Spabbit’s Sci-Fi Shows, ranked.

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.

Fringe  | TV Series (2008–2013) 46min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | TV Series (2008–2013) Summary: An F.B.I. agent is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist and his son in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena.
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English

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!

The Expanse  | TV Series (2015– ) 1h | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | TV Series (2015– ) Summary: A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.
Countries: Canada, USALanguages: English

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?

Andromeda  | TV Series (2000–2005) 43min | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Series (2000–2005) Summary: Captain Dylan Hunt and the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant set out on a mission to rebuild the Systems Commonwealth 300 years after its fall.
Countries: Canada, USALanguages: English

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?! 🙂

Farscape  | TV Series (1999–2003) 50min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Series (1999–2003) Summary: Thrown into a distant part of the universe, an Earth astronaut finds himself part of a fugitive alien starship crew.
Countries: Australia, USALanguages: English

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!

Stargate SG-1  | TV Series (1997–2007) 44min | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Series (1997–2007) Summary: A secret military team, SG-1, is formed to explore other planets through the recently discovered Stargates.
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English

6: Babylon 5The 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!

Babylon 5  | TV Series (1994–1998) 45min | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Series (1994–1998) Summary: In the mid 23rd Century, the Earth Alliance space station Babylon 5, located in neutral territory, is a major focal point for political intrigue, racial tensions and various wars over the course of five years.
Countries: USALanguages: English

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 🙂

Heroes  | TV Series (2006–2010) 45min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | TV Series (2006–2010) Summary: Common people discover that they have super powers. Their lives intertwine as a devastating event must be prevented.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Japanese, Spanish

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!

A Town Called Eureka  | TV Series (2006–2012) 1h | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | TV Series (2006–2012) Summary: A U.S. Marshall becomes the sheriff of a remote cozy little Northwestern town of Eureka where the best minds in the US have secretly been tucked away to build futuristic inventions for the government which often go disastrously wrong.
Countries: USALanguages: English

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!

Blake's 7  | TV Series (1978–1981) 50min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Series (1978–1981) Summary: A group of convicts and outcasts fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from a highly advanced alien spaceship.
Countries: UKLanguages: English

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.

Space: Above and Beyond  | TV Series (1995–1996) 1h | Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Series (1995–1996) Summary: The Earth is embroiled in a desperate war against alien invaders, and this series focuses on one squadron of Marine pilots involved in it.
Countries: USALanguages: English


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.

Atheist House Quotes!

Here are some of my favourite House Quotes, most with an atheist point. House is one my all time favourite series, and House, the character, well he just happens to mirror many of my atheist standpoints – so here is a small collection of House Quotes:HouseQuotes

  • “If you talk to God you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic.”

      –  (They’re all crazy!)

  • “If you can fake sincerity, you can fake pretty much anything.”

      –  (The religious fake anything – pah ;))

  • “…there’s no I in ‘team’. There is a me, though, if you jumble it up.”

      –  (Not atheist especially, but a fitting response to that so-fucking-patronising saying)

  • “Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning we’re idiots cause we can’t figure out what’s causing it.”

      –  (This applies to all the religious)

  • “Never trust doctors.”

      –  (So true!)

  • “Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise there would be no religious people.”

      –  (And wouldn’t that be a great new age of humanity!)

  • “Isn’t it interesting that religious behaviour is so close to being crazy we can’t tell it apart.”

      –  (Religious = Completely fucking crazy, and not in the cute way…)

  • “Religion is not the opiate of the masses, religion is the placebo of the masses”

      –  (I think that time was called “The Dark Ages”)

  • “Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen, so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.”

      –  (Love this, all of the religious owe the universe a fucking apology lol)

* BTW: I’m an atheist, if you hadn’t figured that one out already 😉

Movie Review: The Ambushers (1967)

ambushersThis time around, I’m reviewing The Ambushers from 1967… Now (Not giving away too much), I wasn’t even a twinkle in my father’s eye when this was made, however in around 1984, when I was just an ahem-early-tean, this became one of my favourite movies. Many years after that, I’d lost the video copy I’d hoarded over the years, and had to import the movie on DVD from the USA.

Again, not giving away my age too closely, I’ve watched this movie multiple times over the most recent 30+ years, and have to say it stands the test of time without breaking a sweat.

This movie is, in one line – Imagine a James Bond film from the 60’s, Americanised, on a lower budget, through the lens of a whiskey glass, with more realistic sexist attitudes of the times.

Dean Martin takes the title role of Secret Agent Matt Helm, and I swear throughout this movie he’s drunker than the entire cast of Dallas; but that was him, and he’s at his best putting a serious yet comical face to the secret agent role.

Playing opposite Dean is Janice Rule, in the role of Shilea Sommers, his co-agent, and pretend wife for the duration of the mission. In the opening scenes Shiela is abducted (But not as you’d expect, Jim), and makes her first appearance running to Matt’s arms after going ‘insane’ – this soon changes to a more sensible role. Makes me wish I was around at the time this was released!

Janice is best know for some of her other roles, such as in 3 Women (1977), The Swimmer (1968), Bell, Book and Candle (1958)… Years later, she even made an appearance in Murder She Wrote (1989).

Moving on from the principle cast, the movie itself is a wonderfully 60’s sideways glancing, sexist, sexy, version of a spy film. It was, and I supposed is, a spoof movie, however I sometimes think the plot line (Complete with holes) rivals many attempts at serious espionage drama.

Not forgetting the sound-track, the 60’s band plays quietly, almost unnoticed in the background throughout the movie, some would say the sound-track resembles low-grade porno or elevator music, but well, it does set the comedy element of the movie off very well.

I mean… What other movie has female secret agents with guns built in to their bras, a gadget which dissolves metal at a distance (Demonstrated on a man’s belt buckle!), flying saucers, and an Alien-Ripley-Power-Suit (Get away from her, You Bitch!) 12/13 whole years before Aliens was made in 1979! Poisoned lipstick… I mean Poisoned Lipstick – awesome! To boot, the tent Matt and Shiela use in the movie, whilst this doesn’t exist even today, would put hotels out of business in a blink.

One thing you can’t get away from in this movie is girls / women. Everywhere and sexy as well – it’s like a fashion shoot, there are more good looking women in this then the entire run of House MD!

The special effects are quite laughable, sometimes even by the standards of the time, but they do get the point across easily enough, I have to keep reminding myself that this is supposed to be a spoof! Talking of the times, the one-liners are fantastic, “And you said you were a 38″… “Where are you from? – The Bar…” Really love this movie so much! … This movie even has another spy wearing a Fez!

Anyhow, go find a copy of this and sit down with a massive amount of popcorn, and possibly some whiskey, then enjoy this movie for what it is. I’ll leave you with a trailer I found knocking around on Youtube 🙂

If you’re still reading at this point, it’s worthy of a mention that Dean played Matt in another few movies, for example The Wrecking Crew, you can find out more information from the Wikipedia page

OK… 635 words later, you can tell I love this genius movie 🙂

Hawaii Five-O

H5ONew Show!  (For me…) Hawaii Five-O.

Gotta say…  I’d not paid attention to this when it was originally out in 2010, but am now four episodes in, and it’s fucking awesome!

An action cop show with just about the right level of humour and suspension of reality to be very fun and engaging.  Also, I so keep on recognising cast members from other shows… So far I’ve seen “Boomer” from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (I mean this girl was HOT back then!), plis Hiro from Heroes!

This show is a winner, and still screening, 6 seasons on…  For once IMDB have it right, with a 7+ score from 44k+ votes 🙂

Just watching an episode now, whilst typing… And best quote ever… “You have aneurysm-face” LMAO!

An edge of undue stress

Imagine the edge a great blade, bight silver for the most part, but dull and chipped in parts, a blade of unimaginable size, sweeping through the space, motion provided by some unknown swing, bisecting even the air in one great unending arc.

Undue stress. I have undue stress. Don’t know why. If I knew why, then it wouldn’t be undue. Is there anything such as due stress? Hummm.

The weekend was ace, no problems with the weekend. Shopping in the morning on Saturday, where I made My Wife happy with a small present of a Coffee Machine, and I say with a smile, it is a small price to pay for such 🙂 The remainder of the weekend was quite OK, kids dropped round with Peanut, who was a lot better behaved than the other week, we ate, a couple of take-outs – Kebab and Chinese, watched the X-Factor (Not a bad round up of talent!), a fine time.

The Sky box is fucked, despite a firmware download and reformat – Sky are sending out an engineer on the 5th October – £30 to fix it, even if we require a new box (Which I think we will).

Work was OK today, if slightly tiresome. Got most of the charity-shit preparation out of the way, all technical testing done and all the logins, both PC and telephony have been generated; just to survey the work-floor where it’s happening and prepare to disable the call-recordings on the night. Easy.

Tomorrow, work brings a visit to one of the other offices to sort some problems, Wednesday a visit to yet another office to test some systems in the afternoon. Thu is nothing, as yet. Fri is a training course I have to run for engineers in Africa.

The “Fucking Parents” have mostly moved back, only a little more of their crap to be delivered, plus exchanging a French shit-mobile for a real car, and they’ll be fully back. They’ve got the message that neither myself or My Wife are builders, and have made some kind of agreement to have an actual builder in to do builderish stuff, not badger it into submission – this is a good thing.

So, back to the subject of stress? Why do I feel unduly stressed? Why am I slurping from the alcohol nipple tonight (All be it low level consumption)? Meh. Time will tell.

State of the Spabbit: Friday

This is going to be a general catchup – an overall State of the Spabbit address.

IMG_1415Heatlh: The back is still aching, however I have most functionality restored, I think this has been helped by the Gel from the doctors yesterday, plus the 800mg of Ibuprofen taken every fours for the last 20 odd hours. Looks like I may have been wrong to stay off the pain-killers. Meh, live and learn, or you don’t live long 😉

Did I mention Southern Comfort? I think the Comfort has helped a lot too…

Tech: The Ubahputer My Wife bought me some time ago is still continuing to amaze me as to what it can do, and how fast! Playing a lot of games over the last couple of days (Played a shitload of WoW today!), whilst I’ve been home on the sick – it’s played each one without breaking a sweat. Mind, 8gb ram, 13 tb online storage with 100% off-site backups, and an 8gb processor plus kick arse video card… 🙂

It looks like the GLITCH replacement Children of Ur is coming along very nicely, they’ve even managed to save the old setups for the the chars we all used to play! I so cannot fucking wait for this to be complete. I will give them money. PLEASE HURRY and bring back #Glitch!

GlitchMin

Regarding the mobile tech – I’ve decided to hold back a little on iOS 8, I think I’ll wait perhaps a month until the first bugs have been ironed out. Talking of the iPhone, I had a cleanup this afternoon, and managed to fix the photostream whilst I was at it. Slightly smug and pleased!

Family: All is good. The Ginger Son has performed most of the pre-marriage stuff which he really needed to do, the rest is all fluff. The Granddaughter is going to be with us on the weekend, for the night on Saturday – good to give the Giggles a night off, I know she’s not been sleeping well at the moment. My Wife is happy, I think she is a little smug and gloating about the entire new bedroom we’ve managed to put together (Mind, it has cost in excess of £1,300 – money well spent though!) – and I’m with her 100% on it 🙂 The Parents are in the throes of moving, and so long as they don’t bother me for the moment, I’m happy with them, and for them!

Baby-Of-Doom

Food: We HAVE to stop with the take-outs, it’s almost 4 out of five meals at the moment is either a Chinese, Indian or Kebab!!! Doing good – yesterday: Chilli, today: Lamb Steaks and fries. Don’t know about Saturday, but on Sunday My Wife is doing a family meal – roast – don’t know what roast, but a roast. See if I can persuade myself to cook something tomorrow as well!

Work: Apart from the fact my manager is getting made redundant a week today, and there is a massive reorganisation within the company, all is surprisingly good. If I can just get a successful handover with the new manager (Who hasn’t even been recruited yet!!!), and get my end of year grade and bonus…

Media: We’re close to finishing off the second season of Graceland, really enjoyable and gripping series – went through both seasons in a matter of a couple of weeks regular viewing time. I finished off Extant, which is a show around an invasion by evil space-spores, starring Halle Berry. Some great ideas in the show, and whilst this could of died in the middle of the run, the whole thing managed to keep my hooked right to the end, well recommended.

The next thing we’ll be watching together will be season 2 of Under the Dome – we’ve both been waiting for this season to finish screening so we can do the back-to-back episode run thing – can’t bloody wait!

Just a quickie between everything else will be Chasing Shadows, looks like an alright drama from ITV (It’ll do whilst we’re waiting for Scott and Bailey to finish off screening!)

About the only thing we’re watching on a weekly basis is New Tricks, I think we’re in season 11 at the moment – bloody long lived for a drama like this… The thing is, I think this will be last successful season – the reason I say that is a radio-announcement today that the one remaining member of the original cast, Dennis Waterman, is leaving :-/

    … Thus, The State of the Spabbit Address is concluded

Doctor Who – Aimed a little low this time?

Used the BBC IPlayer to watch the latest Doctor Who… This is the third episode in Season 8 (The new series of course). Each episode I’ve cringed at some of the ideas which have been aimed at the 16:00 viewing slot. I’m not against making programs kid-friendly, but please, this is going too far now.

BBC – Please program for the adults in the audience… The whole kid-friendly vibe is kinda pissing me off – I mean as a child I watched a fair few episodes of Doctor Who which frightened the crap out of a younger version of myself… These days a four year old child wouldn’t be frightened!

The Doctor is scary and original, a British character, with British traits, which means from time to time doing really scary shit, and going up against real bad-guys.

Fucking Mythbusters

Yes, readers, that’s right FUCKING MYTHBUSTERS. Now if you know me at all, you’ll know the Mythbusters are my very own fucking-super-heroes, yes. What have they gone and done? Got rid of Kari, Grant and Tori – found out via Facebook this morning and am fucked right off by this shit. They’ve been on the show 10 years now and well… just fucking well.

Adam and Jamie have just said they’re going back to their ‘origins’, not a fucking hint about actually fucking WHY they’ve decided that the show is better on a two man basis. I feel that there has been something going on behind the scenes which has caused this – I think Discovery are too chicken-shit to actually make this public – the whole thing stinks 🙁

Moving pains

Sunday morning was helping the father unload his packed van. Now I want to rant a little here as the van was packed full of shit. They’re moving from France and bringing shit with them. IKEA flat pack is the standard which most flat pack furniture aspires to conform to – do my parents buy IKEA which is cheap and excellent quality – do they fuck; instead bringing over the cheapest shit French flat pack shit they could find. They don’t seem to grasp the costs of moving the shit and the expected lifespan of the shit costs twice as much as getting IKEA to deliver some nice stuff.

So I’m aching from muscles I didn’t know I had through transporting a load shit which is just shit. To compound this the step mother calls me up on Sunday night complaining about the father’s drinking… Like I have any fucking control over the man. I love them both, but sometimes I just wish they’d be fucking normal!

Anyhow I bring the father back for some dinner… He doesn’t like what we’re having so I get some sausages from the local store, at the same time he picks up a bottle of wine as a present for My Wife, only he doesn’t have any money, so bums wine money off me… Lol parents.

My Wife was kind enough to drop the father back home, I rode along as a passenger – the father has been nagging for the daughter in law to come and see the new house… lol she wanted a shower after being there, and I can’t blame her… Mind it is still half a construction site.

We spent the rest of the evening watching House MD and trying to chill; my aching back woke me up later in the evening, so I had to finish off the night on pain killers. Talking of House MD, we’re almost done, only a few episodes of season 8 remain – it’s scary, we’re going to out of House soon!