I'm looking for some low stakes, no, low, or mid-budget sci-fi TV or films that I might have missed in the last 75 years.

I prefer episodic stuff. I prefer space stuff, or like Warehouse 13 style monster of the week stuff. Serious Drama is fine, buy I'm honestly looking for lighter fair.

Bonus points if it's an indie production. Extra bonus points if it's open culture, CC-BY-SA or similar.

Any suggestions?

I have seen:
every star trek iteration (with the exception of a few episodes of Lower Decks, and whatever the new Nick show is that just started airing.)

- Every available episode of Space Patrol (1950) including some I archived myself.

- All of Rocky Jones Space Ranger

- About 6 episodes of Tom Corbett space cadet which is probably all of them that survive.

- The original BSG

- some bits of the new BSG which I found too grim.

- some, but not much Babylon 5

- All of Blakes 7

- Space 1999
- Space Cases
- Space Patrol (1960s, BBC puppet show)
- Nebula 75
- Space Patrol Orion (the German show)
- The single surviving episode of Space Command
- Jason of Star Command
- Lost in Space (the old one)
- Lost in space (the new one)

Oh, and firefly, of course.

I have not seen much Babylon 5, stargate (only saw the film), the new BSG, or Farscape, I'm fairly certain I should catch up on those.

I'm hoping that somewhere out there is a CC-BY-SA buddy-cop style show about a skeptic and believer hunting down mystical artifacts in diesel punk 1920s DC, or that I already started producing and just forgot about it, but (of course) both of those things require me to do some work first.

I also watched the first two seasons of The Orville. I thought that was actually really good? I was frustrated to find it really good, but that's a separate thing.

I saw a few episodes of a Scifi Original Series called Vagrant Queen that were actually super enjoyable.

Felt like someone took Starlord's character from the first Guradians of the Galaxy movie, and re-wrote it to be Interesting.

I haven't watched enough of it to know if it's worth recommending, and I know it was cancelled after a single season, but the first few episodes were Tonally exactly what I have been looking for.

Vagrant Queen did a thing that I really respect in that a lot of scenes were clearly done with green screens and instead of hiding that, they played in to it and went over the top with shots that would otherwise be impossible.

Lots of the time, there's only one actor around. Lots of the time she's just interacting with alien landscapes.

I really need to get back to media production.

I guess now that the maker space is open, and Igor is handling toy production, and Connor is handling recording music, and I have a bunch of cameras and lights and green screens and editing gear and audio gear and props and equipment to make more props, I should just, finally, actually, move forward with Jupiter's Ghost.

was Space Station 76 any good? I never watched it, but I saw some clips that were Absolutely gorgeous, but it seemed like the tone would be very much Not My Thing.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. This was a great thread.

I'm going to bed thinking about cheap media and media production. If I don't start shooting a TV show by Sunday I'll be surprised.

@paul It is the show I was thinking of, and I have seen the first season. I didn't realize it was renewed. I'll take a look.

@ajroach42 @paul It ran for 4 seasons and was cancelled on a cliff hanger that we'll likely never see anything of if I recall correctly. I liked it, but I wouldn't get too involved.

@ajroach42 it's the Canadian show that ran for more than one season, IIRC. But I totally understand the confusion.

@paul @ajroach42 yeah there are a few of them lol

Like, "Space Command" was the original "Canadian (sci-fi) show that ran for more than one season" (but nobody remembers) that started the great tradition :blobcheeky:

I kinda liked the "post Trek Roddenberry/Shatner" era of Canadian made sci-fi shows:

* Andromeda
* Earth: Final Conflict
* Tekwar

@msh @paul there's still just the one episode of space command on circulation, right?

@ajroach42 @paul sadly yes, I'm pretty sure that is the case which is largely why nobody remembers.

Television was considered disposable/ephemeral media in the 1950s and 1960s I guess, like wide swaths of the internet are today.

@ajroach42 yeaah I have enjoyed watching some of your efforts on, and more recently Fran Blanche has been digitising her film collection and posting it to YouTube as well.

It's all the kind of content that was considered disposable by it's creators at the time but is often quite entertaining and generally the most fascinating and accurate portrayal of the way things were.


@msh @ajroach42 @paul

in UK a lot of TV content is still wiped rather than archived (despite advances in tech) paradoxically due to fairly strong artists unions; TV company managers will often rather destroy any masters than risk becoming liable for repeat fees (especially if they feature someone who was maybe a lower paid kids' TV presenter 15 years ago but is now a larger celebrity)

@ajroach42 Hitchhiker's Guide, both the 80s BBC and movie versions?

@wilbr Yeah! Somehow I forgot to mention either of those, somehow. Big fan of Red Dwarf and HHGG. Looking forward to Red Dwarf returning again. Promised land was very good.

I also didn't mention Doctor Who, but I've seen ... nearly every surviving episode up to the end of Bakers run, and a fair number passed that?

@ajroach42 modern Doctor Who is Very Good in my opinion. You want to leave your expectations at the door and just enjoy a little sci-fi romp, but they hit on some really compelling themes and iconic moments. To this day I'm nervous around Bluetooth earbuds, OnStar, and mannequins.

@wilbr I haven't seen the most recent season, but I've seen the rest of it.

The OnStar episode was particularly good.

@ajroach42 also it's not teeeechnically low budget space sci fi but Dirk Gently is an amazing book and I want to watch the show, as well as American Gods and Good Omens.

@wilbr There were two Dirk Gently shows. The first was a BBC production and it's ... okay. I think they did three episodes? I can't remember. It was fine.

The second was a BBC America production and it's Buck Wild and Completely Nonsensical, but in a fun way. Not in a Good way, but in a fun way.

American Gods started Really strong, but tappers off sharply after season one.

Good Omens was practically perfect.

@ajroach42 @wilbr There's two seasons of Dirk Gently on Netflix, too...I thought it was pretty good (but haven't seen the others)

@ajroach42 @wilbr Yeah .. I found it very entertaining (coming in with no prior expectations ;) .. looks like it's this one so yeah sounds like the second one you mention

@ajroach42 I'm still 100% on the fence about The Orville. I enjoy watching it mostly but there's some weird tonal issue where it can't seem to decide whether it's a parody of a sci-fi show or just straight up a real one in its own right. I hope they just commit to something next season.

@mike Agreed. A couple of the jokes in s1 felt super Family Guy, and then somehow it turned in to a decent scifi show, and I dunno how they made that transition.

@ajroach42 we loved that show, especially the penultimate episode. It sucked it was cancelled.

@ajroach42 The one series that comes to mind I haven't seen mentioned yet is "Final Space", which got picked up by TBS, I think. Pretty fun, goofy, animated series, but isn't exactly low stakes.

Can second Lexx, Dark Matter, Futureman, and Stargate.

There's probably more that I'll find in my ancient netflix watch history too.

Final Space is pretty great!
One series that I loved until it was cancelled was People of Earth. It's a comedy about a support group for alien abductees. It gets kinda weird, but in a fun way I guess haha

@Thalass @architect I started that one and then lost it. Enjoyed it while I remembered that it existed.

@ajroach42 Stargate and farscape are both fun. The one season of The Lone Gunmen, the X-Files spinoff, is a good time. Seaquest is an underwater space show, particularly Seaquest DSN, as memory serves. The 70s?80s? Buck Rogers is cheesy fun with two of the best sci-fi robots/AIs ever imo, for entertainment value.

@djsundog I never heard of The Lone Gunmen, I'll check that out.

I have seen all of the original run of the x-files, but it's been a while, maybe I'll re-watch some of that too.

I had heard of Seaquest, but I've never seen it.

Is that the Buck Rogers that re-used BSGs spaceship special effects? I have a number of toys from that series, and I've seen some single episodes, but nothing that made me want to watch it all.

@ajroach42 Not sure on the sfx, it's the one will Gil Gerard and Erin Grey, and Twiki the robot.

Dark Angel with Jessica Alba was short lived and a little gritty but not super duper dark and kind of cyberpunky from a bio hacking direction, too.

Automan with Desi Arnaz Jr is shlocktastic and slightly hilarious.

@djsundog I have automan, but I haven't been able to get through more than three episodes.

It's the rare piece of copaganda that makes the cops look too bad. :-D

@drwho @ajroach42 @djsundog Reading the title VR5 just unlocked a memory that was buried deep, deep in the psyche.

Just a flash of acoustic modem

@rgegriff @drwho @djsundog I've only seen a little thunderbird, but I've seen space patrol (uk) which preceeded it, and nebula 75, which is a kind of successor.

@rgegriff Nebula 75 was a quarantine project, and is the closest to an open culture space opera that I've found so far.

It's not CC, of course, but they released the episodes widely for free, and the episodes are good.

@suetanvil @djsundog I'll probably stick a couple of episodes in to the rotation.

@ajroach42 @djsundog Buck Rogers S1 is amazing. Not only two of the hottest women & two best robots, but the plots were smarter & more melancholy than you'd expect for a disco-era family show. S2 is trash but has Hawk, one of the best characters in old SF shows, & better aliens.

@djsundog @ajroach42 One thing to note about the captain of the DSV Seaquest -- he finally found a bigger boat.

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