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Science Fiction

Started by buster, March 13, 2023, 01:28:00 PM

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buster

Most know I'm a science fiction fan, but I appreciate the fiction part more than the science. A few years ago my daughter phoned me to decipher a long explanation given in the beginning of a novel that gave a pseudo-scientific explanation of how the characters could travel back in time. She and I were reading the same book. I told her to skip it. As a writer the author didn't realize his bogus explanation was unimportant. The important part was how the time travel was used.

Gene Roddenberry explained that things were needed to move the plot along, so 'Beam me up Scottie'  was just added. HyperDrive speeds were needed to get to other planets in our lifetime. He never explained how they worked. The story's the thing. And those old tales were about people.

Another confession. I didn't like Isaac Asimov. I found him stodgy. I did like Bradbury. His writing is lyrical in places. Please do not hate me for this.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

buster

Just found out that the exact phrase 'Beam me up Scottie' never was uttered in any of the shows. There were many similar bits of dialogue however.

A similar thing happened with the film Casablanca. Most think the famous phrase was, 'Play it again, Sam' but that is not quite the words that were spoken.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

ssfc72

I believe the word used was "energise", in the original Star Trek TV series, when the Transporter was used to "beam" the crew from the spaceship to a planet. :-)
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buster

My goodness. How do remember so easily?

I believe too that at the beginning they used a small space bus to carry people physically to the surface of a planet, which was awkward to film and plot, and that's why a simpler and quicker system had to be created. Parts of the early 70's are a bit foggy for me though. Jason will know.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on March 13, 2023, 01:28:00 PM
Gene Roddenberry explained that things were needed to move the plot along, so 'Beam me up Scottie'  was just added. HyperDrive speeds were needed to get to other planets in our lifetime. He never explained how they worked. The story's the thing. And those old tales were about people.

Warp drive, Buster. Warp drive, not hyperdrive. Star Wars uses hyperdrive which might be where you got that idea from.

Roddenberry did have an idea for n how it worked although we certainly don't know if it's possible. The warp nacelles on a shit create a warp field or bubble around the ship compressing space-time in from of the ship and stretching it behind, which is how FTL (faster-than-light) speed is achieved without violating the Theory of Relativity. Basically, instead of travelling, say 4 LY to the nearest star system which would take at minimum 4 years, space is compressed so that the distance is no longer 4 years effectively making the ship seem as if it went FTL.

To be fair, the original Star Trek pilot (later edited and mixed into a 2-part episode) had Captain Pike calling the engines a hyperdrive. But I don't believe the engine was ever referred to that way again.

The idea of the warp drive in Star Trek is based on the theoretical Alcubierre drive and while Roddenberry used the concept, it wasn't his idea. It was created decades before.
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Jason

Quote from: ssfc72 on March 13, 2023, 03:30:48 PM
I believe the word used was "energise", in the original Star Trek TV series, when the Transporter was used to "beam" the crew from the spaceship to a planet. :-)

I think both terms were used. Often they'd say something like '3 to beam up' and then 'energize' to do it. I know for sure they did it that way in ST:TNG. Energize was the equivalent of Picard's 'Engage' when the Enterprise would go to warp.
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Jason

Quote from: buster on March 13, 2023, 04:52:59 PM
My goodness. How do remember so easily?

I believe too that at the beginning they used a small space bus to carry people physically to the surface of a planet, which was awkward to film and plot, and that's why a simpler and quicker system had to be created. Parts of the early 70's are a bit foggy for me though. Jason will know.

I think you're right, Buster. It was called a Shuttercraft. Do you remember that Dr. McCoy hated beaming down to a planet? He didn't like the idea of his atoms being pulled apart and reassembled.

The early 70s are foggy for me, too. I was born in '71. :) Good thing we had sydication!
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Jason

Another interesting phrase that never occurred but is quite popular was in Star Wars. It was "Luke, I'm your Father'. What actually was said went like this:

Darth Vader: Did Obi-Wan ever tell you what happened to your father?
Luke: He said you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke: No, it's not true. It can't be true! (the last line might be a bit off).

It's amazing how many of the phrases from movies and real-life quotes were never spoken or written by the alleged authors.
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buster

#8
'Warp drive, Buster. Warp drive, not hyperdrive.'

Almost all the Space Operas written earlier had names for for how distance was overcome as a plot obstacle, including subspace and hyperspace.  Dean drive, faster-than-light (FTL), Inertialess drive, Ion thruster, photon rocket transwarp, and slipstream are some of the many ways the writers got around the impossible distances so a reasonable story could emerge.

Not sure why so many writers spend valuable pages trying to make it sound real. Much like reading a plumbing manual. Bring on the swords and beautiful woman and get on with it.

          *

This is what I grew up with back in the day, and it is still available to watch, preserved in the National Film Registry. Ming the Merciless is a great villain, and the women are amazing, their role mostly just looking gorgeous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Gordon_(serial)

https://www.loc.gov/item/97516576/
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

buster

It's only fair also to include Buck Rogers, also played by Buster Crabbe, in this discussion. The movie serial was launched in the year I was born, 1939, and has never quite gone away. The stories go back to 1928.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Rogers_(serial)
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

buster

And maybe finally, a 1940 production of a cliff hanger serial that was shown at the cinema, one episode per week, and the whole thing is here (over 3 hours) if you are so inclined to watch it. You can see the improvement in production values compared to the earlier films, but they may not have the same sense of fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgC9OsOpqPM&ab_channel=PizzaFlix
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on March 15, 2023, 09:33:02 AM
'Warp drive, Buster. Warp drive, not hyperdrive.'

Almost all the Space Operas written earlier had names for for how distance was overcome as a plot obstacle, including subspace and hyperspace.  Dean drive, faster-than-light (FTL), Inertialess drive, Ion thruster, photon rocket transwarp, and slipstream are some of the many ways the writers got around the impossible distances so a reasonable story could emerge.

Indeed, but you were talking about Star Trek. It's called warp drive in Star Trek. :) Although in the later movies, they created trans-warp which was a way of surmounting the limit they had previously set as warp 10.
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Jason

Quote from: buster on March 15, 2023, 11:06:12 AM
It's only fair also to include Buck Rogers, also played by Buster Crabbe, in this discussion. The movie serial was launched in the year I was born, 1939, and has never quite gone away. The stories go back to 1928.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Rogers_(serial)

Probably completely different but did you watch the more modern TV series? Well, late 70s modern, I guess. :)
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buster

#13
"did you watch the more modern TV series? Well, late 70s modern, I guess."

I don't think so. What made them fun in the 30's may not be transportable (using a 'time transporter, patent pending') to a time 30 years  later. Was it good?

And writing about time travel, I have to comment on the acceptance of this plot devise in mainstream entertainment. I can think of films like Adeline [edit. Sorry. A blunder. This is about being eternal], About Time and especially the TV serial The Way Home. Someone else might contribute other examples.

The Way Home.

Marilyn and I have two episodes left of the ten, coming in on the next two Mondays. But in their wisdom, and because of their millions of viewers, a season 2 is already in the works. It has elements from all kinds or 'types' of shows, but it's hard to pigeon hole. It is definitely about people, and we pretty quickly connect and care about them, much as we did with the new All Creatures Great and Small.

The structure of the plot is built around 3 generations of woman.

a) the grandmother who is now a widow.

b) the mother whose husband went off to live with a 28 year old

c) the daughter, who is sixteen

The action of the plot is built around the time travelling ability of the sixteen year old daughter, which leads to some funny and serious moments. She becomes best friends with her mom, both of them teenagers in 1999. She tells a friend in 1999 that when he grows up he'll be a science teacher at her school, which he does, and she treats him as a friend, not a teacher, because she hung around with him when he was 16. The story is interesting and ever revealing, humorous and serious, with a good dollop of romance.

Send a PM if you wish to get it.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on March 18, 2023, 03:08:47 PM
"did you watch the more modern TV series? Well, late 70s modern, I guess."

I don't think so. What made them fun in the 30's may not be transportable (using a 'time transporter, patent pending') to a time 30 years  later. Was it good?

I liked it, but keep in mind that I was only 7-8 years old when it came out. It had a feature movie (which I don't remember seeing) but the tv show only lasted two seasons.  Did the original Buck Rogers in the 30s have him frozen for 500 years and revived? The two aspects this incarnation had going for it were a beautiful woman, Commander Dearing in a skintight outfit, and the best TV show opening I've possibly ever seen. I think it was the usual quality for regular TV series in the 80s. The kind of stuff I probably couldn't watch now but as a kid, it was awesome. But I always say, "you can't go back". Same with video games that I loved in the 90s. They look awful now. I can't believe I played them, the graphics were so bad. As to the opening of the "modern" Buck Rogers, you can check out the opening at the link below. Interestingly enough, a comment on YouTube says that Buster Crabbe had a walk-on role as a fighter pilot, named Gordon. And they had these lines:

Buck: "Where'd you learn to shoot like that?
Gordon: Son, I've been doing that since before you were born.
Buck: "You think so?
Gordon: Young man, I know so.

https://youtu.be/3uEVDdFLBDw

QuoteAnd writing about time travel, I have to comment on the acceptance of this plot device in mainstream entertainment. I can think of films like Adeline [edit. Sorry. A blunder. This is about being eternal], About Time and especially the TV serial The Way Home. Someone else might contribute other examples.

You make that series sound like a 'must-watch'. Have you read the Stephen King novel about a man who travels to 1963 to stop the Kennedy assassination? There's a TV series based on it, too. I enjoy shows with time travel but not so much when it's just interspersed in an otherwise non-time travel series. But it depends, sometimes they can do that well.

I'll note the name of your series and maybe sometime I'll see it on Disney, Prime or Crave.
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