The Real History of Science Fiction (2014) - Rutger Hauer, Nathan Fillion, Nichelle Nichols, Zoe Saldana, Edward James Olmos 

Everything really is awesome! If you asked me to have a show with everyone I've ever loved in science fiction it would be this show. Classic science fiction actors like Nichelle Nichols, Edward James Olmos and Zoe Saldana are going to be featured in a four-part docudrama about the making of classics of science fiction. The description is "The Real History of Science Fiction delves into the real history of science fiction with filmmakers, writers, actors, and graphic artists looking back on their experiences and on how their obsession and imagination has taken them into the unknown. From Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from Jurassic Park to Doctor Who, each program is packed with contributors behind these creations and traces the developments of Robots, Space, Invasion and Time. The series determines why science fiction is not merely a genre… for its audience it’s a portal to a multi-verse – one that is all too easy to get lost in."

It's awesome that these legendary minority actors are going to be featured. But wait! There's more! The list of names featured is nothing short of legendary.

The press release lists
  • William Shatner (Star Trek)
  • Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
  • Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek)
  • Steven Moffat (Doctor Who)
  • Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
  • Chris Carter (The X-Files)
  • Ronald D Moore (Battlestar Galactica)
  • John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Schlock)
  • David Tennant (Doctor Who)
  • Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future)
  • Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)
  • John Carpenter (Dark Star, The Thing)
  • Karen Gillan (Doctor Who)
  • Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Stardust)
  • Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars Trilogy)
  • Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise)
  • Ursula K Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness)
  • Syd Mead (Blade Runner), Kenny Baker (Star Wars)
  • Anthony Daniels (Star Wars)
  • Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
  • Peter Weller (Robocop)
  • Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica) and "many more."
They also mention Charlie Jane Anders, Veronica Cartwright, Gale Anne Hurd, Ursula K. Le GuinAudrey Niffenegger and Janet Peoples.

Here's the breakdown of the episodes.

EPISODE 1 – ROBOTS premieres Saturday, April 19, 10:00pm ET
"What if our creations turn against us?  The idea of creating life has fascinated society since the earliest days of science fiction. The first installment of the four-part series, Robots transports viewers from the first steps of Frankenstein’s monster to the threat provided by the Terminator and the world of Cyberspace. Find out how Rutger Hauer created one of the greatest speeches in all of science fiction for Blade Runner. Discover from Kenny Baker the challenge of acting in Star Wars while inside the body of R2D2, and learn how Anthony Daniels was drawn to the role of C-3PO by concept art modeled closely on the robot from the silent classic Metropolis. Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) discusses how he managed to create a whole new approach to robot design. The creators of the original Robocop describe how its hidden depths have given it enduring appeal and William Gibson reveals the origins of his seminal novel Neuromancer. From HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Cylons of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and the world of The Matrix, this is a journey that asks – what does it mean to be human?"

EPISODE 2 – SPACE premieres Saturday, April 26, 10:00pm ET
"What if we could explore the vastness of Space? Science fiction has always fed upon our need to explore – to wonder what is out there.  Space journeys from Jules Verne’s earliest ideas about attempts to leave our planet, to the Star Wars far away galaxy through to Nichelle Nichols revealing how her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek led to her participation in the recruitment of NASA’s astronauts. It explores the deep sea inspiration for Avatar, finds out why Ursula K Le Guin wrote The Left Hand of Darkness and discovers how Stanley Kubrick was able to make 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable. In addition, the program looks at the way Dune and The Mars Trilogy embraced the challenge of world building and discusses the appeal of the beaten up ‘dirty space’ of Dark Star and Firefly.  From the horrifying scenes of Alien, to the epic spectacle of Star Wars, this is a journey to the stars and the alien encounters that await us there."

EPISODE 3 – INVASION premieres Saturday, May 3, 10:00pm ET
"What if aliens landed on Earth? Much of science fiction explores the moment of first contact – what will people do when the aliens land? From H. G. Wells’ pioneering The War of the Worlds to Independence Day, Men in Black and District 9, Invasion deals with our fears of alien invasions of earth. David Tennant explains the appeal of Doctor Who’s Daleks and Cybermen while John Carpenter and Chris Carter explore the rich appeal of the paranoia fuelled by hidden aliens with The Thing and The X-Files. It also asks, what if the monsters were our own creation? With the aid of rarely seen animation tests, Phil Tippett takes us behind the scenes in the creation of the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.  But not all invasions are hostile. Peter Coyote and Richard Dreyfuss discuss the creation of Spielberg’s spellbinding classics E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There is more than one kind of invasion."

EPISODE 4 – TIME premiere TBA.
"What if we could travel not just through space, but through time itself? If you could travel through time, would you change the past or the future? What if you found it couldn’t be changed? What price does the time traveller – and the people they are closest to – pay? This is a journey from H. G. Wells The Time Machine through ideas like The Grandfather Paradox and The Butterfly Effect to the professional time traveller that is the ever popular Doctor Who. Steven Moffat, David Tennant, Karen Gillan and Neil Gaiman offer a unique perspective on the Doctor. Edward James Olmos reveals the hidden meaning of the language he created for the vision of the future that is Blade Runner. Bob Gale and Christopher Lloyd take us behind the scenes of Back to the Future, while Ed Solomon describes the joy of solving a time travel conundrum for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But what would be the physical and emotional cost to the time traveller? Audrey Niffenegger explains what inspired her novel The Time Traveller’s Wife. And what if someone from the future tried to travel back in time to warn us? Would we believe them? From the apocalyptic tones of 12 Monkeys to the drama of Quantum Leap and the comedy of Groundhog Day, time travel is a subject that has been irresistible to the creators of every type of science fiction."

Read more at the official site: http://www.bbcamerica.com/real-history-of-science-fiction/

The Real History of Science Fiction premieres Saturday, April 19, 10:00pm ET.

Are you looking forward to the show?

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Pat Dilloway said...

That is a pretty good who's who list. Can you really call Groundhog Day time travel? I mean it involves time but essentially time was standing still.

Liesel Hill said...

Yeah that sounds amazing. Thanks for posting this. I'll try and catch a few episodes! :D

nutschell said...

This is going to be epic! ooh I can't wait!


spacerguy said...

I believe most humans will always strive to shoot for the stars in whatever chosen field but speaking as a humanist, we'd do well to employ Isaac Asimov's three laws of robots even today in real life. You can always rely on ET for a great scoop. This is going to be awesome.


This is must see! Great Find!

Tony Laplume said...

I woulda gone with different names to advertise this. There were such fancier ones to share!


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