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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Time for some thrilling heroics."
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December 01 2010

Angel on Zap2it's TV Spinoffs: The best and the worst. Angel's one of the best TV spinoffs since 1990.

I also loved Stephanie Romanov in Models Inc. I was kinda disappointed when they canceled it. Of course, I was also disappointed when they canceled Melrose Place after seven season, even though it was slowly running out of ideas. But yeah, whenever I see Lilah it always takes me back to when I first knew of her as Teri and Monique.

Oh and I know it wasn't the same, but The Golden Palace wasn't that bad. No, really.
'Angel' deserves its place on there for sure. Also, there're more spin-offs than I thought there were though i'd question DS9's inclusion - sure the 1701D is in the pilot but to me that doesn't necessarily make it a spin-off, it just means it's set in the same universe at the same time. The Voyager stopped in at DS9 in its pilot too, does that make Voyager a spin-off of DS9 ?

Also also, Stephanie Romanov in her sort of goth get-up from Models Inc. ? Not exactly in the "Hate it" column, put it that way ;).
Nice to see some Angel love for a change.
I'd say DS9 certainly is a spin-off of something, either TOS or TNG (or both). The main argument to include TNG (apart from DS9's pilot) would be that DS9 featured O'Brien and (from season 4 onwards) Worf.

I have always considered DS9, TNG and Voyager Star Trek spin-offs, though I must admit that's mostly because they are set in the same universe. What exactly is the defination of a spin-off?

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2010-12-02 15:46 ]
I agree with the Groosalugg (put that on a t-shirt) about DS9. NCIS is clearly a spinoff of JAG, but other than the overlap episode had almost nothing in common. DS9 had more in common with TNG, including overlap events (like Bajor and the Maquee).

I had forgotten about Baywatch Nights morphing from a show about private investigators, into fighting the supernatural...
Hey, maybe Whedon & Greenwalt got their inspiration for Angel (the series) from Hasselhoff ! :)
Yea, I remember the promo's when they were setting up DS9. O'Brian was always front and center so they were definitely banking on the TNG tie-in, although it was clearly a different show. I'd call it a spin off, but maybe a loose one.
Like a fly off [into the distance] then ? ;)

NCIS featured in JAG though didn't it (I mean the agency, not the cast, apart from the overlap episode) ? I.e. it was an established part of that universe and then spun-off. DS9 didn't appear in Next Gen (at all IIRC), essentially didn't even exist before the pilot so to me it's more like "just" another show in the Trek universe (tie-in rather than spin-off).

It's slippery though, on a spectrum, not a clean break by any stretch and pre-existing overlaps like e.g. Bajor or the important part the battle at Wolf 359 played (certainly initially) or the Cardassian tension make it even less clear cut.
Strangely done best and worst list. They seem to equate ratings success to best...or do they? They often don't make clear which side of the equation they are putting a show and other times seem like they are just not enthusiastic one way or the other. Weird.

My understanding is that a spin-off is where a new show is made involving a character or characters introduced on another show. DS9 kinda works, though the show was not mainly about O'Brian.

Was TNG the first to tie into an earlier show the way it did?
Saje, DS9 does appear in TNG. Double checked on Wikipedia, as I was certain it did, and it is in the first of the two part episode 'Birthright'. I assume that this was broadcast around the same time as the pilot of DS9, so there is actual crossover between the episodes. Don't think they ever really crossed over again, but I haven't really watched DS9 in years, so might be wrong.

I would say that DS9 was definitely the most spinoffy of all the Treks, but none of them really interacted with each other that much and always felt like there own entity, very separate from what had gone before.
I'm still so hacked off about Caprica it's hard to talk about it. Never got into The Lone Gunmen, to my regret. Can't even remember why, now. Always cheered to see Law & Order: SVU, though in the last couple of years I've read a lot of gripes about it. Joss once said here, it was a favorite of his so I felt a little vindicated ever since. And CI features maybe the best performance of any actor in Law & Order's history, and probably the best male/female partnership that didn't need to be steered into romance for ratings. That we're getting another year with him is a gift.
Saje: I think you are splitting hairs about DS9. The space station itself wasn't mentioned on TNG (Federation had just appropriated Terok Nor), but everything else about it (Bajor rebellion, Cardassians, Ferengi) were pure products of TNG. (Was NCIS ever mentioned on JAG, before the episode with Harmon, which was a deliberate set-up for the spin-off?)

Tonya: Which actor for best performance? D'Onofrio, Noth, or Goldblum? (I don't watch the show, just curious which "him" you meant, since they all have interesting resumes.) And its my opinion, but I don't think you missed anything when you skipped Lone Gunmen.

[ edited by OneTeV on 2010-12-02 21:41 ]
Oh, sorry - D'onofrio.
"Angel" was an awesome series, and in many ways, it was better than "Buffy." I also tend to think of the last season of "Angel" was a continuation of "Buffy" while still an entity all its own. The cancellation of this series on the heels of the cancellation of "Firefly" was what signaled and end to the Whedon renaissance - though hopefully Joss will find a place on the screen - small and large - that makes those 8 seasons seem like baby steps towards greater greatness.
Man, a lot of those I didn't realize were spinoffs at all. Surprised to not see Stargate Atlantis/Universe on there, though. Atlantis, at least, was pretty successful.
And Atlantis at least was a fairly clear spin-off. Universe ? Hmm, not sure about that one either.

The space station itself wasn't mentioned on TNG (Federation had just appropriated Terok Nor), but everything else about it (Bajor rebellion, Cardassians, Ferengi) were pure products of TNG.

Sure but then the Federation, the Klingons and the Enterprise are all out of TOS, surely Next Gen isn't a spin-off of that though ? It started 20 years after TOS was cancelled and is set ~ 70 years later. I.e. same universe != spin-off to me.

But yeah, however you see it, it's totally splitting hairs ;).

(i.e. whether it's a spin-off or not has absolutely no bearing on whether it's a good show or not, just seems not entirely clear-cut to me)

Saje, DS9 does appear in TNG. Double checked on Wikipedia, as I was certain it did, and it is in the first of the two part episode 'Birthright'.

Ta Vandelay. Turns out I didn't RC ;). Given that and the character cross-over etc. spin-off seems appropriate.
On the DS9 front, Quark also appeared in an episode of TNG. Only on the viewscreen, though, not on the ship. I recently rewatched every episode of TNG, so it's all fresh in my mind.

IIRC, they wanted the character of Ensign Ro in DS9, but the actor didn't want the part. If that would have happened, it would probably be more clearly a spinoff. I always disliked the character of Kira but loved Ro, so this fact always disappointed me a bit.
I also loved Ro, and it was such a pleasure to see Michelle Forbes years later on True Blood as Maryann.
Glad to see 'Ashes to Ashes gets a mention'. Love that show so very much. :)
I loved 'Ashes to Ashes' in its last series, but not so much before then. It always felt like a pale imitation of what had come before and Alex Drake was certainly no Sam Tyler. Still an enjoyable show throughout though and I really loved the final series, particular the last episode.

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