I've just been to interview J J Abrams about his new film Star Trek Into Darkness. This got me thinking about why the old Star Trek TV series has endured in the way it has and which other Sci-Fi series have stood the test of time.

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  • Comment number 124. Posted by TheSecondStain

    on 18 May 2013 00:55

    I'm old to think of the original Star Trek series as not TOS, but merely as Star Trek. This was the one I grew up with. The later ones have their respective qualities, but this one is always the yardstick. To me it had elements of the serious nature of new space travel, back then, yet with a confident and assured touch. The characters were real and adult enough and their adventures, though out of the ordinary, weren't dismissable because they were literally going into the unknown. This wasn't a Saturday matinee shoot-em-up, like Star Wars in later years, which I never connected with, and actually still can't, but a moral tale of right vs wrong, good vs bad, and yes perhaps mirroring east vs west, at the same time. But the series was pioneering too. It had a multinational, multi-racial crew who generally respected and valued each other, and had a sense of family and friendship amongst its leading characters. Its futuristic themes and methods were also somehow connected in reality. Anyone who has looked back at that early 60's series will be able to count the technology and gadgets that were the very stuff of Sci-Fi then but are available to us now, or will be soon. Maybe that wonderful Transporter might be able to work one day in a manner that even Dr McCoy couldn't carp about. And then we have the ship itself. Was there ever a vehicle that felt so connected..? So dramatically different and special yet so real and practical. And it was powerful, yet safe. We weren't merely invited. We were expected to be in our seats, at transmission time, along for the ride into adventure. And we were never late.

    Star Trek shows us our childhoods. Back then it showed us an exciting future. It wasn't going to be ours, but we didn't really know or care because we were being allowed in on what was going to happen. And because it was conceived and executed well enough, we could actually believe in it. And perhaps that is what really matters most about it. At its best it was genuine quality, prime time TV, that excited, inspired and even educated. Mr Spock introduced a starry-eyed, eager 7 year old boy, with a thirst for knowledge, to logic like the best teacher never could. And what could be better than that..?

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  • Comment number 123. Posted by robertdee

    on 11 May 2013 19:21

    Any of the following: Space 1999, UFO, Fantastic Journey, Blake's 7, Logan's Run, Lost in Space, The Tomorrow People, The Invaders, Buck Rogers, Sapphire & Steel or The Time Tunnel.

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  • Comment number 122. Posted by robertdee

    on 11 May 2013 19:15

    I wanted to be on Space 1999 which I think goes some way to explaining why I'm a Mac Fanboy as Moonbase Alpha looks like what I imagine an Apple store would have looked like in the 70s.

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  • Comment number 121. Posted by RWarford

    on 26 Apr 2013 14:40

    The rebooted Battlestar Gallactica was astonishing and I have to add a vote for Firefly, which, given time, might have been the greatest of all space sagas.

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  • Comment number 120. Posted by portland182

    on 21 Apr 2013 09:55

    Star Trek (TOS) is great because you want to be there too.
    A well lit optimistic show where humanity is at its best (on the whole, or else no drama). All humanity not just white males.
    It has action. It has thought provoking ideas. It has space battles. It has a philosophical slant. It is all so well thought out, that despite the terrible planet sets, and cost cutting in all areas, it has an 'authenticity' about the ship, the uniforms and the society that makes you believe.
    You get caught up in the stories, and go for the ride.
    Who wouldn't want to live in a 'world' with a space faring culture, that has friendly relations with many races/ cultures?

    Big thumbs up mark for liking Gerry Anderson's U.F.O. Many critics at the time went for the 'wooden acting' joke. It's very well acted and has a great story arc throughout the series, that ends with you knowing less about the aliens than you thought. It also has that 70's alienation (no pun) thing going on too.

    Lost in Space is a terrible series (just re-watched series 1 on DVD), and it's no surprise that it made a terrible film, despite all the cameos.

    Star Trek the original Enterprise is the space ship where I'd like to spend my time. I like the hardware in 2001:a space odyssey, but the people are so boring.

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  • Comment number 119. Posted by Maximillian_Poobart

    on 20 Apr 2013 13:09

    There has only ever been one science-fiction show worth watching and that was Babylon 5. Nothing comes close, not one show.

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  • Comment number 118. Posted by Mrrammy

    on 18 Apr 2013 12:21

    The show that introduced me to science fiction when I was a child was a kids programme called "Chocky". I used to run home from school to see it, in the days when if you missed you got no second chance.

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  • Comment number 117. Posted by spidernick

    on 17 Apr 2013 14:40

    I'm not sure I'd class The Prisoner as science fiction. Saying that, the genre does encompass a very broad range of material.

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  • Comment number 116. Posted by dh2000

    on 16 Apr 2013 17:59

    I always loved Thunderbirds and still do. They had epic story lines and fabulous vehicles. Not to mention Parker, "I'm afraid I've ruined your 'airpin milady" just one memorable line from my favourite episode The Vault of Death (they use the abandoned London Underground lines to reach a man trapped in the vault of the Bank of England. I clearly remember tearing round the playground at school with either arms stretched out diagonally behind (thunderbird 1) or diagonally forward (thunderbird 2). No one wanted to be Thunderbird 3 as it never featured in many episodes and Thunderbird 4 and 5 were right out. But the one that really scared me was Captain Scarlet. The opening titles were pretty dark for an 8 year old in the early 70s.

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  • Comment number 115. Posted by bizzo

    on 16 Apr 2013 11:42

    I fondly remember Lost in Space and UFO. Also vaguely, Jonny Quest, a US cartoon series.

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