As we arrive in 2010, the last decade has seen many shows rise and fall in the world of televisual fame.
It’s been ten years where we’ve swung between sci-fi overdose and sci-fi deprivation as tastes changed. So, when all the dust has settled, just what were the best genre shows?
5. Doctor Who
A much-hyped British revival, Christopher Ecclestone and Billie Piper brought the cult classic back to life through the inspired writing of Russell T. Davies. An absolute powerhouse for the BBC, the show has gone from strength to strength through actor David Tennant, and now stands intriguingly poised as Matt Smith takes the reigns next year.
Perhaps failed somewhat after the second season in remaining as innovative and exciting as the first two years, but perhaps the rejuvenation of Tennant’s regeneration will inspire an excellent series this year.
4. Stargate SG-1
Though truly a show from the 1990s, Stargate SG-1 truly hit its stride in the last decade. The era before Richard Dean Anderson’s Jack O’Neill rose to the position of General was excellently entertaining television.
Though it too perhaps faded somewhat with the introduction of Ben Browder, the television movies that continue to be made have been entertaining, well-produced pieces.
SG-1 attained widespread cultural popularity in both the United States and the UK, and is perhaps the defining science fiction series of the early 2000s.
Though I personally am not a huge fan, and feel the show ran a lot longer than it should have, Lost got entire nations talking. Viewerships were huge, and I remember when everyone from workplaces to nights out discussed what would happen next.
Lost gripped the nation for a reason: strong casts and strong writing initially produced a truly excellent show that ““ for all intents and purposes, and despite the denials of many ““ is most definitely science fiction.
2. Battlestar Galactica
A show that knew when the time was right to call it a day. Galactica is already a classic series that epitomises the mentality and attitudes of post-9/11 America. Dark, disturbing and wonderfully crafted, Battlestar Galactica maintained an absolutely incredible standard of quality over its four year run.
It was aided by an outstanding ensemble cast and production that most television networks would be proud of, let alone a cable channel.
Battlestar Galactica is perhaps the hallmark of the paradigm shift that sees sci-fi moving away still further from its quirky origins, and becoming intrinsically bound with dark drama. What’s more, Galactica showed that it worked.
Although only running for a few weeks on FOX, and only thirteen episodes being produced, Firefly and its accompanying film Serenity became one of the most unlikely success stories of the 2000s.
Joss Whedon crafted a true masterpiece ““ a show crafted within a unique cultural world of his own imagination, and with a cast that ““ although not always the strongest actors in the world ““ had a rapport with one another, and a chemistry so visible on camera that it oozed charm and entertainment.
The slowly increasing outcry when FOX cancelled Firefly for poor ratings (many fans ““ myself included ““ only discovered the show later on DVD) resulted in Serenity ““ which Sci-Fi Heaven attended the premiere of in 2005.
The show, and the movie, have its critics. However, Firefly gets its place as the top show of the 2000s for its unique take on the genre; its fantastic writing and wonderful world that transcends the conventional methods of entertaining an audience through creating an immersive experience by which the viewer cannot fail to be impressed ““ or even fall hopelessly in love ““ with the universe and its characters.
If anything symbolises television in general over the 2000s, it is Firefly. A quality show, cancelled for ratings. Firefly stands apart though. Its quality was so great that it rose and stood to tell the tale.