When you hear, "RED ALERT!" does it transport you to the bridge of the Starship Enterprise? If so, you'll dig this post. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, this entire post may just be fodder for you to laugh at The Engineer me. And that's okay; we're secure in our geekiness!
We love Netflix. At first I figured I'd mostly get movies from Netflix. And then we discovered the joy of watching TV series on DVD.
What kind of series do we watch? Science fiction! A couple of years ago we started Netflixing sci-fi shows, and, oddly enough, sitting in front of the TV sharing a genre we both enjoy is a special sort of bonding for us. Here's a rundown of the sci-fi shows we've watched on DVD, are currently watching, or plan to watch.
1. Firefly. We started with a good one! This series is designed as a western-type show in space, with a diverse group of ex-cons (all human) flying around on an old, patched-up ship. The characterizations are great; the dialogue is funny; and the plot is suspenseful and compelling. Unfortunately, the network didn't fully support the show, and due to poor scheduling and other factors, it was canceled before a full season had been filmed. Thankfully the follow-up movie Serenity ties up most of the loose ends and is a really enjoyable film. The Sci-Fi Channel is airing a Firefly marathon on Memorial Day (11/18)!
2. Farscape is about a man who gets sent through a wormhole and ends up very far from Earth, in a portion of space inhabited by all sorts of aliens (some of which were puppets created by the Jim Henson Company.) It's very entertaining, and I definitely grew attached to some of the characters. It's also kind of fun to watch the alien makeup evolve from season to season. It doesn't measure up to Firefly, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
3. Star Trek: Enterprise is the most recent Star Trek series, but it is a prequel to the other series. I preferred The Next Generation, which I watched most of when it originally ran--but I did thoroughly enjoy Enterprise. Scott Bakula plays Captain Archer, and while I never totally believed him when he acted "tough," his character is very likable.
4. Battlestar Galactica (the new series) is very different than the decades-old original series. I hesitate to say too much about the plot, since I don't want to give anything away. Plus, "robots that look human" sounds cheesy--and Battlestar Galactica is anything but cheesy. It is consistently well-acted, at times dark, beautifully-written...and my favorite TV show of all time. The first three seasons are available on DVD; the first half of the fourth season is available for download for $1.99 an episode on Amazon. The second half of the fourth and final season starts in January on the Sci-Fi Channel. Please, Sci-Fi...don't mess it up.
5. Heroes. We furiously squeezed in enough Netflix time to watch most of the first two seasons of Heroes before Season 3 recently started on NBC. If you like comic book movies and sci fi, you'll enjoy this show, which is essentially a combination of the two. It's totally unbelievable, but still really fun.
6. Babylon 5. We're a few episodes into the first season of this series, and so far it's dated (amazing how old this mid-'90s show feels) and really corny. Jason assures me that based on the episodes he saw when it originally aired, and what he's read online, it gets much better in the second season. I'm hoping it does, because if not, I will have wasted a lot of time watching a crummy first season.
7. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This is next on our list, and I'm excited. I watched the first few seasons when it was originally aired, and it was a great show. I hear I missed some good stuff in the last seasons. It'll be fun to get back into stories about shape-shifters and other interesting aliens. I'm not-so-secretly hoping we cut the Babylon 5 showings short so we can get to DS9.
If you like the genre, feel free to share your favorite sci-fi TV shows, books, or movies. If you don't like the genre...you're missing out.