SF Obscure: The wishlist Roundup

A repost from Smart Girls of my must see shortlist.

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Since it’s summer once again, it’s time  to I hunt down the really obscure classics or try to sample B/C list  shows and see how many episodes I can survive. This time around I decided to make a list of those shows which I have not seen, but added to my wishlist. Most are only on limited DVD runs.  Based on cloudy memories jarred by  the vast world of YouTube, I  tracked down a stray episodes, or a set of clips, or an old commercial to remind me of their existence. Here are a select few.

afficheMercy Point
This 1998-1999 show stars Joe Morton as Dr. Maxwell one of a crew of medical personnel on a hospital space station in the 23rd century. The stations treats the medical needs of humans and aliens. And there is also an android nurse. The show only lasted eight episodes, but apparently there was…

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SF Obscure: Space 1999

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250px-Space1999_Year1_TitleSpace 1999 is one of those shows its taken me a while to write about because it’s taken me a a while to go through all the episodes. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t dislike it; as a matter of fact there are many things about it to like. Martin Landau. Maya is Season 2. The music. Lots of guest stars that have been on other series.

I have a great deal of respect for Gerry Anderson’s ground breaking SF work. “Supermarionation” the marionette style that is used in Anderson show is legend. I know people who swear by The Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett.  I also covered Space Precinct which is, admittedly, campy but had some moments and an interesting concept even if the execution didn’t turn out so well.

But back to Space 1999.

Space 1999 is a British SF show from 1975 set in the high tech…

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SF Obscure: Galactica 1980

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Hi out there Smart Girls Readers!  I was thinking about Battlestar Galactica and the fact that fans are often split between lovers of the original and lovers of the newer version.  For those not familiar with the Battlestar Galactica universe, it concerns the remains of a human population in a fleet under the flagship Galactica fighting for survival against the Cylons. Adama, Boomer, Baltar, Starbuck, Apollo…the names are familiar even as the ethnic backgrounds and genders change. And which model Cylons you like is a matter of preference.

There is one other version that gets overlooked and willfully forgotten- Battlestar Galactica 1980. It ran for  ten episodes.  In this version, the Galactica Fleet has arrived at Earth but  Earth is not technologically advanced enough to take on the Cylons.  Galactica heroes Captain Troy and Lt. Dillon are sent to Earth to assess the situation.  This involves time travel to Nazi…

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SF Obscure: Eerie, Indiana & Pushing Daisies

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This week I discuss shows that stand out for quirkiness. Not always paranormal; sometimes SF. A bit of comedy, a bit of drama, even a dash of terror. There is no clear category for quirky shows (and maybe that’s why they don’t last long) but the short time they run they manage to make an impression.
250px-Eerie_Indiana_DVDEerie, Indiana

This was a short lived 19 episode series that originally ran on NBC 1991-1992 and later in syndication on Fox and the Disney channel. ( as far as I’ve been able to find out)

Eerie, Indiana is primarily the story of Marshall Teller who moves from New Jersey to Eerie, Indiana when his father gets a job with Things, Incorporated, a product testing company. He teams up with a kid named Simon and they both agree that Eerie, Indiana is an extremely odd town despite its normal appearance. Among many adventures, there…

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SF Obscure: Charlie Jade & Re:Genesis

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screenshot-charlie-jade-s01e01-the-big-bang-avi-1Charlie Jade

Charlie Jade ran in 2004/2005 for twenty episodes. (It was broadcast in Canada, Europe, and Asia in 2005, but not broadcast in the US until 2008.)  It is set mainly in Cape Town, South Africa and was a joint Canadian and South African production. Charlie Jade, the title character, is a detective from a dystopian parallel universe (Alphaverse) who come to our universe (Betaverse). In his universe, the world is dominated by a gigantic multinational firm called Vexcor which can use technology to travel to parallel universes and is draining natural resources from those universes to sustain its own. An explosion breaks the link used to travel between universes and Charlie Jade is one among others stuck in the universes.

There is also a Gammaverse, which is rich in natural resources, and have an organized group determined to stop Vexor from exploiting their world. A man known as…

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the_event_tv_show_slice_01THE EVENT was a short run one season show of 22 episodes from 2010-2011. It was a combination of political thriller, action, SF-similar to the vein of the V series. It focusedson a group of aliens whose ship crashed in Alaska at the end of World War II. They look mostly human, though they age much slower, which is why in present day every looks pretty much in their 20’s and 30’s. Most are held hostage; though a few escape and blend into the local population. President Martinez (Blair Underwood) plans to disclose the existence of the aliens to the world and let them live among us but their is a assignation attempt, political machinations, a split among the aliens etc. etc. Main characters include Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) a CIA operative and secret alien; Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes) the leader of the aliens in Alaska; and a romantic…

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SF Obscure: The Dresden Files

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250px-The_Dresden_Files_2007_IntertitleThe Dresden Files was a short run TV series based on the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. It ran for one season of twelve episodes in 2007. It follows the adventures of Harry Dresden, a Chicago wizard. Harry’s father was a stage musician and his mother a powerful witch. He was raised by his uncle, Justin Morningway, who used black magic and turn Harry had to use it against him. Harry uses his skills to help the police investigate unusual crimes. He is generally assisted by a police officer name Lt. Murphy who he might have thing for and ‘Bob’ and old spirit encased in a skull-later given a body-who consults magical lore.

Most of the shows involve the use of dark magic, people in trouble, and Harry’s attempts to help them. There are other supernatural characters introduced-vampires and other wizards of a high Council. They are generally episodic…

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230px-MANTIS_(intertitle)M.A.N.T.I.S. was a short lived television series from 1994-1995 for one season. It was a super hero show featuring an African American superhero which was/is fairly rare on American television. It follows the story of Dr. Miles Hawkins (Carl Lumbly) a famous scientist paralyzed after a shooting. He is a somewhat bitter character; although part of it is  faked to deflect attention from himself so his dual personality as M.A.N.T.I.S.  is not discovered.

M.A.N.T.I.S. stands for Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System. In the pilot movie, the M.A. N.T. I.S. seems to focus mainly on the helmet as the center of control and the rest of the suit gives him mobility. It is covered in a long trench coat. Once the series proper begins, the M.A.N.T.I.S costume in a black bodysuit with the M.A.N.T.I.S  system of the outside. This is one of many, many drastic changes from the pilot to…

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SF Obscure: EUREKA

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Hi out there in SF Obscure land! This week, let’s talk a bit about a fun comedy-drama show with humor and science and goofy nerd stuff that was Eureka.

Eureka is based around a community of scientific geniuses who work for Global Dynamics- a secretive advanced research facility.  Most of the residents of the town have a genius of some type-the owner of the cafe is a culinary genius; the police deputy is a security specialist. The show generally begins with Jack Carter, the town sheriff being called in to investigate a crime involving one of the scientists or their inventions. Jack Carter is not one of the scientific geniuses, so generally the concepts have to be explained  a clever way to info dump) and he uses his street smarts to solve it. Occasionally, there are longer episode arcs involving government cover-ups, corporate rivalry etc.

The real strength of Eureka…

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SF Obscure: Millennium

Remember Millenium?

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With a few words about Harsh Realm.

So the big X-files reboot is on the horizon. I want to see it… I’m afraid to see it…I probably will try. Regardless, X-files is a phenomenon. I did a post about the spin-off series TheLone Gunmen, but not about the shared universe series Millennium.

Millennium ran from 1996-1999.  It follows the investigations of ex-FBI agent Frank Black, who has the psychic ability to see inside the minds of criminals. He is later recruitedby an organization known as the Millennium Group. Peter Watts, played by Terry O’Quinn ( known in a lot of SF) is his contact. The stories include standalones- in which Frank Black tracks a criminal- and mythology stories with the Millennium Group. His wife Catherine Black, counsels crime victims and his daughter, Jordan Black, may have inherited her father’s psychic abilities. In the third and final…

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