A Conversation for Talking Point: British Sci-fi vs American Sci-fi

Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Post 1

Afgncaap5

Hey there, an American speaking. Just noting the irony of this website which would not have existed without British sci-fi.

However, I believe that you're speaking of movies and television, not just books and the like. Such a shame....

Anyway, I am generally of the opinion that it isn't fair to make the distinction, though style-wise there are generally differences.

Me? I do enjoy the long-running TV shows with flashy scripts, etc. However, those are almost always only worth it, however, when it's got a decent story with it (I'm a fan of Farscape, of course (though that's almost not an American production on some levels), and I'm one of the few who considers Star Wars and Star Trek to be roughly on par with each other (no flames, please)).

On the other hand, who can ignore the classics such as Dr. Who? Certainly not I. And, once again, I'll point out a certain British sci-fi mini-series created by Mr. 42 himself.

Why on Earth should this distinction be made? I've seen British sci-fi that had special effects of an over-budgeted Hollywood blockbuster, and I've seen quaint little American shows that were hardy to believe the props on than anything ever produced by the BBC (anyone who believes that all American sci-fi is Universally high on special effects has obviously neither seen the sets of the original Star Trek series, or the movies created by a Mr. Ed Wood (not to make a quality comparison between the two, mind you).

All I'm going to say is that my favorite sci-fi show is Mystery Science Theater 3000. It lacks special effects, and generally lacks a plot. The best of both worlds. smiley - winkeye


Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Post 2

petesbarman

Yes - MST3K is definitely worthy of being in some TV hall-of-fame. One of the most ingenious and fun shows ever put on TV, this side of the atlantic or in england or anywhere else!


Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Post 3

Afgncaap5

Just a shame that the show didn't have much more than a year or two for people in England to become aquainted with it....


Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Post 4

petesbarman

What, it was on the air here for 11 years!


Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Post 5

Afgncaap5

Yes, but there were some serious difficulties. For the first year (Season K) it was only shown on a little UHF station because they needed to fill that time with something and didn't just want to put on bad monster flicks or old sitcom reruns. For the next seven years (seasons 1 through 7), the show was only contracted to play for Comedy Central (AKA The Comedy Channel), and since CC didn't really have any good European outlets at the time the show still didn't officially appear.

It wasn't until the show moved to the Sci-Fi channel in season 8 that their network had a European counterpart that would be capable of picking up episodes. So for one or two years, MST3K episodes from season 8 (and maybe season 9, I can't really remember) were shown in Europe. Unfortunately, Sci-Fi's counterpart company broke up with them and became its own independant unit, thus preventing Season 10 (and maybe season 9, wish I could remember just when those cutoff dates were) from showing up over there.

So aside from those earlier Sci-Fi channel episodes for roughly one or two years, and the unlikely event that MST3K The Movie is ever shown on TV stations out there (I think that it was on American TV for a month or two before returning to obscurity), the only way that European fans of the show could get ahold of the episodes would be for friends to send tapes to them (following the "Keep Circulating The Tapes" call).

Now then, I believe that I've perfectly demonstrated that I have no life by reciting all of this. smiley - geek


Key: Complain about this post

Need I remind everyone of a certain Mr. Douglas Adams?

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more