SF on TV: What’s the Greatest Single Teleplay or Episode of All Time?

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
8,714
Not the greatest show, but the single greatest half hour- or hour-long (or whatever) broadcast?
 

Mr Cairo

NOAH was a conspiracy nut ... then it rained
Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
184
Location
South Wales, UK
I could say Duet from DS9, Hush from Buffy, 33 from Galactic, Maybe something from the Sopranos or even Deadwood the list of proper sci fi and genre greats goes on and on, However there were 3 episodes of the medical comedy drama Scrubs that just stand out as some of the finest TV writing for me

3rd place - My Lunch - JD encounters a recurring Patient Jill Tracy who is clearly upset and a little manic at being stood up and wants to talk, however he doesn't stay and later that day she commits suicide. JD is hard on himself that he failed a patient. Its an emotional episode that shows that whats on the surface is sometomes hiding real pain underneath and its a supeb Half hour

2nd Place - My Philosophy - Death done as a Musical, JD has a patient waiting for a transplant she is a beautiful vibrant patient and all the staff like her, JD and her have a converstion about what comes next and the patient says that she sees death as a broadway musical with all her friends singing, She eventually dies and as Dr Cox is attempting CPR the strains of Colin Hays Waiting for my real life to begin starts and we fade to curtain and she is there in the spotlight and starts to sing, the rest of the cast also sing aling its just Bautiful

1st - My Screw Up - Just a master-class is handwavium writing look here and don't see this over here while you looking at that over there. Dr Cox is real happy as today is his son Jacks first birthday and the episode follows him preparing for the event and interacting with his co workers and his best friend (and Brother in Law) Danny who is in remission from Leukaemia. In the final moments we see Dr Cox and the cast all dressed apparently going to Jacks Birthday Party, Dr Cox makes an odd comment and JD stops and asks Dr Cox "where do you think you are?", we realise that we are at Dannys funeral he never went into remission and Dr Cox had been burying his grief in fantasy

It is the most heart breaking sublime bit of TV the moment his world crumbles was an emotional punch that is still with me years later

Vastly underrated TV show
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
1,645
Location
The Netherlands
The first 18 minutes of GOT, season 6, episode 10. You know what's going to happen, yet you sit and watch spellbound, tied by a haunting score.
 

CupofJoe

Some medals you wear on your heart not your sleeve
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
1,143
Little Green Men - ST:DS9 [s4,e8]
A riff on the 1947 Roswell incident.
A great concept and one of the rare times that Quark [Armin Shimerman] got to take the lead.
I think it also showed that DS9 was not afraid to step outside the Star Trek franchise/concept once in a while.
 

M. Robert Gibson

Member 41015
Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,748
Red Dwarf - Back to Reality

The top review says it best
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,527
The Preacher season 1 episode 1 takes some beating.
The first episode of the original TV series HHGTTG.
Red Dwarf, as above.
 

PadreTX

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
73
Location
Texas
In the 20th century, there are two I can think of. From Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine. From Star Trek-The Next Generation: The Best of Both Worlds.

However, there is an episode from the 21st century that I think falls into the greatest of all time. The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 8: The Rescue. It's famous for what John Favreau did, many people talk about it, and most importantly, it was outright fun to watch.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
20,684
Star Trek the Next Generation Yesterdays Enterprise.
Star Trek Deeps Space Nine In A Pale Moonlight
Star Trek Voyager Year In Hell
Dr Who Blink
The original Outer Limits Solider and Demon With A Glass Hand
Thriller Pigeons From Hell
Quaternass and the Pit
1958 Serial
 

Mark_Harbinger

Author and Social Media Ninja
Supporter
Joined
Feb 1, 2022
Messages
94
Location
Pacific Northwest (USA)
Love it!
√ "Amok Time" -- Star Trek #201 ('67)
√ "Journey to Babel" -- Star Trek #210 ('67)
√ "Sarek" -- Star Trek: The Next Generation #323 ('90)
√ "The Inner Light" -- Star Trek: The Next Generation #525 ('92)
√ "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" -- X-Files #304 ('95)
√ "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" -- X-Files #320 ('96)
and
√ "Epilogue" -- Justice League Unlimited #213 ('05)
 
Last edited:

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
8,714
All these nominations for shows I have never seen! We don't have cable, other pay TV, etc.

The one I think of, though it has visual and soundtrack shortcomings, is Harlan Ellison's teleplay for the original Outer Limits, "Demon with a Glass Hand." Intriguing story well-acted and well paced, with great use of the Bradbury Building, great atmospheric photography, and my favorite window-breaking scene.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
20,684
All these nominations for shows I have never seen! We don't have cable, other pay TV, etc.

The one I think of, though it has visual and soundtrack shortcomings, is Harlan Ellison's teleplay for the original Outer Limits, "Demon with a Glass Hand." Intriguing story well-acted and well paced, with great use of the Bradbury Building, great atmospheric photography, and my favorite window-breaking scene.

The 1958 Version of Quatermass and the Pit is quite good , It's a six part series and was the basis for the equally good 1967 Hammer film .

It is available on dvd. :)

Also by him by Nigel Kneale. The Stone Tape 172 the entire serial can be found on Youtube. :cool:
 

Top