The Fanboy Manifesto, Part 2 – Television

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So you consider yourself a fanboy, do you? But have you been educated in the real classics? The media that makes a fanboy, well, a fanboy? In this on-going feature we’ll point out the biggest movies, tv shows, etc. that any red-blooded fanboy wouldn’t be caught dead without knowing. These are the core of a fanboy’s being. Without these, a fanboy is nothing.

Part 2, the television shows.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

When Star Trek: The Next Generation launched in 1987 it had impossible odds to live up to. How could this new series meet the unearthly expectations of the Trekkies? Well, seven seasons and 177 episodes later it not only lived up to the legacy of the original Star Trek, but in many was exceeded it to become the landmark science fiction series in the last quarter century. Now, nearly twenty five years after its debut, TNG remains at the top of the heap for fanboy TV.

Star Trek

From Kirk’s bedding every green-skinned alien in the galaxy to the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic; the original three-season Star Trek remains a fanboy classic and a staple of fandom. You cannot be a scifi fanboy and no know Star Trek. It’s a necessity.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Following The Next Generation, there were three more Star Trek spin-offs; but Deep Space Nine was the best. It’ll forever be compared to Babylon 5, but for the Star Trek shows it had the most satisfying and emotional conclusion of them all. The final nine episodes of the series acts out like a movie to tie up all of the story-lines that were built up over the show’s seven years. If you’ve only seen a season or two of DS9, make a point to watch the last four and you won’t regret it.

Babylon 5

J. Michael Straczynski’s five year scifi epic may have been missed by a lot of people due to shoddy syndication scheduling, but the serial story he told over the five years of the show is science fiction television not to be missed. Pick up the five seasons on DVD and watch them straight through for an amazing experience.

The X-Files

Without The X-Files, we wouldn’t have today’s Supernatural or Fringe. While the final two seasons kind of went off course with new characters, the adventures of Mulder and Scully are, like Star Trek, something every fanboy should be familiar with. As for the movies, the first one should be watched in-between Seasons 5 and Seasons 6.

Battlestar Galactica

Sure it’s OK to be a fan of the sometimes silly 70’s Battlestar Galactica (but you are NOT allowed to be a fan of Galactica 1980!), however Ronald D. Moore’s amazing reboot of the show ended up redefining science fiction television to the point where everyone wants to copy it now – just look at Stargate Universe.

Doctor Who

Technically the longest running scifi show ever, the BBC’s Doctor Who has almost as many rabid fans as Star Trek does; and for good reason. Every episode is wildly entertaining with brilliant writing and great characters. People in the US can catch it on BBC America or on DVD/BluRay.

Quantum Leap

While Doctor Who is about time travel to a degree, the best science fiction time travel show is easily Quantum Leap and it’s one that ended too soon. While it ran for five seasons on NBC, the show ended in something of a depressing cliffhanger that just left fans (Leapers) desperately wanting more of Sam’s adventures through his lifetime. Some of the later leaps, such as the heart-wrenching JFK leap, are among the best scifi television ever.

Red Dwarf

One of the funniest shows you’ll ever see. If you’re not familiar with it, go out and grab the DVDs immediately.

Stargate SG-1

When Star Trek was off the air for good, Stargate took over the mantle of the lighthearted scifi show to see. Atlantis and Universe are good, but the Richard Dean Anderson years on SG-1 have yet to be topped.