Review: Prophets of Science Fiction

TV Series: Prophets of Science Fiction
Network: Science Channel
Executive Producer: Ridley Scott

Prophets of Science Fiction by executive producer Ridley Scott is a new documentary series produced by the Science Channel–a series that hasn’t received any of the attention that it deserves. The series takes on the work of eight science fiction authors, examines the science with the work, and then shows how it inspired scientists to develop new technologies.

There really is little doubt that we are living in the age of science fiction. In the early days of science fiction, before the term science fiction even existed, Mary Shelley was writing a novel about a scientist who dreamt of reanimating a dead body. Then there was Well’s inspired story about a man who wanted to travel through time and Asimov’s vision of how robots could fit into mankind’s future. Prophets of Science Fiction delves into the science fiction of the past and analyze it’s affect on scientific developments that have come to be ordinary and commonplace in today’s society.

“The “Science Fiction” of the past has now simply become “Science”. And the science of the future was strangely prophesied by a group of visionaries whose dreams once may have deemed them renegades and “mad scientists,” have become reality!”–The Science Channel

Not only is Prophets of Science Fiction fascinating from a science fiction lover’s perspective, but it’s educational. With mini interviews from today’s top authors as well as cutting edge scientists, Ridley Scott creates a wonderful new series that erases the lines between science and science fiction. The series will leave you wondering what science fiction technologies being written about today will find their ways into our lives in the future. Whether you’re into science or science fiction, you’re going to love Prophets of Science Fiction.

The first episode features the work of Mary Shelley and premiered in November 2011. Since then additional episodes include Phillip K. Dick, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, Robert Heinlein, and George Lucas. If you missed any of the previously aired episodes, you can view them on the Science Channel’s website, on the Science Channel, or OnDemand. It’ll be fun to see what comes next in this new series. Kudos to Ridley Scott for a truly fascinating new series.

Episode Guide from the Science Channel’s Website:

Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley 
Premiere: Wednesday, November 9 at 10PM e/p
It’s alive! Mary Shelley set out to create a monster–along the way she created a masterpiece. In 1816, teenager Mary begins stitching together a patchwork of ancient legend, modern technology, and personal tragedy–giving life to her novel,Frankenstein…and the genre of science fiction.
WATCH VIDEO
Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick 
Premiere: Wednesday, November 16 at 10PM e/p
Literary genius, celebrated visionary, paranoid outcast: Writer Philip K. Dick lived a life of ever-shifting realities straight from the pages of his mind-bending sci-fi stories. His books have inspired films like Blade RunnerTotal Recall, and Minority Report. His work confronts readers with a deceptively simple question: What is reality?
WATCH VIDEO
H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells 
Premiere: Wednesday, November 23 at 10PM e/p
“I told you so…” H.G. Wells’ self penned epitaph underscores a lifetime of grim yet uncanny prophecy. With stories like The Time MachineThe Invisible ManThe World Set Free, and The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells established himself as a sci-fi writer of almost clairvoyant talent.
WATCH VIDEO
Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke 
Premiere: Wednesday, November 30 at 10PM e/p
Some sci-fi storytellers are content to merely predict, but Sir Arthur C. Clarke creates. The writer is single-handedly responsible for the cornerstone of modern telecommunication technology: the satellite. Clarke’s collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick on the iconic 2001 predicted videophones, iPads, and commercial spaceflight, while redefining science-fiction cinema for a new generation.
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov 
Premiere: Wednesday, February 15 at 10PM e/p
He saved the future from Evil Robots! Isaac Asimov dreamed a better future where we need not fear our own technology. His I, Robot stories of a sci-fi future where robots can do our jobs for us lead to the creation of real-life industrial robots and paved the way for a robo-friendly world.
WATCH VIDEO
Jules Verne
Jules Verne 
Premiere: Wednesday, February 22 at 10PM e/p
He put a man on the Moon in the Victorian Era. He criticized the Internet…in 1863. Jules Verne is the ultimate futurist, with a legacy of sci-fi stories predicting everything from fuel cell technology to viral advertising. The extraordinary voyages of Jules Verne have inspired art, industry, culture, and technology.
Robert Heinlein
Robert Heinlein 
Premiere: Wednesday, February 29 at 10PM e/p
Sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism, and duty while stressing the importance of personal freedom and expression. His groundbreaking stories like Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Landcontinue to challenge readers with a steadfast theme: what is freedom?
George Lucas
Premiere: Wednesday, March 7 at 10PM e/p
From Luke Skywalker’s light sabre to Darth Vader’s Death Star, the Star Wars franchise is one of the defining science fiction works of the later 20th century. George Lucas’ prolific imagination has already inspired two generations of scientists and engineers to push the envelope of technology. By introducing computers into the filmmaking process,
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