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(Looper)   Ten underrated sci-fi TV shows you need to watch. In other words, nine underrated sci-fi TV shows and one that fans gush about so much that it's overrated   (looper.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, The Prisoner, Space Battleship Yamato, Television program, Science fiction, Joss Whedon, series of novels, Space: 1999, Series  
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2809 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 04 Jan 2021 at 12:30 AM (13 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-04 3:05:06 AM  

FormlessOne: Ginnungagap42: Underrated sci-fi TV shows with a cult following you need to watch

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981)
The Prisoner (1967)
Dollhouse (2009)
The Tripods (1984)
Aeon Flux (1991)
V (1983)
Space 1999 (1975)
Terrahawks (1983)
Star Blazers (1979)
Firefly (2002)


TFA's author sounds young.

...right?

ineeda42: Farscape?  Babylon 5?  Or maybe Blake's 7?

I like pointing folks at the weirder series, the ones that didn't quite make it, like The Phoenix, Automan, Exo-Man, and M.A.N.T.I.S., just for fun.


Exo-Man and M.A.N.T.I.S. should have had good runs.  They had potential.

Whoever greenlit Automan should have been shot.

Hey, anybody remember 'Misfits of Science'?
 
2021-01-04 3:08:30 AM  

Kassandry: Sliding Carp: [static.tvtropes.org image 350x242]

Did a dragonfly breed with the Event Horizon? What is that thing?


LEXX.  And your analysis is nearly spot-on.

Developed nearly beyond recognition out of a dragonfly, it is a huge starship capable of destroying planets.

Lexx (the show) was basically a less-well-done Farscape.
 
2021-01-04 3:33:05 AM  

Alphax: It's great.  Without giving too much away, I'll say that the Cat Warlord is trying to outlaw the worship of Cloister to make everyone listen to him alone, and so some cats go looking for Cloister for help.. who of course is Dave Lister.


They also fixed the stupid traditional sci-fi door sounds.
 
2021-01-04 3:35:42 AM  

DON.MAC: They also fixed the stupid traditional sci-fi door sounds.


What, the large cat flaps?
 
2021-01-04 3:38:06 AM  
Cleopatra 2525
 
2021-01-04 3:46:15 AM  

Alphax: FormlessOne: germ78: List is missing Red Dwarf.

The kids wouldn't find it fun any more. Mr. Flibble is very cross.

I loved the new episode that came out last year.. even if everyone looked so very old now.  They met a warfleet of cat people.


Red Dwarf is fairly unique in that it's a space sci-fi series set in a universe where aliens do not exist at all. Zero. All of the odd races you see are either evolved household pets, artificial lifeforms, or GELF (Genetically Engineered Life Forms, created by humanity)
 
2021-01-04 3:51:33 AM  
 
2021-01-04 3:51:47 AM  

Excelsior: Alphax: FormlessOne: germ78: List is missing Red Dwarf.

The kids wouldn't find it fun any more. Mr. Flibble is very cross.

I loved the new episode that came out last year.. even if everyone looked so very old now.  They met a warfleet of cat people.

Red Dwarf is fairly unique in that it's a space sci-fi series set in a universe where aliens do not exist at all. Zero. All of the odd races you see are either evolved household pets, artificial lifeforms, or GELF (Genetically Engineered Life Forms, created by humanity)


Either that, or they're staying away.. don't want to get near all these weirdos.
 
2021-01-04 3:55:28 AM  
Spare a tear for the sci fi series we didn't get

Fark user imageView Full Size


Fark user imageView Full Size


It would have been glorious
 
2021-01-04 4:28:37 AM  
1. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981): I have the vaguest memory of having heard one of the radio show versions, but I don't remember if I ever saw the TV show.
2. The Prisoner (1967): Before my time, so I never saw it. I played the 1980 Apple II+ game based on the TV series, but at that time I didn't even know the TV series existed, so it was one of those surreal games where I never could figure out what the fark was going on. Kind of like watching Lost.
3. Dollhouse (2009) I had too much other TV to watch that year.
4. The Tripods (1984) I loved the books! I never had any idea there was a TV series until now.
5. Aeon Flux (1991) Every now and then, I would tune into MTV in the middle of an episode, which was maddening because in 1991, there was no way to rewind or get full episodes or seasons of it (I did not have control of a VCR), so I would get fragments of a cartoon that was soooooo cool but inscrutably incomplete. Eventually in the 2010s I finally did experience the luxury of downloading the entire series and watching them from start to finish (I totally recommend it), and consulting Wikipedia's List of Aeon Flux episodes for explanations of what I still didn't understand from watching it.
6. V (1983) Diana eating the rat is an unforgettable meme for the ages. The entire show was the worst drek that science fiction TV has ever had to offer but we liked it anyway because that was pretty good TV for the 1980s, and what do you know? We still have nutters who believe in LIZARD PEOPLE.
7. Space 1999 (1975): Never watched this. Was in an area of the US that did not air it.
8. Terrahawks (1983): Huh? I never heard of this. It looks ghastly.
9. Star Blazers (1979): I watched a lot of TV cartoons on Saturday mornings but I don't think I ever saw one of these.
10. Firefly (2002): I'm certainly aware that it's considered one of the best TV shows ever, but I've never felt like getting around to watching something so cruelly cancelled.
 
2021-01-04 4:32:00 AM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Kassandry: Sliding Carp: [static.tvtropes.org image 350x242]

Did a dragonfly breed with the Event Horizon? What is that thing?

LEXX.  And your analysis is nearly spot-on.

Developed nearly beyond recognition out of a dragonfly, it is a huge starship capable of destroying planets.

Lexx (the show) was basically a less-well-done Farscape.


I always thought of it as the comedy version of farscape
 
2021-01-04 5:02:52 AM  

GregoryD: I loved Starblazers as a kid, it was one of those shows that was here and gone. I couldn't remember its name for like 10 years and then finally I found tapes in a blockbuster of all places. The animation is just so good. I started watching the updated Yamato 2199 and it gives me all the nostalgia.

But yeah Firefly is good and it isn't overrated.

V is pretty bad and might be a little overrated.


Me too. I grew up on it. I "blame" Star Blazers for my love of animation in general and specifically anime.

I used to get home from school just in time for the last ten minutes if we were on time. My cousin who lived across the street and went to a closer school, would see whole episodes. I only got to really watch when I stayed home or got out early.

Apparently it was one of the first anime shows to hit mainstream in the US.
 
2021-01-04 5:22:29 AM  

FarkingChas: Mugato: "V" was awesome. Even though I was like 7, Diana (Jane Badler) was totally hot (ignoring the whole reptile  thing)

[Fark user image 200x248]

[Fark user image 193x261]

So was June Chadwick and Faye Grant

[i2.wp.com image 704x888]

[i.pinimg.com image 500x281]


Goddamn that is some 80s hair
 
2021-01-04 5:25:14 AM  

born_yesterday: Goddamn that is some 80s hair


And it was GLORIOUS!
 
2021-01-04 5:37:28 AM  
List fails without "Quark".
 
2021-01-04 6:30:07 AM  

fluffy_pope: The Prisoner is sci-fi?


frinkiac.comView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 6:32:34 AM  

fluffy_pope: The Prisoner is sci-fi?


That would be telling.
 
2021-01-04 6:52:12 AM  
I never really watched The Prisoner, but it was cited as an influence on Babylon 5.  Mainly with government agents who used numbers as their names, and a 'be seeing you' catchphrase used in a few places.
 
2021-01-04 7:09:43 AM  
The only thing worse than Space 1999 was how it's fans thought the show was superior to Star Trek.
 
2021-01-04 7:29:16 AM  
Black Scorpion?  (2001 tv series)
 
2021-01-04 7:50:47 AM  
The animated Star Trek was something I liked watching in my youth , haven't re-watched it in centuries so I can't say if it holds up.

Flash Gordon cartoon was also awesome , and Thundarr
 
2021-01-04 7:52:41 AM  

saturn badger: You can visit The Village.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmeir​ion


I did.  Back in 1980.

I still have my admission ticket and souvenir map books.  And a pile of photos.
 
2021-01-04 7:57:28 AM  

Raider_dad: The animated Star Trek was something I liked watching in my youth , haven't re-watched it in centuries so I can't say if it holds up.

Flash Gordon cartoon was also awesome , and Thundarr


Star Trek: TAS... was about 98% stock footage each week.  But then the same went for most animated shows at the time.  And I think they just let Spock figure out the problem each week.

My vague memories of Flash Gordan were that it was amazing for a few weeks.. then started recycling footage like mad, too.
 
2021-01-04 8:10:38 AM  
No love for "Dark Matter"?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 8:11:13 AM  

Alphax: Raider_dad: The animated Star Trek was something I liked watching in my youth , haven't re-watched it in centuries so I can't say if it holds up.

Flash Gordon cartoon was also awesome , and Thundarr

Star Trek: TAS... was about 98% stock footage each week.  But then the same went for most animated shows at the time.  And I think they just let Spock figure out the problem each week.


How ST:TAS was made.

i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 8:14:50 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Kassandry: Sliding Carp: [static.tvtropes.org image 350x242]

Did a dragonfly breed with the Event Horizon? What is that thing?

LEXX.  And your analysis is nearly spot-on.

Developed nearly beyond recognition out of a dragonfly, it is a huge starship capable of destroying planets.

Lexx (the show) was basically a less-well-done Farscape.

I always thought of it as the comedy version of farscape


I think we're all forgetting one of the best reasons for LEXX

dvdbash.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 8:16:29 AM  
As a young lad I really liked 'Space 1999'. A while back I found the episodes online and tried to watch it but I just couldn't as it did not age well at all.
 
2021-01-04 8:18:42 AM  
dvdbash.files.wordpress.comView Full Size


Well that prior photo didn't come out.  Anyhow, you get what I mean.
 
2021-01-04 8:21:15 AM  

Befuddled: As a young lad I really liked 'Space 1999'. A while back I found the episodes online and tried to watch it but I just couldn't as it did not age well at all.


UFO is much better, if you're looking for a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson live action series.   Also, the 1980 of 1970 was much sexier than the 1999 of 1975 was.
 
2021-01-04 8:22:02 AM  

Sliding Carp: FormlessOne: Kassandry: Sliding Carp: [static.tvtropes.org image 350x242]

Did a dragonfly breed with the Event Horizon? What is that thing?

The LEXX. Seriously, if you're unfamiliar, take the time. Properly weird, that series, but fun as hell.

And the complete run is on youtube if you look.

Personally, I think the first season (4 2-hour) gets pretty tedious;  if you agree, just skip ahead.  You won't have any problem at all picking up the plot.  You do gain by going in sequence though.

/I'm one of the few who think that season 4 is pure brilliance


The first season had Eva Habermann. That's reason enough to watch it.
lh3.googleusercontent.comView Full Size

\they also had Rutger Hauer, Malcolm Mcdowell, and Tim Curry as guest stars
 
2021-01-04 8:23:56 AM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Kassandry: Sliding Carp: [static.tvtropes.org image 350x242]

Did a dragonfly breed with the Event Horizon? What is that thing?

LEXX.  And your analysis is nearly spot-on.

Developed nearly beyond recognition out of a dragonfly, it is a huge starship capable of destroying planets.

Lexx (the show) was basically a less-well-done Farscape.


Lexx: what if Farscape, but both sexier and sillier?
 
2021-01-04 8:25:24 AM  

germ78: List is missing Red Dwarf.


and robotech
 
2021-01-04 8:27:57 AM  

evilsofa: 6. V (1983) Diana eating the rat is an unforgettable meme for the ages. The entire show was the worst drek that science fiction TV has ever had to offer but we liked it anyway because that was pretty good TV for the 1980s, and what do you know? We still have nutters who believe in LIZARD PEOPLE.


I got news for you.   That lizard people thing didn't start with V.  It was a well-established nutter meme long before V was aired.   In fact, V *EXPLOITED* that meme.

Prior to V we had things like the Sleestak on "Land of the Lost", and I'm pretty sure those were based on themes found in UFO conspiracy/hoaxes, so V really can't be blamed for that sort of thing.
 
2021-01-04 8:32:55 AM  
Dollhouse definitely was underrated, but I have friends who would find it triggering (not "upsetting", triggering).  They played with some really messed up themes. And Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman.

Space 1999 was way overrated (except the episode "Dragon's Domain" - Cthulhu in outer space, with 1970s mod costumes).  The premise is mildly cool, if utterly divorced from high school physics; the moon, and it's freedom and peace loving, groovy base go tripping through the universe meeting hippies and groovy places that seem to be inspired by Peter Max. But the execution is way too groovy and trying to be trippy and the characters are not developed well. Even Catherine Schell didn't make up for the lameness.
 
2021-01-04 8:33:24 AM  

Tater1337: germ78: List is missing Red Dwarf.

and robotech


I'm putting in a vote for Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Yeah, most of it is straight up horror/fantasy, but there are episodes that are clearly sci-fi.   Specifically, these absolutely are sci-fi:

They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be... (Aliens/UFO)

Mr. R.I.N.G.  (humanoid robot)

And arguably these also:

Primal Scream (cell samples grown into a prehistoric primate)

The Sentry (Lizard man - in 1975, so the meme is older than V)
 
2021-01-04 8:37:44 AM  

tjassen: Me too. I grew up on it. I "blame" Star Blazers for my love of animation in general and specifically anime.


You sound like a youngster.  I cut my anime teeth on Speed Racer and Marine Boy.

And in the same time period I watched Ultraman and Johnny Sokko.   Ultraman still holds up fairly well, especially if you watch the Japanese version with subtitles instead of the English dubbed version.

Johnny Sokko is just horribly bad.
 
2021-01-04 8:42:59 AM  

Ginnungagap42: Underrated sci-fi TV shows with a cult following you need to watch

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981)

-Great version
The Prisoner (1967)
-
Phenomenal sci-fi asking the big questions. Allegorical masterpiece that doesn't hold your hand.
Dollhouse (2009)
-
Will catch it sometime
The Tripods (1984)
-Never heard of it
Aeon Flux (1991)
-Very cool shorts but never saw it in its entirety
V (1983)
-I was in Germany so I never really saw this
Space 1999 (1975)
-
Great production values marred by bad scripts. Loved it as a kid, it has not aged well. First season they tried to
emulate 2001.  Second season they tried to emulate Star Trek. Both failed.  A few gems here and there though.
Terrahawks (1983)
-
Not seen
Star Blazers (1979)
-
I have fond memories but can't remember many details
Firefly (2002)
-A genre mix that, IMO, is one of the best things put on TV in the last 20 years.  A fun space opera on TV with good writing, great characters and uber attractive actors.
 
2021-01-04 8:45:00 AM  

dittybopper: Befuddled: As a young lad I really liked 'Space 1999'. A while back I found the episodes online and tried to watch it but I just couldn't as it did not age well at all.

UFO is much better, if you're looking for a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson live action series.   Also, the 1980 of 1970 was much sexier than the 1999 of 1975 was.


UFO deserves a place on the list.
50 years ago, Gerry & Sylvia Anderson were monetizing nutjob conspiracy theories that I still hear crazy people going on about.
Also: it does a great job of showing the human interactions.  The episode "Responsibility Seat" was one of my favorites.
 
2021-01-04 8:46:23 AM  
Laobaojun:

Space 1999 was way overrated (except the episode "Dragon's Domain" - Cthulhu in outer space, with 1970s mod costumes).

Force of Life
was another pretty solid episode.
 
2021-01-04 8:55:23 AM  
List fails without Space: Above and Beyond,cancelled after one season. If any show needs a reboot....
 
2021-01-04 8:57:32 AM  
tjassen: ...
Me too. I grew up on it. I "blame" Star Blazers for my love of animation in general and specifically anime.
...


I feel similar about Yvonne Craig and my taste for redheads and bondage.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 9:04:17 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-01-04 9:04:52 AM  
Another science fiction military show that needs more love: Exo-Squad.

Highbody count. Harsh themes. Antagonists with understandable motives.

For your wiki pleasure
 
2021-01-04 9:08:05 AM  
Aeon Flux was great. It was such a weird little show.  And I think I'm the only one in the world who really liked the Charlize Theron movie.
 
2021-01-04 9:08:24 AM  
1. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981):  I remember watching this on PBS back in the 1980's.  I'm actually currently re-watching it on Amazon Prime.  It is *SO* farkin' British.  Like, if you put it in a wine press and squeezed it, you'd get a few pints of bitter balanced by wit drier than Weetabix

2. The Prisoner (1967): I love this show.   Again, something I originally watched on PBS back in the 1980's.  If I ever get the money to spend on frivolous transportation, I'm going to buy a Caterham and paint it to look like the Lotus 7 in that show.

3. Dollhouse (2009):  Haven't seen it.  

4. The Tripods (1984):  I remember reading the books in school and enjoying them.  I'll have to look for this one.

5. Aeon Flux (1991):  Haven't seen it.

6. V (1983):  Watched this back when it was on, and it was good, but some things made my eyes roll.   The whole "Teflon coated bullet" thing, and of course the whole parallel with Nazism.

7. Space 1999 (1975): Watched it when I was a kid, and I liked it, but honestly if you want an Anderson fix the series "UFO" is better.   In fact, the supermarionation series Anderson did, "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons" is better.

8. Terrahawks (1983): Haven't seen it.

9. Star Blazers (1979):  I used to watch this as a kid/younger teen.  It was OK, but honestly I liked some of the earlier anime better.  Plus, we now know that the scratches in the IJN Clamato ain't gonna buff out like that.

10. Firefly (2002):  I didn't see this one for a *LONG* time.  I remember seeing the commercials for it, but I was usually busy doing something else when it aired, and it wasn't on long enough for me to want to see it.  Just another forgotten half-season show, like Quark or Szysznyk.   Then my father had me watch a couple episodes (he had the series on DVD).  I liked it.  So I watched it on Netflix, and had my wife get me the series on DVD.
 
2021-01-04 9:12:15 AM  

DanInKansas: List fails without Space: Above and Beyond,cancelled after one season. If any show needs a reboot....


This.
It was aired during that weird moment when the average American was high-fiving about the end of the Cold War and no more wars, "Yay!" and the realization that we won't be out of Bosnia in one year. Or two. Or... (we still have troops there).  Folks didn't get just how timeless the themes were.
There was a brief pan of McQueen's bookshelf in his cabin. The titles drove home how well researched and thought out the show was.

My fear regarding a reboot; some wanker trying to out do BSG's "dark & gritty". Producers & directors who would over stylize and sacrifice quality of story for artistic vision.
 
2021-01-04 9:16:45 AM  

DanInKansas: Another science fiction military show that needs more love: Exo-Squad.

Highbody count. Harsh themes. Antagonists with understandable motives.

For your wiki pleasure


Pls to be remembering:

Spiral Zone Intro
Youtube uvHxhUyPiq4
 
2021-01-04 9:19:45 AM  
Speaking of V, the re-imagined 2009 series was better than the 1983 version.

Fark user imageView Full Size


It was well acted, and of course the special effects were better, but it was also better written.

Except for one major flaw.

The visitors have been infiltrating Earth society for at least a couple of decades, and have weaseled their way into all manner of government and corporate society.   It has overwhelming technology.

Yet "The Resistance" relies on cell phones to communicate.   Every time there is an incident against the V's, the same people are there, carrying their cell phones.   And then they call each other afterwards.  Even relatively backwards 2009-era governments couldn't fail to notice that kind of thing (https://www.npr.org/2011/12/14/14363​96​70/the-technology-helping-repressive-r​egimes-spy ).

I didn't actually notice it at first, because it was an engaging story, but pretty soon I was like "OK, these aliens are so stupider they must be from Jupiter".  The Resistance would have been rolled up in a few episodes at most, if it had happened like that in real life.
 
2021-01-04 9:24:04 AM  

Laobaojun: dittybopper: Befuddled: As a young lad I really liked 'Space 1999'. A while back I found the episodes online and tried to watch it but I just couldn't as it did not age well at all.

UFO is much better, if you're looking for a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson live action series.   Also, the 1980 of 1970 was much sexier than the 1999 of 1975 was.

UFO deserves a place on the list.
50 years ago, Gerry & Sylvia Anderson were monetizing nutjob conspiracy theories that I still hear crazy people going on about.
Also: it does a great job of showing the human interactions.  The episode "Responsibility Seat" was one of my favorites.


One of mine is "The Dalotek Affair".   When people get too close to understanding what SHADO is about, they wipe their memories.  Scary.
 
2021-01-04 9:35:53 AM  

SirEattonHogg: [dvdbash.files.wordpress.com image 850x248]

Well that prior photo didn't come out.  Anyhow, you get what I mean.


Stripping LEXX's EXIF may not yield the squashing you desire.
 
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