06. The X-Files
The only entry that’s not a kids show or an animation. The X-Files is in all honesty one of the most influential tv shows I grew up on. A sci-fi/supernatural drama revolving around two FBI agents that investigate series of paranormal activities. The debated theories of the existence of extraterrestrial life used to scare the hell out of me, but watching Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully go to town and kick ass made the idea more exciting to ponder.
There were so many memorable episodes – it’s a must own on DVD. The main story throughout the first few seasons involved Fox (David Duchovny) attempting to prove that aliens are indeed real, and are also responsible for several abductions – including that of his sister. Who went missing, and was presumed dead years prior to the program.
However, it was the filler episodes that really kept me watching. A generic story of a monster/evil mutant/virus/crazy person terrorising a small town (labelled by fans as ‘Monster of The Week’ episodes), and Mulder & Scully (Gillian Anderson) are called to investigate. Yeah, generic, but the monsters were really unique every week and often brought a hint of a sympathetic nature. Still, although not a part of the main story, there was further exposition into Mulder’s beliefs and Scully’s near-infinite scrutiny surrounding them – not to mention the development of their close friendship and dependence on each other.
The series is a cult phenomenon and has been the bar for many supernatural and sci-fi shows since its end in 2002. During the last few seasons, David Duchovny only appeared in a recurring role, while Scully and their superior AD Walter Skinner became the focal characters. In my opinion, it took a dip – Mulder IS The X-Files. He’s the engine behind the whole series. So to take it away, what would happen? Moan aside, The X-Files did so much for me its ridiculous. It was the first drama I ever watched week after week without missing an episode, and is still on rotation in my DVD collection.
Aww yeah. This is what I’m talking about! Motherfuckin’ KNIGHTMARE! A UK show broadcast on ITV during after-school hours combining elements of fantasy, knights, goblins, puzzles, computer generated imagery, and saucy elf maidens. Well that last one was slightly misleading…
A lone ‘Dungeoneer’ is given a quest to rescue a person of interest or retrieve an item or relic of importance by Dungeon Master Treguard - who spoke almost all the time in a Shakespearean manner, which was pure awesomeness. However, the Dungeoneer has little to no vision due to the obscuring helmet they must place upon their bonce. A team of 3 friends of the Dungeoneer, normally around 12-16, would then have to guide him/her through the computer generated world created on-screen, as they travel through various rooms, mazes and walkways. Won’t go too in-depth with this one…
It’s great fun to watch some of the retarded kids on there who just cause massive amounts of shit for the Dungeoneer. Has me laughing my arse off half the time. Noah Antwiler (Aka Spoony) did a review on Knightmare a while back. Do check that out on YouTube. It declined in popularity by its eighth series and ended in 1994 :-(
A revival is still being petitioned by fans…
A load of blokes… Check. Sweet vehicles with guns n shit… Check. Odd-looking helmets which still kick butt…. Ding ding ding ding!
So, here’s the top 3. At 3rd place, it’s Thundercats. Why? You idiots… Because it’s Thundercats. Awesome theme music, bad-ass characters, amazing manga-style animation, and probably the show with the best base of operations ‘The Cats’ Lair’. Fucking A.
The premise is that the Thundercats are a group of alien refugees from the planet Thundera. When the planet is destroyed the group travel to Earth, or Third Earth, can’t remember – and set up home as thus. But the evil, nearly naked and undead nasty-doer ‘Mumm-Ra’ is on a course to take over the world. Adequately, the Thundercats are tooled up and take his ass out week after week. No biggie.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
If there’s one thing that ruled my childhood, it was the Turtles. I lived, breathed, ate, slept and drank Turtles from the moment I first watched the show. Every Saturday morning, I’d run downstairs, place myself right in front of the TV, turned up the volume, and sat in silence for approximately 20 minutes. I was comatose throughout, loving every single bit that flashed across the screen.
From the heroes themselves to the genius villain The Shredder, every aspect of the show was perfection. I wanted the toys, I got them. I wanted the vehicles, I got them. Hell I even dressed up as a Turtle on Christmas Day one year – that’s how fucking dedicated I was. In all admittance – I can proudly say I was a hardcore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. No other part of pop culture has had such as a profound impact on me as this.
01. Batman: The Animated Series
I chose Batman: TAS over Turtles as my number one because of one thing… Staying power. This cartoon was first broadcast around 1992, after the overwhelming popularity attained by Tim Burton’s Batman movies – from which it is greatly inspired by.
This show is considered the ultimate depiction of Batman in media other than comic books. It’s still as impressive and very timeless in terms of theme, tone and animation. Possibly THE best animated program of the entire decade.
This clip is not from the original series, but from the feature-length film ‘Return Of The Joker’. It encapsulates everything that made the show brilliant.