Posts Tagged ‘SciFi TV series’

A Subjectively Obscure SciFi Primer: Defying Gravity

Defying GravityAfter a few months off, the Obscure SF Primer returns with a more recent show than most. Defying Gravity is a 2009 series that aired on ABC for a few weeks, and was pretty much doomed from the start by network mismanagement. Only 13 episodes were made, with some of them never being shown in the US until the DVD release. Defying Gravity is a bit of an odd bird, another genre crossover (like Century City) between the soap opera-esque antics of hospital shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER and “relatively” hard sci-fi. As you might expect, these two radically different genres share very little in the way of fans; the mere mention of “Grey’s Anatomy IN SPACE” was enough to turn off your average sci-fi fan, while people who tune in each week for the ups and downs of character relationships couldn’t care less about the “science” and exploration that was supposed to be involved. But given all that, is there any redeeming value in this show for those of us no the sci-fi side? Let’s find out.

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4 Alien Species of Earthly Origin–Friday Four

Voth EarthOne of the more interesting ways to introduce “alien” creatures into a science fiction world is to reveal that these apparent extraterrestrials are a lot more… terrestrial… than you’d think at first glance. Earth is an ancient planet, with 4.5 billion years checked off already, and that’s a tantalizing prospect for a writer. After all, who’s to say there wasn’t a civilization present for the early days of Earth, so long ago that no trace remains? There are a lot of human civilizations that have been lost to the ages as it is, so the thought of a nonhuman one disappearing isn’t exactly outlandish. From a scientific perspective, there are plenty of reasons to think there wasn’t one–no sign of resources having been extracted from the Earth prior to us, for example–but we can always fudge this for the sake of the story. That being said, here are four alien species who are a lot less alien than you might guess.

Spoiler warning–the reveal that these aliens are actually from Earth is sometimes a plot twist, so proceed with caution.

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4 of the Most Loyal AI Around — Friday Four

Star Wars The Force Awakens R2-D2 AIWhile the idea of the machines rising up to get us is an ever popular one, it’s also not terribly likely in reality, if you ask me. I’ve got plenty of ways for you to avoid it. But what we end up overlooking in all these discussions about the AI rebellion are the hero’s loyal compatriots, those robots who would never even consider betraying humanity even when a position of power is offered to them on a silver platter. I mean, R2-D2 didn’t get a medal and he had to help Luke shoot down his old master! I think it’s time these stalwart machines received the honor they deserve, and so here are 4 robots whose devotion is truly inspirational.

This list has some spoilers in it, because, well… the best way to prove their loyalty is by getting destroyed.

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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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