Friday, 1 March 2013

Worth a weekend - The best Geek TV boxsets

I finished watching the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Blood & Chrome, this morning. It wasn't bad, but afterwards I was left with the memory of how truly great the 'noughties' version of Battlestar was. I decided I would compile a list of the best geeky boxsets to while away a weekend on.

I like lists. So, in no particular order:

Battlestar Galactica


Frak! That's a good looking toaster!

The Cylons are robots (or 'toasters'), created by the humans of the Twelve Colonies, who then turned on their creators and started a war. The war ended in a stalemate and truce but, 40 years later, the Cylons came back with 'suicide bombers' in human form. They destroyed all the planets and anyone on them, leaving just the people who were aboard starships to make an escape. The soon-to-be decommissioned Galactica is now responsible for protecting the last remaining members of the human race.

If I had a spare 50 or 60 hours, this is one box set I would like to watch again. Another good point, despite it being an American show, it has an ending. It doesn't just get cancelled while the story is ongoing or with a cliff hanger ending (see V, Invasion, Tru Calling, Pushing Dasies, 4400)

The X-Files


Mulder strong! Lift torch high, grr!

I can't believe there are people who haven't seen the X-files, but those that have may have forgotten how truly great it used to be (partly thanks to a couple of terrible final series' and mediocre films).

A creepy, outcast, UFO 'nut' who works for the FBI gets a new partner who, originally it seems, has been hired to refute and debunk his work on the 'X-Files', a series of unsolved cases that could contain paranormal or extraterrestrial phenomena.

Some of these episodes were fantastic. Gripping and suspense-filled and didn't feel over the top or silly.

I was reminded to include this show by the wonderful posts of Jennifer Cates over at Den of Geek who has been re-watching The X-Files from the pilot episode, and can write about it much better than I can. Those early episodes like 'Squeeze' are still fresh in the memory and fondly thought of. Her reviews can be found here. If you decide to have a weekend X-Files-a-thon though, I will forgive you for stopping after series 7.

Fringe


We picked this table despite 
it only having three chairs

It is quite appropriate that this should follow The X-Files in the list as, to me anyway, this is The X-Files of the 21st Century. It follows the X-Files formula of 'Monster-A-Week' style combined with a story arc that flows through it at the same time, leading to stand-alone or mythology-based episodes.

Again the main characters are working for a almost-secret subdivision of the FBI. Instead of aliens, however, the unknown threats often arrive in the shape of time-travellers, genetic or psychological experimentation and parallel worlds.

Unlike the first two in this list, Fringe is still going, but with the final series soon to be released.

Sherlock


Quick! I think I see Harry Styles

Sherlock Holmes in a contemporary setting (a theme recently copied in America with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu), this time he has access to the internet and GPS while Watson has returned from Afghanistan. Smart writing and story telling. Despite being adapted from Conan Doyle's originals you still don't always know where or how it's going to go.

Dexter


Look, wings! B*tches love wings

Probably one of my two favourite current shows (with Sons of Anarchy being the other), not really that 'geeky', but Dexter does work in a forensic lab so it counts...it does...because I said so.

Who'd have thought you would root for a serial killer? Great writing means you do.

Spaced


Pull stupid face...now

What Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did before Shaun of The Dead.  You sure know it was going to be 'geeky'. With references from Star Wars, The Matrix and Close Encounters... to name but a few, it had to be included didn't it?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Tru Calling

Before I go vampire hunting I make sure 
I put on my lipstick and makeup

I have put these two together on the list because they are both guilty pleasures. A guy in his thirties probably shouldn't like these shows, but I do.

It is easy to forget now that there weren't a lot (or any?) vampire shows about at the time Buffy started. In a post-Twilight world they are everywhere, but few have as many cute and funny moments as Buffy does. Episodes such as 'The Body' were genuinely poignant, while 'Hush' was a gripping, funny and scary take on Fairy Tales. Plus, if you plough through the series box sets, you will find it has a satisfactory conclusion. A proper ending.

If you settle down with Tru Calling on the other hand, be warned you will find it was cancelled on a cliffhanger ending. If you missed the stories of Tru Davies it also stars Eliza Dushku, this time as a medical student having to work in a morgue to cover her student fees. She finds out after coming into contact with a body that she can re-live the day and she ends up trying to prevent them from ending up on the slab.

Futurama


Eww. Why is the floor wet?

Future, space travel, inventions, robots. I know, another show that has gone downhill recently, but I challenge anyone not to get emotional at the 'Jurrasic Bark' episode.



Must...stop...tears...

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