Blade Runner is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, depicting a dystopic Los Angeles in November 2019. The screenplay, by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The film itself features: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel and Joanna Cassidy; lead designer: Syd Mead, soundtrack composer Vangelis. The film describes a future in which genetically manufactured beings called replicants are used for dangerous and degrading work in Earth's "off-world colonies." Built by the Tyrell Corporation to be 'more human than human', the Nexus-6 generation appear to be physically identical to humans although they have superior strength and agility while lacking comparable emotional responses and empathy. Replicants became illegal on Earth after a bloody mutiny. Specialist police units blade runners hunt down and "retire" (i.e., kill) escaped replicants on Earth. With a particularly brutal and cunning group of replicants on the loose in Los Angeles, a reluctant Deckard is recalled from semiretirement for some of "the old blade runner magic. "Blade Runner initially received polarized reviews from film critics, some who were confused and disappointed it didn't have the pacing expected from an action film, while others appreciated its thematic complexity. The film perfomed poorly in North American theaters while achieving success overseas. Despite poor early ticket sales, it was adored by fans and academia and quickly attained cult classic status. It gained such great popularity as a video rental, partly due to the film's ability to reward repeated viewing, that it was chosen to be one of the first DVDs to be released. Blade Runner has been widely hailed as a modern classic for its immersive special effects and prefiguring important themes and concerns of the 21st century. It has been praised as being one of the most influential films of all time because of its detailed and original setting, serving as a postmodern visual benchmark with its realistic depiction of a decayed future. Blade Runner brought author Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood, and numerous films have since been based on his literature.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer was a U.S. television series based (loosely) on the original script for the 1992 movie of the same name. It was created by Joss Whedon, who also wrote the movie, and was produced by Mutant Enemy Productions. The show's title is often abbreviated simply to Buffy or BtVS. The series follows the life and trials of Buffy Summers, a teenage girl chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other supernatural foes, usually with the help of her Watcher and her loyal circle of misfit friends.
Farscape is a science fiction television series produced in Australia by the Jim Henson Company with the backing of U.S. cable broadcaster the Sci Fi Channel. Originally conceived in the early 1990s by Rockne S. O'Bannon, Brian Henson and writer/executive producer David Kemper under the title Space Chase, the show centers on present day American astronaut John Crichton (played by American actor Ben Browder), who has found himself flung through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy, where he is constantly caught in the middle of conflicts between planets, empires, and the incompatible personalities of the escaped prisoners with whom he has taken refuge. Farscape was one of a new generation of popular science fiction television shows in which the main concerns are surviving in a hostile, chaotic universe and dealing with interpersonal conflicts, instead of exploration, warfare or law enforcement.
Planet Of The Apes
Planet of the Apes is a novel by Pierre Boulle, originally published in 1963 in French as La Plan่te des Singes. As singe means both "ape" and "monkey," Xan Fielding called his translation Monkey Planet. It is an example of social commentary through dystopia. Planet of the Apes (1968) was a groundbreaking science fiction film based on Boulle's novel, and was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. It was the vision of producer Arthur P. Jacobs, who commissioned Rod Serling to write the script, but the final version would be written by Michael Wilson. Jacobs enlisted Heston (who enlisted Schaffner) well before any production deal was made, and Heston's star status was instrumental in gaining support for the film. They gained the support of Mort Abrams after producing a short film demo which showed that the makeups (created by John Chambers) could be convincing enough to not appear funny, as most "monkey suits" up to that time had.
Roswell was a sci-fi series created by Jason Katims. The series ran between October 1999 and May 2002. Described by one reviewer as "a star-crossed teen-age love story with an otherworldly twist" (Roberts, Associated Press, September 29, 1999), the series focused on teenaged aliens passing as humans in Roswell, New Mexico. The aliens are survivors of a 1947 UFO crash popularly known as The Roswell Incident. One of the aliens, Max Evans, played by Jason Behr, falls in love with human Liz Parker, played by Shiri Appleby. The series pilot was based on the "Roswell High" young adult book series, written by Melinda Metz and published by Pocket Books. In some countries, the TV series aired under the "Roswell High" title
Star Trek collectively refers to six science-fiction television series spanning 726 episodes, ten motion pictures, in addition to hundreds of novels, video games, and other works of fiction, all set within the same fictional universe created by Gene Roddenberry in the mid 1960s. It depicts an optimistic future in which humanity has overcome sickness, racism, poverty, intolerance, and warfare on Earth, and has united with other intelligent species in the galaxy; the central characters explore the galaxy, discovering new worlds and encountering new civilizations, while helping to promote peace and understanding. "Star Trek" is one of the most popular names in the history of science fiction entertainment, and one of the most popular franchises in television history.
Star Wars is an influential science fantasy saga and fictional universe created by writer/producer/director George Lucas in the early 1970s. The saga began with the film Star Wars, which was released on May 25, 1977. The film, later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, led to a pop culture phenomenon, spawning five more feature films and an extensive collection of licensed books, comics, video games, television series, toys, and other spin-offs. An example of the space opera genre, the Star Wars story also employs archetypal motifs common to both science fiction and classical mythology, as well as classical music motifs of those aspects. The film series is widely considered to be the major impetus which launched the new era of high-budget, special-effects blockbuster movies that continues to this day. In 2005, Forbes Magazine estimated the overall revenue generated by the entire Star Wars franchise (over the course of its 28-year history) at nearly US$20 billion, easily making it one of the most successful film franchises of all time.
Big-budget special effects, swiftly paced action, and a distinct feminist subtext from writer/director James Cameron turned what should have been a by-the-numbers sci-fi sequel into both a blockbuster and a seven-time Oscar nominee. Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley, the last surviving crew member of a corporate spaceship destroyed after an attack by a vicious, virtually unbeatable alien life form. Adrift in space for half a century, Ripley grapples with depression until she's informed by her company's representative, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) that the planet where her crew discovered the alien has since been settled by colonists. Contact with the colony has suddenly been lost, and a detachment of colonial marines is being sent to investigate. Invited along as an advisor, Ripley predicts disaster, and sure enough, the aliens have infested the colony, leaving a sole survivor, the young girl Newt (Carrie Henn). With the soldiers picked off one by one, a final all-female showdown brews between the alien queen and Ripley, who's become a surrogate mother to Newt. Several future stars made early career appearances in Aliens (1986), including Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Reiser.
The Outer Limits The Outer Limits originally ran from 1963 to 1965 on the American broadcast network ABC, with a total of 49 episodes. It was created by Leslie Stevens and was one of the many series ostensibly influenced by The Twilight Zone, though it was ultimately influential in its own right. Writers included creator Stevens and Joseph Stefano (screenwriter for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho), the series' first-season producer and energetic guiding force. Harlan Ellison wrote two episodes (Soldier and the award-winning Demon with a Glass Hand) for the show's more cautious second season; Ellison later argued that both episodes were the inspiration for the Terminator film series, and indeed in the closing credits of the first movie the creators "wish to acknowledge the works of Harlan Ellison. Like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits had an opening and closing narration to almost every episode -- known as the "Control Voice" (vocal artist Vic Perrin) -- and distinctive music, in this case by Dominic Frontiere. The pacing of the two shows, however, was completely different. The Twilight Zone was based on a surprise ending built up to in half an hour, while The Outer Limits was an hour long and dealt with ordinary people's reactions to the situation. The basis of each episode was a monster, referred to colloquially by the producers of the show as the bear. Usually there was an actor in a rubber mask and gloves, and wearing special "alien" clothing. Occasionally it was a prop or puppet, and in one episode the monster was created by stop-motion animation.
Space: 1999 was one of the more visible sci-fi disasters of early '70s television, although it started out with some promising credentials. It was produced by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, who had been responsible for several fondly remembered series such as Supercar, Fireball XL-5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, and Thunderbirds, all built around marionettes and utilizing superb special effects and model work. The Andersons had also produced one intermittently engaging live-action series, UFO, and a fine feature film, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun. The series starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, who were the closest thing to a power-couple among television actors in those days (from their work together on Mission:Impossible) and Barry Morse, an excellent Canadian actor. Moreover, the producers started with what, in those days, was an admirable and challenging goal to create a television series that tried to follow in the footsteps of 2001: A Space Odyssey (then less than a decade old), mixing lunar settings, interstellar adventure, and a profound sense of cosmic wonder. The story of Moonbase Alpha and its crew, blasted into deep space when the nuclear waste deposited on the moon propelled the satellite out of orbit, was a silly, but intriguing one once the audience got past the notion of the moon moving fast enough to reach interstellar space. The series never found a balance between its cosmic consciousness and the need for a steady dose of action each week, and once it underwent a major retooling of its cast for the second season, the smell of broadcast death hung over Space: 1999 for the remainder of its run. The presence of the first episode, alas, shows the shortcomings of even the superior first season that followed: After a good thriller plot for the opener, comprised of straightforward action and presenting well-delineated characters, the show came to rely heavily on plots involving lots of pseudo-science, symbolic illusions, and alien machinations, and never properly interwove its action with its philosophical ponderings.
Thunderbirds was the fourth children's action-adventure series made by AP Films (at the time of production renamed Century 21 Productions) for the British production company ITC Entertainment and Clearwater Features, and first broadcast on ATV. It remains by far their most successful and enduringly popular production. Two seasons were produced, comprising a total of 32 episodes. Production commenced in 1964 and the series premiered on British television in September 1965 in the ATV Midlands region. Other ATV regions followed, including London on December 25, 1965. Set in the 21st century (stated to be 2026 in the series and 2065 in the movie Thunderbirds Are Go), Thunderbirds depicts the adventures of the Tracy family, which consists of millionaire former astronaut Jeff Tracy and his five sons, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John (all named after Mercury astronauts). Together with Jeff's elderly mother, the scientific genius and engineer "Brains", the family's servant Kyrano and his daughter TinTin, the Tracy family live on a remote, uncharted Pacific island. They are, in secret, the members of International Rescue, a private and highly-advanced emergency response organization, which covers the globe and even reaches into space, rescuing people with their futuristic vehicles, the Thunderbirds.
The Time Tunnel
The Time Tunnel was a 1966-1967 American color science fiction TV series produced by Irwin Allen that lasted for one season and 30 episodes. It was produced by 20th Century Fox for the ABC television network. The premise of the program is based on a top secret classified US government experimental time machine that cost as much as the entire space program. To prove that the Time Tunnel project funds were not wasted, a young physicist turned the machine on and sent himself back in time. To get him back, an older scientist prepared himself to be able to change history. But the time machine was not built to handle two people traveling in time - so it cannot retrieve them. The two time travelers are swung from one period in history to another, allowing episodes to be set in the past and future, but always ending in a cliffhanger as a preview of the next episode. The final episode, in fact, ended with no resolution. The principal characters were: Dr. Tony Newman played by James Darren, Dr. Doug Phillips played by Robert Colbert, Dr. Ann MacGregor played by Lee Meriwether, Lt. General Heywood Kirk played by Whit Bissell, and Dr. Raymond Swain played by John Zaremba. By luck the travelers, Tony and Doug, frequently found themselves thrown onto the precipice of major historical events: onboard the Titanic before it hits the iceberg, in Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attack, on Krakatoa before it erupts, and so forth. They would try to warn people about the event, or try to prevent it from happening, while the Time Tunnel crew (led by two scientists and a military general), who once gaining a "fix" can view through the Tunnel the action taking place in the different timeframe, would try to rescue the travelers before the historical calamity befell them too. The series never really established a consistent time travel model, but for the most part it seemed that while these major historical events could not be altered or prevented (although Tony and Doug rarely stopped trying), the lives of individual people caught up in those events could indeed be changed by the actions of the travelers or the Time Tunnel crew.
The beautiful vampire from space who starred in her own successful comic book series comes to the screen in this adaptation produced in part by Roger Corman and Forrest J. Ackerman. The planet Drakulon is populated by a race of vampires who are able to feed on the rivers of blood that flow naturally from Drakulon's oceans. But Vlad (Roger Daltrey) is an especially vicious blood-drinker who prefers to attack and kill others in order to satisfy his appetites. Vlad's appetite for violence leads him to kill the High Elder of Drakulon (Angus Scrimm). Realizing he may have gone too far, Vlad flees to Earth to avoid capture by the authorities. The High Elder's daughter, sultry Vampirella (Talisa Soto), travels to Earth to capture Vlad and bring him back to Drakulon to face justice. On Earth, Vlad has become well-known rock singer Johnny Blood while slaking his thirst with a growing number of unfortunate victims in his spare time. Vampirella finds tracking him down harder than she expected and she soon enlists the help of modern-day vampire hunter Adam Van Helsing (Richard Joseph Paul).
Witchblade is a comic book series published by Top Cow Productions, an imprint of Image Comics, since 1995. The title was very popular during the 1990s, but lost many readers when penciller and co-creator Michael Turner left the title. It tells the story of NYPD homicide detective Sara Pezzini who comes into possession of the Witchblade, a fictional, mysterious, supernatural artifact with awesome powers, and struggles to master its powers. There have been many spin-off titles, which place the Witchblade in other times or settings and in the hands of other heroines, ranging from a pirate woman to Joan of Arc. In 2000 the cable network TNT premiered a television series based on the comic book series. The series was directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Marc Silvestri (who also wrote the comic book) and J.D. Zeik. Yancy Butler starred as Sara Pezzini. Although critically acclaimed and popular with audiences, it was canceled in 2002 after Butler was ordered to enter rehab for alcoholism.
Making its NBC debut with a two-hour TV movie on March 26, 1989, the weekly, 60-minute science fiction series Quantum Leap starred Scott Bakula as physicist Sam Beckett, who, as the result of a botched experiment, was sent hop scotching through time and space, "leaping" into the bodies of strangers. During the series' first season, Sam was confined to traveling within his own lifespan, which began with his birth in 1953; later on, however, he made an occasional jaunt into the 1940s. Though he was able to change the lives of the people whose bodies he had briefly "inherited," he was not permitted to alter the course of history. In the tradition of Here Comes Mr. Jordan and other soul-transmigration stories, Sam always looked like "himself" to the series' viewers, but those around him saw him as the person he was supposed to be. (This set-up provided some amusing moments whenever Sam leapt into the form of a woman and especially in one episode, in which he became a chimpanzee!) Throughout his cosmic perambulations and permutations, Sam was observed and advised by Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), who was seen as a holographic projection, and who kept in contact with "Ziggy," the computer controlling Sam's leaps, by means of a pocket-sized electronic device. Except in special cases, Al could be seen only by Sam. After five seasons on the air, Quantum Leap concluded on August 15, 1993, with a somewhat existentialist finale which brought things full circle and which, to many savvy viewers, invoked memories of the similar finale to the cult series The Prisoner.
The Twilight Zone
"You're traveling to another dimension...a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind...a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop: The Twilight Zone." Originally telecast on CBS from October 2, 1959 to September 18, 1964 (not counting a brief spate of network reruns in the summer of 1965), The Twilight Zone was one of the foremost filmed dramatic anthologies on TV and one of a precious few that specialized in fantasy and science fiction. Created by Rod Serling, whose previous TV writing credits included such classic live dramas as Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight, the series specialized in concise, economical playlets dealing with the offbeat and supernatural, many of them with surprising and ironic climactic twists. Many of the individual episodes have stood the test of time as indisputable classics, among them "Eye of the Beholder," "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street," "The Invaders," "It's a Good Life," "To Serve Man," and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." Rod Serling served as the series' host and narrator, and also wrote most of the dramas. Other noteworthy contributors included Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, and, on one memorable occasion (the episode "I Sing the Body Electric"), Ray Bradbury. A veritable constellation of guest stars brought the stories to life; among those making multiple appearances were Burgess Meredith, Jack Klugman, William Shatner, Martin Landau, Anne Francis, Bill Mumy, Ed Wynn, and Lee Marvin, while many more showed up for memorable single performances including Charles Bronson, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, James Coburn, Mickey Rooney, and Dennis Hopper. The series' famous theme music (heard from the second season onward) was composed by Marius Constant with unforgettable incidental music provided by the likes of Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith. Although the series' title has become a household word and many of its episodes are acknowledged masterpieces, Twilight Zone was never a huge ratings attraction during its network run. Indeed, after only three seasons, CBS decided to yank the show. It was saved at the last minute and brought back as a mid-season replacement, expanded from 30 to 60 minutes per week in the process. For its fifth and final season, Twilight Zone returned to its familiar half-hour format, still playing to appreciative but comparatively small audiences. It was not until the series went into off-network reruns that Twilight Zone truly built its fan following, which has increased many times over in the ensuing years. Twilight Zone was revived twice with new, full-color episodes, first as a CBS (and later syndicated) weekly in 1985, then on UPN in 2002. Rod Serling was not involved with these revivals, having passed away in 1975. The 1985 version had no host, though its narrators included Charles Aidman and Robin Ward, but the 2002 version was hosted by Forest Whitaker. In addition, a theatrical feature, Twilight Zone: The Movie, was released in 1983.
Debuting over cable's Showtime network on July 27, 1997, the 60-minute science fiction series Stargate SG-1 was a sequel to the 1995 theatrical feature Stargate. The original film starred James Spader as eccentric scientist Daniel Jackson and Kurt Russell as Col. Jack O'Neill, who, by being transported into an alternate world via a shimmering "stargate" portal created by an ancient civilization, had thwarted a plan by the megalomaniac Ra, ruler of the planet Abydos and leader of the vicious Goa'uld race, to conquer the universe. The TV series began one year after the events of the film, with O'Neill (now played by Richard Dean Anderson) coming out of retirement at the request of Gen. George Hammond (Don S. Davis), now in charge of the Earth's top-secret Stargate Project, to first rescue Jackson (Michael Shanks, taking over from James Spader), then travel throughout the universe with a map of the vast Stargate network to prevent an invasion from hostile aliens who might have the ability to transport themselves through the million-and-one portals in space. In addition to the recovered Jackson, O'Neill's Stargate-1 (SG-1) team included astrophysicist Samantha "Sam" Carter (Amanda Tapping), a woman of high moral principles and a lofty sense of feminist values; and Teal'c (Christopher Judge), a member of the alien Jaffa race, who'd broken from his people when he renounced the concept that the oppressive Goa'uld were the Gods of the Universe. When actor Michael Shanks decided to take a break from the series during Season Six, it was contrived to kill off Dr. Jackson (though his soul was transported to another "plane of existence" and presumably retrievable), whereupon his place on the SG-1 team was taken by Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec), a diplomat from the planet Kelowna who held himself responsible for Jackson's demise. Others in the cast included Gen. Hammond's trusted aide Dr. Janet Frasier (Teryl Rothery), who died a hero's death halfway through Season Seven; Sam Carter's father Jacob (Carmen Argenziano), saved from a painful death from cancer when his body became the host for the noble Goa'uld resistance fighter Selmak; Apophis (Peter Williams), the despotic warrior king who'd succeed the original movie's Ra as leader of the Goa'uld; and the equally odious Anubis (David Palffy), who took over the bad-guy duties after Apophis was blown to smithereens. Originally intended to run for only four seasons on Showtime, Stargate SG-1 proved popular enough to have its life extended for several seasons thereafter, though it moved to another cable network, Sci-Fi Channel, in 2002.
The first (and only) season of ABC's lavishly mounted sci-fi/fantasy series Battlestar Galactica begins with a spectacular (and spectacularly "hyped") three-hour opener, which in blatant Star Wars fashion rapidly establishes time, place, and characters. The time is the seventh millennium A.D. The place is Galactica, the only battlestar to survive a brutal attack by the evil Cylon androids (originally created as a worker race), which had the overall effect of virtually obliterating humankind and destroying the balance of interplanetary peace. The principal characters on the "good" side are Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), chief officer of the mile-wide Galactica; his only surviving son Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch), head of Galactica's Viper (fighter) squadron; the resident "Han Solo" type, Apollo's cocksure ace pilot and all-around con artist Lt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict); Starbuck's fellow pilots, Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) and Jolly (Tony Swartz); Athena (Maren Jensen), Adama's daughter and second in command; Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang), Starbuck's erstwhile girlfriend; Colonel Tigh (Terry Carter), Galactica's first officer; Boxey (Noah Hathaway), Apollo's stepson; and, in the R2D2 tradition, a mechanical dog named Muffit. Leading the bad guys is the swarthy Count Baltar (John Colicos) and Baltar's willing if slightly dimwitted cyborg henchman Lucifer (voiced by an unbilled Jonathan Harris). In the course of the season, the crew of the Galactica, as well as those of the 220 minor space vehicles remaining in Galactica's fleet, race desperately toward the last known inhabited planet in space, an obscure little orb called Earth, with the relentless Cylons hot on their heels. Halfway through the season, the two-part episode "The Living Legend" introduces Sheba (Anne Lockhart), daughter of Colonel Cain, legendary skipper of the battlestar Pegasus. Sheba is briefly united with Adama and company when the Galactica and Pegasus join forces to ward off the latest Cylon assault. Beset by various lawsuits instigated by the creators of Star Wars and weighed down by low ratings, Battlestar Galactica comes to a climax after 24 episodes. The property, would, however, be revived in an dramatically altered format (set in the 20th century) as Galactica 1980; and a quarter of a century later, a new Battlestar Galactica (described as a "re-imagining") premiered over the Sci-Fi Channel.
Godzilla (Gojira) is a giant, amphibious, dinosaur-like fictional creature first seen in the Japanese-produced 1954 tokusatsu (kaiju specifically) film Gojira produced by Toho Film Company Ltd. In total, 28 films have been made by the Toho Film Company and a further two made unofficially (not related to the Toho Film Company). The most notable unofficial movie is the 1998 film Godzilla directed by Roland Emmerich. Despite being the highest grossing film of the year factoring in overseas profits, the film has been widely panned by cult followers of the Godzilla franchise, critics on both sides of the Pacific, and movie-goers in general and has since been dubbed GINO (Godzilla In Name Only). Ironically, the Americanized Godzilla featured in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) was killed by the "true" Godzilla from a hit to the tail, and its radioactive breath. In this film, the American Godzilla appeared simply as "Zilla." Godzilla has three primary abilities: regeneration, amphibious mobility, and an atomic fire beam. Godzilla is also extremely durable and can resist almost all physical assaults. The atomic fire beam is Godzilla's trademark skill. Although much of Godzilla's significance as an anti-war symbol has been lost in the transition to pop culture, the nuclear breath remains as a visual vestige of the creature's early Cold War politics.
Babylon 5 is an epic science fiction television series created, produced, and largely written by J. Michael Straczynski. The music for the TV series and related TV movies was composed by Christopher Franke. The pilot movie, The Gathering, aired on February 22, 1993, and the regular series initially aired from January 26, 1994 through November 25, 1998, first in syndication on the short-lived Prime Time Entertainment Network, then on cable network TNT. Because the show was aired every week in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 without a break, the last four or five episodes of the early seasons were shown in the UK before the US. The series won several awards, including two Hugos for Best Dramatic Presentation. The series, often held as a good example of space opera, consists of a five-year story arc taking place over 5 seasons of 22 episodes each. The hub of the story is a large space station named Babylon 5. The five mile (8 km) long, 2.5 million ton rotating colony is built to be a gathering place for fostering peace through diplomacy, trade, and cooperation. Babylon 5 is a center of political intrigue and conflict, and eventually becomes a pawn in a massive interstellar conflict from which it emerges with a victory over forces of darkness and chaos albeit at great cost. This is reflected in the opening monologue of each episode which includes "last, best hope for peace" in series one but changes to "last, best hope for victory" by season three. Having long been a science fiction fan himself, Straczynski was determined to produce a science fiction series for adults where, for once, things would be done properly: consistent technology, "no kids or cute robots", no new "particle of the week" to tie up a plot. It was not a utopian future there is greed and homelessness. It was not a place where everything was the same at the end of the day main characters grow, develop, live, and die. An unabashedly political show, it was always ready to deal with politics, sex, religion, and philosophy. Babylon 5 is often cited as raising the bar for science fiction television, using an arc-driven storytelling style now prevalent not only in sci-fi, but in mainstream dramas as well.
Alien vs. Predator (often abbreviated AvP) is a science-fiction / horror fiction series spanning several forms of media. The series is a cross-over between two popular movie series about extraterrestrial beings: Alien (whose aliens are known as Xenomorphs) and Predator (whose aliens are known as the Yautja." In AvP, the two species are in conflict with one another because of human actions. The idea for such a cross-over is often thought to have originated from a supposed Xenomorph skull seen as a Predator's trophy in Predator 2, but Dark Horse Comics published their first Alien vs. Predator story in November 1989, a year before the November 1990 release of Predator 2. The Alien vs. Predator universe currently consists of several computer/video games(AvP2, Predator:Concrete Jungle, and AvP:Extinction), some comics, several books, and a movie.
Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television program produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-traveling adventurer known only as "The Doctor". It is also the title of a 1996 television movie featuring the same character. It is common to see the show's title abbreviated as Dr. Who, even by the BBC, although purists consider this form incorrect. The program is a significant part of British popular culture, widely recognized for its creative storytelling and use of innovative music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). It is also known for its innovative use of low-budget special effects for most of its history. Elements of the program are extremely well known and identifiable even to non-fans. In Britain and elsewhere, the show has become a cult television favorite on a par with Star Trek and has influenced generations of British television writers, many of whom grew up watching the series. Doctor Who was ranked third in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programs of the 20th century, produced by the British Film Institute in 2000 and voted on by industry professionals. In 2005, the series came first in a survey by SFX magazine of "The Greatest UK Science Fiction and Fantasy Television Series Ever."
UFOs and Area 51
Area 51 (also known as Dreamland, Watertown, The Ranch, Paradise Ranch, The Farm, The Box, Groom Lake, and The Directorate for Development Plans Area) is a remote tract of land in southern Nevada, owned by the federal government of the United States, containing an air field apparently used for the secret development and testing of new military aircraft. It is famed as the subject of many UFO conspiracy theories. The US government does not explicitly acknowledge the existence of the Groom Lake facility, nor does it deny it. The area surrounding the lake is permanently off-limits both to civilian and normal military air traffic. It is protected by radar stations, and uninvited guests are met by helicopters and armed guards. Should they accidentally stray into the exclusionary "box" surrounding Groom's airspace, even military pilots training in the NAFR are reportedly grilled extensively by military intelligence agents. Its secretive nature and undoubted connection to classified aircraft research, together with reports of unusual phenomena, have led Area 51 to become a centerpiece of modern UFO and conspiracy theory folklore. Some of the unconventional activities claimed to be underway at Area 51 include: the storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft (including material supposedly recovered at Roswell), the study of their occupants (living and dead), the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology, meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials, the development of exotic energy weapons or means of weather control, and activities related to a supposed shadowy world government. This later became the subject of a 3-part documentary one of which was titled UFOs and Area 51.
The X-Files was a popular American television series created by Chris Carter. It ran for nine seasons, from 1993 to 2002, spawning a feature film in 1998, with first-run episodes airing on the FOX network. It was a critical and commercial success due in part to its stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Fox Mulder, played by Duchovny, and Dana Scully, played by Anderson, are two FBI agents tasked with investigating paranormal phenomena. With plots spanning alien conspiracy theories and high-level governmental cover-ups, the show mimicked episodic elements found in earlier shows such as The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, and the cult show Twin Peaks, in which Duchovny had appeared as a cross-dressing DEA agent. The series became a surprise run-away success, with a devoted following. Fans of the show became known as "X-Philes" or "eXcers." The term "X-Philes" was coined by Matt Grommes on an early Fidonet X-Files message board. The series popularized the catch-phrases "Trust No One," "The Truth Is Out There," and "I Want to Believe" and fostered a substantial fan following. Fans commonly divide X-Files stories into "Mytharc" ("mythology") episodes, which concerned the ongoing tale of an impending alien invasion and a conspirational cover-up, and stand-alone "Monster-of-the-Week" episodes, which dealt with strange, other-worldly creatures and situations relating to the paranormal. The series was also known for its occasionally humorous episodes of this variety. Several installments also explored the relationship between Mulder and Scully, while some episodes focused on popular supporting characters such as Walter Skinner or the Lone Gunmen. A separate fan base evolved, referred to as "shippers" (relationshippers), which chronicled and relished the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully; the term subsequently entered the fan lexicon, as "shipping". One pivotal shipper episode was Triangle in which Mulder and Scully shared their first on-camera kiss - on a ship, in fact - although the events in episode did not actually take place in the reality of the show (most of it taking place in a dream sequence). The X-Files was declared by TV Guide to be one of the greatest television shows of all time, and the second greatest cult TV show of all time, behind Star Trek.
Superficially, the much-anticipated weekly adventure fantasy series Smallville resembled the many cartoon and live-action adaptations of DC's old Superboy comic books, themselves spin-offs of the indomitable Siegel and Schuster creation, Superman. However, this new hour-long Warner Brothers (WB) series went off on several new tangents, notably the Buffy the Vampire Slayer concept that with special powers come special responsibilities. The pilot episode, telecast on October 16, 2001, established the premise by showing a strange meteor crashing just outside the tiny Kansas community of Smallville in 1989. The meteor was actually a spaceship from the doomed planet Krypton, and its occupant was the planet's sole survivor, the infant Kal-El. Discovered and adopted by farmer Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) and his wife, Martha (Annette O'Toole), Kal-El grew into his teen years with the newly minted name of Clark Kent, his extraterrestrial origins kept secret from the rest of the community. Advised by his adoptive parents never to utilize his awesome superpowers lest his true identity be revealed, 14-year-old Clark (played by 24-year-old Tom Welling) was forced to adopt a non-athletic persona while attending the local high school. Clark's only allies were the lovely Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), for whom our hero carried a secret torch, and aspiring entrepreneur Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), whose life Clark had saved. Just as the soon-to-be-villainous Luthor was essentially a comic character here, so too was the young Clark Kent, miles removed from his adult "Superman" alter ego. Indeed, the series' executive producers, Michael Tollin and Brian Robbins, prided themselves on the fact that their version of Kent was never seen wearing the traditional Man of Steel cape and tights. Opening to excellent critical and audience response, Smallville ended up as one of the jewels in the WB Network's crown during its first season on the air.
Land of the Giants
Land of the Giants is an American television show of the 1960s created by Irwin Allen which tells the tale of the crew and passengers of a sub-orbital transport plane (the Spindrift) which is accidentally transported to a world in which all life forms are huge in comparison to them. These giants are in form entirely human, but their society is a dictatorship of which not too many details are given, and which employs no symbols. Episodes often have the plot of giant scientists capturing one of the passengers or crew, with the rest having to rescue them. There is a foolish, greedy traitor in an American uniform who continually tries to deceive the boy in the cast, just like Doctor Zachary Smith of Allens Lost in Space series. The co-pilot is notably an African-American. With a US$250,000 budget per episode Land of the Giants set a new record. The actors had to be in top shape, as they had to do many stunts themselves, such as climbing giant curbs, phone cords, ropes and such. The series ran from September 1968 to September 1970 on ABC. Regulars were Gary Conway as Captain Steve Burton, Don Marshall as Dan Erickson, Don Matheson as Mark Wilson, Kurt Kasznar as Alexander Fitzhugh, Stefan Arngrim as Barry Lockridge, Deanna Lund as Valerie Scott, and Heather Young as Betty Hamilton.
Lost in Space
Lost in Space is a science fiction TV series produced between 1965 and 1968 by television producer Irwin Allen. Allen based his space adventure series on a Gold Key comic book Space Family Robinson, as well as the classic adventure novel Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss. The show initially experienced some legal challenges. Ib Melchior, a notable science fiction writer, had conceived what was essentially the same idea (but with different characters) years before either the television series or the comic book. He had called his version Space Family Robinson, which was also the original production name for Lost in Space. Although legal action went nowhere, Ib Melchior was hired as a consultant on the Lost in Space movie as a way of recognizing his original idea. Lost in Space followed Allen's basic philosophy that TV was supposed to be fun, as opposed to educational. His series, including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants, were all very fast paced and exciting, often at the expense of logic. The series was famously bought by the network after they rejected a competing sci-fi series that was offered to them Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. The first season was filmed in black & white and was more serious in tone when compared to the two seasons that followed. It chronicled the adventures of the Robinson family, a group of Earth pioneers whose mission to colonize Alpha Centauri almost ends in disaster after a saboteur attempts to destroy their space ship. The second and third seasons were produced in color, and were more whimsical and fantastic in tone. Regular characters on the show were Professor John Robinson (played by Guy Williams), the commander of the Robinson family expedition, an expert astrophysicist, applied planetary geologist as well as an ordained Minister; Dr. Maureen Robinson (June Lockhart), John's wife, a biochemist, and mother of three Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartwright) and Will (Bill Mumy); Major Don West (Mark Goddard), the pilot of the expedition's spacecraft, the Jupiter 2 who is romantically interested in Judy and inherently distrustful of Dr Smith; and Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris), ostensibly the mission's doctor of environmental and intergalactic psychology (but in fact an enemy agent) in charge of preparing the Robinson party. His attempt to sabotage the mission saw him stranded aboard as a "reluctant stowaway", from which the pilot episode takes its title. They were joined by a Model B-9 Environmental-Control Robot (performed by Bob May), which had no given name.
With the ultimate throw-down, "There can be only one," Highlander captured the imaginations of fantasy fans seeking a well-executed swordplay epic, becoming a cult classic in the process. Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is one of a waning few survivors of a clan of immortals The breed have been dueling each other for centuries in the quest to be the last one remaining, and hence achieve a supreme enlightenment that would be dangerous in the wrong hands. The immortals can only die by decapitation, so they hunt each other through time and across continents to meet for each decisive duel, which will bring one of them a step closer to ultimate power. In present-day America, the troubled hero MacLeod lives a brooding and lonely existence, having lost his true love centuries ago. The evil Kurgan (Clancy Brown), an immortal who plans to use his power toward unspeakable ends, has fought MacLeod before but is still trying to finish him off. After emerging victorious from a parking garage skirmish with the third-to-last immortal, MacLeod knows that only Kurgan is left, and the two are on a collision path toward the inevitable. In the film's numerous flashbacks to the past, Sean Connery plays Ramirez, the immortal who first tutors MacLeod after the hero survives a mortal battle wound, prompting his fearful village to banish him. Roxanne Hart plays MacLeod's modern-day love interest, who tries to help him while struggling to believe his incredible story.