Well, I haven’t written much recently as I have been busy. I survived yet another trip to Amsterdam and have been working a lot. Mostly for the Sci Fi channel. The combination of brain-battering in both places fused together to make me wonder about something that would not bother most. At least I hope not, or humanity really needs to focus.
What I noticed was that alien planets in the fictional future of my childhood look different from alien planets in the fictional future of today.
In my youth they were desert but today they are forests. To be specific, in my youth they looked like the Vasquez rocks outside LA and now they look like a Canadian forest. The former strikes me as more realistic as most extra-terrestrial planets (not the gas giants obviously) are desert-like in appearance. Look at Mars. Or Venus. I should stress that this probably won’t bother most people but it does me and this is my site. If you do care and you want proof, here goes.
In a classic episode of the old Trek, James T. Kirk is beamed down to a planet and made to fight a green lizard thing that is the captain of another ship.
They are placed there by an alien intelligence to see which species should be allowed to survive. It’s a fight to the death and Kirk manages to make gunpowder and shoots a diamond at the alien with a piece of bamboo.
Which is exactly what I’d have done. He refuses to finish the alien off and humans turn out to be er, humane and we’re let off.
Notice the background?
In the highly under-rated Futurama, there is a familiar scene:
Buck Rogers even went there in the 25th Century:
There’s a funny sequence in Bill and Ted where they watch the Arena episode and then a few minutes later get thrown off the very same rocks. I couldn’t find a photo of this but here they are in preparation:
Ok so it is all to do with budgets and nearness to the studio. It’s just that my youth has been filled with images of these rocks. The Flinstones movie has these rocks behind Bedrock. A godawful movie called Shockwave features them. In Friends, Joey is going to be in a low budget Sci Fi film that is set here.
Here’s Airwolf episode 1:
So there I am watching old Sci Fi juxtaposed with new Sci Fi. The difference is glaring. New Sci Fi looks like this:
At the risk of belaboring this point – in my youth, space was the desert just outside LA; in my adulthood, it is in the woods of Canada. It is obviously about budgets and this entry is making no point whatsoever. Except maybe don’t go to Amsterdam and then watch the Sci Fi channel for three 12-hour shifts in a row. Especially if you’re pedantic and notice crap like this.
If you don’t care then I apologise. Just look at the pretty pictures. I will soon be reviewing a couple of books and a game (Halting State by Charles Stross, Azincourt by Bernard Cornwall and the game inFamous), so just wait for that. I will also write about Amsterdam. Something for everyone.
I found it all mildly interesting anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell what era the programme came from just by the colour – green or yellow.
Hopefully soon, some big budget movie will come along and return to space planets of my youth. My eye will fill with a nostalgic tear and I will love whatever I’m watching. It will mean a return to the classics. Actually… that’s happened. Guess what movie? In a joke that would appeal to sad Trekkies, JJ Abrams’ brilliant new Star Trek film featured a picture of Vulcan.
It looks familiar and god bless him:
Next blog entry: something completely different.