A Conversation for Talking Point: British Sci-fi vs American Sci-fi
Bluebottle Started conversation Sep 16, 2003
There was a time when BBC science-fiction was, without doubt, the best in the world. But alas, after the 1980s, everything changed and hasn't recovered. In the 1980s we had:
Doctor Who - undeniably the best science fiction series ever.
Blake's 7 - It began in 1978, but who can forget how the series ended in 1981?!
The Tripods - which, alas, I was too young to fully appreciate.
Day Of The Triffids - conclusive proof that a television series well made beats a film every time.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - 1981 & the reason we're all here.
Red Dwarf - 1988 -
Since then the best we've had is Crime Traveller - an underrated and over-critisized example of a good mystery series with an SF twist. The only other examples I can think of was the superb Neverwhere - which technically was more Fantasy than SF, Bugs - which was okay, but not really science fiction - and the appalling "Invasion: Earth" - which seems to have been made so bad to give the BBC a reason to not make science fiction - but was also an American collaboration.
PaulBateman Posted Sep 17, 2003
Could you include Channel 4's Cold Lazarus by Dennis Potter on your list?
Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences Posted Sep 17, 2003
Bluebottle Posted Sep 21, 2003
Mind you, a prime example of the difference between BBC sci-fi and American science fiction of the last decade can be seen from "The Lost World". The recent BBC version, a 2 episode mini-series, starred good actors (Bob Hoskins, Peter Falk etc), stuck reasonably close to Arthur Conan Doyle's original, and had good special effects from the Walking With team. In other words, it was flawless - the sort of thing we should see more often.
In America we've recently had 2 versions of the classic - the first decided to set it in Mongolia, not South America, had obvious rubber dinosaurs, turned Professor Challenger into an Indiana Jones clone complete with hat, the heroic Lord Roxton into an evil mercenary and was frankly appalling. The other version became "Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World" tv series which had everything from aliens, pirates, witches and vampires and episodes based on "Planet Of The Apes", "Gladiator" and anything else out at the cinema at the time and ended up being too farcical for words.
Nick Posted Sep 21, 2003
I have to say Red Dwarf undoubtably is a great si fi series, unfortunatly the last series (while funny) was not as good as previous series. That was about 4 or 5 years ago, about time for a decent new series with Rimmer back.
The Beeb could start producing good si fi, atleast it will fill up the programming slots taken up be repeats of 70's and 80's sit coms. Repeats of the good life and only fools and hourses that we have all seen so many times they are no longer funny.
logicus tracticus philosophicus Posted Sep 21, 2003
I'd have to say that Dominic Hide (and the sequel) kicked the sh*te out of most of the other things on the list at the beginning of the thread, amosty of which were noticeably duff in one way or another.
Honourable mention to Dr Who which was irredeemably naff and excellent at the same time.
TIMELORD Posted Jan 16, 2009
I think the BBC have done more for sci-fi then anyone else i wrote a list of all there output from 1951-2001 ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A6570227 ) you should take a good look yes some of it is naff but in 50 years they never stopped making something sci-fi i think they should get credit for that.
Bluebottle Posted Jan 19, 2010
It's strange to think how everything has changed since my first post - the BBC have returned to SF with a passion.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Bluebottle (Sep 16, 2003)
- 2: PaulBateman (Sep 17, 2003)
- 3: Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences (Sep 17, 2003)
- 4: Bluebottle (Sep 21, 2003)
- 5: Nick (Sep 21, 2003)
- 6: logicus tracticus philosophicus (Sep 21, 2003)
- 7: Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like (Sep 22, 2003)
- 8: TIMELORD (Jan 16, 2009)
- 9: Bluebottle (Nov 30, 2009)
- 10: TIMELORD (Jan 18, 2010)
- 11: Bluebottle (Jan 19, 2010)