Previous Top 10s have covered the best of tech geekery in the film, writing, game and other sectors, but we still felt there was something missing. While our earlier efforts have elicited a variety of passionate, and occasionally incoherent, comments we felt we'd missed a broader view.
These days companies have realised that they can make major money out of technology franchises, and we thought that needed attention.
After all, the software industry has made its own the concept of a single product having multiple values. The entertainment industry got in on the game, and the 1982 release of Tron was the first that made more in auxiliary sales than in the film itself. Since then, entertainment franchises have become big business and the rest is history.
As ever, all (sane) comments gratefully received.
mention: Isaac Asimov's Foundation series
Shaun Nichols: Science fiction (SF) fans are going to absolutely hammer us for not having this higher up on the list, and perhaps they are right. Isaac Asimov's Foundation saga is considered by many to be one of the most influential series of books in the history of the genre.
The series began with a trilogy from Asimov in the earlier days of his career in the early 1950s. After taking a short break of, oh, about 30 years, Asimov was talked into continuing the series and several more novels were written.
And the series wasn't just limited to Asimov. Many other contemporary writers have contributed as well. If you also tie in the Robot and Empire sagas, which are said to take place in the same fictional universe, you end up with more than a dozen of some of the best works of SF ever put to paper.
Iain Thomson: I would have liked to put this higher but Foundation was a book-only series, with no serious attempts to bring it to a wider audience.
That said it's a stunning body of work. What began as a few short stories ended up with a series of books based around Gibbon's classic Decline and Fall, looking at the way power shifts in a changing society. The initial books were written 50 years ago but still remain classics of the genre and are much copied today.
Asimov returned to the series later in his life, I suspect largely for the money involved in following up his initial success. The later books lacked the power of the originals but are still on the must read list for the aspiring geek.
mention: Doctor Who
Iain Thomson: As the Brit in the office I drew the short straw and got Doctor Who. I hate the show, as it shows all the set design skills of Blake's 7 without the excellent plot.
Yes, Tom Baker was a very entertaining Doctor Who, and the show kept an entire generation of British boys wishing for the attentions of Peri Brown (or worryingly, for the mental health of the nation, Bonnie Langford).
The show went from bad to worse in the 1990s but was saved by fanboy Russell Davies who, after graduating from Queer as Folk, brought a bit of modern thinking to Doctor Who.
More than one IT journalist has written scripts for the show and it still displays the great British tradition of special effects with no budget. An example of this is memory paper, which shows up on screen as a blank piece of paper but, in the mind of the viewer, is whatever they want to see. It's one of those classic British hacks to get around a low budget.
Shaun Nichols: Well, you don't run for more than a quarter of a century unless you're doing something right. I'm not much of a fan either, but I imagine that, had I grown up in the heyday of Doctor Who, I would have much more of an appreciation for the show.
I think Doctor Who serves as a good example of the bias that each generation has in regards to media. What has campy appeal for one generation is just bizarre and incomprehensible for another, particularly when the special effects age as badly as those in Doctor Who.
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