Tag Archives: Star Trek

Ep 309: All SciFi TV is Rubbish

This is a very special episode of Boxcutters, recorded in front of a live audience at the 51st Annual National SF Convention. John Richards and Josh Kinal had a debate (aka a word fight) with the topic “That All Science Fiction Television is Rubbish.”

Josh took the affirmative and John the negative. Gasp and be shocked to learn the secrets behind genre television and its merits.

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“In the history of network television, no remake of a previous hit series has ever become a hit itself on network television.

“Plenty have been tried… Digging through the files of series past, one could perhaps make an argument for some shows spawned from original hits. Star Trek, of course, gave birth to four separate series, but those were all spinoffs. They were not remakes of the original with the same characters.”

— from Why Studios Keep Cranking Out TV Remakes, Despite the Flops – NYTimes.com

We’ve talked about TeeVeeLand’s inability to come up with solid new concepts for a while on Boxcutters. While this New York Times article doesn’t seem to build anything on what we already know, it’s good to see that the studios and networks are aware that all they’re doing is throwing shit at a flagpole, or something.

It’s also good to see the argument that the only good remake was Battlestar Galactica and that might just be because it was on Sci-Fi (as it was called when it launched), a cable channel that may just have given the creators the freedom they required to make a show on its own merits.

Countless television projects try and fail. It’s the nature of the beast. But the problem with remakes of old TV shows is that there is an inherent lack of understanding about what made it popular in the first place. It’s not just about the characters, the actors or the subject matter, but also what its competition was, how people led their lives and what could they be shown that they have never seen before.