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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
110 episodes (1964-1968) 60m


Cheap but never nasty - this Irwin Allen production set the standard for low-budget SFX for years to come. Spun-off from the successful film, high-tech sub Seaview battles secret agents, femme fatales, monsters and other disasters. Grumpy Admiral Nelson and handsome Captain Crane never seem to agree - and the world is saved time and time again.





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The Prisoner
17 episodes (1967-1968) 60m


Only the British could get away with making a TV series this surreal. Star Patrick McGoohan (Number 6), who also wrote and financed the series, confronts a succession of Number 2s in trying to escape from 'The Village' - with large guardian-balls thwarting every attempt. Lost? Number 6 could never get a straight answer to a question either. A six-part revival miniseries aired in 2009.





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seaQuest DSV (& 2032)
53 episodes (1993-1995) 60m


Big-budget updating of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. By the year 2018 Earth's oceans are being colonised and exploited. A sub and its ecologically-aware crew - which includes a boy genius (Jonathan Brandis) and a communicative dolphin - try to keep the peace. Cast changes for the 2032 version weren't enough to save the show from oblivion.





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Babylon 5
115 episodes (1993-1999) 60m


Despite stiff competition from the Star Trek franchise, B5 was able to build a surprisingly healthy and enduring fan base. In a UN-style setting, an Earth alliance is trying to prevent another war like the one recently fought with the Minbari. It jumped around a bit, but terrific character development combined with action-packed space operatic fare saw it survive to franchise status.





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Stargate SG-1
214 episodes (1997-2007) 60m


Archaeologists find a long-forgotten stargate which makes travel to far-distant planets possible. A disillusioned military officer leads the SG-1 team of explorers to other planets where they constantly run into the nasty ancient-Egyptian looking Goa'uld System Lords. Richard Dean Anderson is perfect as the droll team-leader, taking on a lesser role for the last couple of seasons.





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Dune (& Children of Dune)
6 episodes (2000 & 2003) 120m


Popular miniseries based on the famous Frank Herbert novel. Writer and director John Harrison does a great job depicting all the soap-operatic tension and nasty politics of the House of Atreides on the sandworld Arrakis. William Hurt plays the Duke and Alec Newman the young Paul Atreides destined for messiah status. Children of Dune followed in 2003.





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Stargate Atlantis
100 episodes (2004-2009) 60m


A spin-off from the popular Stargate SG1 series in which a search for the Lost City of the Ancients has uncovered Atlantis and its Stargate to another galaxy. There's new technologies, new allies and a dreaded new enemy - but the catch is the SG team that visits may not be able to get back home. Tough to top the original, but this usually managed to be great fun.





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The Expanse
48+ episodes (2015-pres) 60m


A thriller set two hundred years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective and a rogue ship's captain come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. A United Nations executive works to prevent war between Earth and Mars.


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The only alternative to randomness is intelligent design
TV Odds 'n' Ends