucasM

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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #223 on: August 23, 2011, 10:39:18 AM »
I actually think the movies vs TV angle has to do with what movies are considered iconic in the sci-fi genre. Take those movies and think about the characters you would spend HOURS defending and anaylsing. In my mind, there as much substance to the movie characters as to some of their TV counter-parts.

Also, Star Trek is movies more than TV amongs the general populace, I would say.
I think Anais might have meant comparing the OS movies to the OS shows & the TNG movies to the TNG shows; at least that's what sprang to my mind. I don't immediately think of Star Trek 2009* because these reboot incarnations have no televised antecedents (unless you count Old Spock [I almost typed Old Spice], but that's a debate I'm steering clear of).

Let's put it this way... I think pre-Abrams Star Trek movies are more likely to be a gateway to the show than vice versa. At least in my own personal experience as a film guy, the Borg as presented in First Contact I found such an interesting concept that I tracked down & watched the TNG episodes that dealt with the Borg. Similarly, The Wrath of Khan inspired me to watch "Space Seed".

*=(I must say, the most irritating thing about these remakes, reboots, "reinterpretations", sequels, etc, is that you can't simply say the title. You have to add the year or the director's name to specify whether you're talking about the original or the remake.)
That is exactly what I mean Katonic.


My absolute first introduction to Star Trek (outside of clips in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) is watching Search for Spock. Then I watched Generations and First Contact. A part of me always wanted to watch the show, but I need to watch things in order and at the time (I was in high school, so 97 and 98) it was pretty hard to get entire seasons of a TV show. Then when they released the seasons on DVD, Star Trek was always really expensive. I tried renting the original via Netflix, but the order was really off from my research. Now that they are on instant watch, I can finally enjoy them

First, to those who grew up after the original series aired, and who didn't live in an area where a local station had the TV shows on a constant-loop, the films may very well have been their introduction to the series.  I happened to see the original Star Trek TV series when it first aired (luckily, my dad was a mild SciFi buff or our house's TV wouldn't have been turned to that show).

But the reason those characters might have been so fascinating in the films is because they did have the years on TV to develop them and their relationships, regardless of whether you had seen them or not.  The depth and backstory was already there from the TV series before the films were made, so the films had that depth imbued within them.  It did not have to all be generated and explained within 90-120 minutes.

I think that most 'self-contained' SciFi films (i.e. 'SciFi films that didn't have character and relationship development that occurred elsewhere, most often on a TV series') are not able to create iconic characters that have depth and staying power.  That is because the characters and the relationships don't have to be 'introduced' as much if they have already had extensive backstory.  With the extensive backstory they had (on TV), the characters in the films 'live' more than they would if the films came out 'cold'.

There are exceptions of course (e.g. 'Blade Runner'), but the exceptions often are telling a limited story, either time-wise, or 'character-arc'-wise.  (And, though not a direct adaptation, even Blade Runner had the depth of Dick's original novel to 'feed' the film's effectiveness.)  Other times where that is true seem to be when the screenwriter spends the time, him/herself, extensively thinking through the backstory for all the characters and places that are 'in play' in the film, regardless of whether any of it is to be filmed.  With the turnover necessary for Hollywood (and for feeding one's family), that rarely happens.
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Re: Top 110010 Sci-Fi Characters
« Reply #224 on: August 23, 2011, 12:04:20 PM »
in response to your footnote: That's because they appropriate the fucking title of the previous franchise without a distinguishing mark. It's irritating.

Yeah, I mean, the prequel to "the Thing" is called "the Thing"?  Not "the Thing Lives" or "the Thing from Another World" or god forbid: "the Thing: Origins"?



You know Blair's famous quote "That thing wanted to be us!" He's talking about the prequel.