Friday, September 20, 2013

TV Guide Picks The 60 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Of All Time

I'll be the first one to admit that I'm a nerd when it comes to fantasy/horror shows on TV.  I've been in love with them from the time I started watching TV, and they still make up some of my favorite shows of all time.  When TV Guide set out to list the sixty greatest Sci-Fi shows of all time, they smartly expanded the definition to include fantasy and horror.  I've never been a huge fan of Sci-Fi, so I'm pretty sure this list wouldn't have been that interesting to me, had the three genres not been combined.  For the most part, I think the list makes sense, though, like normal, I think there were some great shows left off the list.  Funny enough, the shows that I think shouldn't have been left off, all tend to be Sci-Fi related.

As is the usual, the Top ten are the top choices, the rest are in alphabetical order.  If I included air dates, it's because two or more shows have the same name, normally a remake of it.

1.  Star Trek/Star Trek: The Next Generation
2.  The Twilight Zone

3.  Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
4.  The X-Files
5.  Lost
6.  Doctor Who
7.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

8.  The Walking Dead

9.  The Prisoner
10.  Game of Thrones
11.  Adventures of Superman
12.  Amazing Stories
13.  Angel

14.  The Avengers
15.  Babylon 5
16.  Batman 
17.  Batman: The Animated Series
18.  Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
19.  Being Human (BBC, 2008-2013)
20.  Charmed

21.  Dark Shadows (1966-1971)

22.  Dead Like Me
23.  Eureka
24.  Falling Skies

25.  Farscape

26.  Firefly
27.  Fringe
28.  Futurama
29.  Hercules: The Legendary Journey
30.  Heroes
31.  The Invaders
32.  Invasion
33.  The Jetsons
34.  Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
35.  Life on Mars
36.  Lost in Space
37.  Max Headroom
38.  Night Gallery
39.  Once Upon a Time

40.  One Step Beyond
41.  The Outer Limits
42.  Pushing Daisies
43.  Quantum Leap
44.  Roswell
45.  The Six Million Dollar Man
46.  Smallville
47.  Space: Above and Beyond
48.  Stargate SG-1
49.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars
50.  Supernatural

51.  Tales From the Crypt
52.  Teen Wolf
53.  Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
54.  Torchwood

55.  True Blood
56.  V (NBC, 1984-1985; ABC, 2009-2011)

57.  The Vampire Diaries

58.  Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
59.  Wonder Woman

60.  Xena: Warrior Princess

So there is the list, and for what it's worth, I'm not sure they didn't do a decent job.  I'm curious to know why out of every cartoon ever made, because for the most part they all fall within this definition, why it's The Jetsons and Futurama that made the list.  Why not The Transformers, Galaxy High, Teen Wolf, Shirt Tales, or the million other cartoons?  I'm not complaining, just curious.

I know they left off shows like Arrow, Grimm, and a few other newer shows, and I agree that they are great shows.  And I even think in a few more years, they would have been on this list.  But I'm glad they aren't on the list as of yet, I think both of the named shows can still go either way.

I'm also a bit confused why there is only one sitcom on here.  Now I'm not a huge fan of sitcoms in general, but I can think of a few that could have made it.  I would guess that 3rd Rock from the Sun, Mork & Mindy, Small Wonder, Alf, The Charmings, Harry and the Hendersons, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, The Addams Family, and a couple dozen others are better than some on this list.

I know the Syfy channel is hit or miss with their TV shows, but I'm pretty sure Warehouse 13, Haven, or even Sanctuary should be on this list.

It was nice to see so many anthology shows on here, but what about Tales From the Darkside, which happens to be my favorite of those types of shows.  Even Freddy's Nightmares could have easily beat out a few of these to make the top of the list.

Superheroes were represented more than a few times, but I'm still thinking a few more should have been on here.  Zorro, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, The Bionic Woman (1976-1978), Isis, or even The Greatest American Hero could have fought their way to the top.

And finally we get to the dramas that were left off, including some that have a more spiritual reach.  I get that not every show can make a list of this size, but I'm not sure how some of the ones on this list beat out some of the groundbreaking shows like Sliders, Earth 2, or even Knight Rider.  I'm just glad I'm not the one who decided to not include Highway to Heaven or Touched by an Angel to the list.  I wouldn't want any of those guys to be mad at me.

Now, I get why shows like Time Tunnel, Land of the Lost, Voyagers!, Kindred: The Embraced, Starman, Beyond Reality, Poltergeist the Legacy, War of the WorldsFriday the 13th: The Series, or The Powers of Matthew Star, were not on the list.  For the most part, the show were never taken seriously, and quiet a few didn't last all that long.  But for what it's worth, they also include some of the coolest storytelling and amazing adventures to ever be found on TV.  I was in love with them all at one point in time, and I'm saddened that not many seem to remember them.

There are also two shows from a few seasons ago, that did not make it very long, but I think were fantastic shows.  A Gifted Man and Awake, were two shows that had interesting concepts, and great actors.  Daybreak, which aired a few years before those two, never got the chance it deserved either.

Some of the shows I listed above, I could do without seeing ever again.  That holds especially true for some of the sitcoms I brought up.  Some of them hold tight to their places in my heart and imagination, but I understand if others don't feel the same way.  Some of the shows I could watch over and over again, or have a huge marathon of.  Others, I would have to take in small doses.  Even if I don't understand how a few of them got left off the list, though I willing to accept it.  What I can not accept is how a few others got left off.  They are the shows that changed the way I view the genre, and blazed the trail for others after them.  So here are the shows that were criminally left off the list, and someone should have to explain why.

Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Alien Nation

seaQuest: DSV



Angela's Anxious Life said...

These are my favorite types of shows. I just watched Sleepy Hollow's premiere and enjoyed it.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Ryan what a blast from my past. I'm also a big Sci-Fi fan I'm a bit surprised Dark Shadows wasn't higher on the list

Yvette said...

I'm working on a list of my favorite science fiction movies for next week, Ryan. But I'm also including a bit of horror and a bit of fantasy as well.

So I was especially interested in this TV Guide List as a kind of adjunct.

I loved the original BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA ('By your command.') - never saw the new one except for a half hour or so and hated it.

Many of the shows on the list I've never seen but I was gratified that PUSHING DAISIES made the cut. I loved ANGEL until I discovered that the actor who starred in it (and in BONES) is a total scumbag in real life. (My opinion.)

Sometimes I'm affected by that sort of thing.

I loved TORCHWOOD until they killed off you know who.

I think QUANTUM LEAP is one of the most underrated television shows of all time. Scott Bakula should have been swimming in Emmy Awards.

ALIEN NATION should DEFINITELY have made the cut. Are you kidding me?

Well I could go on and on but I won't.
Great post, kiddo.

neer said...

To me there's only one sci-fi show and that is Star Trek, the original and the best. Doesn't surprise me that it is at the top.

Lisa said...

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan (although I have watched and enjoyed quite a lot of these shows) so I don't know that I can comment on the total list. I am thrilled to see The Prisoner in the top 10!

Unknown said...

I could go on a geek rant. I won't. Instead, I'll just say that I'd personally switch #1 and #2--Rod Serling is king. That is all.

Becca said...

My top picks:
Heroes, Dead Like Me, The Vampire Diaries, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Fringe, and Roswell. There are several new ones coming on the CW this fall which intrigue me, as well. I can't get into Supernatural, even though it's premise is up my alley. I find the two boys too airheaded to believe anything they accomplish. *shrug*

huin said...

I like the way in which you begin to share your views about 60’s best sci fi shows. Thanks for listing top ten shows of 60’s.The photo of ‘Angle’ is looking so dark and horrible. I am curious to watch it. Please update me with its remakes also.