I love science fiction. As a little boy I became fascinated with Science Fiction due to early, and by today’s standards lousy, special effects and a new adventure in each television episode. Sometimes today’s SciFi effects are so good it’s hard to tell its a special effect. When I discovered the joy of reading, I read a lot of science fiction to go with the other books I read.
Many of these shows and movies have influenced my ideas in the creation of the universe Inspector Thomas Sullivan lives in. Here are my top ten sci-fi movies and tv shows.
Number One: Star Trek – The Original
Every day when I got home from school I had just over an hour before one of my parents got home. I spent that hour with Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise.
Number Two: Lost in Space
How could a little boy not love this show! Cool aliens, an even cooler robot for a sidekick, Dr. Smith was hilarious (and the real star of the show) and I seem to recall a couple of cute girls too! Oh, the pain, the pain I felt when the weekly adventures were gone due to cancellation!
Number Three: Firefly
This show is what pushed me over the edge to create the Inspector Thomas Sullivan series of thrillers. If a Space Western could work as a story telling mechanism, then a sci-fi crime noir thriller could work too! Like all Browncoats, I felt the cancellation was a crime against sci-fi fans. Serenity was great, but there are so many stories left to tell about Captain Tight Pants and his crew.
Number Four: Bladerunner
Classic noir film with a sci-fi story line. No, Decker is not the inspiration for Sullivan, but the two could probably swap quite a few stories about their jobs. Capital City isn’t as rainy, but if you’re in the wrong parts of town, it is certainly as dreary and dangerous.
Number Five: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
What a vehicle to explore the ills of society, theological issues, moral issues, you name it. The show was gone too soon and I blame it on the fact the writers and producers simply didn’t know who the real star was: Cameron. For a Terminator franchise to succeed, the Terminator MUST be the star. Lena Headey was great as Sarah Connor, but Summer Glau’s Cameron should have been the focal point of the show.
Number Six: Outland
Basically a remake of High Noon with Sean Connery playing the lone lawman who must face arrival of murderous criminals coming to his mining outpost to exact their revenge. Proof, in my mind at least, that lawmen can make for good protagonists in a sci-fi thriller.
Number Seven: Terminator 2 – Judgment Day
Perhaps Arnold’s finest work! A thoughtful, philosophical film about the value of human life. Not to mention it’s a great chase story filled with explosions, cool one liners and a T-1000!
Number Eight: Star Trek – Next Generation
If it wasn’t for the fact the original Star Trek is what got me started on science fiction, I would rate this one as the highest rated Star Trek. As much as I love Kirk, Spock and the crew, Captain Picard was the best Captain, Data was cool as the android and how can you not love Worf and his need to go to Red Alert and launch photon torpedoes! A great mix of philosophical issues blended with a good mix of action.
Number Nine: Serenity
Summer Glau stole the show as the character River Tams was finally turned loose. Great Space Opera with plenty of villains, the Operative, the Alliance and those evil Reavers! River as played by Glau is the consummate assassin! How do you stand a chance against an assassin who knows what you’re thinking? The late Ron Glass was good as always as Sheppard Book and Nathan Fillion did a great job as the lost Captain Malcolm Reynolds.
Number Ten: Star Wars – Episode IV
Perhaps the greatest Space Opera ever filmed! Of course, had it not been for the 1930s movie serial Flash Gordon Saves the Universe many of the trademark ideas used in the film, such as the rolling story line at the start, Princess Leia’s hairdo, etc. would never have thrilled the millions of Star War fans.
As always, here’s some lagniappe!
Number Eleven: Logan’s Run
Great dystopian sci-fi film! Talk about taking the concept of over 30 being over the hill to an extreme! Take you pick, the film or the tv series, both center around the rouge law enforcement officer Logan who takes on the system that says humans aren’t smart enough, or valuable enough, to live out their life’s natural lifespan.
Number Twelve: Rollerball
Okay, the list said ten, but this dystopian film based on the novella by William Harrison is just too good not to include. In a future where the world and its people are controlled by seven elitist corporations, the ultra-violent sport Rollerball has been created to teach the masses individual effort means nothing. Unfortunately, nobody told Rollerball MVP Jonathan E.
Signup for The Inspector’s Report Newsletter! Keep up with Inspector Thomas Sullivan and his friends. Get updates on when the next book will be published. Enjoy the occasional short story and read author K.C. Sivils’ musings about science fiction, crime noir and what ever else is on his mind.