Future imperfect - Good Article from Down Under

This is a really good article on science fiction including Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Dr. Who and the state of the science fiction viewer.

By Brian Courtis
March 27, 2005

Science fiction on TV doesn't always live up to its promise, but that rarely deters its fans.

As a child of Quatermass in a galaxy far, far away, I know there has been much for which to thank the television of human beings.

From the start it has encouraged us to boldly go where no one has gone before, while tantalisingly introducing us to the Time Lords, the remarkable Zaphod Beeblebrox, Marvin the Paranoid Android, chicken-soup machine repairman Dave Lister of Red Dwarf fame, that useful all-purpose profanity "to smeg", curious Will Robinson and the appalling Professor Zachary Smith, distinctly odd Uncle Martin, and all the others that add up to that 42, which, of course, is the answer to life, the universe and everything.

Where would we have been without Doctor Who? Would Roj Blake, Avon and Supreme Commander Servelan have fought for freedom, justice and the middle-class human way against other corrupt federations? Without television and the tardis, would Lady Penelope have bothered to keep the Thunderbirds in the pink?

Television's tilt at the heavens has also brought us down to earth. It has allowed us to question our philosophies through everyone from Mork and Mindy and my dinky-di Farscape favourite Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis (Tammy Macintosh), to Fox and Mulder in the X-Files.

We have hypersped through the more conventional milky ways of Star Trek with Captain Picard and felt that, after the first Battlestar Galactica and Stargate SG-1, it was probably time to cash in our frequent astral traveller points. But, no, we don't really need the orgasmic special effects of a Matrix to keep us travelling through television's twilight zones. Science fiction may be TV drama's most neglected child, but it is still enthralling and starry with potential.



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