Back in the day, Americans could watch an occasional British TV show on PBS or UHF. A little Benny Hill. Some Upstairs Downstairs, but not a whole lot more.
Those days of scarcity are now long gone. Last month, BBC Worldwide and ITV launched Britbox, a streaming service that features the biggest collection of British TV shows ever.
As reflexively as we may now describe the 2019 Los Angeles of Blade Runner as “dystopian” — and indeed, as vivid a modern dystopia as cinema has yet produced — who among us wouldn’t want to spend at least a few hours there? Much of the surface appeal is, of course, visual: the rainy neon-lined streets, the industrial fearsomeness, tho[...]
Image by Futurilla, via Flickr Commons
For your weekend listening pleasure, we present a 70 minute radio dramatization of The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury’s “timeless fable of doomed Martian colonisation.” Aired by the BBC, this production stars Derek Jacobi and Hayley Atwell. Read this little blurb, which helps set the stage.
Since the 1950s at least, Americans have embraced science fiction of all kinds—from the high concepts of 2001 to the high kitsch of Barbarella—even if sometimes only among devoted cult fans. The Queen-scored Flash Gordon, for example, did not do well in U.S. theaters on its release in 1980, though it was a hit in the UK.[...]
There has always been good television. Even Kurt Vonnegut, wittiest of curmudgeons, had to agree in 1991 when he was interviewed in The Cable Guide for his own contribution to the medium, an adaptation of his book of stories, Welcome to the Monkey House on Showtime. Vonnegut did not like television, and compared it to thalidomide.[...]
Image by Dave Revoy, via Wikimedia Commons
A quick heads up for sci-fi fans. Writes Wired UK:
Speculative fiction author Jake Kerr has edited and released Event Horizon 2017, a huge anthology of short fiction by 75 authors eligible for this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Of all the societal debates now going on in the West, many have to do with identity: who belongs in which group? Which groups belong in which places? And what if who we are changes according to context? In its own deep concern with identity, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, one of the most enduring cinematic visions of the 21st centur[...]
In elementary school, a playful teacher gave us an assignment. Everyone was to dream up some sort of amazing invention, then draw both a design and an advertisement for it.
It seemed most of my classmates were primed for a future in which sneakers would come equipped with fully operational, built-in wings.
We recognize its hallmarks in music especially. It is the province of Sun Ra, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Afrika Bambaataa, and, in recent years, Janelle Monae, Andre 3000, Beyoncé, and many other black artists who have updated for the 21st century the styles and sounds of Afrofuturism.[...]
Many thinkers enjoy science fiction, and some even create it, but Arthur C. Clarke seemed to possess a mind precision-engineered for every aspect of it.[...]