Alby emailed me with his list of top TV sci-fi shows. He says:
1) A for Andromeda/The Andromeda Breakthrough (BBC -UK, early 1960s).
2) Quatermass and the Pit (BBC - UK, mid 1950s).
2) The Dollhouse (Fox Network - USA).
3) Flashforward. (ABC TV - USA).
4) Alias (Fox Network - USA). Alby says: 'Totally and gloriously deranged sci-fi-spy romp - The Avengers on acid'.
5) Invasion: Earth (BBC TV - UK).
6) Ultraviolet (Channel Four - UK).
7) Battlestar Galactica (the remake) (Universal/Sci-Fi Channel - USA) and Caprica so far.
8) Babylon 5 (USA).
9) Firefly (Fox Network - USA).
10) About 60% of The X-Files (USA).
11) Lost (USA).
12) Fringe - Alby says: 'gets my vote for Walter Bishop alone'.
I liked most of these although I thought X-Files was dreadful. I mean, the idea was good at first, but it rapidly became predictable and boring. I think they stretched the ideas too thin. X-Files would probably have made a great little mini-series of about 12 or 13 episodes. Babylon 5 was pretty good and I would've included it in a longer list. Likewise with Lost. I loved Alias too. Fringe I'd forgotten about and also Eureka, so I now have to expand my list of 11 to 13. Fringe and Eureka belong somewhere around 10 or 11 in a list of 13.
I haven't seen Caprica yet and I haven't seen the original version of 'A for Andromeda' either though I am aware the story was ripped off to make the 'Species' movie. Quatermass was interesting for it's time, I suppose.
Alby's email also mentions 'isn't the latest Doctor Who season dreadful?'
Well, I don't think of 'Doctor Who' as science fiction but rather as a family entertainment in the style of a light-hearted romp through some of the classic tropes of scifi wrapped up in a bit of nonsense. I've always been more of a critic than a fan where Doctor Who is concerned but I've enjoyed some bits of the new season (so far). I didn't like David Tennant's version of The Doctor (although I loved him in Hamlet). Matt Smith is, IMHO, an improvement. My favourite of all the actors who've played the roving timelord is, as always, Paul McGann and my favourite of the companions is Lucy Miller, played by Sheridan Smith. I also loved Bernard Cribbins in 'The Horror of Glam Rock'.
Also, since I've now included 'Eureka' I ought to included a couple of other science fiction comedies which are also good: 'Red Dwarf' and 'Goodnight Sweetheart' are both very very excellent.
I wish there were better adaptations of science fiction books to TV. I'll compile a list of the ones they ought to do.