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  1. #1
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Default global sci-fi franchises born in the 1960s: can you think of any?

    I'm working on a thesis that the Fantastic Four was pretty darned important back in the day, and it struck me that three very similar juggernauts began at around the same time. All were sci-fi universes with a distinctive and unusual upbeat message, and all are still valuable franchises today:

    1961: the Fantastic Four, leading to the MU. High concept, according to Stan: "If I were a superhero I would..." - none of that silly secret identity and capes nonsense, they live in New York and do Great Things, making the world a better place. All very inspirational and "excelsior." They spawned the biggest narrative universe the world has ever known.

    1962 (aired in 1963): Dr Who. Began as an educational series, soon became a message about how optimism and non-violence can beat anything. By some measures the most successful sci-fi series ever.

    1964 (finally saw production in 1966): Star Trek. Planned as a series of morality tales, in a future where mankind has pretty much got it right. A commercial and cultural phenomenon.

    Can you think of any other franchises that are as upbeat and successful? I am not sure that even Star Wars counts, as it doesn't have the longevity (only 3 good movies), or the upbeat message (it's all warfare and aristocracy). Are these three a unique triumvirate?

  2. #2
    Kicking the hornet's nest Jezebel Bond's Avatar
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    I'll monkey with this thread by adding Planet of the Apes....
    1 Kings 21:23

    And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

  3. #3
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel Bond View Post
    I'll monkey with this thread by adding Planet of the Apes....
    Surely dr chimp should've caught that one on the first bounce ...
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

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    Roquefort Raider can tell you more about it than I can, but according to wiki Perry Rhodan started in 1961. I used to see the English paperbacks around quite a bit in the 70s, though I never did try reading any. But after seeing RR talk about it a bit on the Books board I've recently become interested. Only problem is that by now there have been so many published in the series it would be impossible to catch up. Oh yeah, and they stopped translating them into English decades ago. But I might try some of the French translations one of these days if I can figure out a few key books that would let me get an idea of how the series has developed over the years.

  5. #5
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel Bond View Post
    I'll monkey with this thread by adding Planet of the Apes....
    I suppose that was upbeat from the apes' point of view. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Perry Rhodan started in 1961.
    Thanks for the heads up - I never realized the series was so big! That's a wonderful find. And I'm impressed with its realism and consistency - e.g. starting with an American moon landing in 1971, just the time when the Apollo program was at its height (quite a feat for 1961).

    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    there have been so many published in the series it would be impossible to catch up. ... if I can figure out a few key books that would let me get an idea of how the series has developed over the years.
    The series seems to be crying out for a good chronology, but I can't find one anywhere, at least in English. This would seem to illustrate the need for reliable timelines: only a timeline (or in this case a series of timelines) can have any hope of comprehending something so vast. A good timeline would enable the series to break into foreign markets, so it would be worth millions. If I was doing PR on PR I'd make the front page of the web site into a beautiful cosmic infographic showing diverging timelines and key jumping on points. But that's just me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    Thanks for the heads up - I never realized the series was so big! That's a wonderful find. And I'm impressed with its realism and consistency - e.g. starting with an American moon landing in 1971, just the time when the Apollo program was at its height (quite a feat for 1961).


    The series seems to be crying out for a good chronology, but I can't find one anywhere, at least in English. This would seem to illustrate the need for reliable timelines: only a timeline (or in this case a series of timelines) can have any hope of comprehending something so vast. A good timeline would enable the series to break into foreign markets, so it would be worth millions. If I was doing PR on PR I'd make the front page of the web site into a beautiful cosmic infographic showing diverging timelines and key jumping on points. But that's just me.
    While we're waiting for Ben to see this thread, here's a quote from a post he made on the Books board replying to a question about the series:

    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider
    No, Forest J. Ackerman did a good job with translations of the first few cycles of Perry Rhodan, plus an attempted revival in the mid to late 90s, but apparently the market wasn't there.
    Let's be honest: Perry Rhodan isn't good literature; not even good SF literature. But it often has a demential enthusiasm and a non-apologetic FUN way of presenting its ongoing saga full of space empires, mutants, robots, other dimensions and everything that can fit the kitchen sink. The Borg from Star trek were ripped from the pages of Perry Rhodan, all the way to the cubic ships. And few series lasted long enough to present thousands of years of adventure.

    What would be cool would be to translate the Silberbaende books that collect and compress several weekly pamphlets (and get rid of the fill-in material that sometimes comes up). They focus on the important parts of the several Perry Rhodan story arcs and would allow readers to skip decades of back story!

  7. #7
    Senior Member inferno's Avatar
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    Stanley Kubrick's Apollo franchise persisted well into the 21st century... Tom Hanks did a remake a few years ago....
    Pulling for: HATE!; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Doktor Sleepless; S.H.I.E.L.D.; Sergio Aragones Funnies; The Manhattan Projects; MIND MGMT; Batman Black and White

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ish Kabbible's Avatar
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    Dune by Frank Herbert began as a serial in Analog magazine in 1963. It spawned numerous sequels by the original author and others as well as theatrical and made for TV movies

  9. #9

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    The Avengers started as a British TV series with some science fiction elements.
    The show was so popular that Marvel Comics stole the name to do silly stories about crimefighters in pajamas. :-)

  10. #10
    More human than human. Johnny P. Sartre's Avatar
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    Asotr Boy the Anime which was released in 1963-1966 and dealt with morality, what it is to be human, can robots be human, human and robot interaction and influenced generation and generation of Japanese and American artists/writers all in an all-age format
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