Babylon 5. In the heyday of the 90s with the three Star Trek franchises, Stargate starting up and The X-Files, there was Babylon 5. I remember it airing an hour or so before TNG but I never actually got around to watching it until around 1999. Its follow-up show Crusade was cancelled by FOX (still bitter about this) but it was there that I was intrigued by Babylon 5. And I didn’t look back, it knocked DS9 out of top spot of my favourite television shows ever.
No matter how many times I re-watch this show, it’s just as mindblowing and amazing an experience for me as the first time I watched it on television. Despite its smaller fan base (compared to the other sci-fi shows that were out there at the time–and shows that followed), it’s been recognised as stellar sci-fi by the Hugos (won in 1996 and 1997 for Best Dramatic Presentation) and by NASA (I think it was NASA…the science community, suffice to say). I sort of condensed my reasons why I loved the show in my 100 Things but here’s my 10 reasons why you should watch Babylon 5.
In no particular order after the cut:
So here’s the thing: I love sci-fi but I find that my love for the genre lies more in television than books (I only realised this recently so I’ve been trying to correct that along the book-end of things). Growing up there were so many sci-fi shows that I enjoyed, even well into my undergrad days. There’s a recent surge of new shows in the genre, which is encouraging, but growing up it was really about Star Trek and Babylon 5 for me. But anyways, the following are just some of my favourite shows, both past and present. Some didn’t get a slot but I enjoyed watching when I was growing up (The X-Files, Cleopatra 2525 (this show was fun), SeaQuest DSV, Stargate SG-1, etc.) and mini-series are not included here (Dune, Children of Dune, etc.) but here we go…
10. Misfits (2009 – 2013)
I started watching this show while I was on my semester exchange and yeah, I’d consider it as sci-fi with how they got their abilities and some of the stuff they have to face (and later on–time travel!). What I really enjoyed about this show was how these characters are anti-heroes in their own way: they’re not out to be heroes or follow the superhero tropes but rather lay low (usually leading to not-so-good results). It also has a lot of dark humour but can also be very introspective. I wrote a 100 Things entry about the show but also a few other posts about it; sadly, I stopped watching around series 4. Been meaning to catch up, if only for Rudy, but I haven’t (yet?).
I’m not participating in Top Ten Tuesday this week. Instead, I am doing…
I was initially going to make 2 lists actually, 1 for just sci-fi novels and another for just time travel novels. Then I realised I haven’t read enough from the genre to actually complete both lists *blushes* so here we are, a mix of different titles, lol, primarily space opera and time travel with hints of hard science fiction, a genre I’ve steered clear from for the most part only because I think I need to be in a particular mood to tackle the technicalities of it all. If you’re new to the genre, I hope you’ll find something interesting to read from this. You can also browse through my science fiction tag for more titles and specific reviews 🙂
In no particular order:
- Frank Herbert’s Dune (100 Things) — One of THE classic science fiction novels around. I actually watched the 2000 miniseries adaptation before learning that it was a book (someone had pitched it as the LOTR of science fiction which immediately captured my full attention =P). The scope of the novel is quite amazing, the world–the universe!–in which Paul Atreides lives in is just so fully realised, right down to the economic system between Houses and solar systems. I’ve read the first three novels in the series but have yet to finish it. Nonetheless it’s just mindblowing. Great novel to start with if you’re looking to venture into space opera.
- James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes (review) — One of the more recent inclusions into the space opera genre, Leviathan Wakes is the first novel in the Expanse series. They’re a lot of fun in that the scale is epic, the conflicts are high-stakes, the characterisations are complex and the vision of the future is interesting. There’s no hard science featured here so the reader can enjoy the story without difficulty.
- Kevin J. Anderson’s Hidden Empire (review) — In my head, I’ve sort of likened Anderson’s Saga of the Seven Suns (100 Things) to GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire: the scope is massive, sprawling with major organisations and characters and cultures and the conflicts are all shifting, interconnected and changing. If you like epic sagas in other genres, Anderson’s series is definitely worth checking out because it’s really interesting and he does such an amazing job in fleshing out all of these characters and their respective journeys. Did I mention it is just plain epic?
- Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — A switch to a more humourous take in sci-fi,
- John Scalzi’s Redshirts (review) — My first Scalzi book! It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel this year, which is cool. I really enjoyed it, it’s a surprising mesh of different sci-fi elements and concepts and in a way sort of breaks the fourth wall in the process. If you’re a fan of Star Trek, I definitely recommend this title as you’ll get some of the jokes they talk about here.
Happy 1st of November! I hope everyone had a lovely October. So this month, I will be participating with a number of other bloggers for Sci-Fi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads. What does this month entail? Well…
So, just to kick things off…