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May 05 2009

Wizard Magazine's 25 Greatest SciFi shows ever. Angel and Firefly come in at nos. 14 and 11 respectively and Buffy takes fourth place.

Good to see that all three Whedon shows beat Smallville, at least. Bonus points for beating Supernatural as well. And it's good to see the Doctor taking the top spot, even though I have yet to be fully sucked into that fandom.

...But, seriously, when did Angel ever wear a coat that so closely resembled the Master's? Am I the only one creeped out by that?
Quite a few of those I would classify as fantasy and not sci-fi and that includes Buffy and Angel!
Great to see Buffy up there with such class acts. Admittedly, I haven't seen all those shows, but I would have liked to have seen Firefly in the top ten. Still, after only half a season, to be number elevewn aint half bad. Given a couple more seasons it might have stolen a top five spot.

And I'm a huge Superman fan, but Smallville? Really? That's a bit of a stretch.
@Taaroko - I've never seen that promo shot from Angel S1?? Weird thought I'd seen them all at one stage. Yes, very bizarre coat/jacket thing.

I wouldn't call half of those shows Sci-Fi and certainly not Buffy and Angel either.
Supernatural deserves to be much higher (anyone watching this season knows that). And on no planet is Lost better than The X-Files or Firefly.
I must say I've never got the love for Dr Who. I've tried watching it and I just find it... lame. I mean the “Darleks“? Little tin rust buckets? Honestly, how am I supposed to take those things seriously? It’s hugely popular so probably deserves the spot it got, but for me I’d rank Btvs, Ats, Firefly, Supernatural and Lost all way before that I’m afraid.
Good gods, ST:TNG ranked above the original? What are the guys at Wizard smoking?
It always annoys me to see people use "SciFi" to describe fantasy, but i suppose that's the way the world is turning.
"Supernatural" is vastly overrated. The main thing it has going for it (besides two hot guys) is Ben Edlund's writing. His episodes are fantastic. The rest are just filler.
AHEM! Do. Not. Diss. My. Winchester. Boys.

While Ben Edlund is an undeniable genius, Eric Kripke, Jeremy Carver and Sera Gamble, among others, have written plenty of good S/N episodes.

Don't let the pretty boy faces fool you- this season's arc and the descent of Sam into evil (or is he?) is one of the best things on TV at the moment... and I'm a fussy watcher.

In fact, 'The Monster at the End of the Book' should be required viewing for any card carrying, self proclaimed comics geek. (And it wasn't written by Ben, though I'm sure as series producer he had input in some form.) /AHEM!

But back to topic- Wizard's list places the Whedon shows in it's poll in the exact order that we did in our discussion the other day. Coinky-dink?
vampmogs, it's strange that you have tolerance for Buffy's campiness but not for Dr. Who's.

Also, I don't understand the hostility towards Supernatural around here. Did someone on the staff dis Whedon sometime? It isn't the best show of all time, but the monsters are usually pretty cool. Are we angry because The CW/WB had this show instead of another Angel season? I could get that, but we did get After the Fall eventually, so I guess it turned out okay.

Personally, Farscape is my favorite science fiction show, but even then it's only kinda science-ish. I'll never forgive SciFi Channel for that cancellation.

[ edited by archon on 2009-05-06 13:36 ]
Pretty nice list, and mostly in a decent order. We, the Whedon fandom would of course like our favorits higher, but that's plenty enough.

I think Supernatural is pretty much where it should be. I've been struggling to get through it, but it takes time. It's repetitive and tedious enough that I can't really watch many episodes back to back, and the few times I managed to do so (like, 3-4), it ended up with several weeks break before watching forward. I started watching it last year, and I still only managed to get to halfway S4. And I can watch full seasons at one sitting, if they're good enough (tested with Buffy, Veronica Mars, Firefly and Coupling). I suppose if the cast was two hot girls, I could just drool over them and get past the tediousness, but alas no. I mean, even the bad parts of Angel were seriously more watchable. Still, it's consistent and good enough to watch once.

4400 on the other hand, did people actually like that show? How did it end up that high, seriously? The returnees were pretty cool I guess, but the investigating humans were just bad. Both the writing and the acting, blah.
Lost got that high? Seriously? Cripes.

Really happy TNG got in there ahead of the original Trek though, when I saw ST in the list I was convinced TNG was gonna get ignored. Picard owns Kirk. End of.
I liked 4400 and besides, Summer Glau had a role in it. I like Supernatural, but have not actually been able to get to S2 on my DVD Set. Not sure why.

But as I note in the next thread on today's whedonesque, I have never seen Dr. Who. But looking at the picture here, given Billie Piper, I really should....

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-06 14:38 ]
I don't post much on here, I've been a reader for a long time though. I had no idea of the hate of supernatural here. Yes the first season wasn't very good (like a horror movie of the week). But season 2 was great, season 3 lacked (stike year, most shows lacked), but this season is near the golden years of buffy. I can also say the same for Chuck this year.
I'm fairly sure Dr Who is as high as it is because it has been around for so long. I personally can't sit through an entire episode but then I'm 34 not 14!
Supernatural is great and I like missb do not understand the negativity towards it. Yes there are monsters of the week, but the writing is great, the banter between the leads is funny and there is a season long arc....sound familiar? ;)
Funny you should say that cdm22- my whole family sit down together to watch 'Dr Who'. And by that, I mean my 12 and 14 year old nephews, 34 year old me, my 56 year old mother and my 80 year old grandfather. I even made a tardis cake to take to our family's Christmas lunch last year!

It takes a special show to entertain 4 generations at once, making the good Doctor well worthy of the No 1 spot, IMHO. (BTW my Mum and nephews also join me to watch 'Supernatural', but on the minus side, I could never get them into any Whedon shows.)
Musings at semi-random:

1-I like BtVS more than TZ but I agree, TZ was a greater show.

2-Angel;I think that's more of a shirt than a jacket. Sort of.

3-Charisma; I like pics that show off her First Nations ancestry. (Fatehr Cherokee, mother Mexican, y'know?) This one is only a little bit but I noticed it. I just wish she'd get to play one on screen.

4-Doctor Who?_ I can't argue about it, altho I will argue about it if I see a way to annoy someone by doing so. I've always rather liked it, the Pertwee epsidoes especially, but since it's so widely loved I can't help but make snark about it.
That's a pretty good list. Of course I would've put Angel and Firefly in the top 10, and Quantum Leap (I loooved that show), but still pretty good.

[ edited by Nico-Angel on 2009-05-06 15:46 ]
missb- I am as old as your mother....
I totally imagined you saying that in a Darth Vader voice, Dana 5140 ;-)
I have to confess that my mother is one rockin' Nanna. She's even flying in from Australia to go to SDCC in July!
I must say I've never got the love for Dr Who. I've tried watching it and I just find it... lame. I mean the “Darleks“? Little tin rust buckets? Honestly, how am I supposed to take those things seriously?
vampmogs | May 06, 11:38 CET

I'm fairly sure Dr Who is as high as it is because it has been around for so long. I personally can't sit through an entire episode but then I'm 34 not 14!
cdm22 | May 06, 14:47 CET

Amen, and thank you for saying it so I didn't have to. ;) Everyone to their own taste, but this basically kids show, with it's appallingly OTT acting and the absolute worst special effects in the history of SciFi TV, as #1?
Can't begin to take this list seriously.
I also agree with the puzzlement at Dr Who. The list is no matter, I'm just always slightly baffled anyone could get amped up over that show. It seems so juvenille.

I've seen a few over the years, mostly when I was bored and watching BBC, and I could just never get past the acting. It ranged from bad to passable, but nothing more. Combine the "acting" with the ridiculously lame FX and the lack of long term arcs (I'm told by fans of the show there really aren't any) and I just don't see any meat there.
I only recently came to Dr. Who (the new series) via Netflix. At first, the camp didn't do much for me, but I had heard great things about the series from some people who tend to have similar tastes to me, so I continued to watch. And boy am I glad that I did. The series is much deeper than it appears on the surface and the Doctor is a truly haunted, lonely, intriguing character. Each season has its light-hearted fare, but by the end of the season, it turns and becomes gripping and emotional. Definitely has become one of my favorites. Well worth watching - and there are only 13 eps per season, so it doesn't take very long to get through.

I wouldn't rank Dr. Who as high as Firefly/Buffy/Angel on my list, but it wouldn't be that far behind either. And for those who have seen bits and pieces and say it appears too camp and juvenile - well, I had the exact same impression of Buffy from seeing bits and pieces of it at one point.

I was also surprised that Farscape wasn't included. It's a decent FiSci show that is usually included on such lists.

[ edited by JossIzBoss on 2009-05-06 16:59 ]
Where was Buck Roger's? That ought to have got a mention, if for no other reason than it definitely qualifies as SF and had a dorky little headbot in it.
No Farscape? That's terribly wrong. I mean, Smallville is on the list. (Disclaimer: I watch Smallville and am actually enjoying this season, but it's hardly grand story telling).

I do agree with Doctor Who, though. My husband grew up watching it but not me. He tried to get me into it a couple of times, but the only episodes he could find were terribly boring. Then the new series came out and I was in love. So we started with the Key of Time arc, (Douglas Adams wrote part of it) and I've watched almost all of the series. Still need to watch the 2nd Doctor and we're currently working our way through the 3rd. Not my favorite, but Sarah Jane should be along soon. Also, I want a Tardis.
To me, Smallville, Highlander and The Dead Zone are some little strange things to put in the "best" list.
And the episode recommended of the Dr Who, could be "Blink". What I would also indicate, to everybody who who said that didn't liked the show, but would wanna give it another try.
Ah, it's episodes like "Blink" (brilliant even with very litle of the Doctor) that make me excited for upcoming Doctor Who, even though David Tennant will be leaving (The writer of that episode and the episodes "Silence In the Library" and "Forest of the Dead", amongst others, is taking over as the show runner).

theclynn, I've been pondering trying to go back and watch the old series, but I have no idea where to start - are all the eps available on DVD?
Yeah TNG!! You rocks my childhood socks! So glad they're #3! :D

I guess I love SciFi (Angel, Firefly, BSG, Buffy, TNG).
Not all Doctor Who is on DVD. We buy/rent those that are, and get the others by other means. If you want to start with the old, I would recommend the Key of Time story or start at the beginning. The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is funny and has some of the best companions (Romana the Time Lady and K-9). The First Doctor has faster paced stories than the later Doctors and Ian and Barbara are my favorite companions ever. The First and Second Doctors have some destroyed episodes, but the Marco Polo reconstruction is one of my favorite stories.

Yes, there are some terrible episodes and the costumes, sets, and special effects are always low budget. The 80s episodes especially are too-heavy with exposition. Still, I love it all just the same.
And for those who have seen bits and pieces [of Doctor Who] and say it appears too camp and juvenile - well, I had the exact same impression of Buffy from seeing bits and pieces of it at one point.

Agreed (except for the ranking - that's a tough question for me - probably only Buffy I might place higher, actually).

Tastes in the Whedon fandom differ much more widely than I thought :-) I would never have imagined a fan of Buffy calling Doctor Who "juvenile", or implying that it can only be enjoyed by kids and teenagers... :-)

But then, I'll do the opposite kind of blasphemy and say that, to me, Star Trek (all incarnations I've seen) is the most unwatchable Fi-Sci I've ever seen. Enjoyed TNG quite a lot when I was 12-14, but had to struggle to get through a few seasons at 20. While the original series always left me cold. At 30, the polished, sterile, establishment-focused nature of even Babylon 5 just can't do anything for me anymore.

But as I note in the next thread on today's whedonesque, I have never seen Dr. Who. But looking at the picture here, given Billie Piper, I really should....

You really should, Dana. Billie Piper -- and the two latest doctors -- have been absolute finds. And the writing is (mostly) amazing.

I've been pondering trying to go back and watch the old series, but I have no idea where to start - are all the eps available on DVD?

All the doctors are available on DVD in some form. But lots of episodes (around 100 episodes or so) are probably lost forever. Like other public service stations in Europe, BBC tended to delete tapes to cut costs when recording new TV material. Originally, probably 150 episodes were missing. Lots of work being done on recovering stuff from various non-BBC sources, but the series will probably never be complete on DVD -- or anywhere else.

[ edited by Kaneda on 2009-05-06 21:55 ]
Where was Farscape? Tell me they didn't skip it...
Yup, Farscape got the axe.

I would personally have ranked B5 a bit higher, but fortunately it had a lot of heavy competition. And it really is a novel, which could be both its blessing and bane: it was so strong on continuity that when it couldn't exactly follow through it looked bad, when on any other series it might easily have been waved away.

I was quite glad to see Buffy so high on the list. And while it might not be strict SF, few shows are purely that, and it might be best if we just started calling the whole thing "genre" anyway.
Some good picks in there, don't necessarily agree with the ordering or the episode choices. Am quite astonished at how few of those I haven't watched. I'm actually just a tiny bit horrified that I might need a life or something.
Supernatural is the best sci fi/fantasy/genre series on television right now. Okay, it doesn't particularly have a lot of competition - but it should be much higher on that list. In fact, I think Supernatural is a really smart show, much smarter than I ever expected it to be - and certainly a worthy successor to Buffy and Angel.

And while I've come to, uh, not hate Lost, it shouldn't be that high. I love Who, but wouldn't have put that right at the top, either.
I don't mind if the effects look like a home movie (see: Forever Knight) if the writing and acting are good. I haven't watched much Dr. Who, but I remember years ago a sequence of episodes about a planet where they do a recurring public ritual in honor of a serpent god, and it turns out that the serpent god is sentient and malicious. The depiction of the ritual was very sophisticated; it looked like somebody connected with the show had studied Bronze Age mythology at Cambridge. It was a five minute throwaway; if you weren't already interested in pagan rituals, you probably wouldn't have noticed anything special.

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