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September 09 2010

10 of the best science fiction TV episodes that ever aired. The list from Blastr includes the Buffy episode "Hush" and the Firefly episode "Out Of Gas".

Hush is a great episode of course, though it's difficult to see how it could be construed as science fiction, unlike all the others on the list.
Bah. I posted on the other thread hoping that one would last. I basically said I agreed with most of the list, or the episodes that I have seen and was very pleased to see "The Constant" mentioned.
What? No Babylon 5 episodes? Blashphemy! ;)

But yeah,I agree with you GrrAargh "Hush" has nothing to do with science fiction, although neither does the one X-Files episode in the list ("Home" was pretty much just a homage to Hills have Eyes).
I thought the list was pretty fantastic, but I've gotta say, if I were gonna make any episode changes, I would've swapped "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II" for BSG, and "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" for ST:TNG, even though both episodes on the list are fantastic.

I probably would've included "Meridian" from Stargate: SG-1 on the list, but in my experience, SG-1 is about as divisive as Babylon 5. :)

[ edited by kefka on 2010-09-09 23:00 ]

[ edited by kefka on 2010-09-09 23:00 ]
The picks for BSG, Firefly, and TOS were fine. I haven't seen any of the others except for Hush, which I wouldn't characterize as science fiction.

Yes, Babylon 5 should have had an episode in there. Even given the arc-heavy view of things, "Believers" or "And Now For a Word" are classic hard sci-fi that deal with current topics (religious vs. medical ethics and media manipulation, respectively). Of course, Severed Dreams would be my personal choice, but like Once More With Feeling, it's a phenomenal episode that loses a lot if you strip it from the context from what happened before and what comes immediately afterward.

Sorry, but I can't think of a single episode of SG-1, Atlantis, or Farscape that would be standalone enough and good enough to throw into that mix, although several The Prisoner episodes might fit. Like many such lists, though, it smacks mildly of recentism. (Lost? Really?)
They picked a really lame X-Files episode; it should have been Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'.
As purely subjective lists go, this ain't bad. But yes, some B5 would have been nice -- I'd probably pick "The Coming of Shadows."
jclemens, that episode of Lost is a story unto itself. It's probably the most impressive thing the show ever produced. There are good episodes of Lost, fantastic even, but none come close to what "The Constant" is. It's been a little while since I last saw it though.

Er, if you have seen it though, fair enough. ;p

[ edited by Jaymii on 2010-09-10 01:07 ]
"Hush" and "Blink" are brilliant. "Out of Gas" is very good, but not good enough for a list of this nature. "33" kinda sucked, IMHO.
I swear I saw an incredibly similar list a year or so ago, although I think it was like a 'most scary' episodes one, and they had "Home" listd as the X-Files episode too, I was like, did you see Squeeze? Darkness Falls? Detour? I was always puzzled by that.

Apart from that, not a bad list, I always enjoy seeing some Harlan Ellison love, but I just don't see the excitement over the Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever"....I guess I just can't get over not liking Kirk.
The problem with this idea in principle is kind of like for films but multiplied by, what, 10s of thousands ? I.e. in order to come up with a "Best of" list of ALL sci-fi TV you have to be able to, in some sense, hold ALL of sci-fi TV in your head (and heart) to do any kind of valid comparison. I could come up with 10 (probably not a million miles away from these) but then someone would remind me of one i'd forgotten and we're back to square one.

Also, 10 is pretty restrictive ('Blink' is brilliant but it feels wrong not to have any classic Who in there, not to mention 'Farscape' and B5).

Can't argue too much with most of their choices though, '33' is still one of my favourite BSG episodes, even given the brilliance that followed (I might put 'Exodus Pt II' in its place because, y'know, 'hot jump' - if that didn't rock your world you either don't like sci-fi or you don't have human parts inside ;) and 'Out of Gas' is one of my very favourite episodes of TV full stop. X-Files, yeah "Jose Chung's..." maybe or "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" but "Home" is a very decent episode.

Sorry, but I can't think of a single episode of SG-1, Atlantis, or Farscape that would be standalone enough and good enough to throw into that mix, although several The Prisoner episodes might fit.

I get what you mean but that's not one of the criteria though is it jclemens ? No reason why it has to be standalone (almost all the great episodes on there are greater because we know and care about the characters involved). I might go with kefka's suggestion for SG1 ('Meridian's a fine episode with a lovely character based reveal towards the end and some nice performances). Or 'Heroes Pt II' just because the one-two punch of Carter in tears and Saul Rubinek's little speech about the war photographer always leaves me with "something in my eye", very well made telly. Or 'Grace' maybe. SG1 was almost never totally serious which made the few times it was stand-out more. That said, i'm also tempted to stick in e.g. '2010' which isn't serious, isn't particularly ideas driven, features not much in the way of actory performances (no particular emotional meat) but is just Stargate doing what Stargate does better than most other shows IMO - light, affirmative fun (it's got a "getting the band back together" element, it's got a great score and it's even got a slow-motion "last stand" to save the world. Cheesey excellence on hoke crackers ;).

For 'Farscape', I dunno (partly I actually don't know - the DVD set is still ridiculously expensive over here so i've only watched most of the episodes once) though "The Way we Weren't" is an episode that sticks in my mind. For B5, "Z'ha'dum" stands out in my mind just because Sheridan staring into the (literal and figurative) abyss as the White Star blazes down from orbit is a moment to make any sci-fi fan's heart soar (up there with the Galactica's "bucket drop") but the rest of the episode may have been total arse, don't really remember.
Pretty good list, except for the unforgivable exclusion of anything from B5. If you have to pick one Buffy ep, Hush is a good choice, and Out of Gas is the obvious choice for Firefly.

There are at least half a dozen BSG eps I would pick over 33, especially after doing a full DVD re-watch.

Definitely something from B5 belongs on the list. I'm doing a re-watch right now and I'm not quite finished with season 2, but having looked over the episode lists and from memory, there are so many to choose from that I'm shocked that none made the cut: The Coming of Shadows, Severed Dreams, The Fall of Night, Shadow Dancing, Z'ha'dum, The Face of the Enemy (I love Garabaldi's arc in season 4) and even one from season five, The Fall of Centauri Prime.
Bad bad list, for neglecting B5.
I went back and looked at "Meridian", "Grace", and "The Way We Weren't", and while I remember each episode, I don't recall either one of them being all that special at the time I watched them on DVD long after their initial runs.

The other episodes Shey lists for Babylon 5 are also great choices.... But if we're picking peaks without needing to care about viewers catching up to things, I prefer Severed Dreams, Z'ha'dum (for exactly the reason Saje says!), and The Fall of Night. But then, if I'm picking episodes without reference to what comes before or after, I would still pick The Body or OMWF over Hush... But then, "I Was Made To Love You" or "Ted" are more Sci Fi Buffy episodes than any of those named before...

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