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This is the right site if you want to learn everything about our TV series. If you want to find all the latest news and information about the show then this is the best source. Make sure to visit on a regular basis so you can get the newest content about the series.

There are various sites on the web that features our TV series. However, this is definitely the one you should visit since it’s the official site. If you get news and information from other sites there’s no guarantee that you’ll be getting accurate info. That could be a problem if you want to make sure you’re getting the latest info about the show.

This is critical because you’ll certainly want to get information about the series’ episodes, actors/actresses, etc. and other issues. The best way to do that is by visiting this official site since it includes the latest official news and info about the TV series. If you get all the information about the show from this site you can be assured that the info you’re getting is true and accurate.

If you’re new to the TV series then make sure to check out the About section of this site. It will help you to learn everything you need to know about the show. That includes a synopsis of the series as well as summaries of past seasons. You’ll have all the information you need to get you started watching the first episode.

If you check out this section you’ll learn everything you need to get you started watching your first episode of the series. It’s definitely worth spending some time to get you up to speed.

One of the best features of this site is the official trailer. We always upload the official trailer for the next season. In fact, it’s one of the most popular features of the site. It’s always a plus when you can see a preview of the show’s next season. Not only that but you should make sure to watch it at our official site. If you visit other sites they might or not include next season’s trailer, which could be a drawback.

In fact, another issue is that the trailer you watch at other sites might not even be the official trailer. That’s definitely a situation you’ll want to avoid since it could be a fake trailer. That’s definitely a situation you’ll want to avoid. In fact, it’s one of the reasons you should definitely watch any trailers or videos from our site. Since it’s the official site you can be assured that you’ll also be watching official videos from the TV series.

The site includes other videos as well you should check out. They include clips from the next episode that’s definitely worth watching if you want to get a preview of the next week’s episode. You’ll likely want to watch the entire episode when it airs on TV. However, before that happens it’s a plus to get a preview of the show

That will help you to determine whether or not you should watch the episode. In fact, after watching the preview there’s a chance you might decide it doesn’t seem like a must-see episode. However, it’s better to see the preview before making that decision. Another issue is that after the clip you might decide that you want to watch the episode anyway. However, there’s no real way to know until you see the preview first.

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What Are Some Funny Science Fiction Movies?

“Spaceballs” is very likely one of the first, if not the first, title to pop into your head when you are asked to think of funny science fiction movies. That’s too bad…because “Spaceballs” just is not very funny. How could the man who gave the world “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles” have gone so wrong when he tried to parody and satirize science fiction?

Easy. Because one look at those earlier films reveals a guy who loves monster movies and westerns. It’s quite clear that science fiction doesn’t hold the same place in Mel Brooks’ heart. “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles” are heartfelt parodies, whereas “Spaceball” is a work of almost vile hatred. So forget “Spaceballs” and look elsewhere for funny sci-fi.

Sleeper

The Ginger or Mary Anne argument of the 1960s transformed into a different argument in the 1970s: Woody or Mel? Woody went on to overwhelmingly win the argument, but in the 70s it was a toss-up. One place where Woody Allen definitely beat out Mel is in making a funny science fiction movie. “Sleeper” is the precursor to Matt Groening’s other funny animated sitcom as it tells the story of a cryogenically frozen 20th century loser transported into the future. “Sleeper” is one of the last of Woody’s slapstick comedies and it’s one of his funniest. Whether he’s pretending to be a robot servant or slipping on giant banana peels or threatening the life of a nose, Woody was working at the height of his comic talent on this one.

The Ice Pirates

You may never have even heard of “The Ice Pirates.” Although Anjelica Huston and Ron Perlman appear in it, the stars are Robert Urich and Mary Crosby. (She shot J.R.!) It helps to have an appreciation of kitsch and camp when watching “The Ice Pirates” but anyone can enjoy the funniest part of the movie which is the one part of this sci-fi comedy that anybody who ever saw it remembers. This battle scene takes place in a time warp so that all the characters instantly age a little bit in the blink of an eye. It’s clever and very funny.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Some prefer the original British TV series, but how can resist a movie with Alan Rickman voicing a suicidal robot and Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox? Not to mention Zooey Deschanel at her most engaging and Bill Nighy at his disaffected peak? That’s not even to mention Stephen Fry as the voice of the Guide and the filmmaker’s brilliant decision to forego CGI for Muppet-like aliens. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is not looked upon kindly by many fans of the novel…which is a shame since it features the same sense of humor that made Douglas Adams a household name.

Dark Star

Before he reinvented the horror film and made the greatest science fiction of all time, John Carpenter raised a few thousand dollars and set to work on a film that would act as their college thesis. That thesis turned into “Dark Star” which shows what a parody can be when when made by someone who loves the genre instead of despises it. The movie is both a satire of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and a sort of companion piece to it as both movies analyze the dehumanizing effects of long-term space travel. The budget is ridiculously low meaning the effects and the overall production value is directly antagonistic toward the Kubrick inspiration, but it’s a very fun film if you get into its mindset.

Sci Fi at the Movies: 1960s – In the Age of Aquarius

At the dawn of the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union were in a deathly battle for dominance through atomic and nuclear superiority. This battle would come to a head in 1962, over a tense and frightening thirteen days in October when both countries came to an impasse after the U.S. discovered the Soviet Union was building a missile base in Cuba. Cuba’s close proximity to the United States meant that both Cuba and the Soviet Union could have the capability to fire nuclear weapons into the U.S. President John F. Kennedy was able to thwart the Soviet’s intentions in an anxiety-ridden confrontation when the U.S. blockaded Soviet ships carrying missiles to Cuba. In the end, the Soviets agreed to suspend their efforts to build a missile base in Cuba in return for the U.S. to finally remove missiles from nearby Turkey, a previous agreement made during the Eisenhower administration that was never implemented.

Though Hollywood continued to dramatize these Cold War tensions in films such as the Nevil Chute-based novel On the Beach (1959), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and Failsafe (1964), few of them were sci-fi related. In fact, there was a steep decline in sci-fi pictures released by Hollywood during the 1960s, a strange development considering that the 1950s was considered the height of sci-fi releases. Many sci-fi films of the 1950s were campy, B-movie teen fare, so this might have brought down the reputation of the genre for mainstream Hollywood production studios. Nevertheless, there were a few sci-fi films released during this decade, some of which became classic films in their own right.

During the early sixties, Hollywood released literary-inspired screen adaptations of the works of H.G. Wells and, surprisingly, Daniel Defoe. The Time Machine (1960), based on Wells’ classic novel, saw a big screen production starring Rod Taylor, who would later star in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller The Birds (1963). The story followed Wells’ work rather faithfully about a man who builds a time machine and travels to the past and the future. First Men In the Moon (1964), another film treatment of Wells’ work, was about a group of astronauts who think they are the first to land on the moon, only to discover that the British got there first during the Victorian era. In the same year, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was reworked with a sci-fi theme. Robison Crusoe on Mars (1964) is a fairly forgotten 1960s sci-fi film which takes Defoe’s story of a man who is shipwrecked on an island, but changes the setting to Mars. Starring Paul Mantee, Robinson Crusoe on Mars follows Defoe’s themes, including a Martian Friday as Crusoe’s nonspeaking companion on the lonely and strange planet. Billed as a “science-fact story,” the movie was wholly improbable, but did feature space exploration with some scientific fact.

Fantastic Voyage (1966), starring a young Raquel Welch, took another route in sci-fi adventure. When a scientist who has created a mechanize to shrink humans develops a blood clot, fellow scientists are shrunken, then injected into his blood stream to save his life. Similar to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage featured the obstacles and adventures the scientists encounter in their quest against time.

Many of these early 1960s sci-fi movies did have much more in common with their big-screen 1950s counterparts. But a new film movement in Europe would soon influence sci-fi films of the 1960s. The French New Wave, which included such directors as Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Eric Rohmer, was based around the auteur theory, which held that film at its truest was the director’s artistic vision. Based mainly out of France, the movement, which began with film lovers and critics who wrote for the French publication Cahiers du Cinema, inspired American filmmakers, many of whom were the first generation of film school graduates (Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, among others). Their influential films (Truffaut’s The 400 Blows; Godard’s Breathless) would also get the attention of Hollywood. Some of these directors would go on to direct American and/or British releases, such as Truffaut’s screen version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966). Starring German actor Oskar Werner and British actress Julie Christie (who has two starring roles), Fahrenheit 452 is a straight-forward telling of the Bradbury classic, but does feature some interesting choices by Truffaut, including in the casting and the film’s credits, which dispenses with a traditional credit role, but announces cast and crew credits through a voice over, an astute choice considering the film is about a society that burns books.

Other European directors also influenced the look and substance of sci-fi films. French director, Roger Vadim, whose early film And God Created Woman helped launch the career of Brigitte Bardot, contributed to the sci-fi, comic book category when his film Barbarella (1968), based on the comic strip character, hit the big screen. Starring Jane Fonda, who, like Bardot, would go on to become Vadim’s wife, Barbarella is a camp classic, with plenty of sex thrown in for good measure. The movie reflected the changing mores of the late 1960s America as the sexual revolution spread throughout the country. Along with these changing mores was the loosening of the screen code, which governed much of the post-1933 films, allowing filmmakers greater freedom to explore taboo subjects, such as sex and gratuitous violence, on the silver screen. Barbarella was one of the first sci-fi films to kick that door of screen permissiveness wide open.

But the sci-fi film that would go on to represent the Age of Aquarius, with its emphasis on spiritual awakening (usually through the help of psychedelic drugs) was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, 2001 took space exploration into an entirely different direction. Though the story is mainly about a space crew which is knocked off one by one by a rebellious computer called HAL 2000, its main appeal, particularly with baby boomers of the period, was its exploration into spirituality and the meaning of life. The film begins with our early ancestors, after discovering the will of aggression, puzzling over a large, black monolith that appears suddenly on the landscape. The film then jumps to outer space as man has evolved into beings who have conquered the farthest reaches of the universe. Technology is a large part of that evolutionary development, but, as HAL 2000 proves, even technology is subject to human flaws—in this case jealousy and envy. The film ends with a strange exploration of another sort as lead character Dave travels through his own subconsciousness. The sequence is daring and groundbreaking in its use of special effects. Dave ages to an old man. Alone in an eerie house with the black monolith watching over him, he dies, then is reborn as a space baby. A strange ending, but so representative of the issues and questions Americans were asking of themselves at the end of the 1960s.

A year later, Americans would vicariously experience a real-life space exploration when Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 16, 1969. No longer was space exploration simply a fantasy cooked up in Hollywood’s dream factory, but a fact of life, and one that Americans would take for granted as the years went on. Science fiction has now become science-fact.

Star Trek Mastered Not Remastered

Now that the original Star Trek TV series has had its special effects digitalized by today’s CGI geniuses, we can say good-bye to those outdated visual and sound effects of the ’60s, right? It’s about damn time these geniuses got rid of those primitive television techniques and given the original series a 21st century makeover, right? Anyone would go for the digitalized series, better known as Star Trek the Original Series Remastered, over the original version, wouldn’t they? Not this long time Trekker. Maybe something spectacular has been added to Star Trek the original series (TOS), but it has actually taken away TOS’s originality. If it hasn’t taken that away it’s at the very least covered it up. Having digitalized the original series’ special effects has not only been an insult to the show’s original creators but has also been a robbing of history.

History is a television producer as much as television’s creators, directors and other production crew members are. This is the case for all genres of television. In fact, history is a producer of all art whether it’s film, painting, literature, etc. Whether an artist acknowledges it or not, a work of art comes about from a mind that has been shaped by the issues of the day. Therefore you can say history itself is an artist. So it is not only TV show producers, such as Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, that make the series. Time, history and therefore the series’ surrounding current events make the show as well.

The creators of a TV show are influenced by their day’s social issues and so in turn they influence their work with those same issues, intentionally or unintentionally. This is the case with the creators in any kind of art. For example, the Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci produced his famous painting The Last Supper with the social ideals of his day. The Renaissance was a period of major breakthroughs in science which led to the more realistic depictions of society as well as the individual. One of these cultural and social influential elements was the shift in emphasis from Jesus Christ, his angels and saints being perceived as otherworldly, heavenly and therefore supernatural beings, to being perceived as more realistic, down-to-earth human beings. Therefore you see Jesus and his disciples in the painting depicted as mortal, flesh and blood human beings in an earthly setting of a house rather than as larger-than-life, two dimensional beings towering over a two dimensional house like you would see in Europe’s art of the previous era, the Middle Ages. Therefore there is a switch from the highly symbolic and ideal of the Middle Ages to the more everyday and realistic of the Renaissance.

Star Trek TOS was influenced by the rapid social change of its time, the 1960s. Two of the major social reform movements of that era were the civil rights movement and the anti-war/peace movement. These issues are reflected in Star Trek TOS by the fact that more characters of color play more important roles than in earlier space epics (for example, Lt. Uhura played by black actress Nichelle Nicols) and the high emphasis on the starship Enterprise’s peaceful mission.

Not only do the social issues of a work’s time, whether that work is a movie, song, painting, etc., influence the work’s content but also influence the work’s very technique and style. Many of the paintings of the European Middle Ages reflect the techniques used that were influenced by the beliefs and ideas of the society of that time. Such techniques were simplistic resulting in a simplistic yet idealistic style. Therefore Medieval society was ideal and mystical in their beliefs which fell under the Christian religion of the age. Therefore emphasis was on the unearthly and cosmic aspects of Christian belief as opposed to the realistic and everyday aspects of it. Such emphasis is reflected in paintings such as one where a figure of a king may be standing next to a castle and an army of knights but he is several times larger than both. Therefore the king’s size symbolizes his power which was superior to the rest of society and believed to be divinely inherited by him. In addition to this, the figures, including the castle, would contain little detail and look like flat cut-outs rather than three dimensional figures. There is also an absence of a pronounced background in such paintings, and so there is no horizon line to define land and sky. Therefore the lack of realism in Medieval painting’s style is indication that the paintings’ essential subject matter elements were the ideals of power in certain social ranks rather than a realistic depiction of that society’s individuals and their setting.

If we go back to the example of the Renaissance paintings we can clearly see how the techniques and style differ from those of the Middle Ages. If we look at Da Vinci’s The Last Supper it is easy to tell that its technique was used to achieve a far more three dimensional effect. Therefore we see both a foreground and a background. There is the table with Christ and his disciples sitting at it, a floor underneath them and a background wall with windows looking out into a landscape. This is all possible because the technique of point perspective, which is often dependent on a horizon line and so a division between land and sky, is used in painting by this time in history. Such techniques are the result of the scientific discoveries of this time which has lead to society to perceive the world in a more down-to-earth way rather than as in a cosmic ideal one. Therefore the person of greatest emphasis in a painting is not depicted as larger-than-life but as the size of a regular human being and so, more or less, Christ in The Last Supper is depicted in a size much closer to the sizes of the disciples sitting to either side of him at the table.

Even though computer technology was advancing in the 1960s, it could hardly be used for special effects techniques for Star Trek TOS. At that time, computers were mostly found in either important government institutions or in laboratories where they were being experimented with for advancement. (And of course they were also found at the fictional level in shows like Star Trek of course!). The television and movie studios had very little, if any, access to them in the production of television and film. Therefore, television and movie producers had to rely on the special effects techniques of that time period. Those techniques mainly consisted of dependence on the camera and miniature models.

Compared to today’s digital effects, and even to the effects in television and film of the later half of the ’70s, the special effects of the ’60s do not seem all that special. In fact, they seem very primitive and perhaps they are by today’s standards. However, such simplicity wasn’t a problem with Star Trek back in the ’60s. It wasn’t even a problem at all during that time, at least not to the TV producers and audiences. It was simply the techniques that television and movie producers of the 1960s had available to them. Because of this, society either thought space travel and perhaps even space itself to be much more simple than society thinks of the two today, or they were forced to use their imaginations of what the two might really be like in much the same way audiences of the preceding radio generation had to when they could not see the story they were being told. To improve the 1960s’ television shows’ and movies’ special effects with today’s digital techniques would cause a sense of that era’s pop culture to be lost from history.

To digitalize the original Star Trek series’ special effects is basically to paint over the original artists’ work. Doing this would be hiding a part of pop cultural history. It would make the original series reflect too much of today’s culture and much less of the series’ own time period. It may banish too much indication that these original episodes were made in the 1960s. This could be very deceiving as well as misleading to societies of the distant future, even to the historians and archeologists who would be studying the pop cultural history of the 1960s. It would probably cause confusion to these pop cultural scholars because they would see a chronological contradiction in history: 21st century special effects in a mid-to-late 20th century television show, the latter being a time when computer technology in the mainstream was itself only science fiction (like Star Trek)! That could create a world mystery, one that may never get solved, for historians and archaeologists in the future. Such a mystery could be much like the one of how the Egyptian pyramids were built using limestone blocks that weighed tons.

Maybe there will be other records of the history of Star Trek’s digital effects that will indicate that these effects were 21st century add-ins. But those records will mostly be in computer databanks and on saving devices such as flashes and disks or (whatever such devices will be used then) and so themselves will be digital information much like today’s added-in special effects in Star Trek TOS Remastered. So if the digitalized special effects in the original series can be misleading to future society’s history is there much more reason for that society to trust the digital archives? Sure there will be copies of the original episodes with out the digital effects added in, but who knows how long they’ll survive. The arson attacks on Alexandria’s library during the ancient Egyptian era caused a big number of important works to vanish forever. Therefore any of our historical records and artifacts can be destroyed at any time, and if all we have left in the line of the Star Trek franchise are re-mastered special effects versions of the original series where does this leave the future scholars? What does this do to both the whole of history and pop cultural history, including Star Trek history? Well it definitely leaves Star Trek history in the shadows of time, in the dark, much like the missing history of the Dark Ages. However, Star Trek’s history wouldn’t be so much a dark age in the sense of a total absence of records documenting it than it would be a fragmented history where there is a missing link between the original series of the ’60s and the re-mastered original series of the 2000s. This could easily cause the severance of the original series from the whole historical time line.

What good would Star Trek in the future be if we can’t connect it to the rest of history? Star Trek is a part of our humanity. It defines us Trekkies/Trekkers. Many in mainstream, non-geek society look down on Star Trek as contributing nothing significant to the world. If there’s nothing larger to connect Star Trek to in the future it may, inevitably, become just a meaningless, useless, unfitting piece of a puzzle–that puzzle called history.

In addition to this problem, we also have to consider the rights of the original Star Trek series’ creators, especially Gene Roddenberry. This television work of art is theirs, not today’s television producers’. Ethically speaking, we have as much right enhancing their show’s special effects with 21st century technology as we have both restoring and enhancing parts of Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings with it! Using this technology even just to restore those paintings would be messing around with somebody else’s work and recreating it as our own. We would also, to an extent, be hiding the paintings themselves by superimposing 21st century techniques onto them. Therefore we would be covering Da Vinci’s work over with our 21st century artists’ own digital work. We would be hiding those paintings’ history. So we are doing the same with Gene Roddenberry’s work, the original Star Trek series, when we digitalize the special effects. It’s almost plagiarism when you think about it.

Maybe it can’t actually be termed plagiarism since Roddenberry and the other original creators of the original series still have their names attributed to the show in the credits. Yet digitalizing their special effects is still an insult to both their show and their names. This may sound ironic because most Trekkies/Trekkers may think today’s special effects artists are doing the original Star Trek creators an honor by enhancing its special effects. However, doing this actually indicates a value judgment toward the original creators. Just as there are geographical value judgments, where one culture down criticizes a culture of a different region, there are also temporal value judgments. A temporal value judgment is a down criticism based on the cultural standards of the present toward a people and culture of a past era. Therefore for today’s special effects artists to improve the 1960s’ Star Trek with digital effects is indicating that the producers of the original series should have used digital effects when they hardly even had access to vacuum tube computers!

I’m not saying digitalizing old movies and television shows should be eliminated. In fact, digitalization of old movies and TV shows is a very good thing. It is useful in restoring clarity to the picture and sounds and therefore is just as useful as today’s manual painters (as opposed to digital ones) are in restoring faded parts of old paintings such as Da Vinci’s. Therefore digitalization is important for salvaging older films and TV shows. However, I don’t go for its use of “improving” these older films and shows’ special effects because such a use is really re-creating somebody else’s work.

Therefore computer technology should be used to preserve a masterpiece television show such as Star Trek TOS rather than to remake it with today’s special effects used in today’s science fiction/fantasy television shows and films. We, especially us science fiction/fantasy geeks, should want to remember the television and movie artists that provided the sources of our geeky interests such as Star Trek. The best way to remember and therefore honor them is by preserving their work rather than making it into the work of today’s television/movie artists. Yesterday’s television and movie artists’ work should be viewed as masterpieces, not re-mastered pieces.

Are Science Fiction TV Shows Dead?

In my youth I can remember watching Star Trek and thinking “hey that’s cool” but as time progressed the episodes got further apart. Then eventually it was gone entirely, but that wasn’t the end of it. Next was Star Gate SG-1, one of my favorite shows that took the dive into oblivion, followed by Andromeda, and a few others. Though Star Gate is still around in the form of Atlantis it hardly has the same feel as the original

Are science fiction TV shows dead: Sci-Fi to syfy

After all of that Sci-Fi changed its name to Sy Fy, but that’s not all that changed. Sy Fy has become a network for horror movies, and depraved gore, with open slots filled by wrestling. How they can even consider that science fiction is beyond me.

What is going on with the world today, that people would rather be scared (or not so scared) by some freakish creature on the television, than check out some future gadgets? Have we simply advanced in technology so far that no one has any foresight anymore?

Are science fiction TV shows dead: Star Trek is back.

The recent star trek movie had given me hope that the great show would be returning with a new timeline based off the movie, but alas it was in vain. I’ve heard nothing of a new series. There was a time when people thought science was hot, but now there is nothing on TV that I even care to watch.

Other great series that bit the dust include, The Seeker, Kings, and Heroes, literally every show I actually watched appears to have been canceled. All this makes me wonder if it’s even worth owning a TV anymore. Not all of these where Sci-Fi series. However, they were all great shows that encompassed an intrinsic look on alternate realities.

Are science fiction TV shows dead: Reality shows.

It’s sad that today it would seem that more than %75 of television is composed of horror, soap ops, or reality shows. Fantasy and Sci-Fi have been nearly completely taken out of the equation. Even the Sunday Times has taken notice of the impending fate of the entire Sci-Fi franchise when they wrote “Sci-fi films are as dead as Westerns, says Ridley Scott” in 2007. Statistic showed as far back as 2004 70% of the UK populace where watching reality shows instead of good old fashioned fiction. Is it true that reality shows are soon to dominate the market, overtaking the entire Sci-Fi fantasy franchise? I would love to hear what you think about this.

District 9

Sometimes a movie comes along and you hear good things about it beforehand. Try as you might, if you are like me, you try to put those reviews aside. Again, if you are like me, the good buzz gets you a little more pumped up, but if it builds your expectations up too high, well, it can only disappoint. Therefore, I did everything I could to not let my expectations get too high before going in to see the new sci-fi movie “District 9.” It is so nice when a movie lives up to its hype and then manages to surpass it.

You’ve probably seen the commercials. The premise is that, 28 years ago, a giant spaceship came to rest hovering over the city of Johannesburg South Africa. It sat there doing nothing for some time before humans cut their way into the ship. What they found there were over a million starving, scared and desperate aliens. These aliens were then brought to earth but, soon, they were put into a kind of ghetto, surrounded by fences, guards and wire, and then completely segregated from the rest of humanity. The ship was damaged and could not move and it just sat there, over Johannesburg, while the residents who had been on the ship were treated more and more like animals and creatures not worth saving. Now humans are sick of the aliens being even in such close proximity and a plan has been made to move them to a new place, 200 miles from the city, called District 10.

A company called MNU, one of the largest weapons manufacturers on the planet, has been assigned the task of handling the move. The man put in charge of the eviction is a weasely, nervous-looking man who happens to be married to MNU’s daughter, named Wikus van der Mewe (played by Sharlto Copley). He has to venture in and actually get the aliens to sign release forms agreeing to the move even though they are all going to get moved anyway. The movie starts as a kind of documentary as they follow Wikus into District 9 and see him confront the aliens. He is a man who does not like these creatures. Like most he fears them. When he comes across a house filled with alien eggs he shows noticeable delight at setting it on fire and the popping sounds the eggs make as they burn.

However, while traveling around he stumbles across a cylinder. He tampers with it and ends up sprayed with a mysterious black fluid. Before too long Wikus has grown an alien hand. This delights MNU, including his father-in-law because no one can get the alien weapons to work. They function on DNA and only and alien can cause them to work. Well, now Wikus is both and he can get it to work. Suddenly, he is very valuable.

Meanwhile, an alien who has taken the name Christopher Johnson, and his son, have come up with a way to get back home. They know how to get the mothership started again. The hope for their kind rests in the mysterious black fluid in that cylinder and now only Wikus can help him get that cylinder back.

This movie is a stunner. This movie grabs you by the throat and then never, not once, lets go. It is filled with no-named actors, who mostly improvised their lines, and the movie feels like something that is unfolding right in front of you. It manages to be horrifying, funny, touching, thrilling, exciting, breathtaking, dazzling and heart-warming all within a span of two hours. Yes, this is another movie extending past the two hour mark, but you will not once notice the time as it flies by.

The film is a first-time effort of Neill Blomkamp. He did a number of commercials and then a short film that is the basis of District 9. Copley played the same character in that short film. Blomkamp has come under the wing of Peter Jackson, and Jackson’s advances in using motion-capture to make the aliens appear alive is utilized here. This is not a huge special effects movie. In short, this is not the Transformers. This is a smart movie, with powerful images, and a character that you do not like at first and then you see him change as the movie moves forward. By the end you are rooting for him and the aliens. Blomkamp, I hope, will be around for along time and do even bigger and better things soon.

These aliens are not pretty. They are called Prawns by the humans because they are considered bottom-feeders (aliens also are addicted to cat food), and because they, well, they look a bit like prawns. For fans of Futurama, imagine a skinny, less-comedic Doctor Zoidberg and you have some idea of what they look like. The communicate in a series of clicks. The alien Christopher Johnson even has a son with big wide eyes that somehow manages to be cute despite the tentacles hanging over its mouth.

Of course there are parallels to be drawn between the way South Africa treated blacks when they were under Apartheid. But this is a movie that is not simply there trying to beat you over the head with it. This is a very exciting movie that travels along like a speeding train. I was very literally on the edge of my seat by the time the movie ended. I was rooting for the aliens and I was hoping for the best for Wikus, a character that was so unlikeable at the beginning.

Too many summer movies are just full of explosions for the sake of explosions. The robots in Transformers, when they fought, are just a mish-mash of metal that is impossible to follow. District 9 even has a Transformers-like robot fighting machine that manages to look real, and behave in a way that you can almost believe could be how such a machine might work. This movie has plenty of explosions, and plenty of gore. It will satisfy on all levels for those looking for a thrill and those looking for something deeper.

District 9 is a truly remarkable achievement

The Top 5 Science Fiction TV Shows on DVD

Television viewers have long been fascinated with science fiction television shows that stretch the imagination. With more than 60 years of quality shows to sift through, it is difficult, almost impossible, to select the best of the best, but here’s a list of five fondly remembered television shows that currently are available on DVD:

Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Sliders”

Jerry O’Connell played Quinn Mallory, a young scientific genius who finds a way to bridge the gap between dimensions. With the help of a hand-timer, he and his friends can “slide” to other versions of Earth that are similar to their own or completely different. In one dimension, for instance, Quinn is a scientific hero while in another, he could be Public Enemy #1.

Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “The Incredible Hulk”

Debuting on CBS in 1977, “The Incredible Hulk” focused more on plot than action. The late, great Bill Bixby played Dr. David Banner, a brilliant research scientist who couldn’t pull his injured wife from a car wreck. Wondering why other people exhibited super-strength in times of need, Banner exposed himself to an overdose of gamma radiation, which caused him to change into a hulking green creature when he was hurt or angry.

Heavily influenced by “The Fugitive,” this show succeeded thanks in no small part to Bixby’s acting and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno’s interpretation of the Hulk. Most episodes ended with Banner leaving town as “The Lonely Man,” a haunting piano solo written by Joe Harnell, played in the background.

Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Quantum Leap”

Scott Bakula plays Dr. Sam Beckett, a contemporary genius who creates a nuclear accelerator that’s supposed to send him back and forth in his own lifetime. Something goes wrong, though, and Dr. Beckett ends up “leaping” into other times and lives; he can only leap again after he corrects events that originally ended in tragedy.

Each week, Bakula rose to the challenge of playing different characters, including a pregnant woman, a test pilot and the infamous Lee Harvey Oswald. Despite the talents of both Bakula and co-star Dean Stockwell, Dr. Beckett disappeared from network television in 1993, but he’s still leaping around on DVD.

Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Star Trek: The Original Series”

When pitching the idea for “Star Trek” to network executives, series creator Gene Roddenberry called it “‘Wagon Train’ to the stars.” NBC cut the five-year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise short, but syndication turned this science fiction series into a phenomenon. In 1979, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the crew even made the jump to the big screen.

About twenty years after the original series ended its network run, Roddenberry unveiled “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which proved to be just as popular as the first show. Other spin-offs and movies followed, the latest being J.J. Abrams’ reimagining of the original series. It’s easy to find the entire “Star Trek” universe anywhere where DVD’s are sold.

Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “The Twilight Zone”

A show that set the standard for science fiction television, “The Twilight Zone” is an anthology series where extraordinary things happened to seemingly ordinary people. Each episode featured either the work of host Rod Serling or other talented writers. The original series spawned a 1983 movie as well as a few attempts to revive the concept on network television.

Everyone has their own favorite “Twilight Zone” episode, but one of the best was “Time Enough at Last.” Burgess Meredith played Henry Bemis, a timid bank clerk that adored the written word. As the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust, Bemis thinks he has time enough now to read as much as he wants, but fate has one more cruel trick to play on him.

A Science Fiction Movie Buff’s Fondest Gift Memory

I’ve experienced my fair share of holiday seasons and requisite gifts lying under the tree each year, a sight which never gets old, but one movie-related gift in particular stands out above the rest. In fact, this gift has yet to be topped in all these past years. That’s a testament to the quality of the gift and the impact it made rather than a slight against any gifts I’ve since received.

As a self-professed lover of science fiction movies for as long as I can remember, friends and family never had too much trouble figuring out what to get me. Luckily for them, gift shopping was particularly easy since I just so happened to be a die-hard Star Wars fan. 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” was the very first movie I ever saw in a theater, and the toys were a big part of my childhood. Star Wars colored my interest in other movies and examples of the genre, though it was impossible for other franchises to measure up to George Lucas’s unique world which had captivated me in my formative years.

Star Wars toys and memorabilia held a proud spot underneath our Christmas tree, annually appearing for me in some shape or form no matter what I’d asked for that year. A book here, an action figure there, a scene or vehicle in Lego, or some of other piece of merchandise.

Approaching adulthood and beginning to grow out of my obsessive love of all things Star Wars, these unique movie-themed gifts had less of a prominent place under the tree. What were once toys became instead the occasional non-fiction book, a behind-the-scenes expose, or some rare display item.

By the time the first Special Edition theatrical re-release of “A New Hope” hit screens in 1997, my Star Wars fanaticism had all but faded. The new re-release, however, gave me a chance to do something I’d never been able to when I was younger. Namely, to see the original Star Wars movie that started it all on a big screen, in a movie theater, the way it was meant to be seen. After all, Star Wars is nothing if not the definitive theatrical movie entertainment experience. Modeled on science fiction serials like those of the original “Flash Gordon,” such movies were the bread and butter of theater-goers everywhere.

Seeing the original Star Wars trilogy on the big screen reignited my passion and awakened my inner Star Wars-loving child. It was during this time, immediately following the Special Edition releases, when I received a very special gift indeed.

During those days in the late 1990s, while I closely followed every scrap of news about the then-upcoming prequel “The Phantom Menace,” my family put their heads together to get me something special for Christmas. In 1998, seeing a present that looked somewhat like a shoebox underneath the tree, I unwrapped it to find an original, vintage “Return of the Jedi” lunchbox in mint condition. I was absolutely astounded. It looked identical to the lunchbox I had infamously lost on a school bus in first grade.

Although this was enough to keep my jaw on the floor, what awaited me inside the lunchbox was just as shocking. Opening it, I found an original 1978 Darth Vader action figure complete with lightsaber. Keep in mind that these were the days before internet auctions became as ubiquitous and (relatively) hassle-free as they are today. The action figure isn’t necessarily the rarest or most expensive, but both Vader and that lunchbox have been with me ever since, still occupying a proud spot above my work desk as I type this.

Lesser Known Sci-Fi Films and Miniseries

When it comes to recommending good science fiction films it’s just too easy to pull up “The Matrix”, “Star Wars”, “The Terminator”, or “Star Trek”. Yes, they’re good science fiction movies, all in all, and they’re definitely worth taking a look at (though I can’t say the same for some of their sequels!). But every now and then, a really good science fiction gem would pass by and never make a big enough splash into the mainstream to be noticed. Over time, these gems end up getting buried, only to be recognized by the deeper echelons of the science fiction community. This happens quite often and a lot of people end up missing out. So it’s about time that some attention is given, where attention is due, especially for these exquisite pieces. Please note, that some of the works that I’ll mention will belong to the anime category and, though there are plenty of quality sci-fi anime out there, I will only mention a few significant ones to save time and space. So without further delay, here’s the run down in no particular rank or order.

1.) Dark City

Long before “The Matrix” graced the silver screen, “Dark City”, starring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, and Kiefer Sutherland, vividly brought to life the concept of a fabricated world ruled by a manipulative force that held complete sway over the lives of the masses. Unfortunately, after only a moderate presence in the theatres, “Dark City” faded out and eventually became forgotten, while “The Matrix”, which arrived a few years later, smashed the box office and was declared a revolution in the sci-fi genre as a whole. Is this me being bitter? Maybe, but not quite. “The Matrix” (the first one) was a revolution on several aspects and it was definitely a blockbuster masterpiece. However, “Dark City” was still a jewel that shared quite a few similar elements with “The Matrix” and it was a movie that captivated me from the beginning all the way to the very climactic end. The movie, itself, centers around a man, named John Murdoch, who finds himself completely naked after suddenly waking up in a bathroom. He has absolutely no memory of who he is or who he was and, as he struggles to figure out what’s happened to him, he finds himself trapped in a dystopian world of continuous night (though hardly anyone else in the city realizes it). During his search he runs into a group of mysterious telekinetic beings known only as the Strangers, who have taken quite a unique interest in him. Overall, this film is an excellent exploration of the “nature versus nurture” debate and it puts a very gripping plot of suspense and mystery to good use in order to keep the viewer both absorbed and aware of this exploration at the same time. If you happen to be a fan of basic sci-fi or one who’s simply enticed by elements of darkness and enigma, “Dark City” is a perfect film for you.

2.) Robot Stories

Once in a while, a movie passes through the independent circuit and makes a tremendous splash with the critics, garnering countless applause, while still totally escaping the awareness of the mainstream. “Robot Stories” happens to be one of these movies. Little known and hardly heard of, “Robot Stories”, which was released in 2002, is a movie that is actually a collection of four shorter movies focused on Robot themes, some of which harking back to the works of Isaac Asimov. Overall, though one of the vignettes was a little controversial, “Robot Stories” is an excellent movie, sporting enormous talent in both storytelling and acting. Each story presented in this film is touching and philosophical all at once, causing it to be a movie that’s more about people, rather than about robots themselves. The overall themes in this movie encompass such issues as family, romance, and, ultimately, human existence. So despite being mainly sci-fi in nature, this movie, as a whole, smoothly accommodates the needs of both sci-fi fans and non sci-fi fans alike. An additional thing that I might like to add to this is that, unlike many other films out there, this work is uniquely an “Asian American” film, with nearly the entire cast being Asian American actors, along with the producer and director himself, Greg Pak, who is part Asian. The extra features that come with the DVD of this film are excellent and include such wonderful bonuses like an additional short movie by Mr. Pak and some alternate endings for some of the short works presented in the film proper. Being a definite masterpiece by itself, this movie is certainly a true sci-fi gem!

3.) The Lost Room

A motel room that exists outside of time and space, a hair comb that freezes time for a few seconds, and a bus ticket that teleports anyone it touches to Route 66–yes, these are all things interesting enough to catch anyone’s attention. And it definitely caught mine. This 3 part sci-fi miniseries was first aired around December 2006 by the Sci-Fi network. Starring an eccentric cast of stars such as Julianna Margulies, Kevin Pollak, and Margaret Cho (yeah, kinda strange, isn’t it?), this mini-series had it all–impressive acting, engaging plot, intriguing characters, and an original premise. But why hasn’t this mini-series spun-off into a full-fledged TV series? But why hasn’t this sci-fi work ever penetrated the consciousness of the mainstream? One word–advertising. Or more appropriately, the horrendous lack of it. Advertising itself only on the sci-fi channel and other sci-fi specific media, “The Lost Room” simply didn’t bother to go any further, thus sabotaging its own hopes for good ratings. In fact, if I hadn’t been lucky enough to see an ad for it in a sci-fi magazine, I honestly would have never heard of it. After its short run of 3 parts, “The Lost Room” idly slipped off the air and straight to DVD release (which I ended up buying). Personally, it infuriates me that such things happen, but unfortunately, in this imperfect world that we live in, they just do. All in all, if you happen to have some free time or a Saturday to burn, watch this miniseries. It’s really worth it.

4.) Pi

This movie is probably a little better known than most of the movies on this list. What started off as a very simple low-budget independent film became a major breakout piece for director and writer Darren Aronofsky (“The Fountain” and “Requiem for a Dream”). Starring Sean Gullette and Mark Margolis, this film revolves around a brilliant young mathematician who’s in a search of the mystery behind the mathematical constant “pi”. This search, which initially begins with the aim to develop a model to predict the stock market, becomes a discovery that spans far beyond what he could ever imagine. But with such a discovery comes a heavy price that could end up costing him not only his life, but also his sanity as well. Being both simple and effective in its execution, this highly cerebral film is a testament to both originality and to the fact that you don’t need a big budget to hit hard! Filmed completely in black and white, the story draws you in immediately as you are, likewise, drawn into the world of the central character–experiencing all of his obsessions, while agonizing with all of his frustrations as well. “Pi” is a remarkable piece and to avoid this film would be a mistake.

5.) The Lathe of Heaven

Based on a novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, of the same name, this movie was produced for public television in 1979 and stars Bruce Davidson (of “X-men” fame) and Kevin Conway. Without giving away too much, this movie centers around an unfortunate man, by the name of George Orr, who has the gift/curse of changing reality with his dreams. After being forced into psychiatric care, due to his abuse of sleep deprivation drugs, he forms an interesting relationship with a psychiatrist, who not only discovers his power, but also chooses to harness it for the “greater good”. Though the movie begins at a slow pace, the viewer becomes instantly attached to these two characters from the get go. And, as their relationship builds to an interesting dynamic of antagonism, the movie itself drives to a much higher level as it explores such philosophical issues as reality, altruism, and existence. Many good twists and turns occur throughout this film, with some of these begging such questions as, “What would happen if we could dream anything or anyone out of or into reality?” or “Can ultimate good always come from ultimate power coupled with good intentions?” Overall this is a very thoughtful film, which is also successful at being entertaining at the same time. The ending, however, is slightly confusing, and almost reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. But the journey to that end is definitely well worth the undertaking. In addition to the 1979 version of this film, a 2002 remake, produced for A E;, was made starring James Caan and Lukas Haas. Though this adaptation has several major changes from the original and lightens up a lot on the philosophical exploration, it does leave a much clearer ending than the original, which is probably easier for most people to chew on. Many sci-fi purist will most likely prefer the original to the 2002 remake, but I personally enjoyed both and do recommend them for a good late night watch.

6.) Ghost in the Shell

Though never exactly mainstream, this anime has been one of the more popular animes to reach the U.S. Taking place in the future, this work introduces a world where the merging of man and machine has become so advanced that the division between the two can be nothing less than a blur. In fact, depending on the individual, blurring is actually an understatement. The main character, who’s a special agent by the name of Motoko Kusanagi, is a cyborg who finds herself struggling with her own identity and even whether or not she has a soul, given that her entire body, with the exception of her brain, is fully synthetic. At same time Motoko also belongs to a covert organization that specializes in investigating cyber crimes. Within the film, a major cyber criminal known only as the Puppet Master has appeared throughout the net forcing Motoko to investigate. But in her search she discovers that there’s much more to this Puppet Master than meets the eye. This anime movie, which perfectly blends philosophical sci-fi with police drama, is unique in how it explores the issues that arise in consequence to joining man with machine. In addition to this film, “Ghost in the Shell” has also expanded into an anime series (“Stand Alone Complex”), which, though belongs to a separate continuity from the movie, is equally entertaining as it is thought provoking.

7.) Akira

Produced in Japan around 1988 and released in the US in the year 2001, this anime takes place in a future Tokyo overrun with biker gangs, seedy politicians, and radical anti-government activists. In this future, the city of Tokyo (or Neo-Tokyo) has become a very bleak place and on top of all this chaos broods a secret government project hidden from the masses for decades–one involving a mystery known only as ‘Akira’. For years, this project has been kept under wraps, until one night, Kaneda, a leader of a biker gang, suddenly finds his close friend being abducted by the government after a major gang fight. Through a variety of twists and turns and the involvement of other parties, the mystery of “Akira” begins to violently unravel along with the rest of the city itself. With both visceral and graphic detail, “Akira” clearly demonstrates that just because a work is a “cartoon” doesn’t mean that it can’t be gritty, raw, and dark all at the same time. Though some parts of it can be a little extreme for some viewers, all the rest of the necessary elements of a good sci-fi film are present, including an intriguing concept, an engaging plot, and an absorbing setting.

8.) Donnie Darko

This independent movie, directed and written by Richard Kelly, stars a younger Jake Gyllenhaal, along with such heavy hitters as Mary McDonnell (from “Dances with Wolves”) and Patrick Swayze. Basic story–a disturbed teen sleep walks one night and receives a vision from a demonic looking bunny, named “Frank”, who tells him that the world will end in 28 days. From there the movie takes off. Overall, “Donnie Darko” is a very interesting film, filled with moments of sarcastic humor and trippy scenes that can easily make anyone go, “Huh?” Though it’s not exactly a walk through the park to understand (I still have some problems understanding it), this movie does present a very interesting take on the subject of time travel. Because of its eccentric ness and the fact that it easily crosses the boundaries of sci-fi into other genres (dark comedy, drama, and social-commentary), it’s definitely one of those oddities worth scoping out for sci-fi fans.

9.) Cube

“Cube” is a suspense driven Canadian independent film that features a group of strangers trapped in a cubic labyrinth filled with high-tech death traps. They have no idea why they’re there or where “there” exactly is, even though each has their own theories and means of coping with the situation. With no other choice but to band together, these strangers must struggle to find a way out of this surreal maze, while they struggle to survive the conflicts that inevitably spawn between each other. Though this is a surprisingly simple concept for a sci-fi premise, this movie packs a huge punch and gets the mind thinking about the intricacies of human interaction and relationship.

10.) A Scanner Darkly

Based on a 1977 novel, of the same name, by Phillip K. Dick (who also did “Blade Runner”), this movie had a limited release in 2006 and it was one of the few movies in history to use cell-animation technology. In this movie, set somewhere in the near future, drug addiction has become a major epidemic and a new drug, by the name of Substance D, has swept across the nation. To counter this, the government has set up a vast surveillance network and has planted undercover operatives in numerous locations. The movie’s main character, Bob Arctor (played by Keanu Reaves) happens to be one of these undercover operatives and he’s planted in a household occupied by Substance D addicts to spy on them. But the main catch is, he’s also become an addict. Over time, his ability to distinguish between his identity as an undercover officer and a drug addict becomes blurred due to the costly effects of Substance D on his mind. Overall, this movie has a lot of good eye-candy. It’s visually engrossing and the use of cell-animation throughout the film becomes quite hypnotic at times. The plotline, however, is confusing and following the story can sometimes be like trying to put together a huge jigsaw puzzle with only half the box-top picture. The acting of various actors, namely Robert Downey Junior’s and Woody Harrelson’s, is quite appealing in this film. For those expecting a heavy focus on sci-fi, don’t. Though this movie has various sci-fi elements in it, the main focus of this film is centered almost entirely on the sadness and repercussions of drug addiction and its high cost to both the user and those around him. This film is a very interesting concept, but for those of you who may not know much about the movie beforehand (I was lucky enough to read a little blurb on it before watching), you can easily get lost, so it would be a good idea to first read up on it before renting. Please note, this work may not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but because of its uniqueness and stylish execution of cell-animation, it’s still something worth checking out.

It’s really rare nowadays to find a good sci-fi work that actually causes you to think deeply. Unfortunately, many (but not all) sci-fi productions that grace the movie or TV screen, fall along the lines of “McSci-fi’s”, where audiences are force-fed flashy effects, massive action sequences, and scenes of raunchy sex while being deprived of meaningful plots and stimulating philosophical exploration. It’s sad, but true and it’s really sad that a lot of the works that should be seen don’t get seen simply because of the overwhelming presence of McSci-fi’s and many other unfortunate factors that get in the way. So, the next time you’re caught up loathing the same old, same old, take a peek at one of these gems. You never know–you might enjoy them so much that you’ll end up kicking yourself for not seeing them earlier!

Obscure British Science Fiction TV Shows..

NOTE: This was originally a two-part post on my blog, The SciFi Dude. If you’d like to read the originals, check it out there. I have made small edits to fit the format here at Y!CN.

The British have been involved in Science Fiction since…well, let’s just say…a long time. But it seems that, at least in the last sixty years or so, their biggest influence has been in Science Fiction television.

So I came up with a list of 21 shows that are either little-known or simply forgotten. Most of these British Science Fiction TV shows are short serials of three to seven parts/episodes. But that doesn’t make them any less quality entertainment.

I’ll share the list with you and you tell me if you know of or remember any of them. It would be great if you would share your memories, good or bad, of the ones you remember.

O.K. Enough rambling. On to the list:

  • Time Express (1979)
  • Moonbase 3 (1973)
  • Bliss (1995)
  • First Born (1988)
  • Space School (1956)
  • The Nightmare Man (1981)
  • The Changes (1975)
  • The Escape of R.D. 7 (1961)
  • Voodoo Factor (1959)
  • Legend of Death (1965)
  • Dark Season (1991)
  • Time Is The Enemy (1958)
  • Secret World Of Polly Flint (1981)
  • Children Of The Stones (1977)
  • Man Dog (1972)
  • The Trollenberg Terror (1956)
  • Plateau Of Fear (1961)
  • The Lost Planet (1954)
  • Return To The Lost Planet (1955)
  • Century Falls (1993)
  • Edge Of Darkness (1985)

Ther are more than 21 of these great forgotten British Science Fiction TV Shows. But, quite honestly, the research to find them has been long and tiring. In the future, I may (O.K. probably will) continue the search. If you know of any, leave a comment and let me know so I can add to my list.

You may expect all of these to be in the Classic Science Fiction range, which a lot of fans consider to be from the 1950’s and earlier. And there are some classics from the 50’s. But there are some from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as well. Case in point is number 11 in the list: 1991’s “Dark Season” starring Kate Winslet.

Truthfully, some of these obscure British Science Fiction TV shows are better than others, but they all deserve a watch. You owe it to yourself to see them if you can.

I plan to see as many of them as I can and write up some reviews. I haven’t seen them all, but the ones I have seen I’ll watch again if I can find them so my reviews will be “fresh.”

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me of your memories of any of these shows—or anything else you like to say. 🙂

Best Science Fiction TV Series of All Time

My list of the greatest science fiction television of all time is, as is the nature of such things, rather subjective. Others will argue for different selections. Here are the arguments for mine.

Star Trek

Though all the various spin off series has their virtues and faults, there was nothing quite like seeing the very first, classic Star Trek series for the first time, back in the 1960s, before even the Apollo moon landing. Admittedly Shatner’s acting was over the top and the special effects look a bit cheesy to the modern eye (though some of those who have updated with modern CGI.) But just imagine yourself in the 1960s, with Vietnam, race riots, and drug abuse as a lifestyle choice, and being told that there would be something wonderful on the other side.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine

My choice for the best of the Trek spin offs was a tough one, as I do have a soft part of my heart for Enterprise. But I had to do with DS9, not only for its collection of interesting characters, but for the sheer scope of the series that progressed to an interstellar war that spanned the galaxy and went into the hearts of alien cultures more so than any other Trek series did before or since.

Babylon Five

Babylon Five was one of those great gems that one wondered how it actually got made for television, a medium which seems to encourage the mediocre over the great. Babylon Five had a sweep that spanned both time and space far beyond the space settlement that was “the last best hope for peace” and then “the last best hope for victory.” Babylon Five has mystery, a sense of wonder, sly social commentary, and characters that actually changed and grew in unexpected directions as the series progressed.

Alien Nation

Alien Nation lasted for one season, though there were a number of made for TV movies that followed. The idea of an alien race living among us as the latest group of immigrants was a fascinating one, especially since the differences between human and alien were often as much biological as cultural. It allowed for some sly social commentary too, such as the scene outside the school where the two main characters, Sykes and Francisco, have to break up a riot of irate parents who don’t want “their kind” mixing with their kids. Sykes, the human racist cop he gets better, had a classic line when he gives one of the parents, and African American, a withering look and tells him, “And you, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.” And he was.

Battlestar Galactica (21st Century)

While I still have fond memories of the 1970s Battlestar, the rebooted version far exceeded the original material. The new Battlestar Galactica actually explored the implications of having ones entire race, save for about forty or so thousand people, obliterated and having that last remains of humanity hunted down across the stars. The tension and the fear oozed from the television every week the series was on. Throw in the idea that the evil Cylons were not just clunky tin men, but could look just like humans, and that the humans were pagans and the Cylons monotheistic, and there aired a jewel without price.

The Best Classic Science Fiction TV DVDs

As a person who is highly selective of their television watching, I love that most of my favorite television shows are now available on DVD. This means I can watch them whenever I want, and without commercial interruption. With my hectic schedule, having the option to watch what I want, when I want, is a wonderful freedom. Among the many offerings available for TV series on DVD are some of my favorite classic science fiction series.

The classic 1963 version of Doctor Who is wonderfully original. The show centers around an eccentric time-traveling alien and his friends, and ran an incredible 26 seasons before cancellation, followed by a reincarnation that is still in production. All 26 seasons are available on DVD, but my favorites will always be the first few seasons. It’s also great if you have kids; you get the nostalgia factor, and they’re entertained as well!

For those who are still young at heart, 1962’s premier season of The Jetsons is a must-have. Despite being an animated series, the show holds up as being one of the best science fiction shows of all time, and one of the longest running as well.

In the mid-1960’s, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea entertained audiences with the premise of exploring the deep ocean in a submarine, a theme later copied by SeaQuest DSV in the 1990’s. The premise of exploring the unknown always leaves endless options for plot development, but undersea exploration as opposed to space exploration is a whole different dimension!

The complete DVD set of The Twilight Zone is also now available. Every episode is like its own mini-movie, with an entirely fresh cast and story every week. The show was very creatively done and had a lot of unique, innovative ideas. It remains to popular today that the classic episodes are often played in marathons on various television networks, but have the DVDs at your disposal means you can watch any episode you want, any time you want!

One series I hope to one day own on DVD in its entirety is more of a modern classic, Star Trek: The Next Generation. While the original series was groundbreaking and remains one of the best sci fi series of all time, Next Generation had better plotlines, a stronger ensemble cast, and more longevity (which is perhaps the best indication of its superiority over its predecessor). The DVDs are absolutely loaded with special features, and watching them in their entirety will tell you pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about the show. But even at Amazon’s price of $45 to $52 a season (down from the nearly $70 MSRP), buying all seven seasons is an investment I can’t justify in today’s economy!

Of course, these are just a few of the thousands of great shows you can find on DVD these days, Make a list of your favorites and search Amazon regularly, as more and more classic shows are being released to DVD all the time!

Five Classic Science Fiction TV Series that Should Be Remade

I’m a sucker for campy old science fiction shows, so the recent trend of remaking cult classic sci-fi series is hugely exciting to me. While some of my old favorites, like Battlestar Galactica, have been reinvented already, there are a few other shows that I would love to see make a comeback.

One of my favorite guilty pleasures in my slightly younger years was the primetime vampires-and-werewolves drama Dark Shadows. The series was actually a revival of the 1960’s classic by the same name, which only ran for a single season (1991 To 1992), was a soap opera-like saga flowing an eclectic cast of characters through a twisting plotline involving magic, possession, and other magical, mythical themes. The cast includes a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who later came to be a household name with the success of the comedic science fiction sitcom Third Rock From the Sun. The short-lived series ends prematurely, with many of the plot elements remaining unresolved. With the Harry Potter set growing up and the Twilight followers coming of age soon, the world is overdue for a good blood-sucking, magical series aimed at adults. With the recent trend in reviving shows such as this, paired with the show’s currently popular themes, a re-revival would be timely, but is probably unlikely.

One of my favorite series ever is Quantum Leap, which ran from 1989 to 1993. Starring Scott Bakula, who was also Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise, as Dr. Sam Beckett. Beckett gets trapped in time, “leaping” in each episode to a different time and into a different body in his quest to find his way home. You never know what’s going to happen next, and he ends up is some fairly ludicrous situations from week to week. While I doubt I’ll ever see new episodes of the show, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility based on the show’s wild popularity and the current remake trend.

Although it only ran for a couple of seasons, I loved Logan’s Run. The 1976 series was the story of people living in a futuristic, utopian society. Utopian, that is, except for the fact that once you hit the age of 30, you’re executed. The plot centers around Logan and his friends as they search for a mythical safe place called The Sanctuary. While I’ll have to keep dreaming about a remake, the show was wonderful and it was tragic that it got cut short so quickly. (Though not nearly as tragic as the premature demise of Joss Wheadon’s masterpiece, Firefly, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic!)

With all of the comic book superhero movies being so hot these days, it would be an opportune time for a revival of Wonder Woman. The Nazi-fighting girl with hot pants and a corset top played by Lydia Carter battled evil through 57 episodes starting in 1976. While cartoon versions continue to be produced, a live action version has yet to be seen by a generation who only knows her as a 2D character. The likelihood of a remake is greater for this show than the others I’ve mentioned, but I’m still not going to hold my breath.

The Six Million Dollar Man is another fine example of classic science fiction of which the world could use another dose. After a horrible space crash, astronaut Steve Austin is given powerful new mechanical limbs. He uses his superhero-like abilities to fight crime and capture criminals. While the idea seemed incredibly far-fetched at the time, it’s getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. As far as the series goes, they can rebuild it; they have the technology.

While I would love to see any one of these shows make a comeback, I have a feeling most of them will never get another shot. Which is a shame, because they were great shows that deserve a new round of airtime!

DVD Review: V: The Original Miniseries

With all the hype surrounding the news of ABC’s 2009 series revival of the legendary science fiction classic franchise known simply as V, I decided it was time to bust out my copy of V: The Original Miniseries DVD for a play through in order to rekindle the fond old memories.

If for one reason or another you can’t recall V: The Original Miniseries, a short history lesson is in order before I proceed to with actually reviewing the DVD. V: The Original Miniseries was the epic and hugely successful Science Fiction television event! It was originally broadcast on the NBC network in two separate two hour length parts on May 1st and May 2nd of 1983. The total run time of the production minus commercial had a running time of 197 minutes. It was at the time, the largest budgeted and longest running Science Fiction miniseries production in the United States. And if you remember the marketing campaign surrounding this one like I do, you’ll certainly recall how nearly everywhere you looked, in magazines, comics, TV commercials, etc; there seemed to be the iconic image of the V graffiti insignia. And those started appearing months before the series even aired.

The plot of V: The Original Miniseries is centered upon the advent of extraterrestrials called Visitors whom suddenly reveal themselves to the people of Earth via gigantic imposing saucers which station near the major cities of the world ala Independence Day but granted this enigmatic visual was presented to audiences over a decade previously. Initially, the leaders of Visitors (John and Diana), claim to be a friendly human like race which is willing to assist mankind with their alien technology in order cure disease and other problems affecting the people of earth in exchange for simple waste energies. But soon after the Visitors manage to establish themselves well within the world governments, suspicious dictatorship type events come into play involving the Visitors including restrictions on individuals’ movement, propaganda discredit campaigns aimed at influential human sources, eventually even people go missing and others begin acting oddly.

The story is forwarded by V’s main protagonist characters, journalistic news cameraman Mark Donovan and Los Angeles rebel leader Julie Parrish played by Marc Singer and Faye Grant respectively. Donovan acting on his suspicions that something foul is aloof with the Visitors manages to sneak aboard one of the Visitor’s ships and discovers the horrible true intent and form of the alien Visitors, and captures the evidence to film. However before the footage can be shown he is branded a wanted fugitive via the Visitors media propaganda machine and he must flee. While on the lam, Donovan meets up with rebel leader Julie Parrish and he joins the ever growing resistance against the threat of the Visitors, which eventually leads to the alien invaders declaring martial law.

V: The Original Miniseries is also full of some interesting subplots as well. Often the Visitors are depicted by an elder member of Jewish family which appears occasionally in the series as being reminiscent of the Nazi’s persecution and eradication of Jews. There is also an inter-species love interest between an alien male and human female which leads to worrisome pregnancy whose storyline would evolve significantly over the entire franchise.

In order to properly finish up my V: The Original Miniseries DVD review, it’s also best to break down the production value of this DVD release. I have is the Warner Bros. edition from 2001, which at the time of this writing remains the sole official version released to DVD. There is some great commentary tracks featured as an extra. The picture is a very clean remastered wide screen presentation which looks so much better than the original airing and VHS edition. While the audio is a decent remaster in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, but given the release date of this DVD putting a little extra effort into a 5.1 mix would’ve been grand and par for the course with all of the spacecrafts whizzing around and laser battles happening throughout the miniseries. And of course it’s an absolute joy to be able to watch V: The Original Miniseries without any commercial interruptions, and believe me, back in the day with the production cost for this baby, there were quite a few of them! Best of all you can generally find a new copy of this one still for between $10-15! That’s chickenfeed for a collection like this if you’re a true classic Science Fiction buff!

And my final impressions of the V: The Original Miniseries DVD? Unlike when it first aired back in 1983, it’s not the greatest thing ever by today’s television production standards, but the epic original miniseries still holds up very well in all areas. The story-lines are engaging, the acting from the all star cast is decent, and even when it comes to the special effects and production values, many of the stages and special effects still remain visually impressive. I vividly recall how amazing it was to see something like this on TV back in the early 80’s… I was a child then, and this was a special treat, and I’m glad to say that it still remains so for me today. Although, now that I have the gift of hindsight, I’m rather relieved to know that the franchise would indeed continue onward by spawning a sequel miniseries as well as a short lived regular weekly series to tie up some loose ends left at the end of the V: The Original Miniseries. But those will have to be covered in a separate review!

Why Should A SciFi TV Series Buy A Heat Press Machine?

If you own or manage a graphic design or a custom printing then you definitely have to purchase a heat transfer press. These kinds of printing equipment are also called heat press machines. With this kind of printing technology for your business, you may actually get a lot of customers who will come to you for custom-printing services. This is because this kind of printing technology is one of the latest and best ones that you can get if you need to have something custom-printed. You would not go wrong if you get this kind of printing equipment.

It is actually really cheap to buy a heat press. These kinds of machines only cost about several thousand dollars. And you would find that they are not that expensive to invest it. You could easily purchase a heat press for your graphic design business because they are not that pricey. This is especially true when you compare them to the prices of other similar printing equipment, such as screen printers. A heat press is easily a fraction of a price of those other custom printing equipment. This would make it possible for even smaller graphic design businesses, to get a heat press.

And another thing that makes heat presses so cost-effective is the higher profit margin that you can get with them. With other kinds of custom printing equipment, you could only accept huge bulk orders to make some money off of custom-printing designs. That would mean that it would not be possible to accept smaller custom printing jobs. You could accept those smaller printing orders if you had a heat press. If you can accept those smaller printing orders, you could still make a hefty amount of profit. This is because of the fact that the operating costs of a heat press are much lower as well.

A heat press is also more versatile because it can print on a lot more surfaces. A heat press would be able to print on rubber, plastics, ceramics, fabrics, spandex, and many other kinds of material. This would mean that you can accept many other kinds of printing orders if you had a heat press. You would be able to print out custom designs for mugs, cups, mouse pads, shirts, and many other kinds of things. So you could sell your graphic design and custom printing services to more people and get more customers.

For anyone graphic design or art business that wants to offer custom printing services, it is important that you get the best kind of technology there is. And the best kinds of custom printing equipment that you can get are heat press machines. With these kinds of machines, it is possible to offer custom printing services on mugs, shirts, caps, etc, at a very practical and affordable rate. You would have no trouble at all offering those kinds of graphic design services in your own business. A heat press would be easy to use, and also affordable to get.

The Best Science Fiction TV Shows to Watch This Fall

With the major Networks having updated their fall season schedules for this year, you science fiction aficionados may be interested to hear what’s officially slated on the lineups for the season. So here we go, a guide to the best Science Fiction TV shows for fall 2009.

V – If you were around in the ’80s then you’ll understand just why there is a lot of buzz surrounding the remake of the epic classic science fiction epic. On November 3rd, 2009 on ABC the first season of the new V series premiers with what certainly will be a big bang. The basic premise seems to remain faithful to the original at this point with some minor alterations to help keep things fresh. Aliens known as Visitors have suddenly appeared on Earth with the promise of helping us cure disease and famine, and all they’d like in return is a little water and a particular mineral found in abundance on our world But soon the Visitors seem just a little too tight and cozy within our world governments and then totalitarian things begin to happen, and that’s when people begin to learn the true malicious intent of the Visitors. Featuring a bevy of experienced science fiction producers, writers, and actors, V the new series is definitely a Science Fiction television show worth catching in fall 2009.

Heroes – It may look like the fifteen minutes of fame for this once popular award winning Science Fiction TV program is finally floundering. Ratings dropped considerably during last season, but NBC has still picked up the program for what will be the show’s fourth season. It has been reported that Heroes producers plan to return the series to its roots, which could very well explain how last season ended on a prelude type episode instead of a traditional cliffhanger. So if you are a big fan of Heroes, you better do your part and tune in regularly this season… You may even find yourself pleasantly surprised even.

Dollhouse – The creative genius of Joss Whedon (Credits: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly) is behind this relatively unknown little science fiction gem that somehow managed to slip past many Science Fiction fans viewing itineraries. After the show concluded its first season last year, there was much speculation as to whether Dollhouse would even return for a second one. After a mass downloadable content promotion from Fox, and to a lot of surprise, Fox signed onto a new 13 episode 2nd season deal. Dollhouse is not for everyone, but it’s worth checking out. The show is about people (Referred to as “actives” or “dolls”), whom have had their identities and memories wiped by a mysterious laboratory facility in order to imprint them with a new persona. These “Dolls” are then jobbed out to complete various tasks such as crimes and personal fantasies. It’s pretty creepy stuff and definitely not for everyone. But every Science Fiction fan should do themselves and the show a favor by watching at least a few shows from the series. Enough of you may find that this is one of the SciFi TV shows of fall 2009 that is worth saving.

Doctor Who – For both Science Fiction fans of the United Kingdom and the United States, the BBC will be airing a series of Doctor Who specials throughout 2009 until it returns to a full season shooting schedule in 2010. During the fall and winter season of 2009 it is rumored that there will be at least a couple of these specials tied closely into one another, and at some point during these particular specials we will see a new regenerative form of The Doctor to lead into the 2010 season as well as a return of his dreaded arch-nemesis… The Master.

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