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Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Streaming 
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
icekatze wrote:
Has anyone here watched Blake's 7? I've heard people talking about it as being something worth watching, but I don't know much about it.

It was a low-budget 70's British scifi series that was about as goofy as anything you can imagine. I can't recommend it except to people who can never get enough Doctor Who, 70's camp, and laughably cheap production values.

It's a Captain Harlock style setup with a small team of rebels fighting against the evil Terran Federation, but with lots of infighting and backstabbing. And truly terrible special effects.

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Tue May 15, 2018 10:02 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Victor_D wrote:
I think it would be possible, but obviously with major deviations from and/or additions to the source material. I believed JMS could manage that with grace, but obviously in lesser hands it could become a terrible mess. In any case, I think the show was shelved due to "creative differences" with JMS (correct me if I am wrong), which probably means that the network wanted the things you mentioned, i.e. cheap drama and fast-paced action.

That's exactly what I meant. Even with Straczynski this would be a double gamble. First one of quality in order to defend the material from being watered down, spiced up with "modern" characters or even flat out bimbo-ized. Ugh. Double Ugh. Then, a second one of commercial success. Both points would contradict each other to some degree, because Straczynski would set the bar high to keep his reputation and the channel low in order to play it safe. However, if you want a fitting tribute in tune with the spirit of the trilogy, it was already made.

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Tue May 15, 2018 10:44 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
If you are into military Sci-Fi, I can recommend Space: Above and Beyond.
Its a late 90s TV show, about humanitys first contact and war, with aliens. The main protagonists are a group of young spacemariens/fighter pilots (yes, they are both in the show) thrown into combat. The special effects no longer hold up, but I still have a softspot for that show. Saddly, there is only one season.

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Tue May 15, 2018 10:50 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
orion1836 wrote:
I loved the concept of Dark Matter, but the execution was... just painful, especially when Firefly exists. It seemed like they were trying too hard to copy the tropes of Firefly without any real substance of their own.

I've watched Firefly and Dark Matter... I have to say, I didn't notice any substantial similarities. There are some superficial ones like 'outlaw crew on a transport ship' and I guess the Reavers and the zombies on that one ghost ship are kind of similar?

Other than that, it was different in all sorts of ways. Firefly was smugglers, Dark Matter was mercenaries. The Raza crew often worked with the powers that be, while the Serenity crew tried to avoid them as much as possible. Firefly had the theme of independence from an oppressive centralised government, while Dark Matter was largely about corrupt corporations treating mining colonies like dirt unless they could get one over on a rival corp. I don't recall any androids or aliens in Firefly, and if there were any plots about genetic engineering people I don't remember them.

Spoiler: show
In Firefly, the biggest betrayal of the crew by a crewmember was Jayne trying to sell out the Tams on Ariel. In Dark Matter, one of them's a police officer the whole time, and another one goes off to claim his throne, then harasses the crew for an entire season because they have an FTL drive he wants.


I'll also note that Dark Matter had a number of intricate plots all going on at once, while Firefly was episodic with only one overarching plot (the government trying to get their science experiment back.) Firefly had very well written characters and character interactions, but Dark Matter had great worldbuilding.


And I'll tell you one thing Firefly didn't have. Android. Damn I loved that character.

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Tue May 15, 2018 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Cthulhu wrote:
Victor_D wrote:
I think it would be possible, but obviously with major deviations from and/or additions to the source material. I believed JMS could manage that with grace, but obviously in lesser hands it could become a terrible mess. In any case, I think the show was shelved due to "creative differences" with JMS (correct me if I am wrong), which probably means that the network wanted the things you mentioned, i.e. cheap drama and fast-paced action.

That's exactly what I meant. Even with Straczynski this would be a double gamble. First one of quality in order to defend the material from being watered down, spiced up with "modern" characters or even flat out bimbo-ized. Ugh. Double Ugh. Then, a second one of commercial success. Both points would contradict each other to some degree, because Straczynski would set the bar high to keep his reputation and the channel low in order to play it safe. However, if you want a fitting tribute in tune with the spirit of the trilogy, it was already made.


Funnily enough, they tried to remake SMAC and the result was just as shallow as I expected it to be (Civ: Beyond Earth).

I am not so sceptical the source material is unadaptable, but obviously the challenges would be high, I understand that. However, I also feel that until someone *tries* to make hard(ish) SF work in a miniseries/high-value TV series format and does it well, we'll just keep receiving sub-par TV shows for mainstream audiences who probably think that the superhero genre is what "sci-fi" should look like.

Kim S. Robinson said on multiple occasions that he wants to elevate sci-fi into a proper "literary" genre, so perhaps his source material should do the same for the small screen. (/daydream)


Wed May 16, 2018 2:26 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Victor_D wrote:
Funnily enough, they tried to remake SMAC and the result was just as shallow as I expected it to be (Civ: Beyond Earth).

Yes, the SMAC "remake" was a real downer. I've played better Civ4 mods then this.

Victor_D wrote:
I am not so sceptical the source material is unadaptable, but obviously the challenges would be high, I understand that. However, I also feel that until someone *tries* to make hard(ish) SF work in a miniseries/high-value TV series format and does it well, we'll just keep receiving sub-par TV shows for mainstream audiences who probably think that the superhero genre is what "sci-fi" should look like.

I'm not saying that the material is unadoptable, merely that currently nobody deems it profitably enough. You see, the companies value return-on-investment and profit, not artistic merit. Therefore they would rather play it safe and invest into something proven instead of risking their money with something new. This approach nets good money at the cost of milking every franchise/universe dry with countless prequels, sequels, spinoffs, crossovers and alternate-reality scenarios until it's no longer funny and then some more. Even (somewhat) successful shows were abandoned after one season not because they were bad, but simply because they didn't make enough money and were replaced with something deemed more profitable. In order to break this cycle somebody would need to risk a lot of money and currently the chances for that are rather dim.

Victor_D wrote:
Kim S. Robinson said on multiple occasions that he wants to elevate sci-fi into a proper "literary" genre, so perhaps his source material should do the same for the small screen

Kim S. Robinson is a good writer, but not necessarily my favorite one. Remarks like "making sci-fi a proper genre" are partly responsible for this, because it already is a well-estabilished genre. Works like "Hard to be a god" are what makes good Sci-Fi because it makes you think. Half of Star Trek's "first contact" scenarios are silly fanfics of this work.
Robinson on the other hand, well, let's say as a political scientist, I find his works not nessesarily naive, but he tried too hard to use it as a vessel for his own ideas, especially his "Aurora". Overanalyzing the inner structures of works of fiction is kind of a "professional disease" for me. But even when I turn it off for the sake of suspension of disbelief, I'm still not buying this paragon stance of his.


Anyway, I think we went too far off the topic in this thread. The initial question was about good contemporary sci-fi. But since good shows are somewhat scarce nowadays and anime is not everyone's cup of tea let's have a look at a different format: games.
Even Mass Effect, despite it's not-so-well-received ending, is still a better sci-fi then most modern shows. Just don't bother with the Andromeda spinoff, unless it's on sale for 10 bucks or something. Any other suggestions?

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Wed May 16, 2018 6:57 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
victor: i for one get big huge warning klaxons going off as soon as someone calls a story 'literary', for they are usually dreadfully boring and or obnoxiously pretentious.... or just pointlessly confusing, since as far as i understand it 'literary' is a code word for 'there is no story here'.... but maybe that's just me.

Cthulhu:
battletech squadbased mecha tactical laser stompiness..... pretty good, not that much of a story though.
Starwars:Kotor long ass name, but a nice story, dated graphics and compatibility issues with modern hardware might be a problem though.
Master of Orion 2 since the UI and such are just too damned dated on #1, but i would say that #2 is still the standard to beat for it to be a good 4x space game.... and incidentally a major inspiration for outsider.
and i shall second mass effect, good story and a good game, not as common a combination as you might hope for... oh and awesome soundtrack.


Wed May 16, 2018 7:42 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
discord wrote:
victor: i for one get big huge warning klaxons going off as soon as someone calls a story 'literary', for they are usually dreadfully boring and or obnoxiously pretentious.... or just pointlessly confusing, since as far as i understand it 'literary' is a code word for 'there is no story here'.... but maybe that's just me.

Hmm, I think he meant "literary" as in "classical literature" and that he wants to uplift the sci-fi genre to this level. Pretentious? Maybe. My point, however, is that it's already there and that his Aurora is a step in the wrong direction (to put it mildly).


I'll second KOTOR. MOO2 is hardly "contemporary", even though it's still setting the bar for 4X sci-fi games. As to the Battletech, well, since I don't like mecha, I haven't played it.

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Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Well, there is good news; The Expanse is coming to Amazon Prime for a fourth season. Hopefully they can run with it:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live- ... on-1115160


Fri May 25, 2018 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
orion1836 wrote:
-Last Exile is not space-based, but still fits many of the space opera tropes and is one of my personal favorites.


It also has a horrible ending. Like the OP song wass great, the story was good, but good god the ending just felt like a huge let down.

I remember watching in high school and going... "That's it? Seriously?!"


Fri May 25, 2018 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Pardon the thread necromancy:

I just got back from seeing the Alita: Battle Angel movie. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it, and as a longtime fan of the original manga, I was really surprised how closely they stuck to the source material.

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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
hi hi

Alita was one movie that I was really looking forward to watching, so I went the very first chance I got. Gotta say, I was not disappointed.

Sure, any time someone is adapting a novel or a series into a movie, there's going to be hard questions of what to leave in and what to cut, but I think they did about as good a job as anyone could do in weaving things together seamlessly, without wandering off into fan fiction.

And then there was the moments. Like that first flashback, I think my jaw hit the floor at that one.


Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:37 pm
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Post Re: Sci-Fi/Space Opera Shows (Current or Upcoming) On Stream
Yes, Alita was a fabulous movie!

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