Posts Tagged ‘Farscape’

4 Genre Shift Episodes–Friday Four

200 SG-1Doing a TV show week to week… well, it can get a little dull. Emergency power to the deflectors, shields to 40%, yadda yadda. So sometimes, the actors like to get a little something to mix it up, and that can be fun for the writers and the audience as well. To see our favorite characters taken outside their typical milieu and placed in a situation where their usual tricks aren’t quite as useful can be quite telling about who they are (or it can be a complete disaster). I mean, that was the whole idea behind introducing the holodeck in Star Trek, after all. It made practically any setting a possibility. But not every show has a holodeck to fall back on when it comes time to do these types of episodes, so here are 4 episodes of sci-fi TV shows where the usual tropes of sci-fi took a week off, leaving us with a different genre all together.

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6 Degrees of Science Fiction–Friday Four(-ish)

Kevin Bacon X-MenEver heard of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?” It’s a little game people like to play with celebrities, based on the idea that you can get from any one actor to another (typically the aforementioned Kevin Bacon) by naming someone who was in a movie with another actor, who starred alongside a third in a different movie, and so on, until you make it to an actor who appeared on screen with Kevin Bacon. Today’s Friday Four (well, six, this week) is going to engage in some fun trivia by pulling the sci-fi version of this–counting each jump from universe to universe, how many jumps away are some of the biggest Sci-Fi heroes from each other? Let’s find out!

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4 of the Most Questionable Actions by Heroes–Friday Four

Poisoned PlanetSo if you’ve got your main characters, and they’re the heroes. Once in a while, they’ll end up fighting against people who aren’t so bad, and maybe are even heroes themselves. That doesn’t mean they stop being heroes, though, right? But just as there are honorable or well-intentioned villains, there can be heroes who do things that will even cause the villains to stare on in shock. The heroes perform actions that are almost (or sometimes are) unjustifiable, and they don’t always see the problem with that. So, here are 4 of the worst, most questionable actions done by sci-fi “heroes.”

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4 of the Best Developed Sci-Fi Relationships — Friday Four

Zoe and Wash 2With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and carrying on our theme from last week, I thought it’d be nice to honor those couples who are really shown to have a great relationship. Whether that relationship blossomed before our eyes on screen, went through dozens of horrible obstacles, or just came together through a shared need, these couples show that sci-fi romance doesn’t have to happen only at the end of the story, nor does it have to be a shallow “Hero’s Reward” sort of thing. So here are four couples that both earned and proved their love.

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4 of the Least Developed Sci-Fi Relationships — Friday Four

Chiana Jothee2It’s February, and that means it’s the season of love. Apparently. And while romantic relationships between characters are ubiquitous in Hollywood movies and TV series, some of them are better at establishing these relationships than others. Because after all, it’s not enough to just have your characters jump each others’ bones. There’s gotta be some development, hints and feelings and dashed hopes, all leading up to the big hook-up. Sometimes they just say screw it, and that’s how we end up with these, 4 of the least developed relationships in sci-fi’s small screen history.

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4 of the Most Grueling Sci-Fi Costumes – Friday Four

He knows his luck.

He knows his luck.

One of the more unique aspects of sci-fi television series is that it often presents us with non-human characters, which are used in a variety of fashions to help bring the world of the show to life. The only problem is that the majority of these non-human characters are played by human actors (the rest being CGI or puppetry), and that means heavy makeup and prosthetics. Some, like Christopher Judge’s makeup for Teal’c, is quite simple and unobtrusive. Others, like Michael Dorn, not so much; his forehead now has permanent discoloration from wearing the Worf prosthetic for nearly fifteen years. And yet, there are still people in shorter roles that suffered far greater for their art. Here are 4 of the longest, most difficult, or most painful costumes seen on television.

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4 Great Shows with Awful First Seasons – Friday Four

FerengiWith Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season almost half over, I think it’s safe to say that the show has now reached quality-TV levels, becoming a show that’s thoroughly entertaining on its own, and not just as an adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Defiance, too, proved its worth in its second season and earning the right to a third. But I think most fans would be willing to admit that these two shows had some pretty significant problems when they started, with SHIELD having insignificant, family-friendly standalone episodes and lifeless, peppy characters, and Defiance trying too hard to emulate premium HBO shows like Game of Thrones while centering on a group of people who were almost the polar opposite of SHIELD‘s: selfish, petty and often times cruel. It’s basically the opposite problem of those shows that ruin it all in the ending, but this trip-up is a far more common one. And that’s why it’s so difficult to watch these one-season shows (like Charlie Jade) fail to move on. Usually, it takes time for a TV show to find itself, but often times they don’t get the chance. Just look at these, 4 shows with downright terrible first seasons, and imagine the awesomeness we’d have missed out on if they hadn’t been given a chance.

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What Almost Wasn’t: 4 Near Misses in Sci-Fi History – Friday Four

StarkOn here, one of my most popular topics is “What Could Have Been,” where I go over the now-public plans for seasons and shows that never developed. But what about those times when these major losses were narrowly averted? Once in a while, things align just right, and looking back, it’s hard to imagine how the show could have continued without this one aspect. And yet, there were many moments of serendipity that ended up playing a huge part in these shows’ success. So today, we honor just a few of those close calls by looking at “What Almost Wasn’t,” with 4 near misses from the annals of Sci-fi history, focusing today on casting and characters.

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The Concept of the “Anti-Star Trek”

Spock and KirkThere’s no denying that Star Trek is a massive cultural force in America and throughout the world. It’s become almost synonymous with sci-fi, and the pop culture image of the nerd or geek stereotype is inevitably a young man with some kind of Trek paraphernalia on him. So it’s no shock that, as time went on, people would try to draw attention to their own works by comparing them to Star Trek. And thus emerges this idea of “the Anti-Trek,” a nebulous descriptor if ever there was one. It’s a term that’s been applied from shows as varied as Blake’s 7 in the 70’s to Farscape to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. To figure out just what this means, and establish what traits an “Anti-Trek” must possess, we’ll have to examine the show itself and what each series is comparing to.

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4 of the Weirdest Alternate Realities – Friday Four

D'Argo JoolOne of the most interesting opportunities presented by science fiction shows is that of the alternate universe. It gives us a glimpse at another version of our heroes, in a reality where things turned out slightly differently. Perhaps they lost the climactic battle, or maybe someone died early on and caused the group to splinter. Sometimes the differences in these alternate universes (or realities, or timelines, or any other different world from the primary) can be absolutely huge–entire characters might be missing or new ones exist in their place, or worse, the entire landscape of the setting is changed, like with Star Trek‘s Mirror Universe. But there are also these, alternate universes where one can’t even quite imagine how they got to the state they’re in.

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