Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Best of Science Fiction TV (1987)

I didn't realize this book was 25 years old til the other day while I was re-reading it.  I bought it in the early 90s and thought it was at least of that vintage.  when it was written, there was only one Star Trek tv show.  I think "Next Gen" had just started airing, so it wouldn't have been around when Javna was writing the book.  it's so weird to think of that, now that there have been half a dozen series and one useless movie remake of the show.
the book is pretty interesting, given the fact how much sci-fi is on tv now.  he covers a lot of ground in 144 pages, and manages to catch most of the major shows easily, plus several "cult shows" as well. 

the interesting thing about the "best" 15 and "worst" 10 is that he asked critics from all stripes of entertainment, not just the ones that think they know everything about science fiction television.  Weird Al is one of the correspondents.  I don't agree with about half of the best list  ("Quark" is so overrated, and Mork and Mindy is just a comedy" but the reasons behind everything are quite fascinating.  though I'd never rank the Jetsons over Jonny Quest... the heck is that about?

he also has a nice section about cartoons from Japan, and a lengthy piece on the Ultraman phenomenon which is cool, despite spelling Hayata as "Iota" and thinking Ultraman fought King Joe.  there's a couple of pictures of Johnny Sokko, but not a mention in an article.  Space Sheriff Sharivan gets mentioned though, how weird is that?

the writing style is nice and entertaining, and its definitely worth a look.  Javna seems to think that "Prince Dinosaur" was available viewing at some point in this country.  no one else has ever said that that I've ever read.


C. Elam said...

I have that book, too. I think I even bought it in the same timeframe. And yes, Sharivan getting a mention is pretty strange.

This may be a false memory, but I think the explanation I got regarding "Prince Dinosaur" is that a Spanish-dubbed version aired here. And while the title isn't nearly as familiar, it seems Space G-Men is a Japanese show, too. Not sure I ever got an explanation about THAT.

David McRobie said...

I've seen half an episode of Prince Dinosaur dubbed into Spanish, and there may be a clip or two on youtube, so I do know that exists. I wonder how Javna did. and the implication in the book is that both are in English.