What will it take for a space opera show to become mainstream?

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Sadly The Expanse has not turned out to be sci fi's Game of Thrones. 
https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/11/17343638/the-expanse-third-last-season-syfy

What will it take for a space opera show to become as big as Game of Thrones?

These are dark times. Is the average TV viewer as well as American too cynical to imagine humanity becoming a interstellar civilization?

If we showed the average Joe Mass Effect would they find the idea of such a future ridiculous?

https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-mass-effect-should-be-the-next-great-space-opera-on-1460315077

You mean like Star Trek?

Though, if you are saying that Star Trek has had its day, yeah, maybe.

CBS is trying to do that with Star Trek Discovery, and the results have been rather poor, unless you're someone who doesn't like Star Trek, then your chances of liking the show increase.

http://www.cancelledscifi.com/cancellation-watch/

Killjoys is still going, but I'm sad they cancelled Dark Matter.
The new Lost in Space seems to be getting a second season.
The Expanse is going to shop around for other venues.
The Orville is still on for September, right?

Still, nothing that really..connects. Like it used to.
No Star Trek Voyager, no Farscape, no Firefly and no Andromeda.
It's more personal and up close today. Nothing really Big Picture so to speak.

I don't want to catch any STD's so I wont mention it.

If someone makes a Big Budget Western Adaption of this, it will be Mainstream:

Also can we please have these guys make a Star Wars movie?

Old Republic Universe > Movie universe. Warts and all.

Darth Malgus > Darth Vader.

While I love The Expanse TV series (key word on "TV series," I really dislike the novels), I wouldn't call it a space opera. But that's semantics. This pisses me off to no end (especially how good season 2 and the second half of season 1 were), but at the least, there's a chance it could be picked up by another network. But I'm not counting on it. Dark Matter wasn't picked up. Shannara Chronicles hasn't been picked up. And I'm sure you could point to any number of other shows.

But to answer the OP's question, maybe never? Sci-fi is a niche genre, space opera is a niche within that genre, and then you've got to factor in the higher than average production costs that has to do a sci-fi series justice. And here we have the Expanse, which is adapted from a series of popular books (my personal dislike of them aside), which is turned into a well received TV series (and not just by me), and it still isn't enough?

Yeah...

Supernova1138:
CBS is trying to do that with Star Trek Discovery, and the results have been rather poor, unless you're someone who doesn't like Star Trek, then your chances of liking the show increase.

Oh so THAT explains it.

Okay, I'm not enamored with Discovery (like it more than Enterprise, don't like it as much as TNG or TOS), but I've never been that enamored with Star Trek anyway. And I don't "get" a lot of the criticisms, but fine, that's just me.

Vendor-Lazarus:

Killjoys is still going, but I'm sad they cancelled Dark Matter.
The new Lost in Space seems to be getting a second season.
The Expanse is going to shop around for other venues.
The Orville is still on for September, right?

Still, nothing that really..connects. Like it used to.
No Star Trek Voyager, no Farscape, no Firefly and no Andromeda.
It's more personal and up close today. Nothing really Big Picture so to speak.

I don't want to catch any STD's so I wont mention it.

The notion of "nothing that really...connects," like it used to, is incredibly subjective. I mean, I was certainly connected to the Expanse and Westworld, to name some recent examples. Discovery was at least decent. And while I have personal fondness for it, I wouldn't count Andromeda among the list of "greats" anytime soon. And if we're talking about "big picture," Andromeda made everything so big it was difficult to get invested in the stakes, whereas Farscape and Firefly are hardly "big picture," since Farscape has little sense of scale or location, while Firefly has a decent-sized universe if you factor in EU material, but there's little sense of scale in the show itself (just Core Worlds and Western Outer Worlds). Meanwhile, the Expanse, while confined to the Sol system (so far, the books have moved beyond it) does give you a solid sense of how this world operates within the confines of its own narrative.

Samtemdo8:
If someone makes a Big Budget Western Adaption of this, it will be Mainstream:

Also can we please have these guys make a Star Wars movie?

No.

I mean, sure, KOTOR era? Fine. But I'd like to think a Star Wars movie should be more about mass blaster fire and lightsaber battles.

Really, it probably all comes down to budget. A sci-fi show would take a large amount of cash to do it properly which means investors are going to want to see big returns. Thats why Game of Thrones succeeds, because its proven to be enormously marketable. Just slap a Stark crest and Winter is Coming on something and bam, sell it in the thousands. So thats what it would take for a space opera to become big, for it to be slapped on mugs and such enough that even people that have never seen it recognise it

Well, imo the Expanse lost a bit in the second series.

I suppose the real reason they don't have the same success as Game of Thrones, though, is because all that nudity is probably quite inadvisable in space.

I don't think the expanse was ever going for Game of Thrones level success. It certainly did not have a Game of Thrones level budget, despite looking great. I think what they wanted was a cult hit, and that's an incredibly difficult thing to capture.

To break it down though.

1) The expanse had an extremely slow build, because the first season was essentially a mystery plot. Although stuff happened in early episodes and characters were in peril, the audience didn't really see how all the plots connected until relatively late in the season.
2) The characterisation on the expanse, while in some cases very good and very well portrayed, was relatively subtle and complex. You never had the larger than life characters of Game of Thrones, and since the story was less character driven and more plot driven each character was indulged less. Game of Thrones used its film language to let the audience know who each character was very quickly, the expanse took a bit longer introducing us to everyone.
3) Less exploitation. While the amount of nudity in early seasons of game of thrones became a bit of a joke, it's hard to deny that a lot of what kept people watching, certainly at the beginning, was the sense of playful naughtiness about the amount of sex and violence. We may sneer, but it sells.
4) Complex moral and political themes with relevance to the modern world. In the expanse, the UN is presented as analogous to a modern democratic government, but it's also presented as deeply flawed and not always acting in accordance with its own ideals. The belters are presented as an oppressed, discriminated group who are also heavily racialized and exoticized. Game of Thrones, despite its reputation for moral complexity, really isn't complex at all in practice and certainly not in a way which would ever challenge its viewers.
5) Technobabble. A lot of the technology in the expanse, while still effectively magical, is internally consistent in terms of how it works, and some lip service is given to the laws of physics. I am not sure that your typical TV viewer actually understands that acceleration produces G-force, for example.
6) Actual flaws in writing or story structure, because let's not pretend the Expanse was great and that people just didn't get it, it had problems.. serious problems. For example, the Miller's personal feelings towards Julie Mao were clearly supposed to be sweet and romantic, but it probably didn't come off that way, certainly not to anyone female.

In short, and to summarize.. the problem with making any kind of science fiction with the expectation that it will be a Game of Thrones style breakout hit is that the typical TV audience doesn't watch Game of Thrones because it's clever or because they're generally interested in genre series, but because game of thrones is uncomplicated and escapist while still giving enough pretence of depth to make the average person watching it feel smart. Also, because Game of Thrones taps into the compelling feeling of exploitation and of watching something you "shouldn't" be watching..

But most of all because, and if you ask people why they watch Game of Thrones you will quickly figure out this is the biggest reason for most of them, it taps into the Waterworld effect. What I mean by that is that if you spend enough money on something and market it in the right way, you can make it seem like an "event" before the viewer even watches the first episode. Game of Thrones became an event, it became something everyone felt they had to watch in order to at least know about it and be able to talk about it when it comes up in conversation. That is not something which can be easily replicated or which can happen too often, because people wise up to it. Not every TV show can be a big cultural event, but occasionally it works, especially if you have the budget of Game of Thrones.

Smart TV executives, at this point, will not be gunning for Game of Thrones, but for modest hits with modest budgets which don't pretend to be huge cultural events but can consistently draw a steady audience.

Although I have little hope in Amazon as a producer, I'm interested to see what they do with the Culture series, just because that strikes me as a chance of at least offering something with a unique tone. Like, the Culture despite having war and genocide and personal tragedy and stuff isn't dark and gritty, it's silly and (very literally) postmodern in its take on the future.

Palindromemordnilap:
So thats what it would take for a space opera to become big, for it to be slapped on mugs and such enough that even people that have never seen it recognise it

...god damn it, you've got me wanting a Martian Congressional Republic coffee mug now. :(

Though if I get a UN coffee mug, does that count?

evilthecat:

4) Complex moral and political themes with relevance to the modern world. In the expanse, the UN is presented as analogous to a modern democratic government, but it's also presented as deeply flawed and not always acting in accordance with its own ideals. The belters are presented as an oppressed, discriminated group who are also heavily racialized and exoticized. Game of Thrones, despite its reputation for moral complexity, really isn't complex at all in practice and certainly not in a way which would ever challenge its viewers.

I can't say I agree there.

Looking at GoT, apart from the White Walkers, can you name one unambiguously "evil" faction? Maybe the Boltons, but that's it, and even then, Roose Bolton has sound reason (from a purely tactical position) to dislike the Starks. Likewise, can you name one unambiguously "good" faction? Again, maybe the Starks, but their 'goodness' bites them with Ned, and bites them again with Robb. Almost all the characters in GoT operate in shades of grey.

Likewise, the Expanse. The UN, Mars, and OPA all have moral greyness, but look at Protogen - they're your stereotypical amoral company who's effectively willing to destroy an entire colony (Ganymede) to get what they want. Likewise, Holden and co. are a set of core protagonists. They may do morally grey things at times (such as killing the relief crew trying to access Eros, for fear that they might spread the protomolecule, but they're a core set of protagonists. GoT has no such core.

I think both are morally grey stories/settings, but the Expanse, if anything, I'd say is less grey than GoT.

For example, the Miller's personal feelings towards Julie Mao were clearly supposed to be sweet and romantic, but it probably didn't come off that way, certainly not to anyone female.

Thank God - I was afraid that I was the only one who thought Miller's attraction to Julie was creepy. AT BEST.

Hawki:
Looking at GoT, apart from the White Walkers, can you name one unambiguously "evil" faction?

No, but I can name plenty of unambiguously evil people..

Again, we also have to factor in genre conventions. In a medieval style setting, for example, certain abuses of power are normal. Even the ultra honorable and benevolent Ned Stark whose big character flaw is supposed to be that he's way too nice is still an unelected ruler who maintains order by executing people with his big sword. You can get away with more in fantasy. Heck, Tyrion in ASOIAF is literally a rapist and serial murderer, and he still gets to be a fan favourite character who the audience is supposed to sympathize with.

Moral ambiguity depends on stakes. We can tolerate the fantasy that an unelected ruler like Ned Stark can still be "benevolent" because most of us don't have to live under a feudal aristocracy, but we do have to live under a government and with institutions that are often idealistic or supposed to be benevolent but fail to live up to their own ideals. We do live in a world with deep inequalities and material exploitation, which is often closely linked with cultural or ethnic prejudice.

It's closer to home. A lot closer to home.

Hawki:
Thank God - I was afraid that I was the only one who thought Miller's attraction to Julie was creepy. AT BEST.

Yeah, it's kind of really, really not good.

Like, if he'd been obsessed with solving the case due to his deteriorating mental state, that would have been understandable, but his obsession with Julie personally just made him seem like a creeper.

I'm not sure if the, *sigh*, SyFy Channel is really the place to be saving/mainstreaming anything.

I really have nothing else to say because, like all things, genera go in phases of popularity.

evilthecat:

No, but I can name plenty of unambiguously evil people..

Probably, but I can do the same with the Expanse, at least if we equate "evil" with "sociopath" - Cortazar, Dresden, Mao, etc.

Heck, Tyrion in ASOIAF is literally a rapist and serial murderer,

Um, who does he rape?

Moral ambiguity depends on stakes.

Don't agree. Stakes can increase the impact of moral ambiguity, but you can easily have moral ambiguity in a low-stakes story.

Like, if he'd been obsessed with solving the case due to his deteriorating mental state, that would have been understandable, but his obsession with Julie personally just made him seem like a creeper.

TBH, I actually liked the Julie-Miller scene on Eros. From Julie's perspective, I see it not so much as being romantic, but the idea that she's desparate for human connection - this isn't a slight against her mind you, after all the crap she went through (even before being infected), the idea of yearning for a human connection, romantic or otherwise, is one I can get behind. Plus we have the context of that connection being enough to take control of herself, to steer Eros into Venus instead of Earth.

Is it a cliche? Well, yeah. But it's presented well enough, from its music to its directing (e.g. Holden and co. watching in silence as Eros hits Venus) that it overcomes its status as a cliche to be pretty impactful.

Hawki:

Um, who does he rape?

Tysha. It's a fairly major plot point.

Speaking as an Australian that got endless sci fi runs and reruns as a kid on our whole 5 TV channels I still remember them rerunning classic Doctor Who and Blake's 7 when I was 8 years old.

Like, 10 years after Blake's 7 had finished its final season we were still getting reruns of Blake's 7.

I think old sci-fi seemed to have a pretty high mainstream level of actual comparative screen time prior the digital revolution. Though I say that as someone young enough (to think) I remember the Berlin Wall coming down, but far, far, far too young to realize what it actually meant.

Man ... I miss Blake's 7.

If there was a sci-fi show that needs a big-budget BBC re-release, it should be Blake's 7. The characters were just great. Actual, honest-to-God morally ambiguous characters done well in a sci-fi. And no, not in a gritty way ... they just felt like fundamentally flawed people that fit into the nihilistic nature of a galaxy spanning human mega-civilization perfectly.

Avon and Vila were just great characters.

Blake's 7 >>>>>>>>> Firefly and Babylon 5 combined.

If there was a show that combined the then subconscious and latent fears the British weren't going to be remembered well for avery long time, with the blossoming understanding that the U.S. did with MacDonalds and Hollywood what the British Empire couldn't with an Orwellian colonial system, combined with a heaping tablespoon of cynicism in the face of U.S. dreams of science, hyperconsumerism and 'friendly megacivilization' being automatically good for humanity ala Star Trek--it was Blake's 7.

Blake's 7 was unapologetically British in it's 'refined punkishness' of thelate 70s that any supranational entity of sufficient size is going to be totalitarian, cruel, and breed hardened hearts whether in its service or its resistance.

Look at how amazing this opening was, still gives me shivers...

Hawki:
Um, who does he rape?

A severely traumatized and catatonic prostitute. It's the scene just before he gets abducted by Jorah Mormont.

They cut that one for the TV show, obviously, and replaced it with a scene where he's just such an adorable woobie that a prostitute offers him free sex but he turns her down because he's still hung up on Shae. D'aww..

I bring this up because it further illustrates the point about stakes. See, prostitution in ASOIAF is never, never depicted as sexy. It is only ever shown as part of the horrific treatment of women in the broader society described by Martin. The Game of Thrones TV show certainly has its share of sexual violence, but it is presented as an aberration in a society in which sex is still ultimately nice and fun and sexy. From the television standpoint it's genius. We get to keep the violence and rape for exploitation and shock value, and we get to keep all the sexy sex and happy hookers for titillation. But there's no stakes here, there's nothing the audience is going to find challenging. Both these things are simply there to provide different forms of visual spectacle.

Hawki:
TBH, I actually liked the Julie-Miller scene on Eros. From Julie's perspective, I see it not so much as being romantic, but the idea that she's desparate for human connection - this isn't a slight against her mind you, after all the crap she went through (even before being infected), the idea of yearning for a human connection, romantic or otherwise, is one I can get behind.

Is it a cliche? Well, yeah. But it's presented well enough, from its music to its directing (e.g. Holden and co. watching in silence as Eros hits Venus) that it overcomes its status as a cliche to be pretty impactful.

Yes, you're absolutely correct in that it's a beautiful scene, just like how thematically I also get what they were going for with that whole subplot, with Miller being kind of a lost soul and Julie being the person who has precipitated this huge change in his life that has made him a better person (hence his feelings for her actually being feelings towards himself). Everything about that scene and the buildup is beautiful. Even the little kiss on the hand is very tender and illustrates a human connection. What's unnecessary I think is Julie's reaction and the subsequent cinematic kiss, which just comes off as contrived wish fulfilment and suggests considerably more than a general desire for human contact. I mean, if I was to be cruel, since she doesn't know who Miller even is, the only assumption we can make is that her sudden burst of romantic ardour is actually just the protomolecule wanting to feed on more biomass (actually, I'm not joking, now I think of it I really like that interpretation, but I don't think it was intentional).

And I get it. Straight people have been conditioned by years of romantic cliches to think that people just know when they meet the right person and that love doesn't have to make logical sense or be built up through an actual process of character development, but it's still jarring if you can't hop on that ride.

Silvanus:
Tysha.

Oh yeah, that too..

Addendum_Forthcoming:
If there was a sci-fi show that needs a big-budget BBC re-release, it should be Blake's 7.

Dunno. Big fan of the series myself, but IMHO that was due to less to the setting (which was still a good one), and more to the people working on it. Terry Nation, if not at his best, then at his better. Robert Holmes, who was always great.

Hell, look at the big budget BBC modern Doctor Who, in which they've got all the money and technology and acting talent they could want, coupled with writers and production team that may or may not particularly seem to care at any given moment.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
The characters were just great. Actual, honest-to-God morally ambiguous characters done well in a sci-fi. And no, not in a gritty way ... they just felt like fundamentally flawed people that fit into the nihilistic nature of a galaxy spanning human mega-civilization perfectly.

Avon and Vila were just great characters.

Some of the characters were great, yes. Not all. In large part because the authors didn't seem to bother developing some, and seemed to have problems with doing female characters.

Thaluikhain:

Dunno. Big fan of the series myself, but IMHO that was due to less to the setting (which was still a good one), and more to the people working on it. Terry Nation, if not at his best, then at his better. Robert Holmes, who was always great.

Hell, look at the big budget BBC modern Doctor Who, in which they've got all the money and technology and acting talent they could want, coupled with writers and production team that may or may not particularly seem to care at any given moment.

There's merit to that critique. And as you point out indirectly, some of the great BBC writers were involved and so endemic to the screens of the time. I think there would be a good element of Blake's 7'scynicism that would be lost by contemporary writers. My interest in the series would definitely wane if they gave it a Nu Who paint job.

Blake's 7 was not optimistic... and I'm not sure modern writers can channel that degree or style of pessimism without making it too much, or too bleak, or losing it entirely.

Some of the characters were great, yes. Not all. In large part because the authors didn't seem to bother developing some, and seemed to have problems with doing female characters.

That is true, but I often chalk this up to time and place. Mid-late 70s, after all. That and Jenna wasn't too bad at the start, however.

Silvanus:

Hawki:

Um, who does he rape?

Tysha. It's a fairly major plot point.

Um, what? Unless I forgot something, it's Tywin who orders his men to rape Tysha after finding out that Tyrion married her. Tyrion himself is a mite pissed off about that. In the books, part of his motive for leaving Westeros is to find her "where the whores go" (to quote Tywin).

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I think old sci-fi seemed to have a pretty high mainstream level of actual comparative screen time prior the digital revolution.

I think that's the same for all media, period. There's a lot of choice nowadays compared to what was on just a few decades ago. So while that's good for the consumer in a sense, it does lead to audience fragmentation. I have a feeling that Doctor Who lasted so long for instance because at least in terms of its genre, what alternatives were there?

Man ... I miss Blake's 7.

I've seen the first three seasons on DVD. I quite like it. The effects are even more dated than Star Trek, but it helps that the writing's pretty solid...at least for its core characters (Blake, Villa, Avon, Servalan, arguably Travis).

If there was a sci-fi show that needs a big-budget BBC re-release, it should be Blake's 7.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake%27s_7#Television

Might be hope for that. Granted, this is Syfy we're talking about, and we ARE on a thread talking about how they cancelled the Expanse...

Blake's 7 >>>>>>>>> Firefly and Babylon 5 combined.

Disagree there though. Babylon 5 and Firefly are in my top 10 sci-fi shows, and Blake's 7 at least was, if not still is (I don't have my top 10 list on me right now), but it's without doubt below them in my mind. There's many reasons why, but while Blake's 7 did a good job with some of its characters, I'd argue that B5 and Firefly did a great job with ALL of their characters. Also helps that they have the benefit of working with 90s and 2000s technology, which helps, among other things.

Thaluikhain:

Hell, look at the big budget BBC modern Doctor Who, in which they've got all the money and technology and acting talent they could want, coupled with writers and production team that may or may not particularly seem to care at any given moment.

The same could be said with OldWho as well.

NuWho took a step down in quality after Moffatt took over IMO, but even NuWho at its worst is equivalent to OldWho at its...average, I guess. I won't say "best," because there is some OldWho episodes I do really like, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Some of the characters were great, yes. Not all. In large part because the authors didn't seem to bother developing some, and seemed to have problems with doing female characters.

Pretty much. Servalan's a hoot, but Jenna and Cally...yeah...what were their personalities, exactly? Jenna's implied in one episode to possibly have feelings for Blake, but apart from that, off the top of my head, I can't think of any real personality trait she possesses. Same with Cally - we know far more about the civilization she hails from than Cally herself.

Also doesn't help that this alien called Cally looks and acts exactly like humans - I'm kind of left to wonder why they even bothered with the alien angle. I don't think this is ever outright stated, but there seems to be a lot of old human civilizations in the Blake's 7 galaxy (e.g. the Goths they find in season 2) that have technologically regressed and/or are cut off from the Federation. So why not just have Cally as coming from an independent colony?

with Miller being kind of a lost soul and Julie being the person who has precipitated this huge change in his life that has made him a better person (hence his feelings for her actually being feelings towards himself).

Maybe, but it still puts me off. It's established that Miller and Muss had a 'thing' before the show begins, and even then, Muss does save Miller from Dawes's goons. It's pretty clear that there's something still between them. But nup, Miller is still pining over Julie Mao, a girl who's almost certainly dead at this point in time, and most certainly has never heard of anyone named Miller on Ceres.

And I get it, everything else aside, Julie Mao is presented as being attractive, but Miller spurring actual, real contact on wish fulfillment is indicative of...well, I'd say dysfunction, but like you said, I think the writers wanted us to get behind it.

But the Eros scene works, so there is that.

Hawki:
While I love The Expanse TV series (key word on "TV series," I really dislike the novels), I wouldn't call it a space opera. But that's semantics. This pisses me off to no end (especially how good season 2 and the second half of season 1 were), but at the least, there's a chance it could be picked up by another network. But I'm not counting on it. Dark Matter wasn't picked up. Shannara Chronicles hasn't been picked up. And I'm sure you could point to any number of other shows.

But to answer the OP's question, maybe never? Sci-fi is a niche genre, space opera is a niche within that genre, and then you've got to factor in the higher than average production costs that has to do a sci-fi series justice. And here we have the Expanse, which is adapted from a series of popular books (my personal dislike of them aside), which is turned into a well received TV series (and not just by me), and it still isn't enough?

Yeah...

Supernova1138:
CBS is trying to do that with Star Trek Discovery, and the results have been rather poor, unless you're someone who doesn't like Star Trek, then your chances of liking the show increase.

Oh so THAT explains it.

Okay, I'm not enamored with Discovery (like it more than Enterprise, don't like it as much as TNG or TOS), but I've never been that enamored with Star Trek anyway. And I don't "get" a lot of the criticisms, but fine, that's just me.

Vendor-Lazarus:

Killjoys is still going, but I'm sad they cancelled Dark Matter.
The new Lost in Space seems to be getting a second season.
The Expanse is going to shop around for other venues.
The Orville is still on for September, right?

Still, nothing that really..connects. Like it used to.
No Star Trek Voyager, no Farscape, no Firefly and no Andromeda.
It's more personal and up close today. Nothing really Big Picture so to speak.

I don't want to catch any STD's so I wont mention it.

The notion of "nothing that really...connects," like it used to, is incredibly subjective. I mean, I was certainly connected to the Expanse and Westworld, to name some recent examples. Discovery was at least decent. And while I have personal fondness for it, I wouldn't count Andromeda among the list of "greats" anytime soon. And if we're talking about "big picture," Andromeda made everything so big it was difficult to get invested in the stakes, whereas Farscape and Firefly are hardly "big picture," since Farscape has little sense of scale or location, while Firefly has a decent-sized universe if you factor in EU material, but there's little sense of scale in the show itself (just Core Worlds and Western Outer Worlds). Meanwhile, the Expanse, while confined to the Sol system (so far, the books have moved beyond it) does give you a solid sense of how this world operates within the confines of its own narrative.

Samtemdo8:
If someone makes a Big Budget Western Adaption of this, it will be Mainstream:

Also can we please have these guys make a Star Wars movie?

No.

I mean, sure, KOTOR era? Fine. But I'd like to think a Star Wars movie should be more about mass blaster fire and lightsaber battles.

Uh Hawki thats exactly what Star Wars is?

Samtemdo8:

Uh Hawki thats exactly what Star Wars is?

...derp.

That's a mistype on my part. I meant to say "more than just about..." not "more about." Whoops.

Well Macross live action movie is still in production, directed by the guy who directed IT might just do it. The movie though is still under the name Robotech in production because of "reasons".

Other than that space operas have been popular for some time, by dedicated people that like sci-fiction. Going too mainstream might actually end up destroying bits of the film genre though. Studios might aim more where the cash is over creativity making the genre more of a cash grab.Kind of what has been happening with a lot of Anime lately with the introduction of streaming services.

It is always a double edge sword

Hawki:
The same could be said with OldWho as well.

NuWho took a step down in quality after Moffatt took over IMO, but even NuWho at its worst is equivalent to OldWho at its...average, I guess. I won't say "best," because there is some OldWho episodes I do really like, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

Disagree there. Now, if you specifically mean OldWho after JNT took over at the end of the 4th Doctor, and didn't start finding his feet until the end of the 6th, maybe, but even then they had Robert Holmes writing some stories.

IMHO, NuWho has been consistently poor. The companion keeps being a generically "feisty" young woman whining about how much she loves the Doctor. They've not had a single season finale that wasn't dreadful (unless the last one, which I didn't watch).

However, of course, this is rather subjective.

Hawki:

Silvanus:

Hawki:

Um, who does he rape?

Tysha. It's a fairly major plot point.

Um, what? Unless I forgot something, it's Tywin who orders his men to rape Tysha after finding out that Tyrion married her. Tyrion himself is a mite pissed off about that. In the books, part of his motive for leaving Westeros is to find her "where the whores go" (to quote Tywin).

As I recall, Tywin orders his men to rape Tysha for which he gives her silver coins. Then he orders Tyrion to do it, and gives her a gold coin because Lannisters, gold, symbolism and shit. So yeah, book Tyrion is really not a nice guy, but he says highly quotable things that go on T-shirts well so he gets to be a fan favourite

Palindromemordnilap:

As I recall, Tywin orders his men to rape Tysha for which he gives her silver coins. Then he orders Tyrion to do it, and gives her a gold coin because Lannisters, gold, symbolism and shit. So yeah, book Tyrion is really not a nice guy, but he says highly quotable things that go on T-shirts well so he gets to be a fan favourite

Even if that's the case, that doesn't make Tyrion a bad person. Rape is terrible, I'm not denying that, but Tywin isn't a person you say "no" to - especially if you're a dwarf, and the son of a person who despises you and would love to see you leave this world.

Hawki:

Samtemdo8:

Uh Hawki thats exactly what Star Wars is?

...derp.

That's a mistype on my part. I meant to say "more than just about..." not "more about." Whoops.

Dude what do you want out of Star Wars?

A story about a Politician in Naboo negotiating neutrality with the Republic in the War effort of the Sith?

A story about a guy that works in a night club in Coruscant?

A story about 2 stormtroopers just shit talking with each other?

Samtemdo8:

Dude what do you want out of Star Wars?

A story about a Politician in Naboo negotiating neutrality with the Republic in the War effort of the Sith?

A story about a guy that works in a night club in Coruscant?

A story about 2 stormtroopers just shit talking with each other?

You're making the falacious argument that context dictates content. It's an example of how NOT to write a work of fiction.

But back to the original argument, I said "more than just about." If you look at the best lightsaber duels in Star Wars (I'd pin them as ESB or RotJ), it's because they have the character drama to go with them. The video in question shows a bunch of nobodies firing at a bunch of nobodies, using rediculous tactics (yes Republic troopers...give up your high ground position to charge, and then charge a Sith lord by your lonesome), and then have a lightsaber battle between Malgus and Shan with no depth or significance beyond the fact that it's a lightsaber battle. Even Maul vs. Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan at least managed some thematic/character depth. Here, it's just people fighting wildly. Oh, and apparently armour has regressed over the millennia because now troopers and Sith lords can survive grendae detonations at point blank range with no reprecussions.

Oh, and haduokens and kamaheas are a thing now because...of course they are.

Now, none of this is to say the trailer is bad, but as the template for a movie? Nup. I'd like something more than just spectacle.

How is the Expanse cancelled over Killjoys? It has more comedy? Or a lighter tone? Its the only things that I could see as being better than the Expanse. Is it way cheaper to make?

Hawki:

Samtemdo8:

Dude what do you want out of Star Wars?

A story about a Politician in Naboo negotiating neutrality with the Republic in the War effort of the Sith?

A story about a guy that works in a night club in Coruscant?

A story about 2 stormtroopers just shit talking with each other?

You're making the falacious argument that context dictates content. It's an example of how NOT to write a work of fiction.

But back to the original argument, I said "more than just about." If you look at the best lightsaber duels in Star Wars (I'd pin them as ESB or RotJ), it's because they have the character drama to go with them. The video in question shows a bunch of nobodies firing at a bunch of nobodies, using rediculous tactics (yes Republic troopers...give up your high ground position to charge, and then charge a Sith lord by your lonesome), and then have a lightsaber battle between Malgus and Shan with no depth or significance beyond the fact that it's a lightsaber battle. Even Maul vs. Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan at least managed some thematic/character depth. Here, it's just people fighting wildly. Oh, and apparently armour has regressed over the millennia because now troopers and Sith lords can survive grendae detonations at point blank range with no reprecussions.

Oh, and haduokens and kamaheas are a thing now because...of course they are.

Now, none of this is to say the trailer is bad, but as the template for a movie? Nup. I'd like something more than just spectacle.

Firstly that Republic Trooper Commander is Jace Malcom and he has faced Darth Malgus before in the battle of Korriban so there is charcater drama and history here. And whats going on here is the Empire launched a surprise attack on the Republic Core World of Aldaraan. (The same Aldaraan that was blown up by the Death Star in A New Hope)

Secondly how is armor being strong enough to make you survive point black grenade detenations a regression? If anything thats an improvement.

Thirdly the Force has been inconsistant in portrayals since forever because there was never a proper set of rules and limits established. I mean no one thought that the Force would give you the power to shoot lightning out of your hands until Return of the Jedi.

Samtemdo8:

Secondly how is armor being strong enough to make you survive point black grenade detenations a regression? If anything thats an improvement.

Regression in that TOR takes place thousands of years before the OT, and going by that, armor technology has apparently gone backwards (going by how stormtrooper armor is useless).

Thirdly the Force has been inconsistant in portrayals since forever because there was never a proper set of rules and limits established. I mean no one thought that the Force would give you the power to shoot lightning out of your hands until Return of the Jedi.

Difference being that Force lightning's use in the films (with the exception of Clones) has character and/or thematic relevance when it's used. There's nothing like that in the trailer.

And, okay, fine, trailer doesn't have much time to do that, but again, I wouldn't want that approach to replace the films' use of the Force as something more than just nifty powers (for the most part).

Samtemdo8:
A story about 2 stormtroopers just shit talking with each other?

A sort of "Clerks" version of that actually doesn't sound half bad as an experiment :D

Hawki:

I think that's the same for all media, period. There's a lot of choice nowadays compared to what was on just a few decades ago. So while that's good for the consumer in a sense, it does lead to audience fragmentation. I have a feeling that Doctor Who lasted so long for instance because at least in terms of its genre, what alternatives were there?

I missed this post for a bit, so sorry about that.

----

To the point at hand.

Yeah, that'sa pretty good critique of the situation, honestly. If you have so few channels, then stuff is going to 'stick out more'.

I also think there is a certain level of fragmentation in how we depict materials. But that being said, surely the 80s and 90s Transformers cartoons can be classed as si-fi?

Masters of the Universe?
Ghostbusters cartoons?
Old Red Dwarf?
ST:TNG + DS9?

Need I go on?

I remember heaps of late 80s early 90s stuff I watched that would totally class as 'sci-fi'.

Once again, though ... do I remember that stuff because there was so little else to watch, or because it was so ubiquitous?

I've seen the first three seasons on DVD. I quite like it. The effects are even more dated than Star Trek, but it helps that the writing's pretty solid...at least for its core characters (Blake, Villa, Avon, Servalan, arguably Travis).

The effects were certainly more dated, but I think Blake's 7 did more with less.

Travis was kind of fun ... but my favourites was the lovable dullard and coward, Vila. Avon was deliciously amoral, but at the same time for some reason not completely unlikeable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake%27s_7#Television

I thought that was only rumour? If it's true, Awesome!

Disagree there though. Babylon 5 and Firefly are in my top 10 sci-fi shows, and Blake's 7 at least was, if not still is (I don't have my top 10 list on me right now), but it's without doubt below them in my mind. There's many reasons why, but while Blake's 7 did a good job with some of its characters, I'd argue that B5 and Firefly did a great job with ALL of their characters. Also helps that they have the benefit of working with 90s and 2000s technology, which helps, among other things.

Babylon 5 had some horribly cringey dialogue, cookie cutter characters, and awful pacing.

I honestly don't get the love for Babylon 5. See, I liked DS9, and yes ... granted ... it was clearly an thinly veiled attempt to subsume Babylon 5 ... but I think DS9 told a better story and critiqued its own source material better than whatever Babylon 5 was trying to say every other season.

As for Firefly ...

Also I don't get the love. Firefly felt like ... I don't know, all style and no substance. It didn't give us genuine anti-heroes ... itjust gave us working class heroes.

And arguably early Red Dwarf did that better, with more humour.

Smithnikov:

Samtemdo8:
A story about 2 stormtroopers just shit talking with each other?

A sort of "Clerks" version of that actually doesn't sound half bad as an experiment :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV7Ha3VDbzE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iJ56DcNtmo&list=PLuKg-WhduhkkrOEcq2NEAACFL2sk_pHx_

Not exactly the same, but close.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I also think there is a certain level of fragmentation in how we depict materials. But that being said, surely the 80s and 90s Transformers cartoons can be classed as si-fi?

Um, yes?

Masters of the Universe?

Fantasy.

Ghostbusters cartoons?

Supernatural.

Old Red Dwarf?

Can't comment too much, but I guess?

ST:TNG + DS9?

Yes.

I remember heaps of late 80s early 90s stuff I watched that would totally class as 'sci-fi'.

Once again, though ... do I remember that stuff because there was so little else to watch, or because it was so ubiquitous?

Well, stands to reason that the 80s and 90s have more stuff than the 60s, and were also the point when DW went on hiatus.

But as for that, there's any number of reasons, boiling down to:

a) Genuine quality.
b) More time to watch TV shows/cartoons, so you can sample a wider range.
c) More impressionable.

This is the same for everyone mind you - it's why I roll my eyes when people say that the 90s had better cartoons than the 2010s. I have to ask what age the people are making these statements are. Because while I have a lot of nostalgia for the 90s and the stuff they produced, "nostalgia" is the key word.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake%27s_7#Television

I thought that was only rumour? If it's true, Awesome!

Don't get your hopes up - been ages since we've heard anything about it, and Syfy being Syfy, even if it goes ahead, it'll probably get cancelled. Most I've seen is some concept art (see https://nerdist.com/exclusive-concept-art-for-long-simmering-blakes-7-series/).

Babylon 5 had some horribly cringey dialogue, cookie cutter characters, and awful pacing.

Early in season 1 I'd agree, but that's about it.

As for Firefly ...

Also I don't get the love. Firefly felt like ... I don't know, all style and no substance. It didn't give us genuine anti-heroes ... itjust gave us working class heroes.

Um, okay? Was Firefly selling itself on anti-heroes? That's more a critique of what something doesn't do than what it does.

And arguably early Red Dwarf did that better, with more humour.

I haven't seen much of Red Dwarf, but of what I have seen (and in the case of the novelization of the first season, read), I'm not sure they can be compared. Both are in space, sure, but Firefly is a space western that takes place in a set setting (the 'Verse). There's plenty of humour in it, but it still takes itself seriously. Red Dwarf, on the other hand, is a space comedy that takes place mostly millions of years in the future with little sense of worldbuilding. It's absurd, and it knows it. Even in the novelization which has a lot of pre-show material, it's still an absurd world that Lister lives in. The type of world where people are willing to get stars to supernova to form a constellation that says PEPSI RULES (or something similar).

Edit: Oh, fun fact, y'know that sci-fi show rankings I listed? I actually kinda lied, as Firefly has the #7 spot, while Blake's 7 has the #6 spot. That could change (and it wouldn't be the first time to do so), but, um, yeah.

There isn't going to be a sci-fi game of thrones until they perfect the cgi for zero g titties and include space rape

undeadsuitor:
There isn't going to be a sci-fi game of thrones until they perfect the cgi for zero g titties and include space rape

Apparently someone filmed porn in one of those planes they simulate zero gravity to train astronauts in. So...maybe...

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