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Tuesday 16 April 2013, 15:39

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

I posted recently asking you for your mind blowing moments in cinema and which SciFi series you reckon will stand the test of time. Here I pick out some of the myriad responses I received to these two questions.

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The Star Trek Question

Mindblowing Moments



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    Comment number 28.

    Don't bother watching Red Dwarf. It's hideously over-rated and totally unfunny.

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    Comment number 26.

    @Luke Smith - Thank you, I so seldom see other people who didn't get on with Firefly. To me it was just 'adventure of the week'. Every episode, at precisely 5 minutes from the end, some sort of Deus Ex Machina would come along and sort everything out. I seem to be alone in being totally unsurprised it was cancelled in an age where longform storylines are now the norm, and not single-episode storys which never advance the major plot. And then there's Whedon's annoyingly self-referential humour. Numerous times he would destroy the dramatic tension of a scene for the sake of a cheap post modern joke.

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    Comment number 19.

    Babylon 5 yes ... and the 5th season was not as good because they were told there would only be 4 so used up the story arc too soon.

    Doctor Who ... NO! Poorly written and acted children's fantasy with plot holes that you could drive a Firefly class freighter through (every episode).

    Farscape ... I bought the blu-ray set and got as far as season 4 before giving up. It had some merits but in most episodes see my Doctor Who comment. Mark, you'll not like it (probably).

    Blake's 7 ... Dear oh dear, one of the worst series ever made. Howard's Way in space. Terry & June go interplanetary. PANTOMIME! (Servalan is behind you.) You know that a broadcaster is embarrassed about one of it's production when it allows most of the cast (the entire cast on Blake's side of events) to be killed off in the last episode. They REALLY didn't want the fans to pressure for any more of it did they.

    Firefly ... excellent. Truly wonderful (except the brothel siege perhaps). The comment above about Whedon being unable to close an ending is just very wrong. Whedon's writing is uneven, granted, Avengers was massively overated, but Firefly impressed millions the world over with it's grasp of story telling and characterisation. You'd not have got me hooked on a very obvious copy of Cowboy Bebop otherwise. Watch 'Our Mrs Evans' and tell me Whedon doesn't know how to write.

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    Comment number 31.

    I think Dr. Kermode that you will fall for FarScape. I only saw the later ones on DVD but the truth is that I wanted to see them, and it's a lovely albeit at times mad and impenetrable series. I'm glad so many of us remember it fondly and it deserves to be remembered, not forgotten as some kind of accident.

    Having said this too, I'd also like to say another one which is a Gene Roddenberry one which again was around the time of FarScape, and that is Andromeda. It's certainly for me not got the innate charm and warmth of FarScape but it was an interesting, entertaining trip into space with some at the time pretty lavish special effects and again, the sort of series that shouldn't be forgotten, not least that it was one of the last things Mr. Roddenberry gave us. And there was a lot to it as well; a universe torn, at war, on past ideologies and political deals and clinging onto the past in order to shape the future.

    It's another one worth checking out.

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    Comment number 32.

    @ #28 Touchfinder - It's certainly a cultural sci-fi sitcom, and if you're not too familiar with that British milieu as well as the deliberately tacky aesthetic, I could easily see why someone would think it is not funny. That said, Red Dwarf has very witty writing, if you can appreciate that level of humor. It's main strength is taking creative license with ideas about scifi for humorous effect; the pessimistic, inward-looking British view comes through in this humor too I think (pre-internet). It works overall because it does not take itself too seriously and seems to work on the basis the audience are "in on the act"; it's all for laughs, even the acting?!


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

This twice-weekly video blog is the place where he airs his personal views on the things that most fire him up about cinema - and invites you to give your own opinions.

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