When you think of science fiction and fantasy as a whole, one thing that binds them together is an expectation of a grand scale or scope. You’re much more likely to find an epic clash of 500 spaceships or 50,000 knights there than in, say, a Nicholas Sparks novel. (Although, if there was a Nicholas Sparks novel called 500 Spaceships vs. 50,000 Knights, you’d better believe I’m picking that one up from the library). But, television being what it is, the budget is rarely there to visually capture the epic-ness, visually speaking, of the titans of the movie world. Point of the point: You don’t expect to see Avatar-level visual awesomeness on a television show.
So how do TV shows work around that? How does a sci-fi/fantasy show capture that sense of huge, grand adventure that’s so indelible in the genre? Even working with Styrofoam rocks and cardboard sets, Star Trek managed to capture the Spirit of Sci-Fi ™ on multiple occasions. Other shows have managed it as well, and proved that bringing a an eye-gasm to audiences doesn’t have to break the bank.
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