No Right Answer: Best Space Series Ever

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Best Space Series Ever

The Oscar buzz around Gravity proves that people still want to see space adventures, but TV seems to have become terrestrial. Let's reminisce with what series took us to the stars best.

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Oh be serious, how could star-trek ever loose?
should have picked something else.. it's madness I tell you.

If you're going to select star trek, then at least go with the best version of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Superior storytelling to TNG.

As far as I'm concerned Babylon 5 outmatches both. It's presents realistic handling of realistic situations in a sci-fi setting. There's no "perfect society" like Star Trek or "suddenly aliens that want to destroy us" like BSG or so many other alien Sci-Fi dramas. Nope, major story development is all based off real events that have actually transpired and could transpire again in a more natural evolution of what becoming a level 4 space society would be. It's not post apocalyptic but it's also not pristine perfection either.

To add, It is probably the only series that would come up with new methods of visual and auditory presentation, limit them to a couple of uses to give them the impact that's needed then stops using them so it doesn't water down the effect. I've lost track of how many times the same effects were used in either of your choices which got to the point of "this again?" level.

So yeah, narrative depth that derived from the real world without being about the the real world, a solid balance of visual and auditory effects to give it the most impact, and oh yes, A story with so many minor, major and critical arcs to make your head spin but structured in a manner to make it understandable. B5 wins my vote, hands down.

Okay...excuse me while I dive into my everything-proof bunker before all the people come in talking about Firefly. *DIVES*

You're half right, it's a two-way contest. It's just that the contest is between Firefly and Doctor Who.

Ne1butme:
If you're going to select star trek, then at least go with the best version of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Superior storytelling to TNG.

When I saw the title card my first though was: Is there some sort of caveat that makes space stations ineligible? You want continuity? They fought a freaking WAR!

And you wanna talk about endings? DS9 tied up EVERYONE'S story, not just Picard. And that Borg PTS only ever came up in the movie.

DataSnake:
You're half right, it's a two-way contest. It's just that the contest is between Firefly and Doctor Who.

They did specify it had to be complete, Firefly hardly counts. Dr. Who is also mostly about time travel more than space travel, they had that up during the show too.

LordLundar:
As far as I'm concerned Babylon 5 outmatches both. It's presents realistic handling of realistic situations in a sci-fi setting. There's no "perfect society" like Star Trek or "suddenly aliens that want to destroy us" like BSG or so many other alien Sci-Fi dramas. Nope, major story development is all based off real events that have actually transpired and could transpire again in a more natural evolution of what becoming a level 4 space society would be. It's not post apocalyptic but it's also not pristine perfection either.

To add, It is probably the only series that would come up with new methods of visual and auditory presentation, limit them to a couple of uses to give them the impact that's needed then stops using them so it doesn't water down the effect. I've lost track of how many times the same effects were used in either of your choices which got to the point of "this again?" level.

So yeah, narrative depth that derived from the real world without being about the the real world, a solid balance of visual and auditory effects to give it the most impact, and oh yes, A story with so many minor, major and critical arcs to make your head spin but structured in a manner to make it understandable. B5 wins my vote, hands down.

I agree 100%, I was disappointed when they didn't bring this up

I was thinking Farscape all through this episode...

Such an amazing series (That I must've watched hundreds of times by now), it has characters you grow to love - Both the Protaganists and the Antagonist (Scorpius is a really interesting bad guy) - They all have original motivations, which end up changing throughout the series (For people aboard Moya, they start out just wanting to get home, and end up becoming like family to each other and end up trying to bring peace to the universe), all the aliens are unique with stereotypical traits seen between them with exceptions to those stereotypes (Such as PK Tech girl)

The only other space show that's kept up with the amount of viewings as Farscape from me is Red Dwarf but series 7, 8 and 9 kind of let it down somewhat (The rest of it is really awesome... Though as it's also more about the comedy rather than space drama, it probably wouldn't win this particular topic)

Lawnmooer:
I was thinking Farscape all through this episode...

Such an amazing series (That I must've watched hundreds of times by now), it has characters you grow to love - Both the Protaganists and the Antagonist (Scorpius is a really interesting bad guy) - They all have original motivations, which end up changing throughout the series (For people aboard Moya, they start out just wanting to get home, and end up becoming like family to each other and end up trying to bring peace to the universe)

Oh good, I was hoping I wasn't the only one who really enjoyed that series. It probably went on for about 1 season too long, but still way better than BSG.

Shouldn't Stargate: SG1 be in the running. IMHO its very underrated.

Lawnmooer:
I was thinking Farscape all through this episode...

Such an amazing series (That I must've watched hundreds of times by now), it has characters you grow to love - Both the Protaganists and the Antagonist (Scorpius is a really interesting bad guy) - They all have original motivations, which end up changing throughout the series (For people aboard Moya, they start out just wanting to get home, and end up becoming like family to each other and end up trying to bring peace to the universe), all the aliens are unique with stereotypical traits seen between them with exceptions to those stereotypes (Such as PK Tech girl)

The only other space show that's kept up with the amount of viewings as Farscape from me is Red Dwarf but series 7, 8 and 9 kind of let it down somewhat (The rest of it is really awesome... Though as it's also more about the comedy rather than space drama, it probably wouldn't win this particular topic)

I agree with both of those. JOHN Crichton was a great character. D'argo was a great character. And Rigel could have been his own series. Moya, Talon, Erin, the show was had such a rich interesting cast.

Also Red Dwarf is probably one of my favorite shows ever put on television. It is kind of sad how it's trailed off in the later seasons. But when it's so far between shooting I can understand how it's hard for them to keep the same level of writing and quality. Plus at some point, you just run out of clever jokes. The recent season 10 was alright, but marred by the memory of what has come before. Of course I'd still happily sit down for a season 11 if they decide to make it, so I guess something must still be working.

castlewise:
Shouldn't Stargate: SG1 be in the running. IMHO its very underrated.

Does SG1 take place in space?

Star Trek in all its incarnations are bloody awful, there's nothing good about them and like the Simpsons was fad to begin with but gained such a fanatical fanboi following they could spoon out any old crap and people would still say how wonderful it is. Have you actually watched TNG? it's awful bland generic rubbish and poor old Patrick Stewart who is a brilliant actor will be tarnished with for life, a bit like Alec Guinness and Star Wars.

Personally I have the fondest memories of TNG, it could be so many different things week to week. Dark, deep, light, funny, hopeful, tragic. All of those different emotions and different tones that it could hit made it the superior series compared to BSG, which was always dark, IMO.

I will say that Babylon 5 was exceptional and could have been the best series ever had it been allowed to run it's course without networks controlling the story telling towards the ending. Again it didn't hit all of the different tones that TNG did, but it was, I'll say brighter and more hopeful in it's story telling. That hope being that all of the races could unite and work through their differences.

The flute episode referenced, was exceptional.

All this does is make me want to watch Farscape again :)

TNG won, as I predicted. STAR TREK, as a whole, has in spades what BSG lacked (aside from that picture of the 3 women in skimpy outfits; where's you guys find that?): hope and optimism. That's what keeps the viewers coming back for more, because we want a better tomorrow. That and BSG would take up to a year off between seasons. Also, what's this
"Patrick Stewart was" business? Patrick Stewart IS.

Ne1butme:
If you're going to select star trek, then at least go with the best version of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Superior storytelling to TNG.

And yet you have Sir Patrick Stewart playing John Oliver as your avatar?

BSG is what Star Trek Voyager should have been.

Brannon Braga and Ronald D moore actually fell out with each other over that argument.

The Lugz:
Oh be serious, how could star-trek ever loose?

Right. TNG is far too tight to ever loose.

OT: One of these series had Dwight Schultz, the other lost. Murdock always wins.

So the way I see it, the real debate should be Farscape v. Babylon 5.

Michael Chriton became a better space pirate than Han Solo ever was. The guy walks into a peace negotiation between two major empires with a black hole bomb strapped to his belt. He was the definition of testicular fortitude.

John Sheridan died giving the Shadows a black eye then became the President of the Galaxy.

Not sure who wins that fight.

Neither because the correct answer is babylon 5!

All this, and not one reference to:

Darth_Payn:
TNG won, as I predicted. STAR TREK, as a whole, has in spades what BSG lacked (aside from that picture of the 3 women in skimpy outfits; where's you guys find that?): hope and optimism. That's what keeps the viewers coming back for more, because we want a better tomorrow. That and BSG would take up to a year off between seasons. Also, what's this
"Patrick Stewart was" business? Patrick Stewart IS.

Ne1butme:
If you're going to select star trek, then at least go with the best version of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Superior storytelling to TNG.

And yet you have Sir Patrick Stewart playing John Oliver as your avatar?

To be fair, two of the most popular shows currently being broadcast are Breaking Bad (Ok, until a couple of days ago) and Game of Thrones. Neither of those series has a large quantity of hope in them, and certainly less than BSG. Being hopeful doesn't make a good tv series anymore.

Hi.
from a previous post: "suddenly aliens that want to destroy us" like BSG
Those "sudden aliens" were the remains of the 13th tribe leading the rogue AIs mankind created and it was a religious misinterpretation to eradicate the human race, a very nicely executed joke in my eyes.

But. To get back to that no real answer question. There is not enough material out there to get too picky. There is stuff that had a LOT of potential wasted.

My list goes different.
The best characters to have fun with are those from firefly.
The best series to portray human weaknesses facing the apocalypse is BSG.
The best plot loop is babylon 5 for sure. Michael put stuff into season 1 from the far end of season 5. Glorious, unreachable.
My favourite main character is Jean Luc Picard.

Some words to ST..
I liked DS9 back then a lot - today I can not stand it, do not know why exactly. The only things I watched again are TNG Data, Borg and klingon empire core episodes.
Loved enterprise due to the lowtec setting and got angry about the ultra, ultra stupid unnecessary time war storyline.

Farscape? I tried to like it, following a recommendation, I was told it'd be great and got all the seasons pressed in my hands - watched them all to seek what was not there. As stated, not enough material out there to get too picky. Still it is less than mediocre. Yes the bad guy was a cool one and I really liked erin. Didn't help though. I hated the plot lines thoroughly.

I revisited captain future last year to see why we were so fond of it and was horrified by the lack of quality/characters - female space agency specialist is ordered to make coffee for CF. Gender roles imported not exactly from beyond space time...

Damn straight there's no right answer, when there's neither Firefly nor Stargate nor the BBC's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy there to choose from!

Hard, hard choices had to be made.
Dunno if I would have put BSG up there, but obviously TNG or DS9 or Voyager was gonna win it.

Speaking of DS9, the war was EPIC beyond words.
But the season BEFORE that.... omg, I could not get through that boring stuff again when I tried last year!

Ne1butme:

castlewise:
Shouldn't Stargate: SG1 be in the running. IMHO its very underrated.

Does SG1 take place in space?

Yes, quite a lot, especially when they're on enemy motherships, in their gliders or in the bigger ship-battles and the like. Although, yes, most of it is on alien planets, not in space itself. Which is true for a lot of TNG away-missions as well, mind, but the difference in focus is there, sure.

...I'll amend my earlier post about Firefly: That was one of the few TV shows that actually took care to display space more realistically than most other shows. When they use the atmosphere within a spacesuit to fire a gun. When they inaudibly blow up a safe to try and loot it. When chunks of a small space station break apart completely silently. I really liked that attention to detail there. And even in Serenity, where there was sound during the big Reaver versus Alliance battle... that took place in a nebula around a planet, so there could be something like audible sound there, I suppose, a medium for sound to travel in. It probably wouldn't sound anything like it did in the movie, though, but still.

Okay BGS was awesome, but a contest to Star Trek? Oh come on. BGS had great acting and drama but as a universe, it was silly, especially in the second half when the story turned to shit.

Star Trek is silly in a way and with very inconsistent quality but it's an amazing universe which gave us much more than just some TV fun.

But let's be happy we have both and BGS has managed to come out before the reality show craze. Nobody would greenlight something like this these days.

YAY, some love for BSG! :D

I haven't seen any of the Star Trek series (yet), but I definitely saw Babylon 5 and I'm dissapointed it's not mentioned even once. As much as I love BSG, I have to say that Babylon 5 is just better in every single aspect.

SupahGamuh:
I haven't seen any of the Star Trek series (yet), but I definitely saw Babylon 5 and I'm dissapointed it's not mentioned even once. As much as I love BSG, I have to say that Babylon 5 is just better in every single aspect.

Hm, true. Didn't even think of that. Especially once Earth Gov starts turning into a fascistoid government, things start really heating up. A lot of political intrigue and interesting stuff going on there. BSG was a nice action show and the interpersonal stuff and drama had a lot of focus there, but for bigger political stuff you'd best turn to B5 (or possibly DS9, although I never liked that quite as much as B5).

The Lugz:
Oh be serious, how could star-trek ever loose?
should have picked something else.. it's madness I tell you.

Yes, the discussion was kind of loaded. Especially seeing as Trek could have won based on the intent of the debate simply by it being pointed out that BSG was depressing, it by definition was out to be dark and suck all the joy and wonder out of space and space exploration, tainting pretty much everyone and everything that came up during it. Not to mention the ending where they decided to pull out trippy space angels to try and add a profound conclusion to a serious they wrote themselves into a corner with means that as an overall work BSG is going to fail hard compared to series like TNG which managed to have satisfying endings that overall didn't upset that many people and made sense.... also providing evidence to all of the horrible writers out there pulling garbage like they did with "Lost" that there really is no excuse.

That said if one was going to get into an academic debate rather than one based off of current popularity there are a few shows you could put up against Trek. One of course is "Andromeda" which was also based on Roddenberry's work, it went on for five seasons (as opposed to seven) and while it had it's problems it also tied up everything pretty well and also had several evolving metaplots over the course of the series along with one big one. "Babylon 5" was the same way, though I'm not sure if it would count given that they are on a space station, indeed B5 is one of the classic competitors of Star Trek in fan debates. Others are of course "Farscape" and if your not going to get on BSG for being too trippy you also have "Lexx" which was comedic but pulled down a 4 season run when you consider the movies that started it. I mention Lexx last because really to even begin to appreciate it you have to be fans of the genere (the shows we're discussing) to really find it amusing when Lexx mocks the tropes as ridiculously as possible, and on top of that I'll admit the style of humor in Lexx is an acquired taste.

Also I laughed during the whole "spit contest" thing. To answer the question seriously though when it comes to combat Trek's technology beats pretty much anything from any other science fiction series not done by Genre Roddenberry. The reason simply being that Trek tries to use more "realistic" distances when dealing with space and space combat. If you pay attention to the babble going on ships like The Enterprise engage as distances of tens or hundreds of thousands of kilometers despite how things "look" on TV (since showing two dots firing at each other zoomed out to a distance to properly represent it would be kind of dull). Some video games like "Star Trek Online" of course took major liberties with this in order to make things seem like the images from the TV shows and movies as opposed to the actual technology they talk about using. In comparison most other shows pretty much handle their space combat literally, it is what the images suggest in every aspect, meaning that ships are fight each other at relatively close ranges of a few miles tops, with fighters and stuff literally zipping by a few feet away from the hulls of larger structures, etc... In absolute terms Trek technology could pretty much kill anything from other space operas before they even knew they were being engaged. Making it even worse is the issue of blast radiuses which only come up a few times, such as when Kirk set the enterprise's phasers to stun and was knocking out entire city blocks with a single shot, or in another episode where when being tricked into intervening in a war among more primitive species it was pointed out the blast radius of a photon torpedo could pretty much take down good portions of a continent. In another episode (TNG) they are using their phasers to try and repair a planet's core meaning that something like The Enterprise could pretty much blow a hole through a planet given the desire to do so (ala, The Death Star) albeit instead of charging up for one blast it would probably have to sit there and literally drill a hole through one. The only real mainstream competition is Andromeda which had the same creator and used similar logic, with ships engaging at a similar level, again in that series destroying planets or even suns is relatively trivial if someone with a powerful ship really wants to, the ship the series focuses on carries "Nova Bombs" each one capable of blowing up a planet or sun, and it can rapid fire them. One early moral decision the hero faced (albeit shown via time travel before the series started) was whether to save the galaxy from the bad guys who took it over by wrecking their fleet by blowing up a sun on them... which was possible, but in violation of the intergalactic version of the Geneva Convention. As cheesy as it was this ultimately served to put the entire state of the galaxy on this guy's shoulders (which is why he felt he needed to fix it) since he put morality before well... the fate of even more people who died as a result.

Just a bit of high nerdism, but if anyone ever wants a literal answer to a question like "which ship would win" look at the engagement ranges. Trek is usually a sure fire winner when it comes to cinematic science fiction at least, without getting into omnipotent space magic and garbage... and even so, someone who can pretty much wipe our your fleet from 300,000 kilometers away when you can't even see them (no need for cloaking, it's that far away) given the targets not having equivalent technology, it's not much of a contest. Likewise is destroying a planet or star is considered a huge feat of power, it's not competitive, in Trek it's easy, it's just that it's a waste of habitable planets, you fly in and blow up a planet you generally don't get anything from it except wasted ammo/energy and a bunch of space rocks.

Skeleon:

SupahGamuh:
I haven't seen any of the Star Trek series (yet), but I definitely saw Babylon 5 and I'm dissapointed it's not mentioned even once. As much as I love BSG, I have to say that Babylon 5 is just better in every single aspect.

Hm, true. Didn't even think of that. Especially once Earth Gov starts turning into a fascistoid government, things start really heating up. A lot of political intrigue and interesting stuff going on there. BSG was a nice action show and the interpersonal stuff and drama had a lot of focus there, but for bigger political stuff you'd best turn to B5 (or possibly DS9, although I never liked that quite as much as B5).

B5 was great but suffer from year to year renewal which didn't like the creator handle the story arcs quite the way he wanted, he did a couple of season endings with the expectation that he might not get renewed (we have at least two episodes showing things well into the future both of which were later rendered non-canon by the show's continuation). It also had a problem with some really uneven acting, I tend to think "Claudia Christian" (Ivanova) is pretty terrible as an actress even if the character is basically okay. Also they seemed to have difficulty keeping anyone around reliably for the "Resident Telepath" role.

Also the follow up series ended in a bad place, which I didn't care for.... and I was always kind of surprised that Bester never seemed to get his (though I give them credit, that character was a magnificent bastard).

After only a few episodes of BSG I was so sick of the political bullcrap that I was rooting for the extinction of humanity.

Avaholic03:

Lawnmooer:
I was thinking Farscape all through this episode...

Such an amazing series (That I must've watched hundreds of times by now), it has characters you grow to love - Both the Protaganists and the Antagonist (Scorpius is a really interesting bad guy) - They all have original motivations, which end up changing throughout the series (For people aboard Moya, they start out just wanting to get home, and end up becoming like family to each other and end up trying to bring peace to the universe)

Oh good, I was hoping I wasn't the only one who really enjoyed that series. It probably went on for about 1 season too long, but still way better than BSG.

Farscape is a fantastic show that Dan has seen every episode of. Unfortunately since you have to have the peacekeeper wars movie to conclude it properly, it didn't fit in with our criteria. Don't you worry, we know that humans are superior, and Winona never jams, except when it isn't her fault

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