Last night i watched the first episode of Star Trek: Picard and i thought it was amazing, great acting by Patrick Stewart and high production value, intriguing plot and lots of fun and nostalgic references to Star Trek: The Next Generation (STNG). It got me thinking about the reasons why i’m into sci-fi and what influenced me. Besides the fact that my father took me to E.T. and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes at a very young age (before i was 10) there were also some, at least in my mind and memory, great sci-fi shows that steered me towards sci-fi and i wanted to write a blog about it so here goes.
Here are my top favorite sci-fi shows (incl. Cartoons) from when i was a kid:
This show somehow laid the foundation for my love for sci-fi and as a young kid i was fascinated by it. It had everything, vehicles that could join to create a robot (dai-x), a cool spaceship (X-bomber), relatable characters, a great story, and, in hindsight quite some emotional depth. Also Queens’ gitarist Brian May wrote a song for (or about) his show.
I actually bought the Blu-ray set a few years back and it still resonated with me. Sure, the FX were a bit dated but i felt like that kid again. With all the CGI animated shows nowadays i wonder how my kids would react to it, so i think i might give it a go.
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors
This show was part of a sunday morning show called ‘Cartoon Network’ with the great Ray Cokes as host and i just loved the vehicles, classic good vs evil, and a story about a kid in search for his father. The characters were also fun to watch and the tune of the show was very catchy. Although i think i lost track of the overall story arc at one point and can’t quite remember how it ended, it still remains a favorite.
This show was great for a few reasons but the combination of greek mythology (although at the time i wasn’t quite aware of it) and sci-fi was brilliant. And especially the story and the mood of the show was mesmorizing, you almost felt the pain and suffering of the punishment the main character had to face.
I think i saw the ending but can’t remember it clearly but again, hearing the tune brings back memories. This is a show that could be made into a great movie.
No sci-fi list is complete without Transformers. Although there have been many reincarnations the original is still the greatest in terms of storylines and likeble and relatable characters. The ending story with unicron and the ‘death’ of Optimus Prime was chilling and great. And i’d recognize the transform-sound anywhere.
I think i watched Transformers Beast Wars later in life but it lacked the vibe of the original. Last year though there was an online youtube reincarnation which was quite good and was a continuance of where the original show left of in CGI form including the original characters such as Megatron and Starscream and Soundwave.
Together with the anime Akira and Neon Genesis: Evangelion, this show sucked me into the anime/manga type series. I remember coming home from middleschool, running upstairs and turning on the small TV in my parents room to watch this show. The ships and vehicles were amazing, the fighters and the SDF-1 (main battleship) that could transform were great.
But the overall story-arc behind show is what made it great and it had everything, laugther, exitement, romantic involvement, death, loss. So i think it was a series with lots of ‘adult’ themes. And i think for me this was the first show where not everything ended up well. But have a look yourself.
They made a full movie of the series and there were a few follow up series, some good, some not so. If you want to know about the history click here. There was talk about an actual real-life movie and there seems some progress so i’m hoping this will work but hopefully more faithfull to the series than Michael Bay did with Transformers.
The thing is when i started writing this blog, this old serie kept popping up in my mind. I have no clear recollection of it except for the fact that it somehow stayed with me. So should it be on this list? Maybe not but it had an influence and it’s my list :-).
The first time i came into contact with this show was at a friends house who’s father had a bootleg VHS tape of the movie. And after watching that i was hooked. Especially with regards to the design of the Galactica which is basically a redesigned aircarft carrier in space. But i remember making a model of it with my Lego at that time and that kept me busy for hours.
The serie itself was full of great characters like Adama and Starbuck and the cylons were both haunting and fascinating with their robot voices saying ‘by your command‘. This version of the show ended i think with the ‘death’ of Starbuck and had a follow up series where they found Earth but i couldn’t bare watching it.
ps: the new incarnation is also one of my favorites but that’s for part II of this blog.
- Neon Genesis: Evangelion: like many anime, very weird, sometimes dark and usually about a father and a son and lots of psychological aspects. Plus the robot design and main theme were fantastic.
- Blake’s 7: this was a show from early in my childhood, can’t remember much but was one of the first real-life sci-fi show i saw.
- Thundercats: man/woman-cats/tigers with cool tech and a great tune, ‘thundercats hooo’!
If you grew up in the eighties the list from IMDB is great for nostalgia purposes.
Next time i’ll tell you about the sci-fi series that got to me later on in life. So what were your favorite sci-fi series from your childhood?