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According to a bunch of people in a room at SwanCon, here are the 19 best SF&F TV shows of all time:

1. Doctor Who
2. Firefly
3. Red Dwarf
4. Battlestar Galactica (new series)
5. Babylon 5
6. Blake's 7
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation (tie)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (tie)
9. Farscape (tie)
Buffy (tie)
Ultraviolet (tie)
Futurama (tie)
13. Stargate: SG1
14. Invader Zim
15. Angel (tie)
Transformers (tie)
Monkey (tie)
18. Torchwood
19. Heroes

Didn't have enough time to run tiebreakers on the ties (which also would've given us our #20), so this will have to do.

I don't suppose anyone has a record of the lists from Top 10 Villains (2008) and Top 10 Movies based on Comics (2007), do they? I forgot to write them down and it'd be nice to have a record of the results. I only really remember the winners...

Date: 2009-04-15 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] accy.livejournal.com
Iteresting list. Firefly is probably too high ;-) Avatar is obvious miss, but that's to be expected.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
I agree that Firefly is too high. Good show, but not as good as Buffy or Angel and generally overrated.

Date: 2009-04-15 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firvulag.livejournal.com
See, I think it's so high because it only got 1 season. If it had run for longer, it undoubtedly would have had more bad episodes than the longer running Buffy and Angel had. On a balance of the episodes that exist though, I think Firefly has a better strike rate. It didn't stop me also voting for Buffy though, which I still would watch again.

I also fall into the strange category that thinks Doctor Who is far too over rated though.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greteldragon.livejournal.com
Torchwood as a best show? OH GOD.

Also Farscape keeps getting mentioned around me at the moment. I really should rewatch that.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
I couldn't believe it either. I've only seen about half a dozen episodes, but I found the majority of it pretty mediocre, if not just plain bad.

I've never seen any Farscape. If you decide to do a rewatch, let me know and I might join you :)

Date: 2009-04-15 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greteldragon.livejournal.com
Yeah, I don't mind Torchwood from a 'hey I watch this' perspective, but when people try and convince me its good, I struggle not to laugh in their face. Noone in it can act. And none of the writers can do a decent plotline. :(

Hm. If I don't wind up rewatching it at a specific time, I'll lend you the DVDs? I really do think its a fantastic TV series. Its very silly in bits, and the australian accents can be pretty terrible (especially at the start) but its so much fun.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Oh dear, Torchwood made it in but The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Edge of Darkness and Star Trek did not.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] accy.livejournal.com
That is the power of John Barrowman's penis....

Date: 2009-04-15 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Or short memories.

Or bad taste. : )

Date: 2009-04-15 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ataxi.livejournal.com
At the very least a combination of ignorance and bad taste. Also, X Files absent? Really? Really, SwanCon participants? But Stargate gets in there? Really? Bah.

Date: 2009-04-15 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Stargate... they should've gone 100% and voted for Andromeda.

Date: 2009-04-15 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
Andromeda (and X-Files) were both in the running early on, but neither one got enough votes.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
I was amazed when some of the top calibre stuff went down early. It all depends on the viewing habits of the 50 or so people in the room at the time, so anything can happen, really. At least the top 10 was all fairly good stuff.

Date: 2009-04-15 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gemfyre.livejournal.com
Midway through the voting I thought of one cartoon that was a glaring omission.

Voltron.

Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greteldragon.livejournal.com
It'd be interesting to do one of these ones every year, then after 10 years track the results, and see how many shows don't pass the time test, and which ones still stick out.

I'm guessing Dr Who will still be popular though.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
It'd be interesting to do one every year as an lj poll or somesuch, but I'm not a big fan of rehashing panels without very good reason, so running the same one for 10 years straight would be a bit of a crime in my opinion :P

You're right, though, it would be interesting to track the movements over time.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greteldragon.livejournal.com
*nods*

Yeah it'd be boring to actually do it as a panel every year... but as stats it'd be interesting. Maybe we should get [livejournal.com profile] angriest to do his 50 top poll every year or something :P

I think some panels can be rehashed more so than others. Certainly top 20 type panels can be recycled every few years as people forget the previous results, and as long as a show or comic remains hugely popular and people want to, there's no reason not to have a DrWho or a Batman or a whatever panel every year... just as long as you aren't covering the same thing, ever year.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
Yeah, pretty much. It's okay to have the same general topic on a semi-regular basis, but the content needs to differ.

[livejournal.com profile] angriest should totally do another top 50 poll :)

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Can't remember the results of the last one.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
I remember that Doctor Who won, and that I single-handedly got The Maxx in somewhere in the bottom half :)

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Well there's been a Doctor Who panel every year now for 17 years, plus I'm sure other people did them before that.

Next year you and I should do Robin and sidekicks, cause Robin will be turning 70. (Batman turns 70 this Saturday!!)

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
But the Doctor Who panels always have a different angle, don't they?

I attended the Doctor Who panel this year (my first one) and thought it was great. Do you guys always do it as a retrospective on a particular season? It's a good format. I'm wondering if we should copy it with some other shows.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
We started doing it two years ago with Season 18 (Tom's last year). Then last year we did Season 1, this year Season 24 and I think next year we're likely to do Season 7 (Pertwee's first).

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
I definitely think it's a good approach. When you can section something like that into manageable, easy-to-define portions it becomes easier to view it with a critical eye. I think it also makes it easier for members of the audience who aren't so familiar with the show, as they'll still have a good sense of place and time for everything that's being discussed.

I've actually only watched a handful of Doctor Who episodes. It's one of those things that I'm interested in delving into, but is so immense I'm not quite sure where I'd start. Is it the sort of thing where you can get a good "primer" of 20 or 30 episodes to begin with, or are you better off going from the start (well, as close to the start as is available) and watching it all chronologically?

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
The show goes through phases, which makes it pretty easy to jump in and enjoy them without bothering with the rest. Good starting points:

- "An Unearthly Child", which is the very first serial from 1963. Black and white, comparatively very slow to modern TV.
- "Spearhead From Space", the first colour serial plus the first for third Doctor Jon Pertwee. This begins the "UNIT" phase of the show, set in 1970s Earth with regular mad scientists and alien invasions.
- "Ark in Space", Tom Baker's second story and really the first one to fully break away from the UNIT phase.

But really it might just be a matter of grabbing random stories on DVD and giving them a watch.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
Cool, thanks for the suggestions. I'll use those as a starting point.

I'm hesitant to just grab random stories. There's so much classic SF television I'm keen to check out, so I'd rather not risk wasting time on stuff that doesn't end up being worth watching.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 11:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nevryn.livejournal.com
Don't randomly grab 'Timelash' then. Or 'Four to Doomsday'. Or 'Time and the Rani', but that's not out on DVD yet.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommmo.livejournal.com
Oh, and a panel on Robin and other sidekicks is a fantastic idea.

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greteldragon.livejournal.com
I'm in for this. I would like to help organise it this time, so I know what's on the slides and where to start and stuff. Plus I'm sure I have lots of pretty Robin pictures hanging around. :)

That way I figure I'll be able to say more. (Plus you know, if I drink heavily I'm going to be a much better panelists, rather than a painkiller high).

Re: Random thought

Date: 2009-04-15 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angriest.livejournal.com
Sounds good to me.

Date: 2009-04-15 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greyreviews.livejournal.com
You need a better room of people.

This list can just be reason number 7 Im probably never going to another Swancon.

Date: 2009-04-15 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marnielouise.livejournal.com
I'd be interested to know what category Lost falls into... I think it's awesome that Red Dwarf is number 3 - lol. BSG trumps Firefly in my opinion.
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