Doctor Who, Science Fiction and American Television

I just watched the first episode of the 2008 Doctor Who season, “Partners In Crime”.

There’s a scene near the end where Rose shows up in the crowd, then walks away and disappears…

It made my toes curl

How is it that the BBC, for all it’s faults really gets Science Fiction, while American television abuses us with dreck like the so called SciFi channel.

I can count on one hand the great Science Fiction shows that were aired on American TV.

1. Firefly (canceled early)

2. Babylon 5 (threat of cancellation messed up the story arc so the 5th season suffered)

3. Twilight Zone

4. Star Trek TOS (had real Science Fiction writers, but canceled after three seasons)

5. ??? ( I can’t think of a fifth.)

There are other OK shows, but their major flaws keep them from great status.

In no particular order:

The new Battlestar Galactica (Although it’s slow pacing makes Lost seem quick)

Stargate (and it’s less good spinoff Atlantis – A modern study in milking a franchise)

The other Treks, although I was indifferent to most of them. I suppose some people liked them and they didn’t totally suck, except for Voyager, and Enterprise. Talk about franchise milking.


Then the less SciFi, more Fantasy shows that are good.

Buffy and Angel (Is it possible for Joss Whedon to make a bad show? I think not.)

I really like Reaper, but it’s not Science Fiction.

Nothing else comes to mind. And if I have to try that hard to remember it, it wasn’t good enough in the first place.

And the crap shows are too numerous to mention, and I don’t want to make myself sick thinking about them.

Someone please explain to me how the BBC can continue to produce the most excellent Doctor Who for over 740 episodes, but in America we can’t manage to keep great Science Fiction on the air at all, and even mediocre shows don’t last long. (I’m being rhetorical, I actually know why.)

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0 Responses to Doctor Who, Science Fiction and American Television

  1. Tam says:

    I have a confession to make: I just don’t get Dr. Who. I just don’t get most modern British SF or Fantasy that isn’t Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett.

  2. alan says:

    It’s weird, but I have a blank spot for Terry Pratchett. I’ve read a a lot of his books, and they’re GOOD, but I’m not a raving fan. Douglas Adams however, ruled.

    It’s hard to like Doctor Who in the US, in fact it’s hard to like most British television because we don’t see it. I watched Doctor Who, Blakes 7 and Red Dwarf when they were on KERA (public television) in Dallas, but it was hit or miss. And with no Tivo back then you had to be there to see it.