Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

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Addendum_Forthcoming:

Best sci-fi show? Really? X-Files, Classic Who, Quatermass, Blake's 7, Flash Gordon ...

Of those, only seen Blake's 7 and Classic Who.

Blake's 7 is good, but the only thing it has going for it is its characters, and only a handful at that. Classic Who is sci-fa, and has aged terribly. If you said NuWho you might have had a leg to stand on, but again, different genre.

I always had the theory the reason why people like Babylon 5 is in much the same vein as why they like Firefly. The fact that it waseither cancelled, or threatened with cancellation and routinely defunded, and thus somehow it 'speaks to its credit' as if what could have been ... all without considerig fora moment that tv showsoften have to bankroll themselves with advertiser interest from season 1 in order to justify the funding it gets ... and on that note Babylon 5 failed precisely because it failed to actually generate interest even when it was around, and lo and behold became as if this trendy 'auteur, pure sci-fi' label when it doesn't do a single thng right.

Except B5 does pretty much everything right, and wasn't cancelled, so it's hard to put it in the same boat as Firefly.

As for Firefly, while I do think a lot of its hype comes from the possibility of what could have been, it helps that its season by itself is very solid.

Seriously, you say Babylon 5 has great writing ... yet it suffers Star Trek disease of being the cringiest fucking show to watch when it just so happens to deal with romantic themes. Seriously, it's gross. Like, what planet do these writers live on that whatever they want to pass off as 'romantic' is downright creepy, and whatever they want to consider 'passionate' is downright corny?

Completely disagree. It's got some of the most natural romatic interaction in the genre. It never dissolves into schlock or cringe, but feels natural.

I forced myself to binge watch Babylon 5 recently and you know what the most interesting thing about S4 is? The Mars conflict. We got none of it. No nuance. No meaningful rebel leaders who are actually fighting and dying.

No nuance?

Remember when the Mars Resistance is initially attacking civilian targets before Stephen puts a stop to it?

Remember the issue of the bloodhound units and the reception Lyta gets?

Remember how by extension, it feeds into the mutual distrust of telepaths and normies?

Remember Edgars's attempt of a "final solution" to the telepath problem, recognising it is a problem, and being torn up by his actions?

Yeah. No "nuance."

The Shadows controlling human society so much they deign to bother about the fashionable length of what skirts? Apparently the Shadows are the Illuminati, but the Earth Alliance continued to build Babylon stations regardless? What was the game plan there, fellows?

The Shadows didn't start taking control of EarthGov until well after B5 was constructed. They act through Clark. The Babylon Project was Santiago's initiative.

Hell ... one of the Babylon stations was crucial in a fight against the Shadows ... like, the Shadows if manipulating humanity could have simplydefunded the Babylon project after Station 3 blew up; cited obvious reasons that are obvious why the Babylon project should be scrapped after three attempts, and case closed. Shadows win.

Sabotage. That doesn't speak of high level infiltration.

You know what's really disgusting, though? The Shadows would probably make better rulers. Hear me out. The resources of an entire galaxy and you've got that Ranger Marcus waxing poetic about how he no longer cares about the needs of the poor because he takes solace in the universe being unfair.

That's some wilful misconstruction on your part.

Marcus never states he doesn't care - he even quotes Dickens to those who don't care. The entire point of that scene is that he can take small comfort in the universe being unfair because if it WAS fair, it meant that everything bad that happened to him was because he deserved it, and by extension, to everyone else. That the poor were poor were because they deserved to be.

Marcus is one of the most moral characters in the show.

None of the races seem to actually want to get their shit together and would rather their societies degenerate into shitholes where most of them live in abject poverty even onboard what is supposed to be the premier diplomatic station in the galaxy ...

Name one race in the setting that actively seeks to curate poverty among its populace.

All the Shadows seem to want to do is pit races against eachother to see them become stronger, and apparently that's somehow worse than races inflicting needless poverty on their own people inspite of the resources of an entire galaxy.

Again, name one race that seeks to curate poverty.

After all, how would a doctor respond? A person who has to deal with kids suffering cancer? Or schizophrenia sufferers? Or people with MND? Their career is entirelybased on the idea that Marcus is talking shit.

Yeah...no.

Wilfull or otherwise, you've missed the entire point of that scene.

All of the primary characters deserve to be thrown up against a wall and promptly shot in a revolution.

Why?

Who exactly are you supposed to root for?

Um...the main characters?

Because the show keeps on telling me these people are decent at heart but in truth they're either cowardly, shameful, repugnant, cruel, or utterly disingenuous.

How?

And didn't you cite Blake's 7 as being better? Y'know, a ship filled with morally dubious individuals (only a handful of which are fleshed out, but that's another issue)?

Hawki:

Of those, only seen Blake's 7 and Classic Who.

Blake's 7 is good, but the only thing it has going for it is its characters, and only a handful at that. Classic Who is sci-fa, and has aged terribly. If you said NuWho you might have had a leg to stand on, but again, different genre.

Splitting hairs. What, exactly, is the defining difference between science-fiction and science-fantasy?

I mean B5 has a fucking arcing plot about reincarnation and human and Minbari souls as if categorically provable a thing. About the closest to on the fucking nose that is in Classic Who is Time Lords and regeneration. And even then not that fucking on the nose.

Also the original Quatermass serials basically singlehandedly defined the whole idea of human-alien first contact danger in sci-fi. Invasion of the Body Snatchers harks back to it, Alien harks back to it, even Species.

Except B5 does pretty much everything right, and wasn't cancelled, so it's hard to put it in the same boat as Firefly.

Except Firefly actually got a real budget.

As for Firefly, while I do think a lot of its hype comes from the possibility of what could have been, it helps that its season by itself is very solid.

Mileage may vary.

Completely disagree.

Then you're blind, and deaf, and likely an alien.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F5iTSXXFC0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjvsv8Wyv3U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzv6JnrxJKU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03WpQdyxNBo

That last one is actually funny... but once again, Jurasik is one of the few only likeable main cast.

No nuance?

Remember when the Mars Resistance is initially attacking civilian targets before Stephen puts a stop to it?

And? You're telling me a revolutionary front that spans multiple colonized worlds is just going to stop every one of its underground resistance cells because of a single character? You're telling me that not one of those resistance cells benefits from expanding the nature of the conflict to include civilian targets? You're telling me that somehow a single resistance leader could make those guarantees or the merits of their revolutionary activities are judged by some capacity to centralize their activities to affordsuch control, all while trying to stay alive?

That's what I call a lack of nuance. It's almost as if a problematic argument when we apply it to current discourse on terrorism.

Remember the issue of the bloodhound units and the reception Lyta gets?

What, that thing that telepaths were already hated for? Shock horror. The Psi Corps elements of the show were actually legitimately interesting (beyond its own established ridiculousness) ...

The Shadows didn't start taking control of EarthGov until well after B5 was constructed. They act through Clark. The Babylon Project was Santiago's initiative.

And yet immediatey after that line (or before it, I can't remember) he talks directly about how they manipulate currency markets? So apparently the Shadows control market speculation itself without any consideration to fiscal and monetary policy of Earth's governments ... and yet you're telling me that this control doesn't extend to governent funding?

Or the simple fact of the matter is that the Shadows didn't even bother to make their move until after B5 was constructed despite having proof of human intervention via B4?

Or the fact that this complete control of fiscal and monetary policy and apparently the fashion scene just magically emerged in the last handful of decades?

Sabotage. That doesn't speak of high level infiltration.

They literally manipulte all of Earth's currency markets and their fashion scene. Now one ofthose I can buy, the other the Shadows don't strike me as being the literal fashion police as if a high priority thing. The insinuation is quite clear. The Shadows have been manipulating the younger races for eons.

That's some wilful misconstruction on your part.

No,it's just a hypocritical character that is treated as if profound and thoughtful.

And what's more is that a doctor seemingly agrees with him despite his entire profession is based on thinking Marcus is full of shit. Regular people would scoff, or be derisive, or simply query whether they actually want this person following them around.

Marcus never states he doesn't care - he even quotes Dickens to those who don't care. The entire point of that scene is that he can take small comfort in the universe being unfair because if it WAS fair, it meant that everything bad that happened to him was because he deserved it, and by extension, to everyone else. That the poor were poor were because they deserved to be.

That is literally not what he says. At best it's pure apathy, at worst it's hypocritical psychopathy. Which is worse?

Marcus is one of the most moral characters in the show.

How? His very ending scene he literally takes a ship out of the fight, beats up two medical technicians, simply to save a person who he already knew would hate him for it.

Name one race in the setting that actively seeks to curate poverty among its populace.

Name one species that actually makes it a prerogative to actually redistribute the wealth of the galaxy to its race's membership and improve their livelihood? This is the thing ... the show itself routinely reinforces just how non-existent the welfare state is... and no one ever stops to question why that is?

Under the previous admitration of Santiago? The poor were still mistreated and still poor. Under Clarke, no less the same. Nothing has even changed for them ... just more excuses.

Yeah...no.

Wilfull or otherwise, you've missed the entire point of that scene.

Choosing instead to focus on how divorced the writing is from actual human discourse is not an example of missing the point. Once again, I didn't choose to edit and frame the scene as they did. They chose that.

Why?

Because none of them have an actual moral bone in their body. Any virtue to be had is purely circumstantial, not on the basis of actual thoughtful character portrayal. The show has entire reins on the progress of the plot, but its individual scenes of when they actually wish to portray character vignettes to round out that portrayal are shot in a way I question whether the writers are really that broken.

How?

Which character would you like me to break down?

And didn't you cite Blake's 7 as being better? Y'know, a ship filled with morally dubious individuals (only a handful of which are fleshed out, but that's another issue)?

Because that;s the whole point of Blake's 7 ... even Blake himself isn't entirely on the level, and the show makes it quite clear from the very first episode that the universe that these characters operate in is entirely morally dubious. That's the thing I'm getting at ... I love Blake's 7 precisely because the show does not waste time rattling of about virtue and the moral highground and doesn't pretend to either. Whereas repeatedly Babylon 5 tells me these characters are genuinely decent people at heart and it's a load of garbage.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Splitting hairs. What, exactly, is the defining difference between science-fiction and science-fantasy?

Science fiction: "Fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component."

Science fantasy: "A mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy."

I'm not completely happy with either definition, but sci-fa is distinct from sci-fi in that it combines the tropes of fantasy and sci-fi. Sci-fi can have some fantastical elements, but that would make it more "soft" sci-fi. Sci-fa would involve the tropes having equal representation, whereas sci-fi would have any fantasy elements being fringe.

I mean B5 has a fucking arcing plot about reincarnation and human and Minbari souls as if categorically provable a thing. About the closest to on the fucking nose that is in Classic Who is Time Lords and regeneration. And even then not that fucking on the nose.

Case in point. B5 deals with some fantastical concepts (e.g. souls), but its more fantastical elements are esoteric in the context of its own universe. B5's setting primarily follows sci-fi in that it's a projected look of life in the 23rd century and beyond, with science and technology being the dominant forces.

Doctor Who is sci-fa in part because it lacks a lot of a cohesive setting, the nature of said setting varying by episode. So, one episode can deal with historical fiction. The next can deal with actual demons and ghosts.

Then you're blind, and deaf, and likely an alien.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F5iTSXXFC0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjvsv8Wyv3U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzv6JnrxJKU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03WpQdyxNBo

That last one is actually funny... but once again, Jurasik is one of the few only likeable main cast.

First is very good, don't know what the problem is.

Second isan emotive moment, considering that we know that Lennier has been in love with Delenn for ages, and she doesn't know it. It's the acknowledgement by his character that his love will never be requited.

Third is Vir being his usual adorkable self, going to Susan, not knowing that she's the last person you should go to for relationships on advice.

Fourth is comedic gold.

And? You're telling me a revolutionary front that spans multiple colonized worlds is just going to stop every one of its underground resistance cells because of a single character?

The Mars Resistance is its independent group. It's not the same group as those on Proxima or Beta Durani for instance.

But while it's dubious they'd stop completely, they have every reason to because a) they want Sheridan's support, and b) Clark's bombing civilian targets himself, so more reason to distinguish themselves.

You're telling me that not one of those resistance cells benefits from expanding the nature of the conflict to include civilian targets? You're telling me that somehow a single resistance leader could make those guarantees or the merits of their revolutionary activities are judged by some capacity to centralize their activities to affordsuch control, all while trying to stay alive?

That's what I call a lack of nuance. It's almost as if a problematic argument when we apply it to current discourse on terrorism.

And yet immediatey after that line (or before it, I can't remember) he talks directly about how they manipulate currency markets? So apparently the Shadows control market speculation itself without any consideration to fiscal and monetary policy of Earth's governments ... and yet you're telling me that this control doesn't extend to governent funding?

Don't remember any of that.

Or the simple fact of the matter is that the Shadows didn't even bother to make their move until after B5 was constructed despite having proof of human intervention via B4?

No-one apparently recognises B4. Also, if they did take out B4, they could alter the past. Maybe in their favour, but that sets up the possibility of a paradox.

Discussing time travel in sci-fi is applying made up science to made up science.

Or the fact that this complete control of fiscal and monetary policy and apparently the fashion scene just magically emerged in the last handful of decades?

Da fuq?

They literally manipulte all of Earth's currency markets and their fashion scene.

Source needed, especially on the fashion sense.

The Shadows have been manipulating the younger races for eons.

As have the vorlons.

One cancels out the other, or at least, levels of influence vary - Shadows get drakh, vorlons get humans, etc.

And what's more is that a doctor seemingly agrees with him despite his entire profession is based on thinking Marcus is full of shit.

Agrees that the universe is indeed unfair, and it's a horrible thought to imagine that every piece of misfortune that befalls anyone is because they deserve it?

Oh the humanity.

Regular people would scoff, or be derisive, or simply query whether they actually want this person following them around.

No, regular people would see the point, or at least appreciate the gallows humour behind it.

That is literally not what he says.

And that is literally wrong.

How? His very ending scene he literally takes a ship out of the fight, beats up two medical technicians, simply to save a person who he already knew would hate him for it.

Giving up his own life to save the person he loves.

Love can be selfish, sure, but this is already a person who's given it his all for the Rangers

Name one species that actually makes it a prerogative to actually redistribute the wealth of the galaxy to its race's membership and improve their livelihood? This is the thing ... the show itself routinely reinforces just how non-existent the welfare state is... and no one ever stops to question why that is?

The show never does anything of the sort. The only evidence we have of poverty is Down Below, and that's on an isolated space station.

You really think the show can go into the minutia of every race and how their welfare state works?

Under the previous admitration of Santiago? The poor were still mistreated and still poor. Under Clarke, no less the same. Nothing has even changed for them ... just more excuses.

Choosing instead to focus on how divorced the writing is from actual human discourse is not an example of missing the point. Once again, I didn't choose to edit and frame the scene as they did. They chose that.

Every piece of fictional writing is removed from actual human discourse, unless you're getting into the works of Pinter for example.

They didn't miss the point, you have.

Because none of them have an actual moral bone in their body.

Except most of the characters do.

Any virtue to be had is purely circumstantial, not on the basis of actual thoughtful character portrayal.

Which is wrong.

Sheridan could have taken the easy path and go along with Clarke's direction for instance. Delenn could have taken the easy path and abided by the Grey Council. Londo could have just followed power.

So on, so forth.

Which character would you like me to break down?

Take your pick.

Because that;s the whole point of Blake's 7 ... even Blake himself isn't entirely on the level, and the show makes it quite clear from the very first episode that the universe that these characters operate in is entirely morally dubious. That's the thing I'm getting at ... I love Blake's 7 precisely because the show does not waste time rattling of about virtue and the moral highground and doesn't pretend to either. Whereas repeatedly Babylon 5 tells me these characters are genuinely decent people at heart and it's a load of garbage.

-B5 never "tells" us the characters are any such things, their actions do.

-Blake's 7 isn't as morally dubious as you claim. Blake isn't on the level, sure, but the Federation is 99% an evil empire, and the remaining 1% is a few key moments that are irrelevant to the larger setting. B5 does a far better job with moral ambiguity because there's no single "bad" or "good" faction, whereas in Blake's 7, we have the "bad" faction being faced by "not as bad" people.

Also, if you to compare all your above points to Blake's 7, then let's see:

-Blake's 7 tells us virtually nothing about everyday life for everyday people in the Federation bar some inferences in the first episode.

-Blake's 7 lacks any kind of nuance with its take on terrorism - Blake attacks military targets, that's it.

-Blake's 7 never investigates the implications of telepathy existing in its setting - Cally's a telepath of an alien race that looks identical to humans (because...reasons), and that's it.

-We have little inkling of how the Federation actually operates.

-Blake's 7 has a handful of interesting characters in its main roster (Blake, Avon, Villa) and a couple of interesting villains (Servalan, and arguably Travis). By the end of season 3, apart from Avon, all of them are in the same place they were at the start in terms of character development. This isn't getting into dregs like Jenna, Cally, and Gant. In contrast, almost all of B5's major characters undergo an arc.

I say this as someone who likes B7 and acknowledges B5 isn't perfect, but B7 isn't even in the same ballpark.

Hawki:

Science fiction: "Fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component."

Science fantasy: "A mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy."

I'm not completely happy with either definition, but sci-fa is distinct from sci-fi in that it combines the tropes of fantasy and sci-fi. Sci-fi can have some fantastical elements, but that would make it more "soft" sci-fi. Sci-fa would involve the tropes having equal representation, whereas sci-fi would have any fantasy elements being fringe.

So trying to categorically prove religion though souls and reincarnation is science-fiction, not science-fantasy? Like, they're literally implying they can prove reincarnation and human souls. I'm straining to remember anything more fantastic than that in Classic Who.

Once again ... souls and reincarnation and 'scientific' proof of it.

And this isn't a throw away plotpoint. It stops a war and makes up much of the story arcs from season 1 and 2, and they revisit it constantly.

Case in point. B5 deals with some fantastical concepts (e.g. souls), but its more fantastical elements are esoteric in the context of its own universe. B5's setting primarily follows sci-fi in that it's a projected look of life in the 23rd century and beyond, with science and technology being the dominant forces.

Clearly it's not, however. For intance, not once do you get an explanation how hyperspace works. Routinely in something like Star Trek they talk about fantastic concepts of engineering, or a 'scientific' explanation of some unusual phenomena. Ditto in Classic Who, you often get a 'rational' reason to something that happens.

Doctor Who is sci-fa in part because it lacks a lot of a cohesive setting, the nature of said setting varying by episode. So, one episode can deal with historical fiction. The next can deal with actual demons and ghosts.

But they turn out not to be just 'ghosts and demons' ... they're aliens, or holograms, or some trapped lifeforce through advanced technology. And once again, what the hell does cohesion have to do with science fiction?

Star Trek lacks a cohesive setting. Still science-fiction.

First is very good, don't know what the problem is.

Second isan emotive moment, considering that we know that Lennier has been in love with Delenn for ages, and she doesn't know it. It's the acknowledgement by his character that his love will never be requited.

Third is Vir being his usual adorkable self, going to Susan, not knowing that she's the last person you should go to for relationships on advice.

Fourth is comedic gold.

Tastes may vary then, and the fourth is decent at best. Comedy gold is perhaps a bit generous. It's more delivery than anything else, and I chalk that up to just how much Jurasik has personally invested into making it work.

The Mars Resistance is its independent group. It's not the same group as those on Proxima or Beta Durani for instance.

They seem to gain assistance, materiel, and even recruit off-world it appears. Moreover even if we just isolate it to Martians themselves ... revolutions don't work like that on our planet. Why would you pretend it would elsewhere? Moreover it flie in the face of the Bloodhounds aspect entirely. If you're worried about Telepaths lcating resistance cell members, you don't put all your eggs in one basket by having a single organization. You create a series of idependent cells that act autonomously.

Youy know ... like in reality. Moreover, it utterly ignore the fact that in a revolution there is no clear delineation between enemy and bystander. The Allies shouldn't feel bad killing civilian engineers when bombing the Third Reich's factories. For the same reason the whole 'shtloads of civilian labourers died when the Death Star blew up' is such a ridiculous fucking argument.

But while it's dubious they'd stop completely, they have every reason to because a) they want Sheridan's support, and b) Clark's bombing civilian targets himself, so more reason to distinguish themselves.

Civilians die in war. The people that build tanks are not military, still deserving of being targeted if you want to kill a nation's military production. Targeting enemy shipping is still viable resistance tactic. And sure, your car bomb to take out some politicians or that police station is liable to kill bystanders.

Don't remember any of that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJT5XBT6oRM

No-one apparently recognises B4. Also, if they did take out B4, they could alter the past. Maybe in their favour, but that sets up the possibility of a paradox.

Discussing time travel in sci-fi is applying made up science to made up science.

But these contradictions are within episodes of eachother.

Da fuq?

Hey, it's not me that wrote this stuff. It's almost as if the show is bad even without me poking holes in it or something...

Source needed, especially on the fashion sense.

Above video link because escapist forums no longer embed youtube videos.

Strikes me as weird as a person who clearly does not like the show I have to bringing these points up concerning kep plot points. Maybe the writing isn't as memorable as you like to think?

As have the vorlons.

One cancels out the other, or at least, levels of influence vary - Shadows get drakh, vorlons get humans, etc.

Does it? The primary source material suggests otherwise.

Agrees that the universe is indeed unfair, and it's a horrible thought to imagine that every piece of misfortune that befalls anyone is because they deserve it?

Oh the humanity.

Yeah, it's garbage rhetoric. A doctor that has to, say, deal with kids suffering cancer. Or people with schizophrenia. Or how about refugees with war wounds? Quite clearly adoctor is one of those few professions which are wholly dictated by a senseof idea that evils inflict upon us unfairly and that ... yeah, all of us shouldn'tfeel apathy in unjust suffering.

No, regular people would see the point, or at least appreciate the gallows humour behind it.

Or call him a dickhead. But hey, some of us don't appreciate callous fuckwits. Go figure.

And that is literally wrong.

Evidence would be nice. I did actually link the scene.

Giving up his own life to save the person he loves.

Love can be selfish, sure, but this is already a person who's given it his all for the Rangers

And yet the show pretends I'm supposed to like him because ... why? See, this is the thing ... even you are turning around and telling me he;s the 'most moral of the main/supporting cast' ... but clearly that's not true. He'san egotistical arsewipe... that is his entire schtick.

The show never does anything of the sort. The only evidence we have of poverty is Down Below, and that's on an isolated space station.

That's garbage... we see poverty on other planets, as well. We even have numerous scenes talking about poverty on Earth.

You really think the show can go into the minutia of every race and how their welfare state works?

Then why make it an issue? This is the thing ... clearly the show has something to say about poverty, and everytime it is handled it's handled so poorly that I have to legitimately start believing that the show writers simply treat the notion of abject, unjust suffering as if trite.

At least Star Trek has things to say concerning human dignity.

Every piece of fictional writing is removed from actual human discourse, unless you're getting into the works of Pinter for example.

Which is problematic when your target audience is other people.

They didn't miss the point, you have.

And yet I'm the one having to actually point out stuff that has actually happened in the series. What were yu, drunk while watching it? I mean, sure ... it probably helped that I was most nights watching it.

Except most of the characters do.

Like ... how?

Okay ... let's say Sheridan.

You make an argument why they're a moral character and just from memory I'm willing to bet Ican check every one of your arguments with examples.

Sheridan could have taken the easy path and go along with Clarke's direction for instance. Delenn could have taken the easy path and abided by the Grey Council. Londo could have just followed power.

----

Take your pick.

Given we're talking about Sheridan...

Oh? is this before or after he asked an entire capital ship of people to commit suicide in a grasping-at-straws operation to try to lure the Shadows into a direct confrontation? Yeah, that happened. Sheridan uses people until the very end. Sheridan is also then presented as a person with no flaws. Name me one situation in his time on the show where he actually has to make a hard decision in relationship to his character or his responsibilities?

Yeah ... about his biggest character flaw is apparently being overly loyal to his dead wife. And then, despite this complete bland-in-a-box character he just does disgusting things and the showrunners write it off as if noble sacrifice as opposed to what it really is is the fact that he had, on a batshit insane guesstimation, sent people off to knwingly die for perhaps noreason whatsoever unless the fucking plot demanded it.

This is what I was saying about any real virtue being circumstantial.

-B5 never "tells" us the characters are any such things, their actions do.

No, their actions do no such thing. Give me an example. I'm sure I'll find another example to contradict it.

-Blake's 7 isn't as morally dubious as you claim. Blake isn't on the level, sure, but the Federation is 99% an evil empire, and the remaining 1% is a few key moments that are irrelevant to the larger setting. B5 does a far better job with moral ambiguity because there's no single "bad" or "good" faction, whereas in Blake's 7, we have the "bad" faction being faced by "not as bad" people.

Also, if you to compare all your above points to Blake's 7, then let's see:

Ehhh, kind of? The universe, like with the tachyon funnel, that technology and social development of humanity is going to be a clustrefuck. Blake himself is killed (presumably) due to the fact that the moral complexity of a massively expansive of humanity made up of trillions of humans islikely going to be bleak place requiring excessive ideas of coercion to keep together.

-Blake's 7 tells us virtually nothing about everyday life for everyday people in the Federation bar some inferences in the first episode.

-Blake's 7 lacks any kind of nuance with its take on terrorism - Blake attacks military targets, that's it.

True enough. Though I never said Blake's 7 was nuanced. I said Blake's 7 is fun.

-Blake's 7 never investigates the implications of telepathy existing in its setting - Cally's a telepath of an alien race that looks identical to humans (because...reasons), and that's it.

Does it need to?

-We have little inkling of how the Federation actually operates.

We see their justice system, we get a long and hard look at the degeneracy and wasteful excesses of effectively a type of pseudo-nobility in a culture of strength that the Federation has become.

-Blake's 7 has a handful of interesting characters in its main roster (Blake, Avon, Villa) and a couple of interesting villains (Servalan, and arguably Travis). By the end of season 3, apart from Avon, all of them are in the same place they were at the start in terms of character development. This isn't getting into dregs like Jenna, Cally, and Gant. In contrast, almost all of B5's major characters undergo an arc.

I say this as someone who likes B7 and acknowledges B5 isn't perfect, but B7 isn't even in the same ballpark.

Blake's 7 occupies a special place in my heart due to nostalgia as a kid watching reruns of it on Australian tv, it's true. But For all its flaws, but it did more with less.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

So trying to categorically prove religion though souls and reincarnation is science-fiction, not science-fantasy?

Both of these concepts have real-world parallels. A setting doesn't arbitrarily become sci-fa because of their presence.

W40K is an example of sci-fa, among the reason of which is that souls are integral to the setting, and constantly reinforced as such. The souls in B5 aren't even explicitly confirmed as such, are lightly touched upon, and while they're a key point once (the end of the Minbari War), they're kept in the background.

Like, they're literally implying they can prove reincarnation and human souls. I'm straining to remember anything more fantastic than that in Classic Who.

Off the top of my head, antimatter monsters.

Clearly it's not, however. For intance, not once do you get an explanation how hyperspace works.

Which isn't relavant. Hyperspace is a natural phenomena in the setting. It's traversed through technological means.

Ditto in Classic Who, you often get a 'rational' reason to something that happens.

Please, Classic Who (Doctor Who in general) barely has any rationale behind it at all, in part because by its nature, the level of its technology is never consistent.

Star Trek lacks a cohesive setting. Still science-fiction.

Except Star Trek's setting is cohesive. Even in TOS, we get a sense of how the Federation operates, who their rivals are, and how society generally functions.

They seem to gain assistance, materiel, and even recruit off-world it appears. Moreover even if we just isolate it to Martians themselves ... revolutions don't work like that on our planet. Why would you pretend it would elsewhere? Moreover it flie in the face of the Bloodhounds aspect entirely. If you're worried about Telepaths lcating resistance cell members, you don't put all your eggs in one basket by having a single organization. You create a series of idependent cells that act autonomously.

First of all, getting material from off-world doesn't mean cohesion - we know that Clark has Proxima blockaded for instance and were shooting down civilian transports. In contrast, Mars is still open to people from Earth.

Second of all, it's stated that the resistance already was spread out, with its use of codenames and whatnot.

Third of all, again, unlikely that it stopped entirely, but they've got every reason not to do it via the war of propaganda.

Civilians die in war. The people that build tanks are not military, still deserving of being targeted if you want to kill a nation's military production. Targeting enemy shipping is still viable resistance tactic. And sure, your car bomb to take out some politicians or that police station is liable to kill bystanders.

There's a difference between collateral damage and targeting civilian targets explicitly. It's something that in modern warfare is rarely done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJT5XBT6oRM

You...do realize that the entire point of that scene is that the Shadows are avoiding the question completely, right?

"Who are you" is the 'vorlon question.' True to the Shadows, the agent avoids really answering it at all. Similarly, when Sheridan asks the 'Shadow question' to Kosh...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSD75pPsquM

Kosh's response is very vorlon. The agent's response is very Shadow. It's repeated in season 4 with the visual storytelling in the "Order vs. Chaos" choice.

Strikes me as weird as a person who clearly does not like the show I have to bringing these points up concerning kep plot points. Maybe the writing isn't as memorable as you like to think?

Plot points I keep disagreeing with.

I disagree with your 'plot point' about the Shadows controlling everything because it's clearly not a plot point, and it's not backed up by the scene you're citing.

Yeah, it's garbage rhetoric. A doctor that has to, say, deal with kids suffering cancer. Or people with schizophrenia. Or how about refugees with war wounds? Quite clearly adoctor is one of those few professions which are wholly dictated by a senseof idea that evils inflict upon us unfairly and that ... yeah, all of us shouldn'tfeel apathy in unjust suffering.

And nothing in the scene suggests apathy. Nowhere does Marcus suggest that they should never try to alleviate suffering, only that he'd made peace with the notion that the universe is unfair.

Evidence would be nice. I did actually link the scene.

The scene itself is the evidence.

And yet the show pretends I'm supposed to like him because ... why? See, this is the thing ... even you are turning around and telling me he;s the 'most moral of the main/supporting cast' ... but clearly that's not true. He'san egotistical arsewipe... that is his entire schtick.

I never said he was the "most" moral, I said "one of the most."

Marcus never does anything morally compromising. He's willing to fight the good fight without any hope of reward, personal or professional. He gives up his own life to save that of someone he loves. He barely has any ego - when is he shown to actively crave adulation beyond self-depricating humour (e.g. there's a line in season 4 where he says "great, I'm finally a war hero and no-one knows it" (paraphrased).

That's garbage... we see poverty on other planets, as well. We even have numerous scenes talking about poverty on Earth.

Which planets? We barely tread on any in the series.

We don't see any on Centauri Prime or Minbar. There's that frontier world where G'Kar is captured. Narn? Well, sure, maybe, but that happens when your planet is bombarded by mass drivers and your world occupied. Also, "show, don't tell."

Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. The show establishes that poverty still exists in human society in the 23rd century. It says nothing about the welfare state outside of Clark's regime.

Then why make it an issue?

To acknowledge in the 23rd century that poverty is an issue, adding to worldbuilding, and in the context of B5's development and airing history, help distinguish it from Star Trek, where poverty is pretty much non-existent.

This is the thing ... clearly the show has something to say about poverty,

Disagree. It acknowledges it exists. It never presents itself as having some deep insight into it.

At least Star Trek has things to say concerning human dignity.

Please don't bring that up. Picard's sanctimonious enough.

Star Trek doesn't say as much as it thinks it does - there's nothing interesting about utopia. Nothing. Saying "we're perfect and poverty doesn't exist" isn't some great insight unless it provides the means of showing how that's popular, the extent of which is that the Federation is a post-scarcity society.

Let's just say that's one of the reasons why I find B5 a far more interesting setting than Star Trek. Imperfection is usually more interesting than perfection in fiction.

Which is problematic when your target audience is other people.

So, by your logic, every piece of fiction ever written is problematic.

And yet I'm the one having to actually point out stuff that has actually happened in the series.

Pointing stuff out and completely missing the point and/or misconstruing said point. I'm the one pointing stuff out that you missed, forgot, or ignored.

You make an argument why they're a moral character and just from memory I'm willing to bet Ican check every one of your arguments with examples.

Off the top of my head:

-Helps those working against Clark, staying true to the principles of Earthforce rather than the letter.

-Seceeding from Earthgov in light of Clark's attrocities, and giving those who disagree the option to leave.

-Providing security for narn and G'kar even after the war with the centauri.

-Facing down Kosh, willing to give up his own life if that was what it took

-Giving up his own life in a bid to end the war with the Shadows (yes, Lorien resurrects them, but he went in the knowledge of his death)

-Cutting off the Markab homeworld in a bid to save their civilization from looters.

-Giving the White Star captain full awareness and choice of his plan to lure the Shadows

-Involving himself in the vorlon-Shadow conflict even though B5 would have been spared.

-Pulling out all the stops he can to minimize Earthforce casualties when he moves against Clark's forces

-Willingly sacrificing himself to take out the last of Earth's defence grid (and would have done if not for the Apollo)

-Refusing to give into torture and taking the easy path out to freedom

Need I go on?

Oh? is this before or after he asked an entire capital ship of people to commit suicide in a grasping-at-straws operation to try to lure the Shadows into a direct confrontation? Yeah, that happened.

Key word "asked." And it worked. It's an example of why Sheridan is a moral person because he can play the game of numbers (needs of the many vs. the few), but be torn up about it. An immoral person would have given the order Sheridan uses people until the very end.

Sheridan is also then presented as a person with no flaws. Name me one situation in his time on the show where he actually has to make a hard decision in relationship to his character or his responsibilities?

Yeah ... about his biggest character flaw is apparently being overly loyal to his dead wife.

Where's that a flaw? Going to Z'ha'dum? It's established that he knows Anna isn't on the level, but he plays the game in the hope of ending the war, even in the knowledge that he's going to die in the process.

And then, despite this complete bland-in-a-box character he just does disgusting things and the showrunners write it off as if noble sacrifice as opposed to what it really is is the fact that he had, on a batshit insane guesstimation, sent people off to knwingly die for perhaps noreason whatsoever unless the fucking plot demanded it.

And...they worked?

Sheridan does morally compromising things, such as smuggling the telepath on Earth Fleet ships, but guess what? It works. It saves lives.

A good person will still do bad things. That doesn't change their status as a good person inherently - it depends on motive.

No, their actions do no such thing. Give me an example. I'm sure I'll find another example to contradict it.

See above.

Also, contradictory examples don't mean much. A character without flaws isn't an interesting character. Obviously Sheridan does morally compromising actions, that doesn't change the fact that he's a good person at the end of the day.

Ehhh, kind of? The universe, like with the tachyon funnel, that technology and social development of humanity is going to be a clustrefuck. Blake himself is killed (presumably) due to the fact that the moral complexity of a massively expansive of humanity made up of trillions of humans islikely going to be bleak place requiring excessive ideas of coercion to keep together.

A lot of which is left up to interpretation.

Reguarly, B7 shows us humans that live outside the Federation, even having apparently regressed to pre-industrial technology (e.g. that Goth planet), but because aliens look the same in this setting (see Cally), I can't be sure.

Does it need to?

No, it doesn't need to, but apparently it's an issue in B5, so one would assume it should be an issue in B7.

Key difference is that B5 gives the time and effort to explain how telepaths work and how they're regarded. B7 doesn't. B7 isn't inherently diminished from that, but B5 is elevated.

We see their justice system, we get a long and hard look at the degeneracy and wasteful excesses of effectively a type of pseudo-nobility in a culture of strength that the Federation has become.

Justice system? You mean the pilot episode?

Wasteful excesses? Don't recall that. I mean, there's indulgence on that casino planet Avon and Villa go to, but was that even inside the Federation? Again, it's left vague as to what's a Federation colony and what isn't a lot of the time.

Nobility? Don't remember that. I remember in season 3 Servalan is kind of living the high life as she fills the power vacuum of the Federation, but a lot of that came from simply using a real-world manor.

Finally delved into the depths of my Amazon watchlist and started on Black Sails over the weekend. I'm a bit of a latecomer to this series (it having started back in 2014) but I'm really enjoying it so far. The series, essentially, is a prequel to Treasure Island but works really well due to the style and tone of both the acting and the writing. Toby Stephens is excellent as Captain Flint, and the young John Silver is charismatic yet conniving enough to have you rooting for him one moment and hating him the next.

Shiver me timbers - 4.5 / 5

I rewatched season 1 of Sherlock the other day while I was traveling. Definitely made the train journey pass quickly. It's still a fantastic show, and I think it's probably still the best season of the show as well, although I do love the second as well.

Started season 3 of Daredevil on Netflix. I'm about 5 episodes in and it's really, really good. It's sticking to what I like most about the series; it's less about super abilities and more about being a good suspenseful and intriguing crime noire, and this time it is very austere, dark, and VERY violent. I know many people in here don't like the darkening of hero spectacle, but Daredevil nails it, imho, and is well worth the watch for any fan of action entertainment/intrigue. The acting is great, the action amazing without being over-the-top and the characters are each really properly fleshed out, i.e.: everyone serves an integral purpose beyond "love interest" or "comic sidekick." Oh, and...

Anyway, if Daredevil falls victim to this latest trend of Netflix cancellations, I'm gon' be PISSED.

Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (3/5)

No, that's not me declaring Doctor Who is the greatest show in the galaxy, it's just the name of the serial. Though the Reddit did appropriate the title to describe Doctor Who as a whole, so, go figure.

Still, this is OldWho, so by definition, it's the greatest show in the galaxy...if the galaxy underwent a catastrophe that eliminated almost all of human culture. It's...well, what can I say? It's the kind of acid trip you'd expect. Now, acid trips can be fun, but that doesn't mean they're good for you. It's one of the better Seventh Doctor serials I've seen, so there is that, but again, this hasn't aged well. Not in effects, and not in writing - fun as it is to see false gods saying "DOCTOR, YOU WILL ENTERTAIN US OR DIE," like acid, too much cheese is bad for you.

Anyway, not much else to say.

Killjoys: Season 2 (4/5)

Killjoys Season 2 is better than Killjoys Season 1. That said, whether you agree with that statement is something that may come down to how you want to watch TV series. Because here's your options:

Option 1: Individual episodes are nothing special. There's some inter-episode continuity, but it's very much in the background, and isn't strung on that long. Relatively relaxed, even if the setting is fairly grim.

Option 2: Individual episodes vary a bit in quality. There's a high amount of inter-episode continuity that draws you in, wanting you to know more, though the overall plot can feel convoluted. Setting is shifted/developed, and becomes much darker. Characters go through the ringer, both physically and emotionally.

You can probably guess that Option 1 is referring to Season 1, and Option 2 is referring to Season 2. To which I say, well done. Have a cookie.

Now, that may be an oversimplification, but that's generally the difference between the seasons, and yes, I do think season 2 does improve from season 1, even though yes, the plot does get a bit convoluted, since a plot device is literally "green plasma" (yes, that's what it's called). I'm also left to ask exactly how far in the future Killjoys takes place at this point, because we're talking centuries of interstellar society, to the point that an "Old Tongue" can develop within this society, and fall out of use in the same timeframe. It's also a bit systemic of what I've noticed in sci-fi over time, that no-one seems to want to use aliens anymore. It's implied that there might be aliens, but no, the Hullen are humans that have bonded with a neuro-parasite. Not aliens.

So, okay, the plot gets a bit convoluted, but on the other hand, there's the characters. What's funny is that when I look at season 1, D'avin is probably the one that goes through the most shit, what with his PTSD and memory issues...issues that are sorted out fairly quickly all things considered. Here though, the stakes feel more intimate, and more real. John is the real standout in this season IMO, especially his relationship with Pawter. Thanks to ff.net, I knew that she died at some point, but seeing it happen here, and seeing him take revenge...holy shit. It's not exactly Game of Thrones "no-one is safe" level, but it is "you think all's good, then suddenly the knives come out" level. Like, Red Wedding, except inside a bar sort of stuff. The Dutch-Khlyen thing is done well, mostly, but suffers a bit from the whole convolution issue I mentioned. Thus, when the season ends with two potential plot points, one interesting (thanks to John's actions, the Quad is probably going to get a lot messier and lot more violent) and one not as interesting (the Aneela/Green Plasma/Black Root...stuff).

I should also mention that the season does seem a bit more sure of itself. Part of that is due to the music. Now, you can tell a lot about a piece of media based on what music is used for it, and Killjoys is a case where the de facto choice is heavy rock (like Firefly it's a space western, but Firefly used softer, country music for its themes for instance). Killjoys uses this as well, but unlike season 1, it seems to use it less as a crutch. As in, season 1 might use it to say "look, the characters are cool!" whereas season 2 is more "we've established the characters are cool, so we don't need to use rock as a crutch anymore). If you want an example of this, compare the season 1 intro theme to the season 2 one.

So, yeah. Far from perfect. It's not on the level of other space westerns like Cowboy Bebop or Firefly. But still, it's good. Flawed, but an improvement from the prior season.

Also, this is the second fictional world where Dutch's actress works alongside or in opposition to "Sixers." Make of that what you will.

Falling Skies: Season 2 (4/5)

Like Killjoys, this is a case of a show having an average first season followed by a good second season. Unlike Killjoys, I have no reservations in saying that this season is better than its predecessor.

That's not to say it's perfect though - far from it. However, this season is bereft of many of the issues I had with season 1, so first point of call is to compare the two:

-I mentioned in my review of season 1 that it really felt like the second season, given the amount of stuff that happens before it. Season 2, however, doesn't have the same issue. It can follow on from season 1 naturally.

-The season is far better with its use of music. I mentioned before that season 1 tended to use music like a crutch, like every little thing was, by the music, some great big thing. Season 2 does this at times, but it's far more sparing with it.

-The character actions feel more natural. I don't remember if I mentioned Weaver specifically in my review of season 1, but regardless, god he could lay it on thick. I'm going to attribute it more to direction, because here, like the music, his melodrama is toned way down.

So, now that those points of contrast are over, let's get on with what it does well:

-This season is darker. Like, literally - part of the plot involves heading into winter, which means dark, snow, and everything that comes with it. However, the content gets darker as well, as we get to, among other things, Holocaust-esque imagery, execution of POWs, torture, mind rape, coups, and whatnot. Now, it's hardly Walking Dead-esque levels of dissection of the human condition, but it's still a shift from season 1, which while not free of moral ambiguities, they were still the exception rather than the rule.

-It does drive the plot along, I'll give it that.

-Relationships are done well...sort of. But better than season 1, so there is that. Also, Evil!Karen is sexy Karen, so there is that (I'm guessing the actress had fun in acting it up; at the least her character is more memorable this time round).

Right, now that you've got an idea of what the season does well, let's get a sense of where it falters:

-This isn't really the show's fault, but there's kind of a sense of self-importance that isn't earned. There's a feature in the extras titled "Retelling the American Revolution," and if you look at the show in that context, you can see this - it isn't even that subtle about it, with statues from the war, to characters outright discussing it and the idea of rebuilding America. However, if you want to argue that the show is retelling the American War of Independence...how? The War of Independence was a colony fighting for independence from empire. This is aliens invading. I mean, you might be able to draw a parallel between the arrival of Europeans in America and the effects on the natives, or go for the same analogies as War of the Worlds, but nope, War of Independence. Okay then. 0_0

-At this point in time, I'm left to ask what's going on in the rest of the US, or heck, even the world. Now, it's understandable that this isn't shown - in-universe, there's no way of that kind of communication. Out of universe, the show's focusing on one specific resistance group, it would be hard to dilute it across continents. I mean, Walking Dead (you'll see a lot of refeences to Walking Dead here) never leaves Rick's group effectively. We can only assume that the world is in the same state in the US. However, that doesn't work quite as well here, because part of the plot is that the skitters are in rebellion against their overseers. If we assume that the espheni have a presence all over Earth, and are actually afraid of this rebellion, then presumably it's occurring around the world as well. Now, again, we can kind of assume that what's going on with the 2nd Mass here is being replicated to some extent in various countries, but it's a dearth of information that becomes noticable.

-On the subject, while this criticism can be levelled at almost any media, the espheni really, REALLY suck at tactics. They can wipe out 90% of Earth's population with neutron bombs, but on the ground, they're pretty incompetent. Maybe that's intentional, maybe not, but either way, it's noticable.

-There's some really wonky charfacterization at times. For instance, in the penultimate episode, there's a general who resents the passive course of action the leader of Charleston has put them on. Episode ends with him springing out the characters who want to make an attack. The very next episode, he orders them...not to make the attack. Like, huh?

-On a related note, seriously, why do people like Pope so much (people as in fans?). He's an arsehole. He's not deep, he's not layered, he doesn't have some heart of gold, he's just an asshole. I've seen some people compare him to Daryl Dixon, but Daryl at least had layers, and didn't keep abandoning Rick's group. Pope, on the other hand...he's an asshole!

So, yeah. Improvement over the first season. That said, I've got the sense that at some point Falling Skies goes off the rails at or after season 3. I'd be curious if anyone can elaborate on that. But regardless, at this point in time, the season gets a stamp of "good."

The Librarians: Season 4 (4/5)

Good news about this season is that it's the best of the bunch, and the first to actually be "good" as opposed to "average." Bad news is that it's the last season. Medium news is that its strengths from previous seasons remain, as do its weaknesses. Key difference is that the strengths vastly outweigh the weaknesses in this season. Course it generates a big weakness of its own at the end, but, well, more on that later.

Having said that, if you've read my prior reviews of this series, there isn't too much to say beyond that. If not, then go read them, because I'm not repeating myself. But basically, I said earlier that if the show was to improve, it needed to either forsake the whole overarching threat idea (in part because it could never devote enough time to it), or get better writing. Well, on that note, the season kind of splits the difference in that while it's revealed that there's technically an overarching threat, the theme of this season is internal conflict - that there can only be one Librarian, so with Flynn gone (more on that later), Eve needs to choose just one to stay on. So, on one hand, we get the stage set for interpersonal drama. On the other, unlike past seasons, the plot thread actually complements the drama rather than being separate from it. So while the season doesn't technically doing anything new in having character-centric episode, the pace and context of the season doesn't subtract from them.

On the other hand, there's the question of Flynn. Now, up to this point, Flynn's been to this show what Tommy Oliver was to Season 1 of Power Rangers - obstensibly the most important member of the team, but the one that shows up sporadically. In seasons 1-3, the out of universe reason was (I'm guessing) is that Noah Carlyle had to split time between Librarians and Falling Skies, differences including that one character has a beard, the other doesn't). The out of universe reason varied per season, but it was the culmination of his arc (such as it was) in season 3 to stop running. Yet he does it AGAIN in season 4, and I can't think of any in-universe or out of universe reason for it (yes, there's technically a reason, but it's pretty flimsy, not to mention repetitive).

There's also the final problem that due to the last five minutes of the season finale, technically nothing in this season actually occurs due to time travel. Which sucks. In theory, at lot of what happened in this season still happens, but it's really aggravating because it effectively means that a lot of character development is reset, and some of it was determinant on plot points that will no longer occur. Also, Rachel is, by extension, forgiven for her actions, and, no. Just no. Some villains get a redemption story, some don't, or if they do, they deserve better than this. Which is a shame, because while we don't see much of her, Rachel is at least enjoyable as a villain, and seeing the actress from Continuum play someone on the opposite end of the moral scale is fun (so much that I did a oneshot based on it). Now, this is only the last five minutes of the season finale, the finale itself being quite fun (if a repeat of the season 1 finale in a lot of ways), but while it casts a shadow over this season, it doesn't ruin it for me. Like, it's not Merlin finale-level bad.

So, that's The Librarians. If I had to rank the seasons, it would go 4>2>3>1. When I first started, I called it a "poor man's Doctor Who." Having since reached the end of it, I can say that while it doesn't surpass Doctor Who, it did become a fun show in its own right. And considering that I've pretty much given up on Doctor Who at this point in time, both old and new alike, I wouldn't have minded this show to stick around. It's not getting a spot in my top fantasy shows list, nor is its cancellation some travesty of television, but hey, I had fun. That's what it sought to provide, and after awhile, that's what it gave me. Right now, i can only hope that it continues in EU form or something, but that's probably too much to hope for.

So, yeah. Flawed, but fun.

Dark Matter: Season 1 (4/5)

When I went back to rewatch Dark Matter (to do a "proper watch," so to speak), I asked myself after seeing the first two episodes "wait, was this show as good as I remember it being? Had I just imagined it. With trepidation I started watching ep. 3 and "ah, there we go! Now I remember why I like this show!"

So, yeah. Dark Matter is still good. Not perfect, but good. Good enough for it to get into my top 10 sci-fi shows list (which is becoming a top 20 - if it ever reaches 20, maybe I'll make a thread on that). Thing is, having rewatched this season, there's arguably not too much I can say, becauese I've already said it on the 'net elsewhere. Still, "elsewhere" isn't "here," so shadup and listen.

Okay, let's deal with the most common criticism of Dark Matter, one that I kinda agree with - worldbuilding. Dark Matter has very thin worldbuilding, and as it came out alongside season 1 of Killjoys (which, if nothing else, did worldbuilding quite well), which made its failings here even more pronounced. There's little sense of scale in Dark Matter, and most of the time, the crew's either on the Raza, or sets that are obviously repurposed from real-world locations or other shows. Still, having done a "proper watch," while its thin worldbuilding is still an issue, it's not so much an issue as I recall it being. From watching it, we can gather the following:

-Earth still exists.

-There's a body called the Galactic Authority (or Galactic Authorities), but it's vague as to whether that's just some kind of interstellar police force, or a governing body in its own right

-Corporations control a lot of the setting, to the extent that they can field warships and armies. By extension, we know that poverty is very widespread (85% of children live on less than one "bar" a day).

-Independent city-states (planet-states?) exist in some cases.

-Humanity has a sphere of influence with "outer colonies." Also, if we pay attention to some names, we get stuff like "Vega 5," Eridani 6," and the "Procyon Insurrection." Vega, Eridani, and Procyon are all the names of real-world stars, so if these names conform to these star systems, humanity's sphere of influence is within the scale of dozens of light years around Earth.

There's other elements, but these are the basics. So, while something like Killjoys, The Expanse, or Firefly has the benefit of a defined astro-geographic setting, Dark Matter isn't completely without scope and scale, though again, it's very thin.

So, yeah, that's perhaps the biggest issue of Dark Matter. That, and its low budget. Now, let's get to the characters, which are the heart and soul of the show. What Dark Matter succeeds on more than anything else is its character dynamic. Of the seven characters that call the Raza home, some are more engaging than others (e.g. Four is arguably the most stereotypical), but these are people that feel defined, both in terms of their own characters, and how they relate to those around them. The whole plot of amnesia and discovering their pasts, along with the ship's android becoming more human, could have been hackneyed and cliche, but here, it's executed adroitly. Past the first two episodes, you start to feel for them. This feeling lasts throughout the entire season. Again, with Killjoys, a lot of the time the show was reminding you of how "badass" the characters were, either directly or indirectly. The main trio were fine, sure, but each easily fit an archtype. Dark Matter has its archtypes as well, but they're much better rounded archtypes. The show doesn't need to tell me they're "badass," It's content with letting their actions and character dynamic speak for them. Remember how in my review of Killjoys Season 2 that unlike season 1, it didn't rely on music as a crutch? This is true here. Music's sometimes used to sell the moment, that these guys are/were contract killers, but it does it with a scalpel rather than a hammer. And of course, there's the question of "hey, maybe we don't want to be those people anymore," but past and circumstance keeps catching up to them. Or in the case of poor Five, dragging her into the mud.

So, yeah. Very strong first season. I won't go straight into season 2, in part because there's only three seasons and the show was never completed, in part because I'm afraid it won't be able to live up to this season. But, whatever. Still a fun sci-fi romp.

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