Do not read this article if you enjoy sci-fi. This is not for you. This is an article for any girlfriends/ boyfriends who watch endless episodes of spacey stuff that their partners like, but cannot get to grips on the (subtle) differences between them. I interrupted my panel of geeks from playing Dungeons and Dragons to ask their expert opinions on this stuff (no seriously, I did), and I put their suggestions into a handy questionnaire. Find below:

(Note: please excuse the implication that all women are disinterested in sci-fi)

Question 1. Does the guy have a Scouse accent?

Yes – Red Dwarf. Last human alive tries to get back to Fiji. Has a guy that’s a cat. No actual dwarves.

No – Next question.

The "Red Dwarf" season 8 main cast

Question 2. Is it based in space?

Yes – Next question.

No – Stargate SG-1. Wormholes in space. Fighting weird Egyptian-looking baddies with worms in them. Wormy.

File:Stargate SG-1 cast minus Jonas Quinn.jpg

Question 3. Is the ship alive?

Yes – Farscape. Astronaut on the wrong side of the galaxy, chased by some people. Small crew but they all look seriously alien, including a guy that could be confused with a hairy toad.

Sometimes – Babylon5. Intraspaceship politics. Sci-fi Jerry Springer.

No – Next question

Question 4. Are there robots?

Yes – Next question.

No – Firefly. Sexy cowboys in space. Because everybody loves cowboys. And space.


Question 5. Does everyone in the red shirts die immediately?

Yes – Star Trek. Group of mostly humans peacefully travel the galaxy blowing everything up. So many variations you’ll never keep track. Actually, most of the time Star Trek is a safe bet if there’s space going on; the sheer number of variations/ episodes is astonishing.

No – Next Question

Question 6. Are there aliens?

Yes –  Star Wars. Magic space samurai with laser swords. All movies in wrong order – impossible to keep up.

No – Battlestar. Humans vs Robots – fight to the death. To make things considerably less transparent, some robots look like humans.