Saturday, May 26, 2012

The facts of science fiction...

When I woke up today I decided that the time had come.  Time for us to have ... the talk.  Come on now, don't look at me like that.  You knew it had to happen sometime.  I know I've avoided it so far, I didn't want to stress our burgeoning relationship, but I think that it's time for me to sit you all down and explain a few of the facts of life, or at least a few of the facts of MY life.

Specifically, I think it's time for me to explain to you all my, some would say unhealthy, obsession with science fiction.

I suppose it all dates back to when I was around eleven years old and I first discovered that if I was willing to wake up at five in the morning I could sneak out into the lounge room and watch an old British kids show that some television genius had decided to put on in that oh so popular timeslot.  The show was called The Tomorrow People, had been filmed in the 70's, and was based on a bunch of kids who were the next step of human evolution (and seemed to have no parents, as far as I could tell).

The Tomorrow People
It was badly acted, poorly funded, had some of the worst special effects you can imagine (and this is coming from a Doctor Who fan) ... and somehow managed to capture my imagination.  I set my alarm religiously for a whole year, getting up every morning to watch it, until a change in the TV schedule took it away from me and shattered my poor little tween heart.

But by that point I was hooked.  It wasn't long until I discovered other sci-fi classics being re-run on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  Land of the Giants, The Twilight Zone, Lost In Space, Buck Rogers, and Time Tunnel all featured prominently in my schedule.  It's strange, they weren't the sort of shows a young girl was supposed to like ... but I adored them.  I suppose it should have been a warning for what came next.

When I was around twelve a new version of Star Trek started airing.  I think The Next Generation was a bit of an experiment.  They were trying to see if it was even possible to bring back something that had been so popular back in the day.  But it was a success, and like all the other's before it, I fell hook, line and sinker.

Wil Wheaton, then and now.
It didn't hurt that there was a boy on it that was around my age and who, in my youthful naivety, I thought was just dreamy.  Of course that boy was Wil Wheaton, who grew up to be famous on the internet and one of the biggest geek legends out there, so I'm going to believe that it shows my good taste even at such a young age.

I followed Star Trek: TNG for a couple of years, at which point I entered the mid years of being a teenager who couldn't possibly do anything that might make her look uncool (don't be fooled, I was incredibly uncool as a teenager) and of course promptly stopped.  That marked the beginning of several bleak, barren, sci-fi free years.

But then a miracle occurred, an amazing miracle!  A friend of mine introduced me to a show called Sliders.  I originally agreed to watch it as the lead actor was Jerry O'Connell who I thought was adorable.  Are you sensing a trend here?  I never claimed to be noble, I've always been completely shallow and easily swayed by a cute guy.

The show was about a group of people who travelled to parallel universes, having adventures, trying to get back to their own.  It had been a good five years since I'd really watched any science fiction, but it was like coming home again!  I soaked it up, haunting my local video rental waiting for each new VHS release (yep, I'm definitely dating myself there).

Once I was back, it didn't take me long to work out I had a lot of catching up to do.  I had years of Star Trek, in two different series, to watch.  And then, to my joy, a third series began!  Star Trek Voyager was, and still is to this day, my favourite of all the Star Treks.

The picture on my work desk.
I'm not claiming it's the best acted or the cleverest or the most significant, but what it is is the first of them that I watched in order from start to finish.  It will always have a special place in my heart because of that and even now I keep a wee little picture of the crew of the USS Voyager on my desk at work, my OTHER family portrait as I call it.

From that point there was really no stopping me.  I caught up on the Star Treks, got into Buffy when it started, then Angel too.  I watched The X Files, Farscape, Dark Angel, Xena, Seaquest, Lost, Firefly, Life on Mars, Being Human, and so many more.  All these wonderful, imaginative, sometimes tacky shows.

And while I loved them all I didn't really find another that filled that gap that Voyager left ... until in 2005 the BBC decided to bring back their old classic Doctor Who.  Finally I'd found another true sci-fi love, one that lasts to this day, and from it I found Torchwood which I think I might love even more.  But really, it'd be like asking me to choose which child I loved more.  I have to think of them as a package deal just to keep my sanity intact.

I've been very lucky with my science fiction obsessions, I think, and about six months ago I found a new one.  I don't know how it was that I'd never watched Stargate Atlantis before, somehow it had slipped through my radar, but all it took was a crossover fanfic with one of my other favourite shows and I found myself enchanted with the characters.  From there it was a short step to getting hold of the episodes.

I'm still only half way through the five years worth (I like to take my time and savour them, especially as I know exactly how long I've got), but it's shaping up to be another sci-fi soul mate.

SGA:  my newest obsession.
I know it seems a bit over the top, but this is who I am.  Some people religiously follow football or car racing (which I really don't get), I choose to devote my obsessive tendencies to science fiction shows.  I can't say they changed my life, or saved me or anything suitably dramatic like that ... but I can say that I love them with all of my heart.  They get me, I think.

Of course, I'm also obsessed with Glee, but probably the less said about that the better...


  1. Oh my good god! I loved the Tomorrow people! Along with Blake 7, Chocky and all the other classic sci-fi programmes of my youth.

    I never quite got into Star Trek but Buffy, Angel, The X Files, Farscape, Dark Angel, Xena, Seaquest, Lost, Firefly, (mmmm Nathan Fillion) Life on Mars and Being Human, will surely go down in history as timeless masterpieces...ok, maybe not Seaquest.

    My Spawn and I are also Doctor Who Obsessive. He can talk to you in detail, about every episode dating back to Hartnell in 63. Sorry, rambling now but with this post, I feel like I 'm in Sci-Fi heaven!

  2. Haha ok so SNG and Sliders for the exact same reason. When I found THE GUILD a few years ago(I'm usually behind on these things) and saw that Whil Wheaton was in it well there was even more the show was funny as heck lol.Oh and Jerry O Connel yeah...well...again DROOL