Fun with Five: Educating The Next Generation

As parents we have a responsibility – nay, a duty – to educate the next generation.  We need to make sure they know certain facts, right from wrong, good from bad.  As a self-confessed geek, there are certain very specific facts I need to make sure my kids know.

Before they leave home, find life partners of their own and generally stop bugging me by complaining about what I’m watching on TV, I want to make sure they know…

The correct order to watch the Star Wars movies.

This is, of course, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI.  I’ve heard rumours about other CGI-fests that claim to be earlier episodes but all I could see were over-long toy adverts.  The closest you can get to the original cinematic release, the better because (1) a Stormtrooper banging his head on a door frame does not require a sound effect to make it obvious and silly and (2) Han shot first.

Who is the best Dr Who.

There are 2 schools of thought on this one.  One is that the best Doctor is the one you grew up with.  I’d broadly agree with that, my formative years had Tom Baker as the Doctor.  The second school of thought is that the best Doctor is the next one.  I liked Tennant, didn’t think any of the new school would be able to top his performance and then along comes the unknown Matt Smith and tops it.

Why Deep Space Nine was the best Star Trek series.

There’s been a lot of Trek over the years.  My personal ranking has them (from best to worst) DS9, late-series TNG, Voyager, Original, early-series TNG (when, lets face it, we were just glad to have Trek back on the screen and didn’t care much about the characters), every movie, every parody, every sketch on a TV show and then, finally, somewhere down at the bottom, Enterprise.

My reasoning behind loving DS9 so much was simple:  It didn’t go anywhere.  Apart from during Epsiode 1 when it moved to where it then stayed put.  And because it didn’t go anywhere, like Babylon 5, the stories had to come to it.  That forced the writers to develop the characters far more than they’d had to do before when they could just chuck a new alien planet-of-the-week at the show and call it a day.  I’d trust Miles O’Brien over any chief engineer apart from Scotty to get the power back on.  Yes, it all went a bit Klingon-tastic when Worf came along, but it gave us superb episodes like Civil Defence, Trials and Tribble-ations and Q getting punched in the face by Sisko.

You hit me!  Picard never hit me.

Why the best series are sometimes the ones that got cancelled

Firefly.  Farscape.  Babylon 5 Season 4.  All of these were killed before their time.  Unduly slain in order to save money, or because some executive somewhere didn’t agree with something.  Like Dr Who, some of these were given a chance to redeem themselves.  I can only guess what the last season of Babylon 5 would’ve been like if they hadn’t had to wrap everything up at short notice, not knowing if there would be a season 5.  Farscape had one last rage at the universe with Peacekeeper Wars.  But Firefly!  One movie does not make up for everything that could have been.

The Weird Name Theory of Programme Success

I’ve never expounded this one anywhere before, apart from to close friends after much alcohol.  So here goes:

You can judge how good a show is going to be based on the names of the actors involved.  The higher proportion of actors with strange or unusual names, the better the programme is going to be.  Give it a week or 2 if you didn’t like the first episode, it’ll grow on you.  The only show to buck this trend that I’m aware of is Enterprise.  This was a steaming pile, apart from the episode which explained why the Klingons looked like they did in Original Trek, that one had me in stitches.

That you must never, ever revisit the Science Fiction Shows of your youth

Unless you are very, very drunk.  The F/X really don’t hold up.  Your memory of them is always going to be far better than anything you see in 1080p.

So.  What useful facts are you hoping to pass on to your kids?

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