I have watched/read quite a lot of science-fiction offer the corse of my life. Whilst it may be a stereotype, a lot of my reader will be gamers, and so will have done the same. And you may have noticed this too, but a lot of sic-fi is really, really bad.
Why? Well, that can be covered by a few things-
Inconsistencies-Ahh, the ol’ continuity error. Now the problem here isn’t the little things-those can even be quite fun to hunt for, and satisfying to notice-it’s the whacking great things. For example, Andromeda, and specifically season 3. One episode she has a highly trained crew, the next, it’s just the main characters. Whilst this is the one I have noticed, there are probably more.
Cilches- Where would we be with out the ubiquitous exploding consoles in every command deck/bridge of a starship (maybe that’s what happens in 2012, we lose knowledge of fuses). Or aliens that don’t like us for improbable reasons? Or convenient Deus Ex Machina? We’d probably have more interesting shows for a start…
Physics- A) Whilst it is true that sci-fi writers almost certainly don’t have degrees in physics, you’d think that they’d be able to ring one up, wouldn’t you? B) Every show takes one bit of physics and rolls with it. For example, Warhammer 40,000 makes it very clear that it takes years for a communication to cross the galaxy, Andromeda establishes that it takes light a while to get anywhere, and Star Trek seems to have a love for the work of Mr. Einstein. It’d be nice if more things applied.
Technobabble- In his song, The USS Make S*** Up, Voltaire makes it very clear that we know that they make things up, the writers and actors both. The problem with this is that quite a few of us know about science, and just sticking science words together does’t really work very well (photon torpedo? That doesn’t even make sense).
Indestructible Main Characters-This one was mainly committed by DS9 and that most reliably flawed show, Andromeda. For example, Capt. Sisko climbs aboard his little runabout and flies straight past the enemy, taking no damage. Lt. Bloggs tries the same and is blown to little tiny pieces.
‘Then why do you still watch it?’
By this point, you may have gleaned that I am a little annoyed by this televisual weirdness. But, as you may have also guessed, I still watch this stuff. I watched EVERY EPISODE of Andromeda, despite the fact that it was guilty of many of these things (which is why it is a common victim of my complains, sorry Mr. Roddenberry). But, as I say, I watched all of it. So, why? Well, for a start, no other genre has such a loyal fanbase-it makes me feel more like I am a part of something. Secondly, spaceships are cool. Not as deep a reason as the first comment, but still a valid one. The big, scary enemies. Although I know that eventually the goodies will fly heroically into victory, there is still that nagging doubt that they are all going to die horribly. And finally, the shows actually try to say something about the Human Condition, and what people can do at the very best (and worst) of that condition. There is a depth to these thing.
I tried to say something deep here. If I failed, so be it-it’s just nice to know that someone will read this, and hopefully, they will understand what I am trying to say- Small, Far Away out.