Talk:Canadian science fiction

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WikiProject Science Fiction (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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How in the HELL can you list Shatner and Doohan befor Van Vogt?! Van has only been around since the 40s'....

         --K D Faber

Arbitrary categories[edit]

The categories of "Fully Canadian", "partly Canadian", and "foreign" seem arbitrary and not meaningful to me. In my eyes, shows that are filmed in Canada on Canadian sets and locations with mostly Canadian actors are Canadian. I don't know why someone thinks "War of the Worlds", which is obviously filmed on Canadian streets is "foreign" while a show like "The Adventures of Sinbad", partly filmed in South Africa, is "fully Canadian". I get the impression there are editors here who don't know what "CanWest Global", "CHUM Television", "Alliance Atlantis", and "Lions Gate Television" actually mean; there seem to be people who think that because Sci-Fi has picked up a production from elsewhere, that makes it somehow American.

One might argue that a show like "Smallville", set (mostly) in the US (except for the Fortress of Solitude, of course) for an American network, produced in Canada with mostly Canadian actors, is not completely Canadian in some way, but I'm still not seeing it as a very meaningful distinction. IMO, one of the purposes of having a list in Wikipedia is for people to see links between related things, and to me, a list of Canadian productions tells viewers to look for actors, creative staff, and locations that are similar from one show to the next. (I mean, really, haven't we seen that forest location from Stargate in twenty other shows?)

I'm only seeking to be informative, not to impose a particular view. To me, categorizing Canadian shows as "foreign" seems to be an undocumented and non-neutral point of view. The categories have no meaning to me. If someone comes up with categories which are clearly defined, using some verifiable criteria, and if those categories are somehow meaningful or helpful, I have no objection to categorization. Until I see that, I'm going to delete the categories.Avt tor 20:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm also only seeking to be informative, and I think that a lot of people who come here to see a list of Canadian science fiction shows would want to see the list divided like I did. It's misleading to group a show like Psi Factor - created by, starring, and made by Canadians in Canada - into the same list as shows like Sliders - created by, starring, and with most post-production work done by Americans that only happens to film in Vancouver to take advantage of a cheaper dollar. I came here looking for a list of sci-fi shows with more Canadian content than just "that forest location", and this list proved useless. --Arctic Gnome 20:32, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Sliders is a bad example (and not one I put on the list). Much of Sliders was in fact filmed in the US. That's not the case for most of the shows listed. It is true that some productions have multiple nationalities, just as some people do. This is not an article about co-productions, it's an article about Canadian SF, so non-Canadian elements are not necessarily relevant. If someone wanted to create an article about co-productions, such details would be more noteworthy.
In my opinion, the relevant definition is: where is the show (mainly) filmed? Where do the actors work? A show like X-Files, where I think seven seasons were filmed in Vancouver and two in Los Angeles, might be both. A show where every season is filmed in Vancouver, like Stargate SG-1, should be considered Canadian.
One of the real problems with the categories is that they really seemed wrong. When shows like War of the Worlds or Earth: Final Conflict, where the Toronto locations are easy to spot (I once almost walked into a firefight with aliens at Union Go Station in Toronto), are not listed as Canadian, it's clear the problem is with the categories. For the great majority of the shows in this list, all or nearly all of the production was or is being done in Canada. When most of the list seems mis-categorized and where the definition of categories is unclear, it is not logical to attempt a line-by-line verification of facts.
Rather than waste time with categories, my suggestion is simply to put an inline note for the few exceptions that are significantly produced elsewhere (such as Sliders). If the consensus is that categories are helpful, I think it is necessary for the categories to be clearly defined, verifiable, and significant. For example, Doctor Who has significant Canadian financing and production control, but it is produced in Britain using British actors, crews, and locations; I would not categorize it as Canadian no matter what the credits say; that's what I mean by "significant". Same for Charlie Jade, where production was run from Toronto but actually filmed mainly in Cape Town. I believe the intent of this article is that "Canadian" means "made in Canada". Avt tor 00:55, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
There is the source of our disagreement. The way I see it, whether a show is Canadian has nothing at all to do with where it was filmed. Canada is a good place to film stuff because of the cheep dollar and the existing studios, so many American (and European) shows and movies are filmed here. But a Canadian studio does not implant any Canadian qualities into a show made entirely by Americans and whose story is set in America. At the same time, I agree with you about Doctor Who; just because a Canadian corporation helped fund it doesn't make it Canadian either. When I came to this list looking for Canadian sci-fi, I was looking for a list of shows with some kind of Canadian content meaning either it:
  1. took place in Canada and/or was about Canadian characters, or
  2. had significant creative input by Canadians, especially the creators and the writers, but also the actors and artistic production staff.
I'd bet that many people are coming to this article looking for the same thing that I was. I would suggest moving this list to Science fiction filmed in Canada, as that would better reflect its content. This page should thereafter be limited to science fiction with Canadian content. I can think of two ways of determining that list:
  1. Limit it to shows that list Canada as one of the countries of origin on IMDb. That site does a good job of weeding out shows like Sliders and Doctor Who as being not Canadian.
  2. Only list shows that qualify as Canadian content under Cancon laws.
--Arctic Gnome 02:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with your definition. It's Canadian if Canadians made it in Canada. The same argument that makes Doctor Who not Canadian just because it happens to have a lot of Canadian finance makes many shows not really American despite having some American production company involved from a distance.
I agree that IMDB is reasonably authoritative, and that the credits of the works themselves (which generally indicate Canadian federal or provincial government participation) are good evidence of something being Canadian, and that a work lacking these elements would need other evidence to be included in the list. But I don't agree that an exclusionary approach is informative. A show can be both Canadian and American. Sliders was, in fact, filmed extensively in Canada. As this is a Canadian subject I would use a Canadian definition, which is that if it is produced by Canadians in Canada it is Canadian. This is relevant: people in the business refer to these pages, and knowing who is doing the work helps people understand the industry. Battlestar Galactica and Stargate are part of the industry today in Vancouver, and that's relevant to people who want to understand Canadian science fiction. People, ideas, and themes will creep into a show; if you listed to DVD commentaries it becomes clear how the surrounding neighborhood and the details of actors' and production crews' ordinary lives affects what happens on set. One can't come to a complete understanding of Canadian media science fiction without knowing about these interconnections. This is particular relevant for shows filmed in a space or fantasy setting.
I agree that this article is too media focused. When someone has free time the literary aspects of Canadian SF should be expanded, and perhaps the media aspects could be mostly removed to a separate article. Avt tor 16:30, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I know that there are people out there who want so see a list defined like you did, that’s why I suggested the creation of Science fiction filmed in Canada and linking this site to it. I know that I’m not the only person who will find this list misleading as is. I’ve taken a couple university courses on Canadian media, and when my professors talk about “Canadian shows” they always mean “shows with mostly Canadian creative input”. If we want to by the most useful to the greatest number of people, we should have two lists. I see no downside in giving people a choice of which list to read, remember that Wikipedia is not paper. --Arctic Gnome 17:29, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand two lists. The criteria used by the Canadian science fiction awards are simple: awards created by Canadians and released in Canada are eligible for Aurora awards. ("Canadians" further being defined as Canadian citizens and residents.) That's the definition Canadians would use. Most Canadian authors are published by American publishers, but Canadians still consider these works to be Canadian; similarly, immigrants to Canada (like Spider Robinson) or Canadians living elsewhere (like Gordon Dickson) are also considered Canadian. In fact the science fiction public library in Toronto, the Merril Collection, is named for Judy Merril, an American author who came to Canada in 1969. Works don't have to be subsidized to be Canadian and not every eligible work would apply for government subsidy. Works that are subsidized are merely a subset of Canadian culture. Your definition only describes a subset and should not be represented as the totality of Canadian SF in media. Avt tor 04:28, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
As you just said, Canadians would define Canadian as something "created by Canadians". This list includes shows fimed in Canada but made by Americans. By the definition that you just gave, we should split the list. --Arctic Gnome 17:16, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any productions done in Canada which are not significantly made by Canadians. It makes no sense to fly in all the infrastructure. By the definition commonly used by Canadians, I believe all the series listed are Canadian.
Residents of Canada are considered Canadian, and it's generally not practical to work in Canada for the length of time involved in creating a television series without living there, so we woulc consider people like Peter Deluise and Christopher Judge to be Canadian, at least for the duration. This is how you see people working on different shows made in the same area, like Christopher Judge showing up on Andromeda (in fact, Judge's career is strongly shaped by his appearances on 21 Jump Street and MacGuyver so many years ago). On a show like Battlestar Galactica, most of the secondary/recurring characters are played by Canadian actors; to a Canadian, this is a Canadian production, part of the industry in Canada, regardless of whether it has British or American management somewhere. Avt tor 17:45, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure that American shows filmed in Canada do hire Canadians to hold the boom mikes or tape down the wires; but those people do not make a show Canadian when the creator, producer, and writers are American.
Also, You really need to stop saying that "Canadians" would agree with you. I and everyone I know is Canadian, and you are the first person I've met who thinks that just because an American show films here, that makes the show Canadian. So a sizable number of Canadians, including my university professors of Canadian media, do share my point of view.
There are some people coming here looking for a list of Canadian sci-fi using your definition, and some coming here looking for a list using mine. If we split it into two lists, people with both definitions could get the information they want. But if we just have your definition, it is not only useless, but misleading for anyone using my definition. In the intersts of beinng useful and truthful to everyone, we have to include both Canadian-made and made-in-Canada shows, but seperatly.
If you are going to remain so opposed to having a list of Canadian-created shows here, could we compromise by moving the list to List of science fiction shows filmed in Canada ane List of Canadian-made science fiction shows and have no list on this page. We could keep this page as just a list-free description of the history Canadian sci-fi. --Arctic Gnome 21:15, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Again, you are making a distinction that is not well defined and not significant. In simple terms, I use the definition used by the Aurora awards; I draw on my knowledge of Canadian science fiction as a bookseller, writer, convention organizer, and active member of many science fiction organizations over the past quarter century or so, as well as my personal acquaintance with many writers, media professionals, and active fans. Your definition would exclude authors like Spider Robinson, William Gibson, and Judy Merril (even Rob Sawyer carries an American passport). Avt tor 05:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, I know that there are people and groups that use your definition. What I am trying to explain is that there are many people, including academics and the CRTC, who feel that to be Canadian something must require Canadian content or creative input. Both definition exist and some people will be coming here looking for each definition. That is why the list should be either divided or split. That way both camps can read the list they want to read. You are hurting the encyclopaedia by only appealing to the half of the population who use your definition. --Arctic Gnome 08:05, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
So I was reading this discussion and this isn't an issue I really want to get involved in deeply. Still, it seems that there is an obvious difference between Canadian SF and something just filmed in Canada. No way Enemy of the State = eXistenZ. And books are a completely different matter. By your analogy an Isaac Asimov book printed in Canada would be Canadian Science Fiction. Makgraf 08:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
That's not a reasonable interpretation. Distribution is not creation. Avt tor 20:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, unless a show's producers are Canadian based, then a show can't be considered Canadian. Ideally what this article needs is a prose section on television shows. We should have a detailed description of the history, character, and influence, of domestic science fiction programs. We can then also have a sentence or two that mentions the phenomena of major American series filmed in Canada, with a couple of examples. - SimonP 14:59, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
That's not reasonable. Many shows produced in Canada have mostly Canadian staff, they just happen to have management in another country. I really don't see this as something that fits into a small number of clear-cut categories; it seems to me that there is a spectrum of different variations. A list which excluded certain works on the basis of not having X or Y will be missing items that users would be looking for. My suggestion has been that any exceptions or conditions be explained in parenthetical comments. Avt tor 20:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Sci Fi made in Canada seems like a worthy addition to me. I agree a book printed in Canada isn't Canadian, but if Asimov wrote the book in Canada, then it would be a relevant addition (were any?). Smallville is made in Canada, and it's actors are largely Canadian. The 4400, Smallville, etc. should all be included in Candian Sci Fi. - Peregrine Fisher 17:02, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

If Asimov, or Spider Robinson, or Judy Merril, or Sean Stewart, or S.M. Stirling wrote the book in Canada, then the books in question would be Canadian. I don't think that's controversial. (In fact the Aurora award web site lists works by Stirling, a British-born, South African-raised author now living in New Mexico, and Stewart, another American-born author now living in the US, as being eligible, as the authors were Canadian residents at the time the books were written.) Television series are more complex as they involve a wide range of creative individuals, from actors to writers to costumers to directors of photography, and so forth. Governments have reasons for excluding groups that they give money to. If the community wants to create different lists meeting different criteria, that's up to the community. However, I would object to a primary definition of "Canadian science fiction" as excluding works that many people consider Canadian, so some other other title would have to be chosen for works that, say, had Canadian producers in charge or whatever the definition people want to use would be. Avt tor 20:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
To paraphrase my point from that long discussion, my opinion is that both points of view exists, so we should have two lists so that people who want to look at a list of Canadian-created sci-fi and people who want to see a list of all Canada-related sci-fi can read the list they want. In the interests of giving readers more choice and more information, I will be splitting this list soon unless User:Avt_tor or User:Peregrine_Fisher can show why those of us who define Canadian differently than them (such as myself, User:Makgraf, User:SimonP, and the government's CRTC) do not deserve the list we came here looking for. --Arctic Gnome 17:30, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. What are we going to call it? - Peregrine Fisher 17:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking of making List of science fiction shows filmed in Canada and List of Canadian-made science fiction shows. There shouldn’t be much confusion about what items belong in which list (if need be we can limit the second list to shows meeting Cancon requirements). This page could then be freed from having any lists in it. Here we can just write, in prose, about the history of Canadian sci-fi and the unique characteristics of English-Canadian, French-Canadian, and American-produced-Canadian shows. --Arctic Gnome 22:24, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if "Canadian-made" distinguishes the two enough. I'd say the titles should be "filmed in" and "set in", or something along those lines. I also don't know if there are enough shows to warrant separate list pages, but I could be wrong. JQFTalkContribs 23:48, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Centralized TV Episode Discussion[edit]

Over the past months, TV episodes have been redirected by (to name a couple) TTN, Eusebeus and others. No centralized discussion has taken place, so I'm asking everyone who has been involved in this issue to voice their opinions here in this centralized spot, be they pro or anti. Discussion is here [1]. Even if you have not, other opinions are needed because this issue is affecting all TV episodes in Wikipedia. --Maniwar (talk) 20:16, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Missing topics[edit]

Why is there no mention of OSFS in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Because nobody has added any useful, cited information on OSFS to the article? (And because some of the people most active on this article are television fans, not SF readers.) --Orange Mike | Talk 15:31, 27 June 2011 (UTC)