If you’ve had a chance to click through our countdown of the 20 Greatest Sci-Fi TV Shows, you’ll notice a dearth of comedies. Granted, there’s not much in science fiction that’s as funny (intentionally, at least) as No. 17, but that doesn’t mean sci-fi is good only when it’s serious. The early-’80s BBC series based on Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy saga is not only one of the funniest sci-fi shows ever made, but also honors the genre it’s parodying with a full complement of speculative thought, imaginative metaphysics, and futuristic dread and wonder. On his side of the pond, comic sci-fi TV is usually the basis for fish-out-of-water jokes — see 3rd Rock from the Sun (pictured), Alf, or Mork and Mindy — but that still performs a quintessential sci-fi task: making us see our own world through an alternative point of view. Right now, I’m happy to see that Quark is finally going to be on DVD; I have fond memories of this short-lived 1978 sci-fi spoof, which starred Richard Benjamin as the captain of an interstellar garbage scow.
I’m guessing you have your own favorite sci-fi series that didn’t make our list either. (The Time Tunnel? Kolchak: The Night Stalker?) Give your faves a shout-out below.
addCredit(“3rd Rock from the Sun: Everett Collection”)