with all kinds of crazy histories. That’s actually pretty amazing, and I’m surprised no one had tried something like that before. Unfortunately, the four main characters were pretty boring, and after the first thirteen episodes or so the producers seem to have completely run out of ‘parallel world’ ideas that were even remotely plausible, and so they started “Sliding” to worlds where, like, it’s 1996, right? And you have to shop all the time, and, like, there’s shopping malls that levitate in the air for no adequately explained reason, and, like, if you stop shopping for more than an hour, you’ll like be killed for adversely impeding the economy, n’shit, right? ‘Cuz we all know capitalism is like bad and stuff, right? Take it to the man! By the third season, the ‘alternate history’ premise had all-but-disappeared, and it became a completely incoherent adventure show (“They slide to a version of earth that has dinosaurs! Now they slide to a version that has constant tornadoes!”). The cast started trickling away from the obviously-sinking ship. In the fourth season it jumped from Fox to Sci-Fi, adding new characters and re-casting the lead (Sort of. It’s complicated, but not particularly interesting). A recurring menace for the series – it’s “Klingons” if you will – were Cro-Magnons from an alternate world where Homo Sapiens never evolved. These Cro-Magnons (Who looked nothing like real Cro-Magnons) were sliding from world to world, taking them over and eating the humans who lived there. On the one hand, the show suffered quite a bit from network interference and cast and budget changes in the later seasons. On the other hand, it suffered quite a bit from it’s inception simply because it felt like the creators of the show never quite fully understood the whole “Alternate World” concept themselves. But mark my words: someday someway someone will do a good show based on this concept. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliders And the number 1 worst SF series of all time:
1) Earth: Final Conflict (1997-2002) Yet another series ostensibly thought up by Gene Roddenberry and produced posthumously. Unlike “Andromeda,” however, Gene probably really did think up a lot of the basic premise of this show. And, unfortunately, it shows. Premise: In the not-too-distant future, next Sunday A.D., aliens called “Talons” visit earth and bring all kinds of shiny new technological geegaws including teleportation. The world becomes a much better place for everyone, alas, the Talons are…well…it’s never exactly established if the Talons are evil and manipulative, or merely condescending and passive-aggressive. They sort of take over the world, but the world is sort of a better place for it, and they sort of do it without a use of force and their motivations are never quite explained. It’s all pretty squishy. There is a Talon who’s definitely the bad guy for a couple seasons, but it’s established that he’s more or less working on his own, colonel Kurtz-like, with no mandate from above. Then, the Talons are abruptly defeated and evicted from Earth and in the more-or-less completely unrelated fifth and final season, a new alien race, the Atavus, show up. Turns out the Talons were kind of sort of maybe possibly a little bit involved in a war with the Atavus, and once they left that opened up Earth for invasion by aliens who are flat-out evil, rather than merely annoying whiners. What makes this show take the cake for worst-ever is that there was not a reason in the world that anyone would give a damn about the characters or premise of the show in the first place, but this mere boredom and lack of vision quickly gave way to utter incoherence as the show began a nearly-legendary cast turnover. *EVERY SEASON* featured a new lead character who took over when the previous main protagonist was fired or quit in disgust. Entire character arcs were conceived of in seemingly minutes, painstakingly developed for 22 episodes, and then dropped abruptly, never to be mentioned again. This happened a half-dozen times! In fact, the only character to have lasted the entire run of the show was the main human antagonist. Somehow – presumably just because it had the Roddenberry name on it – this show managed to survive for five years.
And there you have it! Any shows I left out? Any agreements or disagreements? Please comment! As a footnote, I’d like to mention that I *really* wanted to put the X-Files on here somewhere, but had to leave it out because it involves the supernatural, and therefore is a fantasy/SF hybrid and doesn’t apply.
Sincerely, Republibot 3.0