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Author Topic: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)  (Read 33209 times)

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Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #105 on: June 29, 2014, 09:26:00 AM »
Number 19
65 Points, 5 of 18 lists, #8 K1
Very fancy.
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The Premise
Brisco County, Jr is a Harvard-educated lawyer turned bounty hunter who is hired by a group of wealthy industrialists who want him to capture the outlaw John Bly and his gang.  Joined by fellow bounty hunter Lord Bowler, lawyer Socrates Poole, and Comet the Wonder Horse, Brisco is constantly involved in cases that involve new inventions and the quest for the “Coming Thing” to blaze a trail into the future of America.

 Great Episode
 Bad Luck Betty
When Socrates Poole goes missing, Brisco and Bowler track him down to his old town of Midnightville, where people are going missing thanks to a mysterious figure in a horseless hearse.  Some people believe that it is an undertaker who has been resurrected, but is that truly the case?  OK, it is less of a sci-fi episode, but it is a fun episode all the same.

 Big Ideas   
In “Bye Bly”, things get bigger than usual with a time traveler from the 56th century, the return of the series main villain and a plot that threatens the world involving an orb, continuing the story that seemingly ended with “AKA Kansas”.


Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #106 on: June 29, 2014, 09:28:07 AM »
I love how we get to hear the Brisco Country Jr. theme song every Olympics season on NBC.


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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #107 on: June 29, 2014, 09:43:51 AM »
Brisco is another one that is one of my favorite shows but even though it's got that time travel aspect I never think of it as science fiction.

Does remind me I haven't broken out that DVD set in several years.  And why isn't it streaming anywhere yet? 


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #108 on: June 29, 2014, 10:27:01 AM »
Number 18
68 Points, 4 of 18 lists, #5 ScottotD
I am vengeance.  I am the night.  I am Batman.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/A71i0a5x-qA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/A71i0a5x-qA</a>

The Premise
After the death of his parents at the hands of a criminal, Bruce Wayne has dedicated his life to fighting crime by travelling the world, learning a wide variety of skills.  Upon returning to his home city of Gotham, he begins his quest, only to find that crime in Gotham is getting increasingly stranger.

 Great Episode
 Heart of Ice
This is probably the first great episode of the series and a perfect reworking of a previously forgettable Batman villain by writer Paul Dini.  Batman investigates a criminal stealing very specific machine part using a freezing gun, only to find the villain’s origins reveal that his victim might be an even worse monster.

 Big Ideas   
In “Perchance to Dream”, we get to look at what Batman’s vision of a perfect life is.  When Bruce Wayne wakes up in bed after a harrowing chase as Batman, he finds that his parents are alive, he’s engaged to Selina Kyle (who was never Catwoman) and someone else is Batman.  It seems like things are turning around, but Bruce suspects something is wrong.  Who has turned Bruce’s world upside down?  Written by horror/western author Joe R. Lansdale (of Bubba Ho-Tep fame), this one is just a great episode and features a great ending.  No BIG twist (we might not know who is responsible but we know the world is a lie) but the villain’s motives are surprising sad and kind of pathetic (and in a way, the most insane bribe a villain has ever offered a hero).


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #109 on: June 29, 2014, 12:08:22 PM »
Have you seen the guys villains?  Clayface, Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Man-Bat, Ra's Al Ghul.  Batman deals with a ton of sci-fi themed threats.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #110 on: June 29, 2014, 12:29:18 PM »
Number 17
77 Points, 5 of 18 lists, #3 Quirk
We're gonna need to watch that again.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9LDh8DefWpI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9LDh8DefWpI</a>

The Premise
After a plane crashes on a deserted island, a group of survivors begins working toward rescue.  However, they discover the island is full of secrets and that many of them are actually tied to the pasts of the survivors.  What is the island and why were all of these particular people seemingly destined to arrive there?

 Great Episode
 The Constant
Considered by the fans and the writers as the best episode (or at least WAY up there), “the Constant” manages to tell a very complicated time travel story (apparently it took the writers twice the time as usual) that is both emotionally engaging and mindbending.  When Desmond, Sayid and Lapidus fly 80 miles from the island to a freighter, turbulence sends Desmond back in time into his life in 1996.  Then he comes back.  Then he ends up in 2004.  When the three characters land on the freighter, they meet another man who is also unstuck in time.  Then things get complicated because it is both Lost and time travel.

 Big Ideas   
I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen Lost, so I don’t know how well it was received but the episode “Orientation” has one of those perfect (to me) sci-fi premises that I love: some characters discover a base with a computer and an orientation film that tells them a certain code must be entered every 108 minutes to save the world.  No specific consequence is given.  I always love those kinds of mysterious scenarios (actual fans will have to tell me if it plays as well as it sounds to me.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #111 on: June 29, 2014, 02:31:56 PM »
Number 16
85 Points, 5 of 18 lists, #2 Pak Man
Go, Team Venture!
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The Premise   
Hank and Dean Venture come from a line of adventurers.  Their grandfather was the famous super-scientist Dr. Jonas Venture, leader of the Team Venture, a team of adventurers) and their father was once Rusty Venture, Boy Adventurer.  But time has moved on and Team Venture isn’t the team it once was.  “Rusty” is now the largely Dr. Venture, a largely-amoral, curmudgeonly, unsuccessful super-scientist.  He’s protected by his bodyguard, Brock Sampson, an almost super-human former secret agent who now spends much of his time babysitting Team Venture.  And Hank and Dean have an enthusiasm for adventure, but homeschooling from their beds and an a neglectful father have left them completely unprepared for anything resembling the real world.  Constantly under attack from the butterfly-themed super-villain the Monarch, the family tries to find some small level of success in the world of super science in a life filled with failure.

 Great Episode
 The Doctor is Sin
Featuring the second appearance of Dr. Henry Killinger, who is clearly just Dr. Henry Kissinger with evil powers… which he uses to try to help people in their lives, a la Mary Poppins.  In his first appearance, he helped reunite The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend, and here he decides to help Dr. Venture become happier in his life and improve his business.  Dr. Venture likes the changes and Killinger (he is quite likable), but is slow to realize that Killinger feels that Venture’s path to happiness is much different than Venture thinks.  A very funny episode that addresses the morally questionable of Dr. Venture and shows us a few examples of Venture doing well for himself.  Though the show remained good, I think many fans are a bit disappointed that the show didn’t pursue (for a time, anyway) the new status quo the show hinted at.  Also, I love that Dr. Venture still has Fruitopia for some reason.

 Big Ideas   
While Dr. Jonas Venture is considered to be a legend (one that his son lives in the shadow of), there’s no doubt that he is at least as ethically compromised as his son.  He’s not as cynical in his son, simply willing to ignore the consequences of his research in his enthusiastic pursuit of science.  In “What Goes Down Must Come Up”, the current Team Venture discover that Thaddeus Venture isn’t the only victims of Jonas’ irresponsibility who is living on the Venture Compound when they discover an entire society of insane people, an equally insane computer and the man the size of an ant (who can’t seem to get across who the character of Ant Man is) have been trapped underneath for decades.  Creepy yet hilarious stuff that cribs from a bunch of different sci-fi sources to make something new and cool.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #112 on: June 29, 2014, 03:48:59 PM »
Number 15
86 Points, 5 of 18 lists, #4 Pak Man & Quirk
I think it’s time we blow this thing.  Get everyone and the stuff together.  OK, three, two, one, let’s jam!
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The Premise
Spike Speigel, a former criminal.  Jet Black, a retired police officer.  Faye Valentine, a femme fatale living with massive debt.  Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, a brilliant and somewhat feral computer hacker.  Ein, a genetically enhanced “data dog”.  Together, they form the crew of the Bebop, a gang of interplanetary bounty hunters looking for their next big score, finding themselves in scenarios that span a wide range of genres, both dramatic and musical.

Great Episode
Cowboy Funk
One of the wackier episodes, Cowboy Funk revolves around a mad bomber and two bounty hunters: Spike and “Cowboy Andy”, a self-proclaimed cowboy bounty hunter who’s skills match Spike’s.  What begins as a simple competition goes way too far to the point where the mad bomber gets ignored (much to his annoyance).  A fun episode that takes full advantage of the fun, dynamic animation that made this show stand out (along with the music, the characters and the style).

Big Ideas   
On the quieter side of things is a bleak, thoughtful and eerie episode “Brain Scratch”.  When the Bebop decide to go after a cult leader who is convincing people to kill themselves, they find it difficult to find him.  Some say he has transcended his mortal form, but the truth is more sinister… and more tragic.  An episode that deals very well with religion and the human fear of death, this is episode (probably inspired by the Aum Shinrikyo cult responsible for the sarin gas attacks of the mid-90’s) is smart cyberpunk.


Offline CJones

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #113 on: June 29, 2014, 04:18:10 PM »
<facepalm>

I can't believe I didn't think of The Venture Bros.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #114 on: June 29, 2014, 05:58:13 PM »
Number 14
90 Points, 5 of 18 lists, #4 Tripe
Exploring the galaxy, meeting new cultures, jeopardy, saving the world, that kind of thing ... we get paid for this, right?
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dR90P1GhZA4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dR90P1GhZA4</a>

The Premise
When an ancient artifact known as the Stargate that is capable to travelling to different worlds, a military task force is created.  The group’s mission: to explore alien worlds and defend against alien threats.  As the group travels from world to world, they discover that many of the civilizations they meet are the basis for various mythologies on Earth.

 Great Episode
 The Lost City
Despite being a backdoor pilot for another TV series, “The Lost City” is a great two-parter in its own right.  That’s probably because it was also originally intended to be a Stargate direct-to-video film/series finale until it turned out to be the season finale when the show got picked up. Here, the Stargate team discover that Anubis is days away from bringing his fleet to Earth and that the only hope might be to find the Lost City of the Ancients and with a means of stopping a seemingly unstoppable invasion.

 Big Ideas   
One of my favourite sci-fi stories is Ray Bradbury’s “And Dark They Were With Golden Eyes” and the episode “The Fifth Race” taps into that when Jack O’Neill accidentally activates a machine that gives him all of the information of the ancients.  This would be good, except that he can no longer speak English and is starting to lose more of his humanity as time passes.


Offline Tripe

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #115 on: June 29, 2014, 06:27:11 PM »
Excellent show, once watched so many episodes the theme makes Ann twitchy. :D

I like how they rewrote the aliens from the film (which is nowhere near as good). The Goa'uld, and later the Tok'Ra, are a great concept. Thor and his people are nifty too.

And The Fifth Race is one of my favourites. :)


Offline BathTub

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #116 on: June 29, 2014, 06:42:30 PM »
Yeah thought the boobs in the pilot will only set you up for disappointment for the series proper!


Offline Tripe

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #117 on: June 29, 2014, 06:44:29 PM »
Yes, it's not as arc dependant as some shows but it definitely has developments that are referred back to, the relationship of the Humans to the Tok'Ra make no sense if you haven't seen the preceding episode featuring them I think (well they make allusions to the previous stuff I suppose but I think those still rely on previous viewing).

The tits out pilot didn't get shown in the US I thought.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #118 on: June 29, 2014, 07:12:58 PM »
Number 13
100 Points, 8 of 18 lists, #3 Imrahil
This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2258. The name of the place is Babylon 5.
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The Premise
Ten years after the war and the Minbari, it is time for peace, and the space station Babylon 5 (the four previous having suffered various disastrous fates) is designed for all races to meet and make peace.  However, these things are easier said than gun, and soon while Babylon 5 is also home to a hope for peace, it also houses ambition, conspiracies, grudges and unfinished business.  Even worse, things on Earth are starting to take a totalitarian turn and out in the day, an evil race thought only to be legend is returning…

 Great Episode
 Severed Dreams
Winner of the 1997 Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation, this episode begins with Babylon 5 taking in a damaged ship on the run from the Earth government, now under martial law under the rule of President Clark.  It is revealed that Earth is bombing Mars, closing down news organization and is now about to send a force to take control of Babylon 5.  Meanwhile, Delenn is dealing with the Grey Council of her race, angered at their refusal to protect races that aren’t their own.   Though the situations were very dark in season three, this episode shows the strength of the characters as they make some hard choices and take bold stances for the greater good.

 Big Ideas   
How does one define death?  That’s a question in the episode “Passing Through Gethesmane”.  When the religious Brother Edward gets a black rose as a gift, he is perplexed, and even becomes worried when he begins to hear whispers and a woman’s screams.  Soon he discovers that he was once a serial killer called the Black Rose Killer until he was “executed” with a death of personality, in which is mind is erased and restructured to be a better person.  Seems that people looking for revenge on the Black Rose killer plan to “resurrect” him with the help of a telepath in order to get revenge, putting into question whether Edward can every truly be a different person.  Though the show was famous for its scope and long-running arcs, this one-off works as a great classic sci-fi tale.


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Re: Top 50 Sci-Fi TV Series Countdown (LoC #79)
« Reply #119 on: June 29, 2014, 08:04:59 PM »
I've only seen one episode of it all the way through. Worth watching in order or what?

I think most of the first season you could watch in random order, but they really started to rely on you knowing some stuff from previous episodes probably about half way through season 2 (around the time of the episode Tripe mentions where they start to interact with the Tok'ra).

Really expected SG1 and B5 to be in the top 10....