This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"The getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um, smelly."
11943 members | you are not logged in | 19 April 2014












May 04 2007

Firefly/Serenity Ranked 15th Best in Sci-Fi Countdown. Entertainment Weekly ranks the best in science fiction in the last twenty five years.

"Saddle up for the show, to see how it all started, and the movie, to see the ending. Then pray that someday, some studio exec will have the guts to make more." —Jeff Jensen

Attention is always nice but Serenity/Firefly should be well into the top 10, without question. Matrix no.1? That's one of the strangest top sci-fi lists I've seen.
Matrix is totally deserving of #1 in my head. Mostly because it exploded my head on first viewing.
That's one of the strangest top sci-fi lists I've seen.

If you read the Star Wars: Clone Wars entry it mentions it's their top 25 of the last 25 years, which excludes a fair few of the 'automatic' choices most people would expect.

Personally I can't believe anyone would rate Heroes as being in the top 25. It's a good show, but come on! Even BSG at #2 is a weird one for me.
It's a good list but I'd included Babylon 5 as well.
From the article:

Firefly was strange. Firefly shouldn't have worked. And it didn't. Firefly was canceled after 11 episodes...

Oh, it worked, it worked just fine.
Yep, so many people keep confusing the losing side with the wrong one Chris.

It's an idiosyncratic list as they all are. Personally, though i'm fonder of Next Gen i'd probably say DS9 was actually the better series. And i'd've put Babylon 5 on there too Simon. Also, I liked Christopher Eccleston a lot but better than Big Tam ? Blasphemy. And 'Wrath of Khan' is definitely my favourite Star Trek film. Except for the days when it's 'Undiscovered Country' ;).

I can see 'The Matrix' as number one, certainly from the last 25 years. Probably wouldn't be my choice but it's not insane. 'Matrix Revolutions', that'd be insane. And I have to say, though it's very early to have 'Heroes' on this kind of list, I think just on the basis of what they've done so far it should probably be up there (and if they don't screw the season finale up it definitely should).
If they don't screw up the season finale, Heroes should swap places with Lost.

I liked Christopher Eccleston a lot as well, but I like David Tennant just a bit better.

And where, oh where has my beloved Dark City gone?
I enjoyed Eccleston immensely and I'm enjoying Tenant quite a bit as well. Tenant's shoutiness when he's angry gets shrill to me, though, while Eccleston's anger was far darker and more menacing. It doesn't get much better than either of them in an ep penned by Steven Moffat (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace), for my money, however. We need more Steven Moffat eps. SO far in Tenant's run they seem to be having a bit of schizophrenia about whether they are a kids show or an adult show, with varying results. Sometimes they walk the line well, others I feel like I have to wait twenty minutes for them to reel it back in.

ETA - DS9 definitely the better (best!) Trek, IMO. Children of Men, while I enjoyed it, I don't think belongs so high on the list.
And I have to say, though it's very early to have 'Heroes' on this kind of list, I think just on the basis of what they've done so far it should probably be up there

But what exactly have they done so far? It's all been very enjoyable, but it hasn't really broken any new ground as yet.
Well, they haven't broken new ground for comics, but they are something unique for TV. They are telling an engrossing enough story and in realistic enough fashion that people who aren't sci-fi/comics/whatever geeks are watching it in droves and talking about it. I'd say tricking the masses into liking something good is always a feat to be applauded ;) Its not the greatest show ever, nor super groundbreaking for the genre, but I'd put it above several others that made the list. And if it makes fewer people and networks inclined to marginalize or stigmatize sci-fi(or spec fic, whichever you prefer), then I'm all for it.
It's all been very enjoyable, but it hasn't really broken any new ground as yet.

True, but it's the way they do it. Basically, a lot of shows make me smile, some make me laugh but very, very few make me clap my hands in childish glee. 'Heroes' does. Everyone's mileage will vary though ;).

And where, oh where has my beloved Dark City gone?

Well, since they've got 'The Matrix' on there Lady Brick, they probably thought they already had one instance of the class 'Dark City'. Ooh, controversial ;).

Agreed zeitgeist, I think this season may miss Moffat quite a bit. And also on the shoutiness, as I said on the .org, really big dogs don't need to bark because you believe them when they growl. And in his own way The Doctor is the biggest dog of all and should be played that way IMO.
zeitgeist: I know there's been a lot of complaints about Tenant's shoutiness, but it's honestly never bothered me. It's always seemed like a good fit for the character... the Ninth Doctor was able to shed some of his darkness at the end of his story arc, paving the way for a lighter, more child-like incarnation (at least on the surface.)

With you 100% on the Steven Moffat love. "The Girl in the Fireplace" made me cry more than "Doomsday" Really looking forward to his episode this series, as well as Paul Cornell's two-parter.

Grounded: Heroes established a series of mysteries and are actually in the process of providing answers. That's more than a lot of other shows *cough*Lost*cough* have done.

I don't think the show has been perfect by any means, but the most recent episodes have been absolutely amazing. And as the season draws to a close, it's becoming more and more obvious just how well they've woven all these threads together. Seemingly-unimportant details from earlier episodes are suddenly being given new relevance/center stage in the story.

Overall, the plotting of the season has been top-notch and has a level of detail that reminds me a bit of the intricacy of the Harry Potter novels. And considering that Heroes has time travel and multiple timelines, that makes it all the more impressive. I can't think of another show that has pulled off something like this so successfully.

Saje: Oh, if that's the issue, then just swap The Matrix for Dark City, since it's the better movie of the two anyway ;)

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-05-04 16:59 ]

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-05-04 17:01 ]
Well, since they've got 'The Matrix' on there Lady Brick, they probably thought they already had one instance of the class 'Dark City'.

Geekiest sentence ever.

Mostly agree with this list. The first Matrix has never ceased to entertain me in probably dozens of viewings. I wish they'd given Firely more props than "surprise success on DVD," though. "Reinventing the genre," perhaps?
An odd list. I'd have Firefly in the top ten, I wouldn't have Lost (don't care for it) or Brazil (love it, but my memory is that it's dystopia, most of the sci-fi is kind of incidental) and I sure as hell wouldn't put Star Wars: Clone Wars higher than Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, and Futurama!

Also: if they can list Terminator and Terminator 2 together, I say Next Generation and Deep Space Nine can share billing, because I love DS9. Holds up better to multiple viewing, I think.
Also with the Dark City love. I also feel Minority Report should be on the list.
Tenant shoutiness is okay in small doses, I just feel its overused and his quiet menace look is actually fairly creepifying, so it seems like overkill to me. Interesting to think of it in light of the purging of the broody darkness of the 9th to replace it with the surface-seeming-anyway childlike 10th Doctor. Makes sense, just think its over-wrought. DS9 holds up as an overall series with definite arcs and repeated viewing makes this even more obvious, plus its got one of (if not the) best Trek episodes of all time, "Far Beyond the Stars".
Lady Brick: word, word, wordy word on your take of Heroes. It's been clear to me that this season has been planned, plotted, and pushed into place so thoroughly that there isn't a single wasted scene. The show is so rewarding to watch because things add up in satisfying ways. Lost, on the other hand, is not rewarding. It doesn't bother me that Lost fails to answer questions. What bothers me about the show is that it drifts, stagnates, and gets stuck on plot points that hold no interest to me (the whole Kate/Jack/Sawyer (and now Juliet) ‘ships for instance). There doesn't seem to be any plan for direction outside of the overriding mystery. They can't sustain my interest because the only true mystery to the show is why the survivors are there and what the island is. Everything else--like who the Others are, what Dharma was doing, what the smog monster is--ties to the main mystery, so things must be kept vague, answers to questions can’t go too deep, and the writers have to spin their wheels to make the show last from episode to episode. It feels like the show being artificially stretched, with too much filler and flashbacks to make up for not enough plot. It's too frustrating to watch. It isn't rewarding. The characters aren't well done or compelling (I like a few of the characters, but many times the writers force them to do things out of character to serve the plot, which bugs me). Contrast that with Heroes... the show has been set up with many mysteries, and like an onion, the layers go deep. But even if all the mysteries get solved, there are dozens of places the show can go, because the characters are well done and the potential is limitless. I don't know if the show belongs on a "Best of..." list just yet. I want to know what they'll do with a second season. But for my money, Heroes has Lost beat by a mile.

And I agree with Serenifly being on this list, but I surely would've placed it higher than E.T., Lost, and ewww, Matrix. Not at number one (don't make me pick a number one, because I'll have to think), but certainly in the top ten. Firefly alone deserves a higher rank, but I'm pleased to see it recognized.
I want to know what they'll do with a second season.


As I understand it, a different group of Heroes and a new intricately plotted bunch of eps.
Having just seen Secret Smile on the recommendation of a friend, I'll agree that Tennant does quiet menace VERY well.

Gattaca is another movie I just thought of that I'm a bit surprised wasn't on the list. I'd perhaps swap it for Children of Men. Thought that was a pretty good movie, but not quite the sum of its parts.
Grounded: Heroes established a series of mysteries and are actually in the process of providing answers. That's more than a lot of other shows *cough*Lost*cough* have done.

Personally I prefer the more patient approach Lost has taken (though obviously there have been frustating moments!) and I find it hard to swallow that anyone would claim Heroes has more layers/depth. A huge number of Heroes 'plot twists' so far have involved adding another character with a new power (or in some cases piling multiple powers up on the same character!), which, while making for some very cool moments, is ultimately unsatisfying to me. It's a lot easier to write in a world where you can drop in an invisible man whenever the plot requires it ;) And while Hiro is undoubtedly one of the coolest small-screen characters of recent times, his time-jumping escapades have been a continuity nightmare!

Of course I don't mean to annoy Heroes fans with the above - I guess I just feel the same way about Heroes that non-Firefly fans do when we're all raving about the show ;)
Where's the superhero love? I defy anybody to tell me that X-Men, Spiderman, and even Batman aren't sci-fi.

Heroes isn't really any different in basic plot than the X-men, when you think about it.
Really looking forward to his episode this series, as well as Paul Cornell's two-parter.

Oh, fantastic ! I'd got the idea from somewhere (I think it was mooted last year) that Moffat wouldn't be doing one this series. Rarely been happier to be wrong ;). And Cornell can also write. Feeling better about this series' prospects now.

(and yep, 'Girl in the Fireplace' had me utterly hooked from the teaser and never let go. As she bent down to ask for help, we all knew who she was going to ask for - he's the magic man after all ;) - but the hairs were still standing up as she said it. A great story which really captured the romance of the whole concept and such a solid emotional core)

And 'Far Beyond the Stars' ? Just brilliant television. Moving and important. "You are the dreamer and the dream", indeed.

(incidentally, there are memos about the various authors' stories stuck up all over the magazine office in that episode and, according to the DS9 companion, one of the one's addressed to Armin Shimerman's character said "No-one will believe a cheerleader can kill vampires" ;)
Grounded: I thought Lost had an amazing first season and then really floundered. I'm not sure if they were buried under the expectations they'd set or they left the plot too open-ended, but it really felt like the story completely got away from them and they're just now getting it back under control.

On the other hand, the more Heroes progresses, the more it becomes clear how everything ties together. Unlike Lost, where I've questioned if anyone knows what's actually going on, everything in Heroes is very deliberate. This has had some drawbacks (the lackluster pacing of parts of Hiro's storyline, for example, obviously keeping him from getting too far ahead of everyone else), but the results have been more satisfying.

It's actually the same reason that I've thought that Firefly had the best start of any Joss TV series. It nailed what it was and how the characters fit together from the start, whereas BtVS and especially AtS felt around for a bit before really hitting their stride. Though admittedly, this wasn't at all clear to me seeing "The Train Job" as the pilot... I didn't think the series was nearly that strong until I finally saw the actual pilot.

Like I said, though, I'm waiting until at least the end of season 1 of Heroes and probably into season 2 before I'll actually say that I think it's BETTER than Lost.


Saje: Moffat wrote episode 3.10 and Cornell wrote 3.08 and 3.09. I'm a little concerned about 3.07 though... It's by the lead writer of Torchwood. I mean, I barely survived the horror of "Cyberwoman".
Lady Brick did you watch Torchwood the rest of the way through? It got good. Cyberwoman was an abomination, though...
A list that gets some stuff right, but other stuff horribly wrong. The X-Files in the top 10? The Matrix #1? Even, (and you all know I love BSG), BSG at #2? That's just absurd.

But whatever, everyone's got their own stupid opinion.
I'm cringing a bit from F/S being ranked lower than Back to the Future, but that was a fun list.
zeitgeist: Yes, though I don't know if I'd use the term "good" persay. I thought the level of angst made Season 6 of BtVS look like a shiny happy teddy bear picnic. I know Torchwood is a different show, but all the existentialism just seems too far removed from Doctor Who. AtS was darker than BtVS, but they were still clearly in the same universe. And Jack's coat isn't anywhere near as cool as Angel's.

That said, I did enjoy "Out of Time" and will probably give the second series a chance.
Resolute - The word stupid doesn't belong it that sentence, you might wanna see to that.
Actually, I'm tickled pink. #15 in this group is awesome towards Joss.
On the other hand, the more Heroes progresses, the more it becomes clear how everything ties together. Unlike Lost, where I've questioned if anyone knows what's actually going on, everything in Heroes is very deliberate.

Heroes isn't really built around a central mystery though, so I don't think it's fair to say it's doing what Lost *should* be doing. I read an interview with Kring in SFX magazine yesterday where he made a point of the fact that there is no central mystery, and that he'd had to repeatedly convince people that the 'evolutionary theory' was the real explanation for the Heroes' existence!
Not too much on this list I agree with, starting with Serenity not being in the top ten and preferably, in the top five. And Firefly should have made the list, since when is "number of episodes" a criteria for excellence?
The Matrix as Number One I can live with, I think that time has caused a lot of people to forget how incredibly ground breaking it was on so many levels. Up until Serenity came along, The Matrix was probably the film I'd re-watched more often that any other.

And can I just let out a huge YES!!! for Battlestar Galactia in the Number Two spot? I loved the quote "The dysfunctionaly awesome cast ....".You could just as easily apply that phrase to the cast of BtS, which is in my book, the highest praise in the universe.
Most of the rest I disagreed with, especially Lost and Heros. And most especially, since they left Babylon5 off the list. I do think that Brazil belongs on the list, but definitely not as high as #6.
But still .... Yay battlestar Galactia!!!
Total Recall? Get real, EW. Serenity/Firefly 15th? But thank you for including my beloved V, and Nicholas Meyer's The Wrath Of Khan, keeping in mind how subjective these lists are. And no love again, for The Fifth Element.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-05-06 06:04 ]
As a follow-up in print only (except for pics of the top 3), EW allowed fans to present their case for 10 SF faves that shoulda woulda coulda been in the Sci-Fi 25 -- including Buffy/Angel at #5!

YOU SAY "How in the bloody hell could you have not listed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel in the top five? This was a grave oversight! Buffy was not only one of the best sci-fi shows, but also one of the best-written, -acted, and -directed shows of all time!" --SZ*

WE SAY How could we leave this, creator Joss Whedon's crowning pop culture achievement, off the list? Easy, because it's not science fiction. Buffy slays vampires. It's right there in the title. And these aren't bloodsuckers created by some loophole-inducing scientific experiment or plasma-borne virus. Buffy is a work of gothic fantasy, replete with demons and witches and mummies and werewolves and magically hot lesbians.


Wow. They took the words right out of my head -- then rewrote them and made them funnier.

The other entries in the top 5 were the Stargate franchise (nice try but IMO too uneven), Farscape, Babylon 5, and The Fifth Element. Pretty much what we said. :D (And the only one they admit that they might have messed up on was Babylon 5)

*not sure if allowed to print the full name here so didn't

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home