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WGA’s List Of Best-Written Shows Of All Time Includes Six Science Fiction Classics

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Science fiction hasn’t always gotten its due. In the past it’s been dismissed as “kid stuff” or somehow less worthy and noble than mainstream fiction. Thankfully we know better than that. At its best, science fiction can examine who we are by exploring who we were, or who we will become. Thankfully, SF has long since proven that it has the potential to tell stories just as exciting and insightful as those of any other genre, but franchises such as Star Trek has proven it can be big business as well. For the purposes of this story, however, we’re not concerned with crass commercialism, but rather the writing quality of some of the genre’s best TV outings.

The Writers Guild of America recently shared their picks for the “101 Best Written TV Series” of all time, and wouldn’t you know it, several iconic science fiction shows were included on the list. Granted, they only occupy six slots out of 101, so I’m thinking there are some serious oversights, but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s examine the SF shows the WGA folks did deem worthy or recognition.

X-Files

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Wil Wheaton Loved Star Trek Into Darkness

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wil & levarA few days ago Star Trek: The Next Generation actor LeVar Burton voiced his disappointment about J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, saying that he was “missing Gene Roddenberry in J.J.’s interpretation.” One of Burton’s TNG castmates is on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to Into Darkness. Geek icon Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher, has posted a lengthy review of the movie, and he had a lot of positive things to say about the Trek sequel.

On his personal website, Wheaton says that he loved the film, so much that it may be his favorite Star Trek movie ever. (I don’t even want to think about how many angry comments that will generate.) He talks about Into Darkness as a metaphor the post-9/11 world, and “the dangers inherent in letting vengeance eclipse justice, and reflexively choosing the military option at all times.” And while Cumberbatch’s role as Khan is easily the most controversial element of Into Darkness, Wheaton raves about it, in particular praising Cumberbatch’s performance:

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my very favorite — excuse me, favourite — actors today, and he brought his brilliant mixture of confidence and strength to Khan in a way that, with all due respect, Montalban never did. Never once does Cumberbatch make the obvious choice, his performance is always subtle, always controlled, and when he finally goes full-Khan, scary as hell.

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Enterprise Soapbox Racer Will Boldly Go (As Long As You Keep Pedaling)

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EnterpriseWhoa! With the success of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, everyone seems to be jumping on the U.S.S. Enterprise bandwagon. Unless that bandwagon is actually a soapbox racer. Last month Star Trek super-fan Rob Wixey showed up to a Star Trek Into Darkness premiere in Europe in a custom-built soapbox racer made to look like a replica of the Enterprise. Check it out:

According to Damn Geeky, the soapbox racer took Rob Wixey two months to build, using a steel framework “welded to a bike cut in half having inverted handlebars for ease in steering.” The rest of the Soapbox Starship is made of plywood and polystyrene, coated in fiberglass and custom to look like Captain Kirk’s sweet ride. Wixey is entering the soapbox Enterprise for the Red Bull Soapbox Race, which is warping to London’s Alexandra Palace on July 14. Here’s what Wixey has to say of his home-made Enterprise racer after the premiere:

Only yesterday I entered into a sci-fi short film contest judged by Benedict Cumberbatch and now I will be watching the Star Trek premiere with him — the whole experience is overwhelming. Now I can’t wait for the Red Bull Soapbox event, maybe some of the Star Trek cast will come down and cheer me on!

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LeVar Burton Calls Out J.J. Abrams About Star Trek Into Darkness Again

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BurtonThe new Star Trek reboot films from director J.J. Abrams has upset yet another cast member of the older Star Trek TV series. This time, it’s LeVar Burton (again). Of course, LeVar Burton played Lt. Cmdr Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has said some unkind things about J.J. Abrams and his 2009 Star Trek reboot in the past, and now it appears he has some words for Star Trek Into Darkness.

As reported on TMZ, LeVar Burton was asked what he thought of J.J. Abrams Star Trek sequel film. Although he said he has already seen the movie twice, the 56-year-old actor is conflicted yet again with the new movie. Burton went on to say that Star Trek Into Darkness was lacking the vision of Gene Roddenberry. Burton explained:

At the end of the movie, I really care about what happens to the characters … but I’m pretty much missing Gene Roddenberry in J.J.’s interpretation … and at the end of the day, that’s just not OK for me.

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Back To The Future’s Hoverboard, Terminator’s T-1000 And Other Amazing Sci-Fi Memorabilia Up For Auction

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Terminator 2

How cool would it be to show up next Halloween dressed as the T-1000 from Terminator 2? And we’re not just talking about slapping on some mirrored aviators, a police uniform, and calling it a day. Oh hell no, we mean full on, gaping-liquid-metal shotgun-blast wounds, and that long, sword-like arm that stabs the guy through the milk carton. What if you could own a real life costume from the movie. Sure, you don’t look anything like Robert Patrick, but that would be pretty sweet.

And now you can do exactly this. The T-1000 costume is just one of tons of crazy cool pieces of sci-fi and movie memorabilia up for auction in the upcoming Screen Used Online Auction. You can also adorn your home with an actual facehugger from Alien. Or how about taking a spin on your very own hoverboard? The Pit Bull Hoverboard from Back to the Future II is also up to bid on. Other items include a Mogwai from Gremlins 2, the medical tri-corder from Star Trek: Insurrection, and more. There are blasters and a couple of lightsabers from Star Wars, a coat from The Matrix, and costumes from Chronicles of Riddick. All in all, there are more than 460 items up for auction.

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When Nerd Worlds Collide: Fanmade Enterprise Autobot Toy

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Autobot EWhen you were a kid, your toys would often intermingle with each other. So Transformers would fight G.I. Joes, Thundercats would play with Voltron, and so on. But what happens when Star Trek crosses over with Transformers? Well, artist T.J. Wilferd crafted a new toy that bridges the gap.

This is really impressive! Wilferd made a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise E from Star Trek: The Next Generation that actually transforms into a Transformer called “Autobot E.” Just think about what Star Trek Into Darkness would have been like if J.J. Abrams used this in the movie. Here’s the cool part: not only did Wilferd craft a new toy, he also wrote a short story to explain its origins.

The short story involves the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise having a melee with an non-working Borg Cube, and then coming into contact with Cybertron after Captain Picard called for help. The short story was really refreshing, considering that most artist-crafted toys don’t come with a storyline explaining their origins. It feels reminiscent of Patton Oswalt’s storyline for his version of Star Wars: Episode VII, but not on quite as huge a scale.