DATELINE: MOVIE & TV MASHUP
Prophetic writers have been the backbone of imagination since before an anonymous scribe wrote The Book of Revelations.
The Prophets of Science Fiction illustrates the power of ten brilliant modern writers to foresee the future. The documentary series with host Ridley Scott may be suffering from a misnomer in the title of the series.
The ten writers under examination are each given an episode and a dominating theme from their works becomes the focal point. Soon, however, observers will note that experts and scientists cite the writer only in the context of seeing a movie version of a short story or novel.
Yes, stunning movie clips from the illustrated visions of the writers becomes Ridley Scott’s point as he sketches storyboards while narrating.
Even with the biographical information on Arthur Clarke, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and others, the literary works really are secondary to the prophets of movie science fiction. Let’s face the fact that these great writers have been resurrected by the technologies they foresaw.
Any child knows that the movie vision has hallucinatory impact that causes nightmares. And, the series delves into the psychological terrorism of computers, death, and the time/space continuum. Kids generally don’t have nightmares from reading the books.
None of this should denigrate the series that is both literary and cinematic. It contains insights the average fan of movies (or books) may not understand about the writers and their lives.
The episode count succinctly distills (is that a tautology?) each horrific vision (or even optimistic view) for its accuracy against modern science. The results are quite impressive and may drive you to download a book or two to your tablet.
Of course, some great science fiction writers have been left out of the loop—probably saved for a second season that never came. We should therefore look at what the series gives us as a crash course in the genre as a gift, not the end-all.
If you like movies and TV, you can find the complete reviews of Ossurworld in books like MOVIE MASHUP and MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE. All movie books are available for download at Amazon.com for smart readers.