Iain Clark (iainjclark) wrote,
Iain Clark
iainjclark

Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction

So part 1 of the BBC2 Tomorrow's Worlds documentary on SF basically ticked all the most obvious boxes (but in a more or less random order - quite bewilderingly so at times). It barely touched on written SF except as source material for movies. Which is fair enough if it's aiming to be a history of visual SF, but it doesn't confine itself to TV and movies, which leaves it feeling scattershot. Kudos for mentioning and at least partly discussing Left Hand of Darknesss and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, though.

It was entertaining enough, and with some prestigious talking heads, but for the most part it felt like an extremely well-trodden way to make some fairly unambitious observations about SF. It was also prone to sweeping generalisations such as how no novel prior to the Mars trilogy had ever been so meticulously detailed, no film prior to 2001 had ever been so conceptually ambitious, nothing prior to Avatar had ever realised an alien ecosystem, which seemed prone to counter-argument.

Also on a more trivial note I'd have preferred it if, when talking about the NASA images of Mars that inspired KSR, we saw those NASA images - or at least ones from that era - not a random slideshow of images of Mars from all eras of exploration. Similarly, why stick a picture from Star Trek IV into a discussion of Star Trek II? Why use the remastered CGI version of the original Star Trek opening credits?

I'll stick with the rest of the series, but my expectations are suitably lowered.
Tags: reviews, sf, television
Subscribe

  • Where the grass is sweet and delicious to chew

    I'm only a sporadic poster on livejournal these days, but I've decided to set up a website where I can showcase a bit of my artwork, so my blog is…

  • Doubling down on the fandom

    And just as a follow-on to my appreciation of the movie USS Enterprise, here's an old bit of fan art of Star Trek Movies II to IV that I did way…

  • Dublin 2019

    It's all Emma's fault. She was the one who asked me last year if I'd like to contribute some artwork to help promote Dublin's bid to host WorldCon…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments