Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Apr 2009 14:14 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes En weer een week voorbij, dus weer tijd voor een weekoverzicht. This week saw some interesting developments, mostly around Conficker and GNOME, but we also had some browser news, Shuttleworth on Windows 7, and more details on the Palm Pre. This week's My Take is about Firefly.
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High hopes for firefly
by liamdawe on Sun 5th Apr 2009 14:59 UTC
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While i have not seen the series i have seen the follow up film Serenity which was pretty good. I need to watch some firefly!

Reply Score: 1

You missed two
by Morty on Sun 5th Apr 2009 15:32 UTC
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Seems like you missed two entries in your list, both long story arcs and in the SciFi setting.

You have Star Trek's brother, being a Gene Roddenberry creation and all, Andromeda. And it did run for 5 season. For geeks they had Lexa Doig as Andromeda Ascendant, an obvious Seven of Nine rival.

And more interesting imho, Farscape. With 4 seasons and a two episode mini series. No particular geek girl, but Claudia Black is always a hit.

Edited 2009-04-05 15:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: You missed two
by panzi on Sun 5th Apr 2009 17:19 UTC in reply to "You missed two"
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"...but Claudia Black is always a hit."

All the more reason to watch Stargate SG-1 (especially episode 200). ;)

I really love BSG except for the ending. The writing of the ending was crap. So was the directing and there were also problems with the special effects in the last few episodes. There were a LOT of unresolved things and those that were resolved, were resolved in a ridiculous way.

Everyone agrees to dump all technology (medicine!!), starbug is an angle? Head six+head baltar are what? The lords of cobol? WTF? What was it with Daniel, why was he killed? Does Will Adama really commit suicide and no one keeps him from doing it? Why does Sam commit suicide? Why did that one commit suicide? All what balter+six had to do was to bring hera to the CIC? ANYBODY could have done that! Why had Roslin these Visions? Why was hera that important? Just to become a fossil? GAH!

The ending was crap!

However, I really liked Firefly. Ok, it was a bit episodic, but that was ok. I actually liked the wildwest theme.

But I also liked Star Trek (TNG and DS9). However, I think Sisko become an asshole in the later seasons.

I only watched the first few Babylon 5 episodes. I was bored to hell so I stopped. Maybe I should have continued to watch if it got better over the time. Hm.

I also watched Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. SG-1 was ok, the funny episodes were great! I actually did like the seasons with claudia black and ben browder (quite a few SG fans didn't). Atlantis was mostly ok, too. However, the last season was very very weak (if not crap).

Farscape was nice, too. However, the peacekeeper wars were a bit to much fighting and to less story IMHO.

I also liked Earth 2.

But still my rating is:
1. BSG (even though the ending)
2. Firefly
3. The Rest

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: You missed two
by panzi on Sun 5th Apr 2009 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: You missed two"
panzi Member since:

Oh, it's of course "Starbuck". Starbug is a spaceship in the ingeniously hilarious scifi comedy series "Red Dwarf". If you like scifi+comedy you have to watch red dwarf.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: You missed two
by John Blink on Mon 6th Apr 2009 09:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You missed two"
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Buffy was geweldig, stom!
by CristobalDeLicia on Sun 5th Apr 2009 15:35 UTC
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I'll assume from the Dutch intro that Thom is not American, so I can forgive him, but I don't understand how so many Americans miss the post-Civil War subtext of Firefly/Serenity. Whedon explores the dark side of the federalist U.S. Union as the "Alliance." The character Malcolm represents all the good things about the de-centralized, "states rights" Confederacy. The raison d'etre for the Sci-fi setting is to remove these issues from the context of slavery, and to be able to contradict much of what is taught in American popular history ;)
That's why the story is a "western"- Whedon is constantly making connections to actual U.S. history- but he is wholeheartedly cheering the losing side, something politically incorrect and could have easily kept the show off the air. As it was, the show didn't stay on the air long. Whedon couldn't develop the story arc, before the show got cancelled, this is why the series HAD to be highly episodic- every episode could have been the last.

Reply Score: 2

by AdamW on Sun 5th Apr 2009 15:40 UTC
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Further to what Cristobal said, it's also fairly standard for American shows to be episodic for the first season, or at least ten episodes; the theory being that you don't want to alienate people who miss the first couple of episodes and tune in to the third - you don't want them to already be lost and have no idea what's going on. They generally lay some groundwork for longer arcs in the future (which Firefly does), but these get fleshed out near the end of season 1, or once season 2 gets going.

Reply Score: 2

by StephenBeDoper on Sun 5th Apr 2009 15:46 UTC
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Then there's Star Trek's bastard child, Babylon 5, which is a better Star Trek than Star Trek.

Overall, I always saw B5 as more of a space opera adaptation of the Lord of the Rings than a Trek-a-like. With the Shadows being the equivalent of the armies of Mordor, Kosh being the equivalent of Gandalf, etc - there's even a group called "the Rangers."

Reply Score: 3

Another side of the coin
by FurryOne on Sun 5th Apr 2009 18:00 UTC
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Having grown up watching the original Star Trek unfold each week, I'd have to say that it should be criticized in the context of the times it was originally aired. Sure, it looks dated these days - what'd you expect from a series that ENDED 40 years ago? The fact that it still has loads of fans is proof of it's concept and message. As for Firefly, I never saw the original airings, and caught them only a few years ago when someone posted them to the net. I like Firefly. I like the concept and the way it feels as it unwinds in each episode. The movie was a bit of a letdown - not because of any technical features, but because it ended characters I hoped would survive for another movie. It was still good entertainment. The Star Trek follow-ons turned me right off. they should have been series of their own, not trying to suck up Star Trek fans.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another side of the coin
by panzi on Sun 5th Apr 2009 18:04 UTC in reply to "Another side of the coin"
panzi Member since:

@Original Star Trek+Firefly: FULL ACK
(The first black+white kiss on TV was in Star Trek, AFAIK.)

Reply Score: 2

Mostly agree with you
by J. McNair on Sun 5th Apr 2009 18:41 UTC
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The Star Trek franchise has always been rocky. Each series has had some really good episodes and story arcs, and some bad ones. I understand why you don't like it, but clean bright futures aren't evil or implausible. Just look at people who have wealth and privilege TODAY. They live clean, bright and spotless lives out of contact with the "real world" RIGHT NOW all the time. The Star Trek fantasy just extends that privilege to normal people too.

As far as dirty space futures, Star Wars (4-6) is what made them popular (but it didn't invent them). Every space-based TV or movie with a grimy, dirty, dusty, or worn down ships and tech owes a small debt to George Lucas for 3 good, fun movies featuring dirty, beaten rebels flying rickety old ships.

So to summarize, the future will be a dangerous hellhole in all the places except where it isn't. I like both fantasies for different reasons. Tautologies are wonderful things.

Good on you for noticing that many shows often have attractive woman to act as geek-bait in order to survive. The really good ones turn their geek bait into actual characters that continue to matter to the outcome of the show (Hello Starbuck, Caprica and Sharon) to KEEP us interested.

Reply Score: 2

by Ultimatebadass on Sun 5th Apr 2009 18:58 UTC
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Fine, I'll go and watch it.

I consider myself a sci-fi fan, I liked star trek though I admit it has it's fair share of flaws, can't count how many times I've watched the Alien series and I consider it to be THE best sci-fi universe created to date.

However, due to BSG (and I admit I only had patience for one and a half season) I developed somewhat of an alergy to todays USA-made sci-fi series.

All the politics and religion in there just made it boring for me, there was nothing "sci"-wise that would interest me eiter (post-WWII era technology in space, but most of all the whole 'computer networks are evil' stuff) and the some of the characters were on the annoying side (the doctor(?) and his robot-blonde friend mostly).

Despite all that I think I'll give them (modern day usa -made sci-fi) another chance. Here's hoping Firefly won't be a letdown.

PS. "and Cally" true dat, If I had to name one thing I liked about BSG that would be it ;)

Reply Score: 2

B5 Was Great!
by parrotjoe on Sun 5th Apr 2009 20:44 UTC
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I think a lot should be said for B5. It's true, the effects weren't the best (I think some were done on an Amiga the first season!). But, that show had wonderful ideas. And, at least in the acting, they were carried out very well.

Reply Score: 1

Andromeda, Farscape and One More?
by TaiChiBabbo on Sun 5th Apr 2009 20:50 UTC
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The best thing about Andromeda, hands down "Rommie", a.k.a. Lexa Doig. Even "Trance" and "Berka" were easy on the eyes, of course, this is all from a guys point of view. There was equal amounts of "eye candy/beefcake" for the female sci-fi fan to enjoy. Plot, plot who cared about a plot, not me, just liked seeing Rommie, in tight black outfits, kicking butts and taking names.

I thought Farscape had some of the most "disturbing" and
most creative characters for a sci-fi show. Favorite characters; Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) and the Jim Henson puppet "pilot", liked Claudia
Black better later when she appeared on SG-1.

Finally, there was another really wacked show, "Lexx".
It showed up on the landscape around the same time as Farscape. You have to admit Lexx was really out "there". Of course, you have to invest in season "one"
to even get a handle on where "there" was. Let's see, a giant ship that looks like a dragonfly but is the most
powerful weapon in any universe. Kai(a dead zombie with a flat sense of humor) and Xev (a sexslave), who looks very, very female but is full of surprises.

Well, those are my three picks. I was raised on Star Trek, Monty Python and the threes Stooges so I can plead "insanity".

Reply Score: 2

For Thom
by galvanash on Sun 5th Apr 2009 21:04 UTC
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Firefly is a short-lived space-faring science fiction show by the same guy who did Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which I personally find a pretty disastrous piece of television.

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who seems to mostly share your taste in TV, I mostly agree with your take on ST, B5, and BSG. I personally think Buffy is one of the best, if not THE best, TV shows of all time. The first season is admittedly rather hard to get through - but if you can make it to the end of season 2 the show really hits its stride. Things Buffy has going for it:

1. Its a really funny show - Whedon _knows_ its campy, its on purpose. If you take it too seriously your missing the point.
2. The writing and dialog are great!
3. It is equally accessible and entertaining to both men and women. My wife LOVES the show.
4. There is ALOT of creative and original stuff done in Buffy. There is an episode that was done entirely as a musical - I thought the idea was cheesy and stupid until I saw it... Some of the songs from that episode are STILL in my head, and I saw it years ago.
5. Its just plain fun.

As for Firefly... I agree with most of your posititives but...

There are also a few things wrong. The big issue for me is that it's highly episodic, with barely any longer story arcs.

That is mostly just because it never got past season 1. Trust me, Whedon LOVES story archs, and has said in interviews he had many planned (the Serenity movies was esentially one of the planned ones).

And, of course, the big elephant in the room: the western theme that's draped all over the show. I'm not into westerns, and sometimes I really have to bite my tongue to get through some of the cheesiness, but overall, it's not that big of a deal.

That was one of my favorite aspects... but then again I LIKE westerns (especially spaghetti westerns).

Some things you didn't hit on:

1. The theme song is imo one of the best of any TV show EVER. It is almost hypnotic. And it describes the show perfectly.
2. The creative use of language (a nod to the original BSG of course).
3. The look - the use of intentional out of focus shots, shaky cameras, etc. for the effects shots was great - the new BSG borrowed some aspects of this with great results.
4. Every character, especially the bad guys, were always interesting.

As for Whedons current work - Dollhouse. Ive learned that it is best to give him a chance to get things going. The show so far isn't as good as I hoped, but it has potential.

Reply Score: 2

B5 special effects
by ecognito on Sun 5th Apr 2009 23:26 UTC
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The exterior space special effects in B5 were cutting edge for their day (1994). (There is no small irony that Paramount absolutely panned B5s special effects, and then started using the same technology themselves not long after for their various Trek franchises.) It is also worth noting that B5 was really the first TV show that did long running story arcs that didn't hit the "reset switch" as the end of each episode.

The theory behind the Firefly 'verse is that there were really only two cultures that survived from Earth that was, American and Chinese, which is why FF is suppose to be a mash of western and Chinese cultures, although I'll agree that it leans far more towards the western. You get use to it.

This site gives you translations of the Chinese (used mostly for swearing) used in each episode and the movie:

Reply Score: 2

by apoclypse on Mon 6th Apr 2009 00:55 UTC
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I have to disagree with your comparison about Kaylee and Cally. Cally is was annoying and frankly I was happy when she got shot out of an air lock. Kaylee's character was more symapthetic, unassuming and very likeable. There is very little resemblance between the two character other than the similarity between their names. I felt more when Kat dies on BSG than when Cally did.

Firefly in my opinion would have been a great series if continued. Whedon has a history of having very big arching storylines that span season's nd unlike the writers in Lost and BSG, he is able to keep his house in order. In other words the plots resolve very well and things usually makes sense. At the moment he has a show on called Dollhouse that just like Firefly is very episodic at the moment. Once the show gets the go ahead for more seasons I'm sure the real storyline will start. Whedon usually does that to build an audience and to build on the characters. Firefly had an obvious overarching story lurking int he background but even those episodic episodes established who the charcaters were and some semblance of information about their past. Good stuff.

Reply Score: 2

B5 is for children
by kelvin on Mon 6th Apr 2009 07:27 UTC
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Then there's Star Trek's bastard child, Babylon 5

Why are so many geeks hung up on B5? It was a children's show! A good children's show, but for children none the less.

Judging it from an adult perspective it had mediocre acting, mediocre scripts and abysmal special effects. And no, the special effects were not even "good for its day".

Reply Score: 2

And don't forget some British classics....
by rklrkl on Mon 6th Apr 2009 08:46 UTC
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The discussion seems to be primarily about US sci-fi, but the UK have had a few classic sci-fi series of their own too. My personal favourite is Blake's 7, although the final season was sub-par really. You've also got Space: 1999 (Season 2 was nowhere near as good as season 1), UFO (naff special effects, but interesting stories) and Doctor Who (went awful in the 80's, but came back much improved after a 15-year gap).

If you're after sci-fi comedy, then the early seasons of Red Dwarf are unsurpassed, IMHO and note that it's actually back for a new 3-episode run on "Dave" in the UK next Easter weekend! Annoyingly, I can't actually get "Dave" where I live (digital multiplex is blank for that channel, grrr...), so I'll have to obtain the new episodes "elsewhere"...

Reply Score: 3

XemonerdX Member since:

+1 on Blake's 7. Possibly my fave sci-fi series of all time emotion-wise. Servalan was pure evil!

Reply Score: 1

TaiChiBabbo Member since:

Here! Here! And the new British stuff ain't half bad either. Just check out shows like "Jekyll", while not exactly Sci-Fi, more like Sci-Thriller. It only ran one season but what a season, James Nesbitt plays Jekyll and is truly brilliant. And there is "Primeval", which is coming to the Sci-Fi channel this season (actually in a few weeks). I am also a BIG Dr. Who fan, well a Tom Baker fan mostly as he was my favorite "Doctor".

Reply Score: 1

Battlestar Galactica
by 3rdalbum on Mon 6th Apr 2009 11:46 UTC
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As a contrast to the "reimagined" BSG finale, I went and watched the final episode of the original Battlestar Galactica.

Apollo picks up a video transmission that we know is from Earth (the moon landing), and that they think might be from Earth. They either might be picking up the primary signal, weak from travelling light-years through space, or they might be relatively near the source and picking up a harmonic signal which also explains the bad reception.

On further investigation, they discover a Cylon base star right along the path of the signal's travel, and they half-believe that the Cylons are transmitting it to lure them into a trap. A Cylon base star is more powerful than the Galactica, so they enlist the captured Baltar's help for information on the base star. They land Apollo and Starbuck on the base star using Baltar's Cylon fighter and plant explosives to knock out its sensors. As they make their getaway, Galactica begins its assault on the base star, now with the element of surprise.

Starbuck and Apollo make their getaway in the Cylon fighter again, but their IFF unit has been destroyed... they are mere seconds from being destroyed by the Galactica before the crew realise that it's not manned by Cylons.

Galactica sustains heavy damage and loses some Vipers and pilots, but eventually destroys the base star.

In the final scene: At an unmanned computer terminal on Galactica, the signal from Earth is again recieved; but there's nobody around to see it. Do they believe it was a Cylon ruse? Will they continue to head in the right direction? Is it the primary signal, in which case Earth might be strong enough to fight the Cylons by the time Galactica arrives; or is it the harmonic signal indicating that the Colonials are close to Earth, and that we've only barely achieved space flight and are in no position to fight the Cylons?

That's the original BSG's final episode. Absolutely brilliant. I think some of the fans of the new Battlestar Galactica are realising what I've been saying all along: The series did not need to be "reimagined". Ron Moore's "Oh, they were all angels" finale is weak as piss; he might as well have ended it with "Then they woke up, and the last 3 years were just a dream".

Reply Score: 2

Stargate anyone?
by Laurence on Mon 6th Apr 2009 12:58 UTC
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Weird article:

For one, there seems to be little or no meantion of Stargate (one of my all time favourite Sci-fi's)

2ndly DS9 was one of the worse of the 4 Star Trek series. Ok, granted the story arc was better, but the scripts were worse and the filler episodes were nothing short of tedious.

Voyager, once it finally got going, was actually pretty damn good and TNG was brilliant.

The rest of the franchise is the same boring nonsensical rehash of one humanoid-alien culture after another

They did explain this in TNG. The basic premis was the Alpha Quadrant aliens (Klingons, Volcans & Romulans (who basically stem from the same race anyway), humans.... and so on were all genetically from the same DNA pool - transplanted by alians who had long since died out.

On the rare occations TNG did venture out of the Alpha Quadrant - the species they ran into tended to be anything but humanoid.

Reply Score: 2

by zsejk on Mon 6th Apr 2009 16:05 UTC
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Is the following allowed...?


Best... sci-fi... ever!



Reply Score: 1

RE: Farscape
by tryfan on Tue 7th Apr 2009 09:43 UTC in reply to "Farscape"
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Is the following allowed...?
Best... sci-fi... ever!
The truth should always be allowed ;)
Farscape is not only a terrific s/f television show, it's also good s/f anyway you look at it. The story is carried by an ensemble of terrific actors (like BSG), not by a few big stars.
A terrible shame that they scrapped season 5, though. The mini series was OK, but since they had to wrap up 22 episodes in just 3-4, it feels kind of - short.

Reply Score: 1

by fury on Mon 6th Apr 2009 17:49 UTC
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Firefly was good specifically BECAUSE it was a western SciFi. The nuances and details of what such a world would look like were all accounted for. Also, the episodic nature of the first few episodes was a good thing, because it helped to dull the absolute retardedness of FOX for airing them out of order! Keep in mind the first episodes aren't entirely episodic. Your at episode 10? You're mostly done then aren't you? iirc there is only one or two seasons. As for Cally in BSG, I didn't find any particularly great aspects about her -- the show, story, effects are what hooked me.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 7th Apr 2009 07:06 UTC
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"with only Deep Space 9 actually being any good"

lol you poor misguided soul

Reply Score: 2