Here’s Chris’s second guest blog, this time about intelligent sci fi. Enjoy!
RECENTLY it has been television that has been the trail-blazer for intelligent sci-fi.
Battlestar Galactica, the first season of Heroes, even that last series of Torchwood seemed to show that there was something still worth saying with the genre.
Films on the other hand seem to have gone in the opposite direction. When the Terminator series finally came around again the last strips of intellect seem to have been torn away in favour of huge explosions.
Even a film like Cloverfield, effectively a shakey-cam homage to Godzilla, managed to tell the same story but with none of director Ishiro Honda’s dark undertones of the concerns about the nuclear age.
This summer things might be changing, first up is Duncan Jones’s Moon, a low budget ode to the 70s sci-fi he grew up with such as Silent Runnings and Dark Star. The trailer may make the film look like a Twilight Zone episode but the movie itself deals with loneliness, responsibility and regret.
Next month we’re also getting Neill Bloomkamp’s District 9. On the face of it an alien invasion movie with a snazzy viral marketing campaign and Peter Jackson as Executive Producer on the poster.
But there are themes of racism and distrust running through here as well. Are these an indication of a change for sci-fi?
Well, considering Transformers 2 made $200m in its first weekend I think we can safely say that explosions and mayhem will be on the cards for a while yet.
But the fact that the fringes see fit to actually shoe-horn in some relevant themes is a reminder that there are a lot more legs in the genre than just nostalgia.