Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

A catch-all topic for movies, books, television, and other SF & F conversation.
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Postby osomuerte » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:57 pm

You'll have to watch and find out. It isn't like HBO to skimp on the use of blood, is it?

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Postby soulmirror » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:41 am

FLASH FORWARD (based on a WOTF winner or judge's work, is it?) is certainly maintaining its very thrilling dramatic momentum and mysteriousness! FRINGE? Nice creepiness, invasion from the mirror universe etc. V ... I'm still waiting to be hooked on that one, really. I am disappointed in the thinness of the role of the actress who played Juliet on LOST. She amazed me there, but on V she's just not that well writ, imo.

Who'd a thought it: quality WRITING matters in SF, or sumthin' ... :?
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Postby Alastair » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:11 pm

soulmirror wrote:FLASH FORWARD (based on a WOTF winner or judge's work, is it?)


Yes, Robert J. Sawyer is a WOTF judge. There are a lot of detail differences between the book and the TV series (although once the season got rolling, fewer than I at first thought -- different POV characters), but still a fun ride. Sawyer is also a consultant to the show and has written at least one episode. Home town SF guy makes good. ;)

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Game of Thrones- Teaser

Postby phil » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:50 pm

HBO released a 22 second teaser from GRRM's Game of Thrones that should air in 2011

http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones

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Re: Game of Thrones- Teaser

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:34 pm

phil wrote:HBO released a 22 second teaser from GRRM's Game of Thrones that should air in 2011

http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones


I can't wait. My fav books of all time.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:47 am

THE EVENT. Somebody told me it's going to be "sci-fi" but that NBC is afraid of admitting it's "sci-fi" upfront because the mass audience ... is scared of "sci-fi." :evil:

http://io9.com/5560377/could-nbcs-the-event-actually-be-a-decent-tv-show

Now ... the prevues look tense and intriguing, imo. And I'd watch it if it were simply another gripping "conspiracy" potboiler like 24 (when 24 ruled, which in its early seasons, I thought it did)

But ... has anyone heard if it is going to be full-frontal SCI-freakin'-FI or not?

And, from the storywriters' or fans' perspectives ... How BIZARRE is it if NBC feels they need to "disguise" the SF GENRE in order to hook the audience? (Certainly, WOTF luvs the SF/Fantasy frontloaded, as we all know)

In retrospect, even LOST, freaky as it ended up, started with a slow 'weirdness" genre roll out, I guess ...

In what way is the genre story ENHANCED if time is taken to establish a 'real world' atmosphere before adding "genre" do you think? Certainly, GHOST stories benefit from a slow creepy "build up" ... Do you think FANTASY in general benefits from being rooted in "reality" first ... but SF doesn't?
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Alex Kane » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:05 am

Depending on the time/era the story is set in, I could see taking time -- particularly in full-length films, television series, and novels -- to establish a sense of realism through the familiar, the mundane. Sometimes, though, it drags. Other times, it really enhances the story through audience sympathy and familiarity.

Take Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds. Say what you will, but I am of the opinion that that particular film was made much, much stronger by the scene with Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) leaving his job, having his kids dropped off by his ex-wife and her new husband, the scene of father and son playing catch -- and arguing, and the scene where they sit around watching TV, even. Baseball, Ford Mustangs, divorce, and SpongeBob Squarepants are all part of the real world we're complacently a part of everyday. Show that first, THEN throw in an alien invasion, and you've got yourself a story populated with characters the audience can relate to, and more importantly, care about.

But of course in a story where the setting is far-future, or secondary reality, there's little reason to do it. Probably a matter of decision-making, based on the characters and the story.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:31 pm

KICK-ASS the movie (well, the DVD). Okay, it's more "superheroes" than actual SF or Fantasy ... and they're not actually even super or heroes, I suppose. But it hit me as an unexpectedly good movie, actiony, funny, violent, occassionally questionable ... but quite well-written (well, imo) ...

More soul in it than in many other comic book slogs ... You'll laugh, you'll cry ... You may don scuba gear and fight crime, who knows?
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby greggarious » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Solaris, based on the book by Stanislaw Lem, outdid even Bladerunner for me. The more recent, George Clunny version I mean. It's a Creation Myth, Murder Mystery, and Love Story all in one. Worth seeing 3 times; it took me that many to fully understand and appreciate it. But all the clues are there!

Frank Herbert's Dune, the BBC mini-series, was as close to the book and you could get, and close enough to be awesome. Yeah, special effects were only adequate, but I liked that, because so many movies now (Avatar, as awesome as it was, and Star Wars before it), rely so heavily on special effects to carry the awe and wonder. But Dune carried it on plot, character, dialogue, and theme, with setting (special effects) merely suggesting and supporting. Like a real play.

I can't even think of a distant third in this category. Probably the original Star Wars, but I was only 14 when it first came out, and was blown away by both the new special effects and the hero's journey plot. Those far-future (or ancient past) warrior monks, The Jeddi, were so compelling to the very young idealistic man I was and still am in some ways. And light sabres and the Force! Romantic and deeply captivating. Let all writers take note: It's the romantic and captivating they want to read about, not the grimly believable and practical. And there's barely any love story in Star Wars.

Surely there must be other quality SF in visual media? Bladerunner of course, first Terminator somewhat, Aliens for the suspense, John Carpenter's The Thing for the same, and Contact for uniqueness.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:50 pm

greggarious wrote:Solaris, based on the book by Stanislaw Lem, outdid even Bladerunner for me. The more recent, George Clunny version I mean. It's a Creation Myth, Murder Mystery, and Love Story all in one. Worth seeing 3 times; it took me that many to fully understand and appreciate it. But all the clues are there!


By weird coincidence then, we watched Solaris just last night (and probably that was for the third time, as you say.) The first time it did indeed leave me ... underwhelmed ... But this time I was again intrigued by it and the depth of its character mysteries.

This time it struck me that it isn't even George Clooney who is at the main thrust of the story: it's the WOMAN. It's HER existential plight, not his, that is the beating heart of the story. Certainly I want to avoid spoilers here, but HER question is ultimately every human's question: WHO ARE WE? To what extent are we our memories and our pasts, or other people's definitions of us ... and to what degree does any individual life imprison us? Clooney's just really a spectator to that, and going through some shallow issues; it's Rhea/his wife who is wrestling with some heavy, heavy cosmic puzzlements: what does it mean to be human, to be alive, to be ... to BE?

But yes, you're right, SOLARIS is (imo) a pretty good example of Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction at its best!
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:30 pm

soulmirror wrote:THE EVENT.
But ... has anyone heard if it is going to be full-frontal SCI-freakin'-FI or not?


Oh, yes! Yes it (almost certainly) is. :shock:

And after episode one (the "pilot", heehee) it has me hook, line, and sinker!

ETA: And on our TV schedule, the pilot ep is set to repeat this Saturday nite.
For any who liked LOST, FLASH FORWARD, etc ... THE EVENTcould shape up to be pretty kewl, imo.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby wswingley » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:45 am

I'm sorry... Both to contradict you, and because I spent an hour of my life on The Event. Granted, after about fifteen minutes I picked up my iPhone and started playing around. But WOW, that show is a disaster area.

Lost got criticized (and rightly so) for asking too many bizarre questions with no context or answers. The Event decided to take the worst aspects of Lost's middle seasons, smash them into a 24 sandwich, and distill them into a single hour. Aliens, assassinations, abductions, prisoners, disappearances, murders, terrorists, cruise ships (OK, maybe that last one only terrifies me)... you get the point. There was ZERO context or continuity for any of these events (oop, see what I did there). I'm sorry, I can wait several seasons to see if Ed and Carroll or Ross and Rachel get together, but I ain't waiting 5 seasons (so the producers claim) to see whether that one chick's dad was killed and replaced, induced into terrorism, or whether he was bad in the first place. I wish someone could throw a "one hour earlier" on my life.

OK, diatribe over. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but, as we all know, everyone is wrong :P

Best comment I have seen about the show (liberally stolen from a genius CNN.com reader):

"--acting

(three seconds earlier)

Man, all those flashbacks are distr--"
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:43 pm

But WOW, that show is a disaster area.


Aw well ... tastes differ, then. :) All colours to make a rainbow, etc. It's all good (unless, um?, it's not)

But if they keep doing for me what they've done that first hour so far ... which is non-stop actiony and sci-fi mystery ... THE EVENT will be a tasty hour of weekly TV for me to enjoy (and hopefully enough other viewers to help a sci-fi series survive, ratings-wise) !

But what the heck ... I got banned for luving and discussing AVATAR too much, too, so ... :D

A glimpse of the thing for the curious:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATlVIei9WNA
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby nodehead » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:18 am

Anyone ever come across a show called Odyssey 5 than ran for a single season in the early 00's? It wasn't anything fantastically "out there" - but it was very enjoyable. There was also a mini-series from somewhere called The Triangle that was mildly watchable.

And, I always thought that Farscape got an unfairly bad rep. It's a show I stayed away from for a long time, but when I got there: I was very surprised! It's final season let it down big time, and it never quite lived up to the standards it had set in its own first season - but overall it was enjoyable, suspenseful, all that stuff.

Since there's a lot of film mentions here, I have to say that one of the most entertaining sci-films I've seen in recent years was "Moon" - beautifully done. For the future, we can keep our fingers crossed that Ridley Scott sticks to his plans, gets back on form (to be fair, he's never lost it that much) and gets The Forever War done. That'll be something to look forward to!
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Jeff » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:24 am

I don't remember all the facts, but I don't believe Farscape meant to finish up when they did. They had a bunch more planned. Then they got told it was their last season suddenly, and they got cancelled. Due to huge fan outcry, they got the greenlight for a two hour movie, so the writers tried to cram the entire finale and last season into two hours. It was cramped, but they knew it was their one shot to get the story out and finished. So I think it was the best they could do under tough circumstances.

I'm sure someone here remembers the sordid history better than I do.

I loved Farscape.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby izanobu » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:27 am

I loved Farscape also. Peacekeeper Wars is the finale, I believe, and I think it's more like 4 hours? It wasn't a bad end, if a little abrupt.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby nodehead » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:51 am

Sorry, my bad: I actually thought the peacekeeper wars was okay. It was the last fully-fledged season (4, if I remember correctly), that I didn't think was great. It had some great comic moments, but was very disjointed - came off from one week to the next as if the series had no idea where it was going... that's how I remember it anyway. Maybe Farscape's due another watch :D
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:50 pm

Yay -- THE EVENT has finally at least gotten its full first season pick up from NBC -- so that's good news for a Sci-Fi genre TV show (and thus for the health of the SF genre as a whole in the general audience, I suppose) ! :D

Through October 11, “The Event” has averaged a 3.0 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall in “most current” averages from Nielsen Media Research. “The Event” has generated a 30 percent improvement in the time period versus year-ago “most current” results for NBC in 18-49 rating (with a 3.0 rating vs. a 2.3) and a 47 percent increase in total viewers (9.1 million vs. 6.2 million).
... [snip] ...
Additionally, “The Event” was licensed to nearly 200 territories internationally even before its U.S. premiere, and is launching in numerous regions abroad to impressive ratings.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/10/18/nbc-orders-full-seasons-of-the-event-outsourced-and-law-order-los-angeles/68521


FRINGE continues to intrigue and thrill, imo, with its dark war-between-the-parallel-universes/characters! :)

And soon THE WALKING DEAD brings Zombies to TV ...
http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/10/25/amcs-drama-series-the-walking-dead-strikes-major-cities-worldwide-with-zombie-invasion/69527
I hope it has more than more than the tiresome "dead flesh" rehash! Is it too much to hope it has ... "brains" ?

It just takes a few successful series to keep the genre in the pop culture's eye, after all. And as usual, SF and FANTASY in movies continues to rule the blockbusters!
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:10 pm

THE CAPE (January 9) looks interesting!

http://www.tvopi.com/videos/the-cape-tv-show/1138/

Well, it's got Summer Glau in it, so obviously it looks interesting (and all the on-screen text is mirror-reversed), but the prevue has a dramatic tenseness about it, too. The dark haunted superhero rather than the tongue-in-cheek superhero being my own preference ...

As for THE EVENT ... ah well ... less cowbell, more Summer Glau next time! It featured some of the drabbest, most namby-pamby politically correct "aliens" I've ever seen. Aliens plotting to invade a PTA meeting! Nawwww ... When it comes to aliens, in for a penny in for a pound, I say!
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:13 pm

THE CAPE imo is pretty good indeed! Great hero, great villains, love the dark tone ... worth a viewing imo, very nice!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lXVrTUeY2SQ/TNuecWaOGSI/AAAAAAAACaU/kls0ynxmbnI/s1600/TheCapeVillains.jpg
hissssss! villains!

http://cdn.buzznet.com/media-cdn/jj1/headlines/2011/01/summer-glau-cape-premiere.jpg
purrrrrr! summer glau!

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/uploads/@THE-CAPE-CAST-NBC-david-lyons-horz.JPG
snap! flash! dramatic lighting!

8)
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby wellsdesigned » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:59 am

One of the better parts of Farscape was the use of Henson's puppeteers. The effects were not always seamless, but it was refreshing to see a universe populated with more true alien shapes rather than relying on nose and ear make-up for a universe populated with humanoids.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Mr Evil 37 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:16 am

Anyone else pissed off at the cancellation of Stargate Universe?

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby izanobu » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:49 am

Mr Evil- in a word... yes.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Jackie B. » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:30 pm

Umm...actually...no. 8) I LOVE SG-1, and like Atlantis too...Universe didn't do it for me. Its like they were trying to copy the "feel" of Battlestar and failing. And the plot was all over the place. IMHO.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby nodehead » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:09 pm

Jackie B. wrote:Umm...actually...no. 8) I LOVE SG-1, and like Atlantis too...Universe didn't do it for me. Its like they were trying to copy the "feel" of Battlestar and failing. And the plot was all over the place. IMHO.


Couldn't agree more. Though, it did seem to be finding its feet, slowly. Enough so to keep me watching anyway, expecting a lot and getting a little less and less disappointed with each episode. While I would have been happy to sit through another season of it, I can't say I'm "pissed off" that it's going to the production company in the sky. Something else will come along. Hopefully something a little more original (though I was somewhat looking forward to the base-code at the center of the universe storyline playing out).
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Bard Constantine » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:15 am

I was riveted by The Event, only to have the network do its shuffle thing, which is almost always ultimately bad for the show. I hope it gets enough viewers to continue, it deserves that with the great writing and characters. I'm also a big Fringe fan, love the concepts, and absolutely love the characters, which makes all the difference whether in novels or tv/movies. I still watch Smallville, although it hasn't been all that good since Lex, and like many others I'm looking forward to Game of Thrones, while wondering if the series will ever be finished.

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby soulmirror » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:23 pm

Well, THE EVENT is back and ... sadly, I'm starting to consider it a lost cause. Sci-Fi that's just too afraid of being "too sci-fi" for the wider audience? So they leave even sci-fi fans dissatisfied ... I can't figure that approach out. Disappointing.

FLASHFOWARD was basically a crime show with a sci-fi core ... but they always kept you involved and curious wanting to know what the h*** weirdness had occurred, was going on, and would happen again soon. Good Sci-Fi or Fantasy can still be rooted in the commonplace, we know ... but with one or two great ideaswoven into it it can remain a genre of mystery and magic.

Anyway, I was hoping hoping it would come back on with a Big Reboot, New Imagining ... but not to be, I fear.

FRINGE I still adore. FRINGE just keeps getting better and deeper.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Bard Constantine » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:58 am

soulmirror wrote:Well, THE EVENT is back and ... sadly, I'm starting to consider it a lost cause. Sci-Fi that's just too afraid of being "too sci-fi" for the wider audience? So they leave even sci-fi fans dissatisfied ... I can't figure that approach out. Disappointing.



That is disappointing. I recorded the newest episode, but haven't had time to watch it yet. Maybe it can find its way to a good story, but the networks rarely give shows time to mature anymore.

Completely agree with you on Fringe. Absolutely love that show. I hope it can maintain enough fan support to keep going, because it's some of the best TV on TV...

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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby MJNL » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:13 pm

Perhaps I should give Fringe a try again. I watched the first couple of episodes and was disappointed in the characters (and the fact that they just did some x-files rip-off for the pilot plot). But if it's getting the thumbs up from you guys...maybe I passed my judgment too soon.
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Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy on TV.

Postby Bard Constantine » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:53 pm

MJNL wrote:Perhaps I should give Fringe a try again. I watched the first couple of episodes and was disappointed in the characters (and the fact that they just did some x-files rip-off for the pilot plot). But if it's getting the thumbs up from you guys...maybe I passed my judgment too soon.


The funny thing is that I missed about half of the first season. I bought it months ago, but haven't had time to watch it. Not sure which episode I first watched, but I was hooked immediately. I think John Noble's character Walter is one of the most unique I've come across in any medium in a while. Olivia and Peter took more time, but now I'm completely into them, as well as the other supporting characters. I'd say that Fringe has to be my favorite show in a long time...


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