Sunday, July 05, 2009

Boston Globe - Top 50 Science Fiction TV Show List

I was surfing the web when I found the Boston Globe list of Top 50 Science Fiction Television Shows of All Time. I’m pretty sure it’s an old list considering the omission of Heroes (a currently flawed & frustrating series that would probably earn a spot in a more current list if only for its first season). Also, I can’t help but wonder if this list’s #1 spot would be different now, following that show’s controversial final season, especially the final episode. Anyway, here’s the full list:

50. Earth: Final Conflict
49. The Wild Wild West
48. 3rd Rock From the Sun
47. Buck Rogers
46. That Was Then
45. The Greatest American Hero
44. Lois & Clark
43. Nowhere Man
42. Science Fiction Theatre
41. Futurama
40. The Thunderbirds
39. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
38. Batman (1960s)
37. Space 1999
36. The Bionic Woman
35. Battlestar Galactica (original)
34. The Avengers
33. Lost In Space
32. My Favorite Martian
31. Alien Nation
30. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
29. The Six Million Dollar Man
28. Adventures of Superman
27. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
26. Stargate: Atlantis
25. The Jetsons
24. Wonder Woman
23. Tales From the Crypt
22. Andromeda
21. Quantum Leap
20. The Hitchhiker
19. Dark Angel
18. V
17. Firefly
16. Flash Gordon
15. Logan’s Run
14. Star Trek: Voyager
13. The Outer Limits
12. Xena: Warrior Princess
11. Lost
10. Sliders
09. Mystery Science Theater 3000
08. Dr. Who
07. The Twilight Zone
06. Stargate: SG-1
05. Babylon 5
04. X-Files
03. Star Trek: The Next Generation
02. Star Trek (The Original Series)
01. Battlestar Galactica (new)

My Random Observations:
First, I’m shocked Buffy is not in the top 10 list. On many other lists, it’s in the top 5. It’d be high on my list too if not for the disappointing final two seasons, but I’m usually in the minority in that opinion. I still think it should be a few spots higher if only for its first five seasons. I’m surprised Firefly isn’t higher as well, unless it’s short life span counted against it.

It makes no sense to me why three Star Trek series are on the list, but Deep Space Nine (my favorite) is not one of them. While I wasn’t the biggest fan myself, I can’t imagine why Farscape is missing as well.

To me, Battlestar Galactica is good (at times superb) but over-rated as a whole. It had excellent production quality and exciting action scenes. But, I was never as crazy about the characters as most people were, I feel the story arc went a little wayward, I have mixed feelings about how the series wrapped up at the end, and my biggest complaint is it’s unrelenting gloominess that sometimes made it depressing to watch.

Despite the exceptions mentioned, this is still a decent list. I like any list that doesn’t forget Alien Nation, gives the Stargate franchise some credit, and includes Babylon 5 in the top five.

Since this list might be a few years old, I’d like to think Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Moonlight, and Journeyman, could have earned spots on a more current list, despite all three shows being short-lived. The jury is still out on Dollhouse and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Tragically missing from the list:
- Crusade
- Farscape
- Highlander: The Series
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- The 4400

Should be higher on the list:
- Babylon 5
- Lost
- Firefly
- Quantum Leap
- Stargate: Atlantis
- Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
- Alien Nation

Should be lower on the list:
- Andromeda
- Dark Angel
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Xena: Warrior Princess
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- X-Files
- Battlestar Galactica (new)

Note: MST3K was great, but I say it should be lower because it's more comedy than sci-fi.

Should not be on the list at all:
- Batman (1960s)

My Personal Top 12 List:
12. Crusade (short-lived sequel series to Babylon 5)
11. Quantum Leap
10. Battlestar Galactica
09. Alien Nation (1 season plus 5 TV movies)
08. The 4400
07. Firefly
06. Stargate: Atlantis
04. (tie) Star Trek: The Next Generation
04. (tie) Stargate: SG-1
03. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
02. Lost
01. Babylon 5

Honorable Mention:
- Chuck (more spy than sci-fi, but the Intersect technology is definitely a sci-fi element)