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B5B7
July 21st, 2008, 12:41 AM
Which do you like better and why?

I am not very impressed with Battlestar Galactica, nor have any of the characters really engaged me yet at all. They all sort of feel like third-rate Sci-Fi channel actors.

The answer for me is quite simple: Star Trek The Next Generation is the mother of Space Opera TV shows and shall always be and I pity anyone who hasn't or isn't willing to watch it. Each and every single character is deep, well characterized and the show itself is far beyond science fiction, it's philosophical and ideological. The human race, as depicted in TNG is one that does not discriminate, does not abuse power and is always willing to lend a hand.

I'm still only four episodes into BattleStar Galactica, so maybe the show will improve, but I dare say it will ever be better than TNG.
I don't want to crush your enthusiasm, and will not address the question of the comparison of TNG & nBSG, but you are wrong about the status of TNG as SF (or even as SciFi).

Star Trek The Next Generation is the mother of Space Opera TV showsThis is not true in either chronological or quality terms. Star Trek the original series preceded it (as did other series) and is superior to it - it was better SF, dealt more courageously with contemporary issues and has an Asian as a regular main character (Lt Sulu);(this doesn't happen again in ST till the pretty bad Voyager - Ensign Kim). Babylon 5 that came after it was also superior.


Each and every single character is deep, well characterized
This is fairly true - after all they had 7 seasons to do character development, but they could have done better. For instance, as Picard refers to in "All Good Things": "I should have done this before" - in regard to joining the poker circle.

and the show itself is far beyond science fictionThis is pure hyperbole - more accurate it is beneath science fiction, as inferior to much SF as both SF and as drama (especially written SF including space opera).


it's philosophical and ideological.
This was one of its weakest areas - it refused to deal courageously with contemporary issues - either avoiding them or providing a bad answer [eg as regards genetic engineering]. Much superior philosophical and ideological treatments in both original Trek and in B5 (& of course written SF).

The human race, as depicted in TNG is one that does not discriminate, does not abuse power and is always willing to lend a hand
The Prime Directive was very discriminatory, and again original TOS was willing to go against it when needed, not blindly worshipping a flawed principle - so they did not always lend a hand, but were often over-bureaucratic or cowardly.

Enjoy TNG for what it does have - entertaining light/pseudo-SF, but do not attribute properties to it that only exist for you.:)

Bengoshi-San
July 21st, 2008, 10:08 AM
do not attribute properties to it that only exist for you.:)

Your post is informative and interesting, all the way until this part, which is the equivalent of telling someone not to have an opinion and blaming me for being the single person on planet Earth who thinks Star Trek is science fiction. I guess B&N, Amazon, Best-Buy and every other place that has any Star Trek movies, music or literature must all be out of there mind for classifying it as Science Fiction.

I apologize for being the only person on Earth crazy enough to think Star Trek is science fiction. I also apologize for having an opinion and having my own view on things. I did not know that it was against your law.

James Carmack
July 21st, 2008, 07:13 PM
Come on, Ben, you're a lawyer (or at least you play one on TV). You should be more familiar with the local ordinances. How are you going to spring your clients?

And, technically, if B5B7 (professional wrestling handle: "The Wet Blanket") is saying TNG isn't SF because of his comment about it being "beneath science fiction", then you've done the same by saying it's "far beyond science fiction".

fluffy bunny
July 22nd, 2008, 06:54 AM
I am not very impressed with Battlestar Galactica, nor have any of the characters really engaged me yet at all. They all sort of feel like third-rate Sci-Fi channel actors.

The tone of BSG doesn't change drastically later on. One could say that the stark gritty feel does allow it to tell certain stories in a different way but I do agree that it's difficult to engage with most of the characters (well perhaps the chief, and you're about to meet Zarek). There is a lot of rubbish with regards to their made up religion and the beliefs of the cylons which was offputting for me. It's up to you if you want to keep going or not - there are good themes in there (I preferred season 2) but the show does go off in pretty annoying tangents at times. The show's best when it tries to point out issues with modern America - eg you'll go though themes such as vote rigging and experience an insurgency a la Iraq with suicide bombers etc from the POV of the 'terrorists'.


The human race, as depicted in TNG is one that does not discriminate, does not abuse power and is always willing to lend a hand.

TNG had a disctincive vision of an improved humanity. It did have its flaws however.

As later shows have pointed out there is a lot of moralising. In TNG, a lot of empahsis is placed on bringing 'humanity' to the stars, making other races become more like us. Who is to say human is the right way? Farscape and other shows allowed aliens to be - well alien with their own values. We're adaptable. We respected them and learnt from them rather than imposing our own beliefs on them.


you are wrong about the status of TNG as SF
Could you qualify that statement? You could argue that Star Wars is a fairy tale set in space, but TNG does fit into the area of speculative fiction well in a number of different areas - vision of the future, real world parallels, what if..., first contact situations, contact with alien civilisations and the implications on human society including ideology, space exploration, implications of new technologies etc.

Wulfa_Jones
July 22nd, 2008, 07:43 AM
Of course Star Trek is Sci-Fi... "Pseudo-SF" indeed!

There are so many different types of Sci-fi that a statement such as is boarding on ridiculous. Of course so sci-fi is hard core, using highly detailed science and politics in the story and then there is the more mainstream stuff such as Star Trek.

Star Trek: TNG was a very popular TV show and still is. Without its success, it is unlikely the new Battlestar series would exist. For many it is the introduction to sci-fi (and for other, including me) about as far into it I want to go. I can be doing with that entire preachy “high brow" Science Fiction.

Cambridge dictionary definition of Sci-Fi:
“science fiction noun [U] (INFORMAL sci-fi, ALSO SF)
books, films or cartoons about an imagined future, especially about space travel or other planets:”

Sounds like Star Trek to me.

As for BS vs TNG, they are two very different shows. They might both be Sci-fi (!) but deal with very different things. You could compare DS9 and B5, but that would be opening up a whole can of worms!

Bengoshi-San
July 22nd, 2008, 08:06 AM
Well said Wulfa.

To each his own, that is why I started this thread, to see what others had to say. Everyone here (unfortunately) DOES have the right to an opinion AND an interpretation.

Those of us who would deny the rest an opinion could very well be called dictators. :eek:

From my point of view, The Next Generation may be flawed, but it was flawed at a time when people liked the flaws as much as the purities. The society and culture surrounding TNG has made it possible for future Science Fiction/ Space shows to become popular.

Some will consider the original ST to be the best, others will think that B5 or DS9 are better. However, ST as a whole is such a relevant piece of Science Fiction that were we to be without it, we couldn't enjoy other shows such as Andromeda, Battlestar Galactica and the other more recent shows.

The same can be said about the Harry Potter and LOTR movies. I personally enjoyed them a lot, others, the purists who loved the books did not. They considered the movies to be a violation of such great books (I personally do not care much for J.K. Rowling's writing). However, without these breakthrough movies that have made millions, we most likely wouldn't have the chance to see other fantasy literature come to the big screen.

It's about breaking ground in an uncharted area. Sure, the tools will become more efficient and the process will be quicker, but that does not mean that one should insult the spoon that was used as shovel.

Hobbit
July 22nd, 2008, 08:57 AM
Those of us who would deny the rest an opinion could very well be called dictators. Or, at least, staff members... ;)

Seriously though, before people get too carried away with calling each other names, let me remind you of how we work around here:


The sffworld.com website is a place for everyone interested in the genres it represents, whether that person is a thirteen-year-old fan or a best-selling author who choses to spend some time with us. It offers the opportunity for fans all over the world to exchange their views and thoughts about science fiction, fantasy and horror. It is an online community and everyone is considered an equal contributor to the discussion.

When a member, however, is verbally abusive to other members and staff and refuses to respect other members, such behavior cannot be tolerated. This has nothing to do with the views that a member may hold, nor is it meant to stifle spirited debate and disagreement.

Sadly, it is far too often the case that these sort of threads, where it 'has' to be 'either/or' that can bring out the worst in people. Personally, I'm happy to sit on the fence and enjoy both, but perhaps for different reasons.

I think there's valid points here in this discussion: but please try to keep to them before deciding to take on each other. Further posts that even hint at such actions will lead to the closure of the thread and strikes all around.

Mark / Hobbit

Bengoshi-San
July 22nd, 2008, 12:06 PM
Just some healthy debate. I think most people who have commented have been right in one sense or another.

I never meant for the thread to be choosing between in a definitive since but more on the differences between them and why people watch one or the other.

Part of my intrigue towards TNG has to do with the ideological thinking behind the show and how humans are shown to be virtuous. (As unrealistic as that may be. In our current state of consumer-nature, the human race will probably have a future closer resembling BSG than TNG). It's still nice to imagine that humans will play an important part in the future peace of the universe, as unlikely as it may be. However, I've also been now thinking about the other side of things. As another member already mentioned.. this contradicts itself in the show many times, as you do not see a wide variety of races, and that most of the more peaceful races are human or human-like in appearance whereas the unattractive races are always evil and out to screw everyone over.

kged
July 24th, 2008, 06:41 AM
*Nips into thread, avoiding spoilers, to give the glad tidings:*

BSG season 4 is now available for pre-order on DVD. I have waited so long for this!

As stated, I've avoided everything else in this thread, but I saw a bit of the OP. Wrong. Dead wrong. Never read anything so wrong in my life. Wrongest thing I ever did see. ST:TNG is absolute pap compared to BSG. Even on its best day, ST:TNG is fair. The worst BSG episode is many orders of magnitude beyond the best of ST:TNG.

So there.

TornydoKhan
July 25th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Hmm.... Never was a fan of BSG, but then I never made an effort to watch it.
TNG was quality programming until I fell in love with DS9...