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Home > Sci-Fi > Dear Sirs: I Must Take Issue With Your Listing, For It Did Not Include "The Transformers"

Dear Sirs: I Must Take Issue With Your Listing, For It Did Not Include "The Transformers"

May 8th, 2007

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly included an insert booklet listing the editors’ choices for the top 25 sci-fi movies/TV shows of the past 25 years. Making such lists can be dangerous, especially with subjects that inspire passionate outrage in their devotees. Even I can’t pretend to be immune to thoughts such as “How could you have possibly put x on your list!?!” But, as it turned out, I really couldn’t find much to fault here.

Here’s a summary of the list:

  • 25. V (the original miniseries)
  • 24. Galaxy Quest
  • 23. Doctor Who
  • 22. Quantum Leap
  • 21. Futurama
  • 20. Star Wars: Clone Wars
  • 19. Starship Troopers
  • 18. Heroes
  • 17. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • 16. Total Recall
  • 15. Firefly/Serenity
  • 14. Children of Men
  • 13. The Terminator/Terminator 2
  • 12. Back to the Future
  • 11. Lost
  • 10. The Thing (the remake)
  • 9. Aliens
  • 8. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • 7. E.T.
  • 6. Brazil
  • 5. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • 4. The X-Files
  • 3. Blade Runner
  • 2. Battlestar Galactica (the remake)
  • 1. The Matrix

What surprised me about this list was how little I disagreed with it. Sure, I have various minor quibbles. I find Terminator 2 highly overrated, but I know I’m in the minority there. I’d hold off on including Lost until we’re sure that they’re really going somewhere with it. I’d also replace Star Trek: The Next Generation with Deep Space Nine. Beyond that, it’s mostly issues of placement: Doctor Who would be higher, and The Matrix certainly would not be number one.

There were some omissions. My own list would include Revenge of the Sith; Spielberg’s War of the Worlds; and the TV series Max Headroom and Alien Nation. And while I never watched Farscape much, it’s so highly regarded that I’m surprised it didn’t make the cut. (Plus, I gotta think that the Babylon 5 Kool-Aid drinkers will be pissed at being left out.)

For me, the one howler is the inclusion of Quantum Leap. I know that it had many fans, but it’s only science-fiction in that it has a quasi-scientific starting point and that it didn’t really happen.

I know that sounds like a lot of quibbles, but for this sort of exercise, I don’t think it’s all that bad. And I can’t bring myself to find all that much fault with a list that ignores conventional wisdom to include Starship Troopers, or one that acknowledges the criminally overlooked charms of Galaxy Quest.

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