4 Sci-Fi Alien Holidays — Friday Four

Star Trek Voyager Alien HolidayIt might be Christmas Day here on Earth, but for our favorite characters out among the stars, Earthly holidays are far from the only ones. After all, these hundreds of alien species have to have their own alien holidays, right? It’s not like there’s a Klingon Santa out there… any more (I’m sure we can blame that on Duras, too). Some space travelers, like the Doctor, still make time for Christmas–even if we wish they wouldn’t. But for the rest, we’ve got these, 4 alien holidays from sci-fi.

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4 Times Our Hero Failed–Friday Four

Rodney WorriedIt’s hard to be the hero. People expect you to be perfect all the time, and that’s just not realistic. Sometimes our heroes let their emotions get the better of them, and they make a rash decision that ends up costing them. Or worse, the hero failed and it ends up costing someone else–and now they have to live with the guilt of their actions. Here are four cases where the hero arrived on the scene only to make things much, much worse in the end.

This obviously includes some spoilers, so I’ve just listed the episode titles as a spoiler warning; if you haven’t seen that episode, read on at your own risk! Can’t blame the heroes for that one.

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Doctor Who Series 9 Retrospective

Capaldi Doctor Who Series 9Doctor Who undergoes its periodic changes from time to time, and our last big change was the arrival of Capaldi’s version of the Doctor last year in series 8. Series 8 was very much a mixed bag, and unfortunately it often seemed like the bad outweighed the good. And in a lot of ways, Doctor Who Series 9 has been much the same, but a clearer vision emerged as it went on. This season has been made up almost exclusively of 2-parters with running subplots, continuing the trend established last year. And there were also huge revelations and things we the fans have been waiting for appearing at last–but was it all done in a satisfying way?

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4 Suggestions for Prospective Cloners–Friday Four

Star Wars Clone troopers CloningThat’s a very interesting cloning machine you’ve built there. I know, I know, soon you’ll have that clone army complete, and you’ll show them–you’ll show all of them! But hey, why don’t we take a deep breath and think this through for a minute before you pull the lever? After all, you’ve put a lot of work into this thing. It’d be a shame to screw it all up now just because you were a little too impatient. And lucky you, I’ve got 4 suggestions that’ll help make sure these clones don’t come out like Bizarro.

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What Could Have Been: The Doctor Who TV Movie

McGann Doctor Who TV MovieAs we’ve done once before, instead of a season for a show that was canceled, this month we’re going to look at the plans for a series that never actually materialized at all. In this case, we’re looking at the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. The series was a co-production that aired on Fox, and was passed on for really stupid reasons that we’ll not get into here. But, given that it was essentially a pilot movie that was intended to lead into a full continuation of the classic BBC Doctor Who, there were quite a lot of plans as to where the show would’ve gone and what it might have included. How does it stack up to the eventual modern Doctor Who? Let’s find out.

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4 Awesome Ancient Alien Civilizations–Friday Four

Gallifrey Ancient CivilizationsTypically in our sci-fi confrontations, every alien race is pretty much on equal footing technologically, giving the appearance that they evolved more or less contemporaneously. But once in a while, we get glimpses of aliens that are much, much older than any others in the setting–our Precursors, typically, although whether they’re worthy of the title is often up for debate. These aliens have tech that’s practically equivalent to magic compared to what everyone else is wielding, and often times fighting over their leftovers is a major plot point. We rarely get to see them in their heyday, but when we do, they’re incredible. Here are 4 of these ancient alien civilizations, among the oldest in their settings, who really had some amazing abilities, some of whom remain a formidable presence to this day.

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4 of the Least Effective Sci-Fi Rebellions — Friday Four

Chakotay Star Trek Voyager Sci-Fi rebellionsEvil empires are a sci-fi staple, and every evil empire is going to have its own sci-fi rebellions to deal with. The only problem? Well, the bad guys are way better organized and equipped. This isn’t an insurmountable obstacle, but for some of the resistance movements out there, it may as well be. Not every Rebellion has the Force on their side, after all, and some of them can barely agree that they’re all on the same side. When you add infighting, tactical missteps, and poor planning to the mix, it’s a miracle they ever even accomplish anything at all. With that in mind, here are 4 of the least effective rebel groups ever to show up in sci-fi.

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4 of the Largest Shared Universes–Friday Four

All DoctorsIf you haven’t caught on by now,¬†I love the idea of shared universes. The real world is complex, with tons of stories going on at any given time–so why shouldn’t our fictional universes be the same? It seems like Hollywood has decided to look at things the same way as of late, because they’re really trying to put them to use everywhere (even when it really isn’t needed). But the shared universe isn’t a new concept, and some of them have been running for ages. Here we have 4 of the largest (and, not coincidentally, most are also longest-running) shared universes to grace our screens, as measured by hours of (canon) footage.

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4 Tips For A Smooth First Contact–Friday Four

Close EncountersFirst contact with an alien species is a tricky situation to deal with. When handled well, these aliens could become humanity’s greatest allies, helping us to take our place on the galactic stage. When handled poorly, humanity might wind up looking for a new home, if we’re particularly unlucky. And of course, that all assumes these aliens have shown up with peaceful intentions–there’s always the possibility that it’s a trick to take over slowly, or there’s cultural differences that can lead to major misunderstandings.

For the sake of this list, we’ll think of this as the aliens coming to us, but a lot of these points are just as effective in a Star Trek situation where we’ve gone out seeking new life and new civilizations.

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4 Must-Watch Cyberpunk Anime Series–Friday Four

Psycho Pass CyberpunkAs far as I’m concerned, there are pretty much two main kinds of sci-fi: space adventures and cyberpunk. Cyberpunk never had a big presence on TV, and I’ve covered most of the attempts at it by this point. They’ve ranged from very successful, like¬†Max Headroom, to far less so (TekWar) in terms of bringing it to life, but none of them have found much of an audience in the Western world. It’s rather bizarre, if you ask me; cyberpunk IS the fiction of the present, for all intents and purposes. But there is one place where cyberpunk thrived, a place intimately tied to the genre from its very origins–Japan. You can’t throw a rock in a cyberpunk dystopia without bouncing off a Neo Tokyo here or there. And a lot of classics of the genre come in the form of cyberpunk anime, so here are a few series that I feel are must-see.

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