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What would it take for a TV show set in space to become as big of a cultural phenomenon as Game of Thrones?

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1 hour ago, Prince Yourwetdream Aeryn said:

Sci fi shows can't be cultural phenomenon because they are scientific phenomenon. Since Game of Throne is more about fight between cultures it is a perfect cultural phenom.

Have you watched The Expanse?

ugh, why am I posting on this thread?

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1 hour ago, Prince Yourwetdream Aeryn said:

Sci fi shows can't be cultural phenomenon because they are scientific phenomenon. Since Game of Throne is more about fight between cultures it is a perfect cultural phenom.

What? I cant tell if this is a serious take or just having fun on this thread?

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33 minutes ago, Conflicting Thought said:

What? I cant tell if this is a serious take or just having fun on this thread?

Think it's probably a second language issue tbh.

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 

He's been making similar topics at least once a year for five years now. And never ever actually adds anything to them. 

I believe the last was only last month, or maybe late November. Only got a few replies including the snobbery bs from the one and only Z about sci-fi/fantasy readers being dolly dunces unable to broaden their repitoire to other genres

Edited by HelenaExMachina

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4 hours ago, dbunting said:

Does "The Outsider" count as SF? It's a Stephen King adaptation? Im not a buff so I don't know the correct terminology or classification.

So far it's more supernatural horror but definitely fits into a SFF territory just not the "set in space/aliens" type

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8 hours ago, red snow said:

I've only read the first of isn McDonald's "luna" trilogy but that seemed a match made in heaven for a SF GOT HBO venture. I think the cover blurb even said "like GOT on the moon" and for a change the comparison was warranted instead of just a sales gimmick. It even had HBO levels of sex and nudity preinstalled

I remember around the time the first book came out that CBS were looking at adapting it, although that project seems to have stalled. It did seem a slightly weird fit for them, it seems more of a HBO or Netflix show.

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8 hours ago, dbunting said:

Does "The Outsider" count as SF? It's a Stephen King adaptation? Im not a buff so I don't know the correct terminology or classification.

I wouldn't consider it to be sci-fi.  

I also assume it's only going to be one season, which means it won't really have the ability to become any kind of cultural phenomenon in the way that Game of Thrones did.  It took GoT multiple seasons of hype and word of mouth to get where it was, and The Outsider won't have that.

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19 hours ago, Werthead said:

In terms of longevity, yes. In terms of actual viewership, no. No SF show - not even Doctor Who at the height of its popularity in the late 1970s and late 2000s - has ever achieved half the viewership of GoT. The only one to come close I think is The X-Files, and that show's SF credentials are hazy at best.

If we're talking about who had more viewers, then GoT takes that one, but huge viewership does not make something a cultural phenomenon.

Star Trek had much more influence on the general public. We all know about Spock, "Beam me up, Scottie", "live long and prosper"... You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who couldn't recognise a Klingon from a picture. There are other series that ran for decades after the original series ended, numerous big blockbuster movies. Hell, there are people around the world who speak Klingon!

Sure, GoT had breasts but is, as others have already said, almost forgotten barely a year after the last episode.

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14 hours ago, Prince Yourwetdream Aeryn said:

Sci fi shows can't be cultural phenomenon because they are scientific phenomenon. Since Game of Throne is more about fight between cultures it is a perfect cultural phenom.

You wot mate?

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2 hours ago, baxus said:

If we're talking about who had more viewers, then GoT takes that one, but huge viewership does not make something a cultural phenomenon.

Star Trek had much more influence on the general public. We all know about Spock, "Beam me up, Scottie", "live long and prosper"... You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who couldn't recognise a Klingon from a picture. There are other series that ran for decades after the original series ended, numerous big blockbuster movies. Hell, there are people around the world who speak Klingon!

Sure, GoT had breasts but is, as others have already said, almost forgotten barely a year after the last episode.

I know plenty of people, even guys my age, who would have zero idea what a Klingon looks like, or a Borg, or even a tribble.  

Huge viewership does kind of lead to cultural phenomenon though, otherwise how would it spread throughout the culture? Viewership, to social media(water cooler) to memes to talk shows to phenomenon. 

I don't ever remember discussing Star Trek with anyone, ever. Never heard anyone I have worked with talk about it or even anyone in passing. 

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13 hours ago, williamjm said:

I remember around the time the first book came out that CBS were looking at adapting it, although that project seems to have stalled. It did seem a slightly weird fit for them, it seems more of a HBO or Netflix show.

Odd fit indeed as they'd take out all the weird sex and probably tone down the drugs and violence. It'd end up being star trek :)

2 hours ago, dbunting said:

I know plenty of people, even guys my age, who would have zero idea what a Klingon looks like, or a Borg, or even a tribble.  

Huge viewership does kind of lead to cultural phenomenon though, otherwise how would it spread throughout the culture? Viewership, to social media(water cooler) to memes to talk shows to phenomenon. 

I don't ever remember discussing Star Trek with anyone, ever. Never heard anyone I have worked with talk about it or even anyone in passing. 

"Lost" was huge at the time and definitely a cultural phenomenon at the time but is largely forgotten now. I guess it doesn't help it's not a very cosplay friendly show.

Trek has legs and has generations of fans so i don't think it can be ruled out. While it isn't talked about by everyone i imagine when most people are asked to name a science fiction franchise they'll say "star wars/trek" (they might have difference telling them apart though).

It's too soon to say what the lasting impact of GOT will be. I think if it can sustain spin offs then it has a chance of carrying on but.

With regards to making the next big SF show I'm sure most networks want something that can sustain a lasting franchise. Although they'd also be happy with the 5 year mega success of GOT even if said show was forgotten in a few years.

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4 hours ago, dbunting said:

I know plenty of people, even guys my age, who would have zero idea what a Klingon looks like, or a Borg, or even a tribble.  

Huge viewership does kind of lead to cultural phenomenon though, otherwise how would it spread throughout the culture? Viewership, to social media(water cooler) to memes to talk shows to phenomenon. 

I don't ever remember discussing Star Trek with anyone, ever. Never heard anyone I have worked with talk about it or even anyone in passing. 

Give it a couple of years and we'll talk who remembers Khaleesi's boobs then.

Huge viewership does lead to cultural phenomenon, but it's not the only requirement. As already stated, Lost was huge while it aired, so was a bunch of other shows and most of them have been all but forgotten by now.

Also, we shouldn't forget the fact that when original Star Trek series aired TV was nowhere near as big as it is now and there was no way to see those shows except to watch them on TV (either when it premiered or one of the reruns) while today you can watch it on TV, you can stream it and let's not go down the path of copyright infringement.

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7 hours ago, baxus said:

If we're talking about who had more viewers, then GoT takes that one, but huge viewership does not make something a cultural phenomenon.

Star Trek had much more influence on the general public. We all know about Spock, "Beam me up, Scottie", "live long and prosper"... You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who couldn't recognise a Klingon from a picture. There are other series that ran for decades after the original series ended, numerous big blockbuster movies. Hell, there are people around the world who speak Klingon!

Twenty years ago, sure. Today? Not so much. I think you'd find that most people, particularly younger people, don't have that much knowledge about Star Trek. The current path of the franchise seems to be aimed around getting established fans to tune in (hence Picard and the direction Discovery went in in Season 2 with Spock), and seems to have more or less given up on trying to win over new fans after the disappointing returns of the Abrams movies.

Game of Thrones absolutely was a massive cultural phenomenon. It may be the case that in five or ten years it would have mostly been forgotten, but I can also see "was Game of Thrones all that bad?" kind of thinkpieces springing up in a few years and the show remaining embedded in the consensus for longer.

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I think you could argue that both GoT and Star Trek have had similar amounts of cultural impact in their time. Star Trek is much less relevant these days, what with the number of crappy movies and tv shows that get puked out. Makes me wonder if Star Wars might feel the same effect if it continues to be mostly bad. 

So with that in mind I think for a new sci fi tv show to really be a hit it needs to do a few things, things that GoT managed to do with it's first few seasons:

1) It has to be good. Seems obvious, but it's honestly where a lot of tv shows and movies fall down. Star Trek Discovery is so often badly written and insulting to viewers. It won't get off the ground if it's just crap.

2) Secondly, and in relation to that, it has to be well written enough to attract nerds, who would be the core, passionate audience. In that way it has to not treat science with disdain, it has to base it's universe in some believability and not just piss on physics and science. 

3) It can't feel too much like Sci fi. Where GoT succeeded was that the first few seasons were essentially a historical epic that happened to have dragons in it. That's what allowed viewers who would be turned off by fantasy to dig GoT. It also allowed them to say they were geeks, when in reality they were far from it.

4) I think what really made GoT popular was that it had various layers of subtlety going on, and different people took different things from it. I enjoyed it for the world building and intrigue and it's hidden depths. But I watched it with my ex at the time, and she was all about the sexy storylines and the slightly rapey subtexts, and all the soapier bits. 
The problem with the later seasons was that it just ditched all the bits I loved and only ever delivered the crappier soapy elements. 

Overall I think that GoT's success was all about how it managed to appeal to different types of audiences, it allowed the nerds to feel they owned it, but also allowed the jocks to feel like it was for them as well. I have no idea how a sci fi show would manage to do that, as it will always tend towards nerdiness.
 

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

Give it a couple of years and we'll talk who remembers Khaleesi's boobs then.

Huge viewership does lead to cultural phenomenon, but it's not the only requirement. As already stated, Lost was huge while it aired, so was a bunch of other shows and most of them have been all but forgotten by now.

Also, we shouldn't forget the fact that when original Star Trek series aired TV was nowhere near as big as it is now and there was no way to see those shows except to watch them on TV (either when it premiered or one of the reruns) while today you can watch it on TV, you can stream it and let's not go down the path of copyright infringement.

This actually is an example of just how big a phenomenon GOT was. There are thousands of options to choose from now and still a very large amount chose it. When Star Trek originally aired you had three choices, ABC NBC and CBS and yet it only lasted three seasons?

I may be in the minority here but I don't think Star Trek has ever been a cultural phenomenon but instead more of a niche classic with a devoted fan base.

I think we just have different opinions of what a cultural phenomenon is. 

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38 minutes ago, dbunting said:

This actually is an example of just how big a phenomenon GOT was. There are thousands of options to choose from now and still a very large amount chose it. When Star Trek originally aired you had three choices, ABC NBC and CBS and yet it only lasted three seasons?

I may be in the minority here but I don't think Star Trek has ever been a cultural phenomenon but instead more of a niche classic with a devoted fan base.

I think we just have different opinions of what a cultural phenomenon is. 

Star Trek was a tiny cult show when it was first on in 1966-69. For contrast's sake, it was regularly defeated in the ratings by the likes of Lost in Space. It did not become massive until syndication, when it got colossal numbers. The movies also did very well (for their time). ST:TNG and DS9 were both huge successes in first-run syndication, often breaking 10 million viewers on first runs and increasing that through repeats. Certainly by the time TNG ended the show was definitely a huge worldwide hit in a way few other shows are. That then faded away over the next decade. Voyager and Enterprise were particularly hurt by being on a small network with relatively small audience.

Oddly, it sounds like Discovery has been the biggest hit, in terms of viewers, since DS9, but that's more down to the international rights going to Netflix.

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One question is will about whether Game of Thrones will have the longevity of Star Wars and Star Trek and become a brand name.    This will depend on how the first spinoff series does.  Will GoT: House of the Dragon ultimately be as successful as Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space 9  or the Star Wars Prequel trilogy, Sequel trilogy, or the Mandalorian?    And will we be seeing life in the GOT franchise 40+ years after the initial series endedOr will Game of Thrones be a one off, mostly forgotten in 10 years.

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:


So with that in mind I think for a new sci fi tv show to really be a hit it needs to do a few things, things that GoT managed to do with it's first few seasons:

1) It has to be good. Seems obvious, but it's honestly where a lot of tv shows and movies fall down. Star Trek Discovery is so often badly written and insulting to viewers. It won't get off the ground if it's just crap.

2) Secondly, and in relation to that, it has to be well written enough to attract nerds, who would be the core, passionate audience. In that way it has to not treat science with disdain, it has to base it's universe in some believability and not just piss on physics and science. 

3) It can't feel too much like Sci fi. Where GoT succeeded was that the first few seasons were essentially a historical epic that happened to have dragons in it. That's what allowed viewers who would be turned off by fantasy to dig GoT. It also allowed them to say they were geeks, when in reality they were far from it.

4) I think what really made GoT popular was that it had various layers of subtlety going on, and different people took different things from it. I enjoyed it for the world building and intrigue and it's hidden depths. But I watched it with my ex at the time, and she was all about the sexy storylines and the slightly rapey subtexts, and all the soapier bits. 
The problem with the later seasons was that it just ditched all the bits I loved and only ever delivered the crappier soapy elements. 

 

Funny how you basically just decribed Battlestar Galactica. I don't think you're too far off the mark (although the fact that arguably the four biggest cultural phenomena in modern media history are Star Wars, LotR, the MCU and Harry Potter does make me somewhat think that the mainstream's intolerance for nerd shit is sometimes somewhat overstated) but sometimes you can have all the ingredients but still not pop, of course.

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2 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

Funny how you basically just decribed Battlestar Galactica. I don't think you're too far off the mark (although the fact that arguably the four biggest cultural phenomena in modern media history are Star Wars, LotR, the MCU and Harry Potter does make me somewhat think that the mainstream's intolerance for nerd shit is sometimes somewhat overstated) but sometimes you can have all the ingredients but still not pop, of course.

Well, BSG was also great, massively critically acclaimed in its first half, won major awards (Hugos and a Peabody), was a critical darling etc and then started going off the boil in its second half and, despite a few late episodes that were surprisingly decent, its finale was nonsensical bullshit of the highest order that soured a lot of people on the franchise for good (tellingly, its spinoffs also stalled). In that sense BSG was GoT way before its time.

Edited by Werthead

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

Well, BSG was also great, massively critically acclaimed in its first half, won major awards (Hugos and a Peabody), was a critical darling etc and then started going off the boil in its second half and, despite a few late episodes that were surprisingly decent, its finale was nonsensical bullshit of the highest order that soured a lot of people on the franchise for good (tellingly, its spinoffs also stalled). In that sense BSG was GoT way before its time.


True, although I don't think BSG ever got anywhere near as bad as GoT got. It made shit plot decisions but it was always at least interesting in a character sense and it also just never got as incompetently written.

But despite all the awards and panels at the UN BSG never got close to as big as GoT was, which is kind of the point I was making.

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