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AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI) 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:33 pm
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Location: Wolverhampton, England
Post AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
OK, here's one that I would just like to find out for my own info. We have literally hundreds of American shows on TV over here some are brilliant - Stargate (well the original and new Universe are very very good! Not quite so into Atlantis though), Battlestar Galactica, All the Star Trek's and my families current favourite Flash Forward. I could never get into Lost though!

Some are pretty awful - the Bionic Woman (even if it did star a british actress!), Lost (sorry but it bores me rigid!) are my main examples.

Do any Brit series translate well over there? I know that Dr Who is pretty big, but what else? And what are peoples favorite "old" sci fi shows - I lived for Quantum Leap and Babylon 5!

I await your input with anticipation! Especially about Birt shows in the USA.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:00 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
Okay so I'm a Brit who's been in North America for nearly 30 years.

You're right about Dr. Who, it probably has a bigger fan base in the USA numerically speaking than in the UK. There again, bedbugs probably have a fan base in the USA.

Basically any Brit show that airs on non-PBS channels in the USA is popular by definition. Most Brit shows on PBS are snoozers. (The Simpsons did a brilliant bit on this a few years ago.) Exceptions: Python, Fawlty Towers.

Torchwood airs on sci-fi channels here; I like(d) it. The Sarah Jane Smith Chronicles or whatever it was did not and I think that was a wise choice.

Every American version of a Brit hit has been a pathetic flop (e.g. The Office, and whatever they called the copies of Fawlty Towers, Love thy Neighbour, and Steptoe and Son). Exception: American Idol. Even when they do nothing aside from retitle a show they give it a silly title, e.g. "Randall & Hopkirk (deceased)" -> "My Partner the Ghost". Puke.

Aside from the Who universe, I don't know if I can name any Brit scifi shows made since the 80s. The late 60s/early 70s was of course a massive flowering of creativity and many of the shows made then are still in reruns (e.g. The Prisoner, UFO, Space 1999). Many shows did not appeal sufficiently on balance to North American audiences to get transplanted (e.g. The Tomorrow People). Who and Python have numerous Brit-specific references that I am quite sure fly right over the heads of 99% of Americans but they don't mind as there's so much other stuff they can like.

I never got into Red Dwarf.

Trust me, there are plenty of awful USAian scifi shows that I imagine Aunty Beeb protected your tender eyes from and which you are blissfully unaware of. My life would be the richer from never having heard of A.L.F..

Just what *are* the current made-in-Blighty scifi shows?


Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:23 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
We got DW here on the public (noncommercial) TV station for years. I watched it because someone else did. Never found it very interesting and the cheese factor (this was during the Tom Wassisname years, then the early Peter Davison years) was pretty high.

I was a rabid Trekkie in high school, mid-1970s.

Very little else media-STFnal ever caught my attention. I ended up watching B5 about a year after the series concluded because I had an hour in the afternoon I could do little else... and it caught me big time. Between serial broadcast, a beautiful set of off-air edited tapes I made, and then the DVDs, Audrey and I have watched it through perhaps four times, and there's no ruling out more viewings. Simply the most superb effort ever brought to television - not in sets, which barely cleared the DW bar sometimes; not in acting (especially not the brother-of-the-producer guest shots), but in fabulous story and exposition and above all rigid adherence to a strong, strong set of story arcs. I love that an issue brought up in the original pilot is not resolved until the very last episode, five years later, with no straining to fit it in.

We got caught up in BSG after it was discussed here, shortly after the last show. Loved it, got extremely tired of some of the characters (Brass Balls Starbuck, Crabby Ol' Bastard Tighe, Spineless Joe) but others - Adama, Chief and Six in particular - never failed to please. When I realized that the notion of a story arc was lost and they were winging it season to season, only to retcon in the whole "Final Five" thing, and all of the careful groundwork of the first two seasons was lost in a mish-mash of nonsensical mysticism and let's-pretend, I almost gave up... but I'm glad to have watched it all the way through. Will probably never watch it again, especially after the final Starbuck nonsense, whipped out of some writer's posterior without a thought as to integrating it into the existing story.

That's about it. Never was much of a media SF type otherwise...

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Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:05 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
I spent a cold, rainy/snowy week in a rented cottage on the Dorset coast this past February, and watched a lot of British TV on the excellent Sky TV sattelite service. It seemed to me that 50% or more of the programming, particularly on the commercial channels, was American. I did enjoy watching the Super Bowl on the BBC, because instead of commercials they ran game commentary.

In general I don't watch much Sci Fi programming on TV, American or British. One British program I do really enjoy is Top Gear, which plays on BBC America on my local FIOS service. It's by far the funniest, most entertaining show on TV.

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Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:30 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
My 10 year old daughter and I have a "date" every sunday to watch Top Gear!

Red dwarf was IMHO brilliant, and there was a rather good little thing called the Young Ones - VERY british anarchic comedy.

I heard that the Office went down well over in the states - obviously I heard wrong!

Have you seen extras? That is another Rick Gervais outing that has flashes of brilliance (especially the one with Ben Stiller in it).

Current Brit Sci Fi is a bit thin on the ground, Ashes to Ashes is (sort of) Sci Fi ish - roughly about time travel into the past but more complicated than that! (Sorry!)


Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:42 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
JackKelly wrote:
I did enjoy watching the Super Bowl on the BBC, because instead of commercials they ran game commentary.


Oh man, that's too tempting to pass up. Forgive me, Keith...
Quote:
"So what were they doing there, Nigel?"

"I have no idea, Trevor. And why do they wear all that padding? When they get kicked in the bollocks they must hardly feel a thing."

"So true, Nigel. And they stop every few minutes to have an argument - well, I would jolly well think at that rate a game should last six hours."

"Still, those are some smashing birds jumping around on the sidelines, eh?"

"Yes, Nigel. Have you been able to understand the scoring yet?"

"No, Trevor, but they do seem awfully high for the number of goals they scored. I bet Arsenal wouldn't mind scores like that the next time they meet Liverpool."


Okay, so I haven't figured out a decent way to wrap it up but you get the idea of where my diseased little mind was going.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:58 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
How about:

They keep throwing the ball - bloody strangest game of Rugby I have ever seen!!!!


Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:02 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
PeterScott wrote:
JackKelly wrote:
I did enjoy watching the Super Bowl on the BBC, because instead of commercials they ran game commentary.


Oh man, that's too tempting to pass up. Forgive me, Keith...
Quote:
"So what were they doing there, Nigel?"

"I have no idea, Trevor. And why do they wear all that padding? When they get kicked in the bollocks they must hardly feel a thing."

"So true, Nigel. And they stop every few minutes to have an argument - well, I would jolly well think at that rate a game should last six hours."

"Still, those are some smashing birds jumping around on the sidelines, eh?"

"Yes, Nigel. Have you been able to understand the scoring yet?"

"No, Trevor, but they do seem awfully high for the number of goals they scored. I bet Arsenal wouldn't mind scores like that the next time they meet Liverpool."


Okay, so I haven't figured out a decent way to wrap it up but you get the idea of where my diseased little mind was going.


Yeah, sorta like that! :lol:

No, actually there was a BBC comentator who did seem to have some grasp of the game, but they were smart enough to engage the services of two American ex-players to do most of the talking. Anyway, it was jolly well done!

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Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:08 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
KeithJones923 wrote:
I heard that the Office went down well over in the states - obviously I heard wrong!


No, the Brit version of The Office is a great success, it's the American remake of it that's crap. You likely haven't seen it.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:09 pm
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Post Re: AMERICAN/BRITISH TV (MAINLY SCI FI)
We havent really had the American version of the Office over here, wasnt it Steve Carrell in it?

We have a very "odd" sense of humour over here, which doesnt seem to travel very well!


Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:20 pm
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