A Conversation for Concepts and Elements of Science Fiction in TV and Films

A 'rule' that has been missed

Post 1

Cheerful Dragon

It seems to be the rule that U.S. sci-fi series have military-type organisations as the main protagonists. Think about Star Trek and all its spin-offs, Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1 and Andromeda. The X-Files, although not military, are based around a government organization. I don't think I ever heard where Sam Becket's funding came from in Quantum Leap, but a project of that nature *has* to have had government funding.

In the UK, on the other hand, the 'good guys' are decidedly non-military. The Army appeared sometimes in Doctor Who (U.N.I.T. and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) but were not the focus of the series, and the military were definitely the bad guys in Blake's 7. Red Dwarf is *definitely* not a military vessel.

So, if you're trying to come up with a new series to be made in the US, make the protagonists military. If it's to be made in the UK, make them non-military.

A 'rule' that has been missed

Post 2


It's been pointed out in the past that SF with a British origin deals with people just doing a job in space as opposed to exciting/excited military adventurers. An obvious example is Trek versus Red Dwarf: state-sponsored military exploration versus a mining corporation. An even better example is the Alien series of films:

Alien (directed by British director Ridley Scott) - a bunch of mechanics in space, grumbling about their jobs/pay.
Aliens (directed by Cameron Scott) - the US marines in space.

A 'rule' that has been missed

Post 3

Cheerful Dragon

Aliens was directed by James Cameron, not Cameron Scott. According to the IMDb there's no such person as 'Cameron Scott'. The principle applies, though. British director has ordinary people in space, American director has military in space. It's not just the director that's the issue, though. James Cameron co-wrote Aliens, so the kind of people involved were down to him. Ridley Scott worked with what he was given.

A 'rule' that has been missed

Post 4


Quantum Leap was funded and controlled by the Pentagon. Their main gripe seemed to be the amount of power the project consumed.

The imaging chamber must be the most power hungry system they have, probably followed closely by Ziggy himself/herself.

Ziggy was, however, always having to hack into government computers, or wait for a pencil pushed in Washinton to retireve the information the project needed.

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