Continuing the series of articles for ranked TV, comes the Sci-Fi Shows, ranked. This covers what are, strictly in my opinion, the best Sci-Fi shows I’ve personally seen. I’m no professional critic, I just like what I like – Just take a show for what it is, with its limits, and just bloody well enjoy it :). The list has been reduced down to the top 24 for a mention, out of the 160 which started!
As was stated in the other articles, the really good Sci-Fi always has a simple idea at the core, and is allowed to grow in to something quote horrific, and like a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster will leave you with one hell of a hangover thought 🙂
Sci-Fi series don’t always hammer home a particular point, some of them may be classed as comedy, or space-opera, but none the less, they’ve Sci-Fi at heart, all be it they’re set in space or in the future!
Hopefully, if you’re looking for something different to watch in the Sci-Fi genre, this article will give you some ideas!
1: Fringe – This show is a memory for some, and a gem waiting to be discovered for others – I was fortunate enough not to have watched Fringe when it was first on – only discovering it on recommendation from a friend – that means I was able to binge-watch this piece of solid gold awesome! The three main actors, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble really branded themselves onto this show making the oh so subtle ideas come alive on the screen. Lessons of Fringe: All that glitters isn’t Amber. Watch today – you won’t be disappointed.
2: The Expanse – Syfy did good with The Expanse, apart from the discontinuation! What’s unusual about this show is that it’s stunning Sci-Fi which (mainly) sticks to the known principles of physics – for example, it doesn’t allow for a full-stop in space without consequences, and obeys the principles of ballistic projectiles and gravity. The show reminds me of many a Sci-Fi (trash?) novel, concerning the potential on-world, and off-world war scenarios – this time it’s so polished, you’d think it was actually Canadian Sci-Fi! In a nutshell The Expanse is a sterling example of A-Grade Sci-Fi in the modern age, and a crying shame it was cancelled. I’m hopeful of a revival from Amazon, but if it is coming, it’s damn well taking its sweet time!
3: Andromeda – Shiny sexy Sci-Fi of the highest standard. This show has been ripped apart, but to be honest – those people can go do one. Andromeda is an epic scale Sci-Fi space show of the highest order. No it doesn’t pay much attention to real-life, but that’s the Fiction element in Sci-Fi for you 🙂 I kinda like the way it has references to the old naval ranks and morality whilst set in a universe which is just amazing. Love the elements of the story line where the up-tight captain has to rely on the sexy-roguish Beka Valentine, played by Lisa Ryder. Do you follow The Way?
4: Farscape – Sci-Fi with Leather – extremely sexy and polished leather modelled by Claudia Black, oh and that smile – this made a younger me have a head-rush of love for this show! Wow, what a different universe from any other shows out there – biological ships, baddies who look insane, a floating alien Sci-Fi version of Lovejoy (You can tell my age from this!). What more do you want from a Sci-Fi show?! 🙂
5: StarGate-SG1 is in fifth place – This show (technically the movie – but that was crap compared to the series) started an amazing universe with an epic scale. 214 Episodes and a couple of specials makes this the longest running Sci-Fi show out there – when coupled with Atlantis and Universe it make this one of the biggest hitters of all Sci-Fi series. It lasted this many episodes for a reason – Stargate could cover almost any scenario it wanted to, the premise of the show allowed it to branch on-world, off-world, and everything in-between as it wished. I’ve very good memories of this show, and the escapism it provided. Even though (at the moment) it’s pretty dead in the water, hope lives on that another franchise instalment will bring this universe (no pun intended) back to life!
6: Babylon 5 – The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. But in the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope – for victory. The year is 2260. The place: Babylon 5. That line kicked off one of the most stunning pieces of Sci-Fi in TV history, quoting the epically stoic Ivanova “No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow” – B5 went BOOM in the Sci-Fi world, everything was perfect, the premise, the universe, the history – this show had it all, aliens, aggressive and cool looking ships, jump-gates, crime, treason – sexy Sci-Fi of the highest order. Few story-arcs in any Sci-Fi universe can ever hope to hold a candle to this masterpiece!
7: Heroes – “Save the cheerleader, save the world” was the phrase of the day. I was undecided for a while if this was Fantasy or Sci-Fi, however I’ve come down on the Sci-Fi side of the fence. This series follows the tales of mutants, but unlike the X-Men, these are more ‘normal’ and largely the tales are more subtle. There was always an overall story arc in Heroes, but it was (as is typical of the series) told in a subtle way – the story arc was frequently disjointed taken in small lumps, but was overall beautifully done and is a credit to the writers. Loved this show, and was very excited when a new season came out recently – I feel the new season could have done so much more, and brought life back into the franchise, but sadly it was shit – nice try to bring it back, but no cigar. The original still stands as a beacon of what is possible 🙂
8: Eureka – Sci-Fi cute, turns evil! Eureka was Sci-Fi lite most of the time, a happy place where tech made lives better, with the odd hiccup! I really enjoyed this – even though there was an overall story arc, it was very much in the background – each episode was OK to watch on its own. The series did surprise me later on with a real turn to the dark-side, turning characters which I’d grown to love into outright monsters – really twisty in places, Eureka is sorely missed!
9: Blake’s 7 – This is the only show I felt actually improved when the title character went missing. When Avon, played by the sadly deceased Paul Darrow, took over the lead role in the show it got 100% better. Don’t get me wrong, it was easy to pick holes in the show, in some places it felt very low budget, but the overall feel of it, from the villians to the heroes and everything in-between was epic. I’m still a big fan of the second ship in the series Scorpio with the on-board computer, Slave – what a ship! ORAC is amazing, they actually wrote a part for a dweeb computer – lol 🙂 ❤ Servalan – so evil!
10: Space: Above and Beyond – US Navy in space, kicking arse with Naval Aviators. Brilliant series, but very short lived, and some have said Well before its time. Agree or not, I can see elements of this show in the much bastardised film version of the Robert A. Heinlien book Starship Troopers.
Click the “Continue Reading” link for the full list… you’ll be surprised what’s on it 🙂
Continue reading Spabbit’s Sci-Fi Shows, ranked.
This post covers my picks for the top Sci-Fi movies, starting with my Top 10!
In the list I talk about the ideas at the heart of the movies. Good Science Fiction always has a simple idea at the core, but one which is left to almost naturally develop into a narrative which will make you sit up and think “WTF did I just watch”. Other Sci-Fi, and some in the later stages of the list completely bypass the horrific ideas, in their cases I’d class them as “Sci-Fi Lite”, good for a watch, but they ain’t gonna shake your mind up :).
I’m not a movie critic, and in many examples what I like has been routinely ripped apart by critics… but what the hell do they know? Just take a movie for what it is, with its limits, and just bloody well enjoy it 🙂
First on the list, and in top place is Lucy (2014). Everything about this movie is epic – apart from it’s too short! In the title role, Scarlett Johansson is more or less forced into taking evolutionary steps, and in short order becomes something else all together. The movie takes the viewer on a roller coaster non-stop journey including one of the best driving scenes out there. Can’t say any more about this without spoilers, but seriously, it’s the one. Morgan Freeman, as usual is excellent in his role, and brilliance from Luc Besson 🙂
Transcendence (2014) comes in a strong second. It received robust criticism when released, however I just really enjoyed this tale of human evolution when mixed with technology. As with all excellent Science Fiction, Transcendence deals with the small idea integrating into and eventually bringing about massive changes in the bigger picture. A small and horrifying idea given space to grow! An epic movie on every level.
Again with a horrifying idea at the core, Ender’s Game (2013) comes in third place. The idea behind this film is brutal… You kinda get a hint, but it’s not until the end of the movie where the true audacity of the idea smacks the back of your brain awake! I can’t really say more without spoilers, but this one will blow you away.
No list would be complete without my fourth place choice, Evolution (2001). This is a Sci-Fi Comedy – and for the life of me I don’t know how the actors didn’t dissolve in a pool of laughter in every other scene. Fox Mulder eat your cold exterior and go watch this supreme masterpiece which I usually end up watching at least once a year! Laugh a minute with some very cute (and some damn right icky) aliens!
In the middle of the pack, fifth place comes Flash Gordon (1980). Wow! What scummy list would miss out on this awesome work of genius! The soundtrack alone is famous enough to have an entry! Flash Gordon saves the day. Simply put – you should have seen this if you’ve been alive at least nine years, if you haven’t – go watch. If anyone re-makes this film they should be punished. Step away from the edit button!!!
Paperhouse (1988) Is in 6th place, but has a special place in my movie loving heart. This was a film I viewed for the first time when I was around 18. Paperhouse stood out from the usual crop of movies at the time, and still does – it’s the whole set of feelings it projects, and the overall style which make it brilliant. An interesting point about this movie is that the mother’s part was dubbed over, giving it a unique sound, making this movie even more cut glass than it was originally. This is a movie which will make you think, for sure.
My Best Friend Is A Vampire (1987) in seventh place. This has been in my favourites list for a long time! I initially saw this on VHS back in the day, and it was many years later when I managed to find it again. Rewatching after 20 years, the film does show its age, but is just as good. It’s a very lite film, so does need the viewer to just relax and watch, easy to pick holes in, but why when it’s so enjoyable 🙂
Night Watch (Russian with eng subs) (2004) is in eighth place. This masterpiece should be filed in the dictionary under “Industrial Cool”. I’ve only watched this and Day Watch in terms of Russian Movies – gotta day I love the whole feel of the movie – it just has an essence and depth that is so different to all others I’ve seen. Dark, Brooding and brimming with purpose, plus a fleeting glimpse of a culture that I doubt I’ll ever know. If you watch this, don’t you dare do it dubbed, Russian with subtitles is the only way.
Barbarella (1968) – Barbarella Psychedelia coming in 9th place! What an amazing movie! It has everything from funky-cool-70s-porn-star-world – costumes, ships, bondage, a fallen angel who’s blind, and finally an Orgasmatron! The villians are villainous, and the heroes are straight from an even more camp Flash Gordon! What’s not to love… ❤❤❤ Barbarella & Jane Fonda!
The Ambushers (1967) comes in 10th place, but still a much loved memory of my early childhood! Dean Martin plays secret agent Matt Helm, and oh boy is he straight out of a whiskey-glass from the 60s! This movie is as sexist-funny as could be for the time it was produced, yet still manages to maintain an air of innocence – guess it was just that way back then. The scenery is cardboard, the special effects only spring to a sparkler or two, yet this low-grade 60’s scifi comedy hits all the right buttons. They just don’t make ’em like this any more!
Now I know this was supposed to be a top ten, but I have a couple of mentions which I’d like to slip in some details for before the main list.
Explorers (1985) – For me, this was always one of my favourite movies, again this is from my childhood. Director Joe Dante manages to capture the feel of the 80s perfectly here, and I’d even go so far to say that the production is more like Spielbergs’. This is junior Sci-Fi at it’s finest – a bunch of kids are sent dreams of circuit designs, and manage to build a spaceship straight out of junk, taking the voyage of their lives! Just wow!
Weird Science (1985) Is the last movie I’ll detail here – what Sci-Fi list would be complete without Weird Science? This is THE teenage Sci-Fi movie! Two nerds rebel against a bully, make a kick-arse girl who then goes on to turn their kitchen blue, and park an ICBM in their living room! Soooo cool – and I so missed out on the tech of that era!
Click the “Continue Reading” link for the full list of 25 titles
Continue reading Spabbit’s Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies!
Right… Getting to grips with a long list of posts I’ve been meaning to make for a while now! I begin with the top 10 General Movies – my personal favourites of all time, so far. The list isn’t static, but this is what I’ve boiled down at the moment! The full list does cover the top 49 I’m sure there will be more, but the old grey cells aren’t that good these days!), the full list is below the details of the top 10.
As stated these are the general movies, which cover Action / Drama / Comedy and anything else 🙂
I’m not a movie critic, and in many examples what I like has been routinely ripped apart by critics… but what the hell do they know? Just take a movie for what it is, with its limits, and just bloody well enjoy it 🙂 Some of the movies in the list you more than likely haven’t heard of, some of them certainly aren’t mainstream, but all of them are worthy of a viewing!
First of the crop is The Goonies (1985) – This has to be the top, honestly for me this is the one of the generation. The Goonies and their Goony adventures were the day-dreams of my early teenage years. It wasn’t just the movie, but the soundtrack is iconic too – genius!
Shoot ’em Up (2007) comes in a close second. Clive Owen shooting everything in sight, including shooting Paul Giamatti using a carrot! What’s not to like in this blast of a comedy movie! I always like to settle down to watch this one when plot isn’t an issue, but action is 🙂
Down Periscope (1996) is Third. Now I was never a fan of Kelsey Grammer in Frasier, but in this he’s amazing. “Welcome Aboard”. If you’ve not watched this one, and need a good belly laugh – it’s your ticket!
Heathers (1988) is one of the classics for the period and exemplified an entire age in movies of the genre. The ultimate American-high-school-clique movie. Did Americans really dress like that back then?
Sucker Punch (2011) is in fifth position. This is pure action, a fantastic soundtrack making use of the most unusual songs. This is one of my favourite high octane movies of all time, an easy watch, and definitely shiny!
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) is in sixth place. Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this movie?! Love Samuel L. Jackson in this – does he even say “Motherfucker” once? 😉
Real Genius (1985) in solid seventh place – Wow. When I saw this as a teenager it was soooo fucking cool. The stiff, the party animal, and the guy in a secret bunker accessed through a closet! Someone had too many drugs to think of this – and I thank them for it 🙂
Idiocracy (2006) comes in eighth place. Is this a comedy, a drama, or a frightening portent of the near future? A must watch to make you think of the direction Humanity is heading in!
Malcolm (1986) for Ninth place. This amazing and often overlooked work by Nadia Tass and David Parker starred the amazing Colin Friels in a most challenging role as an idiot-savant. You just don’t get movies like this any more. Difficult subject portrayed with a a gentle slant of comedy. One of a kind.
The Breakfast Club (1985) is in tenth place. THE 80s movie. Long, boring in places, but it manages to keep your attention captured like a fly in amber. Captures the stereotypes of an entire generation with so much accuracy it hurts!
Now the article is a top 10… but, these two deserve special mentions!
Beetlejuice (1998) is number 11 on the list, and no top ten could miss Beetlejuice… Beetlejuice… Beetlejuice! No words for this – I’m sure it holds a place the memories of at least half the western world’s populace 🙂
Twister (1996) is twelfth place, and has a special mention – this movie brought the world of storm-chasers to the public conciousness back in 1996 – Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton managed to blow you away with this fondly remembered movie!
The rest of the list is after the “Continue Reading link”
Continue reading Top 10 Movies
Lies, it’s all lies. The articles out there make it out to be hyper-complex – it ain’t, it’s VERY simple, but there are zero articles which point out this path – the articles (which shall not be named), all point in the direction of the LEGO stack (Let’s Encrypt), which whilst free is a pain in the arse to understand without even trying to comprehend actually doing it.
Go spend £10ish a year on an SSL cert with one of the cheaper SSL certificate providers, you’ll thank yourself, and it’ll be simple!
Why go SSL, especially for a simple site? Not everyone is a tech expert – if they see a warning in their browser that your site isn’t secure, they’ll more than likely go navigate away. If you have any user interaction on the site, it is a security hole – especially when logging in – nobody wants to transmit passwords in plain text!
There is a break here, as this is a long article – not everyone will want to scroll through this thing 🙂
I was scrolling through the blog, and came across the below article from 2016… I think that now, here years later, it has even more meaning. Blip in the timeline, or chaos on a stick with ketchup? We’ll be finding out soon – watch this country shaped space 😉
Today, the UK has voted to leave the EU, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron (A public-schoolboy upper society product who’s never lived in real-life) has resigned.
There is a lot of chatter about this – a lot of it is bollocks and made up stats – we in the UK need to wait for the dust to settle before jumping to any conclusions.
Here is some proportion / perspective – The EU has only existed since 1956, we’ve only been in it since 1975… The U.K. began in 1284, was formalised in 1536 between England and Wales, with Scotland joining in 1707, and Northern Ireland in 1921.
You really think it’s all down hill from here? History points the other way, and you can’t ignore hundreds of years of historical trends for less than half a century – is this merely a blip in the larger time line?
We’re all getting more random, right? (All of us, or just some randoms?)
Was I born at the wrong time, or was the wrong time when I was born? 🙂
At this point, you’re probably thinking ‘bullshit’, and you’d be right in some reality. Your bullshit detector would be right on the money. Except, it’s all true.
I’ve noticed, most recently and with an accelerating pace, that I’m getting more random, and older. As the premise of this article goes, I’m just not sure what’s coming first, or it’s just a coincidence that they just happen to be occurring at the same time. So let’s explore some of the random.
Music is like a canary in this instance, for me. When I was younger there was a distinct divide between old and new music, between classical, and pop. I’ve recently learned a new phrase “Low-Fi Soul” – to have a musical (or other) taste which is older than you are. I’m going lower by the day – my tastes are rapidly evolving to appreciate music either from, or in the styles of the 50s/60s – 10 to 20 years before I was even conceived. I think it’s driving my wife nuts, but that’s nothing new. It’s costing me a fortune, and I’m wondering where, or when (sic) it’ll stop. “Marriage is finding that special person to annoy for the rest of your life”…
Talking of the the music, here are a few fantastic examples of modern artists turning back the clock with modern fidelity. Hi-Fi, Lo-Fi hits :). I fucking love these…
And here are some random thoughts which have occurred, sometimes whilst sober (shocking, right?)
- If, when you were 18, you had a detailed and accurate window into a moment in your 40’s (Assuming you’ve made it that far), would you self-terminate, or carry on regardless, not knowing the pain you’d go through between the two points?
- Do you consider life is a shitpile, or it just is?
- As you get older, does the world get smaller, or do you just see more of the picture.
- Does seeing more of the picture mean you care less about the details and the missed brush strokes?
- It’s all so fucking zen.
- Why are you always calm in other people’s emergencies, but seldom in your own?
- Are old people just grumpy, or have they simply used up their quota of fucks – Here, behold the field where I grow my fucks, you’ll note it is barren.
- “It’s only money”.
- Can’t decide if men or women are more cunty? Yup.
- Everyday is actually a fucking school day. When it stops, are you dying, or simply learning about death, in depth?
- When you know everything you need, it’s usually too late.
- Ignorance is a rogue.
- All problems can be resolved (or covered up) with enough money, more so as time progresses – what has humanity become?
- Risk and memories are flip sides of the same coin, one cannot exist without the other. Courage and fear. Evil and no-so-evil.
- Life: A kind of trick.
- Talking of Evil. It’s the small bits of evil which are the most satisfying. Try little evil today, it’ll make you smile.
- Drink wine.
Looking at the pic to the right of the inside of a new PC. What’s wrong I hear you ask? Cable routing – some kind person has routed all the cables through the 5.25″ drive bays, rendering them useless. They’ve even routed the front connector cables for the case via the bottom of the drive bays. “Fuckery!” I hear you cry – and you’d be right.
In the middle of last month, my old PC workhorse gave up the ghost – five long hard years of service had taken their toll, the machine is now dismantled and down the tip! So I ordered a new “custom build” from Novatech. Initial disappointment that they couldn’t get the machine together quickly was soon forgotten as I’d modified the base build for something all together better. Sooo… a couple of weeks roll by and I eventually receive the machine (Packaged very well I might add) in the post, only to find that they’d made the mistake as pictured.
Not a big mistake you might think. Anyone could make it, right? Wrong. Massive mistake. The whole point of getting Novatech to build the machine in the first place was so I could avoid the boring mundane shit of building a PC – I’ve better things to do with my time. So I ended up taking it apart and rebuilding in a sensible way which allows use of the drive bays. There goes 1.5 hours of my time I’ll never get back again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the time which gets me ranting, it’s the reason why! Novatech are an old company, I used them since the 90’s when I bought my first 14.4k USR Robotics “Stylus” modem from ’em. Over the years I’ve recommended Novatech to many friends and colleagues – “Go to Novatech, they’re brilliant, great customer service, brilliant prices, and they’ve never let me down!”. Years back they were fantastic – had a PC Delivered with a DOA PSU – Called them up, they sent a replacement in the post the same day, didn’t even want the old one back – brilliant. Back in the day, my “Goto” was Novatech – why go anywhere else when they were just so damn good!?
2019. Wow. What a complete change. Build a PC as part of a (Not inexpensive) order, and get it wrong. When complaining, do they admit this – no. Do they give me back the money I spent with them to have them unbox the parts and put them together for me? NO. All I get is “Sorry for the inconvenience!”. Wow. The entire point of ordering a custom build from them was to avoid putting it together. Don’t get me wrong, this may have been “lazy” of me, after all I am more than capable of building a PC – a simple but time consuming and fiddly thing to do – easier for them, they’ll have a work space designed to facilitate this stuff etc. It’s part of the service I paid them for, they got it completely wrong, and nothing. I expect better from a company I’ve showed loyalty to for 25 years!
Novatech: What happened? I’ll certainly not have you as my “goto”, I’ll just waste my own time and get stuff done myself, first time right, no fuckery. I’ll cease the steady stream of recommendations which have lasted 25 years – All because in my most recent customer service experience, you now suck at customer service to me. I’m so disheartened by the response from your CS rep, I’ve given up e-mailing and trying. I’ve given up on Novatech.
Just a note to anyone reading this article. Don’t by any means let it stop you from ordering from Novatech, as stated for 25 years they’ve been a fine company. Go Google them for yourselves, and make up your own minds. Everything above is my own true to life experience, opinion, and nothing more.
Just as a strict disclaimer… If you’re offended by this, assuredly none of the below (Or anything on this site) is targeted at you as an individual. Nothing here is anything-phobic, or rasist, or anything baring a good rant and dark-sardonic humour. If you don’t like industrial level swearing which would make satan bush, then scroll on by and don’t whine that you weren’t warned. If you’re offended, scroll on by and enjoy your life. If you laughed at this article – I like you 🙂