Talking Point: British Sci-fi vs American Sci-fi

39 Conversations

Mr Spock and Doctor Who, standing back-to-back

Though it's the British author HG Wells who is usually credited with 'inventing' science fiction, it's in America that the genre has flourished with blockbuster movies and glossy TV shows. Sci-fi fans in the UK often focus on 'the quality of the scripts' and 'low-budget charm' to excuse wobbly sets and a menagerie of rubber-suited monsters, while the high production values and long-running seasons of their US counterparts are clearly an attractive prospect for those hungry for something a little futuristic.

But which is better? Once again, we're inviting the h2g2 Community to debate the issue. Some things you might want to consider:

  • Do British shows really have the best scripts, or is that just an excuse for low budgets?

  • Does a glossy high-budget approach guarantee quality? Godzilla, anyone?

  • Where can the best science fiction be found?

  • Are long-running TV series more fulfilling than movies, or is a quick fix more enjoyable than something that takes months to conclude?

  • With such a mix of influences in 'post-modern' productions, is it fair to distinguish between British and American science fiction anyway? Is there really that much of a difference any more?

  • How do the classics of the past compare to the ratings winners and blockbusters of today? Does the advance in special effects in the last decade make these older shows and movies obsolete?

Graphic supplied by Jimster, courtesy of a lump of modelling clay and Photoshop.

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