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Ladies First: The Best Female Characters Of Sci-Fi Film And Television

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RipleyLoaderOne of the reasons we love science fiction is because there’s no shortage of strong, dynamic, fascinating female characters kicking around the galaxy, a trait that isn’t always a given in other genres. Iconic characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor have become the bar by which most other female heroines are measured against, but thankfully sci-fi doesn’t limit its badass females strictly to the most obvious form of badassery. Our favorite sci-fi heroines might have what it takes to field-strip a pulse rifle, or they might have the fortitude to lead a desperate fleet of mankind’s remnants across the stars to a new home. They might be able to take down multiple murderous cyborgs, or they might have the courage to serve as inspiration for revolution against an oppressive government.

When it came time for us to pick out favorite female characters from science fiction film and television, the task was more than daunting. After several rounds of voting, arguing, throwing things, and threats of blackmail, we finally whittled our list down to 19, our picks for the very best, most interesting, most compelling, most badass female characters the genre has had to offer across film and TV. We’re listing them in alphabetical order by last name, but it’s strangely appropriate who wound up as number one regardless…

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Farscape Celebrates 15 Years: Today In Science Fiction

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FarscapeMan, there’s nothing worse than your favorite shows making you feel oooooolllllllllld. At least the anniversary of Farscape, which premiered 15 years ago today on what was still then called the Sci-Fi Channel, isn’t quite as painful as the realization that it’s been over 20 years since Babylon 5’s pilot TV movie The Gathering first aired. Thankfully, while B5 continues to dwindle into obscurity because Warner Bros. refuses to put the damn thing on Netflix already, Farscape is available for streaming on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime Instant Video. If you’ve been meaning to give the show a look, what better time to start?

But even if you’re not feeling it after the first couple of episodes, just stick with it — trust me. I gave it only a couple of episodes initially before losing interest. Why was this show’s tone all over the map? What was with all the Muppets? Why was it all so…weird? Thankfully a few episodes down the line a friend talked me into giving it another shot, and that’s when I got well and truly hooked on a series that became one of my all-time favorites. And that weirdness? That’s one of the best things about the show.

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Farscape’s Justin Monjo Wrote A Script For A New Movie

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FarscapeWhen Rockne S. O’Bannon’s cult sci-fi series Farscape was abruptly cancelled in 2002 after season number four, it left fans in the lurch. The season concluded on one hell of a cliffhanger, and since that’s also where the show wrapped up, there were a lot of people out there looking for a sense of closure. And as it turns out, that just might happen, in movie form. Prolific Australian writer Justin Monjo has written a new script, and the wheels may be starting to move forward.

How many times have we heard this same story over the years? Despite a hardcore, dedicated fan base that lived and breathed the series, the network formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel, pulled the plug. It would take a rather long time to list all of the sci-fi shows that have met an early grave. At the time Farscape got the axe, the network cited a combination of declining ratings and increasing production costs. There was the obligatory fan outrage and grassroots push to bring the show back, which resulted in the mini-series The Peacekeeper Wars, which helped wrap things up.

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Cross The Streams: Farscape Is Back On Netflix And Hulu Keeps Delivering British Goodness

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Hope your week is going by swimmingly, streamers, and that you have time to spend on TV shows, rather than the quick fix of a movie, as the only one here is Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and I’m not sure that’s going to draw a bunch of people who have never seen it before, nor will it make anyone want to rewatch it. But maybe I’m wrong. Moving on.

FarscapeFarscape: Seasons 1-4 (Netflix Instant)
Farscape has returned to Netflix, giving the Rockne S. O’Bannon series’ legions of fans a reason to get up in the morning, even if it’s only to turn the TV on. From 1999-2003, John Crichton and the multi-cultural crew aboard the Moya fled from dangerous enemies, traveled to distant worlds, and tried to open wormholes, all in the name of going against the Peacekeeper establishment. Strong stories and characters — some created by the Jim Henson Company — make this a unique standout in the sci-fi spacescape. Try not to be bothered by the brain-crippling cliffhanger the series ended on, as it was canceled before its time, and just hope that Netflix adds The Peacekeeper Wars concluding miniseries before Scorpius figures it all out and assumes victory.

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So Now What? Five Streaming Shows To Soothe Your Doctor Who Withdrawals

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Today Doctor Who fans all over the world finally got to see the much-ballyhooed 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. Since I’m writing this some time before I finally sat down to watch it, I’ve got no idea what surprises the special has to offer, aside from the ones already revealed. I’m going to guess it will probably have plenty of thrills, possibly some chills. I’m pretty much certain it will make us laugh, quite likely everytime David Tennant and Matt Smith are onscreen together. I will probably get a little choked up somewhere toward the end of it.

But after all these months of anticipation, there’s bound to be a sense of anti-climactic frustration. Now that we’ve seen The Day of the Doctor, the wait for the Christmas special — and with it, a new Doctor — has begun. So now what? I know several Who noobies who have been frantically marathoning their way through at least the modern episodes of the show so they’d be caught up in time for the special. If that’s you, or if you’re just a loyal fan looking for a new bit of entertainment (or an old one to revisit), here are several excellent choices to fill your eyeholes with. And they’re all available streaming online, because that’s just how much we love you.

Continuum

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Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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VNovember 5 plays a key role in both Alan Moore’s original dystopian graphic novel V for Vendetta and the 2005 film adaptation. It’s the reason your feed may currently be cluttered with Guy Fawkes masks and people talking about the “gunpowder treason and plot.” V for Vendetta was penned by Moore during the ‘80s, with art by David Lloyd and Tony Weare. The series explores notions of anarchy vs. fascism, with the titular V, adorned in a Guy Fawkes mask, standing for the former against an oppressive U.K. government that labels him as a terrorist. The fifth of November references Guy Fawkes night and the “Gunpowder Plot,” a 1605 failed assassination attempt on King James I of England. The event — and the catchy associated poem — plays a major thematic role in both the graphic novel and film.

Moore wasn’t happy with the film (or at least the script for it), but that’s pretty much SOP when it comes to Hollywood adaptations of his works. The film definitely takes liberties with the graphic novel, but overall it’s not a bad flick, anchored especially by strong performances from Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving as V — his delivered in its entirety from behind V’s iconic mask. The adaptation was written by the Wachowskis and directed by James McTeigue (his directorial debut — he had previously worked with the Wachowskis on the Matrix films as an assistant director.

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