For me, ‘terrible’ seems extreme. I left the two miniseries wanting to see more face-peeling and gerbil eating and cool ships that were clearly meant to be toys and pew pew guns, and it delivered! I mean, Knight Rider wasn’t really much better. I would put every single episode of V: the Series (*) up against Spock’s Brain any day. It was definitely not a classic of the genre, I’d rank it close to the 80s War of the Worlds series. That show had potential, but back when nearly all prime-time shows were limited to mostly one-episode story arcs it would have been hard to realize it. V had a somewhat more serialized plot, I think, but I’m not sure Hollywood was ready to tell that story the way it could be told.
And there you nailed it on the head my friend! And I’ll agree it was certainly “terrible” in the fun way.
I feel like someone should throw in X Files here… speaking of semi-serialized shows.
* My apologies to anyone who cares about proper italicization of titles.
I left the two miniseries wanting to see more WWII allegories. The weekly series started out that way, with Diana being on trial for war crimes and L.A. eventually turning into an “open city”, but apparently that wasn’t drawing enough eyeballs and they went full camp, which was a lot of fun once I adjusted my expectations.
Agents of SHIELD
Alias (early seasons)
Mystery Science Theater 3000
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Twilight Zone
The Venture Brothers
I really need to see more of those cool low-budget British sci-fi shows from days of yore. Space 1999, The Avengers and Doctor Who are the only ones I’m at all familiar with. Sapphire & Steel is another one that sounds interesting.
Sapphire and Steel has one of the lowest budgets for a sci-fi show I’ve ever seen. One of the seasons prominently features an “effect” which is basically a narrow spotlight thrown onto a wall. But it works really well anyway, partly because the writing and acting are terrific (hard to beat David McCallum and Joanna Lumley).
Blake’s 7 is definitely worth seeing if you’re a British sci-fi fan. It was created by Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks, and is pretty dark for sci-fi of the era. Farscape owes a lot to Blake’s 7. It’s sort of a spiritual successor.
Survivors, which I mentioned above, might be my favorite. It’s a 1970s post-apocalyptic series about life after a disease wipes out almost all of humanity and they strive for realism so it’s bleak, but terrific.