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Sci-Fi: Getting it Right


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The trinity of death for Sci-fi is: a cute kid, a smart dog or a dumb robot.



If you see any one of the three, the probability that the series will be re-newed approaches zero.


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Muppit & Boxey (Noah Hathaway) from BSG 1977. Cute but DOOMED!

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yeah- but when you've got all three, you've got a real stinker on your hands.


My point, since it went over your head, is that vast amounts of cheese don't make for good sci-fi.

Edited by jamessavik
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Ummm...A boy and his dog was one of the best Sci-Fi movies of all time in my opinion biggrin.png


Terrific novella, and Harlan Ellison broke a lot of the rules on that one. He's a brilliant writer. The movie was very good and well-done, though it wasn't very successful commercially.


I've worked on a lot of bad SF movies in my time, and believe me, pretty much everybody behind the scenes knows the movies are bad.  Only the director and producers are convinced they're creating a classic, and they're just operating in some kind of bizarre reality-distortion-field delusion. 


The science fiction and fantasy works that have impressed me the most have been where the writers set up specific limitations and rules on what works and what doesn't, then write the story to fit those boundaries. Annie Rice's Vampire Chronicles is a good example, as is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. With science fiction, I think there are different rules for different plot lines. Time-travel, for example, can be particularly hairy, particularly when the past is altered and chaos strikes. Bob Gale & Bob Zemeckis' Back to the Future series did this very well, and I think it covered the whole problem of time-travel paradoxes and existential issues very well. In novels, one of my favorites is David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself (which also has some intriguing gay overtones). 


The key to me is to take care of plot threads and small details. Otherwise, you wind up with a mess like Lost, where almost nothing is revealed and the whole thing is kind of a cheat. (And I liked a lot of the show -- just not the ending.)

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Ummm...A boy and his dog was one of the best Sci-Fi movies of all time in my opinion biggrin.png

But you are missing the key element of dumb robot.


this is why the Matt le Blanc version of Lost in space did so badly. kid, doggish/pet/alien thing and stupid looking robot.

total flop.

despite the best sci-fi helmet design seen a loooong time.

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