After watching the premiere of "V
" last night, I was starting to wonder if Sci-Fi is going to make a real comeback into the spotlight. Let's face it, the popularity of this genre has risen in the past few years. It is no longer just the diehard Trekkies that care about Spock and Kirk, but the newcomers swarming after J.J. Abrams
With shows like "Lost
" and "Heroes
" gaining notice on major television networks and the critical acclaim of "Battlestar Galactica
," the stereotypes of typical "sci-fi nerds" is starting to wear off. In its place are people who never cared about phasers or exploring galaxies, but they're growing interested in the genre.
It's easy to be scared off by the excited fans who want to share everything with you all at once, but I thought it'd be a good idea to introduce some of you to the sci-fi shows you may have missed over the years. Don't worry, it's starting to get cool to like them!
First up is golden oldies like "The Twilight Zone
" and "The Outer Limits
." Maybe you've seen a few episodes here and there, especially when there are repeats on the SyFy channel. These shows, both popular in the early 60s, introduced a series of short stories about fantastical or science fiction plots that usually were twisted and haunted you long after the TV was turned off. It's shocking how much sci-fi today really borrows out of the original concepts on these two shows, although most of the time the idea was taken and then expanded out into creative gold. "The Outer Limits" leans more to science-fiction, and it had a great deal more action and adventure. "The Twilight Zone" enjoyed thought provoking thrillers with ironic endings. Several "The Outer Limits" writers went on to write and produce "Star Trek," and James Cameron was even sued over "Terminator," which had been influenced by an episode of "The Outer Limits." Movies have been made from plots of "The Twilight Zone," and specifically "The Box" coming out this weekend.
Then there are the classic long lasting series like "The X-Files
," "Doctor Who
," "Stargate SG-1
," and "Star Trek
." It is difficult to imagine a sci-fi world without any of these shows.
"The X-Files" actually sparked a lot of mainstream popularity during the 1990s, leading to two major motion pictures and several famous pop culture quotes like, "The truth is out there!" While it was grounded in modern reality, "The X-Files" was mostly about alien abduction with a scattering of monster tales and horror sci-fi as well. Scully and Mulder remain two of the most well known sci-fi heroes in the mainstream, not just because of their smoldering sexual tension!
"Doctor Who" is a fascinating story, not just in the actual show but behind the scenes as well. It originally started in the 60s and went all the way through to the 80s, then picked up again in 2005 to the delight and amusement of its loyal fans (both new and old). There have been 11 men in total who portrayed the main character of the show, with the 11th (Matt Smith) officially beginning in 2010. "Doctor Who" is campy and fun, with the occasional emotional hits especially tied around the Doctor and his relationship to the companions. The Doctor is an alien traveller who is exploring time and space, and through him we encounter all kinds of aliens and new worlds. There's a reason "Doctor Who" has been a favorite in the sci-fi community for forty years, so it's worth a look. It should be said there are two spin-off shows airing right now: "The Sarah Jane Adventures" and "Torchwood
"Stargate SG-1" was based off the 1994 film, but it was vastly more popular as the television show when it began in 1997. There are many interesting things about the "Stargate" world, such as the mythology about the gates themselves and the various alien worlds that the crew can jump between. The cast starts as a military team from SG-1 who start to visit other planets, to boldly go where no man has gone ... wait that's the next show. All jokes aside, "Stargate SG-1" lasted for ten seasons because of the interesting stories, the amusing and appealing cast, and the fact everyone secretly wants to teleport between worlds. The newest spin-off of this series just began on SyFy, "Stargate Universe
," so you could jump on the bandwagon now while it's still hot hot hot.
Does "Star Trek" really need to be explained? Really? It is arguably the most famous sci-fi series in pop culture, and now that J.J. Abrams has his hands on it, the renewal of the series is eminent. It is so engrained in our culture that people who have never even see the show know exactly what lines like "Beam me up," "Live long and prosper," and "Make it so." You don't have to know the history of Spock to understand that Vulcans do funny things with their hands and are very logical, or that Dr. McCoy is a doctor and not a (insert anything here)! Captain Picard enjoys Shakespeare and tea, everyone hates Welsey Crusher, and Seven of Nine was way too hot to be a Borg. There are five major "Star Trek" shows, including the original series, "The Next Generation
," "Deep Space Nine
," and "Enterprise
." Go and watch them all immediately. Maybe not "Enterprise." Ha ha ha, oh no, the fans are going to kill me.
A few other gems you might want to pick up sometime would include "Mystery Science Theater 2000
," which is hilarious; "Firefly
," which died long before its time; "Sliders
," because no one wants to forget the O'Connell brothers; and "Battlestar Galactica" which somehow surpassed its predecessor by leaps and bounds.
Image © BBC America
Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer
Follow Chelsea on twitter at http://twitter.com/mustbethursday