another top 100 (or in this case, 60) list to rip apart and discuss -- TV Guide's list of the 60 best sci-fi shows. But surprise -- the list is actually good! We've reviewed nine out of the top ten shows, and a respectable number of the remaining 50.
But then I took a good look at the entire list and came to the conclusion that maybe there just haven't been that many great sci-fi shows on television; if TV Guide had tried for a hundred, they'd probably have included FlashForward and The Cape. And it's sad that the list includes so many early sacrifices to the idiotic policy of networks only continuing to air shows that people were actually watching in large numbers. Fools.
The aforementioned conversation in the Doux Reviews virtual writers room was mostly about the fact this is obviously not a list of just science fiction shows, because it includes a lot of fantasy and horror. People who are not geeks such as ourselves rarely understand the difference. In fact, as Josie said, labels like "sci-fi" seem to be just a secret code for "stuff geeks watch". Geektoization.
Without further ado, here is TV Guide's top ten. Well, there could be some ado.
1. Star Trek/Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek in the top spot makes a lot of sense. But why combine it with Next Gen? And then not include the rest of the Star Trek series in the melee?
Ben P. Duck and I reviewed the original series fairly recently, and we suffered for it. We joined the infamous Star Trek One discussion list and got slammed and harassed every time we didn't uniformly praise every moment in every episode. All for you, readers. All for you.
2. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
We haven't reviewed this one, mostly because it's an anthology series that went on forever. But I'll acknowledge that it's a great classic series. Even though there are only a handful of episodes I know well.
3. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
I'll agree with this one being on the list. Although maybe not at number three. Ten, maybe?
4. The X-Files
A classic. Our reviews of The X-Files are still a work in progress, but stay tuned for some of that progress by "Team X-Files" later in 2013.
I remember all those fans saying that Lost had taken over their lives, because I was one of them. I doubt that I was as totally obsessed as some, but I swear it felt like every review I wrote was in danger of turning into a thesis.
6. Doctor Who
We feature both current and classic Doctor Who here at Doux Reviews. Paul Kelly (with a little help from me) has covered the entire seven seasons so far and has no plans to stop no matter how many times the Doctor regenerates, and Mark Greig has been contributing classic Who reviews for some time now and is currently enmeshed in the Tom Baker years.
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy is my favorite show ever, but clearly, it is not science fiction. What is Buffy? Officially, I think it's horror/fantasy, but it's so much more than that. (Are you participating in our Buffy ReWatch? We're having a great time!)
8. The Walking Dead
This show is awesome, no doubt about it. But is it one of the ten best sci-fi/fantasy series, ever? Maybe lists like this should make a point of not including currently running shows. If they had published this list in 2000, would Buffy have been on it? It became a critical favorite because it endured. Will The Walking Dead endure? Well, it might. But we don't know yet.
9. The Prisoner
The Prisoner usually makes the top ten lists of great science fiction shows because it deserves it. Ben P. Duck and I reviewed the entire run of the show together last year.
10. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is undoubtedly a Huge Frakking Deal (that I don't watch, but thankfully, the brilliant Josie Kafka reviews for us). But see above re: The Walking Dead -- it's still NEW. Will Game of Thrones stand the test of time? No, that was actually a question. Do you think Game of Thrones will stand the test of time?
Here are the rest of the top 60 in alphabetical order (and thanks to our Sunbunny for typing that list for us). We've covered so many of these shows, and will probably get around to a few more.
Adventures of Superman
-- I was obsessed with Babylon 5 back when it ran, and I even wrote very brief reviews for my friends on a discussion list that is now lost in the ether.
Batman: The Animated Series
Beauty and the Beast
-- I'm okay with this. As long as we're talking Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. We are talking Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, right?
Being Human (BBC)
Dead Like Me
-- This one is on my "I'm going to review it someday" list.
-- Interestingly, J.D. recently got bored with Falling Skies and dropped it, but is planning to start working on the rest of Farscape. I would go with the "test of time" argument again here. And by that I mean Farscape is a classic. We don't know yet about Falling Skies.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
-- See my comment in the closing paragraph.
-- I'm assuming they are referring to the brief sixties show?
-- I had completely forgotten this one; it was very short and canceled, as so many sci-fi shows are. I don't even remember if it was any good.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Life on Mars (BBC)
-- We don't have a full run of reviews, but I love this series and wish we did.
Lost in Space
-- Matt Frewer still rocks.
-- The Twilight Zone lite.
Once Upon a Time
-- Definitely a cool series, but again, it's still relatively new.
One Step Beyond
The Outer Limits
-- I remember years ago Stephen King highly recommended this series. (And he meant the one from the early sixties, not the remake.) It doesn't get the air time or the respect that The Twilight Zone does, but I saw several episodes way back when, and I clearly remember three or four that knocked my socks off.
-- Ah. Loved Quantum Leap. A very special show. I'm not sure I'm up for reviewing it, though.
The Six Million Dollar Man
-- Again. Seriously?
Space: Above and Beyond
-- We don't have SG-1 reviews, but we do have Stargate: Universe. I did watch all of the Stargate series and you know, I think this one should be a group entry.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
-- My favorite currently running show, starring the two hottest guys on television. With eight seasons and the ninth airing next fall, I don't feel that the "but it's new" thing applies to Supernatural. But then again, I'm partial.
Tales from the Crypt
-- I'm assuming they mean the cool version that's running now, not the brief series that ran in the eighties that I never saw?
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
-- The very first series on Doux Reviews reviewed by someone other than me! (Thanks, Jess.)
-- Sigh. Captain Jack Harkness, you stone fox, you got me into Doctor Who.
V (both old and new)
The Vampire Diaries
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
-- We haven't covered this show, but back in 2006 when the site was new, Ben P. Duck wrote a very funny essay about submerged and submarine sci-fi called Voyage to the Bottom of the Ratings.
Xena: Warrior Princess
Opinions? Critiques? Do you agree or disagree with the list? And (of course), which favorite of yours did they leave off? (Personally, the fact that they included Heroes but not Highlander was the deal breaker for me.)