I was reading the post on Red Monkey about Dollhouse the other night and it got me thinking about the scifi series that had been on over the years that I had watched and enjoyed. Of course there are the ones that Red Monkey mentioned: Tru Calling, Dark Angel and Firefly which are long gone, Terminator:The Sarah Conner Chronicles now finished and Dollhouse which has just started showing in the UK and has been renewed for a second season.
Then you have the classic Babylon 5 from the 1990′s. This ran for 5 seasons and spawned several films. I still love watching episodes of this when I get the chance. One of the things I liked about it was the long story arcs, sometimes across all seasons. Although they were individual episodes, they all fitted into the overall story. The characters were believable and watch able. I’ll mention the less than successful spin-off series Crusade. This failed due to studio interference and was cancelled before it even aired. Only 13 episodes were made.
Thanks Wikipedia, otherwise I would have struggled to remember some of these:
Slightly earlier than this was Alien Nation. It only ran for one season before being cancelled by Fox who were having financial difficulties. It was about a LA cop working with a ‘Newcomer’ alien, and covered aspects of racisim from a different perspective. It was ok, but not one that I have to watch again.
Andromeda was a series based on material by Gene Roddenberry. It ran for 5 series. The first two series were good and then it seemed to take of in random directions. By the end I had stopped watching. Enough said.
Another Gene Roddenberry inspired series was Earth:Final Conflict. It also ran for 5 series. It is about a race of aliens called the Taelons who take refuge on Earth in return for sharing their advanced technology. Again the first two seasons were good and offered something different, then it all changed and just kept changing direction and getting more and more complex. By about season four I don’t think anyone knew where it was going; I didn’t make it to the end of the season. It also had a high turnover of main characters.
Another series that stands out as exceptional was Battlestar Galactica. It ran for 4 seasons, finishing only a couple of months ago in the UK. It was gritty and at times violent, but I enjoyed it. I think it was more about the journey than the destination and as such I’m not sure I’d watch it again. The series finale was excellent providing some twists that I hadn’t seen coming.
From the mid 90′s we had Earth 2. It only ran for one series of 22 episodes. Strange how your memory plays tricks, I thought it had run for two seasons, maybe it was shown in two runs. I remember enjoying it at the time and thinking it was just established and ready to move forward when it stopped.
Farscape ran for 4 seasons, despite been under contract for 5. It was cancelled after production had finished on the fourth season leaving it on a cliff-hanger. Brian Hanson secured the rights, which lead to the 4 hour mini-series Farscape:The Peacekeeper Wars.
Mutant X. This ran for 3 series and was due to do a fourth when the production company was dismantled. Again I remember watching and enjoying this, but not enough to get it on DVD.
Odyssey 5 was a series that only ran for one season. A group of astronauts on a routine spaceflight witness the Earth explode. Before they die, their conciousness is sent back 5 years by an alien being to discover what discover and prevent what caused it. I had forgotton about this one. It was really good and worth another watch.
Quantum Leap. The story of Dr Sam Beckett, trapped in time after a failed experiment. He changed places with different people each episode fixing whatever went wrong the first time round before ‘leaping’ to the next person. Still watchable even after seeing an episode many times.
Space:Above and Beyond only ran for one series of 22 episodes in the mid 90′s. It was the story of a groups of space marines who are just finishing their training when an unknown alien species attacks and destroys Earth’s first extra-solar colony. I wouldn’t mind seeing this again.
I’ll skip all the varients of Star Trek and Stargate, all were great and I have watched them many times.
VR.5 It also only ran for one series. I remember the VR5 stood for Virtual Reality 5, but I can’t really remember many details.
Anyway, there’s a quick run down of what has been and gone. Some sadly missed and some not so