With our penultimate top ten, writer Jonathan Cardwell checks in with his top ten TV boxsets for the Nerdy TV fan in your life…
Chuck, Season 5
Considering this season of everyone’s favourite nerd/spy hybrid wasn’t picked up by any UK TV channel this is your chance to see the final episodes with Chuck and the gang. I haven’t seen it myself due to the aforementioned problems, but if it’s as good as the previous seasons it’ll be something special. And if you want to revisit every episode, the complete series is available to buy as well.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 4
The Clone Wars has gone from strength to strength and this fourth season is no exception. Starting with a stunning underwater battle arc and ending with the return of fan favourite Darth Maul, this fourth year is easily the most confident outing for the series yet, eclipsing the prequels for sheer fun and scope, with more believable ‘acting’ on display as well. And it looks and sounds stunning on Bluray.
The Big Bang Theory, Seasons 1 – 5
Chances are if you’re on this site, you either are or at least know someone like the guys in this show. So if you want to relive the episodes from the first five seasons, including the 100th episode, or just want to introduce a friend to the world of Sheldon, Leonard et al this is the perfect gift. Provided they understand all the geeky in jokes. But even if they don’t know a Battlestar from a Bazinga, it’s still a ridiculous amount of fun.
Red Dwarf X
25 years after the first series aired on BBC2, the tenth series began on Dave this year. It’s taken a long long time and a few terrible episodes/series to get back on form, but that’s what Red Dwarf X was; genuinely laugh out loud funny for the first time in ages, and with a decent sized budget it was finally able to have visuals to match the ideas presented. And these six episodes look incredible in HD as well.
Doctor Who, Series 7: Part One
Farewell to the Ponds. The first half of the Eleventh Doctor’s third year is a little patchy but it still has miles more ambition than most shows on television; a Dalek asylum, dinosaurs on spaceships, a cyborg cowboy, the invasion of the little black cubes and the return of the Weeping Angels, it’s a triumph of ideas even if the execution is a little lacking. Matt Smith is still an absolute joy as the Doctor though, and the Pond’s final episode will tug on the heartstrings.
Black Mirror, Series One
Collecting the three episodes of Charlie Brooker’s “techno paranoia” series, Black Mirror is a dystopian delight. It takes a skewed position on our current fascination with all things tech and presents three terrifying and fascinating parables that aren’t too far from the realms of possibly or believability. The standout of the three being 15 Million Merits, a slanted look at a future where we all live our lives through avatars and watch reality TV 24/7. Oh wait…
Game of Thrones, Season 1, Special Edition
There already is a regular edition of the first season of HBO’s adaptation of George RR Martin’s sprawling saga, but wouldn’t you rather have this super sexy edition instead? It comes with a real dragon egg, for goodness sake!
(DISCLAIMER: dragon egg may not be real)
Being Human, Series 1-4
Being Human; a show about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost sharing a flat in Bristol may sound like the set up to a terrible joke but in reality this is some of the finest TV that BBC Three have ever produced. Well acted, nuanced, and able to compete with glossier US production on a relatively tight budget this is fantasy made mundane. But in a good way.
Misfits, Series 1-4
Misfits; another show whose premise sounds awful but is actually brilliant in execution, which makes you wonder how no one thought of it before. Five young offenders get superpowers, as do a lot of others, in a freak storm but unlike lots of other shows they don’t go about saving the world, but rather just try to stay out of trouble. It never works out like that though. Misfits is basically the anti-Heroes, and all the better for it. Be warned though; it’s utterly filthy.
But my number one boxset is for a show that while no longer on the air is always my first answer when people ask me what I think they should watch next.
Battlestar Galactica, The Complete Series
With Blood and Chrome blasting back onto our (PC) screens, isn’t about time you re-watched where it all began? No, not the Star Wars rip-off from the 70’s but the 2004 re-imagining. Or better yet, buy it for someone who hasn’t seen it before. Don’t let them be put of by the cheesy nature of the original series, Ronald D Moore’s Battlestar Galactica is surely now the benchmark for intelligent adult science fiction, encompassing the ethics of war, the complexity of religion, and really really cool spaces battles.
It’s serious, proper grown up sci-fi, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the early days of Babylon 5, but unlike that show BSG is a lot more realistic (as far as shows about killer robots can be anyway). It deals with the human drama first rather than resorting to just throw a lot of special effects at the screen. It isn’t afraid to have its characters do terrible things or make you hate them. It’s always surprising and will have you guessing to the end.
Basically, it’s frakkin; brilliant.
And while you’re at it, you may as well pick up the very underrated and cancelled before it’s time companion series, Caprica which serves as a prequel to the events of BSG.