Well I'm sorry to say I'm batting 100% (can that be a cricket reference too?) on your list of shows/movies. You missed a few however-
Time Tunnel, The Prisoner, The Avengers, My Favorite Martian, The Outer Limits, The Invaders, One Step Beyond, The Outer Limits, It's About Time, UFO, 6 Million $ Man, Incredible Hulk, Mork and Mindy...
As to the cheesiest, it's a difficult call, but UFO is a close one to Space 1999. (Both British, right?). Of those from the US I'd pick Land of the Giants. They got lots of cheese miles from just a big pencil and eraser...
Hmmm, I never really thought of The Avengers or The Prisoner (which I watched with my dad) as being Science Fiction per se.
Something else has just popped into my mind... what was that one where two people (a man and a woman?) wandered into a hidden valley in the Himalayas or somewhere and came back having learned all sorts of mystic powers... Do you recall this one?
I loved UFO as a little kid and got to watch it again in the early days of the Sci-Fi Network (now SyFy)!
There are some fans who point out that Moon Base Alpha in Space: 1999 is the same as the one from UFO, meaning that the alien invasion was defeated in the 80's ...
I liked the invaders but it's so inconvenient that they always dissappear when they die leaving you with no evidence of their existance. It was brought back in reruns for a short while when the SciFi channel started but it din't last long there either.
Space 1999 was certainly legendary for it's cheesiness and absurdity. I'm not sure it will ever be topped.
Sadly, I didn't have TV during the 1960's so I didn't see any of that decade's shows until much later in syndication.
In terms of the cheesy 70's , I don't think it would be a complete listing without the animated Star Trek.
Then there was Blakes 7, also British. If I recall correctly, it had the best "never gonna be a sequel" ending of any series ever. All of the main cast members turned on each other killed each other in a final gun battle.
If ever there was a series done on an obviously small budget then it was Blake's 7. But the episodes were incredible as science fiction with each one being a story in its own right. All thanks to Terry Nation (creator of the Daleks in Dr Who) who penned all 13 scripts of the first series and several in the following three. And as you rightly state, the best ending of any series. Thanks for the memory jog, Duane.
I's forgotten all about Blake's 7 -- that was actually not bad in a cheesy sort of way.
There was also a kids sci-fi series now I come to think about it -- it was called "The Tomorrow People" -- the idea was that kids were being born with special powers like the ability to teleport -- they were the next step in human evolution, but there were nasty guys out to use them for their own ends...
It was actually in the early google-age - when watching one of the Lara Croft movies where the geek watches them on his monitor - that I rediscovered them and was able to find out the original name of the series.
"...when watching one of the Lara Croft movies..."
This reminds me of when that film "Bill and Ted's Great Adventure" came out and it introduced a bunch of new kids to Queen for the first time...
I wonder if folks will remember Queen and even the Beatles in say 100 years' time .. .how about 200, or 500?
I'm glad that people are mentioning Blake's 7. It seems that the remake is finally on the go. I hope the new ORAC is as conceited as the original. However the real question is: will the girls also display a different wardrobe for each episode? ;-)
Space 1999 was really cheesy. But at least they had bigger budgets than Ark II and Space Academy/Star Command, aimed more to children. Watching those as an adult is almost torture. Other interesting series were Quark and Starlost, both short-lived. Trumbull was one of Starlost producers.
@pbleyer: "...the real question is: will the girls also display a different wardrobe for each episode?"
If they do, we can only hope they are based on Jenny Agutter's costumes as shown in my column above (grin)
I never saw StarLost, but I've heard a lot about it. I got the DVD a while ago but never found the time to watch it -- now (as I noted in a comment below) I'm planning on having a "StarLost weekend" (grin)
Oh, and since you mentioned Voyage and Stingray, let's not forget "Man From Atlantis", with Patrick Duffy as you will never see him again afterward. I remember when I was little and saw the first episode of Miami Vice, I was amazed to see Belinda Montgomery there.
The Starlost. Short-lived TV series (16 episodes) written by Harlan Ellison - except that he was so unhappy with how it came out that he insisted that his alternate name of Cordwainer Bird be used in the credits. Ben Bova was also involved, and was sufficiently disgruntled to later write a thinly fictionalized account, The Starcrossed, about his experience.
No! No! No! The cheesiest was Space Precinct.
As for Star Trek TAS (The Animated Series), the only thing wrong with it, was that it was not sanctioned by the “Great God of the Galaxy”. I remember thinking at the time, that this (TAS) was a really good Saturday morning cartoon show. Especially, since I couldn’t get the TOS (The Original Series) back. Same cast with “REAL” aliens :^)
Well, maybe Space 1999 is tied with Space Precinct...
I couldn't help myself -- I ordered the DVD of Space Precinct from Amazon last night...
In the meantime, I already had the DVD of "The Star Lost" here in my office in my "waiting to be watched" pile ... I'm planning on a "Star Lost" weekend...
Self-destructing tape? Simple! Just follow the clandestine message with a selection from among any of Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits.
Anyway...well, it's from 1982, but "Knight Rider"... which featured a robotically updated version of "My Mother, The Car" ( a "1928 Porter", I think... oh NO!... I'm remembering the theme song! Arrg! )... and saw the peak of David Hasselhoff's career... could still, I suppose, be classified as the... er... "cheesiest" ( ugh!... just don't eat it off the floor, David! ) of science-fiction.
Has it really been thirty years since that show? Yes... because that's exactly how old my still running Pontiac TransAm is.
As to whether one would include "The Avengers" ( THE Avengers... not the comic book/recent movie version ) as science-fiction... well, I do recall some definitely science-fiction-ish themes among the episodes. But you might then have to include "Get Smart" ( which once featured Vincent Price in an episode, as a "Mad Pharmacist" ) as being in somewhat of the same category... spy-ance fiction, perhaps?
My ex-wife and I enjoyed Logan's Run specifically for its cheesiness. Our favourite quote was "I hate outside! I hate it!" Now we're in the PC era, and I have young children, the popularity of this meme is certainly on the rise.
In the early sixties in England, they aired "Quatermass and the Pit" on B&W TV, which had extremely scary (for me as a nipper) intro music. I know this because I was forbidden to watch it and strained to hear from the bedroom.
The scariest show I watched back then was "A for Andromeda", a short series on the Beeb. The character Bruton made my hair stand on end, and the alien female was a paragon of beauty. Unfortunately, the tapes were lost, it seems.
What about the US version of UltraMan? As an adult I hunted them down and have on DVD and VHS. I lived in NY at the time and remember many times it was preempted by other show to my great 5year old frustration :-)
All those over-45 year old engineers commenting, and not one of them mentioned "Thunderbirds" with Dick Tracy and his video-phone watch. Those puppets moved with all the grace of Michael Jacksons' dance routines (and equally seemed eerily not quite human)
Space: 1999 did have one redeeming quality...those Eagles. Someone did think about that at least a little. They were modular (you could make craft for different missions out of the engine unit, cockpit, and central section). Hmm, maybe inspiration came from Thunderbird 2, where one could change the central pod out for different mission requirements (am I a hopeless case because I know which of the Thunderbirds had that capability? :-) Also, a utility craft for lunar travel has no need of aerodynamics. They were purely functional. The whole blowing-the-moon-out-of-orbit thing was pitiful, but I liked the gadgetry, and the thought of a permanent lunar base (like we should have now, but don't).
Now I am American, and in my forties, but I always loved Dr. Who, anything with Supermarionation, and Blake's 7. I enjoyed the plots, the accents (yes, even though I'm from the South :-), but most of all...the British special effects folks really know how to BLOW THINGS UP!!! Those shows had absolutely the GREATEST explosions!
I liked all the rest of the mentioned shows, too. As a youngster, then a teen, then on into adulthood, I just learned to look beyond the shortcomings because I hungered for science and science fiction. Some of them I would not watch now. But I do love hitting some of them up on Netflix :-)
Re "am I a hopeless case because I know which of the Thunderbirds had that capability?"
Yes, sorry, there is no hope for you. Having said that, I only recently bought the original "Supermarination" Thunderbirds on DVD from Amazoon, so there's probably no hope for me either....
My favorite Land of the Giants is when they find this broken time machine from thousands of years in the future. They fix the time machine by replacing some vacuum tube diodes with some from their spaceship. They even call them diodes. LOL
Despite the cheesiness, I loved Spaced 1999 -- I looked forward to a new episode every week! I'm with LiketoBike -- I liked the gadgets, the vehicles, and the coolness of a self-sustaining permanent lunar base -- something that, back in the '70s, we surely thought would come to pass before mankind reached the distant future of the year 1999!
You guys are all way too young. How about going back to the 50's for "Destination Moon". Great story about how a group of enterprising astronauts commandeered the rocket after the project was cancelled and headed to the moon.
They managed to escape Earth's gravity, land on the moon and take off again all in a single stage rocket ship. Although, as I recall, the movie ended before they explained how they were going to solve the re-entry problem.
Today's space engineers worry far too much about the laws of physics.
One more from the early 1980's ( more than 30 years ago ):
"Greatest American Hero" ( 1981 ); average American guy is given a "Super-Suit" by aliens, that only he can wear. He immediately loses the instruction manual ( meaning that he has to figure it out on his own ) and super-powered comic misadventures ensue.
Amazingly, this premise actually lasted for three seasons.
That being said, I then have to wonder what sort of sci-fi movies/novels/ideas, from over the past fifty or so years, actually... deservedly... *should* be made into a tv-series/movie/remake/sequel.
Hi Douglas -- how's the console coming on?
I'd never even heard of the "Greatest American Hero" (I didn't move to America until 1990) ... was this a good one?
The scary thing to me is that when you say "1981" I think "that's not so long ago" and then when you say it was "31 years ago" I think "wow ... that is a long time ago"...
The main selling point of "Greatest American Hero" was... I suppose... it's gently humorous spoof of the whole comic-book superhero genre. Aside from that, I can't say that I can clearly recall the details of even a single episode... except, now, for a "phone-booth" joke from one episode. And I also can now vaguely remember being disappointed by it's cancellation.
But I only remembered it, at all, because of a search to see if the old "I Spy" series might have qualified as "spyence-fiction" ( it definitely didn't ). The late actor Robert Culp had a co-starring role in "Greatest American Hero" as FBI agent "Bill Maxwell".
Oh, well... it was... after all... a long time ago.
The console? Slow progress, as usual. Though, lately, because I've been focusing more on tooling-up for it... and for other efforts. A bench-top mini-mill that I acquired a few months back is already helping. And I expect that the lovely new Lathemaster 8x16 bench-top mini-lathe ( "mini" meaning it only weighs 180 pounds! ), that came a few days ago, will provide a considerable boost to the project.
... but then, only time will tell.
Speaking, again, of prospective possibilities for a new tv-series or movie...
... I do seriously wish someone would do something with that thoroughly wonderful '60's spyence-fiction spoof game from Monolith Games..."No One Lives Forever".
I actually became quite fond of super-spy Cate Archer, and her whole cast of looney co-stars, during the course of NOLF and NOLF2.
How about "Science Fiction Theatre" With Truman Bradley? The introduction "Let me show you something interesting" always seemed to lead to an example of scientific fact that was presented in a most hokey manner, like pointing a parabolic reflector emitting "high frequency sound waves" that actually sounded like a middle C note with tremolo, at a drinking glass on the other side of the room and causing it to explode.
Some of the actual stories were pretty interesting, though.
Does anyone remember Mr. Wizard with Don Herbert?
I'd love to see some of those episodes again.
I was in college when I saw "Logan's Run". What I remember is the whole audience (all college students) booing when Michael York wimped out and decided not to remove his wet pants (Jenny Agutter was totally nude).
Starship Troopers has been made into a movie... also The Puppet Masters? I would like to see "Tunnel in the Sky" made into a movie. A group of young people are dropped off on an unknown world for survival testing... but are never picked up, and have to fend for themselves.
Just running across this thread, but I had to give my 2¢ worth.
@OmegaMan: Starship Troopers has been made into a movie
Yeah, but it's only somewhat loosely based on the novel. A great action flick, but not comepletely following the novel. For example, in the 1959 novel (which was aimed at the juvenile market) there was no shower scene since the only women described on spaceships were nurses, in separate quarters, which made guard duty outside their quarters a much sought-after position. ;-) I liked the premise of Citizens being those who served in the military or another government service (and why), but the movie had things running more like a Fascist military dictatorship, which was not in the novel.
Heinlein was a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis with a BS in naval engineering, so he knew his science. The novel concentrates more on the training and discipline of a soldier, and there aren't as many battle scenes as the movie. Also, at the end, you find out that the protagonist from Argentina actually had a different ethnic heritage.
Still, I did like the scene in the movie where Sgt. Zim demonstrates why they needed to know how to throw a knife. :-D
Thanks for dragging up some wonderful memories! My father an I watched almost all of this stuff - on of our many shared pleasures. Being a Brit, I especially remember Logan's Run, UFO, Space:1999 and Blake's Seven.
A piece of trivia for you...if you look very carefully at the picture here (http://starringthecomputer.com/computer.php?c=209) you'll see an Acorn System One playing the part of a computer in an episode of Blake's Seven. This was Acorns first venture into "personal computing". That venture ended with the Archimedes and the invention of what became the ARM architecture.
I guess you are unaware that habitable planets are surrounded by a space-time distortion field. This explains why one can travel between stellar systems in hours but passing a (habitable) planet is a relatively slow process. This field also seems to draw ships to pass close to the planet. (Space: 1999 was not unique in this; Blake's 7 also had near-planet slowdown and attraction--sometimes even when just passing through a stellar system.)
Based on the frequency of extraterrestrial visitation on Earth, Earth's field might be unusually strong. (Since visitations tend to be more frequent in modern times, perhaps there is some psychic component to the field generation correlated with intelligent brain mass.)
I remember as a kid thinking that if you were in space the planets would all just be "hanging there like fruit"...
It was reading books by Heinlein and Asimov where they explained that if you were in a spaceship entering a solar system all you would see were little points of light, and you would have to take lots of pictures and maybe change your location a few times (taking pictures each time) to locate any planets.
@OmegaMan: Re your comment "Starship Troopers has been made into a movie... also The Puppet Masters? I would like to see "Tunnel in the Sky" made into a movie."
"Starship Troopers" was a wonderful book, but the movie was dreadful -- it didn't address any of the political issues in the book at all.
"The Puppet Masters" was an OK film for its time, but it could stand being remade with modern effects and technologies.
"Tunnel in the Sky" would make a WONDERFUL film, as would "Time for the Stars," "Red Planet", "Between Planets", and "Farmer in the Sky" (to name but a few)...
One series I liked as a young boy that I don't think ever made it to the US was "Adam Adamant Lives!" I don't believe that there was much science fiction in it apart from the McGuffin that set up the series, though.
The main character was a victorian "gentleman adventurer" who was trapped and frozen in a basement by his Moriarty-like nemesis. He was unfrozen in the 1960s when the building in which he was trapped was demolished.
Did we actually get through like a hundred comments without mention of "The Martian Chronicles" TV series and "Ray Bradbury Theater"? They were 80's TV, but that was so long ago that it seems close enough to me.
I'd forgotten that the Martian Chronicles came out as a TV mini-series -- they were fantastic stories to read and I thought that (for the time) the TV interpretation was very well done indeed...
...I don;t think we got the Ray Bradbury theater in the UK (but I might be wrong on that)
I really hate to bring up Salvage I - an ABC series starring Andy Griffith as a junkman (all right - recycling specialist) who decided to build a spaceship and recycle NASA junk. Isaac Asimov was the science adviser, but this didn't really seem to help much, as you have to be able to follow advice... It ran a season and a half, then was forgotten until recently, when DARPA decided to spend big bucks on doing this in real life.
Was that the one where Andy Griffith invented a new kind of fuel (Mytohydrazine, if I recall correctly)? His premise what that rather than massively accelerate and then coast, his fuel would allow slow but constant acceleration and thus get there using much less fuel than the NASA approach.
Hi, I am trying to find an outer space show from the late 60s early 70s that started with 2 astronauts in a rocket crashing on the moon. They were cartoons while the beginning credits rolled. It was on between the University Bowl then this show and then star trek in December. I really liked the show but I can't remember it.