Monday, January 14, 2013

Sci Fi TV

Continuing my recent trend with discussing television shows I like, today I wish to present my favorite Sci Fi TV shows.  Now, before you get your hopes up, you should know that this topic discusses shows with Sci Fi elements, but set in the modern day (more or less).  Shows that involve space travel and aliens are Space Opera, and will be covered next time.

So, here are my favorite Sci Fi shows, in no particular order.  As before, this is my short list, and probably does not include everything there is.  These are just the shows I like(d) watching.

The Six-Million Dollar Man
As a kid growing up in the 70’s, this was my all-time favorite show.  I have probably, over the course of my life, seen 90% of the episodes, as well as the various TV movies that have come out.  I wanted to BE Steve Austin.  I had the 12” action figure with the spaceship.  I had a burgundy denim suit that I used to run around in slow motion in.  When I played “spy”, my boss was always Oscar Goldman.  This was the “it” show for me.

Knight Rider
When this show came out, I was riveted.  The talking car that could self-drive; the turbo boost; the impervious paint; everything.  The story was dramatic as well, with interesting characters, and a unique premise.  This show also cemented my love for the Pontiac Trans Am (the seed first planted by Smokey and the Bandit).  To this day, I still love those cars.  I tried to watch the reboot, but it just did not grab me.  Plus, they used a Ford Mustang.  Ugh!

I have to admit that I don’t remember a whole lot about this show.  I just remember that I loved it as a kid.  I have watched a couple of episodes on NetFlix (or was it Hulu…?) recently, and it still stands up pretty good.  It’s a shame that Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally killed himself on the set of Cover Up a few years later (another good Action show, btw), because he really had a good screen presence.  I liked the idea that it was semi-educational, as well as entertaining.  Who knows, this may have been the thing that subconsciously planted the seed for my love of History.

Dark Angel
I only saw the first season of this show, but it totally rocked!  Never mind the fact that Jessica Alba was (and still is) smoking hot, the idea of a girl who was so kick-ass, living in a post-apocalyptic/cyberpunk future just made for great storytelling.  And with James Cameron at the helm, you knew it was going to be good.  I’ve always wanted to go back and watch Season 2.  But I heard it wasn’t as well-done.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Ok, I admit that when this show was first on, I avoided it like the plague.  To me, the only Buffy was Kristy Swanson from the movie.  But, after moving here, my wife got me into it, and we own the first two seasons on DVD.  I liked the characters, especially Xander, and the expanded premise was interesting.  It’s no wonder this one became a cult favorite, and cemented Joss Whedon as a Hollywood force to be reckoned with.  Without Buffy, there would be no Avengers. Not as we saw them in theaters, anyways.

The original mini-series’, as well as the regular series from the early 80’s.  I remember being in 6th grade, and they would run short clips of the show, building up a lot of tension and expectation for this show.  When it first aired, I was amazed.  It was really ground-breaking at the time, with the premise that an alien encounter may not be what it seems at first.  Of course, the backbone of the story was the Holocaust allegory.  But that just made the show that much better.  And it had Marc Singer (The Beastmaster) and Michael Ironside.  I never saw the remake from a few years ago, but I heard it was pretty good too.  I might have to look for that one.  I know this one really skirts the line between Sci Fi and Space Opera, as it did have aliens, and they did go into space.  But really, the show was about the human resistance here on Earth.

Honorable mentions:
The Bionic Woman
Quantum Leap
Max Headroom


I know I am probably leaving a lot of shows out.  Especially ones that have come out in recent years.  Sometimes I think I should watch more TV.  But then I always think “There are more interesting things to be doing” so I don’t.

Next time, Space Opera.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Six Million Dollar Man was huge for me, too.

I should revisit that show in my copious spare time ;)

Keith said...

When I was six years old or thereabouts, I wanted to be in a huge accident so I could become a bionic man.

Have either of you read the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin that the show was based on? I haven't and have often wondered how it would hold up.

Tom Doolan said...

I'm pretty sure that thought crossed my mind at some point as well. :)

No, I've never read it. But , now that you bring it up, I may have to look into it. Would be very interesting.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Now that I'm reminded, no, I haven't read 'Cyborg.' I think my brother might even have owned it, too.

Tom Doolan said...

Checked on Amazon. Expensive! Fortunately, my local library system has a copy, so I just put it on hold.

Apparently Caidin was/is very prolific. He's written a lot in the sci fi and military history (WWII) genres. He even crossed the two over with the novel "The Final Countdown" which, I'm sure you recall, was an awesome movie starring Kirk Douglas.

Keith said...

Now that I think about it, I may have an old beat up copy back on a shelf. If my aging memory serves, I picked it up in junior high or high school from a second hand shop. It's in such poor shape that I never got around to reading it. I'll have to check when I go home this afternoon and see if I'm not misremembering.

Charles Gramlich said...

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer series made me forget about Kristy Swanson quicker than you could say her name. Liked it very much. Also liked Sliders pretty well, and V was great. I watched Knight Rider and Six MIllion dollar man as well. And the hulk!