Greatest Science Fiction TV Tournament – Final Results

The winner of our tournament is Babylon 5. The complete brackets can be seen here, although it’ll be a few days before the complete voting breakdown will be filled in. (My day job has been nuts lately.)

16 replies on “Greatest Science Fiction TV Tournament – Final Results”

  1. J_W_W says:

    Yes! While I’d have liked some of the matchups to be different, I believe the best show won.

    • crow says:

      Yes. In theory, each show should have won by a smaller margin each round until it lost. Then again, we probably had different people voting in different rounds (I know I missed some, and I know some of my friends only voted near the end). But even a statistically perfect matchup probably wouldn’t feel right.

      • zocalo says:

        In a statistically perfect world with the ideal bracket, perhaps, but in practice I doubt it would ever work that way. The biggest issue I can see is that if you have a top rated show from a niche genre going up against an average show from a popular genre then I’d expect the top rated show to lose out, regardless of the relative merits of the two shows. I’m planning on taking a look at the votes breakdown out of curiousity to see if I can figure out anything useful, but realistically it’s going to take someone with a better grasp of stats than me to slice and dice them into anything meaningful. Besides, as was noted last week, the number of voters is too low to draw any meaningful conclusions in a general sense so it would probably not be worth investing a great deal of time in anyway.

    • zocalo says:

      I was fairly sure that would be the outcome when I saw the final four, and almost certain when the final tie was announced, but I’m still not convinced. Much as I liked B5 (it’s one of the few TV series that I have every episode on DVD) and would definitely put it into my top 5, I doubt it would be at the very top. Looking at the brackets, I’ve been able to pull out my personal favourites, throw in a couple of recent shows that didn’t make the bracket, and whittle it down to a top ten list, but putting those into any kind of order is proving much tougher. Mostly that’s down to liking different shows for different things, making it hard to make an objective comparison and simply applying the B42 scoring system to each series as a whole seems a bit too clinical…

  2. crow says:

    I suppose there’s some relative performance metric that can be applied to the various other votes to determine a ranking for all the other shows. For example, if Firefly was the closest to beating out Babylon 5, it would be ranked higher than any of the other shows that competed directly with B5.

  3. JD DeLuzio says:

    Well, the results are wrong. ; )

    Having expressed my opinion, however, it would be interesting to discuss:
    -the influence / innovative nature of the show– it was an early example of story arc in TV SF, for example– and why many people prefer this show
    -the reasons why some of us might find this win baffling– acting was really hit and miss, for example

    Of course, there is simply no way a tournament of show / movie preferences will ever make everyone happy.

    • That’s the interesting thing. In round one, the “above average/average/below average/haven’t seen it” round, the most influential shows rise to the top. In the brackets, it appears to be those with the most emotional resonance (recent, nostalgia, etc.) that overtake the originals.

      I still want to really expand this out, and I’m looking for ways to do that.

    • zocalo says:

      OK, here’s a theory on that. I’d guess a lot of us have been online for some time, which means we were probably on AoL/Usenet when B5 was airing. Those that were probably remember the extensive involvement that jms (always in lowercase) had with the fans right from the early stages when the show was only knows as “TWCBN” (That Which Cannot Be Named) and all the way through to well after the show finished airing. That was another innovative aspect of the show, and it probably paid off in a big way in getting people more invested in the show and is possibly still paying off today in the voting.

      • J_W_W says:

        Yep. I still remember how awesome it was to follow “The Lurkers Guide to Babylon 5” while the show was airing. Awesome fan interaction.

        I count 3/4 of the episodes of B5 as some of the best television to ever air. The integral story arcs of the show enabled those handful of huge episodes to have big payoffs.

    • Brian says:

      I agree. This was NOT the best science fiction television has or had to offer. There were so many better choices. But I won’t make a stink. It may be how our readership skews.

      The tribe has spoken.

      I do, however, want to thank Blaine for all his hard work on both of these tournaments. This is a volunteer gig at the Bureau and he’s put a lot of time and effort into these. Kudos to you sir.

  4. Fez says:

    Perhaps as an alternate finish we could take the top 8 or 16 and have a bit of a runoff where we each pick our favorite 3 and then see which ones bubble up that way.

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