Would you watch a non-sci-fi, sci-fi show?

Not that I intend on producing one or anything. :slight_smile:

Anyway, the show I’m imagining is a basically a family drama set 300 years into the future. The show would have lots of world building and aliens, but what it wouldn’t have is starships, or space battles, or laser gun fights, etc…

I believe the show’s main draw would be the world building and relationships between humans and aliens.
Does that sound interesting to you?

Or does it seem pointless?

Why do you call this a non sci-fi sci-fi show? It’s just science fiction without glitzy special effects. There are already lots of these, although people may not realize that they’re science fiction, or they may not categorize them that way. John W, Campbell, legendary editor of Astounding/analog, once called Fail-Safe on of the best science fiction movies.



The Man from Earth

Panic in Year Zero


Quatermass and the Pit/Five Million Years to Earth

Lathe of Heaven


Creation of the Humanoids

Bicentennial Man

The Last Mimzy



For that matter, what about either John Carpenter’s or Christian Nyby’s version of The Thing – you get to see the alien and special effects, but the only flying spaceship you get is in nthe opening credits of Carpenter’s version.

I agree. It’s a mistake to think science fiction is limited to shoot-em-ups and bug hunts.

I apologize guys. I was being tongue in cheek in the thread title. Of course y’all are right. It most certainly would be a sci-fi show.

And thanks CalMeacham, I’ll have to check some of those titles out.

When I saw the title, I thought you meant the opposite, space opera without the science fiction, like Farscape.

Sure, I’d watch that, if it was done well. The catch is that drama is harder to do well than flashy special effects.

[old fart]It would certainly not a sci-fi show. That other crap with the spaceships and laser gun fights is sci-fi. You’re talking about science fiction, the real and only worthwhile stuff.[/old fart]

If I were pitching the show, I’d have it set 20 minutes into the future, rather than 300 years. Aliens landed on the White House lawn last year, we’re dealing with them, there is some limited new alien technology, but everything else is modern day. Everyone knows about aliens and they got over it, aliens are cool but nobody is going to lose their shit because an alien walked into the neighborhood Starbucks.

That way you can really focus on the alien-human social interaction and not have to worry about world-building, except for the backgrounds of the various aliens.

Depending on how flexible you want to be with your definition, I’d say I’ve already watched something like your proposed show with NieA_7. It’s a slice of life anime about a young woman studying to get into college, the alien who lives in her closet, and the other people and aliens who just live in the area.

So yes, I’d at least give such a show a shot.

Wasn’t Alien Nation something like that, too?

I was thinking Earth: Final Conflict at first, but then remembered it got into actual conflict right away. Alien Nation is closer, but it’s still not quite what I’m envisioning from the OP.

I’ll watch anything if it is done well.

The Martian and *Gattaca * were also done well.

Ugh, you couldn’t pay me to watch Gattaca again.

I figure, at its core, a lot of good science fiction is social commentary done as science fiction because it’s easier to slip under the radar. Didn’t Rod Serling have a comment along the lines of “A Martian can say what a person can’t”, or something like that?

See this thread for a discussion of the term “sci-fi”:


I wouldn’t watch it, because I don’t watch much these days, but it sounds interesting. And you could make it a political type show like all those so popular these days, except the point of political contention is relationships with the aliens.

BTW, I know your sci-fi / non-sci-fi was a joke, but you nailed it.

Sounds like Terra Nova with the time travel reversed - aliens in the future instead of dinosaurs in the past. Sure, I’d waa watch it.

I can’t think of a show that I watch that would fall into the category “family drama”; I’m not sure adding aliens would make much difference.

At one point I wondered whether it would be possible to do a ST: Starfleet Academy show focusing on a group of students going through the usual angsty teenaged crap in a high-pressure quasi-military academic environment. Oh, and some of the teens are aliens. But I figured the writers would run out of steam quickly and the next thing you know they’d all be in a spaceship on some urgent mission (the students, not the writers) or alien terrorists would take over the school and the kids would have to DieHard them and save the day, or some such clichéd nonsense.

I’d give it a try. I liked the TV series Century City, which was basically a sci-fi LA Law, so why not see if a family drama could work?

It would all depend on the execution.

The big two volume set of George RR Martin’s short stories that came out a few years ago had an introduction by the author. In it he discusses a notice that was printed in Analog Science Fiction many years before. It consisted of a short science fiction story full of aliens, ray guns and spaceships, and then a word for word reprint of that story except with Indians, Six-guns, and horses. The stories both made equal sense, and the editors decried this sort of thing, saying that their magazine would print only Real Science Fiction Martin thought that this was silly- the setting is the least part of the story. What’s important is the story itself. He humorously closes with his own version- with elves, swords, and noble steeds.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it doesn’t matter. If the stories are good, the show is good, regardless of setting.