Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

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 Little Known Pieces of Popular Shows–Friday Four

R Tam SessionWhen it comes to the most popular sci-fi series, fans usually know everything there is to see. Every episode, deleted scene, bizarre spinoff series… they’ve seen it all. Sometimes, however, there are these weird little bits of the show that just never get out there to the wider fanbase. They’re not a lost episode, exactly. They can be created for lots of reasons, from cancellation scares to reconstructions of bits that were never properly filmed. For a long time fan, discovering one of these unknown clips can be a real treat, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s a chance to see some of your favorite characters back in action again when you thought it was all done! So here are 4 little known pieces of popular shows, in the hopes that you can enjoy spending a few more minutes with some beloved characters, too.

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4 Signs Your Utopia Might Secretly Be A Dystopia–Friday Four

Stratos RMThings are pretty great here in Utopia-land, aren’t they? Everyone’s got enough to eat, and they have plenty of time to relax. The weather’s always good, nothing ever breaks down, the lost Doctor Who episodes have been found and Half-Life 3 is totally coming out next week, you guys. A false utopia? Pshaw. Who could possibly have a problem with such a place?

Well, maybe you should. Utopia’s not all it’s cracked up to be; a lot of the time, if you stop to think about it, that wonderful place is actually pretty horrifying. Or even if it is, if you have any experience with the real world, you might start to ask yourself questions, like “how did things become so perfect?”–which is often the first step to learning that it’s not so perfect after all. So, if you find yourself in an apparent utopia, it might be time to dust off that deerstalker and magnifying glass and do a little investigating, and these four signs are as good a place to start as any.

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4 Rarely Seen Alien Species Too Cool to Return–Friday Four

Gulanee encounter suitIn the highly episodic sci-fi series of yesteryear, a new planet was around every corner. But what that really means is that last week’s adventure is all but forgotten by the time they get there. Which is a real shame, because sometimes the aliens they ran into on these only-seen-once worlds were actually really cool. Hell, some of them could’ve really changed the game, whereas others… well, let’s just say the plot would be destroyed if they hung around. These could be among the most unusual aliens on TV, but they don’t have to be standouts in the weird department to earn a spot on this list. Even a fascinating society that might’ve been worth further exploration could qualify. So, here are 4 alien species whose handful of appearances sell short how interesting they could have been.

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4 Ways to Prevent the Robot Revolt–Friday Four

THE TerminatorDid you know that across the multiverse, the number one reason Mankind gets destroyed before expanding into space is robotic rebellions? It’s true! Maybe… okay, fine, but it’s definitely up there on the list. People like to think we’ve got this one figured out already–Asimov’s three laws of robotics, for example. What they generally fail to remember is that Asimov’s stories are all about why the three laws approach is a flawed one. Sure, they’re a good starting point, but you’re going to need more than that if it you want to be completely sure that these AI servants don’t become AI overlords.

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4 Ludicrously Large Starships From TV Sci-fi–Friday Four

Thats No MoonWhen it comes to starships, bigger is better–or so sci-fi would lead us to believe, anyway. This is most evident when it comes to movies, which often use the spectacle of a massive ship to help convey the true scale of the danger our heroes face. And these massive starships in movies are almost always under the command of the bad guys–Star Wars has The Death Star, Star Trek had the Narada, Independence Day and its alien mothership… It’s rare to see the good guys with anything that can compare.

This tends to show up less for TV series than movies; budget is a big reason why, but that doesn’t mean it never happens, and it tends to have a lot of impact when it does. After all, if you’re used to the Enterprise-D being the big ship on the block, seeing it completely dwarfed by a Borg cube for the first time is appropriately awe-inspiring. It also tends to be a result of the series running for a long time; SG-1‘s Goa’uld Hatak-class motherships are pretty big, but the Ori motherships are significantly bigger, and the Wraith Super-Hive ship from Stargate Atlantis is bigger still.

Regardless of their origins, the real reason for having enormous starships is obvious: they’re just so cool! So here are 4 of the biggest starships I’ve been able to find on TV. And keep in mind–it’s starships, so they gotta be able to move. Deep Space 9, Babylon 5, etc. are stations and thus not applicable to this list.

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4 Scenes Where The Tough Guy Lived Up To His Name–Friday Four

Worf FightsWhen you put together your starship’s crew, there are certain roles you just know you gotta fill. You got the captain, who leads the crew for better or worse; you got the science guy (the brains), who tells you what the weird anomaly that’s about to destroy the ship is doing; and you got your tough guy (the brawn), whose job is to look intimidating and kick the bad guys’ asses. You can have more, of course, but you just have to have these three at minimum. Being the captain is pretty sweet, and the science guy is living his dream, seeing all these rare and unknown phenomena. The problem with being the tough guy is that, well… when the new bad guys come to your corner of the galaxy, they tend to play by prison rules, which means they’re coming to kick your ass first. This happens to poor Worf so many times that he’s become the poster child of this sequence of events, what TVTropes calls “The Worf Effect.” The Borg, The Jem Hadar, random androids… Worf faced them all, and got tossed aside as a result.

But once in a while, it’s time for the Tough Guy to prove why we call him the tough guy and regain the respect he deserves. In honor of Defiance‘s Omec problem, here are 4 moments when they managed to do just that, and look awesome doing it.

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4 Good Entry Points to Big Franchises–Friday Four

Guardian of ForeverFor those still developing a taste for sci-fi, the prospect of jumping into a major franchise can be an understandably daunting one. With some of them having literal weeks worth of footage accumulated, it’s hard for a newcomer to know where to start. The beginning would seem to be the obvious answer, but that’s not always the case, especially with the numerous shows that suffered through low quality in their early days. Sometimes it can just end up turning you off a show that you might otherwise love; I know I personally had a hard time getting into both Babylon 5 and Stargate when starting from the beginning, but was able to try again with later episodes and really dig in. Other shows have just been running so long that early installments can be hard to watch with how dated they are, something a pre-existing investment in the show can help to counter. The best way, often enough, is to find a so-called “gateway episode,” one that’s enticing enough on its own to pique a viewer’s curiosity into continuing on their own.

So if you’ve found your way here and are wondering how to try out a big franchise, or if you’ve got a friend or loved one you’re eager to convince to watch with you, here are 4 big franchises and the episodes that I personally feel are perfect for introducing people to them.

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4 Clues That Your Alien Predecessors Are Guilty of Abuse–Friday Four

PhoenixIf you’re a member of a relatively young race, just emerging onto the interstellar scene after discovering some means of traveling faster than light, it’s a big old galaxy out there. Odds are, you’re not the first to go into space. Heck, you might’ve been beaten to the punch by millions of years, by alien species that no longer exist (at least on this plane of reality). The lucky ones will strike out into a galaxy with adventure and hidden treasures around every corner, all set up by their thoughtful predecessors. If you aren’t so lucky, you might find yourself in a galaxy of traps and disasters lying in wait, left behind by those negligent early races… or worse, the situation you’re left with is outright malevolent!

Here’s how you can quickly survey the galaxy and decide what’s in store for you out there among the stars.

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