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August 04 2008

Was "Buffy" Killed By College? College On The Record seems to think so, and names it one of the top ten shows to meet its demise thusly.

Nah, the best season came after they finsihsed high school.
What season did Buffy go to college? What season did the show end? I think after the show was "killed" it must have become undead cause 3 seasons is a bit long to hangon after death.
Wow, some of those comments are way off the mark. Like with Gilmore Girls it says "Once there (Yale) though, there was nothing to blabber about and the show was taken off the air." Ummmm..... the show lasted through all 4 years of college. It would have even continued after that had they gotten contracts worked out. Or with Buffy " Life at UC Sunnydale, however, was not worth living and the show soon died." Soon after? Yeah, it lasted 3 more seasons after season 4. What is their definition of "soon"?
Typically shallow. Some of Buffy's best moments were after S3.
And also, the only season that was about college was S4, so...um...yeah.
I think Buffy was added to round out a top 10. It certainly doesn't make all that much sense, especially when compared to Veronica Mars, for which the classification is at least arguably apt.
Buffy was not "killed" when she went of to College. One season focused on college, Season 4.
I was glad that in Season 5, 6 and 7 we did not see Buffy in school anymore. Willow was still there in 5 and 6 well after she went evil black haired girl she went back.
Plus Buffy was not cancelled.

And like I said about Gilmore girls. That show ended when Rory graduated from Yale and again not cancelled.

Now Veronica Mars was cancelled but I do not think it was because she was in college now. It was cancelled because The CW are douche bags.
Veronica Mars was utterly mangled by college (though it was certainly more than that; the CW's demands and Rob Thomas' utmost and disappointing willingness to follow every single one of them).

Gilmore Girls and especially Buffy were not.
Nah, I think she'd already dropped out when she died. The second time.

Heh, VM was cancelled because the ratings never justified it to keep going. Quality-wise, it was more about not being able to match the first mystery than the setting, I thought.

Gilmore Girls...my love also topped out in its first season.
Yep, 4 was the pinnacle for me.

But this begs an interesting question: how would the show have evolved if it had stayed in production, and the Scoobies graduated high school and entered the work world?
I disagree with almost all of those, with the exceptions of The OC, Dawson's Creek and Beverly Hills. Sabrina took a dive in quality, but kept going. Veronica was still a great (and perhaps, the best of its time) show in its final season.
No doubt, seasons two and three were the best. But "killed" by college? C'mon! There was still tons of good stuff from season four onward. TONS, I say.
They got all their ideas from a 15 month old blog, and it wasn't any more thought through then either, I especially like this comment!
That list was crap! Buffy was awesome in high school, but it still got better. The only reason Veronica Mars went down hill was because half way through the season CW made them stop shooting and airing episodes. It wasn't even a full 'college' season. That guy needs some help in life if he really thinks college killed Buffy!
I really really enjoyed Season 4 of Buffy, even though I didn't like the Big Bad or Riley, but the season itself was really fun. Hush and Restless too!

Veronica Mars completely died for me in Season 3, after finding the first two seasons incredible. I don't know why, too much studio involvement perhaps, or a reluctance to let go of old characters, or perhaps concentrating too much on romance, but it was just plain bad. Plus the season was cut short. It would've been so much better if they'd skipped college, and Veronica had gone straight into some FBI training program or something, which was something they did consider. The only things in Season 3 that made it worth watching for me was Veronica, her father, Sheriff Lamb and Mac (Mac was awesome, some of the best lines of the show). That said, I didn't actually get around to finishing Season 3... if anyone here did watch it to the end, perhaps you can tell me if it was worth it.
I guess this is "Lists that Make Me Laughably Mad" day.
Although I agree with them that Veronica Mars completely imploded once she got to college, and that the transition to college from high school can be extremely difficult for a TV show, I cannot agree that Buffy somehow jumped the shark by going to college. Although I absolutely adore seasons two and three, four is definitely my absolute favorite. If anything, I feel that it was when Buffy left college that show's quality took a hit: I consider seasons five and six to be my least favorite.

EDIT: MattK, although VM's third season was definitely a big letdown after two absolutely amazing seasons, I'd say it was still worth watching through. The smaller mystery format was a huge failure, particularly as the rape mystery pretty much sucked. But things did improve greatly afterward. For one thing, Mac was back! I agree with you, she was my favorite character as well, as she was annoyingly absent for like seven episodes in a row at the beginning of the season. Also, the second extended mystery ended up being really good, I felt. I still consider the last episode of that arc to be one of my favorites of the series. Afterwards, they sadly didn't get into another extended mystery, but the mysteries-of-the-week they did feature were actually some of the best. And the final episode actually turned out pretty amazing. It wasn't maybe the most ideal series finale, but it ended on a high note, I feel.

[ edited by alpha5099 on 2008-08-04 21:29 ]
Since my favourite seasons are 4-7, especially 6 & 7 (and I'm not trying to start a S6/7 war here), I think BtVS improved once they graduated from high school.

Regarding the Gilmore Girls, Wax Lion and SillyD are right, the show ended when Rory graduated from Yale, which was creator Amy Paladino's plan from the beginning.

Like Buffy, Gilmore Girls was not cancelled, but ended, although GG might have continued if contracts could have been extended, but the original plan was for seven years, so that's when they ran out.
"What is their definition of 'soon'?"

Apparently it's "had more seasons after high school than during."
Thanks for the info alpha5099, it was around the time of the rape mystery that I stopped watching, so I'm glad to hear it picked up after that.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-08-04 21:56 ]
VM definitely picked up after that, MattK. It's like they stumbled at the beginning of a marathon, but stook it out and finished strong (even though it wasn't first, the last episode carried the emotional resonance that made VM great).
When I saw the credits for Season 3 of VM, they had lost me. Seasons One and Two the theme got me pumped for the show, but the crappy slow version of the song I think summed up everything wrong with the show in its final season. Plus the Season 3 love interest Pez, or Piz or whatever drove me insane every moment he was on screen. I must say I didn't even make it past the third or fourth episode of the season.
As for the Buffster, I have to agree that Seasons 5 through 7 were the best of the show, but there is no denying that the show changed after season 3. I think that's a good thing, but some people just don't like evolution.
I'll admit I enjoy season 2 and 3 of Buffy the most and the high school setting but Season 5 is also way up there for me as well.Every season had things I liked.For me,it wasn't so much settings(high school vs. collage vs. the real world)but the individual arcs/storylines of each season.
Disagree with theMidnighter re: VM on all accounts. The changed theme for season 3 was less pop-y, which is the going-off-to-college mood they were shooting for. And Piz was my favorite character of that season.
But then again, I disagree with most people about season 3 of VM. While it did have some dud episodes, like all TV shows, even the great ones, I really enjoyed all the mysteries and would have kept watching the series for years to come if they had let me.

But more on topic - seasons 6 and 7 of Buffy were my favorites...but season 4 produced one of my top 10 episodes - The Initiative. Seriously! Go back and watch that one (no matter how you feel about the Initiative plot-line). The structure is fantastic and each one-on-one scene is superbly written. Remember this is the episode in which we get the Spike/Willow "biting" scene, the Xander/Harmony cat-fight, the Buffy/Riley "you leave-no you leave" scene, plus Riley's reveal as a soldier is extremely well done!
Totally misguided. Like others have said, season 4 kicks butt.
Season 4 is one of my least favorite seasons, but that's not saying much for one of the best television shows of all time. My only big complaint with it is the science fiction of the arc. This may sound a bit strange when talking about a fantasy television show, but elements like that bothered me throughout the series, from I Robot You Jane to Some Assembly Required (Correct me if I'm wrong, but they didn't use magic to resurrect the "monsters) to Warren's robots.
HydeMe: But it had New Moon Rising!
:-)
HydeMe: Yeah, the science fiction bothered me too. It always does. Fantasy exists beyond our reality, so you can allow for things that are "unrealistic", but the whole point of science fiction is that it exists in our reality, and so should be constrained by some basic laws. The robots that exist in Buffy are clearly far far beyond what even our brightest individuals working in incredibly well-funded businesses can achieve today, let alone individual college kids with no manufacturing capabilities to speak of, and so it just doesn't seem right to me.
Also the whole "this device stops time" thing (I forget the episode, S6) -- an amulet, that's discovered and works by some unknown mechanism, that stops time I can deal with, but something that's invented by, again, some kids just seems silly. That was my major problem with season 6 anyway, despite it being strong in other ways. Sorry for being a bit of a killjoy here, I'm just glad someone else was annoyed by it too.

ETA: err.. maybe it was an amulet after all? I forget now. *is embarrassed*
I've also seemed to have developed a comma addiction in that last paragraph. Sigh.

ETA2: Whilst we're on the subject, I think it's worth mentioning Dr. H too, to contrast with Buffy. It had a freeze-ray, which is very much science fiction, but it feels "right" in a way that Buffy's robots didn't. It doesn't actually freeze time, just temporarily paralyses Cpt. Hammer. We can induce temporary paralysis now, so it's just a question of how to do so remotely, and this is where his PhD in Horribleness comes in. :) The point is, it's at least believable in the sense that it's possible because it doesn't violate any physical laws, and also that he could conceivably create it. After all, we live in a world where right now the military has developed a working prototype of a gun that makes people feel like they're on fire without leaving any physical marks, designed for crowd suppression. Since something like that exists, I can believe in Dr. H's freeze ray too.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-08-05 00:24 ]
MattK, I thought science-fiction lead science, in the fiction can be realized one day. My proof? Star Trek, the original. What they used as communicators is close to our cell phones now. And what about those isolinear chips on TNG? I think of those as USB devices now. I wouldn't have seen that back then, is all I'm saying.
korkster, science fiction does lead science, but in a realistic way. A lot of the Star Trek technobabble was so meaningless as to make it all invalid (warp drives?). Of course, the communicators were good, but that was just a logical extension of radio technology, even if it was futuristic at the time it was still realistic.
Season 4 was the best ever. I've never seen college done so well as I've seen it done on Buffy. Besides after HS finished Buffy had another 4 seasons plus a comic so that ain't right :)
Four seasons later is soon?
Buffy killed by college? Ummm nooo, she was killed by the Master... and then again by Glory's crazy mystical rip in the fabric of space and time.

Then she got better.

The crazy thing is she's still going strong. She just lost a dimension, but hey, flat pages can't keep a good slayer down. A new episode is coming out this week!
No one has agreed yet that Boy Meets World went downhill after high school... believe me, it did. I know a lot of people started watching the show around that time or a little before that, but I think the show was best during their grades 6-10 or around there, so really it started before college. haha, what can I say... BMW was my first fandom! :P
I think Buffy went through an adjustment-type phase after high school -- both as a show and pertaining to the character. There are some wonderful episodes in season four -- I'm thinking "Hush" and "Restless" -- but as an overall season it is probably my least favorite. Seasons five-seven rock my world though, so I don't know what this person is talking about. And even though season four is probably my least favorite season, it is still better than most of anything else on television. The things that I didn't like about it had nothing to do with college...my dislike had more to do with Riley Finn, Maggie Walsh and Adam. That's just me though.
I agree that overall season 4 wasn't the best, but it had more of my favorite episodes than any other season.

I'm sorry, but "Beer Bad" is funny.
The robots that exist in Buffy are clearly far far beyond what even our brightest individuals working in incredibly well-funded businesses can achieve today, let alone individual college kids with no manufacturing capabilities to speak of

You know, this never bothered me because Jonathan and Andrew dealt in magic/demons, so I just assumed there was magic going on with Warren's inventions as well. Though now that you mention it, I guess that's just me building my suspension-of-disbelief bridge. :)
Actually jcs, I like the way you think. Clockwork run by magic. Now that I can believe in. How's that for fan wank?
I thought the show went downhill after she left college. The whole college thing wasn't mined enough, though how many frat parties gone wrong can you have?
Wow, this thread hasn't turned into a 'early buffy' vs. 'late buffy' vs. 'season 7 sucked-and-all-the-rest-was-great' etcetera thing (yet? ;)). Kudos, all :).

That said, season 4 was my least favorite season and seasons two and three my favorites, but then S5 was very, very good, S6 had a few problems (the willow addiction story was my personal metaphor-turned-too-literal problem) and S7 I feel had some problems (which have been discussed ad nauseum on here :)), but also had some truly inspired moments. Even season 4, which is as stated my least favorite season had a few really great episodes. So, no, Buffy was not killed by college, never 'jumped the shark' or any other such nonsense we sometimes hear. Like any show it had bits and pieces I loved and bits and pieces I liked less, same as everyone. And it makes sense that our tastes, even in the same fandom, don't always overlap. But even the pieces I liked less were layered, well-written, high quality television.

Also, MattK, you just pretty much nailed the problem I've always had with science fiction in Buffy. Thanks :).
A lot of the Star Trek technobabble was so meaningless as to make it all invalid (warp drives?).

Hmm, crazy of course MattK ;-). One of my favourite meta-Trek stories is of when Stephen Hawking was given a tour of the set before his cameo appearance on the holodeck. As they were taking him past the "warp core" and his guide said "And this is the warp drive", Hawking reportedly said "Working on that" ;).

(though I think it's truer to say science-fiction leads scientists in that it inspires certain lines of thought/investigation. But ultimately if what's shown isn't possible then no number of sci-fi portrayals is going to lead us there)

Buffy, of course, didn't die when the Buffster went to college. It's not my favourite season but it has some great episodes and obviously the show carried on afterwards and arguably even produced its best single episodes either during or after season 4.

VM on the other hand did lose it a bit in season 3 and I do actually think that was partly due to V going to college (as well as external reasons like network interference and not having enough money to feature key cast members. Yes, I too heart Mac ;). Said it before but college is a hard place to be a misfit or lone wolf just because everyone is trying out all sorts of roles (including lone wolf) and even the misfits have clubs and their own table at the student union bar. It's also a generally upbeat time, people spreading their wings etc. which could make someone with an essentially cynical, mistrustful character (as Veronica did IMO) to seem more like they're wallowing in self-pity or deliberately avoiding happiness (that's something VM touched on slightly in S3 - how Veronica's character isolated her needlessly - but not enough for me).
Putting in another negative vote for Buffy jumping the shark at college. Also, I love season 3 of Veronica Mars, but I'm wildly biased because I love Piz.
With VM, I think the problem was that once she was in college, she changed. Veronica in S3 was not the same person in many ways as she was before- she was much more cynical, way too quick to jump to (wrong) conclusions, and way to stupid in what she did- how many times can you drink drugged drinks, you know? But hey, S3 had Mac, my fave character of the show.

I guess the real point of the article, which was never said, is that when shows which are based in high school settings age, they have to transition to college; when they do, the tone of the show changes in ways both good and bad. Each show faces new challenges in making that transition. Buffy, with its founding metaphor of "high school as hell" faced new challenges when it moved to college and had to find new driving metaphors, in this case "College is where you break from the old to forge new identity and find yourself." I think it did this brilliantly, and this is even with me effing hating S6. I go back to my question above: what would the metaphor have been had Buffy and friends graduated and entered the workaday world? Or, is that what Angel ended up addressing?

(ETA: edited twice because today I no longer know how to spell.)

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-08-05 13:15 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-08-05 13:16 ]
Fantasy exists beyond our reality, so you can allow for things that are "unrealistic", but the whole point of science fiction is that it exists in our reality, and so should be constrained by some basic laws.

Science Fiction is fictional science. It should include things not yet invented or discovered in the real world and expand the possibilities, not be limited by what's possible. Robots and time-travel have always been a staple of Science Fiction. Writers wrote about satellites and going to the moon a hundred years before it was realistically possible. In hindsight we can say, ah they wrote things that turned out to be possible. But that's not what makes it Sci-Fi and that would be retconning a whole genre. At the time of conception it was considered fantastical, absurd and just entertaining, and that's what made it Sci-Fi then and now.

Back to the topic at hand... Season 4 isn't my favorite as a whole, but has some really awesome episodes. It's failings have nothing to do with the college stuff for me. I just didn't think the Initiative or Adam were particularly interesting through-out. The final battle was good, but what makes a whole season good is the sub-plot lead up to the final battle. The college just faded into the backdrop and wasn't the stage like high school was in the previous seasons. If the Initiative had been somehow part of the college that was given a government grant to study demonology and they were secretly recruiting college students to be part of it...then maybe.

Season 5 is my favorite whole season because there's multiple sub-plots that all tie-in to the finale. There's a progression and threads that link all the episodes into one story so I can look at it and say, as whole that's a good season.
This is just so wrong. Season 4 is my second favorite and IMO, the season with the most perfect continuity of story arc and character development.
Also some of the best individual episodes .... Hush, Restless, Pangs, New Moon Rising, the double punch of This Year's Girl/Who Are You?, The Initiative. And tho I may be an eternal minority of one, Goodbye Iowa was one of my favorite eps of any season, for the way it used one of the male characters (Riley) to carry forward the loss of innocence metaphor that was the main underpinning of the entire season. Even those who didn't like Riley as a character, should be able to give Mark Blucas credit for outstanding acting.
And yes, I loved Beer Bad, I thought it was even funnier than the IMO somewhat over-rated Something Blue.
This is also the season that turned convention on it's head by giving us the action finale (Primeval) as the next to last ep, rather than the standard season closer, then finishing with the peerless Restless.
What's not to love?
I go back to my question above: what would the metaphor have been had Buffy and friends graduated and entered the workaday world?


Didn't we see a bit of that with Buffy and Xander in seasons 6 and 7?
Season 4 is not my favourite out of the 7 but has some great episodes like Hush and Fear Itself. And as Buffy was heads above most other shows at the time even the weaker seasons held their own pretty comfortably. The following seasons were pretty good in my opinion - I don't get all the anti-season 6 feeling and quite liked the direction season 7 went in even if the execution wasn't as good as normal (episode plots tended to be sacrificed in order to drive home the main messages of the season).

As far as VM goes I loved seasons 1 and 2 but was not a fan of season 3. The shortened mystery arcs and network interference ruined some of the key aspects of the show - Veronica's relationship with Mac being a prime example. The soap drama nature of all the relationships was tiring after a while as was Logan's personality transplant from interesting and damaged to doormat. I did like Piz however, which few other people seem to do.
Didn't we see a bit of that with Buffy and Xander in seasons 6 and 7?

We saw the workaday world treated metaphorically as early as 'Anne' in season 3. But yeah 'Doublemeat Palace' arguably took the metaphorical "daily grind" for employees and literalised it ;).

It should include things not yet invented or discovered in the real world and expand the possibilities, not be limited by what's possible.

Could be that's two different 'possible's GrrrlRomeo. MattK may mean possible in principle whereas you seem to mean possible now. Course, telling what's which can be difficult/impossible in itself. As late as the 1940s serious scientists were saying chemical rockets couldn't in principle lift a satellite into orbit because they hadn't thought of multi-stage boosters yet, so to them space travel was impossible.

It's hard to tell whether warp drives, time-travel etc. are actually impossible or just too hard for us right now, in some cases (e.g. time-travel) it could even be we literally won't know until we try.

(for me science-fiction has to be a plausible extrapolation of a possible world, fantasy just has to be written well enough to allow us to suspend disbelief in impossible things)
Also Hot Work Xander in Lessons. He did look sharp.
Jumping in this late...LOVED season 4! I thought it was fantastic. There's change, there's a new shock, new horrors to face. It's what high school is, four years later and you're (hopefully) a little wiser. I remember college was like that. I didn't know what roommate I was going to get, and my professors were intimidating, I didn't know which books were the right ones, and I had to fall back on my friends to have a similar experience (though none of mine were like Willow, who knew everything already).

High school was a nightmare because everything is socially awkward, you're growing up, becoming someone new every day and trying to figure out who you want to be. By the time you figure out most of that, you're off to college, where things repeat for you and it's uncomfortable all over again. AND you don't get to go home at the end of the day and complain to your parents, and get pity and ice cream.

So season 4 was pretty awesome because a few years after that, I went to college and used my experience (and height deficiency) to attempt to attract tall, wholesome men in the bookstore. No luck, as my campus bookstore shelves were stacked high, but with nothing I needed.
It should include things not yet invented or discovered in the real world and expand the possibilities, not be limited by what's possible.


While I agree with this in principle, GrrrlRomeo, the main difference here, is that Buffy is set in the "now". This makes it very hard to suspend disbelief on things like pitch-perfect human looking robots and the like. I'm not saying (and I would imagine that MattK wasn't implying) that these things are wrong to be featured in Science Fiction, persé, but rather are wrong for Buffy, even apart from the fact that the science clashes with the shows more magical feel and forces it more into "reality", which is a place where the basic universe - if not the characters - do not belong.

Given enough time, like someone famous once said, technological advancement becomes indistinguishable from magic, and I think that's true. If we can extrapolate from the way in which science has progressed in years passed (which I'm not certain can be done, but that's a whole different argument) and with possible new paradigm shifts like quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity in the past age, on the horizon, there's no telling now what could be possible in the future given enough time. Which is why things that seem to be breaking physical laws as we now understand them, some unspecified time way ahead in the future, is not so hard to suspend disbelief for. But pitch-perfect robots made by a couple of nerds in a basement in the "now"? Highly implausible and tugging on that disbelief like an angry rotweiler on his chain, even in a show that deals with otherwise 'unreal' things.
After watching the last few episodes of the series, I'm now back at season one, watching the classic episodes. A lot of people mention I Robot, You Jane as one of the examples of science not quite working out. If you recall, Willow scanned the text, which unleashed Moloch into the internet. From there, Moloch was presumably able to call upon a team of morally unscrupulous scientists to build him a body in some sterilized facility. Moloch was then able to inhabit the body (I'm thinking through a floppy drive or an early version of the USB port).

It doesn't seem so unbelievable... the problem I see is the whole Moloch finds a team of morally unscrupulous scientists. I mean, is there a Classifieds section for these people?
Sure, you can find them either under 'Scientists, mad' or 'Henchpersons, evil - technically adept'.

And why not go with early Firewire, it's a consciousness after all, you'd probably need the extra bandwidth. Apart from that, absolutely nothing we see in that episode couldn't be done today with an oxy-acetylene torch, duct tape and the tube from inside a toilet roll. Quicker if you add a Swiss-army knife and/or MacGyver.
Just wanted to say thanks to GVH and Saje for defending my points. That was indeed what I meant... I have no problem with robots in the future, because that seems perfectly plausible, it was just in the present day it seems wrong. GrrrlRomeo, it's interesting you mention satellites because they were interesting precisely because they weren't fantastical or absurd but were actually entirely plausible once you got past the problem of getting them up there, as Saje said. Arthur C. Clarke practically invented the idea of communications satellites.

Time travel is interesting, because according to our present physics it's impossible to any significant extent (excepting quantum effects on individual particles), but I can easily accept that some future discovery makes it possible, which is why I don't mind reading about it. The main argument against time travel is that, if it were possible in the future, why have we not had visitors from the future to our time now? It's interesting to think about anyway, because it's the only example where we could find evidence of a future discovery before it's been made (and that indeed is the basis of quite a few stories).

Anyway, I hope you can excuse the musings, but I just wanted to post this to clarify that I wasn't against these ideas per se, I was just against an unrealistic execution of them, like in Buffy.
My best mate would certainly disagree - she finds the first 3 seasons cheesy and dislikes high school settings for TV shows/films generally. She loves the later non-school seasons best of all (perhaps to do with her being able to relate better when watching them).

It's obvious from comments here that loads of other Buffy fans love the show post-season 3.

What a crappy bit of 'journalism'!
MattK, GVH, & Saje, while I can see that the unrealistic execution of science in "modern-day" Buffy may be hard to wrap around, Sunnydale isn't the best model for comparison.

In fact, I would say that even though Sunnydale is occurring now, it's a fantastical world and the methods for which things exist cannot correlate to out world. Vampires? Burnings of books & witches? A heavier mystical energy that attracts all bads, whether it be demons, hell gods, or nerdy science guys? Laryngitis only extending to the borders of Sunnydale?

I've always thought that even though the science may look "iffy", it's not our world (hence why we call it the Buffyverse). Sunnydale=lots of magic=robotic demons and enchanted science mind-controlling orbs. I won't argue that it didn't jarr me or not, but I cope with it because I assume that magic is involved with the essence of Sunnydale- everything has it. More Fiction than science.

Now, what I find fantastical, is the disappearing/reappearing cell phone Buffy has in Season 7. But again, magic. :)
... the problem I see is the whole Moloch finds a team of morally unscrupulous scientists. I mean, is there a Classifieds section for these people?

Sure, you can find them either under 'Scientists, mad' or 'Henchpersons, evil - technically adept'.

You know, I've just always asked friends for recommendations and it's worked out for me.
The only bit of technology that really bothered me was that Adam apparently had a 3.5 floppy drive. Unrealistic precisely because it's real...and known to be unreliable storage. At least give the guy a Zip drive.

GrrrlRomeo, it's interesting you mention satellites because they were interesting precisely because they weren't fantastical or absurd but were actually entirely plausible once you got past the problem of getting them up there, as Saje said. Arthur C. Clarke practically invented the idea of communications satellites.

I was actually thinking of "The Brick Moon" by Edward Hale which predates Clarke's concept of satellites by some 80 years. It was made of brick and, if IRC, was powered by water.
I was actually thinking of "The Brick Moon" by Edward Hale which predates Clarke's concept of satellites by some 80 years. It was made of brick and, if IRC, was powered by water.

I was referring specifically about satellites used for communications, and I believe Clarke was the first there. That said, I haven't actually read "The Brick Moon."
Yeah, Clarke got the idea out there even though it was around beforehand, s'why a geostationary orbit is sometimes called a "Clarke orbit".

Must admit, none of the technology in Buffy particularly bothers me (Willow's super-decryption, Adam's 3˝" floppy etc.) because it's never been science-fiction to me, it's fantasy (which occasionally uses sci-fi ideas) so doesn't need to be quite as strict. And in fairness, 3˝" floppies were a lot more common in 2001 than they are now (and even now, we still use them at work - believe it or not, we've got a lot of machines still running good old Dos 6.22 ;) though I can imagine Adam needing quite a few to e.g. backup his entire consciousness. Or maybe he had a Compression Demon upgrade ;).

Time travel is interesting, because according to our present physics it's impossible to any significant extent (excepting quantum effects on individual particles), but I can easily accept that some future discovery makes it possible, which is why I don't mind reading about it.

Hmm, not sure about that, I think our present physics allows it (assuming the "chronology protection conjecture" is wrong) but our present engineering pretty much kicks up its heels at the prospect ;).

(though currently proposed schemes are a) very big tech e.g. manipulating huge masses of exotic matter like a couple of neutron stars or accelerating worm-holes to significant fractions of the speed of light and (crucially) b) only allow travel back to when the "machine" was first built and no further. Which might explain why we haven't seen any time-travellers - we haven't built a time-machine yet ;)

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