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Chat at Joe's Bar: What is your sci-fi background? (poll added 11/1/07)

How big a science fiction fan are you?

  • Avatar of iwatchitall

    iwatchitall

    [161]Apr 25, 2008
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    Love some, hate some.

    I grew up watching Quantum Leap, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Outer Limits and the X-files, and reading DC and Marvel comics. I enjoyed a wide range of shows with elements of sci-fi, "My secret Identity" for example. Now, I couldn't stand watching a lot of what I really liked. I've seen every episode of Stargate SG1 and Atlantis, Star Wars, Smallville, Heroes, BSG, Lost, Eureka, Journeyman, Voyager, and Firefly. I'm hit and miss on the rest of the Trek's, Quantum Leap, Farscape, Andromeda, Babylon 5, Sliders, The X-files, The Dresden Files, Charmed, the 4400, Red Dwarf, and MST3K....I've seen at least a season of each of those.

    I'm in the process of finishing Enterprise, so that'll move to the "seen it" pile.

    A lot of scifi movies are redundant with a few great classics, ie, Back to the Future, Trek Movies, Star Wars, Bladerunner, The Matrix, and Serenity to name a few on a very long list.
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    Idbeolderifiwas

    [162]Apr 25, 2008
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    Are you by chance watching Enterprise on Space? I've never seen Quantum Leap, B5, or Sliders, but I'm planning to watch them eventually.
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    tripwire73

    [163]Apr 25, 2008
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    My Sci-Fi history? Well there was Star Wars when I was a kid - in fact, my childhood was so dominated by Star Wars I don't really remember anything that gripped me, Sci-Fi TV wise, until Star Trek TNG.

    I saw the first few (rented on VHS - sigh, they were the days) and didn't rate it, but then stumbled across 'Best of Both Worlds' while channel flicking, and was hooked, all the way through to DS9 and Voyager.

    They started to lose their charm when Babylon 5 came along though. Just the whole arc thing, and the 5 year plan, and the huge sense of foreboding, had me hooked. What I started to hate about Star Trek was the fact that no matter how bleak it looked 5 minutes from the end, the whole cast (except Tasha Yar) were having a good old laugh by the time the credit rolleds.

    B5 changed that - no-one was safe on that show, and I loved it all the way to the end of season 4, until it was neutered by cancellation confusion. It also felt a bit 'Han Solo' the way that Ivanova didn't die, but hey, my therapist says I need to let go of these things...

    Currently following:

    Heroes, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Lost, and of course BSG

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  • Avatar of iwatchitall

    iwatchitall

    [164]Apr 26, 2008
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    Idbeolderifiwas wrote:
    Are you by chance watching Enterprise on Space? I've never seen Quantum Leap, B5, or Sliders, but I'm planning to watch them eventually.


    No, not on Space, DVD. Quantum Leap is probably my favorite out of the 3 you haven't seen. Scott Bakula is great....thus, the Enterprise marathon.
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    Idbeolderifiwas

    [165]Apr 26, 2008
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    Ah, I see. Yeah, I've been watching on Space. They're up to season 4 now, so pretty close to the end. Also, Unbeknownst to me until yesterday, my parents were apparently fans of Quantum Leap. So I'm thinking of trying it out. I have so many shows I need to catch up on though. Right now I'm watching Dark Angel, Andromeda, Farscape, Enterprise, and Roswell. I'm also trying to catch up on X-Files and I'm looking into Buffy and Angel, as well as the others I already mentioned.
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  • Avatar of iwatchitall

    iwatchitall

    [166]Apr 26, 2008
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    That's awesome, good work!

    It's hard budgeting time for all my regular shows now that they're back on the air, and marathoning Enterprise, in the midst of a hectic full time job. I think after Enterprise I'm going to try and continue with "The Wire", although I hate it so far....total crap for crap.

    I have no idea what happens in Roswell or Dark Angel, and I don't think I'll be watching those anytime soon.
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    bobster_bsas

    [167]Apr 27, 2008
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    I just found this post and i think its great!
    i'm a big sci-fi fan since i was a litlle boy thanks to star wars (as almost all of us), and three great shows that aired in the mid-80's in Argentina (where i live): The original BSG, Robotech, and V . but since then i didn't enjoy watching sci-fi tv until i discovered this new version of BSG just a month ago, when i decided to download the miniseries that i missed when it aired here ( i don't think the first season did). Now i'm planning to give some other sci.fi shows a chance. the only thing i can't learn to like is Star Trek, but i'm hoping that when jj abramas' movie comes this will change.
    As for books i've read almost everything Asimov has written, some Clarke and Dick, and a little Bradbury (i didn't really like it)
    And of course i love sci-fi movies: Terminator, Back to the future, Independence Day (ignoring the "patriotic" elements, no offense guys but it was a little too much, haha), the matrix, transformers, etc. etc. etc.

    Does Chuck counts as science fiction? Sarah Connor chronicles is also great. Bionic woman was boring and lost is becoming more and more sci.fi this season, which is excellent
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    pyrommiv

    [168]Apr 30, 2008
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    I started out watching re-runs of old Doctor Who and Blakes 7 every sunday morning. Then Star trek and Star Wars, then just about anything else that suggested it was sci-fi, incluiding the original Battlestar, Buck Rogers in the 25th century and others that were by that time old... I give it all a go.

    The full list would take a while...

    The only thing that didn't really catch on was the X-files, got bored of it after the movie came out.

    One side-effect is that even tho i'm English, i always say Lieutenant the American way..

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    my1sunshine

    [169]May 1, 2008
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    Hey, yall. Interesting thread. Well, I can tell you I never had much patience as a sci-fi reader. When I was little I remember Star Trek TOS, but crazy fandom didn't come until later. My first sci-fi affair was The Six Million Dollar Man, then of course Bionic Woman. More adventure then Sci-fi, I know. Then came my holy grail.. Star Wars in 1977. I was a first generation fan, classified a Star Wars freak. Wasn't crazy about the prequels at first, but I love the way it gells now that the saga is complete. I was into Galactica in 78. Still love it. Then Buck Rogers in 79 (Though man, has that show dated itself now. Can't watch it anymore). 1982 was my first year as a serious Trekker when Wrath of Khan came out. Since then, I've devoured anything Trek. Thought they were, and still are..milking the franchise a bit. Never saw the end of DS9, due to personal tragedies in my life, but I will. Missed most of Enterprise, I'll get to that too. Not crazy about the whole prequel movie idea, but I'll watch it...we'll see. But if it's going to go on...I would really rather Trek go forward, not back. I found Dr. Who interesting, starting with the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker (though I was never into it to the level my Mom was). Loved the V mini-series (both of them) and the series that followed..though it went downhill. Can't wait for The Second Generation, I may have to break and get the book. I hear it's awesome. My next big thing was the X-files. And now, BSG...which was and is the freshest take on Sci-fi I'd seen in years. I love it, and can't wait to see how it will end.
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  • Avatar of pureWasted

    pureWasted

    [170]May 3, 2008
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    Though both of my favorite TV shows have "extensive" sci-fi elements to them - Lost and BSG, respectively - I'm not a huge sci-fi guy. I believe that sci-fi is a setting, not a genre, so any show that would have "sci-fi" as its primary genre is probably not one I'd be very interesting in watching.

    That said, I think sci-fi and fantasy have a lot to offer drama and their offerings should not be overlooked, because with the right approach (Lost, BSG) the sci-fi/fantasy elements can be used to create tense, compelling, and original situations for its characters to be in that we haven't seen time and time again on every other show before.

    As for films, I've seen anything and everything from Star Wars to 2001: A Space Oddyssey, from Aliens to Children of Men, from GITS to NGE, and everything in between. Sometimes out of genuine interest, other times a scholarly curiosity.

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  • Avatar of iwatchitall

    iwatchitall

    [171]May 3, 2008
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    Ok, what the heck is gits and nge? damn abbreviations. lol.

    I don't understand what you mean when you say "scifi is a setting not a genre"??

    Settings are just physical locations, ie, the background like in a city, but science fiction is about technology that is not a reality yet, like in BSG where they can jump in a space ship from one place in space to another, or on Lost where there is a mysterious island that has technology that is not reality. That's it. It can be in any setting, take Firefly as your example of mixing every setting together into one show, but anytime you discuss technology that is not a reality, it automatically becomes science fiction. Some shows like to blur the line, like Alias, it tried to stay in reality, but was really science fiction.

    It's very dated as well, as science fiction over time has become in part, science reality, with all the new technology that has been created.

    I try not to confuse Science Fiction with Fantasy, because fantasy fiction is about magic and the supernatural, not technology, and some shows love to blur that line as well, ie, SG1 and anything ascended.

    Edited on 05/03/2008 12:20pm
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  • Avatar of pureWasted

    pureWasted

    [172]May 3, 2008
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    iwatchitall wrote:

    Ok, what the heck is gits and nge? damn abbreviations. lol.



    Hehe, I just didn't want to look like such a huge geek so I left it ambiguous in the hopes that no one would notice. Kidding about that geek part. Anyway, it's Ghost in the Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Two of the only anime shows that I can stand to watch.

    :

    I don't understand what you mean when you say "scifi is a setting not a genre"??

    Settings are just physical locations, ie, the background like in a city, but science fiction is about technology that is not a reality yet, like in BSG where they can jump in a space ship from one place in space to another, or on Lost where there is a mysterious island that has technology that is not reality. That's it. It can be in any setting, take Firefly as your example of mixing every setting together into one show, but anytime you discuss technology that is not a reality, it automatically becomes science fiction. Some shows like to blur the line, like Alias, it tried to stay in reality, but was really science fiction.

    It's very dated as well, as science fiction over time has become in part, science reality, with all the new technology that has been created.

    I try not to confuse Science Fiction with Fantasy, because fantasy fiction is about magic and the supernatural, not technology, and some shows love to blur that line as well, ie, SG1 and anything ascended.



    Unlike other people, I see absolutely no interest in watching crazy technology; I don't care if a story is set in a concentration camp in WWII, or a fantasy medieval world in a castle, or the far future on a spaceship -- as long as the quality of the show is high enough to meet my standards, I'll watch it.

    So in the end the show's "genre" has no impact on whether I'll like it or not, which is why I don't like to divide fiction in that way. I won't watch a sci-fi show that I think is not to my tastes (which unfortunately happens to be most of "sci-fi" shows), just like I won't watch a show set in the modern day if it's bad. Thus I see "sci-fi" as a setting, or background, more than anything. "Lost's setting is on a tropical island, BSG's setting is on a spaceship, and Dexter's setting is in Miami. But they're all mature dramas." That sort of thing.

    Hope that cleared up my first post!
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  • Avatar of iwatchitall

    iwatchitall

    [173]May 3, 2008
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    I agree with having high standards all the way, and this forum has nothing to do with that, it's about what scifi you DO watch. Speaking of big budget scifi, watch Atlantis, it's production value has really improved, I can't wait for season 5.

    Science Fiction is a concept not a setting, it can be intertwined into any setting, and mixed with many genres, like Drama, comedy, western, action, adventure, romance, and there's a clear distinction between them although they can be in the same show. My point is that, once over the top technology is introduced, the show becomes science fiction, while the other genres still remain, best example, Firefly.

    I guess I understand what you mean, even though I think you are misunderstanding science fiction.

    Semantics. lol.

    Edited on 05/03/2008 11:17pm
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  • Avatar of pureWasted

    pureWasted

    [174]May 3, 2008
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    You're absolutely right that it's semantics, and I'll even go one step further and say that on a semantic level, you're right and I'm wrong. Science fiction is a genre and that's that. Which is why I did provide a bunch of examples of sci-fi I've watched (specifically the films - I don't watch sci-fi TV shows other than the ones already mentioned).

    But as right as that may be technically, personally I find absolutely no difference in the "genre" of a story, because a good drama can be set on a spaceship just as well as in the heart of Miami, but if it's a crappy show, it doesn't matter if it's in a real city or in deep space; so in the end I find these genre distinctions a little misleading. I can see, however, where other people would disagree!

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    iwatchitall

    [175]May 4, 2008
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    Ok, to continue with what you're saying, there's this preconception and myth a lot of people have that because science fiction seems so far fetched that only geeks can understand it, they dismiss the genre altogether, and don't give it proportional credit normally given to a typical drama. BSG, case and point. Short sightedness, discrimination, and incognizance. There's overlapping and parallel genre's going on in shows nowadays that is going to take time for the herd to catch up with and get on board with. Some shows of higher quality than others.
    Edited on 05/04/2008 1:01am
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  • Avatar of pureWasted

    pureWasted

    [176]May 4, 2008
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    Couldn't agree with ya more, Watch. In fact, that's the entire reason I decided to (consciously) do away with the "genre" distinctions.

    A friend of mine got me into Lost. Me and him have very similar tastes in entertainment - sometimes frighteningly similar. But I happen to be more acquainted with stuff that carries the "geeky" connotation - ie, shows that are billed as sci-fi or fantasy! So when I got into BSG and realized I had to 'sell' it to him, because, being a mainstream viewer he wasn't so intrigued by the 'sci-fi' tag on the DVD cover, I said, forget everything you've ever heard about 'sci-fi,' because this show isn't it.

    BSG is 'sci-fi' in setting only. There's no rubber-head aliens, there's no techno-babble, there's no colorful lasers being shot around the screen. I think this way people I talk to get a better idea of what the show is actually about than if I said "Well yeah it's a science-fiction show, but it's a REALLY GOOD one!" because they would still be thinking along the lines of 'geeky' rubber foreheads.

    And I can't really blame them. When I hear "science fiction" I usually start thinking along the same lines my friend does... I simply have more tolerance for that kind of stuff (though I don't always enjoy it). That's what "science fiction" usually means in popular culture. So I think calling BSG that is doing a disservice to the great work behind the project, because it means the show will keep going unnoticed by "mainstream" viewers (who are its true intended audience) who will continue to ignore it because they don't like rubber foreheads.

    Edited on 05/04/2008 2:19am
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    iwatchitall

    [177]May 4, 2008
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    As you categorize Scifi as setting, Space is no longer science fiction just by being there alone, it's a reality setting, we have an international space station. It's the tech on board BSG that is Science Fiction, the ability to jump, is pretty much it. You can have a reality show or sitcom on board the ISS, ie, a 30 minute show about the crew making mistakes and eating freeze dried snacks out of the air, but it would not be considered scifi. All the tech is real and so is the setting.

    That's what you're getting at right?...that BSG is scifi because they're on a ship in space...that's not science fiction anymore, like I said, it's their ability to jump and a few other things like that, that make it science fiction.

    You're not going to get around the scifi aspect of the show if you're trying to convince someone to watch BSG. You have to appeal to their likes about TV while giving them the truth about the show, and in my opinion, BSG has something for everyone. Character driven storyline and allegory on the war in Iraq, Best female cast on TV, best writing, best special effects (better than movies), best action scenes and fight scenes, there's romance, politics, religion....ah and by the way humans are escaping Bioroids and Androids called Cylons bent on human destruction, by the use of a space ships headed by one called Battlestar Galactica and are looking for a planet called earth.

    The miniseries would've never been made into a TV show without the scifi fans who initially watched it and gave it such a warm welcome in the first place. I'd never down play the importance of the genre, as there's more freedom in scifi than any other genre out there.
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    serasuzie

    [178]May 8, 2008
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    You name it, i've watched it...good, bad or ugly lol. Scifi is a misunderstood art form.
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    ISpeakTheTruth

    [179]May 25, 2008
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    I'm a big fan of Sci-Fi shows Buffy, Angel, Farscape, and especially Lexx are some of my favorite shows of all time.
    Edited on 05/25/2008 7:30pm
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    eater11

    [180]Jun 12, 2008
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    I watch a fair bit of Sci Fi but I wouldn't say I am a massive Sci-fi

    Star Wars (original is better bur Ep 3 is awesome)
    BSG (of course)
    Stargate Sg1 & Atlantis & Movies ( Have seen them all)
    Firefly
    Heroes
    Smallville (if it can be considered Sci-fi)
    Some Star Trek

    Various other movies
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